From 900 kilos to independence: Katie Peterson is grateful for each breath

From 900 kilos to independence: Katie Peterson is grateful for each breath

[ad_1]

Katie Peterson and her daughter, Elyse, found a new home in Cheyenne after moving from their rural Wyoming town of Lusk, where healthcare services were limited. Their dogs, Chief (right), and Ace, have a big back yard to roam. Photo by Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.
Katie Peterson and her daughter, Elyse, discovered a brand new dwelling in Cheyenne after transferring from their rural Wyoming city of Lusk, the place healthcare providers have been restricted. Their canine, Chief (proper) and Ace, have an enormous yard to roam. Pictures by Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.

These days, Katie Peterson has discovered gratitude in sudden locations. Not solely is she grateful for as soon as once more with the ability to drive a automobile and do laundry, however she’s additionally grateful for the monumental journey she has taken on, already shedding 330 kilos.

Most significantly, she’s grateful for the help of these round her who helped make doable her largest blessing: life.

About two years in the past, Peterson weighed almost 900 kilos and had all however given up on ever discovering assist for her excessive weight problems attributable to a lifetime of meals dependancy and psychological trauma.

“I knew I used to be already on my strategy to dying,” she stated.

Solely 44 years outdated and a mom of two youngsters, she felt hopeless. Medical doctors had turned her down quite a few occasions, saying she needed to lose a whole lot of kilos earlier than bariatric surgical procedure would even be an choice.

In what she figured can be her final try, she discovered a kind on the web. She entered her identify, deal with, and phone quantity and hit the ship button. A number of days later, her telephone rang.

That decision was the beginning of Peterson’s new journey towards residing once more. It’s difficult and irritating however it’s now beginning to give Peterson again her independence and providing her a lot to be glad about.

“Being the place I’m at now – it’s large. I didn’t assume I’d be right here. I didn’t assume by now I’d be alive,” Peterson stated.

Katie beams after weighing herself on medical scales. She thought she might have reached 600 pounds She said she was happy to see 590, the first time in four years. Photo by Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.
Katie beams after weighing herself on medical scales. She thought she might need reached 600 kilos. She stated she was glad to see 590, the primary time in 4 years.

All however given up on weight reduction and a standard life

When Peterson first obtained the decision from UCHealth, she lived in Lusk, Wyoming – a two-stop mild city the place she’d grown up. She’d barely left her home in over two years. Every morning, she moved from her bed room to the lounge sofa after which again at evening with assist from her then 17-year-old daughter, Elyse.

Earlier than she headed off to highschool or to her nursing assistant job, Elyse would make her mom a lunch and place it in a cooler close to her mother. Within the night, Elyse positioned a folding desk and a sizzling plate in entrance of her mother, and that’s the place Peterson would make them dinner.

Peterson helped the place she may, however issues like laundry, which required descending stairs into the basement, have been unattainable. Peterson had a sound driver’s license however hadn’t pushed in years. When she did have to journey, it was normally dealing with backward behind her mom’s minivan, with the seats eliminated.

However then got here that decision of hope: UCHealth was keen to assist.

Peterson, weighing 890 kilos, made her preliminary journey to satisfy with bariatric surgeon Dr. Robert Quaid in June 2021.

“If we did nothing for her, she would die in a short while,” Quaid stated. “That’s the stability. Somebody should step up and assist, otherwise you go away her alone, and she or he dies at dwelling. And due to our expertise by way of a program and workers, this isn’t one thing we or I might usually say no to. Fairly the alternative. We’d say, ‘Let’s attempt that can assist you.’”

Katie Peterson discusses a second bariatric surgery with bariatric surgeon Dr. Robert Quaid. He commended her on her progress. Photo by Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.
Katie Peterson discusses a second bariatric surgical procedure with bariatric surgeon Dr. Robert Quaid. He counseled her on her progress.

In Could 2022 – a yr after that preliminary go to, quite a few checks, a strict weight loss plan program and help from UCHealth’s bariatric program nurse navigator Michelle Carpenter – Peterson underwent a sleeve gastrectomy. Throughout the process, Quaid eliminated about 80% of Peterson’s abdomen, leaving a sleeve-shaped tube as her abdomen, which limits the quantity of meals that Peterson can eat.

It was a difficult surgical procedure – each to carry out and to coordinate. Peterson needed to get assist getting out of her home and into her mom’s automobile to journey greater than three hours from her dwelling to UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. On the hospital, all of it needed to be fastidiously coordinated, from transporting her inside the hospital to administering anesthesia and monitoring blood strain to inserting a respiration tube and IV.

Everybody performed a necessary half in making the surgical procedure occur, Quaid stated. And it went nicely. Peterson spent 5 days at Poudre Valley Hospital earlier than returning dwelling to Lusk.

Over the subsequent yr, Peterson attended UCHealth’s digital bariatric help teams, continued to talk weekly along with her therapist to work by way of her emotional trauma and meals dependancy, and obtained sources from Carpenter.

Peterson additionally shared her story by way of UCHealth. And the help readers confirmed her was “mind-blowing,” she stated. Strangers despatched her letters, emails and Fb messages. Some shared their tales and phrases of encouragement, whereas others defined how her story had impressed them to hunt assist.

“It was good to know that I’ve touched that many individuals and am giving hope to individuals,” Peterson stated. “I’m telling my story to encourage others and let individuals know there may be assist, not to surrender. That’s the place I used to be, and if I hadn’t gotten assist from UCHealth, I wouldn’t be right here.”

Elyse Richards fluffs her mother’s hair before Katie’s appointment in September with Dr. Robert Quaid at UCHealth Bariatric Center of the Rockies in Fort Collins. Photo by Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.
Elyse Richards fluffs her mom’s hair earlier than Katie’s appointment in September 2023 with Dr. Robert Quaid at UCHealth Bariatric Middle of the Rockies in Fort Collins.

Believing in herself and making the modifications essential to succeed

Apart from shedding 330 kilos, rather a lot has modified since surgical procedure. On Aug. 1, 2023, Peterson and Elyse moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, about an hour north of Fort Collins. It was a tough transition, but it surely helped push Peterson ahead.

“The transfer (to Cheyenne) has been good however a really onerous emotional battle with myself. I’ve to maintain remembering that I can do that. I’m nonetheless on this journey, doing this by myself. I’ve an important help system – that’s not a query – but it surely’s a thoughts sport in terms of dependancy. It’s the willpower and getting over so many roadblocks that I nonetheless battle with.”

Throughout their first month in Cheyenne, Elyse labored 12-hour shifts as a CNA at a rehabilitation heart. Throughout these hours, she solely had half-hour for lunch to go dwelling and examine on her mom. Although a bit lonely for Peterson, it compelled her to do extra issues herself, she stated.

“It was an adjustment for me. It was good however scary at first, and (Elyse) was nervous too – what if one thing occurred? I’d must name and have somebody assist me,” Peterson stated.

However quickly, Peterson was strolling all through the home by herself to let the canine exterior or to make lunch and dinner within the kitchen.

“I used to be doing the whole lot by myself,” she stated. “I had been doing much more since surgical procedure, however this helped give me much more independence.”

Peterson then started conquering stairs, first the 5 steps at the back and front doorways, then the 13 steps downstairs to do laundry.

“I missed doing laundry,” Peterson stated with a chuckle.

And now that she’s not having to lug her oxygen tank round in the course of the day, she’s been training strolling with out her cane.

“It’s the little issues like that that are including up, making a huge effect on how I’m issues now,” Peterson stated. “I’m in a position to take action way more.”

Not too long ago, she obtained behind the wheel of her daughter’s Ford Fusion and drove for the primary time in 4 years.

“That was the most important increase, simply to know I can have that freedom once more of driving,” Peterson stated.

Katie Peterson loves the freedom of driving again after a four-year hiatus. After Katie shed 330 pounds, her daughter, Elyse Richards, encouraged her to try her Ford Fusion. Photo by Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.
Katie Peterson loves the liberty of driving once more after a four-year hiatus. After Katie shed 330 kilos, her daughter, Elyse Richards, inspired her to attempt her Ford Fusion.

And he or she obtained one other increase in September when she visited Dr. Quaid for a follow-up go to.

For a number of months, Peterson’s weight appeared to have plateaued at 630 kilos. However throughout her go to to Poudre Valley Hospital, she weighed 590 kilos.

“I’m the bottom now than I’ve been in … I don’t know the way lengthy,” she stated.

Quaid was proud of Peterson’s progress and inspired her to maintain up the onerous work.

“She regarded good,” he stated. “I’m proud of how she is doing, and it was nice to see a few of these life modifications that have been very dramatic for her.”

After getting downstairs to the basement, Katie rests for a few minutes, then walks without her cane to do laundry. She’s free from hauling around an oxygen tank. “It’s the little things like that which are adding up, making a huge impact on how I’m looking at things now,”Katie said. “I’m able to do so much more.” Photo by Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.
After getting downstairs to the basement, Katie rests for a couple of minutes after which walks with out her cane to do laundry. She’s free from hauling round an oxygen tank. “It’s the little issues like that that are including up, making a huge effect on how I’m issues now,” Katie stated. “I’m in a position to take action way more.”

What are the subsequent steps for this bariatric affected person?

Usually, after bariatric surgical procedure, an individual’s weight reduction begins to degree out a few yr and a half after their surgical procedure.

“The plan all alongside was to let Katie get higher and get that weight reduction the place it needs to be, then we add on one other surgical procedure that will enhance the impact and assist her lose extra,” Quaid stated.

That further surgical procedure can be SADI or Single Anastomosis Duodenal Swap. On this process, Quaid would bypass 60-75% of the small bowel.

Quaid stated he makes use of SADI as an add-on to the sleeve gastrectomy that Peterson had achieved in Could 2022. However SADI comes with dangers. Not solely is the surgical procedure extra intense, but it surely includes a strict weight loss plan and routine of nutritional vitamins afterward. An individual should be dedicated to these modifications. He stated he feels Peterson has demonstrated that dedication. Nonetheless, since she is continuous to reduce weight, he needs to attend some time longer.

She is going to go to with Dr. Quaid once more in December to re-evaluate her progress and subsequent steps.

For Peterson, her subsequent steps are simply making certain she’s taking them.

Katie didn’t feel strong enough to back down the stairs to the laundry room when she and her daughter moved to Cheyenne in August. Yet every week, Katie takes on household tasks that she didn’t have the strength to perform before bariatric surgery 18 months ago. Photo by Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.
Katie didn’t really feel robust sufficient to again down the steps to the laundry room when she and her daughter moved to Cheyenne in August. But each week, Katie takes on family duties that she didn’t have the power to carry out earlier than bariatric surgical procedure 18 months in the past.

“There are nonetheless issues I need to do however bodily can not do but, however I’m getting there, and that’s maintaining me going,” Peterson stated. “I don’t have the ache like I used to. I’m capable of journey, journey and stroll higher. And I hold reminding myself every day that if I take 5 extra steps than I did yesterday, that’s a feat.

“I is perhaps 45, however I nonetheless have loads of life to stay. I’ve misplaced loads of time that I can’t do something about, however I’ve a complete future that I can form and mould to what I would like it to be,” she stated.

“I’m grateful for my second probability.”

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *