My name is Mandy Holt. I chose to have Bariatric surgery." My weight issues started as a teen and continued into adulthood, I could lose the weight, but I always gained it back and then some. My weight definitely affected my self-esteem. I have always compared myself to others and how they looked. Going out with friends or dressing up was always so very stressful for me. I have always been very self-conscious and never felt I looked attractive. As a nurse and a mother, I would work and be on the go, non-stop all day, stopping for maybe 10 minutes to gorge my lunch. Then, I would go home, eat late, and gorge myself again, then have dessert. There is always room for ice cream. As my grandmother would say, ice cream fills in all the cracks and crevasses, so you always have room for ice cream. I never felt good; I was always so exhausted, with no energy to do the things I loved. I like doing activities with my children, going for walks, and working outdoors on our farm, but I could not do it anymore.
Over the years, I have encountered many health issues; this was another reason I wanted to have the surgery. In 2014, I had a coronary artery dissection, also known as a heart attack. Although they did not know what caused this, it has always been my fear that this would occur again. In addition to heart issues, I've had severe hip/back pain, severe gastric reflux/ esophagitis, elevated cholesterol, dangerously increasing blood pressure, and I was pre-diabetic.
My dear friend had bariatric surgery, and she truly became an inspiration to me. I wanted to be like her, to have energy again, and enjoy life, and actually feel good about myself. As a nurse, I knew in my heart; my life was not a healthy one. So, I took that step and enrolled in the Bariatric program at Knox Community Hospital. This was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I had my surgery on January 26th, 2021, and in 2 ½ months, I have already lost over 55lbs. I feel fantastic like I changed from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly!! Thank you to the Bariatric Program at KCH for making my life a healthier one.