"It was a war...and I won."
Terry Cook was always an active guy. He loved to play basketball, baseball, football - you name it. And when it came to choosing careers, he chose one that would allow him to keep active all day, as a powerhouse repairman for John Deere Harvester. But when a knee injury sidelined the Davenport man a few years ago, he began to put on weight. By the time the 5'7" former athlete turned 50 years old, he had ballooned up to 261 pounds.
"The worst thing that happened was I couldn't get through the manholes into our boilers anymore," Terry says. "Also, it killed me to go up and down steps. I had to basically walk sideways to do it, and I was winded real quick. My doctor put me on meds for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and warned me I'd have to go on insulin for diabetes if I didn't change. That really scared me."
It scared him enough, Terry said, that he decided to do something about his weight once and for all. He contacted Dr. Bill Olson, Trinity Surgical Partners, to learn about bariatric surgery. After an initial exam, Dr. Olson told Terry he would be a candidate for laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
According to Dr. Olson, during minimally invasive laparoscopic Roux-en-Y surgery, the surgeon operates through several very small incisions to form a small pouch from the stomach which is then connected to a portion of the small intestine.
"This procedure reduces the patient's ability to absorb calories, resulting in immediate weight loss of six to seven pounds per week over the first year," Dr. Olson says.
Terry can corroborate that: he lost 100 pounds in a single year, dropping from a size 42 to 34. While that's wonderful, the best thing is his new lifestyle.
"I'm not on any blood pressure pills anymore," he says. "My knees don't hurt. I can tie my shoes easily and walk without panting. The guys at work didn't think I needed the surgery. They said, 'You look good. You don't need that.' But they're thinking about doing it now, too."
"I tell them about Dr. Olson and Trinity. The whole program is great. I had been scared about giving up good food. But I'll tell you - I can still eat what I want. I just have to be careful. And I can't polish off an entire large Harris Pizza by myself like I used to.
"A lot of people look at bariatric surgery as if it was cheating. I tried other diets and they didn't work. I don't care if they think it's cheating. It was a war, and I won."