Husband, Father, Quality Engineer, Minister and Bariatric Surgery Patient
"You don’t know what you’re missing until you’re missing a lot of extra weight. Bariatric surgery helped me lose what I had gained and get back what I had lost."
Life's Sweeter Than Candy Bars Now
“You don’t know what you’re missing until you’re missing a lot of extra weight,” said Tony Calduch, a 47-year-old husband and father of two from Midland.
Tony was energized by his weight loss following bariatric Lap-Band® surgery at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland. He was delighted to see the return of important things that had left his life as he put on 125 pounds over the previous eight years.
“I was heading for an early grave,” he said. “I existed, but I didn’t see much joy in my life. After the surgery, when I realized things were beginning to change, it felt awesome.”
Numbers Tell the Story
Tony enjoys his job as a quality engineer at Liquid Molding Systems, and he never wavered in his role as a minister and elder for his congregation. But as the pounds piled on, he gave up such personal pleasures as ping-pong, mountain biking and playing the classical guitar. Worst of all, he was too tired to have much fun with the family he loves.
“They didn’t know me for quite a while,” he said.
The usual diets had not been successful. Even a year of working with his family physician didn’t get him moving in the right direction. He would lose a little and then gain it all back and more.
The turning point came when Tony’s daughter, Jasmine, wrote him a note adding up a year’s worth of calories for just the Pepsi and candy bars Tony was eating.
“As a quality engineer, numbers mean a lot to me, and Jasmine’s note spoke my language,” he said. “It was 47 pounds a year for the Pepsi and 35 for the candy. If I did nothing, by the time I was 50, I would weigh 500 pounds.
Hope and Perspective
The note prompted Tony to look into bariatric surgery. He was interested to find that his insurance had good coverage for the procedure, and that it was performed at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland by Bariatric and General Surgeon Matthew Fourman, M.D. The preparation, surgery, hospitalization and follow-up could all take place 10 minutes from Tony’s home.
At a seminar with Dr. Fourman, Tony learned about MidMichigan’s bariatric surgery program, including Lap-Band® surgery, which features high safety and effectiveness and is less invasive than traditional open surgery.
“The seminar helped me see what to expect, and it motivated me to start my weight-loss journey,” said Tony. “I had thought that I would just have the surgery and lose the weight, but my paradigm was wrong. I had to address the way I looked at what I was eating and the fact that I needed to exercise,” he said.
The MidMichigan program included pre-evaluation to assure Tony was a good candidate, help with a plan for success, and complete follow-up support. A dietitian, social worker and personal trainer would be on his team, and access to the Medical Center’s fitness center would help keep him on track with exercise goals.
Ready to Change
Tony weighed 346 pounds when he started his pre-surgery plan, giving up pop one week, fast food the next and candy bars the final week before surgery. Afterwards, he settled into a balanced, high-protein diet of 5 or 6 meals a day totaling 1500 calories, about half what he was eating before.
In just a few weeks, 30 to 35 pounds were gone, and the benefits were already evident. With his doctor’s permission Tony discontinued his blood pressure medicine. He began working out three times a week.
“Working with a trainer is amazing,” he said. “I can see improvement every time.”
His family was surprised at the quick progress and happy to see him getting more energy and more joy out of life.
“My family is awesome,” he said. “Now we look forward to doing things. I do projects at home. My son, Levi, told my wife, Kelley, it’s nice dad feels like doing stuff with him and is not so tired.”
“We live in an absolutely wonderful location near the Chippewa River. I had forgotten how beautiful it is, and now I enjoy it every day. Next year, I’m planning to do the bike ride from Grand Rapids to Mackinaw again,” he said.
Tony emphasizes that his experience is more than just having surgery. “The surgery is a catalyst that mixes things together, like hope and perspective,” he said. “I know I have a lot longer to go, but I feel even and balanced now. I don’t care how long it takes, as long as there’s steady progress.”
Lap-Band is a trademark of Allergan, Inc.
At MidMichigan Health, we see weight loss differently. It’s not just about achieving a particular weight or body shape, but about improving your health and giving you more energy to do the things you love. To learn more about bariatric surgery and other weight management options, register for a free seminar by calling MidMichigan Health Line toll-free at (800) 999-3199. Or visit our Web site at www.midmichigan.org/bariatrics.
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