Community volunteer, active church member, soccer mom and coach
"Bariatric surgery was another one of my life’s journeys. And it has been a wonderful ride."
Bariatric Surgery: The Best Decision of my Life
Ridicule. Feelings of helplessness. Low self-esteem. Humiliation.
Maureen McNeil-Cieszlak, 43 of Saginaw remembers these feelings well. “When my son, Vincent was born, I entered him in baby contests around the state,” Cieszlak said. “After winning first place, we traveled to nationals in Florida. I remember the humiliation of trying to fit in the airplane seat. It was very snug and it wouldn’t be long before I would have to purchase two seats. Something had to be done.”
Cieszlak’s weight topped at 269 pounds and she started to show symptoms of high blood pressure and was borderline diabetes. “I had tried all types of diets, pills, shakes, tomato diet,” Cieszlak said. “Nothing was working. And then I began researching bariatric surgery.”
After attending four seminars presented by different surgeons, Cieszlak chose MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot and surgeon Ernest Cudjoe, M.D. “I chose Dr. Cudjoe because he listened to me and understood my situation,” Cieszlak said. “I had laparoscopic gastric bypass on March 21, 2006 and it went very well and there were no surprises. Dr. Cudjoe and the staff at the Medical Center explained the surgery and what to expect.”
Bariatric surgery is not an easy fix; it is a lifestyle change that lasts forever. “Bariatric surgery was another one of my life’s journeys,” said Cieszlak. “And it has been a wonderful ride.”
Since her surgery, Cieszlak has dedicated herself to a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise and has lost 117 pounds. Her energy level has soared and nothing holds her back. She is a community volunteer, active in her church and is a soccer mom of her four-year-old son. Cieszlak enjoys coaching and running the field with her soccer team.
Cieszlak credits her success to her strong faith and her support system consisting of her husband, Keith and son. With a smile and enthusiasm Cieszlak said, “I can now cross my legs and it feels wonderful! My self-esteem has improved significantly and my high blood pressure is gone.”
Although Cieszlak loves to cook, food is no longer a barrier. She get full fast and feels satisfied for the first time in her life. As she laughed Cieszlak said, “The only one getting fat in my house is our dog. He’s eating a lot of left overs.”
Learn about laparoscopic weight loss surgery and how it can improve your health and your life. Attend a free bariatric seminar highlighting laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy options. Medicare along with most other insurances are accepted. To register for a seminar or for additional information on bariatric surgery at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot, call MidMichigan Health Line toll free at (800) 999-3199. Or visit our Web site at www.midmichigan.org/bariatrics.