Type 2 diabetes was having a negative effect on the way Michael Smith lived his life. After extensive research, Smith decided bariatric, or weight-loss surgery, was the best way to ensure his well-being.
Joseph City resident Smith, 54, had not been obese his entire life. His 6-foot, 4-inch frame was fit during his 28 years in the Navy. But after retiring to a civilian life, teaching school and a love of cooking, combined with less physical activity, pushed his weight to 342 pounds.
Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2004, Smith was forced to work part-time to manage his health while making regular visits to his physicians in Flagstaff.
“I did not like the control Type 2 diabetes had over my life,” Smith said. “I heard about bariatric surgery, found the Flagstaff Medical Center Web site and information links, researched the procedure online and contacted my insurance company – ready to do whatever I could to get my life back.”
The more Smith researched, the more he felt the procedure was for him. He met the criteria for surgery – 100 pounds or more overweight with additional health concerns. The final step was receiving a psychological evaluation to determine whether or not he could mentally support the profound changes that would occur following surgery, as well as the lifelong responsibility of maintaining better eating habits and regular exercise.
“For those considering bariatric surgery, don’t get discouraged. Research the procedure and rely on the support at FMC to help you make the right decision,” said Joshua Clark, M.D., family practitioner and bariatrician at FMC. “The biggest post-surgical achievements for many are the immediate improvement in blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.”