in danas shoes

In Dana’s Shoes

Lisa Samalonis

Category: Weight Loss Surgery

In Dana’s Shoes

Dana Erbayri is like so many people who have struggled with
weight for years. At 5’4,” 299 pounds, Dana says it upsets her that she has
trouble keeping up with her two young children. She also struggles to manage
her type 2 diabetes regimen. Recently, her doctor has doubled her dose
of insulin, and placed her on high blood pressure medication. Now, she
sees her doctor more frequently. “My doctor warned me that, at my present
weight, complications from my diabetes are only going to get worse,”
explains Dana. “So, I decided to undergo bariatric surgery.”

A Peek at the Process

As Dana strives to gain control of her diabetes, she wants to help others in the same situation.
So, she has decided to share her journey of weight loss surgery with the world by
allowing a film crew to follow her through the process.

Videos of Dana’s journey can be viewed on the web site
This educational resource contains information and tools to help prospective patients begin
to resolve their diabetes through weight loss surgery.

“Understanding the process and knowing what to expect in advance may reduce those
fears or doubts that keep someone from proceeding,” she says.

Dana also wants to get the message out that surgery may be an effective option for
other people like her with type 2 diabetes. “My doctor has explained that in about 77%
of patients, diabetes completely disappears or treatment with medicine or insulin is no
longer needed,” she adds.

Support Along the Way

Even with her lack of success with many diets and recommended
exercise, surgery was not something Dana was
eager to pursue. “Even when I am hesitant, I continually find
support and encouragement to help me persevere,” says Dana.
One source of inspiration has been Pat Foster, a coordinator
at Dana’s medical center. Pat is an encouraging example,
because she herself had successful bariatric surgery 7 years
earlier. According to Dana, this strengthened her resolve.

Yet, Dana’s children are the ones who have really inspired
her to take action. “I cry my eyes out thinking I don’t want to
miss out on their lives because I’m too heavy, or because diabetes
hurts me. I have to lose the weight; I have to do it now.”

These feelings motivated Dana to attend an information
seminar at her local hospital, where she met Pat, the
bariatric coordinator. “Pat walked me through the risks and
benefits of surgery from an empathetic perspective,” says
Dana. “That’s a big help and something everyone who goes
through this needs. I’m not hesitant to call her if I have a
concern because I know she won’t look at me funny. She’s
been where I am.”

Pat relishes her role as a friendly driving force through the
process. “We all get to know the patient intimately. I’ll get to
know Dana so well that I’ll know what she’s thinking. Then,
I can respond to her questions before she even asks them.
That allows me to be her number one cheerleader,” Pat says
with a smile.

A First–hand Glimpse

“This surgery will enable me to be the person I want to be
– a person who isn’t afraid to speak in front of people, to
get on the dance floor, or to walk into her children’s school
without feeling self-conscious,” Dana says.

Still, every day, she says, concerns run through her head:
“How will I look? Will I change so much I regret it? Will
people think I took the easy way out? What if something
goes wrong in surgery? Can I get through the process of
preparing for surgery, paying for surgery? Will I be able to
stick to the diet changes?”

Dana’s videos provide a first-hand glimpse of her entire
journey – from contemplation and initial medical appointments
through surgery and beyond. Viewers will see how
Dana maintains the drive to handle setbacks and doubts
as she works toward her goal. By sharing Dana’s intimate
moments with family and counselors, viewers may find their
own inspiration and motivation.

The first episode of Dana’s videos, which is on the site now,
features Dana’s decision to have surgery and her family’s
reaction to the announcement. Remaining episodes will be
completed and placed on the site as she progresses through
her journey.

Subsequent episodes will show, among other motivating
milestones: Dana’s visits to a support group, counseling sessions
with her surgeon and a glimpse of the surgery itself—
how quickly it is done and how quickly Dana recovers—and
finally, the results of her surgery.

“This is my story,” says Dana. “I am one woman who has
chosen to make a change, to take back control.”

Hopefully, as she finds motivation, she will help motivate
you, too.

To follow Dana’s journey visit

Besides Dana’s videos, there is much more valuable information for you
at Learn more about the connection between
bariatric surgery and diabetes, explore the various procedures and which
one may be right for you, and even locate a bariatric surgeon in your area. has the resources and support you need for this
important change in your life.

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