Scout mom earns her badge in confidence after weight loss surgery
Alison Lerch was always a healthy eater, lots of fruits and vegetables while avoiding processed foods. As a single parent of two active teenagers, she was always on the go—cheering practice, band, sports and scouts.
Still she struggled with weight issues.
“I’m my father’s genetic twin,” she says. “So I have many of the same health issues as he does.”
Like him, she was on blood pressure and cholesterol medicines. She was a bit heavy and never able to lose weight, no matter the diet or method.
“I tried point systems, diet pills, herbal remedies, you name it,” she says. “I would stop eating and still gain weight.”
When her dad suffered a heart attack like his parents before him, she knew it was time to do something.
She quietly began to purse surgical options. She had had friends who had surgery to great success.
At Easton Hospital, patients follow a pathway to surgery so they can set themselves up for the most success after surgery. She attended nutrition and exercise classes and support groups. She met several times with the coordinator, her primary care physician and robotically trained and fellowship trained bariatric and general surgeon Vinay Singhal, M.D.
“I learned so much and felt so much support,” she says. “The staff in the program are fantastic. They checked in with me often and always followed up with any question I had or concern I faced.”
She had a sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure that removes about 80 percent of the stomach, leaving behind a thin, vertical sleeve-like tube.
“I was a little anxious going into surgery because of some difficult surgeries I had as a child on my eye,” she says. “But Dr. Singhal is so comforting and skilled. He took great care in making the experience go well.”
After a two night stay in the hospital, she was back home to recover. She walked on a daily basis and slowly began to solid food again.
Two years later, she has lost 90 pounds and kept it off.
“My goal is 100 pounds, and I will get there,” she says. “I noticed quickly following surgery how I had more energy. I got off my medications and my confidence increased.”
Her confidence hit its stride when she asked a friend on a date.
“I liked Jeremy for years,” she smiles.
He was her son’s Scout Master. She had worked as a committee chair in the pack for years. He, like her, was also divorced with two kids.
“I had seen him at his best and worst as he spent seven days in the woods with 20 10-year old boys in the high heat of summer,” she says.
They are now ready for a lifetime of better and worst as they are set to be married in the spring.
“Everything is falling into to place and I feel really great about my life,” she says. “I wish I had the surgery sooner.”
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Easton, PA 18042-3892