Beth: A Nurse with Knowledge
Beth is a nurse by profession. After spending nearly 28 years in the medical profession she knew what her gastric bypass surgery would be like, she knew what her body lift plastic surgery procedure would be like. But what she didn’t know – was just how happy she would be at the end of it.
Her journey started back in 2007 when she had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. That was the first step. Even before that, she had already done some personal and emotional evaluation before attending a Bariatric Buddies meeting. That was an eye opening experience because she knew she had found the support group that would help her complete this journey. “My issues of overindulgence started long ago and I knew the value of a strong support system. Having that in place, having people and resources to help me work through ALL my issues; I understood the value of communicating with those who share a common life experience is huge! Then I decided gastric bypass surgery was right for me, I found the insurance program, and it all just clicked. It was meant to be.”
I Found Me
Once Beth met her goal weight she rediscovered her self…and her self-esteem. “All of a sudden I cared. I cared about my body. I cared about me. I found my self-respect. Not just my appearance, but my body and soul. I had always viewed plastic surgery as a ‘vain’ fixation. I just didn’t think it was for me.” But when Beth’s OB/GYN Doctor suggested it to her once she had reached goal weight, Beth thought: “No – not me – I couldn’t.” But when her OB/GYN doctor replied ‘Why wouldn’t you?!’ That made her stop and think. “I thought this is something I can do for my body. I felt healthy and great – but I had done a lot of physical damage to my body in this process and needed help defying gravity!”
Next Step: Discovery
The next step she took was to thoroughly research for a plastic surgeon. She once again turned to her support group and online support groups for recommendations and guidance. That is when she found Dr. Christa Clark.
“When I found Dr. Clark I knew. She was the one. I didn’t need to meet with anyone else. I wanted somebody that saw plastic surgery as an art. Based on my research I knew she was extremely qualified, she was expertly trained, and she had experience working with weight loss patients. I knew that going into my consultation. But I also found out she is a perfectionist – which isn’t a bad thing when selecting a plastic surgeon! And then while talking to her I discovered something else: she has an enthusiasm and an obvious passion working with clients who have had significant weight loss. I could see that. Her genuine love of what she does and her love of her patients came through…even my friends saw it.”
Procedures: Body Lift, Breast Lift and Liposuction
Dr. Christa Clark performed a body lift with some liposuction to the thighs followed by a breast lift three weeks later. According to Dr. Clark this was a very logical plastic surgery plan for her because of her extreme weight loss and the location of her excess skin and tissue. Dr. Clark says: “I was so excited for her because I knew she would have a fantastic result. I knew she would just love it!”
Beth divulged the toughest part of the cosmetic surgery process was affirming with herself that she was worth the time, the effort and the money that the plastic surgery process would entail. She had used the gastric bypass as a tool to lose the weight and the plastic surgery was another step in the entire process.
“The hardest part for me was deciding that I was worth it…but my self-esteem had grown and deep down I knew I was. I took part of my retirement and all those investments that I had saved away for another day – and I invested in me TODAY.”
Advice for Others
Ask Beth if she has advice for others – and she definitely does: “Go to Dr. Clark!” Then she giggles slightly and says more seriously…
“Do your research. Meet with a board certified plastic surgeon. Shop around to find the right fit for you. Also, the scars go away, they fade. Three years later and now I know: the scars fade. Even if you can’t figure out how to make it happen – make the first move – take that first step to make it happen. Just take one step, and then another. Know that the plastic surgery part is worth it. Know that you deserve the help of someone to make those physical changes that you want.”
Beth points out that she elected to travel from out of the area to have the surgery. She is quick to add that the entire staff was kind and attentive to her needs. They worked to book appointments together or to combine them so her travel was less frequent. She states her anxiety about having the procedures away from home and staying at a hotel were lessened by Dr. Clark and her staff’s genuine concern for her – she knew they were just a phone call away if she needed anything.
“I was treated like an individual, not a patient or a diagnosis…my care was adjusted to meet my needs.”
Also, she wants to share a little bit about her experience with Dr. Clark. “She is passionate about her work. Compassionate with her clients. She has such high standards for herself. She absolutely does the best she can to give you the best result.”
And What She Knows Now
“There is a lot of gratitude every day. Life is open – there are so many opportunities! My life is less awkward. I am able to travel. I can do things that I never could have done before or never even thought possible. I don’t have to hide anymore. This plastic surgery process; it doesn’t feel like vanity. It is more like a gift. It is a wonderful thing to do for yourself.”