Shawn Depew

Here’s my story. Sorry if it’s too long, but I hope you read it anyways.  I’m not sure if I was ever a normal size kid, all I have ever known is being bigger than everyone else. In elementary school, I was the chubby kid who ate a lot. I remember being told by my dad “you need to stop thinking about food.” Or he would say things like, “look at you, no one will ever love a fat person.” These two phrases have stuck with me my whole life. They have haunted me ever since.
In middle school and high school, not only was I the fat kid, but it was also becoming noticeable to my peers that I was different than them, that I am gay. This is when being bullied and tortured became a part of my life. Horrible words said to me, rocks thrown at me on my way home from school while they yelled “fag” or “fat pig.” This just fueled my food addiction. Food was my friend, I felt comfort eating cakes and donuts. By the time I graduated high school, I was 280lbs. Over the next 14 years, I had gained and lost weight in different variations. Finally ending up at 380lbs. I told myself I would do whatever it took to not reach 400lbs. That’s when I decided to have wls. This was early 2016.
In February 2016, I googled “weight loss surgery Boise Idaho.” I didn’t know how to go about weight loss surgery, but I knew it was my last option. That’s when I found the bariatric program at St Luke’s hospital. I called the number online and spoke with a woman who told me I need to start with the seminar. I scheduled my seminar for March. The surgeon hosting the seminar was Dr Kason Kemp. The following week, the bariatric team called my insurance company and told me my current insurance didn’t pay for wls. I decided I was doing this one way or another. So I did what I had to do, I got another full time job at a place I knew would cover the surgery.
Once my insurance kicked in, I scheduled my consultation for the middle of July 2016. This is where I found out exactly what my insurance would pay and what I needed to do. I needed 6 months dr supervised diet, sleep study, psych evaluation, upper endoscopy, blood work and an ekg. I thought “oh boy, how am I going to get this done??” It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be and before I knew it, I was at my last appointment with my surgeon on December 19th, 2016. I got the call from my surgeons office January 3rd 2017 and scheduled my sleeve for February 1st 2017.
It has been 9 months since my sleeve and I would do it again in a heart beat. I no longer have high blood pressure, I Am no longer pre diabetic, I am off my cpap machine, I no longer snore, my cholesterol is in normal range, and I have lost a total of 157lbs.
It has not been an easy road and it gets more and more struggling as time goes on. I have done a few liquid diets to get my body reset. I have eaten chocolate and chips. I have not always stuck to it 100%. I have, however, gained a life. I wasn’t living before my wls, I was existing. Today, at 223lbs, I am LIVING not just existing. I still live with the pain from my past, but I am not allowing it to define me anymore. I look forward to my future and know that my light is shining bright.

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