I am a lady in my mid-forties. Though I started off being long legged and thin through childhood and adolescence, I began expanding in size in my mid- thirties. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 32 when I had my only child. 

Two years later, the diabetes (type 2) returned to stay and in barely a couple of years, I became insulin dependent. As time progressed, abundance of stress in my work life led to my blood glucose levels sky-rocketing and to combat this, I became even more extremely insulin dependent and this resulted in my becoming very obese. My weight at the onset of diabetes was 70 kilos and over a decade, I touched the 100 kg mark, much to my disgust and dismay. I lost all my hope of wearing pretty clothes, looking good and feeling attractive. But a miracle was to change my life unbelievably and this came in the form of my introduction to one of Dr. Deepraj Bhandarkar and his wonderful team. 

My first introduction to him made me want to hope against hope that this would be the turning point in my life. From that very moment, Dr. Bhandarkar and his confidence-boosting team very positively assured me that my life was about to change for the better. I there and then said a prayer in my mind and decided to take this life changing chance. 

I was put on a 1000-calorie fat free diet for 2 weeks and my first leap of confidence came when in this short period I lost 5 kg. I was given a date for the surgery within 3 weeks of my first consultation. I will never forget the date- it was 15th August-the date of India’s independence and in a way, the date of my freedom from obesity. I underwent gastric bypass surgery and was discharged in a couple of days. I was on my feet in a week’s time and back at work 6 weeks later. 

Post-surgery I was on a strictly graded diet- clear liquid for a week followed by thicker liquids like soups and porridge. Then came semi solids, soft food and within 3 months, I was back to my normal diet. But one major difference was that my portions decreased sizably – in the sense that I almost had what I can call a ‘voice from within’ indicating when my tummy was full and I should stop eating. I am a strict vegetarian and my meal portion reduced to just one small chapati, a small bowl of vegetables or lentils and a couple of spoons of yoghurt. If not chapati, I could eat around 4 tablespoons of rice with lentils. I found satiety in just this size of a meal and found to my pleasant surprise that I did not feel overly hungry – my tummy felt comfortable with meals of this size. I started dropping dress sizes and my weight kept continuing to go down. Today its two years since my surgery and after having lost 45 kilos, my weight has stabilised and to my utter delight, I can now be classed under the ’slim’ category. The compliments are a regular part of my life now and what gives me unparalleled joy is that I can now fit in to my teenage daughter’s clothes (much to her chagrin!) 

Another blessing in my life is that this surgery has led to a sharp decrease in my insulin dependence. From needing to take a total of 90 units of insulin daily prior to the surgery, I now only need to take 10 units of insulin daily – a feat which I never dreamt could be possible in my life. In fact, for almost 6 months after the surgery, I had hypoglycaemic attacks almost daily-until my diabetologist helped my blood glucose levels to stabilise. Now, since over a year my diabetes is well controlled and I have not had any episodes of hypoglycaemia. 

From 110 kilos, which was what I weighed on the date of my first consultation with Dr. Bhandarkar, today my weight has stabilised at 65 kilos. Improved health and wellbeing, improved physical appearance and improved self-esteem have become a way of life for me and this blessing in my life is completely attributable to Dr. Deepraj Bhandarkar and his terrific team who came into my life as angels to change the whole course of my existence and taught me to start believing in MIRACLES – because that is what my life has been since I underwent the gastric bypass surgery. I look good and feel well and I want to share my joy by shouting out from the roof-top and in very simple words give a message to people living with obesity- ‘You don’t have to live with your obesity – get a miracle in your life like I did – SAY GOODBYE TO DEPRESSING OBESITY and HELLO TO A NEW, JOYOUS and FAT-FREE LIFE! 

Mrs Kalpana Venkat

Birmingham, UK