Christine Schwing works hard. She always has. She put herself through college, achieved her master’s degree, multiple certifications, and has a successful career running a special education department. Married, working full time, and raising two kids at the family’s home in southern New Hampshire, Christine’s busy life moves pretty fast—but she could feel weight gain slowing her down with each passing day.
“I was out of breath walking the dogs around the block,” says Christine. “My knees hurt just walking up and down the stairs, and I found that I couldn’t wear heels anymore at work.”
Before she knew it, Schwing, who is five-foot-two-inches tall, found herself weighing 232 pounds, with a body mass index (BMI) of 44. Just about everything felt like a chore.
“I was at the heaviest I’d ever been, and I literally felt like my body was strangling me,” says Christine, who was beginning to rack up some of the most worrisome health problems associated with weight gain. “I had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, GERD [acid reflux], high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.”
Christine knew she had to do something. Like so many struggling with obesity, her story includes years of hard-fought struggles with multiple diets. But it seemed the harder she worked, the more difficult it was to keep the weight off.
Inspired journey leads to Lawrence General Hospital
Somewhat sidelined from activities she once enjoyed, Christine was astounded to see a former colleague lose 100 pounds in less than a year after his bariatric surgery at Lawrence General. Inspired, she called the weight management team at Lawrence General Hospital’s Bariatric Center and booked an appointment. Christine’s inspired journey was about to begin.
“The process of looking for answers was pretty easy,” says Christine. “Lawrence General has an amazing weight management team, helpful website, and classes you can take. I was undecided about whether to do the sleeve or the bypass, and found that Lawrence General had a lot of great information and experience.”
Christine worked with Rebecca Shore, MD, a bariatric surgeon at Lawrence General. After comprehensive assessments, preparation, and careful consideration, Christine and Dr. Shore agreed that bariatric bypass was the most sensible option based on Christine’s unique health needs and lifestyle goals.
“The team thoroughly answered all of my pre- and post-surgery questions and concerns,” says Christine. “The information they shared made it very easy for me to prepare for the lifestyle changes.”
Close to 70 pounds later
Christine’s significant weight loss is what others noticed immediately after her surgery. But as is often the case when it comes to weight loss, the overall health benefits she gained are truly jaw-dropping.
“I’m no longer on medication for cholesterol, GERD, or high blood pressure,” says Christine. “With my weight-related knee pain no longer bothering me, I have more stamina to do the things I enjoy doing, like working in my gardens, home improvement projects, and traveling.”
Christine said goodbye to suffering from joint pain and to the medications she once relied on to treat her weight-related health issues. Now, she’s saying hello to a pair of old friends: those stylish heels she used to wear. Perhaps the greatest outcome is Christine’s gift to her family, who now have peace of mind knowing their mom, wife, and daughter is happier, healthier, and free to do the things she enjoys most in life.
“I feel that having this surgery has not only improved the quality of my life, but I think that it has likely prolonged it,” says Christine.
Christine works hard to keep the weight off by eating right, exercising, and attending a weight management support group. She hopes her story will inspire others to take the first step in their own weight loss journey.