In this episode of When Everything Changed, we hear from Kaiser Permanente member Larry. After years of receiving unsuccessful diagnoses for his lower back and neck pain symptoms from previous doctors, Larry successfully treated his condition at Kaiser Permanente. One morning after breakfast, Larry began to experience excruciating back pain. He called the 24/7 consulting nurse line, and went directly to Urgent Care. After many tests, Larry was diagnosed with liver failure. He was put on a weight loss program so that he could receive a gastric bypass surgery to help alleviate his back pain and liver problems.
Recovery was a difficult time for Larry as he experienced uncertainty and anxiety about his future. Larry credits the doctors and nurses and his family for not criticizing his weight but instead, building a uniquely effective plan that would lessen the effects of his health problems and by giving their continuous support.
Larry also went to counseling sessions to battle the depression that arose during this period and joined Kaiser Permanente Washington’s Living Well with Chronic Conditions program which supports members with self-therapy strategies including breathing and relaxation, problem solving, and how to talk to doctors. He vigorously emphasizes the positive impact these sessions had on his recovery. After graduating from the program, he led Living Well with Chronic Conditions groups for two and a half years.
By the fall of 2013, Larry lost more than 160 pounds, started exercising with his family, and experienced less frequent episodes of pain and anxiety. He encourages anyone who is experiencing depression to talk to a physician, therapist or counselor to get care.
In this episode we discuss:
- The complications of a gastric bypass surgery
- The change in Larry’s attitude before and after care
- The importance of receiving the care that you need
Thank you for listening!
Did this story move you? If so, please share it. Do you have a health turning point story? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When Everything Changed is a production of Kaiser Permanente.