Rice had a lot to worry about when he was considering gastric bypass. He didn’t want to tell his friends because he wondered what they might think. He was afraid the surgery would change his relationship with the foods he loved and the good times he spent socializing around a table.
Rice was also concerned about the surgery itself and the lifestyle changes he would have to make. He would ask himself, “‘if something goes wrong, am I strong enough to say I made the right choice and continue with other steps if follow-up procedures are needed?’”
However, Rice’s biggest fear was what would happen if he didn’t go through with the procedure. Then 32, he was already pre-diabetic and taking medicine to control his cholesterol.
At one of his first meetings with the Duke bariatric team in Durham, Rice, learned obesity could rob him of many years of life.
Rice’s daughter was a toddler at the time. He wanted to stick around. He wanted to be a positive role model as she grew up. “That pushed me to not let my fears get in the way of what I needed to do,” he said.