“They Won’t Let You Fail!”
Alexandria Bunker, known to friends as AJ, grew up in Grand Haven and knew all about North Ottawa Community Health System. She also knew she needed help with a bariatric solution. Once she heard The Bariatric Clinic’s Medical Director, Dr. Eric Krebill was on board, she decided to check it out a bit more.
“The first thing I loved was that NOCHS had an online video I could watch to learn about the program,” AJ recalls. “It was so stressless that way. I could decide if this was right for me or not, without feeling pressured. And even after I called to ask questions, they never pushed me. I got into the office and talked to the staff, who gave information freely with no strings attached. Many of them shared their own bariatric journey. That’s when I decided I was going through with the program.”
And AJ has no regrets. “September of 2021 marked my one-year anniversary, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I don’t feel like the same person anymore. I’m more active, fit and healthy. My blood pressure is down and my blood sugar is down. I just ran my first non-stop mile! If I don’t move for a few days now, I get antsy. I don’t even know who this person is in my skin.”
One of the reasons AJ is so happy with her results is due to the open door at the Bariatric Clinic. “Life is stressful, and it’s easy to slip back into some bad habits,” she admits. “But the wonderful thing about NOCHS is that I can call them anytime. It’s comforting to know that. They remember me by name, which is so nice. It’s such a contrast to the online diet culture, which is toxic. If you slip, they’re always on you to start a diet. But NOCHS takes me back to the basics. They help me refocus on proteins and veggies, paying attention to portion size. They remind me to drink lots of water and limit alcohol, which is empty calories. I rely on their guidance to help me stay on track.”
The NOCHS Bariatric Clinic celebrates little victories with patients, and AJ was eager to share hers. “I got on an airplane recently,” she shares. “The last time I flew, I was so embarrassed because I couldn’t buckle the seat belt. I actually got excited about wearing one this time because it fit!”
AJ knows that her success is in part due to her own efforts, and in part due to the support she receives from NOCHS. “I’ve encouraged many of my friends to at least go to the orientation, and two of them have signed up for surgery. They see the same things I did…that NOCHS’ Bariatric Clinic never stops doing things to make you feel confident and welcome. It’s immeasurably comforting to know I can always come back.”
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