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September 6, 2016, 11:00 PM

Testimony: On August 10th I had Gastric Sleeve Surgery, I came home and began to battle extreme depression, I could not hardly drink any of the liquids due to nausea and to top it all off a week later I became extremely dehydrated and found myself in the hospital with kidney stones and problems with my kidney function...the kidney issues were not related to the surgery necessarily but because of the restriction of the sleeve I could not get enough fluids in. This time was a literal Hell on Earth, I have never experienced that kind of pain nor had I ever experienced the hopeless that I was feeling.

People were praying and God helped me to pass the stone(s). I was still struggling with the liquid diet and I knew I wasn't getting enough of what I needed...I knew I needed to be started at least on soft foods but was not wanting to progress myself until my Doctor released me which according to him would be another 1.5 to 2 weeks...I wasn't sure how I was going to make it because I physically could not handle the liquids that I was supposed to be intaking. Some things with my Doctor had transpired during my stay at the hospital and they had upset me and I had planned on dealing with them but I felt that God told me to be still and turn the other cheek when I went back for my 1.5 week checkup. I basically told God "Ok but I need you to work on my behalf, I need to be put on soft foods even though I'm 2 weeks away from that"...I put it in His hands

I walked in for my check-up and the nurse came in and said "The Dr. is going to progress you to food today"....I never had to say a word.

The Doctor came in and was so kind, he was so sorry for what I had been thru and he reiterated what the nurse said about putting me on food...however they were not releasing me to soft food but rather they were releasing me to any food that I felt I could handle.

Prayer Answered and I never had to say anything.

I came home, started on food but was still battling some physical issues and still fighting some depression due to just not feeling "normal".

I had dropped 29 lbs in 3 weeks but my energy levels were depleted, my stomach was still giving me some trouble and I was having some other issues.

I was severely weak, could not hardly walk for more than a few minutes at a time without feeling completely drained

Sunday, August 28th we had a mighty move of God in our AM service. The Holy Ghost hit that place and God started using me to pray for people...I felt like I was in a fog as I walked across the building praying for people...my Dad told me "you might need to sit down, you are white as a sheet" but I continued on...

...I kept feeling like I was going to pass out but at the same time I felt like someone had their hands inside my stomach and was working on things inside me...I finally made it to the steps and eased down on them while service finished out.

After service I went out to eat and for the first time since the surgery I actually ate and felt satisfied....even though it was maybe 1 ounce of food lol. I went home and tried to rest but I was so keyed up that I couldn't nap...I finally dozed off about an hour before time to get up for church

When I woke up for evening service I felt like a whole new person, I walked into the church and had that spring in my step, had joy in my heart and I felt great. Since that time I haven't looked back.

So far I have not found anything that I cannot tolerate food wise...well except those Popeyes grilled tenders that tasted like they had a whole can of red pepper dumped on them lol. As long as I chew, chew, chew, as long as I slow down and as long as I stop before the sleeve is completely full I have been able to tolerate everything I've tried.

People who have had the sleeve are amazed at my energy and my tolerance of foods and I know that it is just God...He literally pushed me miles down the road with whatever He did inside of me that Sunday Morning.

I haven't looked back since...I overdid it a little at the gym last week but besides that I haven't had any more complications, I feel normal again, my mind is right, no kidney pain and I'm 40lbs lighter.

I just wanted to share this and give God ALL of the Glory for His Healing Power!! He can heal the body, the mind, the emotions, the Spirit...and yes the Gastric Sleeve 😀

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me during the struggle, I very much appreciate it.

Thanks to the support of my Sweet Wife Beth, she has been my rock along with my parents Kenneth & Tammy Smith and all my kids Tori, Trace, Theoden, Kayla & Lisa. Thanks to my church family and all my friends for their prayers, encouragement and support.

I know I made the right choice, I know that in the long run I will be a better Husband, Father, Son & Pastor

I know that God is the Healer! I know that God is for me

#vsg #vsgjourney #GodIsForMe