Log on to Robin Schneiderman
“Do you want to die?”
It was that question, posed by her doctor, that Robin Schneiderman, at 5 feet 2 inches and 295 pounds, was forced to consider. But Schneiderman might not have reached the conclusion she did, had it not been for a recent four-month stretch that brought her brother’s cancer diagnosis, the massive stoke that killed her father and a milestone birthday. The combination resulted in some serious introspection about her own health.
“It hit me very hard,” says Schneiderman. “First there was my brother then my father. It was time to wake up and take my health seriously.”
Schneiderman has been overweight most of her life, especially her adult life. Chronic arthritis, high blood pressure and sleep apnea are among her weight-related health problems. But even with a good friend who had weight-loss surgery five years ago, Schneiderman never considered it for herself because, she says now, she didn’t want to admit that her problems were serious. Then, only a few days after her 50th birthday, her father’s death and brother’s struggle with cancer barely behind her, came a visit to her physician, and a candid discussion that included “the question.”
“I had been in such denial about my obesity that my health was getting out of control,” says Schneiderman. “I was like, she’s right, I am trying to kill myself.”
Schneiderman made up her mind right then and there to attend a bariatric surgery consultation, as advised by her doctor, to at least learn more about weight-loss surgery. She chose the Genesis Center for Bariatric Surgery because of her doctor’s glowing recommendation. The idea that she would be able to lose a lot of weight while under medical supervision appealed to her very much.
“My quality of life had diminished because of my obesity. I want to be able to participate more,” says Schneiderman. “For me, it’s not a matter of being thin, it’s a matter of health. I want to do things that I haven’t been able to do the last ten years.”
That includes becoming more involved with her brother’s sprint car racing team. The team races at tracks in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa, including the famed Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, the facility known by race fans for being the “Sprint Car Capital of the World.”
“It’s a very big family activity,” says Schneiderman, the excitement in her voice evident. “But I don’t go with them because my weight makes me so uncomfortable. I can’t even walk up into the grandstands.”
Schneiderman’s decision to have weight-loss surgery should change that. At the very least, it answers “the question.”
“I don’t want to die,” concludes Schneiderman. “I want another 20 or 30 years to do the things I want to do.”
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