Sarah's Blog

So a little about me and my background.

I'm a 40 year old single mum, divorced for 10 years and my beautiful though stressful children are 14 and 11 years old. I am a mature student studying my first degree after an accident led to me losing my job. This has left me with a lifetime medical condition that I manage sometimes badly everyday, but I manage. I have been through some very tough times in my life, my now ex husband leaving me and my two children homeless and having to restart our lives not once but now twice.

I have had a problem with my weight since I was 23 years old. I have tried every diet under the sun, sometimes to the point where I have ended up in hospital. Please know I have been desperate enough to lose weight that I have damaged my own life in the process. Now I look at life in a different way, well I am trying to. I want to make my life to be about the things I am going to achieve. I don't want my life to be just something that passes me by anymore. I am making small changes to make my life relavent. I don't want to be stick thin anymore. I don't want to be like the women I see on TV.

I do however want to be healthy and happy. I know that I am going to slip up and old habits will rear their ugly heads but I am human, I will make mistakes but the time has come to accept that I am gonna trip up but if I fall I can pick myself up, dust myself off and get back in the game. I know I am one of many who feel like we have been dealt a rough hand but maybe I should start by picking the cards for my hand in the future. Take back some control in my life and make it count for me. I will laugh at some things and I will break down and cry at other things but they will all mark my path and hopefully be a story I tell when I am old and grey (L'Oreal is covering up the grey for now). Hopefully I can share some of these if not all of these things with everyone else.

You can catch my previous blog posts here

Blog 15

Well my goodness if you like reading about the tragedy that has been my gallbladder issue and me wailing like a baby then you will love this post.

Naturally we all know that I am having huge problems with my gallbladder and it was a Sunday night in March when it kicked off again. I went straight to the hospital and after 7 hours of being left in a room not knowing anything two surgeons come in and tell me that they will never operate on me at my local hospital because I am fat and they do not operate on fat people. I would love to say that I have exaggerated this but sadly I am quoting the surgeons word for word. So, as I stare back as these two-young surgeon’s through puffy red eyes streaming with tears, what do they do? They shrug their shoulders at me and ask if I want to spend the night in hospital to calm down and get some rest as I hadn’t slept for days because of the pain. They were willing enough to give me a bed to “have a rest” but the idea of operating on a fat person was abhorrent to them. Still staring blankly at them I thank them and take my prescription for pain meds and go home. I refuse to take up a hospital bed to get some rest, that’s what my bed at home is for.

Monday slips by as I can barely move and feel like a zombie, everything still hurts but it’s just about manageable. Tuesday morning comes and the kids are getting ready for school and I can’t move for the pain and sickness I am feeling. As soon as both my kids have gone with my dad to school I breakdown and cry. The pain is starting to get really intense and I am throwing up like I have had a good night out on the beer. It’s not until I start shaking from the pain and find it hard to talk and breathe that an ambulance is called. Hats off to the paramedics who show up and the first responder they are here within 30 mins of being phoned and start stabbing my arms with needles trying to find a way to get morphine straight into my bloodstream. On the 5th attempt at finding a vein they finally manage to give me 10ml of morphine. I should say it’s not their fault it took 5 attempts, my veins tend to run and hide when I am in pain. They let me lay on my sofa for a few minutes to let the morphine run through my system but it’s not working and the pain is getting worse. So, with the help of the paramedics I am escorted to the gurney and then loaded into the ambulance in my driveway. As this is happening what do I keep doing? I keep apologising to the paramedics for taking up their time and saying how sorry I am that I am in pain. I am still not sure why I turn into the most apologetic fool when I am in pain, but I do. We get to the hospital and I am taken into a curtained area as I fight not scream.

My sister has arrived at the hospital and is by my side and starts explaining what has happened to the doctors as I am finding it hard to even register anything going on around me. I am aware of people asking questions and trying to get pain meds sorted for me. I get rolled in the bed and asked why I missed my scan appointment this morning, well this is news to me. What scan appointment? I don’t know about any scan appointment. Nurses and doctors are now saying that an appointment was booked for me to have a scan at 9am and I missed it. I should point out that by this time it is around 9:15am. My sister points out that none of us were aware I had an appointment to which they reply that it was set up and should be on my discharge notes from Sunday night – I don’t have any discharge notes from Sunday night, they gave me a prescription and that was it. For some bizarre reason, they do not believe me and even if I had had this appointment and was aware of it I would never have made it as I was being assisted by paramedics in my home at 8:30am. Now they are refusing to scan me due to this mix up… Great just what I need. While all the arguing is going on around me about whether or not I get a scan to see if my gallbladder has ripped open or not I am shaking and screaming with tears running down my face begging for more pain killers. A nurse brings me some pain meds and I get a blissful pain free 10 mins where I ask my sister to stand in front of a picture on the wall that is freaking me out because it looks like an orange angry baby. Yes, apparently, I say the stupidest things when high on pain meds. But I do have the best sister in the world as she stands in front of the picture of the offending orange angry baby and tries not to wet herself laughing at me. After a couple of hours of me screaming for more pain meds I am moved to the Surgical Assessment Unit. My sister never leaves my side and holds my hand as each doctor comes in to poke and prod me about causing the pain to sear through me again and again. They come down and say I can have a scan but not till 4pm. Till then I am to be kept on pain meds, I can hear my sister talking with the nurses and doctors but I am not totally registering what’s going on around me cause all I feel is pain followed by more pain. I am now being given morphine every two hours and it’s just not cutting through the pain. I am conscious and unconscious throughout the afternoon and apparently still screaming even when I am out if it. My sister constantly reassures me saying the scan will be soon and then they can get to really helping me. I can’t stop crying and hers is the only voice that is really registering to me.

By the time, it’s time to take me down for my scan I am now begging them to kill me just to make the pain stop, yes, I have reached that point where death is more preferable. My sister is pleading with me to hang on and that it will be ok once I have the scan. I know I am in the middle of a waiting area surrounded by people but I can’t stop pleading with the nurses to kill me and make it stop. I look back now and feel very ashamed for this but to be honest if they had done it I would have been ok with it as I really was in more pain than I have ever been in before and I have given birth naturally twice. Natural labour without pain meds is much easier. I am taken in to a room for the scan and the woman performing the scan seems shocked at the state of me. My whole body is shaking as she informs me that they have to push hard in to my ribs to get a clear picture and I swear it feels like she is trying to reach my spinal cord through my ribs. The woman feels so bad that she actually hugs me and tells me it will be ok and she is sorry to cause me further pain. I am taken back to the assessment unit and I think I must be passing in and out of consciousness as everything after that becomes very patchy and I can barely remember a thing till 4am when they move me to a ward. The next morning I wake up still in pain but nothing like before as a nurse injects my stomach with something that burns. She informs me I have been moved to a ward to await being seen by a surgeon. I think my prayers have been answered and they are going to remove my gallbladder at long last. My sister is there first thing to come and see me and she is there when the surgeon turns up to see me. Its then I am told that the hospital will never take my gallbladder out because they do not operate on overweight people and I should just expect to be here till my pain goes. I am sitting on the bed in shock that after all that I went through they still will not take the damn thing out and my sister is furious with the surgeon. How do I tell my parents that I will not be operated on because my local hospital has a policy of not operating on anyone who is overweight? My sister is ready to start busting heads of anyone who keeps refusing to help me and I keep telling her I am so sorry for putting her through this. My parents come up to see me on the ward and I explain what has happened and my mum starts to cry, she has sat with me till the early hours of the morning holding my hand as I ride the pain at home many times. My dad looks angry and upset and about ready to kill the next doctor who wants to tell me to just deal with it. The one thing that really cheers me up is children coming into visit me, they bring me pictures and hug me, my daughter also becomes very smitten with the hospital bed. I tell them to inform my university that I won’t be in class and need to get extensions on my work as I won’t be able to get back to class till mid-April.  It’s not till Thursday when a young doctor comes round and asks me how I feel and I tell him that my pain feels much more controlled and he says with a smile great you can go home then, now all I need is some clothes to wear. Honestly these hospital robes are not flattering at all.
So I am now at home trying different pain meds out to see what will work best for me. The one thing on the horizon is I have my weigh in at the clinic to see if I have lost the last 6lbs that will bring me to a 5% weight loss so I can move on to tier 4.
YES, YES, YES, I did great. Ok they asked me to lose 5% of my body weight and I only went and lost 9%. I lost a further 18lbs I am so happy. My BMI has gone from 54.3 to 48. The dietician has said I can go on to tier 4 but it will take about 6 to 8 months and they will get me in to see a surgeon for my hernia and bypass surgery. I have also been told they will do my gallbladder surgery first. I will still have to wait a few months before they can operate due to waiting list but the clinic doesn’t want me to carry on suffering just because my local hospital refuse to operate on overweight people. I can’t believe how good this makes me feel, I have lost more weight than I thought I would and I will have the damn gallbladder taken out. I am currently eating a diet of chicken, fish, fruit and veg and a little splash of skimmed milk in coffee but that is it. I no longer crave sweet foods and I make sure I drink plenty of water every day. Whilst all I have gone through with my gallbladder has been completely horrific and my mum has said many times if I were an animal they would have done something before now it has helped me change my eating habits completely. So, in a way it has been a huge learning curve for me. Not one I ever want to repeat that’s for sure. I can’t wait to get my surgical appointment through and finally end this chapter of drama and get on to concentrating on my weight loss properly. I have also seen how wonderful my friends and family are as they all rallied to help me and wish me well after getting out of hospital. Even my tutors were so supportive. I know I am a very lucky person to have so many good people in my life who support me and care for me. This helps me and spurs me on more than I can ever explain and so I would like to say a huge thank you to them all.






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