Sarah's previous blog posts
So it’s the start of a new week for me. Looking forward to it. My plans to try new things is going well, took a first aid course and I passed (yay me). In case you don’t know, I have battled with my weight for 16 years now. It’s very frustrating at the best of times. One thing no one really talks about is food addiction. Yes, it happens. We become addicted to the one thing that sustains our lives. I am a self-confessed sugar addict. I have been for a long while. I know my addiction to sugar is also linked to my emotional state. I know what you are thinking, if I know what my problem is then why haven’t I changed it already and sorted myself out. Well that is the not so easy part. As I said mine is linked to my emotions and being a single mum, well let’s be honest that makes me a tiny bit emotional.
Wow has it been a weird week. I started my week with a visit to the local accident and emergency department. I don’t know about anyone else but I really am not a fan of hospitals, especially when I am the patient. So how did I end up there? Well I am sure there are some of you out there that have gall bladder problems, well I have one too. Unfortunately, it decided to play up a bit and leave me on the floor crippled with pain. This is not the first time this has happened to me but after the first attack last year I tried to cut out fat and sugar from my diet as these are huge triggers for it. So after many, many months with no problems this week has been a painful one. As I said I started the week in hospital on a drip and let me tell you when you are a big woman the hospital can be a humiliating place. I am healthy in comparison to some, especially given that I am overweight. I do not have cholesterol problems, nor do I have diabetes or any illnesses they link to obesity. But that set aside I am still spoken to and treated as if I am a lazy person who just doesn’t care about myself. This saddens me greatly. I am a nice person and I am trying to lose weight but it never seems to be good enough when I am talking to a doctor. We have all been there when the doctor tells us that we just aren’t trying hard enough and to go spend money on slimming classes or expensive gym sessions. I don’t know about anyone else but I really don’t have that kind of money just lying around. I would have joined a gym if I could afford it.
Ok so where do I find myself right? Running around like a headless lunatic. I have end of year projects and exams coming out of my ears, all whilst trying to sort out school trips for my kids and generally try and breathe… you know the other normal day to day stuff. Why does stuff always creep up on us and throw our lives into chaos? My plan to stay healthy has hit a snag. I am an emotional eater so when I get stressed I tend to reach for the first giant sized bar of whatever chocolate yumminess I can find and eat my stress away. I would love to say that I have discovered the secret to not doing this but that would be a massive lie. So I reached for the chocolate and tried to eat the stress away. So as I sat there in the cold light of day with my guilt surrounding me in the form of sweet wrappers and the usual suspects of junk food, I decide to surf the net looking for some inspiration. Now I have stated before that I have a health condition and my mobility is affected by this so my first port of call on google is exactly that. What’s the bet I find a million and one websites offering their magical cure for being fat?
So my yoga pack has arrived and I’m very excited. I open it will all the glee of a 5-year-old on her birthday expecting the latest Barbie doll. Ok so what is in the pack? Well there are 6, yes 6 DVD’s a wall chart of positions and a book I have to read. I so made the reading part sound like a chore, it’s not. I love to read.
OMG I am dying. Yoga is not for the faint hearted. I thought yoga would make me all zen, not the red faced, sweaty mass that is heaving on the floor right now. This is gonna sound slightly sadistic but, I actually feel good. My body feels very alive, also very hot and not in ‘Cameron I just got out of the sea in a slinky bikini Diaz’ kind of way. I do believe my whole body is going to pay me back ten-fold in pain tomorrow but I really do think it will be worth it. Looking down at the chart I have to follow I wince as I see I have to follow the routines every other day. Well at least I will be working one day on and one day off, not a bad pattern really.
One week later – Ok I feel really good. My headaches from trying to cut out all the awful food I have eaten for so long, are finally going away. Believe it or not the yoga helps with them and eases them away without having to resort to painkillers. My knees don’t feel so creaky and going upstairs doesn’t make me breathe like a desperate man looking for cheap thrills down a phone line. Ooh and guess what? I am sleeping so much better at night, even after just one week. I am waking up brighter and more alert instead of stumbling out of bed like a zombie in a shot of the Zombie Diaries Films. I am actually excited and happy to be able to continue with this and can’t wait to see how I progress. Watch this space for more news and a before picture of me, oh yes and I will be decked out in my fantastic workout gear. No laughing ok!!! Ok you can laugh a little, heck I do when I see me in it.
I have a question for everyone who is reading this. What would you do if you were told when you were going to die? Would you cry? Maybe faint? Hmmm it’s weird isn’t it, you never really think about it. Perhaps you would go through this mysterious bucket list we all assume everyone has and start ticking things off. I don’t have a bucket list, I have never really thought about dying, well not until now.
Ok first things first. A huge thank you to everyone on Facebook. Your kind words and support were amazing. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people sharing this journey with me. I promise not to make too many sad entries though. One, they aren’t my style and two, hopefully I won’t be going backwards and reliving a moment like that ever again. I was very scared and upset, I also felt alone. Your comments made me realise I am not alone, so for that I thank you.
Going to see the G.P.
So the doctor says she needs to weigh me and take my blood pressure. I get on the scales and they are broken. I DID NOT BREAK THEM, sorry but I need to stress that for my self-esteem. They were already broken. So right now I am angry, het up and frustrated. The doctor comes back and weighs me. I haven’t gained any more weight which is good. Much to my dismay it’s time to have my blood pressure taken. I know she is going to use that God awful electric machine that never works with me. On the second attempt she gets a measurement and she is not happy with it and then says she wants me on blood pressure meds. Now I have never needed blood pressure meds ever so I am slightly upset she has even suggested them. Hospital doctors know to avoid these machines with me as they never get a proper reading from them with me (I’m awkward like that). So the doctor now asks me to come back in the morning and get a blood pressure machine to take home for the week. She then informs me that as I have insisted so much she will send the referral to the clinic. I explain to her that I need to have the therapy they offer as I feel it would be very beneficial for me, she looks at me as though I should just stop eating and all will be ok. Ha! If only that were true it would solve all my problems. She sternly looks at me and tells me that I cannot stop trying to lose weight while I wait for my appointment from the clinic. Why do they always think that fat people want to be this way. But me and my mum leave and go book the appointment for the morning with the nurse.
So it’s the next day I went to see the nurse to get the damn machine that will squeeze the life out of my arms. I sat there as she went through all I needed to do at home. Then said she wanted to take my blood pressure to record this morning and write it on the sheet. O.K. now I have said this before, these machines do not like me at all and sitting here pleading with the nurse to take the cuff off my arm as my hand starts to swell and go purple only proves to me they hate me. The nurse starts to panic as the machine seems hell bent on crushing my arm and the screen now reads 326 on the pressure monitor. Yep that’s way too high if you were wondering they normally shut off at around 160. Finally, the nurse manages to get the cuff off me and we both stare at my arms as we actually watch the blood start to flow again. The top of my arm looks awful with lines of blood under the skin where it was trapped in the cuff. I am not looking forward to this week at all as I will have to do this 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the evening. Guess I will have to do it on the other arm as the other one just looks mangled. The nurse assures me that once I have done this for a week and dropped in back in they will contact me and let me know if I need to come back in. Other than that we now have to play the waiting game to hear from the clinic.
So really after all this I feel good that thanks to the surgeon I am now being referred to specialist who can actually help me, but I am still very frustrated with the way anyone who is overweight is dealt with in their G.P. surgery. It is time for G.P’s to top treating overweight people as second class citizens, they are people who need help and support. I always thought doctors were supposed to comfort their patients and support them, but in today’s society it seems fat shaming has now become the norm. Please everyone remember that people with weight issues may not be the lazy slob the media has taught you to see. They are most likely to be a person dealing with issues that are out of their control and finding it hard to get the help they need and they support they crave.
Well it’s been a strange week for sure. I have been poked and prodded by nurses this week. Had to go in for more tests after my blood pressure results were not liked very much by the medical profession. Can I ask a question? Does anyone actually understand the difference between the two numbers on the blood pressure results? I didn’t either. I do now though, well kind of. Mine were not bad the top number was actually lower than normal for my age but the bottom number was higher than they wanted. Granted it might be because I hate having my arm squeezed to within an inch of its life and it makes me really tense having it done. I sat and talked with the nurse after stripping down to my bare essentials and having sticky things stuck to me so they could do an ECG. Also had bloods taken. The nurse was great, we sat and discussed exercise and my size and the problems I have controlling myself around food and sugar. She was the first nurse who actually thought I was doing the right thing. So that is two people in the medical profession who think I am on the right path. It certainly helps your mind-set when the doctors and nurses want to help you. I walked out of that surgery this week feeling much happier about the decisions I was making about my life and how it will drastically change. But as my lovely nurse pointed out to me sometimes drastic action is required to make a measurable difference and what may work for one person might not work for others. For me diets have wrecked me. Swapping from one diet to another has not worked and what I need is to make sure I never over eat ever again and make sure that my whole way of thinking about food changes to a more positive thing. She said there are people who can help so taking action to find that help is the best thing.We sat and talked for an hour about the way addiction affects people and it was one time where I wasn’t judged for loving sugar, chocolate and all the other things that have added to my waistline over the years. She did point out I was an emotional eater and that was something that must be addressed quickly so I can find new coping mechanisms. She is right. I waited a few days and got my results back and everything is completely normal and I am healthy to start tier three of the process.
It’s that time of the year…. Yes, summer is here and its holiday season. Sadly, I won’t be squeezing into a one piece on the beach as I have a fear Greenpeace will try and put me back in the sea like rescuing a whale that banked on the beach. But I am sitting on a lovely beach enjoying the sunshine and having fun with my kids as I write this blog.
10 Things I will NOT miss about being fat
Each one of these things in the list is pretty trivial to most, but to me they are important. I don’t want to deal with them any longer. I could list a lot more but I won’t. I want each one of these to be a goal. Each time I don’t have to deal with one of these things I know I will closer to my final goal. Those 10 things are my check off list to my healthier lifestyles and my happier days.
Cloud nine, I am floating on cloud nine. I can’t believe the difference it makes seeing someone in the medical profession who actually wants to help you. Ok so we all know I have been waiting for my referral appointment and I went today. I will confess I was scared, but thankfully I had my mum there with me. Yes, I know I am a grown arse woman but you know what? Sometimes you just need your mum and my mum is right by my side. We left my dad in the car. I promise we cracked a window for him (I’ve seen those video’s on youtube of people breaking windows to let the puppies get fresh air) so my dad was sorted. – I would like to point out in case anyone is offended by that it was a joke. My dad was sat very comfortably waiting for us.
I don’t have to do the milk diet. I am so happy about that as I was not looking forward to drinking milk every day and nothing else. I had it in my head that I would suddenly grow to hate coffee and milkshakes as they are the only thing you can mix in the milk while on that diet.
WARNING: THIS IS GONNA BE A LONG ONE
So how has my 1500 calorie diet been going? Not too shabby if I do say so. I haven’t had a Dr Pepper in 6 weeks, yes that’s right 6 whole weeks. This is a major achievement for me as I am a self-confessed sugar addict and Dr Pepper was my drug of choice. I am off to the hospital in the morning to be weighed to see if it has made a difference. My fingers and toes are crossed hoping it has.
Ok here I am back from my obesity clinic appointment. I am shocked and stunned. I have lost 5 kilos or 11lbs if you prefer it that way. So, the next plan is to survive Christmas without stuffing my face full of chocolate and booze and go back in February with hopefully more weight off and getting closer to my goal. Today is a good day. I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and a fantastic New Year.
I stop breathing on average 25 times an hour at night while sleeping. 25 times is a lot, kind of a scary number really. Am I scared? No! I don’t like the sleep clinic much at all. I have to go back tomorrow and sit in a room and watch a video on my condition. I don’t like the idea of this at all. So, what actually, happened in my sleep clinic appointment? Well I took my daughter as I had to because it’s the school holidays and she wanted to out and not at home. I wish I hadn’t taken now, she was sat in the room with me when they said I stop breathing on average 25 times an hour whilst sleeping. I didn’t know this was the result I was going to get. I thought they would tell me I was a fidgety sleeper not that I have to stop my driving lessons till I have undergone treatment for two weeks and they can clear me to drive and that I stop breathing so much when I am sleeping. According to the nurse I have had this all my life as my sleep has always been the same (at least I know it’s not because I am fat).
Damn it… Ok having gall bladder pain is worse than natural child birth (which I have done twice and prefer to this). A whole month of pain and sitting in A&E most nights praying that the morphine will take the pain away. I know they said this journey would be hard and painful and they weren’t joking. I thought when they said it was going to be hard following the advice and methods given to me from the clinic that it would be cravings etc. not actual pain, physical vomit inducing pain. I am tired and in pain and I find myself crying and asking if this is all worth it. I feel sorry for my family having to witness me writhing around in pain and there is nothing they can do to ease it. Every night that my gall bladder has decided to rip pain through my body, my mum has sat with me and held my hand trying to ease the pain and my dad has paced the floor waiting to be able to shuffle me in the car to drive me to the local A&E. It’s not fair on them and I feel selfish.
They have never once fat shamed me or told me I am lazy and unable to do this. They have done nothing but encourage me and show me how capable I am and it’s then that I realise that there is no turning back. I can sit around and just roll over and die like the surgeon told me would happen or I can take a couple more months of pain to get to a healthier and longer life. So, my doctor decides to put my name forward to the surgeons earlier so that I will sit down with the surgeon by April and have a psychology session to make sure my head is ok with what will happen as soon as the surgery journey starts.
I have lost over 3 stone in the months I have been writing this blog, which is way more than I normally lose. I am happy that I am being looked after and that these doctors and nurses actually care and my eating habits are so changed. I rarely eat anything with sugar in it now. I consciously look at how much fat and sugar are in things and I choose fruit and veg over most things now. It sounds insane that I have to actually think about this sort of thing but it’s not until you address actual sugar or food addiction that you realise how bad we all need help with this. This is not an easy journey at all, even to the point where I would prefer to give birth without any form of pain relief, but I know it’s going to be worth it once I get there. Ok now I am off to dance around my living room to some truly fantastic music and sing so loud that the neighbours will bang on the wall. Have a great day everyone.
Ok anyone who says this is easy is a liar, a big walloping, pants on fire kind of liar. OMG it’s reading week at university which means I get a whole week to catch up on things for my assignments.
I need this break for sure, so imagine my horror that on Monday I start feeling pain in my back and thought oh no please don’t let me have a kidney infection (they warned me I could get other symptoms while finishing off tier 3). I managed to get an appointment straight away at my G.P. surgery (I know, a miracle). So, I popped down there to chat with the doc and see if I had an infection or if it was this damn gall bladder playing up again. Hmm well he poked, he prodded and I nearly went through the roof in his office. He decided it was not an infection but could be my gall bladder playing up and told me to take some pain meds and if it acts up again to go straight to the hospital. I made it as far as the pharmacy before I felt the wave of nausea hit me right at the same time that pain shot through my body. I swear if I had not been in the middle of Tesco I would have thought some wally had shoved a javelin through my side. With tears in my eyes I begged the pharmacist to hurry with my prescription so I could get some painkillers down my neck before I either passed out or vomited on their counter. I managed to get home thanks to my dad and take the painkillers only to be met with more shuddering pain.
Ten minutes later I am in the car being rushed to Accident and Emergency, now I would have been pondering asking for frequent flier miles or some reward scheme clubcard but I could hardly breathe with the pain. My local A&E department are amazing, I am actually thinking of proposing marriage to the whole department, can you marry a department? They made sure I was given strong painkillers and I saw a doctor in under three hours even though it was very busy. I guess me sitting in the waiting room rocking back and forth whilst moaning and wailing in pain is not enticing to watch. The doctor I saw decided that as I couldn’t have the surgery as I am awaiting two other surgeries that I should have it noted that I am to be kept topped up with strong painkillers all the time and that my G.P. should be made aware of this too. He sat and wrote an email to G.P. right in front of me saying how they were to keep a prescription for high medication until my surgery date comes through. I am so grateful to him for doing this as I genuinely can’t bare anymore pain. I have to admit I was close to attempting ripping the damn thing out myself and be done with it all. Pain makes your head think weird things and in the cold light of a pain free day I feel silly for thinking such things. I’m just so tired from it all. They don’t warn you just how hard the journey is, do they!
I shall be venturing out to see people I haven’t seen for years on Sunday. I am saddened that it will be to drink a toast to a very dear lady whom I will miss greatly who sadly passed away but it will be good to see people and try and start to become a bit outgoing and lively like I use to be before the accident and everything went downhill. I admit to being quite scared even though these are people I have known for years. Hopefully everything will be fine. It’s gonna be a while till I go back to the hospital and see how everything is going and give you an update on that so you will have to put up with some insane rambles from me. Ooh and I have job now as well. I will be working as an outreach ambassador for my university. I can’t wait to start that. Well I shall raise my coffee mug right and drink to hopefully a pain free month and me not doing something embarrassing on Sunday when I stick myself in a room full of people for a change.
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.
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.
Three weeks, that’s it!!!! Just three weeks till I get to have my gallbladder taken out and my hernia fixed. Yes, half my problems will be over in just three weeks then I can focus on getting healthy and fit again. So much has changed since we spoke last month, I was offered two of my surgeries which will mean a pain free existence. You have no idea how excited I am about that. I have met my surgeon after being called into his office for a very brief meeting and an explanation of what will happen in my surgeries. Naturally a hospital appointment can’t go without some blunder or mishap and laying on a bed in a tiny office with a strange man prodding you is not where you want blunder or mishap to happen. So, I am lying there with my now loose jeans pulled down looking like a weirdly drunken date in a parking lot. I know my hernia is nasty and needs sorting but what I don’t expect is for the surgeon with over 20 years’ experience to take one look at my hernia and say’s ‘Oh Jesus’ out loud and then recoil away slightly. This is what he did, yes that’s right folks my hernia is so disgusting that even a professional was freaked out by it. Once he has regained his composure and I am allowed to put my clothes to their normal position on my body and regaining some form of dignity back he informs me that yes, my hernia must be sorted out as soon as possible, oh yeah and he will do the gallbladder too. The thing that causes me daily agonising pain came second on his list and my freak show looking hernia was what he really wanted to slice up. Still once it’s fixed I will be able to stand up straight and not look like John Hurt from Alien which will be nice and he promised my stomach would have a pretty smile shaped scar. He runs through all the complications that can happen and then assures me this is highly unlikely as I am very healthy (I don’t feel reassured). So, I leave the hospital feeling very happy that two of three surgeries are being performed soon.
Ok Monday this week has definitely been my best day in a long time. Today was my driving test. I love driving, I really do. I have a great driving instructor who has helped me so much with my driving after an awful experience with a previous instructor. Well my driving instructor has been amazing and taught me so well whilst having some excellent discussions and putting the world to rights each lesson. So naturally I was gonna pass the test and I did, FIRST TIME. Yep I passed first time and that’s thanks to my amazing instructor because I really thought I may fail once I found out that my test instructor had the same name as my ex-husband and anyone who knows me well enough, knows that there is something about that name that sends me over the edge of sanity and I tend to freak out and hide. But he was a decent guy and a great test instructor and he didn’t make me nervous at all. When he told me I had passed once we got back to the test centre I didn’t even say a bad swear word just a regular normal one.
Oh, and did I mention that I thought giving up smoking was a good idea the week before my test? Well I have decided all my bad habits should go so smoking was next on the list really. I booked in down at the smoking clinic and they gave me lots of patches and inhalators and so on. Now if I could just remember to put the patches on it might help. I haven’t had a cigarette so really, I don’t think it matters if I wear the damn patches or not as I don’t seem to be wanting to smoke anyway. But hey ho, the docs are pleased with me for giving up and everything seems to be moving along nicely right now.
It’s the night before I go in for surgery and to say I am nervous is an understatement. I have checked my bag a million and one times, everything is ready all I have left to do is finish writing my letters. I have written letters to my kids, my parents, my brother and sister and also to my ex-husband. It sounds morbid I know, but I had to write everything down so everyone knew what would happen if I wasn’t there anymore and doctors had drummed it in to my head for years that there would be a high probability of death via surgery as I am overweight. Trust me when I say that stuff stays in your head. So once everything is done I try to go and get some sleep as it’s about 5 hours now before I must be at the hospital. Two hours, I got a whole two hours’ sleep. Ah well, it was more than I thought I would get.
Part 2 Post Surgery
Ok I do not make a good patient at all which is probably why I am sitting here totally alone. So, I came home from hospital and well let me tell you something they don’t warn you how annoying post-surgery is. I can barely move without wanting to fall asleep from all the effort it takes. I know I had my stomach muscles cut etc but damn.
Ok so I am now 3 and a half weeks post op and have another clinic appointment, this is just a weigh in and check-up. I see the doctor who put me forward for my gall bladder surgery, she can’t believe how different I am. I should point out that I am much happier as I am not as tired or sore now and can move around a lot more than before, although sitting in the car with a seatbelt does cause me pain. I have stayed the same weight she thinks but it’s best not to weigh me as I am still swollen from surgery. She lets me look at my full medical notes and OMG it’s scary reading them. I didn’t realise how bad everything was in my surgery until I read these notes. I would like to say a huge thank you to my surgeon for saving my life because after reading the full notes he did save it. It’s quite scary to find out that I actually was in so much danger whilst in surgery and to see exactly what happened because a hospital ignored me and refused to help me, I would have died if I had been left any longer than I already had been.
Ok so where are we right now? Well I am melting in the heat wishing global warming was a figment of my imagination, quite clearly, it’s not as the sun tries to melt my face off while I put the washing on the line. Domestic chores are not fun in the heat for anyone especially when you are fat. Honestly the chub rub on the thighs is enough to figure out how the cavemen discovered fire. I would love to say I am relaxing in this heat and soaking up the sun but the truth is I am festering and wishing I could get away with wearing shorts and a vest top without Greenpeace tracking me down to plonk me in to the ocean like some form of rescued whale.
On a lighter note, I did attend my MDT appointment. Yes, I know it sounds very official doesn’t it. Last month I told you how they said I would have to wait 3 months for that appointment. Turns out I only had to wait two weeks for the appointment to turn up and then a further two weeks till the actual appointment. There is always a lot of excitement among those of us on tier 3 waiting to head towards surgery about MDT, there is always many saying how they have their appointment and then they go on to speak to the surgeon a month or so afterwards. So naturally I got mine and I was jumping for joy at receiving this strange and mystical MDT appointment. It’s three hours long this appointment so it must be very involved and in-depth. I head in to my appointment all nervous because I don’t know what to expect other than there will be about 6-8 of us and we must see 3 specialists. See, it sounds mysterious doesn’t it. I walk in and there are 8 of us in total. I grab a seat and wait for someone to indicate that everything is about to start. A lovely nurse comes in and tells us we will start in 5 mins.
Ok well that was three hours of things I had already researched. I get why they have the MDT and I now get why no one really talks about it. It’s not mysterious at all. We discussed the effects of surgery, this is something I have discussed at length with the surgeon and with the nurses for the last 8 months. We then speak with a psychologist about the fact we will be left with horrid skin, our hair will thin and fall out. Once again these are all things I had fully researched and knew about. There is a dietician there I know and she is taking notes. I am fearful that if we don’t ask questions they will think we are not showing effort. I know everything they are talking about as I am one of those people who must research thoroughly before I make decision on anything (boring I know but that’s me). I quickly ask a question about drinking before and after food to make it seem like I need to find something, hell anything out then go back to just listening. The 3 hours is up and I haven’t learned anything new other than it will be about end of Sept when I get to see the surgeon and then around mid-Feb at the latest when I get to have surgery. So, the whole journey will have taken around 18 months on the 6-month pathway. Which to be fair after finding out that my hospital is the only one that performs this via NHS service for the whole of the East of England is a very quick journey in my opinion. Granted if I had paid privately it would have been one third of that time but still how marvellous that they can perform so quickly for such a large area.
Now for the time being I must stick to my new eating habits and carry on trying to lose some weight whilst I wait to see the surgeon. I know I make light of this journey and say some flippant things but I chatted with another patient this week about their journey and how it was going. They have received an awful amount of criticism from friends and family about their choice to have surgery. I know that we are judged by everyone for having surgery, but I would like to speak in his defence and well in all our defences for having surgery. Nearly everyone I have spoken to along my journey has been through some major upheaval in their life that has resulted in devastating consequences to them. Now I know we all go through shit in our lives, trust I have been through the mill a few times. But everyone has a way of coping some choose healthy things but there are others who choose a more self-destructive road. Whether they chose drink, drugs or food it was their way of coping with some form of horror in their life. In our society, we have a massive soft spot for the loveable rouge who fell prey to alcohol or drug abuse and we take them in and help them telling them how brave they are etc. We see fat people however and the first thought is OMG they must be lazy; don’t they like themselves? This is so the wrong attitude to have and then when they go seek help they are belittled for it. Even the people who profess to love them question them and accuse them of taking the easy way out. I would urge anyone who thinks this is an easy route to actually research what happens to yourself after surgery hell even the hoops to jump through just to get as far as I have. The journey is long and it’s brutal, it’s painful and humiliating. Anyone having this surgery will never lead the normal life they thought they were going to, they will forever be checking levels of this and that to make sure they have eaten protein to function that day. They will cut all their hair short because the patches of hair coming out after surgery make them look almost bald. It takes about a year for your hair to get back to a decent state. They will spend over £60 every three months on vitamins and minerals as their body no longer absorbs them. If they don’t eat correctly they will suffer something called dumping syndrome which means they gets the chills, nausea, the shakes, headaches, sweating, breathlessness to name but a few symptoms and all because something they ate had a fraction too much sugar or fat in it. Trust me when I say they are not having this surgery to take the easy way out. They are having this surgery because something went seriously wrong in their life and they can’t recover on their own from it.
I have my appointment through to see my surgeon. I have appointments all day on the 27th Oct. I must have an ECG thingy in the morning, I then have to see the anaesthetist and then the surgeon in the afternoon. Rumour has it I should get my surgery date at that appointment. I really hope I do get my date so I can schedule stuff. I don’t want to miss out on anymore university, especially as it’s my final year and I need to get a good grade. I have a hope that it will be scheduled while I am on Christmas break but the reality is it will probably be during my final semester which is annoying but it will be my final hoop to jump through.
Goodness me where has the time gone? Well life has been busy, busy, busy. I am back at university for my final year and I am so happy to be back there. I have text books everywhere and the chaos is on a grand scale but it’s just so much fun.
So, I had my ECG and they did a scan thingy and other technical stuff. It was cool though I got to see my heart pumping and listen to it. The doc said I had a beautiful strong heart, which is always nice to hear even if he meant it in the literal sense. I sat down with my surgeon who is happy to go ahead with the surgery but wants me to try and lose as much weight as I can before they call me back in. The wait time is quite a while and they said that my surgery will be around 23rd March. But now with the all surgeries being cancelled by hospitals I would presume it will be in the summer maybe.
Oooh I went to Harry Potter World at Warner Bros Studio. I drove me and the kids there which was fun and the first time I have driven them somewhere that far from home. My sister met us there for the tour. All I can say is, if you have never been then you really need to go there. It was utterly amazing. The tour is three hours long and you get to see everything. I was behaving like a kid in a sweetshop. I even gasped out loud and grabbed my sister arm shaking her at the start of the tour because I was so excited at the first reveal they did. I also took like 500 photos, which isn’t even me exaggerating the number, hell ask my sister she will tell you I was snap happy. I didn’t ride a broomstick as I didn’t feel confident getting up on it in front of everyone, I guess my confidence levels still have a way to go.
But once I have lost A LOT more weight I promise I will get up on that broomstick and get my picture taken on it. I have never put a photo on this blog other than the headshot on the website but thought I would share one picture from Harry Potter with you all. You will also get to see me and the work I have ahead. Please be kind as I am trying hard to lose weight and encouragement is a key factor when you have let things get as out of hand as I have. I am proud that I have lost a lot since starting this blog, but I still have quite a way to go. But I have to show you Hogwarts in the Snow. As you can see I still have a very long way to go to getting anywhere near looking like my darling twin sister who is stood beside me in the picture. But I will get there.
Happy New Year everyone mucho love xx
I look down at the pile thinking urgh more bills when I see a white envelope and my dad tells me the hospital have sent me a letter. Is it bad to say that I was not sure if I was excited or terrified? I sat down to open the letter and nearly screamed out loud. I have my date; my surgery date has finally been sent to me. I really can’t believe this is happening that I now have an actual date and I will be able to start the next part of my journey. I may actually be in a dress for my graduation next September. Damn! I know I will have to do the Liver Reducing Diet a couple of weeks before my surgery as the surgeon explained to me when I saw him in November.
That is gonna be about 4 pints of milk a day oh the fun. Not sure that blog will be a barrel of laugh hehe. I told the ladies and gents in the surgery support group and they have a little saying once you get your date ‘they are keeping your seat warm on the loser’s bench’, It’s really the only time it’s acceptable to be called a loser really. Oh, I didn’t say when the surgery was did I? Well I go for my surgery on 27th February. Literally 4 weeks away.
I have so much to do to prepare for it. I have already asked my sister to take me in on the day and hold my hand because I am a complete child and will need her there as surgery scares the bejesus outta me. I don’t think it would be so bad if you didn’t have to walk down to the theatre and then hop up on the bed while they set everything up around you. That’s a scary thing to witness. But it doesn’t matter cause I got my date. In 4 weeks’ time I will be starting something new. I can’t wait.
Mucho love to you all.
Pre – op
So anyway, I am off to the hospital and my sister is driving me. I’m not as nervous as I was last year when I had hernia surgery. I haven’t written any letters to my family this time round I woke the kids up to say bye to them and that I would see them the next day. Me and my sister get to the hospital and I go through the motions of signing in and getting all my checks done etc before my sister walks me round to the room to get changed into a very fetching gown. I sit there dressed to the nines with my sister thinking we have a while to chat and they call my name and tell my sister to go as it is time for me to go up and get ready in theatre.
Post - op
I am woken by my surgeon in the morning and he explains to me what has happened. Turns out the surgery was not as simple as they thought it would be. I ended up having three major surgeries instead of one. My surgeon explains that firstly I won’t be going home for at least another day, which annoys me as I don’t like hospitals, secondly when they went to do the bypass they discovered my stomach was not where it should be. Yep that’s right nothing is ever simple huh? Turns out my stomach is actually in my chest after 12 years of my insides being squashed by a huge umbilical hernia my stomach decided to try and permanently stay in my chest after my last surgery. This of course had to be brought down once they had cut away my stomach and fashioned the new one. They also found that the hernia that was repaired last year was coming back so also fixed that and once they moved my stomach out of my chest they found a huge hiatus hernia. This was also repaired.
My surgeon was completely stunned by the amount of work that had to be done and instead of the easy 90-minute surgery he was expecting he performed 6 hours of surgery on me. What is the first thing I say to him? I tell him I am sorry for being such a pain. That made him laugh out loud. He checks over my wounds and there appears to be two drains as well as two drips he promises me they will come out tomorrow. Thank God for morphine that’s all I can say, everything is starting to hurt, and they give me another drip which takes all the pain away.
Finally, after a couple of days they allow me to go home under the strict instructions not to walk to much, not to lift anything bigger than a mug and to only drink liquids for the next three weeks. My surgeon checks me over one more time before I am allowed home and tells me that he wants to see me the following in clinic. I can’t wait to go home.
This is gonna be so tough. I think back now at the many people who said I was taking a coward’s way out and cheating by doing this. Having major surgery is not easy, it’s not a quick fix. I have my pills beside me to prove this. Every day I will have to take pills to make sure I can absorb vitamins and minerals. Did I mention the two weeks of sticking needles in myself? This is without a doubt the toughest thing I have done. I noted down in my diary the day I will be allowed to eat and actually chew food, yep I get I am a weirdo but I move to puree in just over a weeks’ time.
The 8th May will be the earliest I will be allowed to try eating normal food just baby sized portions. I still have appointments for my first official weigh in at the hospital on the 12th April which is scary for me.
Ok let me breakdown what he said to me;
Damn it’s been crazy here. Who is loving this sunshine we are having but secretly inside screaming that we are melting and will never make through the summer (internally holding my hand up)? Am I coping better with the summer this year? Frankly, no. No, I am not. I am actually melting as I type this with a fan blasting me in the face like I am steering a spaceship into warp speed.
I have had all my hair cut off and still my head is melting lol. Yes, that’s right I cut all my hair off. I had been toying with the idea for a while as I have lost a lot of hair since surgery. I started feeling like Rab C Nesbitt. The side effects of surgery really should be highlighted more. I think it’s funny cause I still get people telling me that I took the easy way out and have cheated by going through all these surgeries. Then I have to point out to them that I haven’t just had weight loss surgery that is just one of the 5 surgeries I had in 10 months. I don’t understand why people insist major surgery is an easy thing. I have the scars to prove it isn’t.
Mucho love to you all xx
Mucho love to you all.
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