Jan 4, 2016 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

The Journey Begins!

I have finally decided to do it!

 

After 18 months of talking to Sarah at NOSC and all the information and support she has given to help me reach this decision, I’ve booked my Sleeve Gastrectomy consultation!

Since the age of about 18 I’ve yo-yo dieted, my heaviest weight being 15st.4lbs and my lowest 7st.2lbs. I am now back up to 14st.8lbs and as I’m only 5′ 1″, my BMI has reached 38.9! I finally realise that at forty-four years old, I need some help, not only for my physical health but also for my emotional and mental wellbeing.

I have 2 children aged 21 and 17 and work full time as a hairdresser. I’m on my feet all day which is hard enough work in itself without carrying all this extra weight around. It puts a terrible strain on my back and legs and I can’t wait to get rid of it!

Sarah, my advisor at NOSC,  has asked me to keep a diary in the hope that it will help and encourage other people like me to take the plunge and get the help they need.

This is me today!

 

 

 

Roberta 2Roberta 1Roberta 4Roberta 3

So here goes everyone, I’ve started my journey…. Watch this space! 

Roberta.

 

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Jan 6, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Consultation Day: My First Trip To Sheffield!

I’m so excited! I went for my consultation at the hospital today.

One of my biggest worries was that they wouldn’t understand me, that they might treat me like somebody who was simply looking for a quick fix and be judgmental. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Gaynor and Mandy who welcomed me to the hospital were really friendly and helpful. Mr Ackroyd, my surgeon was very sympathetic and put me at ease straight away.  He was really understanding about my issues with food and talking to him made me even more confident that I have made the right decision. I feel a lot calmer now. Sue, one of the nurses, was really helpful and gave me lots of information about what will happen, from the day of the operation right through to being discharged. It doesn’t seem so scary now that I have seen the hospital and understand how everything works.

The realisation that I am having a big operation is frightening, but after speaking to Sarah at NOSC on the phone today and all the additional information that I gathered at the hospital, I know I am doing the right thing.

How do I feel? To be honest, it’s difficult to explain. I am rather weepy but also very excited at the same time.

I feel like today is the start of my new healthy and happier life.

 

The beginning is the most important part of the work. -Plato

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Jan 18, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

The Pre-Op Diet and The Night Before My Op!

My experiences on the pre-op diet.

The day before it began…..

This is what worried me most of all! I knew it had to be done but I’m not very good at restricting myself and sticking to a diet. I suppose that’s how I ended up here in the first place!

It did feel different this time though. I was really motivated, knowing that I was doing this to prepare for my surgery and I knew that the team at  NOSC were there if I needed them. If I was struggling, all I had to do was pick up the phone and they would be there to help me through it. I can’t believe all the great ideas they gave me to help me stick to my eating programme.

Now I knew for sure: If I got through this (which I did) …….. the operation itself would be a breeze!

The day before I started my diet, food and dieting was all I could think about and I spent all day worrying about what to eat for dinner that night.

I started calling it my “Last Supper” and I REALLY wanted to enjoy it! I worried that I would make the wrong decision and then look back and wish I’d chosen something else. I didn’t know what to choose!  I almost felt that I needed bite size pieces of everything so that I didn’t miss out on anything. That is how panic stricken I felt! I suppose that really shows why I need surgery to help me take control!

I finally made my decision!

For my last unrestricted meal I had a great big  mixed grill; steak, gammon, chicken, mash and lots of vegetables. Lovely!

 

I really, really  enjoyed my last big meal, however, I knew that the next day was the first day of the rest of my new healthier, fitter life. I had to start my pre-op diet.

This is my pre-op diet journal……

Days 1 and 2     Well, I’ve started my pre-op diet (I chose the diet shake option) and there really isn’t anything remarkable to say. It isn’t easy but I’m managing. Just!

Day 3     Okay, I’ve got to confess, I’ve really struggled for the last two days! Last night I think I even shouted out in my sleep ” I’m a celebrity get me out of here”. I might even have been tempted to compete in a bush tucker trial!  I’m determined to stick to it though; I know it will be worth it in the end!

Day 4    I am feeling a little more confident today.  I CAN do it! The shakes are fine but they all seem to be sweet. I’m really missing the taste of my beloved savoury treats!  I was glad to learn from Tina at NOSC that I’m also allowed  tea and coffee, oxo and bovril. That has really helped. It’s amazing how quickly I’ve fallen into a new regime. Breakfast is tea and a shake, at lunch and dinner time I have bovril or oxo followed by the shake. I think this tricks my brain into thinking I’ve had a savoury and a dessert! I’ve also been drinking lots of water each day.

Now, don’t get me wrong…. I’m not saying this is easy but doing it this way seems to be working for me.

Day 5   Well, I’m at the end of day 5 and I’m feeling a lot less hungry and much more confident that I can do this. I even managed to sit with my young niece and nephew while they ate pizza today (which I had cooked for them by the way!) and not help myself to even a little nibble! That in itself is a major achievement for me! I’m almost halfway through the pre-op diet now and seeing light at the end of the tunnel, although I have to say……. if I never see another oxo cube again after this it will  be too soon!

Days 6 to 14  I managed to stick to my diet, it was a bit of a battle at times but knowing that it was really going to make a difference to my operation kept me on the straight and narrow. The team at NOSC were always on the other end of the phone to answer my questions which helped a lot and seeing myself starting to lose weight has given a real boost to my determination to see this through. There really isn’t much more I can say about this.

 

 

The Day Before Christmas… whoops … Surgery!

It’s almost like Christmas Eve. I feel seven  years old again! It feels really strange to be this excited about having an operation! I just can’t wait to get on with the rest of my new, SLIMMER life 😊. I thought I would really struggle today because my pre-op fast has begun. I’m on clear liquids only. Normally, I don’t think I would have got through a couple of hours without eating, never mind ALL DAY but being so excited I don’t think I could have  eaten anything anyway. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy  all day and wear myself out so that I can get some sleep tonight. I definitely won’t need an alarm clock in the morning!

I’m so nervous and  excited. Tomorrow is the big day!

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Jan 19, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Today is The Day!

I can’t believe it’s finally the day I’ve been waiting for. It’s the day I will have my Sleeve Gastrectomy operation and as I suspected, I hardly slept at all last night. What a journey it’s been. Right through from the years of yo-yo dieting to the realisation that I need help and support to beat this problem.  So here I am,  I’ve had my consultation, stuck to the pre-op diet (amazingly), fasted on liquids only for twenty-four hours and gone nil by mouth today. Who would have believed it?

I arrived at the  hospital this morning and my heart was beating so fast it felt like bongo drums in my chest! I was shown up to my room and introduced to the nurse who will be looking after me when I return from theatre. She has made me feel really at ease. The anaesthetist has just been to see me  and I am feeling very positive about everything. Mr Ackroyd, the surgeon came to see me too. He was very up beat and positive about the benefits of having the sleeve and has left me now to put on the fashion faux pas theatre gown and then the nurse is going to give me a lesson in how to put on and remove the surgical stockings. Feeling rather surreal.

Right now, I’m sitting on my bed in my private room. It’s almost like being in a hotel apart from the fact that I’m wearing the aforementioned hospital gown and paper knickers! Seriously though,  I’m feeling quite pampered and really well cared for which is very reassuring. They carried out a few more checks this morning and now I’m just waiting to go down to theatre. I have also gone from being very calm to being a complete nervous wreck and back to calm again! I guess this is a normal reaction to any procedure. When I left my house this morning I was thinking “Well, when I come home I will be the new improved me, watch out world… the new Roberta is on her way!

So all that is left to say now is ……….I will see you on the other side 😄😄😄!!

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Jan 20, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

The Day After!

It’s the day after my Sleeve Gastrectomy  operation.

Yesterday when I woke up, I didn’t feel too good really but the nurses were amazing and made sure that any pain I was in was managed really well.

I can’t believe that at 9.00am this morning I felt well enough to get up, clean my teeth, have a wash and have a walk around! I even managed to get dressed and sit in a chair rather than having to get back in or on the bed. Someone brought me a cup of tea which was possibly the nicest cup of tea I have ever tasted!

Mr. Ackroyd came to see me this morning at 7:30am and assured me that everything went swimmingly and that there were no complications. So although I feel a little uncomfortable today, I am not really in much pain, the staff are looking after me very well. They are constantly monitoring me and giving me pain relief if I need it.

I am starting a list today, everything I will need to make my food when I get home. I am even treating myself to a new blender! That said, I just don’t feel hungry at all at the moment but I  want to make sure I do everything by the book and follow the advice given to me by the NOSC support team.

I’m feeling a bit tired and groggy, I would think that is normal after a general anaesthetic. I’m really looking forward to getting home and working with the sleeve. Just one more night in in hospital and I’ll be on my way. 

 

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Jan 25, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

There’s No Place Like Home!

I was discharged from hospital on Thursday morning with all the medication I required and was very pleased to be going home! They had looked after me really well but I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s no place like home, especially if you’re feeling a bit under par.

I felt really tired once I got home. To be honest, I couldn’t wait to get into my own bed. Tina from the  support team at NOSC phoned to see how I was doing and said that  to feel so tired is normal and that I should make sure I get plenty of rest…. well I can certainly do that!

On Friday I started the NOSC post-op eating plan. I did find it a bit strange at first eating such small portions and not feeling in the least bit hungry. It’s almost unbelievable! I think it will take a while to get used to but the team at NOSC will help with that. I know that it’s important to stay well hydrated so I’ve been trying to make sure that I  drink plenty of water, at least a small glass every hour. So……I am getting some exercise as I am up and down running to the loo!

Saturday and Sunday found me getting to grips with the post op diet. I find writing down what I’ve eaten  very helpful. My stomach is still quite sore, I’d say tender rather than painful. I have found that going for a couple of short walks a day and getting some fresh air has made me feel a bit better.

Today, six days after the operation. I am still a little tender but able to sleep well. NOSC support phoned me again today and told me I was doing really well and definitely on the right track. So, I decided to weigh myself for the first time. I couldn’t believe my eyes! – I have lost 16 pounds! 16 whole pounds!  I know that everyone at NOSC told me that this would happen but I don’t think I really believed them. Seeing is believing. The best part is knowing that this 16 pounds has gone forever this time, never, ever to return.

 

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Jan 28, 2016 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

I’m NOT getting bored…….. well, maybe just a little!

So here I am, nine days on and I’m feeling good!

I even managed 30 minutes window shopping yesterday. It left me a little tired but it felt so good to get out and do something different (normal). I’m getting quite bored now, there is only so much daytime TV a girl can watch!   .

 

I’m on a countdown at the moment, 3 more days until my staples come out and I can’t wait!  Just to be able to have a good old soak in the bath will be wonderful! Showers are fine but you can’t beat a soak in a bubble bath now and then! Actually, I’m not sure if I’m allowed bubbles yet, I’ll have to check with NOSC.

In 5 more days  I can go back to work. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll still be wearing my surgical stockings, that’s really going to give the girls in the salon something to chuckle about!  I’ve only got another 19 days to go…… but who’s counting?  Er……ME!!  😢   I am allowed to take them off to have a shower  though, which I suppose is something. The only upside is that at least it’s winter and I can cover them. Shorts and surgical stockings in the summer is NOT the new look Roberta I had in mind!!

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Feb 3, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Hi Ho Hi Ho It’s back to work I go!

I went back to work in the salon this weekend. Thank goodness!

I’ve watched so many murder shows that I’m now  convinced I’m in the wrong job and that I should become the UK’s first hairdressing detective.

My first day was really hard, I have to admit I was exhausted by the end of the session but I really did enjoy it. Although my body was a little tired it did wonders for my brain! I even got through the day without anybody spotting my lovely surgical stockings. It was great to catch up with everybody, I felt almost human again! They all commented on my weight loss (which by the way is now up to 21 pounds! 😊). What a boost!  Their comments made me feel great and I feel really proud of myself. I have to admit that when I got home I collapsed on the settee, absolutely shattered.  I spoke to Tina at NOSC support and she assured me I was doing really well and this was completely normal. I was fine after a good (very long) night’s sleep.

Actually, it made me realise something. I’m new to all of this. I don’t know what to expect and I don’t know if what I feel or experience is “normal”. Being able to speak to NOSC support really helps. When they told me that the support you receive is vital, I didn’t really believe them but now I know….it’s SO true. They have years of experience and training behind them and I know that  I can call and talk to somebody if anything is worrying me and that really makes a difference.

I reached another milestone this week, I  had my staples removed. I can’t say it didn’t hurt a bit,  it did, but actually, it’s more that it is such a very strange feeling. Once they were out the first thing I did was have a long soak in the bath……absolute heaven! Yes, NOSC confirmed that I COULD have bubbles……it really is the small things……….

 

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Feb 3, 2016 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Yipee! I’ve dropped a dress size or two!

Just a short update for you.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post, I’ve dropped two dress sizes already!

I’ve just been through my wardrobe and pulled out all my largest size clothes. I’ve now got  great big box of summer and winter clothes ready for the charity shop. I’m  getting into outfits that I put away and forgot about years ago once they became too small for me (or was I too large for them?). It feels fantastic! I hope retro is still in!

Just think, in a few months I’m going to have a whole new wardrobe of “normal” clothes.  No more baggy sweaters trying to cover the bulges. The new and improved Roberta is beginning to emerge! 

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Feb 8, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Little and Often!

Last week I got a bit carried away with work, staples and the glamorous surgical stockings. I completely forgot to mention my new eating regime!

I have been having about 3 quarters of a weetabix made very milky for my breakfast. I did try a full one one but unbelievable as it seems, it was too much! Mid-morning, I’ve been having a small fromage frais and for lunch it’s either a small glass of  home made smoothie (banana, kiwi or strawberry with a splash of skimmed milk) or a small cup of soup (also homemade). In fact I’m becoming a dab hand at these! 😊.  Mid-afternoon I’ve either had a small glass of milk or a couple of tablespoons of light rice pudding. At dinner time, I’ve been sitting with the family and I’ve tried a few different things – scrambled egg, a few tablespoons of cottage pie, tuna, a few tablespoons cottage cheese etc. I’ve  just made sure these are very well blended and the trick is to eat very slowly. If I wanted, I could have supper but my choice is a small cup of Horlicks Light made with water.

I have found that I don’t feel hungry at all but it is very easy to feel full! As advised, I make sure that I have my trusty bottle of water with me all the time. I have also managed to drink tea and coffee as normal, just much smaller volumes and not at meal times.

If someone had told me a few years ago that this is all I would be eating and I’d still be functioning properly, I would never have believed them.

I feel great!  I’m not hungry or sluggish and I don’t feel  deprived because I’m not hungry. If I’m being completely honest, feeling deprived of food was probably the thing I feared the most. It just hasn’t happened though, I feel completely satisfied with what I am eating and that constant need to look for food has gone.

 

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