Apr 6, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

I’ve had enough!

Early 2016:

 

Dear Diary

OK, I have had enough of this dieting lark!

I feel so very motivated but always seem destined to fail – my mum always said that it gets harder to diet as you get older and I am beginning to think she is right!

Having done weight watchers, slimming world, lighter life and a few others over the years I have lost tons in weight (literally) but never maintained the hard work I put in. How disappointing every time to find with the blink of an eye, once again, here I am – heavy!

I am now 62 years old. My dear old mum is 82 yrs old and she is crippled with arthritis and finds mobilising very painful. She is overweight and I look at her and see myself in years to come, which is one of the reasons I want to lose weight.  It’s not my only reason of course, I also want  to feel better about my overall appearance and fitness too.

I explored all avenues and decided that I should have a gastric balloon, but after looking into it I felt this was not the best option for me. I need something more permanent!

Gastric sleeve?  Well, I looked at this too. It is a permanent operation which reduces the size of my stomach forever – I am naturally a very greedy person so if I physically cannot eat large portions, then this seems like the best solution for  me.

Will I, won’t I?

I enquired about this last year and got several responses but the best most informed was from the National Obesity Surgery Centre. I  don’t like the word obesity, but hey, I guess I have to face the fact that at 5’ 6” and 107kgs I am obese.  I carry it all at the front (I find myself thinking that is good for some reason,  because it’s not all on my butt,  but I know that I am in the front line for cardiac problems!!).  Anyway , I contacted them again and researched and researched the whole thing – even finding the whole operation on you tube which was a bit gruesome!!

It didn’t put me off though so I have made an appointment with the surgeon in Cheadle.

Let’s see what happens ………

 

Apr 6, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

My Consultation!

18th February 2016

Dear Diary

Today I have seen Mr Senapati for my Sleeve Gastrectomy consultation.

What a calm, nice man who was very reassuring and patient with my list of queries!

I felt really good after speaking to him and arranged for my gastric sleeve operation to be done on 29th March 2016 – just after the Easter break. (I could have had it two weeks after but we have some weekends away planned!)

My patient husband was not too keen prior to the visit but knows how very desperate I am to lose weight and now feels more reassured as he was with me during the consultation.

All set now eeeeeeek! ……………………..

Apr 6, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Happy Easter!

23rd February 2016     

 

Dear Diary

What a sackless person I am, in the midst of the giddiness about the operation I forgot that we actually were away for Easter so I wouldn’t be able to start my pre op diet before then!

Now come on! Would anybody really miss out on meals in a top restaurant , especially as they were already paid for? Very unlikely! 

I telephoned Sue at NOSC, she is  really nice and very helpful. I told her of my mistake and we have now agreed a date two weeks later which is April 12th 2016.

Phew……. a breathing space!

Apr 6, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Here goes!

March 2016

Dear Diary

Every weekend in March was booked with presents from our recent wedding, and birthday treats from last year.  We had a really lovely time but I was conscious of the need to limit alcohol and stick to sensible eating.

In-between weekends away,  I had slimfast meal replacements to try and prepare myself! I’m really looking forward to the day of my op (it’s really weird, that I’m looking forward to surgery when I have never had abdominal surgery in my life!)

28th March 2016

Right,  I was weighed today.  Oh dear!  107.9kg! Blimey that sounds bad enough but it’s even worse in stones, nearly 17st! The heaviest I have been in my entire life! (I’ve made a mental note to stick to kilograms now!!)

I am real disappointed in myself, not being able to lose weight, it is so demoralising!  I’ve been thinking yes, I can do this without the surgery, but I know in my heart and soul that I can’t sustain it and realistically I have been here a hundred times before!

I was given a choice of four liver reducing eating plans by the support team at NOSC.  I chose the liquid meal replacement diet and I’m on it now. I got the best deal for slimfast from superdrug, they deliver for free. How good is that!

Here goes ………………

Apr 6, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

No more!

4th April 2106

Dear Diary

Today I feel very positive – I have lost 6.5kg!  While I was on  my liver shrinking diet, I stuck completely to slimfast (one of four options) and drank lots of water.  I don’t really like water but it’s good when you are thirsty and I am getting used to it.

No more wedging into tight aircraft seats (I swear they get smaller – it can’t possibly be me!). No more shopping in big girls shops with no real selection. No more looking at my reflection and being thoroughly disgusted with myself. No more having to listen to people reassuring me that I am not ‘fat’ just ‘chunky’, ‘well made’, ‘ a bit overweight’, ‘more to love’ etc,  which I never believed.  I know my family and friends were just being nice to me but I won’t have to live with that much longer because I know I will become the new me.  I almost feel like a caterpillar slugging along and going into my cocoon and after  following the guidelines,  eating plan and surgery, morphing and emerging as a lovely butterfly! I know it won’t stop the wrinkles, I’m not  stupid, but I know I will feel soooooo much better!

I have had a few morbid thoughts creeping in lately though. As a nurse, I know the side effects of anaesthetics and wondered if I should write letters to my family, but I decided to get a grip! I’m in very safe hands! I also have been having some strange dreams, so although I don’t feel anxious, I guess psychologically I must be. I even dreamed that I had gone to work and been out for lunch, forgetting about the surgery. In my dream, I had a wonderful lunch but  then I woke up in a panic, imagining that the operation would not go ahead as I had eaten!!! It reminded me that when I was dieting I used to ‘forget’ I was on a diet and make mistakes. Not consciously,  just as a normal part of life. I really like my food so I know this journey will not be easy but, I sincerely hope it is all worth it!

I have found out that my operation is in the evening. Oh dear!  I would have liked it first thing in the morning because that would give  me the whole day to recover and  the surgeon would not be tired from a full days work before he even got to me!

I have bought lots of vitamins, but I’m seeing the dietitian on Thursday and I guess I might have over compensated. I’ll find out!!

 

Apr 8, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Pre-operative assessment!

7th April 2016

Dear Diary

I visited the hospital today for my pre-op assessment. It was very busy and  it took a little while to park.

I  had an ECG, height and weight check, urine test and ended with a lovely woman called Helen who was the bariatric nurse and an accompanying physiotherapist.

The physio undertook a test for my asthma which was fine and listened to my chest as I recently had a bit of a cough and chest infection. She also took my blood pressure and pulse reading which all seemed to be fine. An HCA came and took what felt like a pint of blood!

Helen was really nice and answered my dietary questions, she was lovely and reassuring.  As I was a bit nervous, I ended up with a few tears, much to my embarrassment! Still,  the thought of no rubbing thighs in summer, sitting comfortably on an aeroplane seat and wearing shorts on holiday……. I know I will never be Kate Moss or Claudia Schiffer but hey….. I will ultimately look better, surely?

I don’t think I told you why I was taking this drastic step. It isn’t so straight forward as cosmetic reasons. Yeah…. sure…. it will be nice to look better but the main reason is because of my mum. She is 82 years old, overweight and has advanced arthritis so has mobility problems.  I soooo do not want to end up like that! I have some early signs of arthritis,  not uncommon for my age but I know that my obesity will be putting pressure on my joints which is not in my favour,  plus …………..at the weekend I lifted our springer into the boot then our little sprocker. They weigh 40kg together and I thought blimey! That is just about my weight loss goal!  I looked at their faces and thought my goodness, I am carrying all that weight around with me and to this moment I cannot believe I have so much excess weight! Okay,  you get on the scales and realise you are overweight, but I challenge any overweight person to weigh out a bag of bricks/stones etc and lift it and not be as shocked as I was. The realisation is dreadful!!

Anyway, like the late Ronnie Corbett,  I digress. I finished at the hospital and got onto the traffic that is the M60, M61 and M6, just hitting it at the main traffic time – great!!

By the way Helen (the bariatric nurse) suggested I would be better staying the full two nights as my operation was at night and I would get a better amount of rest staying another night, unless of course I felt super duper the next day after my op. I think I will take a rain check on that and see how I feel – roll on Tuesday!

The only thing to add today is that I am weeing for Britain with all the water I am drinking – have never been a fan of water but when all you have is three slimfast shakes a day it tastes darned good…..and, I have found a really good app for your phone called daily water – it is so helpful – I forget how many bottles or cups of water I have during the day and you just knock them off your total for the day and voila you know exactly where you are – brilliant!!

Back on Tuesday – the operation day!

 

Apr 15, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

After my op!

12th April 2016

Dear Diary

After the surgery I recall waking up from the operation with a lovely nurse called Mags assisting me. Very reassuring.

I felt okay but woozy from the anaesthetic. I saw Mr Senapati who told me he had repaired an hiatus hernia which I didn’t know I had! He told me all had gone well.

Anyway I got back to the ward and felt a bit wuzzy for quite a while. The nurses took good care of my drip

Through the night I was aware of  buzzing from the  inflatables on my legs which kept beeping when I moved and the drip machine beeped when the fluid had run through………..

 

Eureka, then it was morning! On come the day staff.  I was greeted cheerily by them and a lovely young lady (she was so nice) brought me a cup of tea and a milk shake. After having zip before,  I kindly told her that I wasn’t sure I could have them but she went and checked and yes I could! Wow….. it was like nectar!!! Marvelous!!  

During the day my blood pressure was very low so I had a headache and didn’t feel so good but the day staff were brilliant.  Sue Wilton, an agency nurse was especially caring and Eric bless him was on duty too!

I was visited by Romain, the physiotherapist, who took me for a walk and up some stairs and gave me advice on which exercises to do. Mr Senapati came to see me again  and said I could go home. He was lovely again. I had a shower and Sue changed my dressings.

I had clear soup and a milkshake for lunch which was scrummy!

Although I had the option to stay another night, I decided that I wanted to go home.

The hour and a half journey was not particularly bad because I had my husband bring a pillow to put across my abdomen, something I had read somewhere – a good tip!

14th April 2016

The stockings I have had on are itching a bit and look awful but no one sees them under trousers/jeans so I suppose I shouldn’t whinge!

I haven’t prepared too well diet wise which was a mistake. I should have got some nice flavoursome clear soups but I have ended up drinking mostly tea and water which is now getting boring!!!!

Uneventful day, I’m really tired so I have just taken myself back off to bed and caught up with my lack of sleep the previous night.

The hardest thing for me was getting out of bed,  you don’t appreciate the hospital beds ease of access to and from the bed until you are back in your own. Lying flat seemed strange as opposed to sleeping sitting up all night after my op!

 

 

Apr 22, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

What a difference a week makes!!

22nd April 2016

Dear Diary

Well what a difference a week makes!

After finishing my injections last Friday I felt like I had reached a milestone.

I am still taking the tablets, lanzaprozole,but I have only got about three days worth to take now .

Today I have at last removed my itchy wound coverings.  I felt a bit faint, but that’s just me, what a wuss! After a minute or two lying down I was fine. I then had a shower and now I feel ace!

Just one wound is open a tiny bit at the end so I have put a steristrip over it for a couple of days. It will be fine, I know. The wounds are much smaller than I expected and very tidy.  Mr Senapati must have learned his skill very well!!

I have been walking about a minimum of half a mile a day, sometimes much more. I feel really quite healthy!

I have asked the nurses at NOSC if I can get rid of my stockings now and they said that as long as I am mobile I can. Whoo Hoo!!! They are so flippin restrictive!

Right now to the diet!

For the first three days I stuck to liquids. To be fair it was any liquids,  so I had quite a good variety but I was really looking forward to actually eating some food as I hadn’t had any for twenty days. However,  it was  was my choice to go with the slimfast option for my liver reducing  pre-op diet!

The good news is that food tastes good.  You know when you have had enough though as it becomes uncomfortable. Not painful or anything, just like a bit of a lump in your stomach. I have not felt nauseous or anything like that,  mind you, I am following the meal plan to the letter! When I first opened a tin of mackerel, I didn’t realise that 1oz was just a quarter of the tin! Haha!  Blimey!  I’m eating tiny amounts but I have not felt hunger that hasn’t been satisfied with them! I’m eating slightly more now,  maybe up to 2oz with no ill effects and I am enjoying every bite!

Each day the support team from NOSC have telephoned.  I have missed them a couple of times but it is good to know they are there. They leave a message when I miss them and if I need them,  I know I can call them any time: 24/7.  I have got on well with Tina who answers  my queries and reassures me that all is well.

I am going back to work on Monday  which will be interesting to say the least! I know I will have to keep up my exercise programme and that pleases me.  I can’t wait to get on my exercise bike ASAP!

I have lost over 24 pounds now which is amazing!

My clothes don’t feel slack or anything yet, which is a little disappointing! It might be down to the fact that I’m still a little swollen after my operation. Another half stone I think should see me in a smaller dress size.  I won’t have to buy any new clothes as yet as I have such a wide variety of sizes in my wardrobes. The only massive difference is that this time, instead of saving my bigger sizes,  I can chuck em!!!!! Fantastic!!!!!

Well I’m off out with the dogs now for a nice leisurely long walk , bring it on!!

Oh……     I forgot to mention ….. no huffing and puffing now either!!     

 

 

 

May 3, 2016 - Uncategorized    No Comments

So far, so brilliant!

1st May 2016

Dear Diary

Well another week has gone by and I have lost a total of 26lbs – not dropping off so fast now but then I am exercising quite a bit and my muscles in my legs are getting stronger and we all know that muscle weighs more than fat. I bought myself some dumb bells! I thought 5 lbs each was a little small but  trust me, they are definitely not!  My first attempt with them to reduce my bingo wings ended with a painful shoulder so I’m going to go a bit more steady now.

The staff from NOSC are calling each weekday and to be honest I nearly always miss their calls, but even so,  knowing they are there is great.

They gave me a useful tip for constipation too, something called Bimuno which is the strangest powder! It dissolves into nothing so that you cannot taste or see it, in tea for instance…… I am still awaiting the results from the daily dose mind you!

My diet is now sort of semi solid with a lot of chewing! I dare not swallow a lump yet. My portion sizes are small and I certainly know when I am full. I become a little uncomfortable when I have even a little too much to eat but I am still learning.  I’m also rediscovering the taste of food, which is amazing.

I am walking loads and the only thing that I honestly find a bit difficult is leaning over to the right side for some reason. I will ask Mr Senapati about that a week on Monday.

My wounds have healed really well. One is a bit ‘bumpy’ but it will be fine. Although they are not sore,  I am aware of them still and tend to hold them if we go over bumps in the car for instance. I think that is just reflex on my part and hopefully it will go soon. I can’t wait to do some exercises for my tummy but dare not yet as it is still only three weeks. Can you believe it? It seems like forever!!

Next job will be sorting my wardrobe out! I think I may wait a bit as my clothes are not exactly dropping off me yet and I haven’t bought anything new so far. Another half stone should bring that and then I will clear everything out. No more hoarding of the old stuff (just in case I put a bit of weight back on!!) as I know this is a one way road, thank goodness!

Gosh, how many times I have been here in the past before my op? Losing weight well, only to regain it almost overnight (or so it seemed). You know the feeling, where on earth did I start to gain weight again and how have I got back to the old weight plus some more!!! Arghhhhh!! NOT FOR ME, NEVER AGAIN!

Anyway just going out to the shops. It is great being able to drive again, we live in a rural area so I felt very cut off not being able to drive. Funny how small things take on greater meaning!

See you soon. Oh and I still highly recommend the procedure – so far, so brilliant!

 

May 10, 2016 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Life has changed!

10th May 2016

Dear Diary

Well, for the past week I have been eating normally. When I say normally,  of course I mean small portions of normal food. By normal, I mean just that…. normal, ordinary food.  I have been brave enough to try everything,  but of course I have been sensible! Even things with skins etc have gone down well, though I have chewed them for Britain!!

I have left this blog later this week as I went to see Mr Senapati last night and I wanted to include it in my journal. Gosh, he is such a nice gentleman!

Anyway, we had a brief discussion. He looked at my scars which are hardly visible now  and I’m discharged! Whey hey!!

I go on holiday to Spain in two weeks and he said I could have a glass (small one) of Sangria with my paella! (tiny portion of course). I just need to lose a few more pounds! At the moment I have lost just over 2 stone in 4-6 weeks, but my BMI is still high (still in the obese bracket)  so I need to focus now and stop testing foods!

My life has changed, I know that. I can still feel a little uncomfortable when I overeat and I’m working on getting over a lifetime habit of having a massive plate full of food. It isn’t easy to change but the support team at NOSC are there to help with issues like this if I need them.  I am getting there and still very much enjoying my food! I just have  smaller portions and I feel very well.

Looking back, it was all so much easier than I thought. It is just four weeks since my operation and you would not know I’ve had one!

The only thing now is people are starting to notice my weight loss. Do I ‘fess up and tell them about my op or do I let them think I am one smart cookie with iron will power? I think that I will tell when I have lost a little more weight.

I haven’t started throwing out old clothes or buying new ones yet (the only reason for that of course is that like many overweight people, I have a massive range of sizes in my wardrobe!) but  I know that time will soon come.

Well, here’s to the new me!!

To everybody who has stayed with me through this journey, thanks for reading and if you are thinking of having the operation, even though it seems a little expensive, believe me it is worth absolutely every penny! Just go for it, do not hesitate!

 

Bye for now.

Val