So here is where it starts… the journey i am taking to get my life back …
I have always been your happy-go-lucky fun-loving “bubbly” girl.
Bubbly.. a word i always find larger girls describing there personalities, unknown to me why this is but its true !
I started life as a “chunky” baby weighing a little under 12llbs and from then on in i had the curse of “puppy fat” , throughout my primary years i was bigger than most children in my class and often teased and picked on i used to brush it off and say to myself “i am who i am if no one likes me then tough” i carried on saying the same thing to myself over and over and throughout my secondary school years too.
After school i decided that now was the time to lose some of the weight , i joined a ladies gym and dieted and for the next 10 years this was what i failed to do.
I had joined slimming world , weight watchers , different gyms , fad diets . nothing was working for me i wasnt lazy i loved to walk and swim i was a keen scuba diver i was always active … i used to walk miles and miles and still i had no change .
it was around 5 years ago i decided to ask my dr for help they tested me for diabetes and also tested my thyroid and prescribed me two different diet pills Reductil and Orlistat , both in which didn’t work and the one made me really poorly the other made me crave food instead of suppressing my appetite!
I then decided to look into other ways of losing weight, different shakes hypnotherapy … all those seemed faddy and wouldn’t help me keep this weight off for life .. then i saw an advertisement for the gastric band .. surgery that would help alter my life altogether and forever!
but the cost .. how could i afford over £5000 on my wage it would be impossible .. so i went to my dr to seek help i was over 45 bmi and met the criteria to be put forward for surgery in my PCT, I was put forward by my gp to see a dietician and a consultant at the diabetes centre in Wolverhampton. i waited and waited for an appointment over 6 months by the time i was seen by a specialist the criteria had changed and i had to be at least 50 bmi in order for the PCT to consider me for bariatric surgery or have a co morbidity which i didn’t have . then i started the long battle against my PCT to change their minds i wrote to my local MP i wrote to the PCT direct begging and pleading with them that i needed this extra help after rejection and rejection i was getting so disheartened and depressed over my weight i started to gain a little more weight. the specialist at the hospital said there was one thing we could try but it would be a trial and only for 6 months and it was a trial drug for Victoza a drug used for diabetics, so i said i would try anything and i gave it a go , i had to inject myself daily more and more each week i did that for 6 months and had fluctuating weight loss and gain…
so i was back to square one , didn’t know what to do what to try next i was having other issues with my health at the same time and in february i was diagnosed with Polycystic ovaries which can make it harder to lose weight or means you can gain weight easily i was in pieces i was fighting a losing battle i cried to my mom as i didn’t know what i could do .. i had struggled so long with my weight and she knew what i had been through.
it was then my 27th birthday another year older another year I should be thinking about settling down getting married having children … however with my weight I couldn’t conceive children and I couldn’t even think about going down the aisle the size i am !
I was sad and really emotional on my birthday and my weight loomed over me …. until i had a visit from my parents, I opened my birthday card and with note ” I hope this makes you happy ” was in fact the deposit for surgery … i cried for what seemed ages I was so happy i had finally been given the help i needed. my parents had agreed to fund my surgery and for that to them I am forever grateful.
Now i had to find surgery suitable for me and the question of where?
i searched and trolled the websites looking for quotes and the best service i could get , the people i was speaking to were clearly money grabbing didn’t care about what you had been through they just wanted your money … then my WLS support group on Facebook recommended i tried “secret surgery” i added them as friend on Facebook and the director of the company spoke to me about the different options and that she sent her clients to Prague for weight loss surgery it all sounded fantastic she then told me about a Gastric Wrap she advised me the band is a foreign object and not a lot of clinics were using that method any more… after some research and videos i watched of the procedure it looked the best option for me it was reversible if necessary no foreign objects in my body instant restriction no need to get fills etc and regular checks to get more or less restriction and similar effects of the sleeve operation just slightly less evasive .
That very week i paid my deposit it was the lowest price i had found and the comfort and support that Angela had gave me reassured me it was the right choice to make ,
after i paid my deposit everything was booked for me i was to fly out to Prague on the 9th of april to have my operation on the 10th of april 2012 …
Eight weeks were such a long time to wait for my operation but it flew by ! with only two weeks left before my operation i had to start my pre operative diet. I weighed myself before i started – 306llbs / 21.85 stone and then proceeded on a long two weeks of soup and mullier light yoghurt..
it was the longest two weeks i had ever had .. i was craving food to chew .. i was doing so well and i was so proud of myself until i was left alone.. my boyfriend had brought a pack of cake bars for his lunch box and he was at work that night until 11pm i thought if i had one it wouldn’t hurt me and they look sooooo good . so i took one and i ate it and i thought well one more wont hurt surely after the whole box later (5 cake bars) i cried my eyes out i felt so disgusting and ashamed i cant believe i had let myself down and my parents down, i went and did something even worse and made myself poorly in order to try damage limitation, but it just made me feel worse . i realised that i was glad to have made the mistake now and not after my operation so from then on i wouldn’t make that mistake again!
Finally the 9th of april was here and i was on my way to prague nervous yet excited for what was to come , i went along with my partner of three years Antonio.
with a short flight we landed in prague and awaited our driver to collect us, we were taken to the aprartment we were staying at for the week and it was huge and beautifully decorated we went out exploring in the afternoon and then headed back to the apartment for an early night as i had to go to the clinic for 7am, in the morning i was met with the lovely Iveta a young czech student who spoke amazing english was to help and accompany me whilst i visited the various experts before i underwent the surgery i was told i had lost 15llbs during my pre op diet so now i weighed 291llbs !!!
After this i was taken to my room and then very swiftly to the operation theatre i was very calm and strangely relaxed the team wished me goodnight and i woke up two hours later back in my room groggy and nauseous but ok, i vomited quite alot at the beggining which is one of the side effects of the operation they gave me painkillers and a drug to help the nausea and after a while i was fine , i spent the next 48 hours in the clinic with the best care all the nurses were so helpful and listened to your needs i didnt really experience any pain or soreness just from the infection i got from the canular in my arm.
i went back to my apartment on the thursday afternoon and went for a walk in prague centre as i felt really good i did the same on saturday and sunday monday came round so fast then it was time to fly home , one final check up and i was free to go .
i flew back on monday 16th april 2012 , to start a long weaning process of liquid and puree diets over the course of 6 weeks to get my new stomach used to food again.
This is now when my new life trully starts …….