Waiting for Sleevie Wonder...- United Kingdom, GB

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Hi there, I am in the very early stages of the...

Hi there, I am in the very early stages of the process of Sleeve Gastrectomy. I am forty five and have been overweight to some extent from around the age of six. In 2007 I was diagnosed with a rare auto immune disease which causes muscle weakness and extreme fatigue, among other symptoms. I am basically allergic to my muscles, my bodies macrophages (killer cells) treat my muscle tissue as though its a pathogen and much of it has been destroyed.

I spent three years in hospital, on life support for seven months and fed by tube for 2.5 years and still I gained weight, due to total inactivity and medications such as high doses of steroids, administered by IV. Unfortunately the illness has left me in a wheelchair, I am unable even to stand and need twenty four hour care.

After discharge in 2010 I returned to our adapted home, (I am married, no children) and continued to gain weight. My rheumatoid arthritis specialist, yes I have that too!!, referred me for surgery, something that has left me with very mixed emotions. At my first psych evaluation the doctor said he normally 'tries to talk people out of surgery', but he was trying to convince me to at least see the surgeon. He felt that my medication and lack of ability to exercise would make it very difficult to lose and keep off.

And we all know that's the crunch isn't it? Not regaining the weight!

Last year I lost about fifty pounds on a hospital supervised very low carb diet but it just isn't sustainable, I probably regained it, and I have too much to loose. I met with the Dietician last week and I am on a more balanced diet, I need to lose 42 pounds before surgery. Only once I've done this will I be able to start the two week liquid diet.

I am laughingly calling my prospective sleeve 'Stevie Wonder' but I know this isn't a wonder solution nor a magic wand. I catch myself thinking, 'I can't wait until after surgery and then I can eat 'nice' things but my sleeve will make me lose anyway'. NO. It's this thinking that got me here.

I don't know my exact weight as I have to be weighed in my chair, we think that weighs around 280 Lbs/127 kg by itself, it needs to be big because I am :( that's so shameful to admit and yet not one of you know me. I estimate I am about 300 lbs and I would like to be under eleven stone which is about 150 lbs/68kg. Phew all those conversions are hard. You see I think in stones and pounds (British), they weigh me in kilograms, and most people on here seem to use pounds. Either way I'm losing half of me.

Main concerns are recovery as I have to be turned in bed, dressed, and use a hoist. Recovery in relation to the twenty meds I take every day too. The main one about the op itself is going into hospital voluntarily, I spent three years there, away from my husband (we'd only ever spent one night apart) and all my friends and family, my beloved dogs who I didn't see for over a year, and frankly I think I must be mad to choose to go in again.

Last time I was supposed to be for four days and look how that turned out!

I'm not scared to die, I've come close too many times to care now, and I very much doubt I would, but infections etc scare me. As far as after its psychological, food has been so much to me for so long, it feels like they're asking me to get a divorce. I don't know how I'll be anything other than I am, it's been so long. I also worry about loose skin, I know I would never have an op to remove that, they have refused to do my gall bladder removal because of the risks. I guess at this point I'll die anyway if I don't lose weight.

It's not all doom lol. As any very overweight person will tell you, there comes a point where it's just too hard to continue being so big, maybe, just maybe I could stand if I lost enough weight and gained some muscle strength. I'd love to drive again!

150 pounds is what I weighed at 14, I don't even know what it's like to be a healthy weight.

Could maybe some peeps who've had gastric surgery, be it bypass or sleeve, tell me how it feels to be slim after many years of being heavy? I'd be so grateful for any insight.

So that's me - I will be weighed again in November and meet the Professor who will be doing my op, it's National Health Service (NHS) so it's no money to pay out and no insurance to convince, he just has to make the final decision as to whether I'll get through it. I have more psychology consults in October too. Until then it's

Hang on a minute!

I'm lying awake thinking about my diet and surgery and something occurs to me. the Dietician said I had to lose just over 14kg/~3st/42 pounds. If five percent of my body weight is 42 pounds then I am in way more trouble than I thought...then I realised, I have to be weighed in my chair and she hasn't deducted its weight!!! And it weighs over 280 pounds, jeeze I'd be dead at the combined weights. I need to give her a call I think. The better news is I need to lose 17 pounds to satisfy the surgeon, phew!!!

So far so...missing bread

I'm doing okay on the diet, I haven't had a day yet where I've gone over my allowance and I've even started eating breakfast! Before this I wouldn't eat until about six PM and then pick all evening until 11. I could get more calories in those five hours than is acceptable in a one day. I've found the lack of carbs hard, all my snacks and meals seemed to revolve around them, but we've found a way and I can eat a lot of veg to compensate. All this water loss means many trips to the loo. I'm trying to give up soda too as I won't be able to have that post op. I wish I could weigh at home to see if I've made progress.

Calling for an Ark

Has anyone else experienced ridiculous numbers of trips to the loo? I am peeling for England! I know it's a good sign, glycogen breaking down, water being released and all that but I can't go through the night! Today my husband had to run some errands and my regular personal assistant is on maternity leave, my father in law just comes round to stay with me, get me a drink or something like that. Hubby had been only gone an hour and, you guessed it, I needed the loo. Now, I love pa in law but no way is he taking me for a wee! So I had to call poor old hubby and he had to race back. He just made it. Anyway nothing else to report and I've got to go now...you can guess why ;)

It's all in the mind...

This week has been tough, I burnt my hand making some glass sculptures, although luckily not very badly, the husband and I had a really silly row and I said some things which weren't fair, and I'm feeling guilty because it's my Dad's birthday tomorrow. We're estranged from my parents, with good reason, but he's 82 and I'm an only child...the guilt.

Anyway the point of telling you all is this, I'm down so what do I want to do? Of course, I want to eat. All I keep thinking is 'a Chinese meal would cheer me up' or 'I deserve something 'nice' ( nice translates to unhealthy or a poor choice of calories) because I've had a bad time'. I can tell myself until I am blue in the face that what I deserve is to treat my body with respect, and that it's about time my mind realised my body is suffering for its problems...it's not my body's fault.

Eating a Chinese takeaway won't help my relationship with my parents. I don't know what will but I know it aint Duck in plum sauce and fried rice... /:(

Chocolate won't alleviate anything, all it will do is make me feel guilty about something else.

I don't want to brag, but I'm a pretty intelligent person...so why can't I change the way I think and accept these simple truths. I'm not a self help book 'love yourself' type, us Brits tend not to be :) but I do need to understand how to stop being so unfair to myself.

Gulp, gulp and gulp some more...

It's quite ironic really. At the group session the dietician told us we'd never be able to chug down a glass of water again, post surgery of course. Some people kind of groaned but hubby and I laughed. I was fed nasally for several months so I didn't eat or drink normally. The liquid that went down the pipe through my nose and into my stomach stopped me being hungry but the thirst was a living nightmare, especially as I drank three litres of water a day before my illness. They wouldn't even trust me to use water when they brushed my teeth, because they knew I'd try and drink it. Even though I knew I couldn't swallow and it could go straight to my lungs, plus I had a breathing tube through my neck so that wouldn't have liked it. But all the time I watched people drink, it became an obsession. I would make my visitors gulp down drinks and watch their throats, weird I know!!! So four years after I started eating and drinking normally I love to gulp water. You have to laugh don't you? The universe has a funny sense of humour.

As an aside, I had a doctor tell me (not from my team) that a VGS wouldn't be enough to lose the two hundred I need, and that I need a bypass. The bypass is out if the question because of a complication of my illness... I'm determined to get it all off though! I don't see the surgeon until November. I just want a date, even a month of when it's likely to be. Now I'm committed I just want it done and over with. I think I've lost the 17lbs I needed to. I was trying not to turn this into a diary, and stick to actual progressions, but you are all so supportive and it feels good to share. I don't want to go on about it at home, and the wider family don't know.

Good news and Cedric.

There you go Alicia, here is Cedric the newest addition to our family and a little brother to Bert, our pointer.

Today I had my final psych evaluation and the Dr, Dr Kendrick! was very nice. He says he is prepared to recommend I undergo surgery as he's convinced I understand all the ins and outs of the actual procedure and the issues which may raise themselves after the surgery. We talked at length about my fears regarding my ability to come to terms with the amount I will be able to eat, the emotional component of my eating and where I could fail if I didn't address those issues. I told him I only scared about one thing, and that's failing. This is the last chance saloon as far as I'm concerned. I'm a failed dieter of 35 years standing, since the age of ten. If I can't do it with the help of the sleeve and the support of experts then that really will be the final straw and I'll have gone through it all for nothing. I'm determined I won't fail, I can only go at it as educated as I can be, with as much strength as a I can muster and a knowledge that this is it, it's put up or shut up time. I'm not big on denial, I know what I do and how unhealthy it is, but I need to learn to stop giving myself permission to be so destructive. I hate being told no, but I have to learn to accept it.

After that he took me to be weighed himself. I'd explained about the paperwork being incorrect and he'd checked, agreed and changed it. I need to lose 8kg or about 17lb to have lost 5% of my body weight and satisfy the Professor. I've lost 11 since my last appointment, so he was pleased. He wants me to continue as the lower my weight at time of surgery the better. I am currently a very shameful 150 kg/330lbs/23.6st, but today is the last day I will ever be this heavy, I'll never see that weight again.

Next update is after my first meeting with the surgeon, on December 2nd.

Thank you for all your support, especially Kirsty, you've all given me hope that I can do it.

Fairly pointless appointment.

I had an appointment with the dietician yesterday, I wasn't sure what it was for, maybe just for a weigh in to see how I'm doing. As it was they had mistakenly put me in again for the group session, which I'd already done. I saw the specialist nurse instead and she gave a leaflet about the surgery and explained why we have to follow a clear liquid diet post surgery for two weeks. She said the staples and cauterizing doesn't completely seal the cut on the stomach, only the scarring does that and it takes two weeks. They don't want any food in there which will cause the stomach to churn whilst the healing occurs.

The waiting list is six to nine months and the surgery is only at the weekend because they do cancer surgery in the week.

I'm getting bored of the diet already, maybe it's because I lost what I need to and I'm a bot complacent now? I'm fighting it but it gives me concern about how I would be after the surgery when I have no choice. They remove the stomach not the mania I have about food. I wish I were normal.

The nurse asked me to write down why I want the surgery and keep it. I thought I'd write something like 'to improve my health, avoid co morbidities' but that would be just me saying what I think I should. If I was to really say what I wanted, I'd say 'to be left alone'

On the waiting list!

I saw the surgeon a couple of days ago and he was very nice, he seemed positive about the surgery. He advised me the only bump in the road we could come across, apart from hidden conditions, would be if the anaesthetist had reservations, but he said this is unlikely. The waiting list is six to nine months and I should be in for two or three days, maybe a little longer because of my other problems. He did tell me the mortality rate on this surgery is 1%, that's the national average, which seemed high, but then again surgery is risky on people with high bmi and maybe other issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.

I'm not afraid of the surgery.

Process rumbles on.

Since I last updated I have see the dietician a few times, a specialist nurse who had no idea why I was there :) and had a meeting with the consultant anaesthetist, everyone seems happy for the operation to go ahead and we are looking any time from July to October.

One horrible thing happened. I have a new wheelchair which is 80 pounds heavier than my old one, the scales I use in hospital are ones I can drive onto. The problem is the new chair takes me over the weight limit so they have no idea what my weight is. :( I know it's not my fault the chair is heavier but I felt very humiliated to be too heavy for scales designed for a person plus chair, and bigger ones than normal because they are in an obesity clinic.

I lost my required weight but I guess I've put it back on, I hope that doesn't mean they'd cancel my op...although part of me would be happy if they did...and I don't have a handle on my eating at all. My husband tells me if I could diet successfully I wouldn't need surgery, he's right to a degree but if I can't get my head into the game how will I ever cope with the post op diet?

The pre op one doesn't scare me, because I know it has to be done. The dietician told me about a man who got as far as the op, but he'd 'cheated' on the liquid diet and his liver was too big still. The surgeon refused to do the op and closed him up. I can't imagine what a crushing blow that would be, so I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen to me.

I know what my problem is, I want the results without the work!

So, I can't post numbers because I don't have them and I don't have a date so I can't post that. I'm reading all your reviews and trying hard to stay positive. Those of you who have been sleeved are doing so well.

Only a month!

I have a date, Saturday 3rd May. Gulp.

Processing the news.

Only a month away, that knocked me for six at first! I've spent the last couple of days attempting to get my head around the news, it's not the op or the recovery which bothers me, it's voluntarily entering a hospital again. Those of you who've read my story know I was in hospital for a number of years, so I have reason to be extra avoiding of the places!

My friend helped a bit by asking if I could tun it on it's head and think of it as my choice this time, I'm in control. It did help but there's this nagging voice that tells me I was only supposed to be in for four days last time....

I figure I won't be the quickest out, not with my other health issues, but I pray it won't be more than three nights.

I'm adding pics. I don't have many of me for obvious reasons. The day these were taken was a really happy day, but I look at the pictures and all I can see is my swollen face from weight and steroids and how huge I look...and old all of a sudden. In the one with Cedric my skin looks dry, I realised I stopped looking after myself so well when I got this big, there didn't seem any point. So I'm changing all that too.

This surgery, this tool, is all about finally looking after myself.

Count down to the yoghurt....

I have just finished a meal that contained roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and yorkie pud...my last supper you might say as my pre op diet starts on Saturday, just four days away!

I can have 5/6 yoghurts and two pints of milk per day. I hate milk so I'll just have yoghurt.

Today I saw my primary doctor (GP) because some of my meds for my auto immune disease are very large and I need the liquid versions. Thank goodness for the National Health Service, the solution is £108 for five teaspoons but I get it for free, phew. I really am grateful to not have to pay anything toward this process.

That's it really. Hubby has been buying me some new nightwear for the hospital, and various clear soups and protein shakes for after surgery. He's the best.

I see the dietician on Thursday and then I go for my pre op checks on Monday. After that it's waiting for May 3rd.

Things that make you go hmmm

It's been one of those days.

I know I'm a bit tense about the pre op diet, I'm sure it won't be as bad as I think but it's that psychological thing again..."you're taking my food away?!", so my father in law's behaviour didn't help.

Don't get me wrong, they are both great, even more so because I don't talk to my family anymore, they've been supportive since my illness, but sometimes he says things that I consider insensitive bordering on mean.

We have a niece and three nephews, all teenagers, their Mum is hubby's sister. She and I haven't always seen eye to eye and she sometimes has a few digs here and there. Mainly for embarrassment reasons I don't want the kids or SIL to know, she would have some ammo and I don't want to explain it all to them, part of me also feels I am a bad example to them for taking this route. Or being so obese in the first place, although both their parents are, that makes my SIL all the less easy to understand. Anyway, I am planning on telling them, if they ask, I'm having gall bladder surgery. Both inlaws know this and know not to tell.

But father in law, don't ask me why, keeps making reference to a 'diet', and what I can't eat afterwards. He thinks he's joking I guess but he says things like 'we'll come around with fried chicken so you can watch us eat it' . They are keen gardeners and when he tells us he's planted x he makes sure to say 'not that you can eat it', about things like potatoes and corn.

Hubby thinks the world of his dad, as he should, and he hates bringing up anything difficult with anyone. He watched my dad speak to me like shite for 18 years before he snapped finally. So I know he won't want to tackle the subject of confidentiality and consideration. FIL won't take me seriously, and I know I'll get upset or angry, I'm pretty on the edge you see.

I don't want to push him to say something, I guess his dad would stop if he saw he upset me, but I wish I could trust him to keep our confidence. I almost wish I hadn't told them but that wasn't an option, we spend so much time together.

Thank you guys, I wanted this off my chest. I don't have anyone I can talk to and be honest with.

This feels like a nightmare...

I've just been for my last group session with the dietician. As I mentioned before my new wheelchair is 60 pounds heavier than the old one and it's taken me over the scale limit, so they can't get a weight for me.


Sigh, now they've just realised they won't have a weight from which to work out the anaesthetic. For some reason the dietician said she wanted me to follow the liquid diet for three weeks, which I don't have, so she mentioned putting the surgery back to the 10th.

If that wasn't bad enough, she just called me and said she needed to speak to the team about my surgery, as it seems as though I must have gained weight since last August. I know I probably have, if I could lose on a diet I wouldn't need the sleeve. I lost 55 pounds and I could have gained half back, no way of knowing.

If they ask me to diet until I can be weighed, maybe as much as another 60 pounds to counteract my chair, and cancel the op I don't know what I'll do.

Even worse we have two public holidays coming up so I won't know until Tuesday, and I have to start the liquid diet on Saturday, maybe to be told I'm not having the op anyway.

I need prayers, positive vibes, anything. I don't know what to do.

Moved to the 10th

I need to do the liquid diet for an extra week and my surgery has been moved back by one week. At least they are doing it still, I wish I didn't have to do that extra week and I can see any reason why, I still won't have a weight, but I'll get through it.

The dietician is still off the Christmas card list though.

Much calmer now

Wow, I was in a heck of a state earlier, if I'd run into the dietician again I'd have rung her scrawny little neck (no lie she's about 90lbs but it's a bit mean to call her scrawny, she's just a teeny little Asian/Indian lady) but she did put me through the worry of the op being cancelled and she's managed to get me put back a week for no other reason than 'she *thinks* I could do with longer to shrink my liver'. There were patients there much bigger than me and they all got to keep their dates and do a two week liquid diet.

I felt like she was against me instead of being there as a source of support and information, I came home and cried buckets until the specialist nurse called and told me I was still on, just 5/10 instead of 5/3. I didn't have the heart to ask her why I needed an extra week, I was just too relieved it was happening.

I'm trying to stay positive now. One of my fears was that I'd follow the diet and my liver wouldn't shrink enough, that won't happen now I have an extra seven days on yoghurt and milk. I even feel more positive about the liquid diet, and not so fearful of it.

I knew I'd have to jump some hurdles and I'm in faster than I thought and at no cost to us, so I'm trying to take comfort now. If it was cancelled I don't know if I'd have felt tempted to tell them to forget it all together. Probably not, I'd never forgive myself.

My poor dh has a terrible head cold and all I've done for most of the afternoon was snap at him and cry, I've been apologising profusely since of course but sometimes I think that's not enough. Of course if I catch his cold and my op is cancelled he might get moaned at some more.

I'm sick of myself today, thank goodness RS is here, even if no one read this it helps to write it down.

Hello from the yoghurt zone.

My stomach thinks I hate it. I've never been good with milk or milk products, they make me nauseous at best (yoghurt), to actually sick (milk), so today my stomach feels decidedly icky. My husband asked the dietician if I could have some protein drink he'd sourced from the Internet, recommended for WLS, per volume it has less calories than milk, more protein, less fat and same on everything else, have this instead of the milk. But she said no, she said if I was really struggling I could have 1 1/2 pints rather than two but no less. So today I've had two huge milky coffees , taken an anti nausea pill, and about two thirds of my yoghurt. I wish I could have more but my mouth is watering like I'm about to throw up.

At least I'm not hungry though, I feel too sick :)

Hopefully I'll adapt some time during the next three weeks, I hate taking anti emetics for this.

Rachel's low fat rhubarb yoghurt tastes quite nice, I can recommend it. I wish I could just tolerate it better.

This too shall pass huh!

Just pass quicker please...

Day five of the yoghurt and milk diet and I think I'm getting used to it more. My relationship with food is so effed up that I actually feel panicky if I allow myself to think about how much longer I have to do this. I am constantly having to take my mind off it. Which is why today was pretty bad...

A few months ago when I saw the psychiatrist I asked what he thought about us having no unhealthy foods in the house when we have guests who enjoy these things. I was mostly talking about our teenage niece and two nephews. He asked me if I allowed people to smoke in my home and around me, and I said of course not. It was a good analogy, and I know I need to clean up completely, and the best way for me to do that is just remove temptation. I'd sooner give the kids a £ here and there for candy and chocolate than have it at home where I know it's around. My husband and I agreed that on their first visit when I was on pre op diet he would wait until they we're leaving and give them what naughties we had. To that end he hid the stash (the just go and get the tub we keep it in, not even asking first you see) He promised faithfully he wouldn't sneak them things, as the 14 year old girl has a habit of being spiteful and saying to me 'oh you can't have this can you?' And then make a big deal of eating it, saying how good it is etc. he promised he wouldn't feel guilty and give in to them.

So today was visit one, and yes you guessed it, in walks niece with the tub saying 'uncle says I can't offer these to you as you've got to diet' then everyone, her, nephew and inlaws tucked in. This prompted an hour conversation, I kid you not, about Subway, Pizza, breakfast, you name it. I know it wasn't done deliberately, although we took your advice and spoke to father in law, lot of good that did, NOT, and it took Ma in law to notice me crocheting furiously and trying not to think about it.

I'm sure everyone will think I'm over reacting, but I feel hurt he let me down and so angry that he broke his promise. He said he "didn't like to say no to her"!!!!! He didn't have to, she was having all the sweets just an hour later when she left!!!!

I didn't even want to talk to him about it because I felt so let down. Maybe people who have husbands who aren't supportive will think I'm going OTT, but he talks a big game about being supportive. Buys all these protein things for me to try, and then hurdle one and we fall. Objectively I know I have separate issues about the kids and that is affecting me too, when they are here he completely ignores me and nothing is too much trouble. Yet he's my full time carer and gets paid to do it as a job, but when they are here I can't even ask for a drink.

Waaaaaaay off subject!! This 'review' is getting too much like dear diary and no but me is interested in my ramblings I'm sure. I'll try and get it back to something I'd want to read, promise. And I keep my promises :)

And yet more changes...

But for the better this time. I went for my pre op this week, it was still the same date despite my sx being moved back by one week, it was pretty tough sitting and talking with the ladies from my group who are being done this Saturday and have 'only' done two weeks on the liquid diet, anyway...

The nurse asked me to 'hop onto' the bed and when I told her I can't stand because my muscle wasting disease her face dropped. She told me there was no way I could go there on the day of surgery as planned because they don't have the facilities to care for me, eg move me from my chair to a bed, or take me to the bathroom. She called the ward I'll be on for advice and she came back and said I will now have to be admitted the day before surgery. This is to ensure I am in bed and on the ward ready, the staff up there have the equipment and numbers needed to move me (must be two staff when hoisting'). I'm pleased about that because it was a worry, one more night doesn't bother me at all, funnily enough, I know the routine of that place back to front :) it's post op I want to be out.

I still have worries, I'll list them and then I can tell you how many I was right about ;

They won't have the right size sling for me, the ones I have fit my track hoist, not a mobile one.

No one will have ordered a pressure mattress. I can't roll over or change position in bed and need one in case of pressure sores.

I've had to order special liquid medication from my doctor, because my capsules are too big to swallow post op and can't be broken. When you enter hospital you have to give your medication in, I just hope I get that back okay. (It's happened before)

Of course I could be concerned for nothing, I hope so. Surgery is difficult enough if you are 'normal', but for the badly disabled it is especially harsh. My husband and my PA care for me very well at home but you can't expect the same level of care in hospital. Except for ICU and I don't intend to go there again unless I'm visiting our nurse friends :)

So, in a week and a day I'll be going in!

Some pics...

I don't have very many, it's a shame because I like to remember these times with my family, but I hate to see myself. The one with the plate (lol) was at my in laws, the first time I'd been in another person's house for six years (since I developed myositis and had to use a chair. No one else has access in their homes :(, including my parents. Wouldn't it be amazing if I could lose so much weight I could use my withered muscles again?)


Can you believe it?

Only five sleeps to go!

I'm due to go in on Friday but as yet I haven't been told what time to arrive or what ward to report to. It's a Bank Holiday (public holiday) today so there's no point calling the dietician, who I have nicknamed No Ha - it's a play on her name, but I'll be on the phone tomorrow for sure. Until I have that info it still doesn't feel as real as it should. I had an op on my knee a few years ago and the op was cancelled three times because of no beds, so until I'm actually on the ward, cannula and catheter in, I won't be at ease. Yes you read that right, my surgeon has his patients catheterised. It's something I'd rather not have, I suffered one for five months when I was on a ventilator in 2008 and I got so many bladder infections. One took two years to clear up!

Keep wishing me luck girlies (and boysies), I need it until I am actually on that table in Mr Mennon's capable hands. (Surgeons are called 'Mr' in the UK, even though they are still doctors. It comes from the days when butchers were the ones who did operations, yes real butchers not the bad doctor kind).

I'm rambling because I'm nervous. Time for breakfast....aaaah - yoghurt!

(Not) Walking after midnight....

It's just after midnight on Wednesday morning, which means I go into hospital in two days and I'm sleeved in three. It doesn't seem possible. I've only just started putting things together to take with me, mainly a couple of crochet projects I hope I'll feel like doing on Sunday/Monday. I don't want to take too many clothes, it's not like I'll need them for (hopefully) two nights, and hubby will be in every day anyway. The number of nights still scares me a little, as I've said, last time I was admitted I was told 4, and I stayed for nearly two YEARS in hospital and then another year in care home. I know I won't be in that long but anything over the two will make me concerned, even though it might be likely because of my health issues.

I want it done now. I am sick of yoghurt, I'd kill for something savoury, not even fattening, even an onion would do lol. I was reading the BBL forum and I mistakenly looked at some pictures of what a lady ate to gain weight, Cajun food, boy did it look nice. I wanted a shrimp badly! So to counteract that I looked up some before and after sleeve pictures. One man looks amazing but he transitioned from a VSG to a by pass, my MD mentioned one of her other patients needed to do that as she had a lot to lose. I am determined not to have another weight loss procedure, this has to be it.

It's been odd what I've been craving actually, before if I was cheating it would be pizza, Chinese food, or maybe fish and chips (fries). Now I want chicken breast, some vegetables, a steak, even some tuna, all the things I should have been eating all along. I hope I keep this feeling and I'm grateful for things like fish, lean protein and vegetables when I can eat them again.

Goodnight fellow sleevers, those who have just been sleeved and those around and after my date, prayers going up to the universe for you.


I called the nurse, she told me to come to main reception at 4.30 Friday and they would get someone from the ward to come and get me. I'm hoping there's no confusion, I might seem like a worrywart but I know this hospital. The staff are brilliant but admin, well, one hand doesn't know what the other is doing!

Well I'm home, but I'm not sleeved :(

I better start from the beginning...

I got to hospital at 4pm on Friday but didn't get a bed until 9pm! This was because, as predicted, the hoist and pressure mattress hadn't yet arrived. I thought this was all that could go wrong and it was over with, oh no...

I had a crap night, they had me up for most of it trying to get a cannula in, they tried eight different places before one went in inside my elbow and then they told me I was dehydrated! Hardly surprising as I needed a wee when I was waiting for a bed so I didn't drink, then we hit the deadline, so I had a bag of fluids up.

The surgeon and anaesthetist came in the morning (the anaesthetist had put me under when I was in intensive care in 2008) and had me sign all the consent forms. He told me there was 95 percent chance of keyhole surgery the other five being open surgery, and that I was third on the list and they'd send for me at midday. The ward staff put me in a gown, washed me and put on the compression stockings.

Then another not so cool thing, a lady having the same op as me came back from theatre, and she was crying out :( she recovered quite well though and was drinking within a couple of hours, even being told to slow down.

At 2 hubby arrived for visiting, he was pretty surprised to see me looking so well, until he realised I hadn't even been down yet. At about three the surgeon came back with another surgeon and explained they had no high dependency beds available for post op due to a lot of people needing them from other areas, they are rarely needed post VGS but are a requirement by law. The other surgeon, Mr Lam, said he had put me on his list for Tuesday!!! I immediately said if that was the case I was going home, not staying for another three days. So they discharged me and said to wait for a call on Monday telling me when to come in. I had a migraine by this point and spent Saturday night and Sunday morning throwing up, just water as I hadn't eaten since Thursday, still haven't.

This morning (Monday) I had a call from Mr Lam's secretary telling me to report to the day admission ward at 11 tomorrow, I mentioned to her that I need hoisting because I don't have use of my legs, and she said she'd call me back when she'd checked. She called back to say they didn't have a bed for tonight! I was furious, she said she'd speak to the bariatric nurse and she would call me this afternoon. My husband was so annoyed he called the ward sister of the ward I was on and she said to just come in to the day admission at 11am tomorrow and they'd come and get me. All the equipment is still there.

So...I wasn't wrong to worry was I? Don't get me wrong, if I lived in a country where you have to pay for everything I would never have been able to have this done, and we would have lost our house and more back in 2008, but I envy those who can afford to pay and use money to make it go smoothly up to the op.

Let's hope that's the last of the ef ups! Thanks for all your good wishes, I hope you understand that I don't really feel like talking right now. :(

I've had it up to here now.

Tomorrow is off. No beds. Op is June 15th and I restart the liquid diet two weeks before. After three and half weeks on it already.

Some pics from the failed attempt.


Setting myself up for success next time.

I have a June 9th post op appointment with my surgeon (obviously auto generated) so I'm going to keep it and use it as an opportunity to put forward my concerns. In the meantime I am emailing both surgeons and copying in the stupid dietician, in the email I will outline the areas of failure, like the five hour wait, and then further confusion about the op being on the 12th. I know the bed situation is out of their hands, if someone has a bad car crash or a burst appendix I know that's a damn sight more important than elective surgery. The big difference between my surgeon(s) (I discovered two do the sx together) - from what some other VSG'ers on here have is that mine are general surgeons. They aren't bariatric solely and they don't do boobs, noses or facelifts. They are GI and stomach specialists in all fields. So they are called if someone has any medical emergency which requires a sx. Therefore I understand I am sharing their time, and that's the payback for good, free, healthcare.

What I do need reassuring on is that my bed will have the proper mattress, there will be a hoist and sling available and staff will be aware I'm disabled. Instead of constantly asking me to stand up 'for a second' - these things will be in my email.

Wish me luck for all this my friends. Some people are telling me this was a sign and I shouldn't do it, others are telling me to tell the hospital to forget it, and my own husband doesn't want me to go where he can't look after me. But he supports any decision I've made.

On a lighter note, I am eating several small bowls of food, he prepared dozens of these meals for after. He's very down, I think he feels the anti climax more than me because I feel relieved.

That's a sign too, surely?

Pass the Sharpie...

I sent the email as I mentioned in the last post.

And what do you know, at 09.30 this morning I got a call from Jo the specialist nurse. I didn't send the email until, 20:00 last night so they certainly got their asses moving when the surgeon go it huh? She asked ME what equipment I need regarding hoists and a pressure mattress. She reassured me that I could come in on the day of surgery and I would be admitted straight to the ward rather than the preoperative clinic.

I only noticed today that the surgery is Sunday, a day he doesn't normally work, so I'm wondering if they have done that just to make sure I get it done, otherwise I would have needed to go back on the waiting list.

That's why I need the Sharpie, I'm drawing a line under May 10th now and looking forward to June 15th

Of course I am off the liquid diet until June first, I haven't gone crazy, I've tried to stay sensible but I have incorporated some carbs and fibre into my diet. My lactose problem gave me diarrhoea for the last three weeks I've been on yoghurt and milk and I figured my system could use some fibre. It's made a difference in just four days. Plus I have my energy back and I feel so good. I know part of it is because my addictions have been catered to again, and that's why I'm not going the whole way and eating everything I can because it's my last chance.

Tonight I took hubby out to dinner as a thank you for being so good to me. We shared a fish mezze to start, he ate most of the calamari because it was fried, I had the prawns (shrimp) and the crab, and he ate the mackerel and crab. I did eat the two small pieces of bread though, and with butter and they were divine!

I've always said giving up alcohol doesn't both me, and it doesn't because I'm teetotal. But tonight I had a single shot of gin with some tonic as a goodbye to the only drink I ever really liked. And I thought 'damn, I love this, why I am giving it up?' Hubby laughed as it was the first alcohol I'd had in two years :)

But it was nice :)

So ladies, happy frame of mind and all steam ahead.

That's enough about me, now I want to mention something about all you guys, in particular THE PEOPLE WHO STILL UPDATE EVEN THOUGH THEIR SURGERY HAS COME AND GONE. Yes I shouted that, because I feel it's important they get a thank you. It's what Real Self is all about, supporting each other. We all read the reviews and dream of what it will be like when we are doing so well too, share in the not so good aspects, and educate each other through experience and with compassion. I fully understand that some people just need this as a reassurance before surgery, and then after they are too busy enjoying life, working, real life. But honestly, come on now, if your reason for not updating is time, how long does it take to write a few lines saying how you're doing, what you've struggled with, or what you've found you can do? It would mean so much to me and to others.

If you don't update because you don't want to, or for any other reason then all power to ya, it's a free country. If you are struggling and feeling embarrassed, maybe thinking you'd be judged for not doing as well as others, don't. We are all different but we all know how hard it is to be heavy.

I'll leave you with this thought, keep going, this is a marathon not a sprint.

So that's what everyone means when they talk about Real Self's dark side?!

I must admit I've been very lucky up until now, I've only come across sensible, educated and nice people on RS, but I've read the reviews of others who have been made upset by one of the 'drama llama brigade'. It's finally happened to me, well not the upset part, I've experienced TRUE hardship in my life and someone attacking me from behind the safety of a screen doesn't really count.

I commented on a post of a 'model' whose eyes have been ruined by eye surgery, except they haven't and none of the doctors on here can see a bad result. This eye surgery is so bad she doesn't look perfect in pictures anymore and 'can barely function'. Eye roll not included. I actually commented to say I thought she looked good in her pictures, that maybe her before and afters were harder to tell what she means because of differing use of makeup and that I hope she got her money back and her eyes fixed...

Wooo wee what a diatribe followed! I feel sorry for her, but more so for her family, she's clearly one of those types who makes everything about her, even her daughter's wedding and her son's prom :( I feel bad for her.

So why post this, because again it shows me how lucky I have been in my support. Kirsty and Alicia, Eleni and Ebony, 4evabeauty, momofthreepixies, mzphatbooty, phatmommy and so many more. I've missed loads of you out, that's just how many of you there are!

I'm being really careful now I'm off pre op diet, I'm eating plenty of protein and small amounts of carbs, low fat and low sugar - well low refined sugar, I love fruit so I'm making the most of that. After the first few days I did have a bigger meal, although not big my former standards, and regretted it. I felt overfull and horrible, three weeks liquid means my stomach can't seem to handle much. That's another good reason for the diet.

That's all to report, still keep keeping on. I'm watching some great youtube vids to keep me motivated, there are some amazing stories out there.

I'm more determined than ever.

This is me and the best husband in the world at a lampwork class in 2012, I've lost weight since then but I still have the multiple chins. My doctor said the chin and cheeks may still be a but puffy because of the amount of steroids I have to take, but I'll take anything I can get. Even if I have a turkey neck afterward!

Date change, nobody panic :)

They moved my op to Sat 14th, going in on Friday 13th lol. What could go wrong. :)

The nurse rang this morning and her first words were, "there's been a slight change" to which I replied "oh god here we go again". Lol. But it's okay, it's earlier. Which means I start the dreaded yoghurt and milk - tomorrow. Eeeeeeeek :)

Can't wait for the 14th!!

I thought pre op diet would be easier the second time around...

But it's not.

I think I had so much tolerance to eating nothing but yoghurt and in those three weeks I used it all up. Now I'm doing another 14 days I've had enough, three days in :( Sunday I didn't eat at all, I just couldn't face it, yesterday I had one small yoghurt (suppose to have six or seven) and no milk, I just drank water the rest of the time, I had to take an anti sickness pill just to get to sleep last night. Now it's 8pm and I've had three tablespoons of yoghurt and 35 minutes on the loo, TMI.

I don't know how I'm going to do it. If it gets cancelled again I'm done, I swear,

Taking my mind of it all

With some glass beads and pendants...made today.

Some old pics to show how I looked pre illness.

Four more sleeps!

What do you know, the weather has suddenly gone very warm here, this was why I wanted the surgery done earlier or later in the year, but I'm sure it will be okay, I won't be there long (I hope). I haven't packed yet, must do that.


Feeling excited and positive, just hanging out on the Internet and waiting for the call to come in. It should come anytime after 4pm GMT, so an hour and a quarter from now. I can't wait and I just want it to be done, get home and sort my life out. I'm going to sit in the gorgeous garden my husband made for me, until I feel well enough to get back into my studio and melt glass.

We're here!

More when I'm settled.

So far so good.

I had a pretty bad night because the lady across from me was poorly and now I'm too awake to nap. Cannula was in first try! So I'm gowned, washed and in sexy stockings and I've signed the consent forms. They have me on IV fluids which is a pain as I keep needing a bedpan. Keep everything crossed ladies!

Time for a selfie

All done. The pain from surgery isn't too bad, just sore, but the GAS! Omg. That hurts. I'm sipping water slowing but I've brought up some of my meds and I've got Iv pain relief, anti sickness and fluids. I want to go home tomorrow but it looks like Tuesday because of my other condition. I want to gulp water and burp so much but I know I can't. Tired guys xxx won't let me add pic.


Post op 1 day.

The pain from the stomach isn't too bad but the GAS!!! Omg. That hurts. Sipping water, Iv fluid painkillers and anti sickness but threw up meds. Tired guysxxx

Day four post op

Hi laydees. I've been home since Monday lunchtime (day 2) and the pain is very minimal, I haven't taken any pain relief since hospital. In fact the worst pain all through this has been the gas, still not completely gone but just uncomfortable now, and the damage to my right knee during surgery. As some of you know I have rheumatoid arthritis and I had an op on my knee cap about 9 years ago. Since then I have been unable to completely bend or straighten it, but they needed to bend it up in theatre to put in the catheter and then pulled it straight to strap done my legs. I was out for all that of course but it was AGONY when I woke up. My first words were 'bend my kneeeeeeee' :) waking up was a bit scary because for the first few seconds I could breathe in but not out, until the anaesthetist removed the tube, then I was okay.

I haven't eaten yet but I am trying to drink as much as possible. The colder the better so Popsicles are really good. I'm not worried about eating, I know I will when I'm ready. The first two days I brought up all my meds and a lot of old blood out of my stomach but that wasn't too bad.

I have THIRTY SIX staples!! And they all need to come out on Tuesday.

I can't really concentrate to write but I didn't want to cut and run, I'll be on again soon.


Hi all, I feel much more me today. I did a dressing change and hubby sorted out my mangled pineapple hairstyle :) I'm sitting out on our deck with the dogs and admiring all the flowers hubby planted up for me while I was gone. He has been amazing, even when I was grump earlier. He got me up but my knee is still really painful so the poor guy got moaned at a bit. still it's nice to be up and out of bed.

Eating and drinking : I read it dozens of times but until it happens to you I don't think you take it in. My whole waking life is drinking!! Prior to sx I was a huge drinker, especially in this warm weather and I was very fond of ice lollies too. I find anything cold is great, so lots of sugar free squash and Popsicles. The surgeon said I could have juice until I can eat so I've had apple.

Today I am introducing a protein drink, I'm not sure if you can get it in the USA but for us Brits my hubby ordered them online. It's called Arome Cafe Mocha, stats 8.8 fl oz per carton is 15g protein, 2.86 carbs, 100 calories. Serve chilled and it's just like a frappe.

Harder is meds. I take so many and they are huge. I've swapped one for Gaviscon, yuk that's horrid going down and the others I'm taking as I can. The liquid suspension for my main med is foul. I'm putting that in juice.

So that's it. I'm not too bothered about when I start eating, as long as I have my fluid that's okay. Others have reported hunger when they come home, nope, none of that! It actually makes me feel nauseas to think of it.

I am having the odd emotions as reported. It started in theatre before the op, when they were having so many problems transferring me. I felt so stupid in front of all these educated people and wondered what they could possibly think of me. I mean how absurd! An intelligent adult needing someone to mutilate their body just so they can be forced to make a sensible choice. I know it's not as simple as just not eating, and I know I should be pleased that I've actually done something, and I will be...just not yet.

I plan to keep updating. I know how I pore over the post op blogs and I don't intend to take and run :)

Forgot to say

I started my period on the day I came home, Mother Nature thinks she's funny...

Week one slump...

I think it's happened. The time where you just want to be better NOW! Back to normal NOW! One of the main features of this whole process has been waiting for the next stage, it's pretty obvious one would feel that way pre op, but I didn't consider it would stick around. Someone (can't remember who, so if I was you give me a shout) told me that even after surgery you still wish your life away. I feel a little like that. Not that I am poorly, actually the op itself was easier than I thought) just that I want to be able to move on though the process and see some results. Some tangible proof that I'm on the right track. Which is strange because I know now I will be losing a lot of weight.

If anything I'm concerned that I'm not eating enough. Oh well, it will all work out and I'm sure lots of people feel this way, today has been a bit tough that's all. I slept not at all last night so didn't wake until this afternoon, that immediately puts me more than half a day behind on drinking, it was 4pm before I started properly. Also food, I ate about a third of a cup of soup at 7pm and started my first protein shake. This morning I attempted to go to the loo, first bowel movement, but it wasn't that successful and I didn't want to push it. Then post dinner tonight I had 'the' pain that says I needed to go, and it was only just in time and like water. I guess that's understandable as I haven't eaten anything sold in over three weeks.

Things I expected to be harder...

Movement! I need to roll to use my sling and to dress, toilet etc. I was dreading rolling on my incisions but they haven't bothered me at all.

Pain. I had gas pain but no actual pain from the surgery itself.

Recovery. I thought I'd be weaker and not like myself for longer.

Things I didn't take into consideration (or not enough)

When you can only sip you really have to try and stay up on hydration. Yes everyone says it but for some reason I didn't appreciate it like I should have.

Meds. I worried about the size, which isn't a problem, what is hard is I just don't want to take them. I am sensitive to taste and smells.

Unforeseen aches and pains. Throughout this the by far worst thing is my right knee. I would stress to anyone who has joint problems, make sure your surgical team know which joints and what the issues are. Maybe there was no way around straightening my knee but perhaps the catheter should have been inserted when I was conscious. That way I could have helped with what strength I have and prevented over bending. Knowledge is power right? Tell your team if a certain action will hurt you. Even if I could walk I wouldn't be able to right now.

It's not like flipping a switch - you won't jump over to a new you. Everything that pissed you off before still will, if not more. Anti climax is a real thing, you've prepared for this for months if not years and now it's done. Where's the new focus, we need to find one.

Lastly...this week has really shown me why I have a weight problem. Now I have no physical hunger or desire for food I have been forced to examine my emotional relationship with it. I'm bored for one! All that time I spent eating or thinking about it, it seems like every day is 25% longer, and not in a good way. I watch adverts in TV, KFC last night, I have no desire to eat that, I know I can't and I'm not even hungry, if I had it in my hand I would feel nauseous...and yet my treacherous brain was still thinking 'we'll be able to have that again soon' .

News flash!! Your new stomach is small!! If you fill it with all the old crap then you'll lose weight (at first at least) just because of the amount, but you won't be well. Your hair will fall out, you'll have stomach problems, blood sugar issues. Everything that goes in now has to count for something, be nutritious. Think of it this way I love chicken skin, love it. Say I can eat two ounces of food and I have my chicken breast with skin on, I eat the skin first (all fat) and then the remaining room is all that's left for the lean protein. How much decent nutrition am I getting? I'm the old days I could eat both of course, now I can't. And that is a hell of lesson to learn, because of course I 'can', as in I am able to, but I shouldn't.

I've never been good with what I consider self denial, I need to work on changing that 'wrong thinking'.

Back to the water...

Staples out tomorrow

Have six of these dotted about, I was only expecting five.

Bruising from the blood pressure cuff

No wonder my BP was 210/100!

The Lies We Tell Ourselves (Diet Myths)

Hi all. Like most of you I've spent my last year obsessed with all things weight loss, I've read RS obsessively, watched youtube and searched the Internet. Here are some of my favourite 'reasons' for why people don't lose weight...with or without surgery.

1 My ALL TIME FAVOURITE. 'Muscle weighs more than fat'. Not unless you're rewriting the laws of physics it doesn't. A pound of feathers and a pound of lead weigh a pound.

What people mean is (sometimes) the same volume of fat weighs less than the same volume of muscles. Well listen to this, one pound of fat is the size of a grapefruits, one pound of muscle is the size of a plum. One does nothing, the other burns fat. So for a person who is 100 lb + overweight to say they are not losing because they work out, and muscle weighs more than fat, tell them it's bullshit. To have a BMI in the overweight category and have little body fat you're an Olympian. Usain Bolt is technically overweight. Furthermore, all those huge muscles you're gaining use up fat, so basically you're saying all this working out is losing fat weight, replacing it with muscle. That's like saying your foot can turn into your ear. Muscle is hard to build, no one in the gym five times a week and who is hugely overweight is making so much muscle they are maintaining their weight. They are either not working out as smartly as they say they are, or they are replacing those calories in food.

2. "I'm not losing weight but I am losing inches" Do you know anyone who is a 28 inch waist and weighs 300 pounds? Thought not. The weight may be distributing itself, but unless you've lost weight...you haven't lost weight.

3. "I can't exercise because" - why not say that which is true (of me especially) 'I don't want to exercise so I find excuses'. Oh I've got plenty, and mine are good ones too, I can't walk and I only have 50% muscle strength in my body. Does this mean I can't jog or walk, yes, does it mean I can't move my arms or use a hand bike? No. The reason I don't is because it's hard and I can't make myself. But at least I'm honest about it. (Most of the time)

4. 'I have to keep in chips, cookies, xxxxx, in the house for guests/family/the postman'. Tell me something, if you were a real anti smoker and your son smokes would you keep cigarettes in for him? Of course not, second hand smoke kills, so does second hand cookie.

5. 'Eating well costs too much'. Oh come on now! My friend says this, and then she spends $20 on a takeaway. One meal and it's gone. I don't know about in the US but I could get a reasonable amount of fruit and veg from a market or discount supermarket and it would last longer than one meal. What we mean is the burger etc is easier than buying, washing and cooking food. All which burns calories too btw. Like I said, do it if you want to but don't expect anyone to believe it when you say this.

What are your favourites? Or ones you've used yourself in the past?

Do you want to talk numbers?

:) :)
I started this process at a very shameful 365 pounds and today I am........308!!!! Only nine more and I'll never be three hundred anything EVER again. Woo hoo!! Some of you are talking 'Onederland' and I'll be there, but for now the twos sound sooooooo good!!

Foods - I'm cleared for mush this weekend and I have just done an online shop to get things we can blitz. I have protein in the form of fish, some for the freezer in sauce, and some as is. Some salmon mousse and some crab terrine. It will need to be blitzed I guess but I'm looking forward to it. I've got some low fat mozzarella and some Romano cheese (they are the highest in protein per weight). For treats and vitamins I've bought mango pulp and some peaches to whizz up.

At the moment I am still on my frappe protein shakes, they are nice but I get bored because it takes so long. I also had some low fat soft cheese today, about two spoons, and some homemade soup with protein powder added. I have some asparagus for next week, yum!

Drinks - apart from the shakes it's mainly water and cordial. I did get apple juice but it's too sweet for me now, so I've got some still Volvic water with apple added, it's much fresher. I've also bought some Liptons iced tea drinks, I have a hankering.

Exercise - need to do it.

Op and follow up - the staples came out on Tuesday, piece of cake. Wounds look great and there is no pain. Knee is still baaaaad! The hospital are very pleased with me. They told me about the 20/20/20 rule... Food should be no bigger than a twenty pence piece (maybe a dime?), stop eating after twenty minutes whether you've finished or not, and chew at least twenty times.

Other stuff is the same as I've read from all your helpful reviews, eat protein first, then veg and then carb, stop when you are satisfied. Protein should be the size of your palm (this is when you've transitioned to normal foods), fat the size of the end of your thumb, veg is two handfuls and carbs your fist. That seems way too much right now, I hope that continues. I really don't want to stretch my sleeve!

I'm not properly hungry but I know when I need to eat, I still have head hungry, going past places we used to eat at I think I'd like to have this or that, but I know I couldn't eat it even if I did.

So all in all, the most amazing decision I have made for my help. Food was my boss for so long, but no more. I'm so happy!

Back again and it's two weeks out.

Two weeks already?! I feel like I'm always on here and I really hope this blog isn't getting boring, but this is such an incredible experience I want to tell everyone I meet. I'm losing weight! Me!! I'm eating healthily!! I'm a new woman lol.

So two weeks out and I'm allowed to eat food. What that means is no more strained soups and I don't have to rely so heavily on the protein shakes. I'm madly in love with salmon mousse, oh it's so nice to have some texture to your food, but I mince it and mince it with my teeth, even though it's smooth :)

I had a protein shake for breakfast, salmon mousse (maybe an ounce) for lunch and I have so much choice for dinner :) I'm thinking of carrot and sweet potato mash with some of my mozzarella melted in. Sounds divine right? This is the first proper carbs I've had since the op, but I'm not worried, as long as I am getting some protein and feel okay, I'm happy. And I feel marvellous.

Drinking is still a full time job and I've decided if I am drinking all day I'm going to like it, so I have some posh juices and some iced tea. Actually the combination of drinking and eating is tricky. You're supposed to stop drinking thirty minutes before meals, but I don't have meal times. Better sort that out. Not drinking when eating feels wrong too, and I want to, but I resist. I know I feel full just from fluid, and fluid is heavy, so I have to watch that.

What I'm doing good - protein, I really trying hard to eat quality proteins. Varying my diet too. I'm drinking better. I have an amazing feeling of happiness and freedom, which is giving me a great attitude towards my journey. I'm doing better with the meds.

What needs improvement - still a way to go with the meds and vits. Also activity, I must get back into my life. I'm enjoying my internet socialising way too much! I have to start editing again, (I work with fiction authors), pick up that crochet, and most importantly...get into my studio and melt glass.

Tomorrow is my debut as the new me :) I have a friend visiting in the morning and in the afternoon is my PA's daughter's first birthday party. Her mum is like a daughter to us and we love the baby to bits. There will be a party food buffet, my downfall, and I know there will be nothing there I can eat, so I will eat before and take a nice iced drink to have there. It doesn't have to be about the food, its about one year with our beautiful grandpixie.

If you're reading this because you're considering a sleeve I say this, as Iong as you understand the sleeve won't do it for you, then go for it. It's the best decision you'll ever make.

I have photos on my phone but RS won't let me upload them, bah!

Hope this works

Definitely an emotional component to this process.

There I was as happy as the eponymous Larry the other day and now I feel...flat. Yesterday I slept most of the day, didn't drink enough and didn't eat at all. I think Sunday wore me out more than I realised, I'm sure if I was up and walking I'd feel worse from not eating enough. I really am going to work on my drinking and protein.

Bowels - lack of movement in thereof. As I mentioned before, all my muscles are weak and that includes my bowel, I can only 'go' when I really need to. Today I went a little but that was the first time for about five days, how is everyone else in this respect? I suppose it's the lack of volume and fibre so today I am drinking mango pulp mixed with orange, lemon and apple juices. I've had an ounce of salmon and I'm plugging away at a protein shake.

Another reason for the lowness could be that I don't take my iron all the time and I'm not consistent with my anti depressants. I have no excuse here, other than I just don't make myself swallow them. Vitamins have been an issue, the first tablets made me sick, so hubby bought a spray, ditto. I'm going to get some Bassetts Chewy Vitamins tomorrow.

If I had to pick one reason for my lack of enthusiasm for anything I would say it's 'sadness'. I believe I am grieving for my previous relationship with food and the, temporary, pleasure it brought to me. The day doesn't seem as structured now I'm not grazing all the time and the evenings seem so long. I know it will pass though, when I see the psychiatrist I'll talk to him about it.

Losing weight is a great motivator but we have to wait to see the results, and I can only weigh in clinic, food however is instant gratification. And I've always been about that. I just have to shake myself up and stop lounging around with the iPad. No wonder I'm bored, apart from the party the only places I have been are the doctors and the hospital! It's summer and I should be out there.

I don't mean to bring anyone down but I think it bears saying that there could be an element of grief for the old lifestyle, especially before the new one really makes itself known.

Hope you're all doing great!

Vitamin issue solved...

As I've said I've found it hard to take my multivitamin because they make me sick. The dietician wants me to take two (not sure why as they are 100% recommended daily average for everything), we even tried a vit spray, oh yack. But today I found the vitamin holy grail...they are soft, chewy, and have such a nice berry flavour it seemed like a treat, I just chewed em up really small. It's a Brit brand but I'm sure there must be something similar over the pond.

One of my favourite cheerleaders suggested I may be deficient in Vitamin D, and the symptoms definitely fit, I'm going to have it checked. I think there is vitamin D in the Adcal tablets....which I'm also not taking.

Finally I had a call from my GP (MD), the hospital discharge letter grassed me up for not taking all my myositis meds and she was checking up on me...I had a lecture :)

So, here's my promise to me (and my cheerleaders), from now on I will take all my vitamins and my meds, I will also make a serious effort to drink more. In addition to that I am abandoning my iPad during the day and will start being more active, in any way that I can, my knee is much better so there goes that excuse.

You're all my witnesses!


The solution.

I asked hubby to help me get on track with my drinking and meds and this is what he came up with. I can earn up to a pound a day, collected at the end of the month, and stickers. Lol. So funny but I hope it works. Isn't he the best hubby ever?

In need of reassurance.

Hello all. I've done much better these last few days with my water and meds, it's 5pm and I've drunk more already that I was getting in a whole day. But now there's a new problem, I'm so full of water I can't eat!

I follow advice and stop drinking at least 30 minutes before any food, I don't drink with my meals and I can't drink for about an hour afterward, I do all this and yet I still can't eat more than two tablespoons of food. I suppose I should up my protein shakes so I'm getting enough of that at least, but then won't that mean I eat less? They really fill me up. I'm not worried about starving to death or anything, and I feel okay, just a bit tired and weak but it's hard to know if that's this or my myositis, both have the same symptoms. I'm taking my vits so I should be okay on that score.

I was expecting to be including some other stuff into my diet now, albeit puréed. I eat less that half a cup of food per day, is this okay? Or should I be having more protein drinks too? I know we should never compare, but I have read on here where people are hungry after surgery, I never am, and on another website where people can eat half a cup of food per meal. And they're eating three times a day to my twice. (Breakfast is a protein shake).

So my questions are to those who have passed this stage (3 weeks post op) how often do you eat and how much at a sitting on average? How many ounces/ml of protein do you drink? And what is your other fluid intake?

Please be honest, no one is here to judge anyone, I'm the first to admit I could do much better. But I am following orders as to food texture.

I don't really enjoy anything food wise now, maybe that's the texture. Last night I had carrot and sweet potato heavily mashed, and some blitzed white fish. I ate the fish first but when I tried to eat the mash I knew I'd gone too far and I was a bit sick.

Does anyone else find it hard to know when enough is enough? It's not like I'm satisfying my hunger and then stopping, because I wasn't hungry to start with.

Even throwing up is different, please ignore if you're eating :), before it seemed to come from deep in the guts, now it's just what's in my oesophagus. Which makes sense as it's not going down into the sleeve.

Part of me is glad I have such great restriction, and I need to remember that just because I am outwardly healed and fine, it's only been 21 days since I had major trauma to my stomach, it must still be swollen, you think?

Come on vets, what's the deal :)??

Forgot to say

I'm not as active as an able bodied person so I do need less calories, maybe that's why I'm not hungry?

The issues never really go away.

I've mentioned in other places on here about the book I've been reading called Ultimate Gastric Sleeve Success by Duc Vuong, a US bariatric surgeon. Some information was what I'd read in other places but it helped that it's set out in one place and in sections.

Dr Vuong says that the first 6/9 months are the most effective time for your sleeve and therefore the best time to lose weight. He advises getting as much as you can off in that time, before you can eat more normally and it becomes harder.

I was thinking about this tonight. At three and half weeks out my stomach is still swollen, some people believe the opening can be as small as half an inch, so even if I wanted to eat my trigger foods, I can't. I know now that my food issues will never go away completely and I will always have to control them. This evening we went to a concert at our niece's school, and when we came home it was much later than we would normally eat. As a result, every other concert we have attended we have stopped on the way home for fast food (just for me, husband follows a very strict and healthy diet), so of course tonight my brain is in that mode. I wanted that takeaway, oh how I wanted it. So much so I was furious because I knew I couldn't have it. Thank goodness for three things, husband wouldn't eat the leftovers if I did buy it, I couldn't eat enough of it to make it worth while, and I CANNOT throw away good food. Not willfully like that anyway, buying it knowing I would throw away 95%, part is because it's a waste of money and part is guilt at the waste.

This is where Dr Vuong and I disagree. He says if you're going out to eat and you want steak, buy the most expensive cut there is, fillet mignon if they have it, he says you're worth it, and what you don't eat, throw away. You deserve to eat the best you can afford. Wow does that stick in my throat! Spending £25 on steak and then throwing it in the bin, when people are starving in this world? No way doc!

But when will it become okay? When I can eat 25%? Half of it? Even half a portion of fish and chips is way too many calories and huge amounts of fat.

So yeah, I'll always want it I think. I need to use the sleeve to the utmost while it's still so restrictive and pray I can learn to say no to myself when it's not. It's never going to be easy, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

And for those across the pond...

This is fish and chips.

Post op visit with specialist nurse. I'm in the twos!

Yesterday I had a post op surgical visit, I'd completely forgotten about it and thought the next appointment was with the dietician in August, thank goodness hubby is on the ball!

I met my surgery buddy and she's had a rough time of it, she was readmitted for five days because of dehydration, which caused kidney damage, and she is having her incisions packed. She was diabetic post op but is now off her meds, and she lost over 14lbs!

The nurse was very pleased with my progress and couldn't believe how well I'd healed, especially as I take steroids and other healing inhibiting meds. Two of my scars are almost gone, in four weeks! Even more pleasing were the numbers, I'm down another 4.8kg which is 10.5 pounds, for a total of SIXTY SEVEN AND A HALF POUNDS. woo hoo! Of course this exceeds the 9 I needed for twoland, I'm 298.

Once I've lost another fifty, I'm hoping by the end of the year, I will ask my GP for a referral for physiotherapy (PT) to see what I can do about my leg muscles. I haven't a clue how to start thinking about transferring manually from the chair, but it's a goal!

They say I'm doing very well, despite my mobility problems.

And now a cautionary tale proving what we all know. There was another lady there who was done three weeks ago. She only eats cup a soups, (which she shouldn't have been because we were on clear liquids for two weeks) and swears blind she wasn't told to have protein drinks. Which is bollocks because they mention it at every group and it's in all the surgery literature. She said to me 'what's protein shakes?' - even when I explained she wasn't interested though. Her daughter says she drinks less than a glass a day. Guess what she lost? Nothing. She was upset but just wanted to blame everyone else.

Another lady had gained, three months out, and tried to use the muscle weighs more than fat excuse. Boy did they shoot her down, nicely, she was told she'd need to be training 8 hrs a day to be gaining enough muscle to outweigh the fat she should be losing. Of course she admitted to me she was eating a lot of cheese, pasta and bread...

We are our own worst enemies sometimes!

Anyway, the glass is calling to me. Time to drink my protein and make some beads, have a healthy day my girls!

Stomach bugs are the pits!

Ugh what a week! On Tuesday I realised I hadn't had a BM for over a week, so I took a sennakot tablet....never again. I was in so much pain about six hours later and I've been on the loo ever since. The pain on Wednesday meant I didn't want to eat, so I just tried to drink as much as I could and took my vitamins. Thursday and yesterday I spent throwing up, even water. It was totally miserable as there was nothing to throw up and it's not normal being sick anymore. Plus it hurts! Luckily today, touch wood, I am keeping my fluids down so I'm hoping this is the end of it. It's tough to stay hydrated at the best of times and I certainly wasn't going to be readmitted for IV fluids. It doesn't help that it's so hot here (for the UK anyway).

Forgot to say in my last update, my BMI is down 10 points and my BP is now normal. Yay!

Cool page made by Kirsty!

I wish this phase would end.

I haven't been by in a while. Although i have been following you all, and I've written this update in my head so many times.

I feel awful. If I lie down flat, I vomit. The idea of food makes me nauseous. I have no interest in food at all and I don't enjoy anything I eat. If it were up to me, I just wouldn't. Everything tastes bad, even water. I was getting to the point where I could drink almost normally, not gulping of course but decent sized sips, but now I am back to week two standard, up it comes like foam.


At six weeks out I should be eating more normally. A friend who had a bypass told me this analogy, she said that the negatives of her surgery were the size of a tennis ball, and the positives the size of a beach ball, but when she feels down the beach ball can hide behind the tennis ball. I'm not experiencing the postives, my weight loss is just numbers, I'm in smaller clothes but that's it. Because I don't have the use of my legs I am not more mobile, I can't walk further than I used to, or climb stairs without getting out of breath. Health wise i feel worse than I did before the op. It doesn't matter that my thighs are smaller or my belly is reduced, I did this for my health!!!


I know I'll get through this. And I'll tell all this to the nurse at my next appointment. I also know several things have possibly caused my low mood. I couldn't ever keep down my anti depressants, so I haven't taken them for six weeks, after being on them for six years. I know you're not supposed to just stop, but the nurse said it wasn't like I had any choice. I am not taking all my meds for my myositis. There are twenty plus of them and I just throw them up if I try and take them all, however I space them out. I am terrified my myositis will flare and I'll end up back in hospital on a ventilator. I should talk to my rheumy about it, but I just can't face it. I feel so awful inside and out.


It's so hot here. I can't sleep at night so I sleep until noon most days. That puts me back with my drinking. All I want to do is cry but I feel too numb. Last night, mid throwing up, I said to myself 'why did you do this?' My husband heard me and said he wished I hadn't. That really hit me. He's been so supportive and done everything he can to help, but to know he wishes I hadn't done it, well it hit me hard. I wouldn't say I wished I hadn't had it done, because I know I'll get through this, but I wish I could just have a break from feeling this way. Just a few days off to be my old self. Maybe father in law was right, and eating was one of my few pleasures in life. I hated him for making me sound like such a sad case, but I'm a mess right now. So perhaps he had a point, it certainly feels like the joy drained away. I think I need to start back on my anti depressants, maybe half a dose, or see about another sort, I just wish I could face going to the doctor.

It has to get better soon.

From bad to worse.

Thank goodness I'm seeing my GP on Tuesday because I don't think I can carry on like this. I've got to the stage where the sight and smell of food makes me feel sick. I'm throwing up at least once a day, even water is hard to keep down. I'm so scared about my polymyositis, I haven't taken my meds properly for seven weeks. I feel very weak but that could be the starvation. I'm trying hard to get my 30g protein drink down, but solid foods, a teaspoon and I'm done. I'm still taking my vitamins, but apart from that I'm living on ice lollies, I'll have lost a lot if weight by August 11th, but at what cost. I'm getting closer to wishing I hadn't done this.

Devastating and tragic news

Hi, I am Alison's husband,my name is Malc and I'm afraid I have some tragic news regarding my beautiful wife. On December 4th 2014 Alison passed away, bronchial pneumonia was the ultimate cause, but she had suffered greatly with infections,malnutrition and acute and chronic weakness brought about by complications from the gastric surgery.
Just after her last update she was rushed into hospital suffering with extremely low potassium levels and malnutrition. Her sleeve had healed like an hour glass and was restricting all food intake - the problem was corrected but the real damage had already been done. The low potassium had caused something called peripheral neuropathy, basically her peripheral nervous system had suffered irreparable damage, the pathways between muscles,nerves and the brain had been destroyed. This resulted in numbness,pain and paralysis of her arms and legs - as you are aware, Alison was disabled so we were capable of dealing with the reduced mobility but the problems just got worse, she became too weak to feed or take water herself, she lost all dexterity and was incapable of even simple tasks such as using her iPad, this was a devastating blow to her morale. She suffered a major water infection,which totally changed her personality, she had no idea who I was, became very confused and began hallucinating. It took us weeks to get it under control,despite receiving outstanding treatment at home. I tried to convince her to return to hospital but she was adamant that she would not. Malnutrition became a real problem, Alison could not get enough nourishment, we tried everything - high calorie shakes, homemade protein sorbets and soups,even Parenteral feeding. Eventually things started to improve, Alison began to eat more normally - 4oz,4 times a day and we began physio to try and repair some damage, but she suffered a bowel infection soon after which was almost impossible to treat. She had zero bowel control, was incontinent 100% of the time and needing cleaning and pad changes every two hours. Eventually this took it's toll on her skin which began to burn and break down, Alison's disability has always made her a high risk of skin damage and pressure sores but since being under my care we have followed a regime that meant she never once suffered with any skin problems , something we were both very proud of. The last two weeks of her life were the worst, I don't think I slept once during that time,she could not fight off the bowel infection and she was lost to me by that point - she was unresponsive and spent all her time sleeping. Due to her lack of mobility she eventually contracted a chest infection, this was my worst nightmare - I knew that this was the big nasty, but even though things looked bad I never stopped fighting for her - I did everything humanly possible for her, kept her clean and dry,administered IV drugs and spent time comforting and pampering her. I washed her hair,gave her a manicure and pedicure,read to her and cuddled her.
On the morning of the 4th, I was going through my normal routine with her when she finally gave up. She stopped breathing. I immediately began CPR and called the emergency services, who were with us in minutes - they were outstanding,absolutely incredible and got a heart beat, they got her to hospital where she suffered another 2 heart failures before the emergency team stabilised her. I went in to see her, she was unconscious and in a bad way - I was asked if I wanted her resuscitating should her heart fail again - I have been asked this question on more than one occasion in the past - but before I could answer she made the decision for me and slipped away. I have never felt such despair and pain, my whole life had been built around loving Alison,keeping her safe and providing the life she so richly deserved. She was the only thing I needed in life, she was the battery that made me work and now she was gone.....I had no idea how to process that.
Alison gave me many things in life, the two most important things she gave,after love and memories, were inner strength and good friends. My family and friends have been monumental in their efforts to help, but my own strength is what has kept me functioning. I dealt with all the official stuff quickly, planned the funeral and even conducted the funeral service myself, it was something I felt very strongly about - why should I put words in a strangers mouth when I am the one most qualified to talk about Alison. I pulled it off brilliantly, I made the service a reflection of Alison - bright,fun and creative. I told stories,shared funny memories, even had a singalong and got everyone clapping and dancing...Alison would have loved it.
I'm now rebuilding a new life, it miss Alison dreadfully - it's not getting easier to live without her but it is getting easier to accept my new reality. I know I can't wish her back, but I do know she is here within me. I don't follow any religion or have any kind of faith - I believe Alison had returned to the universe, she has become part of nature and in doing so is in everything I touch and see, that thought brings me enormous comfort. I still cry everyday but I can feel her around me ,offering me comfort and support.
My final thought is this - I was totally against Alison having the surgery but she was happy and excited at the prospect of a new life - I knew that if I loved her there was no way I could take that potential away from her, so fully supported her decision. Do I think it was the wrong thing to do ....Hell yeah!!, but for anyone out there thinking of having this done I have this to say.....follow your heart, if it's truly what you want then good luck to you, but don't be afraid to question the experts,asked to meet with the surgeon,interview him,let him know you are not just another name on a list. Confront the dieticians, in my experience they are arrogant,patronising people and all the information they give you can be found in a book or on forums such as these. If you are not happy let them know,ask for second opinions,be a nuisance and if you suffer any post op problems,no matter how insignificant , act immediately.
I want to thank everyone who helped Alison, she drew enormous confidence and hope from the advice given.
I wish you all well and hope you all find what you need and deserve.

Closing Review to comments

Hey All,

This is the RealSelf Admin Team. As you all now know, Allie tragically passed away a short while after her surgery. It's now been a couple of months since her husband did a final update and people have had a chance to leave their condolences. We now feel this is an appropriate and respectful time to close the review to future comments. Allie's review will still be accessible to read, but will no longer be able to be commented on.

We leave you with some of the happiest photos Allie shared with us. She was so full of life and love and that is how we will all remember her!

The RealSelf Team

Professor Mennon.

The surgeons were Mr Menon and Mr Lam at UHCW in the UK.

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