Last year I decided to seek help. It was a really big step for me to admit to myself that I didn’t think I could walk this journey alone, so I made an appointment with my GP.
On appointment day I didn’t think I would be so nervous and part of me thought I might back out of talking about why I was really there. I was worried about what the Doctor would say, would she poo poo me and dismiss my feelings? I wasn’t even sure what I wanted the outcome to be let alone what I thought they would suggest. Would they send me to a Dietitian? a Nutritionist? would they even take me seriously?
The Doctor was really nice, and although I did have to push through the obvious suggestions of cut down carbs, eat more vegetables and exercise more (I mean doh! people, do you not think I have tried that over the last 10years!!) we did make progress when she started to listen to me properly.
She suggested having some blood tests to see how things were on the inside, we checked sugar levels (as i had showed up as pre-diabetic in the past) cholesterol and a few other bits and bobs. As a throw away comment towards the end of the session she happened to mention weight loss surgery, and although I didn’t think I was ‘in that place’ I asked more about the criteria. (My mother happened to be on the weight loss surgery journey so was interested to find out more anyway) She brought up the NHS website and we went through all the criteria’s to be able to be put forward to it. I met every single criteria, it was a real low for me. How could I meet all the criteria? How could I have let myself get to that point? We finished up the appointment making a new one to give me a chance to think about it and to come back in to review the blood test results.
Two weeks later I headed back to the GP’s. Results were in and it was official I was no longer pre-diabetic, I was full on diabetic (type 2) and was prescribed with Metformin. My cholesterol was also high so was prescribed Atorvastatin. I knew then that I needed to take proper action to put my health first and if surgery could help me achieve the best results then I would certainly investigate further. I asked for the referral.
It has been almost 12 months since that GP appointment and so far I have attended the initial group session to provide much of the information regarding options for surgery as well as pre and pose lifestyle changes required. I have met with the Surgeon and anaesthetist to further discuss my suitability and best options for me personally should I choose to go ahead with it. I also met with the psychologist (which was another group session) it was really useful and I’ll write a separate blog about it. During this time my mother had her gastric bypass (Dec 2017) so it has been interesting to journey with her and experience it first hand while considering it myself.
My next appointment is May 2018 and I’ll be meeting with the Surgeon again too give him my decision on which type of surgery I am electing to have.
The road ahead is long, they say it can take up to 2 years before you have your surgery and it is certainly a life long commitment. Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix, it is not a lazy option, it is a TOOL to help weight loss. As with any surgery there are many risks involved including infection, heart attack, hair loss and even death. When mum had her surgery she bled internally during the op and was coughing up blood for 24hours. Added to the risks is the fact that there is no guarantee that you will keep weight off once you’ve lost it or even that you will lose it in the first place. If you don’t ‘follow the rules’ and make life long lifestyle changes it will be all for nothing!
I’ve not 100% decided to have the surgery but I am certainly leaning towards it at the moment. If you are post op or considering having surgery I’d love to hear from you so do get in touch. I am absolutely NOT a medical professional so can’t give medical advise but I can have a listening ear!
All the best x