So it’s 22:30 on Friday night, and I can’t sleep.
Tomorrow I’m having an operation to remove 80% of my stomach, a sleeve gastrectomy. I’m probably going to be talking about this a lot in the coming weeks, so I’m idling time away writing a bit of background.
Why bariatric surgery?
Because I’m 162cm tall (5′ 4″) and weight 111kg (17 1/2 stone), which means I have a BMI of 42 (off the scale of the NHS BMI calculator!)
I already have lots of medical problems, and being stuck at “morbidly obese” meant I was staring down the barrel of a whole lot more. My weight is already contributing to high blood pressure, my heart is overtasked and won’t be able to keep this up forever.
I am mostly house-bound, sometimes bedbound, no matter how hard I’ve tried, I simply don’t have what it takes to lose (and keep off) over 8 stone of body fat. I’ve tried medical diets, including fat-absorbtion reducing medication, nothing has worked long term. I simply need too few calories to sustain my immobile lifestyle, and it’s very, very difficult to eat under 800 calories a day, everyday, without fail. Medical intervention was necessary, and surgery ended up being the only viable option.
Why Sleeve Gastrectomy?
After researching all the options, I went into the surgical consult with a view to a gastric bypass. The surgeon explained that whilst this was technically an option, it would significantly impact the absorbtion of my current medications which would probably result in a wide range of side effects. The gastric sleeve would provide the stomach reduction I needed, without impacting absorbtion and having unintended effects on medication needs.
Why private surgery?
Our NHS is criminally underfunded, waiting lists for bariatric surgery are very long. I am extremely lucky that private surgery was an option and meant I could get on the road to recovery and our of the “morbid” part of obesety as quickly as possible. Secondarily, I have two spinal disk bulges (slipped disks) in my lower back, these are starting to compress nerves and decompression surgery is waiting in the wings if I can’t find a way to ameliorate the problem. The only way to avoid spinal surgery is to loose significant weight, fast. The only way for me to lose significant weight, fast, is private surgery.
So, here I am, at 23:00, desperately wanting to sleep. My alarm is set for 05:00 so that I can take my medications before going nil-by-mouth and I am so, so, so hungry.
RIght, enough for now – I’ll be back with post surgery updates, I’ll also talk about the pre-op diet and post-op diet processes another time. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below. In the meantime, look after yourselves as best you can!