|My stomach is not made of felt.|
|It is now, though, the size of a banana
But seriously, I am 12 days post surgery and I'm still trying to get my head around the significant change that I chose to make to my life (with assistance from our ever brilliant NHS). I had a sleeve gastrectomy on 16 July. First time having anaesthetic and surgery, and first prolonged stay in hospital since I had meningitis in 1982. I was pretty freaked out by the whole idea of the hospital stay, probably more than the surgery.
I've touched on having weight loss surgery briefly in my blog before. It's something I really hadn't considered before. With my obesity and fertility issues, I was offered the surgery to help with weight loss and then the possible knock on effect from that would be qualifying for IVF. So I went with it.
It's not as simple as people seem to think, I had to have psychological input before I was approved for the surgery. And I have a lot of changes to make to my lifestyle. So I thought I'd write a blog to try to explain a bit about 'my journey' (trust me, I hate that phrase as much as you do, but it's the best way to define it).
This is MY journey, no-one else's. So to be quite blunt, my opinions are the only ones that matter so therefore:
1. Please don't ask me if I'm hungry, it doesn't help. I am not a side show circus freak. FYI: ghrelin (the hunger hormone) is produced in the part of the stomach that was removed.
2. In the same way, please don't ask me what I'm eating or if I'm eating. Quite frankly, that is only the business of me and my dietitian.
3. Keep your expectations of MY weight loss to yourself. I don't want you to tell me that you thought I'd have lost more weight than I have done. I already have low self esteem so your comments will more than likely hinder my recovery.
4. Along with physical recovery, I need time for mental recovery too. I have to relearn how to eat (effectively, I'll be relearning how to eat as my friends' baby is learning how to eat, so we can be chow pals).
5. Encouragement is GOOD. If you can encourage me in any way, that would be delightful. If you don't think you can, that's also cool, but I'd ask that you keep your negative comments to yourself please. This can hinder my recovery.
6. It really isn't 'the easy way out'. As I say, I didn't ask for the surgery, it was offered to me. And I thought long and hard about whether to have it at all. So if you think it's the easy way out, keep that to yourself. Don't tell me eating less and moving more will help me out, I have two underlying health conditions that affect my weight as well as being on antidepressants. So if that's what you want to add to my 'journey', I'd rather you didn't, thanks. I'm well aware people think it's a cheat (including some consultants).
I am already worrying myself that I haven't lost enough weight in the 12 days since surgery and have already begun branding myself a failure. This is incredibly unhealthy (I am well aware of this) and this way eating disorders lie. I shall be letting my dietitian and bariatric nurse know how I'm feeling, and they will get me an appointment with the psychologist.
I have a great support network around me including David, my family and assorted friends and work colleagues.
So anyway, this blog might be a bit snarky, a bit unfriendly, but I needed to write this because at the moment, I need to concentrate on me and my recovery. If you feel like you need to ask me any of the above, it's probably not going to help me.
Fluffy and over emotional posts will resume soon.