Irrelevant

Saw another doctor about the pain. He seemed angry at me from the moment I walked in. The entire visit I was battling a panic attack and couldn’t stop crying. Twice he threatened to walk out because I was angry and upset. I was not allowed feelings or opinions. I was not allowed to try and explain my experiences. Most of the time he wasn’t even talking to me but to my husband instead. I have been ordered to submit to more tests with nothing explained about the procedures.

I have been ordered to see their psychologist and dietician. I went in to have pain treated and was weighed in like a prize heifer before being questioned about my weight loss. Weight loss is of no real interest to me anymore. Even in the beginning of all this the weight loss side of things was secondary to being healthy. I was promised surgery would help me be healthy but it only destroyed my health. I have no interest in talking to any more dieticians. As of the psychologist, just another person to tell me my feelings are irrelevant and to just sit down, shut up and do as I am told. I am so tired of people. I don’t want to talk to people. I don’t want to be touched by people. I just want to be left the hell alone.

I am quite irrelevant to all of this. I am told I have rights but that they will refuse me treatment if I dare invoke my rights so in all reality I have no rights. I am valueless. I am worthless. I am irrelevant. I am tired.

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Complained to the General Medical Council

Since my complaint against the surgeon that verbally abused me in order to intimidate me into signing forms was ignored by Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and the parliamentary ombudsman is not taking my complaint seriously I complained to the medical council. I got the response back from the General Medical Council stating that this type of abuse is not considered serious enough to punish the surgeon. They don’t consider abuse and assault serious enough to investigate British doctors. It is perfectly acceptable to those that license our doctors to abuse and assault patients. The doctors of Great Britian are a danger to all of us. By not punishing abusers the General Medical Council encourages the abuse of patients by all of their doctors. There is no protection of patients in this country. Only doctors are protected and to hell with the patients.

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Love

My husband is travelling on business and I miss him even more than the first time we parted ways (international relationships have those moments). It has been nearly 18 years since we married and my love for him is stronger than it even was than. I am so thankful to have found a love that grows together rather than apart like so many others. Everything feels like it can be overcome as long as we are together. But apart I feel less than whole and I live for when we can be together again. I am blessed.

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What shall I do with my life

I have had no luck in finding a job.  I really have no idea how to go about getting a job as it has been 18 years  and another country since my last real job.  I think I will need professional help in that aspect of my life.  So what shall I do to fill my mind.  I had intended for this year to be full of workouts and general physical activity but that seems to be gone now.  With all else that I am dealing with I am finding the thing I most need is distraction from dieting and my struggle to be active anymore.  I have packed away my Fitbit and deleted My Fitness Pal off my devices.  I am just not quite sure how to fill my time.

As a stay at home mum I have previously filled my time with home education and physical activities.  The kids are all off at college everyday now so the home education isn’t even there anymore.  The only other things I can think of to do are cooking or cleaning my house.  

Cooking….that would be food and food leads me to diet and I wonder if cooking wouldn’t be mentally stressful for me.  At the same time perhaps cooking would help me relax more about food and balance out my anxiety state.  This morning I have been googling how to bake bread in my instant pot.  It sounds like it might come out nice that way.  But do I want to eat bread?  Just one of my many food anxieties.  I do want to eat the bread and yet the more often I have bread the less weight I seem to lose.  Perhaps this is exactly why I need to focus more time on cooking and baking.

You see even the smallest thing a normal person doesn’t seem to obsess about drives me to an overthinking anxiety that I believe might actually be hurting my weight loss.  When I started this latest stretch of dieting I told the dietician and doctor that dieting causes me to get into an obsessive place that overtakes every other part of my life.  I told them I needed to no count calories as I would get trapped in the numbers and trying to make everything perfect.  They pushed me to use the food trackers anyway.  I have been lost in counting calories, carbs, protein grams and even fibre to the point that I mentally tally all of it throughout the day even without the tracker.  I hate how this makes me feel.  This doesn’t help me lose weight.  This doesn’t make me healthy.  

So what shall I do?  How do I find my way back out of the overwhelming mental state that does nothing but harm me?  Do I find a new hobby?  How does one even do that?  Do I throw myself into my domestic tasks…of which my home is in desperate need?  Do I take a course at the local college?  Do I find the professional help to find a job?  Oh what to do.  I think I need to probably do all of these just not at the same time.  Perhaps just take the time and make some bread today.

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Plant-based after weight loss surgery

Having had the gastric sleeve surgery in July I discovered a rather hugely important issue after surgery.  You see I have always needed a high fibre diet for comfort reasons.  After surgery they put you on a virtually no fibre liquid diet followed onward by a pathetically low fibre diet.  You see you can’t eat enough fruit and veg after eating meat in order to get your fibre and nutrients.  Enter a switch in diet as fruit, veg and fibre are non-negotiable.

Protein is tough to fulfill on a sleeve stomach following a plant-based diet…not impossible but it takes work and comes with more calories in the long run.  On top of the typical challenge I also get to battle the natural inclination to not eat in the morning as I am not hungry.  Why is that a problem?  There are not enough hours in the day to eat enough volume without eating breakfast.  I do believe my solution will have to be smoothies as it is the easiest to eat and packs the most nutritional punch however oatmeal with flax, hemp seeds, peanut butter and raisins works pretty well if I feel able to eat it all.

I have noticed another challenge for me though.  With each meal I feel able to eat a bit less each time.  Lunch I often seem to only pull off eating about 15g of protein most days.  I have tried to eat left overs from dinner but there isn’t always food leftover.  So today I worked on a new plan….perhaps not my best plan.  I cooked up a pot of beans (adzuki as I hadn’t had them before) and another pot of grains (kamut) with the intention of having a serving of each with veggies.  Kamut is lovely enough but adzuki bean are a vile attack of Satan.  The underlying theory of the plan was valid but the start being adzuki was a massive mistake.  I am wondering if my best plan might be also making a veggie soup to put my beans and grain in at lunch.  No matter, I just have to keep exploring my plan to get it right including a tiny volume high protein ingredient that can boost up the protein so I don’t need a 4th or even 5th meal.  I really don’t want to eat all the time.

Dinner is pretty straightforward however I still get stuck on high enough protein.  Pizza for instance….high protein topping?  I don’t fancy beans or lentils on my pizza personally.  The crust has a good bit of protein and the nutritional yeast provides a bit and of course there must be a bit in the roast veggies but still not hitting that 20g per meal target.  Bean burgers come pretty close to hitting that target but also falls just short.  I have a few other meals that fall just short and since lunch is also falling short  my 60g a day minimum isn’t going to plan.

So what did I do to deal with this frustration?  Stopped tracking my food and pretended it didn’t matter!  Consequences of burying my head?  My hair is thinning out and I am regularly covered in loose hair.  Ugh.  Anything else?  Well according to the bodytrax machine at the gym the only weight I have lost for several weeks has been muscle! Maybe the hair and muscle thing would have happened anyway I don’t know. So what to do?  Trying to up the protein but my best plan so far is a piece of peanut butter toast before bed but that is an extra 250calories a day.  Worth the calories or not?  Frustrated.

Today when caught out for breakfast (in the car heading out) I decided I would have meat and berries to see how my stomach felt.  Stomach did not cope with the harder to digest meat and I had to wait 20minutes before I could manage my berries.  It didn’t cause any reflux problems though so that was a good sign but still come back to not being able to eat enough produce to keep my fibre level up.  Just seem to be screwed if I do and screwed if I don’t.  

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Weight loss is not worth the pain of surgery

Having had a gastric sleeve surgery done and joining online groups for support I have discovered a terrible truth.  The groups only tell you the good stuff and try to cover up the bad.  There is no support out there for those of us that regret having the surgery.  No support for those of us left in pain.  In addition to forums trying to shut down those of us saying weight loss isn’t worth the pain they brush over the fact that when you have a gastric sleeve surgery done it is not just your stomach they will alter….it is your diaphragm.  It is the stitches over tightening your diaphragm that will cause excruciating pain but no one will tell you that.  The doctors will lie and say it just feels a bit tight for two or three days.  It is just being stabbed with a hot sword that is twisted and broken off in your chest!  Pain medication will not even touch the pain.  I am 2.5 months out from surgery and still in daily pain.  The NHS doctors didn’t even examine me at my one and only follow up appointment and have refused to even investigate the pain.  The pain honestly overwhelms me to the point that I am imagining cutting my wrists so that the pain might finally be over.  Don’t let anyone tell you that in 2 weeks you will feel all better or that weight loss is worth the unending pain of having your diaphragm butchered.  Save yourselves and don’t have the surgery.  

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Gloucestershire Royal   Hospital 

Has no regard for patients right to choose their care.  They are ok with their doctors yelling at their patients to get surgical consent under duress.  THe are ok with their surgeons preforming procedures the patient has verbally refused before being forced to sign forms under duress.  They refuse aftercare and leave patients in agony with no treatment or pain relief.  ROyal Gloucester Hospital is dangerous.  Their bariatric department is abusive and assaulting patients.  Stay far away from this hospital!

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Had my sleeve gastrectomy a week ago today

7 days since surgery.  It has been scary and painful but I think it has been worth it.  Not everything went to my plan but I can and am dealing with those things.  I will start my story from the day before surgery.

The day before my sleeve gastrectomy my mind was raging at a million miles an hour and all I wanted in the world was to eat an actual, proper meal.  I woke up early in the morning unable to sleep anymore and got ready for a walk.  I figured a long walk would do me a world of good but wasn’t sure how far I really wanted to go but set off with my day pack, a bottle of water and a debit card for buying tea at stops along the way.  About four hours (and 9 miles from home) later I decided my head was finally clear enough  and got a bus home.  It put me in a good place for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, Surgery day was very long and hungry.  Organisation at the hospital left a bit to be desired but overall for the procedure I signed up for I was happy with my care.waking up after surgery was directly into pain and panic as I could get a deep breath in but my nurse was excellent and they allowed my husband to sit with me in recovery so my anxiety was calmed a bit.  Eventually I was moved up to a ward and tormented by the vile to show Judge Judy as I intermittently slept.  In the night I started shaking and overheating which eventually lead to my one and only vomiting episode probably brought on by a lack of effective pain meds. I don’t respond well to the medications they were willing to give me and as per usual the doctor blew me off.

The next day I did figure out I had to pester for what little meds they offered as they didn’t offer or give out pain meds regularly.  I walked about as much as I could on the small ward with the expectation of going home.  The doctor had said I could on morning rounds but had not communicated this to anyone else.  They also were of the mistaken impression that being in pain would be a reason I would want to stay on the ward.  It took tears, a bit of anger and insistence but I got to go home . At least at home I had control of my own meds and didn’t have to guess the schedule or beg a busy nurse.  An hour long drive home was less than wonderful but I was happy to feel in a safe place again (hospitals are scary and peoply which is not a “safe” feeling for me).

The first couple days was exhaustion and sleeping sitting up as I can’t yet lay down without suffocating pain (part of another story I am not yet ready to write but not due to the sleeve gastrectomy procedure itself).  Friday I went to the store while my men food shopped to get out of the house and get a few steps.  I leaned heavily on the cart and it wiped me out.  On Saturday I went to the store again and pushed the cart and was not wiped out and saw a light at the end of the tunnel.  Sunday I walked around the shop unaided and started moving about the house better too and stopped using the pain meds.  

Monday I went for a short walk with my daughter….maybe a mile.  Tidied up the living room a bit.  Went to Costco with my husband. Then finally went to the gym (very gently used the exercise bike and treadmill) and weighed in on the boditrax machine.  I had lost 7.7 lbs in the first 5 days and had broken through my next 10lb goal.  My muscle mass has suffered greatly but I still have more muscle than the average female athlete weighs in total.  My fat mass dropped considerably in those 5 days.  I really needed to see this as I was actually having a down day since my short walk had puffed me out a bit.  By the time I went to bed I had reached my 10k steps and knew I had lost weight.

Tuesday I started the day with a two mile walk.  I got some laundry done and generally started to feel more like myself again.  I went for an evening walk to puffed me out again and did just over 11k steps.  I discovered that my evening “heartburn” was actually that my liquid thyroid meds upset my stomach but following up with water clears it.

Things that had not gone to plan.  I stocked up on protein shakes only to find I couldn’t tolerate them.  In fact anything with artificial sweeteners seems to irritate my stomach.  Luckily the gym has a shake with no addded sugar or aspartame (I think it mentioned stevia) which goes down well and tastes nice. So I have a shelf of protein powder I can’t use.  Pain meds: I don’t get any effect from paracetamol that I have ever noticed but stubborn enough to try anyway.  They gave me an option of big horse pills or a bubbly tablet in water thing….neither are tolerable in the slightest.  So off to the store and buying masses of children’s calpol fastmelts so I could suck on them until they melt…four times over to get my full dose.  It was expensive but if it did give any vague relief it was worth it.  Also, they only sent me home with 3 days of codeine so I made do with half doses in the day and full doses at night to be sure I didn’t run out ….I still have some if needed. 

Lastly, I cannot lay down to sleep.  I am propped up on 3-4 pillows or else I wake gasping for air.  I believe this is due to another procedure that was done switch was was not given an option of saying no to.  This is a whole other story which I will tell when I am feeling less angry.  Let’s just say I am not happy they “repaired” a hiatal hernia which was not harming me at all and which they did no testing to confirm needed such extreme treatment.   This has also caused a stabbing pain in my diaphragm and an inability to take a deep breath.  I would have refused this procedure if I had known the facts and the doctor had not tied it to being able to have my sleeve gastrectomy.

I am glad I had the sleeve gastrectomy.  I am no longer excessively hungry and a protein shake fills me up nicely.  I know this procedure was the right choice for me and will help me immensely in reaching my weight goals.  I do recommend this procedure for anyone that has truly researched and considered it in detail.  It is not something to jump into quickly.  I learned as much as I could and even watched video of surgeries for about 8 years before even requesting referral for weight loss surgery 2 years ago.  It is serious abdominal surgery and of no use to someone with food addiction or binge eating issues until they have conquered those problems.  

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Gastric sleeve pre-op 5 days out

Five more days until my gastric sleeve surgery.  This pre-op diet is mentally wearing.  My body is functioning well below par and my brain is fuzzy.  I am sitting here on the sofa with the idea of a nice walk but not the energy to do it.  I know this level of calories is what I must get used to in the long term though and I have adapted quite a bit over the previous week.  Must just keep on keeping on.  On the positive side, I have lost 13lbs in the last 10 days.  I will push myself out the door today though and it will help me clear my head.

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Gastric Sleeve surgery

I have been manuevering the process to get the gastric sleeve surgery through the NHS for about 2 years.  Many times I truly believed I was wasting my time and that they would deny me the surgery.  I just kept on keeping on and doing my best to do whatever they asked of me.  

I have lost about 60lbs on my own over the course of these two years.  I know that is rather slow progress but progress nonetheless.  I have also reduced my fat percentage from 54% down to 41% in that time which is an even bigger achievement to me.  Could I eventually lose all the weight without surgery?  Honestly, I don’t think so.  I am so mentally shot from dieting and being hungry all the time over the last 3 decades that even if given the magic formula of weight loss I think I would crash and burn.  I need to be able to reduce the hunger….knawing, painful hunger…..and at this point I feel that weight loss surgery is the only way.

I got my surgery date for 2 weeks time yesterday and have started on my pre-op diet.  I feel insanely hungry.  The noise from my stomach is distracting for the people around me.  This will be a long two weeks and I will have to use all my willpower to not turn to cannibalism.  I cannot tell you just how unsatisfying even a double protein shake is as there are no words for it.  

I do wonder how I will feel emotionally without eating normally with the family.  My first bit emotional challenge will be 9 days after surgery when the family goes out for a nice meal for my eldest 17th birthday.  Exactly one month later (and only maybe up to mashed potatoes) is my son’s 16th birthday and the 8 week mark will be my birthday.  How will I feel?  They try to help you prepare but emotions are funny things and effect us all differently.  

Anyway, must stop dwelling on my thoughts as it is only making my already growling and churning stomach more hungry.  Dinner (only solid allowed) is in the oven and hopefully will feel somewhat filling.

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