Last week was enlightening. On Wednesday 15th I went along to a talk organised by the lovely folks at Musgrove Park Hospital, in which I learned more about the various types of weight loss surgery and its benefits, risks and fun little quirks (wind! so much WIND!).
The true star of the session was local BOSPA group leader Robin Joyce. Nobody can tell you about a treatment journey better than someone who’s been there and done it. And since his own surgery, Robin has become an active supporter of every other traveller he’s met and he always has the time of day for everybody. I came away from the talk completely at ease with the surgery to come, and with a strong desire to one day help other people the way Robin does. After my not-so-fun experience with a certain weight loss club, I’m not a fan of groups but I heartily recommend anyone considering weight loss surgery to join BOSPA.
On Friday 17th I experienced a whole other kind of enlightenment. I had a chance to find out what I was letting myself in for in the best way possible – I had an operation. This was an examination of my uterus under general anaesthetic to try to fathom out what’s been going on with my monthlies, and to put in an IUD Coil to hopefully control my hormones and stop my menstrual cycle shutting me down every couple of weeks.
Michael dropped me off at the RD&E at 7.30am and I was showed to my room. That’s right. I had a room. With my own loo. Not something I was expecting, but something I was incredibly grateful for as it meant I could quietly panic over what was about to happen without disturbing anyone. Not that I had any reason to panic. The first person to see me was the anaesthetist. I don’t know whether this is a common trait of all who specialise in knocking people out for a living but this man is just so lovely. His manner and voice is just so damn soothing that he made my time in theatre feel more like a morning in a spa. He could record a relaxation CD and make a fortune. Thanks to him and the team of excellent nurses and healthcare assistants the heebie-jeebies I had early in the morning didn’t last long and before I knew it I was back in my room eating the world’s best corned beef sandwich.
Coming out of anaesthetic felt familiar, to the point where my first coherent thought was “shit, how much did I drink?”. I wasn’t sick at any point but I did feel some pretty powerful waves of nausea. The real discomfort came the morning after as my body shook off the anaesthesia and all my nerves woke up. On Saturday I was in agony. Muscular pain from the neck to the waist. I’m assured that this is a perfectly normal reaction and would imagine that while I’m still a big old lass, I took some shifting about from bed to operating table. It’s now Monday and although I still ache a little, it’s no more than I will expect to feel when I finally get my arse back down the gym.
All of this leads to me feeling stronger than ever than weight loss surgery is the right thing for me to do. A new life awaits, and I can handle the discomfort I’ll have to experience to get there. This coming Wednesday I will be spending the afternoon at Musgrove Park Hospital meeting the dieticians, nurses and the surgical team in what’s known as the ‘one stop clinic’. I will also have my pre-operative assessment. This is the last step and assuming everybody agrees I’m ready, I will then go on the waiting list.
My treatment journey began at the end of 2011. It has felt like a long time getting to this point, but having spoken to other patients who have waited five years or more I feel incredibly blessed to be at this stage so quickly.