Any of my friends who want to know what I did, I'm happy to tell them my story! I had a Sleeve Gastrectomy. I was 105kg and now I'm 70kg. I've lost 35 kg in under 6 months.
I had been gradually gaining weight for many years. I am a Registered Nurse and was always the jolly, chubby nurse people could rely on to take care of them. Still, on the inside the self-esteem was low. This all spiraled into depression with the pressures of post-graduate study last year and my weight went up to 105 kg. I eventually stopped when everything was going wrong, and had to take a good look at myself - what did I really want and what was the best way to get it? I knew I wanted good weight loss that was going to stay off!!
I am a sweet tooth and junk food addict who will cheat with food - so the Sleeve was an excellent way to control this.
I had heard of lap bands, but it's when I went to the seminar that I heard about a sleeve gastrectomy. I decided straight away that I would follow that path. I am a sweet tooth and junk food addict who will cheat with food - so the sleeve was an excellent way to control this. I firstly felt the need to give up my addiction to junk food and lollies - MacDonalds must be losing a lot of money now!! Over January I taught myself to live without junk, and had some time on Optifast before the surgery.
End of January and I went into the hospital feeling a bit scared - what have I got myself into? I remember lying on the trolley in preop thinking ‘I could just hop off and go home’. But I gathered my courage and was wheeled into theatre.
I have to mention all the staff were lovely and supportive. When I woke up there was a fair bit of pain, but immediately told the recovery nurse and she gave me medication which immediately controlled it. That is one of the most important parts - communicating when you have any pain so something can be done. Within a couple hours for me the pain was 2 to 3 out of ten - which means it was niggly but no big deal. By the next day there was none.
By the next day I could start to tolerate little sips of fluid (post the barium swallow). I couldn't drink normal amounts and that was okay - I had been given intravenous fluids the previous day. It pays not to force any fluids in, but take little sips to start with and work from there. I could also walk around a bit by the next day, but again took it easy and mobilised in stages.
My mum took me back to her place and was wonderful - preparing different fluids I could tolerate and helping any way she could. I kept an eye on my wound sites, which healed nicely and are now just 5 small pink spots on my stomach. I took 2 weeks off work and adapted back to a busy nursing unit very well - most people just thought I had taken holidays. The hard part was sticking to the consistency or thickness of the food you can eat. It's hard to stick to a puree or vitamised diet and still go out or catch up with friends. But that only lasts 6 weeks until you are back to a soft version of your regular diet - except you can only eat a very small portion. I have focused on drinking fluids, the food isn't so important. I've taken vitamins and what I do eat now it healthier anyway.
People at work and elsewhere have really noticed the change in me recently, and everyone is commenting on it. At first I found it hard to admit to, but now I'm proud of what I've achieved. I was 105kg and now I'm 70kg. I've lost 35 kg in under 6 months. Mind you - I have a wonderful personal trainer who keeps me on track and a job that keeps me on my feet. But anyone can do this - and any of my friends who want to know what I did, I'm happy to tell them my story!