Gastric Bypass saved my life
My name is Andy, I am a 47 year old married man and have had a history of obesity ranging back to my very early teens.
I have tried what seems every way possible of loosing weight ever since leaving school at a weight of over 16 Stone.
All the fads, the must do's, the have done's and honest doctor I have not eaten any fatty food for the last 3 weeks please help me.
Tongue firmly in cheek the real answer to the problem is will power. Wake up in the morning fully committed to whatever you have ''signed up for'' and the jobs dead easy but temptation when your mate is offering to go the chip shop and suddenly I would be eating pie chips and a barm cake not mentioning the jam doughnut and the very little sugar that was stuck to it.
So the problem:
46 Years old 5' 11'' tall and weighing in at over 22 Stones and struggling with every day activities like Walking, Breathing - you know the things that you kind of have to do to exist!
I realised that I was struggling to get in and out of the car, fit between doorways not to mention seat belts on aircraft or even tables on the aircraft.
So what I decided to do:
I hard heard about Gastric bands and decided to use the internet as a medium for information as to what was involved and then decided to take it a step further by booking a consultation with a bariatric surgeon at the Nuffield Hospital in Leeds. I went for the consultation and had over an hour being told that obesity is a disease - you will never loose weight by dieting and keep it off unless you admit that!! This was an eye opener to me. I was also advised due to my lifestyle [Working away a lot and eating in Restaurants' etc] a Gastric Bypass would be more suitable. I left the consultation with a 14 page print out all about the bypass with some lovely gruesome photographs intended to put any body off having one.
The next morning I was adamant that I would have the bypass and convinced myself that this would SAVE MY LIFE.
I started the process of working through my GP and local PCT, researched the ins and outs of a private operation and within no time I had an appointment with my consultant Prof Senapati.
From the outset I was treated with respect, I didn't feel like I was being stereotyped and his soft reassuring voice put all my fears to one side. I asked some outright questions like what were the chances of death on the table and he quite calmly told me that I haven't lost anyone yet and I am not intending on starting with you but very professionally told me all the risks. These first appointments are scheduled for 20 minutes and I was with him for 55 minutes without being made to feel that I was an encumbrance!
I was issued with my pre op diet, had my bloods taken and off home I went on an all time high - this guy had just offered to SAVE MY LIFE and I am going to let him..
I arrived at the Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle at 07:30 on Thursday 20th November 2008 as instructed. The registration / Pre - op checks were thorough but executed very quickly and professionally. My wife was with me and seemed more nervous than I did!
Prof Senapati visited me to ensure that I was still comfortable in continuing with the procedure and I was very very very sure that I had never wanted something as much as I wanted this operation [I apologised for nearly snatching the authorisation forms out of his hands to sign]. He gave me an idea where I was in the queue so to speak so I had plenty of time to get accustomed to my lovely little private ward and prepare myself for my life changing - life saving operation.
My time arrived and a porter arrived to take me to theatre - here goes darling, I am off to have my life saved and I will see you later with my very own new pouch. She accompanied me to the theatre doors, we gave each other a kiss told each other how much we loved each other, shed a couple of tears but for me I just couldn't wait. I didn't have any fear whatsoever I was just taking everything one step at a time. I joked with the guys and girls in pre -op and can't remember counting to ten.
My next vivid memory was waking up in the high dependency room and my first vision was Mr S in his greens or were they blues but who cares I had come out at the other end. As per usual his reassuring voice praised me as to how well I had done, in reality I had done nothing - went to sleep for 2 or 3 hours and this guy had SAVED MY LIFE.
I was very emotional; I remember crying and kept thanking him over and over again. Very soon I was reunited with my wife in my little holiday cottage - no pain, no pain at all.
As the hours passed by I was spoiled by lots and lots of attention by lots and lots of wonderful caring nurses, checking everything they could think of. I remember thinking to myself they have checked that many things perhaps they are checking to ensure that I have not done a runner!
At 19:30 yes 7:30 in the evening Prof Senapati visited me to see how things were going, he felt my stomach, looked at the charts told me that I needed some rest and he would see me in the morning.
For the next part you need to understand that I am a typical fella - pain and me don't go well together so for the next couple of days I went through a bit of pain or did I??
Mr S visited me at 07:30 in the morning and again at 07:30 on the Saturday morning - this is real ''Customer Service'' dedication of the highest order.
The following day I was let loose to venture off home to start my new life - just how very grateful I was.......
Perhaps really I am not the right person to be producing a case study - I am an ordinary guy that has had a life saving operation but was absolutely adamant that to make this work for ME I must not fall into the follow every single bit of advice from every single person and every single bit of research to the letter. I had been given a new stomach, it needs treating with respect but I have to learn to live an ordinary life. [Not trying to offend the guys that want to follow everything by the letter - but I know it would not have worked for me]. It also needs to be stated that I have had several follow up consultations with Christine Saint a Consultant Dietician at the Alexandra hospital and her support has been fantastic. Christine is yet another person that makes you feel very much at ease and doesn't clock watch [a pet hate of mine] and some of the conversations we have had has helped me tremendously and even the occasional telling off [tongue in cheek] has reminded me about the whole process...
The way I see it nearly 12 months on and I have lost 7 Stone 11 lbs. My BMI has dropped from 44.07 - 28.87 and I have gone from class 111 obesity to merely being overweight. I have seen others that have lost nearly 10 Stones but what I can say with passion is that once I got on to solid food I have lived a 'normal' life, I am not obsessed with how many calories I have consumed, how much protean I have consumed etc etc. I have eaten in moderation, included many things that I would never have considered before and believe that I am enjoying a reasonably healthy diet.
I have "Treats" twice a week - it may be a nibble of Chocolate or it may be a Chinese takeaway or even a Pizza but once the treats have gone in that week they have gone. I guess what I am trying to say is "MODERATION" if you allow yourself a treat you get to feel good and a square of Chocolate is nowhere near as bad as 2 bars of Chocolate! Eat the not so good things in moderation has been one of my key aims and it has stuck with me even 12 months on.
To Conclude. I set my self a target to lose 8 Stone 1 Pound, I am nearly there. I will get there whether its next week or next month. Once I reach my target no doubt my body will still keep working in its mysterious ways and who knows how much I will end up having lost when I get there.... Are we there yet? Where is there? Who cares - I am ENJOYING the journey and ENJOYING all the benefits that go with it.
Get rid of the VICTIM MENTALITY think BIG act BIG be BIG or do I mean SMALL.
If you WANT or NEED this operation EMBRACE IT, GO FOR IT Who knows it might even SAVE YOUR LIFE!!!
The man who SAVED MY LIFE - Prof Siba Senapati