Thursday, 4 December 2008

I'm diving in to join you!

Epiphany for me came one day in September this year, when I had to accept that feeling really low for the past 6 months had caused me to eat for comfort and I had piled on even more weight. 105 kg went up to 110, then to 114 (18st), my heaviest ever. (Why couldn't unhappiness make me go all romantically thin and ethereal, damn it?)
It all came to me at once: I'm 55, now it's not just vanity - my formerly twiglike ankles were now branches just as my legs were trunks, and let's not take the metaphor any further up. My arches hurt, ditto knees, ditto hips, ditto back if I walked or stood for more than 5 minutes, and the lift at work being out of order thus three flights of stairs felt like climbing the north face of the Eiger. I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic (dependent on industrial quantities of the stuff I'm afraid) And I thought "I'm not going to live to old age". My partner John, a kind and loving man who hates to see me unhappy, is quite a bit older than I am, and I have no children. Who's to remember me other than as the heavy person in the snaps? It felt like rock bottom.
About that time I became aware of the publicity surrounding Fern Britton, a British TV presenter who had been banded a couple of years earlier and only recently talked about it. She may not have intended it to be a success story for the procedure, but it was. From the internet I learned that the cost of having it done privately was just about affordable for me. What clinched it were the blogs - all these brave women out there, a 'sisterhood-of-the-band', they all said the things I was thinking. It felt like dithering on the side of the swimming pool while people around you are all diving in and saying the water's lovely. I put it to John, and later that week visited my GP - and to my real surprise both were supportive.
A bit of homework on different companies (and thank you Zena) led me to the hospital in Taunton where it could be done privately, and I've since had a couple of appointments to arrange it. I've chosen 17th December because it will give me the maximum time to recover using holidays (thank you Melanie for the advice here).
So for the first time in 25 years I'm experiencing (about my image) what I had forgotten how to feel - hope.
In the meantime I too have had my Optifast instructions - and don't anybody kid me that it's anything except flavoured bilgewater! A stone to lose before the op, and 9 agonizing pounds off so far - partly with the help of some slimming pills I had from goodness knows when. They helped kill my appetite alright, but my thirst too. I didn't realise till I got a kidney infection this week... Cheating doesn't pay, does it. This crash diet feels like holding your breath under water - you have a go because you know you'll surface for air shortly >> I've been able to starve myself because I believe what the bloggers all say - that the restriction really does work, and help is at hand.
I had been wondering whether to start a blog, and had played around a bit with the site. I've only just realised that it's already "live" whether I like it or not! Goodness knows what keys I pressed. In a way it's like being pushed into the deep end of the pool so you gotta swim... Also, reading all your banding blogs without having one of my own, however feeble, feels as though I'm some sort of sneaky voyeur.
Anyway, enough metaphors and rambling on. I thought I was pretty computer literate, but I'm puzzling over all the bits I've got to learn to have a blog design I'm happy with, so it's a bit basic for now I'm afraid. And (aargh) I shall have to upload a picture, I know. It's what keeps us all going. And essential to make regular entries - I know, I know...
Thank you for reading this far - I think you're a brave lot.


Zena said...

Hiya, Just to let you know Dawn..(scrummybits) had surgery done in same place as my sis and I.That's how come we will be meeting up on Saturday 13th as we are all going for our first fill and x-ray, and I am so excited!!!!
Who is your surgeon?


Nola said...

Hi, found you via a comment on Mel's blog:) I am roughley in the same situation as kids, same starting weight..a bit older than the average bander!! You have absolutely made the right decision! I will follow your journey with interest and just yell if there is anything you want to know....the other bloggers are a fantastic bunch and have a wealth of knowledge to avail yourself of.

Lonicera said...

Thank you so much to both of you for my VERY FIRST COMMENTS!!! And for being so welcoming.

Though I had long chats with the one you recommended Zena, and I was very impressed with them, I ended up with the Southwest Bariatric Surgery Group which works from the Nuffield Hospital in Taunton (surgeon is Mr Welbourn) because the deal was slightly better, plus I don't have to go as far as Birmingham and my partner John won't have to stay the night at extra expense. Taunton is much closer.

Nola, I've read your blog too and really enjoy it - I'll add you if I don't mess it up like I did Zena's - which by the way is now on, no idea how... You're right - I've been reading some of the blogs regularly, sussed out which are Australian, American or British, and love the cooperative and friendly atmosphere. I've already learned a lot just from reading them. Thought it was time I came out of the closet!!


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