“My whole life has been enriched beyond measure.”*
This weekend marks a very special occasion for Streamline Surgical patient, Sue, as she will be celebrating eight years post surgery.
Making the decision to undergo surgery is not an easy one or one to be taken lightly. For many obese people weight loss surgery is life changing. We caught up with Sue this week as she looked back on life before surgery and the impact it has had on her, her family and friends.
“I was so unhealthy before my surgery, that I was given a very short life expectancy,” Sue said.
“I was approaching my 50th birthday and wanted to be part of it. I didn’t want my parents to have to bury their own child. I also dreaded developing Diabetes, as I had seen first hand how awful it was for a family member who’s life was shortened by it. Obesity is often a major factor in developing Type 2 Diabetes.
“I remember being referred to as ‘that’ in public because of my size. It was so cruel and unnecessary. However, I was lucky that everyone who heard it berated the person who said it. It’s hard to live in a society that often judges people on how they look. Thankfully I was able to walk away from this situation with a reminder that not everyone is judgemental but many are kind and generous.
“Since my weight loss surgery I am now living not merely existing. I feel like I have rejoined the world and am not just a spectator from the sidelines anymore.
“A huge positive for me since the Gastric Bypass is that I can work again. My self-esteem has soared because I am, once again, a productive member of society. I am no longer a ‘passenger’ in life.
“My whole life has been enriched beyond measure. I have also made many lifelong friends via my surgery. My work colleagues are amazing too. They have helped me to realise that I am not a ‘failure’. I will never be able to thank them enough for it.”
Bariatric surgery is a tool to help patients lose and maintain weight loss. However weight loss surgery is often depicted as an ‘easy option’ – it is far from that, with a number of hurdles along the way.
“A very hard moment for me was writing letters to my children in case I didn’t make it through the operation. I was a very poorly woman and the surgery was not without considerable risk.
“I can remember the morning of the surgery, as if it was yesterday. I was nervous but knowing this was my last resort seemed to make it less daunting. I had 100% faith in Mr Shaw Somers and the entire team so I wasn’t as nervous as I might have been.
“My husband and daughter walked with me down the corridor as far as the operating theatre. I said goodbye to them and a ‘see you later’ – for their sakes more than anything. I was quite impatient to get going!
“It wasn’t until I was on the table that I was aware this was going to be the start of a new chapter for me really kicked in.
“Another big moment of clarity for me was my first Christmas after my weight loss surgery, I didn’t realise just how much emotion was involved in food at certain times!
“I was very lucky to have such a supportive and loving family around me especially that first Christmas. My mum was wonderful, she bought tiny amounts of all my favourite things to make me feel special and that I wasn’t ‘missing out.’”
Now, eight years post surgery Sue has lost 15 stone and lived out a number of dreams.
“Since the weight loss surgery I have been able to fulfil lifelong dreams, such as celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary with my husband and children in the Maldives. It was actually my first ever long haul flight. In order to get to the island you need to go on a much smaller plane, in the past I wouldn’t have fitted.
“One of my proudest moments since the surgery was being my sister’s bridesmaid. I would never have been able, physically to do it before my Bypass. It was one of the proudest days of my life, being able to really celebrate my sister’s big day with all my family. Priceless, treasured memories were made that day and I have Mr Shaw Somers and all the Streamline team to thank for that.
“The benefits have not just been brought to my immediate family but to my extended family too. They see that I am happier and am engaged in life again. I can join in with any family celebration and can see a future for myself once more.
“My biggest achievement has been starting up the South Coast Support Group. I started with six members and now have around 60! Knowing how hard it is I wanted to create somewhere where anyone considering weight loss surgery or who has had it could feel supported. They are a marvellous group of friendly, kind and non-judgemental people, who welcome every new member with open arms. I am so very grateful to them as they have also supported me.
“Looking to the future I want to continue living a ‘normal’ life. To work, see my children continue to be happy and healthy, to travel, to cherish my friends old and new and to make my parents proud. I would also like to see England win the world cup again – but you can’t have everything, right?
“My advice to anyone considering weight loss surgery would be…just for once in your life, put yourself first. You deserve to be happier and healthier. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. It’s not a quick fix and it takes hard work but, my goodness, it is worth it. Most importantly be kind to yourself!”*
If you are considering weight loss surgery or would like to find out more about your options call our dedicated team of experts on 0800 157 7033 or fill in our contact form.
*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for every individual.