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12 years on and mixed blessings

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #30276
    Big Bob
    Member

    Mr. Somers did my gastric bypass as a private patient at King Edward VII hospital in Midhurst. He did an excellent job and I lost a lot of weight during the subsequent 3 years reducing to a normal weight for my height and build. I found that I could not eat enough to keep my body working hard for 10 hours a day without fainting from hypoglycemia (I’m diabetic Type 2) so I started eating as many chips as I could keep down every lunchtime in order to perform my duties at work. Eventually, of course, I stretched my tiny new stomach pouch until I actually started putting on weight again!
    I got an infected diabetic foot ulcer from the steel toecap boots I was required by my employer to wear at work and was soon confined to Southampton General Hospital with granulitis and in order to save the foot my big toe and associated bone and tissue was amputated and a vacuum dressing applied to suck out the poison. I was in bed there for 3 months and eating good quality hospital meals specially made for diabetics. The food was really good, but my weight climbed more as my pouch stretched. I had got into the habit of eating full meals again but I was doing no exercise not being allowed to get out of bed for 3 months.
    About 5 years later I decided to go on the strict ‘Paleo Diet’ and by living on nuts and berries and vitamin pills for a year I had shed 5 stones again. It allowed my stomach to shrink down a little and I went back to sensible eating – no bread, no butter or spreads, no milk and no potatoes. My weight continued to fall and I felt fitter than I had in years. From my initial 25 1/2 stone I got down to 14 which was pretty good for my height of 6′ 1″
    Then the dreaded foot ulcers returned to mess up my exercise routine. I had been walking up to 5 miles a day in my NHS tailor-made boots and insoles which were supposed to prevent blistering and subsequent ulceration, but one day I walked a bit too far and came home to find one boot full of blood. On my back for another 3 months waiting for it to heal, my weight began climbing again.
    Now I’m 19 stones and I don’t seem to be able to summon up the will-power to get back on my diet. I’m 67 now and all I seem to do is eat and sit around waiting for my serial ulcers to heal.
    The skin on an ulcer site has only 60% of the strength it had before. If you get an ulcer in the same place again, you only get back 60% of the 60% each time.
    I was forced to retire, disabled and now live on Pension Credit Guarantee. No money in the bank, otherwise I might consider a gastric band. My weight doesn’t qualify me for gastric surgery on the NHS so I think I’m at the end of the road, destined to sit here getting fatter and fatter until my heart packs up. Due to my long-standing Atrial Fibrillation and Secondary Hypogonadism I had a stroke in September 2012 which took my left hand. Most of the movement has now returned, but the hand still lacks sensation and strength. I used to go out clay-pigeon shooting but my hand has prevented that since my stroke. I don’t know what to do. My weight has stayed the same for the last 6 months but I would like to shed some more fat – it would lighten the load on my feet.

    #38118
    Kimberly
    Participant

    Hi big bob welcome you sound like you had a rough time with your diabetits and leg ulcer , my heart goes out to you .
    You know what struck me and I found so powerful and brought tears to my eyes , was how you pushed through last time against the odd and got your weight back down , that’s amazing . You said that your weight stayed stable for the past six month and that’s over Christmas. Have you spoken to your GP or the distract nurse who must be dressing your ulcers about your concerns , they might be able to referr you to a specialist dietitian . Or to a diabetic nurse specialist who can help you they might also be able to refer you to physiotherapist who could look at exercise you can do without hurting your foot .

    #38124
    Big Bob
    Member

    Hi Kimberly and thank you for your compassionate response. Your advice is good and I have done those things already, but I always get a boredom attack as soon as I begin the exercise routine and I can always find something much more interesting to do. I have all sorts of other difficulties to deal with including Diabetic Retinopathy, a recent cataract operation, Atrial Fibrillation and the after-effects of the stroke it caused. I diagnosed myself (I believe we must be proactive in our care and not leave everything to our GP) as having Secondary Hypogonadism and my Diabetes Consultant confirmed it with a blood test and asked my GP to treat me with Testosterone Replacement Therapy, so I’m also trying to balance my hormones, which also cause weight gain. My Estrogen (E2 Estradiol) was way too high for several months over the last year but my GP and his Endocrinologist refused to do anything about it so I self-medicated with black-market Aromasin and now my E2 is too low! I’m on an 8-week cycle of Nebido injections and some of the Testosterone in the Nebido aromatises into E2 as a normal bodily process, so I’m waiting for my next blood tests to see if it is back in the ‘normal’ range.
    As you can see, Kimberly, my situation is even more dire than at first sight of my thread. But as you rightly say, my weight has been stable for the last 6 months so there’s hope that when my latest foot ulcer has cleared up and the weather gets warmer I should be able to do some walking, which is a very good form of exercise and maybe my weight will start to reduce again. I emailed Mr. Somers to ask if a gastric balloon might be one way forward, but I haven’t been able to discover if this therapy may be used on a bariatric patient. I believe that my stomach is like my skin – it may have lost its elasticity and not be able to shrink back down like it used to when I ate less. A balloon, if possible, might compensate for the lack of elasticity if that is indeed the case.
    I hope you are happy with your body, assuming you have been through a process of some sort to be on this forum, or perhaps you are contemplating it at this stage? Diet and exercise if performed sensibly are obviously the best way to go, but some of us find it too difficult for various reasons. Mine are psychological in the most part. I was always a ‘comfort=eater’ so I now have to try to be a comfort-dieter 🙂

    #38117
    Kimberly
    Participant

    Bob you really been through the mill , , I have just recently had my bypass , but I do know about hopelessness , I have heart valve problems aortic sternosis and was refussed WLS surgery In May as I was a too high risk for the anesthetist of dying on the table , stroke or heart attack . After seeing the cardiac surgeon he advised WLS first . My guess is that most of us are emotional eater for a variety of reasons. At the moment my focus is about being healthy not about the numbers. I feel this is my last chance . , this time last year I was house bound unable to go out due to asthma being .uncontrolled and my aortic sternoisis . . When I was in that black hole I found it difficult to think ,to imagine that their was a future. My family were planning how they would care for me in my finale days which I think were in the next 18 months or sooner . I lthought I was losing every thing my health , my family , my job . , .The pain in my family eyes , was horrible even writing this makes me sad . I was hopeless I remember my old dad saying to me when you hit those brick wall and it …. Hurt ( my dad was a Dockie) he said you have to pull your self up and keep on trying . . I loved my dad and he never stopped trying even when he was bed bound with cardiac failure . So I wrote down my wish list then broke it down to tiny micro steps . This might not work for you but it did for me so thought I share it . So my one bucket wish apart from winning the lottery . Is to run the race for life . Last year I couldn’t sweep my tiny kitchen floor without sitting down and taking an inhaler . What I did I changed my way of thinking I saw every step as a positive every single day during that time .Not what I couldn’t do but what I could do . , I focused on anything that was positive , I refussed to be negative with what time I had left. I reached out to people some who I hadn’t seen for years told them how special they were to me . I know how lucky I am to have this second chance. I will need cardiac surgery in the future for a valve but I’m trying to push it way into the future .
    Bob from what you share you hit a brick wall in the past and got over it And another just popped up and hit you boo to ulcers . I know that food is my drug ,my bestie ,my enemy and I will have to fight it continually . It’s my bully my dementor ( like in Harry potter) trying to rob me of all my family and friend to isolate me to own me , to controll me . , WLS has pushed it away for a micro time but I know it will try and reclaimed me . I’m very mindful of its voice will try and tempt me back and at the moment I’m in the honeymoon stage . , I think this forum will help me . I can be real ,and share my high and lows, my battle will be for a different life.
    I don’t know what the WLS team will say or your GP . The only thing I would say and will say this to any one don’t take drugs/ medication from the black market or buy of the internet . you don’t know the strength how their cut ,what’s in them please tell your GP what you done so they can treat you especially with your medical history it’s really dangerouse . Especially with your heart beating too fast at times .

    #38114
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    @Big Bob 30644 wrote:

    Mr. Somers did my gastric bypass as a private patient at King Edward VII hospital in Midhurst. He did an excellent job and I lost a lot of weight during the subsequent 3 years reducing to a normal weight for my height and build. I found that I could not eat enough to keep my body working hard for 10 hours a day without fainting from hypoglycemia (I’m diabetic Type 2) so I started eating as many chips as I could keep down every lunchtime in order to perform my duties at work. Eventually, of course, I stretched my tiny new stomach pouch until I actually started putting on weight again!
    I got an infected diabetic foot ulcer from the steel toecap boots I was required by my employer to wear at work and was soon confined to Southampton General Hospital with granulitis and in order to save the foot my big toe and associated bone and tissue was amputated and a vacuum dressing applied to suck out the poison. I was in bed there for 3 months and eating good quality hospital meals specially made for diabetics. The food was really good, but my weight climbed more as my pouch stretched. I had got into the habit of eating full meals again but I was doing no exercise not being allowed to get out of bed for 3 months.
    About 5 years later I decided to go on the strict ‘Paleo Diet’ and by living on nuts and berries and vitamin pills for a year I had shed 5 stones again. It allowed my stomach to shrink down a little and I went back to sensible eating – no bread, no butter or spreads, no milk and no potatoes. My weight continued to fall and I felt fitter than I had in years. From my initial 25 1/2 stone I got down to 14 which was pretty good for my height of 6′ 1″
    Then the dreaded foot ulcers returned to mess up my exercise routine. I had been walking up to 5 miles a day in my NHS tailor-made boots and insoles which were supposed to prevent blistering and subsequent ulceration, but one day I walked a bit too far and came home to find one boot full of blood. On my back for another 3 months waiting for it to heal, my weight began climbing again.
    Now I’m 19 stones and I don’t seem to be able to summon up the will-power to get back on my diet. I’m 67 now and all I seem to do is eat and sit around waiting for my serial ulcers to heal.
    The skin on an ulcer site has only 60% of the strength it had before. If you get an ulcer in the same place again, you only get back 60% of the 60% each time.
    I was forced to retire, disabled and now live on Pension Credit Guarantee. No money in the bank, otherwise I might consider a gastric band. My weight doesn’t qualify me for gastric surgery on the NHS so I think I’m at the end of the road, destined to sit here getting fatter and fatter until my heart packs up. Due to my long-standing Atrial Fibrillation and Secondary Hypogonadism I had a stroke in September 2012 which took my left hand. Most of the movement has now returned, but the hand still lacks sensation and strength. I used to go out clay-pigeon shooting but my hand has prevented that since my stroke. I don’t know what to do. My weight has stayed the same for the last 6 months but I would like to shed some more fat – it would lighten the load on my feet.

    Hi Bob

    My heart truly does go out to you. What a terrible time you have had. But what shines through is your determination not to be ‘beaten’. You are quite remarkable.

    Do you know for certain that you would not be able to get a band on your bypass on the NHS? Have you applied? It is my own opinion that you are the type of person who SHOULD qualify as you have done everything you can to help yourself and make your situation better. However, my opinion counts for nothing! If I were you, I would continue fighting for further help. It would give me something to focus on for one thing!

    I hope with all my heart that your situation improves and that you don’t regret having your wls.

    Doodah x

    #38123
    Big Bob
    Member

    Dear Kimberly, thank you for being so open. Your Dad was right of course but sometimes we all find it just too difficult to summon the willpower (or WON’T power) to try things even those that have succeeded before. Asthma is one of those conditions which might have an emotional base, like comfort eating, but it sounds to me like you’ve got your priorities pretty well sorted out. I like your ‘bucket list’ idea in particular and it looks like you are well on the way to recovery.
    One thing I found is that you lose the respect of your family and friends if you give up. I tried to give up with a paracetamol overdose but I woke up in hospital feeling quite surprised and rather happy to be alive, but I had lost the respect of my family and it’s taken me several years (including some other mistakes) to win it back. I’m not sure the respect has 100% returned but I’m working on it and looking to our future.
    I’m always open with my GP if I take black-market medications and I do as much research as I can understand before embarking on self-medication. At the moment I’m cold turkey.
    My pulse this morning is a nice steady 60 but my blood pressure according to my Omron M7 is 148/76 because I was just going through my online banking with my wife and trying to explain to her that she can only spend £40 on food shopping this week as I have to find £177.35 for EDF Gas and Electricity and £133.33 for Virgin Media Broadband, TV and phone for this month. Somehow, with careful management and working together, we are just about getting by on my Pension Credit Guarantee. Worries tend to be cumulative, and when my blood pressure is up and my bank account is down, I’m more likely to comfort-eat. But partly thanks to reading your post I’m not over-eating today.
    I wish you luck and it’s good to talk to you.

    #38113
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    @Kimberly 30657 wrote:

    Bob you really been through the mill , , I have just recently had my bypass , but I do know about hopelessness , I have heart valve problems aortic sternosis and was refussed WLS surgery In May as I was a too high risk for the anesthetist of dying on the table , stroke or heart attack . After seeing the cardiac surgeon he advised WLS first . My guess is that most of us are emotional eater for a variety of reasons. At the moment my focus is about being healthy not about the numbers. I feel this is my last chance . , this time last year I was house bound unable to go out due to asthma being .uncontrolled and my aortic sternoisis . . When I was in that black hole I found it difficult to think ,to imagine that their was a future. My family were planning how they would care for me in my finale days which I think were in the next 18 months or sooner . I lthought I was losing every thing my health , my family , my job . , .The pain in my family eyes , was horrible even writing this makes me sad . I was hopeless I remember my old dad saying to me when you hit those brick wall and it …. Hurt ( my dad was a Dockie) he said you have to pull your self up and keep on trying . . I loved my dad and he never stopped trying even when he was bed bound with cardiac failure . So I wrote down my wish list then broke it down to tiny micro steps . This might not work for you but it did for me so thought I share it . So my one bucket wish apart from winning the lottery . Is to run the race for life . Last year I couldn’t sweep my tiny kitchen floor without sitting down and taking an inhaler . What I did I changed my way of thinking I saw every step as a positive every single day during that time .Not what I couldn’t do but what I could do . , I focused on anything that was positive , I refussed to be negative with what time I had left. I reached out to people some who I hadn’t seen for years told them how special they were to me . I know how lucky I am to have this second chance. I will need cardiac surgery in the future for a valve but I’m trying to push it way into the future .
    Bob from what you share you hit a brick wall in the past and got over it And another just popped up and hit you boo to ulcers . I know that food is my drug ,my bestie ,my enemy and I will have to fight it continually . It’s my bully my dementor ( like in Harry potter) trying to rob me of all my family and friend to isolate me to own me , to controll me . , WLS has pushed it away for a micro time but I know it will try and reclaimed me . I’m very mindful of its voice will try and tempt me back and at the moment I’m in the honeymoon stage . , I think this forum will help me . I can be real ,and share my high and lows, my battle will be for a different life.
    I don’t know what the WLS team will say or your GP . The only thing I would say and will say this to any one don’t take drugs/ medication from the black market or buy of the internet . you don’t know the strength how their cut ,what’s in them please tell your GP what you done so they can treat you especially with your medical history it’s really dangerouse . Especially with your heart beating too fast at times .

    Fantastic and empathic reply Kim xx

    #38122
    Big Bob
    Member

    Dear Doodah (I love your sparkling nameplate!) thank you very much for your kind words of support. I actually emailed Mr. Shaw Somers asking him if a gastric balloon might be possible because it’s not invasive like a gastric band. I await his reply. Once I know if a balloon is or isn’t recommended I can approach the NHS to try to get it done.
    I really like the sympathetic vibes I get from you and Kimberley – perhaps with your help I can lose the weight the hard way. I certainly don’t regret having my wls, I think it saved my bacon! Although if you have read my reply to Kimberley you will have seen that I almost wasted all of Mr. Somers hard work. I’m glad I’m alive – it’s just a mater of coming to terms with the ‘quality of life’ expectations. I particularly miss my vanished libido but I’m working on getting my hormones in balance with the help of my GP and perhaps a sensible amount of libido could return.
    I’m not giving up again, not just yet! 🙂
    Be proactive in your own healthcare is my advice to everybody who will listen, but I’m an old flatulence and people rarely take any notice.
    By the way, my wife and I are Buddhists (she is Thai and born Buddhist) and we know we get another try at this, as opposed to your quoted view of Joss Whedon.
    You are a very sensitive and perspicacious lady and I hope you stay focused (isn’t that a strange word – I always think it should be spelt focussed).
    Lots of Luck to you,
    Bob.

    #38126
    Big Bob
    Member

    Dear Kimberly, how’s it going? Are you learning to live with your new stomach? I never mastered the art of living with the old one, but I seem to be coping better since the WLS. Mine was open surgery from sternum to navel, and I would have been scared to cough! I suspect yours was done through keyholes, as a more modern procedure, but I expect it still hurts when you cough, having asthma.
    There doesn’t seem to be any continuity of thread on this forum, unless it’s that people don’t want to talk to each other. I found your empathy very helpful, as was that of Doodah, but both threads just petered out.
    I still haven’t received a reply to the email I sent Shaw Somers asking about a balloon. What’s the point of joining this forum if we don’t communicate?
    Doodah is a ‘Senior Member’ so maybe she could give Mr. Somers a shove? She seems to get involved in everybody’s thread.
    I hope you’re not letting things get you down,
    Kind Regards,
    Bob.
    We shall see.

    #38116
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    Hi Bob

    I’m sorry you feel that the forum doesn’t meet your expectations. We all expect different things from it I am sure.

    We all tend to dip in and out of threads as and when we can fit them into our busy lives and according to the particular subject for which we need support/advice.

    As you can appreciate, Mr Somers and the rest of the surgical team are extremely busy so I would suggest sending an email to: info@streamline-surgical.com so that it can be filtered through the system. You can also call 0800 157 7033. The other option is to ask your GP to refer you back to Mr Somers, however, phoning or emailing might be quicker!

    Hope this helps.

    Doodah x

    #38120
    Kimberly
    Participant

    Hi bob I’m good Iv just started a thread two month on which gives more details . I’m loving this tool,and loving life .atm trying different things

    #38125
    Big Bob
    Member

    Is the forum not intended for those who have undergone or are considering undergoing weight loss surgery to chat about their experiences and to encourage each other in their various endeavours? If not, then what’s the point of having a forum?

    #38119
    Kimberly
    Participant

    I’m sorry you feel like that Bob Iv found this forum very supportive . I be honest I don’t know what else to suggest to you as you said that you seen the physiotherapist who would be able to give you physical activities you can do in your home safely. You said you seen the diabetic dietitian who again will be able to help with weight loss and also be mindful that you have diabetic .i can think of , arm chair physical activities ( Chair Exercises for Elderly People | LIVESTRONG.COM) but my guess is that you won’t like this idea . Do you go out or are you stuck at home all day ? You said you and your wife are Buddhist do you have a meditation group you go to or if not can they come to you , what about support groups are their any locally you can attend ? I’m very mindful that you said you like to be in control of your heath and have done all the research so my guess is that you done all of this , and I don’t want to come a across at patronising and teach you to suck eggs . My experience is that some people welcome suggestion and different ideas. Some people need just to verbalise what they think and feel , I wonder if that where you are at the moment

    I just had a bath and was thinking about this post that I have just written to you , I was going to delete it but then thought differently , no one know your path Bob no one walked it but you . I m struggling to know how to respond , do you want some ideals ? Or do you just want to share your journey ? . They are both welcomed . Or do you want to share your journey and remind us that this gift of WLS need to be cherished ?
    Then I was thinking about you what do you want to do with the rest of the time you have left ? We can not change the past but we can the future. Some times our wishes seem so big that it’s too big mountain to climb , oh here I go again making suggestion stop it kimberly . You don’t know what Bob wants ?

    #38121
    treeza
    Member

    Hi Big Bob. My name is Teresa & I’m 6 months post bypass surgery.
    I think it’s such a shame you don’t feel you’ve been supported on this forum. I have to say I’m not sure I would have coped as well if I hadn’t had such great support & encouragement from everyone on here. It is very difficult sometimes to know what to say to people especially when they have complex needs like yours. We are not on here as clinician but people in a similar situation (everyone has had a different journey to requiring WLS & equally we have different ones post surgery). I apologise for not writing anything sooner but didn’t feel I could offer you any more advice than Doodah & Kim however I could have welcomed you.
    Doodah is amazing & supports us in every way she can within her powers. Unfortunately there are things that are just down to us. There are a few people in here who have had to fight one way another to get there surgery & it’s all been down to them.
    I’m guessing that maybe the consultant who you emailed may have to take all your needs into consideration before he makes contact so he can offer you or advise you the best way forward.
    I hope you receive the information you need soon.

    #38115
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    @Big Bob 30771 wrote:

    Is the forum not intended for those who have undergone or are considering undergoing weight loss surgery to chat about their experiences and to encourage each other in their various endeavours? If not, then what’s the point of having a forum?

    Hi again Bob

    I think you are 100% right about the point of a forum. I also think that it is exactly what this forum delivers. I’m sorry you don’t feel the same. Maybe you could make some suggestions as to how you think it should be?

    Doodah x

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