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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 106 total)
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  • #31093

    I received news that funding for weight loss surgery has been approved this afternoon.

    To say that I was elated would be a total understatement.

    I’ve learnt so much from my time here but now I’m on the right track I’ve so much stuff and questions whizzing around in my head I dont know where to start.

    I will be referred to see Shaw Somers at Portsmouth, I’m hoping for a quick appointment date. What usually happens at the first appointment?

    I’ve kept an in depth diary on food intake, weight loss etc since February 10th so have that to take with me, what else do I need?

    Anything you think I need to know prior to going to the appointment please let me know.

    Orlistat 120mg three times a day along with low fat low carbs diet has helped me loose about five stone since February, I took the tablets February till mid May when the supplies ran out and started them again on Sept 9th when supplies returned.

    Feeling very excited but drained now so would appreciate all the advice you can give me 🙂

    Helen x

    #47498
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    Hi Helen.

    Oh my goodness, I am so happy for you! I hope you have enough energy to do the happy dance lol!

    The first appointment is for you to tell Shaw Somers (and the other members of the team) exactly what you eat, and when and how you eat it. This will help Shaw Somers to guage which type of weight loss surgery would serve you best. You will most definitely have the chance to give your preference but I personally let his decision be the one to go with. I wanted a band but Shaw suggested I would do better with a bypass – he was right: of course!!

    Anything you need to take with you will be asked for so don’t worry about that. If you have any questions about what will happen in the first appointment, give the team a call at the hospital (is it the QA?) I had mine done at St Richard’s in Chichester so can’t tell you what to expect and be 100% right. I also had mine done 4+ years ago and things might have changed considerably.

    One thing I know that will never change, is that you are in the safest of hands and will be treated with respect and dignity at all times. Also, you will never be alone as we are all here on this forum to help and support you every step of the way on your journey to a healthier and happier life :-))

    SO looking forward to hearing all about it.

    Doodah x

    #47543

    Thank you so much Doodah it certainly does help being here and knowing I am not alone in this journey, that in itself has really helped pull me through the last few months whilst going through the process of applying, being turned down twice and fighting my corner finally to have come through the other side well on my way to surgery and a better healthier life.

    I used the email questions directly to the surgeons from this forum back in August and got a nice email back from Shaw Somers, I want a bypass too but there might be a query over that method because I have had three c-sections and a massive incisional hernia mesh repair which turned out to be almost full reconstruction inside my abdominal cavity, I have a large mesh insert now which is acting as an abdominal wall holding in all my organs. When it was put into my body in March 2008, the surgeon said if I lost more than two to three stone the size would have to be adjusted as it would be too big given that it is anchored to the inside of my skin because the torn tissue and muscles had to be cut right back in order to fit it, I was so badly ripped in all different directions there was nothing else to anchor the mesh too safely at the time.

    Come a long way since then, still use a wheelchair when I go out but this time last year I could not make it to the toilet or get into the bath so now am really enjoying that freedom especially baths with my little toddler boy, they are really fun, could only dream of that before. As I’ve lost just about five stone since February I feel like I have made eons of progress so aim for that all to continue. I’ve joined a local weight loss program back in June and started at their weekly swimming club two weeks ago, will be meeting the trainer to look around their gym too in a couple of weeks so its all good.

    Shaw Somers has suggested that a sleeve gastrectomy might be feasible depending on what the adhesions are like in the abdominal cavity. I have not read about the sleeve gastrectomy yet so dont know the differences or long term implications, aiming to watch some videos and do some reading later this evening about the two methods so will be better placed to understand it all by the time I get the initial appointment.

    I will of course leave the final decision as to which method is best to him as he after all is the expert and I just want to be never put in a position of being a large person ever again !!

    In his last email reply, Shaw Somers asked that I be referred to QA in Portsmouth not St Richards as he is moving there and didnt want the whole process slowed down by having to do re-referals etc this end. Its about 100 miles away from me but to be honest I would have travelled to Scotland if that is where I could have got and appointment with Shaw Somers because I know that to be the safest hands possible, agree with you completely on that one 🙂

    I am so looking forwards now, I’ve been in touch with the stop smoking scheme in my area today and will start on Champix on the 18th October, I should be fully quit by the end of the month. I know I have THE best reason in the world to do it for myself now, so excited about all those smaller sizes of clothing and the other exciting things I will be able to do that I cant at the moment. I want to prolong my life now and be as healthy as possible, its almost like someone has thrown me a new life and I so want it.

    I am sure you know that feeling yourself only too well.

    Thanks again for being there, I am so grateful to you for all your support

    Helen xx

    @Doodah 25680 wrote:

    Hi Helen.

    Oh my goodness, I am so happy for you! I hope you have enough energy to do the happy dance lol!

    The first appointment is for you to tell Shaw Somers (and the other members of the team) exactly what you eat, and when and how you eat it. This will help Shaw Somers to guage which type of weight loss surgery would serve you best. You will most definitely have the chance to give your preference but I personally let his decision be the one to go with. I wanted a band but Shaw suggested I would do better with a bypass – he was right: of course!!

    Anything you need to take with you will be asked for so don’t worry about that. If you have any questions about what will happen in the first appointment, give the team a call at the hospital (is it the QA?) I had mine done at St Richard’s in Chichester so can’t tell you what to expect and be 100% right. I also had mine done 4+ years ago and things might have changed considerably.

    One thing I know that will never change, is that you are in the safest of hands and will be treated with respect and dignity at all times. Also, you will never be alone as we are all here on this forum to help and support you every step of the way on your journey to a healthier and happier life :-))

    SO looking forward to hearing all about it.

    Doodah x

    #47499
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    Crikey Helen, you have been through the mill my lovely.

    I think you are absolutely marvellous to give up smoking too. I’m so proud of you for doing everything you can to make this new life work for you. You are right, I do know exactly how you feel. I was given 3-5 years to live if I didn’t lose weight and I am now 4 years post op! I might not even have been here now were it not for Shaw Somers and Streamline Surgical’s amazing team. I’m grateful EVERY single day.

    The Queen Alexander Hospital in Portsmouth is an excellent place – it’s my local hospital so I have had many dealings with them. They have a superb team so you will be well looked after. I thank my lucky stars each day for the day I met Shaw Somers. I can’t even say my life might have been different had I not met him because chances are, I might not be alive today. Gulp, what a terrible thought – let’s banish that one to the rubbish bin! I only ever look forward now and you will too. I love my job as I get to see people emerge like butterflies from a chrysalis: beautiful, light and free.

    You will too.

    Doodah x

    #47544

    thanks Doodah you are a complete inspiration and I hope that in four years time I’ll be able to say the things to another member faced with the daunting task of getting their head around all the information like you are to me 🙂

    #47500
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    Aw, bless you my love. I LOVE helping people on this often difficult stage of the journey as I remember it like it was yesterday! I was lucky enough to have friends I made in the hospital at the same time as me, some of whom are a regular and treasured part of my life now. Some of my dearest friends are ones I haven’t even met ‘in real life’. It’s the real experiences that bind us together. That’s how I feel about this place. We all learn and grow together. I’m a few years ahead of some of you so can share the knowledge I get as I go along.

    I’m going to start a thread about cosmetic/plastic surgery after I’ve had mine so that anyone who wants to have it done can hear from someone who has been through it. I will be 100% honest as always!!

    Love Doodah x

    #47545

    the new thread sounds like a great idea Doodah, looking forward to reading it. Its funny (in a good way) but I myself got on to this path over two years ago following the progress of one of my now closest friends as she was on here and blogging about her WLS progress and experience, her before and after pics are what made me want to contact her initially then take the plunge myself. Now we are very close and she has inspired me all the way, she had her plastic surgery last week same as what you are having so I’m waiting to hear of her experience too. She’s two years and one month post op now and her whole experience and yours have been truly inspiring.

    I’m waking up several times during the night over the last couple of nights since receiving that all important phone call telling me I have been granted the funding, I simply can not believe it all and get my head around what’s to come. So so so excited and looking forwards now, its like someone moved the end of the tunnel nearer to me and finally I can see the light shining brightly at the other end whereas it was just a tiny dot before.

    ((hugs))
    Helen x

    #47501
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    It’s just the best feeling ever isn’t it? When Shaw Somers told me he was going to do my bypass, I thought my face was going to split in half because my smile was so wide! He said to me ‘You thought I was going to say no didn’t you?’ He was right. Things had gone so badly for so long that I really didn’t think it would happen.

    The previous 14 years had been an absolute nightmare: redundancy for both me and my husband, we lost our house, my husband’s Father died, my second Mum died, our beloved dog died at only two years old and I had a near fatal car accident that almost killed me and left me with a permanent disability that made my weight soar because of immobility – this all happened in the space of four months. I do not, to this day, know how I survived it.

    However, my Guardian Angel came along several years later in the form of a Bariatric Surgeon (Mr Somers) and gave me back my life. Not just a life: a better one – one with hope for the future. And here I am now working for him!! Life is often harsh and cruel, but it can also be glorious. We just have to keep going and change our luck 😉

    This is now happening for you. I could NOT be happier for you. Run towards that light and bathe in it’s brightness – it’s your turn to be in the spotlight.

    Doodah x

    #47546

    Gosh sounds like you really were put through the mill too Doodah, its comforting to know I’m in such good company and hands with the surgeon.

    We came back from Butlins yesterday, I watched what I ate very carefully but so did enjoy that last slice of pizza knowing it will be the last time I had anything like that, its been ten months since I last tried a bit so it tasted quite good but I really couldnt manage to eat the whole piece it was so weird. Butlins was a very good holiday this week but it highlighted for me a few things which now do not feel too nice inside, being a wheelchair user now and having lost my independence, it kept making me think its not long now and I’ll be thin, not so much weight to carry about maybe it will help me be more independent then I got completely down today because my third oldest of six children is turning 16 years old in the morning, my two older ones are already 23 and 21, three younger ones are 12, 11 and 5 already, it all makes me look back at the things I used to be able to do when the first three were little like finding a toilet on my own, or choosing which parts of the holiday were for me etc, this time I ended up watching all the toddler shows on my own with my little boy, waiting for someone to bring me back a drink or take me to the toilet to make sure I could get in and out, waiting for someone to call the lift or help me get up the step into the chalet, waiting for them all to finish on various funfair rides, basically waiting and waiting with more waiting on top, its made me feel completely sad and to cap it all off I hate the way I look so huge in the photographs although there is one which doesnt show my thick neck or double chin so not too bad I just hate myself in all the rest, my clothes are ill fitting where I’ve already lost over 60lbs since February 10th this year so I felt uncomfortable and it rained every day except Wednesday so I’ve come home with chills, temperature and no energy whatsoever but somehow had to pull off cooking some turkey breast fillets into a low fat low carbs curry last night which I managed because I stayed in bed all day but today I just feel plain old depressed and wondering why a letter hasnt arrived yet confirming the funding and an appointment date 🙁

    Sorry to ramble on, I just can not wait to be on the road to better health, I know I may not get out of the wheelchair when I go out, but to dream of being able to manage with out it is making me sad. Loosing weight and becoming more fit and healthy will go a long way towards my feeling more capable, its so so completely frustrating to have to just sit there waiting all the time.

    The words insensitive spring to mind, I know my family love me and try their best but honestly I just want to fix all of the health issues so I can personally move on myself. I wonder what they will all do once that day arrives and I definitely do not need them to do some of the things they do now …… and god how I can not wait for that day to arrive I really cant.

    I realise this all sounds extremely ungrateful, I’m not I am extremely thankful just feeling totally sorry for myself and frustrated with how long its all taking to get things moving forwards and upwards now. I thought a letter would have been here for me when I got home that’s all 🙁

    #47502
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    Hi Honey

    I’m so sorry you are feeling so down. I’m glad however, that you trust us enough to come here and tell us how you are REALLY feeling.

    I was like you. waiting, waiting waiting and lots of alone, alone, alone. We went to Austria (what a choice for a super-morbidly obese person!!) with our children about 6 or 7 years ago and I had exactly the same trouble. I couldn’t go on some of the excursions and had to wave off my husband and children when they went on the ski lifts to the top of the mountian to play in the snow. I had to shuffle back to the hotel room and watch German TV alone. I didn’t go to the Krimmel waterfalls for obvious reasons either. It made me feel resentful and lonely.

    I PROMISE you, those days will end. I often think that being made to wait for things makes us appreciate them more when they arrive and it gives us one of the most valuable tools we will ever use – patience. ‘All good things come to those who wait’ is true, even if what comes isn’t what we wanted or expected. The waiting gives us time to learn to be patient: a life skill that will help us our whole lives.

    You have every right to feel down so allow yourself a few minutes each day to be ruddy miderable! Then, shake it off and start planning how you are going to tackle your weight loss after surgery. Plan as if it has already happened – that you have already been given the green light. This alone will put you streets ahead once it does.

    Read about it, watch programmes about it and keep coming on here to pick our brains (keep us on our toes!!) in no time at all, YOU will be the one offering advice and support to someone just like you are now.

    Doodah x

    #47595

    Hi Helen

    My journey only started last July! It was hard for me to accept I had to make the decision to choose wls over a holiday of a lifetime but I couldn’t get travel insurance so that sealed the deal, the holiday was no go. Furthermore I realised I would really struggle. I have been under orthopaedic consultants for over six years,most of this time I had one knee that was bone on bone, but last year whilst on holiday I stood up and transferred all my weight to my good leg and there was a sickening crunch so much so people some distance from me said “was that you, that did not sound good” I think from that day on I knew I had to deal with my weight but I didn’t know what I had done to my good knee until September over a year later. Now both knees are bone on bone and they both need replacing!

    I had to do something to get my life on back on track as are everyone on this forum. I met Doodah on the 24th July at a seminar at Chichester I wasn’t sure quite what i wanted but i met some wonderful people and just over 2 weeks later I had my appointment with Shaw Somers, unlike you I was not able to be funded so have had to pay for my op so it is just as well I couldn’t go on my holiday of a lifetime. I had a gastric bypass on 2nd of this month at QA Portsmouth, it is a lovely hospital compared to those locally to me and I was treated so well I would go there any time rather than my local hospital.

    The time from seeing Shaw to my op seemed like a lifetime but now it it seems like no time at all. I’m sitting here nearly 3 weeks post op thinking why didn’t I do this years ago i am already nearly two stone lighter in two months and it all seems so easy. The one good thing to come out of all this was I gave my orthopaedic consultant a copy of Shaw Somers letter expecting him to say, well this is a round about way to get your knees done! Wow, no he was so happy having turned me down for over 4 years (he was my second opinion) he was so delighted he said I could not have picked a better person than Shaw Somers and he will se me early next year when he is prepared to talk about replacing both knees. I didn’t believe this until I had it in writing.

    So don’t feel you have to wait too long as it will happen but unfortunately Shaw Somers is in high demand! I know it must feel like a lifetime to you. February was a long time ago just think you’re going to get Shaw too.

    All the best as you have really been through it. Hoping your appointment comes through soon.

    Claire

    #47547

    Thanks Doodah 🙂

    Well today two letters arrived, the first I opened was the thinner of the two, its an invitation to a coffee morning for weight loss surgery info on the 16th and the second is the all important over 4 hours appointment for QE Portsmouth YAY !!!

    The other mega important news is that I quit smoking on Saturday midnight, I had my last one on Friday about 11:55pm so taking the start time as midnight, this means its now at the time of typing this message over 112 and a half hours since my last cigarette !!!!!!!!!!!!

    A monumental achievement as this time last week I never thought I could get through 30 minutes to one hour let alone just stop all together. I took Champix for five days Monday to Friday last week at the 0.5mg half strength rate. Hubby and I decided to start them together in an attempt to quit on Monday. By Thursday and our second Smoke Free Medway clinic appointment I realised that I was still smoking loads even though both our CO readings were much less, his had gone down much more than mine so by Friday evening I’d decided to simply stop and see how far I could go without a smoke, I’m still going on without the tablets too as I didnt want to remove one addiction and replace it with another.

    Dieting wise, my BMI and weight has changed very little since the beginning of August, it goes down by 6lbs then up by 4lbs then down by 2lbs up by 1lb down again by 5lbs up by 6lbs and so on, all with taking orlistat still since the second week in September so despite having shed 64lbs since February 10th this year my weight is now stuck between the 105 – 108kg mark for the last three months which is very very frustrating after doing so well initially. Short of starving myself completely I am at a loss as to what to do next, thought I might try ketosis again just to kick start it off moving again but not sure if that is such a good idea so close to my appointment with Shaw Somers on 23rd November.

    I’m currently working my way through a vast amount of minty air waves chewing gum since Saturday with giving up smoking, I tried polos and extra strong mints too but mainly keep going back to the gum.

    Feeling very proud of myself at the moment and was elated to have finally received the appointment date. The psychological questions leave a lot to be desired through, will answer them truthfully and see what happens. Keeping everything crossed and double crossed for a bypass as I really do not want a band or anything that needs to be fiddled with in the future.

    Thanks for your support it truly does mean a lot

    Helen xx

    #47503
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    Hi Helen

    Super-duper well done for giving up smoking. That takes a heck of a lot of determination.

    I think your plan to answer the psych questions truthfully is a good one. I had 3 years of therapy before my bypass as I knew I needed to sort my head out first before tackiling my body. For me, it felt like the bypass would be a plaster over a wound that won’t heal if I didn’t. I have to say, the therapy was ten times harder than dealing with wls! However, I learned why I used food to self medicate.

    We are now in November so your appointment is not far away. Are you getting excited yet?

    Doodah x

    #47548

    I am absolutely mega excited Doodah, for me the WLS is the icing on the cake and I simply can not wait to get there next Friday for the pre op on the 23rd November.

    I’ve already come so far, day 19 today of being a non smoker, its been hell and back some days but most days I just keep reminding myself why I’ve done it and feel so proud, this time last year I could not even make it to the toilet so an amazing amount of work done on reconnecting mind and body already by me which is just phenomenal, yesterday I had to increase the weights I’m lifting as front pushes above my head and back down again because the ones I was on started to feel like they didn’t weigh anything, on 3rd September a few weeks ago when I started all of this I could not even get 500g above my head it was a real and complete struggle but now I’m on 2.3kg on each arm so a massive achievement again.

    On Monday I start at the actual gym – a real a proper GYM !!!! I have never even been inside one before its amazing. When the guy from Tipping the Balance asked me to go I was very excited now I’m positively bursting knowing everything is now within my reach and all my appointments are coming up so the wait is nearly over too.

    Thanks for being there

    Helen xx

    @Doodah 26172 wrote:

    Hi Helen

    Super-duper well done for giving up smoking. That takes a heck of a lot of determination.

    I think your plan to answer the psych questions truthfully is a good one. I had 3 years of therapy before my bypass as I knew I needed to sort my head out first before tackiling my body. For me, it felt like the bypass would be a plaster over a wound that won’t heal if I didn’t. I have to say, the therapy was ten times harder than dealing with wls! However, I learned why I used food to self medicate.

    We are now in November so your appointment is not far away. Are you getting excited yet?

    Doodah x

    #47504
    Lauren
    Keymaster

    Hi Helen

    Oh my life what an amazing post!

    It actually gave me chills reading it and I cannot tell you how proud I am of you. Such courage, determination and fighting spirit. I know in my heart that you will go on to achieve even more fantastic things.

    Well done on every single level. You are already utterly inspirational.

    Love Doodah x

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