Diagram of Operation

Diagram of Operation
My new tummy arrangement after gastric mini bypass

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Twenty-two week weigh in - five months since operation

No change in my weight this morning from last week's weigh in.  It will be interesting to see if Christmas has an effect on my weight.  Most years prior to this one, I have have gained substantially over the festive period.  I think Quality Street and Cadbury's Roses very large tins of chocolate sweets have had something to do with this!

I did however, measure myself this morning.  My pre operation numbers are on the left:

Bust 136cm   – 53.5ins         119.5cm  - 47 ins          16.5cm -   6.5 ins lost in 22 weeks
Waist 138cm – 54.3ins         111.5cm  - 44 ins          26.5cm -   9.7 ins lost in 22 weeks

Hips 172cm   – 67.7ins         146 cm    - 57.5 ins       26cm    - 10.2 ins lost in 22 weeks
Calf 54cm     – 21.3ins           49.5 cm - 19.5 ins         4.5cm -   1.8 ins lost in 22 weeks

Finally I can measure all of me with a normal 150cm/60" tape measure - I couldn't before!

I wish anyone reading this a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, especially fellow gastric bypassers. 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Twenty-one week weigh in and getting ready for Christmas

Weighing in this morning sees me now at 106.2 kilos/233½lbs or 16stone 9½lbs, so it's still coming off.  I've lost 5st 12lbs/36.9kg now.  I am not setting targets, as I've said before, but I would like to see myself below 100kg, and it looks like an achievable aim now.

I am now avoiding all milk products and although the situation is improved it is not sorted. I haven't started the antibiotics as I have blood tests for a follow up of a parathyroidectomy in June and don't want the results distorted in any way. It seems that my parathome level is much too high and there may still be a problem.

I am, however, taking the two supplements - ingredients include, evening primrose oil, vitamins C & E, iron, ginseng,and zinc - which will hopefully contribute to me not losing too much more hair. I have lost so much now that my slide which hold my hair on the top of my head sometimes slips off. I am constantly empyting my hairbrush and the bath after a shower and it's amazing how much hair is leaving my head. The problem is, that when my hair does eventually regrow it will be short and not mix in well with my long hair, so I will probably end up having it cut short when I do get regrowth, and then I'll have to grow it again.

A friend came to lunch yesterday with her husband.  I haven't see her for, probably, a year or so. She too had weight problems, but was so worried about having a gastric bypass because she has heart problems too, that she has finally buckled down and has lost four stone through diet and exercise. She continues to lose weight and I am very proud of her - because it ain't easy.

I have eaten some different foods this week, amongst them, long grain rice and mushrooms, and in a salad, lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, cucumber and red peppers dressed with a homemade French dressing. I've tried globe artichokes but couldn't get on with them and still find bread difficult, even French bread with lumpfish caviar balanced on top.   Today, I've made enough of my usual homemade veggie soup to last for four day.  I had some celery in the fridge so I added the leaves to the soup before I blitzed it all, just to make a minor difference in taste.

My Christmas decorations and tree went up today with the help of a friend:

My tree was given to me yesterday by my friends who came to lunch and it's lovely - thank you so much!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Shopping - have I faded so much that I am invisible?

When I got back from the hospital yesterday I dropped in at the pharmacy to fill the prescription for the intravenous antibiotics and the food supplements.  Dr Lechaux hadn't given me a prescription for the nurse to do the injections and before I left the pharmacy they said they would telephone him and the nurse to organise it all for me.  They asked me to return this morning.  I went in to see them just before going into the supermarket next door.  The pharmacist had dealt with all the problems.  Apparently, these drugs are no longer available intravenously so have been exchanged for tablets.  Unfortunately, that means I am now going to have to take four extra tablets a day (with the other supplements he prescribed) and I have a problem taking tablets.  Still, I suppose it's better than a daily injection.  sometimems I feel I go one step forward and two steps back.  I shall start tomorrow with the new medication. 

This morning I bought loads of Christmas food to store and, I'd like to think that in another 17 days, I may just be able to eat something from each course of Christmas lunch.  I hardly spend anything at the supermarket nowadays with my reduced eating, but today my bill was €138,95 - quite a shock!  Still, Christmas is never cheap and I shall enjoy the others eating and drinking all the festive food even if I can't have as much as usual.

As I was at the fish counter, buying crab, salmon and having prawns weighed out, another customer asked about crabs and then started to order some.  The assistant said, “can you wait please, I am already serving”.  The woman turned to me and apologized.  I said “no problem” and smiled.  When I was at the checkout packing my shopping into bags, with the assistant still putting items through the till, the same woman offered her loyalty card and put her payment card into the machine.  This assistant said, “can you wait please, I am already serving”.  The woman customer looked at me and said “I am so sorry – this is the second time”.  I have lost 79 pounds in weight, so I replied “Perhaps I am invisible” no-one understood what I really meant, but they all laughed.  

Currently, because of course this changes at a whim, my favourite naughty "food" is After Eight Mints.  The first is the standard 200g box and the second is the 400g "overpriced with Christmas packaging" box!

I have six each day, spread out through the day, at a cost of 214 calories, and although we don't count calories, it does give me some idea of what I'm eating and how many I can allow myself - because they're very slim minted chocolates and it would be very easy to eat the whole box without realising!

This afternoon I cooked a chicken with bacon and herbs so that I will have the stock to make soup again, I did eat some of the meat for my supper.  I have bought lots of vegetables to cook in the oven and add to the stock before I blend it, pass it through a sieve, reheat and eat it.

Here is a photo of my old, fatter face and another of my old but new, slimmer face - there is definitely an improvement.

I went out yesterday evening to a Quiz evening at a pub in St Gilles Vieux Marché, about 45 minutes away from my home.  I don't usually go out much in the evening when I have to drive as I hate driving at night.  If it's dark my brain tells me that I should be asleep.  We have a meal - last night chicken in a cider and cream sauce with French fries - as part of the €5 cost, and for the first time since my operation I ate something away from the house.  I had about eight of the chips dipped into the sauce.  I was apprehensive, but everything was fine, so I shall feel more confident in future.  Little by little ....

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Visit to consultant at twenty weeks and two days and weight loss

As I was going to see Dr Le Chaux this afternoon I weighed this morning.  Now, I have to say that I had a very disturbed evening and night after eating the little bit of cheese.  The evening saw me in the bathroom a lot and then I got up at just after 04.00am and continued in the bathroom about five times until midday.  Luckily, this afternoon I was ok while I was out of the house at the hospital.  I weighed in at 107.1kg which takes me down into the sixteen stones at 16st12lbs2oz.  Breakthrough!  I was 16st6lbs when I first arrived in Cornwall on 3 September 1996, so will be very pleased when I go through that barrier.

After a bit of a wait to see the consultant I showed off my new slimmer body and we talked about my bowel problems and that I had self-diagnosed lactose intolerance.  He seemed to agree with me.  As my bowel problems are better than they were, but still not better, he has prescribed me an antibiotic to deal with the growing bacterial colony in my gut.  He also precribed two more supplements to help with my problems.  I said that I felt much better in myself, I no longer walk with a cane, have more energy, generally feel much better. 

He is organising an event on 25 January 2012 for mini gastric bypass patients to meet each other and invited me along.  I accepted with pleasure.  He also asked if I would be happy to talk to any English patients who come to him.  I agreed with that too.  I suggested that he might consider a brochure in English for MGBP patients and he will probably contact an American surgeon who does a lot of these operations to ask for his advice.

He checked my scars and my tummy apron and said he would probably operate in about a year to remove the excess skin on my abdomen.  We also talked about my hair loss.  I seem to have lost so much hair I'm surprised I still seem to have some on my head.  He said that this was temporary and would improve before long.

We ended with making an appointment for 4 July 2012, but he said that if I needed to see him before this, to 'phone for another appointment.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Twenty week weigh in

Well, another week with no weight loss - no weight gain either - but no loss - so I'm still 108.6kg.   It is disappointing but I wonder if it's because I'm changing what I eat. 

I am now managing to eat a little protein, meat and egg.  I've had bacon, egg, a little chicken and some roast pork.  We are talking very small quantities here, but it must make  difference I suppose.  I am still not having any dairy at all.  Since I stopped dairy products I find I am able to eat a better choice of foods, I can't explain why, but it's good.  Also I have had three very good days, but the rest still see me in the loo on and off all morning.

I see Dr le Chaux tomorrow afternoon and will put my questions to him then.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Nineteen week weigh in

For the first time, I have not lost any weight this week.  So - disappointing, but as I can't influence it, I am still not really eating enough, I shall just hope that there will be a drop next week.

Nothing to do with my mini gastric bypass, but a nice photo of Purrdy flopped over the top of the settee, taken ten minutes ago.

I saw my GP yesterday and explained my reasons for thinking I have a lactose intolerance.  Apparently, in France, they don't believe there is a medication which works for people with this problem.  The advice is that you should just cut out dairy completely.  I decided I would cut dairy completely for four weeks, except for the probiotic yoghurts, Actimel, which I am going to try today.  I shall review the situation after that.  We talked about the fact that once my stomach/bowel is in balance again, it may be that I can return to dairy on a reduced basis.

Yesterday I had a close relationship with the toilet for the whole of the morning and was sick twice as well.  Heaven knows why - it's very frustrating.

I see my surgeon, Dr le Chaux a week tomorrow, so maybe he'll have some suggestions.

I found a very fat photo of me from a day playing bowls outdoors on Sunday, 30 August 2009.  Already I find it difficult to remember me that fat.

Here's a "full frontal" photo of me two days ago.   5stone 6lbs/76lbs lighter/34.5kg lighter than the day I went into hospital for the bypass.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Have I found the reason for my problems?

I've spent the morning on the internet and have read and read so many different articles trying to find why I might be having such a noisy stomach and be spending so much time on the toilet.  I think I may have found the answer.

It seems that I may be lactose intolerant, which means that all the milk I have been drinking and adding to soups may be the reason for my tummy troubles.  In lactose intolerant people there is a deficiency in the production of the enzyme called lactase which breaks down the lactose.  Lactase is found in the top of the small intestine, which is the part bypassed in the mini gastric bypass, and frequently people who have had this bypass subsequently find they are lactose intolerant. 

If the lactose is not dealt with by the lactase then it arrives in the colon where anaerobic bacteria convert it into foul smelling gas, methane and possibly hydrogen sulphide and extra water is passed at the same time, creating diarhhoea with the associated cramping  pains.

There are two solutions.  The first is to avoid lactose containing products such as milk, cream and cheese, but also some cakes, icecream etc. etc.  The second is to continue to eat dairy but to take lactase either in drop or pill form prior to eating/drinking the lactose containing product.  This lactase should then alleviate the symptoms.

I am seeing my general practitioner on Monday early evening and will put my findings to her.  Hopefully this will be the answer.  Fingers crossed, because I have really had enough of it all after nearly nineteen weeks.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Comparison photos of the day before the operation and eighteen weeks later

I spoke to my daughter on the 'phone yesterday evening.  She hasn't seen me since I came back to Brittany on 14 October and wanted to know what I looked like now.  She suggested that I put a comparison photo to the "day before the op" photo which I posted on 17 July, so I just took a photo of me now.  Here they are:

I hope it's not necessary to point out which is which, but in case it is, the second is when I weigh 76lbs/5st 6lbs/34.5kg less than the first.  I think the thing that my daughter will notice is the extra row of books on the shelves behind me.  I can stop buying books!

Having a very difficult day today.  Tried cauliflower cheese.  Enjoyed preparing and cooking it.  Enjoyed the first two mouthfuls and then rushed to the sink.  Couldn't keep it down at all.  It's nearly 2.00pm and I haven't managed to eat anything else - so not good.

The best part about the day is the beautiful weather.  After two grey and misty days we now have brilliant sunshine again and it's lovely out there.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Eighteen week weigh in

Eighteen weeks post op now.  This morning I weighed in at 108.6kg which is a loss of 1.4kg since last week's weigh in.  108.6kg is about 240 or 17stones 2lbs, so my total loss at the moment is 34.5 kilos/5stones 6lbs/76 lbs. 

I've never set myself targets as I can't really influence it, but it would be good to be at 100kg by six months post op on 18 January 2012.   100kg is 220 lbs or 15stones 10lbs which sounds brilliant to me and would mean I'd lost 43.1 kilos or 95lbs or 6stones 11lbs.  We shall have to see - as I say, there's nothing I can do really so just have to see what happens.

My bowels are no better - in fact some days/nights they seem worse.  I was up at 5.05am in the bathroom and have been all morning.  I don't feel like eating today as I feel slightly nauseous but not weak.  I have given up arranging to do things in the morning as I can't leave the bathroom far away.  I've had to cancel two medical appointments and rearrange them for the afternoon which is a blxxdy nuisance.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Seventeen week weigh in. Can I see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Seventeen week weigh in this morning.  I am now 110kgs/243lbs/17stones 5lbs, which is a three pound weight loss over the week.  I am happier with that loss, although I can't put it down to anything in particular. 

I feel that things have been slightly better this week, that there has  been an improvement.  I actually fancied a food for the first time since the op.  I was in the local supermarket and suddenly thought that I fancied tempura prawns.  I asked for 100g of shell on prawns which worked out to be seven prawns.  When I got home I peeled them and dipped them in a light batter before frying them.  I ate them, dipping in mayonnaise and the first four were lovely.  I then had to stop for about 20 minutes before eating the remaining three.  They tasted good.

Also this week I managed to eat almost a whole piece of toast in one go.  It was spread with butter and thickly spread with marmalade.  The first carbohydrate I've had for a very, very long time. 

I have had numerous bowls of homemade butternut squash soup and smoked salmon has been my only real source of protein apart from Saturday's prawns.  I tried scrambled egg on toast for supper last night but only ate a couple of forkfuls when I vomited.  I am having to sell more and more of my hens' eggs as I am not getting through them as I usually do.

I haven't managed to go to Bowls this morning as leaving the bathroom is such a problem.  Vomiting has been less this week, not stopped completely but definitely diminished.

I am appalled at the loose skin I now have on my front thighs and back thighs by the knee.  I know I will be able to have a stomach tuck at some point, but heavens knows what will happen with my thighs.  Somehow being fat is more acceptable to me than having hanging skin.  Not sure quite how to deal with it mentally at the moment.

I met two people I hadn't seen for ages, at the supermarket on Saturday and they walked past me to start with and couldn't believe how much weight I'd lost.  Always good to see someone you haven't seen for a long time as the difference is so much greater and the comments really positive.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Sixteen week weigh in

I weighed in this morning at 111.5kg/246 lbs/17st8lbs which is a loss of another one and a half pounds.  I am disappointed and don't understand the low loss, but I know the professionals will be happy I am losing more slowly.  The strange thing is that I am not doing anything different, so can't put the reduced loss down to anything in particular.

Otherwise everything remains as before with eating still being difficult, although when I am eating I think it may be easier to actually have food in my mouth than it was. 

I have been growing butternut squashes this year and the last few weeks have seen me eating soup made from these and to increase my protein I have been eating a couple of smoked salmon slices a day.  I think it's easy to eat because it's thin, a bit like the thin smoked ham slices I eat too some days. 

My blood tests from last Friday came back showing a higher, bottom of normal range, level of potassium, so that's good.  I continue to take the potassium syrup and the vitamin syrup to keep levels of potassium and vitamins in a good range.

Today I received an email from someone who has a family member who will be having this operation next year.  He asked if I would talk to him about the operation and its effects.  I am always happy to write or talk to anyone in private as I know how desperate I was for information before my operation.  Just contact me and I will reply to you.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Fifteen week weigh in

Today I weighed in at 112.3kg/17st9½lbs, just a loss of 400g or almost 1lb.  At least the professionals will be happy with this very small weight loss, which is just as well, because I am certainly not happy about it.

I have organised another blood sample to be taken on Friday morning, so hopefully, as I have been faithfully taking the bottle of red syrup which is potassium morning and night, my levels will be in the normal range.

Eating and drinking remain difficult.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Blood test and results

I had a whole range of blood tests yesterday morning. The nurse arrived at 07.05am and had to knock loudly on the outside door to wake me. In the afternoon, my doctor’s surgery partner ‘phoned me as the laboratory had ‘phoned her to say that my potassium and protein were extremely low and needed immediate attention. I collected a prescription for potassium syrup, one soupspoonsful twice a day for two weeks and a prescription for a further blood test next Thursday morning, to check on my progress. I love the way the dosages are prescribed here, not 5ml, 10ml or 15ml but by coffee and soup spoons. I promised to try to get some more protein into my mouth.

Today I started with a mug of all milk coffee, a chocolate cream dessert with 4.5g of protein and half a slice of toast and butter with smoked salmon, so I am trying with the protein.  I have to have more blood taken next Thursday to check up on progress. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


This afternoon saw me back up at Yves le Foll hospital again, this time to see the dietician.  I have already cancelled two appointments with Mme Guyot, so hadn't seen her since I was in having my operation. 

I knew she wouldn't be happy with my poor eating and she wasn't.  She was, however, very kind and understanding, ending up with asking me to try to eat more dairy and to eat six times a day minimum.  She is worried about my lack of protein and the possibility of malnutrition.  I agreed to try to increase my dairy intake by buying and eating creme caramels etc.

She too, having weighed me, said I was losing weight much too fast, but understood the difficulty.

I have another appointment in three months on 1 February 2012 when I need to attend with a completed food diary too.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

14 week weigh in

Weighed in at 112.7kg/17st10½lbs this morning.  This is just one kilo lighter than a week ago, but then the surgeon did say he wanted my weight loss to be slower, so no problem there then.

For the last few days I've been eating not much food but loads of calories.  I made butternut squash soup which is let down with lots of cream - and I mean lots.  I have had two bowls of this each day.  Today I've eaten one bowl and one Cadbury's Chocolate Miniroll.  The Miniroll went down without much thought - unheard of for the last twelve weeks.  I was hardly aware I was eating it, which I consider to be a breakthrough - not being obsessive about what was in my mouth.

It is really hard finding something I want to put in my mouth, but I've also been continuing with the Carr's Water Biscuits with butter and Cheddar cheese too.

None of this sounds healthy, but I'm just glad to be eating anything really.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Rendezvous with surgeon

I had an appointment with Dr Le Chaux at 15.00 hours this afternoon.  I told him about my inability and reluctance to eat anything at all, trouble with medication and toothbrush in my mouth.  He said that these months were the worst always and that come six months things will have improved!  I do hope so, another three months of this seem a hell of a long time to wait.

He was concerned about my blood pressure being low as I wasn't eating very much, but when he took it there was no problem, 135 over 75.  He gave me prescriptions for Surgiline, the vitamins and Inexium.  He also gave me a prescription for a nurse to take blood for various tests in the next week.

He said it might be interesting to try to have a series of appointments with an English speaking therapist, but felt that things would be ok in another three months, as above.

I have another appointment with him on 7 December and I have to have yet another lot of blood tests for that appointment too. 

Next Wednesday it's the dietician I have to see, but I can't see the point really.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

3 Months Post Op/13 weeks exactly

Not much change from a few days ago when I weighed having arrived back from England.  Just another 200g gone, so now 113.7kg/17st13pounds. 

I had a really rough night with sitting on the loo from 4.00am and vomiting after doing my teeth when I decided to get up for good.  Finally decided to go to bowls and had a good morning in spite of feeling weak.  It was good to see everyone too.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

An interim weigh in

Because I've been over in the UK for a week, I didn't manage to weigh on my scales on Tuesday, as I usually do, so I've weighed this morning - four days late. 

I saw the hypotherapist in England but it was felt by him that I needed a twelve week session which obviously I couldn't do as I live in Brittany.

I weighed in at 17stones 13lbs/113.9 kilos/251 lbs.  This is a further weight loss of 9lbs, putting my total weight loss in just over twelve weeks to 29.2 kilos/4st 8lbs/64lbs.  Next Tuesday, will be 13 weeks and exactly three months.  Although the weight loss is lovely, it is also worrying as it is due largely to my almost complete inability to eat and the constant vomiting I am suffering.  Yesterday, as I was travelling for 12 hours coming back home I didn't eat anything, as I couldn't cope with being ill in the car or on the boat.   In spite of this, I was sick just before I went to bed.

Trying to be positive now I'm back and get over this problem of putting anything in my mouth at all.

I am making a concerted effort now I'm back to sort this out.   This morning I managed my tablets without vomiting and ate half a banana.  I also, for the first time for ages, drank my vitamins - they taste disgusting, but I am very weak and do need to sort out my mouth problems.  I am planning half a cheese sandwich for lunch, having brought back Cheddar and white plastic bread from Cornwall.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Eleventh week weigh in

I weighed in at 118 kilos/260 lbs/18st 8lbs this morning which is a much better weight loss than recently.  The weight loss was 2.5 kilos/5.5lbs.  This means I've now lost a total of 25.1 kilos/55.3lbs.  Another .7 of a pound and I would have lost 4 stones/56 lbs - which is, I think, very good. 

My eating problems continue and I feel as if I am eating less and less.  It has to be a psychological problem so I have booked myself in to see a hypnotherapist on Monday week, in the hope that he can make me understand that eating is a good thing.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Ten week weigh in

Disappointingly low weight loss this week of only 0.9kilos, but it did push me down into the end of the 18 stones so that was good.  I can't seem to influence the loss, so I'm not really disappointed.  So I now weigh 120.5 kilos/18st 13.8lbs, 266 lbs - more or less - these conversions are difficult to get enirely accurate.

I had a bad night on Sunday when I kept having to get up and sit on the loo - not sure why, but felt completely shattered on Monday and went to sleep after lunch missing two appointments!  I haven't been sick for three days now, so that's good.

I played bowls this morning and had a good lot of games - but was exhausted afterwards.  I don't see me doing a full day's bowling for a while yet.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Nine week weigh in

This morning I have weighed in at 121.4kg/19st1lb, so a loss of 1.9kilos, a total loss so far of  21.9 kilos/3st 6.5lbs/48.5lbs.

I feel better generally, but am still having trouble trying to find anything I want to eat at all.  I have had to give away loads of bunches of grapes as there is no way I will eat them - this year anyway. 

I went to bowls this morning and it was good to see people I hadn't seen for a long time.  I had a very good game.  I think I'd saved all my skill and luck over the last ten weeks for this morning's game!  The bending down was a bit tiring and I was really sweating with the exertion, but it was a great morning.

I went shopping on the way home.  The biggest part of my supermarket bill is now the cat food!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

A nice surprise

I've just realised something.  For several years now, I have been numb on the outside of both thighs because I fitted too snuggly into my armchair.  This afternoon, while sitting in the sun reading, I went to flick a fly off my thigh and realised I could feel it.  Finally, I am slim enough (I know I'm not slim) to fit into my chair without losing feeling.  Just one of those nice spinoffs.

I didn't throw up yesterday and I haven't thrown up today so far, although, to be fair, I haven't eaten very much today because I've been outside all the time in the glorious sunshine and haven't thought about it.   I feel things are looking up.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Eight week weigh in

I've just weighed - forgot to do it this morning - and I've lost a total of 20kg/3st2lbs/44lbs in eight weeks.  I'm now 123.1kg/19st 5.4lbs/271.4lbs.

I'm still having the same problems with vomiting and shitting.  I've was ok this morning, having had a mug of all milk drinking chocolate, a slice of corned beef and twelve cashew nuts.    This afternoon I had a globe artichoke and threw up almost immediately.  There doesn't seem to be anything in particular which makes me vomit, I'm not really sure what does it, but it is a pain in the butt.

Bending is a problem - I tend to feel quite faint afterwards, so still haven't managed to get to a Bowls morning.  However, I do feel stronger generally. Looking back at how I felt three weeks ago I am definitely stronger than then.

I am still sleeping well, and I'm very grateful for that, as I'm dreadful if I don't get a good night's sleep.

It's a lovely sunny and breezy day here, so I've got washing on the line, certain to dry.  I've been sitting out reading and the sun is lovely on my back.  I love these September days when the sunshine is a real bonus, especially after the stormy weather the last few days.

I am generally being more active.  Since my daughter went back to the UK I have been looking after the animals again, hanging out the laundry and doing the shopping.  So, although sometimes I feel I'm not getting there, I can see that I am.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Weigh in - seven weeks post op

I weighed in this morning at 125.1 kilos/19st 10lbs.  So 18 kgs/2st 11½lbs lost in seven weeks.  Not such a big loss this week, but I can't ever explain a low or a high loss.  It doesn't really matter to me, I know I will lose enough weight eventually.  I have had a lot of trouble eating this week again.  I'm finding it very difficult to be interested in food and to find anything I want to try at all. 

Vomiting has again been a problem this week.  I don't feel nauseous, just throw up after almost everything I eat.  The Imodium wore off so I am back on that again.  I was hoping to go to Bowls today, for half a day, but can't risk it with my bowels and the vomiting.

I'm still sleeping well and am grateful for that.  In fact, I sleep too late in the morning really, 8.30-9.30am and should be up earlier for the animals.  Even if I drop off in the afternoon I still sleep as long.

Sunny, but very windy here today and I understand that ferries and flights in Cornwall have been badly affected by the strong winds, so it must have been much worse there.

Yesterday afternoon I spent on the field, supervising weeding of the veggie patches.  Having had seven weeks of doing nothing, they were a real mess.  There are so many butternut squash coming on I can't believe it.  Last year we really enjoyed these and I'm so glad we've got them again.  The onions are now drying off in the polytunnel and the courgettes which have turned into marrows are going to the hens, who seem to love them.  Hopefully there are enough broad bean seeds harvested to keep for next year's crop.   Still loads of beetroot and carrots and the parnips are looking healthy.  Still pounds of tomatoes coming on in the polytunnel - I've already frozen loads of tomato sauce/soup.  Hopefully I shall be able to have lots of veggie soup this autumn/winter.   Soup is one thing I do seem to be able to enjoy.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


Don't know what to write really.  Bowels have been good for a couple of days, Imodium obviously worked, but becoming fluid so may have to start taking it again.  Have felt much stronger and better with the improvement.

I'm getting three eggs a day regularly now with my "hatched-here" hens coming into lay.  Will have a very small omelette for supper. 

It's difficult doing meals.  If I were cooking for a family everyday it would be much easier.  I would just take a small amount of what I had cooked for other people, but living alone makes it difficult.  I can hardly cook one floret of broccoli, a couple of pieces of carrot, half a potato, a few square inches of meat - it just doesn't work like that.  So I end up having one thing which would normally be part of a meal not the only thing.  I've had a cup of all milk drinking chocolate and can't decide what to have to eat now.  I'm fed up with Weetabix and bread/toast seems too stodgy.   

The sun is coming out after a dreadfully wet night.  The cats have had a bird downstairs and there are feathers in every part of the sitting room and kitchen - I don't think I've ever seen feathers spread so wide.  I can't begin to clear it up, not wanting to bend down very much still, but my cleaner is here tomorrow so I'll leave her to do it then.  I just hope I have no visitors today.

I managed to get a large black sack of stale bread from SuperU yesterday.  I usually try to get one each week for the animals, but not being well enough to get there for opening time has meant I haven't had any for weeks and weeks.  Yesterday I wasn't early, but was lucky that they still had a sack left.  The goats were very pleased to get some last night and this morning I threw lots into the ducks' water and in the hen field so they were all happy this morning when I let them out.

I've eaten three TUC biscuits while I've been writing this, so that's sorted my breakfast!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Medication changed and a good eating day

I went to see the Pharmacy this morning to see if I could have a liquid vitamin supply instead of the Surgilene tablets which are so difficult to swallow.  They checked and found the existence of a powder sachet which needs to be added to water and ordered that for me to collect late tomorrow afternoon.  It will be another €26+ but worth it to be able to take the vitamins easily.  Took my first of four Vitamin D ampoules for this month - these are replacing the huge tablet which took 35 minutes to suck away.  After the first month I'm taking just one ampoule a month.  So on the medication front, things are looking much better.   I met a friend as I was coming out of the supermarket and we sat on a bench inside the shop catching up.

I have had a good eating day too.  Half a Weetabix, milk and 5ml of sugar for breakfast with a cup of all milk drinking chocolate.  A strawberry yoghurt and two homegrown strawberries.  A small smoked salmon sandwich for lunch with a homegrown beetroot.  Three TUC biscuits and the equivalent of a Dairylea Cheese Triangle (here called Kiri).  Then for supper half a boiled egg and a small piece of bread and butter and some sliced saucisson.

It's been a good weather day here too - cooler than recently this morning, but lovely and sunny this afternoon.  I almost regretted lighting the woodburner at lunchtime as it got warmer and warmer inside even with the double doors open.  

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Medication change and vomiting

Saw the doctor this morning who reduced my medication so I have less stuff to take and changed some medication to easier things to take. 

When I got back, after midday, I ate two TUC biscuits a small piece of cheese and part of a nectarine.  I then threw up every 10-20 minutes and couldn't seem to stop. God knows what it was all about.  Felt so awful all afternoon.  Finally, after a particularly long session of vomiting from 5.45-5.55pm I gave in and telelphoned the doctor.  She said she'd call me back at the end of surgery.  Typically, I didn't throw up again.  I think the last long session must have cleared a blockage probably caused by the vitamin tablets which are pretty big.   I could cut them in half, but then I'd have to swallow twice the amount - the medication is difficult.   

The doctor called later and said she wasn't happy with me taking the vitamin tablets again.  She said I had to go to the chemist tomorrow and ask if there was a liquid alternative.  If the pharmacist wanted to he could call her at the surgery.

It's thunder and lightning again here this evening - now 20.10hrs - and it seems so close - right above the house, that I've disconnected the electricity to the laptop.  We've have a lot of thunder this last seven days.

Strangely quiet today without Libby and Charlie, although there is something nice about it!  I was going to go to bed early, I'm exhausted from the vomiting, but can't as I have to do the animals myself now.  Come back Libby!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Six weeks post op and Weigh Day

Last morning of Charlie, my grandson, arriving in my bed in the morning as I take them back to Roscoff this afternoon to catch the ferry back to England.  I love him lying quietly next to me while he watches his television programmes, his shock of blond hair on the pillow.

I got up and drove straightaway into the supermarket as we haven't been able to get milk for the last few days.  Bought four bottles from a tightly packed shelf and drove straight home again.

Managed to leave a message with the hospital cancelling my appointment with the dietician tomorrow.  I can't find the appointment paper with the time and I have the doctor tomorrow as well, so thought it was easier to let the dietician call me back with a new time.

I weighed in at 12.20pm and was 126.3 kilos/19st12½lbs, which means I'm under twenty stone for the first time in ages, and I've now lost  16.8 kilos/2st 9lbs.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Bloody Medication!

As I collected the remainder of my medication from the surgeon's prescription yesterday, I thought I'd better start taking it today. I am already on Inexium and something for the Candida, so ignoring those that leaves four extra things.

The first, a large 2cm diameter tablet - Vitamin D - to be sucked was the first thing I put in my mouth was difficult. I hate taking tablets of any sort and to have to keep something of this size in my mouth until it disappeared was not good. It took 35 minutes to dissolve - not acceptable. I usually have a Vitamin D injection in Autumn, Winter and Spring, so wonder whether this would be a suitable alternative to this huge tablet.

The next were two brown tablets of nearly 1cm diameter - multi vitamins - and not easy to swallow at that size. I had to wait 5 minutes between each one and they seemed to be stuck part way down.

Then two similar sized white tablets - Delursan - is used to treat small gallstones in people who cannot have gallbladder surgery, and to prevent gallstones in overweight patients undergoing rapid weight loss, also used to treat primary biliary cirrhosis. I have no gallbladder so can't get gallstones so I guess it's for the latter condition. Half an hour after taking the brown tablets I took the first white one and twenty minutes later I threw up. I then took the second white one and managed to keep that down.

Half an hour later I took two Imodium substitutes and threw them up within ten minutes. I give up. The usual Imodium tablets dissolve within 2-3 seconds on my tongue, but these are white capsules and I have to swallow four of them.

I decided I will have to make an appointment with Dr Quarck, my GP, to discuss this medication situation as clearly I can't go through this every morning. Just 'phoned for an appointment next week after Libs goes back and have 10.30am on Wednesday. Hope she can sort something out because I am now having difficulty eating too because of the medication making me throw up and the throwing up making me feel so weak. Buxxer, buxxer, buxxer.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

First Post Op Visit to Surgeon

I had a reasonable night's sleep and feel fairly good this morning, I think the best I've felt so far.  This is good news as I had to drive to St Brieuc this afternoon to see Dr Le Chaux in his outpatient clinic. 

Andy picked huge quantities of cherry tomatoes from the polytunnel yesterday and I started to take out the stalks with a view to cooking them, but found I have no garlic so will have to wait until I come back from the hospital.  I cook them with sugar, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Then I blend them and then pass them through a seive.  The resulting gorgeousness I freeze until I need to use for a sauce or a soup - frequently I eat lots of it before it gets to the freezer because it's so delicious.

He also picked the runner beans which have been far too long on the vines.  I prepared the ones which were tender enough to eat and the rest have been despatched to the compost heap.  It was necessary to pick them all so that the vines continue to produce more beans.

I had most of a boiled egg with bread and butter for breakfast and sat outside with a hot chocolate drink a bit later in the sunshine.  For the first time I didn't sit under the parasol - usually it's just too much having the heat on me, but this morning it was ok.  Things are looking up because I'm a total sunworshipper.  I still have to avoid sun on my parathyroidectomy scar, but I just wear a silk scarf tied round my neck.

Went to the hospital and waited for over an hour while one patient saw Dr Le Chaux, then it was my turn.  He asked loads of questions and so did I.  He seemed happy with my health, progress and weight loss.  Gave me a prescription for six lots of medication including Vitamin D, Imodium, Inexium etc. etc. and an appointment for 7 December.  He reckons I should be losing about 10kg/22lbs/1st 8lbs a month for the six months post op.  He seemed a little surprised about the vomiting which I experienced and with my shitting yellow liquid, but included Imodium in the prescription.  It seems to be a little better today anyway.

I've definitely felt better/stronger today - my best day so far post op.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Visitors and Imodium

Well, the Imodium seems to be part working - definite reduction in evacuations but still needs dose adjusting upwards a bit.

Can't seem to think of anything I want to eat today - Sunday - it really is difficult when food is of no interest at all.  I've had a Bovril sandwich for breakfast, half a banana and a little canned spaghetti in tomato sauce with two small slices of saucisson from Libby's plate. 

Libby's been weeding and clearing one side of the driveway today, in spite of the heat, bless her.  I sat out with her and snipped the seedheads off poppies and marigolds.  I stood up for a while and pruned the roses which have got to about 8-9ft tall and out of control.  It nearly killed me though.  I am  definitely not ready for physical stuff yet. 

While playing Scrabble on the computer we heard a faint "Bonjour" from the driveway and it was a lady in her eighties, with her daughter, who comes to visit each year.  She was born in the house we now use as a utility area and gym and she likes a bit of nostaglia and always pops in sometime during the summer.   She has a wander round the garden and into the houses to see what we have done.  This time she told me where she lived now and invited me to pop in and see her. 

Monday and I had to go to Guingamp to have a cortisone injection in my left knee.  The doctor did my right knee before my operation, but couldn't do both at the same time because it would be too much cortisone in my body apparently.   As I came out into the car park at the clinic a friend from Book Club came over to chat. 

I slept well again, but it rained hard during the night and when I woke in the early hours I could hear the rain on the garden parasol.  I must remember not to leave it open except during the day.  

Tuesday is weigh day and I have lost another 1.5kg/3.3lbs so am 128.5kg - five weeks post op.

Three Imodium tablets this morning to try and sort my damn bowels out.  Finally found something I can eat without problem - TUC biscuits.  Not terribly nutritious, but good to find something I want to put in my mouth.   Bought some mushroom and pork smooth paté which I had for lunch on buttered toast and that was good, but I couldn't eat too much. 

Libby wanted mussels for supper tonight so we bought half a kilo as I won't be able to eat many if any.  Charlie had one in the supermarket and said he wanted them too.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Imodium and visitors

I've decided that the weakness that I'm experiencing all the time, but particularly when I stand, is due to the fact that I'm still, explosively and without much warning, shitting liquid frequently throughout the day and night, as I have been since I had my operation.  Obviously, if you have diarrhoea you are going to feel weak.  So, I went to the Pharmacy around one thirty and bought some Imodium.   The temperature at SuperU was 27 degrees, so another very hot day.

The first time I took Imodium was years ago again when I'd come out of hospital after an operation with the same symptoms.  I had a friend with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and she took two Imodium on a daily basis always.  She brought some round to me - they were only available on prescription in those days - and I took one.  I didn't shit for ten days. 

Bearing this in mind, I took just half a tablet to start with, although the maximum dose per day is three tablets.  Hopefully, once my bowels are under control things will get much better.  Not a pleasant subject, but part of the experience so I thought I should share it.

I cooked my chicken casserole yesterday morning after Libby had prepared the veggies.  Had some early afternoon and it went down well - not a large portion obviously, but it was tasty.  Had it with lots of the liquid, like a  chunky soup really.

This morning my bowels had not improved so I took a whole Imodium and will wait to see what happens with that.

Friends from Bowls came round in the middle of the day.  It was great to see them and have a good chat.  They brought me a lovely lavender for the garden - one of my favourite plants. 

Went shopping later in the afternoon.  There's no semi-skimmed milk in the supermarket.  It's always a problem at this time of year when holidaymakers are here buying up the stock.   Bought bread and ate most of the ham sandwich I made for tea - the rest  was destined for the bird table.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Four week weigh-in

Four weeks post op.  I weighed in this morning and have lost 13.1 kilos/28 pounds/2 stone.   So on my scales, I am now 130 kilos/20 stone and six pounds.  I can see that some has gone from my face, but my tummy seems just as uncomfortable with my waistbands, although some must have gone from there too.   Just glad to see that there is a weight loss.

Yesterday I ate more than the day before and I'm aiming to increase my meal sizes a bit this week as I don't think I'm eating enough still.  Friends with their new granddaughter came over late morning which was good. 

After lunch, when I finished off the quiche from yesterday, three of my Writers' Group friends came over and we sat out in the garden catching up.  They also brought me some lovely flowers.  

Libby, Charlie and I then went to the supermarket and picked up some groceries for the next few days.  I bought chicken joints and veggies to do a chicken casserole tomorrow - Libby will help me prepare it as I can't stand up at the hob for long enough.  The temperature on the supermarket forecourt read 28 degrees Celsius - a hot day here today.

Apart from when I stand up, I feel generally improved today.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Not the best of days

I think it would be fair to say that I have had enough of feeling like this.   I had a good night's sleep, got up showered etc. and came downstairs for breakfast.  As soon as I had finished eating I had to go to the loo, and every time I ate after that the same thing happened.  I ended up going back to bed and sleeping until nearly 2.00pm.   Let's hope I still manage to sleep tonight.

Managed to eat a biscuit, a nectarine and a piece of cheese this afternoon without problem, but feel so weak as I don't think I'm retaining the food long enough - I certainly wasn't this morning.

One of my neighbours, Paulette, popped by this afternoon and said I did look much better than when I first came out, when I was a sort of grey colour in the face, whereas now I look more alive, so that's a relief.

Libby and Charlie made biscuits this afternoon and I had one of those too, early in the evening.  It was a plain sweet biscuit and I ate it very slowly as always.   I don't think there's anything I couldn't eat, but I wish I could think of something I would really like to eat.  No fresh bread at the moment, otherwise I might have had a runny yolked boiled egg for supper, but don't like them without bread.  I'll have to drive into St Nicolas in the morning to get a loaf.

I feel very negative today.  Each day I hope I'll wake up feeling noticeably better than I did the day before, but it doesn't seem to happen.  I feel I need a kick-start in some shape or form.   I'd like to go to sleep for a week and wake up stronger and raring to go.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Eating too fast - not a good idea

I slept pretty well last night.  Finally woke about 8.10am and lay there for a while expecting the nurse.  I couldn't decide whether to have my shower and hope she didn't come while I was in there.  Charlie came over and watched some of his programmes in bed with me and eventually I decided to get up, shower and dress.

Came down to eat a whole Weetabix with milk and a teaspoon of sugar.  Felt a bit nauseous and took a tablet for that and half a "chill pill". 

Nurse arrived about 11.30am and did my usual jab and I showed her the blood test results.  She was happy with them. 

Cooked some cod for lunch, which tasted lovely. I chewed it really well, but I think I ate it too fast and after feeling very rough for about 30 minutes vomited and lost it all.  I think it was because it tasted so good that I didn't remember to wait  long enough between mouthfuls.  I shan't forget again! 

Fell asleep in front of children's television this afternoon.  That's the chill pill I expect.

Went to swap my Land Rover for my Peugeot as a friend is borrowing the Land Rover, and then went to the supermarket.  Absolutely shattered when I got back.  Driving is quite tiring and I wouldn't be able to pull the wheel hard in an emergency.

Had some duck breast for tea and hummous with potato crisps.   Later a few strawberries and one piece of fudge.

My friend, June, contacted me by Skype this evening, and it was lovely to talk to her again - she had been very worried about me.  I had been very worried about her oldest daughter, who lives in the middle of the area where the London riots had been, so good to know that she was ok.

Right - time for bed.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

My son went home today but Libs and Charlie are still here

Really good night's sleep and then woken at 8.00am by the Nurse's head popping round my bedroom door saying "cuckoo!"  She gave me my jab and I watched the news on the television until I got up for my shower.

Took my blood pressure tablet and came on down to cook my breakfast of a rasher of bacon and the yolk of an egg, followed by a half mug of drinking chocolate.  Then took my Candida medicine - seems to be working.  Finished up the raspberries mid morning and had a very small ham sandwich for lunch.  

Can walk more easily today, still with a cane, because of my knees too, but standing for any length of time is difficult.  Supermarket shopping is knackering, but at least I have the trolley to lean on. 

At 2.15pm Matthew drove the Land Rover with me, Libby and Charlie to Roscoff to catch his ferry back to England.  I wish he could have stayed longer, but he has his own life and work to get back to.  I then had to drive back home.  It was tiring, but did it all in one go and then cooked some chicken wings for supper.  I managed just two and Charlie had the other two while watching Little Bear on the television - his "before I go to bed" programme.  Had another hot chocolate drink and some potato crisps. 

It rained part of the way to Roscoff and all the way back and into the evening.  We had thought about spending part of the day on the beach, but in the end gave up that idea and left later because of the forecast.

Feeling a bit stronger today and didn't take a "chill pill" so things must be better mustn't they?   Ended the day with a chocolatey custardy thing. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Quite a good day - even with the blood taking!

Woken by the nurse arriving to do my blood tests and anti-coagulant injection.  I didn't hear her arrive because I was asleep and my breathing machine makes quite a noise.  She arrived at the house where Libby and Charlie sleep and Charlie couldn't understand her speaking in French.  Libby got up and showed her over to my house and she came upstairs to the bedroom.   She was the nurse who founded the nurses office here in St Nicolas du Pélem and, amazingly, her grandparents used to live in the house where Libby and Charlie sleep!  Her name is Martine le Bars.   She managed to take enough blood for all the tests on the first attempt - brilliant, and then gave me the anti-coagulant injection and said she'd see me tomorrow.

Whole Weetabix with milk and a teaspoon of sugar for breakfast.  A whole peach mid morning which Libby peeled for me and sliced ready to eat.  Boursin with bread for lunch and a sliver of pork pie. 

Felt a bit weird this morning, hard to explain exactly, so took half a "chill pill".  Chicken soup and raspberries mid afternoon and then this evening spaghetti with parsley and butter.  Whether I ate the spaghetti too fast or didn't chew it enough, I'm not sure, but I felt pretty rough for the hour afterwards and thought I would be sick - luckily I wasn't.  May give pasta a miss for a while.

The children swam this afternoon in the pool in the garden - it's been such a lovely blue sky sunny day.  They've just all been playing on the Wii and now it's Charlie's bathtime and I'm left for twenty minutes in peace and quiet!

A good eating day (apart from the spaghetti) and spoke to friends on Skype in England which is always good. 

Tomorrow is a busy day, with driving to Roscoff to take Matthew to the port and then I have to drive back.  If it's difficult I'll just have to stop a few times and take a break.  The weather doesn't look as if it will be great tomorrow, so may go bowling - I shan't be playing - and for a meal on the way to the port.

May get the blood test results back tomorrow, usually here in Brittany they arrive within twenty-four hours - will be interesting to see what they are.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Second day home and feeling much better

Well - Tuesday is weigh in day and I've weighed in at 132.5kilos which is a loss of 10.6 kilos/23.3 pounds.  This is more than I should have lost in 3 weeks, but is obviously due to me not being able to eat properly due to the nausea and vomiting.  It appears to have disappeared from my face and tummy and I do feel thinner, and that's a good feeling. 

I slept well last night although woke up very early.  I had a shower and washed my hair for the first time in a week and feel very much fresher now.  My fringe seems to have grown so long that I am having to wear it to the side or I wouldn't be able to see.  I'll have to cut it tomorrow.

I cooked a rasher of bacon and an egg for breakfast.  I ate all the bacon and dipped my slice of baguette and butter in the egg yolk.  I enjoyed it and followed up with a half mug of full cream milk with a teaspoonful of drinking chocolate. The dietician said to put chocolate powder in was better than tea or coffee from a nutrition point of view.

The nurse arrived to give me another anti-coagulant injection and then I visited the Doctor after midday to get a prescription for something to counteract my mouth Candida.  She was going to contact the hospital this afternoon to see why I am only having the anti-coagulant injections until Saturday, as current thinking is apparently to prolong this treatment depending on the blood clot.

I explained to the Doctor that I hadn't been able to take any of the medication I was normally on due to the vomiting, and wondered, after three weeks without it, whether it was really necessary?  She agreed to let me discontinue everything, including my asthma drugs - unless I had a breathing problem at any time - except for my blood pressure medication.  She measured my blood pressure which was 130 over 90 - fine for me.  She also gave me a prescription for the nurse to take blood for a load of tests when she comes tomorrow just so she can see how everything is going.

Came back home and had prawns for lunch dipped in mayonnaise with two slices of buttered baguette and followed by a chocolate dessert.  This afternoon we've all sat out in the garden chatting and sunbathing.  I'm now defrosting homemade chicken stock and frozen roast chicken meat to make a chicken soup for supper.  It's so good to actually want to eat;I had begun to think it would never happen. 

My son, Matthew, went off to the supermarket to get some peaches, bananas, strawberries and raspberries, as we seem to have just one banana and one apple left in the giant fruit bowl and as I don't seem to have programmed veggies into my meals today, I thought I'd better have some fruit instead.  The raspberries were a very good flavour.  I love the way you can crush them with your tongue against the roof of your mouth.  Charlie, my grandson, shared them with me.

Monday, 8 August 2011

I did survive - eventually - and I'm back home!

Today is Monday, 8 August 2011 and I arrived back home from hospital - for the second time - this afternoon.
It has been a difficult time. I will eventually post what has happened in the last three weeks, in more detail. Briefly, what happened was that after the operation on 18 July, I did not recover well. I did return home on Friday, 22 July, but felt very weak and nauseous. From then on things, went downhill and I couldn't seem to put anything into my mouth at all, not food, not medication, not even my toothbrush, without vomiting.

Friends called my daughter, Libby, in England and she dropped her life and came, with her small son, to look after me on 25 July - thank goodness she did! I didn't improve and on Thursday, 28 July the doctor came to visit me at home. My usual lovely GP was on holiday, but her replacement was equally as good and she ordered blood tests to be taken on Monday, 1 August when my stitches were to be removed. The tests were done and the results arrived the following morning. By then I knew there was a problem with my right leg - I clearly had phlebitis - an inflamed vein and a blood clot, as I'd experienced a lot of pain overnight and my leg was red and hard. I called the GP again and she came out, took one look at me and called an ambulance for me to go back in to hospital. The blood tests had also shown a urine infection and other levels which weren't quite right.

I was devastated to be going back in and felt so ill and upset. I had ultrasound and Doppler tests on my leg, lung x-rays, a scan of my kidneys, various blood and urine tests and finally ended up back on the same ward as when I had my operation. I think I was probably very ill, and certainly I was very low and anxious. Would I ever go home again?

I received antibiotics (which unfortunately gave me mouth candida), anti nausea drugs, painkillers and anti-coagulant injections, all except the last by a drip into my arm. I am never easy to insert a drip into, my veins are apparently fragile and fine. After a few days the drip ceased to work and I had to have a neck drip inserted which was a nightmare experience. However, this then worked better and I was finally getting all the medication I needed.

The next thing was for me to have an endoscopy to check if my new tummy was still ok and that the entry opening was not too tight. To do this they give a relaxing drug, like Valium/Diazepam and I watched the nurse expel the air from the syringe and remember nothing from then until I came to while being wheeled back to my room. Apparently - while I remember nothing - I refused the endoscopy and they were unable to perform it. However, it wasn't all bad news. The relaxing drug had the effect of stopping me vomiting and making me much less anxious. When I realised this I asked for a mild sedative and taking this stopped the anxiety and the vomiting, so that I was able to eat again and generally made me feel much better about everything.

The other medications had been working during this time and finally yesterday, I said that I felt well again and wanted to go home. They packed me off this afternoon with enough medication to take out a village, and I'm now back home. On arrival I ate a slice of French bread spread with Boursin, a garlic and herb cheese. Later in the evening I the same meal as my family, including fresh runner beans from my garden and mashed potato - although obviously in very small portions and chewed until I couldn't chew any longer before I swallowed it.

I feel so much better it's like a miracle. I think the reason for the nausea and vomiting was anxiety and not physical at all. Thank goodness I was sent for the endoscopy, even if I didn't end up having it!

The local nurse came in this evening to do my anti-coagulant injection and will be here each day for the next five days to do others, so will keep an eye on me.

I was overwhelmed by the number of 'phone calls, emails, messages on forums and Facebook that I and my family have received. It has been a very difficult time and all the support and concern shown by friends has been amazing and very helpful.

From now on it's onwards and upwards. I feel sure that the worst is over and I'll try to post every day now as I had originally intended. I weigh on Tuesdays so tomorrow there will be a post about that.

I will try to do a posting eventually about the days inbetween. A lot of it is vague as I was so poorly, but I will post what I can.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Still Alive but Very Weak

Just a quickie as I can't sit forward for long.  At some stage I will do a multi-day posting to cover all the days I've missed.  I have felt so nauseous that eating, taking medication has seemed impossible.  No-one told me about the terrible nausea.  Managed to take my medication yesterday and today and trying to eat a little more each day.  The doctor has put me on high calorie foods to make sure that the little I do eat contains as many calories as possible. 

My blood pressure is slightly lower than they would like.  Stitches out this morning and three attempts at giving blood for testing - harrowing nurse visit - although she was very kind.

I couldn't cope on my own, so my daughter dropped her life and came over from England with my four and a half year old grandson last Monday morning at the request of friends.  Thank goodness. 

Will hopefully get myself more comfortable and together by this time next week.  Just don't seem to have enough strength to sit up for very long.  All for now.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Last Day of My Old Fat LIfe

When I woke up this morning after a not so good night's sleep, the sun was just sneaking in on the window wall but, by the time I had listened to the news and decided to get out of bed, it was raining - just what I need for wandering around the rabbit area and then the field. 

I decided to go and sort out all the animals before I had a shower, so my feet would be pristine clean for my arrival in hospital.  I usually shower first, but, I wear Crocs without socks, not a fashion item I agree, but very comfortable for feet which have spread under a massive weight over the years. 

The problem is that, particularly on wet mornings, the wet grass and mud sneak in through the pattern of holes in the top of and the non-existent backs of the Crocs.  So I decided to do everything, including clearing up the kitchen and loading the dishwasher before showering and washing my hair.  I shall have the joy in the hospital of showering tonight and tomorrow morning in Hibiscrub so I'm as bacteria free as possible. 

One thing that always worries me about being away from home, wherever I am, is leaving the cats.  In October last year, Mimi disappeared on my second day of six away and never returned home.  Two years before that Oscar also went out never to return while I was in England for five days. 

My friends will come in to feed all the animals, including Daisy, Purrdy and Alfie, and because there is a cat door they can come and go as they wish, so have everything they need except, perhaps, the cuddles and kisses I subject them to.

I feel very vulnerable and although part of me is longing to get this all over and wishing it was this time next week, part of me doesn't want it to happen at all.  I know I have to have the op and obviously I won't back down, but it seems very daunting now the time's come.

I am beginning to doubt whether I shall be able to stop putting things into my mouth which I know I mustn't eat.  All the medical people I've seen have said, it isn't a miracle cure.  You still have to control what you eat and drink.  I'm just having a bit of self-doubt and can't seem to be positive at the moment. 

I hate the beds in hospital.  I am far too fat for a single bed and turning over is really awkward and difficult.  You can see how there is not a lot of room for me in this photo taken six weeks ago after my parathyroidectomy.

And here's another photo taken in May this year at my Book Group - it will be good to lose the apron of fat that falls from my tummy, but I'm worried about finally having to have the loose skin removed.  I feel as if the operations are never going to end.  I wish I didn't feel so negative today, but I do.   I think it's called panicking!

Just before midday I took my final morbidly obese photo.

I have just got on my scales and weigh in at exactly 143.1 kilos/315½ lbs/22stones 7½lbs. I shall obviously weigh differently on the hospital scale, or I should think I will, scales usually vary.

I will go by these scales all the way through my weight loss journey.

Today I've eaten a warmed pain au raisin with butter, a bar of chocolate and finally, for lunch, fried bacon, fried bread, fried tomatoes and mushrooms.   I decided to freeze the duck I was going to have and chose the fryup for my last fat meal.

The longest I should be in the hospital is seven days and hopefully it will be much shorter.  I'll keep a note of what happens while I'm away and I'll be posting again as soon as I'm home and have an internet connection.   Thanks to everyone who has been sending messages of support -  it's hard to express how much they've been appreciated. x