Diagram of Operation

Diagram of Operation
My new tummy arrangement after gastric mini bypass

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Weight, measurements and stuff at 40 weeks post op

Weigh in today see me at 84.7kgs/186.7lbs/13st 4.7lbs, so I've now lost 58.4kgs/128.7lbs/9st 2.7lbs in 40 weeks. 

I saw Dr Lechaux on Friday and he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic which I am to take for seven days now and every three months for a year.  When I went to collect it from the Pharmacy I was told it had to be made to a specific formula and wouldn't be ready for about a week - ooer!  He always seems to be amazed at my weight loss, but then this is more than partly due to the persistent diarrhoea.  We talked about the loose skin I now have and he confirmed that he will remove the stomach spare skin at some point.  He knows of someone in Rennes who may do my upper arms, but this would have to be paid for by me.  His secretary made an appointment for me with Dr Picot, Intestinal Consultant at Clinique St Yves in Rennes for 9 May late afternoon, so not too long to wait until then.

He also asked me to drink a glass of buttermilk every day.  I bought some in the supermarket on Saturday morning and having fridged it to make it really cold I added two bananas, Ribena (a blackcurrant syrup), milk but mostly buttermilk to the blender and made my first ever smoothie.  I was not looking forward to it as I am not keen on dairy products other than milk, cream and cheese, but it was fine and as it was nearly a blender full I had some in the fridge for later.  So I've had that every day since.

I am eating a wider variety of foods and larger quantities.  On Sunday I had a black coffee with sugar, smoked salmon slices edged with dill and lemon,steak, chips and cauliflower cheese purée, my smoothie, prawns heated with tomato purée, garlic, lemon, pili pili, parsley and butter and served with slices of baguette - so no problem eating at all at the moment.

My diarrhoea has not improved.  I drove to town on Saturday to the bank and was going on to the supermarket but had to return home very quickly which was a complete pain as I then had to drive back into town again.  My relationship with my loo is becoming more, rather than less frequent.  I even have a paperback in the bathroom now so I'm not wasting so much of my day when I am in there.

I thought I'd do my measurements this week and I took them on Sunday evening.

                     Pre-op                 Measurements      Loss up to date at
                     Measurements      Today                  40 weeks post op 
Bust               136cm – 53.5ins   106.5cm - 42 ins    29.5cm - 11.5 ins
Waist             138cm – 54.3ins     99.0cm - 39 ins    39.0cm – 15.3 ins 
Hips               172cm – 67.7ins   124.5cm -  49 ins    47.5cm – 18.7 ins
Calf                54cm – 21.3ins    47.0cm -  18.5 ins   7.0cm –   2.8 ins
I have now managed to find a bra which actually fits me.  I couldn't find anything in the few shops I visited in Cornwall when I was there for my birthday, not one bra was in the size I wanted.  The assistants said they didn't have the size in their range at all.  However, unbelievably, I did find the right size bra in a supermarket here.  They only had one in stock in my size, but I visited two other branches and found a black one and another white one - good news.  I had lost more than nine stone and was still in the same bras as I wore before the weight loss which obviously were not doing a good job - nice not to fall out of them when I lean forward now!


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Finally back home after a difficult time

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 I called the doctor to visit me at home.  My usual lovely GP was on holiday, but her replacement was just as good and she ordered blood tests to be taken on Monday, 1 August when my stitches were to be removed.  The test 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, 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.  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 until I came to 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, 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 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. 

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, 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

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Thirty-nine weeks post op - one day off nine months

I missed posting last week as I was back in Cornwall, England and couldn't weigh on my scales.  I prefer to keep to one set of scales as they all vary so much.

It was good to sit in the reclining seats on the ferry from Roscoff to Plymouth and be able to sit right back in the chair.  Previously I have had to sit on the front edge of the chair as the arms made it impossible to get my bulky body to the back of the seat.  I had a lovely hot chocolate and a baguette sandwich with ham, cheese, lettuce and sundried tomatoes and finished a Jodi Picault novel I was reading.

I had a lot of food while in England.  It's difficult when I'm faced with lots of things I miss when I'm in France, and I tend to eat lots of different things in a day to experience it all. However, in spite of that, I did lose over these two weeks and this morning I weighed in at 85.5 kilos/13 stones 6.5 pounds/188.5pounds  which means I've now lost  57.6kilos/9 stone 1 pound.  I still can't quite believe it!

Yesterday I started taking a probiotic called Align which I ordered from the United States,  I have no idea if it will do any good, it was very expensive especially with the customs duty I had to pay on the medication, but it may be worth it if it helps at all with this diarrhoea problem.

One good thing about seeing friends in Cornwall was that they were all pleased to see how much weight I'd lost and it was great to have all the compliments.  It was my 65th birthday on Thursday while I was there and I had a lovely lunch, and a good evening ten pin bowling and Chinese takeaway later with friends and family.  I haven't been ten pin bowling since 1996 as I couldn't bend and didn't have the energy.  in the evening, with seven of us playing, I came second to the winner, my daughter, in the second game - almost a champion!

I also went shopping for smaller clothes for the first time since my operation on 18 July.  It was a strange experience to buy from the normal female rails as my clothes for years have been from the XXL men's section - an experience I will happily get used to.  

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Thirty-seven weeks post operation

Weighed in on Tuesday morning at 88.5kgs/195lbs/13st13lbs, so I've broken into the thirteen stones!  I've now lost 8st8½lbs/54.5kgs/119½lbs although very little this week.

Dr Lechaux spoke to me at the meeting last Wednesday evening and I think he is now going to arrange for me to see Dr Picot at Clinique St Yves, Rennes.  Dr Picot is an intestinal consultant and apparently very good.  This may involve a week's stay at the Clinique for investigations to be carried out into my persistent diarrhoea.  Not where I want to be in the growing season, as I have lot of seedlings and plants needing attention in the polytunnel and veggie beds, but it would be good to get it sorted at last.