Diagram of Operation

Diagram of Operation
My new tummy arrangement after gastric mini bypass

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Forty-five weeks post op and a little light at the end of the tunnel maybe

Tuesday morning again and I weighed in at the same weight as last week, so no change then, which is fine as I'm not desperate to lose more weight, I'm just really happy with what I've already achieved.

Here's me today, wearing a skirt for the first time in 24 years!

My fifteen day course of Questran and Créon finished on Wednesday last week and I was then prescribed a two week course of Loramyc.  This is a drug which I have been given in case I have Candida (thrush).  I am showing no normal signs of Candida but it was the next stage in trying to combat my diarrhoea.  It is a strange drug which is taken by putting the tiny tablet on one side of the mouth between the lip and gum and keeping it there.  The Pharmacy didn't have it in stock so I had to return the next day to collect it.

However, the following day, Thursday, I had a sort of breakthrough on the diarrhoea front.  I went to the loo at 08.10hrs and realised just after lunchtime that I hadn't been again.  I also realised that I had forgotten to take my usual medication - two allergy tablets, two supplements to help hair and nails recover and Inexium, the drug I take to protect my stomach.  I have taken Inexium every day, without fail, since my operation and while in hospital it was included in my drip.

So - I have had Inexium every day since my operation and I have had diarrhoea every day since my operation.  Could there be a correlation here?  I checked out the information leaflet in the drug box.  1-10 people in 100 people can have diarrhoea as a result of taking Inexium. 

I didn't go to the loo again on Thursday until 22.00 before I went to bed.  I didn't wake up in the night to go and my next visit was on Friday at 08.20hrs.

In fact Friday was a great day and I didn't go to the loo at all until Saturday morning at 08.10hrs.

Friday evening was the Obestité Bretagne Nord meeting in St Brieuc at our new meeting place of Le Papagayo restaurant.  Dr Lechaux was there and when he asked how I was I briefly told him the above and said I had also written it down in an email to him that afternoon.  On Saturday morning I received a reply from him saying that I could go without Inexium for a month and see what happened.   My feeling is that I will take Inexium again on Monday and see if the diarrhoea recurs, which would seem to be a good test.  If it does, then obviously I will come off Inexium until I see Dr Lechaux on 3 July when I presume he will prescribe a substitute. 

I'm trying not to get too excited, but I can't tell you how lovely these three days have been without worrying about staying near a loo and the possibility of accidents.  I really was beginning to believe that I would never be in this situation, so my life could be on the road to very good.

Sunday saw a return to the old diarrhoea day, but Monday was slightly better and today has been good so far.

I'm not entirely sure it was the Inexium now, but am still staying away from it for the time being and I'm just glad that overall things are slightly better than they were.  I am finding black coffee difficult to drink at the moment, even weak instant black coffee.  It tends to give me stomach cramps immediately and this is a real pain as it's my favourite hot drink.

Yesterday I met for the first time since my operation two French friends who were amazed to see me at this weight.  It's so good to get this sort of feedback. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Forty-four weeks post op

Just over ten months post operation now.  I weighed in today at 81kgs/12st11lbs/179lbs so a loss of 2.5kgs/5lbs this week - and a total loss of 62.1kgs/9st11lbs/137pounds. 

This is a weird weight loss as I have been eating lot of food.  On Sunday I actually cooked five different meals and they were not small.  I'm not sure why I feel so hungry and want food all the time and it is worrying.  I am also not sure why I have managed to lose so much weight this week in view of all the food I have eaten.

Today I have got under control a bit more again as I spend Tuesdays away from the house at bowls.  No time for breakfast this morning and I had prawn mayo salad for lunch with two slices of buttered baguette.  This evening I have so far had a plateful of really tiny globe artichokes dipped in melted butter, so a better day. 

My relationship with my loo has not diminished much and I have had three accidents this week, which is the worst performance so far - not good.  The last one was before I went to bowls for the day and I thought twice about leaving the house again, but took courage in both hands and I was fine.

I have been taking both Questran and Créon and should finish taking Questran on Thursday I think, but have loads more in the box, so am not sure if I might continue for a bit.

I saw the dietician last week and she asked me how much more weight I wanted to lose.  I didn't really know, but replied that fifteen kilos would probably be enough.  This would see me at about 68 kgs/10st10lbs/150lbs.  I asked how I would stop losing weight and she just said "Eat more".  Well I couldn't eat any more than I did on Sunday and I still lost weight, so I'm not sure that would do the trick.

Anyway, to look on the positive side, I have now managed to get into the twelve stones and that is good, although I'm not sure I deserve this big loss this week.

We have an Obesité Bretagne Nord meeting this Friday.  Instead of our normal meeting place at the hospital we are transferring to a restaurant - Le Papagayo in St Brieuc.  I hope I shall be able to find it easily.  We are moving because as the group has become bigger we have outgrown the room at Yves Le Foll. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Forty-three weeks post operation and things are looking up

Just a quick update.  I weighed in this morning at 83.5kgs/184lbs/13st2lbs.  So another 500g/1.1lbs lost this week.  I am very pleased with this steady continuing weight loss.

I saw Dr Picot at Clinic St Yves, Rennes on Thursday late afternoon. He is a very pleasant chap, easy to talk with and it was a good meeting. He had several comments.

The first one was that I mustn't exclude any item of food from my life unless it had been proven that I was intolerant to it. I explained that I now eat and drink everything that I did prior to my operation and had reintroduced dairy products without any noticeable effect. He did ask that I drink lactose free milk if I drink milk, but that all other dairy products are fine.

He said that I was now a slave to my bowel and I had to take back control. He gave me a chart to complete daily which is split into two hour blocks. Each time I have to go to the loo I have to put a cross in the box. I am only allowed one cross in each box. This seemed impossible as first thing in the morning I use the loo a lot. He said I must not do that. I have to hang on and not give in.

It is possible that I have Candida Albicans in the bowel and he suggested that I take something to counter this before taking antibiotics to kill any bacterial growth which I may have in the bypassed portion of upper intestine. Apparently, the gas which I have is almost certainly due to the presence of bacteria. Although I have already tried two different antibiotics, he suggested that there are many others I can try, one after the other until we find one which works.

He has prescribed Questran which has a good record of ceasing diarrhoea in patients who have had their gall bladders removed. I have had mine removed but didn't suffer with diarrhoea afterwards. It is apparently a very unpleasant drug to take for texture and taste but can be very successful.

He has also prescribed Créon which I took before with not very good results. We shall see.

He examined and listened to my tummy, tested my reflexes and the quantity of hydrogen in my breath. He was very thorough.

So, hopefully one of the above things will work. If, however, nothing works, then it will be another appointment with him and then a week in Clinique St Yves for them to try and sort me out.

The Questran seems to be helping with my diarrhoea.  Unfortunately, one of the side effects is sensitivity to sunlight and I am a sunworshipper.   As a result, I have a rash on both legs which is very itchy. 

Actually, thinking about it a bit more, I suppose it might not be photosensitivity but just a straightforward reaction to the drug.  It's so good not to spend so much of my day worried about accidents and trying to be near a toilet.  I am also pleased that in spite of having the diarrhoea controlled I have still lost weight.

I spent the whole day out at bowls today and ate a pasta and fish lunch, and drank three black coffees with no bowel problem - brilliant!  At last I feel that I may have a chance of not living with this problem forever.

This was me on Sunday before I went out for a picnic by the canal 

followed by a walk along the Nantes/Brest canal path with a friend and his dog.  Absolutely stonking hot afternoon, with almost no breeze - just my sort of weather in beautiful surroundings.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Forty-two weeks post operation

The scales showed 84 kilos/183lbs/13st3lbs when I weighed in this afternoon - I forgot to weigh this morning.  This is a loss of 500g/half a kilo, 1.1lbs in a week.  My weight loss is definitely slowing down now.  However, I met some people at the last Obesité Bretagne Nord meeting who were still losing a kilo a month two years on from their op so I'm not worrying.

Here is the latest photo of me

I have no-one to take a photo of me so I always have to take them in the mirror which is a bit weird.

I seem to have got my eating sorted now and haven't been out of control this week at all.

It was a Bowls competition this afternoon and my bowls partner and I got through to the semi finals but were pipped to the post.  The final was excellent and the lead changed on the last game.  I felt as if I played the best games I have ever played.  This is mostly due to the fact that I can now bend and roll the wood instead of throwing it - I now have some control thanks to my reduced tummy.

On Thursday at 4.15pm I have an appointment with Dr Picot of Clinique St Yves at Rennes to discuss my bowel problem.  It was to have been Wednesday but they've just changed it.  I'm collecting four Muscovy ducks on the way back so shall have some company in the car!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

41 weeks post op and an unexpected eating problem

I have been struggling with eating over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Six months ago it would have been impossible to write this, but I have been really overeating, cooking several meals in a day and not passing the fridge without opening the door.  I’m not sure what has caused this sudden aberration but I though I had better try to knock it on the head immediately.  Yesterday was easier as I was out at a Book Club meeting in the afternoon and not at home within feet of temptation.  I had leftover Chinese for breakfast, boiled collar bacon and chips for lunch and then steak and salad for supper.  I ate nothing between meals and didn’t snack in the evening so think I have it sorted.  It just seemed so weird when I looked back and thought about how I could barely force myself to eat anything for the first few months, and it was really worrying me on Sunday night when I lay in bed thinking about how out of control I had been.  I just hope I haven’t stretched my stomach pouch too much.

It’s Bowls now, so again I shall be out of the house most of the time and don’t have lunch when I’m out for the whole day so today should be a good eating day.  I’ve weighed in at 84.5kgs/13s 4.3lbs/186.3lbs  so have lost just 200gs/8oz this week and I'm lucky to have done that with my erratic diet this week.

I’m now taking the antibiotics which were made up for me, but so far no difference in the bowel department.

The monthly Obesité Bretagne Nord meeting was last Friday and there were lots of new people there.  Some who had already had the mini gastric bypass and some waiting for the operation.  It was a lively meeting, as Dr Lechaux said, there were some strong personalities in the room!  I didn't stay until the very end as I wanted to catch the Chinese before it closed to get a €6 takeaway.  We usually finish with drinks and snacks, but I wanted to get the takeaway and I also wanted to take a photo of the sunset sky on the way home and just caught it beautifully against the clouds.  I ate some of the Chinese while I waited for the sky to change.