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Tatiana's Pre-Op Diary


New Member
Monday 22nd August.....

A quick resume of my journey so far..........

November 2009 - visited my Dr and told him I needed to do something more definite about my weight because of it's impact on my health in general and the effect on my arthritis. Dr agreed with me and said he would write to PCT to request funding for bariatric surgery.

April 2010 - after 3 appeals against their original decision, one of which eventually went to the special exemptions committee, my GP lets me know that he's received confirmation that they have agreed to fund me on the NHS. My GP gives me the list of centres he can refer me to and I decide to go with the local one as I think it will be easiest rather than trying to travel into London. GP writes referral letter - it's really going to happen!!

May 2010 - receive letter from surgeon's secretary telling me I've been put on the appointment list and will receive letters for appointments with the dietician and endocrinologist as well as the surgeon and psychologist. Included in the pack from the hospital was a 12 page form to fill in for the psychologist all about my weight history and my social situation to be filled in before my appointment with them.

August 5th 2010 - appointment with endocrinologist and dietician. At this point I have not made a decision about what procedure I will be having as I expect to make that decision with the surgeon. I am given pre and post op diet sheets for lap band op (only one done at local hospital at the time) as well as an FAQ's leaflet.

September 1st 2010 - appointment with surgeon. Decision made that a sleeve gastrectomy is the right procedure for me at the moment but with the agreement that, if weight loss is not optimal and surgeon decides to, it could be converted to bypass at a later date. Also told that, as the procedure is not offered at my local hospital, I would have to have surgery at SGH in Tooting.

September 20th 2010 - seen by psychologist, an appointment which could so easily have pulled the plug on my journey as it went very badly. I was so glad later that she had said she would send me a copy of the report before bringing it before the MDT - she had made some harsh judgements about me which were also untrue!! She did change them but was very grudging in her decision to do so!!

October 20th 2010 - Received letter from surgeon following my case being brought before MDT. Decision is that they WILL offer me a sleeve gastrectomy but, as the psychology review wasn't optimal, I had to see a psychiatrist. A week later I received a letter with the appointment date for the psychiatrist appointment at SGH - JUNE 2011!!!

Between October 2010 and March 2011 I regularly contact the team at SGH to see if I can get my appointment with the psychiatrist brought forward as that was all I was waiting for before going on the waiting list for my surgery. In the end I give up asking them if there are any slots available to bring the psychiatrist's appointment forward as it seems the answer is always 'ring again in another 2 weeks and ask again'.

June 10th 2011 - appointment with psychiatrist at SGH. Met with a really nice man and we chatted about what had 'gone wrong' with the appointment 7 months earlier, explained what I thought had been the issue along with the fact that it appeared as if the psychologist had wanted me to have some deep and dark traumatic past event which was the cause of all my problems with my weight and, when I didn't have anything like that she didn't believe me!! At end of appointment told that he can't see any reason not to go ahead with my surgery and he will discuss my case with the MDT once again.

July 2011 - as I'd not heard anything 5 weeks after the appointment I rang the hospital and was told that, so far, my case hadn't been brought before the MDT and that it looked as if it was pencilled in for a further 2 weeks later!!

August 11th 2011 - received letter from surgeon to say I had been approved for my surgery and that I would be added to his list at the local hospital. Rang surgeon's secretary to enquire about length of waiting list, was told that had to speak to bookings office and was given the phone number for the relevent person. Rang her and was told that, although they have had the go ahead to start doing the operations at the local hospital they don't have a definite date when they will start.

August 15th 2011 - received letter giving me appointment for pre-op assessment clinic appointment for August 22nd.

August 19th 2011 - spoke to bookings office again and given date for operation - September 23rd - just 5 weeks ahead.

And now we're up to the present day.................

August 22nd 2011 - attend pre-op assessment appointment and told I'm fit for surgery although I need to be referred to the anaesthetist as I'm asthmatic (although well controlled). The anaesthetist will look through my notes and decide if he needs to see me in clinic or whether it's alright to wait until I'm admitted on the day of the operation. Also given Hibiscrub plus to shower with on the morning of the operation and given blood test forms to be done 1 week pre-op.

While I was at the hospital I also met another lady who is having WLS under the care of the same surgeon, her journey was very different to mine and has take just a couple of months!! We exchanged addresses and phone numbers and I gave her the details of this website and she may join the site.

Spoke to dietician and bariatric nurse from local hospital and given updated details of pre-op diet. Also given details of local support group - next meeting is this week so I will be going along on friday evening!!

Now got to sit and wait for another 32 days until my surgery and get myself as ready as I can for it.

Sorry for it being such a long post but I thought I'd start from the beginning of my journey!!

Friday 26th August

Today marks the 4 week pre-op point for me and the excitement I felt last week when I was given my op date hasn't abated. I had planned on today being a dry run day for one of the diet options but, having gone to bed with a headache on Thursday night, I woke up feeling the full force of a migraine that I think was a result of a combination of stress in the run up to the op and dehydration as I didn't drink my usual amount on thursday. Gone were my plans for the day and, in their place, I spent the day in bed sleeping on and off.

I managed to feel better by the evening so I went to the first support group that I knew about my local trust offering. The group of people there were about an even split of pre and post of patients and everyone was at a different point in their journey and, for the post op patients, in their success.

I found it a useful group to go to as it's the only time I've met a group of patients and had a chance to chat about their experiences. The most useful contact was a lady who had a sleeve done 3 weeks ago - she was able to tell me about her experience in hospital and this has given me a good idea about what I will be likely to expect myself when I'm admitted.

I found it to be a good evening and just feel it's a shame I won't be able to go next month - it's only a week after my surgery and I don't think I'll be able to get there as it's too soon for me to drive and I can't ask anyone to take me on a friday evening so the next time I can go will be the meeting in October!!

As I hadn't been able to trial the diet yesterday I have decided to do it today instead and have been working out the cals, protein and CHO for the soups and yoghurts - so far, I'm about 1/2 the amounts I need but will be a couple of hundred calories short!!

Wish me luck for today!!

Today has been a trial of pre-op diet option 2 - milk only (5 pints of it!)

I started off by making a jug of coffee this morning and had that as breakfast. Mid morning it was a glass of milk and lunchtime a crusha milkshake. Had some Bouillion thas afternoon for the salts followed by another couple of glasses of milk.

This evening I'm going to make another jug of coffee for tea and finish the day off with however much cold milk I need to drink to have had 5 pints.

Don't think I've struggled without any solid food but I've pee'd for England this afternoon! I hope the night is better!

Another 'normal' day tomorrow with proper food before trying the yoghurt and soup option again on Wednesday. It all starts for proper next Monday, a few days early but hey, while I'm feeling positive about it a few days extra can't do me any harm!

Just 25 more days until my operation!

hi tatiana, very interesting read. good luck with the milk diet. i hated it at first but soon got use to it. im having my op 5 days after you, so i hope it all goes well for you.
Thanks for that cancerian,

I've just finished my 4th pint of milk so one more to go before bed.

I find that statement amazing because normally I wouldn't drink 4 pints of milk in a month let alone a day!!

Good luck for when you start your pre-op. Where are you having your surgery?

Had an interesting chat with the dietician yesterday - I really must drink/eat all that is in the diet option for the day or I risk my body going into starvation mode and, instead of shedding glycogen and shrinking my liver, I could rapidly store extra glycogen and risk the surgery not being possible!

Seems like you've had quite an epic journey to get to this point... I wish you every success for your op and your future weight loss. Looking forward to following your progress xx

At times it does seem as if my journey is as epic as Homer's Illiad! However, once I got my funding approved the only problem has been the psychology aspect and that was very much based on a clash of personality with the psychologist .

The waiting has been annoying as I sat there thinking that I could have been well on the road to recovery during the 8 mobtgs it took the appointment date to come around. Then, as far as I knew, it would be another 18-26 week wait once on the surgery waiting list! I've been surprised that it's only taking 7 weeks from going onto list to having my op!

Saturday September 3rd

So, it's Saturday evening and it's the last 'normal' weekend of my life as I know it!!

I am now 20 days pre-op and this is the last weekend before I start my liver shrinkage diet and what exciting plans have I got? None!! I went out for dinner on Thursday for the evening with a few girls I used to work with to the local GBK which was excellent, especially as they gave us a good deal and we saved about 50% on what the bill should have been!!

Yesterday was a normalish day as we were at the hospital with my dad seeing a heart specialist who has referred him to another specialty (respiratory this time) because of something which showed up on a CT scan which was ordered by a haematologist - as I say, it's been a bit of a merry-go-round of doctors for him!!

Last night was spent in front of the tv watching athletics from during the day and then an early night.

Tomorrow I am off to my parents for a roast dinner and some good company before starting the diet on Monday. I don't have to start it until Friday but thought I would give myself a few extra days!! I also have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow afternoon to discuss getting all my medicines in liquid form and also about being prescribed new meds in preparation for the op - supplements and fybogel to start with!!

I am equally excited and scared but haven't got the guts to admit it to those around me in case I get the same responses from people around me that others on here have had about not bothering having it done - I know it's right for me and don't want people to try and talk me out of it after all it's taken to get here!!

Anyway, I'm off to do dinner - chili and rice as it will be the last time for a while!!

Monday September 5th

Went to GPs today to discuss meds for after the operation. He is very pleased to hear I've got my date and has said they will do all they can to help out.

He's sent a letter to the PCT pharmacist to find out about my arthritis meds and whether they can be crushed or not. If they can't he will make arrangements for me to go to the hospital for injections until I can tolerate tablets again.

He will also sort out prescriptions for all my other meds so I have them ready before I go into hospital. I've taken prescriptions for supplements the dietician wants me to start now and will pick them up from the chemists later in the week.

Other than that, I'm really rather tired at the moment and could do with a decent night's sleep! Looking after my sister's children tomorrow and wednesday so have to be on top form!

Wednesday September 7th

Today marks the last day of my old life!

Tomorrow I start my pre-op liver shrinkage diet and in 15 days time, all being well, I will be having my surgery!

My last supper was a quite healthy dish of pasta with onions, bacon and chili but I was good and said no thanks to the champagne on offer!

From breakfast onwards it's yoghurts and soups only!

good luck love , love reading your thread,i start my lsd,(sounds very hippy eh?lol) on sunday,and cant wait as its the first step on the road to shrinkage-town,,!,,,,x not long now your nearly there !x
Hi Starr,

Glad my musings in my diary are giving you something good to read - I do my best!!

I am looking forward to the next 2 weeks with excitement and trepidation mixed together and while I can't wait for it to come around I also wish the 23rd was still many weeks away!!

Today, my first full required day on the lsd, I have managed to eat all the soup and am making my way through the last pot of yoghurt for the day as I type this post!! I have drunk the required 200mls of milk (in cups of tea) and have also drunk at least 2 litres of liquids today. I have had the obligatory mug of bouillon for the salts and haven't felt the desire to eat anything else today - I think the lumps in the soup have helped with that craving but ask me again in a few days time as I may change my mind!!!

Tomorrow I am starting a 1 week course of antibiotics as I've had an abscess develop over the last couple of days and need to clear it before I head to the hospital and one course of meds doesn't always work!! I also found out today that, while one of my arthritis meds can be crushed and mixed in water for after my surgery and until I can swallow tablets again (probably the full 8 weeks of re-introduction diet), the other one (which is also a cytotoxic drug) cannot be crushed and so my GP has written to my consultant to ask if arrangements can be made for me to have the medication by injection for the required time. I can manage to inject myself if necessary but it's got to be agreed by the hospital as it's classed as chemotherapy and so I may have to go there every week for the injection. I am waiting to hear from the hospital after the weekend to see what they can suggest and arrange for me!!

I am tired today as I've been up for far too many hours, I was at my sister's last night and her baby was very unsettled and, in the end, she came into bed with me and I think we got about 2 hours sleep over the whole night!! I am so tired today that I don't think I'm going to find it easy to sleep tonight (something I often find is a problem). Anyway, I'm off to put my head down and see if I can rest for a while!!

Not a good day so far today!!

Got up and went to collect antibiotics from GP's for abscess which is now leaking so hopefully will clear with 1 course of antibi's but now I have to deal with painful, leaking abscess which is getting on my wick!!

Then, when back home, I rang the hospital and it seems that they're not going to be operating every week to start with and I was told that they're not doing a list on the 23rd as it's going to be alternate weeks from today - well the 23rd is 2 weeks time so it is the alternate week so that doesn't make a lot of sense!! What I think they were getting at is that the people for today are in and having their ops but, the people originally planned for next week will be in the following week (23rd) and so my planned date will be another 2 weeks after that which I make to be around the 7th of October though, if they are saying they're not operating on the 23rd it could be anytime in October.

The woman I spoke to today did say to ring her next week to see how things went today and when they are having the next lists and she MAY (but won't definitely) be able to let me know the revised date for my op.

I'm gutted as I'd got myself built up for the op date being the 23rd and had got things in place with the family for looking after me afterwards and with my GP for meds etc.. for afterwards. I'm just glad I didn't cancel my hospital appointment for the 29th with the pain clinic as they are hugely overbooked and I'm worried that I'd have to wait months for a replacement appointment - now I'll wait until I know when my op is.

aw love , i know the waiting is a nightmare ,choppin and changin, and i know how painful that abcess is,i had a parotid gland surgery , and get a recuring abcess in my neck /ear,,,,,,,agony,i just finished a course of those revolting metrodazole things ,yuk!,just want it to stay clear til after my op now cos it will be cancelled if its back on day,,,,worry after worry eh? good luck x
Thanks Starr,

For years I was told I had a condition called Folliculitis which is basically abscesses which form in the hair follicules. I put up with years of antibiotics sometimes as frequently as every 3 weeks. I had an abscess bed cut out once but it wasn't the one that, at the time, was continually recurring so it really wasn't worth it. When I was put on cytotoxic drugs for my arthritis it was obvious that, when having monthly bloods, that the abscesses and treatment were affecting how my liver works and how it reacts to the meds.

Then, last year, after about 15 years of putting up with them the new rheumatology nurse asked if I had ever been seen by the dermatologists about it but I had only ever seen surgeons who (of course) only offered operations as the solution. I got referred to a dermatologist who, before even examining me, told me what he thought was wrong with me!! He then examined me and said it was what he thought it was - a condition called hydrodenitis suppurativa - where the body automatically breaks out in abscesses but very often under the skin and with no skin access to drain them, they are very painful and spread under the skin leaving tracks where, sometime later, more abscesses form leaving more scar tissue under the skin.

I was given a course of meds for 2 months and given a wash to use in the shower and a cream to apply afterwards to try and clear my skin of any bacteria which could affect me. That seemed to work and, for about 6 months, they receeded and I had hardly any. Now though, they're back and I'm getting abscesses every 3-5 weeks. Not always going onto antibi's, sometime I rely on sticking a needle in them to open them and letting them drain out or (really yuck) squeezing the smaller ones until they burst like spots (I know TMI!!)

However, this one has been steadily growing since tuesday and, so I spoke to GP over the phone, he was happy to prescribe more meds. This morning it seems to have been leaking and is very sore to touch - and have clothes on it which makes it difficult to go out and walking is painful.

I've now started the anti-bi's and have them for a week so will see if I can clear the infection ready for when I do have my surgery.

I hope yours stays away until after the op. I was hoping you would be following me onto the losers bench but here's hoping it won't be long before I join you there!!

I really feel for you. The stress of all this "not knowing when" will not help either. I have suffered from abcesses for years and have even had surgery to remove them and anti-biotics. I never heard of a name for it until today when I read your post. I know exactly how miserable they can make you feel. Mine, unfortunately, are usually where I cannot reach them and DH has to sort them out for me. Thank God he used to be a nurse so doesn't mind.

Hope you get your date confirmed very soon. I will be getting to the losers bench a bit before you but will try to shrink a bit before you arrive to make room :D
its even good to have people who understand other probs on here ,not just wls , i had 8 years of recuring abcesses and boils ,which my gp ended up saying they were caused by my diabetes,,,,,once they got that controlled i stopped getting them ,but still get the saliva gland ones, , its good to hear other people understand . good luck with everything , hope we all get to where we want to be xxxxxxxx
Hi Josie,

I'm glad my post has helped you - who would have thought that a moan about my problems would give you an answer to all the problems you have also suffered from for many years!!!

It's one of the reasons I find this site so supportive and so good for all of us on here.

Good luck for Monday and I can't wait until we are all sitting together on the losers bench!!