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Tatiana's Pre-Op Diary

Saturday September 10th

Today is day 3 of my liver shrinkage diet and I am doing a second day of milk only as my only plan for today is relaxing and later on doing some ironing.

After the disappointment yesterday with the news I won't be having my surgery on the 23rd I've pulled myself together and made the decision that I'll make the most of this extra time on the lsd and see if I can't shift a few lbs before I do go into hospital - whenever that may be.

I am not feeling so physically hot this morning, have got a headache and feel quite nauseaus - this could be for a couple of reasons, either because I've been awake since 2:30am, because I'm simply not used to having this quantity of dairy products or because I'm now on day 3 and I have read others have felt low and a bit unwell at this point. I have got an extra bottle of water in the fridge for today and have allowed myself a can of Pepsi Max this morning (though I'm not really enjoying it as much as usual).

I have decided to try the milk jelly recipe and see how it goes. I'm making it up using Hartleys crystals and have found a pack with a recipe for mousse on the back (follow step 1 of making up, then allow to cool until starting to set. At that point add a pot of low fat yoghurt and whisk until doubled in size then pour into dishes and chill until ready to serve - makes 6-8 servings) What I'm going to do is make up as per step 1, allow to cool until starting to set and then add 1/2 pint of milk and whisk until thoroughly mixed and then put into small pots and chill until set.

Don't know if it will be successful but think it will be worth a try and, if successful, gives me something else to eat on a milk only day!!

Well, I'm going to watch the rugby which I've been ignoring for the last 30 minutes while I've been on the site and I wanted to watch this match - and England have just got a break and been awarded a penalty!!

Friday September 16th

Stood on the scales today after a bit of a rough week where I spent 6 days on the pre-op diet before being told that, because of how long the 1st op took and that the list is only going to be one patient on alternate weeks rather than 2 a week, I won't even be given a new date until October.

Anyway, I stood on the scales and have lost 1/2 stone!

Some sunshine in the rain!

My sister's response the other day (when I'd dropped 4lbs in the first 4 days) was, if I just stayed on the pre-op diet I wouldn't need the op - shows her level of understanding doesn't it!

I should have been writing that it's now just 4 days until my surgery but, instead, I'm in a limbo not knowing when it's going to be and worrying that it probably won't be until sometime in the middle of November.

I know I shouldn't be worrying like this and that November isn't really that long to wait! It just seems to me that I've hit barrier after barrier on my journey so far!

Sorry for a post full of wallowing,

Ok, so it's been more than a month since I've updated this diary and that's mostly because I've not really had amything positive to add and don't want this diary to be regular moans - however it's probably what this post will end up as!

Since my last post, when I was coming to terms with my given date being a total red herring, I've gone one step forward and 3-4 back again.

I spoke to the eoman in central bookings at the start of this month and was told that, despite the previous date for September, I wouldn't reach the top of the list until the middle to end of December. I ended up in tears on the phone and all the woman could suggest was speaking to the surgeon about things. She even refused to tell me what number I am on the list.

That afternoon I spoke to the surgeon's secretary (cue the tears again!) she suggested booking me in to see the surgeon- not seen anyone since start of September 2010! - and booked me in for the following week to see the other surgeon to the one I saw last year. Come the appointment (my 4th hospital in a 2 week period at 3 different hospitals from the same trust!) the surgeon was apologetic about the aborted date but said, as far as he was concerned, there never were any plans to operate on that date so he had no idea why I'd been told the date. He's going to look into it and try to give me an explanation at some point in the future.

He said he would ask the woman in central bookings to work out when my date should be (allowing for illness or bed cancellations) and to send me a letter with that date to give me something to work towards. He said there were about 15-20 people ahead of me on the list (though someone else added to the waiting list the same day as me is person 13 on the same list) but he still thinks it should be middle to end of December.

When I asked about only finding out about the hiatus hernia when I went to the pre-assessment appointment, he said they rarely had definitive results so wpuld get consent, look during the surgery and repair if they found a hernia. Then he looked my results up on the computer and said "Oh, this clearly shows a hernia as well as reflux into the chest - this will definitely need repairing!" I asked about sleep apnoea testing he said the anaesthetist will review my notes and decide if I need testing - I just said I hoped, after all the waiting so far, that my date wouldn't be jeopardised if it's decided I need to be tested - he said it wouldn't.

So, after all that, things haven't moved forwards, there's nothing from his team yet (not even a copy of the appointment letter) and nothing from central bookings about a date!

This week I rang to speak to the nurse specialist but she's off this week and, while on the phone, I asked the secretary if she knew whether they would be changing operating dates over Chrisymas and New Year weeks as I can't see them doing routine procedures 2 days before Christmas or New Year!, she said they wouldn't be operating on those Friday's or changing operating days - so, probably only 1 list in December! Hmm, I see a December date slipping through my fingers somewhere well into January or beyond! Another obstacle in my path - why can't I have one of those smooth paths to surgery?

Anyway, after that news yesterday I was feeling quite down about everything and a silly incident that wouldn't normally have had any effect on me was the last straw for me. When things get on top of me, instead of reaching for the food, I usually don't bother eating and yesterday was no exception, though I knew I should eat supper as all I'd had all day was a mini salami stick and a pack of Skips (I know,v. bad diet). Thought I'd be eating with my sister and her husband when, all of a sudden, she announced their taxi was there; (now the killer part) her husband stood up from the sofa, turned off the tv and the lights and headed out of the lounge - he didn't even register that I was in the room, despite me being there since Monday and looking after their 3 children for the last 2 days!

As I said that was the last straw for me and killed what appetite I might have mustered for an evening meal - so I went to bed at 8pm but, funnily enough, I festered about it all night and only managed an hour's sleep! My appetite is still off today and it's been a struggle to eat much at all.

I really am hacked off with hospitals, family and life in general at the moment - until this surgery is out of the way, I can't job hunt as no-one is going to employ someone who will be going off for up to 2 months sick leave at any time! It seems as if no-one cares about this very important aspect of my life and I'm left sitting at home like a useless blob.

Support group tomorrow night but I'm mot sure I can face going - went in August and thought my next meeting would be tomorrow and was so excited that I'd be post-op but instead I have no idea what's happening or when.

Again, sorry for the whinge, not sure anyone else would want to know,

Met a lovely girl yesterday and it's funny how we fellow wls peeps find each other!

Was in the post office when one of the staff appeared with a mug of soup, comment was passed about how nice it smelt and she said she was getting used to it but had to as she was on a liquid diet before an operation. That was my opening and we chatted for a little while.

She's having a bypass at The Middlesex hospital on the 25th and said she was pleased to have met someone having a sleeve (me!) She and her mum were so nice and want me to keep visiting over the next few months so they can see how I'm getting on - and I can see how Gemma's doing!

Another nice thing is the lady having her operation the same day as me is someone who I met at my pre-assessment appointment back in August! It will be nice already knowing the other patient in the room and not having to get to know each other on the day of admission!

Anyway, I decided this week I'm going to treat myself! Tesco have an offer on on coats and I saw one I like down from £45 to £20 but, with double rewards it's only going to cost me £10 of Clubcard vouchers! And the main part of the treat is that I'm buying it in a much smaller size and putting it away for next winter!

Time to up and going as out in 50 minutes time!

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must be great to meet others like you, im glad you've made some wls friends :) and thats great about the coat! go you :) xxx
The feeling to get the coat it will be super. I have bought a dress size 12, I have not put on any dress since 1997, so I am with you. Our time is coming !!!!
Debbie15 said:
The feeling to get the coat it will be super. I have bought a dress size 12, I have not put on any dress since 1997, so I am with you. Our time is coming !!!!

Hi Debbie,

The coat is hung up now at home, currently I'm a size 22-24 and the coat is size 16 and bright red!

It looks really good and, hopefully will be big on me in a year's time!

Should be having confirmation of op in the next couple of days as the woman in central bookings office said she would ring the middle of this month to make sure I still want the date offered and then send out the paperwork for my admission on December 16th.

Am a bit nervous in case the phone call doesn't come this week - though I'm not at home until tomorrow from Monday evening - she has both my home and mobike numbers and I hope she tries both!

Stood on the scales on Monday and have lost almost a stone since the aborted date in September which everyone is pleased about and am finding some of my clothes are looser.

When I tell my mum how quickly some people on here and at my hospital lose weight post op she is sceptical but I hoping to show her how it can be done.

Finally, I think I'm going to have Christmas dinner this weekend with all the trimmings, as it will be the last chance before my op pretty much.

Morning all,

Well, the paperwork for the surgery on December 16th arrived a couple of days after I last posted in my diary - never got the phone call to make sure I still wanted to go ahead but not too worried about that as wild horses wouldn't stop me at this point!!

Last Friday (4 weeks pre-op date) I rang the pre-assessment clinic to find out if I needed to see the anaesthetist before my surgery - at my pre-op assessment in August I was told that, if I needed to see anyone, I would be contacted. I didn't want to have any delays so thought I would chase them up. I was told on the Friday that I didn't need to see anyone as the nurse had deemed me as fit for surgery.

Anyway, on Tuesday this week, I got a phone call from the same clinic telling me that I needed to be seen by the anaesthetist (this is just 4 days after I rang them!!) and could I please come to the hospital on Thursday morning!!!

Along I trotted on Thursday morning to see a very nice lady anaesthetist who is part of the MDT from the hospital for the new bariatric team. Apart from being kept waiting for the best part of an hour after my appointment time before I was seen, and being in with her for almost 45 minutes, it all went well. I told her about scoring high on the Ebworth Sleep Apnoea scale and she said they do their own scoring using 'STOP BANG' where a score of 3 or more requires referral for assessment - of course I scored 3!! However, she also says that she usually doesn't use the score of 3 as her trigger point but, because of what I've scored on she will suggest I am referred for assessment.

Now for the kicker...............

There is no time for me to be tested before I have my surgery so I have a choice - I can either postpone my surgery for a few months while I have my tests or, - they can go ahead with my surgery and, during the anaesthetic process, they will give me a test dose of morphine and see if my body reacts to it or not. If necessary, I will need to have some NIV support post-op which may mean I don't go to surgical HDU but either medical HDU or ITU for CPAP.

What has worried me is the medication side of things. I have to stop my Tramadol slow release 5 days before the op and go back onto Co-Codamol 30/500 for that time and I may well not be able to take my usual Naproxin post op as it's an NSAID, what they can't tell me is how long I will not be able to take them. I take these meds for back problems and it's taken a few months to get myself on meds and doses that allow me to function almost normally, now I am worried that in the few days before my op and for the important recovery period I will be in so much pain that I will end up virtually confined to a chair as I was before.

I am going to be told towards the end of next week what is going to happen about the Naproxin and when I can start taking it again - and what I can take instead - while the Tramadol I should be alright to go back on it once I'm home so will at least be on one of my usual meds.

I'm also waiting for my GP to refer me for the sleep studies for after my surgery - something which I asked the surgeon about 6 weeks ago if I would need - and, if I had been referred then, I could have had everything done before my op date!!!

Starting my pre-op diet on Thursday coming so wish me luck!!

Oh Tatiana, what a dilemma. I expect due to the delays you've already experienced the last thing you want is to delay even longer, but you seem to have all the information to make an informed decision that suits you. Best of luck. Which hospital is it btw?
O crikey they do like to throw spanners in the works don't they. It was the same when they sprung the cardiologist bit on me right at the end and I was living on tenterhooks for a week. Hope it all goes smoothly and things sort themselves out. Just what you don't need at the moment. But, having said that, it is all for you and your needs and they want the best for you. Doesn't make it feel any better but by golly will it be worth it in the end.

Love Kate x
Good luck Hun ;) x

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Oh Tatiana, what a dilemma. I expect due to the delays you've already experienced the last thing you want is to delay even longer, but you seem to have all the information to make an informed decision that suits you. Best of luck. Which hospital is it btw?

Hi Cathi,

The hospital is Ashford & St Peter's in Chertsey, Surrey. They have only been doing this surgery since September this year so it's all very new for them.

I am going to keep my surgery date for the 16th as the anaesthetist said she is a bit mobile on the score of 3 on the STOP BANG scale and usually doesn't refer anyone unless their score is higher than that but, as one of my triggers is falling asleep when having a conversation, she thinks I do need to be checked out.

She did also say, if I choose to go ahead with surgery they will wait until I am under the anaesthetic and then will give me a dose of morphine and watch to see if my O2 levels drop, if they do then they will arrange for me to go to either Medical HDU or ITU (wherever there is a bed basically) and will put me on CPAP post op. If my O2 levels stay ok then I will go to Surgical HDU as planned but they will cover me light on morphine so as not to depress my respiratory system and will leave me on O2 for longer.

I am a nurse by career so know some of the ins and outs of this and do trust my team. If she had said it was imperative for me to have had the tests before I went to theatre then I would have listened even though I would have been gutted to postpone again. I last had a general anaesthetic 2 years ago and, apart from my BP dropping, I was fine so hope things will be the same again this time!!

O crikey they do like to throw spanners in the works don't they. It was the same when they sprung the cardiologist bit on me right at the end and I was living on tenterhooks for a week. Hope it all goes smoothly and things sort themselves out. Just what you don't need at the moment. But, having said that, it is all for you and your needs and they want the best for you. Doesn't make it feel any better but by golly will it be worth it in the end.

Love Kate x

Hi Kate,

The option to postpone was just that, an option and the anaesthetist is happy to proceed without me having the tests first so I'm also happy to go ahead with surgery in 19 days time!!!

What does make me cross though is that I asked the surgeon about sleep apnoea tests when I went to see him the middle of last month, he said they would have time to do the tests if they needed to and the need wouldn't push back my surgery date. Also, having had my pre-op back in August, having to wait until 3 weeks pre-op to see the anaesthetist means there's no time for them to organise anything beforehand!!

The one thing I've not really mentioned on here other than saying I've had an ultrasouns scan is that I have had a problem with one of my boobies since the end of June, I did have the USS 2 weeks ago and spoke to one of the breast care nurses last Monday. There is nothing sinister in the breast which is a good thing but the scan is in keeping with it being a cyst under the skin but above the breast tissue. The nurse said she feels the cyst should be removed otherwise it will keep getting infected and cause me more problems in the long term, she was trying to get hold of the consultant this week to see what he want's to do as he hasn't arranged for me to see him again as he was sure it was nothing but I've not heard anything so have to ring her again tomorrow if I've not heard anything by lunchtime.

I am hoping that, if it does need to be removed, they can sort it out between them for it to be done at the same time as my sleeve to save me having to have another GA.

Fingers crossed for me for tomorrow when I speak to the breast care nurse again!!

I don't suppose you could have the bariatric surgeon and the breast surgeon work on you at the same time could you?