….Now I consider myself to be a fairly normal rational person. I am not a freak and I am not looking for sympathy. I certainly don’t want pity. I am when it boils down to it I am a strong person .….how does the old saying go?…. what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….well in some ways yes that is true. In my case it`s made me fat as well.
I know that I am reasonably intelligent, kind, hardworking and try to be the best I can be both at home and at work. I give a lot of myself daily and do not ask for much in return. I want and like to help people and injustice upsets me.
..Being overweight should not define a person but unfortunately in today`s culture it does. There is no getting away from it …we live in a `fattist` society where judgements are made on how we look rather than how we are.
Unfortunately I am ashamed to say some of my medical colleague’s fall into that bracket. I won`t say any more…suffice to say they know who they are. Like a lot of things in life …you have to live it before you can understand it.
Regrettably most slim people don’t have much empathy for us fatties in the same way non-smokers can’t understand why smokers just don’t stop.
I made the decision to go ahead with gastric banding after a lot of personal soul searching and meticulous research. It took me several months to get to the stage where I knew it was right for me.
I weighed up the options available to me and listed the positives and negatives of each on paper, adding to my list over a number of weeks.
I read books, blogs, medical papers and trawled the internet for information. I discussed it openly with my family and bounced my feelings off friends and several of my colleagues. I sought opinions both good and bad from a variety of people whom I know. The responses varied greatly.
I knew from day one that I was not going to consider going abroad to have the procedure done. I have heard too many horror stories and have spoken personally with 2 European banders who wished in hindsight that they had it done in the UK.
Money was another big consideration. It costs a lot of money to undergo gastric banding privately and on the surface appears to be more expensive in this country than abroad. Although cheaper in Europe I could never be entirely happy that my prospective surgeon and team were up to scratch. What would happen to me should things go wrong…..there were too many ifs, buts and maybes for my liking!
Cost although an issue was not as important to me as the quality of care and follow up I would receive post banding. I wanted the best I could afford.
After even more research I opted for Mr David Galloway and the Nuffield Hospital in Glasgow. They were offering an inclusive package which includes not only the surgery itself but a full 2 years follow up, band fills,
dietetic support etc. If anything were to go wrong then they would sort it out.
So on Monday May 24th 2010 I made the phone call that was hopefully going to change the rest of my life….I booked a meeting with my prospective surgeon. I had to pay £150 up front for my initial consultation but I felt that it was a small price to pay. I was at the stage where I was 80% sure banding was for me but I needed to speak to Mr Galloway in person before I could be 100% clear in my mind that I had made the right decision
My first appointment was at 2.15pm on Monday 21st June 2010.
I was both really nervous and excited at the same time and eager to find out all that I could. My mum and Son came up with me but I wanted to speak to Mr Galloway on my own so they sat in the waiting room.
When I sat down in David`s office that day emotion just overtook me…where the blubbering came from I do not know. I burst into tears and couldn’t get any words out. I was thinking to myself …..for goodness sake pull yourself together Lorna…..the man will think you’re an idiot or psychologically unsound!
He didn’t treat me or make me feel like an idiot though. He was patient and sympathetic while I pulled myself together. He is most probably used to it…after all it’s a huge step for most people and often a last chance at getting their life back on track…..well that’s how I felt anyway.
Tears and snotters over with he asked me a load of questions and then I asked him a few. I was keen to know about the risks involved and whether or not he felt I was a suitable candidate for surgery. Mr Galloway was both frank and honest in his responses. He informed me that he had undertaken over 800 procedures and had 3 failures to date with the last 500 going without a hitch. One patient out of those 3 had ended up in ICU through complications during surgery. No-one had died.
He weighed me and worked out my BMI.
We made a date……for Wednesday 4th August 2010…….the first day of my new life….a happier, healthier new life.
……bring it on!!