Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Peeking Through A Keyhole

Most doctors now do gastric sleeves through keyholes - it is far less invasive and quicker to heal (and hurts a hell of a lot less!)

I was lucky - I had four keyholes, one of which was tiny, the other three have 4-5 staples sealing each, together with surgical glue.

Most people have between three and five keyholes, some a few more if they are also having their gall bladder removed or hernias fixed.

Fixings vary - from staples, dissolvable stitches, glue and steri-strips - you could have just one, or a combination deal, all depending on the tastes of your surgeon.

I was lucky - I had four keyholes, one of which was tiny, the other three have 4-5 staples sealing each, together with surgical glue. I have hardly any bruising, which makes me very grateful to my surgeon.

Yesterday I had the staples removed - it was quick and except for a few bits where the healing skin had caught, painless, and the little bit of pain was just a pinch. So don't worry.

Now I pushed myself yesterday, I went to a meeting with a client at 8am in town. That meant taking the Tube. In peak hour. My worst nightmare. Walked about a mile to get between stations office and home. Then I walked to the doctors - about another mile round trip. By the time I got home, I was knackered and had a little nap.

When I woke up I checked my stationery-less stomach and noticed that two of the keyholes the skin had split from each other again - well, not so much because the skin split, but the surgical glue did. I am now repatched with steri-strips and waterproof patches for another few days (all these years of having a Senior First Aid certificate have come in handy!)

Spoke to my GP, it is totally normal and I don't need to freak out. Just need to take it easy for a few more days.

On the plus side....being on a moving jolting train was like being burped - I let out a ton of gas yesterday!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Self Love

Ha - tricked ya! This is not a post about masturbation - it is about pampering yourself post-op. You lot really do have filthy minds.

In the last few days I have felt more like my "normal" self. This has been helped by doing little things to cheer myself up and pamper my poor battered body.

I have given myself a lovely manicure so that my fingernail are bright happy pink, gotten a massage and pedicure, and used nice smelling Body Shop products to moisturise my skin (well the skin that I can reach that is!)

Now, these just sound like nice things to do, but they have added benefits.

The massage and pedicure helped to ease my gas pain - I could actually hear the air escaping and it eased the muscles that are tense from sleeping strangely and from surgery. Additionally it helps general circulation, especially when you are not moving much yet.

The Body Shop coconut butters hydrate the skin, as I am struggling to get my 2 litres of water in still, and the oils in them soothe the soul (I do love jasmine).

If you have just had surgery, you feel bleurgh - it is good to do little things for yourself in this first week or so to pep yourself up a bit, and they are things that you can control.

Hell, it is good to pamper yourself any time - why should we need an excuse!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Timing Is Everything

As part of my post-op routine, you have to aim to drink 2 litres of water a day I am struggling to do this, as you are not allowed to drink for 30mins pre- and post meals, as well as no drinking WHILE you eat...and some "meals" can take me 30-60mins to get down!  Did I mention I am having to do six small meals a day*? Urgh.

When all you can do is sip sip bloody sip, it really is a struggle.

Timelines seem to work, and I am using my alarm to prompt me to sip away. An example is what today is planned out to be...

0800 - 0830: Breakfast - 3 tablespoons of Weetabix mixed runny
0830 - 0900: No liquids allowed
0900 - 1015: Liquids
1015 - 1045: No liquids allowed (took a shower - bliss)
1045 - 1130: Snack - 200mls of semi-skim milk sipped
1130 - 1200: No liquids allowed
1200 - 1330: Liquids
1330 - 1400: No liquids allowed
1400 - 1500: Lunch - 330m Lighter Life meal replacement shake
1500 - 1530: No liquids allowed
1530 - 1700: Liquids
1700 - 1730: No liquids allowed
1730 - 1745: Snack - 3 tablespoons of low fat runny custard
1745 - 1815: No liquids allowed
1815 - 1900: Liquids
1900 - 1930: No liquids allowed
1930 - 2030: Dinner -  Lighter Life meal replacement shake or soup
2030 - 2100: No liquids allowed
2100 - 2130: Liquids
2130 - 2200: No liquids allowed
2200 - 2230: Supper -  3 tablespoons of pureed peaches

This is bloody exhausting! Would write more, but my alarm wont shut up.

* Note: One meal is 2-3 tablespoons of puree, or 200mls of soup or a meal replacement shake.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Scatagorically Speaking

After any form of weight loss surgery there are some things you are told up front to expect - gas being the main one. You are told to keep moving, get lots of liquids and focus on protein consumption ahead of everything else.

Getting two litres of liquids in is hard. I am now five day post-op and I still cant get past a litre in a day, let alone up to two but I am trying. It is all baby steps.

And everything post surgery really is baby steps. Putting clothes on, walking more than a few metres, having a shower (oh my first shower was so good I cried!), burping (hurt), farting and yesterday my first dump. Yes a bowel movement. My first in almost a week - liquid diets don't leave much behind.

But yesterday I had the best dump I think I have ever had. Better than any post bog grog (especially if I had been on scotch and cokes!). Better than the "why did I have a curry at 2am" poop. Better even than getting into the loo before your significant other does a shit that would would burn the nasal hairs off of a sewerage plant worker.

Now...I have to admit. I got a little excited. I giggled, called out to my beloved, crowed and bayed to the moon (well, the well risen sun, but that has not got the same poetry). And then I had a thought.

A very sobering thought.

I have 15 staples in my belly, and had to twist to wipe.

Only one words explains what was going through my mind.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Post Op

Well, it is done.

Surgery was put back a few hours, so I didn't actually get to the theatre until about 6pm on Thursday night. The surgeon was happy with how it went and I was home less than 24 hours after arriving at the hospital.

Post Op - I am gassy, tired and achy. No really bad pain since coming home, I have taken one soluble paracetamol the first night, and one anti-nausea, other than that not needed anything pain wise. Minimal bruising as well.

I am having daily Clexane injections by my beloved (he has gotten good at that over the years!), and wearing my stockings, walking as much as possible, and I even managed a shower at the neighbours (as I need a walk-in shower for a few weeks rather than the one in our bath).

I am slowly getting protein in, and my liquid consumption is increasing daily - still not at the 2 litres a day, but only a few days away from hitting and maintaining that goal.

Taking it easy, resting lots and will be back on my feet in no time.

Whoever said weight loss surgery is the easy way out though has obviously never HAD weight loss surgery!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stats and Pics - The Night Before Surgery 16 Sept 2015

Twas the night before Surgery, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, there better not be no fucking mouse!
The stockings were packed in the overnight bag with care,
In hopes that Thursday morning soon would be there.

The Hussyband is nestled all snug in our bed,
Where visions of martinis dance in his head.
And the MIL is watching TV downstairs, and I upstairs in my den,
Had just settled in to watch a cute comedienne.

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sofa to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The light from the lamps on the sparkling wet street
Gave the lustre of mid-day....oh fuck this shit it is just another bloody urban fox.

So tomorrow is S-Day. Surgery. I am booked for theatre at 2.30pm GMT so think of me.

This is the first on what will start out to be fortnightly, then monthly stats updates. They say the first three months will see the most dramatic change....so only time will tell right.

Height: 5'10"

First Appointment - 13 August 2015: 146.7kgs (323 lbs)
Second Appointment - 8 September 2015: 145.1kgs (319 lbs)
Third Appointment - 15 September 2015: 142.8kgs (314 lbs)

Arms: 46cm (Left) / 44cm (Right) - measurement taken 10cms up from inside the elbow
Thighs: 89cm (Left) / 86cm (Right) - measurement taken 23cm above knee
Calves: 56cm (Left) / 57cm (Right) - measurement taken 13cm below knee
Bust: 116cm - bra on
Waist: 109cm - natural waist, just below ribs
Hips: about 160cm - it's all about the base.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Packing It

No, I am not shitting myself (yet) but with three sleeps until I go to hospital I am starting to pack my bag...and unpack...and repack...it's like going on holiday, without the resulting tan and hangovers!

Based on what I am reading on the forums, my essentials for the bag will be as follows:

  • My own pillow (also helps shield your belly in the car on the way home)
  • Nightie/pj's - now I usually sleep nekkid, so just wearing loose yoga pants and a cami
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers/slip on shoes for walking around the wards and to wear home....so realistically - I will wear thongs to the hospital and wander in those....
  • Toiletries - shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush/paste, body wash
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Hairbrush and bands
  • Phone + Charger
  • Kindle fully loaded with books
  • Ipad + Charger + clamp to use it as a screen so I don't have to hold it
  • Headphones
  • A power board - as there are never enough power points
  • Undies, bra and something to wear home that is loose and comfortable
  • Lip balm
  • All my meds (inhalers and vitamins....)
  • Eye mask and ear plugs (hospitals are noisy places any time of the day and night)
That should cover it I would think.

Anything you have ever wished you had taken to hospital with you my friends? Other than someone else to get stuck with the needles of course!

PS: Still hoping my gastric sleeve plushie pillow will arrive in time! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bone Broth - It's Just Stock For Fuck Sake

So there is a huge furor over the last year or so about Bone Broth being the next big thing in healthy eating. As part of my pre- and post-op diet I have to drink clear liquids - water, tea, broth.

Let me get this straight. There is NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BONE BROTH AND STOCK. Yes, this may get me stoned by some hipster gods and goddesses, but come on, I am an Aussie, and I call a spade a fucking shovel.

I am doing a mixture of store bought clear soups/stocks as well as making a batch a week each of chicken and beef stocks. It is dead simple, especially if like me you use a slow cooker as you can just bung it all in and forget about it for 24 hours.

Hint: Make friends with your local butcher - especially if he breaks down his carcasses (not all do these days) - they will be free or very cheap.


  • 2-3 kgs of beef bones (or 2 chicken carcasses) - Note: the beef ones I like to roast them for an hour or so at 180 degrees to get some colour into them which brings a bit of depth to the stock - Oh, and you can also use lamb/mutton for variety, or a mix
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, bashed and peeled
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar (optional - but it helps break the bones down)
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper, to season to taste as you go
Bung all the ingredients into your slow cooker, or a stock pot, and cover with water - ideally about 2 inches above the bones. Turn it on high (slow cooker) and then go and have a life for 24 hours. Seriously, you don't NEED to touch it. You can skim the foam from it every so often if you want, but it isn't essential. If doing it on the stove, bring to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer and treat it with the same indifference for 12-24 hours.

Allow to cool fully before straining through a fine mesh sieve, or a thicker colander lined with muslin, throwing out all the bits. Season to taste and refrigerate. Once it has cooled, remove the solid fats from the top of the bowl.

You can keep the stock in the fridge for up to 3 days, or a couple of months if you portion it up and freeze it like I am doing. I am portioning in 1 litre lots but go for whatever works best for you.

The plus side of this is that when I can move onto thin soups (strange how that thought excites me!) I will have a ready stash of good home-made stock as my base to ensure healthy nutrient and protein rich meals.

Tell me my friends, what are your favorite soups?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Last Supper(s)

Last Friday, I started my pre-op diet. I ended up deciding to go the meal replacement options as it would remove the temptation of snacking and start getting my head into the place of not having just a little bit of something.

The nutritionist had originally recommended Slimfast, but I found that they only did sweet shakes, no savory options. So after clearing it with the doctor I started using Lighter Life replacements - a combination of shakes, soups, bars and noodle pots (they also have pasta options, but I know from previous experience that they just made me gag!)

There is a thing, that people who are about to start a radical diet tend to have last suppers of fabulous food. In the three weeks prior to starting pre-op, I had a lot of last suppers. Dinners, cocktails, lunches, high teas, more wine....you name it I went nuts!*1

Now I don't know if this made starting the pre-op easier or harder as now I just think..."Damn, I forgot to have schnitzel" or "fuck, wish I had had another bottle of champagne". But it was fun, and for me food has always been about the people I am sharing it with; the sounds, smells, laughter and memories we created together.

Now, in the past, I would have blogged these meals, with pictures, but I don't need to do that here as I have my Instagram memories. I will, however, give you some highlights as I am a little bit of a masochist, and the chance to relive some great nights is too tempting to ignore.


  • Le Boudin Blanc in London: foie gras, amazing fish, delightful desserts and wine that was the nectar of the gods, all enjoyed with my beloved husband a few days after I booked the surgery
  • A good  BBQ in my back garden with friends: there was tuna, steak, wine, homemade ice cream and Cards Against Humanity hands that had us shrieking
  • A simple curry in a friends garden playing with their daughter and wondering where the hours had gone (and more Cards Against Humanity)
  • Taking the Hussyband for his first "proper" high tea - not for the tea as the food was nice, but waaaay overpriced, but for the look on his face that required a vast amount of cocktails elsewhere to remove later in the evening
  • Peruvian feast at Andina in Shoreditch with Kelly - the scallop ceviche is still bringing tingles when I think about it....followed by more cocktails...on a Monday no less!
  • Al Boccon di Vino - an Italian restaurant in Richmond that has no menu, you get an Italian feast for a very reasonable price with amazing service (with my wonderful cousin Leanne and her squeeze Gorm)
  • A weekend in Liverpool with my niece, showing her around eating felafels and not too much booze as I was doped up on antibiotics
  • Vietnamese in Soho with Anna and Chris followed by shenanigans in Compton's.
Now all of this fun and laughter was leaving me exhausted, but there was one night left to come. I had been on the wait list for Dinner en Blanc for 3 or 4 years, it has been a while since it was held in London. The day after I decided to book my surgery the invite came out, so I planned my surgery date to be 2 weeks after the dinner.

The food was ok, the wine was ok...but the company was fantastic as was the atmosphere. Everywhere you looked a sea of white, the tables, decorations, the assembled cast of party goers. 

In color psychology white is the color of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn't stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive.

An auspicious way for me to start this new journey don't you think?

Note 1: I do not recommend last suppers, but lets face it, we all do it in some way...one last drink, one last bite....it is hard to draw that final line in the sand!

Note 2: The Fat Nutritionist has written a fabulous post on "The Last Supper Syndrome" - you should check it out!