Tina's story

Tina pre-op

Tina likes to try on her wedding dress occasionally just to remind herself how much she has changed in the last six months. When she got married in April this year, she weighed 19stone 1lb and her BMI was 42.9. Having a father who had a leg amputation because of diabetes and being a borderline diabetic herself, that was a health route that Tina was keen to avoid. She also already had very high cholesterol and suffered back problems. As a former nurse, Tina knew that unless she was able to get her weight down, her prospects of a healthy future with her new husband Andy, were very reduced, even though he vowed he loved her, whatever her size. Having tried all manner of diets and drug treatments, in desperation Tina asked her GP to refer her for consideration of surgery as a treatment for her problem.

In May 2005, just 2 weeks after returning from her honeymoon in the Caribbean, Tina underwent a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Her first couple of weeks post-op were a bit of a roller coaster ride and she needed to be readmitted to hospital because of vomiting. However, everything settled down and once Tina got to grips with keeping her fluid intake up enough to combat both nausea and constipation, she settled into a routine with her new digestive system. She also started a new job six weeks after her operation! Taking on three major life changes in such a short period is not something Tina readily recommends to others “I don’t think I appreciated how much this surgery was going to change my life”, she says.

Tina post-op

By October 2005 Tina has lost 6 stone, her BMI is down to 29kg/m2 and she feels wonderful. “The greatest change for me is not feeling hungry, a constant problem prior to my surgery”, says Tina, “In fact, I often have to remind myself to eat these days!”. Tina is still losing about 1-2lbs per week. She eats one Weetabix or a slice of toast for breakfast, has soup or half a sandwich for lunch and a small portion of fish and vegetables or a pasta dish in the evening. “My cholesterol has come right down to normal and so has my blood sugar,” says Tina, “I have joined a gym and have a lot more energy. In fact I feel healthier than I have ever felt.” Tina used to think she was pretty outgoing and confident but now her friends comment on her confidence and sense of fun. “I am definitely more daring than I used to be, joining in a fancy dress party at work recently, which is something I would not have dreamed of doing in the past.”

Having surgery is something Tina would definitely recommend to other patients with morbid obesity. “I have become actively involved in our BOSPA patient support group because I now really appreciate what a life-changing experience this is. There are lots of little things that you need help and support with and I am pleased to now be able to help others.”

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