On the 10th June 2022, I traveled to Turkey to have a gastric bypass!
I think my story and history will resonate with most, so let’s start right here with:
Once upon a time, before pregnancy at 27, I was 12.5 stone and I thought I was fat. Looking back I see how self conscious I was, I had a skinny older sister and always compared my body to hers and others. In reality I was fit, toned and healthy.
What followed was a huge shift in hormones due to fertility treatments leading eating for happiness and then to weight gain. I did get pregnant and despite weighing 17.5 stone after the birth, continued with food cravings, never felt full. Roll forward 16 years after trying every diet known, exercise programs, pills and supplements, I was stuck and now had been sitting at 19.5 stone for 3 years.
I was unhappy, I hated myself, I was self conscious and withdrawn and had suffered a hip injury which now prevents most exercise.
So I researched, in secret for over a year before one day announcing to my husband, I want a gastric bypass. That was were my journey began. Aged 41 at 19.5stone and 5ft6 inches tall, I got the ball rolling.
Now let’s be clear, I didn’t tell everyone what I was going to do, I didn’t want scare stories or ‘you don’t need it’ types of comments. I wanted support from people who would say, ‘go for it if that’s what you want, grab it!’.
I’d already researched the nhs and was on the waiting list, I completed the 12 week diet plan, a 12 week exercise programme but I knew from talking to my gp and the covid onset that I could be waiting years.
I researched private costs in the UK, prices ranging from £12,000.00 to £15,000.00 were unattainable for me.
Then I researched the cost of surgery abroad. I wasn’t scared I knew what I wanted and that was that. I booked with a hospital in Turkey; I explained my personal choice of a bypass over a sleeve and how long I’d been struggling and was told I could lose 70-80% of my excess weight. No monies were to be paid till after the operation so I let my husband know we were now saving and booked my date. 10th June 2022.
I wasn’t nervous at all as I sat on the plane with my family, we had arranged to stay in Turkey after my op and take a mini break. In my mind I was set, I felt well prepared and supported. My family were terrified and reluctant to leave me at the hospital, I made it clear I’d do much better if they left me too it and went back to the hotel to relax.
The hospital itself was amazing; a clean modern private room with en-suite shower room, TV, fridge and aircon. It wasn’t long after arrival I was taken for my pre-op tests, ultrasound, tomography, breathing and heart tests were completed. An endoscopy was to be completed while I was under anaesthesia.
I waited in my room, gown on, my coordinator had spent the entire morning with me, translating, making sure I was okay and even coming down to surgery and making me laugh while I was going under.￼
A few hours later I awoke back in my room a bit groggy and nurses helped change me into my pyjamas. I don’t remember the rest of the day I slept in between calling my family to let them know I was okay.
The following day I awoke sore, not generally, just on moving, but I was up and about, walking around. The first time I did a lap round the ward, I got back to my room and threw up blood. I was obviously still high from the drugs and believed I’d been turned into a vampire for a good hour.
After three days I was allowed back to the hotel following a leak test and that hotel bed felt like heaven. Yes I was still sore but it was nothing unbearable. I had already lost weight and was focusing on the journey ahead, our time went by so fast. It wasn’t long before we were back home.
It’s now just over 3 months since my operation, I can only eat tiny amounts very slowly, I am often sick if I eat too fast or something doesn’t agree with me but, I’m also over 4stone lighter. I feel more confident and comfortable and I don’t ache as much. Overall would I do it again, yes.
I think about how much healthier I am now, how I like myself and my new tool and how I can manage my own cravings and diet so much easier. I have plenty of non scale victories, such as having spare belt on the aeroplane and being able to use the tray comfortably to wearing dresses, nice underwear and being able to move about easily.
If you want change, you have to make it yourself. I now feel empowered to do so. Go grab it.