The Gall Sadder Blues

So it seems quite a lot has happened since my post last week where life was nothing but sweet peach ready to be devoured.

This week, all hell broke loose INSIDE OF ME.

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If you’re a regz reader you will no doubt be totally familiar with my ‘Acid Re-flux’ woes.

Having never experienced re-flux prior to my surgery I took it as gospel when the DR diagnosed me that it was pretty common to feel like the pits of hell were imploding within my body.

Why would I question that intense body cramps, spewing up blood and generally clinging on to dear life wasn’t just totally common when several DR’s and dietitians have told me it’s part of the process.

I’d cut out the caffeine and the bread and most gluten. I’d made it my routine to walk off all foods consumed each time I put one bite in my mouth box. I’d followed all the rules.

Why the fuck is this still an issue?

Monday last week agony struck. Luckily for me I have really fuckin understanding bosses who’ve let me work from home to allow me to sit in a hot bath whilst I work or pace the living room to try and ease the cramps.

By Wednesday shit had gone turbo. After hours of cramps, tears, sick and more blood my DR sent me straight to A&E where I was admitted pretty much on arrival.

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My first night in hospital I was woken at approximately 3am by the feeling of something very hard and cold sneaking into my ear.

I opened my eyes confused. A man stood hovering over me with 2 swabs in 1 hand and a thermometer in the other. He took my temperature clumsily and opened his first swab.

I asked several times what this was for and was met with a very muffled response before I felt my corneas burning from my skull with the brightest flash light beaming directly into my face.

I prepared myself for death. The grim reaper had come to collect me.

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I heard the muffled voice again.. ‘swab nose, swab groin.. do it now’.

First off, this Grim Reaper is a bit pushy and secondly his annunciation is really getting on my tits.

I sat up in bed.

‘What’s happening here man?’

The light above my bed came on.

The night nurse guy waved the swabs in my face and turned around with his back to me.

‘SWAB GROIN’

I swabbed. He turned around. I see the second swab aiming for my face. The swabbed hit my nose. He shouted ‘NOSE RING’ I flinched. He kept repeating swab.

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I’m so fuckin confused. He turned his back to me again. I was asking questions but he just ignored me repeatedly. He turns back to me. The torch is back in my face.

OMG HE’S DEAF.

He’s lip reading me in the pitch black.

He runs away never to be seen again with groin swabs.

2 days of nil by mouth and 2 days of clear liquids (water) several blood tests, several piss tests, 1 endoscopy, 1 abdomen X-Ray and 1 ultrasound I was finally diagnosed with Gall Stones and also an acute obstruction in my sleeved stomach.

YAS.

Like, legit I mean it when I say YAS. Some people panic, worry when they receive news something is wrong and another operation, potential two operations are on the cards but I’m fuckin elated man.

THIS MEANS I CAN BE CURED

What was the alternative, burry my head in the ‘acid re-flux’ sand fo’lyf and carry on les miserables in pure agony every other day. Naaaaaah mate, Allow that.

Once again the NHS have been good to me. Yes, it’s a slow process but see how fuckin fast you work with one set of hands and 18 patients on your ward. What do you want, a fuckin Octopus?

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There was one, okay two slight mishaps where the surgeon got me confused with Lisa in the bed next door and tried to wheel me off to have my gallbladder removed. In hind sight, I wish he did now. Could have saved me 4-6 weeks waiting for my operation.

The other incident was pretty traumatic. A nurse came to my cubicle, drew the curtains and sat me down for a serious conversation.

‘So, Miss O’Hara. When were you first diagnosed with Diabetes?’

‘I HAVE DIABETES?’

Nurse, looks through her notes confused

‘Oh Sorry Miss O’Hara, have you got diabetes?’

‘You’ve taken nearly all the blood in my body over the last few days, you tell me’

‘No you’re fine Miss O’Hara, good bye’

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Surrreeeeee that made me feel so great, especially when a second nurse came and asked for my insulin instructions later in the day. I was getting paranoid man. Do I have diabetes?

Surly after losing nearly 8 stone that should be the least of my issues at this point.

Turns out I 100% do NOT have diabetes.

My life now is heading back to basics. Back to soft foods, soups, baby food and as little fat as possible.

The aim is to keep the pain to a minimum as much as humanly possible until surgery and life can then resume back to normal.

If that means sloppy shit for another 6 weeks then so be it.

I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED BY A FUCKIN STONE.

Easier said than done? Watch this space.

Don’t Whinge If You’re Gonna Binge

Why is it still so easy to drink alcohol?

I wish it was more of a chore but it’s just as easy as it ever was.

Why can’t I drink water like I can drink Wine?

And Beer.

And Prosecco.

And anything else wet.

As healthy as I can be all day, week, month.. the minute someone asks me if I want a drink. Bitch be like…

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I’m hungover in work today and its days like this that make me feel like this operation never existed.

I’m binge eating.

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I’ve eaten every single piece of food for the day that I brought to work with me.

In fairness, thanks to my unprepared hungover brain I didn’t actually bring any legit pre prepped goodness with me. I fear my little food haul is somewhat lacklustre

I asses my food pile to see what damage I’ve just done to myself and I’m alarmed to see that even in this fragile state things are somewhat very positive.

Has my brain finally engaged and processed that to binge on hangover food it doesn’t always mean that the chosen binge food has to be total fat head horse shit?

Here’s the damage.

100g of Bernard Mathews Turkey Meat – 119 Calories & 20.7g of Protein

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25g of Skinny Popcorn – 114 Calories & 8.6g Protein 

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Half, so (30g) of CarbKilla Protein bar –  107 Calories & 12g Protein 

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I mean come on, things could be so much fucking worse. I even chose to walk 30 minutes around Notting Hill for the fucking pleasure of it before getting into work 1.5 hours EARLY.

Of course it helps that I can now leave work early but it’s also because i’m pretty sure i’m bloody Spartacus.

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I now feel pretty pleased with myself. I bought these items without a second thought, the internal turmoil of SAUSAGE BUTTY WITH LURPACK ON ACE BREAD WITH LOADS OF BROWN SAUCE vs Fruit.

Okay fine so I didn’t buy any fucking fruit BUT I didn’t buy the Sausage Butty either did I? NO. Lilli 1 – Life 0

I purchased Low Cal, High Protein snacks that was through my very own pudgey little fat brain’s choice. YAS.

On a low note I now have no food left as I gave the other half of my Protein Bar to Ginger Joe in the office and now I feel so sad like only Chunk from the Goonies could possibly understand.

Oh Chunk.

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Allow Me To Introduce You To Pure Inspiration.

This week’s blog is taking a slight detour to the usual format of me chatting shit at you guys about the usual shit. Literal shit.

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Before my surgery I spent many hours trawling the internet trying to find blogs, information and forums from pre / post op sleeve’heads to try and gage some legit information about the process I was entering.

This was tres deficile man, truss. Any active bloggers always seemed much older than me and 99.9% of the time, American.

This made it pretty fucking difficult to gage was information was relevant to me. The terminology, the foods, vitamins, measurements. Like. How the fuck does anyone know what actual measurement 1 cup is? SOS yo.

Deciding to start my own blog turned out to be more lucrative than I initially realised. I initially wanted to be a voice in laymen’s terms for people like me, scared shitless, clueless and no fuckin idea where to start. A beginners guide some what.

What I’ve ended up with is an amazing network of really fuckin clued up people that are all experiencing everything I’m experiencing in their own unique was, who teach me things on a daily basis and who I can talk to about the good the bad and ugly sides of life post op.

Where were these people before my op? Why couldn’t I find them months ago?

Weight Loss Surgery still has a very jaded stigma attached to it you see. If I look back to very early days of my own ‘journey’ I didn’t tell anyone at all. Maybe through embarrassment, maybe because I was unsure if this was just a pipe dream.

When i did decide to open my big fat mouth I overshared the best way I know how. DIS BLOG and obvz 213546633543436536 selfies on Instagram. Standard.

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Not everyone feels the need to overshare as much as this big mouth but be assured they still have a lot to say. And I thought it might be a grand idea to share that with you guys.

I put together a bunch of questions I wished I could have asked someone pre op and sent them to 2 of my personal fave Instagram bbz to give me the lowdown on their personal experiences with total anonymity.

First up with have, well,for the sake of anonymity Let”s call her… Babe A

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  • Why did you choose to choose to keep your surgery secret?

Very simply, because I bloody wanted to! I was open about my gastric band, so when it didn’t work, it was completely humiliating and I couldn’t go through that again. I’m not completely secret, it’s more a need to know basis. I work at the hospital I had my surgery at and literally EVERYONE there knows! It’s a massive part of my life there and I love talking about it. If someone flat out asks, I am more than happy to share. I just don’t advertise it, much in the same way an alcoholic or recovering drug addict wouldn’t with their addictions, mine just happens to be food.

  • Are your tits still tits?

Absolutely not, I resemble a prepubescent boy. They haven’t sagged though, I legit just have itty bitty titties haha! I have an augmentation booked for next year though and after that, I fully intend on having my baps out 99% of the time!

  • Why surgery? Why not just diet? It’s so easy right, everyone tells you just say NO to food. Because that is SO very easy. Why go as extreme?

For me it had gotten to the point of do or die, quite literally. I don’t think I was strong enough to do it on my own, I needed the help of my *tool* (another horrendous term) to start me off! I needed something that there was no going back, no option to quit or get out clause.

  • What information after surgery did you wish you knew before hand? Would this have made you think twice?

Hmmm, I was actually very prepared for surgery. I totally immersed myself in everything WLS related and kinda became obsessed, I thought I knew exactly what to expect and that nothing would shock me. I was VERY wrong! 2 days post-op I suffered major complications. My bowel twisted and became obstructed, to be blunt I actually started vomiting faecal matter. I was rushed back in for emergency surgery and then developed horrendous internal infections. I ended up being in hospital for over 3 months and having various surgeries to treat complications. Despite all this, I honestly would do it again in a heartbeat. It took me a good 6 months until I was fully well again, and I regretted it every single day, but I can honestly say it has all been worth it. Having the bypass has ultimately saved my life.

  • For the juicy details that we all love to know about. Has your sex life improved? TELL US THE GOSSIP

HAHA where to begin?! So I completely went hard core Maria Von Trapp nun style for the first 9 months. I was completely focused on me and didn’t want any distractions or anything getting in my way. I also wasn’t in the right head space and it has taken quite a while for my brain to catch up. However, I am loving dating again! I feel like a teenager at the moment, it’s all new. As for sex, I haven’t slept with anyone I had pre-surgery so I can’t really compare. Although, can I just say… things are a lot more enjoyable when you’re not huffing and puffing struggling to catch your breath, or your huge belly hanging in the way. One thing I am struggling with is feeling a little like a fraud! When I meet someone now, they can’t automatically tell I look like a melted candle underneath the double Spanx and dress and it makes me feel dishonest. At least when I was bigger, I felt like “what you see is what you get” whereas now, I dread getting undressed in front of someone new.

  • Mental or Physical happiness?

Mental. A million percent mental. I truly believe that they are part and parcel of one another and that you will never achieve physical happiness until your head is in the right place! One of my biggest NSVs was coming off of anti-depressants and to be totally honest, that meant so much more to me than the number on the scale or the size in my jeans.

  • How did you survive the dreaded hair loss phase? How long did this last?

The hair loss started in month 4 and went on for 5 months. It was devastating and I would say I lost about 40% of my hair. As soon as it had stopped falling out, I had a LA weave fitted and it has been the best decision ever. It is the same length as my own hair but has just bulked things out. I refused to cut my hair and I still won’t! It has actually grown back even thicker and more out of control that pre surgery so I can assure you that it is temporary and things do get better!

  • Excess skin is a very real issue for many post ops. Is this something you have to deal with? Would you consider skin removal?

FUCK YEAH! There isn’t an inch of my body that has escaped excess skin. My stomach is the worst because I always had a double belly and my navel is hiding between a roll! I have just booked my plastics for May 2018… new bod pending!!!

  • Do you still see yourself as the fatty you once was no matter what the scales say?

Yes of course, I don’t think I will ever not see myself as a fat gal! I lived as one for over 24 years; it isn’t something you can just unlearn.  I hope that one day I can reach a point where weight and body image aren’t major factors for consideration in my life.

  • And Finally, One day your kid comes to you crying because of their weight. You know their struggle, are you happy to take them down the route you chose? 

Should it get to that stage, I would 100% support that. However, I truly feel that this process has taught me how to develop a healthy relationship with food, one where I am confident around food and in control of my actions. I would hope that as a parent, these were values I could instil in my child so that they wouldn’t have to go through everything I did as a morbidly obese child.

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Happiest Fatty in Homerton… STILL (Tough Crowd)

I had my 2nd group session of post fatty chat at the hospital yesterday.

You remember the first session where I seemed to be the only one not crying into my protein shake about how I was now unable to chow down on a family sized chocolate bar, it was embarrassing man.

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This one was slightly better, less tears.

It was amazing to see these people 3 months down the line. They all looked, well, smaller. I now understand people’s reactions when they see me for the first time since the operation as i have always assumed It’s just polite to tell someone they look like they’ve lost weight after they’ve had an operation to cut their belly off. And as I don’t see the results in myself it was reassuring to see them in others.

We went around the group and each spoke briefly about our new eating habits.

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So Sandra, how’re you getting on’… Sandra looks up from her Turkey slices wrapped in cling film now sweating in her clammy grip.

Well, the thing is I’m still really struggling to eat full meals. I still get very upset at dinner time when him indoors and the kids sit down to a roast and I’m left there watching and well, it just really gets to me’

Everyone nodded in agreement. How dare those bastards sit and eat their tea in front of us well we sit here like a shaking shitting Donkey from an NSPCC advert?

I watched from the back left hand corner of the room trying not to laugh and shout at them all. ‘BUT YOU’RE NOT STARVING ARE YOU, SANDRA. YOU CAN EAT. YOU COULD EAT WITH THEM YOU SILLY COW BUT YOU JUST LOVE MOANING DON’T YOU. YOU FUCKIN GREMLIN’

Look, I fuckin get it man. It’s hard at times. Can be frustrating. But come on, get a grip. If I can sit and eat a roast with my friends and family why can’t they?

Yes, my roast is minuscule in comparison to the others but who cares, it tastes ace and is great protein if you make a few adjustments. A little bit of chicken, a sprout and maybe a tater if I’m feeling fruity. I can enjoy that just as much as you can scran your roast like a bossman. What’s the beef?. mmmmmmm BEEF.

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It just felt to me like I was hearing a lot of excuses. Whinging for no real reason. Only me and 2 others had even started going to the gym yet. The other 7 still didn’t feel ready, was too tired.

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I’m over these people man. These are the one’s that will be blending up Mars Bars and chugging them down convincing themselves it’s a treat day every other day and end up having another surgery 4 years down the line. What a fuckin shame.

MOVING ON

I went on to have my own personal one on one with my dietitian. I’ve lost 56% of my excess body weight so far. Sounds good yeah?

But it did get me thinking. If I’ve lost 56% of my EXCESS body weight and still have another 44%, what the fuck do they class my target weight as?

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I’m 5’9 and 33 years old and looking forward to be a happy healthy 11 / 12 stone. By their math it looks like I’ll have to be about 2 stone before I’m no longer classed as overweight. Liberty bro. Pure. Liberty.

So, what to do about this. The plan of action is keep my own personal target in mind. When i reach that target, reevaluate the situation. If I look like road kill and my skin is blowing in the wind behind me, i’ll know it;s time to stop.

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I AM ALEX MACK.

Since the 21st April 2017 I have now lost 82.6lbs and I look like a deflating water balloon.

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That’s fine. FINE. But like, when this belly of joy finally fuck off? ‘It’s been 3 months HAVE PATIENCE LILLI’. No. I shall not.

I’m morphing into a modern day Alex Mack. SOS.

Too dramatic?

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I’ve decided to eat no more, no less than 800 calories a day for the rest of my life. Is this achievable?

I fear not as I cast my eyes down to my turmeric stained fingers from fishing out a piece of Chicken from Leigh’s curry last night after a bottle of wine. Oops.

Don’t judge me, it was Thursday. And everyone knows that Thursday is the new Friday. AND I’m not going to drink tonight AND I’m already over explaining myself through the guilt of LOVING BOOZE SO MUCH.

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I have so much guilt over drinking booze again 3 months down the line. I imagine my fat little liver bathing in a swamp of Pinot Grigio wearing a skin tight Tankini like a fat kid by the poolside in Benidorm covered in Ice Cream.

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Oh liver, what doth become of me?

I tried to redeem myself this morning by wearing my tropical swimming cozzie under my work threads. How can I not go to the gym / swim straight from work if I’m already dressed for the occasion. FOOL PROOF G.

Little do my work colleagues know (who think I’m super dedicated to the gym)  that I’m only wearing this flamboyant M&S cozzie to work because it was easier than finding knickers and a bra this morning amidst my white wine hangover daze.

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On the subject of brazier’s I’ve road tested out my new Shock Absorber Gym Bra thing and FUCK IN HELL its pure magic man.

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Like, my tits are almost protruding out of my back it straps them in so hard. Brilliant.

It’s amazing how much more energy I have to focus on exercise when I’m not contending with the ‘Mitchell Brothers’ scrapping away in my bap hammock.

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I’ve never experienced life with small breasts before. Not since I was like, 3.

Anyone with big boobs will agree that the minute you whip your bra off after a long day you can’t help but stand, belly out, head back jiggling your boobs in your hands for a good 5 minutes before you acknowledge how weird the situation has become and you put a T Shirt on before the neighbours in the flat facing call the police.

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So strapping them down to make life somewhat easier has become a real treat. I feel like this is the female version of ‘tucking’

I shall just leave you with this mental image. You’re welks yo.

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Desperately Seeking Stella

I tried booze for the first time in 7.2 weeks.

I had no intention of doing so until my dietitian session last week, turns out everyone in my post fatty crew admitted to having a few ‘cheeky’ bevvies on week 2.

I was straight edge man. And it felt so very dark.

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That night I sent Leigh to the shop to get me a sick bottle of Riesling as I’d been craving this since our Berlin jaunt earlier this year.

Guess what he came back with?

Blue Fuckin Nun. Okay so yes, technically this is a Riesling, technically. But the last time I drank Blue Nun was at G ’Nan’s kitchen table with Sunday Dinner with I was 12.

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God bless G’Nan for always keeping my glassed topped up even as a nipper.

Old school as fuck man.

It tasted decent though, just the mental recognition I was drinking booze was enough to settle my misery. I had approximately 5 sips of this shit before my face flushed red like the colour of Mars. Was I pissed? Was I having a reaction? Was I due on?

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I went back to my water. My safe place.

Leigh’s family were visiting this weekend so to join in the famalam camaraderie I decided to treat myself to a plush bottle of plonk from good ole’ Marks & Sparks.

3 sips this time. It tasted like shit.

My dietitian warned me my taste buds would change, things would taste different. Not always with nice results.

Had this happened to me?

So I CAN’T drink beer because of the fizz, I get this, it’s a no go area. My stomach will burst out my arse hole. Fair play.

But what if all wine in the world now tastes like dog shit? Do I just endure it for the sake of having 3 sips of booze?

I’ve always loved the taste of alcohol 😦 WEEP

I don’t want this pleasure to be taken away from my mouth box. What will become of me?

Kate Moss one said ……….

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Well, Kate. YOU ARE WRONG. Camden Hells tastes better than being skinny. So does Rum, Port and Stella to name a few.

Kate’s a cunt.

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I shouldn’t panic as this stage, should I?

I’ll try a few more alternatives. Worst case scenario is I live the rest of my life with Blue Nun as my tipple and try and make it my ‘quirk’.. that will never work.

Urgh. This is all Kate’s fault.

PS … I got new hair.

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