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My gastric sleeve story: Before my op

Having been overweight the majority of my life, I had come to think that I would never have a "normal" sized body and have developed all kinds of ways to cope with my ever increasing size. I avoid full length mirrors at all costs, I only ever allow head shot photos to be taken of myself, I pretend I'm terrified of fairground rides to save the embarrassment of not fitting into a seat, I wear clothes in a couple of sizes too big hoping to hide my size and I even have my own seat belt extender purchased from Amazon in case I ever needed it on a plane. The list is endless.

As unhappy as I am in my body, weight loss surgery never really crossed my mind until I hit 20 stone and started suffering from severe sleep apnoea. It is the first weight related health problem I have had and it has had a truly debilitating effect on my life. Having been tested at my local hospital I have been diagnosed as having the severe form of obstructive sleep apnoea caused by my collar size/being overweight. The only cure is to lose a dramatic amount of weight and treatment in the meantime is having to sleep with a c-pap oxygen machine helping me to breath. I cannot remember the last time I had a decent sleep and with 4 kids, my own business, 4 cats, 3 horses and a dog to look after I am constantly exhausted.

In December, after trying and failing yet another diet, I decided to google gastric bands. This lead me to the Healthier Weight website. I called and had a long conversation with Hayley, a patient coordinator. I was surprised at how friendly and easy to talk to she was and found myself discussing my weight problem in length. I booked a consultation for a few days later.

My husband and I traveled to Birmingham and met with the consultant who explained 3 major weight loss procedures to me. It became apparent that with the amount of weight I had to lose and my hectic lifestyle that a band may not be the best choice due to the amount of adjustments I would have to travel back for etc so I decided to have a sleeve procedure. After thinking about it for a few days I called and booked the procedure for the following month to allow me to get Xmas and my holiday out of the way.

Well it is now the night before my surgery and I have to be at the hospital for 7am tomorrow!
I started to feel quite nervous a few days ago and found a Facebook support group for gastric sleeve patients. Joining that group has been a godsend, I get so excited seeing people's before and after pictures and I'm amazed at how much weight can be lost in so little time. As far as I've seen nobody has regretted their surgery and it has transformed their lives for the better.

I just can't imagine myself slim and healthy, I thought I would be stuck this way forever but I now have hope that with the procedure and a new outlook on food and health that I will be free of this body and able to do all of the things I've been shying away from most of my life!

The things I am looking forward to the most are being cured of the sleep apnoea, having my wedding ring fit me again, being able to ride my horses and feeling confident enough to have a professional family photo shoot done!

So I'm keeping those thoughts at the forefront of my mind this evening to combat any nerves and will report back next week with how the operation went!

Hayley's gastric sleeve blog pre-op

Starting weight: 20st 1lb

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.