I have already tried nearly every diet going. At the age of fifteen years I went to my first ‘Slimming Club Silhouette’, I think it was called. That really was the start of my weight problems. I had always been a ‘chubby child’ and I also wore ‘lovely’ blue NHS specks, I was never confident and I was often bullied at school. My first diet to work was Slimming World, although I didn’t get all my excess weight off. I did feel better, however, the norm for me kicked in, three stone off, four stone on and so it went for many years, until my doctor suggested ‘Lypio Trim’. I stuck to this diet like glue, not even a slice of lemon in my water. Three vitamin drinks a day, black tea or black coffee and nothing else.
Six months later and eight stone lighter I was at my ideal weight, I could now start eating once again. My first week of eating I had put on half a stone, I was only eating salad and fish! So, back to normality and I started eating for England once again. I joined ‘Slimming World’ and a bit later ‘Weight Watchers’; I felt that nothing I ever did was right. Then one evening my mother brought up a magazine and I read Sharon’s story, so off I went surfing the net for information about the band.
I sent Sharon an e-mail and she got back to me. Luckily enough she only lived approximately fifteen miles away so we arranged to meet at a local Nursery. I put her mobile number in my phone. We arranged to meet at the nursery at about 2:30 and I would call her when I was there to meet her in the coffee shop I tried calling and calling but no answer so naturally I left a message. After an hour of trying I decided to come home without meeting her. I checked the number again as soon as I got home and to my horror I realised I had put and extra number in, I had left a message on a strangers phone! I called Sharon on the right number this time and apologised, she was very understanding about the situation and we arranged to meet the following day, this time at another Nursery.
At the nursery Sharon showed me the band and I felt fine about it all. She explained to me that it was not a ‘cure’ but a ‘tool’ to help me lose weight, but more importantly to me to help keep the weight off once and for all. Sharon advised me to think about the band and if it was the right option for me, but I had all ready made up my mind, I was to have the band.
The following day I phoned Sharon and told her that I’d like to go through with the band and I wanted to get the ball rolling. She then e-mailed me the appropriate forms to be filled in. I filled them in, sent them back to Sharon and waited in anticipation for Sharon to get back to me with the date of my surgery.
The date arrived, 25th February 2004. I couldn’t wait; it was to be the start of a new chapter in my life. I was very lucky; as my mother had decided to have the same surgery as myself and that we had the operations on the same day. We flew out to Lyon, we being my mother, my husband and of course, myself! This was all on Sunday 22nd February. We caught the shuttle bus to Part Dieu and we checked into our hotel. The public transport was not like ours; it was on time and comfortable! It was excellent!
Monday 23rd February
We booked a taxi to take us to the hospital, as you cannot hail Taxis’ in Lyon. We arrived at the hospital and went to the consolation building to meet Dr Frering and the anaesthetist, both of whom were very charming.
Tuesday 24th February
I was off to the hospital bag in hand. First I had to have some blood tests done and then I had to for a gall bladder scan, luckily for me I have had this removed a few years back and was not in need of the scan, however, I still went over as there was another British woman there and myself and my mother gave her some moral support. After we were admitted to the hospital we waited in the waiting room for our beds to become available. We were then taken to our beds and asked to put our gowns on as we were to go down for an endostopy, they put you to sleep and have a look around your stomach to make sure that everything is OK for the band to be fitted. They also told me where I was on the list for the Wednesday morning. I was once again lucky; I was to be operated on at 8:00am. I had to have a shower on Tuesday evening and wash my entire body and hair in a liquid that was very similar to Iodine; I slept very well that night.
Wednesday 25th February
I had to be up at 6:00am to shower in the Iodine liquid again but I was not to get my hair wet. I slipped into my gown, went back to my bed and took my pre-med, the next thing I know I’m waking up at 7:50am and about to be taken down to theatre. Once I arrived in theatre they asked me to get onto the operating table and this is when my nerves kicked in, was I doing the right thing? I was very lucky that Sharon was there and held my hand when they put me under the anaesthetic. I finally woke up after a very short time of being under anaesthetic. I was a little sore but they were very good and gave me some good painkillers and for the rest of the day I was dosing on and off. When I awoke once again I got up and began to walk around the ward to disperse the gas from the op.
Thursday 26th February
I went down stairs in the hospital and into a waiting room; from there I was taken into the X-Ray room where I had barium swallow. I was discharged from the hospital at Lunchtime. I then went shopping in Lyon; it really is a beautiful city.
Friday 27th February
I was on my way home…