This year has been hectic, has it not? Well, for our family it definitely has been. We have had a huge loss with my dad dying in February, my kids have had break-ups and make-ups (this could be a post unto itself!), job losses, 18th's & 50th's, Year 12 Formals & soon to be Graduation Ceremony and let's not forget COVID-19 😳 We are not likely to forget that one are we?
2020 had so much promise! We have survived though ...and dare I say that so far we have made 2020 our BITCH!! 😂🤪
I knew this was going to be a huge year anyway because we were meant to go to Europe in April. It was our 2nd attempt to go overseas for our 25th wedding anniversary last year. It was going to be a huge year for sure 😁 We knew that booking for a month long overseas trip was going to put pressure on us time wise and that it would be busier than normal. We did not know that it was going to be like our busy life but on "roids'!!!! 😂😂
Normally we like to keep a fairly open calendar in our personal life as our businesses do take up a lot of our time. At some stage though, you need to take a moment and have a quick look at what your life is looking like.
At that time it was looking pretty crappy. A whole lot of work and very little play.
Our work-life balance was non-existent.
A good work-life balance means that you have harmony between the different aspects of your life and each area gives you the benefits to support your life in a way that is healthy and beneficial to your emotional, physical and spiritual life.
After losing my beloved mother in law Rosie last year, we decided that life was too short and that we needed to put our work-life into perspective.
Owning businesses that are as demanding as ours gives you very little personal time and they seep into the every day fabric of our existence. We have grown increasingly more connected through social media and technology devices that are with us constantly. We are at the mercy of our business at all hours, checking emails, responding to customers queries, doing bookwork and of course scheduling and monitoring social media on all forums available to us.
These things happen throughout the day and throughout the night. At home and at work and even at the hairdressers! Actually, even as I sit here in a hospital cafeteria in Brisbane waiting for my daughters surgery to take place.... I have a laptop, I have a mobile phone and I have an iPad. All with me, here on this very small table.... along with a coffee 🤪
How has this all become so acceptable? It was something that was so going to be on our "to-do list" for 2020. It's still a work in progress..... 😊😊😉
So, with our holiday of a life-time in mind I decided to start the process of having weight loss surgery to be scheduled after we returned from Europe.
I had it sorted for sometime in May... as it turned out we had three scheduled dates because of Covid-19 all elective surgeries were cancelled.
Your first port of call for bariatric surgery is of course your GP. I have a lovely GP who, when I went in to see her, she agreed immediately and got cracking with the referral letter. I knew that I wanted to have my surgery in Brisbane so I researched and asked heaps of people for their recommendations.
It was all relatively easy and it was then a matter of lining up an appointment. At this stage, I had no idea what procedure I wanted to have done.
The majority of people I knew who had weight loss surgery have had a Gastric Sleeve which is performed laparoscopically. It is a procedure where almost three quarters of the stomach is removed, significantly reducing the food-holding capacity making you feel satisfied from a much smaller meal.
I knew of only one person having bypass surgery. All in all, I really didn't know why you would choose one over the other, so that was really going to be the Surgeons call.
I took both my daughters to the appointment with the surgeon in Brisbane. I always feel that having your support people in with you gives you a better chance of retaining all the information that they heap onto you.
It's full on and because it is elective surgery it felt even more important to make sure we were doing the right thing and collecting every little bit of relevant information.
I would have taken Peter in with me but he has been flat out this year with work, and it was impossible for him to get away at that stage.
My girls and I are very close and they were wonderful throughout the whole process. The bonus being that they have much younger brains to retain all that information 😊
After discussing my options, my surgeon felt that it was really up to me which way I wanted to go in regards to choice of procedure. I had further discussions with my Dietician and another phone consultation with the surgeon to really confirm my decision to go ahead with a Mini Gastric Bypass also known as an Omega Loop Bypass.
A Gastric Bypass had always seemed really scary but it has become more and more the way to go and my surgeon performs significantly more bypasses than sleeves these days. Along with the fact that my stomach was essentially still there and that if we needed to, then options were available to me after this procedure.
Its really important to note that my choices were my choices and are not to be taken as gospel. I am sharing this information to show you the direction of my journey and how it all played out. I am not saying this is the best or the only way to go about weight loss.
As someone said to me the other day.... "you took the easy way out"..... that might be the general consensus out there but anyone who has close contact with us pre & post op do not see it that way. It is a hard road and sometimes scary, sometimes painful. I did not have my operation and come out the next day 30kgs lighter. 😳😉 It was hard work.
After a bit of rearranging I chose to go with another surgeon from the same hospital. Either way it would have turned out really well its just that I got in sooner with my surgeon and having a business I only had a small window of availability.
I was really comfortable with him and felt that I could get really great follow up care with him and his support staff. This is something to be taken into consideration when choosing your surgeon. Some of them may seem cheaper but you do not have any follow up care and to me that is "peace of mind".
I also engaged the services of a wonderful dietician who will become your greatest source of information and your "go-to" person. Mine is on speed dial poor thing. I was put on a ketogenic diet pre op and I didn't realise it when starting but I would stay on that diet for 7 weeks until I could get my real date of surgery...
I had a few false starts with Covid and the wait was terrible.... I never really lost a lot of weight pre op. That is not the purpose of your pre-op diet. The reasoning for it, is to shrink the liver so that it can be lifted back allowing access to the stomach. So all up, I might have lost 3-4 kgs. Nothing too dramatic but omg, I felt pretty great on that ketogenic diet.
A little side note to this, is that all of my horrible menopausal symptoms just went away. I no longer suffered with Hot Flashesor is it Hot Flushes (???? I still can't work out the right term as both are used)
I have my suspicions that eliminating sugar from my diet was a huge factor to the abolishment of the big HF's from my life. That alone is well worth everything I have done and something for you girls out there to consider, if they make your life hell. Not weight loss surgery of course haha, ELIMINATE SUGAR FROM YOUR DIET!
I also went dairy and gluten free. Yes, it is true. I have become one of those painful people (no offence to anyone, just jokes ). As it turned out I am lactose and gluten intolerant and all these years I have had tummy and bowel issues.... well there you go.
I feel so much better and I am not taking a crazy amount of tablets, syrups or sachets. I am just careful and considerate with my dietary choices. Pretty cool right?
Well, very cool on my savings account 😂😂 I am sure the ladies at Woolies miss me on a Friday afternoon, lining up with all my yum-yums ready for the weekend!! Honestly, how much money was wasted on that?
When I went down to Brisbane for my surgery I arranged our stay to be for two weeks. Again, this was for our peace of mind and it allowed me the time to heal and to concentrate on getting through the crucial first two weeks which is quite hard with dietary restrictions ie. clear fluids / soups etc.
I was so lucky to be able to do this but trust me I am the worst patient! It's the nurse in me. I would be back at work within the week if I had that choice. This has happened every time I have ever had surgery and spending so much money on this elective surgery I could not afford to have anything go wrong.
I took some pics of me post op.....LOL. So I've shared with you in this safe space. Please do not copy them. I am hoping that the more we are open about our choices the more accepting everyone will be. 🥰❤️❤️
I spoke last week about women supporting women and how at SGS we are so passionate about making every woman feel worthy. I want my journey to be open and honest because I am proud to be where I am today. I want all of our SGS community to be confident and safe in this space.
Our time in Brisbane was wonderful and we returned home with a great start to my new life. I had done it. I had given myselfpermission tomake me a priority. This was a huge step for me. What woman does that in our generation? Very few actually. Given the fact that I had everyone supporting me in such a wonderful positive way, it was made that much easier. I am very very blessed to have my tribe xoxo
*** Thank you to the beautiful little Amaretto Cafe located on the Ground Floor of the Westside Hospital in Brisbane for putting up with me typing this blog for hours and taking up one of your tables. Wonderful service and a beautiful atmosphere.***
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