I have had a lot to think about this past week. Last Friday I had an appointment with my GP. I went to get my prescription for my fat binding medication renewed. After being weighed my doctor input the numbers onto my records at which point I asked if there was any other help I could get. I’ve been with the same GP since I was 10 years old so she knows first hand how many NHS “healthy eating” programmes I’ve been through, how much I’ve dieted on my own and how I’m constantly losing the same 2-3st no matter how well I eat when not dieting. After asking the question my doctor looked at me for about a second before she said I could have weight loss surgery. I was told that my local funding authority states that you need to have a BMI of 40+ or a BMI of 35-40 with a long term condition that would improve with weight loss, to have the surgery on the NHS. My doctor then told me that individual consideration is avaliable for funding. Apparently with my Epilepsy medication sideffects, my PCOS and the fact I have a proven record of trying to lose weight, I could have a good case despite my BMI being “only” 34. First time someone has ever said only & BMI 34 in the same sentence! I was told to come back in a month and given a whole heap of information for me to read to help make my decision. I knew I had to make the decision sooner rather than later though as if I wanted the surgery I shouldn’t take the weight loss medication. This will lower my BMI which could affect my individual funding.
I made a list of the pros and cons of the surgery, or at least I tried to. Friday and Saturday all I could think of were positives. These included one less battle to be constantly fighting, healthy bmi, increased chance of IVF working (maybe if you believe that bollocks) amongst other things. By the Sunday all I could think of were negatives. For example am I too young, I’ll forever have to eat differently, if I tick this off the battle list what will replace it etc. I was so confused. This was such a big decision. This surgery would be life changing. My husband said he supported me in whatever decision I wanted. I talked to three different friends. Two were pro surgery. The other has actually had a gastric band fitted for years now and urged me to really think about it, offering no stand on where she stood but encouraged me do what I thought was best. I then talked to my mum who was amazing. She developed gallstones recently and has been on a strict diet for months now all ready for an operation in a weeks time. My mum admitted to me that she wasn’t happy with her new weight, despite being in the healthy BMI range. She had lost a bit of her body confidence. Everyone keeps saying to her how amazing she looks now and all my mum wants to say is what was so wrong with me before? She has gone from a UK size 14 to a UK size 10/12. Mum is the exact weight she was before she had me at 26 but she doesn’t feel like herself anymore. The thing that struck me most was when she said she felt like she was masquerading as a skinny person. This made me really think. What was I picturing myself like in my imaginary after surgery picture? I then realised in my imaginary after photo I wasn’t actually skinny. I wasn’t a UK size 10, I was a 16. Just one clothes sizing smaller than I am now. It sunk in that having a gastric band would take me beyond this. I tried but I couldn’t picture myself any smaller. I couldn’t picture being happy. At this point it dawned on me, I didn’t feel like a skinny person trapped in a fat person’s body. I don’t want to be thin and an average size 10/12. I want to be me.
After a few more days I made my final decision. I won’t be getting the surgery…yet. I started taking my orlistat (the weightloss meds) again, mainly to counteract the weight gain sideffects of my Epilepsy medication. In fact since my realisation I’ve had more body confidence than I’ve had in a long time! I will tackle the bmi bollocks if I have to but first I have a frozen transfer to concentrate on. For now I’m grabbing onto this new found body acceptance and riding the wave of it! Maybe in the future I will reconsider surgery. In fact I’m pretty sure that I would have the surgery after we have babies. That’s a way off though, first I’m going to enjoy loving the body I’m in.
Blog/Tweet Soon @HopeEpiMum x