So time was now moving apace and I was still heading in the right direction.
Towards the Gastric Sleeve
Christmas had come and gone and I had been told that my appointment would be in the New Year. Best make it the end of January I said, give me a little time to shift the pounds from all potato and turkey I was expecting to consume, worse still, there was all that alcohol needing to be drunk. As it was, I was relatively very good over the festive period, only having one small plate of turkey and potato and a drink on two occasions and thus saving myself from all those thousands of empty calories as they are known as. This way I was still on song to be ringing that correct 10% weight loss bell come the end of January. Just one thing remained in the way.
That bloody camera.
Okay, so the day came. I went in and right away changed my decision from sedation to the local numbing throat spray. I did’t fancy the possible issues that came after the sedation, having to wait any longer in the hospital than I had to and also having to be “monitored” for the next 24hrs by a responsible adult.
I went for the throat spray and it tasted awful, but it started to numb what needed to be numbed and do what it was applied to do.
Or so I thought
I think to the very last person, we have all at one point stuck a finger down ones throat.
Well thats what this was like, except, once it was at the back of the throat, it had to be swallowed to the encouraging words of, “Once you swallow it, thats the worst of it over”
As I write this, sitting at my desk, two weeks on from the procedure, I can still feel the discomfort having a camera put in your mouth makes one feel.
They started off by putting me on my side, fitting me what could only be described as a ball gag with a hole through it so I would not bite the end of the camera off as it went in and out of my tum. I watched them apply a little lubricant to the end of the camera and heard them talk about how narrow it was and how I would feel anything.
Well that was a lie.
As soon as it was in my mouth it felt like a boiled sweet was getting stuck in the back of my throat. The said stay relaxed and breath through your nose. They didn’t tell me that I wouldn’t be able to because the back of my throat was being closed by this bloody HUGE camera being shoved down it.
Boy did I gag.
They had a blood pressure monitor on me and a heart rate monitor on me. All you could hear was my ever-increasing heart rate being revealed by the quickening beeps coming from the machine at the side of the bed. It was sounding like a target being acquired for missile lock as it went quicker and quicker, each note appearing higher pitched and more maniacal that the last.
I thought I would explode!
And then the creepy thing started, as the Surgeon Richard Gillies inspected my insides, so a hand started to stroke the side of my head.
I don’t know what was worse.
As I lay there, I thought about the staff that had applied to do this job. Imagine going for an interview to be a nurse on this department and getting your job description at the end of it only for it to tell you, on occasion you will be required to stroke the head of a total stranger. I honestly think I would have to question that part of the customer care process.
Anyway, after a while, I could hear the Surgeon telling me I was doing very well and that it was literally only going to take a few more seconds and it would be done. Well these were the longest seconds I had ever know. Even concentrating on my breathing, I still wretched continually. And burped. Yes I was belching like a good’un. Expelling all of the air they pump in to expand your tummy so they can see what they are looking at.
I bet I looked good.
So finally, the camera is removed, my “headgear” is undone and I get a tissue to wipe my eyes because let me tell you, after all that wrenching, they were streaming. I may have smiled because I had just undergone one of the most unpleasant things I had ever done in my entire life (and there are plenty to choose from), but I know I definitely breathed a sigh of relief.
The upshot of all of this? The Surgeon told me he saw absolutely no issue with my Hiatal and certainly no signs of a hernia. This would mean I could have the sleeve after all. That was good news. The procedure of preference was going to be on the table when it came to me being cut up on that same table.
And that to be honest leads me up to this point. There will be one more “Pre Blog” post when I shall recount the TV and Radio work I did that led me to start my own coverage of my own journey.