Maria - 12 months after gastric sleeve surgery

By 2013 I was struggling to walk and I was only 52. My knees where really painful and I was having to walk with a stick; after a few metres I would have to sit and rest!

Something had to be done but I’d tried every diet there is from counting calories to meal replacements. With each one I had lost weight but could not keep the diet up and so would put back on all the weight I had lost plus more.

I needed an “off” switch. I made the decision to come and see Professor Humadi to talk about having a gastric band. He went through all the options available to me and discussed by lifestyle, my eating patterns and my medical history. At that consultation we decided that a gastric sleeve would be more effective for me.

I had the surgery in Feb 2014 and it went really well. I was really looked after by everyone in the hospital and I recovered so quickly that I was discharged after only 2 nights. Initially, the thing I found the hardest was trying to drink water; it took a long time for me to be able to drink more than a sip of water at a time. Adding squash did help though.

The most helpful thing I found was the team’s support group on Facebook. It was for people thinking about having weight loss surgery as well as for people, like me, who had had it. Every question I ever had was answered on the closed group and it didn’t matter how embarrassing the problems were, there was always someone who understood. It really helped to know that everyone goes through the same problems but also that everyone’s journey is different.

One year later and I’ve lost 6 stone and I’m still losing! I’ve lost the weight slowly and steadily rather than in the steps that many people have. My life has changed so much for the better. I have so much more energy and can walk with no pain. I can wear heels and cross my legs (something slim people take for granted). I’m even back dancing again. I’ve always wanted to start my own business and now I have the energy to do it! The thing I say most often is “this time last year I couldn’t have done this!”

It’s the best decision I ever made, I only wish I had done it years earlier.