NHS Policies… Ridiculous!

Posted on Jul 1 2013 - 11:26am by Jacqui

A few years ago my diabetic consultant referred me to Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for a gastric band as my BMI was 62.  Yes it’s a disgusting amount of weight to have put on BUT it’s not because I’m fat and lazy, stuffing cakes every day and basically being a couch potato – I’ve got a reason…

When I was 14 I started coughing on holiday.  It wasn’t a normal type of cough, it was a cough that I only got when I went to bed.  Now my mum took me to the doctor who basically just passed it off as a normal cold and dismissed us with nothing but a mild cough medicine and the instructions to just rest until I was better.  It didn’t get any better and numerous visits to the doctors always gave the same result so in the end I just got used to it.  At the same time, my Dad became ill which resulted in him becoming disabled.  I started to care for him since Mum was out working all the time.  I just got on with things.

10 years later I went to see the new nurse at the surgery about something to do with my Dad.  I was slightly breathless going into her office so she asked me if I had asthma.  I told her I didn’t but she asked me to do what I now know to be a “peak flow” reading.  It was awful.  She told me that my breathing was incredibly poor and that in her opinion I had asthma and “how long have I had the symptoms”.  I can tell you that she wasn’t best pleased when I said 10 years and so I was put on Prednisolone.  These are usually only given to you for a short amount of time but I found that my airwaves were incredibly inflamed but since I hadn’t been treated for 10 years, I had to take them longer so took them for around 12 months until they saw a positive result in my peak flow readings.

This is where the problems started.  Weight gain, and not just little amounts.  HUGE amounts. Within 12 months I had put on 10 stone in weight.  My weight literally shot up and I changed nothing apart from going on the medication.  I exercised like a mad woman yet still the weight carried on.  I was on a one way ticket and I couldn’t stop it.  Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Slim Fast, Cambridge Diet – I tried the lot but once the weight piled on I was at a loss to do anything about it.  My will power drained and I just couldn’t do it.

My Grandad died Jan 1997, Nan died 5 weeks later Feb 1997 and my amazing Dad died 5 weeks after her on the 30th of March 1997.  I didn’t handle the grief very well and relationships with my Mum were quite tetchy.  She was grieving but carried on yet since Dad had become ill, I’d cared for him and it felt like losing my best friend.  The pain of losing him ripped my heart to pieces.  I didn’t feel like I could breath anymore.  My stomach hurt, my head ached.  I cried for days.  I couldn’t move on.  I ended up a huge mess. I wasn’t eating properly but when I did the weight piled on (according to the nutritionist it’s because I wasn’t eating properly…. no shit Sherlock lol).

I was never offered grief counselling. My doctor saw what a state I was in, yet all he did was to throw me a prescription for Prozac and told me to get on with it. I was literally banging my head off the walls with Prozac. It made me a zombie. I did however come off Prozac because it was horrendous for me so switched to Seroxat instead which made me a lot better. I near enough got my life back BUT I was still stuck with the weight – over 20 stone extra of it too.

So my specialist referred me and they agreed the funding. All was scheduled to happen in the April of the following year – yet my Mum was kicking off and was making it incredibly awkward to go out at all so it had to be shelved. Last month I went back and asked to be referred again. My specialist is over the moon I was going for it, yet last week I got a letter saying they will not accept the referral…

“Unfortunately the eligibility criteria for bariatric surgery was revised on 1st April 2013 by NHS England who now commission bariatric surgery. Whilst Jacqueline meets the criteria in terms of BMI/comorbidity, it is also a requirement that all patients should have recently received and complied with a local specialist obesity service weight loss programme (non surgical Tier 3/Tier 4)… This will have been for a duration of 12-24 months prior to consideration for bariatric surgery”.

So unless I do a minimum of 12 months weight loss they won’t take me. I’VE BEEN TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT FOR 26 FRIGGIN YEARS!!!!! If it’s not been online then it’s been with an organisation. So they’ll make me wait up to 2 years (in which time my weight could still go up – although it won’t) – meaning I could still be ill. Ridiculous.

Anyway, what I’ve decided to do is use the MyNetDiary app to keep my calories down and try to lose weight myself without the need of surgery. TBH the surgery has always scared me anyway so perhaps this is the kick up the bum I need to do it myself? I will be posting up my weekly food lists so everyone can see what I’m eating etc. It’s a fantastic app too as I’ve told it when I want to get to my target weight and it works everything out like daily calories so it should be easy. I’ll probably do the majority on a new site and post bits and pieces on the blog so you can all see how I’m doing. Deal? Good! Here’s to a slimmer me!

Jacqui

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tom Bailey 23 July 2013 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    I feel sorry for you. It does seem unfair but never give up hope- you still have a chance.

  2. Laura H 2 July 2013 at 7:00 am - Reply

    Just eat a little less and move a little more. I managed to lose three and a half stone last year using this philosophy. Good luck!

  3. moonlite2012 1 July 2013 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    im so sorry for you and also myself i was hoping to get refered to l & d as i have had weight problems for over25 years and now finding it very hard to shift weight xx

  4. Larelle 1 July 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    That’s terrible for you, Jacqui. It’s sadly how health systems operate (I’m not saying it’s right!). I have a very close friend who is trangendered and before she was allowed surgery she had to be living in her “adopted” role for 2 years. A lot of transsexuals are made to do this, whilst not being prescribed hormones (which makes the transition from one gender to the other DOUBLY hard).

    I empathise with your plight and wish you the best in the future.

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