Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1st appointment with Mr Jason Winnett

Today I had my first appointment with Mr Jason Winnett. It was at 3.30 and I’m always late, so it ended up being 3.45 (thanks to some rain and City traffic).

I fronted up at Reception, had a few forms to fill out and then sat in the waiting area. There were a few people sitting around. There were 3 or 4 other specialists whom treated in the same suite so it was hard to work out when it was my turn.

I was very nervous. I spent a lot of time looking in my hand bag. I tried to focus on an old issue of ‘Who’ magazine which feature story was about celebrity weight loss (shock horror!). I couldn’t concentrate. I tried to relax but instead, I sipped in my drink and continued to shuffle aimlessly through my handbag amazed at the amount of coinage that I had sitting at the bottom :)

After 15 minutes or so after waiting, my name got called. I stood up (still shaking) and Jason took me to his Office. He introduced himself and shook my hand.

He asked the question ‘so, you’re thinking about getting a lap band’ I answered that ‘no, I AM getting a lap band – I’m over thinking!’. I mentioned to him that I had stood him up twice as i hadn’t turned up to 2 of my previous appointments. He asked me why that was. I let him know that it was mainly the lack of motivation that was stopping me.

I explained to him what bought me to his office and why I had finally decided to come. I thought that I was 175 kilograms for a long time. When I went to Hospital due to my migraines, I had to be weighed for the MRI machine. The first set of scales they put me on did not register – they weighed up to 200 kilograms. I remember feeling sick to the stomach at this moment. It was half an hour later that they managed to find a set of scales that went up to 300 kilograms. I stood on them. I was shaking so much that it took them (the Nurses) a few minutes to get an accurate figure). I weighed in at 222 kilograms. I was shocked. And knew that it was time to do something. After I had finished crying, I picked up the phone and scheduled the first appointment I could to see Jason.

He was pleased that I had come to see him and not stood him up again!
He then asked me about what sort of diets I had tried. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, IsoWhey – blah, blah, blah. They didn’t work. We discussed why. It came down to a few different things – I couldn’t identify when I was full and the fact that i ate too much of the wrong thing, didn’t eat at the right time, didn’t eat enough of the right thing, didn’t drink enough but mainly came to the point that it seemed to be that I was always hungry. I ate when I was bored, when I was emotional , when I am stressed, when I see something I want to eat, when there’s left overs – so many things that I knew I did do that I hadn’t been ready to speak about just flowed.

We spoke about Cholesterol, Diabetes, Blood Pressure, heart disease – all the sorts of things that I don’t have. He was quite shocked that I don’t have Diabetes seem as it runs through both sides of my family. Having this surgery should reverse it as well.

Down to business – the scales. Uuurrrggghhh. Even though I had a fair idea of how much I weigh, I still didn’t like the idea of having to stand on the wretched things again. When I stood on them, they said that I was 175 kilograms! I instantly thought that maybe the Hospital were wrong and almost thought that I could go home! He ended up bringing in another set of scales. I had to put one foot on 1 set and the other foot on the other set. He added up both numbers. It was around about 222 kilograms so, I sat back down rather than rushing for the car park!

My BMI worked out to be 74.

He showed me a model of a plastic stomach with the band on it. He explained that there would be 5 incisions made in my stomach and that it would take 3 – 4 hours for the band to be put in to place. I will only have to stay in Hospital overnight and will only have to have a week of work if all things go well which he seems sure that they will.

I also need to have a shake called ‘Optislim’ for 8 weeks prior to Surgery. Much to my surprise, disgust and disappointment, I found that it only comes in 2 flavours – Chocolate and Vanilla. I am going to work out a way of mixing these up to make them taste a bit better – essences and things like that – stay tuned! I have to have these 3 times a day. I need to do this for 2 months so that my liver shrinks so that he is able to get to my Stomach to put the band around. I also have to have 2 cups of green vegetables for dinner. I am going to work out how to make these taste a bit better – Oyster Sauce, Seasonings – lucky I know how to work in the Kitchen! At least my meals are catered for the next 2 months.

I need to go and see a Physician to speak about things like sleep apnoea and make sure that I don’t have that and I also need to see a dietician to make sure that I understand how to make my Optislim diet work for me and to speak to me about what to do after I have had the band put on.

This is certainly not the easy way out. This was proven to me today. The amount of commitment that this is going to take is phenomenal. But it is my time. It feels right. It is time to focus on me. Sure, I need a bit of help to do it but, I want to be here for my kids and to watch them grow up. I want to be here for my family – I don’t want to go before my Parents. I don’t want to die with no dignity. Burying someone my size is not dignified. I don’t want to go through that. And even though I’d be the one in the Coffin, I don’t want my family to go through it. It’s time to change. And it started when I stepped on those scales in the Hospital.

There are a few options on how you can pay for your lap band. I have private health insurance so, the out of pocket expenses are minimal (I’ll speak about this in another entry). You can also pay for it by drawing on your Superannuation if need be as it’s an essential surgery in my case due to my health – once again, I’ll discuss this in a totally separate section as it’s quite interesting how to see the difference if you have and if you haven’t go the health insurance.

So, all in all after today I am feeling optimistic, happy, hopeful, encouraged, a tad bit nervous but also very keen to see what type of results I am going to achieve as Jason seems to speak of half a kilo to a kilo each week as being more than achievable. To me, that’s a dream.


  1. Im the first to comment whoo hoo so excited for you xoxox

  2. Wow.... what a brave girl :) We'll done Stephanie for making that "first" step of turning your life around. I'm sure you have all the love and support you will need to see this through to the end.. Good luck to you, and when you feel moments of doubt, just look at your lovely children, and remember why u are here... All the best, Alison.

  3. good on you steph you are so brave i hope all gose well. i wish i had half the strenth you have i am in a similar situation but after two months of optifast twice a day and losing 16kgs i gave up i hope you dont in fact im sure you wont. im 18months into a 2 year waiting list for lap banding i cant wait as i also am sick of being limited by what i can do and judged by how i look. I am going to have my first gran child next year i wont to be fit and healthy. And maye i can . Good luck thank.

  4. Thank you guys. I appreciate your support. Helen, you can do it. Seriously - if I can, anyone can and so far, I can! You have the strength. It's a matter of finding it xo