As I write this I am laying on a hospital bed, third in the queue waiting for surgery. It’s nil by mouth and I can only drink water for the next two hours, then I can only wet my mouth and spit. The operation has already been cancelled and moved once, so I’m still expecting to be sent home, but for the moment I can write and reflect upon the experience.
First of all – this is an NHS funded procedure and being done in a private hospital. There is a lot of debate in the UK about this at the moment. Micheal Burke, a BBC presenter said that, “the state should let fat people die to save the NHS money”. What he goes on to say sounds a lot like a particular Dickens character…
“The obese will die a decade earlier than the rest of us… See it as a selfless sacrifice in the fight against demographic imbalance, overpopulation and climate change.”Michael Burke – BBC Host
Does it remind you of the famous Christmas Carol quote?
“If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Despite those who’d see this procedure lose funding for the likes of fat ole’ me I am here now and one of the lucky few who are able to have this operation. I am not oblivious to the fact that living in the UK, in a rich country, has afforded me such free healthcare. It’s a risk to have any surgery and I am keenly aware of this, but I am going ahead with it nonetheless and hoping that I come through with a positive result.
A friend of mine from Canada had this exact operation in the last twelve months, and she died of a heart attack a couple of weeks ago. There doesn’t seem to be a link to the operation, but such a tragedy has me dwelling upon death. She’d been helping me through it all, telling me how it was for her and generally we were pulling for each other, hoping that we’d come out the other end healthier and in less pain. She was doing so well, and now she is gone.
Rest in peace, Karen. I miss you.
Yet, forward I must go.
Finally, I’d like to say that since starting this NHS weight loss program I’ve lost over 30 kilos (that’s nearly 5 stones or 66 pounds) and I’ll lose even more even faster with the Roux-en-Y.
I’m third in the queue and probably won’t be prepped for surgery for another 6-8hours however, I’m signing off now – hopefully not for the last time.