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From successful doctor to facing my own death: a journey through hell



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My name is Steph and I’m a 32yo junior doctor working in Australia.
5 years ago I was a highly successful intern at a major public hospital. I loved my job despite the insane hours, and I had just won the “Intern of the Year” prize as voted by my peers. I had just married my amazing partner of 10 years and we were saving to buy a house. The future looked bright- I was about to start my specialty training in General Practice (family medicine) which was the career I had always been so passionate about. Two years more training and a few scary exams to sit and then I would finally be fully qualified!

But slowly, insidiously, I began to disintegrate. Bit by bit I slid into a deep and terrible depression. I tried everything- yoga, meditation, psychology, exercise, and many many medications. But in the end I became too unwell and was hospitalised, almost catatonic. Over the next two years I spent a total of 10 months in a psychiatric hospital across three admissions. Nearly 100 rounds of ECT caused me to lose huge chunks of my memory (most of which hasn’t returned unfortunately), and we tried just about every medication under the sun. We eventually found one particular medication that, when combined with an antidepressant and lithium, would keep me stable. It seemed like a miracle at first. But then I noticed the weight gain. At first I just said to myself that I’d rather be fat than dead. But 35kg extra weight later I knew I had a serious problem. We managed to re-jig my meds and I slowly weaned off that medication but the weight remains and because my other meds also promote weight gain on a lesser scale I’m now seriously struggling to lose anything.
After countless diets and weight loss medications, dietitian appointments and weight loss programs I have decided it is time for something more drastic. So I am booked for a VSG on the 22nd of March and I can’t wait to have my body look more like my normal self!

These days I am doing very well mentally, I’m back at work and studying for those crazy exams, and in my downtime I’m trying to make new memories with my awesome hubby who has stayed by my side through the absolute wreckage of our lives and is still my number one supporter.
So stay tuned for updates as I start my pre-op diet on Monday and get started on this next phase of my journey

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Life can throw some horrible curveballs at us, but well done for working so hard to get your life back on track! The surgery is a really great tool to help with weight loss and I wish you the best of luck!

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