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Participant Spotlight: Tina

May 9, 2022

Tina joined the programme awaiting a total knee replacement. As someone who has had lots of surgeries, she was very aware of how lonely and worrying they can be and found the support from Sapien a big help with that. She has lost half a stone in weight but reports the coaching mostly helped her with her mindset and putting herself first for a change. She’s had a fantastic outcome from her surgery and credits much of that success to the work she put in beforehand.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’ve got Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder, so I suffer with my limbs and walking. I had to go to hospital to have a knee replacement. After my initial consultation with the surgeon, I got the phone call from Sapien asking if there was anything I was worried about and if I’d like support preparing for surgery.

Why did you choose to join the Sapien prehabilitation programme?

I thought it was a good idea because usually when you’re having surgery, you see your consultant and they go through the medical details, but then you go home and it’s a matter of just waiting.

You feel like you’re on your own and you get a bit worried. They also say you need to lose weight and then it feels like one thing after another, and you can soon feel very down. 

By having Sapien there, it was a really big help. It stopped me from feeling overwhelmed.

Since completing the programme, how has your approach to managing your own health changed?

It’s helped my mindset more than an anything. The coaching helped me think about myself more, rather than pleasing everybody else.  

I worried so much about my weight, but the coaching helped me to not beat myself up as much about it. Instead, I learned to try and change a little bit of my lifestyle. So far, I have lost half a stone and I intend to keep it that way. 

What positive changes have you noticed since being on the programme?

I’m starting to “put me first”. I don’t tend to beat myself up about my weight anymore. I take things as they go but am careful with my choices. 

The surgery went absolutely fantastic, and I think that was because I was prepared for it. 

What did you like about the Sapien programme?

I like knowing there was someone there for me to ring at any time. At one point, I was in a really low place but by being able to pick up the phone or send a message, it helped me know I wasn’t on my own. I know I have family to talk to, but it can be difficult to express how you’re feeling to family. With Sapien, you’re speaking to someone who understands what’s going on. 

My coach was always calling at the right time and I knew that if I needed him at any time I could drop him a message. He made me realise that I needed to put myself first which helped with my worries around the surgery. I’ve had lots of surgeries, but I have never had this before and it really helps. 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining the Sapien programme?

Go for it, 100%! Don’t feel like you have to be on your own because with Sapien you always have someone there… as well as helping to prepare you for your surgery.