Today, I met with a psychiatrist for my pre-op psych appointment, and thought it may be about time I started logging my expedition
A little background on me:
I'm 32, a registered nurse, married with no kids, but the kickass aunt to three nephews and one niece. I worked ER and critical care for years, did one year stint as a prison nurse, and currently work as a chronic care manager. I am the person who calls to (politely!) tell/encourage/bribe people with heart failure and diabetes to take their meds and follow their diets to try to keep them out of the hospital. As a side job/hobby, I narrate audiobooks
I've always been a little overweight, but problems really began for me in college. I didn't gain a freshman 15, I gained a freshman 50. I'm not an emotional eater, but instead struggled with mindless, constant grazing. I could devour a bag of chips and a jar of salsa while studying and not think twice before then going to the cafeteria and eating the nutrition-less slop there as well. After college, I maintained my (obese) weight for a few years, gaining ~5ish pounds a year, until I entered nursing school and tossed on another 50 pounds, again from mindless grazing and cafeteria food.
My parents just opened a popcorn store, too. God help me.
Anyway, although I always maintained the attitude of "sure, I'd like to lose weight" I was not someone whose self confidence was tied to their weight. In fact, I often don't feel like a morbidly obese person at all. I don't yet (knock on woood) have any health problems associated with obesity. It wasn't until my husband and I began trying for kids and my reproductive doc mentioned surgery to lose weight to make pregnancy chances better. And that was 18 months ago! I decided I didn't need surgery, and forged ahead with diet and exercise like a fiend. Like every other diet attempt, I lost motivation when I hit a plateau after 3 months. My doctor put me on saxenda, which I oddly gained a considerable amount of weight on. Still I refused to entertain the idea of surgery until the last couple months. First, tentatively sticking a toe in the water and signing up for the Living Well classes at work. Then, by researching medical journals that discussed bariatric surgery to satisfy my nurse side. Finally, by joining here and seeing the "real life" examples of the work, effort, and success of bariatric surgery.
I'm about 6 weeks into a six month mandatory nutrition/counseling/exercise course that my university health system (also my employer) puts on. It has been a wonderful resource in total, and is great for accountability since we weigh in prior to every class. The class rotates each week between nutrition, exercise, and behavior management. The nutritionist is also my case manager. Exercise classes are not only a lecture, but we go work out for ~45 minutes as group. Behavior classes are led by a psychiatrist or counselor. Any of these individuals are available for appointments with us as well. Although at times it feels very "diet and exercise 101" it is a very well thought out course. I go every Monday after work. Today is an exercise class
Anyway, today I met with psychiatry. I took a few tests first - a behavior test, a binge eating test, and a vocab test - before sitting down to talk with him. Overall, went quickly and he was very pleased with my testing and that I am already in the classes - I guess most people do not start with the classes. The next step is to see a nurse practitioner who will go through my health history to see if there is any screening tests I need prior to surgery, as well as labs and an EKG - and as I wrote this, this just called, and I am scheduled for July 6th to see them! At this rate, I should hopefully be done with all my pre-op requirements right around the time the class ends in late September.
I want to thank everyone here. I've been reading the ever-living hell out of these forums the last few weeks, and it was reading the stories (both struggles and successes) here that helped me embrace that bariatric surgery is a tool I want to have in my corner.