Friday, January 15, 2016

my two-year follow-up appointment

Yesterday was my two-year follow-up with the bariatric surgeon.  I was dreading going, because I've gained back a few pounds and didn't want to face him.  All the old feelings came back:  dread, shame, guilt.  Before I went I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what sorts of excuses I could make about why I'd gained some weight:  I fell into the "snack trap". I took the wrong job in 2014 and spent all year snacking for distraction.  I feel I look better with a few extra pounds (that's actually true; I don't feel as though I have that "gastric bypass look" about me in the face anymore). I've been worrying about it for weeks.  But did that spur me into action to stop snacking and get on track?  Nope.

It's funny the kinds of things overweight people do to shave off any extra weight before a weigh-in. I drank tons of water yesterday and the day before.  I was hoping for a bowel movement (yes, TMI, but that's reality).  I ate very light yesterday.  And I wore to work what I felt were my lightest clothes.  Not in terms of color, but actual weight.  I was going to dinner with a friend afterwards, so I also had to decide if I wanted to change into my jeans and sweater before the appointment; I was told last time that they may take an "after" picture of me (they didn't).  I ended up bringing my casual clothes to my appointment and then changing the bathroom afterwards.

So, I got weighed in by the nurse and I was 223.  I was about 203 at the last appointment six months ago, so that's a 20 pound gain. I was embarrassed, but she just brushed it off, saying that we just had the holidays and don't worry about it, it happens.  That made me less nervous and more relaxed.  I thought, "That wasn't so bad.  The doctor won't be upset."  What a setup!

My doctor came in and asked me some questions:  how was I doing, any issues, etc.  He mentioned the weight gain and I told him I feel I look healthier (it's not a lie), just like I'd rehearsed.  And....basically he called B.S. on me.  Although, he didn't use "B.S." He said "bullshit."  He then proceeded to tell me, in these exact words, "Stop fucking up!"  He talked about studies of WLS patients and his own experiences over the past 15 years with patients.  He doesn't want me to be one of the patients that totally goes off the rails and squanders the tool I've paid good money for and went through a lot of hard work for.  So, the message he repeated the whole time he was with me is, in these words,  "Don't fuck up!"  He's a no-nonsense guy and that's what I love about him.  He's not mean or condescending about it.  He's also very caring and he listens.  He recommended strongly that I either see the dietitian, or the psychologist.  I opted for the dietitian, since I feel like I've gotten away from the basics. (And, to be perfectly honest, I didn't get much nutritional counseling.  The dietitian that was there before my surgery wasn't very informative at all.  Most of what I know I learned by Googling.)  I don't feel I need the psychologist...yet.  I know now what makes me eat:  boredom and procrastination.

Even though I got a smack-down, I felt good when I left.  (But I'll admit my eyes were welling up when I was sitting in his office.) It was exactly what I needed to hear from him, exactly when I needed to hear it.  He actually struck a bit of fear in me, to be honest.

My appointment with the dietitian is on February 23, so I'll be sure to report on it.

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