Saturday, August 09, 2008

revelation

I don't like to write about things on my blog that are too personal and I think it mostly consists of information, observations, and weird rants. I've been thinking about something, though, and don't know how to completely avoid it here...or if I should.

Anybody who knows me, knows that I've struggled with my weight all my life. Right there: I don't like to talk about it but realistically, it should not be a surprise to anyone. So there it is, in print. I've tried a billion diets and I'm pretty good at losing weight, I just can't maintain it for more than 24 hours.

When Regis started going to the Mayo Clinic in April, I saw lots of people, not much older than me, who were starting to break down and had to use walkers and scooters and I decided I didn't want that to happen to me. It was time to either find peace with being overweight or time to do something finally to resolve it. I made an appointment with Dr. Ruth (not the sex doctor) and talked to her about bariatric surgery, then called the Mayo Clinic and made an appointment for an evaluation.

I don't want my blog to turn into a weight-loss diary. Nobody wants to hear how many calories are in a chicken wing or how many times I walked around the block. There are other venues for that. But I don't want to feel like I'm writing around the elephant in the room either.

Yesterday I had my first appointment. I was nervous as hell, felt like I was going to a job interview, and prepared for it like I do for other things: a binder with all the information, a list of questions, my color-coded weight history with a list of strengths and weaknesses, maps, phone numbers, etc. Bless the internet because an ordinary person can find and read all kinds of medical research and I've done that. I've spent hours reading about the different kinds of surgery, the statistical success rates both for weight loss and for maintenance, and the kinds of complications that can occur. I don't mind talking about it now, so ask me if you want to know.

For all my nervous fantods, it was just fine. The doctor, a bone nutrition specialist, made me feel very comfortable as we talked about how weight has affected my life in terms of metabolism and mobility. He talked about the effectiveness research on medical means for losing weight (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.) and surgical means for losing weight. He talked about the risks (minimal) and the benefits (could be great), especially for me since I am basically a very healthy over-weight person. I have great cholesterol (thanks, Mom), no diabetes, no high blood pressure, and no previous surgery so my parts are all in the right places. It's not a quick evaluation process...they want to make sure this is right for me and that I understand the changes it will mean in my life.

I have an appointment with a psychologist on September 9th. She'll make sure I don't have underlying mental health issues that will make this unsafe or inadvisable. She'll likely recommend a 12-week behavior modification program and then will write a letter to the doctor. I'll see the dietitian again and then the doctor again. No shortage of people on the team.

I can't even predict at this point if I will pass their qualification process but I think I will. I can't predict any kind of timeline. I do know that I can call mid-October to set up a surgical consult if things are going fine to that point.

So, that's the story right now. I won't belabor it here as I don't want this to turn into a Jerry Springer story of my quest but it's hard to write and not mention it, too. It's just a part of my life.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Paul said...

Best wishes for what is bound to be quite the adventure!

If all goes as planned and you have the procedure, you should consider bringing your webcam into surgery with you...wouldn't that be something? Or better yet, just as they are carting you into surgery, ask the dr. "do you have wi-fi in here? My blog buddies need regular updates."

All the best, big shooter.

mom said...

I know you have given this a lot of thought , Teresa..I want you to know we all love you just the way you are, but if you feel the need to do this because of health reasons, go for it and don't worry about what people may think. Love you, Mom