It feels like it’s been a million years. Not that I haven’t had anything to say; I just haven’t had the time to say it. I’ve read elsewhere school has been crazy for people. It’s been crazy for me too. Thing is, I’m in too deep to quit now.
Along the weight loss narrative, I’ve met with the staff psychologist, who is an ex-Air Force vet and I really like him. It was a quick one hour session to sort of point me in the right direction behaviorally. He says that in order for weight loss surgery to be effective for the patient, they MUST make changes in their behaviors surrounding food and coping. Sounds pretty simple, right? It isn’t.
I met with the dietician, which I may have written about. Hydrate, add protein shakes. 400 calories for meals, 200 calories for snacks. Something every two hours. She’s nice but I wouldn’t want to cross her.
I met with the physical therapist, who only needed me for one pre-op visit. She said because I have physical issues, all I need to do is walk, not for distance, but for time. 45 minutes, 5 times a day. That’s been really hard. I’ve been fighting migraines for a week now, and yesterday it finally won. It made me sick for the first time, gave me vertigo for the first time ever, and strangely, made me eat, probably because I was so stressed about it. I was worried it might be a vitamin deficiency. I even stayed home from work because I was still feeling the effects of it this morning. The good news is the I meet with the neurologist next week and can discuss it further with him then.
I’ve gone to a pre-op support group. That was interesting. I am really not used to saying this at all, but I felt like I was being judged for being the skinniest one in the room. It’s all relative, of course, but man did I feel out of place. It was great though. There were panels, questions from the audience, the psychologist was there, the dietician, and several former surgical patients to talk about their experiences. It’s nice to know that we will get through this.
I also went to the first of 5 behavioral classes put on by the psychologist. That too was good. It wasn’t an hour and a half where they just read the book to you. It was practical, it was useful, it was interactive, and I got lots of good information.I learned that y responsibility throughout this process is to keep on track regardless of what is going on around me. I need to control my own environment. I need to have confidence I can keep the weight off. Dr. W talked about flight sim training for pilots, and how when they go inside, the people running the sim ill throw one thing in to knock them off kilter, then another, then another. They make failure a virtual guarantee. Why? Because (and here is the take-away) smooth sailing is not your friend. We need to learn how to course correct on our own. Having everything go right is not the way to get that done. We need to face the challenges in order to overcome them. Finally, we cannot view our FALLS as FAILS. We just need to chalk it up to experience and move on, like when Tom Brady throws a rare interception (not a word from you haters out there). He knows he will get another chance to get back out on the field and turn the INT into a TD. That’s all we’re looking for throughout this surgery process: a win.
Lastly, I met with the nurse practitioner today, who is on her way to Hawaii right about now. That was sort of ho-hum, even though I like her. I got to meet her dog too, which was great. A 5 year old yellow lab who loves to be played with and pet. I talked to her about the migraines. She talked to me about staying hydrated. It was straightforward, but she did say I am in a really good place. I weighed in at 275, but I don;t need a lot of the attention most of the others need, medically speaking. She said she wishes I could get the surgery now. I told her I really needed the behavioral piece of this because there are parts I am not telling her or anyone. Like how much I ate out last week and the week before. How I cut out of there and went to McDonald’s after my visit. Why? No idea. I wasn’t even really hungry. I guess I just wanted the salty taste of the fries and the mixture of the hamburger and the cheese swirling around my tongue. It makes me so scared that I am not going to be able to modify my behavior enough to have this surgery be successful. Apparently not scared enough to stop, though.