I Got My VSG Surgery Date, But Then There Was Drama
This week has just been full of the worst ups and downs.
On Tuesday, I went in to see my bariatric team and I got my VSG surgery date!!
After 6 months of appointments, working with a nutritionist and meeting a ton of guidelines, I was told I’d be having a VSG on June 30th. I’ve been chronicling this journey here on my blog the entire time, if you want to take a look at it.
This decision has been something I’ve been mulling over and researching for well over 10 years, and after losing my gallbladder to the effects of the keto diet in 2015, my thyroid to cancer in 2020 and getting diagnosed in the last year with obstructive sleep apnea and pre-diabetes and a 40 BMI … I finally said ENOUGH.
So that was very exciting … until I opened my big, fat mouth. Of course. Story of my freaking life.
We have a support group on Facebook just for my bariatric’s team of patients and I casually mentioned that I had no idea what I was doing still. This was my exact post:
For those of you who have not had surgery yet, what are you eating? I haven’t felt a lot of guidance coming from our nutritionist, and I’m definitely losing nothing during this pre-op process – I’m gaining still and I’m so frustrated. At appointments, I always kinda feel rushed out the door with her, and I feel like I’m failing before I’ve even started.
The truth is, my appointments with the bariatrics team have been wonderful but are just very brief. It was my understanding that during my 6 month pre-op journey that I’d be given more guidance – especially from the nutritionist. I assumed, and perhaps that was my biggest mistake, that we’d be taught more about how to eat. If I knew how to eat healthily, I obviously wouldn’t be 100 pounds overweight – right?
… and that’s it.
I’ve managed to do all of these things, and guess what? I haven’t lost a pound since my first meeting with them. Have I had the occasional cookie or bite of ice cream? Sure. Did I have days where I didn’t meet my 10k step goal? Yes. I’m human!
I just assumed, and again – it was my mistake to assume – that I’d be given like a meal plan, a grocery list, assistance and discussions about feeding my family while on this journey, and things of that nature. I’m in a bigger weight loss support group and I see people posting in there all the time about losing weight before surgery and I’m like – HOW? WHY? What black magic is going on here?
That’s why I posted my question in our support group. I wanted support.
The directing nurse of the program called me, upset and defensive about my post, and straight up told me it didn’t sound like I was a good fit for their program anymore. Literally 24 hours after getting my surgery date and months and months of meetings, and hard work. She called me at work, so of course I couldn’t break down crying right then and there but I’ll be damned if I didn’t want to. Super embarrassing; I am still new at the shop and I really just needed to maintain my composure.
I explained that perhaps my assumptions about the program were incorrect, but that I need their help and that their program is the only one my insurance will accept. Without a thyroid or a gallbladder, I need more hand-holding and guidance than other patients might, and that I understood the 6 month program was about making mini changes to develop better habits. I have been following their mini changes and I feel like a failure because I haven’t lost weight; in fact, I think I’ve gained a couple pounds since January. I honestly just don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I still have to be a mom and a wife while going through this!
We agreed that I probably need a less rushed nutritionist, and I’m going in to see a different nutritionist in a couple of weeks. The head nurse also said they’re pausing my surgery date now, until after I see the new nutritionist. After I got off work, I just sat in my car and tried not to sob because it just feels like I’m getting ‘in trouble’ for asking questions and challenging the program to do more for me.
The next day, my new nutritionist called me and I damn near almost broke down with her on the phone. I explained that I thought the 6 month pre-op program would be more intense, and that I was feeling like a failure because I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. She spent time reassuring me that the pre-op process is different for every patient, and that she understood where my assumptions and the program got twisted.
I explained that I have three kids at home and a husband I have to cook for, and I need help coming up with meal plans and grocery lists. If my kids and Randy had it their way, we’d eat pizza and tacos every single day and since I’m the only one who does the shopping and cooking, it 100% falls on me. And given the fact that I’m obese, Randy’s overweight, and my kids are struggling with their weight and body image issues too … obviously I’m not good at this!
We went over the fact that I really like my entire bariatric team as people and my concern was not a slam against any of them personally, whatsoever. However, because of how busy their department is, my meetings have always been super short and felt more like we were just checking a list off for insurance purposes – especially in the nutrition department. There were a couple of meetings with my nutritionist that were less than 5 minutes long! How much education and guidance can I get in a meeting that quick? Am I wrong for feeling this way?
So, for now – I honestly don’t know what’s going on with my VSG surgery date. I’m keeping it on the calendar for June 30th, hoping that it’ll still happen as scheduled. I’m excited to meet with my new nutritionist, because I feel like she really understood my fears and frustrations, and was willing to help me the way I need it.
I’ll share more when I know more about my VSG surgery date, my nutritionist and what’s going to happen.