What To Expect at the Psych Evaluation for Weight Loss Surgery
This week I had my third month pre-op visit with my bariatric surgeon and nutritionist. I also had my psych evaluation for weight loss surgery. I’m going to combine the two visits into one blog post here, since honestly not much happened at either visit!
On Tuesday, I met up with Dr. Regan and Jeanne (my surgeon and my nutritionist) to go over how things were the last month and plan for the next month. It was a pretty brief visit, because I had to run to my thyrogen injection appointment that is part of my one-year thyroid cancer check up immediately afterward. I weighed in at 247 pounds, which was a four pound loss from my month two visit. At my 2 month visit, I weighed in at 251 pounds which is the highest I’ve ever weighed in my entire life. So, everyone was very happy to see a 4 pound loss. I am crediting that loss to not eating meat anymore, and moving my body more.
Dr. Regan was really pleased with my four pound weight loss, and put in a referral for me to have a psych evaluation for weight loss surgery. The evaluation is a mandatory part of the insurance approval process, which I’ll go over in a minute.
Then I met up with Jeanne, to talk about my nutrition and habit-changing goals. This last month my goals were to drink more water (at least 64 ounces a day) and increase my protein with vegetarian options, as well as purposely move my body more. Since I started shopping for Instacart, not only am I making more money but it’s helping me get more than 10,000 steps a day! And it’s been well over a month since I’ve had any meat, and I’m feeling amazing. Win-win!
For the next month, my goal is to not drink with meals, 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after. Apparently this is going to be a big thing for me once I have my weight loss surgery. It’s definitely something I’m going to have to work on! I have a natural tendency to have a dry mouth, so I use water to help chew food. I guess this is just one of many habits that I’ll be changing this year!
I was able to get in pretty quick to see a psychiatrist for my psych evaluation for weight loss surgery. I met up with Dr. Steinpreis this past week as well, and it went really well. It was actually much less intense, scary and long as I thought it was going to be, which I was super grateful about. I realize that not every psych evaluation is going to be the same for every patient, but I wanted to share my experience.
The first thing I did was fill out a ton of paperwork and answer several questions. The questionnaires asked questions about stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, habits and general lifestyle questions. My friend Lauren and I have talked a lot about the importance of the psychological aspect of weight loss surgery, so I was very, very honest.
After I filled out the questionnaires, Dr. Steinpreis invited me into her office and she basically asked me several questions about my life story. We went over being adopted, being abandoned by my alcoholic adoptive father, my mom remarrying my stepdad. I shared about my struggles as a child, teenager and adult with my weight.
We talked about having four babies in six years while also suffering five miscarriages during that time frame. I shared about my experience with pre- and post-partum depression. I detailed my past with eating disorders (binging and purging) and all the crazy and/or well-known diets I’ve tried. She asked about my current mental health, and what I’m doing to maintain a healthy mind – which includes therapy and medication.
Then we discussed support – who is supporting me at home, and from a distance. It was really important to her that I was not going through this process alone, and that I had the support of my husband, family and friends. I’ve been very blessed to be surrounded with supportive people. Thus far have had no naysayers being rude and casting their negativity in my direction.
It was a quick 40 minute appointment, and I was immediately approved for surgery. I go back in for my month 4 appointment in early April!