My friend is a successful gastric bypass patient. She is also an RN.
Her story amazes me, and because of this, I am going to share it with you:
- Doctor 1: Her internist for fifteen years. She asked him for a recommendation and referral for gastric bypass. He said, "You just need to learn to keep your mouth shut!" She told him she was never coming back. He said, "You'll come back! You won't be able to find someone to put up with you!" She left and never regretted it. At the time she had six pills to take daily for blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. She weighed two hundred sixty pounds. Clearly this is an HMO. Her primary care is her 'gatekeeper'. He will experience less money or some other disincentive if he refers her to a specialist.
- Doctor 2: She saw him and just didn't like him.
- Doctor 3: The leading Doc everyone sees, the one that takes care of the sickest patients. My friend asked about a referral to a Bariatric program. The expert said, "I think you are depressed. We will balance out your moods so you won't need to eat, and then you will lose the weight." My friend was hesitant to add any more medications. She didn't feel depressed. She said to herself, "I am just addicted to food. I eat when I am happy. I eat when I am sad. I eat to have something to do." But the doctor was insistent. "Since you are a nurse, I want you to take this list of five antidepressants, research them, and pick one for you and let me know which one in the morning." After hearing that, my friend went to her favorite restaurant and downed a large size order of chili-cheese fries. 'My, that was PRODUCTIVE on my part, wasn't it?' she wryly says about her reaction to the 'expert' doctor's diagnosis. My friend then went home, and asked her husband, "am I depressed?" He looked at her, puzzled. She explained how this doctor had diagnosed her with depression and she wasn't sure if she needed the meds or not. "How long did this doctor talk to you before they decided you are depressed?" She thought about it and said, "About ten minutes" "Well, I have known you my whole life, and you are NOT depressed!" She got serious and said, 'I want to know. You don't have to spare me the truth. I really need to know this to decide whether or not to take the meds. Just, tell me if you think I am depressed." he said, NO. Their kids overheard and agreed with Dad. So that night, my friend sent a courtesy email to the highly recommended doctor. The long and short of it was: you are a great doctor but you are not the one for me. Guess what? The doctor called her and was upset! Accused her of all kinds of things! But my friend the nurse patient 'got free' from a toxic doctor-patient relationship.
- Doctor 4: the primary care doctor of her friend from high school that had gastric bypass surgery. When she met him, she said, "I was referred by my friend, who is now half the woman she used to be. I want to be that woman. I want a referral to gastric bypass." He didn't bat and eye and said, "I can do that". Together they did the work up and met all of the insurance requirements for the referral. She exercised and was her healthiest she had ever been at the time of surgery. She had the procedure, recovered, lost the weight, and has reduced from six pills a day to Her nice doctor said, 'you're not going to lose this inherited high blood pressure by losing ten pounds'--but she did get a reduced dose on medication for it.) She also had a tummy tuck and pannus resection on her one-year anniversary of the surgery. (A pannus is the name for a fold of skin--either with fat or not--that drapes across the abdomen or the back.)
This was her one chance to save her life. She smiles and says she would do it again without hesitation.
What I admire about her is how she found her personal power and was able to do what she wanted for her health.
Bypass is not for everybody. Supplements are required, as well as long term monitoring of blood chemistry labs. But the Double Whammy achieved by the bypass is rapid weight loss due to decreased intake and malabsorption. The gastric sleeve surgery is different, because it just 'cuts the stomach down to a banana'. Apparently there are Facebook support groups for the sleeves (GSB?). And probably for the bypass too.
It is your health. Why don't you look inside your heart, and go for what you really desire? Don't listen to anyone that does not support you. It took not one but four to help my friend.