The day of surgery for us surgically altered freaks is a big deal. No pun intended. Maybe. Anyways, for many it becomes a day to celebrate… it’s their “surgiversary”, their “new birthday”. or something similar. And that’s kewl. I know I’ve mentioned mine here before.
In fact, it came up a bit on Saturday when I was at the WLS Fall Gala event, I was two and a half years post-op that day. Then Tuesday when I was doing the Q&A session at the Introduction to WLS sessions my surgeon’s office does… it hit me that it was just about 3 years ago that I was on the other end of that conversation. Sitting out there in that same room, listening with rapt attention to the nurse talk about RNY vs the band, going over rules of life after surgery, benefits and potential problems. In some ways though, I was simply going through the motions because I was determined and ready to have gastric bypass surgery, and I wanted it now.
Now of course in retrospect, I’m glad it did take a while for me to actually get to the point of having surgery, but that’s a whole different story.
It was in November of that year, 2008. And for some reason I was reflecting on that again this morning, and I got to wondering just when it was that I had my appointment. Not the one with the nurse or the surgeon at Unity Bariatric Center. No, when was my appointment with my doctor, the one where I told him I wanted to have weight loss surgery.
Cause you see, if there is a day I should celebrate, I’m thinking that should be it. Not the day I went under the knife, because really, that was at the beginning of this journey, but it wasn’t the start. No, the start was the day I realized that simply “eating better” wasn’t going to work… It was the day I realized that no matter how much I wanted to be able to do this, I couldn’t. Not on my own. It was the day I came to terms with the fact that I needed help. It was the day that changed my life.
Ok, fine. It wasn’t THAT day. It was sometime in the week or two before I actually saw the doctor. I mean, I made the appointment with the express purpose of asking him about WLS. But it was that day, October 9, 2008 that I met with my doctor. I took that one step, and what had just been a thought before now became an action through the simple act of me telling him this is what I wanted to do. Yea, I think I did ask what he thought, and I feel somewhat blessed by the fact that he was all for it and very supportive of my decision.
I happen to work in the same building as my doctor’s clinic. After I finished writing that previous paragraph I made another decision. I got up, went down the hall to see if Dr. R was in. I wanted to thank him. He was in, unfortunately in with some patients at the moment. I left a message with one of the nurses asking if he could maybe swing by on his way out today. I have done so in the past, but this week… three years later… it seems like it would be a good time to remind him that even though with the way the modern system works that makes it so a doctor typically spends what? Five, maybe ten minutes with a patient during a visit… that the simplest bits of encouragement and support (or lack thereof) they give can have a huge impact on their patient.
I hear occasional stories from others who’s doctors were not very supportive and the struggles that led to.. in some cases causing folks to delay following up on WLS for months or even years. There are times I can barely believe where I am at today, mostly in large part because of that decision I made three years ago… and I shudder to think of where I might be had my doctor, my friends, and my family had not been as supportive as they have… as they continue to be.
So to my friends, my family, to those of you that come here and indulge me, and to you Dr. R – Thank you.
How about you… what/when was your one step?
image credit: sundstrom