Endless questions

The last week has provided some challenges to me – both emotionally and physically.  The odd thing is that I can deal with the challenge itself.  It is the questions that it brings up that I have a hard time with.  The why is harder than the actual issue itself.  I guess that is always the way, but when challenges are coming hard and fast you really notice it.

So here is where my brain is lately:

  1. How do doctors balance the line between too much technical info and too little?    I realize that is a generalization and I am the perfect candidate to make things more difficult.  I want you to tell me as if I am a child – simplify it, but I don’t want you to treat me like a child – as if I am incapable of understanding eventually.
  2. When you are diagnosed with something – anything really – how in the world are you expected to wrap your brain around the technicalities of it in such a short amount of time that you have to make decisions?  And isn’t that exactly where doctor’s need to help patients?
  3. When you have a doctor that doesn’t take the time to help you understand, what then?  How do you make decisions about things you are not sure of?
  4. Why is it that I don’t have the right to copies of my own medical records without a fee, but other doctors can have it for free?
  5. How is it that I can call a doctors office one week and need a referral to see the doc and call the same office 2 weeks later and set up an appointment with no mention of a referral?
  6. The scariest part of the bariatric surgery is the eating plan – the strictness, the potential for regaining the weight if changes are not permanent, and the fact that I could go through all of this and still be fat.  So why is it that I can’t seem to be happy about the possibility instead of focusing on it going wrong?
  7. Finally, when this is all over, I am sure I will look back and see all of the ways that God has helped me through this and all of the ways he put people in my path to walk this with me.  But I am worried about some of the changes that are coming – not the day to day things but the “who am I” type questions.  I have never been anything other than a fat adult.  Being overweight has been my identity in many ways for as long as I can remember – as young as 8 or 9 years old.  I don’t know what it is like to be thinner.  I don’t think my personality will change as much as my options will change and how I respond to those options will make a great deal of difference in my life.  That will be a lot for me.  But it will also be a lot for those people who love me.  And that concerns me most of all.
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2 comments

  1. Jane · October 21, 2015

    Don’t concern yourself with how loved ones and friends will deal with a “new you”. You will still be the same person, just in a different (possibly slightly smaller!) wrapper! It doesn’t change your heart and soul — THAT’S who you really are. Friendship and love don’t change when appearances change. Just concentrate on your treatment and making the best choices for you, and lean on your friends and family and ask for help when you need it. Stay strong — we’re all here for you! — Jane

  2. Janna · October 26, 2015

    Not sure if you really wanted our answers, but here’s my two cents:
    (1) I think doctors try to tailor the level of information to the individual patient; this becomes a problem when the doctor is a specialist and doesn’t know the patient at all! The best way I find to get the information/answers I want is to keep asking questions until I’m satisfied.
    (2) When I’m given a diagnosis, I research the crap out of it (books, MayoClinic,org, etc) and then confirm my new knowledge with the doctor.
    (3) If your doctor won’t give you the answers and/or guidance you need, I would change doctors. At a minimum, I would get the proverbial “second opinion.” I think doctors are probably hesitant to give definitive advice on what you should do beyond statistics and probabilities. It might be best to work through the actual decision-making with close family and friends, and perhaps a counselor.
    (4) Professional courtesy?? Seriously, I think this is a stupid practice, but pretty widespread. I guess they think that the doctor will directly ask for records that s/he needs (so free), whereas the patient asks for stuff out of curiosity (so fee). The fee makes patients think twice, and maybe not ask for them unless “truly necessary”.
    (5) The first person was wrong. Seriously, a PPO doesn’t require a referral to see a specialist, although it may require a referral for certain diagnostic tests (e.g., mammogram).
    (6) I have a friend that had bariatric surgery (BS) about 10 years ago and began losing weight. A couple years later, she got an intestinal blockage (quite common after BS, I hear). During/after her surgery for the blockage, she became depressed/frustrated and began not following her eating plan. Today, she is as big as she was before the surgery. She told me that she didn’t completely addressed all of her issues with food before BS and, after the stress of the blockage surgery, the issues resurfaced. So, you’re right – it is a real possibility that you could go through the surgery and still be fat. But all you can do is try and give it your best shot 🙂 Believing that only the worst will happen is a coping mechanism with which I am intimately familiar. By focusing on all the bad things that can happen, I won’t be disappointed, right? I knew it wasn’t going to work out. However, it’s also a bit of a set-up for myself – if I know it won’t work out, why bother trying? On the other hand, pessimism often pushes me to perform better and avoid the worst-case scenario.
    (7) I have read stories about BS recipients who have significant personality changes, but I agree that you are not likely to fall in that minority. You are down-to-earth; you know yourself to your core. If anything, I think the “real you” will shine brighter. 🙂 You will continue to find support from your loving family and friends, as well as your faith. A few quotes that help me when I’m worried about things not entirely in my control:
    “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.” – Anonymous
    “Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.” – Anonymous
    “Worry is a misuse of the imagination.” – Dan Zadra
    xo Janna
    P.S. What Jane said!!!

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