Project Ramona: RUN GIRL, RUN!!!!
Posted 8/8/2012 7:50:00 PM
I can't stress enough that successful weight loss surgery is about more than just what happens in the operating room.  When you're working with the surgical weight loss program at Catawba Valley Medical Center a lot happens between your seminar and your surgery date. Libby Shaver, the coordinator of the surgical weight loss program used to make fun of my folder.  It had all of my info in it... checklists, forms, explanations of procedures.  At one point between my physical, calls to my gynecologist and making an appointment with a psychologist my mom said, "Wow, they certainly make you do your homework!"  My reply was, "yes, they do.  I think they want to make sure you're serious about changing your life!" It's not an event, it's a process. You don't wake up and make an appointment for bariatric surgery like scheduling a haircut.... but that's what happened to a woman who emailed me recently.  Like me, the first seminar she attended didn't go so well.  Here is what she wrote:

 

  • "I am searching for a Weight Loss Surgeon. I started with one in the Charlotte area but I was not pleased with his personality and there has been a lot of turn over with his staff. What made you choose Catawba Valley Medical center? I know 4 people that have had gastric bypass by different surgeons. I respect your opinion."
I shared with her that I felt so disrespected after a surgical weight loss seminar I attended in Charlotte.  A coworker suggested I go to the seminar CVMC was hosting at the mall in Hickory.  Dr. Cox's presentation was far more helpful and Libby (my bariatric angel) just put me at ease. Every question was answered respectfully and honestly.  I'm also a bit of a germaphobe and CVMC has designated rooms for bariatric surgery patients.  That was a big deal for me!

 

She wrote me back a few days later telling me she planned to contact CVMC.  Her experience with another weight loss program worried her.  She said:

 

  • "I was just waiting on the information back from my primary physician when I made the decision that this WL practice was not right for me.  They did not even take my blood pressure or require a physical.  It almost made me feel like they were pushing the surgery.  I did meet with a dietitian but she was being shared by other WLS programs and it was clear that she was always in a hurry.

     

    Yep...red flags went up and I ran.

     

    I will keep you posted. I am grateful that you have shared your journey because it has allowed me to see that there are positive WLS programs out there.  I know it was not an easy decision.  I also have just be diagnosed with High Blood Pressure and I am so worried.  My mother passed away last year from complications from hypertension and diabetes.  I started this weight gain battle after my first child.  I would lose 50-70 pounds only to gain them back.  I know you understand and that gives me comfort."

I'm glad she ran! The surgery is only the beginning of a life-changing process. It's critical to have the right team on your side... before, during and AFTER your procedure. I believe with all my heart that I've got the BEST team.

 

Posted By: Ramona Holloway  

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