Is Humiliation Part of the Treatment?

Just how much humiliation am I supposed to take? Today was a group session at the surgeon’s. You know what I learned? What an ass one of the surgeons is. That’s it.

After the weigh in, in which I gained a whole half-pound, we had the usual and repetitive lecture on how important it is we shrink our livers. I was feeling pretty good about my weight, actually. I’d had a full bladder and heavy winter clothing on, but the scale said only half a pound. I could live with that. I knew also I’d had a few too many macadamia nuts over the past few days and vowed to cut them out.

Finally, the surgeon appeared. He was as handsome as rumor had claimed. I had a hard time understanding his accent, since he was from South Africa. The Afrikaners I’ve known can seem to mumble a bit to our American ears. I’d had an Afrikaner teacher back in real estate school and I’d adored him, so I was prepared to like the surgeon, Dr. Cywes. How wrong I was.

After introducing himself and matching faces to files, he immediately turned to me and asked me if I felt my life was busy. I warily answered, “Yes.”

Then, without warning, he launched into what I can only call an attack, using me as the proverbial bad example of a patient who wasn’t on board with the program, addicted to carbs, and out of control.

I was shocked and humiliated. I protested that I’d only gained half a pound.

He thrust his finger at another member of the group. “She lost ten pounds.” He then went on with his lecture, now pointing out how I was defending myself and in total denial of my actions.

For the next hour, I swallowed tears and humiliation while he pontificated as if he knew me, accusing me of eating all sorts of carbs, ignoring the diet, and –the crowning touch—comparing me to a drug addict in need of a twelve-step program.

I was never so grateful when he finally ended his speech and swept out of the room like he could barely stand to be around us a moment longer. Baby, the feeling was mutual.

Worse, I found out one of the other women in the room had gained a pound and a half. I can only surmise that my file was on top and therefore most convenient.

All I can say right now is that I will make a special request that the other doctor is my surgeon.

I barely responded when another one of his staff came in and told me my paperwork was complete and the packet would be on its way to Tricare tomorrow. She informed the whole group that surgical dates are now being filled for January, so we can plan for late January or perhaps early February.

Lovely. Somehow, we must all remain on the liver reduction, low-carb diet through the entire holiday season. Are they insane? Why don’t I just move to a nice deserted island until January 1?


Anonymous said…
You can do it Lena! If it's Jan or Feb before you get the band, its only a couple of more months before you can kiss all these assholes goodbye.

Keep thinking about how great you will look and will feel once you are healthy and can look at other people and say I was once like you, but I got the help I needed. If I can do it, you can too. :)

Keep up the good work. A half a pound isn't that bad of a gain. Now if you had gained 10 lbs, then he had a reason to yell, the half a pound might not have been your fault! It could have been your clothes.

Lena Austin said…
Thanks, Howler. That's how I feel as well. I believe that 1/2 pound was either winter weight clothes, a full bladder, or simply the fact that it was afternoon when I start retaining water until my ankles swell like puffer fish.
Anne D said…
Jesus! I would have gotten up and walked away mid diatribe and told him right where to shove his scalpel. What an asshole!

I went to the US Bariatric seminar down at Flagler hospital, so far I'm impressed, and I had half been expecting some of this sort of treatment. But I was pleasantly surprised. But I shall see what happens later on in the process :)
Lena Austin said…
I've since enjoyed the surgeon who'll actually do my banding-- Dr. Michael Baptista. I'm singing his praises. He's proven to me that he cares.

BTW, since November 19 I've lost over 11 pounds.
Anne D said…
Well, that's always a bonus - loosing weight before the surgery! Especially so over the month of Dec. It's a total killer month foodwise, is dec :)
Lena Austin said…
I was amazed today to try on a pair of pants I'd outgrown last spring. Today, they slid on, zipped right up and they were loose! I had to pull them up several times during the course of the day.

Moreover, I'm beginning to really like the Atkins shakes. They're delicious and very low carb. Doc ordered me not to have any meal replacement shakes with more than 7 carbs. Atkins makes that an easy order to follow, and they're filling. I love the convenience of popping one open and enjoying it while I check my email. I may even continue to have them once I'm allowed solid food again.

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