This is not an easy question to answer. I can only answer it from a personal perspective. Please note that I am not a medical professional and this article does NOT serve as a substitute for medical advice. I am a life coach who specializes in working with bariatric patients at all levels of the spectrum. As a life coach, I do not give my opinions or advice. It’s not the way things work.
I believe you have the answers within you. I help you bring them out by listening intently and intuitively and by asking you specific questions that are designed to help you find clarity. If I were working with a patient who wanted to know if surgery was right for them, I would ask the following questions. I will answer them as myself, from my own experience.
What is causing you to feel the need for surgery?
I am sensing the need for surgery because I need to lose a lot of weight quickly. I have a bad knee and need to have knee replacement surgery. My orthopedist, nutritionist and primary care doctor think my best option going forward is to have the Sleeve. I can lose a lot of weight quickly, but I am concerned about malabsorption issues and the fact that I had such difficulty with the lap band. This is not reversible.
How do you think we can address those concerns?
Well, I honestly think that I need to weigh the pros and cons. I met with the surgeon and we discussed malabsorption. He said it was less of a problem with the sleeve than the RNY. So, I opted for the sleeve. It’s going to be a process and I will be going to my nutritional counselor. I have prepared mentally and do not feel the emotional attachment to food as I did when I had the lap band. I am in a different place and it’s a different surgery. I also need my knee. I can’t get down to a 40 BMI on my own. I’ve been trying for four years and I’ve only put on weight despite my best efforts. I weigh 387 and do not want to get to over 400 again.
Great! So you are already doing this on your own. Can you speak a little bit as to why you feel discomfort surrounding the surgery?
I’m concerned about money. Insurance only covers so much. We may need to pay thousands out of pocket. I know we can manage it, but it’s still quite the expense. I don’t know how I feel about making a permanent change to my anatomy. It seems so final and it can’t be undone so if I have complications then I will have to deal with them.
Yes, but you’ve dealt with more difficult things in the past and came out okay. Right?
Yes, I have, but this is just something I didn’t want to have to do. Now, I feel I need to do it.
Well, it sounds like you’ve come to a decision. Do you feel complete at this time about it?
Yes, I do. I feel much better and ready to handle this head on.
Now, the conversation we would have would go a bit differently because you would probably have different reasons and issues. I simplified this for you. Just know that any decisions made in a life coaching session are yours. They are not mine. I help you determine what’s right for you. I provide you support and encouragement. I hold the space for you.
I will have you know that my life coach and therapist helped me work through my concerns. I also spoke to the surgeon – I came armed with written-down questions. If I have one bit of advice, it’s to do your research but not be so broad in scope. The internet is full of horror stories that are just not going to serve you. Stick to the facts and embrace your fears. Almost a year out from surgery, I am down 130 lbs. and I don’t even need the knee surgery anymore.
Is bariatric surgery worth it? For me, it has been a lifesaver. For you, it may be something different. Contact me today and we can figure it out — together.