Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bariatric Betty gets shrunk

Well, this week I took my MMPI.  I told one of my friends before hand that I hope it didn't show that I was any crazier than I already knew I am! That was no joke - with my depression and PTSD, I don't expect a totally clean report.  I did joke with her that I was hoping my other 15 personalities kept quiet enough for me to focus on the test.  She said if they spoke up, just promise them a donut to keep quiet.  I love having a friend who's already had bariatric surgery.  She can say something like that and I KNOW that she is totally behind me. 

Before I started the test, my designated psychologist for the insurance documentation collected my co-pay.  He told me to take my time, and I assumed it would take about 2 hours.  Instead, 1 hour and 567 true and false questions later I was done.  If any of you have not yet taken the MMPI, it's alternatingly funny and sad.  It has statements like "I believe that spirits and/or demons control me" immediately followed by "I would like to be a singer".  Several times I read questions that made me wonder.  For instance when comparing "I would enjoy covering the theater as a journalist" and "I would enjoy covering sports as a journalist", what exactly are they differentiating?  Is there a condition that excludes theater appreciation?  Or is sports counter-indicative of another? 

When they ask "I sometimes lie to others" - don't you feel like it's a trap?  Who hasn't told at least a white lie to spare someone's feelings?  So you answer yes.  Unless you are a pathologically liar, in which case you would answer no.  Unless you are also an attention seeker - which I would imagine most pathological liars are - so you would answer yes. 

Here's what I think.  I think they should add two more questions. First, "I spent time thinking about possible reasons for different responses to these questions while taking this test".  Then, "I skipped at least one question accidentally and had to go back and correct my answers".  Hmmmmm, maybe my results will indicate I'm borderline obsessive compulsive? 

When I finished, the psychologist said "OK, so it will take me a couple weeks to write up a report, and then I'll send it to Diane at Hospital C".  Fine.  So I asked "When should I come back?" and he looked at me blankly for a moment before saying "Well, you don't have to.  Unless you want to come back?"  Huh.  I guess this guy is not part of my new lifetime commitment to a bariatric program - luckily Hospital C has their own that I can consult with forever if needed, I guess.  I ended up telling him that maybe after he reviewed the results if he felt that there was anything that would be useful for me to know from the results he could let me know and I would make an appointment.  No wonder he collects the co-pays up front - he doesn't think he's going to see you again! 

I also discovered something wonderful this past week.  Facebook has private groups for weight loss surgery patients and veterans.  Some of these veterans have over 10 years and hundreds of pounds lost under ther belt!  So I joined two lists and can ask other questions without all of my friends seeing them.  I also found several other blogs of current and past bariatric patients that I really enjoy.  Seeing the pictures of before and after is just amazing.  It inspires me to see that so many have taken this tool and used it to change their lives so completely. 

I have told several friends about my plans to have bariatric surgery, but I still feel hesitant to make it common knowledge.  It's hard enough to discuss it with friends who don't understand the committment involved, let alone having people I haven't seen since high school or relatives that I have nothing in common with question me.  They can ask when they see me in a few years and wonder why I look so good! 

This week should be fun!  I have my first meeting with my physical trainer, my first pre-op support group/ education session, and my first meeting with my surgeon and his team!!!  I guess I'm a little excited - too many exclamation marks :)

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