Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do you ever feel like you want to channel Alex from Fatal Attraction?

For the first time in my life I went to meet with a psychiatrist yesterday. My insurance company requires a psychiatric evaluation and a personality test before you can be approved for bariatric surgery. I think that it's a pretty standard requirement for many insurance companies. Honestly, I think the only reason they want you to do the evaluation is to prove you're not Alex from Fatal Attraction! I mean the questions on the thing seemed to be trying to determine whether or not you had tendencies at being psychotic, not really anything to do with your brain/food relationship. Now THAT would be worth knowing about from a person about to have 85% of their stomach cut off!

The test was called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2. Here is what the test is looking for and the number of questions for each illness. I don't know how many questions were on the test because my doctor had me stop after the first 370 questions.

1 Hs Hypochondriasis Concern with bodily symptoms 32
2 D Depression Depressive Symptoms 57
3 Hy Hysteria Awareness of problems and vulnerabilities 60
4 Pd Psychopathic Deviate Conflict, struggle, anger, respect for society's rules 50
5 MF Masculinity/Femininity Stereotypical masculine or feminine interests/behaviors 56
6 Pa Paranoia Level of trust, suspiciousness, sensitivity 40
7 Pt Psychasthenia Worry, Anxiety, tension, doubts, obsessiveness 48
8 Sc Schizophrenia Odd thinking and social alienation 78
9 Ma Hypomania Level of excitability 46
0 Si Social Introversion People orientation 69

The questions/statements were all true or false and some of the ones that I remember are:

I enjoy seeing animals suffer.
I see people who others do not see.
I have voices telling me what to do.
My father/mother was/is a good person.
I love my father/mother.
I have been in love.
I have taken risks that have gotten me into trouble.
I have been in jail.
I take drugs.
I think people are after me. (there seemed to be a lot of those questions)
Most people lie to get their way.

This site has the test on it and will score it for you. I haven't done it online but I think I might just take it again later today to see what it says! Click HERE

And seriously there were 370 questions like that. Either I will be a psychopath or I'm the most "normal" person he's ever met.

I was a little nervous and found myself being careful not to sit with my legs crossed at the ankles, my arms folded and all the other body language signals that say, "I'm a crazy freak." And if you are a crazy freak I am in no way condemning you. I think we're all a little crazy and freakish at times actually!

It is a little daunting to think you will sit down with someone who makes their living at delving into your psyche. Anyway...come Monday we will see if I "pass"!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Learning to Eat

The moment we're born we have the innate understanding that we need to eat. If you've ever seen a newborn who is offered the breast or a bottle, you've seen first hand that this instinct is indeed a fact. At some point babies go from eating what they need to eating what they want, like, don't like etc. And at that point in our lives some of us start on the roller coaster of dieting.

I've said before that overweight people are not overweight because they are hungry. How can anyone possibly be THAT hungry? People overeat for a variety of reasons. I for one love the taste and texture of food. I love the crunch, the sweet, the salty. I eat when I'm happy, sad, bored, with other words I love food.

In my lifetime I've tried to lose weight more times than I can count. If only I'd kept off the weight I'd lost over time I'd be invisible by now! After 26 years of being very overweight I am ready to have bariatric surgery. Part of my responsibility to prepare for surgery is to see a registered dietitian so that I can come to understand what life will be like after surgery and to start preparing my mind and body now.

Today I went to the first of 3 classes with Lauren, my doctor's dietitian. Today we learned about some of the things that will have to change after the surgery. I think one of the biggest things is that I will not be able to drink along with a meal. Think about it...most of us have a drink when we sit down to a meal. Take a bite, drink a sip, take 2 bites, take a longer drink. I am also on the quest to stop drinking carbonated beverages which for mean means Diet Coke. Carbonated beverages can actually stretch your stomach and after having this surgery that is the last thing I want to do. I wonder if I can let it sit out and go flat? I'll have to ask about that. I also found out that caffeine is also not good for people who have had bariatric surgery because of the malabsorption problems that patients will develop due to the nature of the surgery.

I have done Weight Watchers so many times that I do know what I SHOULD be eating. I know about portions, and water and protien and carbs and vegetables and fruit. I'm feeling ready to do this for real. I understand that the surgery is a tool to help me and not a solution to my problems. Life after surgery is going to take some adjustment. There will be liquid diets about a week before the surgery and then for about 2 weeks after that to give the wound time to heal.

I have been asked by my doctor to lose 15 pounds before my surgery which will likely take place in late September or early October. after my class I went grocery shopping. Protein shakes, fruit and healthy food fill my cupboards. Here we go.