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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

When Surgery Does Not Work

Published in the October 2, 2007 You Have Arrived Newsletter

Thoughts From Kaye
When the surgery doesn't work

When someone is frustrated with their surgical weight loss, perhaps by a plateau, complications or even weight gain, I often hear the words of despair, "I guess I'm just one of those who the surgery is not going to work for." Early in my weight loss surgery work I thought this was a false statement, perhaps even a cop-out. But lately I have come to understand that it is, collectively, a true statement: Weight loss surgery does not work for the patient, any patient. What? How can so many patients thrive with weight loss surgery and so many others struggle? Consider this:

The surgery does not work for the patient; the patient works for the surgery.

The surgery does not make our food choices.
The surgery does not drink our water.
The surgery does not do our exercise.
The surgery does not chose to follow or break the rules.

The patient makes the choices; the patient works for the surgery.

In our pre-op counseling we nod our heads and agree to the weight loss surgery incantation, "surgery is only a tool." I don't know about you, but I secretly hoped that surgery was going to be, after all, the easy way out. Turns out, it was just a tool.

A tool is a device used to accomplish a task. Consider a carpenter at his workbench with his tools. Before him is a saw, a hammer, wood, a measuring stick and nails. All tools of his trade. The carpenter could stand before his tools and yearn for the tools to craft a magnificent treasure box. But the tools will not work on yearning alone. The carpenter must select the correct tool for the task and then work for that tool using it to the best of his capability to craft the magnificent treasure box. The carpenter works for the tools, the tools do not work for the carpenter.

And so it goes with our weight loss surgery tool. Yearning and desire will not cause the tool to craft the treasure of a new healthy body. The tool will not work on hope alone. As owners of this powerful weight loss surgery tool we become stewards to work for it, to pursue our greatest potential through knowledge, practice and personal responsibility. We must use the tool as a device to accomplish a task. When we start taking responsibility for working the tool our chances for success increase tenfold.

It is true, the surgery does not work for me. I work for the surgery.


Unknown said...

I agree totally and i have a large problem with the snivling that goes on with the majority of the helpsites for obesity and WLS i have sat on alot of these boards and just shook my head. The surgery is a choice. Not killing yourself with a fork is a choice maybe they should have to fight to get it as my wife and i did. I researched and educated myself for 5 years before i even called the first surgeon about surgery then i spent another year going through the process. and after 17 months of time i am at my goal weight and living a very normal life with a focas on activity and good food choices. My wife has done equally as well and has lost over 170 lbs with No complications. her biggest issue now is skin and that will be taken care of when she is ready to tackle that issue it isnt the surgeries fault it is a product of being overweight for a number of years. I read on the boards that because of the surgery i had all of these other health problems blogna!!!! it is because of the life before surgery that is giving complications. these whiners are going to screw it up for people who want and need the surgery and are willing to follow directions.They resect bowls everyday in surgery this is no different it isnt a plastic piece that they have no clue of the long term effects but true wls is not the lap band there is nothing mechanical to fail it soley relys on the fact that you can follow sinple directions and do what you are told. yes you will have platous and yes you can loose to much but if you are sticking at a weight it is one thing or another A. need to exercise more or B. eat less

Lisa Sargese said...

How about the patient and the surgery working together?