Thursday, July 17, 2008

I found my Captain Awesome

For those of you who don't watch Chuck on NBC -- which I'm guessing is most of you given how low the ratings were -- Captain Awesome is what Chuck calls his sister's boyfriend. He's a resident at some hospital in the LA area.

Anyway, I've picked my surgeon and I've decided to call him Dr. Awesome because a) I think he's awesome and b) he thinks he's awesome. So see... we agree already. ;)

I had heard a lot about Dr. Cirangle before I went to the seminar, some good, some bad. He's rather infamous for being "mean" which I think translates into "not coddling people" and "telling the truth" even when it's not palatable. Because while he came off as blunt and to the point at the seminar, he didn't seem truly mean. In fact, he seemed very nice. And a little full of himself, but in a good way that amused me. I had worried that if I picked him, we'd butt heads all the time, but I also had this feeling that we'd get on like a house afire.

It didn't take that long into the seminar to realize that the "house afire" hunch was dead on.

It's not that I hate bedside manner. If my surgeon has some, I'll take it. But it's not that important to me. What I really want someone who isn't going to sugar-coat things and is willing to let you know where he stands. At the same time, I want someone doesn't think they know everything -- or rather, it's okay to think that they know what they are doing -- but it's not okay to treat me like a child who has to be told what to do and what surgery to have with little to no input from me.

The first time Dr. Awesome told a prospective patient that "you're the boss, it's your decision" I knew I'd found my man. Because I am the boss and it is my decision. It's my body and my life. That doesn't mean I'm expert on bariatric surgery, but I am the expert on me.

The other thing I liked about him is that he hasn't bought into the whole "you must prove yourself worthy of surgery by losing 10% of your body weight" line of bull that so many surgeons hand out. Oh, they don't put it that way. They say things like "it's to shrink your liver" and "it's makes the surgery safer for you." And, yes, any weight you lose is going to help you. But if a 350 lb. patient can lose 35 pounds and be operated on at 315, it's ridiculous to tell a 215 lb. patient that they can't be operated on until they are 193.

The other thing I like about him is that he's obviously good at what he does. He knows his shit, so to speak. He's really into data and the program collects data on everyone who has surgery and they really know what works and what doesn't. They have excellent complication and success stats. I feel like I'm in really good hands.

The other thing that sold me is that LapSF will do surgery on patients with BMIs as "low" as 30-ish. Good for them! The attitude of the US medical profession that WLS is only for people who are so overweight that their health is directly imperiled has never sat well with me. We know that once you are obese, diet and exercise alone don't cut it. We even know the scientific reasons why this happens. Yet we tell obese people to wait until they are morbidly obese for years before insurance will pay for their surgery. It makes no sense to me. My motto is: do what works not what you are 'supposed' to do. WLS works.

Now it wasn't all good. I can see that if I'm one of the small percentage that can't lose weight even though I follow the program, that we might butt heads. Because Dr. Awesome believes that if you follow the program, you will lose the weight. I actually agree with that and think it's true 99% of the time. Some of the whiners I run into online who make excuse after excuse for why they haven't lost weight when it's clear that their problem is their own choices drive me insane. But there are some cases where it isn't and if I say I'm following the program, I want to be believed because I don't lie about stuff like that.

But hopefully that won't be an issue. After all, I know I can lose weight so it's not like I have some hidden medical condition that will stop me.

I'm so excited! Now that I've picked my surgeon, I want my surgery TOMORROW!! I think I will go mad waiting until the Fall.
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