A couple of weeks ago I went to the hospital for my three month post-operative check up. Thankfully, everything has been going fairly well for me, so I was not concerned about what the doctor might find. Two weeks before the appointment I went and had my blood drawn — all nine vials of it. They tested me for everything that I could imagine, from my hormones levels to all of my vitamin and mineral levels, liver and thyroid function etc. I was impressed by this thoroughness. It is nice to know that I am getting good care.
The morning of the appointment was brisk and clear as I made my way to the hospital. I allowed extra time because, in my experience, something always seems to go wrong at Charing Cross Hospital. Of course, this time was no exception. Originally, I had received a letter in the mail that set my appointment for two o’clock in the afternoon. A day or two later I got another letter saying that the appointment had been changed to nine in the morning, so I telephoned the hospital to confirm. I was told to be at the hospital at nine and wait in the diabetes education room (also used as a general waiting area for bariatric patients). I did as I was told but, thankfully, I managed to arrive 20 minutes early for my appointment. The diabetes room was occupied and I was sent down the hall to knock on the door of the bariatric surgeon’s office. The nurse was very confused about why I was there. (Hmm, haven’t I been through this before with them? See https://writingonthemirror.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/they-gave-away-my-surgery-slot/). It seems that the hospital has moved all outpatient appointments to the first floor but has failed to update the appointment booking software and/or tell the staff. But I digress . . .
I went downstairs and only had to wait about five minutes before my name was called. I went into the examining room with a nurse and we discussed my progress. The majority of the appointment was taken up by a survey in which she asked me about my recovery experience, my lifestyle, the foods I eat, the medications I take and any issues that have arisen. When we had finished the survey she reviewed my blood test results with me. Everything looked good. My HDL was a little low (but it always has been) and my iron levels were slightly low but everything else was perfect. Even my vitamin D levels looked good (I was deficient prior to surgery). She weighed me and took my blood pressure. My blood pressure was on the borderline of high, but the nurse did not seem too concerned. My weight was down by 40 lbs (18kg/3.2 stone). Not too shabby.
Over the course of the appointment, the nurse must have complimented me on my progress at least five times. She and the surgeon are not overly interested in weight loss, but focus instead on the overall improvements in health and quality of life. She was impressed by my attitude, my support network, the variety of my diet, my high protein levels and adherence to their advice. I was told to keep up the good work and sent on my way. My next appointment is at three months but that is a phone interview. I hope it is as good as the three month check-up!