Meeting the Dietician – Part 4

Meeting the Dietician

The moment I have been dreading: meeting the dietician. You know when you are aware of poor choices that you have made, but choose not to acknowledge them? They all come back to haunt you before an appointment like this. I know that I can make healthier choices, have smaller portions, be more active. But somewhere along the line, I chose not to do any of these things. (Except the healthier choices… I have discovered a love for salad, and overnight oats that I thought I never had).

Literally the weekend after I met with the social worker, I had my appointment with the dietician. My head was spinning; what will they say? Will they deny my progress moving forwards until I make many many changes? I really wasn’t sure of what would come of this visit.

I arrived for my prescheduled appointment, and as always, sat in the waiting area. I was a little surprised when a woman came out, as the person I had been booked with was definitely male. Makes no difference to me who I see, so I went in to, as I though, be read the riot act.

Grace (not her real name) asked me several questions about my diet and I told her (mostly) the truth. I shared with her some of my poor eating habits, as well as the kidney disorder that was catalyst for me starting the process. Grace surprised me, as I thought for sure I would get told that I am making poor choices, but I instead found her telling me that my choices are mostly good, but there was room for improvement. For instance, my breakfast overnight oats; I make them with almond milk, yogurt, chocolate chips and strawberries. Grace’s feedback was to use regular milk instead of almond as it’s a better source of protein and vitamins, and the one that didn’t surprise me, to use greek yogurt instead (which is not bad, but I find a little too thick for my liking in oatmeal). We talked about good proteins, and making good choices for my kidneys, was well as ways to improve on portioning. I shared my concerns of not having coffee or caffeinated drinks, as well as giving up pop (not a huge concern, but I do enjoy it here and there) and how I had tried flavoured water to see if I could manage, which I did. Grace informed me that there are new studies stating that caffeine and carbonation don’t affect the outcome of surgery, so there is no longer a need to give them up months in advance, though after it is not advised, particularly the carbonated beverages.

Grace asked if I was aware of what would happen after surgery, and I explained that I knew there would be weight loss, extra skin, and no expectation of being “skinny”. Grace stated that this was important, as people sometimes believe they will become “skinny” which is not the case. I explained that I was not in this process for cosmetics, but in order to get to a healthy enough weight for dialysis and hopefully transplant.

Grace stated that she would see me again in follow-up sometime after surgery, and I was able to leave, with the understanding that I would strive to make some changes to food choices, and for myself, to make some commitments to taking better care of myself. The next entry will be with the internest, and the (possibly) final step before meeting with the surgeon.

Mark Middleton

Mark Middleton

WLS Patient