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How would you have reacted?



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I went in today for one of my pre-ops tests. Mind you, this was at an ambulatory surgical center that my bariatric team uses for test and such (EGD, pulmonary, etc.). The nurse who was wheeling me into the room for my procedure asked me why I was being scoped today. I told her I was going through the bariatric program and she said, "You don't look like the kind of person who needs that surgery." I was stunned and just held my breath and didn't say anything. She's a clinic nurse and not at all involved with my bariatric program, but it hit hard. She knew nothing about my comorbidities or general health and strictly made an assessment on the fact that my BMI is 40 or how I "looked" lying on the bed.

How would you have reacted? Should I bring this up with my care team?

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Even as a clinic nurse, her job is patient care, not giving her two cents about your current situation regarding your surgery. If it bothers you enough, I would say something. I certainly would have.

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27 minutes ago, EsoKev said:

I went in today for one of my pre-ops tests. Mind you, this was at an ambulatory surgical center that my bariatric team uses for test and such (EGD, pulmonary, etc.). The nurse who was wheeling me into the room for my procedure asked me why I was being scoped today. I told her I was going through the bariatric program and she said, "You don't look like the kind of person who needs that surgery." I was stunned and just held my breath and didn't say anything. She's a clinic nurse and not at all involved with my bariatric program, but it hit hard. She knew nothing about my comorbidities or general health and strictly made an assessment on the fact that my BMI is 40 or how I "looked" lying on the bed.

How would you have reacted? Should I bring this up with my care team?

As my mom would say, some people have no home training. I would bring it up with your care team to just clear the air.

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I wouldn’t have cared, but that’s just me. Some people, like myself, can’t judge and guesstimate other people’s weight. I say this because I assume she was just looking at your size and said this. But again, this is just me

was it her place as a nurse to say this, maybe not but I don’t see it as harm

Edited by Bryn910

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It may have been a 'left-handed' compliment of sorts - that you appeared mobile and healthy enough to do weight loss on your own. It wasn't that long ago that bariatric patients needed to be a lot larger than 40 bmi to even be considered. You are not likely to have any more interactions with this nurse.

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Same thing happened to me when I had to go to the ER to get fluids for dehydration. The ER doctor said “why did you choose something so drastic? You’re not that big.” It was very awkward and all I could think to say (mainly because I was shocked it was coming from a medical doctor) was, “well because I qualified for it medically and it was my choice.” I didn’t feel any need to explain any choice I made about my future health and self beyond that point.


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I think I will casually bring it up when I meet with my team in a few weeks. Ther partnership with this hospital/clinic system is fairly new, so I feel like they would want to know that. I don't believe it was said with any sort of malicious intent, but it was just an ill-informed comment. I wish I would have said, "Actually, I'm a great candidate for this surgery. There's some excellent information on the NIH and ASMBS website. I can give you the link..." Maybe use it as more of a teachable moment than something punitive. She was very nice, but obviously not using a filter and not fully informed about why I would be having the surgery.

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Meh, it would have made me go “huh?” Then I would have thought she might have meant it as a compliment (however misguided) then I would have realized it said nothing about me and everything about her. Then it would have been out of my mind and life....no use letting it rent space in your mind.


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I think she meant it as a compliment. The first pulmonary dr I saw actually leaned over to view my body and said “really?” In a smirky way...that was uncalled for...the second pulmonary dr, the nurse said “I You don’t look like you need it” and it was different than the other dr’s smirky comment...not offensive at all....you can’t hold it against people who are genuinely thinking you don’t look heavy enough. They don’t understand the different reasons if they aren’t in the middle of it. I say let it roll off.


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Well thanks folk for the compliments but I know my health and emotions better thsnvyou. Yes you missed a beaut of a teaching moment but don't get hung up on it. Hindsight is 20/20. regular sight isn't always. Don't get stuck with the Coulda-Shoulda- And woulda ofvlifebor you'll go bonkers! ,, 😝

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PS When I told my gastroenterologist he said "I could. put a gastric balloon in for you!" Hey I'm 180 pounds overweight, a gastric balloon for 6 months? That could help, but I know I need a more permanent solution than that!

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It’s just not that big of a deal.. I see before and after pics on here of sleevers all the time and say the same to myself, “You don’t look like you needed it”. To make a big deal out of it and report it seems more unnecessary than the comment itself but that’s just me.


Yo-Yo Girl from New York City :)

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Hey maybe we all don't have a Technicolor moment. Remember the Wizard of Oz movie, yes the 30s version. Things are all black and white, subdued until the syrorm c and Dorothy ends up in Oz, maybe a life lesson there!

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wow, that is a surprising thing for a nurse to say - I think I would have said something to the effect that my DOCTORS know better what is right for me. and left it at that.

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I just posted about this in another thread as I overheard someone say that to another woman. I thought it was incredibly rude. That statements means the person is making an assumption about your weight without knowing your health history or personal reasons for having the surgery.

That said, I think it's an ignorant comment (especially by a medical professional), but in my opinion ignorant comments don't deserve a reaction. Complete silence and shake of the head is enough for me to realize it isn't personal and I'm just glad I'm more informed than that.

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