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Autistic bariatric patients and psychological clearance



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Is anyone else autistic and having or have had WLS? Or knew an autistic that has had surgery?

I have Aspergers and am currently pursuing VSG. I'm down to my three final clearances but struggling with getting psychological clearance due to my disorder plus depression and anxiety. I've been in therapy and doing extensive journals for months. It feels like I'll never get approved. My psychologist appears more concerned about me dealing with life after surgery because of my autism than my depression (which I'm getting treatment for). As in, she's specifically mentioned that because I am autistic that she feels that I'll struggle horribly with post op. Did anyone else experience this roadblock?

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I don't have experience of this, but as a mother of a child with autism, I really really wish you the best of luck and hope that you get the clearance you need! ❤️

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Probably will be on a Case by Case basis- there are as many shadings to your Spectrum Experience as there are hair Colors in Life but I Too wish You the Best with the Struggle toward what You truly Need. I Often sound fluent with language mastery, many have said I'm even an Inspiration but I, also am On the Spectrum. Easy, a Guaranteed Path to Anywhere? Nope but I did make it, You will Also! Use Your Autistic Ability to "Center" to the Exclusion of Everything Else- it's something many Neuro-Typicals lack and You Will Make it Through.***** Your Friend Frustr8- 73 and making it MYSELF!😝🌈😝.

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I am on the Autism spectrum and my surgeon did know this along with my entire medical history but I was also very straightforward and clear in my intentions on fighting for weight loss surgery. I did have assistance from my mother with all the phone calls with doctors and staff to make sure they got all the vital information for insurance and such. They said I didn’t need psych clearance. But because of childhood experience with the gamut of psychiatrists and psychologists I have not been seeing anyone and cope the best I can manage with my mother occasionally being somewhat of an interpreter. Or I write things down I need to explain. If your psychologist knows that you understand the surgery and exactly what is expected of you afterward than maybe they might be more supportive? I might be on the spectrum and not very well functioning socially and my post op has not been easy but I did ensure the surgeon that I could and would follow rules and knew this was simply a tool to help with my extreme difficulty losing weight with metabolic disorders and such.

Sorry if I’m not good at my explanations but being on the spectrum should not hold you back unless you yourself don’t believe you can follow post surgery guidelines in changing your eating habits.

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2 hours ago, froufrou said:

I don't have experience of this, but as a mother of a child with autism, I really really wish you the best of luck and hope that you get the clearance you need! ❤️

Thank you!

1 hour ago, Frustr8 said:

Probably will be on a Case by Case basis- there are as many shadings to your Spectrum Experience as there are hair Colors in Life but I Too wish You the Best with the Struggle toward what You truly Need. I Often sound fluent with language mastery, many have said I'm even an Inspiration but I, also am On the Spectrum. Easy, a Guaranteed Path to Anywhere? Nope but I did make it, You will Also! Use Your Autistic Ability to "Center" to the Exclusion of Everything Else- it's something many Neuro-Typicals lack and You Will Make it Through.***** Your Friend Frustr8- 73 and making it MYSELF!😝🌈😝.

Oh cool we have the same highest weight. You're doing great! Congrats on Onderland!

It's definitely not an easy ride for sure.

1 hour ago, Darktowerdream said:

I am on the Autism spectrum and my surgeon did know this along with my entire medical history but I was also very straightforward and clear in my intentions on fighting for weight loss surgery. I did have assistance from my mother with all the phone calls with doctors and staff to make sure they got all the vital information for insurance and such. They said I didn’t need psych clearance. But because of childhood experience with the gamut of psychiatrists and psychologists I have not been seeing anyone and cope the best I can manage with my mother occasionally being somewhat of an interpreter. Or I write things down I need to explain. If your psychologist knows that you understand the surgery and exactly what is expected of you afterward than maybe they might be more supportive? I might be on the spectrum and not very well functioning socially and my post op has not been easy but I did ensure the surgeon that I could and would follow rules and knew this was simply a tool to help with my extreme difficulty losing weight with metabolic disorders and such.

Sorry if I’m not good at my explanations but being on the spectrum should not hold you back unless you yourself don’t believe you can follow post surgery guidelines in changing your eating habits.

You did fine explaining. My surgeon's original recommendation was bypass because of my weight but he felt that VSG would be "easier" for me to deal with in the long run once he discovered that I was autistic. Not that it'll be a piece of cake either way. But I've had tough spells before and emerged on top with help. I'm journaling and improving my food intake and showing that I have routines for my medicine and Vitamins so I'm unsure what's keeping me from getting approved by her. I see her again on Tuesday and dreading it.

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1 hour ago, cajunredpanda said:

My surgeon's original recommendation was bypass because of my weight but he felt that VSG would be "easier" for me to deal with in the long run once he discovered that I was autistic. Not that it'll be a piece of cake either way. But I've had tough spells before and emerged on top with help. I'm journaling and improving my food intake and showing that I have routines for my medicine and Vitamins so I'm unsure what's keeping me from getting approved by her. I see her again on Tuesday and dreading it.

I dread any doctors appointment, usually when I sense or worry something will go wrong. I had gastric bypass due to severe GERD, sleeve tends to make that worse. I’m glad it went that route, even if a little more difficult because of how hard it is battling my weight for so much of my life. I’ve been through enough with all my medical conditions and knew I had to fight for this. It was either fight for it or give up.

I wish I knew the right words that you could say. I honestly don’t think it should be up to someone else to decide what is best for you in the long run. If you can get someone who knows you to be at the appointment too and say something on your behalf that might help. I hope that things go the way that you need them to and that you can get your approval.

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And if Prayers 🙏help,pleased be assured that You Do Have Mine!

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4 hours ago, Darktowerdream said:

I dread any doctors appointment, usually when I sense or worry something will go wrong. I had gastric bypass due to severe GERD, sleeve tends to make that worse. I’m glad it went that route, even if a little more difficult because of how hard it is battling my weight for so much of my life. I’ve been through enough with all my medical conditions and knew I had to fight for this. It was either fight for it or give up.

I wish I knew the right words that you could say. I honestly don’t think it should be up to someone else to decide what is best for you in the long run. If you can get someone who knows you to be at the appointment too and say something on your behalf that might help. I hope that things go the way that you need them to and that you can get your approval.

I was planning on going for bypass if I was diagnosed with GERD but that wasn't the case for me. I'm fine with being recommended gastric sleeve in the end.

It's annoying for sure. My other doctors are totally on board with surgery so far. I was also advised on FB support groups before my psychological evaluation in March that as long as the doctor knew you were getting help with your depression that I'd be approved. Obviously that's not the case if I'm still having therapy months later. I wish my mom could come with me on Tuesday but she's busy with work when my appointments are. My family are pretty iffy on surgery itself but are willing to support me if I undergo it.

2 hours ago, Frustr8 said:

And if Prayers 🙏help,pleased be assured that You Do Have Mine!

They are appreciated, thank you!

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I'm rooting for you that your surgery eventually gets approved. While post surgery life is challenging, the rules are pretty clear - focus on Protein and Water. It seems to me that if you've proven in the past that you can be disciplined enough to follow rules then that should be good enough to clear you for the surgery. Just my thoughts. Good luck!

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19 minutes ago, rs said:

I'm rooting for you that your surgery eventually gets approved. While post surgery life is challenging, the rules are pretty clear - focus on Protein and Water. It seems to me that if you've proven in the past that you can be disciplined enough to follow rules then that should be good enough to clear you for the surgery. Just my thoughts. Good luck!

Thank you! I could do better reducing carbs (eating smaller portions and removing at least the top of Buns so far) but I'm definitely focusing on Protein and Water. I'm getting at least 100 grams and 96 Fluid ounces respectively every day. Most days even more. The psychologist said that I was eating too little protein so I'm hoping that since I upped my intake that it'd show an effort with the other things.

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Had my latest psychology appointment today. She was pleased with my tracking, my Protein and exercise goals, and that I'm taking my medicine. Her main concern was that I'm eating too many carbs. She's also concerned about my finances (family's in a bind right now. I do have Vitamins and Calcium at the moment; she's worried about how I'll get them long term if my situation continues/worsens). I kinda expected it. At least it wasn't all woe. Got my next appointment in two weeks.

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Keep us posted!

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I have my latest psychology appointment tomorrow. This is my final clearance. I really hope I get cleared this time. Last time her main concern with me was eating too many carbs so I've been cutting back. Hope that's enough. I'm so close to submitting to insurance...

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Watching for your next chapter @ cajunredpanda. Please continue with your updates and know you do matter! And may your journey be peaceful and successful.

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I wish I could say that I was cleared, but I wasn't. I admittedly started sobbing when I realized she wasn't going to clear me... this time. She said that I'm making good progress. I'm just not "ready" yet. Her main concerns were that my family isn't very supportive (I live with them) and that my daily calorie range is too high (I'm eating between 1200-2000 a day). I didn't tell her that I had support on the internet (plus my LDR) because, well, I was too upset. I even had a panic attack and had to calm down before leaving. It was bad, y'all. The pyschologist is going to see if there are other support groups besides the hospital one that I can participate in while I'll try to focus on eating better. I'm eating better overall; it's just not "there."

The main reason I was upset is because I'm supposed to have cardiac and pulmonary clearance a month before surgery. I had my pulmonary clearance over two weeks ago. I also didn't have to see the nutritionist and exercise trainer until surgery unless something came up to delay it. Add that I now have a sleep study next week and I'll be pushed back yet again. I feel like I'm starting at square one again. I called the clinic November 1st and it appears I won't have surgery until over a year after starting my journey it seems. Sorry for the mini rant. That's just how much this clearance at this time mattered/s to me.

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