Welcome to my first ‘blog’! I’m new to blogging but not at all new to the ‘Lapband’ world, obesity, health and fitness. I have worked for many (…I won’t admit to how many) years as a Registered Nurse. I spent the first half of my career in ICU and cardiovascular ICU which to me was “the big show”. Running codes, titrating life-saving drugs, coping with daily crisis’, dealing with death and its impact on grieving families..to me it didn’t get much more rewarding than that. That was until I entered the world of obesity.
I remember when I took the job as a “Lapband nurse” wondering what the heck a Lapband was and where this was going to lead me ( for convenience sake I usually refer to the gastric band as a ‘Lapband’ which is a registered TM of Allergan, the band I am most familiar with). I was already working in the field of obesity, nursing and weight loss and I looked at this as a job to do until I found what I REALLY wanted to do. That was 6 years and nearly 4000 patients ago.
I have to say I have never worked in a more challenging and yet rewarding position. Not in a million years did I think that this would be the path my nursing career would take. I am so fortunate in that I work at a fantastic clinic with surgeons and staff who truly care about our patients. The patients I have had the privilege of meeting on this journey are nothing short of amazing and remarkable. These people have let me into their lives and allowed me to share in their joys and their sorrows. We have celebrated together their successes and triumphs and worked at overcoming their obstacles and their feelings of defeat. I know that this is a lifelong journey and not always an easy one.
Success with weight loss, with or without a band, depends largely on knowledge and the support an individual receives. If losing weight were only about feeling hungry than obesity would not be the epidemic it has become. There are SO many factors influencing why a person eats (is it hunger? emotions? boredom? social pressure? genetic mutation? hormonal imbalance?…the reasons are endless and unique to each individual) and thankfully the research being done in this field is expanding rapidly.
I think what angers and frustrates me most with so much of our ‘regular size’ population is the lack of knowledge and understanding behind why so many suffer from being overweight. For many they still don’t see obesity as the disease that it is but rather as a choice and a weakness. No one condemns a diabetic for having a faulty pancreas, no one attaches a negative label to the person with high blood pressure…unless of course they are fat. And then it is often seen as their ‘fault’ because they lack self-control, lack willpower and are lazy. I know, and the obese individual knows that this is anything but true. Nobody wants to be overweight. Nobody wants to have aching joints, high blood pressure, diabetes and the countless other co-morbidities that go with obesity. The sooner we change the way obesity is viewed, both by the normal-weight and the overweight population, the sooner we will be able to work at making strides towards helping the people who suffer from this disease. And we will be able to do it in a manner that is effective and maintains a persons dignity.
I want to share with people the things I have learned about the gastric band and how it works, within my scope of practise as a Registered Nurse. I want to help people live successfully with their bands based on the knowledge I have accrued thus far in my career. I in no way deem to take the place of an individuals physician and specific health related questions must always be taken back to a persons physician. I just want to pass my knowledge along, and share information on diet, nutrition and exercise. Perhaps most importantly I want to be a motivator and source of support for people who have been handed this challenge in life.
Stay With Me…
As this blog grows I hope that people will be educated, motivated and entertained. I welcome feedback and look forward to this new adventure! Obesity is a rotten disease…but then I don’t know of a good disease do you? But it can be beaten. It takes knowledge, it takes hard work it takes perseverance and it needs to be taken one step at a time. Sometimes those are baby steps. But stay with me and I know we can do this together.
Yours in Health and Fitness,