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Linda from Bjärred

I'm most surprised that the people who work here have a whole bunch of new surgeries to care for, but they make me feel like I'm their only patient

It all started at the health center

Have felt unusually tired almost a year. Can’t bear anything. The first thought of the morning is about continuing to sleep. Sometimes I see blurry because I’m so tired. I’m panting too. After a few searches in the search engine, I am sure that I have iron deficiency. Book an appointment at the health center.

A week or so later, I’m sitting in the waiting room at the health center. Meet the doctor and get examined, then it’s time to go straight across the corridor and take blood samples and leave urine samples. I don’t like that room where blood samples are taken. There is one of those typical healthcare waves. Just thinking about it, I think of the annual examination with the school nurse when you were in middle school. You were divided into smaller groups or in pairs and then the height and weight were taken. The weight could be chosen to be told by the school nurse saying it in her normal tone of voice, or the weight could be written into the health record and then the school nurse pointed with the pen where the weight stood. No one heard that, even though there were classmates in the room. As a middle school student, the choice to know the importance was like choosing between plague and cholera. Would “everyone” know what you weighed or would “everyone” get really curious and nag you to death to know your weight if you asked the school nurse to point with the pen. I chose plague. Or if it was cholera. anyway, the school nurse had to point with the pen every time. Tricky really. If I look at photos since that time, I see a middle school girl who can hardly be called round or plump. But I was overweight, you could see that all on the weight curve in the health declaration.

I don’t like the room where blood samples are taken, but I really like the nurses who work there. We’re talking professionals. Knitting professionals.

So there yes, the blood is left and now I’m just going back to the doctor then I’m off … Doesn’t have time to think clearly. Did the nurse say they wanted a weight? No, I must have misheard. Weigh me I don’t want to do.

-You can just take off your shoes and then you go up on the scale.

No, but I don’t think I should, I refuse to weigh myself, I think as I take off my shoes and go up on the scale.

Same feeling as in middle school. In middle school. In high school. Now “everyone” gets to know what I weigh. And I didn’t have time to poop before weighing. And I also drank a lot before I came here to the health center. And I’m going to have my period soon. My body always swells before I have my period.

Glances at the display of the scale. I knew it. Clothes weigh as much as you want. And everything I drank and the toilet I didn’t have time to go on and yes, my body collects fluid. The weight is anyway wrong on this scale.

Having to stand on the scale…

Have you asked a question that has been completely unnecessary to ask? Because you already knew the answer as well. I am a teacher and the expression “There are no stupid questions” is in my spine. If you meet me at work, I will deny that I have written the following sentence. There are extremely stupid questions. When I had weighed myself, I asked one. I asked the nurse if it could possibly be that the scale showed errors and needed to be recalibrated. But no, the scale worked fine. It apparently even worked excellently.

But that’s not true. At least 20 kg is completely wrong. Maybe 22 kg too. Yes…..30 kg could probably also be wrong when I think about it. Feeling that my face has stiffened into some kind of fake smile and says Then I thank you for me. I feel so amazingly removed because I weigh the most in the whole world. In any case, I feel like I weigh the most in the whole world. To top it all off, I said thank you for being weighed?! Thank you for making me feel left out.

If I hadn’t seen the weight visually on the display, I think I probably could have suppressed it. This was not possible. Whatever I did over the next few days, it was as if the weight was always on a pennant waving in front of my eyes. Incredibly annoying. And so much time that was spent thinking about why I hadn’t done anything real about the weight.

Powder slimming. Times several.

I had tried. Powder course for 8-10 weeks. Several times in addition. Worked great until I started eating. That is, eat as in the same amount and the same products as before the powder cures. Swimming far, long and often for several weeks. A couple of times a year. Of course, I did a long break over the winter, but then, it’s not nice to swim and then go out in the cold. I understood that neither powder diet nor intensive swimming during the warmer seasons was not the solution, but I was paralyzed when the black cloud of weight swept over life and health.

Type 2 diabetes..!

One late morning, a week or so after the doctor’s visit, colleagues talk about eating kebabs for lunch. I listen with half an ear, it will take forever before they have agreed on which kebab kiosk here in Malmö to choose. It rings on the mobile, it is the doctor from the health center. The answers have arrived, says the doctor. So good, I say, it will be so nice to get something against the iron deficiency. A pretty good iron value?! Diabetes type 2?! Tablets?! Dietitian?! High weight?! Return visit for follow-up?! Notice will be sent home by post. Oh well….but….it wouldn’t be like this. I have iron deficiency. Had iaf. I was so sure of iron deficiency that the phone call completely upset me. Starts crying. I-have-of-course-iron-deficiency-not-diabetes-2. I felt discarded and the guilt grew from the size of a tuft of grass to the size of Mount Everest.

There was no kebab for me. There wasn’t much work for the rest of the day either. The closest colleagues supported and coached. Pretty quickly I came to the conclusion that the feelings of feeling alienated and having feelings of guilt were based on my thoughts that I myself am responsible for my body and that I should therefore have made sure not to have achieved the weight that I now had. I was aware of risk factors with being overweight and what were risk factors were now acquired. Black on white. The numbers on the health center’s scale didn’t lie. It was an awakening.

Missing decimeters and seconds

On reflection, there had been a lack of 1 dm on a couple of occasions in my everyday life. Missing 1 dm plays little, or no role in most cases. 1 dm makes a big difference if a puck goes outside the goal cage. 1 dm plays a big role for a long jumper. I’m neither a hockey player nor a long jumper but 1 dm played a big role in my life as well. The bathrobe at the favorite spa lacked 1 dm fabric to go together. Yes, ok it wasn’t just at that spa….The seat belt on the bus lacked 1 dm to be able to be snapped. The aircraft seats were 1 dm too close to each other, which was noticeable by the fact that the tray that you fold down never ended up in the right position, it was too tight. Probably the hell it was missing 1 dm when you had to fold down the writing tablet, a la American school model, in front of your torso on the work meeting chair. And there was a lack of 1 dm on the reflective vest, common equipment that staff at schools wear during students’ breaks.

It wasn’t just that decimeter. So were those seconds.

The seconds, it’s the time, the short little time, when you’re seen and scanned by people who don’t know you. Of course, I do the same with people I’ve never met before. The question is whether we all look and scan each other, our need to categorize and find recognisable factors is great and gives us, among other things, security. I began to notice the seconds in connection with an important presentation that I gave a number of years ago. At first I didn’t understand. Once I understood, I recognized the seconds from other work-related situations. But the seconds were also present in social contexts. The seconds when you first meet people and notice that the sharp brain is not noticeable, instead it is the heavy body that is seen and scanned. It is not the sharpest knife standing there, heavy and hot. The feeling of others thinking that about being overweight is not delusional. A series of studies show that the environment attributes the trait to overweight people stupid. As in stupid.

“Is your stomach in the way?”

And of course, there have been a few occasions when it really stung. Despite my thick layer of skin on my nose. When I as an 11-year-old laughed along, even though it didn’t feel funny at all, when the football coach said “Is your stomach in the way?” when the team was stretching and your hands would reach their feet. When I was getting ready for a party as an adult and got the comment “you still just look big”.

Gastric bypass for type 2 diabetes?

A few months after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, dietician, medication and blood sugar monitoring, a call came for follow-up at the doctor. Standard visit. The doctor made me feel very proud of a few pounds lost. For a little, little while, there was the feeling of almost being in shape. However, that feeling quickly disappeared when the doctor asked if I had thought about having weight surgery. Did I have it? Perhaps. What if I want a referral to be submitted? You know when your brain screams NO! while the mouth says YES! Not only did I say yes. I said Yes please. After that, nothing happened. I almost forgot that a referral had been sent and struggled on the dietician’s advice and medication. Slowly, slowly, a few kg disappeared from time to time. Very single kg, I must say.

New appointments to the dietician. New recipes. New intensive-sim. New powdered lunches. And so the wait for the operation.

The day of surgery at GB Obesitas

It is 5.50 a.m. Today is the day to do it. Operation. I’m standing on the road that runs through the village where I live. Should be picked up to go to GB Obesitas. Travel with light packing. Have packed after the list that was in the booklet that you got on the enrollment. Clothes to go home in, indoor shoes, water bottle and charger for your mobile. Something like that.

It’s a really dark morning, the only thing that shines is the street lamps. Feeling tingly and insecure. Not nervous. More unsure because I don’t know what’s going to happen. For the next few hours, others will be in control of what happens to me. Arriving in Malmö, enrollment, pre-medication and changing into the clinic’s clothes await. All the time there are nurses around me who guide me step by step. Time flies, the atmosphere is warm and friendly, and it will be time for me to have surgery. The nurses had prepared me for the fact that there were several different people in the operating room and that there was nothing to be worried about. True, there were several in the room. I had already met the surgeon and anesthesiologist when they had been to introduce themselves and asked a few questions while I installed myself in my room. The anaesthesia mask over my mouth and nose and I took a few deep breaths.

Googling “too much” about surgeries

Now it has been 111 days after surgery. The only thing I regret and that is related to the operation is that I spent a lot of time searching online about operations. It periodically made me unnecessarily worried and I did not become source critical at all. A lot of what I read, and it was a lot, I sent to my sister who one day got tired and said that if I was going to send links that she should read, I had to refrain from sending links that were several years old because in many cases the information contained in these links was no longer current. Surgical methods and
aftercare have evolved
and this has resulted in fewer side effects.

Before the operation, I had a hard time seeing how I would need to use the 4 weeks that GB Obesitas sick leave their patients for
Gastric Bypass
. Now afterwards, I can say that I needed every day of sick leave. The first few days after the operation, I felt run over. Not by something as small as a car, it felt more like a steamroller had run over me. And backed back over me. I
in pain like in pain, it was more like a cartoon where an animated character falls flat after being run over. Dr. Brodén had described exactly that feeling at the info meeting. In general, there were no surprises waiting either before the operation or after the operation. GB Obesitas sent out a booklet with detailed information and it, sounds almost silly, but that booklet became like a “blanket”. I knew what it said after reading through it like that 20 times before the operation, yet I flipped through the booklet, ticked off and underlined even in the first weeks after surgery. There were brief descriptions of the operation, brief summary of the information meeting, arrangements for food for the first weeks after the operation, packing list for the operation – everything was gathered. The day after the operation, it was home, but before that, those who had been operated on gathered for information from a nurse, dietician and by the doctor who operated on us. To find out that you as a newly operated person have a direct number to a surgeon emergency during the first weeks was absolutely fantastic. We also got to meet the nurses who during the first weeks would contact us by phone to follow up on our well-being. Of course, it felt scary to think about how the intake of food would be handled by the stomach, but otherwise it felt safe to go home because I knew that I could get in touch with staff at GB Obesitas at any time.

“How are you?”

A few hours after the operation, I received a text message with the question “How are you?”. I replied, “Feeling run over but otherwise pretty good. I’m most surprised that the people who work here have a whole bunch of new surgeries to care for, but they make me feel like I’m their only patient.”

111 days after the operation, I conclude that my biggest challenge has been, and still is, to eat slowly. If my stomach is to be my friend, I need to eat slowly and chew properly. If my stomach is to be calm and harmonious, I should not eat saffron buns baked with kesella. Nor is it very happy when it is completely meat. Dumping occurs from time to time. But I’m learning and correcting. So long after surgery, I own everything but much less. I’m not hungry, I’m not hungry. My Gastric Bypass has become the tool I so badly needed to improve my health.

Quick facts

  • Had Libra as an enemy since middle school
  • Had developed type 2 diabetes from his overweight
  • Operated september 2020
  • Have got rid of cravings and hunger
  • The biggest challenge now is to eat slowly