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An interview with our patient Debbie

Dr Vanessa Snowdon-Carr spoke with one of our patients about their journey with us

Posted on Friday January 12, 2024

An interview with our patient Debbie

Introduction by Verve

Physical and social environments impact on our ability to live healthy lives and expose us to foods that are marketed and designed to make us eat more. Obesity is therefore the result of complex biological, environmental, and genetic factors. Obesity is not a choice or a matter of being lazy, despite the messages we hear in the media and often within healthcare. Choosing to do "something” about it is not a simple choice. Sometimes diet and exercise are not the sole answers to obesity. Although physical exercise plays an important part in overall health, it is not a significant factor in managing obesity.

At Verve Health Group we offer a gold-standard approach to weight loss that is underpinned by a holistic and caring multidisciplinary team. We offer long term solutions to weight loss that are based on the patients’ needs and circumstances. One of Verve’s experts; Dr Vanessa Snowdon-Carr, Clinical Psychologist, spoke with one of our patients about their journey with us and the factors made in their decision to undergo one of our bariatric surgery interventions, how we supported them through the process and how it changed their lives afterwards.

Interview Q&A

What had you tried pre surgery and how had that worked?

I have always throughout my life found that it wasn’t the amount of food I ate. I tried every diet I would diet successfully, would put it straight back on after the diet. I’d tried low calorie diets and high exercise, Weight Watchers, Slimming World etc. I’d even tried weight loss injections.

What made you consider surgery?

So, I needed something long term. Something that would not only help me lose weight but maintain that weight loss going forward. That’s my goal, to maintain this much healthier me. I picked up a book on bariatric surgery and joined forums to find out what peoples' lived experiences were and did research and decided that this was in fact the path for me.

Why did you choose Verve Health group?

From my first conversation with Verve, it was clear that this is a company that really wanted to help and was so genuine. The dietitian that I spoke to was so helpful and if I ever had any questions I could go through the office as well. From my first conversation with the office, I was spoken to differently. I was treated differently, and I was offered a different layer of respect and kindness that I hadn’t experienced than with previous providers or when I looked into going abroad.

When I had my first consultation with the surgeon and explained my situation and he believed me, which was very emotional. The follow ups and amount of information and the care which you take to go through, and you gave me time to talk to people and you gave me assessments which gave me time to think about it and make sure it was the right thing for me.

What made you decide to have the surgery?

The assumption is that if you are fat, you are lazy, you are greedy, and I labelled myself with all these things. It’s a spiral then you need to break it somehow and it’s embarrassing, it’s embarrassing sitting on a bus knowing you are encroaching onto the seat next to you. It was the shame of being so fat which is what you label yourself with.

What were your worries/concerns about going through with the surgery and how did the experts reassure you?

So, I’d never had surgery, so never had an anaesthetic, and I was morbidly obese. So, the possibility of being given an anaesthetic and dying was a very real fear. I have lots of family that I adore, and I wasn’t ready to leave them. But I also wasn’t ready to die at 60 from an obesity related disease, so the risks of one outweighed the other. So, the real fear was the surgery, I knew I could cope after surgery. I expressed my fears to the surgeon and anaesthetist, and they were so reassuring, and I think that we as patients forget that this is what they do every single day. This is bread and butter to them every day I go to work without thinking of the risks and this was a very measured risk.

What changes have you had to make post-surgery?

My diet is completely different, I am not obsessing about food everyday which I used to. To start with I even needed to set an alarm on my phone to remind myself to eat. I don’t have those hunger pangs that I used to. I have a balanced diet now and I take multivitamins. I also have to have my blood monitored about every 2 months for now, although that is only for the first year or so. I know therefore that my nutrient levels are good, and I am doing everything I need to maintain a healthy nutrient level.

What differences has the surgery made to your life?

The main positives are that I don’t have high blood pressure anymore. I have so much more energy and an inclination to do things. For example, before I used to make sure I parked close to the supermarket, before I wouldn’t want to do exercise. Now I love swimming, I swim most days and do aquafit on the days I don’t swim. I also bicycle and go on bike rides. I do gardening now. I can easily bend down and pick stuff off the floor because my tummy isn’t in the way. My life has changed completely, my mental health is better. I now look like the person I felt inside rather than a person with padding all around me.

Conclusion

At Verve we were delighted by the feedback of this patient as it speaks to our holistic approach to our interventions. We consider ourselves to be advocates for our patients, and we are committed to change perceptions and stigma around obesity. By providing patients with reassurance and high-level care throughout the process with us we hope that we can help people lose weight and maintain that loss to aid them in living healthier lives. If you are looking to have some support around weight loss or just want to chat to explore your options, then please book a consultation with us or get in touch:

Let us know how we can support you

0117 235 5354

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