Sorry to have been AWOL for so long, but between Inktober (which I didn’t do very well on) and NaNoWriMo (squeaked by), my creative energies have been sucked dry. In fact, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m making this post because all I need to do is tell what happened, not pull it Athena-like out of my forehead.
Last post: I finally decided to go for bariatric surgery, and joined the program at Beth Israel, where I had my knees replaced last year. I ended with being about to join the new patient group.
Well, no, bunkies. That didn’t happen.
Instead, I got a call a couple of days beforehand from a social worker who wanted me to come in to talk about my *chord of ominous music* Mental Health. So I get there, and am told that my diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder scared the bejeebers out of their staff. My favorite line from this interview was the lady saying, “As it is, we have patients say they feel like an entirely different person afterwards.” (This sort of thing has nothing whatsoever to do with the alters experienced in DID.) In vain did I try to educate her, both about DID in general (spectrum disorder; not often as dramatic as Sybil) and my case in particular (well-controlled thanks to excellent therapy; don’t dissociate anymore). She managed somehow to combine “Sympathetic and on your side” with “Boy howdy, ain’t you the freak!” She claimed they’d never had a DID patient. (Well, if you don’t let them into your program . . .)
They kicked me out of the program. She told me (with the tiniest sneer) that there were over 30 programs in the city. I said, “Yeah, but my insurance sent me here.” She gave a cryptic little smile and suggested I call them back. Sheep you, honey.
Happily, said insurance covered the programs at the other huge local hospitals, so I steeled myself for a round of phone calls. I started out with Boston Medical Center, because I happen to work for them. I am a Certified Peer Specialist, which means I’m professionally qualified to deal with my fellow mentally ill and to be a Shining Example of Recovery. In other words, they hired me because I’m crazy, so I figured they’d have their nerve turning me down for the same reason, right?
I call and get the coordinator. I gave her the two sentence version of the BI story and said, “So BI thinks I’m too crazy to cut. What about you guys?” In an impassive voice, she replied, “We take everybody. Come on in and talk to the surgeon.”
Well now! I watch what by now is the third informational video, and pick the surgeon who seems most sympatico. I went in and talked to this very nice man, who has operated on people who were unrecovered schizophrenics. (Even really crazy people deserve medical care, folks.) The worst news I got from him is that my GERD means he sorta leans toward the RNY gastric bypass instead of the gastric sleeve, which is the procedure I want.
He had heard my story about Beth Israel and their weirdly creepy head surgeon before.
So why did this happen? Because what BI’s bariatric program is doing is called cherry-picking their data. This means that by refusing to treat people they fear may have less than picture-perfect outcomes, their end data looks amazing. They claim they’re the best program in the area, when all they are is a pack of hyenas who share the same level of accreditation with hospitals which actually (be still my overweight heart) heal the sick.