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The problems wls can’t cure.

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Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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    Hi guys

    Firstly, don’t be put off by what the title of this thread is! I just want to share with you an experience I had almost three weeks ago that is nothing to do with wls – but is, in fact, EVERYTHING TO DO WITH LIFE AFTER WLS.

    I had a follow up appointment with a Rheumatologist about two and a half weeks ago. I was absolutely dreading it as the initial consultation was an total nightmare. I chose a nice little cottage hospital over the other side of the county because I wanted to feel I would be treated as a bit more than a ‘number’. Oh my life, I couldn’t have got it more wrong.

    At the original appointment I arrived early (I hate being late for anything) and took my seat in a tiny waiting room. The nurse then came to take me to the obs room where I was weighed and had my blood pressure taken. She was a nervous little person but was very nice to me. She then told me to go and take a seat out in the corridor until the Consultant was ready to see me. She asked me to keep an eye open for the person before me to come out of the the room so that she could then take my notes in for him to read.

    The person before me came out but the nurse was nowhere to be seen so I couldn’t inform her. When she eventually came back she asked me if the other patient had come out yet. When I said ‘Yes’ she looked utterly panic stricken and rushed in with my notes. I thought it odd but let it go. 5 minutes later I was called in.

    He sat looking at my notes and trying to find my details on his computer for fully ten minutes before he even acknowledged my existence. He didn’t even said ‘Good Morning’. So I sat waiting. And waiting… Eventually he said ‘Right, what do YOU think the problem is?’. I replied that I had come to ask him for help with increased pain in my joints and that my manual co-ordination was decreasing. He just looked right through me. I was then asked to strip down to my underwear so he could do a physical examination.

    He was shocked at my abdominoplasty scar and asked why I had had it done. I couldn’t believe it – he had just been reading my notes for 10 minutes! Then he pointed to my knee and said in a rather harsh voice ‘How long has that been there?’ By this time I was annoyed so I (probably foolishly) replied ‘My leg?’ He got seriously annoyed with me and poked my knee quite hard and said ‘No, THIS’. He was referring to one of my three birthmarks.

    Every single second of the next 20 minutes was more of the same. I went on to have blood tests and X rays and was told a second appointment would be sent to me.

    So, my second appointment was 2.5 weeks ago. I was seriously not looking forward to it. Arrived early again and got the same nervous little nurse. I was asked again to let her know when the person before me came out. It was then that it occurred to me that she was actually scared of him. Everyone in that department behaved as if they were walking on eggshells around him. Oh NO, I thought, he must be in a really bad mood today – even worse than usual.

    Eventually I got in there and he did the same – not one word for 10 minutes. Then he said ‘What do you want me to do about it?’ I replied ‘What are my options?’ He told me absolutely nothing I didn’t already know. Change my medication, go back onto another pain Management course because ‘Iv’e probably forgotten it all’ and well, get on with it. He made me feel like the biggest time waster in the know world. I asked if there was anything new we could try and his answer was ( I kid you not) ‘Probably not at your age. I would have thought your bariatric surgery should have sorted this out for you’. I literally couldn’t believe my ears. He had pulled my hands about in a rough manner, manipulated my elbows until I almost shrieked, poked at my knees and asked me if my hands were ‘always this colour?’ (blue/purple) Then totally dismissed me.

    I leaned forward and told him to contact my GP with his recommendations but that I was never, ever coming back to see him. With that, I collected up my things and walked out. How on earth I got back to my car I don’t know because the tears were stinging my eyes so much I could hardly see. I was shaking from head to toe and thought I might actually vomit. I sat in my car for fully twenty minutes racked with sobs until I could even think about the 20 mile drive home. I was crushed. There is no other word for it.

    I got home, was sick, got into my bed and cried for hours. That horrible, rude, bully had reduced me to a gibbering heap in under half an hour. Then, for the first time in almost 5 years, I turned to food for comfort. I have been through so much this past five years including bereavement, illness , infections, house moves and other awful events but not once did I ever turn to food. I hated that man SO much for doing this to me. It carried on for about two weeks. OK it wasn’t massive binges – wls prevents that but I kept picking, picking, picking. Eventually, my trousers got a bit tight and I weighed myself (I don’t usually any more) I had put on four pounds. That was it. That was the shock I needed to get my arse into gear.

    I was NOT going to let that licensed bully undo all my hard work of the past five years. I was NOT going to let him be the one to sabotage everything I had worked so hard for. If I did then he would have won. He is a nasty little bully who even frightens his own staff. Since then I have lost 2 of the 4 pounds and will get the other 2 off this week. I will win. I will claim back both my dignity and the absolute right to be treated with respect and kindness. I have written a formal letter of complaint and will not let this rest.

    The reason I am telling you all this is to show that wls is absolutely amazing but it cannot cure how react to things all the time. Even after FIVE years (in July) I can still find myself being bullied and belittled so much that I turn to food. When confronted with a new enemy, I turned to an old one as it was more ‘comfortable’. Nothing can ever cure us of that but what wls CAN do is damage limitation. In the past, I might have gained 4 stone! But now its a few pounds. It has also given me the courage to stand up to bullies and tell them that they cannot treat me that way. I would like to think that you can learn from my horrendous experience and have the strength to claim back your life at every single stage, regardless of what happens to sabotage your new-found health and happiness. We have to be 100% vigilant at all times. However, what wls does is give us the strength, courage and self-worth to fight back.

    My friends at the Support Group have helped me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without their love and encouragement. They never judge and are always on my side. You guys too are just the best. I have somewhere I can vent and know I won’t be judged. I hope you all feel the same way. I want to all to know that we are always ALL in the same boat on the same journey – just at different stages. We may not all see eye to eye all the time but that is normal! We are like a family – we can disagree but we are all in it together.

    Well, I hope your eyes aren’t bleeding form this great big long post! I just wanted to share it with you to show that we will always be working at keeping our new lives. Anyone who says it is easy should be ashamed of themselves in my humble opinion. It’s damn hard work but made so much easier when you have hands to hold and lift you up when you fall.

    Thank you for listening and always supporting me. It means more than I can ever say xxxxx

    Your friend, Doodah x


    I am so glad you have complained. It was a horrible experience to go through but you are so right about turning to food, I am only 4 months since my band but have found it so much harder than I expected and so easy to binge on food when problems arise.

    I hope that eventually the band will prevent to much over eating!
    Thank you so much for sharing, it just make us realise how wonderful the streamline team are, I am lucky to have Chris Pring and Richard Juniper overseeing my care.


    Hi Doodah I’m so sorry to hear you had such an awful time. You shouldn’t have to put up with this treatment. I’m pleased you have complained to the hospital who will have to investigate and report back. If everyone he treated like this complained the hospital would have to take action. Please take all action you can and make sure you get an apology at the very least. I know I have had bad experiences with doctors in the past and I have accepted poor treatment thinking I somehow deserved it because I am obese. But since my WLS I am determined not to tolerate bad treatment any more. I can be assertive in any other area of my life so why did I let myself be treated like a second class citizen by doctors. My experiences with Streamline have improved my view of doctors but I still have a bit of a phobia about other medical appointments. I agree WLS gives us the courage to fight back. We are now more aware of how we turn to food for comfort and that never changes. You support us all so well and help us through our WLS journeys so give yourself the same advice you would to any of us: put this awful experience behind you and move on. He is a bully and it is his problem go back to your GP and get another referral. Elaine x


    Hi Doodah

    Thank you for sharing the story with us. I imagine it must have been very difficult for you to write everything down while it is still so raw but you have shared a deeply Personal experience that bears relevance to every one of us who have had or are thinking of having weight Loss surgery surgery so thank you for your honesty and openness.
    I think it is very easy for those of us who have been obese to consider ourselves second class citizens but the fact is, we re not. We are human beings with the same value and worth as any other human on this planet, and as such, deserve to be treated with respect and care.
    THis Dr is a sad indication of the (thankfully few) doctors out there who think they are better than us because of what they do for a living This is simply not true and as patients and individuals we must not stand for this behaviour.
    I am pleased you have written to the hospital but may I also recommend that you write to the GMC. I am sure you are not the first person to have been treated with such utter disdain and the more complaints there are, the sooner something will be done. The GMC take complaints very seriously. this Dr deserves to be investigated.
    Doodah you are an inspiration to all of us and I’m so glad that you have not allowed this idiot to beat you. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Just a quick joke my friend who has also had awful hospital experiences likes to tell. —

    ‘What is the difference between God and a consultant?

    ‘God doesn’t think he is a consultant’

    Obviously this is not aimed at all consultants and certainly not our wonderful streamline surgeons

    Take care

    Katy x


    Thank you SO much for being on my side guys. You are right, it was very difficult to put it all down but I knew I had to not only for myself but for every other pre or post op wls patient or for those of us who are still either waiting or deciding and still living with obesity.

    We DO matter. We ARE important and we DESERVE to be treated with respect at all times. I have become so used to working for the Streamline team that I had totally forgotten just how bad it can be! Our teams are of the highest calibre both in their professions and as human beings.

    Thanks for the advice about contacting the GMC – I will do that today. My GP is concerned about it because she refers some very elderly, frail and vulnerable people to that man. I’m not any of those things (well, not frail or vulnerable anyway lol) so it is in her interest to see action taken.

    I have to thank you all again because, after I had finished writing this post, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The reason? I knew in my heart that you would all support me through it. I had done the same at my support group last week and they gave me the strength to make the complaint.

    My experience proves that we must never stop trying, believe that we are good enough and expect respect from others whoever they may be and whatever job they do. We have all spent far too long believing that we were second class citizens – we are not. We are equal to everyone and anyone: we always were.

    Thank you again my fabulous and loyal friends.

    Doodah x


    Doodah if you are not happy how your complaint is handled you can take it to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. x


    Thank you. That has been duly noted for future reference 😉

    I love this place xx


    This is terrible and completely unacceptable , where is the compassion , it’s just discrimination , you can also contact patient liaison or the Modern matron . Ask them about their standards on dignity and do they have a dignity champion ? .
    Let’s hope that this doctor learns to treat people with compassion and respect , making a stand might stop him doing this to some one else .
    Love Kimberly x


    @Kimberly 28448 wrote:

    This is terrible and completely unacceptable , where is the compassion , it’s just discrimination , you can also contact patient liaison or the Modern matron . Ask them about their standards on dignity and do they have a dignity champion ? .
    Let’s hope that this doctor learns to treat people with compassion and respect , making a stand might stop him doing this to some one else .
    Love Kimberly x

    Thank you Kimberly. That is the exact reason I have decided to take it as far as I can.

    I have a network of support and am lucky enough to have people on whom I can rely. But what about all his patients who don’t? And his staff? I bet they put up and shut up as they are scared of losing their jobs in the current climate. That’s how bullies operate isn’t it? And that is exactly what he is. Like I said, I have become so used to working with people in the medical profession who are compassionate, kind and patient-centred that it is utterly shocking to encounter such absolute disrespect and disdain.

    So, I have another fight on my hands. But at least I now have a voice. Even if I get no satisfactory result from it, I will have stood up to him and tried. In the past I would have laid down and let him walk all over me: not feeling worthy enough to stop him. If nothing else, I will have proved to myself that I have my confidence back and that I will NEVER, be the victim again.

    Thank you again

    Doodah x

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