Monthly Archives: July 2020
Just before the ‘crazy’ my husband Roger and I enjoyed a cruise to the Caribbean. My are there some incredible yachts! Some with helicopters, private islands and full-time staff. It’s fun to see them and we especially like to read the names. Some are funny, some creative, some obviously very personal. One particularly beautiful yacht was named “Plan A.”
That name seemed so significant, and I have thought about it many times since. Sometimes find ourselves having little hope in our life’s Plan A and when it gets tough, move on quickly to Plan B, C, etc. as time goes on. It was inspiring to me to me to see that this yacht owner apparently kept his (or her) eye on the goal, stuck with it and was rewarded with what I can only assume is a dream come true.
Last week, we had some friends visit and we joined them on a white water rafting adventure on the Snake River. The guide, obviously very experienced, explained that there were only 2 plans for our trip. Plan A, the one where we paid attention, followed the rules paddled when and how he directed, and we all stay in the boat. Plan B, however, promised a vastly different outcome. Plan B, he explained was the one where some, if not all of us would fall out of the raft because we failed to trust our guide and follow his instructions. We all took a vote. Plan A it was. He made his point well and as none of us were keen on going for a swim, we listened and obeyed the rules with careful precision.
Plan A was hard work! We had to listen carefully to his directions, follow through as directed and stay focused on staying on the boat, even through level 3 and 4 whitewater rapids. Fun, but sticking with our Plan A took commitment, dedication and follow through even through the most difficult times.
Such it is with our lives. Right now, we all seem to be focused on responding to the chaos, trying to survive, and preparing for what may come next. Much of our energy is being consumed with uneasiness, anticipation, and uncertainty. Plan A may not seem even remotely possible right now, as our lives have been derailed, sent off course, and upended by things beyond our control.
Like the rapids on the river, this too will pass. Many prayers for calmer waters ahead, but in the meantime, we must stay in the boat, hold fast to our Plan A, and keep paddling.
Finally! At least we hope that your bariatric surgeries are on the move again. We are pleased to hear reports of bariatric programs resuming surgery schedules and providing once again, access to this important intervention to those who have been waiting.
With new protocols, added tasks and an anxious weight list, you may find that there is more expected of you than ever before. Here are a few ideas that may help.
- Engage the help of successful veteran patients to provide peer support for new patients. If you ask, you will likely find many who are willing to volunteer and even manage and maintain your buddy groups. They are also potential administrators for your social media accounts. And yes, they will need to know when and how to refer questions to medical professionals and only speak to their own experience. But once organized, these grateful and willing volunteers will expand your outreach and enhance your patient’s experience. The Dangers and Benefits of Using Patients in your Program.
- If you have not already done so, consider recording your informational session and make it available online. Easily done by recording a live session on Facebook, Google or YouTube, or consider offering even more educational modules on an elearning platform such as Thinkific.com. See Bariatric eLearning. Offer a test or quiz to ensure patient understanding of the materials. Providing 24 /7 access to these essential, but general basics, will free up your time for one on one appointments to answer questions and discuss individual needs and expectations prior to surgery.
- For those of you requiring pre op attendance in a support group consider, referring your patients to one of BSCI’s online or telephonic groups. Facilitated by BSCI’s experienced and skilled bariatric educators, these groups provide insight, connection and encouragement. Participants can request a letter of attendance for their file.