Chamberlain College of Nursing
Introduction Amita N. is a 28 year old female from India. She is a loving wife, mother, friend, and career woman. I met Amita seven years ago while both going through a fast track nursing program in Virginia Beach, VA. Although smart and confident in her career life and home life, Amita lacked self-esteem. Amita is 5’2” and at the time (2007) she weighed over 200 plus pounds. Every chance Amita got she would put herself down. It almost seemed like she belittled herself before anyone else could. I remember talking to her one day asking why she says such horrible things about herself. Her reply was “because it’s true, I hate the way I look”. That was a long night of laughing and crying. A few months went by. Amita called me extremely excited. She decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I asked her if she had really thought this decision through. Amita explained that she was tired of being overweight and wanted to look better. She wanted another chance at a healthy life. The next day, Amita met with her doctor and moved forward with the process. Amitas journey began with a year of therapy, the surgery itself, and her recovery period.
Before her recommendation for bariatric surgery, Amita had to pass a psychiatric evaluation and undergo a nutritional evaluation. The psychiatric evaluation is to determine her behavior to see if she may experience and psychotic episodes post surgery. Mentally they were checking her readiness for the surgery. Developing a plan for handling the post operative pain and diet changes was also included in the evaluation. Amitas goals needed to be realistic to help avoid mood issues and non compliance after surgery. Understanding that her current eating behaviors would need to change was extremely important. Seeing how the stomach would be made smaller, the intake of food would be cut down drastically. Amita believed the diet changes would be her greatest challenge. Amita says she tends to get stuck in her habit of eating too much and not controlling portion size. Amita had to figure out ways to revamp her breakfast and dinner menu at home. Thankfully the right people were put in place to assist her in making healthier choices for a healthier lifestyle. On the morning of her surgery, Amita is at peace. She believes she is as ready as ready can be. The surgery team came to take her back and we waved goodbye. The surgery lasted about three hours or so. Loopy from the anesthesia, we laughed as she tried to say a joke while opening her eyes. I don’t think it was in English. A couple of days go by. Amita remains in good spirits while trying to tolerate a liquid diet and manage her pain. Although her stomach was full, Amita still felt as if she needed more to eat. Trying to take in more caused her to have vomiting episodes. Narcotics were used to help with discomfort. Another thing done to decrease her pain was splinting the surgical site with a pillow while walking. She had tiny incisions on her abdomen from where they went in for the procedure. After reaching a few goals that the nursing team set for her, Amita was discharged home and ready to begin her recovery. The first few weeks at home went good. Pain was controlled and Amita’s diet had been