In discussion about the importance of eating breakfast:
Amber: what if it’s psychologically impossible to eat breakfast, because it makes me vomit. What do I do then?
Nutritionist: well, we really encourage you to try to eat something within two hours of getting up
Dundalk (to amber): you can have your therapist write you a prescription for a drug that you can use to take when you get up so that you can eat.
Amber: I’ll ask for that!
Nutritionist: we really don’t encourage you to use drugs. This is a lifestyle change. We don’t suggest taking more drugs. Just try to eat something within two hours of getting up.
In discussion about class rules and use of phones:
Class leader: we request that all cell phones be turned off during the class. However, we understand that emergencies arise, so we ask that you please leave the room to take any phone calls. If you have a situation that you may need to leave for, please sit towards the back of the room, but try to limit the amount of time that you are out of the classroom.
Dundalk: I have two kids with autism. I have to take phone calls if they have issues. So, now that I told you that, I can take phone calls, right? You said as long as the staff was informed…
Class leader: We don’t want you to miss class, if possible, so yes, if you need to take a call….
Dundalk (interrupting): But I have TWO KIDS WITH AUTISM!
On scheduling the psych eval:
Class leader: as part of the course, you are required to schedule one psych eval within the next six months. This is done on your own, and is billed to your insurance. If you are under medical assistance, you are required to complete six evals, once per month during the duration of the course.
Amber (on medical assistance): I already see a psychologist AND a psychiatrist twice a week. Do I need to schedule additional appointments?
Class leader: No, as long as your eval forms are completed once a month by either doctor, you are covered.
Me: (in stage whisper) JESUS CHRIST!
Dundalk (not to be outdone by amber): I also see a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Do I need to schedule additional appointments for these evals, too?
Class leader (becoming clearly frustrated at this point): No, as I just said, as long as your regular provider completes the form once a month, you are covered.
On quitting smoking 90 days prior to pre-surgical visit:
Class leader: you are required to be nicotine free for 90 days prior to your presurgical visit after the class ends. If you are currently a smoker, you will want to begin the process now to start quitting, since nicotine doesn’t refer only to smoking—it also refers to the patches and gum used to quit smoking.
Dundalk: are there any programs to help you quit?
Class leader ( surprised about good question): yes, XXXXXXXXX county offers free smoking cessation and provides Chantix at no charge. Call this number to sign up.
Amber: Ive tried to quit smoking but I can’t do it. If I take the gum or patch, my throat swells closed. I need something different.
Class leader: Call the number to sign up for free Chantix and support from XXXXXXXXX county.
Amber: but how will you know if we are smoking or not?
Nutritionist: We test you for nicotine. We will know. You can’t hide it, so don’t try. You can’t be approved for surgery until you’re free of nicotine for 90 days.
On the meal plans that will be provided next session:
Amber: I have high triglycerides. Will this diet accommodate my special medical condition?
Nutritionist: if you have hi triglycerides, you should already be aware of what foods you can and cannot eat.
Amber: yeah, but what about the foods I CAN eat?
Nutritionist: Well, if you have been diagnosed with high triglycerides, you shouldn’t be eating carbohydrates, refined sugar, fried foods...
Amber (interrupting) : but what about the foods that are good for lowering them?
Nutritionist: don’t worry—we aren’t going to make you eat fried foods and sugar.
Dundalk: Well, I won’t eat sugar free things. I think that artificial sweetner is the devil, and its bad for you. so I have to eat regular sugar.
Nutritionist (agitated at this point): Everyone will get a customized meal plan. Please follow it to the best of your ability.