Zallykatz76 Bypass Surgery

Surgery Dates
Sally L

Event details

I have my gastric bypass on September 11 at UCSF in San Francisco, California.


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Hi @Sally L! congratulations on having the surgery done. Nothing like taking control over one's life and health. In response to your query about advice:

Perhaps you already have a list of things you might want to do before surgery. Personally, I would make sure you have 3 things in place and hope you have a fourth too... and then a couple of suggestions about how you define your success...

1 - Social support. Really important predictor of success. Even though weight loss predictably and reliably happens after surgery, we all have our emotional ups and downs. Try to have a web of people behind you. the Forum can help if you are shy of social support on the home front. A number of the Adults (people who had surgery a long time ago) on this site still come here to keep them focused on maintaining their success. @cinwa had her surgery over a decade ago, and @Res Ipsa a few years back, yet are still quite involved. It's common to see someone drop a note after 2 or 5 years here... and reconnect with people in their cohort. 

2. Have your psychological/psychiatric issues addressed. This doesn't mean all fixed and tied up, but at least addressed. Many of us have been anxious or depressed in the past or currently, and those can interfere with clear thinking about how to move along this path.

People who regain a lot of their weight after surgery tend to do so because they have psych issues they have not addressed, and poor social support. Surgery will change you insides but not make your emotional history and behaviors different. It will not go back in time and fix things like the slights you suffered from being heavy, or the fact your mother/father didn't like you as much as your sibling. It won't fix an emotional response to eat carbohydrates when you are stressed. Surgery is not a cure for those things. We all carry stuff like that; some just a little, and others quite a bit. So this is pretty important. No, we are not all "sane" ;) but people who succeed with WLS are sane enough not to continue mal-adaptive patterns. :D

3. Stick with the dietary plan. This is really critical. The surgery makes it a lot easier to do since it removes your capacity to eat very much at a time. It will also remove that awful gnawing hunger that sabotages a diet. On the other side of this it is really, really necessary to get enough protein in so you can heal after surgery, and enough fluid so no dehydration occurs. Recently @Trish13 had a really tough go of things despite her best efforts to get enough protein and fluid in. Yes you are having surgery and there are some risks associated with it; minimize them by following medical instructions. 

There are some good habits to build after surgery --- it's pretty easy to lose weight right after surgery but as time goes by your good habits will ensure your long term loss. There is an older but still useful guide called Pouch Rules for Dummies (http://www.amylhwilliams.com/pouchrulesfordummies.html)  that you might find useful. It goes into habits and guidelines that an experienced surgeon found to help his patients. Your surgical team may not has the exact same emphasis as in the Pouch Rules but it will no doubt be similar. 

All of us worry we are somehow different than everyone else and the surgery won't work or we will do something to sabotage ourselves. 

You'll see videos on YouTube by people who "failed surgery." The surgery actually almost always worked but they kept up habits like eating potato chips or Cheetos or tiny bites of pizza all day long, sabotaging the restrictions imposed by their surgery. My favorites include the ones of people eating chips while they are talking on the video. These are people not following the plan; clearly have psych issues; and don't have people around them calling them out as they sabotage the surgery (true social support). They sort of define examples of what can happen without preparation or insight as they go forward. Having mentioned them let me assume you do not fall into this group because you are on the Forum and seeking advice!

More sympathetically there are people who have bad things happen to them and eat emotionally under stress. Relationships fall apart, jobs go away, spouses or friends die, various forms of abuse, drugs or alcohol... these still happen to people, just like they do in the real world. If you have challenges reach out to your support network, practice radical honesty, and forgive yourself if you slip. We are all human. 

4. Get exercise. Even a little bit is a big deal in terms of health. Weight loss after a bypass or sleeve does not require exercise, but it appears to predict more weight loss - a bit more than 4 BMI points - and better resistance to later weight regain. By the 4 BMI points I mean you have a BMI of 22 and not 26, or 24 and not 30, when you reach your low weight. Our goal is to be healthy and active persons, not JUST to lose weight. And exercise is way up there for healthy behaviors. If you have been heavy since childhood this may be harder for you than if you were once an athlete who then got heavy. Set some reasonable goal for yourself, one you can accomplish every day and not shy away from - it could be just some walking every day - if that is the case. Even modest exercise is a big boost to health. 

last 2 cents of advice;

5. if you can, don't feel you need to weigh yourself every day. A lot of successful WLS persons weight themselves every week, or two weeks, or month. This keeps them from being emotionally the puppet of their daily weight. Measure your hips, thighs, waist, chest, arms, neck... whatever... and follow the inches you lose. Even if your weight goes up a bit or you have a plateau those will not suddenly go wild. 

6. Think hard about what your loss goal REALLY is. A lot of people say they want to lose all of their excess weight. That's fine but the average at 2 years is perhaps 65-70%, and at 4-5 years it might be in the range of 50-80% with the average of 65%. Yes many people do lose all their excess weight but it is not the average experience. consider being happy with losing most of the excess. I've now gone from a BMI > 38 down to the 27 range, and yes I hope to get a BMI < 25. But if I stopped losing weight here I would still be really happy. I've lost nearly 80 pounds from January, look great, my sleep apnea is gone, my back is 97% better, and ... I could go on and on. I don't need to lose the other 30 lbs or so I would like to lose to be happy. Are you hypertensive or diabetic? How about getting off most or all of the medications? How about living a lot longer because you don't have the medical complications of obesity? All those are great goals. 

Anyway, some food for thought. Hope you find some or all of this useful. BB

Edited by BurgundyBoy

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6 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

3. Stick with the dietary plan. This is really critical. The surgery makes it a lot easier to do since it removes your capacity to eat very much at a time. It will also remove that awful gnawing hunger that sabotages a diet. On the other side of this it is really, really necessary to get enough protein in so you can heal after surgery, and enough fluid so no dehydration occurs. Recently @Trish13 had a really tough go of things despite her best efforts to get enough protein and fluid in. Yes you are having surgery and there are some risks associated with it; minimize them by following medical instructions. 

@BurgundyBoy hit the nail on the head about everything. But I am going to take his one point slight further about your intake of fluids and protein. I'm really kind of the exception to the rule, but he's right that I've had a pretty rough go with it and still struggling to get where I need to be 6 weeks after surgery. I can't stress this enough, get the fluids and protein in. It's difficult with a new pouch, but you need to push yourself through this as much as you can at the beginning without making yourself sick - this is of paramount importance. I'm can barely get down 30 out of 64oz a day of fluid and topping out daily at 30g of protein out of 80g. My fight is part physical, but I'm realizing some small piece is mental. It took me a lot to get at the numbers I am today, and they are still low therefore I'm on IV Nutrition to help me make my daily goals. I'm not telling you to scare you, but the opposite. Educate yourself as much as you can. Ask questions so you're prepared. Ironically, sometimes your body and mind don't wanna play this new game with you. Know and notice the signs of dehydration and malnutrition. At any inkling immediately reach out to your surgeon. Empower yourself to be prepared to ask and not wait a day or two. Those couple extra days I waited put me in the ER and hospital for 3 additional days after my surgery, and in my stubbornness, I did myself a disservice. 

This opportunity is awesome, but it is hard work from many angles. And while I am dealing with issues, I still deep down believe it will work it's way through to the other side. A positive mindset is needed as well as a willingness to buy into all you have to do to be successful. You did the hard part of making the decision to do it because you're worth it and know it. Now get yourself geared up and ready to go! It's a great ride, and on this forum you're amongst the best of the best support as they all know what you're going through! You got this!! Best wishes for a successful surgery - can't wait to see how great you do! 

 

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Thanks everyone for the great support and advice. I am getting nervous about surgery on 9/11, but I know I will be okay.

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Hi All,

I thought that I would mention that Zallykatz76 is Sally L. I don't know why I used that other name but I did.  So thanks for all the support.

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Oh @Sally L and @Zallykatz76 YOU CAN'T FOOL US! We know you are really twins. But since this is a support site this oddity of yours is completely overlooked and we will play along with your subterfuge. Because we are supportive. -_-

More seriously - nerves are normal. Just keep planning and make sure your social network knows about the surgery and will be there for you, have your clear fluids ready and your hospital bag packed.

Walk. Post. Repeat. 

 

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Thanks for "playing' along with me @BurgundyBoy. I had my pre-op appointment today and I am ready just nervous. I'm keeping busy with various things but am still nervous. I just a worry wart so to speak. I do have to pack my bag for hospital and get my magnesium citrate yuck!  I have to admit I am getting tired of protein shakes but I know that I will need them in the future.

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You'll get through this. Just one foot in front  of the other. You need to focus on the immediate, but just to plant a thought, there is a normal life on the other side of this with you all trim and happy and svelte. Keep that in your sights and it will help you when your unreasonable doubts surface and the Wolves are Howling at Midnight outside your door, screaming "Twinkies! Cheetos! Pizza! They love you!" and similar nonsense. 

 

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sure. this is just a planted seed to grow in the future. focus on now. my life is so much more 'normal" than it used to be... and I sometimes think my adaptation to it is slow, and it is my past keeping me from fulling embracing the now. Anyhow - just remember the thought you will be comfortable in your own skin, confident, happy, slim, and things like that. And it will be true. 

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