DorkyCool

Thinking of WLS? Both of my nurse friends warned me not to do this

86 posts in this topic

Wow I never read this before until someone posted it for a newbie to read. Thank you so much for this. I'm having surgery in 2 weeks. And after reading this I'm even more ready to get this done. I was that patient with cancer going every 2weeks to get my chemo. And all though I felt really sick and lost all my hair, and felt like my world was passing by without me. I knew I had to do chemo to save my life so I can be here for my children and grandchildren. Hear I am 7yrs cancer free. Thank you Lord. Now I face other obesity diseases. That I know will be cured with WLS. Yes I will face sickness again and pain for a little while. But this too will pass. Thank you again for this. When I'm down in the dumbs. I will for sure go back to this post. Thank you. Also its been a few years since your surgery. How are you doing?

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sorry its been a year. just saw your stats

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On 8/17/2015 at 10:52 AM, DorkyCool said:

I didn't tell many people before I got my sleeve.  I've told just about everyone after the fact, with a predictable range of reactions, but I'd done my research, made my decision, and didn't want to be deterred.  But I have two friends, both very skilled and experienced nurses, who I turn to for med advice, so I talked to them.

 

They both got very serious and warned me that it is a terrible idea.  They've seen "so many" bad outcomes.

 

One works in peds and one in a pain office.  While their general knowledge is very good, neither has any experience with bariatrics, endicrinology, cardiology, etc.  So after a few frightening moments I had to realize that the outcomes they've seen are the same as the outcomes all of my negative relatives have seen -- they know somebody, or a few somebodies, who had the surgery.   No doubt a lot of people suffer badly after the surgery -- years of obesity takes a horrible toll, and we humans are more inclined to whine about our suffering than bleat about our triumphs.

 

If you tell people before your surgery, you may get the same -- the dire warnings, the pleadings not to do this.  Although some people are invested in you not changing, most people are sincere in their concern.  Advice is cheap, but when smart people you trust are staging an intervention, you should always stop and listen.

 

You should also trust your doctor(s), and yourself.  This is your health, and your life.  You have to make your decision based on the most reliable, tested information available.

 

If you're considering WLS, you already know the information:  People who struggle with obesity can sometimes lose weight, but they will probably regain it.  People who have WLS will lose, and will almost certainly keep at least part of that weight off.  If they stay engaged with the process, they will almost certainly reach and stay at a healthy weight.  People who stay obese suffer co-morbidities -- diabetes, heart disease, cancer, sleep apnea, loss of mobility, etc, and, as a result, and shortened life-span.  People who have WLS may already have some of those conditions, which increases the risks of the surgery and the complications afterward.

 

No matter how many individual cases are put before you, how anxious your daughters are, or how anxious you are, the simplified version of those facts is:  If you are obese, you are in danger.   Assuming you meet the criteria, WLS can save your life.

 

It's like chemo.  If you have a potentially deadly but treatable cancer, do you take the treatment?  The chemo is poison, basically.  You'll feel sick.  There are scary risks.  You may have pain, be on an emotional roller coaster, struggle with changes in your appearance.  But you swallow hard and give the nice nurse your vein, because you want to get to the other side and live.

 

Obesity is a life-threatening medical condition.  Seriously, dude, this isn't about fitting into the cute clothes or showing up your sister.  This is about saving your life.  And transforming your life -- being able to do some of the other things the normals have been doing all along, savoring the textures of our all-too-short time here.

 

So, speaking as a woman who is about 6 weeks out, struggling with body issues, nauseated about 20/7, can't figure out what the heck to eat (almost to the point of tears and I don't cry), can barely swallow even small pills so gags every morning, still has some pain, and sleep-walked through my first weeks back to work:

 

I would do it again.  I mean literally, if they said that I had to go back and do it again tomorrow to keep what I've got, I'd go without hesitation.

 

 

You aren't choosing between getting the surgery, with all that means, or not getting the surgery, and avoiding that pain.  You're choosing to live.

 

Live.

WOW!!!!!  Thanks so much, you were reading my mind.  As I ready to start 2 week  pre-op fast, with only told very few people, had 2 people try to talk me out of it, I knew that I will tell no one else until it is OVER....  I went throught the chemo, the radiation, I went into shock and blacked out during Chemotherapy, I say if I have this 2nd shot at life I AM TAKING IT...  Thanks so much for sharing this post.  Best of luck to you on this journey.

 

Philly

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Hi friends just checking in.   Work has had me so very busy and I don't spend a lot of time focusing on my weight (for the first time in my life).  I walk almost every day and I work consistently on modifying my habits to add more resistance or stretching or steps.  I eat as I should most days, but don't track everything.  I'm glad I DID track everything, because now I'm keenly aware when I start to veer off course.  My weight seems to have settled exactly where they said it would, at 60% of my excess weight lost.  That puts me at a very happy 185.  My knees are still troublesome, my belly is soft and floppy and I have heartburn every day.  And when I walk I look at my reflection in the shop windows.  My legs look strong and lean.  I look cute in my clothes.  I seem to have endless energy.  

I could maybe lose more weight, but all my life I've wanted to be like a normal person, just living life, enjoying my food, being active, and not obsessing about my weight.  I am that right now, and I'm not going to risk losing it by obsessing over losing more weight.  Sleeve patients almost always lose 60% of their excess weight (bypass lose 70%).  I have seen some bariatric patients feel like failures because they didn't lose more. That's not for me.  I try to savor this miracle every day.  

I'm thankful if this  post encouraged some people to go forward with more confidence -- there are sure plenty of naysayers out there, but I have no regrets.  On my worst day, no regrets.  I'm so happy for all of us that we have access to WLS!  

 

PS  I couldn't find any full body pics of myself except the one in the fur coat.  I found that in the thrift shop and I spend a lot of time saying things like, "Winter is coming."  But I didn't buy it, even though my niece called me Macklemore.  

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23 minutes ago, DorkyCool said:

Hi friends just checking in.   Work has had me so very busy and I don't spend a lot of time focusing on my weight (for the first time in my life).  I walk almost every day and I work consistently on modifying my habits to add more resistance or stretching or steps.  I eat as I should most days, but don't track everything.  I'm glad I DID track everything, because now I'm keenly aware when I start to veer off course.  My weight seems to have settled exactly where they said it would, at 60% of my excess weight lost.  That puts me at a very happy 185.  My knees are still troublesome, my belly is soft and floppy and I have heartburn every day.  And when I walk I look at my reflection in the shop windows.  My legs look strong and lean.  I look cute in my clothes.  I seem to have endless energy.  

I could maybe lose more weight, but all my life I've wanted to be like a normal person, just living life, enjoying my food, being active, and not obsessing about my weight.  I am that right now, and I'm not going to risk losing it by obsessing over losing more weight.  Sleeve patients almost always lose 60% of their excess weight (bypass lose 70%).  I have seen some bariatric patients feel like failures because they didn't lose more. That's not for me.  I try to savor this miracle every day.  

I'm thankful if this  post encouraged some people to go forward with more confidence -- there are sure plenty of naysayers out there, but I have no regrets.  On my worst day, no regrets.  I'm so happy for all of us that we have access to WLS!  

 

PS  I couldn't find any full body pics of myself except the one in the fur coat.  I found that in the thrift shop and I spend a lot of time saying things like, "Winter is coming."  But I didn't buy it, even though my niece called me Macklemore.  

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Good to see you back and to hear you are thriving. That's what this is about for me as well. Great work!!!

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Be careful of using the word " cured". Diseases like diabetes can go into remission with weight loss but the potential is always there for the diabetes to reappear, especially if you regain.

You should be checked every 6 to 12 months with a HgbA1c after your weight loss. If you become pregnant your OB needs to be aware of not only your weight loss surgery, but the illnesses you had prior to surgery.

best....

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Very well said. I did so much research and even had my husband read things and meet with people to learn about their experiences. We were both ready to commit to bypass when my sister out the fear of God in my hubby. 

She work as a clinical nutritionist at an ha spiral and had horror stories to tell. Of course, she only saw those that had issues, not the thousands of successful patients. Suddenly my husband wasn't on board for the bypass. 

After more research, meetings, and discussions he finally agreed to the sleeve. My sister wasn't keen on the procedure but was more supportive of this than bypass. 

Im happy to say my surgery was done Aug 2, 2026, and I'm doing great. I have 100 pounds off since I first started my program and would tell anyone to move forward, do your research, have a good support group, follow program and you'll do great. Don't let the nay-Sayers dissuade you from being a healthier you!

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Good post. I agree with GrandmaBee55, these are nurses so they're seeing the sleevers that have problems. I got mine almost a year ago and I haven't had any complications.  I think you were wise to keep it to yourself and then do it.  

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This was a great post, it was really inspiring to me. Thank you so much..

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On 6/28/2016 at 0:15 AM, EileenFrias said:

Wow I never read this before until someone posted it for a newbie to read. Thank you so much for this. I'm having surgery in 2 weeks. And after reading this I'm even more ready to get this done. I was that patient with cancer going every 2weeks to get my chemo. And all though I felt really sick and lost all my hair, and felt like my world was passing by without me. I knew I had to do chemo to save my life so I can be here for my children and grandchildren. Hear I am 7yrs cancer free. Thank you Lord. Now I face other obesity diseases. That I know will be cured with WLS. Yes I will face sickness again and pain for a little while. But this too will pass. Thank you again for this. When I'm down in the dumbs. I will for sure go back to this post. Thank you. Also its been a few years since your surgery. How are you doing?

I know this post is older. I just wanted to tell you congats on meeting your weight loss goal.  Your story touched my heart due to my husband.  He is a 11 year cancer free Survivor.  Plus a successful sleever.  Great job! 

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On 8/17/2015 at 10:52 AM, DorkyCool said:

I didn't tell many people before I got my sleeve.  I've told just about everyone after the fact, with a predictable range of reactions, but I'd done my research, made my decision, and didn't want to be deterred.  But I have two friends, both very skilled and experienced nurses, who I turn to for med advice, so I talked to them.

 

They both got very serious and warned me that it is a terrible idea.  They've seen "so many" bad outcomes.

 

One works in peds and one in a pain office.  While their general knowledge is very good, neither has any experience with bariatrics, endicrinology, cardiology, etc.  So after a few frightening moments I had to realize that the outcomes they've seen are the same as the outcomes all of my negative relatives have seen -- they know somebody, or a few somebodies, who had the surgery.   No doubt a lot of people suffer badly after the surgery -- years of obesity takes a horrible toll, and we humans are more inclined to whine about our suffering than bleat about our triumphs.

 

If you tell people before your surgery, you may get the same -- the dire warnings, the pleadings not to do this.  Although some people are invested in you not changing, most people are sincere in their concern.  Advice is cheap, but when smart people you trust are staging an intervention, you should always stop and listen.

 

You should also trust your doctor(s), and yourself.  This is your health, and your life.  You have to make your decision based on the most reliable, tested information available.

 

If you're considering WLS, you already know the information:  People who struggle with obesity can sometimes lose weight, but they will probably regain it.  People who have WLS will lose, and will almost certainly keep at least part of that weight off.  If they stay engaged with the process, they will almost certainly reach and stay at a healthy weight.  People who stay obese suffer co-morbidities -- diabetes, heart disease, cancer, sleep apnea, loss of mobility, etc, and, as a result, and shortened life-span.  People who have WLS may already have some of those conditions, which increases the risks of the surgery and the complications afterward.

 

No matter how many individual cases are put before you, how anxious your daughters are, or how anxious you are, the simplified version of those facts is:  If you are obese, you are in danger.   Assuming you meet the criteria, WLS can save your life.

 

It's like chemo.  If you have a potentially deadly but treatable cancer, do you take the treatment?  The chemo is poison, basically.  You'll feel sick.  There are scary risks.  You may have pain, be on an emotional roller coaster, struggle with changes in your appearance.  But you swallow hard and give the nice nurse your vein, because you want to get to the other side and live.

 

Obesity is a life-threatening medical condition.  Seriously, dude, this isn't about fitting into the cute clothes or showing up your sister.  This is about saving your life.  And transforming your life -- being able to do some of the other things the normals have been doing all along, savoring the textures of our all-too-short time here.

 

So, speaking as a woman who is about 6 weeks out, struggling with body issues, nauseated about 20/7, can't figure out what the heck to eat (almost to the point of tears and I don't cry), can barely swallow even small pills so gags every morning, still has some pain, and sleep-walked through my first weeks back to work:

 

I would do it again.  I mean literally, if they said that I had to go back and do it again tomorrow to keep what I've got, I'd go without hesitation.

 

 

You aren't choosing between getting the surgery, with all that means, or not getting the surgery, and avoiding that pain.  You're choosing to live.

 

Live.

I agree you hear a lot more people tell you bad things that have happened than good. I am with you I am 7 years out and I would do it all over again tomorrow if I needed to. I don't want to down play the risk or the pain you have for a few days afterwards but it is so worth the life I have now compared to the life I had then.  Best of luck to your on your journey.

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Although this is an old post, I have to respond. Prior to surgery, I told only a few people because I didn't want to have to deal with advice or censorious attitudes. I had surgery a few weeks ago, and, at this point, I don't really care if people know so I'm telling more people (it's better than if they start thinking I'm sick). If they are negative, which no one has been yet, I can just walk away (I hope). I'm having to use more time and thought process to focus on my mental and body feelings so I don't have a lot of time or inclination to interact. I have to laugh because my sister's new doctor (back pain) asked if she had thought about WLS ... she had it a few years ago. So he was supportive as well as everyone else she knows  (medical and friends). My PCPs two assistants have had the surgery with good results. Now, if only my other sister will do the surgery ... apparently she said she would do it the natural way, and she just keeps growing, and her daughter is getting much larger.

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Jumping Jo - I haven't mentioned this to a soul - only you guys here know and as you can see I have omitted a photo since anyone could be browsing - like you I would rather avoid censorious attitudes/advice from those who have little clue.  I wonder, if I do decide to go ahead with surgery if I will end up telling all. 

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I can understand the apprehension over telling others of our decision to have WLS because there is so much negativity surrounding it - much born out of ignorance of the process and it's benefits.

Personally, I chose to be upfront about my bariatric surgery and let the benefits speak for themselves and I'm glad I did because I know of several people since my surgery over 9 years ago who pursued WLS based on my success and only one (a gastric band patient), did not have outstanding results.

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thanks for that Cinwa - I think you were very brave to be so open about your surgery.  Here in the UK we seem to have a very harsh and negative viewpoint of wls.  Such a shame since it seems that it can be such a blessing to many.  I appreciate you wise words.:)  Congratulations on such a fabulous result.

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On 10/1/2015 at 1:32 PM, Amberg7hi said:

Well said!  I am a nurse and I would never give anyone advice on what is right for them.  This is a personal choice and in the long term you have to make the right choices everyday to keep the weight off.  Trust me I am struggling at almost two years out.  But like you I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had to.  I was very fortunate that I did not have any complications. 

 

Congrats! 

Can I ask you why you said you were struggling 2 yrs after surgery ! I am new and not had mine surgery yet, I also like to look ahead and be prepared for what might happen to me in a few years . What are your struggles now ?

thanks for your advance help

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54 minutes ago, sweetstuff said:

Can I ask you why you said you were struggling 2 yrs after surgery ! I am new and not had mine surgery yet, I also like to look ahead and be prepared for what might happen to me in a few years . What are your struggles now ?

thanks for your advance help

I doubt that you will get a response from that person, as she has not signed on to TTF since October 2015.  

If you look around this web site you will see postings by people who have struggled with their weight a few years after their weight loss surgery and posting by other people (such as myself) who have not had such struggles. Generally speaking the weight gain occurs when the person stops being as careful with their diet, usually by eating more carbs and/or by lots of snacking. 

Weight loss surgery is a powerful weight loss tool, but long term success is based on the person developing a new "relationship with food" in which the person eats a healthy diet high in lean protein and low in carbs, drinks lots of no calorie liquids, takes their daily vitamins, avoids any smoking, avoids abusing alcohol, lives an active lifestyle, treats any mental illness appropriately with therapy and/or medications, refuses to accept any weight gain above their goal weight, and avoids too much snacking.

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3 hours ago, Res Ipsa said:

I doubt that you will get a response from that person, as she has not signed on to TTF since October 2015.  

If you look around this web site you will see postings by people who have struggled with their weight a few years after their weight loss surgery and posting by other people (such as myself) who have not had such struggles. Generally speaking the weight gain occurs when the person stops being as careful with their diet, usually by eating more carbs and/or by lots of snacking. 

Weight loss surgery is a powerful weight loss tool, but long term success is based on the person developing a new "relationship with food" in which the person eats a healthy diet high in lean protein and low in carbs, drinks lots of no calorie liquids, takes their daily vitamins, avoids any smoking, avoids abusing alcohol, lives an active lifestyle, treats any mental illness appropriately with therapy and/or medications, refuses to accept any weight gain above their goal weight, and avoids too much snacking.

Thank you

very helpful as well

:D

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On 8/17/2015 at 9:06 PM, DorkyCool said:

Thanks, guys.  It was heartfelt.  I recently private messaged my cousin to let her know I had the surgery.  My cousin has always been a solid 100 pounds more than me.  Over the years she sometimes mentioned getting gastric bypass, and although I wasn't considering it for myself, I encouraged her to do it.  She had 4 kids -- I told her to go for it.  But she never did.  Now she's raising 4 grandkids and has a benign brain tumor and a myriad of other health problems, and I don't even know if she could get the surgery now if she decided to.  I don't know if she'll get the last of the kids to adulthood, and I love her so dearly.   Anyway, when I told her, she ended the conversation very abruptly.  I'm sure she's upset.  Possibly she's upset me but we'll get past that, but I wish I'd known the right words to say.  

 

When I reach goal weight I want to wear a t-shirt with a  before and after picture, so that poor man who sits in the bench in front of the grocery store will ask me about it and I can tell him how he can get help.  We have a miracle here!   And humans are slipping through the cracks right and left!

 

Anyway  . . . tired, so I guess I'm getting a little impassioned.  Luckily I chat to strangers constantly anyway, so I guess I'll get the word out.  :-)

There will always be naysayers lol, the risks are so low compared to comorbidites with being morbidly obese. I am 7 weeks out and nausea also. I think my issue is I'm only intaking 200 Cals a day most days. I'm working to fix this issue now.

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This post helped convince me to join. Because truthfully, who hasnt had those thoughts or conversations?

Also, I am an RN. I have had patients who experienced complications from bariatric surgery. I've also seen a lot of patients who told me it gave them their life back. 

But you know what? I've also had a patient who had to have her arm amputated after getting pricked by a rose thorn. Unfortunately, as a nurse, you've seen the worst outcome for every situation, and too often, we don't get to see the good outcomes - because good outcomes don't land in our care. 

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for posting these words. I'm going to come back here repeatedly through the next months, any time I have doubts about what I'm gearing up for - because this right here? This is it. This is the reason.

It's time to live. 

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Dear delilas, 

Ditto, my experience is similar to yours. I remember the days when WLS meant you had a midline incision from your rib cage all the way down. Now it is mostly laparoscopy and you're not even in the OR but an hour. My two closest friends who tried to persuade me not to have the surgery are in fact both surgeons (neither does bariatric stuff) and the events of 20 years ago were what drove them to speak out with me. I love 'em for it although I went forward with a VSG. 

I feel like I am getting my life back. 

After some recent postings about the death of a young man from his obesity, I decided to talk more about my own surgery. Maybe someone else will consider WLS who will benefit. 

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On 5/4/2017 at 1:20 PM, Vee j said:

There will always be naysayers lol, the risks are so low compared to comorbidites with being morbidly obese. I am 7 weeks out and nausea also. I think my issue is I'm only intaking 200 Cals a day most days. I'm working to fix this issue now.

Dear Vee J, you are so right. The risks of surgery are real but orders of magnitude lower than the risks of being morbidly obese.  I saw a recent statistic, which said that only about 1% of people who might benefit in the US have access to WLS.  

200 kcals is indeed really low, there are people who think that throws your body into a kind of starvation mode that lessens weight loss, and that more calories "allows" your body to  up its metabolic rate... and (counterintuitively) lose weight faster and more safely. Good luck in conquering the nausea, and boosting the calorie intake!

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On 2/10/2017 at 0:41 PM, LadyFl said:

I know this post is older. I just wanted to tell you congats on meeting your weight loss goal.  Your story touched my heart due to my husband.  He is a 11 year cancer free Survivor.  Plus a successful sleever.  Great job! 

Thank you.. Yay on hubby being 11yr cancer free that is so awesome. Plus successful sleeve. Yay!!!

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On 17.5.2017 at 10:21 PM, delilas said:

But you know what? I've also had a patient who had to have her arm amputated after getting pricked by a rose thorn. Unfortunately, as a nurse, you've seen the worst outcome for every situation, and too often, we don't get to see the good outcomes - because good outcomes don't land in our care. 

Ah yes, I know that effect. I've seen so many post-op pulmonary embolisms, abscesses and bleedings on the CT-table as a radiologist that I was very scared before the surgery. 

My hernia might be back, CT results are not clear but I'm having almost the same reflux issues again and I'm scared to death that there will be complications during the explorative lap (recently saw gas embolism after laparoscopic surgery using atypical access for the pneumoperitoneum... *eeeeeeeek*). It's scheduled for 24th July.

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