mrsblues

What to tell the students.....

11 posts in this topic

I work in a school assisting in all grade levels (2-5). I am able to take 4 weeks off because of the upcoming Christmas break. We are struggling with what to tell the students without giving them too much information. Any suggestions?

The staff where I work has been informed of the surgery (to avoid rumors). I have been honest and explain to those that inquire exactly what life will be like for me post-op. it's important for them to know because they need to understand that what I do after surgery is going to be my new normal. Of course, instead of being supportive, the comments being made are "stinging." They've said, "Are you crazy? How can you possibly do that for the rest of your life! There's no way that I could do that, I like food too much, I'd rather eat." Since I am not in the morbidly obese category they don't even feel it's necessary. Even though they know that the surgery it is being done more for my health, they still think I'm nuts. My immediate family is supportive as hell, but I don't feel like I'll be getting any support from the co-workers, once I return to work. It's hard because you are with co-workers more than your family during the work day. I've already decided that eating elsewhere will not be a bad idea. Anyone else with this issue? Any advice how to handle?

Diabetes-related diseases took the lives of all family members on my side, up to and including my mother and all her siblings. We also have a family history of pancreatic cancer. I was diagnosed with diabetes seven years ago, and slowly it is causing the same patterns of diseases that took my family from me. I have a choice and this is what I've chosen.

Six years ago, I had a cervical laminectomy with fusion and instrumentaion (rods) from my C-2 level to T-1 level. I didn't choose this surgery it was medically necessary to give my life back to me after years of constant pain due to degenerative discs and spinal stenosis (my spinal cord was being flattened). Although scared, I knew it offered me more than just pain meds the rest of my life and the possibility of losing function due to nerve damage. Today, I am doing fantastic, new life, more activities and I don't even think about it because there aren't any reminders. I take that back, now I pivot my body instead of just turning my head. I don't notice, but other people do. "Do I have a stiff neck?", they ask. "Yep!", I reply, "I sure do!" LOL! Adapted just fine to the limitations but living so much more of a normal life. I know the WLS will offer me so much more, too!

Sorry, this is so long, but I really am aggravated over this!

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It has been really interesting with students at my school. Generally the kids who don't have much of verbal filter are the ones who have made comments to me about my changed weight.

My answer to them has been. I have worked hard at exercising and eating right. This has satisfied them.

I had a history of GI bleeds, gastroparesis and a paraesophogeal hernia. With those issues I was able to share with staff that the Gastric bypass was a great option to getting back on track. What could they say? It came across that this wasn't just for weight loss, but other medical issues. I wonder if this would be a viable option for you too. With diabetes and obesity, this is a life saving answer!

I also found it best not to talk about myself too much. This helped me maintain relationships. I didn't and still don't want it to be all about me. I know that is a turn off. Plenty of attention has come my way by the way I look and the tiny meals at lunch naturally without me adding. When co-workers comment on my weight loss, I say, "thank you, it has been a great year!" If they ask how much I have lost, I say more than I care to share.

The farther out I get, the more normal my meals look. Just smaller and healthier. Early out yours won't look that way. You will be eating slower and different. It will be obvious and cause curiosity. Be understanding of their curiosity and educate them if they want to listen:)

I think actions speak louder than words. I feel better and I hope it shows. I have more stamina and certainly have no trouble moving about . Sure helps the job performance!

Unfortunately I am a pain patient due to neck issues also. I hate I am not always well and it is noticed. I wonder if my team mates tire of it. This year I have fairly good pain management and I think it is helpful not to have that attention. I hate it when it is one more thing wrong with me.

Try not to worry about what other's think. Right now the focus may be on all of the appointments you are needing to do and distractions. It is temporary. This is your life and you are improving it! After you are on your way to recovery, hopefully your team mates will see how well you are doing.

How wonderful your family is by your side! Keep us posted! I so understand where you are coming from.

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Thank you Paula! I DO kind of feel it has been all about me and hate being center of attention. I know they are curious and amazed but admit to their own love affair with food and the reason they couldn't go through with it. Many who are overweight talk about getting "on track" to lose it the old-fashioned way. I guess out of my own guilt, I feel their words meant I failed and didn't try hard enough. They have all been a part of this journey. I chose not to keep it to myself because of the rumors. It is important to let the staff be aware of my absence in all classes I'm part of, I thought better from my own mouth... than the story being wrongly repeated. We all know the "telephone game, right?" Now that it's getting close the questions of what happens afterwards are being asked. I just wish their comments would be more encouraging. My thoughts about the weight loss is that mine will be measured in how well I feel versus how much I weigh. My respose to how much I lost will be met with it's about how well I feel, and I'm feeling great! I do not have a scale at home and am not running out to get one. My weight (more accurately) will be measured in the doctor's office. I don't want discouragement from stalls and realize if I follow my diet and advice of my bariatric team the results will be everything I hoped it will be. I love this website and appreciate all the advice everyone has been able to share. Thanks, again!

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mrsblues, I am so excited for you and the great changes to come! You will be getting some well deserved attention for sure! I hope all of those around you see the new "YOU" and become supportive. Obesity and all that comes with it kills. This just may be icing on the cake after your neck surgery!

I love food and l love to cook good food. Today I made homemade yogurt, stock from a turkey I roasted and some bean and barley soup. I love to pull something yummy from the freezer. There isn't a day that goes by at work where somebody wonders what that good smell is from what I am heating up. While they are eating their TV dinners, I have something I actually look forward too!

I am only about 18 months out and am enjoying what I put in my mouth more than ever. Because I eat less, I treat myself to better quality well thought out meals. I am just sharing these thoughts because your friends have a love affair with foods and might think you will be missing out. It doesn't have to be the end of fine dining:)

Our stats are similar, I look forward to following your journey. It all happens so fast!

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Isn't it truly interesting that the love affair with food is always with the quantity instead of quality. Hard for myself to fathom the fullness I will feel on a smaller amount, let alone my co-workers understanding it.

Thanks for all of your insight. I really appreciate it.

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I teach high school, so the situation is different than if it were young kids.  I told my students exactly what I was doing and why.  I had several serious comorbidities that led me to the surgery, although I was certainly way over a healthy weight for my frame.  It has been more than exciting to watch them watch me as I have changed.  We have all had a very good time with it.  The day I came back (I was out for 2 weeks plus Christmas break) was really special.  The kids came in and many of them just stared at me.  One of my male students came in, looked at me, fell to the floor and said, "DAMN.  I can't make fun of you any more!"  I assured him that I was certain he could find something else to wart me about.  Of course, I have a very good rapport with my students, so they feel comfortable expressing their thoughts.  We have had some good conversations about the whole process and they are always asking how close I am to my goal, etc.  They have been very supportive!

angel0524 likes this

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I know this is a revival of quite an old thread but I am a high school teacher (here the age range is 11 - 18) and I didn't tell them anything (only two people in my personal life know I had this surgery). It helped that I went off sick for 6 weeks due to related issues so my students just presumed my sudden drop in weight was due to my illness. My school is a great school though and the students have a lot of respect and will not delve into your private affairs even whilst I was shrinking before them. One student approached me about it but in a good way - he is a sweet boy :)

I did attend a school trip to China and straight afterwards fell really ill so the main rumour going around was that I was held in China due to visa issues! I played on it on my return and told them they mistook me for a felon and locked me away and I had to take part in unlicensed boxing matches to secure my freedom...they fell for it hook, line and sinker (yes I am the teasing kind) :D

I found my kids so so supportive and encouraging, it is the teaching staff and the gossip mill which had me giggling...I had everything from 'stapling' to giant growths removed, got to love it!

DavidPaul and Kazkaren like this

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I guess this is an old topic, but I am also a high school teacher.  I had my surgery the Monday after graduation so I could have the summer time to work on me, healing, routines, and eating.  I have told a few people in my department because we are close but that is about it.  It is not something I really want to share.  It has been a long strange road for me.  I had a band placed in 2008, did very well and maintained.  I came to my current school two years ago and a few months after starting work my band started to have issues and eventually needed loosening and eventually all fluid removed.  In the last 1.5 years I have gained back most of the weight i lost with the band.  Now I come back at the end of the summer this year and (hopefully!) I am down again.  Who knows what these people think of me, since they only have a 2 year picture of me.

 

I figure if approached, I will say as stated above. . .   I took the summer to really work hard on eating right and being active, which is completely honest!

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Again, many of you have mentioned that this is an old topic, but maybe someone will reply.  I'm thinking of having surgery Thursday or Friday before Spring Break.  Going back to school on the Wednesday after.  That would be 12 days.  I teach middle school and am fairly active.  I see people post 1 week to 6 weeks, it's such an individual experience.  I wonder am I crazy?  I just don't want to wait until summer, I would love to already be on the path!  Thoughts?

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I teach high school algebra and geometry. I am now two months out (loss over 60 lbs) and the students have noticed the weight loss. They have been very nice in their comments. The students knew I had surgery but I never told them why or for what reason I had surgery.

On the other hand, only two adults (teachers) have said anything and when they did I explained what kind of surgery I had. One had a friend who also had the surgery. I am a very quiet employee (keep to myself a lot) so maybe that helps from being the topic of discussion in the staff lounge.

Again, the students have been so wonderful.

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Again, many of you have mentioned that this is an old topic, but maybe someone will reply.  I'm thinking of having surgery Thursday or Friday before Spring Break.  Going back to school on the Wednesday after.  That would be 12 days.  I teach middle school and am fairly active.  I see people post 1 week to 6 weeks, it's such an individual experience.  I wonder am I crazy?  I just don't want to wait until summer, I would love to already be on the path!  Thoughts?

I don't think 12 days is enough. I teach elementary school music--had my surgery Feb. 3--and I plan on 3 weeks out of work. 2 weeks plus a week of our winter break. My dr. said the most important thing in returning to work was staying hydrated. On another note, I told many people at work what I was doing, and they were VERY supportive. I told my students I was going in for some surgery and would be back on Feb. 24. they didn't ask too many questions. I didn't want to go back and have rumors start that I was sick.

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