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Hi there all!

My name is Sarah & I'm a 32 yro gal from Melbourne, Aus. 

I'm booked in for the bypass on the 17/10/18 and super excited/nervous. I've got 2 kiddies & ever since my first was born (12 yrs ago) my weight has ballooned (from 54kg to 120kg) ... (my own fault I know!) Anyway, I've Yo-Yoed over the last decade and sick of it. This is my final option, so going to grab it by the proverbial. 

I work in a professional fast-paced environment and wondering if I will be able to go back to work after 2 weeks post-op? I've only booked 2 weeks off at this point and no one else can actually do my job (highly specialised). Just worried that if there are complications, that it will create other issues. I haven't told them what surgery I'm having so it's going to be nerve wracking once they cotton on, that that's what I've had done.

My other question is, I'm travelling to Europe exactly 8 weeks post op. The Dr says it'll be fine, but I'm nervous that being on a 27 hr flight will cause complications. Has anyone had experience with travel so soon post-op?

Thanks for reading! Hope to hear from you all soon.

S

 

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Welcome to Thinner Times Sarah!

My job had a 70lb (31.75 kg) lifting requirement so I wasn't cleared to return to work for 6 weeks but I was biting the bullet after a couple of weeks.  But even with a desk job, I think I would have been a little tired come the end of the day but it is doable although you will be tired for sure.

Take everything you need by way of drinks and whatever food you're cleared for.

Many of our members have flown much earlier that 8 weeks out and I'm sure they can chime in to share their experiences.  To the best of my knowledge, no one had a problem.

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I returned to my office job ten days after my gastric bypass - but upon returning to work I worked mornings only for about a week (as I became very tired around 1 pm).  About 17 days after my surgery I was back working full time.  

I did not have any complications from the surgery and my job did not involve lifting heavy objects.  If either of these had not been true, it would have taken me longer to return to work. 

Note that I had laparoscopic surgery (which is very common in the US) and not the old style of "split you open" surgery.  If your surgery is not laparoscopic it almost certainly will take you longer to return to work.

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Hi @SarahBMelbs! Welcome to the forum! 

I have a tiny bit of insight about your travel plans. Six weeks after my surgery, I flew six hours home with my 18 month old daughter. We were alone and I was fine. Presuming you don’t have a tiny one on your lap, you should be good to go!

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Thank you so much guys!

 

I really appreciate all the feedback. Super excited for this next chapter of my life and looking forward to being bikini ready for my 35th birthday. Hahaha! :-D

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On 8/12/2018 at 8:57 AM, SarahBMelbs said:

Hi there all!

My name is Sarah & I'm a 32 yro gal from Melbourne, Aus. 

I'm booked in for the bypass on the 17/10/18 and super excited/nervous. I've got 2 kiddies & ever since my first was born (12 yrs ago) my weight has ballooned (from 54kg to 120kg) ... (my own fault I know!) Anyway, I've Yo-Yoed over the last decade and sick of it. This is my final option, so going to grab it by the proverbial. 

I work in a professional fast-paced environment and wondering if I will be able to go back to work after 2 weeks post-op? I've only booked 2 weeks off at this point and no one else can actually do my job (highly specialised). Just worried that if there are complications, that it will create other issues. I haven't told them what surgery I'm having so it's going to be nerve wracking once they cotton on, that that's what I've had done.

My other question is, I'm travelling to Europe exactly 8 weeks post op. The Dr says it'll be fine, but I'm nervous that being on a 27 hr flight will cause complications. Has anyone had experience with travel so soon post-op?

Thanks for reading! Hope to hear from you all soon.

S

 

Hi Sarah

If your work is mostly intellectual then would not see any reason you shouldn't foresee going back to work at 2 weeks. You are likely to still be tired easily so pace yourself and if you need an afternoon nap, take it and then work into the evening if you need to.

You should have no problems with a flight ... other than being so much smaller that you will be delighted with how you fit on the flight. I travel for work quite a bit with travel often taking > 24 hours, so no worries there. 

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Hi @BurgundyBoy!

Thanks so much for your insight. I'm now on my VLCD until surgery (8 weeks to go!) and am hoping that I lose about 30 kgs before my trip which is in 16 weeks. I hope I'm not being unrealistic about my losses though. Fitting in the tiny plane seat will be glorious! And not feeling the burning shame of asking for an extender will be the cherry on the protein shake. :-D

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15 hours ago, SarahBMelbs said:

Hi @BurgundyBoy!

Thanks so much for your insight. I'm now on my VLCD until surgery (8 weeks to go!) and am hoping that I lose about 30 kgs before my trip which is in 16 weeks. I hope I'm not being unrealistic about my losses though. Fitting in the tiny plane seat will be glorious! And not feeling the burning shame of asking for an extender will be the cherry on the protein shake. :-D

Oh there are lots of things to be glad of.

Fit into the seat; fit into the tiny airplane toilets too; no extender belt; - and other things: once I was snoring so loud on a plane that the other passengers woke me up so they could sleep. <_<

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@BurgundyBoy Oh the snoring! I’ve been woken up on several occasions when my snores have been so loud. I always found that humiliating. 

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I've never had a problem with snoring, but there are about a million other things that are quite exciting. I'm excited most about losing my apron of excess. :D

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While not in Melbourne, you should get in touch with @Aussie Bear . AB is an active member of the forum and may be able to commiserate on the process leading to surgery and after WLS. 

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Welcome Sarah. I'm also in Australia (SA). Just for a point of reference I started my VLCD in mid Oct 2016 weighing in at 118.5 so very close to your start weight. 8 weeks later I weighed in at 107.9. 8 weeks after that I weighed 100.5. So in 16 weeks I dropped 18kgs and that was all before my surgery but diligently following my VLCD. I dropped 9kgs in the 8 weeks after my surgery. So 20kg in 16 weeks with surgery halfway through is possible if you stick to your diet plan.....30kg is likely a stretch though! Don't beat yourself up if you don't make it.  You're asking a lot of your body to shed 25% of its total weight in just 16 weeks. Just think about how long it took you to gain that much weight, and gaining is far easier than losing. Another Debbie Downer aspect of this is you will likely stall in your weightloss about 3 weeks after surgery, as well as stalling at about week 3 on you VLCD. Most of us do and it can take a couple of weeks to break the stall. Even if you don't meet your own timeline, by following your diet plan you will eventually be able to lose all your excess weight.....your body will just do it on its own timeline and with complete disregard for what you might want.

Take photos and measurements now and right before your surgery. Even when you aren't losing according to the scale, your body changes and weight shifts over these times. The photos and measurements will help you see changes along the way even when the nasty scale is giving you a negative headspace.

ETA: for those of you that don't work in kgs, 1kg = 2.2lbs so a 30kg target = 66lbs.

Just found this table which gives expected weightloss over time after RNY. Not sure if it will upload correctly or not but I'm trying.

https://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=https://s.bariatricpal.com/uploads/monthly_04_2016/post-290199-14616366840086.jpg&amp;imgrefurl=https://www.bariatricpal.com/topic/366204-estimated-post-op-weight-loss-chart/&amp;h=1488&amp;w=770&amp;tbnid=ATWJFDgFNg-HKM&amp;tbnh=312&amp;tbnw=161&amp;vet=1&amp;docid=nkZr2aD7mufOgM

As you'll see this table suggests a 25-35lb weightloss in the first 3 months after surgery for patients with a starting weight of 250-300lbs. So realistically 11-16kgs.

Edited by Aussie Bear

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Hey @Aussie Bear, does that account for any exercise or is that just diet?

Thanks so much for all the info. Even 20kgs would be life changing! I'm doing the VLCD and first weigh in is Tuesday to see if I've lost anything.:D

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I so get the plane seat thing, @SarahBMelbs - that is a major goal of mine, too.  I'm pretty sure I'm already out of seat-belt-extender territory - my surgery was almost a year ago - but annoyingly, I haven't had to fly anywhere since the month BEFORE surgery.  I definitely had to use an extender for that flight - I was ~136kg/300 lbs at that time.

Here is a thing I'm not sure I've ever admitted:  I stole a seatbelt extender from United a couple of years ago.  I still have it.  I wonder how much those things cost?  It got a LOT of use after I uh, requisitioned it -- mostly on United planes.  And I never had to ask for an extender again...! :ph34r:

The next time I fly United, I'll bring it along, and celebrate that particular NSV by leaving it behind in the seat back pocket in front of me. :D:D:D  

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10 hours ago, SarahBMelbs said:

Hey @Aussie Bear, does that account for any exercise or is that just diet?

Thanks so much for all the info. Even 20kgs would be life changing! I'm doing the VLCD and first weigh in is Tuesday to see if I've lost anything.:D

I was exercising daily at that time.  Hoping for great results for you on Tuesday.

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10 hours ago, Kio said:

I so get the plane seat thing, @SarahBMelbs - that is a major goal of mine, too.  I'm pretty sure I'm already out of seat-belt-extender territory - my surgery was almost a year ago - but annoyingly, I haven't had to fly anywhere since the month BEFORE surgery.  I definitely had to use an extender for that flight - I was ~136kg/300 lbs at that time.

Here is a thing I'm not sure I've ever admitted:  I stole a seatbelt extender from United a couple of years ago.  I still have it.  I wonder how much those things cost?  It got a LOT of use after I uh, requisitioned it -- mostly on United planes.  And I never had to ask for an extender again...! :ph34r:

The next time I fly United, I'll bring it along, and celebrate that particular NSV by leaving it behind in the seat back pocket in front of me. :D:D:D  

@Kio LOL I know *so* many people who have stolen seat extenders. They are humiliating to request! I never needed an extender because as I was merely an obese person (humble brag), I managed to painfully squeeze myself into an airline seatbelt. I would strategically shift my belly fat as high as it would go and try to aim for my relatively slimmer hips. Ah, those were the days. :D

I can’t wait for the day you post a photo of that seat extender making its way back to United! 

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@Kio... Girl, you have literally made my day. I laughed so hard at the thought of stealing one. I would normally fly Qantas and they come see you before you land to ask you to leave it on the seat. 

B)

I'm feeling super positive 1 week into the VLCD so fingers and toes crossed my body agrees. The only thing I've noticed is that I get light headed in the late afternoon when I stand too quickly. Is that normal on the Optifast? Thanks! 

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I never needed an extender as I carried my weight south of the equator. Squeezing my booty into the seat, on the other hand, ugh. Actual bruises every time. I flew a few days ago and was thanking my lucky stars. I can now stash all my snacks, my water bottle, my kindle, and my phone in the seat beside me. Plus the pillow and blanket for cushioning. Yahoo!

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5 hours ago, SarahBMelbs said:

@Kio... Girl, you have literally made my day. I laughed so hard at the thought of stealing one. I would normally fly Qantas and they come see you before you land to ask you to leave it on the seat. 

Lol - glad to contribute some amusement during your VLCD days!! United usually ignores you as much as possible during a flight so it was the easiest heist in history! :) 

Quote

B)

I'm feeling super positive 1 week into the VLCD so fingers and toes crossed my body agrees. The only thing I've noticed is that I get light headed in the late afternoon when I stand too quickly. Is that normal on the Optifast? Thanks! 

You’re probably not getting as much salt as usual on Optifast. If it’s allowed, try a cup of salty chicken broth in the morning or early afternoon - it should help with the head rush and any headaches you may be getting!

Edited by Kio

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10 hours ago, SarahBMelbs said:

Hey @Jen581791! I think the joy of also being able to put my tray down will be massive as well. I'm curious, foodwise, has anyone had issues with the food provided?

 

Airplane food is pretty gross, anyway, so I always bring a ton of my own snacks. I can eat a bit if it’s meat+sauce, but of course not the rice or pasta or potatoes with it. And none of the sides or dessert... I either just say no thanks (which gets weird looks, I mean FREE FOOD! amirite?) or hand back my tray with 90% not eaten (which gets weird looks because What? You didn’t eat the gross cake-thing or soggy rice??). Honestly, a protein bar, some shake powder, and some almonds are a better bet. 

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12 hours ago, SarahBMelbs said:

... I'm feeling super positive 1 week into the VLCD so fingers and toes crossed my body agrees. The only thing I've noticed is that I get light headed in the late afternoon when I stand too quickly. Is that normal on the Optifast? Thanks! 

11 hours ago, SarahBMelbs said:

Hey @Jen581791! I think the joy of also being able to put my tray down will be massive as well. I'm curious, foodwise, has anyone had issues with the food provided?

 

Agree with comments by @Kio and @Jen581791

When you stand up, your body reflexively increases your blood pressure in order to make sure your brain is delivered enough blood. You need to have enough fluid volume in you to make that an effective tactic. To "hold onto" this fluid you need to have enough salts in your body, otherwise the excess is peed out. This is totally normal. Some older people, as they age, do not have as vigorous a reflex as do young persons, and so they sit upright for 30 seconds before standing up, and stand in one location for 30 seconds before walking. So you could have these symptoms if you are dehydrated (not enough fluid) or hyponatremic (not enough salt). One can be low on both salt and fluids. 

If you are feeling light-headed it might mean you need more fluids; more salt; or both. So some salty chicken broth (or miso or something similar) is totally rational. I think it was @AustinJ who posted a few months ago about being dizzy, and was found to have low salt levels (hyponatremic). He was exercising several hours a day and losing a pound a day. He ended up taking salt tablets. 

Another tactic to try when flying is just to order the diabetic meal - it will be low carbohydrates and high in protein. Like Jenn though I don't fly without protein bars, almonds, maybe some smoked salmon bites or sandwiches. In a pinch, nigiri sushi (sushi rolls) or just the fish (sashimi) can be bought in the airport and provide high protein fish - you can just choose not to eat all the rice. I've also bought (on JetBlue and on Icelandic) snack packs which are salami-type dried meats, cheese, and olives. 

On a number of flights over the last year I've struck up conversations with the flight attendants, and not infrequently mentioned that I have had bariatric surgery when they look at what I have eaten - and not eaten - on a meal. They are uniformly shocked when I tell them I have lost about 100 lbs. Most have gone up into business class and stolen nuts and/or cheese for me. (Plus the odd glass of Finer Beverages). But that would not be something to count on as a consistent tactic when flying! :) If you are in business class you should be able to eat pretty high protein foods with the choices they give you; when I get bumped into business, often an high protein appetizer and a cheese course are available. At 8 weeks after surgery, they might not have soft proteins if you are still having problems with eating very dense protein - so protein bar backup is well worth considering. 

Edited by BurgundyBoy

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Thanks so much for all the advice guys! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge. 

In other news, first week of VLCD down and I've lost 2.1kgs. I'm pretty happy with that. That's minimal exercise too. I will ramp up the exercise now that I know how to handle what's going on with my body.

Thanks for the advice on the salt levels too. I've been drinking 2+ litres of water a day and peeing like a racehorse. :P Might try having a miso soup with my lunch and see how I go. You always hear about salt being the enemy. I think I just need to practice moderation. 

 

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On 8/26/2018 at 9:18 PM, NerdyToothpick said:

@Kio LOL I know *so* many people who have stolen seat extenders. They are humiliating to request! I never needed an extender because as I was merely an obese person (humble brag), I managed to painfully squeeze myself into an airline seatbelt. I would strategically shift my belly fat as high as it would go and try to aim for my relatively slimmer hips. Ah, those were the days. :D

I can’t wait for the day you post a photo of that seat extender making its way back to United! 

Mine’s from Delta, which, BTW, does not work on Southwest Lol

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