Andrea23

Well, here I am..

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It's taken me awhile to get up the nerve to post!

My son is having a VGS 1/31/19

My husband is having a gastric bypass 2/14/19.

I've just started the journey and I'm scared-terrified actually.

Not just for them, but for me.

I never had a weight problem until I hit my 40's and then WHAM. No diets have helped, no exercise has helped. It's like my metabolism just shut down.  My husband is a Type 2 diabetic who has been overweight for most of his life (only exception was when he was in the army). My son never had a weight problem until the past 2 years, and is "trying to beat his genetics". 
 

I haven't decided if I'm going to do this yet. I wanted a VGS but my surgeon has advised that because of my severe GERD and IBS  (both of which I had even when I didn't have a weight problem), he does not recommend that surgery for me.. He told me that GERD actually gets worse after a VGS.  Hard to believe! He told me bypass was the far better option for me.

My husband's reason for the bypass is the diabetes. I do not have any health problems but the GERD/IBS and arthritis (yet), but I want to be able to be more active with my grandchildren. To not bump into people while boarding a plane. To not need a belt extender on the plane. To not have the car steering wheel on my stomach when I drive. To lessen my arthritis pain. 

But I'm just plain scared. I've had surgery before, so that part doesn't bother me. The change to my digestive system does.  Giving up some of the foods I love does (especially coffee). I know I need to get it into my head that this I what I need to do to be healthy.

But right now I have to concentrate on my husband and getting him through his surgery. 

My son is his wife's problem.  :D

I've been trolling around this site and have already found good information. I'll be posting updates for my son's and husband's surgeries. And, hopefully, mine. I'll probably do it..I think. So wishy washy!!!

Thanks for reading. 

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Welcome, Andrea!

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Boston Redhead, thank you.

I see you are having the duodenal switch. That surgery was mentioned to my husband, but they don't perform it in this area; he would have to go to a hospital 3 hours away.

We are hoping the bypass will give him good results. 

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Welcome @Andrea23. It's normal to be terrified before this kind of surgery whether for yourself or for your loved ones. At least for you the others are going before you so you'll have both experience and support when your time cones. You'll probably even find yourself losing lots pre-op as you care for your husband. Not that they take much caring due to the surgery,.....but my experience of men after anything (even man flu or stabbing a toe), is that they tend to be babies!!!!! :)

There's no reason coffee needs to be off your menu post surgery. While I've heard some surgeon's font want you drinking it, most are perfectly fine about it as long as you don't drink excessive amounts and don't add sugar to it. I haven't had sugar in mine for decades, so no problem here. I also had RNY bypass because of pre-existing reflux. My surgeon won't perform sleeve surgery for patients that do. Solved my reflux immediately which was an added bonus. Best wishes moving forward for your entire family.

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Welcome.  I hated coffee before surgery.  But I drink several cups now..  I prefer it cold, actually.  There are very few things I can’t eat in moderation now that I’m at goal.  I don’t tolerate fried foods but that’s ok.  I had uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney issues.  I took 18 pills a day.  Now I take 1 thyroid.  I was sent home with insulin and told to reduce it every couple of days, that was a Friday night.  I struggled all weekend to keep my blood sugars up.  That Monday; 5 days out I was taken off all insulin.  

My daughter and son in law both had RNY in June on the same day.  They are both doing great.  

You will be amazed at all the doors that open.  I can go sledding with the grandkids till my boney butt gets sore.  I sucked up my fear of water and became scuba certified (my hubby is a diving fanatic and an instructor-for Years I spent time in a beach chair.  I couldn’t get cleared because of my health issues).  I am coming up on my 6 year surgiversary.  I’ve had no complications.  There is really nothing I miss.  I like having size 2-4 clothes.  I don’t worry about spilling over into someone else’s area on a plane.  I have a few things I just can’t gag down anymore; eggs and hamburger.  I eat chicken a lot.  I also like Greek yogurt now.  I still hate veggies but love fruit.  

Tell your hubby and son to take before pictures and take measurements (everything; neck, thighs, calves, ankle, wrists..everything).  It’s easier to see changes in side by side pictures (check out @CheeringCJ blog- her monthly documentation is awesome).  And measurements show how far you’ve come.  You can do you presurgey hoop jumping.  You have until they knock you out in surgery to change your mind.  I was so scared that when I was wheeled into OR I told myself it wasn’t too late to get up and run.  But I have absolutely no regrets and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself!  

Feel free to ask questions.  We’ve been there...

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Welcome Andrea!

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Welcome! 

(I'm sitting here drinking a cup of coffee as I write this, btw)

Your husband is having surgery on my 2 year surgiversary, so that sounds very auspicious to me! I wish your son and husband the best on their big days. They will be happy to have someone to talk with about what they're going through. 

Although you feel scared of surgery (a normal and healthy fear, I think), it can be the most important and amazing life change you can imagine. Literally everything in my daily life is easier and more enjoyable now. It's a miracle how much easier normal experiences are when you are a normal, healthy weight. 

Best of luck on making your decision. RNY has been great for me. 

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I also had gastric bypass because I had type 2 diabetes. I was scared and nervous on the day of surgery, but I was determined that I was going to do it. Life after WLS is so much better than before. I have a cup or two of decaf a day. I lived on ibuprofen and was very worried about what I was going to do after surgery, since gastric bypass patients are not to take it afterwards. Well one thing I've learned is that reason I needed ibuprofen every day was because of my obesity and all the drugs I took!! Since WLS, I rarely need a painkiller and when I get a headache, it's because I'm truly sick.

I know you're nervous about the changes after surgery, but I can tell you, one of the things I was most looking for was losing my lust and excitement for food, or making every single meal a giant occasion. I can tell you that I have largely reached that goal. I do still love to eat. But my eating habits are so much different now, and I'm so thankful for that.

Best of luck to you!

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Hi @Andrea23

re: your fears ... Let me encourage you to talk to others who have had weight loss surgery, as well as to explore the Forum for information. Fears are often not rational and can hold us back from taking necessary steps. My wife was against my having surgery, for fear of complications, until she had conversations with a bariatric surgeon. Back in the day the surgery was a lot bigger and had higher rates of complications. Now it is safer than electively having your gall bladder taken out. My wife used her brain, and did not let her fears rule her actions, nor did I: am now I have my life back again. It is wonderful. 

One suspects that most of us would rush to have our gall bladders taken out if it had been giving us pain, nausea and vomiting. So our obesity gives us hip and knee and back pains, diabetes, strokes, hypertension, ups the risks of some cancers, and a slew of other things. But we do not rush to have surgery that is safer than gall bladder removal. That is fear talking, not our brains acting. By far the bigger risk for most people is staying obese, compared to the risk of surgery. 

Another fear we have is that we can't live without an emotional food crutch. Many of us used to eat pizza or donuts or whatever as a form of solace when life treated us badly, our parents neglected us, or we suffered from the stigma of being heavy. There are understandable reasons for why some foods make us "happy": eating a lot of carbohydrates leads to a sense of pleasure in the brain (kind of like cocaine), and as your stomach gets full and stretches out, satiety. Both are pleasant in the short-term but in the long-term .... they contribute to becoming obese. Maybe these were useful things back when we were hunter-gatherers trying to escape the saber-tooth tigers, but we don't live that way anymore. Now we live sedentary lives with more food choices, many of which are not good for us.

The wonderful thing about surgery (I had a VSG) is that I am FULL after a small amount and DO NOT crave more. Last night my wife and I had dinner with my (adult) son and I complained to my wife that I overate at dinner on the drive home. She laughed at me and said I had eaten a normal amount, and that it was about half or a third of what I might have eaten in the past. She also said that because I eat a normal amount, it is easier for her to eat a normal amount. 

Surgery is not a miracle. It changes your plumbing, and your metabolism (no one truly understands why a bypass is so good for diabetes, but it is). It does not change the habits you built over a lifetime. During the period after surgery you build new habits that will sustain you and give you many more years of life. If you and your husband both have surgery, I bet you will be strong supporting partners and help each other to keep to the good habits. My bad habits include snacking at night after dinner. I've come up with a set of ways to deal with that such as setting aside a certain amount of food to eat "after" dinner, or eating a low calorie high protein ice-cream like dessert. Others here on the Forum, no doubt more strong-willed than me, just don't eat after dinner.  You just have to be honest about what you are eating and whether or not you are eating because you are truly hungry, or if you are eating out of habit or boredom or emotional reasons. I did a lot of eating when I was not truly hungry.

I had my surgery just before I turned 62. My expected lifespan (given my gender, weight, and medical conditions) changed from ~ 75 or 76 to 94. My remaining years statistically doubled. I take no medications anymore, my hip and back pain is much better, and my sleep apnea is gone. My blood pressure dropped 20 points. Going back to my earlier point about risks, by having surgery I removed the risk of an earlier death and extended my expected lifespan. There are not many things in life that double the years you have left to you. There are also other advantages that you and your husband may enjoy, wink wink. My Perfect Wife is delighted that I had surgery.

As I type this note out, am finishing my second cup of coffee for the morning. You do not need to stop drinking coffee. There must have been some person who had weight loss surgery a while ago who drank 20 cups a day and ran into trouble, and so now it is on the banned list. (Most likely no one should be drinking 20 cups a day of coffee, but that is a separate discussion!). I continue to drink wine, eat great food, and feel great. I miss no food. Things that used to interest me - like pizza or pasta - I am quickly bored with now. If I do eat them now it is a small amount, and it has to be high quality and delicious. I don't think you should fear giving up or eating less of some favorite food. You will most likely be freed from that emotional leash, or at least your leash will be a lot longer. 

I have become modestly vain about wearing more tailored clothes. I know it is very shallow of me. So far that has been the only downside to having surgery.  

Good Luck! and best wishes for your husband and son. 

 

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Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and great advice!  

I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions...it's great to have such a supportive community.

 

Edited by Andrea23

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13 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

One suspects that most of us would rush to have our gall bladders taken out if it had been giving us pain, nausea and vomiting.

That is a very simple, to-the-point, easily understandable comparison! Thanks! :) 

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