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I don't know of this is exactly the right board, but I'm a single mom and I figure I will find others here.

I'm struggling when it comes to talking to my son about my surgery. He is 8. When I first started looking into surgery he overheard me talking to someone else about the surgery and flipped out.

While I was in the deciding phase, I made sure not to talk about it around him. Now the decision is made and the surgery is next month. I have plans and back up plans for his care while I'm in surgery and recovery. I even have a plan in case there are complications.

I just haven't been able to tell him about the surgery. What have you told your kids?

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My son is 9 and I went through some of your same thoughts in April. My son is a worrier...he is on anxiety meds. I decided not to tell him. I made sure my legal stuff and guardian info was up to date. He thought I was going with my friend to Mexico while she had surgery (which was kinda true). Well, I called him after surgery and he wanted to know how my surgery went!! So, I came clean and told him it was all fine. Then he wanted pictures...which confused me. It was then that I realized he thought I got a boob job!!! It's a running joke with me bc I always say I'm gonna get boobs. So, at the end, I would say that kids hear everything even when u think they don't. But only u can really answer your heart about telling him or not. Good luck!

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I think it is important to tailor your information to fit the 8 year old, who even if precocious, does not yet have abstract reasoning, which means that the "big picture" "the why" is not perceivable. 8 year olds live in the moment, live in the reality of what they need right now. Reassure him that he will be fine, that Mom is going to be healthier which means she can be an even better Mom. Ask him what activity he wishes he could do with his mom, run, throw a ball, bike, whatever -- tell him the surgery will mean that his Mom will be able to do that with him soon. Pair these discussions with fun things, a favorite meal, a walk, a visit to family. Make him feel special that he is on the side of his Mom's health!

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I had a lapband in 2001 when my boys were 9 and 12. My oldest is a worrier and my youngest is the silent type - who knows if he is a worrier, right? I revised to the sleeve when they were 19 and 22.

Anyway, we kept it light for the band procedure. They knew I was going into the hospital and at that time, in Germany, they kept me for 5 freaking days!!!! In the USA, you have to be on your deathbed to even be admitted to a hospital (ok maybe not that bad) so it was hard to help them understand that I was okay even though they would not let me out. My EX (their stepdad) did a great job of keeping them entertained/distracted combined with visiting me in jail (hospital)... it was a real balancing act.

My basic feeling about all this is that it is very difficult for children to understand all this and I don't want them to worry so I would really minimize it to the extent possible.

when I revised to the sleeve, my children were young adults but still concerned. I stayed overnight in an outpatient place. I did NOT want visitors but my EX felt they should see that I was okay. We played cards and had some laughs even though it exhausted me to have visitors it was a good decision because they could see I was "ok".

I know you didn't ask this question but I have to add something kinda interesting. I hit goal in Feb 2013. I pulled out before pix of myself recently and both of my boys looked so sad. they told me they don't remember me looking like that. They didn't realize how heavy (lets be honest, i was huge) I was. It made them sad, shocked and then proud of me in all I have achieved - all at once.

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That is tuff. Is he more worried about a "surgery" or what "type" of surgery it is? I believe in honesty. I would tell him what is going one and what the outcome is going to be. And why you are going to do this. I would assume a great reason is so you will be around to play and have fun with him right? Just give the details you think he can handle. He does not need to know everything.

Edited by judyoz

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Thanks for the advice. We talked about it today. He was scared at first, his fear is that he was afraid I would die during surgery. I acknowledged his fears by admitting that I could die, then quickly followed it up with the fact that I could die of a heart attack tomorrow. He thought about it for a minute, then he was ok. We talked about how I would be healthier and have more energy. He was excited my mom would be coming down to take care of us and that he would be with "nana" while I was in surgery.

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Perfect.... That is exactly what I was talking about. Honesty is best, just curved towards what they understand :)

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My daughter is also 8 and she had the same fears. I showed her a very simplified video I found on YouTube of what the procedure entailed because she was curious. She also thought I would come home from the hospital and look completely different, like I'd lose all my weight at once.

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