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So, my coworker's brother had gastric bypass a few days after I did. Same office, different surgeon. This was 10 months ago almost. He is STILL not eating solid foods. He tried eating a few things, but he got sick, so now he has a food aversion and only eats Jello and yogurt. On top of that, he has become an alcoholic. He had blood in his stool and a local doctor thought it was his colon, but then he woke up one night covered in blood. He went to the local hospital (not the one where our surgeon's are), and lost 3 pints of blood due to a bleeding ulcer in his pouch. He drinks a bottle of whiskey a day and also drinks beer. He looks GREY. He has lost nearly 300lbs in the last 10 months alone.

He has not told our bariatric clinic about any of this. They don't know about the ulcer, or his drinking, or that he still isn't eating solid food. He is literally going to die. His family hasn't contacted the bariatric clinic either. I don't know this guy - only what my coworker has shared. She says that every day he tells her he regrets what he has done, but is ashamed to contact the bariatric surgeon because they are going to tell him to stop drinking and he doesn't want to. His family has been unable to get him to see anyone about the drinking.

Should I make a call to my bariatric office and just be like "hey, I know you can't confirm or deny that this guy is a patient but so and so had surgery on this date with this doctor and this has happened... maybe just make a call to him as a casual "checkup"" in hopes that that will trigger him opening up to get help?

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I would. They may not be able to do anything, but at least you'll know you tried.

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I wouldn't. In the end it's his story and his decision. :( It's not your business.

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No, it's a drinking problem. He needs help, but calling his bariatric office isn't going to trigger the help he needs. He needs an intervention.

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That's quite the ethical dilemma! I think I would do so. Yes you could be justified in 'minding your own business'. But if he were to continue to follow the path he is on and dies, you'd always wonder "could that phone call I thought of making have made the difference?". It might and it might not, but at least you can rest in knowing that you did what you could to help him.

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1 minute ago, GradyCat said:

No, it's a drinking problem. He needs help, but calling his bariatric office isn't going to trigger the help he needs. He needs an intervention.

I am just going to feel terrible when he dies. Because he is. Truly. He doesn't eat. He is drinking with an actively bleeding ulcer. At least if he could start getting in some nutrition that would be something. This is just terrible.... =[

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Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, mousecat88 said:

I am just going to feel terrible when he dies. Because he is. Truly. He doesn't eat. He is drinking with an actively bleeding ulcer. At least if he could start getting in some nutrition that would be something. This is just terrible.... =[

But you don't know what **** show your call will set off. He has to be ready to make that change. It's heartbreaking, but true. You don't know if it will cause him to lose his insurance, the support of the clinic, his family support, his job, make him spiral deeper into denial, depression, addiction, divorce, loss of job, suicide attempt (which he is doing right now)...etc. We can't ever play God. It's just not our place. The best you can offer them is to pray for him to take action.

Edited by FluffyChix

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There's so many what-ifs. It is really hard to sit back and just watch this kind of thing happen... when it is totally preventable. I'm always a sucker for taking in "projects" and trying to "fix" them. His family is just like whateverrrrrrr it seems and it's kinda' infuriating. I don't know. He is SUPPOSED to have a 12 month appointment the same time as me so I guess they will see him then, if he goes. If he makes it another 2 months.

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Hello Mousecat! There is sincerely no ethical dilemma in reporting something and not asking for information back. She's like a good samaritan helping someone in the path of destruction have one more intervention.
Because Mousecat and not the family know the protocol of the bariatric clinic, they may feel powerless doing anything. But Mousecat knows exactly who to talk to and what can be said that will effect a change.
This guy appears to be operating under guilt and shame and the best people that can normalize this to him in a way that may make a difference will be the bariatric team. They know, understand, diagnose, treat all the upheavals that is WLS.

So as long as the clinic doesn't give you any information, they (and you) are not breaking any ethical or legal laws.

Another option is to tell his sister exactly who she needs to speak with to ask for help for this sick guy.

Just my 2 cents.....Good luck and even if you don't do anything, the fact that you worried enough to post is commendable [emoji112][emoji112][emoji112]🧡🧡🧡🧡

Sent from my SM-N960U using BariatricPal mobile app

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Do you think you could persuade him to come to this community? If he read that he is not alone, and others develop addictions after bariatriatric surgery, he might connect with someone who has the same issue and can provide support.

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I might tell him that you had the surgery too, and that if he ever wants to talk you are there for him. Also that you belong to this group, he may join you never know. You are a caring person!

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The thing is, I don't know him personally. My coworker's niece and her brother both had the surgery (the niece in February of this year and the brother when I had mine). I told her to pass along the info for this group a few times and that they could also add me on Facebook if they wanted, but neither had. I give her my "I don't like this" BariatricPal food (LOL) and Protein mixes to pass along to them all the time.

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No. It sounds like you're hearing all of this second hand. You have no idea if your coworker is a reliable narrator of what is going on. I'm fairly confident you'd hear something similar from one of my relatives - that I am not eating solid food (mostly true, my doc knows, and I've been so sick there isn't much they can do), that I drink too much (I've had exactly 3 glasses of wine total spread over 4+ months - but my relative thinks ANY drinking by ANYONE is bad). Again, my doc knows and said it was OK. But my relative is SURE I'm not telling my doc anything. The truth is you have no idea what this person you don't know is up to, what they have or have not told their doc, what biases your coworker has, etc. This is just not any of your business. Plus, the doc just randomly calling the patient isn't likely going to make him get any help even if he needs it.

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It is a tough situation, but I would be inclined to contact the bariatric clinic, as they presumably are linked in (one way or another) with the psychs who do the pre-op evaluations, and they probably know better the protocols in making an intervention, contacting the family and "just checking up" (we haven't seen him for a follow up for a while need to keep current for our data....), etc. Ultimately, it is up to him, and/or family, but a nudge from someone within their medical circle may help.

Perhaps asking your bariatric clinic in general terms (do they have a support group where general questions can be asked?) that you have heard of this situation, and what can be done to help if this is true? (that way you are not "tattling" but they may ask, "is this one of our patients?"....)

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I called. I spoke to the Program Manager at the office and told her what I had been told and what I had seen, and that I had seen pictures of him from being in the hospital from the hemorrhaging last week and he looked horrific. I saw the before photos (of him at 450lbs) and seeing how gaunt he is now would haunt me the rest of my life if he does die and I didn't at least do something. She is going to check with his surgeon to see if they are even allowed to call and do a random check-in. She said it would just be something casual and they would act like it was a regular follow-up call like an appointment confirmation/9 months check-up call. Not actually bring up anything I said, but leave it to him if he wants to say anything.... so he doesn't feel cornered or know anyone "ratted him out". just as if they called everyone at this midway point to see how they were doing. I told them I felt very conflicted about even calling, but they said they deeply appreciate patients like me and my concern for him and they will move forward in the best way they feel they can... if at all. They may not do anything, which is fine... I just couldn't sit by and say I did nothing.

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