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Return to work after MGB



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Hello, I'm due to have MGB later this month. Hoping to get some questions answered.

Firstly, how long did it take before you returned to work? My surgeon advises 2 weeks until I can drive, and if I need will sign me off for four weeks. I'm a teacher and would be on my feet all day, although I could take it easy if needs be as I teach secondary/high school age. I know I will need to listen to my body, but I'd ideally get back to work as soon as possible so just exploring what's realistic.

Secondly, how did you tackle questions from other people about your absence and then weight loss? I've told absolutely no one apart from my immediate family, and want to be able to brush off questions but not sure what to say. I might disclose later on, but not particularly close to colleagues so would feel strange talking about it now.

Many thank

Jen

Edited by Jen2020MGB
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I had surgery late Thursday evening, flew home on Saturday and went back to work Tuesday. No issues, a little tired but it was very manageable.

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I took three weeks off but could have gone back after two. But I was a librarian (retired now), so I wasn't on my feet all day like a teacher is - I spent most of the day sitting at my desk - or the reference desk.

I started out over 300 lbs, so no one noticed my weight loss until I was three or four months out. By then I doubt anyone linked it back to my three-week June "staycation". When people asked, I told them I was working with a dietitian, low carbing and exercising like a fiend. Most normal people believe that diet and exercise schlock. I was more honest with people who are obese.

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It was 4 weeks before I took up a new work contract. Thankfully part time as I struggled with low blood pressure & energy levels (but that is me). My new employees new I had had surgery but not what & were very supportive if I had to take an early mark. Amusingly, I think my male boss thought I’d had some sort of ‘female surgery’ so never pushed for more information.

Teaching is emotionally & physically demanding. (I taught for many years.) Would your school allow you to come back part time to begin - maybe working a Mon, Wed & Fri for your first week back? Just to test the waters.

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20 hours ago, Arabesque said:

It was 4 weeks before I took up a new work contract. Thankfully part time as I struggled with low blood pressure & energy levels (but that is me). My new employees new I had had surgery but not what & were very supportive if I had to take an early mark. Amusingly, I think my male boss thought I’d had some sort of ‘female surgery’ so never pushed for more information.

Teaching is emotionally & physically demanding. (I taught for many years.) Would your school allow you to come back part time to begin - maybe working a Mon, Wed & Fri for your first week back? Just to test the waters.

Thank you, I also have blood pressure on the low side and never fast to heal from anything, so am starting to think it might take me closer to the four weeks rather than the 1/2 I was initially thinking. Good idea about phased return, I hadn't considered that.

I have so far relied on my bosses assumption of 'lady problems' too! Fortunately I have very supportive colleagues, but everyone is so busy I'm conscious of not being a burden. Hopefully all will work out.

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On 8/3/2020 at 8:40 PM, catwoman7 said:

I took three weeks off but could have gone back after two. But I was a librarian (retired now), so I wasn't on my feet all day like a teacher is - I spent most of the day sitting at my desk - or the reference desk.

I started out over 300 lbs, so no one noticed my weight loss until I was three or four months out. By then I doubt anyone linked it back to my three-week June "staycation". When people asked, I told them I was working with a dietitian, low carbing and exercising like a fiend. Most normal people believe that diet and exercise schlock. I was more honest with people who are obese.

Thank you, fortunately (?!) with the covid restrictions we are advised to stay 2m from students anyway, so I already have a reason to be at the front of class and can sit down, so hopefully it needn't be too difficult to start with.

I am just about 300 lbs so think it will also be a while before people notice, but I carry an awful lot of weight on my stomach so I may start to look less than 25 months pregnant fairly quickly (hopefully!). Interesting what you say about sharing with fellow obese, I had thought about that, maybe when I have lost a reasonable amount and a bit more confident about the whole thing.

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On 8/3/2020 at 8:14 PM, Band07 said:

I had surgery late Thursday evening, flew home on Saturday and went back to work Tuesday. No issues, a little tired but it was very manageable.

Wow, that is fast! What work do you do? In a way I feel like if I need to be up and moving anyway, then if I'm at work I'll have that motivation.

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44 minutes ago, Jen2020MGB said:

Interesting what you say about sharing with fellow obese, I had thought about that, maybe when I have lost a reasonable amount and a bit more confident about the whole thing.

only because I know...that they know...that the whole "diet & exercise" thing doesn't work for most people. But skinny people believe all that... Plus I think the fellow obese really do want to know.

Edited by catwoman7

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HI Everyone - I don't want to tell work about this surgery. Mine is next Thursday Nov. 19th and I have not told work! I was just going to take vacation time (I will have 6 full days off) then on the 7th day go into the office.

Of course, now I feel I should say some type of surgery "just in case". Any good suggestions I can use? Just thinking during co-vid I am not sure if they do "elective" surgeries like hiatus hernia. I am so worried I am going to say something and and someone will start asking what hospital is doing the surgery etc.

Help!

Thanks!

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A little update. All went smoothly with my surgery. I felt ok for the first week, just very tired and it was a huge effort to take in enough fluids, and I felt sick a lot of the time and did vomit on several occasions causing some panic but all settled down. sleeping propped up was not the best, but I couldn't lie flat because I felt so nauseous when i did.

Two weeks and i felt worse, blood pressure low, dizzy, and generally just not myself. Tired all the time. Vomited in my sleep and nearly choked, was pretty awful and scared me. There was no way I could've done a full days work, although I did do the odd hour at my desk doing emails etc.. I had to count the drops of Water going in my mouth because I was so sensitive to over filling.

By the end of week 3 i was feeling more myself, but still had a job getting in enough fluids and sustenance. Was sleeping lying on my side again which made all the difference.

After 4 weeks I was back at work and just had to be careful and make sure I took time to drink and eat regularly, not super easy when teaching all day, on duty and wearing masks. The other slight issue i had was the length of time to eat, I would finish two spoons and my one break of the day was over, and then for half an hour my stomach made really loud noises! Iced lattes got me through for fluids Protein and being able to sip it throughout the day. I also think the cold was soothing on my stomach.

I noticed a shift after 6 weeks when I could go hours without remembering I'd had surgery, and now by 11 weeks ish it's all good and I'm eating lots of different things just small portions and my usual - if not higher - energy levels have returned.

I was deliberately vague about the surgery, I wasn't ready to tell colleagues and they haven't asked. Only one has mentioned my weight loss. I'm still drinking iced coffee a lot (shot of coffee, ice and soya milk, no sweeteners). I think a few suspect but honestly I don't know them well and can't be bothered yet with explaining everything. I was prepared to dismiss any questions at the risk of sounding rude, rather than talk about it, but it's not been an issue.

It is major surgery, and impossible to predict how your body will react. Healing takes time. In hindsight, I think I was convincing myself I'd be fine so quickly afterwards because I was actually really nervous about having the surgery, I just hadn't realised it.

I hope it goes well for you TrueNorth1.

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Thanks so much for the update. Your journey really helps. You are right, everybody is different how they heal. I read some posts that it takes weeks and others that bounce back so quick. I guess I want to plan for the worst but hope for the best!

There are so many factors also; body healing from major surgery, low food intake, high Protein, low carb, less or no caffeine. All these changes cause low energy, tiredness and brain fog. I have cut out caffeine a 4 days ago and I have a slight headache everyday. After day 3 of no caffeine I had brain fog, hard to concentrate, I was so tired. I literally came home from work and slept for 12 hours before work the next day. That's just caffeine withdrawal! I am trying to implement some changes now so that my body isn't so stressed on everything at once.

And....now 11 weeks post op....how is the weight loss? Are you happy you had it done?

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100% happy that I had it done, weight loss as expected, I am average in most aspects of life including this apparently!!

Don't get me wrong, I had serious buyers remorse between week 2 and 6/7, catastrophising and wondering if I'd ruined my life. But now I feel great - I have more energy, my joints don't hurt as much, I can bend down and tie my shoes without holding my breath, I can fit into my more normal sized clothes and I don't hate my image on camera. It's been worth the sacrifices and changes to life, which I wasn't really living before anyway. I even went swimming last week, which I haven't done in years. Another 6 stones to go before I can do the main non-health thing that's been motivating me, and go horse riding again.

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What happened between week 2 and week 6/7?

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As I mentioned I was struggling to consume enough, fluids and food, didn't like the taste of anything, trying to work normally and felt pretty tired. Nothing disastrous, but my mind was full of "what if this is it for life" type thoughts, and I also had a stall (expected, but still) and just mentally wasn't in a good place. It did pass! I also scared myself reading the worst stories out there on Facebook and message boards, I'd have been better off just listening to my surgeon and dietician. Still, no regrets and really happy I had it done.

You're going in this week aren't you? Is there anything you're particularly worried about?

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