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I’ve been looking into wls for years. I’ve tried everything else and feel like it’s the only option left for me to lose weight. I’ve finally been approved and have my gastric bypass scheduled for the end of May, but I’m scared. I was so sure I wanted this before and now that it’s happening it’s kinda scary. I know that if I don’t do it I’ll eventually get diabetes, heart problems, joint problems, high bp, etc., and that my weight will eventually kill me. But Wls changes the way you eat and the way your body processes food forever. I know that’s the point, it just feels a bit daunting. Plus, I’ve heard that the recovery is horrible and I’m a single parent so I won’t be able to get much of a break while I recover. Any advice?

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4 hours ago, Circus321 said:

I’ve been looking into wls for years. I’ve tried everything else and feel like it’s the only option left for me to lose weight. I’ve finally been approved and have my gastric bypass scheduled for the end of May, but I’m scared. I was so sure I wanted this before and now that it’s happening it’s kinda scary. I know that if I don’t do it I’ll eventually get diabetes, heart problems, joint problems, high bp, etc., and that my weight will eventually kill me. But Wls changes the way you eat and the way your body processes food forever. I know that’s the point, it just feels a bit daunting. Plus, I’ve heard that the recovery is horrible and I’m a single parent so I won’t be able to get much of a break while I recover. Any advice?

Hi!

I'm not a single parent, so I can't speak to the aspect of having to care for someone while you're in recovery. A few thoughts, though:

- It's completely normal to be nervous about it. Having said that, I think pretty much everyone wishes we had done it sooner once the actual surgery is over.

- Pre-op, you don't know what it feels like when you and your body both want to lose weight. It sounds terrible to live on liquids only, but it's honestly exactly what you want in those days after surgery. It's easy.

- Sure, there can be complications. But as you say, you know the current weight will give you complications, too. Worse ones.

Read a little about weight loss without surgery and then you realize surgery isn't an easy way out, it's the only way out for almost everyone :)

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I first started looking into WLS about 15 years ago, and my family talked me out of it because of the potential for horrible complications. Since then, I reconsidered it periodically, but kept deciding that I couldn't do it. I thought about everything I would have to give up -- all of my favorite things, like diet soda (my one guiltless pleasure), pizza, ice cream, fried foods, Pasta -- and I couldn't stand the thought of it. I hated the idea of having to completely change my diet and take Vitamins for the rest of my life.

What made me finally go through with it was the realization of everything I was giving up to continue living as an obese person. I didn't have any major health problems yet, but I had been diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes and I was going to have to start taking medication if I didn't get them under control. My mobility was going downhill and I was missing out on so much in life because of the physical and social limitations of my weight.

My advice is that you make your decision by carefully considering what you have to lose vs. what you have to gain. Studies show that we humans are naturally averse to the risk of loss and tend to overvalue what we have to lose and undervalue what we have to gain. When I really thought about everything I was already giving up and losing by continuing to live with obesity, the tradeoffs of having WLS didn't seem like so much of a sacrifice in comparison. Yes, it is a big lifestyle change and it is really hard, but the improvements to my health and quality of life are incredible. Like so many people, I wish that I had gone through with it sooner before I missed out on so many things in life. There were so many times that I wished and dreamed about how my life would be if I wasn't cursed with obesity, and here I am now, 160 pounds down from my highest weight -- something I used to think was impossible.

As for the recovery, it's actually not bad for most people. I only spent one night in the hospital and I had surprisingly little pain. I never even had to take any pain medication after I left the hospital. I only took a week off from work. There are risks to any surgery, but the rate of complications for WLS is very low. The liquid and pureed diet is rough, but it's only a few weeks. You didn't say how old your kids are, but if they're very young, you may need to get someone to help with them for a while. You won't be able to lift them for several weeks after surgery. If they're teenagers, they're probably self-sufficient enough to pitch in while you're recovering.

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not sure where you're hearing that recovery is horrible. Mine was a breeze - at first I thought they didn't really do the surgery! Some people do have pain with this, but usually just for the first few days. A majority of us seem to have little to no pain with it, though. Even if you're one of the people who does have pain, they'll send you home with pain meds so you can manage it.

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38 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

not sure where you're hearing that recovery is horrible. Mine was a breeze - at first I thought they didn't really do the surgery! Some people do have pain with this, but usually just for the first few days. A majority of us seem to have little to no pain with it, though. Even if you're one of the people who does have pain, they'll send you home with pain meds so you can manage it.

Yeah! I mean, I'm not going to lie, I wish they would've deflated me a bit more. Right after surgery the gas pain wasn't "annoying", it was really heavy. Pain meds helped, and just 4-5 hours later I wasn't just out of bed, I was walking for 20 minutes up and down the hospital hallways to get the gas out :)

I'd do it all again in a heartbeat, and twice on Sunday.

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9 hours ago, Circus321 said:

I know that if I don’t do it I’ll eventually get diabetes, heart problems, joint problems, high bp, etc., and that my weight will eventually kill me.

You really answered your own question with the above, didn't you? If you don't get the surgery, are you going to be an effective parent to your child(ren) when you can barely walk and have a host of medical problems?

For me, recovery was easy, and I was surprised at how little pain I had. Yes, you will have low energy for two or three weeks, but isn't it worth it compared to a lifetime of low energy if you don't get surgery?

I avoided surgery for years because it seemed like I would be giving up and taking the easy way out. My biggest regret is that I didn't do this 20 years earlier.

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My recovery has been a bit horrible, but I also didn’t have the best experience due to complications during my surgery which effected my recovery. I was out on leave for 3 weeks (including a hospital stay due to complications), my primary doctor offered a fourth week but I wanted to get back to normal- I really should have taken that 4th week. I also have meet a lot of people who were on their feet the very next day and recovery was a breeze for them. I would strongly encourage you to pick a surgeon local and really look into their after care, that way you can follow up with them directly during recovery and get the support you really need. I made a horrible mistake I went outside my provider care, out of state to a “faster” program and the level of after care is non existent, I didn’t feel supported by them in any way- but thankfully my provider (Kaiser) care has its own bariatric team and I’ve been able to follow up with them and get the support I need for my recovery. Best wishes.

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On 01/27/2021 at 06:39, catwoman7 said:



not sure where you're hearing that recovery is horrible. Mine was a breeze - at first I thought they didn't really do the surgery! Some people do have pain with this, but usually just for the first few days. A majority of us seem to have little to no pain with it, though. Even if you're one of the people who does have pain, they'll send you home with pain meds so you can manage it.


All I’ve heard is bad recovery stories on other forums and YouTube videos of people’s experience with wls. Thank you for your recovery story, it makes me feel better. Maybe it won’t be so bad

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On 01/27/2021 at 05:57, BigSue said:



I first started looking into WLS about 15 years ago, and my family talked me out of it because of the potential for horrible complications. Since then, I reconsidered it periodically, but kept deciding that I couldn't do it. I thought about everything I would have to give up -- all of my favorite things, like diet soda (my one guiltless pleasure), pizza, ice cream, fried foods, Pasta -- and I couldn't stand the thought of it. I hated the idea of having to completely change my diet and take Vitamins for the rest of my life.




What made me finally go through with it was the realization of everything I was giving up to continue living as an obese person. I didn't have any major health problems yet, but I had been diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes and I was going to have to start taking medication if I didn't get them under control. My mobility was going downhill and I was missing out on so much in life because of the physical and social limitations of my weight.




My advice is that you make your decision by carefully considering what you have to lose vs. what you have to gain. Studies show that we humans are naturally averse to the risk of loss and tend to overvalue what we have to lose and undervalue what we have to gain. When I really thought about everything I was already giving up and losing by continuing to live with obesity, the tradeoffs of having WLS didn't seem like so much of a sacrifice in comparison. Yes, it is a big lifestyle change and it is really hard, but the improvements to my health and quality of life are incredible. Like so many people, I wish that I had gone through with it sooner before I missed out on so many things in life. There were so many times that I wished and dreamed about how my life would be if I wasn't cursed with obesity, and here I am now, 160 pounds down from my highest weight -- something I used to think was impossible.




As for the recovery, it's actually not bad for most people. I only spent one night in the hospital and I had surprisingly little pain. I never even had to take any pain medication after I left the hospital. I only took a week off from work. There are risks to any surgery, but the rate of complications for WLS is very low. The liquid and pureed diet is rough, but it's only a few weeks. You didn't say how old your kids are, but if they're very young, you may need to get someone to help with them for a while. You won't be able to lift them for several weeks after surgery. If they're teenagers, they're probably self-sufficient enough to pitch in while you're recovering.


It’s great to hear that recovery wasn’t that bad for you. I’ve heard horror stories which makes me hesitant but it sounds like that’s the minority lol. I know I’ll gain much more from losing weight than from staying obese, I’m just nervous. My kids are 2, 3, and 4 (all boys). My mom who lives nearby has agreed to help out with them for a while but she works full time so I’ll still have to manage on my own for most of the day. I’ll try to see if they could go to a summer camp or something so it’d give me a big of a break during the day for a few weeks. Thanks!

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On 01/27/2021 at 07:31, Recidivist said:






You really answered your own question with the above, didn't you? If you don't get the surgery, are you going to be an effective parent to your child(ren) when you can barely walk and have a host of medical problems?




For me, recovery was easy, and I was surprised at how little pain I had. Yes, you will have low energy for two or three weeks, but isn't it worth it compared to a lifetime of low energy if you don't get surgery?




I avoided surgery for years because it seemed like I would be giving up and taking the easy way out. My biggest regret is that I didn't do this 20 years earlier.


I know I need to lose the weight eventually or it’ll cause problems, but right now I’m 22 and healthy so it’s hard to motivate myself with complications that seem “so far away”. I will be able to keep up with my kids better which is a big reason why I’m doing this. I’ve just heard from others that their recovery was a nightmare and they could barely move for weeks and were in severe pain for a long time afterwards and with 3 young children to care for that’s not really an option. Thanks for sharing your experience, I can deal with low energy for a few weeks so hopefully that’s what it’s like for me as well

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On 01/27/2021 at 08:49, Gabriatric2020 said:



My recovery has been a bit horrible, but I also didn’t have the best experience due to complications during my surgery which effected my recovery. I was out on leave for 3 weeks (including a hospital stay due to complications), my primary doctor offered a fourth week but I wanted to get back to normal- I really should have taken that 4th week. I also have meet a lot of people who were on their feet the very next day and recovery was a breeze for them. I would strongly encourage you to pick a surgeon local and really look into their after care, that way you can follow up with them directly during recovery and get the support you really need. I made a horrible mistake I went outside my provider care, out of state to a “faster” program and the level of after care is non existent, I didn’t feel supported by them in any way- but thankfully my provider (Kaiser) care has its own bariatric team and I’ve been able to follow up with them and get the support I need for my recovery. Best wishes.


I have to self-pay and I can’t afford any local surgeons. I’ve been looking at a clinic a few hours away or doing Medical Tourism but I know they have basically nonexistent follow up care. That’s another thing I’m worried about. I have a GI I see regularly and he’s agreed to provide my follow up care after the procedure which will help

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53 minutes ago, Circus321 said:

It’s great to hear that recovery wasn’t that bad for you. I’ve heard horror stories which makes me hesitant but it sounds like that’s the minority lol. I know I’ll gain much more from losing weight than from staying obese, I’m just nervous. My kids are 2, 3, and 4 (all boys). My mom who lives nearby has agreed to help out with them for a while but she works full time so I’ll still have to manage on my own for most of the day. I’ll try to see if they could go to a summer camp or something so it’d give me a big of a break during the day for a few weeks. Thanks!

I think it's definitely the minority. I've been hanging out on bariatric forums for the last six years, and it seems like most people have little to no issues with recovery. I've never watched the youtube videos. It could be related to the fact that people are more apt to reach out to others when they're having negative issues (looking for advice or support) than positive issues, but still, I see way more positive or neutral responses to recovery on here than I do negative.

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Full disclosure: I haven’t had surgery yet. I am cleared to go and just waiting for them to open up elective surgeries.

I am 38 and my dr first asked me about weight loss surgery YEARS ago. I didn’t have any problems except for one genetic quirk and that had been around since high school. I have stayed relatively the same size since high school.
in my opinion: I wish I had done it a long time ago.
I started having issues in 2016. my ankles were in pain. They gave me a leg brace. It is a PAIN to wear. It’s very uncomfortable. Then my knees started hurting..... then my back because I couldn’t walk correctly. In the space of only a couple years I went from being okay to not being able to walk at all. X rays indicated massive osteoarthritis which just snuck on me and would not be an issue at a lower weight.
I am now finally getting it done (I’m 38 but my dr first mentioned it when I was 28). It seems crazy to me now that I waited so long. The drs were all telling me that my weight would cause problems, but I figured I wasn’t there yet. All those problems really snowballed fast for me and I could have saved myself a lot of pain in the long run if I had just trusted them and done it when I had the insurance before.

another issue for me has been insurance: I got laid off as a result of declining health issues and then was stuck without any medical care because we couldn’t afford premiums. I couldn’t get rehired because my health was terrible. It was a vicious cycle. I’ve been trying to get rehired as a teacher since 2016 when my issues first popped up and I was laid off.....and it has been a very hurtful ongoing joke that I get pulled in for interviews and they ALWAYS choose the “skinny girl” with zero experience when I have over 20 years of experience in education.

In 2020 my husband got laid off as well due to covid. We were able to get on Medicaid and my dr suggested I get it done ASAP. So now I’m waiting for them to open up surgeries.

the benefit far outweighs any discomfort you would feel and please don’t be me and let it go until it’s “too late”. I will have issues with my joints for the rest of my life thanks to waiting until my weight was a problem.

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