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One month out from VSG--still so much pain, and partner getting exasperated



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Hi everyone:

I had my VSG on 9/16 and just had my one-month followup on Thursday. Over the weekend I started having really bad difficulties getting even small amounts of Water down, and have only managed to eat about 5 tiny bites of food in 3 days. Additionally, the upper left part of my abdomen hurts incredibly bad and the pain has moved into my left shoulder--I have tried everything to deal with the pain, they have me on a list of gastrointestinal meds and tylenol and nothing is even coming close to making a dent in this pain.

Making matters worse, my partner has gotten extremely frustrated with me because I should have been back to normal by now, and I just seem to keep getting worse. He's worried "This is our life now" and that I'm going to be incapacitated forever. I don't even want to tell him what's going on with me and have just been pretending everything is fine, but I'm in agony. Doing things like dishes or even leaning over to pick something up off the floor is torture. But I have to act like everything is fine or he will get frustrated. I don't want to lose him.

This is the first time I've felt this way since the procedure but I really wish I hadn't had the surgery; I may have been headed toward a heart attack in my 50s but at least I was happy. I don't want to live an extended but miserable life.

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First of all, I'm so sorry you're experiencing so many difficulties. I can't even imagine how frustrating and scary this must be. This is not the norm, and as such, I STRONGLY recommend you contact your surgeon ASAP. If they can't get you in go to the ER. This much pain and regression in eating a month out is super unusual and could be indicative of a complication. Go get seen!

As for your partner, if they are frustrated by your pain then that is a problem with them. Someone who loves you should be empathetic, caring, and more concerned about your well being than their comfort. If you have to lie or hide your pain to keep them from being inconvenienced, then you might want to reevaluate that relationship.

All that being said, take care of YOURSELF. This procedure is a tool and only works as well as we learn to use it which includes advocating for your needs and getting help when you need it. You do not need to suffer and should not be, please reach out to your team...

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I'm going to dissent a little bit from the comment above, though I agree in most part.

Your nerves are regrowing after being cut during surgery. It was so painful for me for like a week and a half... and then, BAM, literally overnight, no problems. I can bend forward to pick things up, I can wriggle in the bed to turn over.

Definitely call your surgeon. Make a whole lot of noise if you need to. But I would say only go to the emergency room if it is absolutely debilitating OR if you have a fever, swelling, or redness that is hot to the touch.

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So what Med School did your partner graduate from that informed him on how fast you should heal? Some of us are back at our normal activities in a week or so while others take months to get back. It really depends on a lot of things like your starting weight/BMI, your physical condition before surgery, your nutrition, the complications of the surgery, any other conditions you have etc, etc. Even totally healthy people after surgery have different healing rates.

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If you haven't already contacted your surgeon's office, you really should do that asap. The fact that you suddenly can't do something you previously could (based on my understanding of the situation) is concerning. They can tell you whether this is normal or if you need to get checked out. It is especially concerning that even Water is a problem. That's scary serious to me.

To be honest, the fact that your partner seems less concerned with how you are feeling and more concerned with how this is inconveniencing their life... well, that's a partner problem and doesn't suggest they are the kind of person to be there through the real thick and thin of life. You said you "don't want to lose them" but given they can't even seem to be concerned about your well being when you are in pain I'm not sure what you really would be losing should it come to that. I don't mean to make judgements on the relationship, I'm just very concerned that this person's concern is on them and their inconveniences and not on your health and well being. I hope this is just frustration on their part (not that it would excuse it if it is, but it is better than the alternative).

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On 10/19/2021 at 8:38 AM, Queen ApisM said:

If you haven't already contacted your surgeon's office, you really should do that asap. The fact that you suddenly can't do something you previously could (based on my understanding of the situation) is concerning. They can tell you whether this is normal or if you need to get checked out. It is especially concerning that even Water is a problem. That's scary serious to me

I'm still not able to get much down beside liquids. I've been able to successfully drink some Protein Shakes and some juice but I am extremely apprehensive about anything more substantial than that.

I'm in a unique situation because I had surgery 3 hours from where I live. My surgeon's office had me to go to the emergency room for a scan to determine if the shoulder pain was a blood clot and to have a blood panel run to see if I was dehydrated. Long story short, between COVID patients and drug overdoses in the sad Appalachian city I live in, I was in the waiting room at the ER for 7 hours with no timeframe for when I might be seen, so I just left. I was to a point where I felt like I was going to pass out from a combination of no liquids, no calories, and having to wear a mask that long when I wasn't feeling well (with my gross, dry mouth puffing away in it).

The good news is that my partner's behavior last week was just a bad day, and he has been wonderful since then. He did some reading and found out my recovery is more normal than not at this point and has completely stopped giving me crap about it.

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I am wondering if you could have a stricture. I can't remember at what timepoint they happen, but it usually makes it hard to eat/swallow things you used to be able to tolerate.

I had surgery just a few days before you and I had pain at that point, but not when eating or drinking, unless I ate or drank too fast - but that is just my own personal experience.

Glad your partner is being better. Hope you find the cause and get better!

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2 hours ago, lizonaplane said:

I am wondering if you could have a stricture. I can't remember at what timepoint they happen, but it usually makes it hard to eat/swallow things you used to be able to tolerate.

I had surgery just a few days before you and I had pain at that point, but not when eating or drinking, unless I ate or drank too fast - but that is just my own personal experience.

Glad your partner is being better. Hope you find the cause and get better!

I think what happened is that I burned the lower part of my esophagus via acid reflux, and it seems to be on its way to healing. (My bariatric team had me start taking two acid reducers)...it's the weirdest thing though, I never had acid reflux before the surgery, and I know there were at least a few times things were coming up my throat in my sleep.

Over the last week I've been able to eat 2-3 small "meals" each day (my dinner was two rice crackers with thai chili tuna on them, for instance), which isn't where I should be, but it's a damn sight better than being able to only get Water, Protein Shakes, and juice down.

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