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19 days post VSG, finding it isolating and lonely



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Hi all,

Really happy to have found this space. This is my first post. I have recently undergone the gastric sleeve procedure and opted to tell only my partner and my parents. I am really struggling today with how isolating that feels - to be going through such a huge life change but to not yet feel ready or able to open up to my closest friends about it. It is so lonely. It means my wonderful partner is bearing the brunt of my not so good days, for which I’m feeling very guilty. I’m also having to make excuses to wiggle out of social invitations from friends which feels uncomfortable. I really feel like having a network of people who understand what I’m going through currently to speak openly with will really help me, so thank you to whoever sees this.

I’m not sure why I have such a block about opening up about my choice to have surgery. I suppose I worry what others will think, that there is still some stigma around it, that some believe it to be an “easy way out”. I am fully at peace with my reasons for having the surgery, but fear others just won’t get it.

I also know via conversations with my Mum that my Dad was not entirely on board with the idea - he is quite old-school with a sort of “why don’t you just eat better and exercise more” mindset. He never spoke to me directly about his views (perhaps as he knew it would upset me) which has again compounded this sense of not being able to be open about my procedure. Whilst I know I should own my decision and not care what others think, I do hope in time he will understand my reasons as we all want our parents’ approval / blessing. For me it truly was my last hope.

I definitely do not want to tell colleagues about the nature of my operation as it feels like a very private thing to me. I want to keep work and my personal life as separate as possible.

I was wondering if anyone has experienced similar anxieties about telling their nearest and dearest and how you overcame that? What was the outcome if / when you opened up? How did that feel?

Really look forward to hearing your thoughts and thanks again for taking the time to read this :) x

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Posted (edited)

People are going to assume you have had the surgery away when you start losing weight some might even ask you directly if you have so then do you lie to them ? I thought People would be very judge too and didn't tell anyone but then I had to because it was very obvious and I needed more time off work. I found most people were extremely supportive and you need that in the early days and why isolate yourself from your friends and social situations if your friends know maybe they can plan non eating get together until you are back in the "normal" eating phases. Bottom line is people are going to talk and assume anyway so it is much easier to be up front about it .

Edited by SleeverSk

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I didn’t tell pretty much anyone, and even now a year and a half later I can count on one hand the number of people I told. I am a very private person though and I have strong a strong philosophical objection to the idea that I “owe” people information on my life. I think social media has given people an over-inflated sense of the importance of their opinions and the need to share them on every occasion - and yes I recognize the irony of me posting this on a social media site like this. 😂. I know people in my life would have had lots of opinions about my own choices, and I don’t care to hear them. Do I think many people assume I had surgery after I lost 175 lbs? Of course. I don’t really care, they can assume whatever they want and when people try to bring it up to me I just don’t engage in the conversation.

If sharing about surgery makes you uncomfortable, don’t. If keeping it private makes you uncomfortable, then share. Go to social events and if you want to still keep it private then just find excuses to not take part in food right now. In a few months you’ll be able to eat to an extent that it won’t be immediately obvious.

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I decided to only share my decision with my husband and two sons. My parents and relatives are very judgmental and I don’t want to hear their nasty opinions. We live in different states and they probably won’t see me anyhow.

When the time comes to see friends or attend my husband’s company Christmas party, I have a plan. If they are nosey and ask how I lost weight, I will say that I saw a dietician and followed a strict liqud diet. It’s the partial truth. They don’t need to know all the details. It’s none of their business.

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I work from home, I had not been back to the office in 5 months until this week, I did not believe people were going to notice at work that I lost weight but they did. They asked, I said I had surgery, most did the normal questions, how are you feeling ( some good days some not), what can you eat etc. I said I have a long way to go and I know about cases where people gain weight so I asked them to wish me luck. I understand people will comment but I do not think they will say something negative to my face when they know I am strugling. I do not have access to a car, I am staying at an apartment and I have access to food that I can eat but my coworkers did not know it. To my surprise all the 3 days that I have been here some of my coworkers have been giving me food that I can eat ( they were listening) which is good for lunch and dinner. Their help made me feel very good. While we are trying to protect ourselves from negative comments we may also be missing support from other people. I made a decision for my health and wellbeing, time will say if I made the right decision for me. Some people may surprise you in a bad way but others will surprise you in a good way. You decide which ones diserve more of your time and attention.

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This is so true

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Thank you all so much for your invaluable guidance and for sharing your experiences with me. I really appreciate it. Reading them gave me the courage to go for a walk and open up to a close friend about my surgery today - for want of a better phrase it feels like a weight has been lifted! I couldn’t have wished for a nicer and more supportive reaction and I felt a bit silly I’d built it up to be such a scary and big deal. She said she would have loved to have been there for me over the last few weeks too. In terms of speculation about surgery, anyone in my life would tell you that my weight has drastically yo-yoed over the years so I do feel that for those I don’t feel comfortable telling it would be entirely plausible to just keep things vague and say something like I’ve been “working hard at it and eating better”. All true! They’ll probably just think: “here we go again!”. Thanks again everyone :)

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I have not had my surgery yet but its fast approaching, May 3rd. There is only 1 person who knows, my husband. I have older kids and younger kids (2 are still at home). Like others have said in their posts, I do not find it to be anyone's business that I have a sleeve. My kids I have not told because the older ones do not come around enough anyway to visit and Ill probably be on regular food by the time they do lol. My younger 2 children that are still at home (girl 17, boy 11) I have not told because my youngest son would be worried like crazy on surgery day. I do not want to cause any undue stress for him.

As for my coworkers, no one knows from there either. I do believe most would be supportive because I had 3 coworkers who had gastric bypass. Two of which is on a fast track of gaining their weight back post surgery 4 yrs. At current I am still working from home and only go to the office 1 week a month. I was just there last week and one coworker said I looked like I have lost weight since she last saw me (Ive lost 17 lbs in the last few months) but I didnt think it was noticeable.

Obviously we cannot dodge the looks and questions post surgery because we are losing weight, but at least I dont have to be judged or questioned why I would go down this road ahead of surgery. I kindof view it this way its my health, my decision. Once its done its done.

My hubby is from (W Yorkshire) England and he left his family, friends and country because he loves me. He is very supportive of me. He doesnt necessarily agree with the surgical aspect of things but I know he will be there for me and will help me through the mood swings, the pain and he knows if I go down a dark path of thoughts to give me his hand and help me back to where I need to be (I hear some ppl become depressed post op) I have never experienced that but if I do he will be there to help me. He always has been.

You will tell ppl in due time as you feel more comfortable (as will I perhaps) and I agree with what blackcatsandbaddecisions said

On 4/19/2022 at 4:47 PM, blackcatsandbaddecisions said:

Do I think many people assume I had surgery after I lost 175 lbs? Of course. I don’t really care, they can assume whatever they want and when people try to bring it up to me I just don’t engage in the conversation.

If brought up we dont have to talk about it especially if its from a judgmental person/family member! :)

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