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I hate myself for going through with WLS



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I had serious doubts about getting the gastric sleeve a few days before my surgery. I expressed them to my husband but he thought I was just nervous and wanted to support me, so he urged me to go through with it. I hate it though. I hate my life now and I'm not sure if I will ever not hate it. I have a couple close friends and they did not feel this way 4 weeks post-op like I do. I cry all the time. I'm worried something is wrong and terrified of having to go through any kind of revision surgery. I'm an American living in Germany and it is so difficult to contact my surgeons office and get anyone who speaks enough english to help me.
I started my WL journey about 4 years ago when we were stationed in Italy. I was denied a medically necessary breast reduction because my BMI was too high. So I was referred for weight loss guidance.First, I was sent to the base nutritionist (a perfectly in shape airman) who told me I needed to work out more and eat more whole vegetables. I had to work with him for 1+ years before being able to try any WL medications. Unfortunately that was in early 2019, and we all know how the next few years went.
We PCS'd to a new base in Germany in 2020 and when I asked about the WL medications I was told that was not an option here. They recommended I carry on with my (now virtual) nutritionist.
I wasn't losing any weight and working out would send my back into spasms from my H cups breasts. I was taking a combination of Flexural, Motrin, and Valium for my back spasms, only using the Valium when they were at a level 8 or above pain level (so less than 1 valium a month). Turns out not only could I not get WL meds here, I also could not get a refill on my Valium. I had used too much (less than 1 pill a month for a year). So any weight training was immediately phased out of my working out, which now consisted of only walking.
This past summer I went back and told them I really need a breast reduction and if I had to go the WLS route then I was open to that. The provider (who has had WLS themself) was very on board with WLS. I told them that I had already done the nutrition part at my previous base, so he put in the surgical consult referral right away. After I met with the surgeon, who surprise, surprise wanted to operate (surgeons always gonna surgeon), my provider put in the referral for my surgery and stated that all prerequisites had been completed at prior base. Then boom... endoscopy and surgery scheduled.
Now all I had said was that I went to nutrition at my previous base and continued it virtually. So I had no idea what other preqs there could be.
I had a few meeting with the nutritionist here about the gastric pre/post op diet. That's it. I learned about the full liquid to clear liquid pre-op and clear liquid to full liquid to purees to soft foods diet post op.
I was completely unprepared mentally and emotionally for this surgery. Not to mention I had done all my pre-op nutrition with the American on base nutritionist and post-op was with the German hospital nutritionist. They had completely different guidelines (like the Germans wanted me to start soft solids on DAY 5 post op and stop Protein Shakes immediately).
I was in the hospital for 4 days with nurses who spoke very little English, so they would give me shots and pills but never tell me what they were giving me. I know a small amount of German, enough to get by with running errands and what not, so I understood one nurse when after I told her my German was minimal and asked if she could speak English, she got annoyed with me and told me I was never going to be allowed to go home. The patient liaison from base sorted it out and the issue was the hospital nutritionist would not do my consult without an in person translator that I needed to provide and I could not be discharged without that consultation.
I felt like I was drowning; I still feel like I'm barely able to tread Water now at 4 weeks post-op. My end goal wasn't WL to be skinny. I just wanted a breast reduction. Before surgery I didn't have high blood pressure, diabetes, GERD, sleep apnea, high cholesterol...zero comorbidities. For all intents and purposes I was a healthy fat lady with giant boobs. So post surgery I was/am overwhelmed with regret. There's all these things I feel like I didn't know and wasn't prepared for. Like I knew I was going to be eating smaller portions, but didn't know about the tiny bites and chewing things until its mush in your mouth for the rest of your life. I didn't know that my stomach would be almost too swollen to drink water after surgery and that the german hospital only provided water and broth, no popsicles or Jello. So I spent my days in the hospital feeling nauseous all the time because drinking water made me taste blood in my mouth and that made me gag, all while my nurse tisked me and told me I was never going home.
No one asked if I had a history of eating disorders (which I do) and how this surgery and diet are going to bring up old thoughts and feelings of self harm and negative self talking.
No one weighed out if the possible negative side effects of the surgery were stronger than the positives. Pre surgery I took ZERO daily meds other than a daily Vitamin. Now I need an antacid and stool softener to be able to ingest anything other than water and not tear myself in half in the bathroom. I also need daily tylenol because eating anything gives me a massive headache.
I don't even want to eat anymore. I spend 30 minutes forcing myself to take tiny bites of some high Protein food and then I spend the next hour actively trying not to barf it back up. Without tylenol I am running at 99F, but when I eat it goes up to 100-101. The doctor said its not an emergency unless its 101.5, which is hasn't gotten to yet. And even if it did, what would I do?! The hospital was horrible. My hand still hurts from where the nurse wouldn't flush my IV, so the port go blocked and all he Fluid and medicine soaked into the flesh of my hand, making it swell up like Wreck It Ralph. I had an allergic reaction that made me sneeze for days after surgery. No one would offer any help or advice about my sneezing. They told me to eat less, but I wasn't eating anything at all.
I just hate this. I hate food. I hate eating. I hate the thought of chewing until something is a mushy paste. I hate life. I just wanted a breast reduction and now I feel like I've had a life reduction.

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I understand that you are feeling overwhelmed and regretful after your weight loss surgery. It sounds like you went through a difficult and confusing time both before and after the surgery, and it's understandable that you are feeling frustrated and sad about the experience.

You mentioned several points in your message, and I'd like to address each one:

  • Pre-surgery preparation: It sounds like you did not feel fully prepared for the surgery, both in terms of understanding the prerequisites and the potential physical and emotional effects of the surgery. This can be a common experience for people who undergo bariatric surgery, as the process can be complex and confusing.
  • Hospital experience: The experience you had in the hospital sounds particularly challenging, with language barriers, physical discomfort, and a lack of support from the medical staff. This can be difficult to manage and can impact one's recovery and overall feelings about the surgery.
  • Eating habits and diet: The changes in your eating habits and diet can be a significant adjustment, especially when combined with the physical side effects of the surgery. It's understandable that you are feeling frustrated with having to eat smaller portions and chew food thoroughly, as well as the headaches and nausea that come with eating.
  • Mental and emotional impact: Your mention of having a history of eating disorders is important, as bariatric surgery can bring up old thoughts and feelings related to self-harm and negative self-talk. It's important to have a support system in place and to reach out for help if you need it.

Overall, it's clear that you are going through a difficult time and that your experience with bariatric surgery has not been what you expected or hoped for. I would encourage you to reach out to your bariatric surgeon or a mental health professional for support and guidance. They can help you understand the physical and emotional changes you are experiencing and provide you with tools to manage them.

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I'm sorry about your experience. I'm surprised Ramstein Air Base didn't have a bariatric team. I'm working with a team at an Army base here in Colorado and wasn't even given the option for an off-base provider for this procedure despite all my medical being done by civilian medical offices. I don't want to give a bunch of unsolicited advice, but just validate how you feel. You have an absolute right to be angry and upset (which I'm sure is an understatement). Life as you know it is forever changed and it's not fair that you weren't properly prepared. I will say though, are there medical lesions are your base that you can speak to about the process and treatment you had? I know they cannot change what happened to you, but maybe something good will come from it. Lastly, know you have support from others in this forum who maybe feel frustrated about different aspects of the surgery and experiences they had.

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It does get better. It's normal to have regrets at your current stage.

I am one of the very rare bariatric surgery patients to have serious complications. However, after a challenging year, I've lost a total of 115 lbs and my life is totally normal. I eat regular food and have resumed all of my prior activities.

A year ago I was in hospital due to peritonitis and sepsis arising out of bariatric revision surgery. I rued my decision to have RNY>RNY revision surgery. I spent 7 weeks in hospital with 3 endoscopy procedures and two open surgeries, followed by 3 weeks in a rehab facility before returning home. I had an open surgical wound for another 3 months, requiring daily dressing changes. I'm lucky to have survived at all, with organs and limbs intact.

Because of the endoscopy procedures my pouch and anastomosis were stretched so I now have minimal physical restriction and will have to watch my diet and record my intake for the rest of my life. I accept that and hope to lose more, but will be content if I don't continue to lose.

If you read the many stories on this site you will see that regrets pass and the vast majority of us are ultimately happy with our decisions to have surgery. Life does return to normal. You will be able to eat normal food. If you follow an appropriate food plan and learn how to eat differently during this period of restriction you will lose weight and keep it off.

Since you have had such meager support, it's up to you to read and learn more about how to make a successful return to normal life minus the excess poundage. There are many excellent books available. You may be able to get some on Amazon.de or have them sent to you by someone in the US (or on Kindle in English). Here are a few of the books I recommend. There are many other excellent books and cookbooks to support you.

You may ultimately still need breast reduction surgery, but you will be in better shape before you proceed with it. In the meantime, make the most of the tool you have been provided. Hang in there. Day by day, it will get better.

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I had a long 8 months to wait for this surgery and thought I was very prepared. I read this forum from back to front. 20 years worth of problems and advice. I didn't know it all though, I didn't know that hormones live in fat cells and when we loose a lot of weight quickly we had all these hormones rushing around our bodies like puberty on steroids. I was having a tough time of it with nausea and vomiting too. I cried for a week and did not know why. I asked for help on here and got it. The answer, too many hormones at a time when I was overwhelmed with trying to do everything right. I think you need anti nausea medication.

So, You are not alone. Its normal to feel like you are. As you have realised its big surgery and now you have to get to grips with it, there is no going back. IT WILL GET BETTER.

You wont have to chew food like this forever, it just helps your tiny stomach digest your food so that you get the nutrients from it. Your headaches could be from dehydration, its tough to get all the liquids and food in early on, it feels like it will never get better but it does. Just do your very best everyday to get your liquid and Protein onboard. That way you will improve every day and doing that will improve your mental health a little

Please seek counselling for your eating disorders, hopefully you can find one who understands bariatrics too. OR talk to us on here, you can rage, cry and get these feeling off your chest and it may help a little bit. We don't mind, the ones before us did the same for us. You are not alone

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2 hours ago, summerseeker said:

I had a long 8 months to wait for this surgery and thought I was very prepared.

Having WLS is like learning to swim.

You can read everything there is about swimming technique and breathing technique, watch videos about how your limbs are supposed to move, how to keep your body afloat on the Water etc. etc. etc....

... but all of this is worth zilch as soon as you hit the cold water for the first time.

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I am so sorry that you've gone through so much difficulty. But, it will get better, in time. My only suggestion would be to maybe see about speaking with a therapist. I have one and he has helped me a lot.

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I went through this too, check out my profile and my very first posts you will see how bad I was. it does get better I can 100% guarantee you of this. it might take a couple of months, but you will get there. I am 18 months post op and forget I have even had the surgery sometimes, I even wish the post op period lasted longer now. The restrictions you feel will get less over time and it will become easier and enjoyable to eat again. Like Summerseeker said your hormones will be all over the place too. I cried multiple times a day, even screamed in the shower "why Me" as is why did the surgery make me feel like this. I couldn't even talk about the surgery without crying and told people never to consider getting it done but the crying got less the eating got better. Now I couldn't recommend the surgery more. Its the best thing I ever did, and you will feel that way soon too.

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a few more tips, eat and drink something you enjoy, I found KFC mash and gravy, Powerade, kids yoghurt pouches were life savers for me. I didn't do low sugar, sugar free or anything like that as you are eating so little anyway, I found the extra calories made me feel better I also ditched the Vitamins as they actually made me feel worse and all my bloods have been fine. oh, cloudy pear juice fantastic for the old bowel movements and it's nice to drink :). I find I still only go every couple of days, but I don't stress about it it will come when its ready remember you are eating way less so there is way less poop to come out :)

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