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Explaining Lap Band to Kids?



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hi folks

I wondered if anyone has any advice about explaining the lap band procedure to their children? I have two boys, the eldest is almost fourteen and is quite close to me. I have been pretty involved in researching and learning about the surgery and discussing it with my husband (in private, away from the kids). This morning my son came to me and wanted to know what's going on? He said "I know you and dad are discussing something and i heard one of you mention hospital". I didn't know what to say - I haven't a surgery date yet, I'm not even 100% sure (i am 99%!) sure i am going to go ahead with it so don't want to worry my son yet. We have had quite a bit of trauma in our family in the last 18 months and he is quite sensitive to me being preoccupied and/or stressed.

So what I'm asking is when and if the time comes to have the surgery, do any of you have any ideas how to explain this to my sons, without worrying them or giving them incorrect ideas about weight gain/loss etc?

I'd be grateful to hear of any of your experiences

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Bright,

Great question! I've been wondering the same. I am scheduled 9-11 and I know I have to bring up the subject VERY soon. I'm not too worried about my 4 year old. She is very easy going. My 11 year old son is my bigger concern. He can be a little sensitive.

Any words of wisdom out there?

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I was open and honest with my kids (ages 6 and 9), but I tried to keep things on their level. I explained to them that it was unhealthy for me to have so much extra weight and that I needed help. I told them how the band works and that I will feel better and be more active as I lose weight.

My daughter, the 6 year old, was very concerned and the night before my surgery she told me "I don't want a new Momma! I want my same Momma!" It was then that I realized that she thought I would go in the hospital one way and come out another. She felt better when I explained that it is a gradual change.

My son was concerned about the surgery itself, but I assured him that the doctors would take good care of me. I won't lie though..you could see the relief on his face when he saw that I was ok after my surgery.

I got them each a new stuffed animal and gave them to the kids before I left for the hospital. They still love them and I think it was comforting for them to have them.

~Tonia

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thanks Tonia,

that's a great point about letting them know that the change will be gradual. My sons hate when I say i'm trying to lose weight - they want me to stay the same too. I know my older son will be aware of the ramifications of surgery, and will be worried. I have thought about not telling them at all - I am planning to fly to London (or somewhere in Europe!) to have the operation, and they could just think my husband and I were having a weekend away, which we do occasionally. But god forbid, if anything did happen...... I dunno...

not an easy one!

:rolleyes:

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Bright,

Its Babs in TX!!! I found the web site I was telling you about. It is

http://www.gastricbandservice.co.uk/. THey organized everything for you to have the band in France. They even give you a banding buddy when you arrive to help you with all of your needs. I was so excited to find this link. I think this is a solution for you. Let me know how it goes. On the web site, they also have a list of Lapband docs they work with. I hope this is a solution for you also for the fills.

Kindest regards,

Babs in TX

-37 and counting

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hey Babs

that website looks great! I sent them off all my info and hopefully they will accept me - seem like the perfect solution - get to have the surgery done in France by an expert, and get fills/follow ups done in England where I can have questions answered and receive support in english!

Incidently I went onto one of the Yahoo french support groups last night, and even though my french is a bit rusty, it broke my heart to read how lonely and unsupported most of the women seem to be. Some of them didn't even know another overweight person. Really sad. I only know one other obese person, but we are great support to one another, and I don't know what i'd do with out this support site - thanks so much for all the trouble you went to Babs - you're the best xx:D :rolleyes::D

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When I told my kids ( 10 and 12 yrs. old) I was going to have this surgery, my main concerns were a)not freaking them out and b)not giving my daughter the idea that I am doing this for cosmetic reasons

I explained that for whatever reason, I don't have the shutoff valve on my hunger. I may eat very healthy food but am unable to control quantity and that's what this surgery would help me do.

They were very understanding and loved that I was doing this so I could be their mum, healthier and around for a lot longer!:rolleyes:

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thanks Kathe,

those were exactly my worries too - that problems can be dealt with by surgery - but your suggestion is perfect. As soon as I have a surgery date, i'm going to sit them down and tell them that - thanks a million

take care

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My daughter was thirteen when I had my surgery. I was honest with her and told her if I didn't have the surgery that chances were that I would not be around long anyway. Dad had to do this and hope for the best. Kids understand better that we give them credit for.

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Hi Bright!

I was quite honest with my boys (5 and 10). My eldest son had overheard a few conversations between myself and my husband and a couple of close friends. He knew how hung up I was about my weight and took it all really coolly. My younger son didn't really take it in until the day we went to the hospital. He was a bit worried seeing me in the hospital, but he was fine when I got home.

Since then, 4 1/2 weeks later, everyone's forgotten about the op. and life continues as normal.

I think kids appreciate you being straight with them. If you are convinced this is the right thing for you and for your family life as a whole, it'll be fine.

TTFN,

Sarah:)

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Hi,

We have 4 kids.Two boys ages 14 and 10 and identical twingirls age 9.We just told them the truth,showed them a few pics of the band and where I was gonna get sutures etc.Also explained to them why I wanted the surgery and why it was better for me.

I have severe asthma and a bloodclotting disease called FactorVLeiden and due to this I also got into the intensive care unit afterwards.But we already talked and warned the kids that I might be there when I needed extra care.My 14 year old son Glenn was very concerned and he helped me a lot when I got home.He was so sweet.He's actually 6ft3 and weigh 170lbs a giant kid who loves to work out with weights.

He's a big kid in the body of a grown man but he has a tiny heart and helped me very well.

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Hey Gerard, Sarah & Jeunesse,

Thanks for the great ideas guys

My husband doesn't think I should worry the kids before the surgery - I hope to be travelling to France to have the surgery and he thinks it will be too traumatic for them to have to wait the few days til I come back - and not being able to physically see me "ok" in the hospital. I think I will sit them down when I get back and explain pretty much what I have read here - I need the surgery to be more healthy, to have a longer life and be able to participate in that life to a much better extent. They are always fed up that I won't go swimming with them so maybe I'll use that!!! :rolleyes:

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Bright,

Don't know if you have had you date set yet or if you have had the talk with your kids but I agree with those who say to be honest with them. fortunately for me my kids area all grown 28/23/21/19 but I still had them asking questions like Why such drastic measures. After a nice family dinner and conversation they understood. My two sons took up all the work of seeing I was able to get around after surgery and handled anyting I needed done. My two daughters actually went out and got ME the Teddy Bear for the hospital. I still love it too LOL.

My wife was 100% behind me on having it done and it really helped when the kids saw it was a joint effort and we included them. Since mine were older I explained the proceedure to them and my oldest son went to Dr with me for first visit and saw the video. The younger kids, in my humble opinion don't need all the details. just need to be talked to so they feel part of the family. I'd tell the kids the reason I have to stay is for rest. LOL( Is that really possible in a hospital.)

Good luck... Take my word for it your biggest worry will actually be what to do with all the clothes that don't fit anymore.

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hey Greg,

thanks for the reply but this is a really old post! I posted that over a year ago I think.....! But good to see you're reading all the old info!

I did talk to the kids and even now they tell me they are so proud of me for making the decision and going ahead with the surgery - it was definitely the right thing to do

thanks xx

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I had to tell my daughter. This was the 6th operation I have had since she was born. 5 years ago I had cancer so any time I go in the hospital she freaks out. I just told her that this was something that mommy had to do for herself. That I would become a better mommy for it, I would be able to play outside with her, have more energy, even take her to the pool, which I am too embarresed to do now. She too thought that I would come home skinny. To be honest I think that she was a little disappointed that I did not. she has been great with it. We went to Chicago this weekend shopping and everytime we ate, she would be like "mom are you suppose to be eating that? Should you be done now? Aren't you feeling fool yet?" To be honest it is great to have her, she is the only support I have and the fact that she understands and knows what I should and should not be doing helps me out tons. Cause you know what she was right.. I was way over eating and eating ALL of the wrong things. Not a good weekend for good choices for this mom.

Anyway. I wish you the best of luck. I feel that the best way is to be honest with your kids. I did not tell my daughter once wen I was going in to have surgery and she was sooooo mad at me. God forbid if something had happened, How would my family explained that to her?

Good luck.

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