I have read countless stories of the success of the different surgeries and understand the seriousness of going through with any one of them.
For those of you that have had the surgery I guess what I really want to know is:
1. If you had it to do over would you go through it again?
2. What is the worst part or reprecussion after surgery?
3. Has anyone had a WLS surgery done 5+ years ago and how do you feel about it now - have you been able to keep the weight off?
I am very interested in researching further, but was curious as I have never read about anyone regretting the surgery. This is good news but does make me wonder.
I know the above questions are very personal but just trying to sort some things out in my own mind. Any insight is appreciated.
10-19-2002, 08:36 PM
hey there, kiki.. you've asked some very good questions, and i don't have any answers. but i'll do my best. i'm just 9 months out, and frankly, this surgery was a true lifesaver. i was almost dead last year, and now i'm not. i'm getting my life back, and i've missed it so much!!!!
regrets? it's kind of too soon to tell. but i suspect that a few of the issues can actually be good things. for example, i hate my job. it's way too stressful and there are many crazy people around. i've thrown up my lunch every day for the past 6 working days. sounds bad, doesn't it. but in the past, before this surgery, i would have just toughed it out until i was so depressed that i couldn't function.
but now, here's this signal telling me that this job is affecting my health and i'd better get out of there as fast as possible! and i'm listening!!!
when i was thinking about the surgery, i met several people who were at least 7 years out, and they said that it had been the best thing that they'd ever done, and that they were healthy. but i've also heard of some people who regain all their weight because they didn't watch what they ate, especially during their first year.
and there's a woman in the program i'm in who decided not to take her vitamins, and the worst happened: permanent nerve damage, and she's in a wheelchair. this is serious business and requires commitment.
some folks are also very angry, and i still haven't figured out why. but it seems to have something to do with their relationships with food and with other people. if there's no effort to conquer the food demons beforehand, there will be no peace afterwards, especially since we can't use food as an emotional crutch. and we have to find different coping mechanisms. not an easy thing to do!
and from what i've seen, that's one of the biggest repercussions. it's not mine, and i'm grateful for that. some of the other ones are not having the slightest idea what you look like or how clothes are fitting because you're losing so fast and can't keep up. and there's also the issue of 'how come that person is losing more than i am.' everyone's different!!!!
we are told before the surgery that if you take care of this tool the first year it will take care of you for the rest of your life, but it requires attention.
the flip side is that no matter what we do, we will be watching what we eat forever. at least this way works.
and don't let anyone tell you that the first three months are easy!!! they're NOT!!! but they DO END. and that thought got me through it. some folks asked me what the hardest part of the surgery was: my answer was GETTING TO IT! i had to learn to walk all over again before they would even consider doing it. so, afterwards, it was relatively easy because i KNEW i had done the hardest part and that this would end.
it's still a big upheaval and learning experience. some folks really get upset if they throw up and will suffer the pain [and it's REAL PAIN] to avoid doing it. frankly, kiki, it's not the end of the world. it's not the most pleasant thing, and it's not something to aspire to, but once i throw up, i feel so much better. it's ok.
trust me, there were days when nothing but tomato soup would stay down,. and i still can't eat a scrambled egg [but i can have deviled eggs with chili sauce, there's no sense to this].
hope this helps, or at least gives you some ideas...
10-20-2002, 07:03 PM
Jiffy - thanks for opening up and being honest. It is only through those who have had WLS that those of us sitting on the fence can come to an educated decision. You hold information that no doctor could provide - you have so graciously shared your feelings and frustrations and that information is priceless.
I am so happy for you and your new life - it sounds as though you have been through a tremendous amount of struggles and came out on top - be sure you stop and give yourself credit for your accomplishments.
I will continue to research and ask questions until I feel 100% comfortable in moving forward or not moving forward. But if others will share like you it will educate all of us even more so.
God Bless - Kiki
10-20-2002, 10:49 PM
you're on the right track... for making an informed decision, no matter what you choose.
read all the posts from debkay and ageoldie. debkay almost died after the surgery, and ageoldie is taking care of her husband, alvin, who had some late, and near-fatal, complications. and if you can find big orange babe, she has a lot of information as well, from the point of view of someone who didn't keep her weight off [i don't know the story, though].
and dawnajoy has had great success with the duodenal switch, a specialty operation that about 10% of wls patients have.
and the lap band ladies, they're doing great as well.
here's a thought: while you're deciding, try living as if you've had hte surgery: for the RNY that means chewing everything to the consistency of oatmeal, no liquids for 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after [and certainly not during!!] your meals. and eat your protein first.
see how you feel. see what you think about it. i had a hard time getting used to the lack of liquid. my mouth always felt so dirty after eating. but it's ok now. SF mints help.
think about your emotional reactions and how you use food to handle them. try to change them and see if it's manageable.
remember the complete lack of alcohol for a year. and then think of this woman in my support group who had lost only 30 pounds after 3 months. she was jealous of me, because by that time i'd lost about 70. turned out that she was eating carbs. lots of them. and going out with the girls and drinking 6 gin and tonics each and every time!
look at the people you're close to. will anyone have problems with your weight loss. jealousy? fear? anger? or can you be SURE that they will support you. one man in my support group is having trouble with his marriage because his wife is so afraid that he'll leave her. he's about ready to leave, though, because she won't leave the house and he wants to travel and LIVE, and she's afraid.
couples break up over this, as well. the roles change, the usual routine changes.
we need support groups, wisdom, therapy sometimes, stress management, to deal with all kinds of issues.
hmmm. there's a lot to think about.
10-21-2002, 01:18 AM
Just wanted to reply to this, as well.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. My only regret is that I didn't do it years ago. And every time I say that, I know I wasn't ready years ago. I still thought I could do it "on my own", and as long as there was the remotest possibility that I could do that, I would not have had surgery.
The first 8 weeks were horrendous, but I knew they would be, from the research I had done. I knew not to make any conclusions during that time period. That was smart, and worked well for me. I knew it would pass, and it did.
Research, research, research. Know all of your options and know yourself. That way you will find the answer that is right for you.
I am 18 months out from my DS surgery. I feel fantastic. With the DS surgery, you are supposed to be able to eat a "small-normal" meal after 12 months. I'd say that is pretty much true for me. I like being able to eat more than I could previously. I don't feel denied anything. I am very careful to get in my protein and to take my supplements, but otherwise I feel just like anyone else.
I am still learning how to live in an average sized body. I am still adjusting. Being so overweight for so many years effected me in ways I really hadn't realized. I think the adjustment is something I hadn't thought would be an issue for me. It takes time for the brain to process what is happening with the body.
All in all, I am still me. Whether morbidly obese or average sized, I am still the same person. That can be either good or bad, depending on how you look at it. WLS will change your body size, but it won't change the "fat thoughts" in your head. That has to be done separately.
I am healthier. I feel better physically. It is so much fun to buy clothes. I honestly can't think of a negative.
10-21-2002, 01:35 AM
I've had the Lap-Band for nearly 3 weeks now. It was about a 2 to 3 year decision process for me. I had a friend who had Lap-Band surgery in 1999. I watched her for 3 years as she gained her life back. She looks awesome & feels awesome! I finally made the decision for me after a bout with depression. I'd had it with being fat and I was determined to change my body even if it meant paying for this surgery myself, which I did.
Regrets? Not so far! 2nd thoughts? Of course, I'm on liquids only right now and watching people eat is not the easiest thing in the world. It's getting better, but it's a very difficult thing to go through. But as my clothes get bigger and I can see in my face the change it's worth it! I was already pretty active, but now the skies the limit. I can't wait to do more things. I think I'll buy me a jet-ski to go with my boat! (Well, I better pay off the surgery first). LOL.
Dr. Rumbaut, Monterrey, Mexico
10-25-2002, 05:47 PM
Just thought I'd pop in and give my 2 cents on the procedure that I had almost 18 years ago, though I'm going to make it brief...
I had the stomach stapling done and yes, I lost weight, about 140 pounds if i remember correctly and then gained all but 40 back (mind you I'm 5 1 1/2" tall and was 284 when I had the surgery). Back then it's not like it's done today, not only that the surgery is different, but back then there was no support at all, once your surgery was done, adios. I am an emotional eater and when things get tough, I eat. If you are an ice cream lover, or a chocolate lover like I am, I can tell you, it slides down really easily. You can and you will gain if you eat crap like this, if you don't deal with issues that cause you to over eat, or eat the wrong things this surgery you aren't going to be successful. I don't care how small they make your stomach, it can stretch and you can easily gain weight from eating the wrong things.
I finally figured it out, took me almost 39yrs to do it, but I did. I went on SUGAR BUSTERS over 2 1/2 years ago and that's how I not only lost my weight but was at a weight that I hadn't seen since I was in elementary school.:D
Would I do it again, if it was back then, yes, but if I knew back then what I know today then it would be no because I know I can do it on my own. Once again, this is just my 2 cents and you have to do what's right for you.
BTW, Big Orange Babe aka BOB is a great person!!!! I met her a few years ago through our board and have seen her a few times over the past couple years. Will be seeing her in January in Orlando if not before and we gab on the phone quite often. There are definitely some wonderful people on these boards and I've been lucky enough to meet not only BOB but 18 other members from our board:D
SB since 3/22/00
Reached goal 6/10/01
11-18-2002, 10:49 PM
My only regret is not doing a year sooner. The pain was pretty bad with my open RNY, but completely worth it. I grieved for food for about 1-1 1/2 months, it was the hardest part. Now I feel normal, I don't obsess over food.