Weight Loss Surgery - Weight Loss Surgery Regrets




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hubs
12-17-2005, 07:51 PM
I felt compelled to open this thread after just now reading the responses to missmeliss's support thread and coming across the final post about not knowing a single person who regrets having had the surgery.

If the thread hadn't been closed I would have posted this there. It has been closed to I'm posting here instead.

So let me introduce myself as a woman who REGRETS having had the surgery. And I had it twice. I also, btw, have personally known others who have regrets. And then of course there are even a few who just plain aren't HERE any more and I'm sure their families have regrets on their behalf.

WLS is anything but sunshine and roses and I for one don't buy into the rah rah ain't it great mantra. Its serious. Deadly serious. And those of us who have had problems and who do have regrets have a very important message to convey to anyone considering the surgery.

That doesn't mean I won't support anyone going that route 200% or that I don't understand the choice to have the surgery. God knows I do because I had it twice.

But it disturbs me almost beyond words when the picture is painted all rosie and the reality of the risks gets glossed over.


curvynfit
12-17-2005, 09:15 PM
I just wanted to chime in a related story, sort of to speak for someone who can't...I've been fortunate enough to find a diet/strategy that's working for me (exercise & South Beach, which I think works well for me due to a family history of diabetes/blood sugar sensitivity). But, just because WLS isn't for me I do completely understand that it is the right choice for others, so please don't take this post as anti-WLS...I just think that the more information you have when making such a major decision the better and want to put this out there.

Anyway, when I rotated through the ICU there was a patient there who had had a gastric bypass (medically recommended) and had almost *every* possible complication imaginable...a wound that wouldn't close (and had to be reopened a few times due to direct complications), infections, was now awake after a coma but on a vent to breathe (and so couldn't eat/drink/speak), etc.. When I rotated *out* she was still there, and by that point had been in the ICU for seven months (I don't know what happened to her since). Her case is certainly rare and extreme, but it does really happen...and I know for myself hearing about the complications in general is very different than seeing a specific case.

I post this not to scare anyone off--just be *sure* about your decision, and good luck to all!

GonnaLooseitagain
12-17-2005, 09:45 PM
I agree, it ISNT a magical cure if you dont change your eating habits and start eating healthier to begin with! There is NO MAGIC cure except that which comes from WITHIN each of us.


indigo child
12-18-2005, 01:21 AM
Hubs, I am glad that you have stood up to give your side of things. I agree, it's not all peaches & cream, and there are people who have had serious complications including death after WLS. I think it's imperative people have a balanced view before making any decision like this, and I think that sometimes it means that people who've had bad experiences need to share them, so others can see the whole picture.

:hug:

Suzanne 3FC
12-18-2005, 09:58 AM
I don't think there's anyone here that has ever tried to sugar-coat WLS. It's extremely dangerous and is a last resort, after the patient has worked with their doctor to exhaust all other options. The problem with that other thread was that the original poster felt she as being attacked for asking about it. I don't think that everyone realized that you can't just walk into a doctors office and ask for it. It takes a long time to be approved for it, after you've worked with a nutritionist, and even have a psychological evaluation. It's not a decision that comes lightly or easily.

Our hope is that everyone will be able to lose weight through diet and exercise. That's the whole purpose of this website. We've seen quite a few people post in our WLS forum asking for advice from people that have been through it, only to decide to give diet and exercise another chance, and we've all breathed a sigh of relief.

But for those who DO decide to go through with it, we try to provide a supportive environment, and that's what our WLS forum is all about. It wasn't created as a place to attack others for their choices, or even to debate the issue. It provides a closer look at what the wls patients actually go through and their struggles to maintain their health, which is helpful to anyone considering the surgery.

I was horrified when my sister said she was going to have gastric bypass surgery. I personally would never do it. My first instinct was to beg her not to do it, and to try to encourage her to try a new diet, etc. But I eventually realized that she knew what she was doing. She had done the research, discussed it with her doctor many times, and she felt this was the best option for her. What she didn't need was for me to chastise her, or accuse her of not realizing the seriousness of what she was doing. What she needed was for me to back her up and support her through the toughest thing she would ever do in her life. In my personal opinion, that is what the 3FC WLS forum should be about.

hubs
12-18-2005, 11:16 AM
Suzanne, let me first make clear you will NEVER hear me attack anyone for their decision to have WLS. You will NEVER hear me tell someone what they should or should not do.

You will hear sound information from me in the nature of nutritional support and in particular supplements because that is my profession and I'm capable of doing so in broad terms. You will hear me present information about metabolic issues such as insulin resistance because these DO impact weight loss efforts. And if anyone is ever interested I'll talk about what I've done to 'work' for me despite severe metabolic complications due to endocrine disturbances.

I've walked down this road for a long time Suzanne and presenting my personal story means sharing a nightmare and I don't apologize for that. My reaction is to the comment about nobody having regrets for having had WLS and that is simply not an accurate picture of the reality for many people. Surely presenting that perspective will not be seen as being argumentative or the basis of debate.

I believe most people do their best to research this option well before they climb on that table and things have changed in terms of procedure over the years. But many of the issues have not changed. One of the trends I see is that presentation of 'the facts' sounds much like pharmaceutical commercials on tv. Sure, they tell you 'risks may include blah blah blah' but it seldom weighted in what I feel is an appropriate way.

curvynfit, I didn't end up in a coma but the problems with open incisions and infection were certainly the case with me. The last surgery left me with a drainage bag for 3 months and the incision had to be opened over and over again (not just at the site of the incision, my whole abdominal wall from the umbilicus up and from side to side had to be broken up because of the pockets of infection that would accumulate). At some point I will talk about the other things that have happened mostly as a result of chronic malnutrition, such as my teeth literally crumbling in my mouth.

Suzanne 3FC
12-18-2005, 12:04 PM
My post was in response to what I assumed was a negative reaction to the fact that we closed the other thread because the posters (not all of them obviously) appeared to be trying to talk the OP out of wls and accusing her of not doing her research. We received complaints and concerns, so the thread was removed. I was attempting to say that we should be supportive and not abusive in those situations, which is an explanation of why that thread was removed. I was not accusing you of anything, and I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.

I absolutely agree that there are different outcomes and it's important to be aware of what can go wrong, and sharing those experiences are part of it. We appreciate the time you are taking to share your own experiences.

hubs
12-18-2005, 06:55 PM
Suzanne, thanks for clarifying that your intention was not to be silencing. I would like to comment further if I may.

I read that thread and this is what I 'heard'. I heard a woman talking about her frustration with having tried everything and 'nothing' working. This will also encompass my intended response to another thread here about doctor supervised weight loss programs and the intention of such a program. It is critical to assure that there is not in fact, a bonafide endocrine problem factoring in to obesity. This can cover a range of metabolic problems from hypothyroidism to insulin resistance to pituitary or adrenal tumour. It is critical to establish a baseline for success with any weight loss program which must, by definition, amount to less energy consumed than required to maintain body weight. In other words, we have to know if a person CAN lose weight. If a person cannot lose weight by following the protocol pre-op they certainly will not upon surviving wls.

But here's the problem. People so often want fast results when they are morbidly obese because they are so sick and tired of being fat that WLS looks like the fast track to finally getting rid of it once and for all. And for many, even perhaps most, it is a fast track. But of course we know speed should not be confused with ease. So its a catch 22 because some people feel that its a trap of sorts to go on a pre-surgery weight loss program and to be successful in fear that they will then be denied the surgery. That means the full responsibility for continued success lies on their shoulders and that has never worked before. The fear is that the guarantees of fast success that SEEM to come with WLS will be forfeited by any success in losing weight outside of WLS.

That is one set of problems.

I have never, ever heard anyone who says prior to the surgery that they are worried about their ability to follow the food plan after. I've never, ever heard anyone say they don't know if they'll be able to handle exercise and making good food choices consistently. Everyone is positive that they will be the success story and will not regain. Statistically it is more likely that they will regain, or fail to lose all they hope to. 80 pounds is the average, overall loss.

So what I'm trying to say here is that questioning a person saying they've tried everything is something that is very difficult to do sensitively and without it sounding like judgement. But truthfully, if 'everything' had been tried unsuccessfully the reality is that there would have to be a medical explanation for the failure. Or there was a fall down point in following the program(s) they had tried and its important to discover that fall down point whether or NOT they have WLS. The fall down point will be there no matter what.

And if there is a legitimate metabolic problem WLS will NOT be succesful without treating that issue first and foremost. Conversely, if it were treated then WLS may not be necessary.

When people who have not dealt with the reality of WLS or for whom WLS is not an option they would consider, its difficult to honestly address a question about making that choice without sounding judgmental. I understand that. But I don't believe that was the intention of people here. I believe the honest intention was to help someone explore why WLS may or may not be the best option and that means being willing to look beyond that wall of despair to what is going on in a very real way.

As your signature says, 'Studies show that all diets work, whether low carb, low fat, or low calorie, as long as you stick to them. Find the diet that fits your lifestyle and personal tastes, because that is the one you will stick to.' Simple, and perhaps this doesn't take into account insulin resistance issues and so forth, but essentially true.

I hope I've clarified my concerns.

jiffypop
12-18-2005, 07:05 PM
i am THRILLED to see this thread. most of the people who've posted here over the long haul have been those who had done extremely well. but as we say over and over and over again, huge amounts of research and questioning and self-analysis go into making the decision. and often the decision is NO!!!!!

this forum is a place for those who are exploring their options, as well as for those of us who have done it, with whatever outcome.

i've done amazingly well, and i consider myself lucky. but i also know of some very very very sad events - deaths, serious complications at surgery and years afterwards.

even if a person goes through this without phyiscal complications, the 'headwork' that has to happen is a constant battle. but in the face of complications, oh my. that's why hubs is turning into one of my idols. to have persisted in the face of these odds, and serious complications, is nothing short of a show of strength, dedication, and wisdom.

and hubs, suzanne was instrumental - essential, even - in getting this forum started, and she's been very supportive of us all. and she helps kick out those few people who DARE to be rude to us. [for some reason - luckily - that happens only rarely - like last week!]

jiffypop
12-18-2005, 07:09 PM
and a ps. some medical professionals believe that everyone who qualifies for the surgery has insulin resistance. in fact, i'm supposed to be following the GI diet [and generally do, but this weekend, with christmas baking, i've fallen off track - but it's over. i can do better with my very next meal].

i'm not sure if it's true. but it does indeed seem to be true for me. what about everyone else?????

hubs
12-18-2005, 08:06 PM
even if a person goes through this without phyiscal complications, the 'headwork' that has to happen is a constant battle.


Yes! The headwork!!! You know, I've often said over the past years that even if you don't go INTO this surgery with food 'issues' you'll sure come out of it with them! And truly, there is no navigator's guide through so much of the turf you cover.

And as far as insulin resistance goes the research done into the orchestra of hormones involved in weight is very exciting. I am one who agrees that the drive of insulin resistance is a factor nearly always.

VeggyMom
12-18-2005, 08:25 PM
This will also encompass my intended response to another thread here about doctor supervised weight loss programs and the intention of such a program.

So its a catch 22 because some people feel that its a trap of sorts to go on a pre-surgery weight loss program and to be successful in fear that they will then be denied the surgery. That means the full responsibility for continued success lies on their shoulders and that has never worked before. The fear is that the guarantees of fast success that SEEM to come with WLS will be forfeited by any success in losing weight outside of WLS.


Since I have been dragged into a thread in which I have not participated in any way I will repost a clarification that I posted in the orginal thread being referred to above.

Just to clarify ...

I am not questioning why a doctor (or particularly a bariatric surgeon) would want to know about a person's diet history. I am fully cognizant of why a doctor would want that information in evaluating a patient's need and likely outcome with weight loss surgery.

I am questioning what the insurance company is looking for when they set ridiculously difficult standards for what does and does not constitute a "physician supervised diet". I am questioning the wisdom of decisions being made for real patients with real medical needs by a bean counter who may never have worked in a medical setting at all and whose entire education is in accounting or business management.

I am talking specifically again about insurance companies putting up ridiculously impossible hurdles. Not doctors.

In fact the sugical practice I have chosen to work with is extremely conservative in both their patient selection criteria and their after care regimen. It is one of the reasons I chose them.

But again - I was not talking about my doctor but about my insurance company.

Both the psychologist and the surgical group are looking at a totality of one's health, weight and diet history. They consider any notation of diet attempts and consultation with a primary care physcian. Whereas my insurance company requires 6 months of monthly visits to a physician, meetings with a nutritionist and documented behavioural therapy.

The insurance company is requiring far more to qualify as compliance than any doctor I have ever met has required, suggested or prescribed. Including a bariatric physician whose entire practice is the non-surgical treatment of obesity. Who I saw for nearly a year with mixed success.

This particular insurance company has a reputation among both patients and physician's offices for setting compliance standards that are difficult if not impossible to meet.

So my question was strictly - What is the insurance company looking for in regard to their 6 month physician supervised diet requirement. Not what is the doctor's office looking for.

Which in no way reflects my attitude toward compliance with any physician order or my ability to comply with those orders.

Additionally - I am not looking for a "quick fix". Nor do I think that a pre-operative diet is a "trap". I was simply thinking aloud of the potential reasons an insurance company could have for having what I (and doctors I know) consider to be impossibly high compliance standards (including denying that a diet was consistently physician supervised because the visits were not "monthly" due to a 6 week gap between supervision appointments).

For your information, hubs, wether I have surgery, take drugs, do South Beach, the grapefruit diet, become vegan or choose to vomit after every meal my success or failure at weight loss will be, as everything in my life, my full responsibility. The weight of every decision I have ever made in my life and my success or failure at whatever I try rests squarely on my shoulders. It always has and it always will.

I am not "afraid" of anything that you have suggested in your post. Nor do I believe that success is "fast". In fact, I am choosing adjustable laproscopic banding because I want another tool in my aresenal when I try this again. Not because I want a magic pill, a quick fix or the easy way.

I asked a question. I pondered some possibilities. Why? Because I didn't know and I wanted to be informed.

Go back and reread my post. I said that I don't expect this supervised diet to be any different from those in the past (again including one supervised by a bariatric physician who specializes in the non-surgical treatment of obesity). I said that I will give it my all and do whatever my doctors suggest.

I also questioned what the insurance company is looking for. And I most definitely questioned the motives of the insurance company in their requirements because I do not believe that the best interests of the patient are ever at the top of the list of the insurance companies' motives or considerations.

So before you drag me into your little rant about people who didn't do their homework, have unrealistic expectations or are ill-prepared you should actually read what I wrote.

hubs
12-18-2005, 08:33 PM
Relax VM. I was not attacking you, or ranting about you, or even talking about people not doing their homework. You've taken my intentions very much out of context.

And for the record, this thread is about ME. MY regrets. Not you. You raised some very important questions and I believe the interest you've received is well intentioned for the most part.

indigo child
12-18-2005, 08:46 PM
I fully hope that perhaps Hubs will share her story with this forum because it is one that needs to be told. Hubs is a very dear friend of mine, who, despite her difficulties with WLS (an understatement I know) has been nothing but supportive of me and has helped me get through some nutritional challenges. She has a wealth of knowledge in that area and even though I am just a "newbie," I believe her to be a great asset to this forum.

I'm so glad this place exists. I love OH, too, but it can be a bit overwhelming. This place, for me, is just the right size. ;)

hubs
12-18-2005, 08:58 PM
You've helped me find my voice in so many ways my friend. I'm eternally grateful.

blues4miles
12-19-2005, 04:04 PM
But here's the problem. People so often want fast results when they are morbidly obese because they are so sick and tired of being fat that WLS looks like the fast track to finally getting rid of it once and for all. And for many, even perhaps most, it is a fast track.

Just thought this deserved an extra thought. Who doesn't want fast results? 'Healthy' diet and exercise are often about fast results. Yes people think about the overall. They do think about their health. But in all aspects of life as Americans, we want fast results. I do not think this is particular to weight loss, or even weight loss surgery.


I have never, ever heard anyone who says prior to the surgery that they are worried about their ability to follow the food plan after. I've never, ever heard anyone say they don't know if they'll be able to handle exercise and making good food choices consistently. Everyone is positive that they will be the success story and will not regain. Statistically it is more likely that they will regain, or fail to lose all they hope to. 80 pounds is the average, overall loss.


Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you...but I know several people had weight loss surgery, and these people were all concerned about gaining the weight back. A friend of my family had the surgery, and gained it all back. I'm sure he is suffering health complications beyond what he expected to at this point. The others whom I knew when they were considering the surgery, thought a lot about it. My mother had the surgery done a few years ago and while she has had no complications from it, her and my father often worry that she will start eating too much again, expand her stomach, and gain back all the weight. She has not. This is not my argument for or against the surgery, I'm just pretty sure that most people who are looking into it become very educated on the matter. Sure, having gone through it grants you that further bit of knowledge, but everyone I know who got it or thought about getting it talked to everyone they knew who got it. Good for you for sharing what happened to you, I wish you the best of luck and health.

hubs
12-19-2005, 05:18 PM
blues4miles. Let me clarify again, since people seem to misunderstand my intentions. I do not judge these things. I simply wish to table issues I have either personally experienced or observed both personally and professionally that are related to WLS.

But what I'm seeing here is that WLS has become the sacred cow of the weight loss world and I think its unfortunate that people who have made the choice to have surgery feel as though they have to be so defensive about the choice.

I'n not on the attack. But I'm not isolated and alone in my experiences either and I believe many issues need to be more closely examined. WLS, like it or not, has become a very trendy solutions with the media right behind it.

So for instance, wanting fast results isn't wrong in and of itself. But it can still be extremely dangerous. Raising these issues isn't about judging someone who feels that way. Its about questioning if the health risks are in sync or balanced with the motivations and expectations.

hubs
12-19-2005, 05:27 PM
One more point. When I said I don't know anyone who has expressed concern about regaining I was referring specifically to what people tell themselves prior to the surgery. It's obviously also an important part of the 'self talk' that contributes to the successes. I'm not suggesting this is in and of itself a negative. But facts are facts and statistically MOST people regain.

Haziefrog
12-25-2005, 10:11 PM
I know it has been a while since I have posted but I was surfing and thought I would stop in and see how you all were doing :hug: :wave: and saw this thread.................


Hubs, I understand what you are trying to say, I have said it too, that it seems that no one ever wants to talk about the complications/negative side of gastric bypass, I do not think it is on purpose I think that it is because you do not yell bad news from the highest mountain, but you sure do scream good news from that mountain top.:D

I too had complications, I almost bled to death ended up needing a second surgery and 6 units of blood, it was very scary. I have had to have 11 surgeries in the last 2.5 years, all not related to the WLS but all with complications.

My friend Debbie told me on day when I was telling some pre-ops about my complications and they where giving me the "oh that won't happen to me look" they don't really want to hear about the bad stuff only the good. And that is the truth. Pre-op's really did not want to hear about the complications and most post-op, if they did not have complications it is hard for them to understand what we have been through. So I do not think that everyone wants to make WLS look rosy, that is just how it looks to them. Because to them IT IS ROSY. For them life IS great and complication free.;)


Now I could start telling all women to not have Hysterectomies, because I had one done lap this past March and I crashed in the recovery room and had to go back to the OR and be cut open from hip to hip, I had to have 4 units of blood and I woke up in ICU (I had to stay there for a week).

I also had a routine colonoscopy this past October and yes I again ended up in ICU for a week, bleeding +4 units of blood, complications can happen with any surgical procedure.

That is why WLS or any surgery should never be entered into lightly, this is a live saving surgery and it has risks, just like any other surgery.

Now almost 3 years later, I would do it again in a heartbeat, I am alive, and I have a chance to see my 4 sons grow up, and I run with them and play with them. Life for me is amazing.I am the wife and mother I always wanted to be.:carrot:

Oh yeah, I found out last month that I have a genetic bleeding disorder that I was born with :rolleyes: (it only took them 39 years to find it).

hubs
12-26-2005, 05:21 PM
Hazel, thanks for the thoughtful response.

In general, especially in the clinics in the US I believe the trend is toward greater patient education and preparation. In Canada, that is not the case far too often.

In my case, education, preparation, preliminary assessment, and then after care were all incredibly poor with both surgeons in two provinces. The facts were not conveyed honestly and in fact I would go so far as to say the risks were grossly misrepresented.

I believe there are essential differences in the way medicine is practiced in Canada that largely account for that. One is that we do have sociallized medicine here and provided basic criteria is met in terms of BMI, co-morbidities and psychological issues the surgery will be approved. The main issue at that point will be wait lists. Let me go further. People tend to have a far greater level of blind trust in physicians here. We seldom question the wisdom of our doctors and our doctors enjoy quite a 'god-like' status here. We don't approach medicine as consumers because we don't have to pay. If we don't like what we hear, we just go to someone else. But in the case of WLS there are still so few options that once you've been referred and go through the wait process you're just so grateful you won't delay the process by asking questions.

I understand why people want to focus on the positive. I believe that is human nature and in point of fact, when you climb on that table you should be in a very positive state of mind. I understand people want to hear the successes. I understand people want to feel they have hope.

But... and this is a HUGE but, statistics do not support the wisdom of turning a blind eye whether people WANT to hear the risks or not. And lets face it, this surgery capitalizes on people's desperation.

Now I could go into a whole rant here about what I consider to be critical contributors to obesity on a social scale as well as on a nutritional scale that I think are quite effectively bypassed and ignored once a person hits that point of BMI and other criteria. Clearly, reaching that point is critical and requires immediate action. I'm not convinced WLS is the avenue that is in our collective best interest in the long run. I frankly think it will bit many, many people in the rear as years go by.

Did you know for instance, that the most critical point of long term complications is not evident till 10 years post op? I'm not talking about the kinds of complications you and I had. (And yours are largely due to another pre-existing condition as you stated). I'm talking about the effects of longterm malnutrition for instance. This is about as serious as it gets. It may be virtually impossible to absorb adequate levels of certain nutrients no matter what supplements you take or how you eat. Especially when you consider certain specific minerals.

I love reading about facilities that require a minimum 6 month supervised process and frankly, I'd love to see some of the money that goes toward paying for the surgery go toward inpatient care to help people to understand how they are eating and to see that their bodies CAN respond to a dedicated program.

You drew an interesting analogy to hysterectomy. First of all, hysterectomy is in no way as critical to the overall health of a woman as what the WLS can be - in terms of long range implications such as malnutrition or impact on heart health etc.. It is also, and lets be clear about this, an elective surgery. It is a tool, but it is not in and of itself the life saver. People can achieve significant weight loss with all the resulting benefits without WLS. That too is a simple truth. Whether they will or not is a seperate question. But there are no guarantees with WLS either. That's why there is such a high rate of people who struggle not to regain.

And as far as that goes, one factor that is often overlooked with regaining is that the body, if nutritionally deficient WILL be driven to get what it needs and appetite is the obvious mechanism by which the body will motivate you to get what you need into your mouth. I don't believe for a moment that anyone who regains weight is just weak, or lacking in discipline (back to the old Willpower thing). I believe its very complicated and there is an orchestra of things going on to determine metabolic drive.

I feel compelled to speak out Hazel. Even if most people see what I have to say as a bit of dust in their eye.

indigo child
12-26-2005, 11:46 PM
Hubs, everything I've read so far indicates that 1 in 5 will gain their weight back...so it seems to me that the odds are in keeping it off. From which source(s) did you find your info? :?:

Haziefrog
12-27-2005, 09:23 AM
Hubs, everything I've read so far indicates that 1 in 5 will gain their weight back...so it seems to me that the odds are in keeping it off. From which source(s) did you find your info? :?:

I was going to ask this question too. I belong to a real life support group that has 600+ members and I have not seen the weight regain that you speak of and we have members that are 6+ years out.

Now I have seen some that have had the VGB done years ago, that have come back to have the RNY done because of staple line disruption and they gained weight but most the RNY's and DS's may have a 10 or even 20 pound rebound weight gain, after 2 years but they do not gain their weight back.

Also in researching WLS statistics I was watching CNN and there was a story on weight loss (not about WLS) just about the morbidly obese and they said that only 5% of morbidly obese people that lost the weight by diet and exercise kept it off :( . To me that was a horrible truth, all I thought was all the times, I has lost only to gain it back and then some until I weighed 325.

Then when I researched WLS, it was 85% kept the weight off, much better odds to me.

Hubs, I too am very vocal about the complications, in my support group I want every pre-op to know what can happen to them. That the stat of 1 in 200 dieing does not sound like a lot until you are that one.

I have even visited post-op's in ICU that I had never met. Just to sit with them and hold their hand and tell them that I am there, if they need me.

I tell pre-ops how important it is to find a great doctor, not just a good one, that knows how to do this surgery, but one that knows what to do if something goes wrong, you would be surprised at how many just pass you off to partners and interns if something goes wrong, they have no time to be bothered.

I have held my friends hand and watched her 23 year old daughter die, because of post-op complications that should not have happened, but she had a crappy doctor that kept giving her pain meds instead of finding out what was really wrong with her until it was too late. I never want to do that again.

This surgery takes lives, but is saves thousands more than it takes and we cannot lose sight of that fact.

Hazel

DancingAngel
12-27-2005, 05:13 PM
Without going into a lot of detail at this time, I would submit that I had gastric stapling done back in 1986. I lost rapidly for a time, then leveled off and was still quite obese, but at a more manageable weight. Then, some 9 years after surgery, I decided to "go for it" and I did get the rest of my weight off.

I did have complications, involving hospitalization and some surgical "tweaking" of the opening to my tummy. Afterwards, the surgeon told me I would likely regain a lot of my weight. I was down just under 100 at that time. Well, I regained up to where I am now, and have kept my weight between 113-117 since early 2000, nearly 6 years now. I work to keep it here by monitoring my food intake and exercising faithfully. I'm proud of what I have done. The surgery was the tool that helped me find the way and assists me in staying where I want to be.

I am a success story for WLS. I didn't take the "easy way", I worked to get here, and I work to stay here. Because of all the finger pointing from people who have usually been unsuccessful and are jealous of those who succeed, virtually nobody currently in my life outside my husband knows that I had the surgery. My kids don't know. It worked for me. It's not for everybody; it should be a last resort; there are major risks, etc., etc., but it was the tool I used to gain the life I always wanted.

The road was long, and it was no easy fix! But, having been a long-term WLS patient (20 years this coming August), I felt I needed to share a portion of my story with y'all. I speak not as an advocate for the surgery, but as one who chose it and who has, somehow, found success. And I wish only success to all who battle the monster obesity, whatever tools they use to fight it!

indigo child
12-27-2005, 05:53 PM
Hazel, you are an absolute angel and someone I would love to get to know better!

Angel, you are an inspiration, and I hear you when you say this is NOT the easy way out! This takes work and attention to every minor detail. I'm only 6 weeks out, and I've already found this out.

hubs
12-27-2005, 07:28 PM
Because of all the finger pointing from people who have usually been unsuccessful and are jealous of those who succeed, virtually nobody currently in my life outside my husband knows that I had the surgery.

I certainly hope you aren't suggesting my concerns are based on jealousy of those who succeed. I've certainly struggled with feelings of frustration and even of envy when I hear of other's success. In fact, even watching my good friend Indigo's drop on the scale as I struggle to lose every single pound leaves me struggling still with feelings of failure despite the fact that my medical issues have been the greatest factor in my state of health. But... that would never translate to me wishing her failure or to feeling anything but incredible joy over her success. (And I see you are now down 42 lb!!!)

Hubs, everything I've read so far indicates that 1 in 5 will gain their weight back...so it seems to me that the odds are in keeping it off. From which source(s) did you find your info?

Those are the Canadian stats presented to me by my last surgeon, and also by the the third surgeon I was sent to on consultation. These would clearly be based largely on VGB procedures since this has been the primary procedure long past when most American surgeons were refusing to do it anymore. I absolutely acknowledge that the RNY's and DS's have a far lower number of people who regain. However, the malabsorption of nutrients and the smaller stomach (producing lower levels of hormones like Grehlin) has created a whole other group of long term problems.

Hazel, thank goodness you're there for so many people.

The thing of it is this. While I would support anyone who chooses WLS as an option each and every step of the way, I think its important to maintain a firm position that its not the ONLY way out of the despair that morbid obesity carries. Nothing is hopeless. Nobody has to stay stuck. There are those who for many reasons will choose not to have WLS and who still need to feel their choices are good ones. There are those who will have an intuition that the surgery is not in their best interest for whatever reason and I don't like seeing those people left in even deeper despair because they have felt the surgery was the last option.

It isn't.

DancingAngel
12-28-2005, 10:07 AM
[QUOTE=hubs]I certainly hope you aren't suggesting my concerns are based on jealousy of those who succeed.

No, Hubs, not at all. I was referring to people in my own life who have expressed disgust with people who choose surgery, calling it a "quick fix"and "the easy way out". All of us here know that's not the truth, but I agree with you that many who look into the surgery initially believe it's going to magically take their weight away. Like you, I fear that some surgeons soft-pedal the risks and don't do enough to give prospective patients the facts: IN ORDER TO LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF, YOU MUST EAT A BALANCED DIET AND DEVELOP AN EXERCISE HABIT. This is true whether or not one chooses surgery.

I have completely changed the way I live my life. I plan and monitor my food intake. I get up at 4:30am on workdays to get my workout in. I do this year-round, because I know it would be all too easy to slip back into a lifestyle that revolves around unhealthy food choices. I am proud of myself for doing this. I don't apologize for being proud -- it's not easy!

And I wish you the very best as you journey toward a healthy weight. I know some people, possibly including yourself, have many health issues that make it difficult. But I have seen success stories from people of all ages, in all stages of health. You can do it! :carrot: :carrot: :carrot:

hubs
12-28-2005, 10:57 AM
Thanks for clarifying Angel. What you say about the envy or at least the judgements takes me back about 10 years.

I had a very close friend who had the surgery about 18 months before I did. She weighed around 323 or close to that anyway, and was down to 135 at one point. EVERYTHING about her lifestyle changed (except her food choices that is). She had ended her marriage. Her husband had been quite content before she had her surgery and was quite lethargic it seemed after. She wanted to get out and do things she'd never done before. Like go dancing! He wanted to live on the couch. She wanted to experience sex! He withdrew.

So dance she did. And she also became very promiscuous for a time and went home with anyone she could find in the bar. Her appetite shifted focus. She had all the cosmetic surgeries and suffered terribly with each of them (gangrene for 3 months with the tummy tuck for instance) but felt young and vigorous.

The community on the other hand, did NOT share in her delight. All I heard from people were complaints about how she'd changed and how they all liked the 'old' Carol better. They condemned her for leaving her marriage, called her a slut and almost willed her to regain. Which she did only a year later for all sorts of reasons.

I on the other hand felt judged in all of the opposite ways. Right after my surgery everyone and their uncle came up to me and asked how much I'd lost. People who would NEVER have presumed they had the right to comment to me about my weight all of a sudden thought it was public domain and I felt plagued. I was so, so sick and not losing. My doctors couldn't believe it. People who lived with me and saw how I ate couldn't believe it. To me it was just more of what it always had been and part of the over all manifestation of Cushing's Syndrome and the pituitary tumour. I started to hit rage at a low simmer.

The truth of it is, by the time I climbed on that table for the first surgery I really didn't believe I'd survive it. I believe it was a form of passive suicide at that point for me - in retrospect. I just knew I wasn't going to live fat any more and if I had to die to be thin then that was better than living as I was.

I later felt as though surviving that surgery with all the complications I encountered was akin to a suicide victim surviving the gunshot wound. If I thought I had problems before the surgery, I'd now compounded my health issues immensely. And I wasn't losing a pound.

So I had my friend on the one hand trying to support me and feeling terrible guilt because I was so sick from my complications. I still heard all of the terrible things said about her because she HAD lost all that weight. On the other hand I heard nothing but whispers and judgements because MY body wasn't doing what hers had. I was starving, sick, had to wear a heart monitor because the malnutrition was affecting my heart so badly, even after the infections cleared up I had hernias to contend with and there were hardly any foods I could eat. I couldn't sleep either. Other problems I can't even begin to list here. And I was still fat.

My doctors, for both of my WLS's were so used to seeing dramatic weight loss in their patients they became very short sighted. They failed to factor in a pituitary tumour and my Cushing's Syndrome. They failed to factor in that despite SAYING they understood my weight wasn't about my food intake, that would obviously mean that just reducing my food intake would not likely have any effect. It was all a streamlined process that was void of process.

I don't talk to people about my surgeries. What I'm protective of these days, is the fact that in the end, my weight loss has had nothing to do with the surgery. I had to do all sorts of other things to address my health issues first and formost and for me, it was harder to learn to eat enough, rather than to be restrictive. I've never had any trouble starving and being anorectic in my eating patterns. I had such fear of food. (Still do actually) How do you expect anyone to believe you can weigh 300 pounds and be anorectic?!?!

Once my health began to be responsive to treatment, I had to learn to eat all over again and I still fight with eating enough every single day. I don't define my health by my weight. I have MANY other markers I feel are far more important. On the other hand, I never thought after two failed WLS that I would ever get down to where I am now and I personally give no credit to the surgery. I'm the exception and I realize that. But my complications are directly related to the surgery.

Ok, end of my morning rant. Thanks for being so understanding folks.

jiffypop
12-28-2005, 11:58 AM
oh hubs. you've raised so many issues in one relatively brief post!

addictive behavior.
the way we handle the changes
the way other people handle our changes
other people's value judgments of us and how we view them
warnings about comparing results between WLS patients
the need for COMPLETE medical evaluations before, during and after,
the critical need for thorough, competent medical followup for life.
our personal needs for privacy
the need for complete life changes, no matter which path we're following

want me to go on???

hubs
12-28-2005, 12:05 PM
Sometimes jiffy, I feel like I've internalized this struggle so much I'll burst.

You know what my personal 'thing' is right now? I can finally come on a board like this and post my weight for real for what it is. I can finally talk to complete strangers about it.

I live with a man who loves me absolutely for who I am, who knows how I struggle. Who worries my heart will just stop one day because I don't eat enough. Who supports me each step of the way. But I cannot bring myself to tell him what I weigh. I got very close before Christmas when I thought I was below 200 and now I feel like I've got my foot in my mouth again! I told him if he knows, he'll never see me the same. He laughs and has tried just about anything to detoxify the 'number' for me. Ridiculous. But I'm stuck in my head about it still.

And ELEPHANT skin!!!

My skin is so saggy and wrinkled and hanging all over!!! I finally told him yesterday I feel like an elephant! You know what elephant skin looks like! He laughed and laughed. (not at me, just in good humour). I told him if he laughed any more I'd pack my trunk and run away!

indigo child
12-28-2005, 12:35 PM
Hubs, all I've got to say is that you are so lucky to have a man like that, who loves you no matter what, and respects your need for privacy. What a sweetheart.

Now, which one of us do you want to email him and tell him if he REALLY wants to know what you weigh, to come to this PUBLIC message board and he can read it like the rest of us! :D

I am so proud of you for sharing everything you have. It's not easy to lay it out before the world. :hug:

hubs
12-28-2005, 02:13 PM
omg, you're down another pound!!! are you eating enough?!?!?!

He told my youngest son once that he was determined to have me tell him. He really believes that the only way to disarm the threat the number has for me, is to say it out loud. Anyway, my son just shook his head and said 'good luck with that!' He does feel however, that its a measure of my trust in him. And really, it isn't. I mean it is, but it isn't. Its far more a measure of all sorts of things within me.

And don't even think of telling him!!!

christineu
12-28-2005, 05:31 PM
I've never had any trouble starving and being anorectic in my eating patterns. I had such fear of food. (Still do actually) How do you expect anyone to believe you can weigh 300 pounds and be anorectic?!?!

I understand that all too well. I haven't had WLS, but the severe gastroparesis I have has messed with my metabolism & what I can eat/not eat so much that I deal with a lot of similar issues as people post-WLS. You should see the looks I get when people find out I'm on a feeding tube at my current weight. Some of my doctors/medical professionals understand it better then others. One thing that pisses me off so much is that I was always careful about dieting and not going to low with my calories to screw up my metabolism but all those months of trying to struggle to get 600-800 calories a day in have really done a number on it. I weighed around 275 when I got sick 5 years ago, was down to 210 about 8 months later when I finally had to have a PEG/J feeding tube put in after being hospitalized for 2 weeks and basically not having eaten/kept anything down for almost 3 weeks. Even with being careful and following the dieticians instructions as far as how much formula & such, I started gaining of course once my body adjusted. My weight finally leveled off a little over 2 years ago when my sleep disorders were diagnoes & treated as well as they can be- amazing what getting a little better quality sleep can do for a person. And everytime I think I'm on the right track and all, my body throws me a curve ball. The latest has been possible pancreatitis- along with elevated liver enzymes (gall bladder checked out completely fine).

hubs
12-28-2005, 08:35 PM
Hi Christine! Thanks for sharing that. I totally sympathize with your struggle, and yes it sounds very, very similar.

So tell me, what foods are most successful for you? What are your real problem foods? How do you deal psychologically with the issues that go with eating like this? I'm very interested in hearing you say more about this. How do you strike that fine line now between eating enough and losing weight? What is your tolerance? Do you still have the tube?

I've found when I fall into really anorectic eating there's this little switch that gets flipped in my brain. I don't believe this is psychological btw. I really think its a chemical thing that happens in the brain when you literally starve yourself. I promise myself I will try to stay outside that danger zone where food so becomes the enemy that even 300 calories looks like too much food. Every single mouthful is wrong and I can't find any comfort zone in which to eat. Hunger becomes the danger. If you eat anything at that point, the hunger can threaten the self control so you go for less and less and less.

I know that happens for me, and it has nothing to do with what I want, or believe, or think. It's starvation mode plain and simple. I had long conversations years ago with a woman I co-facilitated workshops with. She spoke as the anorexic, me as the fat woman. As we developed the workshops we realized the food behaviours we engaged in were virtually identical. Only difference was, when I starved I got told good girl! Stick with that diet and everything wrong in your life will be better! I had fat to lose. She didn't. The exact same behaviour, the exact same food intake when she was being anorectic was met with horror and alarm and she got told she just had a bad self image and wasn't really fat. The stresses we both put our bodies through were the same. Our hearts were both at risk. But with the fat woman it was not only ok, it was encouraged. Things have changed a little and people know in their heads that diets that mess with your metabolism backfire now. That wasn't always the case.

Now, WHAT I eat is the most important factor. I have very limited food choices because I have so many things to factor in. I often have a lot of trouble figuring out what to eat before I'm in crisis but I'm getting better at it. I also don't expect so much from food any more in terms of taste and texture for the sake of pleasure. Its amazing how a plain cup of puffed wheat can taste great with an ounce of cheese, or curried spinach in a one egg omelette can taste like a meal fit for royalty.

Haziefrog
12-29-2005, 09:25 AM
Wow, Hubs, I totally agree with you about being an obese person that is anorexic. And the sad part is there are surgeons out there that encourage their patients to starve themselves right before surgery ‘to prepare for surgery’ WTH.

It always kills me when someone’s argument for not having the surgery is that we can’t eat very much, I laugh because I eat so much healthier than I ever did as an obese woman. I eat protein, veggies, very little carbs and nothing fried. I take vitamins, calcium, and b-12 on a regular basis. I never did that I was always on some kind of starvation diet trying to lose weight. I now eat what the average 5’2” woman SHOULD be eating lol!!!

I too have issues with losing weight I have PCOS, I am insulin resistant, so after losing about 65-70 lbs at a really slow rate (the most I ever lost was 16 lbs in the first month) it came to a screeching halt. The rest I have had to bust my butt to get off. I still have to take 1000 mg of Glucophage 2x a day. And I also have to watch every thing I put into my mouth. And I have to exercise to keep it off.

I understand what you are saying but, for me, in the 5 years before my WLS I could not lose weight at all. So without WLS I never could have lost this weight at all.

I am VERY concerned about the long-term vitamin deficiencies; as a matter of fact I am going to get the result of a blood test tomorrow. But without WLS I would not be here to worry about the long term, so the trade of for me was to go to the doctor on a regular basis and make sure that I am healthy.

My surgeon, wants to see me for the rest of my life. My primary doctor faxes all of my blood work results to his office for him to see, and his office calls me once he reviews them.

This surgery for me, was for a lifetime, I knew that going into this, that it was the sacrifice I was willing to make to save my life. And yes ultimately down the road I may have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that is why these surgeries should always be a last resort. And we as post-op must continue to get blood work done to make sure that we are ok.

Hazel

hubs
12-29-2005, 02:56 PM
I too have issues with losing weight I have PCOS, I am insulin resistant, so after losing about 65-70 lbs at a really slow rate (the most I ever lost was 16 lbs in the first month) it came to a screeching halt. The rest I have had to bust my butt to get off. I still have to take 1000 mg of Glucophage 2x a day. And I also have to watch every thing I put into my mouth. And I have to exercise to keep it off.

I took glucophage at a critical point as well. I was eating 500 calories a day just in order not to gain. Two WLS and no weight loss. I was having visual disturbances again due to pressure on my optic nerve and dehydration of the eye itself all related to insulin issues. My blood pressure was below the carpet and my metabolic furnace was running on empty. I was so starving I literally couldn't think straight any more. I went to a new doctor and he was so horrified by my lack of care he decided that he would start at the beginning, whereever that happened to end up being and make right all sorts of medical wrongs.

At this point, since you've talked about the importance of medical followup I'll tell you what happened with the surgeon who did the second surgery. The one who claimed the only reason I failed to lose weight the first time was because the surgery had been done wrong. When I was 6 weeks post op and having complications up the arse, the one thing I noticed that seemed really wrong was that I never felt full any more. Like I had no sensation of fullness. I asked my local doctor (couldn't get any response to my querie from the surgeon) and he ordered a barium swallow. Well, as it turned out the xray tech had actually worked in a large hospital in Ontario that did WLS and he was well aquainted with what he was looking at. When he did the test, he called me back and said I really shouldn't say anything to you, but your band is wide open and its all just running right through.

So, I made a prompt appointment with my xrays in hand and went to the city to see the surgeon. I will also mention that at this point my incision was still gaping and open by three inches, I still had a drainage bag and was struggling with infection.

I showed him the xray and first he told me the tech didn't know what he was talking about. Then I told him the tech's experience and asked him point blank if he'd done any repair to the band when he was in there hacking me apart again. (I didn't use that language but that's what I felt) He admitted it had 'looked' fine so they didn't check it but because my stomach had been adhesed to my liver they had to do considerable cutting around it. Well I lost it. I was so sick. I wasn't losing any weight AGAIN! My incision was gaping open and I was still draining. And I'd gone through all that pain for that?!?!

When I said all of this to him he stood up from behind his desk and said 'Madam, I'm washing my hands of you!' and walked away from me. This is the God's honest truth.

So.... this is why I was sent across the country to the third surgeon in consultation. After he did a gastroscopy he determined the damage to my stomach was so severe there was nothing he could do to repair it.

I still had to have a third surgery a year later because my entire abdominal wall was open. I didn't just have a hernia repair, I had to have my gut put back together. The damage was incredible and I have to be careful to this day because I've had abdominal tortion since then as well.

Anyway... my new doctor decided the main thing was to treat the insulin resistance and I was very skeptical that it would help at all but my vision was so disturbed I took it hoping it might help that. And it did. I also eventually got so I could eat around 1500 calories a day without gaining and that was a HUGE relief. It wasn't until then that I was able to start losing, very slowly. But losing nevertheless.

I did have problems with the glucophage. Serious problems and after nearly 3 years on it I really felt that I needed to get off it. The first time, in the late spring this year, if you'd ever told me I'd go through withdrawal from a drug like that I never would have believed it! I wanted to die! After nearly 4 weeks off it I realized I couldn't do it and went back on. But it seemed like going off it had messed me up all over again. I started to gain and couldn't seem to get on top of it no matter how regular I was with my dose. I was craving carbs all the time! I felt like I was losing control.

So, back to the drawing board and I knew what I needed to do was to go religiously low carb (and for me that means like long term Atkins Induction) which was very difficult to accomplish because for the most part I can't eat meat and egg in limited doses. So I had to do major diet planning and supplement like you would not believe. I spend about $200 a month on high quality supplements and I'm very fortunate because I get mine wholesale.

In September I went off the glucophage again, went religious about my diet and supplements and it was ok this time. I also started to lose at a steady pace which for me is amazing.

Its a struggle for sure, but I feel so much better than I ever did on the glucophage and I know that for me its all about the carbs if I want to stay in control. Which means its all about planning my food meticulously.

SusanBeck
12-31-2005, 10:42 AM
This is an interesting discussion. I'm a frequent lurker, but rarely post and consider myself a WLS failure. However, I've known a number of people who have had WLS and it was great for them, so I see both sides. I also have a close friend who was more like me. I had it in 1988- more of a "banding" procedure- lost 50 pounds (down from 250) and then started the climb back up. I have relost and gained 25-40 pounds over the years since then a number of times.
I've had a number of complications and suffered with malnutrition the first year or so (lost hair, had problems with my teeth etc). I cannot comfortably eat foods that are dense like meat. I've had problems (weirdly enough, almost cyclically) with lots of throwing up. I went to a gastroenterologist who said he could possibly do something like a revision to try and fix that, but I think I'm just too scared that it might be worse, although I did do a lot of research on it. It feels weird to say that I struggle to maintain my weight at 250, but that's what I do.
I try not to look over my life and decisions with regret because that seems somewhat futile, but I guess I regret being at a place in my life at such a young age (21) that felt desparate enough to do this. And that I had parents that were desparate enough for me to be thin to help pay for it! I've since been diagnosed with PCOS, but that was never even looked at prior to surgery.
I sometimes feel envious of anyone who has been able to lose weight whatever the means, but not in a mean way. I feel happy when I see the ladies (and few men) here have success because all of us with weight issues are sort of a family, whether we know each other or not. We all know the pain.

Susan

DancingAngel
12-31-2005, 03:23 PM
This is an interesting discussion. I'm a frequent lurker, but rarely post and consider myself a WLS failure. However, I've known a number of people who have had WLS and it was great for them, so I see both sides. I also have a close friend who was more like me. I had it in 1988- more of a "banding" procedure- lost 50 pounds (down from 250) and then started the climb back up. I have relost and gained 25-40 pounds over the years since then a number of times.
I've had a number of complications and suffered with malnutrition the first year or so (lost hair, had problems with my teeth etc). I cannot comfortably eat foods that are dense like meat. I've had problems (weirdly enough, almost cyclically) with lots of throwing up. I went to a gastroenterologist who said he could possibly do something like a revision to try and fix that, but I think I'm just too scared that it might be worse, although I did do a lot of research on it. It feels weird to say that I struggle to maintain my weight at 250, but that's what I do.
I try not to look over my life and decisions with regret because that seems somewhat futile, but I guess I regret being at a place in my life at such a young age (21) that felt desparate enough to do this. And that I had parents that were desparate enough for me to be thin to help pay for it! I've since been diagnosed with PCOS, but that was never even looked at prior to surgery.
I sometimes feel envious of anyone who has been able to lose weight whatever the means, but not in a mean way. I feel happy when I see the ladies (and few men) here have success because all of us with weight issues are sort of a family, whether we know each other or not. We all know the pain.

Susan

Susan, until 1995, I too considered myself a WLS failure! I had the surgery -- the banding with the staples -- back in 1986 (that was the way it was done then). I lost 50 initial pounds, got pregnant and drifted back up the scale a bit after the baby was born. I tried to maintain around 245, with pretty good success, and I threw up a lot. I too lost a bit of hair (thank the Lord for Women's Rogaine), and all my teeth are bought and paid for! Such a lovely legacy.

Well, then I began a program of portion control, added in faithful exercise, and suddenly the pounds just started going away! It took 2 1/2 - 3 years, but I got it off, and now I'm a success. I would say the WLS assists me in controlling my portions. I used and continue to use it as a tool.

I just wanted to post and tell you not to give up! It can still happen for you. I was 45 when I began my "last stand" against obesity; I'm 56 now and healthy.

Tomorrow you begin a new year. This could be the one! You aren't a failure as long as you continue to try, so give it another shot. You have a wonderful attitude, trying to be happy for those who succeed, though you admit a bit of envy -- well, that's natural! But with a little effort and much determination, you can be happy for yourself as well as for others!

I cheer for everybody who fights this battle. We are told that most of us will eventually gain some or all of our weight back, that the odds are against us. Well, every time another person succeeds in getting it off and keeping it off, the odds improve! So, in an effort to keep my odds for continued success at a maximum, I'm rooting for YOU! And I know you can do it. Make 2006 YOUR year!:carrot: :carrot: :carrot: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

SusanBeck
12-31-2005, 05:50 PM
Dancing Angel- thanks for the support. What an inspiration to have lost so much weight.

Susan

christineu
12-31-2005, 09:22 PM
For those of you who have a hard with throwing up a lot after WLS, you probably have a form of the same condition I have- Gastroparesis. It basically happens because of damage to the nerve to the stomach that tells it when to empty...it doesn't get the message to empty rapidly enough (thats why sugar can actually be a good thing for me at times) or the stomach muscle can get damaged/lazy/out of sink. Mine was caused by catching a common stomach flu bug that was going around campus at the time- I caught it from one of my students. It is most common in diabetics; the second largest group tends to be post-surgical, though they usually talk about it regards to gall bladder removal, but I've often wondered how often it affect people post WLS...and if it ever gets 'diagnosed' or is just chaulked up to one of those things that can happen, like dumping? The test they do for it is eating radioactive eggs (yes, you should worry anytime a radiology tech has to cook something), and then they scan to see how long it takes to move through the stomach and compare it to what it 'normal'...which could also be a problem with WLS- what is 'normal' post WLS? My case was very severe and most don't end up on feeding tubes- or end up staying on them this long if they do. Mine is so bad that the feeding tube bypasses my stomach and first part of my small intestine completely. As much as I hate the feeding tube, I also know its saved my life more then once in the past few years.

jiffypop
12-31-2005, 10:40 PM
christine - i'm sure some of us may have something similar, the most common reasons for us throwing up is that something gets stuck!!!! the outlet from our rearranged tummies is smaller than a nickel [generally]. and we don't have a pyloric valve to control the rate at which food flows through.

soooo, think of a tube of toothpaste [gross, i know!!!]. if there's something 'chunky' in there, the tube will be blocked. and gets backed up, and then, well, we're running for the bathroom!

drinking with meals also causes problems. the food absorbs the water, and expands, and then OH MY GOODNESS~!!!!!! it hurts. and we're in the bathroom.

hubs
01-03-2006, 10:10 AM
Susan, I actually don't like the word regret and used it in this thread in response to another comment elsewhere about people who 'regret' WLS. Regret is actually a word I've really only used maybe once or twice in other situations in my life. I think the most important thing is to realize that with or without WLS success, its not the end of the road as DancingAngel and Hazel have both said.

You asked in another thread what I did and its pretty much as stated here in my last post. Insulin issues demand that you pay strict attention to carbs and there are no shortcuts around that one as far as I'm concerned. I supplement like you wouldn't believe and that has made the biggest difference for me. I know we all talk about how its about health, but really and truly I had to shift my focus from obsessing about weight loss to getting some nutrients into my body to save my health. From there I had to face facts about carbs and get myself very prepared to make a permanent change.

I also had to start moving and that was very difficult. I've been in a wheelchair three times with back problems due to an early accident and my knees were in bad shape. So I went swimming. Early in the mornings with a short walk between the change room and the edge of the pool to minimize the discomfort of being public with my body. But I did it. What a fantastic way to start moving. We fatties tend to float much more easily so the strain was minimal and in the beginning I just concentrated on stretching and regaining mobility in my joints. I was a good swimmer as a child so it was like being a duck in water to get back into it. I varied my strokes and started and ended every session by walking in the water too. And I started to speed up the way I moved in general when I walked anywhere. In fact my son said about a month ago, he used to have to walk REAL SLOW (he's tall and has long legs and I'm short to boot!) and now if we go shopping or whatever he says I'm must zipping around.

The best thing is, I don't HURT like I used to. I was in a constant state of inflammation and that was largely due to diet. Carbs will feed inflammation like you wouldn't believe. I was stiff and sore and just plain hurting everywhere. I'm so grateful for the pain relief!

indigo child
01-03-2006, 07:39 PM
I was a good swimmer as a child so it was like being a duck in water to get back into it.

Hence the name, Dr. Quack? :D

Beltyr99
01-03-2006, 07:47 PM
I know there are a lot of successes out there for WLS but I personally only know of two people who have gotten in done. A friend of mine died from complications from the surgery and my mom had a lot of problems with it. She got an infection that lasted for 2 months and they had to keep going back in to drain it. Thank God she survived it. Those aren't very good odds from my standpoint.

indigo child
01-03-2006, 07:55 PM
There's no doubting that many people have had negative outcomes with WLS, and we still aren't sure exactly what the nutritional ramifications of our choices are going to be down the road. I just know that for me, getting larger and larger with no real progress, and the yo-yo dieting I had done before, were not doing my body any good either. One good thing I can say about having the surgery (and I'm relatively new to all this) is that I am much more attentive to my nutritional health than I have ever been in my life, and much of that has to do with the fact that I no longer have cravings or think of food every minute of every day as I used to. My Diabetes has also been relatively "cured." So that part of it has definitely been a plus.