Gastric Bypass Surgery – The easy way out?

 

I’m laying down on a very uncomfortable hospital bed in one of those horrible jonny’s that I swear is designed to make you feel awkward. It’s scratchy and drafty in the back. I have hot and cold chills and feel slightly queasy as I contemplate what’s about to happen. I’m going to have surgery. No, that’s not right. I’m going to have SURGERY!!! The big, life changing kind. I’m going to have someone cut my stomach apart and attach a small part of it directly to my small intestine and I’m not even sure it’ll be a good thing for my life. Something could go wrong on the table, there could be awful side effects that could last my whole life. I could be nauseous forever. That would be REALLY bad cuz I’m the biggest baby ever when I’m feeling pukey. But I weigh over 300 pounds and the alternative of staying that way forever is way worse than even dying on the operating table would be. The reasons that I believed I would live out my life in the “beached whale” category are for another post, but at that time, there was no other hope.

Think about that for a second! If a person has come to the point, that they believe there is no other hope for them than to have surgery to fix a weight problem….Well, what does that say about their life and state of mind? Just to get to the point where I was willing to have surgery was hard enough that I would never consider it the “easy way out!”

I don’t know if it’s still like that now (leave comments and let me know!) but when I had the surgery 10 years ago, you had to be pretty bad off. Morbidly obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control is having a BMI of 40 or above. It can also be having a BMI of 35 or higher with several other health risk factors like Diabetes or Heart Disease. So for a person who is 5ft 9in tall, that’s a weight of somewhere between 230lbs and 271lbs or above. (https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/defining.html) That’s pretty big and there are lots of risk factors to someone’s health (that we will talk about later) with that much extra weight on them.

I’ve heard it said that having surgery to lose weight is the easy way out and I’m sure whether you’ve had the surgery or you are a family member, that you’ve heard it too. Let’s just nip that notion right here and now at the outset of this blog! It doesn’t matter what the circumstances, if you had or are considering having that surgery you have already passed the “easy way out” a long while back! If you’re friend or family then you know what your person has gone through to a certain extent. If you are casual acquaintance, co-worker or even bystander understand that in no way, shape or form is the surgery option the easy way out of a lifelong problem. If you still think the weight just melts off without any side effects or problems, THINK AGAIN! In my next post we will talk about that first year after surgery. It’s a honeymoon in many ways, but like I said before, I’m here to talk about ALL of it – the stuff no one tells you. So if you can’t or won’t ask your loved one or friend or co-worker, ask me. I’ll go there with you. For those of you who had the surgery, I want to know what your experiences were – and are so …Talk to me!

10 thoughts on “Gastric Bypass Surgery – The easy way out?”

  1. Hi! My name is Alex. I found your blog by speaking with your mom this evening because we started talking about hair and then exercising- I forget how we got on the topic but she mentioned you having GBS- and I told her that I was considering and trying to gain the courage to do so. My dad had GBS 12 years ago ish and has gained some of the weight back due to a random diagnosis of MS which makes his mobility limited. But he originally lost 200 lbs. I on the other hand am very large (and in charge!) but I know it’s coming down to life or death. It’s not an easy decision and I don’t know what I am so afraid of. Afraid of the success. Afraid of failure. Afraid of missing good things (either missing food if I get the surgery or life if I don’t!)

    I have a blood clotting disorder so I have to keep that in mind so the gastric sleeve seems to be a better fit for my lifestyle (I have gone to two information nights)

    I’m afraid that they will make me have to lose over 50 lbs before I get the surgery. If I could lose 50 lbs- I wouldn’t need surgery.

    I’m afraid of them picking apart my brain in therapy and deciding because I thoroughly have a mix of hatred for myself and love for myself that they won’t approve it. (Plus being vulnerable scares me. I mean hell- that’s why the weight is there! It’s my barrier from this world)

    I’m scared there’s a reason I got so big. (Like I mentioned as my barrier- There’s some suppressed memories knocking around in there somewhere and what if that comes out and destroys me?)

    What if I die on the table? I bounce between being afraid of success and failure.

    Right now my weight is keeping me from jobs. No one wants to hire me cause they think stereotypical fat person when they see me. But I’m not. I’m educated and want to work. I want to be out in the world.

    I appreciate your honesty about the good, the bad and the ugly of GBS. I need to know all of it because I hate when I talk to people and they give me a sales pitch. I know I don’t have another option.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing all that! I think it can only empower us to share and be open about all of this. I understand all those fears and hopes as well as the very real “let me out in the world already!” sentiment. The best you can do is get as much info as possible and make the decision that is right for you. I have lots more “after the honeymoon” stories coming and I hope they will be helpful. Good luck Alex! If there’s any specific questions no matter how sticky or awkward, let me know and I’ll write what I can.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had gastric bypass in 2013 and I wouldn’t change it for the world! I struggled with my weight for so long and I just hated myself. I looked back and I was never in a picture, my kids would have nothing to remember me by if I were to die that day. I had to do something. So this was an option and my doctor discussed all the options with me and we decided this was the best. And it was!I’ve lost from 262 pounds to 160. I wanted to get to 140 but my doctor says I am healthy and I wear a size 6 so don’t worry about it! Don’t get me wrong, I struggled a lot in the first year. I had several complications and I remember the second day after the surgery wishing I hadn’t done the surgery at all! I had problems with ulcers for the first three years. But I have an awesome surgeon who still sees me every six months to keep me on track and check my vitamin levels because you will be deficient in those as well. But it is all worth it. I had High Blood pressure and pre diabetic. I had severe asthma and back trouble. Now my asthma is under control, no blood pressure issues and diabetes is a thing of the past. My back is a lot better also. So hang in there, it is all worth it.

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    1. Taylor,
      Thank you for sharing your story! It’s only by sharing that we can get all those issues talked about and start getting solutions. You’re right, it’s absolutely worth it!

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  3. Hi Marlayna,

    Thank you for your post, I have not yet had surgery but I am in the process of getting publicly funded surgery. I am very fortunate that the country I live in offers these surgeries to people most in need. I currently weigh 149kgs and this is my last resort. I suffer sleep problems, severe back problems and the list goes on. I am scared out of my mind about, am I doing the right thing by opting for surgery. I am scared of the complications that could arise. I am scared to death. I was wondering if you could part some words of advice?

    Thank you
    Louise

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    1. Hi Louise,
      It’s a scary thing to face for sure! For me, the more information I could get the better. Being informed was the best way for me to handle the stress and scary parts. If you can somewhat plan for what’s coming it takes away some of the unknown. Read as much as you can on the subject, go to information sessions at the hospital, meet with the surgeon and bring a list of questions. After you have done as much research as you can, it can be helpful to try to explain what will happen to friends and family (if you are telling them.) As you explain and they ask questions, you will see where the holes in your understanding are and then you can find answers. After that, I had to get it right in my head that I might not come out of the surgery or there could be some complications….and that was ok. I had to make sure inside that I would rather die on that table than live as I had been. That’s something only you can do. It was totally worth it for me and I was lucky in having very few complications and those weren’t major. Phew! That was a lot. I hope it helps and let me know if you have any more questions and what you decide. Good Luck Louise and God Bless!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Marlayna. Your words are very helpful. I really think telling my friends and family is the right thing for me as most family and friend gatherings and get togethers center around food, dinners, cheese boards and dining out. I have come to the conclusion that telling them will help them understand my situation. I have been given a remarkable opportunity in which I need to ensure works out for me. Would you mind if i ask how come you didn’t have any complications, was there anything you did pre-op that helped? Did you take vitamins before the surgery, did you have a good diet leading up to the surgery, any words of advice on aiding the healing process?
        Love Louise

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      2. Hi Louise,
        Sorry it took a few days to get back to you. I agree with you in telling your friends and family. It’ll just make everything easier for you to handle if they are all in the know. I didn’t do anything special pre-op that I can remember. I tried to gradually lessen the amount of sugar I was eating because I didn’t wan’t horrible withdrawals but mostly just did what the doc told me to. I can’t say I really had a good diet leading up to the surgery but it wasn’t awful either and I didn’t take any supplements until after the surgery. I think I was just very lucky to not have many complications and I put a lot of thought and prayer into my healing. I followed directions as closely as possible after the surgery as well. Keep me posted on your progress!
        Be Well,
        Marlayna

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