I have found since my surgery one of the questions…
The main reason I started my blog was to get some experiential information out there about exactly what it’s like to go through and live with a gastric bypass. I have had a pretty good ride through this whole thing and haven’t had any complications or major bumps in the road. This means I have had a very positive experience and can’t recommend it highly enough.
I really enjoy talking to other bariatric patients because through hearing their experiences I learn more about the process and what it’s like for other people. I appreciate when other people share with me what they are finding tough about it or any complicating things they have had happen because it gives me a much more rounded view of the process and what an experience it can be. Sharing this stuff with each other is helpful and I really encourage anyone who has had bariatric surgery to find other people who have so you can have that support from someone who knows what you’re talking about and can relate.
Hopefully your bariatric surgery team will educate you as much as possible before your surgery about what to expect afterwards and what the different stages of nutrition are that you will need to work through. The nutrition is especially important. You should be given information for each stage showing you what kinds of things are appropriate to eat, what kind of volume you can expect to be able to eat and a few different meal ideas.
Much as you try and take all of this information in beforehand it won’t all stick so refer back to those sheets if you are at all unsure or need some ideas. For the first 6-9 months after my surgery my nutrition sheets sat on my kitchen bench in a prominent place so I could refer to them at a whim and I referred to them constantly. This helped me stay completely aware of what I could and couldn’t eat and what sort of portions I should be eating.
Finding your way with food after any bariatric surgery is a very personal journey but it is something that we will all have to traverse as we get back to our new normal. You may be like me and be super cautious abot what you eat, how much you eat and always be lagging behind slightly in expected portion sizes or you could be totally different. However you get through, as long as you are looking after yourself and building new healthy habits, will be the right way for you.
If you’re having trouble with food or something seems like it’s not right and it isn’t something that you vaguely remember being mentioned by your team at one time then it might not be. Only able to eat in a certain position? Suspect. Dumping every time you eat? That’s not right. Not able to easily eat ANY high protein foods? Uh oh. Please, please, please if things are much harder than they should be, or not at all what you expected please talk to your team about it.
You are not expected to soldier on by yourself without any help. Your team are there to help you and will not judge you for asking questions or needing a bit more guidance on where you should be at a certain point. Post-op bariatric surgery is different to life before, of course but it’s not meant to be a huge daily battle. Bounce your feelings and experiences off your friends to see if what you’re experiencing is normal or is a bit outside of what’s expected. Then go and talk to your team and see how they can help.
Support is really important to your success after bariatric surgery and you need to take it where you find it. I didn’t know anyone who had had bariatric surgery before I had it so searched for information online. Since having my surgery I have met heaps of people who have and it’s fantastic to know people who just get it.
Did you have a relatively good ride through bariatrics without complications or did you have a tough time? What unexpected issues did your team help you with after surgery?