Before Gastric Bypass Surgery: What I Wish I Had Known

You go to Pre-Op classes. You read, you research. People try to warn you about what it will really be like after you have gastric bypass surgery.

But somehow, the things you hear may not quite crystallize in your mind until you experience them. With that in mind, Here is a list of things I personally wish I could have grasped beforehand, along with some of the things I’ve heard others say.

What I Wish I Had Known 

  • I wish I had realized that my life would still revolve around food – or at least, what I ingest. Instead of being able to forget all about eating, my day consists of counting fluid ounces, protein grams and supplements.
  • I wish I had known how difficult it would be to get all of the required fluids, proteins, and supplements in every day.
  • I wish I had realized that gastric bypass surgery – and the ensuing weight loss – will not make all my problems go away. That I would still face issues even though I weighed less.
  • I wish I had realized how this weight loss would change the relationships in my life – for better and for worse.
  • I wish I had understood how incredibly traumatic it is to follow the liquid diet immediately after surgery, to see others eat and how I would feel excluded from things like family dinners.
  • I wish I could have understood how it’s both liberating and frightening to be smaller.
  • I really wish I could have seen how the sagging skin and remaining fat would look, and how self-conscious it would make me continue to feel.
  • I wish someone could have gotten it through my head that I would still have to work at weight loss.
  • I wish I would have known that my weight loss would make others feel uncomfortable and self conscious about their own weight and therefore they’d want to lash out at me.
  • I wish I had realized that complications can happen to me and that those complications can be very unpleasant.
  • I wish I had known how my attitudes toward food would change, and how unpleasant it would become to watch others shovel too much food in.
  • I wish I had known hwo my attitudes toward overweight people would change, and how strange it would feel to not be “part of the club” around them.
  • I wish I had known how easy it is to become obsessed with how I look, and how I would have to watch myself to make sure all my conversations didn’t revovle around me, my weight loss or my wrinkled skin.
  • I wish I had known how invasive well-meaning people can be with their questions and how uncomfortable it would make me.
  • I wish I had known that after 6-9 months the old demons of cravings and head hunger would rear their ugly heads and that eating right would not be easy or automatic.
  • I wish I had known how horrible dumping really is, and how often it would happen to me after also having my gall bladder out.
  • I wish I had known how frustrating it would be when I suddenly had loads of energy but my family didn’t, and how depressing it would be that all they wanted to do was watch tv.
  • I wish I had known how sweet and understanding my husband would be and how difficult watching me lose weight while he didn’t would be for him. And I wish I had paid more attention to that during the first year, and thanked him more.
  • I wish I had known what a relief it would be to interact with strangers and not feel they were judging me for being fat.
  • Most of all, I wish I had realized that I’d still be “me” 100 pounds lighter.

None of the above would have been enough to change my mind. At least I don’t think so. I don’t regret my decision. But knowing them sure would have made the journey easier!

I hope it does that for you.

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14 Responses to Before Gastric Bypass Surgery: What I Wish I Had Known

  1. nothing could ever prepare you for what gastric brings. as a child of a mother who had gastric the changes that it brings are unmeasurable. if there is anything you would “wish youd have known” hopefully this gives a little insight; you just might lose everything you love, your family, friends and your life. you will never be the same person you were before gastric and nothing can prepare you for that. i dont think there are enough people that share their stories about gastric to truly give insight to the people thinking about getting it. hindsight is 20/20 and if i could tell my mom what our lives would be like now i wouldve done anything in my power to stop her from getting it. it ruined my life

  2. I have a couple months to go and I am really scared what if I mess up or I can’t handle it? Than what??

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and fears. I will listen and follow directions more diligently now. I’m about 3 months away from RNY surgery. Looking forward to the benefits ….and the work. :)

  4. I have completed the informational workshop, and on January 5 I will have my first face to face meeting with the staff at the surgery center. It will be one of many pre-op meetings, apparently, and I have been looking online and reading books to try to get myself into the right mindframe to be as successful as possible. This blog which I found accidently today has been very helpful. Thank You

  5. I am so glad I found this site. My friend just went thru surgery less than a week ago and she is really struggling right now. This is going to help me help her thru this. So many people don’t realize the struggles that come with this surgery. Thanks for posting yours!

  6. Thanks for the informative blog, I just decided today to have bypass surgery. It is a scary venture but it’s nice to know that others are thinking the same way I am.. after the surgery and beyond.

  7. this has been my ‘go to’ site for everything once i found you! actually, my sister found you for both of us. i had my gasyric by pass 1 week ago today (dec 6) same as you beth! it has surely been a journey. just when you’ve researched all that you can and been classed and seminared to death, things still come up that you had no idea about. i know nothing about blogging (hence how my sister found you and not me!) i’m keeping a journal, but would like to start a blog once i feel up to it. you are an inspiration and thank you so much for sharing this very private decision.

  8. PS. Beth: I hope your surgery went well!! And Lisa I’ll think of you as you have your operation to.. x

  9. All I can say it “Thank you”. I am due to have my Gastric Bypass on the 20th December ’10 (a week tomorrow) and reading through these pointers has certainly opened my eyes a little!! It is certainly easy to get a little carried away in forgetting how much the procedure will effect everyone around you. I’ve had some close friends (who are overweight themselves) be super supportive until my date came through, when they all set out to “change my mind” and decided to announce their opinions in how I was opting for the “easy cure” not realising themselves that it is only a stepping stone in a long journey of dieting and excersize!!

  10. Thanks for being so open with your struggles. My surgery date is Dec 29th, 2010. I’m trying to get mental prepared for this and I’m about 3/4 of the way there. My husband is my biggest supporter in this and we’ll diet and exercise together.

  11. I have recieved my surgery date, Dec 6. Thanks for posting the wish I would have known info. I am going to print it and past it by the computer so I can refer to it.

  12. as i just got my date for my op here in the uk i found this really useful xx

  13. I have to admit, I share many of your same views. You are a very interesting writer, and I’m glad that I found your blog. I have been in the process of writing a book about my own gastric bypass surgery, when I recently decided to start a blog. I hope you’ll stop by, we have a lot in common

  14. My Gawd, we are so much alike! I’m with you on so many of those points. I don’t regret the bypass BUT I am experiencing almost ALL of the things you list here. Ugh! Ah, well. It’s our karma and we have to work through it. Thanks for blogging so frankly!

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