Last night, I went to the Wednesday support group meeting that is sponsored by my weight management clinic’s office. I’ve been to several of the meetings in the past and I’ve found that I enjoy them a lot more now that I’m a post-op patient. They run their meetings in a format where the post-op patients introduce themselves and tell their story, and when finished, the pre-op patients ask a lot of questions. I’ve found this group a little frustrating in the past, because a lot of times the conversation goes into what I like to call the “protein shake vortex” where that’s all anybody wants to talk about – ugh! Last night, I was one of 3 or 4 post op patients there and the only person that has had the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) weight loss surgery. I found myself speaking a lot and being very frank with the pre-op patients!
At one point, one of the post-op RNY Gastric Bypass patients was talking about how you have to chew your food very, very well. She mentioned that you had to chew eat bite 30-40 times until it was super mushy. One of the pre-op patients then looked at her and asked, “Doesn’t that frustrate you at all?!”
At that moment, I looked at the pre-op patient and blurted out… “You know what REALLY frustrated me? Not being able to tie my shoes. Not being able to walk around without being in pain. Not being able to do so many things that I took for granted up until 8 years ago” A lot of people in the room were nodding their heads (pre and post op) and I’m hoping that what I said eased the mind of the “pre-opers” that were feeling nervous.
What I was trying to convey was – sure… it’s a pain to follow rules for how long I have to wait after eating to drink. Yes, it’s annoying to have to chew my food a lot before swallowing. True, I still want to eat all of the things that I enjoyed in the past. BUT, I finally had my moment where I said to myself “I cannot live like this anymore!” Therefore, all of the “frustrating” things we have to do as post-opers doesn’t even compare to the frustration that I had with almost every little life task nine months ago.
I hope the others at the meeting are able to have their “moment” as well and realize that they don’t have to live in pain and frustration anymore if they truly work at it! I do NOT miss all of the difficulty I had in my day to day activities and I can’t imagine how much better live will be when I’ve lost the rest of my weight as well!!!