Topic: RE: So Many Questions About WLS
I am 7 weeks out of my VSG surgery. As I’m sure people have told you, everyone is different and we all respond to surgery slightly differently. Therefore, I will give you my experiences. I also blog about my WLS journey at http://jfabulous43.wordpress.com/. You may want to check it out to get some insight into the psychological issues.
Will I feel hungry after surgery?
I tend to get hungry about every 3 – 4 hours.
What will recovery be like? How much pain?
I spent 2 nights in the hospital and was comfortable until I tried to move. Because of my sleep apnea my doctor did not give me any pain medication after surgery. To be honest, I was able to manage just fine without it. The great thing is that each and every day I felt better. In fact, my surgeon told me that if I did not wake up feeling better than the day before that I should call him. The gas pains were the worst and it took about 6 days for those to go away. I wrote a lot more about it in my blog.
What about head hunger and anxiety?
If you read my blog you will find that I am constantly battling head hunger. I was a compulsive eater before surgery. One way I try to control it is by not eating anything between my meals. So even if I get head hunger or want to eat, I tell myself that I can’t eat because it is not time. I eat four times a day. The other thing that has helped is Edy’s (or Dryer’s) sugar free popsicles. If I really need something in my mouth, I eat one of those because the cold feels good and it is only 25 calories.
My innocence and naïveté about eating are lost. I am giving up the ability to self-medicate. I am now permanently filling in with concrete the hole in which I have buried my head and my problems. Will I regret this? It will be hard to numb myself. Where will I find peace?
This is a very common fear and I know I struggled a lot with it prior to surgery. It is normal around week 2 after surgery to get buyer’s remorse, but it goes away within a few days. You will be so excited about the weight falling off that it will be worth it. Try to remember why you are having the surgery and your goals. The goal of surgery is not to lose weight, rather it is to enjoy a much better life. To be able to walk without getting tired or to lift you children/grandchildren up off the floor. Try to focus on why you want to lose the weight and always keep that in the forefront of your mind.
I’d recommend that you not try to numb yourself, but rather deal with the emotions that caused you to gain weight in the first place. I was able to find a therapist who specializes in bariatric patients and I started seeing her a month before surgery. I have a way to go, but I am on the road to recovery. Will you find peace? Yes, but only if you work very hard at it. It will not come automatically. You will need to deal with the demons inside you before you can find peace. The surgery does not cure our brain, just our tummy.
Will I experience hunger, ever?
Ya. You betcha!
Will I enjoy food, ever?
I love food. I’m what you call a foodie. I still enjoy my food a lot but I find that I am making healthier choices. Yesterday, I went out to lunch and instead of ordering fatty starches, I ordered broccoli as my side item. The other day, someone bought pizza for the whole office but I had no desire to eat any. The old me would have eaten half a pie. I just ate my planned lunch. But I must tell you that ABSOLUTLY I enjoy my food and I eat whatever I want.
Will I feel hunger when it’s time to eat, ever?
I would really not worry about this. You will be fine.
How will I know when to stop eating? In the beginning, will I feel full after eating? How full? Borderline full (that never stopped me from continuing to eat, before), or is it like gorging after a buffet-full?
In the beginning, while you are on liquids and pureed foods, you may not feel full. I know I didn’t and I was worried that I might be eating too much. The surgeon told me to not worry about it because I would feel full after I started eating solids. The best answer to this question is to eat as much (and no more) than what you and your nutritionist have planned out for your meals. But, we all experiment with our new stomachs, if you do indulge, your body will not like it and you will have some painful consequences. You won’t overindulge after a few bad experiences.
Will I feel full enough to be satisfied?
I did not think that eating just a few bites of something would satisfy my cravings, but it really does. I feel full and satisfied.
What can I do to help the skin shrink normally?
Will I have the starving urge to scarf down the little food I can eat and have uncontrollable hunger ever again?
The one thing I am still learning is how to eat slowly and chew my food. Sometimes I forget that I had the surgery and chug a bottle of water. I very promptly vomit and am reminded that I can’t do that. If you try to scarf down food, you will be uncomfortable and you will learn to slow it down.
Do you become more emotionally vulnerable after Bariatric surgery?
I’m trying to deal with my emotional issues by seeing my therapist and writing in my blog.
Will I be unable to eat and drink at the same time forever, or just temporarily?
According to everything I have heard and read, this is a lifelong thing. I will admit that of all the lifestyle changes I have had to make due to surgery, this one has been the hardest. I really recommend learning how to chew, eat slowly, and not drink with meals prior to surgery. It will help you adjust a lot easier.
Will I ever be able to eat sweets, if I want them (this is not my weakness, although I have many)?
I’ve never been a sweets/desert eater. My issue was/is with carbs. But yes, you should be able to eat sweets. I ate a Hershey’s Kiss the other day.
How awkward is it to chew slowly and take 20 minutes for tiny meals? Is this just temporary?
It is only awkward if you make it awkward in your mind. I know this is hard to do at first, but don’t be self-conscious and don’t worry about what others think. Typically, if you are eating with others, there will be some talking and the meal will last over 20 minutes.
Follow my Twitter -- @Jack_Fabulous
Follow my blog -- http://jfabulous43.wordpress.com/