To tell or not to tell, that is the question

eeje
on 3/7/18 5:22 pm

I finally got my surgery date (April 26), was transferred to Guelph because of the long waiting times at TWH.

The final countdown begins and preparations with it. My biggest question today is who do I tell and what.

My parents and my closest friends know what I am planning to do.

What do I tell at work?

On one side, it's a pretty small company, less than 50 people, everyone knows me because I've been working there almost from the beginning. They will definitely see the difference and will start asking questions. Plus there is of course the short term disability benefits that I will probably need help from HR and from my manager. In general I think they are nice people (most of them are in their late 20ties-mid 30ies), but I just don't know if it's a good idea. Not very fond of being the topic at a water cooler, but can it be avoided?

On the other side, for all my childhood and adult life my size, how I look and suggestions about what should/n't I eat was part of my life experience, my skin is very thick. It's very hard to upset me because I usually make a joke out of it. So I am asking myself, why should I hide it? The goal is to be healthier, why should I be embarrassed. Unless my weight loss will not be significant (touch wood)...

What are the pros and cons here, not just work but maybe other people as well.

Thanks a lot.

TWH: Referral November '16, Orientation - April '17, Social Worker - June '17, Nurse - June '17, Nutrition Class - Aug '17 - Psychologist - October '17 - Nutrition Assessment - Nov '17 - Transfer to Guelph - Feb '18 -Surgeon - Dr. Reed, Start Optifast April 12, 2018 - Surgery - April 26, 2018

oneatatime
on 3/7/18 5:35 pm
RNY on 09/01/17

Hi! Congratulations on your upcoming surgery. :)

The decision to tell or not to tell us a very personal one. I didn't tell anyone at all until I knew I was for sure having it. Then, I started telling people... testing the waters if you will. Some people repeated my news, and it made me uncomfortable, and I had to decide how I felt about that. I decided I was ok with it.

Now, I'm an open book - which is generally how I am as a person. I'll tell anyone about my surgery, whether they know me or not.

For those who do know me, and haven't seen me in a while, and don't know about it... it's hard to avoid questions at this point. I am just past 6 months out, and down 94 lbs. I look quite different to say the least!

Good luck deciding. Once you tell people, it's out there. I suspect though, you will be much more supported than you imagine. :)

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. Choose happy.

Opti -10 / M1 -25.5 / M2 -10 / M3 -14.5 / M4 -13 / M5 -10 / M6 -5.5 / M7 -9.5 / M8 -13.5 / M9 -0.5

Century Club and Onederland in month 7!!

eeje
on 3/7/18 5:45 pm

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it. I think I lean toward your approach as well, since I am just very open person and can't hide, you can see it on my facial expression as well I think.

TWH: Referral November '16, Orientation - April '17, Social Worker - June '17, Nurse - June '17, Nutrition Class - Aug '17 - Psychologist - October '17 - Nutrition Assessment - Nov '17 - Transfer to Guelph - Feb '18 -Surgeon - Dr. Reed, Start Optifast April 12, 2018 - Surgery - April 26, 2018

oneatatime
on 3/7/18 5:40 pm
RNY on 09/01/17

Oh... and what? Lol... I just say: I had Bariatric surgery. Or I said before: I'm having Bariatric surgery in a month/2 weeks... And, I always smile proudly!!!

Most people just responded with "amazing!" "Good for you" or something equally supportive. Some people had comments "I know someone..." and some people had questions. All good. :)

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. Choose happy.

Opti -10 / M1 -25.5 / M2 -10 / M3 -14.5 / M4 -13 / M5 -10 / M6 -5.5 / M7 -9.5 / M8 -13.5 / M9 -0.5

Century Club and Onederland in month 7!!

eLoon77
on 3/7/18 5:51 pm, edited 3/7/18 9:52 am
RNY on 09/22/17

I think a lot of us, by the time we get to needing surgery, have already developed the thick skin you speak of. It just happens, for good or bad. However, maybe you should hold offf on announcing it to the whole company. I?m sure you can think of a few people you?d prefer didn?t know and in my opinion, that?s enough!

You don?t know if you?ll have complications or need extra time off and the details can be something you might want to keep private. You just don?t know at this point or know how you?ll feel after surgery. Yes, you will need to trust your manager and HR for the purpose of your time off but they?re legally obligated not to share your personal business with anyone else in the company. So it?s as easy as calling a meeting with your manager and contacting your HR.

Certainly you should tell whoever you want and whoever you trust has your best interest at heart, and be proud of yourself for taking control of your health, like Oneatatime said. Our people could certainly use more advocates and help in losing the taboo associated with WLS. I just think that if you?re unsure if you want everyone to know you can always wait to tell. That way you reserve the right to keep it private if you so choose.

Good luck whatever you decide!

Feb 17/16 - orientation TWH | March 3/16 - nurse | Nov 22/16 - Phone call f/u re-entry | Oct 18/16 - nurse | Nov 29/16 - nut class | Feb 16/17 - social worker | March 7/17 - nut apt | March 22/17 - psych apt | March 30/17 - team approved | May 5/17 - surgeon apt | June 8/17 - endoscopy | Sept 22/17 SURGERY RNY @TWH

eeje
on 3/7/18 6:08 pm

Absolutely agree with what you wrote. Do not plan to announce it to the company and do not plan to "advertise" it unless directly asked after the event. I wasn't sure about HR/Manager part, I feel if you do share more details with them (and ask them to be private about it) you may have additional supporters in case you need some flexibility work wise.

TWH: Referral November '16, Orientation - April '17, Social Worker - June '17, Nurse - June '17, Nutrition Class - Aug '17 - Psychologist - October '17 - Nutrition Assessment - Nov '17 - Transfer to Guelph - Feb '18 -Surgeon - Dr. Reed, Start Optifast April 12, 2018 - Surgery - April 26, 2018

eLoon77
on 3/7/18 7:03 pm, edited 3/7/18 11:09 am
RNY on 09/22/17

Yes, absolutely. I think since they have to keep things 100% confidential you are safe to give them more details. That way they can be empathetic should you need some extra time or if you need additional time for appointments or longer breaks to eat at the beginning etc.

Other than that share as you feel comfortable and no more. If you want to tell person A should they ask that you?re just working out eating protein and watching portions and person B the whole story, that is entirely your business. You can also ask person B to keep it to themselves. Just know who you trust and who will be a gossip or who may negatively influence your journey. In the end it?s all for you and self care is a big part of that whi*****ludes keeping out negative energy. :)

Feb 17/16 - orientation TWH | March 3/16 - nurse | Nov 22/16 - Phone call f/u re-entry | Oct 18/16 - nurse | Nov 29/16 - nut class | Feb 16/17 - social worker | March 7/17 - nut apt | March 22/17 - psych apt | March 30/17 - team approved | May 5/17 - surgeon apt | June 8/17 - endoscopy | Sept 22/17 SURGERY RNY @TWH

KarenKim
on 3/7/18 6:08 pm - Courtice, Canada
RNY on 03/19/18

Congratulations on your surgery date!! It's coming quickly.

I actually posted this same question recently and decided to begin sharing that I would be off. And letting those closest to me know what I wanted them to say to others once I was off work. For the most part I've received no reaction or I know someone who... Then there's the odd person who says, oh no why would you do that. Ok, that kinda made me step back and stop telling people because I felt judged. But I realized that it's coming from someone who is overweight themselves and perhaps says more about themselves than about what they think about my surgery.

A co-worker this morning in front of another staff said, have you told her yet? Well, I felt pushed into explaining her comment and that made me angry. I should get to choose who I tell and when.

I know once I'm off there will be questions because I'll be away for 10 weeks. I booked March break off in January then I have surgery and the family doctor wrote me off for 8 weeks then I have a week of vacation booked in May. Worked out perfectly for me.

I haven't told my parents as they live in Edmonton and will just worry. But we told my in-laws the end of January as we'll need support with the children. I expected criticism from them and spent days framing what I would say in my mind. Turns out, they were ecstatic. I guess you just never how people will react.

Good luck with what you decide.

5'4" - HW: 264 SW: 241.5

TWH: Referral - Feb. '17, Orientation - June '17, Transfer to Guelph - January 25, '18 - Surgeon - February 26, '18 - Surgery- March 19, '18 with Dr. Bhojani

eeje
on 3/7/18 6:58 pm
On March 8, 2018 at 2:08 AM Pacific Time, KarenKim wrote:

Congratulations on your surgery date!! It's coming quickly.

I actually posted this same question recently and decided to begin sharing that I would be off. And letting those closest to me know what I wanted them to say to others once I was off work. For the most part I've received no reaction or I know someone who... Then there's the odd person who says, oh no why would you do that. Ok, that kinda made me step back and stop telling people because I felt judged. But I realized that it's coming from someone who is overweight themselves and perhaps says more about themselves than about what they think about my surgery.

A co-worker this morning in front of another staff said, have you told her yet? Well, I felt pushed into explaining her comment and that made me angry. I should get to choose who I tell and when.

I know once I'm off there will be questions because I'll be away for 10 weeks. I booked March break off in January then I have surgery and the family doctor wrote me off for 8 weeks then I have a week of vacation booked in May. Worked out perfectly for me.

I haven't told my parents as they live in Edmonton and will just worry. But we told my in-laws the end of January as we'll need support with the children. I expected criticism from them and spent days framing what I would say in my mind. Turns out, they were ecstatic. I guess you just never how people will react.

Good luck with what you decide.

"A co-worker this morning in front of another staff said, have you told her yet? Well, I felt pushed into explaining her comment and that made me angry. I should get to choose who I tell and when."

That's exactly the scenario I want to avoid. I think I will start with a manager and HR and we will see what happens after the surgery.

Do what necessary and not rush what happens.

Thanks a lot.

TWH: Referral November '16, Orientation - April '17, Social Worker - June '17, Nurse - June '17, Nutrition Class - Aug '17 - Psychologist - October '17 - Nutrition Assessment - Nov '17 - Transfer to Guelph - Feb '18 -Surgeon - Dr. Reed, Start Optifast April 12, 2018 - Surgery - April 26, 2018

KatieCJ
on 3/7/18 6:12 pm

I personally just told everyone. It was just easier than trying to figure out who to tell and hoping people wouldn't talk about it.

I have gotten fantastic support from everyone, and everyone at work is excited for me.

Referral - April 2016 (NP sent my referral to Medical Weight Loss Program); Orientation - Aug.2.2017; First NP Appt & Bloodwork and ECG - Aug.21.2017; Sleep Study - Sep.18.2017; Social Worker Appt - Oct.3.2017; Dietician Appt - Oct.6.2017 ; Breath Test (for H.Pylori) - Oct.23.2017; Heart Echo - Nov.16.2017; Second Dietician Appt - Nov.16.2017; Pre-Surgical Class - Dec.20.2017; Meet the Surgeon - Dec.22.2017; Surgery - Feb.27.2018

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