Who to tell?

on 3/23/14 10:28 am

We have found out the hard way, not everyone is going to be supportive of my decision to have wls. I really don't want to hear about a friend of a friend of a mothers brothers cousin who had wls and almost died, and how I just need to learn self-control and wls won't teach me that etc, etc, etc How did you determine who you would tell before having wls?

Let life begin

on 3/23/14 10:39 am - OH

I looked at it much like any other medical procedure.  If I would tell someone that I was having my gall bladder removed or having a breast biopsy (both procedures I've had since my WLS), then I would also tell them I was having WLS. 

In the five years since my WLS, I tell people when it's relevant.  If I am dining with someone and they ask why I don't drink with my  meal, I tell them "because I had gastric bypass surgery and they recommend we don't drink with meals since we don't have a pyloric valve anymore."  I have to say, though, it's very rare for someone to ask why I'm not drinking.  I get a glass of water and sip on that until my food is served and people usually don't notice I'm not drinking while I eat.  If someone sees and asks about the scar on my stomach where my largest incision didn't heal well, I tell them what it's from, just like I tell them what other scars are from if they ask.

If someone starts telling me a story I don't want to hear, i just say, "I'd rather not hear about that.  Can we talk about something else?"

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.


on 3/23/14 11:00 am

I'm wondering the same thing, especially since I'm just starting out on this journey. I've told my kids, the older two anyway. And I've been very open about answering all their questions and trying to ease their fears. Extended family is more likely to make those kinds of unwelcome comments though lol I did tell my mom a few days ago which likely means everyone else will know shortly :P in her defense, I didn't ask her to keep it private. I kinda thought that was an easy way out lol they can all tell their horror stories to each other and maybe I won't hear it. Fortunately for me, they all know I'm pretty determined and stubborn, so there's no reason to try and convince me to change my mind lol

I'd likely just tell them thanks for their concern (because in most cases, it probably IS coming from a place of concern) but you've done a lot of research and have a great doctor you trust. Then try to change the subject unless they have specific questions that might help them understand/become more supportive.

Good luck! :)



Retro Gal
on 3/23/14 11:09 am
RNY on 05/06/14

Only my spouse and adult daughter know about it and no one else needs to.  Even my employer does need to know the reason for surgery, just that I have a medical condition that requires surgery and a doctor's note stating when I am able to return to work.  It all depends on the individual, I am very private about health matters and don't wish to share it with my close friends, only those that absolutely have to know.  Some people want to tell everybody and enjoy the support they get from them, I'm not that type of person.  Just sharing my approach.

Height 5'9", Heaviest: 321, Pre-Opti Program: 296, Preop: 250, Preop BMI: 36, RNY May 6, 2014.

on 3/23/14 12:21 pm
RNY on 01/15/14

I didn't tell anyone except my close family before I had surgery.  But since having it I have told several people, usually when they ask how I am losing so much weight.  Before I had my RNY I felt a little embarrassed about it, I guess.  But now I don't anymore, I feel that it is just a tool, and I had to work hard and go through a lot to get it!  



Gwen M.
on 3/23/14 1:02 pm, edited 3/23/14 1:04 pm
VSG on 03/13/14

I told the people that I wouldn't want to find out via a call from my partner to say I had died in surgery. And a few people who needed to know for professional reasons. 

My parents, brother, my partner told his parents, my three best friends, my voice teacher, my massage therapist, my physical therapist, my mental therapist.

My mom also told her BFF, with my blessing, since I know my mom needed support and to coordinate chemo duty for my dad!

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Surgeries with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL & brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL & mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 42 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

TrendWeight | Food Blog (sort of functional) | Journal (down for maintenance)

on 3/23/14 1:21 pm

My husband abpnd 2 friends.  I told siblings after my surgery.

Honestly, my feeling was, you can always tell, but you can never 'Un-tell'.

I was self pay and the process from decision to incision was about 2 months ... I work from home, so there were no coworkers to tell.

I didn't want to hear any horror stories...just wanted to,have my surgery done and move on to the losers bench.


on 3/23/14 7:48 pm - Glendale, AZ
DS on 04/01/14

I'm having DS April 1 and just started my leave because I'm so cranky on the pre-op diet. I work at my church in a public-facing position, which complicates things because I'm going to be out for a month. I have ended up telling my coworkers and the volunteers I supervise, as well as my "real friends" (the ones who you would tell something confidential to and know they weren't going to gossip).  I will say that being super-obese might make it easier to get support- every single person I've told has been very supportive, and many have confessed that they were worried about me.  Also, my church in particular is a supportive place (more so than many I have attended).

I was prepared for pushback, and I planned to say that my doctor and I had decided together that this was my best shot at long term healthiness. I didn't end up having to use that line.

I guess I would say, if in doubt, don't tell until after the surgery. I was lucky, but you are right and not everyone will be supportive. 

on 3/24/14 12:20 am

Thank you everyone! At this point just a few people know I am in the process and plan to keep it that way for now :) I did tell one lady at church and it did not go over well. She is a nurse and had a patient that well did not do good after having it so that conversation went bad. My husband and I just know this is the way God has been leading us to go and so far has been a very easy process. Doctor is very encouraged by my "good health" other then being obese I have no other health issues and would like to keep it that way! I truly am for the first time in my life learning how to love myself and put myself first, which is a totally new and different thing for me.

Let life begin

on 3/24/14 12:59 am
RNY on 05/06/14

I know exactly how you feel!  First person I told freaked right out!  Started telling me about her cousin who got banded and has been sick ever since, how stupid I was being that I needed to just go to the gym with her and on and on.  All I could think of which I didn't say was why doesn't your cousin just not fill her band or have it removed?  Instead I just sat there and listened.  I didn't even get a chance to finish. I wanted to only ask how Obama care was going to affect Bariatric surgery since she was involved with setting up some of the exchanges. WHEW!!  Been real careful who I tell now!  All my friends are super understanding.

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