Scheduled surgery - advice/help?

K.Artemis
on 2/9/21 8:12 am
RNY on 02/22/21

Hi everyone :-) I'm brand new to the site, while I've been lurking and reading for a few days however and loved the environment so I figured I would join. I have my bypass scheduled for the 22nd and like many I'm nervous and have the "should I be doing this" thoughts.

I do want to ask a few questions if anyone has time to help answer however.

After surgery and you are home recovering they recommend walking it seems a lot. Would I be able to alternate walking and using a stationary bike? I have severely bad knees so walking is sometimes painful (after losing weight it'll be easier but for the first stages I'm curious) so I wanted to see if I could switch it up between the two.

Im a side sleeper, is this going to be a nightmare for me to get any sleep during recovery?

Is there anything you wish you knew before having surgery about the first few days of recovery? I get nervous when I read people mention things I've never heard of before so I'm curious if there's a random thing that stands out. (Example I had no idea what a drain was when reading peoples feedback about recovery...)

Thank you to anyone and everyone to responds :-) I'm having a harder time staying mentally positive about having surgery now that it's right around the corner.

notdamomma
on 2/9/21 11:06 am

Hello and welcome. Congratulations on your surgery date that is coming up you are going to find some great help on this site.

To answer your question based on my experience and what I was told by my surgeon, walking is encouraged immediately after surgery to help prevent blood clots. However, any exercise that keeps you moving and the circulation going should be good, even if it is a stationary bike, but do ask your surgeon. Also, as you lose weight, it will be so much easier for you to walk, exercise, etc. Keep doing it. It will help to maximize your weight loss.

I too am a side sleeper and I have to tell you the feeling I had when I would roll over was the oddest, but not painful. So, I think you just have to see how you feel and go from there. My surgery was open too due to scar tissue, so if you have it done laparoscopically, it probably will be much easier.

Each surgeon is different in their technique and some surgeons use drains and some do not. I had one for my RNY and they took it out before I left the hospital. I was also freaked out about the heparin shots in the stomach I read about. However, let me tell you. THEY ARE NOTHING. I hate needles, but this was so easy. It was the fear of not knowing what was going to happen that scared the holy crap out of me.

Keep these things in mind:

  • You are having major surgery, so expect to be tired for a little while.
  • Sip, sip, sip. Keep water close at hand at all times and sip, even when you don't want to sip. Hydration helps healing.
  • Eat, small bites, stick to your post op diet guidelines. Don't rush your phases. The stomach needs to heal and the phases are there to help that along.
  • Walk or keep your legs moving in some way.
  • You will ask what have you done. But, you will be glad you did it!!! I promise.
  • Keep your mind busy over the next few days/weeks.
  • Head hunger is REAL and is a struggle for some.
  • You probably won't be hungry, physically, but eat anyway.
  • Take your vitamins, daily. Deficiencies are not fun.
  • Hair loss can happen, but stay on your vitamins and you should be ok.
  • Take chapstick to the hospital with you. You will definitely need it.
  • Every day, you should feel a little better and should see that you can walk farther or do more. That means you are heading in the right direction. Fatigue can stay for weeks for some, but everyone is different.
  • Don't freak out if you don't see weight loss immediately or if it is small amounts. Everyone is different. Some people lose weight first, others inches. You can take your measurements before surgery and when the scale isn't moving check your measurements.
  • Regain can happen at any time. Stay focused on learning to eat more healthy choices, cut your carbs during your first few years, avoid pasta, rice, bread, cookies, etc. These are things that can limit the amount of weight you lose. If you cut those simple carbs out you will be better off. I have seen some people say they didn't touch carbs until they were in maintenance.
  • Always remember, you are a weight loss patient for life.
  • Avoid alcohol for the most part. Occasional drinks aren't bad, but I had a friend who never drank and had surgery, she trans addicted to alcohol and became an alcoholic.
  • Read about trans addiction, it isn't only about alcohol, it can be shopping, sex, gambling. Anything we do in excess. It is real and you should learn why it happens and how to avoid

Best of luck to you.

K.Artemis
on 2/9/21 11:33 am
RNY on 02/22/21

Wow thank you so much!! I appreciate the amazing reply :-) I'm lucky enough to have my husband who agreed to help me make sure I drink plenty. Sadly I'm already use to taking daily meds (many are vitamins) so those should come naturally.

I super appreciate your reply and help! I am having the laparoscopic thankfully.

Lauren010110
on 2/9/21 11:44 am - Victorville, CA

Hello there!

WELCOME! You are in amazing company! YES, you should be doing this! Walking is always recommended to move gas and promote muscle growth. I would check with your doc to see about the bike, you never know... but just sitting around will do nothing for your healing. Losing weight will definitely be easier on your knees!

I am a side sleeper as well and for the first week or 2, I slept on our lazy boy recliner since it's a bit "poofier". Moving to my side hurt for the first few weeks, but sleeping on my side was manageable (for me) by week 3.

I did not have a drain after surgery. So unfortunately, can't help you there. I know not all surgeons perform surgeries the same, check with yours about how he/she does theirs. I expected to lose a ton of weight my first week because I was only on liquids and that wasn't the case. I came home weighing more but eventually, I was told to throw out my scale and only weigh when I got into the doctors office so that I would no longer be scale obsessive. I have a new scale now that I hop on every couple of weeks, but I am in no way weighing every second like I used to.

You are in the righ tplace, and best of luck to you! Can't wait to welcome you on the losers bench!

hollykim
on 2/10/21 9:03 am - Nashville, TN
Revision on 03/18/15
On February 9, 2021 at 4:12 PM Pacific Time, K.Artemis wrote:

Hi everyone :-) I'm brand new to the site, while I've been lurking and reading for a few days however and loved the environment so I figured I would join. I have my bypass scheduled for the 22nd and like many I'm nervous and have the "should I be doing this" thoughts.

I do want to ask a few questions if anyone has time to help answer however.

After surgery and you are home recovering they recommend walking it seems a lot. Would I be able to alternate walking and using a stationary bike? I have severely bad knees so walking is sometimes painful (after losing weight it'll be easier but for the first stages I'm curious) so I wanted to see if I could switch it up between the two.

Im a side sleeper, is this going to be a nightmare for me to get any sleep during recovery?

Is there anything you wish you knew before having surgery about the first few days of recovery? I get nervous when I read people mention things I've never heard of before so I'm curious if there's a random thing that stands out. (Example I had no idea what a drain was when reading peoples feedback about recovery...)

Thank you to anyone and everyone to responds :-) I'm having a harder time staying mentally positive about having surgery now that it's right around the corner.

welcome! "Walking"

doesn't mean walking a mile. It means walking around your house for short periods of time, often. Don't let your husband do everything for you. Get up snd walk to the kitchen. That's walking, etc.

for side sleeping , put a small pillow under your belly to support it while lying on that side.

Wls was the best thing I ever did for myself. I hope it will be for you also.

 


          

 

Greateight
on 2/10/21 12:30 pm
RNY on 08/29/18

You have received a lot of great advice. One thing I would add is to make sure that you and your doctors have a plan to deal with constipation. Between pain meds, vitamins, small meals and limited liquids it is a major challenge. Many of us take daily Miralax even years after surgery.

Jim Age 54 Height 6 Feet Consult Weight 344 SW 289 Pre-Surgery -55, M1 -25, M2 -16, M3 -21, M4 -10, M5 -5, M6 -1, M7 -4, M8 0, M9 +4, M10 -4

Newtonsmum
on 2/11/21 7:06 am
RNY on 08/10/20

I second Greateight's advice!

AnnieM90
on 2/13/21 7:34 pm
RNY on 09/22/20

Hi! I am almost 5 month out, so I vividly remember those jitters before the surgery. I am a side sleeper, so I tucked a flattish pillow under my left side for a few weeks. Remember, the pain is the worst day 3 after surgery. Then it gets remarkably better quickly! Walk walk walk all over your house. You don't have to speed walk, but moving makes you feel better. I am so very excited that I did this; like many, I wish I had done it sooner. The other CRITICAL piece: look into therapy or some good books to adjust your mindset. This is forever. There are lots of great books out there. Good luck, and welcome to the Losers' Bench!!!

K.Artemis
on 2/13/21 7:48 pm
RNY on 02/22/21

Thank you!! Great pillow idea! The program I'm in has me doing therapy but I also have been doing it every other week but I appreciate that tip! I am a bit worried about the emotional load but having the support I have lately is making me feel a bit better.

I appreciate so much everyone's replies and help! Since this post I have flipped out in anxiety and come back down to feel okay. I know the first week maybe month will be hard but it'll be worth it.

This support and help has been amazing!!

AnnieM90
on 2/14/21 6:16 am
RNY on 09/22/20

That's great! I'm glad! ? I was already doing some therapy when I made this decision for surgery. My therapist suggested looking at food addiction issues and resetting my thoughts and actions. It's been enlightening and empowering with her guidance. I will add you to my prayer list!! Keep us posted! ??

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