I am pre-op, and my husband, while supportive, is not one to come to a message board or do any real research himself.
What should I tell him in terms of what to expect after my WLS, both in terms of physical stuff and emotional stuff? Does everyone have mood swings?
What do you wish someone had told you before your spouse had WLS?
Sarah warn him you are going to be the stereotypical PMS queen for a couple of months but it will pass. lol I think that's the one thing my hubby whishes he was warned about. I had a hysterectomy years ago and he had never really seen me with the hormonal swing that this surgery caused as the estrogen was released the first 3 months. Assure him you love him but there will more than likely be mood swings that cause snapping at him, crying over everything and anything, and that this too will pass.
Also explain to him that support does not mean he needs to be the food police, you are an adult and can make decisions that your brain was not altered during surgery.
Thirdly explain to him exactly what you need from him and keep him updated as it changes. If my hubby says one more time "I feel so bad for you I wish you wouldn't have done it" just because I'm constipated or can't eat fast food with him I may rip his head off lol I knew what I was getting into. I'm dealing with it the best I can in my own way and support for me just means LISTENING to me whine and don't try to FIX it!
My wife had the VSG surgery on the 27th, so 5 days ago. From what I have read, and from my own experience, I would have to say it really differs case to case. Fluctuation in your hormone levels will happen and it can lead to all sorts of fun and exciting things. Mood swings, libido fluctuation, etc.
So far my wife has felt "kind of weepy" at odd moments, but nothing to crazy. I'll try to keep this post updated if anything big changes. Mostly everyone has been pretty happy around here. :)
Now, things I wish I had understood better going in:
1. You can be key to your spouse's success or failure with WLS. I knew this, but the first week has really highlighted it. Changes in my wife's eating habits will mean changes in mine as well. It was only when my wife no longer could have food going into surgery, that I realized that I sometimes expressed love for her by sharing food or preparing food for her - and this food wasn't always the healthiest either.
It's not hard, but it takes some effort to figure out alternative ways to demonstrate love that doesn't involve food.
Aside from that, at least until you get used to everything, it would probably be best if your husband maintained a healthy diet around you. It has been good for me anyway to try to focus more on lean proteins and vegetables, but it has been difficult. The fact is that this is a big change and it can be kind of stressful. Food is the go-to remedy for stress for a lot of people - overweight or not. I have been struggling to fight the urge to eat comfort foods. I don't think that eating comfort foods in front of her will make my wife fail, but as her appetites are being reset, I think it is best to be a model of what she can look forward to once she's back to eating solids: in my case, delicious fish and vegetables!
2. WLS of any kind is serious abdominal surgery. The first thing I wanted to do when my wife came out okay, was give her a big hug. Unfortunately abdominal and shoulder pain can prevent hugging patients as hard as you possibly can just after surgery.
I know it sounds silly, but it's challenging. Just being aware of your limitations just after surgery is going to be important to both you and your spouse. A great thing you can do for your spouse, therefore, is just keep him informed about everything.
3. You know a great way to express support and love without jostling hugs or food? Be a part of the patient's aftercare!
There are a ton, a TON, of things to look after post-op. I have developed a excel spreadsheet that helps my wife and I keep track of all of the supplements and medication she needs. It's something like 11 different medications or supplements to keep track of to varying degrees - not to mention helping the patient walk regularly, drink water, cough regularly, breath into spirometer... keeping track of all of this stuff is overwhelming even when you're not on pain medication. I can only imagine how rough it is for someone without a support person in the home. If one's support person is kind enough to take on the job, having someone at home taking care of the little things and helping you keep track of everything can be a huge help.
4. Lastly (at least for now), the only thing you'll know for sure about the outcome of this is that you will lose weight, and your eating will be restricted in some way. Depending on age and weight, you may end up with loose skin. You may end up appearing older. These are just some of the less terrific possibilities with WLS. Your hormones will fluctuate, but things will stabilize eventually.
It's important to keep in mind, however, the positive things that will happen rather than any of the negative things that *might* happen.
You will have more energy.
You will be happier.
You will live longer.
You will still be you.
No weight loss, surgically attained or not, will change who a person is. Attaining a weight that is healthy and comfortable for you will only free you to do more of the things that you've always wanted to do - whether you were too overweight (or underweight) to do it before.
Wow, Very well said. My hubby has been very supportive and has done his best but I can see that he struggles at times. I know he is truly happy for me but he is overweight as well so its sort of bitter sweet for him to see my weight loss. He has been great for eating smaller portions along with me and cooking healthier foods.
I am curious about how things are for you now, since it has been a few months since your wife's surgery. Maybe this is too personal but is it hard for you to see your wife getting slim and more attractive? I realize she was beautiful before but you know what I mean. More people are likely noticing her more. I think my husband is struggling with that. I am too, it makes me uncomfortable as I liked being the fun flirty girl who was always the fun friend. It hard to verbalize what I am going through but since you were sop expressive and helpful in you above post I just wanted to check in to see how things are different for you know and what you have learned.