Tuesday, July 31, 2007

WLS sidebar

I've added a box to my sidebar ------ >

These links contain information about the negative side of bariatric surgery. Many of the online support groups are run by those who profit from WLS, so you don't always get the complete story.

If you've had WLS, and your experience has been unproblematic, and you're happy with your decision, then good for you. Most people in my life that HAVE done it dealt with complications and a lot of pain, with only one person that had a relatively trouble-free outcome. I would personally not get this done on myself, even if it were guaranteed to work without problems; and it certainly is not safe or unproblematic.

If you've had this done, had a good outcome, and somehow think that it makes you better than people who chose not to take the risk, well, you're not. I'm sorry that you had to have your stomach amputated in order to gain some self-acceptance, but that's your problem, not mine. I'll be keeping my stomach, thank you, unless there is a real issue that necessitates its removal (cancer, massive ulcers, that kind of thing). Being fat is NOT a disease, and it's especially not a medical problem that requires amputation of healthy internal organs.


Sarah said...

As far as I know, I don't know anyone who has had the surgery, so the only person whose experience I can evaluate was a woman I met last year in an ER. All her teeth were falling out. She was getting hardly any nutrients. I would have guessed she was 80 but she told me she was 50. It was a scary, scary and sad thing to see.

Thanks for posting this. I have made jokes in the past -- "oh, I'd cut off a leg to lose weight" type of deal. But I wouldn't really. I never heard the surgery referred to as stomach amputation before. That's quite a memorable description.

DivaJean said...

I can speak from both sides of the coin.

I am 5'9" and weigh in the realm of 250-270. I would never EVER consider a gastric byass.

My life partner of 13 years had one 3 years ago. I was not happy with the decision. She has a history of pulmonary embolism, a complication that could easily have killed her. At her appointments with the "bariatric specialist", it seems I was the only one concerned about this. Or seemed to remember the risk and how she would need extra medical management because of this.

She had the surgery without any big complications- except she really can't eat most foods- even 3 years later. She cannot tolerate meats, seafood, fish; many fruits and vegetables are to fibrous for her no matter how she chews, etc. She subsists on ritz crackers and cream cheese with her vitamins. That's gotta be real healthy.

The worst part for me was about 6 months after the surgery. She looked absolutely grey in appearance, like someone I knew who had dropped dead following her gastric bypass. But instead, everyone kept complimenting her on how wonderful she looked. I thought I was in a parallel world or something, because that is not how I saw it!! Fortunately, she did finally "pink up" again the following spring.

The other big side effect is our relationship. As a girly lesbian, I was the "normal" interface for the world before her surgery. (She is somewhat masculine) Post weight loss, I am no longer the one people talk to- I am the fat elephant in the room that no one talks to or about. I have had to work very hard at maintaining my esteem and speaking up for myself in all of this.

I still reel when people refer to her as being so healthy. Who chases after our kids at the park when they ride bikes? It ain't her- she has no energy to spare. Rather I still am way more physically healthy than her.

I just get so mad about gastric bypass surgery! It really is an unnecessary stomach amputation as someone else had said.

Andee said...

Rio, I can't help but snort at the fact that your Google ads tout (wouldn't you know) lap band and WLS. I read about a blog once (can't recall which one) where they circumvented similar problems by referring to the weight loss drug Alli as "Kelly Clarkson." Maybe you need a clever code name for WLS too! Not "Star Jones," though, that wouldn't help. I suggest "Solomon Burke" instead. (I'm trying to imagine the Google ads you'd get from that.)


RioIriri said...

Solomon Burke? LOL!

If you comment with the url of the site being advertised, I will have it filtered out. Anything inappropriate that you see like that.

I'll have to figure out how to let people know that Solomon Burke is WLS.