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I thought I would put down a sort of bullet list of things on my mind that I tell people who are having (or have just had) this surgery.  I seem to be seeing more and more people who are in need of this info so here you are:

  • If you think you will be that *ONE* person that this will not work for, think again.  I thought it.  I was sure I would lose a little bit of weight and then stop like was true with everything else that I tried.  This surgery allows you the ability to lose it this time and there is no way you can stop it from happening.
  • This bring me to my TOOL speech.  When the Doctor goes in there and moves your insides around he is NOT giving you a crutch to use for the rest of your life.  He is giving you a TOOL.  You have to work with this tool, respect to tool, use the tool the right way.  You do what the Doctor tells you – and you do this for the    rest.of.your.life.   Follow the rules.  Like the Capri Sun commercial says “Respect the pouch!!”
  • You will have pain after surgery.  Everyone is different in how they handle pain and the kind of pain they have.  You may have a little or a lot.  Either way you are given something to take the pain away – use it.  Don’t be a hero.  Don’t be afraid of sleep.  Take the pain meds, rest, eat and drink like you are told, rest, rest, and rest and you will heal a lot better.
  • Eat by the clock.  You will not be hungry in the beginning.  You will not feel hunger – real hunger- for a very long time.  You will crave things and be “head hungry” on and off, but you will not have the hunger in your stomach for a long time.  You need to eat about every 3 hours to keep your metabolism up and your strength up.  And watch the clock while you eat.  You should eat very very slowly and eat for about 20 minutes and then stop.
  • Make sure to do your walking.  This keeps things moving, improves your stamina, and makes you feel better.
  • When you are given the go ahead be sure to take your vitamins.  All of them, everyday, don’t miss a dose or a day.  Get a pill box to put some in to take with you in case you are out for a long time.
  • You WILL have hair loss.  This is mostly from the shock your body is in.  It also has to do with vitamin levels being low, but for the most part it is your body trying to cope.  You will NOT go bald.  You will think you are going bald, but you won’t.  And it will stop eventually.  Have patience.
  • The most important part of this surgery other than following what you are taught is SUPPORT.  If you do not have a support group to attend once a month then you need to find one.  You do not have to go to your hospital for support- any will do.  But you need to go.  You also need to surround yourself with people who will support you.  I told people I was not asking for their permission but for their support so if they could not give me that I did not need to hear from them.  I did not want to hear “stories” and I would not listen.  If you pay attention, the vast majority of people who have heard stories of people having problems do not actually KNOW the people- it is just “stories”  And really, who cares!  You know you will do what the Doctor says so why worry about what is going to happen?  The risk of this surgery FAR outweighs the risks that you will have for being overweight for the rest of your life.  And the risk is low.  You may as well weigh your risk of getting hit by a bus vs something going wrong during surgery.  AND the majority of people with real issues afterwards are because they did not follow their Doctors orders the way they should have.  So- find a good support system and keep this system in place at all times.
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