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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where are the WLS Veterans?

There is a GREAT conversation underway at the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood. Our friend Kimbre, who will be "Arriving" in February asked posted:

"I'm a pre-op though I'll be able to submit to insurance at the beginning of February (YAY). I ran across something this week that disturbed me a little bit. I ran a across a blog that I hadn't seem before and the blogger had posted a comment from someone else (the source was not given) and it said:
Search for any wls blogs or stories or even posters on wls boards from post ops more than two or three years out...they are virtually non-existant. Nobody posts on boards more than 2 years post op. Blogs are abandoned at two years out. The surgery has a honeymoon and people still in that period tend to get very emotional about defending it. Once the regain, ruptures, complications and malabsorption side effects take over, these people feel like failures and hypocrites and go into hiding. Where are the ten year post-ops? Or the five year ones? That's who I want to hear from.
Are there people here who are five or more years out? I would like to think that you don't hear from those folks as much because with weight loss, they are now out living their lives, and not inside, having regained their weight or fighting constant illness as a result of this surgery.

I'm just wondering what the post-ops think about this."

One seasoned successful weight loss surgery post-op, Kim answered, "Well, you're in luck. First and foremost, there are many members of this forum (with blogs) that are long term success stories. Let us motivate you and educate you. (The Neighborhood Blogs are private and available to registered members only. Link to learn more).

Lots of blogs disappear only because people move on to just "living". Life becomes less about weight loss and more about being normal...having a family or a job that takes all of their time! Here are some stats that I posted on MY blog...
National Statistic
RNY Gastric Bypass – 95% lost 70-75% excess body weight in 2 years; 85% maintained loss of >50% EBW at 5 year
What you will learn from the long term folks on this site is that it takes work...forever. You must go into this surgery knowing that you must never go back to living your pre-WLS ways...quit going to the drive-thru restaurants, make healthy food a focus, exercise every day in some form and most of all, ENJOY life!"

And here is my 2-cents worth: "Hello Kimbre! Welcome to the Neighborhood! You have certainly landed in the right place to ask this question. If you look at the profile of different members here in the Neighborhood you'll see "Arrival Date" and that is the date of their surgical weight loss. We call it "Arrival" because our slogan is, "Welcome to your new life - You Have Arrived". You will see many who are 5, 10, 15 and 20 years post weight loss surgery. Our senior member is little tiny Judy Petite - 21 yrs. post-Arrival. I've met her and she is petite and adorable!!! And she is LIVING. I will be 9 years post-Arrival in September and there are many others with lots of experience to share with pre-ops and those in the weight loss phase of this life-long experience. Many people do drop off message boards or blogs after 1 1/2 - 2 years post off. Many because, as you say, they become highly engaged in LIVING. Some because they are struggling and feel ashamed or embarrassed. Some because they can't find a group dedicated to the daily challenges of surgical weight loss.

One thing I know about weight loss surgery is that it is a part of each of us every single day. Studies indicate that those who seek consistent peer support are better empowered with the skills, knowledge and desire to work the tool -- not just for a year or two -- but for life.

I am happy you are here and hope that as you become better acquainted you will find friendship and support to empower your Living After Weight Loss Surgery. Welcome!"

So, what are your feelings? Where are Veterans of Weight Loss Surgery? Are you looking for a home, a safe haven community where you are respected, welcome and empowered? Come to the Neighborhood. We always have hugs and compassion for one more.

7 comments:

windy10695 said...

My wls was 4-12-94 I lost 110 pounds, now I am up by 50 pounds... this site was mentioned on the view. How great you are here. I am making plans for the pouch test but not so sure what or where you get protien powder from... Guess I will check the healthfood store and continue with my plans. I am so happy for the lady on the view and that I found you!

pomaddict said...

You asked and here I am. I am 17 years post-op for my first RNY bypass and 10 years post-op for an additional gastric revision due to gaining the weight back. Even after two WLS operations, today I am again in a position of having regained the majority of the weight lost both times. I "out ate" my surgeries. Small portions but ate all the time, all day and night. I came to realize that it was not about the FOOD, it was about how I felt more comfortable and safe as a fat person. In other words, unresolved emotional issues that made being thin feel scarey and vulnerable and not a happy place to be. Nobody rapes a fat woman? I also hated how I looked naked, I liked the way I looked in clothes because it hid the excess skin but I felt like a freak when I looked in the mirror naked and then put clothes on and felt like a fraud. Like I said....unresolved issues. Back then Drs. didn't connect that the reason most people became obese, had more to do with what was going on in thier heads than what they ate.
With medication and therapy, and my pouch which is still there, Thank G-d, I will take the weight off slowly as I deal with some of my emotional issues slowly as well.
No rush, no pressure, and just for me.

lilyyy said...

Hi,

I am new to this website and blog. I had GBP surgery on 12/7/2006. I lost 90 of the 100 I need to lose. I feel fantastic and am healthy.

I have a concern about regaining the weight. Reading that most keep off 50% for at least 5 years isn't reassuring. I don't want to gain 50 lbs back. I still have a sugar addiction. I really have to watch myself. I try to just have dark chocolate, 2 little doves, a day. Sometimes I will try some other things. But I could easily slide back. I think I need counseling. I think I am going to see what kind of post-op groups are out there. Any ideas? I want to stay in my size 6 jeans instead of 22s like a year ago.

icrminc said...

hello, I had the GR-DS surgery in sept 03 and lost about 110 lbs. the first year. I actually hit a plateau for 9 months with no weightloss until almost 2 1/2 years post op! I lost another 65 lbs and have maintained it for the most part. There is about 25 lbs. that I seem to go up. And down with, remember,the surgery is a TOOL not a magic cure! We still have the original body that made us prone to being fat to begin with! Even post op we still have to follow the guidelines and watch what we eat! I'm very happy that I chose to have the surgery, I'd be 450 lbs. by now and most likely housebound! This is a life saving operation, I think people drop away from the blogs and support groups after a couple years because the weightloss is no longer that important to them...in my post op support group we have about 6-8 five to ten year post op's and we have 2 twenty year post op's! They dont come as often as the 1-2 year P-OP's because the move on in new directions. Dont feel that this surgery is a failure because its not! Many of the weghtloss success us real and long lasting! I'm living proof! I was a size 30/32 day of operation and now wear "normal" size 12!! I'll probibly never be able to maintain a size 2, I am not meant to be that little, its fine. Just keep in mind that this is a tool! If you use it wisely you will succeed!

Anonymous said...

I heard about this website while watching "The View" and I am so glad I did! I had been searching for a group that is specifically for post-ops of greater than 3 years. It is true that the other sites I have been involved with loose active participation after just a couple of years. I also agree with Kay that the primary reason is that successful people move on to their new lives. I know that I did as well. I had my LAP RNY surgery in 3/2000 and I lost 90 lbs of the 150 I needed to loose. No, I did not reach my true goal, but honestly I was happy. I was fine for several years. I changed my eating and exercise habits and maintained that loss. It was not until I was laid off from my job in 12/05 that I encountered a problem. I have regained much of my weight, and last year I began searching again for an answer. I went to counseling, OA, Weight Watchers, and finally my doc tor and a nutritionist. I researched my medical insurance and found that although WLS was excluded, it was covered for folks that qualified with very specific criteria. I found out that a revision was also covered. It took me a year to go through the Insurance hoops, but I am now scheduled for a LAP band procedure this upcoming week. One thing I did after my initial surgery was to return to school. I received my BA in Psychology in 12/05 and now am in the middle of the Masters Program in Community Counseling. I have spoken to my surgeon and am in the beginning stages of planning a Therapy Group for post ops after surgery and I graduate with my masters in 09... That's my story....I am very happy I found this site!

jeanqueen said...

hi,

i had wls on 4/29/03, so i'm nearing my 5 years at the end of this April. i was 202 on the day of surgery, got down to 109 and went back up and maintained around 115. today i was 119 and i am in the middle of the 5 day pouch diet. i am doing it to break my sugar/carb addition and it seems to be working. you can be successful as long as you are aware of what you're eating. also, i get on the scale every single day to monitor my weight and it has helped. not everyone regains the weight, many maintain for many years to come.
good luck,
s~

Anonymous said...

Today is my first day visiting this site... I had Roux en Y surgery on April 12, 2004 ... coming up on my 4th anniversary and not a day goes by that I don;t thank God and my health care providers for this miracle. I was once 147 pounds heavier ... I now weigh 110 and have maintained these last three years.
I get very nervous when I read and hear of gains, revisions, days of grazing. ... Very much hoping this won't happen as long as I comply with diet, exercise, vitamins and SUPPORT GROUPS!

Glad to be here.

Kaycee