Disclaimers: I’m NOT a clinically medical or mental health professional. PERIOD. I have some leeway, over other bariatric patients in the bariatric community as a whole, because given the length of time I’ve been helping people when it comes to subject matter. While I will always tell people in medical and/or mental health crisis to seek clinically trained guidance, when it comes to anything, including a gastric bypass reversal, I have some leeway, given that I’m so public about my reversal and for how many people I’ve helped.
For as much as I’ve been blogging, I’ve noticed a strange trend on here, as of late.
While I’m fully aware, that most of my topics are relevant usually to Americans, usually my bariatric surgery related blogs, reversal themed or not, get read a lot in outside the United States, primarily in Europe.
A strange trend though has taken place, in the last several months, though.
A lot of my reversal blogs are being read in Asia and Africa.
Without a followup personal query.
Which is leaving me quite perplexed.
As there is only really a handful of us, who’s talking about gastric bypass reversals, where it reaches a global scale.
That would be myself, my social media bud Sue Joan (who helped me enormously when I had my reversal) and Frankenbelly Misty Trask, who also vlogs and blogs about reversals, and is an amazing ally in support, as well as her desire to help, has led her to start a dedicated reversal support group on Facebook, for the last several years that she runs.
There are other people of course, but us 3, are usually the ones who are contacted the most, globally.
As well as the book that Dani Hart wrote, well over a decade ago, regarding gastric bypass reversals, but I haven’t found her on social media, at all.
Most people, if they have any kind of curiosity about a gastric bypass reversal, would be surprised to know that I spend almost as much time equally talking someone OUT of wanting a gastric bypass reversal, than into one.
Also, while I had a bariatric surgeon who was nationally AND globally ranked (as he teaches procedures outside of the U.S. or at least he used to) and regarded who did both my gastric bypass and reversal, I absolutely KNOW nothing that might translate well, in helping others, who and/or where the surgery procedures for both bariatric surgeries and takedowns of them in other countries/continents (other than vertical sleeve gastrectomies which are not reversible but they also are usually considered the least invasive of bariatric surgeries, even with approximately 80% of the stomach being removed), that there is some kind of irony, that my reversal has gotten so much global attention.
This though, is NOT why I’m writing this blog.
I’m writing it, because I do have a desire that NO ONE goes through the reversal process, if surgically indicated that it’s necessary, alone.
But truthfully, this is where the “advanced” but doesn’t mean squat, comes in.
I couldn’t tell someone from a different country or continent anymore about any potential of a predictable outcome because there’s no such thing, for a reversal, out of the country or continent, than I could if they were in North America or the United States.
I’m definitely NOT saying that I don’t possess the skill sets, even as a non clinically trained provider to metaphorically “hold someone’s hand”, while they go through the process.
I just can’t, just like NO ONE can, guarantee the length of recovery or what their recovery and ultimate long term outcome can and/or will be or what it will look like.
That doesn’t mean that I’m going to not help people regardless of country or continent they reside in, of trying to help when I can.
The very nature of a reversal being needed, as I’ve tried to state, makes any kind of prediction on how an outcome, well, unpredictable.
That though is in no way expressing, that if a surgeon is recommending a reversal, a patient should not go through with it, because the outcome is unpredictable, it’s unpredictable but it’s life saving and life enhancing compared to the risk of potential deadly complications and or life ruining ones, if a serious intervention like a reversal doesn’t happen but it’s needed.
Just because I had a reversal from such a brilliant surgeon who teaches procedures all over the world, doesn’t make me an expert in all things regarding gastric bypass reversals, especially the physiology component.
I didn’t go to medical school and I’m NOT a surgeon.
I just because of irony, bad luck and a desire to help others, possess the knowledge that very few peers would have, when it comes to this topic, that’s it.
It’s A LOT though.
Given how many people I’ve enormously helped in the last 7 1/2 years.
What may I suggest for sources of support and/or information, if a surgeon regardless of country and/or continent of residence in a bariatric patient suggests a gastric bypass reversal:
And unfortunately I can’t copy and paste links.
Use both search engines (i.e Google) and You Tube and there’s a ton of information in articles and videos.
While the surgeon videos are helpful, it’s also extremely helpful on You Tube to hear from others who’ve had reversals.
Note though, that there are patient limitations, as well as professional ones, on how much we can help specifically, for multiple reasons.
Such as our beloved Grace, who has videos on You Tube and various bariatric community threads and I’ve seen people write nasty things because she didn’t respond back on her videos and/or threads online.
Grace sadly passed away a few years ago, non reversal related.
People like Frankenbelly Misty Trask, she vlogs on You Tube and blogs, as well as admins that reversal support group on Facebook.
If you use a search engine you can find Sue J. ‘s work who’s been helping people with bariatric complications for many years by “googling” suesaysthings.
I blog about about reversals on this blog site and at Obesity Help.
But respect our limitations, OK?
We help because we believe in comprehensive support. While nothing I do is monetized and I can only speak for myself, even for those who can monetize their support services, they aren’t making very much, if ANY money, if it’s peer support driven.
Be honest when asked questions by someone who’s trying to help you in this capacity, as far as one’s gastric bypass reversal.
We’re NOT asking because we’re nosy. I ask detailed questions, to a potential reversal patient, even though I’m NOT a clinically trained provider, to give the best support and insight as possible.
I can’t do that, if certain questions aren’t answered, when I ask them.
But if you choose to lie, realize whether it’s one of us peers or a clinically trained professional, most of us, have done this long enough, to know when someone is NOT being truthful.
For those who contact others about needing support and information, be RESPECTFUL.
I’m not, nor is others doing it for our own sake, other than wanting to provide valuable support.
I put boundaries that are necessary for everyone’s safety, both yours and mine.
As an activist especially, I have a duty to warn and protect and I take that very seriously.
IF I suspect that someone is behaving in a manner that could be harmful to themselves or others, I can’t nor can any peer or even clinical professional, resolve that, in an acute sense, I’m going to have to report any kind of suspicious or dangerous thinking and/or behaviors to emergency responders in one’s location.
That’s why I limit helping people to email queries, exclusively.
Although I’m pretty saavy on being able to find people, if I have their email address and I suspect they possibly will self harm.
I don’t give my phone number out any longer, because it/and myself was verbally abused, a long time ago.
For my sake, while I will try to participate when I see queries all over the internet, I’m NOT on social media, much.
But my blog is one of the first gastric bypass reversal resources that exists, when one uses a search engine.
The last thing and most important, know if you contact me, among others that I both named and not named, all of us try to help.
I know for me, I will with boundaries stated above, help someone to the best of my ability, for as long as it takes, to see them go through the reversal process with support and/or the opposite, where if someone has bariatric surgical regret, wants a reversal and they aren’t a candidate, because they mourn food as a coping mechanism, and I warn pre-ops they shouldn’t ever expect that their bariatric surgery can be reversed and support those who mourn food, in positive redirection knowing that a reversal may not guarantee an ability to return to eat normally, because those patients aren’t going to get one for that reason, as well as the other risks.
I don’t expect anything more except hopefully, respect and possibly a thank you for those I go out of my way to help.
But if I invest my time and my caring, just like any of us, to talk to someone for several months or if not several years on the internet and if one can’t be bothered to be respectful or grateful (luckily those people are few and far between) don’t get mad when you’re not in acute medical and/or mental health crisis, any longer, that I will sever contact at that point.
I don’t mind helping as much and as long as it takes to help someone, especially if they’re appreciative.
I do mind, and so will your surgeon, as well as it will set off warning bells, if one is belligerent to a person trying to help another.
As not only do I have my own problems, as well as other people I help who are in crisis but grateful for my help, a bariatric surgeon will be concerned on doing any kind of surgery on a patient where they’re questioning a patient’s mental fitness and potential compliance of what a reversal takes, if a patient comes off rude, mean and/or a know it all.
I know this was wordy, but given again, the nature of how much this topic is still being researched, I figured it deserved another blog on how to best help patients when they need a gastric bypass reversal.
And when they don’t.
Note: I don’t mind constructive feedback. Any rude comments will NOT be addressed. Thanks!!!