Can we please as a united #wlscommunity better support our peers when they have severe bariatric surgical complications…
Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained medical or mental health professional.
I’ll always recommend that those in medical and/or mental health crisis due to bariatric surgical complications get evaluation and treatment from clinically trained professionals.
I do though have as a non clinically trained professional, some more pro-active reach and skills to help those who are in crisis given my own experiences with my gastric bypass complications, my need for a gastric bypass reversal, the intense and comprehensive study of patients and treatments provided for bariatric surgical complications, which I have been doing for almost a decade, now.
That DOES allow me some leeway with both accomplished credibility and multiple necessary skillsets in helping bariatric surgical complications patients when they are in need and I do this on a global scale.
I CANNOT stress this enough that I am NOT against ANY of the weight loss surgeries that are performed and I do remain in the weight loss surgery communities also, as a long term ally.
HOWEVER, the reasons and the immediate need this blog be written right now, will be abundantly clear because even the best intentioned kindest people in the weight loss surgery community DO need direction and oversight on how to best support their peers who had bad outcomes from their weight loss surgeries.
The reason why is somehow in the past week, both on social media and off of it, when the topic of gastric bypass reversals coming up not originally directed at me, while well intentioned by some members of the weight loss surgery community to help, some peers offered advice that could be detrimental, if NOT deadly to a bariatric patient of ANY of the weight loss surgeries who need a takedown of them and/or a serious intervention of another kind.
Because I’ve been doing this for so long and I understand for a lot of people, people have weight loss surgery in hopes they will be better off for it.
And a lot of patients ARE actually better off from the various weight loss surgeries that are performed.
The problem is, NOT all of us are.
And in times where reversals and takedowns of bariatric surgeries come up, they are life and death situations.
This is what I usually observe other weight loss surgery peers say when a reversal comes up:
# 1 “Oh NO, don’t do it, I know someone who did it and they became fat AGAIN!!!”.
#2 “Oh NO don’t do it, I know someone who did it and they still were super sick after it !!!”
#3 “Oh NO don’t do it, and I can’t even imagine how non compliant you were, to be at risk of losing your bariatric surgery!!! You apparently have NO IDEA know how many people wish they could have bariatric surgery and can’t!!!”
#4 “Oh NO I’m sorry this happened to you, but I am glad I had surgery and that it went so good for me and about 500 of my closest wls peeps!!!”
There is ONE reason and ONLY one reason that when I see crap like above being spewed that I don’t go screaming into the night vowing to be off the internet ETERNALLY and become a recluse living in the middle of nowhere.
People WILL ACTUALLY DIE, if I’d do that.
Specifically, bariatric patients in crisis who would NOT be able to personally contact me any longer looking for guidance and support.
I could teach those in the weight loss community and I am willing to do that, when people ask me how to help their fellow peers in bariatric surgically created crisis.
AND I cannot overstate, that I do understand, a patient who’s had a good experience with weight loss surgery may be supporting their peers in a helpful way and not need or may be too busy to learn how to comprehensively and constructively help their peers who are in crisis and that’s okay.
This is the ONLY thing you need to know to help those patients, it’s super easy.
The answer is saying the following:
“I’m sorry you’re going through this, I can try to help you find peers who have had bariatric surgical complications and/or reversal of their particular weight loss surgery.”
Or you could just suggest they use a search engine and putting in there “bariatric surgery complications” and/or internet searching for surgical specific such as gastric bypass, DS/duodenal switch and adjustable gastric banding reversal and/or take downs.
Your desire to positively help our fellow wls peers in crisis with care and consideration is in need and appreciated!!!
And no, it doesn’t take away from your right to be happy, if you had a better, if not ideal outcome post bariatric surgery.
Just realize that all our journeys post bariatric surgery are worth of support and kindness.