We’re required to attend 3 bariatric surgery support groups before surgery is scheduled. At first, I thought this would be a waste of time, what could they possibly provide me with, since I already know several people who have had it done.
I realized that having the surgery will create monumental changes in my lifestyle and it’s important to have access and be surrounded by people who will also be living within the confines of these changes.
I know that it’s been difficult for me to have compassion for those who have been going through these changes because I could not relate to them. I had an uneducated prejudice, I felt that I knew more than they did about the adjustments that they were required to make. In retrospect, perhaps it was an endeavor to be relevant. I think it was my attempt to deal with an underlying envy that I couldn’t identify within myself.
I’ve been to 2 groups, thus far. It’s exciting to hear their successes. To hear someone who had surgery 6 weeks ago and has lost 45 pounds, 65 pounds in 2 months, at the time of their first “surgiversary” they’re down 150 pounds. To think, that will soon be me!
My current anxiety about after surgery is sipping water. I love my water. It’s my favorite fluid. As a child, I hated water, “it has no taste” I would complain. Now, I find myself carrying a container of water with me everywhere, enjoying the the flavor and the appreciation of chugging down a pint during a break in housework, during a walk, sitting in a hot car, etc.
It was reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who thinks about this. There are dozens of people in the group who are post surgical, many have been so for several months or years. They are quick to assure that it’s an issue which they all have overcome.
The group that I attend is guided by the bariatrics nurse coordinator and/or a social worker who also specializes in bariatrics.
It’s run like an AA or OA meeting, in that who said what stays in the room. Friends and family are welcomed attend, ask questions and participate in discussions.
Since it is a presurgical requirement, there are a number of people who are waiting for a surgical date. Many are newly recuperated. There are a few who are years out there to support new friends and family members. And then, there are those who are coming in for revisions, or have gained weight and looking for support or coming back for a revision.
It isn’t unusual for people to remain actively involved in the surgical support groups years postoperatively.