There are some things I have learned in regards to my: pre-gastric bypass; surgery and hospital stay; and post-surgery care in a nursing facility. I would like to share my insights:
1) Pre-surgery: If you are considering weight loss surgery, you need to check out the various programs that are covered through your insurance company. Not all hospitals have the same weight loss surgery programs. Investigate the surgeons who perform the surgery, the hospital, the pre-weight loss program, and if they provide post-surgery support. Read everything you can concern the different weight loss surgeries. The internet is a great resource.
2) Something else I should have done prior to surgery: Knowing ahead of time that I was going to go straight from the hospital to a nursing facility, I should have investigated various facilities prior to my surgery. Just because a facility says it takes bariatric patients does not mean they know how to provide sufficient care for post-surgery gastric bypass patients. A bariatric patient is just one who is of a certain weight that needs a special bed and other items for proper care. Do not assume the insurance company and hospital has researched these facilities as well. I suggest that you interview the facilities whether by phone or physically. When you find one that claims they can care for post-gastric bypass patients, ask questions as to what they provide – especially the diet/food you will need while in their care. If you find a facility, go visit the facility personally so you are not shocked like I was when I arrived at the care facility.
3) If possible, have someone stay in your hospital the first night. Nursing staff is not always available when you need them – especially if you getting sick in the stomach or need ice chips etc….
4) If someone is able to be with you while in the hospital it most helpful since you are “drugged” up with pain meds. I was thankful that the Lord helped me to be alert enough when I needed to be – especially when the nurse came in with a new pain med that I am allergic to. As good as a hospital can be, they are still run by humans who do make mistakes. The young intern did not look at my allergy to medications and he also just copied and pasted my pre-surgery medications for the care facility of which some I am not to have after surgery. So I had to be alert and question everything and everyone.
5) Do Not be afraid to ask questions. You may feel like you are a pest – but it is better to be a pest than dead!
6) Surgery and post-surgery: When the staff says to walk up and down the hall to relieve the gas built up inside of you (they pump air inside during surgery) – DO IT! Oh I wish I was able to walk!
7) Stay on the diet! Do not stray from the doctors and nutritionists instructions. The special diet is not meant for us to suffer, but it is for our good – our healing – our becoming a healthier me!
8) Try not to get discouraged when you lose weight for a couple of weeks then go on a stand still for a couple of weeks. It is normal – you r body is adjusting to the weight loss and losing inches.
9) Join various post weight loss surgery support groups. If there is one available in your area - GO! If you have internet access also join online support groups whether directly through websites or even Facebook. The support has been great for me when I became concerned and discouraged regarding my standstill in weight loss.
10) Most of all – make sure you have the support and encouragement from your family and friends. This has been most helpful to me. You don’t want to be around anyone that is trying to sabotage your weight loss and recovery from surgery.
11) Always remember – If you do everything you are supposed to do – the weight will come off in time…. Be patient – it did not go on overnight and it will not come off over night.