Weird Things that Happen after Weight Loss Surgery

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The gastric sleeve is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. And no, I don’t regret it. I love getting my body back to healthy. Let’s talk a little about the Weird Things that Happen after Weight Loss Surgery.

Taking Medication

Before bariatric surgery, I’d wake up take medication and vitamins and go about my day. Post-op me quickly learned some pills wreaked havoc on my new tummy. I learned this lesson quickly.  If I woke up and took pills on an empty tummy it hurt like hell when the pill hit my stomach. The pain left me curled up with cramps on the couch for 20 minutes and then it subsided. It’s important to continue taking your doctor prescribed medication and vitamins.

 Medication Pro Tips

  • Eat before taking medication in the morning
  • Switch to Liquid Gel Caps or Liquid Medication
  • Take chewable or dissolvable vitamins

Post-Op Constipation

I’m going to get real for a moment. If you are grossed out easily, go ahead and skip to the next section. Ok, some of you are still here, so here goes. I couldn’t have a bowel movement for 11 days after my gastric sleeve surgery. By day 8 I was in pain and started to try all my doctor’s recommendations. First, I tried stool softener, day 9 I tried milk of magnesia and nothing, day 10 I used an enema, nothing. I bought a squatty potty and by day 11 I went a little. Yay!

But then…

Day 12, it happened.  All those remedies I tried decided to all work at once.  I thought I had a little gas but nope, I straight up shit my paints.  Not my finest moment. Thankfully, I was home alone at the time and spared myself a lot of embarrassment. Be careful, this can happen to post-op patients over the first few months.  Try to always be in the bathroom if you feel a little gassy.

Constipation Pro Tips

  • Buy and use a Squatty Potty
  • Walk as much as you can (also helps prevent blood clots)
  • Drink Water (I know it’s hard after surgery, but try)

Crazy Periods

My first period was 3 weeks after surgery and it was a hot mess, literally. Satan’s waterfall was long and heavy.  The cramps were horrific and I was exhausted and cranky.  Later I would learn there are major hormonal changes during the rapid weight loss phase and it’s normal that your body and periods are different.  Check out more about the Hormonal changes after surgery from Obesity Coverage.

After weight loss surgery, my cycle changed and became regular for the first time ever.

Period Pro Tips

  • Prepare for Heavy Periods
  • Purchase Period Panties as a backup method for leaks
  • Check with your doctor if it continues
  • Use birth control as you are now more fertile than before

You are Bitchy

How can I explain this? It’s like having PMS for a month straight.  You haven’t eaten solid food in over a month, you’re sliced open and healing and your hormones are going crazy as you rapidly lose weight. I was so annoyed at everything my husband did post-op and I was rude about it. Honestly, I felt my emotions were out of control.  It was hard to be around him while he ate or drank anything.  The smell of popcorn made me sick to the point where I banned it in our house.  I wasn’t prepared for that.  Don’t worry this subsides and you return to your normal personality quickly.


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Bitchiness Pro Tips

  • Warn your spouse
  • Take time off from work if you can try and get 2 weeks’ vacation
  • Get Extra Sleep
  • Find fun things to do that don’t involve food or drinks

Divorce

I refer to bariatric surgery as the divorce diet.  A friend, who had the surgery warned me that the divorce rate amongst weight loss surgery patients is fairly high. My surgery was at my 2nd wedding anniversary so I took this tidbit a little harsh.  I researched this topic to death.

The Guardian found, of nearly 1,000 obese patients in relationships who had had bariatric surgery, 9% had divorced or separated within four years of their surgery, compared with 6% in a control group.

Look, your goals change, your body changes and you might change as well.

Post-Op Divorce Pro Tips

  • Communicate with your partner, before and after the surgery
  • Work on your marriages as much as you work on yourself
  • Give Couples counseling a try if you feel things slipping

People Treat You Differently

Losing weight improves your health and even your self-esteem. It’s a strange feeling but people treat you differently when you lose weight. Your close friends and family should support you and encourage your success.

Be warned you will have a hater or two. People who will say you cheated and imply you aren’t worthy of the weight you lost.  Little do they know just how hard weight loss surgery is on you mentally and physically.  Do your best to avoid these mental detractors and surround yourself with the people who love and support you.

Haters Pro-Tip

  • Cut them out of your circle if you can
  • Have hard conversations with those you can’t avoid
  • Find an online support community

My team at Cooper Bariatrics in New Jersey did a great job of prepping me for my surgery and medical needs.  But these are the things I wish I knew before having surgery.  I mean knowledge is power. Hopefully, these tips will help you along your journey.  We’d love to hear from you in the comments for any tips I may have missed.

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