Cheri explains how participating in support groups helped change her life after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
When I had my original procedure with my original surgeon back in 2000, I did not have the support that’s available to patients now. The support that Dr. Dahiya and his staff mixes in for us is very much to benefit us, and that involves a support group. He has a support group already set up. It’s nice to know that you are not the only one that’s been going through this and that you have other people to talk to.
I cannot tell you how much I would have loved to have had that. I actually was at the beginning of a support group where I was. I thought that was real important to share my experience in what I had gone through and the feelings and the emotions and the changes and ups and the downs.
It’s not an easy thing to do and also, healing from diabetes. That was one of the blessings from the surgery. I was no longer a diabetic, and for most patients it changes our metabolism, and we are able to get rid of certain things. And I was able to get rid of the diabetes, high blood pressure, and my CPAP machine. I no longer needed that stuff, and it was a blessing.
Also nutrition. When I had my first procedure with my other surgeon in the hospital, the hospital dietician did not know what I could eat and drink and what I couldn’t. I had my first dumping syndrome in the hospital like on day 5. I had to stay in the hospital three extra days because it had wrenched and pulled me apart inside and they needed to make sure that everything was okay. She had given me grape juice and I didn’t know anything different. That’s how it was.
We didn’t have nutritional support. I ended up working with nutritional people. Even my own dietician that I had for my diabetes, she didn’t know how to deal with me.
I went to another hospital and to a different nutritionist, and we started working together on what foods I should have and how we should integrate things and be able to move forward, and, you guys, it’s all in a plan for you now, and it’s wonderful that you don’t have to go through that.
Many of us have already done that work, and the doctors and the nutritionists, believe me, even though I haven’t wanted to deal with them, they are good. They provide a lot of important support to us, and please use them.