America is in the throes of an obesity epidemic. According to the National Institute of Diabetes andamp; Digestive andamp; Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD), 35.7% of American adults can be classified as obese. It has been estimated that more than 6.3% are considered to be extremely obese. It is a problem that hits both men and women at the same rate. It is about 36% for both. Many qualify for bariatric care. This often includes gastric bypass.
Gastric bypass is a very serious surgery but is a fairly common treatment in bariatric care. It can have a profound impact on your life. The good news is that the vast majority of people who undergo it are happy that that they did. Some put the satisfaction rate at 98%. If you have been using a bariatric wheelchair, it may be possible to regain your mobility so that is not needed. But recovery can be challenging. Here are some tips to help with that:
Get walking as soon as you can. If you were up and walking before the surgery, it will be easier. If you were using a bariatric chair, it might take more time. The sooner you can get moving, the better. You will need to rest for the first few days after your surgery but it is a mistake that you will regret to stay in bed much longer than that. Your surgeon will recommend you move as much as you can as soon as you can. You will be tired and it will hurt but it will be worth it. Start by walking around the house. Then move outside and walk around the block. Experts in bariatric care recommend starting each day with a walk.
Do not deviate from your post op diet instructions. Your diet was developed by bariatric care experts and is exactly what you need after this procedure. This is not the kind of diet you can cheat on and be ok. In the first place, your stomach is a lot smaller but that can change if you do not follow the diet instructions. In the second place, the surgery is only part of your weight loss process. Because you cannot eat as much, you need to make it count and that means making it healthy. Having a gastric bypass is part of changing your life and that means changing your lifestyle. Your diet is the first part of that.
Try to remain positive. Many people say they suffer from depression after the surgery. There are a lot of reasons for this. Some people find it helpful to get a device like a Fitbit. There are also apps you can get for your phone that track your steps and can help to keep you motivated. Find activities you can do that make you happy. Exercise has been known to release endorphins so get out and move more and you may find it easier to deal with the depression that you experience after surgery.
Try out some support groups. Some people consider these to be cheesy and, in a way, they can be. They are also really helpful and can be beneficial. In the first place, you will be out doing something. Secondly, you you can get actual support from other people who have been through what you are going through. They understand how painful it all can be. They also may have suggestions for you. Your medical team can answer a lot of questions but they have not been through this. The people you meet at support groups have. They will have practical ideas for coping with the what happens after you have a gastric bypass as a part of bariatric care.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. You have done something really good for yourself and that is great but you may find you need help sometimes along the way. That is ok and normal. As you lose weight and gain mobility, you will also gain self confidence. Maybe you have moved out of that bariatric seating or have stopped thinking about bariatric wheelchairs. You should feel a sense of accomplishment but talk to people in your support group about finding an “accountability buddy.” That should help, too.