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melissathegreat

My boyfriend is 2 weeks post op and I need help supporting him

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Hi,

 

My partner is two weeks post op from a gastric bypass. (yes Ive just realised that this is a banding support group)

 

Anyways, hes not feeling great, and hes not looking great. Id like to send him to the hospital but he wont go. He took himself to the dr yesterday and the dr told him to go to the hospital. But he wont go. Hes not bad enough that id call an ambulance but I just dont understand if hes this bad and has been since yesterday why he wont go get checked. The quicker he is onto it the better. He might be given antibiotics and sent home, if he leaves it to get worse he might have to be admitted. Which he really doesnt want.

 

The actual problem: Im finding it hard to support him. He stayed in hospital for 4 nights and the minute he got home he was eating food. The first thing he ate was a chicken sandwich. Like dude! your supposed to be on liquid diet- I have many ways to make the liquid diet tasty as Ive been on shakes for breakfast and lunch for 5 weeks now. But he wasnt interested, he didnt even try. He wasnt having as many shakes as he needed to be, for nutrients to heal his body and was just living off water. Ive been sending leftover food from dinner home with friends, or feeding it to the dog and sending food home from our pantry to other peoples houses so theres less here to temp him. I made him jelly, chocolate jelly, and broth, and homemade soups. I even made him little balls out of his vlcd drink to placate his need to chew. I bought him sugarfree chewing gum and sugar free lollies. Yes he continues to eat- saying he is hungry.  Two nights ago I made soup, I gave him a small bowl of 1.5cups of soup and packaged him up anotehr two containers for later. He ate that one bowl, had a second and then went for his third. How can he even fit that much in there???? Yesterday took the cake, he got KFC. He said he had one piece of chicken but who knows. In the first week he lost 5 kilos, this last week he only lost 500gms. I guess hes been sneak eating more foods than I actually know about.(and then spending all day lounging around with a bucket nex tto him because all that food isnt doing him well)

 

Im struggling with my emotions. Im supposed to be here supporting him and checking hes ok and helping him instead I want to slap him in the face and smother him with a pillow. Im just so mad. Im sad and I feel like he cant be trusted. Instead of lovingly stroking his head and plumping his pillows, im talking harsh to him to try and convince him to go to the dr. Hes not complaining as such but when he does I feel like telling him to get effed, if he doesnt care then why should I. So Im being frosty to him because hes acting like the biggest idiot I know.

Im also ashamed of him, because everybody knows hes not sticking to his medical advice and thinks hes a loser. And all I can see is a giant loser who cant even stop eating to save his life.

 

I know this operation wasnt about me, but I am suffering because I dont know how to act. I cant support him knowing he is causing himself to be "sick"...if he was sick when he was doing the right thing fair enough but hes not.

 

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Your partner sounds like a food addict. I'm a sugar addict myself and failed with the lapband for the first 8 years because I wasn't really to give up the foods I was consuming. He's acting the same as someone who has a drug or alcohol problem except with food. There is nothing anyone can do to help an addict. They have to help themselves. Perhaps you could try talking to a therapist to work on how you are reacting to his behavior, because the only one you are going to be able to change is the way you respond. Sorry, I know it's not the answer you were looking for.

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Hi

 

It must be so frustrating for you to see someone you love self sabotaging. You sound like you are doing everything you can to try and be supportive but Missy is right he has to help himself.

 

Your feelings are completely understandable and normal - I'm sure I would feel the same way if I was in your shoes.

 

I agree with the suggestion of maybe seeing a counsellor to talk about what you are going through - ultimately you need to recognise you can only change the way you respond to your partner - you can't change him.

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I agree with the ladies above re: seeing a counselor in assisting you with your partner and his choices.

 

I have a lap band, so my knowledge of a gastric bypass is limited. But in saying that, I am astonished that your partner was able to consume a chicken sandwich on day 5 post op. Based on what I've read on the procedure, I would of thought that could create some major physical problems.

 

As for the "he won't go" <to the hospital>, in the past I have (or someone has for me) called an ambulance for some of my medical problems. A trip to the hospital may not of been necessary, but an in home assessment by paramedics is carried out and it is reported. I know I haven't wanted to go at the time, but with the paramedics standing there in my home, hubby saying come on let's go! I've caved and agreed to go. 

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You poor thing, i can feel your stress jumping from my screen. Firstly you are a wonderful partner, dont forget that. Your partner need psych help to deal with his issues. Can you call his surgeon office and explain what is happening. They may have a way of dealing with this, they will have other patients who have the same behavior. Look after you too. The ladies above are right, you need to have help working out your responses and strategies. Ultimately all you can do is support him as you have been, he needs to do the rest. Best of luck. Let us know how you go. Please come back if you just want to vent (feels great sometimes ) or just run something past us.

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I don't understand why he needs to go to the hospital from the above post. There was nothing saying he is currently physically ill. I'm also supprised he's able to consume those foods. I would have thought he might vomit or dump having a bypass.

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Hi Melissa - I wish I had something great and enlightening to say to you but I don't.  I am with everyone else I don't understand how he can even get the foods down.  But in saying that it can turn into a medical emergency if what he has swallowed cant either go up or down, so if that becomes the case an ambulance may be needed.  Maybe just keep getting rid of everything out the house he shouldn't be eating if its not there you cant eat it.  I think you both could do with some psychologic help.  Did he see a psychologist before the surgery, my surgeon wouldn't allow me to have the surgery unless I had been oked by the psychologist.  If he did maybe you can ring them to ask for some assistance.  Even if you go see the GP by yourself and ask for help.

Treat yourself well and try to be kind to him without killing him.

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I am sorry you are so stressed at the moment :( It would be so hard trying to help someone who won't help themselves. 

 

A couple of ideas that might be of use:

  • Throw out or temporarily rehome the food he shouldn't have. This isn't remotely fair to you of course, but if it isn't there, he has to make a big effort to go get something different. Do you eat at the same time? Set the soup out for both of you. That is dinner - he can deal with it. If you have a job, hopefully you can get a decent meal away from home (or even keep some of your normal home food at work?). If he "needs" bigger portions, so be it - dish up some more, but he doesn't need a third helping of anything.
  • As suggested, a therapist might not be such a bad idea.
  • I am the kind of person that would contact his surgeon but, depending on the relationship you have, it could be tough on your relationship. He knows damn well that what he is doing is wrong (or he should). I suspect this is exactly why he is avoiding hospital and his surgeon. You could suggest going to see his surgeon as a compromise so he can (maybe) avoid hospital? He might be scared and eating is a way to deal with that but he needs to grow up and consider the risks.
  • Reverse psychology! Tread lightly with this but if he wants to act like a child....
  • Insist on sitting down and talking it out.
  • That pillow idea of yours could help. Once he is unconscious, consent to go to hospital is assumed (legally) unless there is a document in place preventing it.... Just maybe remove the plan from the internets as the whole pillow thing - not as legal :P

As Missy said, there is only so much you can do for an addict. You can only try so hard and you have already been trying harder than him. The actual change has to come from him. Sounds like he really wasn't ready for the operation.

 

Best of luck with it all. I really do hope it works out well and he works it all out before any serious damage is done. 

We are not just a banding community any more :) I have had both a band and gastric sleeve and I think there are two or three bypass patients on here. Everyone is welcome!

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Thank you so much everyone for your replies. Im feeling much better knowing there is support for me during this difficult time.

 

The reason I think he should go to the hospital is because he is in pain. Hes worse now than he was one week ago. Hes not looking the same colour that he was when he came home from hospital and the bags under his eyes are huge. He went to the gp because of the increased pain and the gp said he sould go to the hospital too. So I dont think im being crazy and asking him to go for no reason. He slept all afternoon yesterday, all night tonight and he got out of bed to have cereal and now he is back to bed saying he feels sick and he never wants to eat any food every again in his whole life. I tried to explain to him that maybe for today he shouldd stick to the liquid shake and very smal amounts and see if that helps the pain...... he does suffer from depression as well, all round he needs help. :(

 

I mentioned to him that he should talk to the psych next week about a food addiction. This was after he made himself a huge bowl of pasta. He asked me to make it (theres 3 lots of different soups in the fridge for him to have, and theres still jelly) Theres also cup of soups, optislim soup sachets and cans of soup..... and I refused. He told me it was in the book and so I made him show me where, and it was there, but it said you had to puree it. He said he would just puree it with his teeth. I said no and went to get the kids ready for bed. After they were in bed his mum came and then he started to make the pasta. She was yelling at him and they were screaming at each other and she offered to cook him something else he was allowed but he refused and made the pasta. It was a huge bowl, the biggest one we have and it was a big portion. He ate nearly all of it. I was so worried. I dont understand how he could fit that inside him. Then got sick. But he couldnt vomit it up. I patteds his back for a minute then left him to it.

 

I know I cant change him. I think now its more about me venting somewhere thats not on him so I dont blow my stack on him and make things worse. Theres no point fighting about it because nothing I say will make any difference, but I find it hard to keep my mouth shut so at least if its not on the tip of my tongue I might be able to keep it in a bit better.

 

He didnt eat a whole chicken sandwhich on day 5/6, he made a half a sandwhich with roast chicken and cheese, and then only managed to eat half of a half. But he tried.

 

As far as I know hes only had one dumping episode, when he had icecream. He wouldnt even sit down while it passed.

 

He did see a psych before the op. It was only one session.

 

Im thinking of getting some boxes and getting rid of every single thing out of the pantry except stuff he can have and just getting enough for us to eat one meal at a time. But I can see he would go nutso. I would manage ok, im on shakes for brekkie and lunch anyways and have been having the soup with him for dinner so its no big deal to me. The kids can have lunchorders everyday and they are happy to have soup for dinner too. Besides that though, his parens live next door so he can wander in there anytime he likes and eat their food so I dont think this plan will do anything but make him angry.

 

I do try to stay out of his affairs. Before we got together I was married to a man child and I knew the next one would have to fend for himself because I wasnt about to baby another man. We have only been dating two years and hes a very private kind of a person so I feel like it would be a huge deal for me to ring his doctor. Im angry he has put me in this position to fear making this kind of choice and upsetting him. I will have to bite the bullet though and even though it is hard for me, its not unnessesary so im going to have to just do it. If he doesnt like me having to do things like calling his dr then he should be doing the right thing.

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Could his parents call the Dr. Might be worth an ask if you tell them this is affecting you and what you want for thier son. I really can not think of more that we can offer you. BIG VIRTUAL HUGS TO YOU.xxxx

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Oh dear.

What a dreadful situation.

 

Sorry, this is not going to be a platitude, but it is calling a spade a spade.

 

I know that this is easy for me to say, but I can't see that he is going to change his behaviour, and I feel that for your own mental health that you need to get out of your relationship.

You certainly don't seem happy and he is certainly not taking any responsibility for his own behaviour.

He has chosen to defiantly oppose his medical professionals advice and is jeopardising both his short term and long term health.

In the short term he is at risk of developing leaks at the joins - which is a medical emergency; and in the long term putting on (more) weight along with more severe obesity related medical conditions.

 

This guy has had major major gastric surgery!  I am horrified at what he is doing! There is NO turning back from this if this fails!  This IS the back stop!

I'm a nurse and I've also had a gastric sleeve - not bypass which scares the heebeejeebees out of me - in early Feb, and I can only manage about 1/8th - 1/4 cup food twice a day, maybe 3.

I just also can't understand his mentality.

Why did he have this surgery done in the first place if he wasn't prepared to follow the guidelines?

Why did he have it done in the first place?

What was his head space before he had it done?  Did he just have it done to make people happy? And now he want to prove them wrong (ie that it won't work?)

 

At the end of the day, is he what you want as a partner?

 

(Has he demonstrated that he is trustworthy?

Does he love, honour and respect you?

Is he the better man for being with you?

What sacrifices has he made for you?

Why is he a risk taker?)

 

All the best, and whatever happens, I hope that it has the best outcome for you.

Because at the end of the day, you are more important than he is.

You have my sympathy, he doesn't.

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I called the dr yesterday. I didnt get to speak to the dr but the nurse at his clinic.

She gave ME a ten minute lecture about how hes not supposed to be eating that... she said he is an adult, hes had the education, he knows what he should be doing. Thats all we can do. She also said that the signs of an infection arent always dramatic. Being sweaty and feeling like youve got a flu can also be a sign.

 

After I rang the nurse I spoke to him and told him everything im feeling and some info about how to help his head hunger.

All he ate last night (that I saw) was a normal bowl of soup.

 

But this morning I see MY chocolate wrappers in the bin. Chocolates that he had given me for valentines day and that were "hidden" in my bedside table. I asked him if he ate those after the talk we had and he wont commit to when he ate them.

 

Hes currently out for a walk with the dog- but thats a good point about why he is trying to prove people wrong that it doesnt work. Ill try that angle for my next talk with him.

 

I am really close to giving up on him. When he is nice (90% of the time) hes amazing, helps with the kids, helps around the house without being asked, helps out with cooking and food prep and cleaning up after me, really loving and says such lovely things to me, is really supportive and encouraging. But when hes not nice (10%) of the time- picking arguments over stupid things, punishing my kids for things I dont feel need punishment (he says im too soft on them and i think hes too hard on them) that he is a bit of a hoarder, isnt motivated to do house renovations, anxiety stops him from working, they way he talks to his parents, and not following drs orders about eating food I really feel like hes not the man I signed up for.

 

Im supposed to be doing a uni assignment but my head just isnt in the right place.

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I wonder if he is buying and eating food while he is out 'walking the dog'?

Family friends' adult son was an alcoholic, and he had vodka stashed around the neighbourhood which he was partaking of while he was 'out for a walk'...

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I dont understand how he can eat!? I am 2 weeks post op as well and am struggling to drink 250mls of fluid at a time and the thought of real food, does my head in. (right now I dont feel like I will ever eat "normal" food again) I was really worried about leaks after surgery, so perhaps why I am not able to eat more than a few teaspoons of custard, jelly, fruit puree, etc ... When does he have to go back and see the surgeon for post op check? Hopefully he/she can point him back in the right direction... Good luck! And remember to keep looking after yourself first :)

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I wonder if he is buying and eating food while he is out 'walking the dog'?

Family friends' adult son was an alcoholic, and he had vodka stashed around the neighbourhood which he was partaking of while he was 'out for a walk'...

 

As soon as I read "walk with the dog" I thought the exact same thing. Gee, as a kid I used to walk the dog to sneak a cigarette, buy hot chips or meet my friends. Hell, if the dog was able to talk, I would of been "grounded" for life....

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Hi, I've had bypass in sept last year after getting severe reflux from sleeve I had 2 years ago. My main concern with your partner is the potential life threatening damage he is doing to himself, increased pain is not generally a good sign post bypass, and can signify a leak. But as others have said, you can't control his behaviour or what he puts in his mouth, you can talk to him openly and honestly about it but ultimately it's his decision. The others have all given good advice, and you need to make sure you look after you (and the kids).

I keep my fingers crossed that he gets that click moment in his brain and starts following his Drs advice, and doesn't have any of the potential side effects or complications he's putting himself at risk for

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Hugs Melissa.  I hope he has come to his senses.  You are a saint putting up with this.  I hope he realises that.  Although my ex's issues were nothing to do with food (mostly alcohol), I can relate to the 10% you speak of and after 30 years of it, it was finally enough for me to open the cage and fly free.  God how I wish I'd done it sooner.

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how is everything now. I hope you are OK and that your partner has seen the error of his ways.

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Hello everyone,

Thought id come back and update you all.

His pain went away by itself and he has currently lost about 25 kilos. He FINALLY realised that when he eats stupid things he gets sick, and he got sick of vomiting all the time and having to leave the table halfway through dinner and us yelling at him to close all the doors so we couldnt hear him vomiting while we were trying to eat dinner. He has weeks where he doesnt lose much at all, like 300gms and other weeks he is losing 2 kilos. Hes looking REALLY good too, and hes got more energy and is walking the dog more frquently and doing more handyman things around the house. Yesterday he told me that he could eat crisps and coke all day if he wanted to because he can tolerate them, so he really is trying. All in all everyone is relaxed and happy (and Im considering having it done next year :) )

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That is fantastic Melissa :)

 

Perhaps he was just going through an adjustment period after the operation - it can be a real shock to the system! So glad he is on track now and 25kgs is fantastic :) Things sound so much better for everyone.

 

Best of luck with your partner and maybe having it done yourself! There is a heap of info on here and everyone is happy to answer questions.

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So pleased that he has got on track.

:)

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Melissa that is great that everything finally settled down for you.  Sometimes it just takes a while to get onboard with our own decisions.  Your husband knew he needed to do this for his health but he just had trouble following the rules after the surgery.  He seems to be onboard with what you need to do now following surgery and you sound a lot happier and relaxed about it all.  Im glad it all worked for you and hubby.

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