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Old 09-05-2006, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Post-Surgery Gift Basket/Care Package?

A good friend of mine is having gastric bypass surgery this week. I would love to hear from people who've had the surgery what they think she might appreciate or find useful in a gift basket/care package. I'm picking her up from the hospital on Friday and would like to give it to her then.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:41 PM   #2
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Hmmm. What a thoughtful thing to do. I think that socks that are easy to get on would be good, depending on what part of the country you live in. Also, chap stick, comedies or romantic comedies or other fluffly things to watch would be great. If she hasn't gone shopping already, you could ask what kind of liquids she has to eat and get her a selection of them to keep in her fridge.

The best thing I had, though, was my body pillow. It made it so I could sleep in bed comfortably. That and lots of other pillows to prop myself up with.

Does she have anybody at home to take care of her?

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:44 PM   #3
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good luck to her! and that's very kind of you. Is she having a RNY or a different method? Lap method or open? I only ask because lap method is minimally invasive and she will be recovering faster.

A nice shaker cup with measurements printed on it is very handy, and you can never have too many. Some of the best protein products I've found have been at online sources (PM me if you want names) so an egift certificate is nice. Some crystal light travel packs to flavor water are handy. A nice lotion with vitamin e is good for when she can lotion her belly to help minimize the scars (and will be nice for the hands and so forth til then). A water bottle is handy too. Something for exercise is nice too- maybe a dyna band, exertube or a video is nice.
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies and great suggestions so far. My friend is having laproscopic RNY and she will be at home alone for the most part, though she has friends including myself scheduled to be with her through the weekend. I will check in on her often.

Regarding the post-op liquid diet, what kinds of liquids does this typically include? I think I'd like to include some of this too.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:06 AM   #5
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I drank a lot of protein shakes at the beginning, and soups (as long as they're blended with no chunks). Depending on how long she's in the hospital she'll be on clear liquids or full liquids when she comes home (I was on full). Full liquids are anything that you can drink through a straw. And LOTS of water -- crazygrad was right about the water bottle. I got my protein powder online, but then I also liked the Slimfast shakes (the high protein ones). My doc was very generous in terms of my diet, and so when I went in at my one week checkup and was craving tuna, he told me to have some, but to make it really runny and go slow. So I was on soft foods really early and didn't have to resort to protein shakes for very long at all.

Good soft foods to have on hand are cottage cheese, refried beans, chicken and tuna salad, soup, oatmeal, etc. Anything that's high in protein is great.

You're such a good friend, TFG. What a nice thing for you and your friends to do.
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:26 AM   #6
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Miss Vickie mentioned the body pillow (great idea), and I'll add that a "cough pillow" might be helpful. I haven't had WLS, and I don't know what sort of stitches remain after laproscopic access, but a friend who had another sort of abdominal surgery got much use out of the "cough pig" I gave her. Any firmish pillow or stuffed animal pressed against the incision helps when doing something that involves the surrounding muscles.

And I'll second the chap stick thought. Girl can never have enough chap stick. Maybe some Chicken Poop? And fancy teas.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:18 AM   #7
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Did someone say a good book? I was going to suggest something light and fun, then realized that might be too laugh-y. So something with some gravitas, but not a total downer.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Boteroesque Babe
Miss Vickie mentioned the body pillow (great idea), and I'll add that a "cough pillow" might be helpful. I haven't had WLS, and I don't know what sort of stitches remain after laproscopic access, but a friend who had another sort of abdominal surgery got much use out of the "cough pig" I gave her. Any firmish pillow or stuffed animal pressed against the incision helps when doing something that involves the surrounding muscles.

And I'll second the chap stick thought. Girl can never have enough chap stick. Maybe some Chicken Poop? And fancy teas.
Oh yeah, splinting pillows are awesome. You can even fold a towel and use that, though it's not as fun as a stuffed animal. A splinting pillow is usually the second thing I give my operative patients when they get to their room. (The first is a puke bucket, in order to ward off vomiting because they NEVER vomit when they have the bucket, but the once or twice I haven't gotten one to them on time, they hjorked up a storm, so I think the presence the pink puke bucket must have some sort of mojo which is to this date unknown to mankind).

Chap stick. Definitely chap stick. And lotion was a good idea, too.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:43 PM   #9
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Wet ones! They're good for a quick face-wash, and washing hands, and cooling off your neck, so you don't always have to get up for those things. I always have them at home and in the car, and after my c-section/gall bladder surgeries, I used baby wipes to keep refreshed
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:59 PM   #10
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Oooh, nice idea! I like that!
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:51 AM   #11
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These are great ideas, everyone! Shopping after work.. you all made it easy. Thank you.

My friend made it through surgery (thank God). She says she feels good and is glad she made the decision to go through with it, though she questioned whether she should right up to the end. I really hope this leads to the changes in her life she is hoping for. I know I will be jealous of all the cute new clothes in her future!

Thanks again.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:09 AM   #12
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I'll second the stuffed animal idea. Best thing I got after surgery - my brother brought me good sized (about 18") - kinda firm teddy bear. i just happened to be holding it once when I needed to cough - and it worked much better than a pillow.

Also - puzzle books. I'm a puzzle book fanatic and they pass the time really well. Crosswords, or sudoku, or just a good variety one. And then add a really cute and funky pen
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:50 PM   #13
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How about a gift certificate for a clothing store, for when the time comes to buy new clothes? (I imagine this could happen several times until the person's weight loss levels off.)
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:16 AM   #14
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Oooh, good idea, Frankie.

Say, TFG, how's your friend doing?
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:28 PM   #15
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My friend is doing well. She is getting around her apartment just fine and even walked around her block twice with another friend earlier today. She is getting her liquids in and seems to be healing well. She is taking pain meds regularly. She has a doctor appt. on Wednesday to get the drain tube removed.

I told her about this board and about some of you. I don't know if she will drop by sometime or not. Size acceptance are two words that've never really been in her vocabulary, but I think she is intrigued that weight loss surgery is discussed here.

She loved the gifts I gave her. I confessed I'd asked here for suggestions and she thought you all did great. The body pillow, beverage cup with measurements on the side, and moist wipes seemed to especially go over well. I gave her a trashy novel and a sweet movie ("sisterhood of the traveling pants") too.

It's going to be weird not having my partner in crime. She is the girl I always overindulged with (food, alcohol, etc.). I am happy and hopeful for her. I mean, I hope this gives her the happiness and sense of well being she is looking for. (The poor girl isn't supposed to have alcohol for a year! I couldn't do it.. )

Thanks for asking about her, Vickie and once again, thank you to all for your helpful suggestions!
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:56 PM   #16
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Glad to help, glad she's doing well, and if ya need a new drinking buddy, sign me up
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:04 PM   #17
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Yay, I'm glad she's doing so well. I hope she comes by and says hello. We try not to bite too badly.
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:25 AM   #18
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Yay, I'm glad she's doing so well. I hope she comes by and says hello. We try not to bite too badly.

Pffft, speak for yourself, I'm a nibbler
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:14 PM   #19
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Hi All,
I know this is an old thread that I’m bringing back to life, but I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who provided such helpful suggestions. I did a search on google for ‘weight loss surgery gift basket’ and surprise, surprise it brought me here. My friend is having surgery next Tuesday and I wanted to put together a little package for her. If anyone could think of anything else I should add, that would be great.

Also, a question for ThatFatGirl or anyone who’s been a close friend to someone who’s had surgery or in fact has had surgery themselves, How have your friendships changed? What specifically do you attribute the change to? Self esteem? Different interests? Inability to accept a smaller version of you or your friend?

Thank you all for your answers and thank you Dims for again being a great resource for me.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Also, a question for ThatFatGirl or anyone who’s been a close friend to someone who’s had surgery or in fact has had surgery themselves, How have your friendships changed? What specifically do you attribute the change to? Self esteem? Different interests? Inability to accept a smaller version of you or your friend?

Thank you all for your answers and thank you Dims for again being a great resource for me.
Oh my... well, my friend who had weight loss surgery is really no longer a friend of mine at all. It is more complicated than just different interests or acceptance of a smaller (or larger) friend. I'm not sure how to edit our story down to a post on a message board. I will say I've heard through the grapevine she is doing incredibly well. I think she weighs around 140 down from 325. She just ran a marathon, is dating an attorney and a musician (this is the woman who never dated in all the years we were friends), she has tried out for community theater and learned to play an instrument. Her career has skyrocketed from where she was when I first met her seven years ago. I think the last time I saw her was the summer before I moved to Ohio as she had a housewarming party at her new apartment that also served as a one-year post-op anniversary party. She had all of her newer friends from work that she'd been spending the past year with since starting this latest job. I felt like her fat friend from her fat past sitting there as they talked about all the crazy things they'd done and somewhat resentful that I was never invited along. Though in reality I was invited a few times early on, I just passed as night clubs really weren't my thing and I had evenings on the phone and online with my long distance boyfriend in my plans. I was shutting myself in at the time she was breaking loose and getting out.

Our friendship was strained long before she had WLS. We had a falling out and didn't speak for well over a year. We got back together, but we were never as close and as trusting as we were.

My move to Ohio pretty much put an end to our friendship. I contacted her before I left telling her of my plans, somehow we never found the time to get together one last time. We went months with no contact, then she sent me an email last January of photos of herself in New Orleans from New Years Eve. There was nothing in the email asking how things were going for me, no mention of what she had been up to for the last many months... just hi and photos of her trip. She looked like an entirely different person from when I saw her last. I didn't see my friend in there any where. I didn't write back then or have I since.

Things could be entirely different for you Blue_Rainbow. I hope so anyway. I think if you are good friends to begin with, you can get through anything.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:34 AM   #21
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Also, a question for ThatFatGirl or anyone who’s been a close friend to someone who’s had surgery or in fact has had surgery themselves, How have your friendships changed? What specifically do you attribute the change to? Self esteem? Different interests? Inability to accept a smaller version of you or your friend?
Well, I've been a member of Dimensions and have some amazing friends who I've known, literally, through thick and thin. I feel really lucky that my friendships with the women here haven't been harmed at all by my weight loss. They've been nothing but supportive and helpful and the changes in my weight have had no effect, in my opinion, on our friendships. I think it's because I'm essentially the same person I was before, although the weight loss has allowed me to pursue things I couldn't, physically, pursue at 300 pounds, which has given me more confidence.

I think like anything, if you only have one thing in common with someone, and that one thing is taken off the table, then what do you have to talk about? Fortunately, when it comes to the fabulous group of women I am proud to call friends, we have a LOT to talk about beyond our weight so my weight loss is just a little blip on the radar.


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Oh my... well, my friend who had weight loss surgery is really no longer a friend of mine at all.
I'm sorry to hear that your friendship didn't make it, TFG. Regardless of how it happened, it's still a loss. I'm sorry.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:08 PM   #22
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Oh my... well, my friend who had weight loss surgery is really no longer a friend of mine at all. It is more complicated than just different interests or acceptance of a smaller (or larger) friend. I'm not sure how to edit our story down to a post on a message board. I will say I've heard through the grapevine she is doing incredibly well. I think she weighs around 140 down from 325. She just ran a marathon, is dating an attorney and a musician (this is the woman who never dated in all the years we were friends), she has tried out for community theater and learned to play an instrument. Her career has skyrocketed from where she was when I first met her seven years ago. I think the last time I saw her was the summer before I moved to Ohio as she had a housewarming party at her new apartment that also served as a one-year post-op anniversary party. She had all of her newer friends from work that she'd been spending the past year with since starting this latest job. I felt like her fat friend from her fat past sitting there as they talked about all the crazy things they'd done and somewhat resentful that I was never invited along. Though in reality I was invited a few times early on, I just passed as night clubs really weren't my thing and I had evenings on the phone and online with my long distance boyfriend in my plans. I was shutting myself in at the time she was breaking loose and getting out.

Our friendship was strained long before she had WLS. We had a falling out and didn't speak for well over a year. We got back together, but we were never as close and as trusting as we were.

My move to Ohio pretty much put an end to our friendship. I contacted her before I left telling her of my plans, somehow we never found the time to get together one last time. We went months with no contact, then she sent me an email last January of photos of herself in New Orleans from New Years Eve. There was nothing in the email asking how things were going for me, no mention of what she had been up to for the last many months... just hi and photos of her trip. She looked like an entirely different person from when I saw her last. I didn't see my friend in there any where. I didn't write back then or have I since.

Things could be entirely different for you Blue_Rainbow. I hope so anyway. I think if you are good friends to begin with, you can get through anything.
Hey,

I am not a nightclub person myself either.

Can I just tell you that WLS is not a panacea for life's issues and problems. It is just a surgical means for one to reduce their weight.
You are not the fat girl, and she the accomplished go getter now. She just happens to weigh less than you do. Her life is of no more importance or significance than yours. You are not being left behind, or are somewhat less of a person, your lives are just going in different directions, and that is ok.

I am willing to bet that she will still experience all of the same emotional issues, she is just in an extended honeymoon phase with it all.
Who one is does not change simply because they have had a surgical procedure.
I have had WLS, but I will always be a fat girl. I will always have the backs of my fat sisters, because that is where I have come from.

I lost weight through surgical means, that does not make me a better person, or a more righteous person worth more than anybody else. It just makes me a person who lost weight through surgical means.

Anyway. Focus on being around those who make laugh and smile. You are such a nice person.

Love

Shosh

Last edited by Shosh; 11-10-2008 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:23 PM   #23
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Oh my... well, my friend who had weight loss surgery is really no longer a friend of mine at all. It is more complicated than just different interests or acceptance of a smaller (or larger) friend. I'm not sure how to edit our story down to a post on a message board. I will say I've heard through the grapevine she is doing incredibly well. I think she weighs around 140 down from 325. She just ran a marathon, is dating an attorney and a musician (this is the woman who never dated in all the years we were friends), she has tried out for community theater and learned to play an instrument. Her career has skyrocketed from where she was when I first met her seven years ago. I think the last time I saw her was the summer before I moved to Ohio as she had a housewarming party at her new apartment that also served as a one-year post-op anniversary party. She had all of her newer friends from work that she'd been spending the past year with since starting this latest job. I felt like her fat friend from her fat past sitting there as they talked about all the crazy things they'd done and somewhat resentful that I was never invited along. Though in reality I was invited a few times early on, I just passed as night clubs really weren't my thing and I had evenings on the phone and online with my long distance boyfriend in my plans. I was shutting myself in at the time she was breaking loose and getting out.

Our friendship was strained long before she had WLS. We had a falling out and didn't speak for well over a year. We got back together, but we were never as close and as trusting as we were.

My move to Ohio pretty much put an end to our friendship. I contacted her before I left telling her of my plans, somehow we never found the time to get together one last time. We went months with no contact, then she sent me an email last January of photos of herself in New Orleans from New Years Eve. There was nothing in the email asking how things were going for me, no mention of what she had been up to for the last many months... just hi and photos of her trip. She looked like an entirely different person from when I saw her last. I didn't see my friend in there any where. I didn't write back then or have I since.

Things could be entirely different for you Blue_Rainbow. I hope so anyway. I think if you are good friends to begin with, you can get through anything.
Thank you for answering my question. I'm sorry your friendship ended. My friend and I are just starting to get close so I have no idea what the future will hold. I'm just going to continue being a supportive friend and hope that gets us through all the changes she's about to experience.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:26 PM   #24
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Thank you for answering my question. I'm sorry your friendship ended. My friend and I are just starting to get close so I have no idea what the future will hold. I'm just going to continue being a supportive friend and hope that gets us through all the changes she's about to experience.
It is always nice just to be there for your friend and to be supportive. That is always appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:34 PM   #25
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Well, I've been a member of Dimensions and have some amazing friends who I've known, literally, through thick and thin. I feel really lucky that my friendships with the women here haven't been harmed at all by my weight loss. They've been nothing but supportive and helpful and the changes in my weight have had no effect, in my opinion, on our friendships. I think it's because I'm essentially the same person I was before, although the weight loss has allowed me to pursue things I couldn't, physically, pursue at 300 pounds, which has given me more confidence.

I think like anything, if you only have one thing in common with someone, and that one thing is taken off the table, then what do you have to talk about? Fortunately, when it comes to the fabulous group of women I am proud to call friends, we have a LOT to talk about beyond our weight so my weight loss is just a little blip on the radar.
Thank you Miss Vickie for the response. I'm wondering if you have also found this to be the case with IRL friends?

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