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Dec. 7th, 2011

mother and child
I saw my brother over Thanksgiving for the first time in about six months. 

I was shocked.

Yes, he had Rous-n-Y surgery for weight loss; yes I knew he'd lost over 150 pounds... so I knew he'd be thinner.

That wasn't what was shocking me.

He looks... unhealthy.  I don't just mean that he looks more gaunt.  I mean he looks like there is something really, really wrong with him.  His skin is yellow, his eyes are sunken.  He has zero energy.  He can't focus on you when you talk to him.

My mother was happily chirping, "Doesn't he look good, Cindy?  He's lost so much weight!  Doesn't he look so much better?" 

She's so frigging superficial it made me want to slap her.  I answered,  "Well, he looks thinner..." and I didn't finish that statement but in my mind I finished it by saying, "... so if you think thinner = better, then I guess yes?"

In all actuality I'm scared to death for him.  I didn't want to ask him too much, and he didn't volunteer anything... and I Googled "yellow skin after weight loss surgery" but didn't find anything but advertisements.  Could weight loss surgery make your liver fail?   I mean, he doesn't have a gallbladder so all the fat he's lost would have to be broken down somehow; could he have overtaxed his liver?  And is that something to worry about or will it sort itself out now that he's lost most of the weight?

Damn my mother for thinking thinner = better.   Just damn that entire way of thinking. 

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
simsforaranya
Dec. 7th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
I want to SMACK her. People who care more about weight than health need to diaf. Someone I know is really trying to lose weight, and she isn't doing it right. She's taken up SMOKING. But does anyone say "STOP IT"? No. They're all "OHHH YOU LOOK SO THIN!" *kicks things*
cindyanne1
Dec. 8th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
All my mother could talk about was how good he looked. And this isn't even in his presence. This is after he went home between just her and I. And then she said, "Maybe you should get that surgery..." What??? I have 70 lbs to lose; they don't even want you to have the surgery unless you are 100 lbs or more over the high end of your weight range.

Ugh. :(
saozinha
Dec. 7th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
I'd be worried, too. Thinner doesn't always mean better if your brother is still eating unhealthy foods. Conversely, though, it's possible that he's doing something like eating too many carrots. I used to work with someone who went through a juicing phase and his skin actually started to turn orange because of all the carrots he was consuming. When he realized what was going on (it took him a while because the change was gradual and he hadn't noticed) he cut down and his skin color returned to normal.
cindyanne1
Dec. 8th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
I didn't think about the carrot thing. I hope that it is something like that! Although... he says he can't handle raw veggies very well since his surgery. Apples he can eat if he peels them first, celery is a total no-no, etc. He didn't mention carrots specifically, but maybe he's eating them cooked. I know he always did like cooked carrots, so maybe that's it.

The whites of his eyes are yellow too. :( But surely his doctors would be addressing it if there was a problem! But maybe they are; like I say I didn't probe too much.

It's just... gah! I mean I know the weight was hard on him, but he was so much more robust a year ago. He was heavy, yes. But he went fishing and worked on cars and could laugh and enjoy a card game or whatever. Now he just seems so exhausted and sick. He's not more active. He's less active. He doesn't even seem to comprehand what you're saying to him half the time, let alone have a conversation and laugh and play games.
saozinha
Dec. 8th, 2011 02:16 am (UTC)
Yes, it does sound like his nutrition is probably lacking and that it's affecting his overall health. My brother recently lost a lot of weight because he has type 2 diabetes and has been carefully controlling his diet since the doctor recently put him on insulin. It's a little shocking to see him so thin, but his color is good and I haven't noticed any changes in his personality/cognitive abilities. I'd be very worried in your place as well. Hopefully his doctor is keeping an eye on him.
naughtydolphin
Dec. 8th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
It might be from losing the weight too fast, that can cause a lot of problems I've heard. Weight just doesn't indicate someone's health. It sucks she thinks that way.
melody_curious
Dec. 8th, 2011 09:44 am (UTC)
Finally back after getting my password sorted out....

That's the trouble with mothers, they always think your better off loosing more weight than is good for you. Mine always told me, I was over weight and should be 8 stone... this to a girl built like a british rugby player and the correct weight for her height.

Your brother doesn't sound in a very good way to me, I use to talk to someone who had that operation, and they never mentioned anything like that happening to them.

The only think I could find that may shed some light on his condition is this http://obesitysurgery-info.com/vitamins.htm

It goes on about how they no longer can get the right vitamins as the part of the intestines which takes them in is by-passed.
unholypassion
Dec. 8th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
That's sad, even sadder is the fact that no one else sees it. I wonder if he's getting, or retaining, enough nutrients? Some forms of anemia can cause symptoms like that too, and are quite dangerous in the long run.

I've seen this in reverse too.. for instance, my SIL lost a bunch of weight, and looked radiant, happy too. No one had anything nice or positive to say about it. "She looks like a rail, blah, blah, blah... ".
strange_tomato
Dec. 10th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
That's horrible. If he's obviously unhealthy looking, then something has to be wrong. I hope he's being monitered by a doctor during this period of extreme wight loss. It seems like something could be going wrong, and he's losing it too fast. I hope he's able to find out what's going on and fix it soon.
jester
Dec. 10th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Oh no! Have you tried talking to your brother about it?
conceptioncult
Feb. 4th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Sounds like jaundice. Yellowing of the skin and eyes, especially after surgery, is an indication. I had a friend who had gallbladder surgery and my mother in law would call him Canary on account of how yellow he was. I'm not sure what they did to help him recover, but his doctors would certainly know.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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