Monday, September 15, 2014

Gastric bypass on TLC TV show

My dearest friend in life, Trish, who died way too early, from complications of a WLS she had had several years previous.  I still miss her and this blog is dedicated to her.
The Long Island Medium is a show on TLC about a lady who supposedly talks to dead people. The following article is not arguing whether or not she really is contacting the dead but rather that this week's show was mostly dedicated to a mother of a gastric bypass patient who died after his surgery... Following are the highlights:
Theresa Caputo, who is the "Long Island Medium" was doing a group reading at a restaurant.

She hesitated for a moment and then asked one of her general questions which tend to encourage people to tell her about their deaths in the family etc.

Theresa said "I want to talk about the young man who passed in a tragedy."

A woman in the back of the room, raised her hand quickly.

Theresa, facing her, said, " Your son has been gone for some time..."

The woman whose name is Elaine, answered: "Eleven years."

Continuing, Elaine added: "LJ was my only child - I waited a lifetime for him - now that he's gone, a piece of me is gone."

Therese, pausing for a moment, said: "Your son says it was difficult for you, his mother, because it was a total freaky thing."  (in retrospect - this was something she probably said because the son had passed from complications of WLS - as sort of a disclaimer. Like all reality shows, I'm sure this show is somewhat scripted and it has been written that Theresa Caputo spends some time with each person to be "read" on the show, before taping the show.)
Elaine described her son as a football star in college, admitting she had saved his jerseys from his participation in the sport.

Elaine then continued with: "I never expected LJ to die...LJ was 6'1" and 443 lbs... he had gastric bypass surgery. Obviously there's a risk with any surgery
but LJ's surgery was supposed to be 'textbook' and after the surgery, he seemed to be ok but then a month later, he started having complications..."
The complications put him back in the hospital and soon he required the necessity of life support machines.  Elaine did not specify what the complications were but the attending physicians all stated they were a result of his gastric bypass surgery.

In July, a month after LJ's surgery, his mother had to make the difficult decision to turn off the life support machines and even now, 11 years later, she said, weeping,  that there isn't a day, every day, that she doesn't re-live that moment.

" I go through it every day... he passed away from complications - it was sepsis" Elaine said adding that
"I kissed his eyes, his hands and his feet.", after he had died.
When the doctor broke the bad news that their son was in cardiac arrest to Elaine and her husband, her husband had a heart attack on the spot.  Although he survived that heart attack, he died 18 months later.

Theresa described Elaine as having a shattered soul...and Elaine agreed with her.
Bottom line, no one really talks about the relatives, the family of gastric bypass patients who pass on, but from the few I've met, they seem broken up about it for years after the fact... perhaps because weight loss surgery is an elective surgery and often their adult progeny are healthy before surgery albeit overweight, (in this case, the son was a star athlete).  Watching a kid die has been said to be the worst thing a parent can witness.
This particular show can probably be seen on Netflix or even somewhere on the web - or wait for the re-runs.  (photo is the blog author in 2009 trying to ask a WLS provider at a Women's Expo about complications of WLS and getting nowhere!)