Rules.

On January 20, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

As I sit here, sipping my Coke Zero (no, not a paid advertisement, ye olde FTC!) at 10:15Pm, hoping against hope that the toddler will go to bed soon because I’d like to as well, I think about all of the supposed RNY rules.

I came across a RNY “expert’s” page the other day.  The entire page was devoted to the many writings about the various “rules” associated with WLS — but very specifically RNY.  Some of these “rules” I could not even fathom — and trust me, I’ve heard quite a bit.

Now, I like rules when rules make sense.  The whole calcium citrate thing?  It makes sense.  There’s science behind why we need citrate rather than carbonate when you don’t have stomach acid.  There’s a reason — not some arbitrary crap that someone has packaged as a “rule” and made up bullshit reasons as to why you should follow it.  Even worse is when the reasons smack of some semblance of scientific reasoning — when in fact there is no fact behind it.

A few of my favorites:

  • 20-30g of protein per serving
  • carbonation will stretch your pouch
  • caffeine will dehydrate you
  • vitamins must be chewable or liquid forever

So I’m looking at this “expert’s” page — drinking my super strong coffee, by the way as it was bright and early in my home and Andrea does not function without a modicum of caffeine in her bloodstream — and some of the rules are just wacky.  Like no popcorn – ever?  Okay, I can see for a time because those kernels could get caught in the healing pouch.  But ever?  And the reasoning?  Because it was an empty food.  Wha, wait?  There’s tons and tons of fiber in popcorn.  That’s pretty darned beneficial to the average RNY post-op who has issues going potty on a regular basis.  It’s the good kind of fiber that doesn’t even come from a bottle, too.  So, really, I’m scratching my head over this, and a number of other rules on the site.

And it hearkens me upon other groups that demand a certain amount of cult-following post-op.  It seems that there are some bariatric practices and groups that really take things a bit far — demanding certain proteins to be used, and certain supplements to be used.  I have seen a number of bariatric groups peddling specific supplements that really are noteworthy in their lackluster quality and requiring their patients to purchase them and I can’t imagine why except, of course, the follow-up deficiency visits that WILL happen on that particular vitamin supplement.  Well, and of course, the add-on revenue stream the product brings in to help pay for the trips to the Bahamas and the new Jag for the wife.  Some support groups require obedience to similar cult-like followings and it just amazes me that people will do it — just for the sake of belonging.  I suppose the need to belong and the lack of self-worth (hey, I’ve been there.. at times, I would have cut off my own foot to be part of the “in” crowd) may have a factor, I don’t know.  I cannot imagine giving up free-will of choice just to belong to a group.  But that’s just me.

So yeah, I drink carbonated beverages.  I eat popcorn, and nuts.  And bread.  And some rice as well.  Pizza, too.  I drink with my meals, although nowhere near the amount I did when I was the size of the Hindenburg.  I don’t particularly care for alcohol, but I’ll drink if I want to do so.  And I use a straw often.

But I also take my supplements because I know why.  I avoid NSAIDs when at all possible because I know why.  I get my labs drawn because I know why.  I study and learn about my surgery and others because I know why.  And I try to help others find their own paths, rather than demand they take my path, because I know why.

Sometimes rules are good.  And sometimes rules are okay.  And even sometimes rules are bad.  But don’t tell my kids that.