Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.

Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby peyote2004 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:26 pm

I'll start by saying, that I'm not going to BM this year, but am hoping to go in 2013 or 2014. I'm a big planner person, and am already researching things for when I go. I am an avid camper, and have a lot of gear, however camping here in Ontario is no comparison for BRC. I was researching the shelters and food that people tend to use @ BM .... And it got me thinking...

I am going to be having gastric bypass surgery within the next year, and I was wondering if anyone on here has any experience with camping/eating on the playa after having this surgery. It greatly restricts the amount and type of food you can eat, as well as how your body processes it. And try as I might, I just can't seem to wrap my head around how to balance the gastric bypass restrictions with playa life.

Any suggestions are welcome.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby AntiM » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:52 pm

My brother never went to the event, but he did have the surgery. I know even in daily life he struggled with hydration. Begin there, I'd think.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:13 pm

I think this will be an easier question to answer once you've had some experience with how you function after the surgery. Concentrate on what you can predict now, and get that piece fixed when you have a better handle on it.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:37 pm

Well, If you do come be sure to drink LOTS of water!

(yup, that's me, turning a new leaf and actually offering advise and not turning this into yet another dick joke)
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby Bob » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:08 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:dick joke


[redundant]



So, Peyote2004, what did the doc say?

Did you realize amateur medical advise is a rainbow thing, not a buhrnur thing?

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Is your nurse hot?

Do colostomy bags come in hot pink?
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:31 pm

Bob wrote:Do colostomy bags come in hot pink?

No. They seem to come in "flesh", and by that I mean some sort of "caucasian" "flesh".

And you could have asked me any time over the past 4+ years.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby incubus_pantomime » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:38 am

First of all, congratulations on having your surgery! 2012 will be my first burn, and I'll be experiencing the playa as a WLS recipient. I had Duodenal Switch surgery on Decemer 19, 2011, which is a little more extreme than gastric bypass. I would be happy to tell you about how my stomach fares on the playa after this year's burn, and answer any other questions you may have about surgery (especially involving the social change -- being 23, female, and getting WLS has made me realize just how nasty people can be when you tell them you're having surgery to lose weight).
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby Token » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:03 pm

Philosophy, social stigma and all other nonsense aside, you do gotta hydrate.

If you're plumbing works well enough to suck down a gallon and a half of H2O during the day, Huzzah!

If you're plumbing works well enough to suck down a couple pints of H2O when you fuck up and get dehydrated, Huzzah!

If not, then I suppose you'll just have to take it up the ass.

Or you could go intravenous and all that fun jazz, but that requires a trip to medical, and in all likelihood you'll be all delusional at that point.

Best to be prepared with these things and have an enema kit, some good lube and instructions so others can operate the device if you're all-passed-out.

Good luck and Good Lube!

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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby Thorormr » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:22 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Bob wrote:Do colostomy bags come in hot pink?

No. They seem to come in "flesh", and by that I mean some sort of "caucasian" "flesh".

And you could have asked me any time over the past 4+ years.


Hmm. . . remembered this video I was shown in a customer expectations seminar. About 1:36.

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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby Mojojita » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:23 pm

Due to serious ulcers, I ended up having the exact same roux-n-y procedure as most bypasses. I have had no problems at all after 5 years - keep hydrating and be sure to get in protein first before you eat anything else. Bring lots of turkey jerky and protein shakes of your choice. Bring your vitamins and keep a water bottle or camelback with you all the time and keep sipping from it. Put some electrolyte in your water too for good measure. Last year the Reno Costco stocked water with added electrolyte in 5 gal bottles - we keep an Igloo water cooler full with that and ice. We also have another Igloo with iced tea. Keep in mind that you will be a cheap drunk because alcohol enters your blood stream much faster when it dumps almost directly into the intestine. One beer or one glass of wine will get you really going. If you have lap band, I have no clue how things will work for you. You will have trouble initially drinking anything carbonated so plan accordingly.

I puked a lot for the first few months until I figured things out and stomach settled down. Don't puke on the playa please. PM me if you need support.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby Playa+Tom » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:37 pm

I've only seen colostomy bags in "flesh" or clear (eech!) There are vendors that make covers in a variety of fabrics and colors.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby FeetOfClay » Mon May 28, 2012 5:43 am

no useful advice here, but i just wanted to say congrats on your surgery. bariatric surgery saved my mother's life. she struggled with morbid obesity up and down her entire life. now, 12 yrs out of surgery, she has kept her weight off and is living a full life.

as a compulsive overeater myself, and having seen my mom's experiences, i can definitely say that the surgery works best when used as a tool supplemented by other support systems (talk therapy, 12 step recovery for compulsive eaters, journaling and self discovery, etc), and that the surgery can be LIFE-SAVING.

again, congrats! blessings to u :)
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby xhoosier » Thu May 31, 2012 9:54 am

I had this done several years ago and as some people mentioned you need to know how your body reacts to the surgery in order to know what you need on the Playa. But a few things that I learned was the following
1) Porta potties are a must - eat the wrong thing and you will need one very quickly
2) Alcohol may be candy and after surgery you may be able to drink just as much but you will fall down and maybe die if you are not careful. Not to say that Alcohol is poison but 1 drink = about 3 drinks for me now and dehydration is your biggest enemy
3) Nuts that are salty are a luxury that I could not live without. Especially mixed nuts
4) Low fat pre-sliced salami in packs was a meal in itself. Yes, it is greasy and salty and maybe not your type of meat but it stays good a lot longer than other things and easy to take in a ziplock when running around the playa.
5) Water, water, water- got a big 2 or 3 gallon water jug like they use on contruction jobs and filled with ice and then topped of with water. Stayed cool almost all week and was always ready when needed.
6) Be sure to eat meals when you are scheduled- I don't feel hungry on the playa but when you do it may be too late. Especially if you have put other things in your body that are not normal.

Depending on how soon are doing this after surgery you may want to be sure some of your friends know what is going on or put something in your pocket that tells what you had done. Some of us may not want everyone to know that we had this done but people need to know in case something happens. You don't want to get hurt, unable to talk and taken to a medical tent and they want to put something down into your stomach or give you things like NSAIDS like asprin because they can make you bleed badly. Sucks to have a hangover and not be able to take a asprin.

In any case you can do this and have a great time. Just know how your body now works. Also if you find it had to deal with on the playa come by and see me or someone else here that has had the surgery. We need to support each other because some people may not understand what is happening.

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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby peyote2004 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:33 pm

Mojojita wrote:Due to serious ulcers, I ended up having the exact same roux-n-y procedure as most bypasses. I have had no problems at all after 5 years - keep hydrating and be sure to get in protein first before you eat anything else. Bring lots of turkey jerky and protein shakes of your choice. Bring your vitamins and keep a water bottle or camelback with you all the time and keep sipping from it. Put some electrolyte in your water too for good measure. Last year the Reno Costco stocked water with added electrolyte in 5 gal bottles - we keep an Igloo water cooler full with that and ice. We also have another Igloo with iced tea. Keep in mind that you will be a cheap drunk because alcohol enters your blood stream much faster when it dumps almost directly into the intestine. One beer or one glass of wine will get you really going. If you have lap band, I have no clue how things will work for you. You will have trouble initially drinking anything carbonated so plan accordingly.

I puked a lot for the first few months until I figured things out and stomach settled down. Don't puke on the playa please. PM me if you need support.



Thanks for the input.

I have been wanting to go to BM for so long. I didn't even try getting a ticket for this year, because I knew I had to save my vacation time for the surgery; I don't have enough sick days to cover the time that I need to be off work. I will be turning 40 in January. I can't think of any better way to celebrate my 40th year, then going to Burning Man :)

I will be having RNY. I'm on a wait-list, and it looks like it will be sometime between Christmas and April (I'm hoping January or sooner). I'm very nervous about going to BM after surgery. I think it's because there is so much unknown... everyone's experience after RNY is different and I'm worried I'll experience complications on the playa.

I'm not worried about alcohol... I'm not a fun drunk. Alcohol makes me paranoid and quick tempered. So, I don't generally drink. I also don't drink anything carbonated... I've never liked bubbly stuff (I blame my grandma - long story..LOL). I'm pretty much a coffee, tea and water person.

Do you have trouble with the heat and your appetite on the playa? And what sort of food do you take... I'm an avid camper, but in Eastern Ontario ... I've never camped in such a harsh environment.

*EDIT: .... LOL... I just realised my avatar is me with a mudslide at a bonfire ... but really... I don't generally drink. :oops:
Last edited by peyote2004 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby peyote2004 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:59 pm

xhoosier wrote:... you need to know how your body reacts to the surgery in order to know what you need on the Playa.

I think that's part of what's making me so nervous. I don't know how my body will react to the surgery. I thought it was going to be this fall, but now it's not likely to be until sometime between January and April. That means, I'll be between 4 and 7 months post op.

xhoosier wrote: 1) Porta potties are a must - eat the wrong thing and you will need one very quickly

You hit the nail on the head for one of my fears .. I'm likely bring a luggable loo or something similar for my tent area. Not looking forward to using it, but could be detrimental if I eat something that doesn't agree with me.

xhoosier wrote:2) Alcohol may be candy and after surgery you may be able to drink just as much but you will fall down and maybe die if you are not careful. Not to say that Alcohol is poison but 1 drink = about 3 drinks for me now and dehydration is your biggest enemy

I'm not much of a drinker, so I will likely avoid alcohol all together.

xhoosier wrote:3) Nuts that are salty are a luxury that I could not live without. Especially mixed nuts

I've never been much for eating nuts. I will definitely need to find some I like to have on the playa.

xhoosier wrote:4) Low fat pre-sliced salami in packs was a meal in itself. Yes, it is greasy and salty and maybe not your type of meat but it stays good a lot longer than other things and easy to take in a ziplock when running around the playa.

I hadn't thought of salami. It reminded me of a local place that makes something like sausage and pepperetts from venison, elk and bear. I should look into getting some of them to take. They should travel well.

xhoosier wrote:5) Water, water, water- got a big 2 or 3 gallon water jug like they use on construction jobs and filled with ice and then topped of with water. Stayed cool almost all week and was always ready when needed.

That sounds like a great idea. I'm travelling from Eastern Ontario, so my drive is around 2750 miles to get to BM. I won't be able to have anything frozen, but I plan to dedicate a cooler to water. I need to find a large insulated jug to carry on my bike, so I can have cool/cold water when I'm out exploring.

xhoosier wrote:6) Be sure to eat meals when you are scheduled- I don't feel hungry on the playa but when you do it may be too late. Especially if you have put other things in your body that are not normal.

In your experience would it be best to plan to 'eat' meals more often or less often but with more snacks then at home.

xhoosier wrote:Depending on how soon are doing this after surgery you may want to be sure some of your friends know what is going on or put something in your pocket that tells what you had done. Some of us may not want everyone to know that we had this done but people need to know in case something happens. You don't want to get hurt, unable to talk and taken to a medical tent and they want to put something down into your stomach or give you things like NSAIDS like asprin because they can make you bleed badly. Sucks to have a hangover and not be able to take a asprin.

Thanks for pointing this out. As it stands now, I will be going alone. None of my friends are adventurous or as they put it... crazy enough to go to Burning Man. I will look into getting some sort of alert bracelet or something, and I'll make up a laminated card to keep in my pocket too.

Thank you so much for your input.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby Mojojita » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:48 pm

This has all been good advice - mostly though my advice is don't worry overmuch. Plan carefully and then have a great time. Within 4 to 7 months post surgery, you will have added most foods back in to your diet. I do carry a laminated card with me "just in case" - so that if something happens, no one tries to put an NG tube down my nose, etc... It also asks that I be able to order from children's menus in restaurants. (Cool!)

The learning curve of how to eat is different with all of us - the outcome of not learning easily is often "dumping syndrome". It would be very wise to eat your meals within easy range of a porto potty or have a barf bucket nearby. Luckily, feeling uncomfortable is over very quickly after eating too much or the wrong thing and soon you are back to being ready to roar.

Be careful of dried foods - they are easy to bring and keep on the playa but they swell up as soon as they enter a moist environment and you suddenly will be in pain.

Part of the art for me on the playa is cooking. I get really involved in it and like to go overboard so we have tri-tip, stuffed portobello mushrooms, good wine and cheeses, chili and turkey stew prepared at home and frozen, etc.... I am lucky that I have an RV and an outdoor kitchen. Although last year we were preparing meals for about 30, this year we are going to change things up and I will be cooking for 2 - 4 people.

A couple of things to be watchful for are 1) Some of us slowly become somewhat lactose intolerant after bypass; and 2) Don't be surprised if you lose some of your hair within the first several months. Your body thinks it is starving and your hair may go into "shed stage" - which is a normal process but is a little concerning if you don't expect it! It will grow back. Taking care of your hair on the playa is another issue all together so spend some time reading up on it in the threads!

Cheers and good luck!
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:15 pm

Mojojita wrote: 2) Don't be surprised if you lose some of your hair within the first several months. Your body thinks it is starving and your hair may go into "shed stage" - which is a normal process but is a little concerning if you don't expect it! It will grow back.

My hair did the "come out by the handful" thing back in September 2007. It was sort of amazing. Why it took that long, I don't know...
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby incubus_pantomime » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:28 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
Mojojita wrote: 2) Don't be surprised if you lose some of your hair within the first several months. Your body thinks it is starving and your hair may go into "shed stage" - which is a normal process but is a little concerning if you don't expect it! It will grow back.

My hair did the "come out by the handful" thing back in September 2007. It was sort of amazing. Why it took that long, I don't know...


I've started seeing more hairs coming out in my comb when I brush out my hair in the morning. I'm almost 6 months out from surgery.

From what my doctor has told me, it's all about your protein intake. Protein is the most crucial thing to maintain in your diet because it is the building blocks for so many different body systems. You can't prevent hair loss -- as Mojojita said, your body is in shock from such rapid weight loss. You can control how much you lose if you keep your protein intake at the recommended levels that your doctor prescribes. But that's just what I've been told...

Regardless, I can tell when I haven't been getting enough protein. If I don't put protein first in everything I eat, I begin to notice the adverse effects within two days. I feel like I don't have quite as much energy. I will be eating lots of jerky and nuts on the playa.

Congratulations again, Peyote! I can't wait to hear about all the changes after your surgery! It's such an amazing experience, and I'm happy that the people here are so supportive of you. :D
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby peyote2004 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:57 am

Thank you all for the support and info. I am looking forward to the surgery and the changes that will follow. Playa life is extremely different from here and it helps knowing others have experienced it post-op.

Thanks for the comment about dried foods. I hadn't thought of the fact that it expands when moist. I wish I could pre-cook all my stuff, but the drive to the playa is too long for that.

I'm anticipating the hair loss. Luckily I have semi-thick hair. I'm hoping to not end up with any spots that are too thin because I want to cut my hair very short for BM, then start growing it back out after.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:57 am

So, accident in late April, leave hospital in mid, late July, hair comes out in September...
So, I should have kept eating tri-tip...
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby Mojojita » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:38 pm

I don't think it is so much related to protein intake as most of us take in lots of protein after surgery. The research I did said that when general food intake decreases drastically, or changes radically in some way, more hair follicles switch into "shed" stage. The hair loss seems to come a few months afterward - Fishy, yours not so much off the expected timetable. Mine came out in the shower like I was having a shower with a molting wookie.

Luckily, it doesn't seem to leave bare spots, just gets thinner.

Don't let my comment about dried foods keep you from bringing them to the playa! Just be aware of the related issue when you eat it. And ALWAYS eat the protein first any time you have a meal.
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Re: Playa life after gastric bypass surgery?

Postby ladywednesday » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:14 am

First of all, cograts on the upcoming surgery. I had open RNY bypass almost ten years ago and have been to BM the last five. Most people ave already hit on the major things to keep in mind... i.e. WATER, protein, etc. I find that when I am out there, I have almost no appetite due to the heat. So I have to force myself to eat. Protein bars that do not melt, hard boiled eggs and beef jerky save my ass every single year. And I am one of those Center Cafe coffee whores but hey, it's a serving and a half of milk (protein) with caffeine WIN - WIN! You just have to remember to drink twice as much water if you do caffeine.

Also, don't forget a watch. I know almost no one carries a watch out there but if you are under a year out of surgery, you will still be on the "one bite every five minutes" plan. It'll come in handy.

Good luck!
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