I never got into the meetup.com craze like some of my friends did. I had one friend who was going to meetup groups every week.
About a month ago I was researching support groups because I really want to meet other people who've had WLS that I could talk to, face to face. I found this group on meetup.com for people in the Raleigh area who have had or are considering having any type of weight loss surgery. Raleigh is only about 30 minutes from me and I don't mind the drive, so I signed up. Their first meeting since signing up was while I was on vacation, so Saturday was my first opportunity to go.
The group definitely was not what I was originally looking for, but it was nice to be around people who understood things I'm going to. The group however seemed to have a pretty low opinion of Gastric Banding (preferring the sleeve or bypass) and there was only one other person there who had the band. She was banded the first time 10 years ago, and just had her first band replaced in November. Unfortunately since the replacement she hasn't been doing as well and has gained 20 pounds. There was one other person at the meeting who seemed to be struggling with his weight loss (RNY 3 years ago and curently 140 pounds down, 70 pounds to go). Everyone else though was doing spectacularly.
It was so encouraging to see so many successes in progress! Even the two people who were having 'trouble' had been pretty successful in my opinion. 10 years keeping the weight off is fantastic, and the fact that this woman was at the meeting tells me she's doing everything she can to get that 20 pound gain under control. And losing 140 pounds is definitely not a failure in my book!
Overall I think it was a good experience. Unsure if I'll go back. I wish I could find a group of people who are closer to my age...and being banded is definitely different in some ways than other WLS so that would be cool too.