Friday, May 25, 2018

2 years ago....

Two years ago yesterday, my life changed.  Two years ago yesterday, I took my biggest step in this very long journey.  Two years ago yesterday, I did something some people think is the "easy" way out.  Two years ago yesterday, I had bariatric surgery.  I had a sleeve gastrectomy.

In the months between my initial appointment and my surgery date, I thought things were the most difficult they'd get.  I had multiple appointments each week for tests and clearances, not to mention a couple of very large health scares.  I didn't know it then, but that was just the beginning of this roller coaster... a roller coaster I'd ride again and wish I rode years prior.

I'm going to take the lead of a friend of mine who also had the sleeve surgery and talk about what I miss since surgery.

I miss pasta, rice, and bread (and oh boy do I!).

I miss ice cream (although Halo Top is pretty darn good).

I miss fast food - because sometimes you just want some fries and a Frosty.

I miss beef (because my sleeve doesn't tolerate it well), but a good burger or a nice filet sound really yummy, especially as we enter grilling season.

But I also have a list of things I don't miss...

I don't miss dreading my PCP's office calling with lab results, only to learn my blood sugar is pre-diabetic and my triglycerides and cholesterol are high.

I don't miss being embarrassed meeting new people and ashamed when I went with my husband to a work function.

I don't miss thinking how I'd like to do something (like going to the mountains to see waterfalls, for instance), but knowing that it wasn't feasible because I didn't have the physical stamina.

I don't miss having to skip rides at Disney because I didn't fit (or not trying because I was worried I wouldn't and couldn't bear that embarrassment).

I don't miss people asking if I was pregnant.  This one was especially painful as a woman unable to bear children.

I don't miss being the most obvious, most stared-at person in the room, while simultaneously being the most invisible.

I don't miss being given the once-over at the airport to determine if I need to buy an extra seat.

I don't miss needing to ask for a seat belt extender when I did fly.

I don't miss getting winded walking up a flight of stairs.

I don't miss being forced to shop online because I wore a size too large to be carried in stores.

I don't miss needing to catch my breath after bending over to tie my shoes.

I don't miss being treated as sub-human, being ignored, and being talked "at."

I don't miss not being able to take my dogs for a walk.

I don't miss dreading the sight of a restaurant booth,.

I don't miss having to squeeze into the the drivers side of the car or an airplane seat.

I don't miss my C-PAP machine!

I don't miss taking 2 different blood pressure medications.

I don't miss people making judgments of me based solely on my size.

I don't miss people offering hugs to others but not to me (obesity is not contagious!).

I don't miss doctors dismissing very real and unrelated symptoms, blaming them on my weight.

*these lists are not by any means exhaustive, just limited by my current brain shutdown.

The list of things I miss...those are all tangible.  But most of the things I don't miss are the opposite - they can't be held or touched or bought.  They are intangible and they weren't going away unless I lost the weight.

On another note, 7 weeks ago today I had my panniculectomy.  I saw the surgeon on Monday and he is pleased with how I'm healing.  He said I don't have to return for 6 weeks, which about sent me into shock.  I've seen him at least every week or two for the past 7 weeks.  I think I'm going to have withdrawal!

I also saw my bariatric surgeon this week.  While the 5 lbs of skin removed during my panniculectomy would have put me at half of my highest weight, I remain the same weight I was the day of surgery (I suspect due to fluid retention...that, and not being able to workout).  I'm a stubborn woman (although the word tenacious is so much nicer, isn't it?) and will get to that 163 lb mark so I can officially be half of my former self.  It just may take some time to do it because I'm slightly less strict with my diet than I was a year ago.  However, the bariatric surgeon said that he wishes all of his patients were as successful as I've been, since I've maintained my weight within about 5 pounds for the past year.

You've come to learn that I'm very open about my journey and want to help out anyone I can.  Please don't hesitate to share my blog if you know someone considering surgery or who has had surgery (either bariatric or skin removal).

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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