Jennifer (gaaneden) wrote,

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Abstract Thoughts has been updated with Flying Time & WLS - which is a fairly emotional piece about the next 'big thing' going on in my life.

September 16
Flying Time & WLS

Time sure does fly when you're ... Usually, one says "having fun" at this point but that is not necessarily correct in my case. That isn't to say that I haven't been having fun but more to say that there are other reasons to why I have not made a post recently. A lot more reasons. Emotional ones. A reluctance to write. Not in general, but about the next "big thing" that is about to go on in my life. It is a reluctance born of fear and (hard to admit) some shame. Also, due to the mental wrestling about how to write about what's going on in my head and how other people are going to take it.

Just writing these words brings a well of emotion forward that I cannot readily identify. Silent tears have always been a great stress reliever in many situations for me. As they are now. I am not particularly upset. It's just that I have so much going on emotionally, it seems my tears are the only real outlet I have right now.

But, I digress.

As I was saying, time sure does fly when you're spending most of your free time researching a medical procedure. Weight loss surgery in particular. I have spent about three years looking into the option of it. I started right after I broke my leg and the doctor told me that if I did not lose weight, I would lose my mobility within a few short years. That scared me. I have been heavy since 1995-96 but it wasn't until 2000 when I started to really seriously try to take the weight off. In the intervening years, I have lost and regained over 150 pounds.

I didn't want to do weight loss surgery. Did not. It was new and scary and I was strong enough to lose the weight on my own, dammit. ... Wasn't I? Exercise alone didn't work. Slimfast didn't work. Starvation didn't work. Neither did the diet pills - any of them. Atkins and exercise worked for a little bit - 60 pounds lost. Gained it all back. Then, it was the 20/20 program. 30 pounds lost... and it is all coming back again. Already. So very quickly. I can feel my body breaking down and groaning under the stress of the regained weight.

Even more scary, my knees are getting worse. I hear them popping and creaking at ever step I take. Scarier still is the fact that it is no longer just my knees. I went out dancing before my vacation with Jo'nese, David and Ben. I had the most marvelous time. The next day, my left hip, my weak hip... the same side as the formerly broken leg, hurt. Hurt bad enough that I didn't do a lot of walking except to try and stretch it out. Weeks later, the pain ebbs and flows but never goes completely away. It is a constant companion now. Most of the time, it is the guest that will never leave but who is never around for you see face to face. You only see the trail of dirty dishes and forgotten papers left behind.

Last week, after going to the first seminar for weight loss surgery, I had my first signs that the weight was starting to really adversely affect my back. It was when I had gone to bed and was lying on my back. There was a pressure on my sciatic that sent waves of pain throbbing down my back and into my leg. Since then, I have been to one support group meeting and another more formal seminar for the weight loss surgery. It is still scary. It is abdominal surgery. There are many risks. But, I am currently being faced with the possibility of losing my mobility. Which is more scary: surgery or the loss of mobility/freedom? I have to say the loss of mobility.

I walked into the first of these seminars utterly certain that I wanted the gastric bypass. I walked out utterly certain that I absolute did not. The risks were too high. The complications too numerous. The procedure is irreversible. In the end, I have opted for the far less risky, far easier to recover from, completely reversible lap-band procedure. I have the first of my consultation appointments on Monday.

Once I decided to do the weight loss surgery and I decided on the type, I talked to my parents. I am canceling my Thanksgiving plans for this. I need to save the time off. My parents are nervous and supportive. If I want, my mom will fly out to be with me for it. With the lap-band procedure (which is an outpatient procedure in most cases), that will not be necessary if I can find someone who will be willing to stay with me for 48 hours after the surgery.

I have to tell you, I'm really happy to have my parents approval. I've already talked to a couple of my friends about the surgery and the idea has mostly been met with concern and support. It has been nice. Honestly, in a way, I feel like a failure at having to turn to this extreme measure to help me lose the weight. Part of me is ashamed and is afraid that my friends will disapprove and be ashamed of me as well. I really hope that doesn't happen. I was very close to keeping the surgery a secret from all save a few. But, I know me and my mouth. Plus, in the end, I am doing this for my health and my ability to continue walking. I hope people can understand that.

So, I'm not going to hid it but I'm not going to advertise it, really. Not like I have done with the Atkins program. Nor the 20/20 program. I'm not going to make it a separate part of me. I'm not going to make a separate web page for my progress. I am not going to make it a "special" thing anymore. If people want to know about weight loss surgery, there are thousands of web pages, books, white papers and seminars they can go to. One more will not make a difference. This is just going to be a part of me and who I am.

According to the doctors I have talked to already, Microsoft insurance will pretty definitely cover the whole thing. [It was funny, you could see their eyes lighting up. "Microsoft? Oh, excellent. Your insurance covers it. It will be a breeze for you. Unlike a lot of people who have to fight for the insurance."] Being slightly less optimistic, I am hopeful about it. It is an expensive procedure. If all goes will, I will have the surgery next month. I will write about it like I write about my writing.

Though, I do have to admit, I feel like I am trailblazing again - like when I did Lasik and Atkins and other things. More than one person has told that they have always been interested in the surgery and they would be watching my progress with an avid interest. "Jenn did it and look how well it turned out." "Jenn likes it, lets try it out." Sometimes, I feel like a brave guinea pig. Let's hope this one goes off well, too.

Tarot Card for the Day: Three of Cups, Inverted

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