Thursday, December 29, 2016

And Then, Another Gift

I never thought of myself as being "morbidly obese".  My BMI just puts me there, in that category and I know that I am bigger than most of the people I know.  So, I must be "obese".  I just hate the word "morbid" applied to anything, not the least of all, myself.  But, that BMI plus a brief history of hypertension and the fact that I do suffer from Sleep Apnea, are what hopefully will allow my insurers to give the final word on my surgical procedure.  Without that word, it simply will not happen. So, every day, needless to say, I worry about being turned down.  I should  not.  I am, after all, morbidly obese.  Fact. More of a fact when I look in the mirror at my protruding butt and my "Is There a Baby in There" abdomen. (Too bad I'm not an armadillo, I'd be all set).

I reflect often on the days ahead, the days right before, during and after I become a "Sleever".  The word "gift" goes through my thoughts like a ribbon.  I am so glad that Suzanne chose that word when she addressed our workshop, giving us food for thought to weave into the landscape of our food for other things.  While  my new stomach will be an honored gift, there will be other gifts and I need to be open, ready for their arrival and welcoming as I would a gift from a loved one in a big box tied up with ribbon.

The grandchildren have been here for the past two days.  Aged almost 9 and almost 11, they are active, messy, and always ready to eat, especially if there is sugar in the ingredients.  They have, as do most kids, eyes that are larger than their stomachs and, as a consequence, there are always bits and scraps left over from the latest feed.  The greatest part of this is the wake-up call.  The voice inside my head that says....."you are not the garbage".  It's that voice that also says, "Hey, if you're wondering how you got to be "morbidly obese", the answer is a leftover slice of pizza away.  You see, I put on lots of poundage during my years as a mother to two kids and then, as a grandmother to two.  No waster of food was I.  Kids won't finish, I will.  Those calories could not count, they're not in a plate!  So then why, when I was doing one of my zillion diets, did I elect to spray leftovers with Windex as I cleared the dishes.

So thanks Kids.  I love the gift.  The affirmations and the awareness.  I am NOT a garbage can, nor have I ever been.  I'm a person who can and must look at food as sustenance only. That bin in the kitchen, that's where left over food belongs.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy Anniversary

Forty seven years ago

Two births

Two grandchildren

Deaths, graduations, weddings, eight new addresses, ten trips across to Italy, gazillions of new experiences, tears, smiles, lots and lots and lots of laughter, very few arguments, challenges, new careers, close calls, risks, joys, sadness, aging parents, too many sunsets to count, winetimes, fires in fireplaces, music, dance, walks on beaches, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, enough coffee to build a new ocean, fears, smiles

We're not the proverbial two peas in a pod but it is that very pod that gives us each room to breathe and to live out our own visions in perfect harmony.

I can not imagine going down the road I am on without love and support from the one person, other than myself, who will have the greatest life change.  If you know anything about weight loss surgery, you know that it is a total lifestyle, that reverting back to old ways of eating can be dangerous if not unpleasant for the offender.  That sugar and alcohol are not on the horizon just as big meals will be a thing of the past.

At first, my soul mate was reluctant.  He was fearful at the prospect of surgery.  Why can't we try other things for you?  He promised to help in any way he could but after many attempts at helping me, my efforts failed and I was left hungry, depressed and defeated.  As a natural-born slender person, he tries but fails to understand the intricacies of weight loss efforts and their failures.  He can't possibly know that I live, and have been for most of my life, in someone else's body.  There's a whole other person in there who wants to come out and play, if only for a few more years.  When I explained that to him, when I impressed him with my need to fulfill one last desire before I get too old to change, he understood and shifted his voice to total support and a willingness to take on the new lifestyle.  He asked questions, still does, and makes every possible attempt to know the facts and ways in which to help.  His support was the final piece of the puzzle, the final word that allowed me to forge ahead and make my plans.

Joe has an entire different way of thinking.  He's analytical.  He makes plans, reads directions, researches and waits patiently for things to happen.  I'm not analytical, I'm more ready to jump at the gun, to figure things out as I go along.  I throw the directions into the trash  before reading them, along with all the other messy parts of whatever it is I'm doing.  I'm visual.  He's guided by another set of rules.  I'm impatient for things to happen.  Spontaneous.  A real, live right-brainer.  A lucky lady who can do whatever makes her happy, safe in the knowledge that her husband will be all the happier because of it.  He may not always understand it but he's always thrilled and oh, so complimentary.

So, we're in this together just as we started out all those years ago.  I'm sure that I can count on him being there for me when I feel discouraged, just as he always has been.

For better, for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part.

Happy anniversary to the left side of my brain.

Monday, December 26, 2016

My Special Gift This Christmas

A very important part of preparing for Bariatric surgery comes in the form of a three-part group workshop that is dedicated to the emotional or "head hunger" aspects of learning how to cope.

So, three weeks ago, I reluctantly got into my car for the 45 minute drive to the surgical center for what, I imagined would be a snoozer.  I generally do not do well in two hour meetings, hating the fact that I am enclosed in a room filled with strangers at a time of day that beckons me to an entire life shut down.  Four to six in the afternoon, three times?  I'll never make it without nodding off....or so I thought.  Instead, I grew to actually look forward to these sessions and each one paid off and was well-worth the drive and the extra effort.

Because......Suzanne, the skilled and experienced social worker who led the group, started the first session with words I will not forget any time soon.

You are receiving a gift and it is up to you to honor it.

How fitting.  A gift. Christmas.  New Year.

This gift?

A stomach the size of a small banana and I kid you not when I say that I accept this gift with gratitude and I do intend to honor it.

I never dozed off, not even for one second.

Thank you.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Hope, Day One

Day One
Christmas Morning, 2016
Entry log about the Spaceship Bariatric

NOT Barbaric as my sometimes handy, others, annoying and trouble-making, text spellchecker spit out when I first told my son of my plan, almost exactly one year ago.  I was trying to tell him that I had begun the tedious (boy, I had no idea) process that would eventually (underline that word!) find me having the surgery that my mother would have given me away for.

I took a much-needed break from the whole thing in April.

I returned in November, just after Thanksgiving

I am hoping for a surgical date at the end of January or very early February.  I'm much more ready now for that Bariatric surgery.  I'm so ready and so excited.

This is the first of what I hope, no I know, will be journal entries along the way but now, it's Christmas morning, the day that reminds us all that there is hope.

And so, let the day begin.