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About this blog

From the very beginning...

Entries in this blog

 

The A word...

ANGER. I was talking to a woman the other day online that expressed that every time she gets through one test, another one is ordered as she tries to get to surgery. She is disgusted after being in the process for over 7 months. I really felt bad for her, so I reached out to her in a private message, because I had the same thing happen to me. I remember that I had spoken with a friend of mine who was telling me how really easy-a-time he had going in to get the surgery and that you just have to do the testing bulls**t and get it over with, but to stay focused on the goal of getting the surgery done. So, I was trying to do that. Then I had an insurance change, and my surgeon wasn't covered. Then I had to have another set of tests because the new surgeon had specific people she wanted to get her information through. All this back and forth in time and gas leaves a patient feeling less than dazzled over the image we have over the end product - ME, in my case. So this made me think about it harder - why am I getting mad over something that has to be done? If a surgeon is requesting certain tests, it isn't for fun or anything - it's because they need those answers. Then it hit me - the reason I got angry was because every time I had to take MORE time to get ANOTHER test done my "DREAM" was farther away. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is PRECISELY the point I am coming to. Instead of living in my head (which I admit I do in a lot of areas of my life) I needed to get to the *REALITY* (Oh, how I HATE, LOATHE and DESPISE that word) of what I am about to put my body through. TIME - it took time to get this fat and it will take time to get everything lined up to help me get this weight off. That's life. Too bad. Move forward. And so, with this realization, and a little bit of patience, and total focus on ME - I move forward at a pace over which I have little to no control, and with gratitude of having this opportunity at all to begin with, and with HOPE that when the time finally arrives and I'm about to get an IV placed for surgery, I will finally be ACTUALLY ready in every way that I could before such a huge change with so many personally experienced unknowns. And I encourage everyone to do the same in their own journey. Till next time... (and with less huffing and puffing or frustration) Ciao!

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

 

The C word

CHANGE I've been asking myself - why is change so scary? What is it about change that makes us worry about it, and even avoid it? Especially if that change could be the best thing that ever happened to us? What I've come to realize, is that it isn't the change itself that is frightening. It's that we aren't sure if we'll like what we get through change. I've been reading a lot of and watching a lot of you tube videos by people who have had various bariatric surgeries. I've been trying to see the perspective of this choice through others eyes. But I've also come to realize that it's impossible for me to gauge their experience, because I don't live their lives. And they aren't me. Some people have never even had surgery of any kind - and then they end up having to get this surgery for their long term health. I have to say goodbye to my incessant need to eat everything on my plate, my need to bake as a form of recreating my childhood before my mom died, my need to depend on my weight to make me feel safe, and my need to control change through food. Instead I need to let change happen and separate it from food and from control. Let's face it: the only choice we really have is to make a choice in the first place.

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

 

Decisions, Decisions....

It was voting season, and I had to decide on congressional and presidential candidates.   It's also surgeon and facility season for me, and I have to make decisions about where and who will be in the O.R. with me!   Well, I'm in the process of making these decisions. One important factor that has come to light is Medicare. I was told that Medicare is now covering the VSG. This is really big news for people who have Medicare, for whatever reason, and especially big for me in my timing because I'm not sure how quickly or slowly this is going to happen. I think I want to get it done when I have the maximum amount of coverage. In the meantime my regular COBRA ran out, and instead of going on the extended COBRA (which I'm eligible for) I am opting for another policy so that I don't have to pay the 150% rate. This makes more decision making!   Waiting for the paperwork to come in the mail... more on going drama in my pursuit. I am certain it will be well worth it in the end, but getting there is definitely a journey.   Good luck to all reading as well!

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

 

The Other F Word....

Family.   This morning I was on the phone with my sister. We are actually very close, but we live kind of far apart - in nearby, but not neighboring states. However, despite the miles we talk almost every day and we really share openly our emotions and goings-on.   So this morning I mentioned that I had a pre-surgery appointment next week and she was asking me how this surgery was going to change my perception of food, in short (no need to provide every detail of the conversation, because it would take too long) and I wondered whether some of what she said doesn't make sense for me.   So, if the purpose of this surgery is to help me control portion in order to facilitate weight loss, why can't I do that now? She mentioned eating every couple of hours a small portion of something to keep hunger at bay. And it made me think: how do I eat now? I don't think I even really know the answer to that question. I just know it must be too much or I wouldn't be this fat. So I need to recall what I ate in the past 12-16 hours. This morning I had a bowl of honey nut cheerios with half a banana and 1% milk. It was a pretty big bowl. Probably 1.5 c milk and 2 c cereal.   Last night I ate about 1 c homemade baked macaroni, 4 small pork cutlets, 2c salad. Then I had a cup of coffee, three raspberry squares, and before bed a large cheese danish. Not because I needed it. Just because it was there and I wanted it. So, of course I'm fat. No one can eat that many calories and not pay for it. So why did I want it? Texture, taste, sugar... all were part of it, and I remember thinking that if I don't eat it, it could go bad before I can get to it.   I also recognize that I have a sweet tooth. How will surgery stop that?!   Thanks for reading. As always, comments are welcome!

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

 

Emotional Food

In my earlier blog I referred to how much I love bread. And I received a response from a fellow blogger who mentioned the danger in having a relationship with bread.   I find myself wondering if it's possible that food truly became the thing I could rely on after my Mom died. It feels like a big leap to me - but it's worth inquiring with my emotions about whether bread represents something bigger to me in my food challenge. I recall that as a child there was always bread on the table at dinner. And I would go for it at EVERY opportunity during the meal. My Dad would call me on it every time!   So it's funny that I remember that Mom put the bread on the table, but Dad put the kaibash on eating it.   Then Mom died.   Hmm... I don't know... maybe there could be a relationship type of thing, but if there is I just thought about it 30 years later, so I'm not sure that gives it a legit stand.   Anyone with insight it most welcome to respond!

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

 

Focused On Food Vs. Focused On Food

food. The little f as opposed to the big F. When I'm in the mood to eat, I can throw down. I would refer to that as FOOD.   And I drink when I eat. A LOT. I mean, like I can easily go through 32 oz of liquid. I have been this way my ENTIRE life. When I was little my Dad used to say to me at the table, "put down that milk and eat!" lololol.... yeah, it was like THAT.     I love bread. I mean, it's my favorite thing - even over anything sweet, or pasta. Bread is the perfect food when you need a little something but you don't want to cook it. A little PB and you're good to go. A little bread and butter and that salad is much tastier. Do I have to never have it again? Like, ever? What is the cut off to quantity for me? Does everyone who has surgery give up bread? I think I can live with limitations, but I have to have some complex carbs. I only have one kidney and I can't endanger that one little kidney trying to keep up with all that protein.   I'm wondering if having this surgery means giving up everything but protein and vegetables. I just don't think I can be that perfect. I'm human for Pete's sake!!     I'd love to know what other people have done in order to help the process of the VSG post surgery.   Thanks for reading.

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

 

Me And The Cowardly Lion... No Wonder I Liked Him So Much.

I am so weird. One minute I'm so excited, and the next minute I'm chewing off my nails with nervous energy - which is the playing with the tail and crying scene from Oz, equivalent for me. When I started on the path of knowledge over this procedure (which was a while ago) I remember thinking, "I could never do that" and I graduated to "look at all these people having success with this", to "I could never do that", then on to, "can I get this done"?, and back to, "this will never work for me", and on and on and on... It's like I'm the coin in a coin toss, going from one thing to the next. I was fine making the decision to get this procedure, but not fine once I made the choice. Now I'm second guessing myself as a successful part of the equation in addition to an infinte number of unknown outcomes.   Why do I do that?!   And maybe that's why weight loss has never been really easy for me. It's as though I don't let myself get too excited because I know failure will arrive soon enough. And that is NOT who I am in my life. Why doesn't this part of me behave like the rest of me? I guess I'm trying to understand how getting this surgery will actually re-set my brain. And maybe it isn't the surgery that does that. Maybe afterward you still have to go up a road you don't recognize, and maybe everyone comes to that road at a different point in the process. I wish it came before this place I'm in now, though. I think that is the reason so many people have trouble with the brain hunger thing. I don't only NOT want to be one of those people, I CAN'T be one of them. I can't be 6 or 8 months post op and feeling like I'm starving to death and eating inappropriately and throwing up, or getting dehydrated or whatever. I can't sing and have all that trauma around my vocal folds. That would be a recipe for disaster for me. How do I cross that bridge beforehand so I can deal with it if/when it happens? And how much energy and effort should I spend trying to solve a problem I don't yet have?   I must sound like a crazy person asking how to cross a bridge before I get there. I don't like the unknown, so I'm always at the edge of a big decision asking, REALLY??? OMG! REALLY??? Or, I'll throw myself off without asking a single question, until it's over and done with and I end up saying, "what just happened"? So there's either no thinking or way too much thinking.   And now I just want to say that I am such a CHICKEN because of all of this ridiculous questioning! I can't possibly be this much of a coward, can I? What's *wrong* with me?!   With all I've overcome and acheived in my life, I can't imagine that something like this has turned me into such a total wuss. I gotta keep getting perspective and focusing on the positive and imagining a huge success. But if I don't find some courage, I'll never go through with it.   Thanks for reading. Sorry if I'm boring...

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

 

Seeing The Real Program, And Getting With It

It's Monday - and I usually don't care what day of the week it is, but today I did because I knew it meant that I could make more efforts to getting to a place where my life can change. So, I made another appointment with a different surgical group to add to my collection of potential surgeons. Oy. However, I am really liking the program and the accessibility of the program at a hospital that is a little bit closer than in NYC, though I could travel to either.   I realized while I was checking into their program, that I really like the people involved and the process they have in place, because it's designed to not let patients slip through the cracks after the surgical portion of the process. And you start to realize that it isn't just about the surgery, but it is embracing what will become a new way for me to live my life. Surgery is just the medical intervention portion of it. The rest will still be up to me and I know me - I'm going to need the nutritional advice through the rest of my life. I need someone to help me stay focused on healthy approach and healthy thinking about nutrition. That word also needs to be a part of FOOD for me. What is the NUTRITIONAL value of this thing I will eat? HOW will it benefit me other than just calories...     So I'm feeling renewed instead of so overwhelmed, and it's nice for me to feel hope instead of fear or burdon about decision making in this process.   Happy Monday, indeed!!

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

 

It All Started When I Was 11... ? I'm Not Really Sure, Actually.

I don't want to say I didn't love food when I was a little kid, but the truth is that I was horribly picky. Like, sit at the table all night because I didn't want to eat my spinach, pea's in the couch cushions, slipped it to the dog when Mom wasn't looking kind of picky. Yeah, I usually sat at the table for hours every single night... so, to top it all off I was stubborn. Picky and stubborn eater. That is a bad combination. Now add to that immune compromised, with an extreme fear of needles, which I had to face every single week with injections, and it's no wonder food became my best friend. Especially milk with a little sugar or Molasses in it, which the Dr told my Mom to give me to get all my medicines down. (Thanks for that, you maniac.)     Anyway - fast forward to present. I'm an adult. For years I have been saying, "grow up" "take responsibility for your fat butt" "watch what you're eating" - well, I've been watching alright, watch as I stuff it in my face that is. Oy... so a process of failure, hope, failure, willpower, weakness, hope, failure... you know the routine, anyone who is struggling knows this routine. But now I'm facing down the barrel of a gun called obesity and a surgical decision to save my life, and I'm saying to myself, "how the HELL did I get here"? Most of my friends, people that REALLY know me say that I don't act like an obese person. I don't really know what that means, and I've tried to get someone to explain that to me, and the only response that seemed honest was that I just seemed to not relate to my weight. To me that sounds like I'm in some advanced state of denial. Maybe I just didn't see my fat, because I wasn't paying attention to it. I have lead a pretty dramatic life - my Mom died when I was 11 and my Dad was an alcoholic, not a mean one, but addicted nontheless... so I was used to making excuses for why he drank. I could blame it on my Mom dying, but he drank before that, too. Actually, he lost me while trick-or-treating when I was 4 because he and his best pal were lit when they took a bunch of us out trick-or-treating. I will never forget the sound of my Mom's voice when the lady who's house I ended up at, took my home. My Dad caught holy hell, to boot. I remember thinking that no one could protect me like my Momma!   Anyway, I'm getting off point. I guess I'm just trying to figure out how I got here. I don't want an excuse - I'm just looking for MY reason.   And in the meantime, I'm getting ready to meet with several different surgeons.   Thanks for reading.

LinSmargiassi

LinSmargiassi

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