First, I should note I'm new to blogging, and new to this forum, so I will learn as I go. My hope is that I can verbalize my journey to the me I see through this forum and that it will be a way of support, healing, recovery, motivation, collaboration and reflection.
About me: Married, 2 kids, highest weight 334, surgery date weight 319. VSG performed at the Cleveland Clinic, Weston, Dr. Rosenthal & Dr. Sloan on 2/8/12.
For such a personal journey and private health issue - finding this forum has been a God send. I told no one at work, I told none of my family. I only shared the details with the people in my life that would be unconditionally supportive of this life changing decision. My husband and children, and my best friends Gina & Kathy. One person at work sort of knew - but I hope is going to respect my privacy. I even specified on my FMLA paperwork that only my HR Manager would be able to know. So, I pause. Why so much shame and protective privacy around making a life changing decision to improve my health? Because people are judgemental - they don't know what it is like to be in the skin that I'm in and they form opinions and have the nerve to voice them. They can be hurtful, demeaning, shallow. I came across this forum and observed acceptance, understanding, compassion. I lurked. Then I lept.
I have not been obese my whole life. Was taunted and teased as a child for being too tall and skinny - lean green string bean. Go figure? My mother, a vain critical woman, forced me into weight watchers as a junior in high school at 137 - thought I was too fat at a size 11. All my friends were 5, 7, 9, clearly I had an issue. So the seed was planted, and so I fed it. I was a healthy athletic young woman till about 21, and the freshman fifteen joined the party, and slowly my weight progressed. As the weight crept in, so did the bigotry, judgment and discrimination. My first experience was at 186, entering a bridal salon and being sized up visually by the counter person and her saying, "We can't help you miss...our dresses just don't go that big.". I was a size 18. My mother in law ended up making my dress. So rather than bore you with the details of my past - I will give you the abridged version. I got married. I had a baby. My husband came out of the closet. No, I did not know. I went into the pantry. I got on the band wagon of "embracing my curves" which, to some degree was a cop out for me, but easier than dealing with the emotional monkey on my back that fed my fat cells. I got divorced. There was a 7 year drought. I met Mark. We married. We had a baby. We are living the happily ever after.
I decided in 2011 to put my health first. I explored fixing my pelvic floor disorder - I had been living with since my first born, but when I went to the Dr. in the 90's for it - he made fun of my - "I'm surprised you are not wet all the time, you have so much fat on your stomach." - I was under 200 at the time. But it drove me back to my safe place - the pantry. People can be so rude. Anyway, so in December, I was on hold at the Cleveland Clinic and heard about the Pelvic Floor Disorder Center of Excellence. Long story short, that inquiry led to a consult that said, if we do WLS first, your pelvic floor surgery will be more successful - or perhaps not even be necessary.
To my primary care I went, I requested a letter of medical necessity, got it. To my surprise, my insurance paperwork was turned in on a Friday, I was approved on the following Monday, and I was scheduled for surgery on 2/8. Holy frijoles - this was now a reality! The jump is so far from where I am today, to what I want to become, I close my eyes and leap.
Surgery was done on 2/8 - I am now 6 days out and each day gets a little better. Less gas, less pain/discomfort, fewer tears, more hope.