This is the front of a t-shirt I got at a weight loss surgery convention a few years ago and is one of my favorites! It wasn’t meant as a “dis” but a celebration of our success as gastric bypass post-ops. It truly was the hit of the conference!
That being said, I, as I’m sure many WLS post-ops and the people around them, get tired of thinking about … talking about … dealing with … being a “surgically altered freak”. The fact is, anyone who has had a roux-en-y gastric bypass procedure is just that. We have taken a perfectly normal digestive system (other than any dis-ease we have caused by being morbidly obese) and agreed to have it purposefully re-created into what amounts to a SURGICALLY ALTERED unhealthy one. We have committed to spend the rest of our lives keeping this altered body healthy.
Because of that commitment, it becomes impossible for us to NOT deal with it on a daily basis. There are times when I tell myself to stop talking about it … it’s just the way life is now, 8 1/2 years later. But the fact is … it is always foremost in my mind – every single day.
Today, for instance, I had 10 vials of blood drawn for 14 different analysis of my blood to see if I have any nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorbtion. That is one reason why I should take one of each of these (and some more than once) every single day …
It’s the first time in five years I’ve had medical insurance that would cover these essential tests that should be done annually, if not semi-annually. My hubby and I have, as of January 1, returned to Kaiser Permanente, the insurance under which I had my surgery, and who in my opinion, at least in Northern California, has the most comprehensive long-term follow up for their WLS post-ops.
Next Monday I am excited to return to their bi-weekly WLS support meetings, and in early February to their group medical follow-up appointments, at which time the doctor will review my lab reports. I will be able to review them myself in two days time!
I want to share my process and progress in returning to a solid support system – and how it affects my motivation, commitment and ability to return to using this very special tool to lose the 30 pound regain I have experienced. Doing a daily journal simply doesn’t work for me. Maybe weekly? Maybe.
I still need to get my head out of this glass of wine. But I shall never give up – and never go back to where I was 8 1/2 years ago and this is why:
This was me in February 2005 … 225 lbs
This was me in March 2006 … 135 lbs
This was me in 2007 – 140 lbs – the “ginger” is my daughter
And the weight I want to get back to. My happy place even though it is technically still “overweight” for my 5 ft, 1 in frame. We all eventually find our “happy weight”. I will find it again.
And happiness in being a “Surgically Altered Freak”! For all of you considering weight loss surgery, or newbie post-ops – learn all you can, the good ~ the bad ~ and the ugly ~ about the procedure you are considering. Commit yourself to following to the letter the keys to success your tool gives you. Commit to keeping yourself healthy. As they say in 12-step programs, it works if you work it.
Namaste – I honor all you Freaks out there! Never give up and never go back!