Well, by this time a week ago, I was sitting up comfortably in my hospital chair, my gastric bypass a reported success. However, there was a lot leading up to that. Let me go back for a minute. Way back. To Christmas of 2011. Here we are -
this was one of the only photos that I allowed to even show myself in. The truth of it, I wish I could have been holding the tree to hide myself better.
I was 6 months out after having our 2nd beautiful child. I hadn’t lost a single pound of my “baby” weight – 20 pounds. Nor had I lost any of the weight that I’d gained between pregnancies – 50 pounds. Nor had I lost any of the weight that I’d put on since mine & Don’s wedding until I was pregnant with EJ – 20 pounds. Prior to the wedding, I’d worked out, eaten right/starved myself, and taken pills to lose 40 pounds to get into a wedding dress that wasn’t a size 20.
That Christmas, I was miserable. I realized that I was at my biggest and yet lowest point in life. I was unable to sit on the floor with my kids for a long time because one or both of my legs would fall asleep because of my weight. I huffed every time I went up my own stairs. I was surrounded by people who loved me for me, but I couldn’t honestly say that I loved myself. Don and I talked. It was time to change something, but I didn’t know where to start. I had friends that had been through gastric bypass, but I was so stubborn thinking that it was a “cop-out” and that I would be giving up on my own ability to lose weight if I took that route.
I talked to my doctor about the pills I had been on previously. She had a serious talk with me about short-term versus long-term weight loss and the permanent effects of keeping this weight on my body and the also permanent effects of getting on and staying on a prescription weight loss drug. I cried, we talked options, and she referred me to the Weight Loss Center.
I had my first appointment in March 2012 where I met with some of the nicest medical professionals I’ve ever known. Dr. Small went through all of my options and assured me that at any point in time in the process I could say “no”. I met with the nutritionist each month for 6 months per my insurance requirements. That brought us to an approval for the surgery in November, but we didn’t have the money for the 10% copay at that time. Then it was Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years. On New Year’s Day 2013 I announced that I was going to Nicaragua in March. Between raising funds for that and daily life, the weight loss surgery was on a back burner for my schedule and our finances.
Then it was tax time. It appears that refund time was bypass time! So, I called the WLC and told them we had the money! Sign me up for the surgery! WELL, I had to be re-approved because of how long it had been. Honestly, at this point in time I was daily lifting my hands and saying, “Really, Lord?!” BUT, as always, He had a much better plan for me. I went to Nicaragua and came home a changed person. I had looked around a 3rd world country and seen their hardships and questioned myself and ALL I had back home.
Within 2 weeks of my return to American soil, I received my approval letter from my insurance company! Then it was off to a gallbladder ultrasound, an EGD and a final appointment with the Dr. and nutritionist between then and 3 weeks ago. Everything was set and last Wednesday I walked into the hospital at 5 am laughing with my husband and in amazing spirits ready for this change. I took every opportunity to make a joke at one thing or another with everyone I encountered. I know, very unlike my normal behavior. I don’t really remember saying goodbye to Don or giving him a kiss, but I know without a doubt that it happened before they wheeled me back.
The first thing I remember coming out of surgery was pure pain and pressure on my chest. I couldn’t catch my breath because it hurt and it hurt to try and catch my breath. I had a bit of a panic attack, but they just upped my happy meds for a bit and I was back out. I was released Friday, suffered through clear liquids over the weekend and am now almost halfway through my full liquids week. (MUCH better than clear, but I dream about mashed potatoes, cottage cheese and the like). My energy has been great the past couple of days because I’m hitting my protein requirements and I’m just a little more sore in the evenings and at night than during the day, but am determined to be off of pain meds altogether by the end of the weekend.
The one piece of advice that I’ve held onto throughout this entire process is, “Every day gets easier”. Truly it does. It’s been a blessing to have those that have gone before me for guidance, those that are going through it with me for moral support and those that will follow, possibly for inspiration.
Hoping this finds you all loving life and yourself no matter where you’re at or at what size.