Thursday, February 7, 2008

Is It February 7th Again ALREADY? . . .

Not only is today Charles Dickens and Laura Ingalls Wilders shared birthday (or the anniversary of their births . . . I doubt they are celebrating with a cake as we speak) AND the Chinese New Year (a heartfelt WELCOME to the Year of the Rat to all) but it is also the one year annivesary of the day I finalized, locked, loaded and confirmed my surgery!

I can not believe it has already been a year since I felt the rush that 02.07.07 brought me.

I remember the millions of emotions I felt a year ago today as I hung up the phone after thanking the hospital for the confirmation.

I walked down the hall away from my desk. I felt a rush of emotion coming and I wanted to be alone. I walked to the bathroom and locked myself inside. I sat on the floor. I started thinking.

I thought about having a surgery date. I struggled to do the math on just how many days I still had to "live" (rather "endure" or "continue" or "finish") the life that I had grown accustomed to. 41.

I had 41 days. Forty + One. One day more than the lenten season (Happy Lent, by the way, to those who partake). One day and one more night than Jesus spent in the dessert being tempted by the devil himself. One day less than six weeks. Ten days more than there are days in the month of June. You get the point. It was just 41 days.

I could do it. I could get everything ready (mind, body, spirit).

I could enjoy the rest of my time in my old life. I could say "goodbye" to all of the foods that I used to love and that I abused so regularly. I could dedicate myself to the diet and excercise changes that would set the pace in my new life. I could savor every instant of the time I had left, right?

That calm lasted all of about, oh, I don't know, ten seconds.

Then the reality set in. It was here. I had a surgery date. I had insurance approval. I had approval from my employer for a leave of absence. I had my mother-in-law confirmed to fly in and to take care of Joy and Ava while I was in the hospital. Everything was set. Every base was covered. Every I dotted. Every T crossed.

It was not that I "could" do it. It was that I HAD done it.

I had made it.

My health hadn't gone to hell. My body hadn't given up on me. My weight and the impact it had on my mental health had not driven Joy away. Ava was too young to see me for the large and difficult man that I was. My family would get a different impression of me than the one I had given them the last few years.

I was going to have a second chance to live a better life. I was going to get another chance to be more responsible with my eating and my general health. I was going to get the rare opporutnity to undue all of the weight I had gained and to back away from all of the medical and health problems I was inching (ouncing) towards for the last 30 years. I never became diabetic. My blood pressure never got "high." My cholesterol was never a problem. I never had a heart attack. I never had a stroke. I never had crippling pain in my joints. I never lost mobility.

I would never have any of those things or problems or crises (knock on wood).

I was going to add 20 years to my life. 20 GOOD years. 20 QUALITY years.

I had a moment of thrill to realize that I was going to be fine.

Then - I threw up . I sat on the floor of the bathroom in my office building and cried. I rubbed my belly and my head and neck and legs and arms. I felt how heavy they all were and how dense and thick and fatty. I wondered what my body might feel like a year from that day.

I threw up again. I cried again. I put myself back together, cleaned myself up, popped in a stick of gum (my GOD - it has been almost a year since I chewed gum) and walked back to my desk to call Joy and share the good news.

The whole episode took about 10 minutes. I had 40 days, 23 hours and 50 minutes to go. I was going to be fine. I WAS fine.

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