Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Shout Out To Christine . . .

The fine folks at the Danbury Hospital have finally found the right woman to bring a "she said" perspective to my "he said" diatribes on gastric bypass.

My female counterpart, Christine, has been blogging for a few weeks and, I have to say, her blog gets me thinking about "stuff."

I returned home late last night following my last glass class (it is over already . . . I loved it, will miss it, and will post pictures of my collection of crappy-at-best paperweights one of these days) and Joy told me about a "really interesting" episode of Oprah yesterday that talked about teens that had gastric bypass. I use quotes to show my utter disdain for all-things-Oprah but Joy talking about teens and gastric bypass made me think about Christine again last night.

Here's the thing . . . Christine is 20. She's in college. She is young. Very young. She made a very brave and bold decision to have her surgery now and will likely add 20 . . . 30 . . . 40 years to her life because of it?
I think about all the things that happened in my life between the age of 20 and 30.

A decade. 10 years. Another 50% of my life added on between 20 and 30. I don't know, to be honest, if I would have succeeded if I had gastric bypass at the age of 20.

I've made no effort to hide that I was not ready to have my surgery for a good part of my life. It took a series of very specific happenings in my life to get me on that table and to get me to the success I've seen in the last ten months since my surgery. I was not ready at the age of 24 when I first looked the surgery. I was not ready at the age of 27 when I first signed on for it. I was not ready at 28 when my surgery was cancelled.

I had a lot of screwing around to do in my twenties, friends. I drank a ton. I ate a ton. I certainly didn't prioritize daily vitamins and calcium chewables in the monthly budget. I laughed at the thought of going to a gym. I could have never made a real run at it and never saw the success that I would need out of this life changing experience. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I believe that if I would have had my surgery any other day or in any other place in my life - it would have changed things. No Joy. No Ava. No career path that I've followed. No long term friendships that have flourished or failed because of or in spite of my weight and insecurities. Changed relationships with my brothers. Different dynamic with my parents.

I don't mean to imply that I might not have a full and wonderful life or that I would not be happy but I would not be the "me" that I am today. I would be a different "me" and, frankly, I don't think I'd trade this me for "that" me (unless "that" me was not balding as quickly as "this" me is).

Now, I should be clear . . . I don't think Christine is doomed or made a mistake or anything like that. I don't think Christine has cost herself some valuable experiences in her 20s. I'm going to state bluntly that I will bet you Christine has a BETTER 20s than I had because she did this now. Her life will likely speed along and she'll never know the difference but she changed what her 20s could have been when she had her surgery.

I am trying to say that I think her decision to move forward with this drastic measure in her youth shows the difference between Christine and I. In the "maturity" that we might carry with us.

She had her surgery one week after I did. She's lost 150 pounds already. She's loving life and she's happy and she seems very much aware of the decision she made and the long term impact it will have on her life.

She seems, like me, very excited about the life ahead of her and she seems very much at peace with her decision and the impact it has had and will have on her life. She has the same zeal for life post surgery that I have . . . she just has another full decade of post-surgery life to enjoy that my immaturity didn't allow me to have.

Enjoy those 20s, Christine. And please check out and enjoy Christine's blog, yuns!

No comments: