Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Top Five Concerns I Have One Year After Surgery . . .

I vowed when I started this blog to always be honest and open about my experiences before, during and after my gastric bypass surgery. I've been true to that promise and don't plan to start sugar coating or "PR-ing" stuff. With that in mind, here is some of the bad news!

As I inch closer-and-closer to my one-year anniversary since my surgery, I have five real "fears" that plague me somewhere in the deep, deep vaults of my shallow, shallow mind (Well, I have six fears, technically - I sill have to go for my one-year bloodwork and official weigh-in at the doctor's office but that fear is temporary, it will be over soon).

Those fears (presented here with Roman Numerals to show respect), in no particular cold-sweat-inducing order are . . .

I - Gaining It ALL Back (or even 11% of it) - Let's be honest here, statistically, I'm going to gain back about 10% of the total weight that I lose in the first 18 months following surgery. My goal is to lose 283 pounds. That means that I will eventually gain back 30. That won't all come back in one day . . . it will take years, I suppose/hope. I am not willing to just accept that though. I hope to never gain any weight back. IF I gain back any though . . . please GOD let it be the statistical average (or less) and let me never, ever, ever know my surgery-day 483 pounds or my all-time-high 530 pounds again. Please?!
II - Dumping Syndrome - Knock on wood, salt over the left shoulder, four-leaf clover in my pocket and horeshoe hung upside down . . . I pray to GOD that I never know the misery, pain and torture that is dumping syndrome. I actually read on a blog a few months ago (might have even mentioned it here) that dumping is the "urban myth" of GB-life but, just as I don't openly question the Holy Trinity, I'm not taking any chances! When I was supposed to have surgery in Baltimore, there was a woman who worked in the surgeon's office that was post-GB. She ate M&Ms. Very slowly. I was in support group with a woman who eats Snickers bars. One bite/hour. I staged an intervention for a good friend who sipped Gatorade post surgery. Let's not take any chances, people. Projectile diarreah hasn't been funny since the third grade and projectile vomiting has never been funny (save for The Excorcist). I may not know much but I know I will never eat sugary foods again. Buhleeeeedat!
III - Plateauing - This is where MANY people who have had gastric bypass surgery are going to roll their eyes and mumble under their breathe in my general-direction. I have yet to even plateau in my weight loss since surgery. That is right. For the last 356 days, I have been losing weight. I have slowed way, way down . . . I lost almost 40 pounds in my first three weeks alone and 100 pounds in the first three months. In between the last two times I weighed myself (a three week span) I had lost only 8 pounds. I say "only" like it was one pound BUT - I do have a skewed perspective of what weight loss is. I am positive that I will plateau very soon. It is a right-of-passage for post-surgery life. I just hope that it is quick, painless and leads to another sharp drop when I do start to drop again. I've got about 70 more pounds to go. I've got no time to sit around while chasing that goal.
IV - Hillary Clinton NOT Being Our Next President - This is only relevant to my post-surgery life because, since 1992, I have been in love with the Clintons. Yep. All three of them. I've had the pleasure of meeting both President and Senator Clinton and, next to the Cuomos, the Clintons are MY idealistic-political-Kennedyesque-family. Hillary, for me, is promise. She's the hope that Ava will grow up knowing that a woman can do anything in this country. She's the hope that Joy will not have gotten behind a politician for the first time in her life for nothing. She's the hope that we can have eight more years of GLORIOUS Clintonian America. She's the hope that substance beats pretty speeches and 71-year-old Curmudgeons every time.
V - Not Continuing to Evolve - I've changed, a LOT, since surgery. My physical size, my mentalities, my behaviors and my self-understanding. I have a long way to go but, frankly, I'm starting to settle in to "me" and I have a lot of other things I want to do besides just focus on myself in any given day. I know that the first step in a long journey to self-destruction would be to NOT focus on myself (ask any 12-stepper for confirmation) but it is tempting. I just hope that I can continue to evolve without it being the "work" I have made it as of late.

Now, I don't think I'm alone in my fears. I would assume that most of them (at least four of the five (smile)) are fairly common for people that have gone through this surgery and who live life, day by day, praying the other shoe won't drop.

I remain steadfastly confident that, while I might stumble in my weight battle, I will not fall without getting right back up.

The love and support of the people who will be "guest blogging" for me in the next couple of weeks(ish) are very important to me in that confidence. Keep me honest, all!

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