Monday, January 7, 2013

Surgery Blog Post #1

This is a post I never intended to write. I have mentioned my obesity in several of my posts. I have described the pain, the social stigma, the despair I felt. I don't know that I have mentioned that I went on Jenny Craig at age 11, Phen-Phen at age 15, popped ephedrine pills like they were skittles and freely took any substance that I believed could make me thin... all before age 18. I gave up the substances to get married, at which point I gained 80+ lbs that I couldn't get rid of. After a short time of weight loss It found me again. Pregnancies came and babies were born, and weight was gained during the post partum time, every time. I was judged by others, I had a man at the zoo once say that they may have moved the Hippo Exibit out of the Salt Lake City zoo, but that he still got to see a hippo, and he nodded his head my direction. My cute brother wanted to snap the man's head off, but the words had already resonated through my ears, my soul. Here is a picture of me around the time of the zoo
Relocation to two states and I brought the weight with me +- 30 lbs. I really began gaining weight November 2010. In April 2011 my mother suggested I get a gastric bypass because the weight was interfering with my every thought, my every movement. I was offended, but curious what a doctor could do for me. Three months of diet pills, or a new fat absorbing presription pill, or gastric band, bypass, or whatever else were the options he had for me. I went with the pills. But after just a short time of the pills and self loathing, I picked up smoking...I truly believed that the smoking was helping me lose weight and I found myself no longer addicted to food, but completely obsessive about the smoking. When I could sneak away from the the kids, how I smelled, I was always fiending for a cigarette. I had switched to a different oral addiction, but one that easier to hide than being obese. Below is a picture of how I looked when I cosulted with the doctor about the Gastric Bypass that I didn't get.
I ultimately lost 100 lbs by busting my ass and avoiding foods I know I cant eat in moderation because I love them. After the first 30lbs, exercising became much easier, but I still had that disgusting smoking habit. I had tried quitting, but with each failure I knew I was setting myself up for future failures, so in my head I worked out a plan and began crunching numbers. The weight loss had left a wad of doughy skin on my abdomen that I wanted cut off. If I could quit smoking and keep the weight off it would take two smoke free years to pay for the abdominoplasty. It seemed like a cost effective incentive, and I succeeded. I quit the tobacco first, and then the Nicotine after two smoke free months. I was berated, insulted and patronized by surgeons as I shopped around for one, I don't think they are accustomed to patients who are honest... As I have become more active and confident I have become more aware of the people around me who are struggling with their weight and though they try to be excited for me, I feel bad. I sound stupid complaining about skin from losing so much weight when it seems like such a challenge to most people to lose that pesky 10 lbs from the winter holidays.I remember how that feels. I remember two entire decades of obesity, of drowning, and of hating what I saw every time I looked in the mirror or got dressed in the morning. I was going to only tell 5 or so people locally because I don't want to be judged for getting cosmetic surgery, just like I didn't want to be judged for being over weight or being a smoker.I don't want to open myself up to their criticizm, or having to justify spending money we don't have for a procedure that in my clothed body seems superfluous. But I wear binders everywhere I go around my midsection, and no amount of ab workouts can reconnect my detatched abdominal muscles or get rid of the skin.

My plastic surgery will serve two purposes. The first, is that it is literally removing hanging skin which at present is a painful reminder of my lifetime of self loathing, and two...I deserve it dammitt! I have quit more substances in my life than most people could, (Though clearly I was dumb enough to begin them in the first place.)and it is worth weeks of severe pain, and years of debt to have those horrible memories removed from my body which will dilute them in my mind. I am going to need help with my children after my surgery. I am not too proud to ask for help, but I am still embarassed and unprepared for the verbal judgement from others, so I was going to just hide until I was physically and emotionally strong enough to face people, but fact is, I am going to need help with my children, and most husbands take a week off to take care of women having this procedure done. Mine...Is dropping me off at the hospital and I'm having a friend pick me up from the hospital when I am out of the OR. Not by choice, but because he has no choice. Haters on youtube call women (or men) who get abdominoplastys lazy because we are too weak to diet and exercise so we choose to go under the knife to lose a couple pounds, that is false, and it is insulting. Below is a picture that shows somewhat how overweight I am now. Which, I know for a fact is not overweight at all. I need to gain some muscle and plan to work on
Feel free to judge my decision..privately. I merely posted this because I hope there are people besides Teresa, Annette, Estelle, and all my dance friends will not judge me, and will help me during recovery