Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Need you to "weigh" in...(terrible pun, I know)

I'm learning to be brave.  I've had to close offices and layoff hundreds of people.  I've had to fire someone for stalking/inappropriate behavior/porn addictions (and worse).  I've had 2 major surgeries and 2 ER visits in the last 4 months.  I live alone, with the kind of cat that would not only allow a burglar to enter and take all my stuff, but would probably trip the police on their way in to rescue me.  I've sung karaoke.  Hell, I've even eaten trans-fats.

So I'm pretty brave, right?

Thing is, I don't feel brave.  When I've had to do the hard stuff, it's because I've HAD to, not from any sense of bravery.  That's why I chose the weight loss surgery--weight loss is hard, and unless I was forced to eat more healthy (and a whole lot less food in general), I didn't think I could do it.

So today, I'm thinking of things that scare me.  Here's my list:
  1. Dating.  By this I mean going and putting up an online profile at Match.com or doing e-harmony.  This is the scariest thing I can think of, which means I either am not living my life right or I am very pathetic.
  2. Working out.  Actually going to a place of fitness and doing physical things.  Right now all I can do is walk, but come June 21st my physical restrictions are lifted and I'm supposed to start lifting weights and doing things.  What if I wear the wrong shoes, people?
  3. Riding a bike.  When I was little, I loved my bike.  Now, all I can think of is how I must look with both butt cheeks hanging off the seat, and the time I chipped my front tooth because I lost my balance and fell off the bike.  Doesn't sound scary, but without the cap I have a "Dumb and Dumber"-style chip out of my front tooth.  And yes, I lost that cap while on an actual date once (refer back to fear #1)
  4. Trying out for choir.  Yea, I sing.  But I don't like doing it in front of actual people, let alone having to audition.
  5. Clothes shopping.  Maybe I'll like it when I'm thin enough that clothes fit and look good.
  6. Going to the Geneen Roth conference in Seattle in October.  She is the author of "When Food is Love" and "Women, Food, and God" and it would be a great experience.  My parents live not too far away and I could get away for a long weekend with free room and board.  But it scares me to do this and not know anyone and confront my food issues so directly.

Here's where you weigh in.  Comment on this post telling me what it is that scares you, and what on my list of scary things you think I should try first.  I hope someday that my hand will be forced and I'll have to do each and every one of those things, but today I feel like throwing caution to the wind and letting you decide where I start.  Unless you make a bad decision, that is.

Feel free to weigh in whether or not you are a regular reader.  The more, the merrier.  I'll give you until this weekend...

Monday, May 24, 2010

How fat makes me different...

At my support group this evening, after I got my first high five for my weight loss (thank you ladies!), some of the group whipped out their "before" pictures, and it was amazing.  I don't know that I would have recognized them from before.  They each lost over 100 lbs.  And I wonder if I will be that way 50-60-or 80 lbs from now.  Will anyone else recognize me?  Will I recognize me?

I wonder because I can't not see myself fat.  Back in 3rd grade, when I got my first comment about how I should "watch my weight" from my dad.  Back in high school, when I thought I was huge and whale-like, although I look just on the chubby side of normal when I see the pictures.  Back in college, when I just knew that none of the guys would even look at me twice--except for the fact that I am wildly funny and entertaining.  Back in grad school, when my anorexic/bulimic roommate would sneer at me behind my back.  (Bitch.  Like I didn't know.)  Back at my first job, when I didn't think I was pretty enough to work in recruiting (a very attractive sub-set of the HR Guru).

And during all this time I variated from 148 lbs (which I weighed at for about 10 minutes after 6 months of starving myself combined with a wicked bout of the stomach flu) to my top-out at 353.  I MORE THAN DOUBLED MY WEIGHT, and yet my brain never changed.  I was always too fat in my head.

There were benefits to this.  It screened people as friends and significant others.  After all, if they liked me, I knew that they were good enough people to see past the surface and therefore were worthy.  And if they didn't like me, I could just blame it on their prejudice against me because of my fat.  It couldn't possibly be that I'm sometimes bossy, and talkative, and not altogether grounded in what others call "reality", right?  It was a litmus test.  And if you failed, you weren't worthy.  Wow.  That's a set-up if I've ever seen one.

I also got to use fat as my excuse for not jumping in to life.  For not trying to date--they won't like me anyway because of my weight, remember?  For not taking a risk, like going white-water rafting or wearing one of those gawd-awful midriff-baring tops so damn popular in the late 90's.  I can't (or don't have to) try that--I'm too fat.

And if you just assume that you are fat, you become resigned to it.  I can just eat whatever I want because I'm already fat.  I can stay in and eat food till I'm sick and avoid life because that's what people expect of a fat girl.

And all of that avoiding life, and resentment, and despair was not only caused but also made worse by being fat.  So despite all the negatives of having a large body, I'm starting to see that there were positives.  And I'm now trying to find new positives, and new benefits to losing weight, or I worry that I will fall back on what I know.

Honestly, I wonder how much I will have to lose before my brain starts to get thin.  Before I can stop wearing my fat like my "scarlett letter" or "red badge of courage" (yes, I'm revisiting my 8th grade English class).  And I wonder what life will be like.  Will I resent the men who (hopefully) will ask me out, for not doing so when I was fat?  Will I trust my judgement anymore, without the fat doing the personality screening for me?  Will I ever feel deserving of love, instead of wondering if I just stumbled into it?

I guess I'm realizing that I want my whole life to be a "before and after", not just my photo.  In support group today I saw a glimmer of who I might be becoming.  And I leaned over to the new me and high-fived myself.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New thoughts to ponder

Okay, today was a big day on new things.

I went and bought myself a wonderful pair of sandals--the kind that are way overpriced but extremely comfortable and cute and my orthodic fits (this is a really rare thing to find in a sandal, so I was willing to pay for it).  I also found out that my wonderful Chung Shi tennies fit again, and I wore them all day while walking around with my friend.  They are a lot like the MBTs or the new Sketcher shape-ups, but are built to have more support and look much more stupid.  I'm not feeling any additional burn, but I don't have any ankle pain, so that is a bonus.

I also have considered getting more support for the emotional issues that keep cropping up.  I watched "Change your Brain, Change your Body" which was on PBS a while back and a lot of what he says makes sense to me, and I'm hoping will help me to overcome the brain issues that come with the changes I'm making.  I also want to take Bach Flower Essences, which have been a considerable help for me in the past.

And as far as inspiration goes, I've started following a couple of new blogs that I really like.  Endurance Isn't Always Physical is a great and inspiring blog by a woman who has turned her life over to fitness.  I love her upbeat attitude and often think, "maybe I should try this too." I found it when she started following my blog, and now I'm hooked.  The other blog I just found and really like is Maria's Food and Nutrition Journal.  She has the best articles about eating for health, and I'm learning a lot.  I may have to head over to Amazon and get one of her books, because there is just so much information.  And lastly, I want to thank 2 of the people I've met in cyberspace over at Smaller Fun Pants and My Day.  They've both been so supportive, and I couldn't ask for a better feeling than when I open my blog and see their posts.  Thanks, ladies!

As time goes on and I have things to report about each new thing I try, I'll let you know how it all goes.  Tomorrow is support group, so I'm hoping I'll have more interesting stuff to share...

New pictures are up!

Okay, I found a friend with opposable thumbs, and he took these updated pictures of me.  It's funny, because I don't see the difference, much.  I know there is a big difference (pick up 100 lbs and then put it down--that's how much I've lost), but I don't look normal-sized.  Sigh.  Another 100 lbs to lose and then maybe I'll just look chubby.  I don't think I'll ever be "normal" sized.  And I'm pretty sure that I'd need some plastic surgery for a flat belly and a tight jawline.  I'm hoping that I'll lose enough to be able to find out what I would look like as a size 14.  To shop in a normal clothing store would be amazing to me--even my prom dress was a size 20.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Does this blog make me look fat?

My new favorite comment (from my boss), "You look especially narrow today."

My reply, "If you'd stop squinting I'll go back to normal."  OK, that reply was only in my head.  What I actually said was, "Huh.  Thanks!" Because I was taught that sarcasm doesn't belong in the workplace.  Especially when you're in HR.  For example, don't tell people, "You're fired," even if you're kidding and doing your best Donald Trump impression--which is easier now after losing half my hair.

In honor of my new favorite comment, I've decided I needed to change the look of SITM (Scribbling in the Margin, of course!).  I may even get crazy and try for a look that isn't canned from Blogger.  Someday.  In theory.

And you'll be glad to hear that I found a friend with opposable thumbs, and we are getting together Friday, so I hope to figure out how the hell to post those pictures by sometime Saturday.  You can hardly wait, right?

Sheesh.  The things I do for you people.  It's almost like I appreciate and like you, isn't it (I DO!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pictures, huh?

The masses demand pictures!  If only the masses could come by my house and figure out how the (*#&^# to use my stupid camera.  I tried to use the camera built into the computer, but it doesn't get the whole effect.  :-(  So until my cat gets opposable thumbs, or until someone with opposable thumbs comes to visit me, you'll have to wait for updated (post-100 lb. loss) pictures. 

Never let it be said that The Babe ignores the lovely people that are nice enough to post to her.  Now you can scroll to the bottom of the blog to see my freshly posted "before" pictures. I wouldn't even have before pictures if my mom didn't talk me (read, force me) into letting her take them.  And now it's really hard to see those old pictures.  In my head, I never weighed as much as I did.  I wouldn't look in the mirror, I did my best not to move so that I wouldn't feel how ungainly I'd gotten.  But those pictures make it really real, and I don't like reality all that much.  Bariatric Babe-land is so much prettier.

But, as my therapist says, "reality is your friend."  A friend I would like to tell to 'suck it' sometimes.  Especially on days when I feel really awful, or look too bald, or feel too lonely.  On those days, reality does not feel like a friend.

But as I tell all my employees that bitch about stupid stuff like, "Why can't we wear capris?" or "Do we really have to evacuate when the fire alarm goes off?"--it is what it is, people.  Damn.  I hate it when Sensible Me is right.

As soon as a friend with thumbs comes to visit, I will get a current picture posted too.  And when I look at my photos and see my thinning hair, my lumpy belly that looks like it lost a knife-fight, or how pretty my eyes are now that they aren't so small in my head, I will think, "It is what it is."  And that's the best it can be...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Where is that Mary Kate? Now if I could only get rid of an Ashley too...

That's right.  I've officially lost an Olsen twin (that's 100lbs. for those of you who do not watch Extra, read People, or subscribe to the Cult of Holywood).  It's slightly over the 1/2 mark, so now I just need to lose the other twin.  I guess I could think of it as .75 of a Justin Beiber, but I'm a little more mature that that.  In fact, when my doctor first told me he thought I could get "somewhere in the 150's" all I could think of was, "Wow!  That's a whole Backstreet Boy!  Soaking Wet!"  (am I aging myself with that reference?).

I got on the scale this morning and it was 253.5.  My first visit with the doctor was 353.4.  Close enough.

So I celebrated by going to work, drinking a protein shake, and then ending my day with, what else, delicious BBQ pork and baked beans. 

That Ashley had better sleep with one eye open.  I'm coming for her ass.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Obsess much? Uh, YEA

So it should come to no surprise that I obsess.  Not that it's clinical or anything, but my brain likes to really focus in on trivia.  So I thought I would share my recent crazy obsessions.  Who knows, maybe you have them too and we can obsess together!

1.  Barbeque.  I am obsessed with meat on an open flame and all it's acoutrements.  I literally ate pulled pork and barbeque beans 4 times in the last 2 days.  And now I'm all out--I'm going to have to go back to Dickey's BBQ Pit with my friend D (isn't Dickey's BBQ Pit the best name ever?)
2.  The 100 lb. loss mark.  I'm so close.  And I have been for 2 weeks.  Yet my body is just not quite there.  Yesterday I was 2.5 lbs away.  I don't know why I'm obsessed with getting there when I still have another hundy to go, but I am.
3.  My hormones.  Seriously, how many weeks in a row can I get my period?  So far, I'm at 2.  It's really annoying, and it makes me break out something fierce.
4.  The size of my belly.  I know it's swollen still from the hernia surgery (and my belly butt is still purple-y), but seriously.  With my belly I'm a size 26-28 still, yet my shirt size is down to about a 22-24.  I'd like to buy some new pants already!  That, and I look pregnant.  Which would be fine if I actually was pregnant, but it's awkward 'cause I'm not.
5.  Getting in enough protein.  How much is enough?  Is there such a thing as too much?  Is the protein the right quality?  How many grams of it can I absorb at once?  Will eating more of it help my hair grow back?  How the hell do I cook it so it's edible.  Continue on this same useless track.
6.  Vitamins.  Seriously, I just ordered 3 different kinds because I'm tired of grape.  And the funny is that my labwork came back fine, so I know I'm doing OK.  I think my tastebuds are hooked on fruity flavors and barbeque.
7.  Sandwiches.  My god, I just want some meat slapped on a bun (sounds dirty, right?).  But bread is not my friend.  I can do a couple of bites of a tortilla or flatbread, but real bread for a real sandwich is not doable.

So when I say I'm really busy, it's because half of my "busy" time consists of me perseverating on useless mind-numbing topics.  I'm curious...am I the only one who gets obsessed like this, or is it just something that comes with the territory of compulsive overeating?  I want to hear from you!  Do you obsess about food?  Working out?  The number on the scale?  Or have you evolved beyond this stuff (in which case, how did you do it?)  Please, share with me!

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's with the hungry?

I've started going to local support groups for people who have had weight loss surgery, and I'm always the newbie.  It surprises me that there aren't more people that are within their first 6 months that go--this seems like it would be the most complicated and confusing time.  But most everyone was 2-6 years out, so their day-to-day experiences are radically different than mine.

I met a woman who had the gastric sleeve procedure, which is relatively rare (I think my surgeon has done less than 20 of them, as opposed to thousands of roux-en-y and bands).  And she was very quiet for the whole meeting.  At the end, as I was walking by, I heard her say very quietly, "Am I the only one who gets hungry?"  Bigmouth that I am, I piped up, "Nope.  It's not just you."  She seemed relieved.

But I do wonder about this...some people who have the RNY procedure just don't ever get hungry.  Ever.  If I actually pay attention I feel hungry almost all the time.  The hard part is figuring out if it's head hunger or actual body hunger.  I've had people tell me that it's not possible for me to feel hungry at less than 4 months out from surgery because your nerves are too scrambled.  Well, my nerves are scrambled to the point of hungry.  And I don't care if it's my Pouchie or if it is my head.  It's irritating and uncomfortable and makes me feel out of control.

The whole point of having the surgery was to find a point of control when it comes to food.  Right now I can almost see it, but that control seems to just slip around the next corner right as I start to catch up.

Sigh.  So tonight I'm off to eat my protein pudding...wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An off day, and a shout-out to the Melting Mama!

Today hasn't been the best day.  I dropped my enormous cup of SportTea before even making it to my car, and I have a hard time drinking plain water or even Crystal Light sometimes.  I didn't get in all my protein today, and I went out with a friend and ate queso--that was my dinner.  Not the best choice.  I'm sure I'll pay for it sometime around 3am.

My fear when I have a day like this is that I'll stop doing all the stuff that keeps me healthy and dropping weight, and then I'll gain it all back and/or get really sick.  So days like this mess with my mind as much as they do my body.  Tomorrow is a new day.  I'll pre-pack a great bunch of protein and try to eat more regularly and drink as much as possible.

These fears are not new to me.  I've worried about weight gain since before I even had the surgery.  I did the math and figured if I could lose 70% of my excess weight and then gain back a mere 10% (which I'm told is nearly inevitable, I'm still over 100lbs lighter that I was when I started.  But like any right-brained person, I can see the math, and know it adds up, and yet still not FEEL like it's true.

These thoughts really came to a head when I checked out my blog roll.  You must go read Melting Mama, who I admire the heck out of.  She just had the Facebook version of being a drive-by victim (with words instead of bullets--just as powerful, but less likely to show on an airport x-ray).  People accusing her of not "doing it right" because she has gained some of her weight back.  (By the way, she is still down a LOT of weight, and she has new medical issues that make things much harder, and she is honest about how weight loss surgery has both benefitted and detracted from her life.  I see her as a success story--a success at life, which is much more than getting to and staying a size 6).  Seeing someone as funny and brave and wonderful get brow-beaten by people who are still judging others by size and not by life experience made me really mad.  And then sad.  And then mad again.

So rather than rehash the whole thing and let more negativity out into the world, I'd just like to say to my sister, Melting Mama, that the Babe has your back.
Peace and love, my sister.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Yes, things are better today.  I don't have a chance in hell of ever being ghetto-fabulous (I don't even know if that's still a desireable sort of thing), so I am feeling suburban fabulous today.  Even with my rapidly thinning hair.  SERIOUSLY.  It's like long, brown (although I'm a blonde at heart) strands of cotton-candy compared to my lustrous thick locks of yore (pre-surgery). 

I mentioned this to a nurse and my employee who overheard me asked if she was going to lose her hair now that she was on a diet.  I explained that it is a natural body reaction to losing so much so quickly, and then she tells me, "Me too!  I can lose 3 pounds overnight!"  (At this point, I was extremely tempted to ask her if that was because she pooped, just to see the reaction.  Luckily, my HR training kicked-in just in time to shut down that little comment).  I did tell her that 3 pounds overnight, while impressive (even if it was just *POOP*) is not comparable to losing 90 lbs in 90 days.  Then she told me that she had lost 100 lbs before, and if she does that again and loses her hair she will just DIE.  Again the HR training jumped in to keep me from saying, "Really?  You are gonna die from hair loss?"  But I am putting a note in her file.  "Argumentative to the point of begging to be slapped."

Uh oh.  The Anger Genie from yesterday just escaped from the bottle.  And I was doing so well, too.  C'est la vie.  (That's what all the fabulous people are saying).

Monday, May 3, 2010

I am one bad mutha...shutyo'mouth

Today, my friends, the sass is back.  Actually, it simply means I have been extraordinarily and unexplainedly grumpy pants.  sigh.  IF I KNEW WHY I WAS SO GRUMPY, IT WOULD BE EXPLAINEDLY.  Duh.

Yea.  I'm in THAT sort of place.  And if you join me here, I might just roll you.

(Ha!  Honestly, I am a tough talker, but the many years of growing up with a Preacher and a Sunday School teacher have guilted me into being a very sweet person.  So basically I am missing the the backup for my big, stupid mouth.  You should know this about me before reading further.)

All that aside, I think that massive rapid weight loss causes changes in your hormones and your brain chemistry/blood sugars.  And I think this may explain some of the following recent verbal exchanges:

"Wow, you look so great, how do you feel." --innocent bystander
"Kinda crappy."  *But it's good to know I don't look that way anymore, thanks* --rude, sarcastic version of me, even if the italicized half of that statement was only in my head

"I'll get your discharge paperwork as soon as it's signed by the doctor."  --lovely nurse who doesn't get thanked nearly enough for her fabulous self
"Yeah, I just took out my own IV and left it in one of those kidney dishes.  I'm getting dressed and leaving in 5 minutes with or without the paperwork."  --dehydrated, extraordinarily hungry evil version of me

Are you seeing a pattern yet?  Me too.  And while a small part of me thinks, "You go girl!" (you know, the part that is stuck in the 90's and thinks sayings like this are relevant), there is another part of me that thinks, "When did I get so bitchy, and when does it go away?"  Perhaps some hydrocortizone cream and a Benadryl?  A piece of real cheesecake a'la Golden Girls?  A good smack upside the head?

I don't know, dear friends.  Am I just rude, or am I keepin' it real?  Please weigh in below. In the meantime, I will avoid snatching candy from babies, kicking small furry creatures, and sarcasm so sharp it'll cut you if you look at it sideways.*

*Honestly, I would never do these things.  Well, except the sarcasm.  But that is a genetic condition.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Another late night share...

Since I'm still recovering from my surgery, I am sleeping a lot.  In fact, today I got up around 11am, ate, and promptly fell back asleep until about 3:30 when I woke up and forced myself to leave the house.

So what did I do?  I went to Penzy's Spice Shop!  They lured me there with a coupon for free BBQ seasoning, and while I was there I picked up some spice replacements.  Usually I like the Savory Spice Shop, since they are a local company (and I prefer supporting local joints), but I figured this one time wouldn't hurt.  When I was finished, I walked up and down mainstreet looking in all the shops that were still open.  Lo and behold, just a couple of blocks down there was another Savory Spice Shop and I hid my face and my Penzy's bag as I walked by so they wouldn't know I was cheating on them for other spices.

By about 6pm, most of the places were closing on mainstreet, but I still wanted to walk.  So I drove to nearby Aspen Groves and walked up and down the shops there.  I even went into a Lane Bryant, but wasn't feeling any of the clothes there.  I can't imagine being able to shop in a "normal" size clothing store, but I'm hoping that it will someday happen.

I still wasn't done walking and so I drove over to Park Meadows mall--the greatest mall ever (seriously, it's even a tourist destination).  I went to the Beauty Bar hoping to see my friend and Makeup Guru Amber, but found out she had taken a management job at Godiva.  Oh well.  I probably won't be visiting her there!  Then I walked down the mall and UP THE STAIRS to Sephora.  If you don't already know, Sephora is like Mecca to me, with Nordstrom being my Mother Ship.  So I would have taken the stairs before to get to Sephora, but I would have had to stop halfway up to rest instead of walking down the entire mall, directly up the stairs, and then right down into the store.

By the time I was done with the walking, I was pretty sore.  Right now my ankles are feeling it and my right knee.  But with that soreness all I can think about is the day that I am strong and fit enough to walk all day long.  It may be a ways off, but I can feel that every day I choose to get off the couch and move somewhere--anywhere--no matter how slow--I get a day closer to that fitter, healthier, stronger me.

I'm back, b*tches!

I hope that title doesn't offend anyone.  It just gives me the triumphant attitude-filled title I was looking for.  Probably the fact that I'm apologizing for it just neutralized any of that fabulous attitude I had worked up, but hey, that's the magic that is me.

Here's the update.  On the day of my 3-month surgiversary for gastric bypass, I went back in for another abdominal surgery--an umbilical hernia repair.  Back when my bariatric surgeon told me he found a hernia and stitched it up "while he was in there," I was thrilled that I was getting away with two surgeries for the price of one.  But folks, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.  Umbilical hernias have a nasty habit of needing extra reinforcement, being one of the body's natural weak spots, and stitches (especially impromptu stitches) don't usually hold up.  So I had another 2-hour surgery, 6 new scalpel marks on my belly, 8 days off from work, a mesh panel implant in my belly, an overnight hospital stay, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Despite all this, I am extremely lucky.  I got in for the surgery just in time, since my bowel had started to work its way out of my abdominal cavity (which can be really serious if it isn't caught).  I was able to schedule the surgery in advance so that I could make plans to be off work.  I have a job working for amazing people who are understanding, and I have FMLA protection to boot.  My parents were already planning to visit me the same week I went in for the surgery, so I had support and assistance from my family.  And, luckiest of all, I already knew how to be my own health care advocate. 

I've said it before--when it comes to your health YOU must be the one to stand up for yourself.  You cannot depend on the government, your insurance company, your doctors or nurses, or your family to do it for you.  I was reminded of this time after time while in the hospital this go-round.  Some highlights:
*I remembered to tell the anesthesiologist that I woke up from my last surgery unable to feel or use my feet (and that I still have some residual neuropathy in my toes).  She was then able to figure out a way to pad my lower back during surgery so that there was no unnecessary nerves getting pinched.
*I had to fight with them on the pain meds they gave me.  And I mean fight.  I had so much bruising and pain because of all the issues and they wanted to give me Advil when I went home.  I insisted on getting the same meds that the bariatric doc gave me post-surgery, and thank goodness for it.
*They had no idea how to feed me.  I told the nurse "act like I'm diabetic" first, and then realized she was putting in my chart that I had diabetes.  I told her to change it and put down that I was on a "no sugar added diet".  Even so, twice I had to question people who came into my room to get my blood sugar.  They had seen "no sugar" on my chart and assumed I was diabetic.  Luckily I caught them before I was force fed juice or given any insulin.
*I had to practically beg to get a bag of saline pushed into my IV to help give me a hydration boost before I left.  I explained that I dehydrate very easily now, and that I can't always drink enough to keep from getting constipated.  And trust me, constipation when you've just had your 2nd abdominal surgery for the year is a fate up there with "please just kill me now."
*No one came by to get me out of bed to walk around.  As I learned from my last surgery, you need to get up and move to help prevent blood clots and to get your circulation going.  Good circulation = faster healing, yet I had to keep reminding them that I wanted to move around on a regular basis.

So yeah, you can't just lay back and expect them to know everything you need to get and stay well.  You have to speak up.  It's best to do it politely so that you are just a person who wants to heal and not "the pain-in-the-ass in room 810"  (although I've probably also been that person once or twice).  But learning to advocate for myself is a huge step.  Not only will it help me get the care I need, but it reminds me that I am WORTH getting that kind of care.  Those of us with serious weight issues need to constantly reaffirm that we deserve good healthcare, and that we have the right to speak up in order to get it.

I also just want to say to all of you, thank you, everyone, for hanging in there with me.  Every time someone joins my list, reads my blog, or posts a comment I am reminded that life is worth not just living, but also worth sharing.  And I like to think that if my random ramblings make you laugh, or make you think differently about something, or inspire you, or reinforce your confidence in being your own advocate, that my struggles are worth it.