Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm a star! And a role model! (be very afraid...)

This Thursday night,my surgeon held a bariatric seminar, which he requires all of his pre-op patients to attend.  He talks about his background (Dr. Michael Snyder of Rose Medical in Denver, also the inventor of the Full Bars you may have seen on late-night TV), the different surgical options, and what each one entails.  I was invited to be one of the speakers on the panel of post-ops, who tell their story and answer questions.

This was really exciting, because:
1.  They thought of me as a post-op success story (so far...)
b.  They realized how articulate and charming I am
3.  It's a great way to remind myself of where I was, and where I am now

It was a wonderful experience.  I got to see my surgeon while standing vertically, instead of lying down and drugged up.  I wish I'd had a chance to talk to him, but he got a call into the ER and had to leave early.  I would have liked to see if he still recognizes me, or if remembers that it's me whose new pouch was swollen shut for 7 days (and that he told me if it went one more day that he would have taken me back to surgery--which he's never had to do).

The biggest thing is remembering what it was like for me to attend the very same seminar, back in November of 2009.  I remember that I was worried about how far I would have to walk before I could sit down, because I was in so much pain.  I remember being too timid to ask any questions, or talk to any of the post-op panel.  I remember trying hard not to cry as I listened to him speak, and as he reignited the hope that I could have a life again.

So that's what I told everyone on Thursday.  I brought my before picture, and heard someone ask, "Which one is that?" because they weren't sure who on the panel the pictures belonged to.  I introduced myself, told them what kind of surgery I had, when I had it, and how much I've lost (down 130 now, which is only 15 pounds shy of what my mother weighs).  I told them the best thing about the surgery was getting my life back--being able to do things, go out, walk as much as I want, and all without pain.  I told them that the worst thing is the routine and planning--I'm not naturally good at either and have to work on it every day. 

What I didn't tell them was that I've only lost 5 pounds in the last month, and am worried about how I might not lose more.  Or that I will gain it all back again.  Or that I still cannot control myself around bread, but sweets now hold very little appeal to me.  I didn't tell them that I used to order pizza 2-3 times per week, and that I haven't had real pizza since the last night I was allowed to eat before surgery.  I didn't tell them about the strange comments I get while losing weight, or that I get mad when I get judgmental looks for being fat (I assume) and that I really want to shout, "You think I'm fat NOW?  You should have seen me in January!"  I also didn't share that I'm so anxious to get to a size 16 or less, so that I can shop at normal-sized clothing stores (I'm still around a size 22, since all my weight is in my midsection).  And what if I never get there?

And I don't know if it was right of me to leave that part out.  Because I wanted to know that sort of stuff as a pre-op.  I just didn't know how to ask anymore than I knew how to say it this time around.  Such a long way I've come, and yet such a long way to go...


  1. Wow. A lot of angst and I don't blame you. You have a lot riding on being successful like we all do and I have to admit, I have a lot of angst myself. I just saw Eat Pray Love and it says a lot about the angst we all feel.

  2. Your reaction was understandable. I'm not sure I would expect the answers to those kinds of questions at a seminar sponsored by the surgeon (why do you think I'm HERE?!?!?).

    It's a beautiful thing that they didn't even recognize you from your 'before' pic, that is something to be SO proud of. As happy as I would be to get rid of either of the Olsen twins, I'd say you've successfully moved up to a Backstreet Boy (130 lbs!). CONGRATULATIONS!!!


  3. That is awesome Babe!!!! You ARE a success story, and will continue to be.
    Don't concentrate on how far you have to go. Concentrate only on how far you have come. Take the rest one day at a time.

  4. Thanks everyone...I appreciate your comments so much. And, Diann, I'm amazed that you remembered my comment of losing a Backstreet Boy--I even used that one at the seminar when I got to speak! :-) Tina, you're right, it does need to be one day at a time, and I always get ahead of myself. Lastly, to Winner, I had forgotten about that part of the book and I may need to read it again--with new eyes!