Bone Density: 6.5
Ok, so this is my last day as a “fat girl”. I have been overweight since I was a teenager (puberty hit me like a ton of bricks). Not that being fat meant being worthless or unattractive. In fact, I am told I am very pretty, and my friends remind me of my value daily. God bless them all.
Tomorrow morning, I check myself into Kaiser Permanente hospital in Harbor City at 9am. Sometime shortly thereafter, I will have Bariatric Surgery to remove a large portion of my stomach. The procedure is called the Gastric Sleeve, and it’s purpose is to help me lose weight. I have waited almost two years to get this done, and the time is finally here. I’m tired of being fat.
Until two years ago or so, I was perfectly happy with my weight. In fact, I described myself as “Big, Fat and Happy, with no need to change that situation”. In November, 2007, however, my doctors found a large tumor in my abdomen, requiring that my uterus be removed along with both ovaries, one of which had been swallowed by yet another tumor. At the time, I had lost more than 30lbs, and was competing with a nurse I worked with at the time (rest in peace, Pat Thomas) to see who would lose the most weight. I hurt myself badly one morning doing sit-ups, and ended up in radiology getting a scan on my abdominal wall. A week later, I was on an operating table, having a complete hysterectomy.
The only thing that this has to do with anything is that, by February of the following year, I had gained back one quarter of the weight I had lost. The reason: hormones. The estrogen pill made me sick and hot, so it was discontinued. The tumor, I found out later, causes the pituitary gland to produce testosterone in higher quantities than it normally would in a female. Once it was gone, testosterone production dropped, leaving me without the one natural hormone that kept my muscles toned, and my metabolism functioning. I slowly, no matter what I tried, regained every pound I had lost, plus a few more that crashed the party. 50lbs in total. In the process, my joints became more and more painful, and I found myself unable to do the simple things I had done, like run. In fact, by September, 2008 I couldn’t run at all, couldn’t breathe at all, and my body was killing me. I was no longer happy, just fat and in pain, and depressed about it. Still, I hoped I would be able to get something accomplished with my weight.
I have been very open about my wish to have Bariatric Surgery. I feel I have nothing to hide, and nothing to explain. There is nothing shameful about going this route to achieve a healthier weight. Nonetheless, I have received several negative comments about the surgery, the worst of which was “That’s the easy way out, and only a lazy person would do it.” Typically, these comments have come from people who have not ever had to struggle with their weight and the effects on the human body excessive weight causes. Typically, I just smile and nod, and take mental note of the complete ignorance of these folks, who are unable to put themselves in my shoes (probably because, at size 11, mine are too big). I don’t take it personally. They just don’t know what they are talking about.
In 2009, I started to do something about my weight. I decided that Bariatric Surgery was the way to go, at least for me. I do not take any surgery lightly, and did not make the decision to have weight-loss surgery on a whim. It is an invasive procedure, requiring a hospital stay of at least two days. Unlike Gastric Bypass Surgery in which the stomach is separated into a small pouch and the large intestine re-routed so that the small intestine never receives or processes food, the Gastric Sleeve requires that the larger portion of the stomach (the part that expands when one eats) be removed completely from the abdominal cavity. The remaining portion is stapled shut, forming a tube through which food passes into the small intestine. It is irreversible. It is permanent. It is also very dangerous when one is not serious about it’s purpose: to restrict the amount of food one can take in.
And so, tomorrow morning…my life changes again…again for the better. I cannot say how important this is for me, but I think it is obvious. I can’t wait to get back on my feet again, back on my skates, and back into the life I used to take for granted.
So, here I am, saying goodbye to the pretty, fat girl I had become used to being.
Goodbye, Miss Lady. I love you.