Sunday, March 29, 2009

Two Months

It's been almost two months since I took the plunge and had gastric bypass surgery. I am still figuring out my new system, but overall think I am past the surgery recovery.

It took me five years to make the decision to have surgery. I think there were two things that made me decide this was the right move.

1. I had cancer. A kind or cancer that was likely caused by my weight. I was paralyzed by the fear of a recurrence.

2. Someone pointed out to me that I no longer had the luxury of time. Between my age, the threat of another cancer and my worsening health, I knew it was time.

It took six months to get the procedure approved. The first request was denied, and then by a stroke of luck, the universe, or whatever, my company was purchased by a much larger company with excellent benefits. The surgeon's office resubmitted the request and in less than 5 days it was approved. I had my surgery two weeks later on February 2nd.

I need to pause here and send out a huge thank you to my friend Donna. She took time off from work to take me to the hospital and to stay with me during the early recovery. She made the process much easier and I can't thank her enough for helping me through those first days.

The hardest physical part of the surgery has been to learn when to quit eating. Several times after over-indulging, I have spent the evening with my head hanging over the toilet. It hasn't happened in a while so I am hopeful that I have learned the limits of my pouch.

The best part has been that as long as I don't overeat, I feel great. I have more energy then I have had in several years. I feel at least 10 years younger, which is a great feeling especially when I remember that I'm a grandmother.

The very hardest part has been breaking up with food. Food has been my friend, my confidante, and my shelter from the things that hurt me for a very long time. I am working daily on relearning my relationship to food. I still love to cook and eat good things, but as a very wise fellow WLS patient reminded me, now when I have dinner for four, there are four people at the table.

On of the best things happened when I got the hospital bill. I had expected it to be around $500 due to my mis-reading of the health insurance policy. When the bill arrived, it was $2,348. My first reaction was stress.

By the time I put the bill down on the table, I had completely changed my attitude. I realized that what I'm gaining from this process was worth any amount of money. I am happy to pay every penny of that bill and the others that have arrived from the surgeon, his assistant, the anesthetist, the EKG specialist, and so on.

I'm still early in my process. I have lost over 10% of my starting weight. I hope to lose the same amount in the next two months. I am down two sizes. I have lost over 12 inches in my measurements.

I have gained a healthy respect for my nemesis, food. I am learning not to hide behind it, but to face the things that frighten me instead. While I work on becoming the body and person I am meant to be, I expect my evolution to be littered with anxiety and joy, fear and confidence, as well as personal and spiritual metamorphosis.

I look forward to this movement of my life's sonata. My opus major.


nancy compton said...

Jo - I am so glad you are sharing this and look forward to being a participant in your journey in whatever role makes sense. I am *so* glad that you have taken the step of good health. I have always admired you and your brilliance. This step to the future you want to create is yet one more thing I can admire about you, my friend. With love, blessings, and the life of health that is yours...

kyrafawn said...

Wow - JoAnn - awesome! Way to go! And you look fantastic - saw your pic on Facebook. - Kyra