Super Inspired Writer

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Thursday, July 28

Solidarity


They say good friends should be like a good bra….hold you up when you are down, make you look and feel fabulous, and are always close to your heart.

Last week, after I wrote my manifesto about needing and wanting support …I figured after pouring out my struggle for all to hear, I had to actually do it. Find the support that is. I had such a huge response of love and comments and likes for my blog post that I had the push I needed to seek and follow through.

The first step I took was figuring out exactly what I wanted to say (and you think this just comes so easily for me) and draft an intro about myself that would explain who I am TODAY. Not who I was on March 4, 2013, but TODAY after being on the road for so long. I started with contacting my own FB support group that I am the admin for.  I felt like I had abandoned them because I had been going strong with keeping the group active and talking, taking in new members and fostering a good question and answer forum. I said I was sorry that I hadn’t been posting anymore, that I felt like I really effed up and just didn’t want to face myself or anybody else for that matter.

You know what? Everyone was going through the SAME THING. So by acknowledging my fault and asking for help, I was opening the door for everyone else to do the same. One of our members that hadn’t been to the surgeon and didn’t want to do the walk of shame, decided to make an appointment just because I said I had just done this and it wasn’t that scary or embarrassing. Another of our members also wrote a blog post of their own again, who like me hadn’t written in ages and didn’t want to write and have to say they had backtracked. Right there that FIRST DAY in seeking help, others were starting to come forward.

The second thing I did was get together for dinner with two friends that also had surgery. Yes we had two baskets of chips and Margaritas… but we were MEETING face to face to talk about what was, what is, and what can be. We agreed to try much harder to have a monthly dinner if anything for the prof and validation that we are still IN THIS. For accountability good or bad.

Step three was to search for some new online groups. I know it has been ages since I actually took the effort required to type “weight loss surgery support” in the search bar on Facebook, but I was pleasantly surprised how many groups there were. There were some general groups for all weight loss surgery patients, and then there were two specific groups for Lap Band patients I was particularly interested in. The admins added me right away and I posted my……Hi, my name is Rosie from Chicago…

What happened next was VERY UNEXPECTED, though if I was paying more attention in math class during the probability unit should have been crystal clear. In came tons of comments from men and women like me who also had gained back about 30%, or about 30 lbs., and they were all struggling to get it back off. This is the STATISTICAL relapse after a few years’ time so clearly it would be a pretty popular problem. It is the exact thing we are told at our very first appointment, then quickly remove from our memory thinking we are magically exempt from it ever rearing its ugly head.  I kept hearing things from the new people I was meeting like….I’m with you….30 for me too….wtf is going on??....how do I get back on track… I need help too….etc. etc.  A few of these members are from my area and asked to be invited if we have another unofficial support group meeting of our own. The least I can do is tell them where and when, I mean the more the merrier right?

Misery loves company.

Wednesday, July 20

Still. Here.


I am still here.

Right. Here.

It has taken a lot of persuasion from my blog followers to write up a post almost a year from my last one, because as I seek help and guidance for my current situation, I am reminded how essential this blog was when I was going through my surgery three and a half years ago. How it was my lifeline and kept me focused through the good, the bad, and the ugly of what Weight Loss Surgery really is.

So here I am now, sitting at the computer that was my best friend those lonely nights when I tried to be so strong and inspiring and positive while I was throwing up behind the scenes when no one was looking. Or when I was throwing up when everyone was looking, but just didn’t care anymore because it became my new normal.

Going back to work full-time changed EVERYTHING. I have been a stay-at-home-mom, and I have been a working-mom, and let me tell you both are less than ideal for several reasons but this blog is not about the pros and cons of working outside of the home. I will tell you however how some of the side effects of working full time totally derailed all my efforts of staying on a straight weight loss line.

I USED TO wake up at my leisure, get kids ready and off to school, make breakfast on the stove, go to the gym and run my three miles, come home and shower and make my packed lunch, then work a few hours and come home and make dinner.

NOW I rush, rush everyone out of bed, ready for school, myself ready and presentable in clothes and make-up for work, then in the car by 7:15 to drop off kids by my parents and get to work early enough that I can actually leave at a decent time in the afternoon. Breakfast? Oops…looks like a Frappuccino again. Lunch? Oops….looks like Jimmy John’s (because it’s soooo much better than McDonald’s the commercial says) Dinner? Oops….nothing is ready or defrosted and the fridge is bare and the kids have a million activities so looks like pizza.

Now…if you are wondering how I had been eating those things, since I had shared in TMI detail that I could not swallow such heavy meals and buns and crust….well…..expectedly that’s all that was there so that’s what I ate and just as expectedly it would come up….EVERY. TIME. Fast forward to 10 pm when even though I chewed and swallowed three meals, my stomach was still empty and so began my addiction to Ben and Jerry’s pints of ice cream. So delicious and went down like a dream.

If you would have told me three years ago that I would go down this path I would have laughed at you. I had a Lap-Band named Lola and she was Wonderwoman. When the surgeon pre-op told me the side-effects of Lap-Band surgery and that many patients allow themselves to get way too tight and into bad habits by starting addictions to Frappuccino and Ice Cream pints… and gain back an average of 30% of their loss, that’s what I did is laugh. Because that was sure as shit NOT going to happen to me!!!

It happened to me. I gained back 30 of my 90 lbs.

So fast forward to recent days when I did the walk of shame after not having been in the office in  months and I sobbed in the double wide chair because I had failed. I had become the statistic I wasn’t going to be. I was humiliated. The staff was pretty supportive but also as firm as new parents. The nutritionist went over the required diet with me and it ended with an I know all this I just can’t do it. You can do it so just do it. The surgeon just had to give me “the look” and I apologized and said I would do anything to go back to when everything was easy and happy and me and Lola were BFFs. It was at that appointment we decided that I would have a complete unfill of saline from my band and we would start over again as if I were brand-new. First and foremost, they had to stop me from puking several times a day, which also has its own horrible consequences and can lead to a band slip which would mean an additional surgery to either fix or remove the device. We also talked about the almost inevitable revision surgery where the band is removed and then a different weight loss surgery is performed at that time such as RNY or Sleeve. I’m not so na├»ve to think that this is all it will be for me since I’m not even 40, and another surgery down the road is more likely than not, but for TODAY it’s just me and Lola and goddamn it, Lola and I need to get our shit together.

I have since been back twice and both times haven’t lost any of my regained weight and both times felt like a real asshole. I am eating what I’m supposed to (but cheating) in the amounts I’m supposed to (kinda) and exercising (lamely) and I am refilled now back up to a 2.5cc of saline. I was up to 5 when all hell broke loose.

And I WISH I could say that’s all that I have going on right now but of course it’s not. I’m still posting smiling photos of my kids, but I’m not in the pictures much anymore. I can’t look at myself because I am so pissed off about such a myriad of bullshit right now. In all this I decided to sell my house (nightmare) and help plan my 20-yr high school reunion (because I’m crazy) and I’m feeling like a shadow in my life and to be quite honest I don’t have the strength within myself to type any of it and you don’t have the listening time available.

So let’s focus on Lola, shall we, and my 30 lb weight-loss that I have to lose…again.

 
But I am still here.