The first thing I think it’s important to note is that I didn’t die. The second is that the surgeon said there were no complications and everything was fine. I also have some nice plasters on my tummy (4 or 5 of them) to show where the laproscopic instruments went in.
My predominant feeling right now is nausea. It’s a side effect of the anaesthetic and the surgery itself it is unsurprising it’s hit me the way it has. Beyond that I am merely uncomfortable and tired. My hand-eye coordination isn’t amazing either so please excuse any typos you find in this, however horrible they may be.
My plan for the day is to sleep and walk and breathe. Walking and breathing are particularly important as they help my lungs to expand after the partially collapsed during surgery (which I am told is quite normal).
The nurses here are all incredibly kind, tolerating my contrary behaviour without so much as a sigh. One even visited me every couple of hours in the night to take my lure out so I could have a shower. Showers always help me feel healthy and human.
My biggest challenge going forward will be work out just how much food/liquid fits in my now tiny tummy. A glass of water is definitely too much right now. But the only way is up (not a pun!).
Tomorrow, I am doing something rather overwhelming. Something I never imagined I would do. Something so big I cannot comprehend the myriad ways in which it will change my life. I am having a sleeve gastrectomy.
The process started when I sat down in my doctor’s office a year ago and, when asked how I was, burst into tears. The only words I could choke out were that I didn’t want to be fat anymore. I had been medically classified as “morbidly obese” for several years, trying over and over to lose weight, and everything had finally become too much. My current health conditions meant I couldn’t take diet pills or undergo any of the more strenuous weight loss solutions so he suggested surgery combined with diet modifications. I dismissed the idea of surgery, originally, thinking it too drastic and carried on with my yoyo dieting. But it stuck with me.
Six months later I found out that a close family member had become the fourth person I knew to have bariatric surgery (a term covering all forms of obesity surgery). Her successes pushed my mind back to the procedure my doctor had suggested. I decided to look into it.
Over a period of months I had initial consults, follow up consults, nutritional consults, secured a payment method, and booked a date. That date is tomorrow: I am due at the hospital at 7.30am.
I debated with myself over whether to share this information publicly. I am aware there will be people who do not agree with my decision. I have come to realise their opinion is irrelevant to me. The decisions I make regarding my body are entirely my responsibility. I am undertaking this with no delusions about ease or comfort. My recovery will be long and hard; I will endure physical and psychological struggles and at times it may all seem too much. I am turning a corner and there is no space to U-turn. And I have never been more excited.
I am looking toward a future where I can chase my dogs around fields. I am looking toward a future in which I feel empowered. I am looking toward a future free of diabetes, sleep apnoea and cardiac arrest. I am looking toward a future bathed in sunlight and it is glorious.
I know this post may be a little controversial but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I know so many people who are happy and healthy in their own skin, no matter their size or circumstances. I love those people. I applaud those people. I am not one of those people. I believe everyone has the right to do or be what they choose. And I choose not to be fat and unhealthy anymore. I choose to improve my circumstances.
I care about my weight.
I care that I can’t tie my own shoes.
I care that I can’t sit down comfortably when I’m wearing pants.
I care that my bottom no longer fits properly in most café or public transport chairs.
I care about my self-esteem.
I care that people don’t pay attention to me.
I care that I live in a society where any of this even matters.
I care about the glazed look some people get in their eyes when they talk to me.
I care that I don’t get catcalled.
I care that I care about being catcalled.
I care that my opinion of myself has sunk so low.
I care that all of this makes me feel I am not worthy of even the lowest form or male-female attention.
I care that I can’t walk up stairs.
I care that I can’t walk along the beach.
I care that I have to make excuses when people invite me to “active” events.
I care that the thought of having to keep up with someone while walking up hill terrifies me.
I care about my body.
I care about my health.
I care about my self-image.
I care that I let myself become so unfit and unhealthy.
I care about my future.
I care that heart disease runs in my family.
I care that I feel like I may spend my life alone.
I care that I may one day be too unwell to run around with my own children.
I care about my weight.