Decision and Action (3)

I’m not entirely certain how much time passed. I just continued to work and parent my precious children. I was grumpy, angry, moody, depressed, uncomfortable and just pissed off at the world. I tried the dating scene but honestly, my self esteem was as low as it could get. I didn’t even like myself. Its no surprise that I really didn’t hit it off with anyone romantically or otherwise. I still tried, looking to find acceptance and companionship.
My family, friends and clients knew that I was always dieting. I feel like it became a joke from all the crazy things I tried. Everyone always had a suggestion. One day a client told me about her friend. She stated that she hadn’t seen her friend for awhile and when she saw her she was so amazed. She looked great. She had lost so much weight. Of course, I was negative and shared that she will probably gain it back. I always do. She went on to tell me that she had weight loss surgery. I didn’t know there was such a thing! I was so curious about this surgery. I mean after all I did crazy things before. I could hardly wait to get home to research this weight loss surgery option. So many questions went through my head. What is it? What does it do? How would it work for me (since nothing works)? How much does it cost? Will my insurance cover it? So many questions….
I went home and I don’t know how many hours I spent on Google or whatever search engine it was then over a period of a couple weeks. I learned nearly every detail. Read all the reports and reviews no matter how scary the outcome was I was all in. Sign me up and don’t make me wait. I had a renewed sense of faith. Maybe I could lose weight like my clients friend. I made an appointment to see my Dr. I wrote all the reasons why I should be considered for this procedure. I went in prepared because I had done my homework. She had a lot of my history on file since she had been my GP for a long time. But, she popped my spirit and told me that I need current weight loss plan in my file before she could request an approval through the Insurance Co. So, I did what she wanted of course. I was desperate and this was my only option. So I thought.
I spent the next few months seeing her weekly for weigh ins and to turn in my diary of my daily meals. UGH!!! I followed the rules. That’s when I lost 3 pounds and had gained it back by the next week. I enrolled in a women’s fitness program. They were a franchise that popped up all over. Must be a good program, however I still was not successful losing weight adding in exercise.
I visited many “open house” style informational meetings. I wanted to know everything about the procedure. I was a sponge. I listened to testimonials. I asked questions. I researched different Doctors in the area and had even determined which Dr. my insurance would approve when the time came. I was focused to say the least. Then finally, at one appointment my Dr. said she would present the request to the insurance for approval.
After a few weeks I received notification that it had been denied. I was so devastated. How could that be? I did everything necessary. I know because I researched the guidelines. The national Institute of health knows the rules. In my insurance handbook that I requested it said that approval was based on the NIH standards. So, I set out to create an appeal. I even became friends with the Secretary of the Medical Group who denied me. She was also having the procedure done. We had a connection and she understood. She reminded the decision makers that I was qualified. I was eventually granted approval. But there is a problem… The Dr. that they were using was having license issues because of some patients who didn’t do well afterwards. No need for those details but there was not a local Dr. who they were contracted with who I could see. So I ultimately had to wait to find out where I would be referred. I got the information and called to make the consultation appointment. I was told the soonest is next April. It was literally like 10 months away. She advised that I could call daily and find out if there were any cancellations. I WILL!!! I did!!! It turned out that I was seen several months earlier from my persistence.
I started sharing my plan for surgery to lose weight. I encountered SO MANY naysayers. How I will fail (I always do). Ill lose weight then gain it all back plus more. I could die. What will you do after you demolish your insides and you cant have a normal life? These comments came from family, friends and clients. All the same people who watched me fail over and over again. All the same people who I thought would be excited for me to have found and literally fought for a solution. I was sad but still determined. I will show all of them, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! Isn’t it true that I could die from obesity related diseases? Isn’t it true that I could be a success story? Isn’t it true that I myself am in charge of my destiny? I continued my pursuit in shame and silence. I had one family member who supported my decision strongly. Of course others loved me and acted like they accepted it but I could see it and I could hear it in their comments.
I was educated and ready. Dr. said I would need a few tests to determine my current health. So I did them. Everything came back great. I passed inspection and was given a surgery date for December (5 months prior to my original consult appt). As I prepared for my return home from the hospital with my meal plan items. Which consisted of not very much…clear liquids to full liquids to pureed like baby food, then soft things then as tolerated. With a few exceptions of things that would wait for a long time if I ever tolerated them at all. I had tiny spoons and cocktail forks. Little plates and bowls. I had supplements and protein shakes. I got this!!
I planned to be off work immediately following the Christmas Holiday. I received a phone call that the Dr. had decided to take the week off. I needed to be rescheduled. I could schedule for January or this next week. Well??? Immediately. I say. I didn’t want to wait another day and especially not another month. I felt horrible making those phone calls to reschedule my clients for their Christmas red nails. I felt horrible that I was on a clear liquid diet and had a headache from hell for the annual family party the weekend before Christmas. But. I did it anyway. A very difficult task when your co-dependent and you want to make everyone happy. But it was my turn. I felt an urgency to find happiness.
I weighed in that morning, December 23, 2003 at 326 pounds. My surgery was quick and easy. I stayed in the hospital through Christmas and returned home with mild pain. There I was at home…now what? What do you do with yourself when you can’t eat for pleasure? Well, I drove. I craved food. I drank so much clear liquids I thought “this will never work” I was so full. The rules were to stay hydrated and moving. Focused on my new life. I did EXACTLY as I was instructed. Daily! Weekly! Monthly!
By the 1 year mark I was a new person. I didn’t even recognize myself. Most people who hadn’t seen me didn’t either. I had lost half of me, 169 pounds (the naysayers told me I was too thin). I was happy. I had a renewed sense of well being. I took on a new hobby. Bicycling. What a rush to travel down a steep hill at 35 or 40 mph…stupid yes but exhilarating at the same time. I loved it.