Just when I’d convinced myself that I wouldn’t hear from my insurance until Thanksgiving, the unthinkable happened: I got the call. Imagine my surprise when my surgeon’s office called me (on my birthday, no less) to tell me that my insurance approved my surgery. You coulda knocked me over with a fun-sized Snickers.
My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, November 26th. Wow. I still can’t believe it. I thought I would be lucky to squeeze this in before we’re all ignoring our New Years resolutions. Go me.
I thought I would relax a little once I got my surgery date, but I don’t have time to. I have to shop…and it’s harder than I thought it would be. The full liquid diet phase starts this coming Tuesday for me, which means I need to stock up on protein shakes, Vitamin Water Zero, and sugar free Jello. But there’s a catch: it can’t have red, blue, or purple food coloring in it…because it can be mistaken for blood on the video monitors during surgery.
Well…shit. The berries are my favorite flavors! Here’s what my menu looks like next week:
4 Muscle Milk Light protein shakes a day
Lemon Lime sugar free Jello
Vitamin Water Zero: lemonade flavor
…and lots and lots of sugar free gum
I know, I know, I know…I signed up for this. So did you, though, because you asked me to blog about every step of this process! Ha HA! I’ll try to keep the whining down next week. Promise.
It was surreal walking through the aisles of the grocery store last night, throwing items in the cart for my surgery. For some reason, this made it more real for me than telling my family or my boss or my friends. Somewhere between the sugar free gum and the vitamin water zero, shit got real. This is really going to happen. It’s exciting and scary. I’ve embraced all kinds of change in my life, but this is one I’ve never really been close to before. I’m thankful to have the support of so many friends and family to get me through this.
One of the best lessons I’ve learned on this journey, though, is that support can come from the most unexpected places. Y’all know me…I’m not exactly secretive, right? When I made the decision to have surgery, I decided not to hide it. I felt that hiding it would somehow give it shame when there’s no shame to be given here. I also don’t believe in broadcasting it everywhere either. I mean, I’d feel the same way if my Aunt Margaret talked about nothing but her colonoscopy. Right?
Here’s the way I handled it. I told my family. I told my closest friends. I told the friends I knew would be concerned or hurt if they saw something shared on Facebook and didn’t know I was having surgery. I told my boss and my co-workers. After that, if the topic of surgery or weight loss comes up in conversation then I share my story…and that has led to a surprising and uplifting turn of events for me.
Two co-workers came to me last week to share with me that they’ve also had a form of weight loss surgery. One had lap band and the other gastric bypass. These are folks that I usually don’t chat a lot with. Nice ladies who go about doing their job and probably think I’m a little crazy (they’ve seen my sense of humor and my sassy mouth). I would have had no idea that either of them had ever had weight loss surgery. One of them, who is fairly reserved, walked over to my desk yesterday and quietly presented me with a photo album to look at. It was a mini scrapbook of her weight loss journey. There were “before” pictures, pictures of her in the hospital, and pictures of her as she shrank to her goal weight.
I could tell it meant a lot to her to be able to share the scrapbook – and it meant a lot to me that she shared it with me. She was full of advice and support, kind of like a big sister. It’s been the same with my other co-worker as well and I’ve enjoyed getting to know each of them better over the past week. I feel a kinship with them now that I never did before. And, of course, I’ve asked them a million questions about their experiences.
Something else amazing happened this week. Knowing how hard this pre-op liquid diet is going to be, four co-workers have stepped up and declared that they’re going to do the liquid diet with me next week. For support. Seriously. Two of them don’t have an ounce of fat on their bodies either. I hope they plan on sneaking a piece of bacon behind my back because I probably won’t have the energy to pick them up and carry them to the employee cafeteria.
I feel so lucky to have people like this in my life. It’s truly a blessing.
Since I have to start the liquid diet on Tuesday, most of my Fuck It List is going to have to remain a list. Oh, sure, I could spend this weekend on a real bender and eat until I gain a 5th ass, but that hasn’t been me for a long time. It’s more important for me to take care of myself than to make sure I get one more bit of Razzoo’s cheesecake. So my treat for the weekend is to go to the movies with HMH and have popcorn. Anything else on my Fuck It List isn’t going to happen.
That’s okay, though. My eye is on a bigger prize: a smaller, healthier me.
Questions? I’m all ears.