I wonder if I could claim the surgery under worker's comp
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Funny how life gets away from you, isn't it? I've had about a million ideas for things I want to write here but I just haven't had the time to sit and do it. Work has been incredibly stressful and now I get to fly to San Jose in the morning so that I can make it to a funeral for a relative's funeral in Turlock. We're flying Southwest, the family and I, which means that I will be wearing my tightest jeans (so as to keep my copious ass as small as possible) and my mom had to buy an extra seat. I am very grateful that I've never had that issue; in fact, it's only 2 or 3 times that I've even had to ask for a seatbelt extender. I'm sure that most people would assume that someone who weighs at least 300 pounds would never fit into an airplane seatbelt but there you go. I'm also only a size 24/26, and no one in my day to day life who I've told that number to has believed me without some serious convincing.

It's yet another demonstration of a strange phenomenon I've noticed. As I go through all the before and after pictures on ObesityHelp, I keep seeing people who look so much larger than me but weigh a good 50-100 pounds less than I do. I suppose that this is why I've not minded the slow creep of weight that has settled on me. Somehow, I've kept my ankles and my waistline and even my long neck. I don't feel like a shapless lump, and I can still find cute clothes that are even stylish. And so being big has been okay.

But not anymore.

Next week I'm going to my first seminar, given by the surgery group that did my friend's mother's surgery 5 years ago. And then I'm going to meet up with my friend's mom for a nice long afternoon chat so I can hear her story. I've got a second seminar that I'm going to go to; i've narrowed it down to one of these two centers and really, it's going to come down to who can do it soonest and who can do it laproscopically. Both of them are COEs that come highly recommended with great aftercare support and affiliations with hospitals within a 15 minute drive of my home, so really it's just a matter of seeing who I have a better feeling for.

I also decided this week that I'm not going to let my work's fiscal year schedule affect when I do the surgery. If they end up giving me a surgery date right smack in the middle of it, oh well because the stress eating that I've done over the past few weeks because of my job is a big reason why I need this surgery. So there.

I have a good excuse
Monday, September 11, 2006
I haven't been blogging because I've been reading. I finally went and picked up Weight Loss for Dummies this weekend (which to me was more embarrassing than buying tampons, so I did what I do with the tampons and made my husband buy it). And I spent all weekend reading it and will probably read it again a million times.


This strange thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I decided to have weight loss surgery and then I instantly decided that the decision meant I could eat whatever I want right now. Because it doesn't matter! I can gain some weight now because I'll lose it all later! Woohoo! Free for all!


I got over that feeling last week, when it seems that all of the junk I ate over the past month suddenly decided that it was time to take up residence on my frame. My (stretch!) jeans were a little too tight, and my ass suddenly wasn't fitting into my coworker's visitor chair so well. My shirts were riding up and my husband was silently cheering the fact that my ass and my boobs are where I put weight on first. All of this was not acceptable, and I woke up around Thursday night freaking out a bit.

So I tried to just get through the weekend and have a "good food weekend". And I did. We went out to eat twice and both nights, I came home with half my meal because I stopped when I was no longer hungry; not even full, just not hungry. And then I decided to maybe do a little dieting. Just something to kickstart me back into eating better. So I loaded up on Slim-Fast (Optima! Proven to keep you full LONGER, I swear! Woo!) and started that today.

I'm not exactly thrilled with the whole Slim-Fast idea because there's kind of a lot of sugar in it. Like...a lot. Really, should a diet shake taste like strawberry Quik? Luckily for me, I'm an anomaly in the WLS world...instead of being diabetic, I'm actually borderline hypoglycemic so the sugar isn't such a huge no-no for me. And in the meantime, it will at least get my ass back to fitting comfortably in my coworker's chair.

(Of course, tonight we're having pizza for dinner since we're going to my mom's and football is on. OF COURSE.)

Speaking of coworkers, I actually told that particular coworker (the one whose chair I barely fit into anymore) about my plans and her first words were "Wow, that's really drastic!" But once she heard why I was doing this and we talked for awhile about it, she was nothing but supportive. It makes me feel better about dealing with it here. I'm in a weird situation in that A) I work closely with a large group of people and B) we're a very tight knit large group of people so if I don't tell them about the surgery they will A) worry immensely about my while I'm out and B) think I'm dying or something and that's why I'm losing so much weight. So the plan is to let people know why I'm going to be out so that they can support me rather than worry about me.

One thing I am really glad of is that we have a great HR department that will help me get all my disability stuff set up. I have always bought into our voluntary supplemental disability insurance (our version of AFLAC, basically) so I'll be able to get full paychecks while I'm out, and I won't have to use any comp time. I find it kind of weird that nothing I've read online talks about the time off factor other than to talk about either vacation time or unpaid leave. Around here, you get disability for any surgery, as far as I know. Is there some kind of exemption for bariatric surgery that I don't know about that makes disability unallowed?

And if so, why are we not up in arms about it?

Trading one for the other?
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I have to say, I did not do much laboring this Labor Day. There was a lot of napping and trying to stay cool instead. More than once I caught myself thinking "Well, I'll be able to handle the heat better next summer after the surgery!"

I told a couple more friends this weekend and both of them had pretty much the same thing to say to me, oddly enough. Both of them mentioned other people they know who have had the surgery but for whom it ended up not working; one of the people had gained most of the weight back and one had not only gained some of the weight back but had also gained a prescription pill problem. But right after telling me these stories about their other friends, both of my friends told me that they think that it will work for me because I'll do it the right way and be smart about it.

The second warning story, Pill Girl, made me think a lot. My friend made a very good point when she said that Pill Girl hadn't worked on her emotional issues surrounding food and had instead replaced it with pills. On top of that, Pill Girl not only refused to follow her diet, she actually kept eating everything she wanted and chose to allow the resulting throwing up and diarrhea become part of her life. She lost most of her hair, had vitamin deficiencies...basically, she got the surgery and then did not change anything else in her life. And so it didn't work the way it was supposed to.

Man, that story made me do all kinds of "Well, I definitely WON'T do that!" I declared that *I* will take all my vitamins and follow my diet and do everything I can to avoid vomiting and/or diarrhea (that last one especially because man, do I hate experiencing those two!), and I won't lose as much hair because I'll pay attention to things like vitamin levels and no WAY would I go off and get addicted to pills instead of food! Of course, it's easy for me to say that from here, the pre-op side. Hell, I'm a month away from even going to my first seminar so it's realllly easy for me to say. But the truth of the matter is this: I have an addictive personality, and the addiction I've chosen for all these years is food. So what's going to replace it when I finally cut that addiction off at the proverbial pass?

Personally, I'm hoping it'll be knitting. Or maybe running. Or writing. But there's a chance it could be something else. It won't be smoking, because blech. Hate it. It won't be illegal drugs because I have no idea where to get them. And prescription pills are way too much of a bother (and expense!) for me to get addicted to. But...there's always alcohol. I already do that whole "had a bad day, let's have a drink" thing every now and again, so the potential for me doing that rather than eating every time I'm bored or lonely or sad or celebrating is actually rather high. And that's not a road I want to go down.

So I've decided I will need to quit drinking after the surgery. It won't be hard; being married to a man who doesn't like the taste of alcohol means I rarely drink at home anyway. But it'll be hard, turning down a perfect Cosmopolitan while out with my girlfriends. Of course, it'll be nice to be the one who remembers everything.