Thursday, August 30, 2007
August 2007.......a month to remember......
It's rather funny, the twists and turns life takes. "You never know what's around the next corner" is one of my standard lines when I'm talking to someone else. And, as much as I know that's true and believe it 100%---I never really apply it to myself. You see, I always assume that there will be "something" around the next corner. And, I'm optimistic enough to assume it will be good. So, I just sit and wait for it. Essentially, I let things happen to me. I don't make things happen. I don't really script my life nor do I have a plan. I'm a dreamer without really working on fullfilling them. It's not that I'm lazy or unmotivated. I'm just content at what life has given me and what it has in store for me. You see, up until now, I'm pretty sure I got to where I am by sheer luck. Often, I look back at my path and see that other people actually got me to where I landed. It wasn't really me. It's not that "where I am" is any place special. It's just that I've been blessed with many things---a guy who has loved me for 3 decades, 2 children who have given me nothing but sheer joy, the love and support of a wonderful, generous and caring family, the good fortune of having extraordinary, talented and spirited friends, a home that makes me happy and a job that I enjoy going to. Tucked in those blessings of course, are a few things I'd like to forget, several losses that I will always carry with me and those pesky things that I'm not so proud of. But, for the most part, the smiles and the laughter have outweighed the tears and the sadness. So, that's good. Very good. Looking back, I can safely say that my strategy of letting good things rain down on me worked out nicely.
Knowing all of that---how is it that I came to this decision to actually make something happen to me that would change my life? In other words---what brought me to the decision to have this Lap Band surgery? The first time I remember uttering the words "I am having Lap Band Surgery", I was standing in a friend's kitchen at a holiday dinner party in December 2006. Two of my dearest (and most spirited) friends and I were having a glass of wine, chatting about whatever we were chatting about. I'm not quite sure what prompted me to say it. Perhaps it was the 5 outfits that I threw on the bed while getting ready. Or, maybe I was saying it as an excuse for the fact that I was wearing black from head to toe. Or, it could have been my way of saying "yes, I really do plan to loose this weight." But, whatever the reason was, I found myself saying it. I'm not sure if I really, really meant it at that point. Yet, having said it, it was as if I had to do it. If for no other reason---I had to do it for them. After all, I confided in them. That was a pretty big thing. A sacred thing. A thing of trust. At that point, the only thing I knew about Lap Band was from the TV commercial where a woman is being chased by a lion. However, no matter---- from that moment on, I was having Lap Band Surgery. After that, I tested telling others. Once I crossed the line of making it known, it became real. Although I hadn't told a doctor about my plan, I was considered as "going to have Lap Band Surgery".
The process of getting to the point of having the surgery is not easy. There are lots of hoops to jump through. The first thing is that you have to prove that you need it. In other words, you have to be obese. Or, better yet, morbidly obese. That means that you have to be at least 100 lbs overweight or have a BMI of at least 40. And, you have to provide documentation that you have tried every method out there to loose weight and yet you remain obese. Plus, you have to show that you have been on a medically supervised diet for at least 6 months and yet you still remain obese. The point is that you have to be obese and stay obese. Then, once all of that is established, you must endure hours of medical and psychological tests, go through nutritional counseling and attend support group meetings. Once you have completed all of that, you will finally gain entrance into the doctor's office. At that point, the doctor will meticulously review your records and decide if you could be considered a candidate for the surgery. Once that is completed, the doctor will send the recommendation to your insurance company for final approval. And, before I forget---during this entire process, should you loose weight and drop below the weight or BMI cut off---you could loose your eligibility! Knowing this, you find yourself in a very unusual place---you pray that you do not loose weight!! You do novenas to help keep you obese. This is a time in your life when you want to be obese. You want the doctor to call you obese---to your face. You want your insurance company to agree that you are obese. All in all, you want at least 100 people to point at you and say "YOU ARE OBESE". And, then you want them to write it down.....everywhere.....that you are OBESE. They don't let just anyone get Lap Band Surgery. If you are found to be ineligible, you could go to Mexico---as many people have--to get it done. They will definitely call you obese if you have the cash up front to pay for the surgery. But, for those of us who wish to be called OBESE in our native tongue, you have to follow the rules.
As for me.....after I committed to having the surgery by telling 2 friends that I was doing it...over a glass of wine......I began the long process. Grueling and time consuming as it was, it was the very first time in my life that I was taking charge of a situation and really following through regardless of the hurdles. I'm not a "tough it out" kind of girl by nature. But, I jumped through the hoops, I did all the work and before I knew it.....I won the coveted and undisputed title of "OBESE".
Friday August 31 will mark my 3rd week anniversary of being banded. And, to be quite honest, I am still a bit surprised that I really went through with it. If anyone would have asked me if I would ever consider weight loss surgeryin my lifetime, I would have given them a resounding "NO". But, life has a funny way of twisting and turning. Thankfully, somehow, someway, I peered around the next corner and wanted to change what was going to happen to me. Yes, there were many reasons why I had this surgery. And, I just can't wait to find out.......