So, today, 2 weeks after buying my new Escape, a woman named Terry called from the dealership to see if things were going well, if I enjoyed my experience and if I had any questions about my new vehicle. What a nice gesture! Terry and I had never met but we clicked right away. Now, I’m not sure if I just miss the adult interaction of my normal life or if I was just in the mood to chat but we had a lovely and lengthy conversation…..the least of which was about my new Escape! As we were nearing the end of our gab-fest, Terry said “Looks like it’s lunch time! I better get ready to eat ! It’s another gourmet frozen Weight Watchers meal for me! Ugh. Nothing like starving and still being fat!” Feeling her pain and remembering that there was a drive-thru McDonald’s next to the dealership, I responded with an empathetic laugh “Yep, I know what you mean! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Big Mac instead?” “For sure! But, I might as well just apply it to my hips, that’s where it will go!” she laughed. “Yep, I know the feeling! With me, it’s my stomach---everything goes RIGHT there!” I agreed. “Don’t I just wish I could make my life a little easier and get one of those bands they are advertising now put on my stomach? Poof, it’s over! Skinny me!” she sarcastically laughed. Of course, she had no idea that the woman sitting on the other end of the phone had done just that. It wasn’t Terry’s fault . I knew that. Still, I felt my face flush and a lump starting to form in my throat. It was time to end the call…..before I fell apart or things got ugly. But, I wanted to yell “There’s no POOF sweetie! No POOF AT ALL Wanna see my scars? You wanna hear about what I have been eating? Hey, you wanna know how I’ve been sleeping for the past 3 weeks? Huh? Do ya?!” but instead I said “Well, have a nice lunch. Thanks for calling.” I really wanted to say “POOF” right then and there. But, I let it go.
Considering that I’m blogging my way through my Lap Band journey, it’s safe to say that I am not really keeping this a secret. But, that’s just me…..I’m out there with certain things. Yes, I have my share of secrets. But, this isn’t one of them. Prior to my surgery, I was open with people about what I was doing. I mean, I didn’t knock on doors and say “hi, I’m Judi, I’m having Lap Band surgery” but I didn’t consider it something I needed to hide from the world. Most people who knew---my great family, my dear girlfriends and the wonderful women I work side-by-side with—were and continue to be wonderfully caring, supportive and encouraging. My father even said it’s the best idea I’ve had yet and he makes daily phone-ins to check on my weight (yes, it’s true)! Perhaps other people knew—from word of mouth. I’m not sure. And, I have no idea what they think. In fact,. maybe there are people right now who think I shouldn’t have done this or they are angry with me for doing this or they think it was selfish of me to take the time off from work to do this or use my health insurance to cover the cost or maybe there are people who consider me a failure for having to resort to weight loss surgery. If Terry, a stranger, thought weight loss surgery is the easy way out…what will people who know me think?. I feel that lump coming back in my throat. I’m not sure if I’m just very naïve or if I’m too trusting! But, it never occurred to me that anyone would look down upon me for this decision.. But, now, I wonder. In fact, I’m worrying. I wonder if people will treat me different knowing that I had Lap Band surgery. I’m not sure why I care but I do. I care a lot.
Since the surgery, the only people I’ve really spent any time with have been people who know what I just did and support it. I haven’t ventured into the world quite yet. Oh, sure, I told the clerk at GNC and maybe I mentioned it to a handful of others---acquaintances and strangers. . But, I’m not back to my daily routines. I’m not back at work yet. I haven’t really been to a party or done anything social with other people. So, I haven’t walked in my own shoes yet….so to speak. How will I respond to someone who says or even thinks “POOF”? How will I respond to someone who considers any pain or discomfort I felt or feel or any inconvenience from my surgery as my own fault and something I deserve? What will I say to someone who ignores me or treats me differently? What should I say when someone says something not-so-nice to me about my weightloss or how I look? What will I say? Should I just say "POOF"?