Before having surgery, I was informed that I would lose weight at a steady pace for about ten months. With the end of the 2018 came the end of my ten month stint of rapid and consistent weight loss. What a ride! I’m down 105lbs, at a weight I never ever thought people actually weighed in real life, and buying size 10s and mediums.
I know all of those things to be true, but they don’t feel true. I still see myself at a size 20 and carry myself that way as well. My brain is still playing catch up to all the changes. I’m Sam Wheat in Ghost. Confused by own body and able to pass through spaces I was previously unable to, I walk around with an angelic glow around my head at all times. I’m also pretty good at couples pottery.
This hasn’t been without complications. Previously I wrote about spewing my way through Ghana in July thanks to gastritis. That has long subsided.
At the end of October I had to have my gallbladder removed. Gallstones are common following weight loss surgery due to the changes in diet. I pride myself on having a fairly high threshold for pain, but as I writhed around my bathroom floor I made sharp eye contact with my cat, “I want to die,” I whispered. “I want to die right now.” The pain was so bad I couldn’t talk on the phone and instead sent my boyfriend messages like “I THINK I AM DYING” and “GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM BUT I’M FINE.” When he called I said “I AM DYING TOO MUCH TO TALK ON THE PHONE” and hung up.
I went to my primary care office and threw up through the appointment. A nurses aid gave me a shot of Zofran in my butt. “I’m sorry,” she said laughing. “It’ll work faster if I massage this in.” I threw up more. They sent me to have an ultrasound done and I threw up through that, too. “You’re, um, pretty acute and, I’m not supposed to tell you this, but you have gallstones. You should just go to the emergency room.”
So, I drove to the hospital, which I am still catching shit for, and, with my body at a 90 degree angle, hobbled into the emergency room. Some dude ran past me to get ahead of me in line. I couldn’t stand up to wait in line and just collapsed on the reception desk. Thankfully, the receptionist took my license and told me to go wait somewhere. Everyone waiting in the emergency room looked at me horrified. None of them looked even remotely sick. I still hate those people.
For the next three hours I played my own version of the improv game Stand, Sit, Lay Down, Throw Up. At some point one of my good friends showed up. Once I made it into the emergency room more people I love showed up. The pain started to subside, but then the surgeon did a little test I like to call PUSH REALLY HARD ON MY GALLBADDER, he laughed and said “Obviously we’re going to take this out. Tomorrow.”
So, with an injection of dilauded giving me the courage to ask the CNA to watch the rest of WWE Smackdown in my room with me, I drifted to sleep. Not before taking my bra off and, forgetting I was hooked up to an IV, letting it dangle there over night much to the amusement of the night nurses and incoming morning team.
I think I love surgery. Everyone is really nice to you, they take things out of your body that hurt, and there is one nurse whose sole job it is to continually cover you in warm blankets. Recovery was fine and I was back to work in a few days.
When I was admitted to the floor before surgery the night nurse asked me, “Having to go through all this, was the surgery worth it?”
“HELL YES!” I shouted, but probably murmured due to the dilauded. “This is the best thing I have ever done for myself.”
And it still is. If I had to relive that day every year for the rest of my life, I would. I’ve written about how I can do all kinds of things I couldn’t do before surgery. I can flow through poses in yoga I never could before like bringing my leg from downward dog to low lunge in one swoop bringing tears to my eyes. I didn’t expect to experience these types of changes.
I’ve stopped weighing myself daily. One of the major benefits of having weight loss surgery is that I don’t have to scrutinize every single calorie or work out for hours a day. Maintaining this weight loss isn’t necessarily easier, but it’s no longer all consuming and leaves room in my brain for other things. I don’t stress about going out to eat anymore or getting together with friends because I know that if I eat something that is not necessarily good for me, I will recover easier. I don’t punish myself for not working out anymore. I do not make plans around the class schedule at the gym and I no longer attend WW meetings. My quality of life is so much better and does not revolve strictly around weight loss leaving room for things I care about way more. It’s a wonderful feeling to no longer be hindered by my weight and to just be.