Below is an entry from my original online journal about my bariatric journey. I must say I don’t really recognize myself in the writing, but yet I do. I can see my strength in the writing, but I can also see what a wounded spirit I had. I suppose you can see by reading the entry I was in a horrible place in my life it seemed.. But, really it was a good place because I was sure learning lots of lessons…rather quickly I might add.
The point of sharing this is to 1. If you have had surgery and lost a lot of weight and worried about the skin, you see you are not alone in this journey. 2. Realize there are issues that we battle that go beyond the weightloss, I have lost all my weight in this entry, but I am battling emotions, self doubt, body dysmorphia, feeling unloved and incontinence from PFD. 3. You can see, that with perseverance we can do so much. This was written 5 years ago and I was 2 years post op almost at the time. I did manage to have the reconstructive surgeries, I did manage to get the strength to leave the husband, and I don’t pee on myself anymore… oh life is so good!!! I still don’t have lumbar seats though. **************************************************************************************************** June 7,2005 My plastic reconstructive surgery consult was today. I drove myself to my appointment although driving really sucks with this SI injury and PFD. I got up this morning at 5:00 am and fixed my face, and lord knows that is a days worth of work. Fixed my hair and got dressed. I hated the thoughts of making this trip alone but hey a gals gotta do what a gals gotta do. My husband is really not into this and it seems everywhere I go and everything I do, I am alone.
Along the way I realized my SUV was riding funny pulled over and low and behold my tire was low, so I pulled off at the first exit which was in Beaver, WV filled up the tank and the tire. Saw a real hot guy in a Lexus 270 who was giving me the eye haha too early in the morning dude! So Im back on the road, brought me a frozen coffee drink from home with a scoop of vanilla matrix for protein. Why I keep missing my mouth and spilling this on my new dress I have no idea. Funny thing is I used to drop everything on my chest now it hits a little lower SO here I go, going somewhere Im not really sure of the directions since I dont venture out of my safe world too awful much.
I turn up the radio and jam awhile listening to some music always makes me feel good. I forget when the radio is blasting that I cant carry a tune in a bucket even if it does have splash guards on it. SO I just belt it out as loud as I can go. Although my back is killing me and Im thinking my next major investment will be a car with lumbar seats. It seems like I am driving forever, miles and miles. After many miles an no road signs that even mention Fishersville I am beginning to worry. OK. Maybe I should invest in a CB radio, yea breaker breaker this is Miss Dolly, I got the hammer down, and Im rolling down I-64 not sure where the Hell I am, could one of you nice people point me to the right path?? I am heading to Fishersville.
When am I going to learn to right down directions before I leave the house. No wonder my daddy worries to death about me. Well if all else fails I will do like my mommy taught me stop and ask some nice gentleman where the Hell I am. The road sign ahead says the road is going to split! Right for Richmond and Left for Staunton. Ok I dont want either I want to go to Fishersville. So driving at 65, I close my eyes for a moment (its kinda dangerous shutting your eyes driving 65 on the interstate) and think ok GOD give me a sign here do I go left or do I go right, well low and behold got gave me a sign a great big green one that says Fishersville 1 mile, YAHOO!!!!! Alrighty then thank you GOD for that one!!I sure needed your help with that!!
I am getting quite nervous as I know I am going to have to bare it all when I get where I am going and my pouchie Betsy is being quite bitchy with me. She needs to be a little nicer to me when I am having a bad day!!! Ok here I am Fishersville exit, the Augusta Medical Center itself is easy to find I reckon because it is HUGE!!! But finding the medical offices is a different story, but I managed!! I am figuring out I can do these things by myself, and I am not totally helpless!!!
I go in to the office and fill out my paperwork, and sit down for the wait. I start reading little pamplets one says are you considering botox injections?? Haha I hate needles. Another says vitamin C topical solutions is the key to beautiful skin, well Hell I figured that out along time ago when Adrienne Arpell started selling vitamin C skincare kits in her Signature Club A collection. Thank God for HSN so I can get it a little cheaper.
I am deep engulfed in this reading material when I look up and a lady says to me Honey did Dr. Knox do your work?? Well she caught me off guard I reckon, I said what work? and she says well you have had something done to your face havent you???I kinda laugh and say oh no honey I just LOOK this way. I am here for some BODYWORK!!LOLOLOLOLOL
She looks at me again and says now honey there is nothing to be ashamed of you have a perfect figure, surely you have had face work Well gosh dang it no I havent But she can fix anything she wants to when Im under!! SO the lady finally believes me. She tells me she figures I am there for a boob job since I have such a cute little figure. Oh I feel like pulling up my dress and showing this lady that she doesnt know it ALL!!! But she is so d@$% prim and proper she would probably poop in her pants!!!
Betsy is really peeved by this point. I am scared to death I will pee all over myself on this little trip due to the bladder problem I am having. With this huge pani of skin I have PFD and I also have a SI joint injury from a wreck and so I have issues. 😦 I have made a point to stop very frequently and pee and stretch my back. But Betsy she is her own boss. They call me in, I just look at the little blue haired nosey lady and smile. Betsy wanted to say BLECK!!!
The doctor comes in to talk first, very good, I am impressed. She is very nice and lets me tell her what I am there for, tell her what all is bothering me. She is very receptive and listens very carefully. Then she gives me this gown and says I need to get undressed and put the opening in the front, and gives me these little blue photo panties. OMG PHOTO PANTIES What am I doing here???, shut up Betsy this is NO time for you to act up!!! Ok imagine me in blue paper thong panties and that is it. I am not impressed with that look! I CAN’T BREATHE.. I do NOT want to take PHOTOS in Blue paper THONG panties. She takes the photos, and we discuss the surgeries, it will take 4 to get me back to normal!!
*&^$#@!@#$%^^&*(((*&^%$#@!$%^&*(((&%$#@!@$%^&***((*&&^%$# @ NORMAL….isn’t that a setting on the dryer?
Of course we all knew about the tummy tuck I would need, she says I have massive amounts of skin. That my weight was carried mostly from the waist down, I may or may not need the whole anchor cut, but that she will not leave it to look poochy if I need it she will do it. I will have a new belly button, a nice little innie like I used to have. I actually have a rash which she says is a good thing it will be in the photos she submits to my insurance. My panni is longer and bigger on the right side. How weird is that.?? What a wonderful day it will be if they approve me really quick!!!
About 16 pounds of excess skin
Second surgery breast Did you know one of my boobs is larger than the other?? Yea, that is a deformity in itself, hooray for that!!! OK my whole body must be lopsided. She says the insurance will possibly cover the lift and the removal of the extra skin along the sides. Implants I will have to pay for$1,800 hmmm no matter what size same price. OK no I dont want Dolly boobs, I dont think I could carry them, and I already have a bad back so what would it do to me??I have to decide if I want the implants, and what size I want. Easy enough.
Third, thighs. Oh she says my thighs are awful but that is ok she didnt tell me anything I didnt already know. She will have to cut around my groin area and down the inside of my leg almost to my knee. OUCH!!!! So is my right thigh larger too?? No well dang I thought I was finally going to have an excuse for being heavy on the pedal, ya know speed demon!!!Pedal to the medal!!!
Then later on a brachioplasty. She does not feel that I will be able to get this covered although sometimes she says insurance does cover it will massive weight loss, we shall see.
One thing for sure I have learned to fight for things. My WLS was approved before I had it then Accordia PEIA tried to not pay for it. I fought that and I won. Then when I went to the ER with my abdominal pain in February and the insurance tried to say it was not an emergency and tried to only pay half, well I fought that and won my bill went from $1,800.00 to $150.00. SO I will fight with all I have left to fight with to get these surgeries approved! I probably have a job ahead of me.
When it is all said and done I have a power crunch bar waiting in my car thinking maybe Betsy will settle down if I give her some protein. I sit in my car and turn on some music, while I eat. MMMM I do love power crunch bars.
The music that comes on is Fleetwood mac singing the song where she says something to the effect of I was afraid of change because I build my life around you Now children grow older and I am growing older too Wow words to my life. I build my life around my husband and my kids, do I even exist?? Then she says if you see my reflection in a snow covered something or other I turn my mirror around to see MY REFLECTION!
Who is that in the mirror??? When did my hair get so dang big and when did it get curly?? Especially when I havent had a perm in years. Where did those lines come from?? Where did my fat MASK go??
Ohh you know the one, the one I hid behind for years. There is nowhere to hide now. Who is that in that mirror?? That is Gregs wife, that is Lynndall and Kays daughter that is Megan and Leesa’s mommy but who is she??? I am Teresa. I am a new woman now. With needs and expectations. I have a life, a job, I love taking good care of my patients, I am a student. I am a good person. I am loving, caring and just an ole country girl. I am healthy. And most of all I am NORMAL! Well almost they tell me, or I will be after 4 surgeries…*sigh*
For so long I had the fat mask to hide behind, ya know people dont look you in the eyes when you have the fat mask, they just kind of look down and hope you wont look at them in the eyes, they are hoping their children dont say something out of the way, they are hoping your disease dont rub off on them.They are sure hoping your obesity is not contagious. People dont see me that way now.
They see me as normal, you know with the comments—the cute little figure yada yada yada. It is me, who still sees myself that way, it is me who still sees the obese person I once was. When will I be able to look into that mirror and see ME, Little Teresa, the one with the beauty mark, the one with the deep set dark blue eyes, the one with the intelligents, the sense of humor??? When will I see her again, does she ever come out?? Is she lost in all of that skin?? Or even worse did I lose her when I lost the pounds??
I know some you know and understand what I am talking about. Some of you will ask –when will I see that I have lost the weight? But some of you will understand that this is much deeper than looks, this goes deep down to the root of the problem, to MY feelings. So we will submit to insurance and wait for a reply! I wish you all a wonderful journey. I hope you lose all the weight you look to lose. But most of all I hope you find you. And enjoy your life.And love yourself. I mean after all you are the main person who matters in this journey. Hugs from the mountains of WBGV, and I do LOVE ya’ll! 🙂
Read Full Post »