Eight Years Later. No Regrets. Absolutely None.
April 8, 2009.
Eight years ago (and well, one day.. since I didn’t get to this yesterday) at this time, I was laying on a hospital bed, waiting for my turn.
And waiting some more. My mom and dad and the intermittent hum of the leg compression sleeves squeezing my legs in alternating turns keeping me company.
I was scheduled for mid-day, but my surgeon (Dr. Johnson) was called in to assist on some emergency abdominal surgery. Finally a bit before 5pm I was wheeled in.
I don’t remember much after that.. I vaguely remember waking up in my room. Parents were there. I think my boss at the time had stopped by. It was nearly 10pm I think and while in most cases after bariatric surgery, they get you up and walking around the same day, they spared me that and let me sleep through the night.
I ended up spending a couple extra days in the hospital, had a minor issue with some dehydration the following week, but overall my recovery was text-book. Well, the good kind of text-book, not the kind where of example they use to teach med students about all that could go wrong.
It’s still hard to believe, that this was me…
My 42nd birthday. Spent the day with mom, sister and her kids. That was not a very happy person there. I’m sitting on the floor because that couch just felt too.. small. Uncomfortable. Of course getting up off the floor wasn’t easy. Not that I didn’t smile at some point that day… (and I have friends that would argue I don’t smile much for photos anyways), Sarah and Cole could always make me smile…
Three months (and 4 days if you want to be specific) and it will be time for another birthday. A “big one”. 50.
One that at the time I decided to have bariatric surgery, I was honestly fearful I wouldn’t reach. Now here I am, 8 years post-op, and doing… good.
I’m not where I would really like to be, and I’m still trying to figure out just how I get a bit closer to that… but overall, I’m doing good.
I’ve been part of a lot of support groups, information sessions and around the bariatric community to have heard the question “do you have any regrets about deciding to have surgery?” (or some variation there-of). Many even say they wish they had done so sooner… Mine answer’s a flat-out no.
Is everything sunshine and glitter? No. But I’m doing just fine where I’m at. I’ve got family and great friends back in MN, who even though we may have additional miles between us, I know should the need arise, we’d be there for each other. I’ve made some great friends out here in WA, and I’m out there… living a life I could only .. actually… one I never really dreamed of, but feel blessed to have fallen in to.
On any given weekend I can get out and see things like this…
On top of that, I’ve got a great job, working from home for a company that provides services to other companies that are helping to treat obesity and related medical conditions, and I’ve been able to find a cause I can believe in, can support, in the Obesity Action Coalition..
So no. No regrets. Because every decision I’ve made, good or not-so-great, has led me to here. And here, is a pretty good place to be. It even has me smiling once in awhile…
One more thing…
So… I may have mentioned once or twice in the past that I am a member of the Obesity Action Coalition, and have been part of the Convention Planning Committee for a few years. Part of what we’ve been doing to try and help more and more people get the education and support that they need is to start a scholarship fund to help those who might otherwise not have access to an incredible event as our Your Weight Matters convention.
To that end, I would like to ask for your help… we’re doing a bit of fund-raising for the scholarship fund, and any donation made this week (by April 17, 2017), will get a matching donation from the folks at Geisinger. They are matching, dollar-for-dollar, up to $5000… any amount you can spare, even as little as $5, heck, even $1 will be doubled. And while it may not seem like much, may not seem worth the effort… well, there’s a quote that is a favorite of the OAC in the presentations we do around advocacy.. it talks about how a group of individuals together can make a difference, but this is one I found that I think is even better.
I may be only one person, but I can be one person who makes a difference
I found that on the wall outside a ride at Disney’s Epcot, it’s by Vadra Francene Groce, Age 10. You can make a difference. Any donation you can make, will make a difference.
Just use this simple donation form. Thank you, in advance.