So here I stand….

I have started this post and deleted it time and again. I don’t have direction or intent. What do I want to write about? What do I have to share? Where have I been? What am I doing? How is life according to weight loss surgery? Does weight loss surgery even play as much of a role in my life as it did a few months ago? Am I once again redefining normal and redefining who I am? It seems I am.

I have made a conscious effort to disengage from facebook a bit, as I think being as deeply involved with it as I was, changed my perspective on a lot of things. So, cross addictions being what they are… I have found Pinterest and let me just tell you… I AM THE BIGGEST PIN HEAD OF THEM ALL! I’ve been dubbed “pin head” by the beloved Haven of http://www.blessmysouthernheart.com

Pinterest is inspirational for me. I sat there for a few days WISHING I could do a lot of the things I was seeing. Wishing I could have a lot of the things I saw. And then I asked myself why I was wishing and not doing? How much of my life had I sat on my ass wishing? This past year was all about doing! So, I started to do.

First I started cooking better for my family. HOLY MOLY, pinterest has some awesome crock pot savvy meals! I was cooking up so much that my mommy and daddy bought me a new crock pot and two AWESOME cook books to go with it!

Next I decided to tackle the house. Here is where I have to explain a little. Having four children in a very tight age group, I have always said that my house is my children’s home. I was never one to apologize for the toys and chaos strewn about. I have never been one to want my children playing in their rooms. I have wanted them on the same floor I was on. I needed to hover, they were/are/always will be devious little monsters who get into things you can’t even begin to imagine. Anyway, I digress…. they are now of an age, where I can allow them to be out of sight, and also expect them to be responsible for their own belongings.  With that in mind, I decided to start reclaiming my home. Toys were evicted from the front parlor room, formerly known as the toy room and now known as the Christmas tree room, soon to be known as Momma’s space. My husband’s love of junk mail clutter was evicted from my kitchen. All clutter was evicted from the kitchen. The dining room was also taken over by the crazy woman who possessed the momma. And son on and so forth.

Finally, I found myself admiring doodle art. I was spending hours upon hours of time looking at people’s doodles. I learned that there are names to certain types of doodles like zendoodle and line weaving. zensplosions and zenspirations. Seeing the word “zen” attached to the doodles made me reflect a bit. When I was young there was no surface that was safe from me. Oh my mother would get so angry with me as I would color in the squares of  plaid school uniform, write on the rubber sole of my shoes, draw on my jeans. I loved the feel of a roller pen on recycled paper, and the feel of a marker on a new vinyl binder. I loved the way a paper bag sucked in the ink of a sharpie marker. The sensory satisfaction I got from doodling made me content! But, it was just doodles. It wasn’t artistic. It was mindless, scribbles that felt good. hearts and circles, and hearts and clouds. Bubble letters and typical teenage angst crap. You know the type.

I got my very first journal a few days before Christmas. First I played with the back cover, then the back page. Eventually I moved on with a little confidence to do a whole page, and I completed it, then I completed my second and now I’m onto my third. I’m developing my own ways. I put pen to paper with no idea of whats going to come of it and by the end it just ends up as it is.

My doctor told me a while ago that I needed to find a way to silence my mind. To just relax and unwind, stop over thinking and just be free. I don’t really know how to free my mind, but I think that with pen and paper in hand I’m pretty close to figuring it out.

So this is where I am, this is where I stand. I’m holed up in my house, being anti social, reclaiming my life, being stingy and selfish and loving it.

Broke, Broke and Mad

My husband is our soul income. Work has been slow. I planned on finding a job as a waitress for weekends, but I have been a neurological mystery and am not fit to apply for a new job as I am right now.  We are broke, I am broke, and it is driving us mad. As in crazy. As in, we need income so that I can continue to see doctors and still be able to be home for my children, especially my medically fragile child. We need income to do these things so that we can stay sane.

BROKE: AKA lacking funds. AKA poor.

by_WelissaM

deviant art by WelissaM

I am broken (headaches and leg pain, cranky gut  issues, cranky ass husband syndrome), my laptop is broken (the connector to it is cracked.), this is driving me insane therefore I am mad.

this sucker is the bane of my existance

The insanity is running rampant as the hubby is home more often, and funds are low. My normal escape route is my laptop, which I apparently have an addiction to. Addicted to the laptop? But Michelle, you have an iphone and TWO desktops in the house. Surely you can connect?!

Yes, yes I CAN get connected. BUT… clearly I am spoiled. Sitting at a desk top is sort of claustrophobic. I feel like I’m in the corner. Wait, I sort of AM in a corner, facing a wall, with my back to the world. How did I live like this for so long prior to the laptop?

So, I am cranky, the husband is home and cranky, the majority of the children are in school. We can sit in the house and stare at each other, while anxious and annoyed or we could GO OUT. So, we go out. Where do we go? To stores, where we have little funds to purchase anything other than groceries. Which adds to the stress, which makes me want to eat, which makes me panic, which makes us go home. And when I get home? MY FREAKING LEGS ARE KILLING ME!

Wait! They make a pill for that!

we can just go numb, right?

Oh wait, my pill for that is codeine. I prefer to be cranky, weak and nervous.

I am admittedly a whiney mess. I have not talked to many people these last few days, because all that comes out of my brain is WHINE WHINE WHINE. This is not fun, nor is it who I am. But I am blogging about it, because it is me and this is my reality. <— those two sentences are an oximoron.

As always I will remind myself and you, that there is a bright side. Kailey didn’t get admitted to the hospital on Saturday. Her brain is fine, although achey. My children are fed, happy and bright. I have a roof over my head that is much easier to keep afloat than the old house would have been in similar times.

My husband being home has its upside. We get to spend some time together, discussing options, forming plans of action, bonding. He will be having his WLS soon, and we are able to get a little more in depth when discussing that, because I’m harping on him about it. Because I’m bored. But these things need said and discussed, so.. bright side… they have been.

VSGMOM confesses to being absolutely bat shit crazy. Thanks.

huh?

 

Bari-Family

Once upon a time, a sort of big guy dated a sort of chubby girl, they got married, had babies and got obese together. The now obese wife decided that life was meant for living, and decided to have bariatric surgery to help her reach her goals of living.

A few months later, the obese wife, became a smaller version of her former self, and resembled her younger self more and more. The obese husband struggled with his emotions, trying to deal with the changes that were happening before his very eyes.

Eventually the obese husband discussed the possibilities of bariatric surgery for himself, first with his doctor then with his wife. While apprehensive to under go any form of surgery, he realized that at the rate he was going, he wouldn’t see his children graduate high school. Having lost his own father, much earlier than he should have, he decided to go forward with his plan to have weight loss surgery.

Today the obese husband has been under doctor’s care for  5 months. He went for all of his pre surgical testing, his surgeon consult and his nutritionist appointment. Today, it all became real for him, as he left the doctor’s office and the doctor said “next time I see you will be on the day of your surgery”

One month from now, he will hand in the last of his paper work and it will be submitted to the insurance company. With in the next few months we will be a bariatric family. Hopefully the changes we make in our lives now, will keep our children from struggling with obesity and poor eating habits and behaviors.

Up to this point, I was not sure he would go forward with this. In the past he has lost weight on his own.

When Kailey was born, the man was skinny!

As I have written previously, having a child with medical issues certainly contributed to both of our stress eating tendencies. It is very easy to fill the “helpless” feelings with food. I am hopeful that today marks the beginning of the changes my husband needs to live a happy life.

We're on our way... together.

 

The end of a week of SLACKING!

 

If there is a book about how to be a good wife, a motivated mother, Susie freaking sunshine… I may need to read it. Because frankly, this past week… I have not been any of the above!

"Slacker mom reality" Hi this is totally what my house has resembled this week, and that is the exact position I have had on the couch!

 

 
So much so, that I didn’t even take Ruby out for our hike this weekend. She was very content to slack with me though.

belly up, hanging off of my lap.

 

So, once again, I fess up to bad behavior. And once again, I tell myself that tomorrow is a new day. I will get up, I will move, I will not make excuses.

Tomorrow is nearly here, so I had better get some sleep. I will be accountable this week. I will check in with those who keep me on my feet, I will look at myself in the mirror, face the reality and buck up!

This past week has been chock full o’ drama! What drama you ask? Hubby with no work because things are slow, kid with scarlet fever… which, for the record is not the plague or a death sentence, a lightning bolt smacking into my air conditioner unit, children up all night because of said bolt, which my husband didn’t believe actually hit anything, A/C unit going electrically defunked, seizing up and the upstairs soaring to a high in the mid 80’s (I have a child who doesn’t sweat, this is very bad.), hot flashes, spousal arguments, and the saving grace of a friend who owns North and South Mechanical… who rigged the unit for the time being. I got to claim my very first home owners insurance claim, and now we wait to see what happens next. There has been a lot of time spent with book in hand, head in pillow, and fingers in ears. I saw my doctor and got diagnosed with migraines, ended a week long migraine, and still found 100 excuses to not do a damn thing! It ends tonight.

Tomorrow… yep…. that’s when I will put my best foot forward.

Tonight I’m going to bed, thankful that my house didn’t burn down, none of my children were hospital bound, heat stroke didn’t happen, my dog loves me no matter what, my husband loves me despite it all, only ONE of my children spewed out “I HATE YOU”, and maybe, just maybe I can still make it to NY by next weekend.

Migraines… they’re what I’ve got.

After a week of seriously screwy brain pain, my husband urged me to get my ass into the doctor. Knowing that I have seen her about headaches in the past, and her suggesting I see a neurologist…. I made an appointment with a neuro first, then went to see her.

“Tell me about your symptoms….” she said. I rattled off… dizziness, light sensitivity, nausea, insane head pain, worse when I bend down. Did I mention that I’m on day six of this? Oh, yeah, and uh.. I passed out in the shower once and I keep falling because my balance sucks. When the pain lets up and is more tolerable, there is ridiculous ringing in my ears, and on occasion, when I walk outside, I get spots in my vision.

Now, I admit, when writing it all out and admitting it out loud… I was an idiot to not go to the doctor before. My doctor, God love her for dealing with my entire family as often as she does, was unamused at best.

I am scheduled for an MRI next week. The week after I see the neurologist. My doctor gave me a beautiful gift in the form of a prescription for Imitrex and I took it at bed last night. I was afraid to sit upright this morning, for fear that the heavy head sensation would greet me as it has every morning for the past week, but alas, I sat up and my head didn’t feel like a bowling ball encased in skull. HOORAY!

 

 

This past week I have been a slug. I mean, really, beyond doing the hike on Saturday with the hubby and Ruby, which was pretty low key, low impact, slow moving…. I have NOT done a whole lot of moving. I have been quite content hanging low at home. A few days I didn’t get out of my PJ’s.  My husband made remarks about “who is that woman? Is my old wife back? My new wife wouldn’t be caught dead with PJ’s on and no make up. Are you OKAY?” Uh, yeah… not so okay, but still not excuse enough to slip back to old ways.

  I see how easy it is to fall back into habits. Its much easier to get out of bed and transplant myself from bed to sofa. Head in a pillow, letting the kids run a muck. Its easy to ignore the things that need to be done around here, especially when I know my husband will pick up my slack with out saying a word. Its easy to say “it’s too hot outside to go out” and its too easy to say “my head is killing me and so I won’t move because I don’t feel like it.” Even when the headache was a dull roar with ringing ears, I just laid around. BLAHH!

So today I hold myself accountable for the past week of excuses, and now that the pain in the brain is gone I have NO excuses. I’m going to get the kids out and pick some blackberries, then I’m going to catch up on housework. When the man comes home, I will see where the exercise will happen, dependent upon time, heat index, and weather I will either be down by the lake or up on the elliptical. Today the excuses end.

 

Confessions of a bariatric foodie

First off, let me point out my blog roll and the fact that there is a WHOLE blog dedicated to being a bariatric foodie. So yeah… stealing an idea here, but simply because I am inspired and frankly, I’m a self declared foodie.

I come from a family of foodies. My family has some of its very best moments in the kitchen, creating meals for each other. My dad, my sisters, my brothers, my husband, and even me… we’re all quite adveturous, and we all have amazing palates. My husband of course is beyond a foodie. He is a chef, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. His skills have been put to good use through the years, my family has no problem using him to their full advantage.

Having had weight loss surgery did not alter my taste buds. It has altered the amount of food I can consume, it has even made me apathetic toward food on occasion, but my love of new things and my palate has not changed!

On Saturday we went over to Whole Foods and we stumbled upon a tasting of peach infused balsamic vinegar. They served it over watermelon, with a bit of fresh basil. They had me at “fresh basil” so I went ahead and gave it a try. OH MY, holy peach loveliness! I am not a peach fan. Nope, just not. But this… the heavens open, a choir sang, and my brain immediately went to the endless possibilities that this product could create.

We had friends coming over for dinner, and Saturday night friends + dinner is usually finger foods. Delicious divine finger foods, made with love!

Our favorite stand by is the grilled Angus rib-eye with caramelized onions and horseradish sauce, served on a garlic Parmesan crustini. YUM!

20110704-045933.jpg
Then, Kevin made an amazing chicken salad with fresh grapes, pecans, and of course the peach infused balsamic vinegar. It was amazing! Sadly, there is no awesome way to capture chicken salad. Its just sort of ugly, but here it is anyway:

Chicken salad

Finally tonight, the 4th of July, we wanted simple and delicious. There is nothing as wonderful as Caprisi Salad. NOTHING! Some fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of some reduced peach balsamic vinegar:

And while confessing about the glorious things we created this weekend, here is a photo of the mocha chocolate chip cake I made for our friend’s 4th of July party, it was a hit:

20110704-052644.jpg

 

I brought them to water…

and they had a blast!

I have been making an effort to get out and hike as often as possible. It usually happens on the weekend, and lately we have been busy, so my favorite place has been neglected. I normally take Ruby and head down to the lake. There is a park there that is rough terrain, wooded trails and they lead to different parts of the lake.

Ruby loves this time together, although she is not a fan of the work out. She does love the water. I have never let her run free though, because of leash laws and the fact that she would totally go home with somebody else. Anybody who had a car would be suitable. She isn’t picky. Her leash is a standard 6′ lead. She never gets to really get down and dirty in the water.

This morning Kevin surprised me and told me that his mom was coming by to watch the kids and that we were going to go for a hike! WE as in BOTH of us! Now, this is sort of a mind blowing phenomenon for multiple reasons. FIRST: Saturdays = my husband’s day to sink into the couch and watch REALLY bad TV (hello swamp people, World’s Dumbest, Cops). Second: Its July, in Georgia and its HOT AS HELL, while my hubby can work his way around a 150 degree kitchen with no problem, getting him outside in the summer is damn near impossible. Finally, its the WOODS, NATURE and there are BUGS.

I didn’t dare question it. I quickly got dressed, threw on my running shoes, threw the hair up and popped downstairs just in time for the mother in law to arrive! A quick hello, a speedy “see ya later” and we were off. Kevin, Ruby and I.

I requested a tripe to Home Depot first. I wanted to get Rubylicious a nice long rope, so that she could really enjoy the lake at the end of the trails. We found a nice, cheap, hot pink 50′ rope and a clasp. We were off and on our way. I was pretty giddy and Ruby was fairly worked up herself. She knew where we were going!

We hit the trail, and I brought Kevin on the shortest one first. We spent some time on the shore and let Ruby explore and play!

Gonna get those splashes!

Oh this is great!

Then, much to my delight, we conquered the entire hike, from one trail to the next, up hill and down, climbing down the rocks, and through the trees… my husband was happy because I was not connected to anything digital and I was thrilled because my husband was by my side! Even Ruby kept up the pace.

We came out to an area where the water is usually higher, and had an opportunity to get down on the rocks and out to the lake. It was beautiful, and blissful and for sure to be one of my favorite memories yet.

20110702-051220.jpg

20110702-051318.jpg

20110702-051409.jpg

And we all went home, happy and proud!

joy

Oh, and… I also got quite a few compliments on the shape of my uh, rear! My husband rocks.

The MOM part of VSGMOM

I am a proud, albeit often exhausted and out smarted, mother of 4 . My babies range in age from 9-3. They are so much more than words can describe. I have made mention of them here and there, more Kailey than the others, because well, she is unique unto herself and has traveled a journey of her own. So, I shall share with you a little about my babes. How my surgery has impacted or not impacted them, and how my life revolves around them. They are my “job” my passion, my hobby, my pride.

Kevin Jr. is 9 years old. He was named after his daddy, but he was also named after my brother Kevin who passed away at the young age of 16. I have never met a Kevin I didn’t like. Ever.

Kevin is a very sweet, very concerned child. He didn’t have very long as an only child, and the glory that should be only childhood was cut short when he was 9 months old and Kailey’s diagnoses came to light. He was just a babe, but it affected him. Momma was suddenly not the center of his world, Nana and Pop and Grandma and Daddy were. Momma shut down.

Kevin is needy, looking for attention and always wanting to be loved. He is both a people pleaser and a skootch. He is brilliant, really he is. This kid can get down and dirty talking politics and geography. He knows populations in random states. He loves maps and astronomy, loves family and wishes I had a better family tree to study, and sometimes he quietly thinks about things for quite a while before hitting us with the big questions that send me to google for answers.

At age 4, he got on a two wheeler bike and took off, never needing training wheels. He can skateboard, and caster board, inline skate, and do stunts with his scooter. He is amazing on these type of things. However, if you throw a ball at him, he will DUCK!

Kevin on his caster board. Only kid on the block to rock one of these.

Kevin's bike, some snot wad stole it, but still... it was as awesome as he is.

At his age he has seen far too much sadness and worry. He understands the fragility of life, and has witnessed his sister’s struggle with life enough that even when she is healthy, it weighs on his heart and his mind. He is a very good big brother, and a very darling loving little boy. (another time I will tell you of the day he painted the back door with grape jelly and broke a dozen eggs in the bay window).

Kailey is a spit fire. She has strength, will, and sassiness. She is fresh, brilliant, a go getter. Kailey doesn’t take the words “you can’t” well, and will go out of her way to prove that not only CAN she, but she WILL and she will do it better than anybody else. Kailey is my child all things techy. She can hop on the computer and read the weather radar, find games and master them, pick up angry birds and get the high score after her Daddy has played all weekend long. Kailey loves musicals and dancing. Hair Spray is one of her favorite movies.

For many years she insisted that she was a princess, and was to be called one as well. Then one day she changed her mind and said she was no longer a princess, but some day she will be a ballerina.

beautiful Kailey

Rock Star fishing woman!


Kailey’s story is long and detailed. She was not expected to live one day. Today she is eight years old and lives her life to the fullest. She has changed people’s opinions of disabled children, and she has proved time and again that she is just a typical kid who happens to be medically fragile.

Her medical issues include spina bifida (she uses a wheelchair), hydrocephalus (has a vp shunt), was born with a deformed mitral valve (she is on replacement #2 and when the room is quiet you can hear her valve tick like a clock as the blood passes through the leaflets. It’s kind of awesome), and a double outlet right ventricle (her aorta was on the wrong side). She had a unilateral cleft lip and a bilateral cleft palate. She has a very rare form of ectodermal dysplacia called Hay-Wells Syndrome (AKA AEC Syndrome).  While these things all impact her life greatly, they do not define her AT ALL. Kailey is stronger than anybody you have ever met. She is incredible. A snot wad, but incredible all the same!
http://www.facebook.com/v/1024463964429

TJ is baby number 3. A major life decision. Do we try for another baby, after all of Kailey’s medical issues? Doctors assured us it was not genetic. A random mutation, and so we went forth and TJ came along!

TJ is short for Thomas John. He is not a Tommy, a Tom, a Thomas. He is a TJ. He is adorable, sweet, tough and funny! This past week he had a bunch of grown people licking their own arm pits. Why? Because he asked “Is it possible for a human being to lick their own arm pit?” and like a bunch of idiots, each time, we all tried it. Yep, go ahead, he would laugh at you, but go for it. You can. I promise.

TJ is a rough and tumble kind of kid. He can throw a ball and catch a ball, climb anything, ride anything. He is the play in the mud kind of kid that you use to see back when we were kids. He is carefree and happy as a clam. He is convinced that he is the best looking child to ever grace the face of the earth, and refers to his face as “the money maker”. We have not discouraged this behavior because well, he is handsome as can be, and it is quite funny… for now.

TJ is momma’s boy. He pledges his love for me 100 times a day. When he grows up, he wants to marry me. When I told him that was not possible, I’m already married to Daddy and he will want to go out an find a wife all his own, he told me he will never move out. He can’t stand to be away from me. For now, this idea has not been discouraged either. Someday I will be some beautiful girl’s worst nightmare. The mother who never cut the cord. Yeah, well.. too bad! I had to deal with it, somebody else can too.

TJ is all about being the cool kid. This has led to quite the debate with in the family. How long do you let the six year old call the shots? He, uh, doesn’t want to cut his hair. Like EVER. This battle will end soon, but here he is with his long hair glory:

Shaggy not for long

After a life changing move to Georgia, we decided that we had a 5 bedroom house, we were insane anyway, and what the hell! Lets have a baby!!

Enter Alison. The one and only baby to be born with colic! Came out screaming and cried for then next 4 months. I really started to question my sanity and the possibility that she would cry constantly until she was 21. I’m pretty sure that at some point in my years as a naughty child, my mother wished upon me a child who cried every single day. Somehow the universe misunderstood and I got one that cried every waking moment of every single day.

Then, one day it stopped. And she smiled! And she has not stopped smiling since! Alison is a diva. A princess, a shoe lover, an accessory queen. She is ultra girly and I’m not really sure where it comes from. For real. She loves music, loves to dance, loves to wear dresses. She loves make up and jewelry,  all things sparkly, and pretty much anything pink. At 3 years old she can identify Katy Perry by voice and sight, Ke$ha (lord help me) and Pink. She dances and dances and dances her butt off. If the room is quiet she is sure to be singing something or telling a story that ALWAYS begins with “One time…” < Yes I also think American Pie and “Once when i was in band camp”. LOL. Yep yep, that’s my baby.

Alison is home with me while the bigger kids go to school. She was born past the school cut off date and will be home with me one year more than the other kids were. I’m not disappointed by this. I love every second with her. She cracks me up. She is pushy and bossy with the other kids, but when she is home with out them, she is blissful. She is content to be the only child. She is so much fun, and I have no doubt that as she gets older, her heart will be in the arts.

The princess

It should be noted that upon sight of a camera, she will stop crying and smile instantly. Always ready to pose.

My weight loss has played a role in my children’s lives, although they may not realize it. Little Kevin has heard from his friends and his friend’s parents that his mom looks great. He realizes that I get out a lot more and together as a family we are out more often than not. Kailey is indifferent on my weight loss. She says she prefers me skinnier, but really she doesn’t care one way or the other. TJ has always thought I was super awesome and beautiful. To him, I am the same. He loves me and thats all that matters to him. Alison has become a make up enthusiast. She sees me get ready every day. She notices the simplest changes, from hair style to earrings. She tells me every time she sees me “You look buuuu-fuw momma” and she  makes me shine.

Last but not least, the fur baby. The walking partner, the hiking trail explorer, the lake lover… this is Ruby. She is my unconditional love. She is loved and adored and she loves us like no other.

Ruby getting comfy on TJ

Behaviors, Flaws, Cross Addictions R US

We have all read the facts, we have lurked the forums, we have listened to stories friends have endured. Cross addictions happen after WLS. Can’t stuff the face with food to drown  sorrow, so drink to numb the pain. Can’t eat when stressed, so  shop to make yourself feel better. Have a new body, sudden attention, and suddenly sex fills a void you never knew you had. Right? Shopping,  Drinking,  Inappropriate sexual behavior. Its out there, its discussed, its hard to come to terms with, and difficult to understand what makes us tick.

I think there are more cross addictions or behaviors than those that are commonly pointed out.  Personally I think we all deal with behavioral issues post WLS that were probably lurking under the surface pre-op. I don’t think that we were all addicted to food, but we did have behaviors that landed us in fat camp.  Now that we are post op, there are behaviors running rampant, and because they don’t make many people raise an eyebrow, we don’t pay much attention to it, or ask ourselves why.

Some people never really had a social life. As obese children, grown into obese adults, very many of our peers were wall flowers. As the pounds shed, the “normal” sized person is not only seen, but is glorified for all that they have lost. Showered with compliments “You look amazing!” “You are incredible!”, the wall flower begins to peel off the wall and is willing to throw caution to the wind. Suddenly the social butterfly, they may measure their value in the praise of others rather than for the incredible job they have done themselves. Despite all of the positive responses from friends and family, its still difficult to love themselves, unless of course, other people are telling them they are worthy. This is a COMMON behavior.

Other people shed the pounds, and suddenly find themselves surrounded by friends who are unsatisfied with parts of their life. The constant flow of discontent that they hear from their peers weighs heavy on them, and they become sympathetic and hopeful that they may be able to breathe some positivity into those friends who struggle. The savior complex is born. Poor savior is going to be emotionally drained by their friends. We are all broken and flawed. The person who hopes to save the others, has not yet begun to save themselves. This is just another behavior seen through out.

Fallen angel, first we must save ourselves.

It has been said time and again that WLS may fix your gut, but it doesn’t fix your brain. What we don’t really prepare for is all the issues losing weight reveals with in us. We had ideas that losing weight and being “normal” would suddenly fix everything. While it may fix physical health issues, and it may boost self esteem, it also reveals years and years worth of insecurities that we didn’t even know we had. What do we do to deal, when we have never had to cope with them before? What happens when our new behavior affects other people, and with out knowing it, we leave a trail of  hurt behind us?

WLS should come with a mandatory year of therapy. Really it should. And although we all seem to admit that the post op journey is a roller coaster, that we are learning more about ourselves every day, that we don’t know how to cope well with, uh.. anything… the majority of us, myself  included, do not seek therapy.

Personally, I know I SHOULD find a therapist.  I know that while my support system is phenomenal, they can not give me the tools I need to cope, nor should they be expected to. But, I struggle with the ability willingness to open up to somebody who has not lived the life. Who has not walked the path. How can somebody help me, if they have no idea of the mind blowing reality that losing 140lbs in 10 months can be. THEN… if I DID find a therapist who was a bariatric patient… would I believe that they could be objective enough, did they deal with all of their own crap?

Oh post op life, you really are a great big conundrum.

I am flawed. My friends, my support love me despite my flaws. I adore and love my friends despite their flaws. But boy oh boy, we are quite the community of flawed, scared, screwy folks. Don’t worry, come on, bring your flaws, you will be loved anyway.

As simple as a laugh…

Sometimes we get so caught up with our crazy selves, that we snowball into even crazier chaos. Such is the state of my marriage. As I wrote last week, its a struggle, and post op life has a large impact on married life. Should it be that way, not really, but it is. And its common.

Once again, I was surrounded by friends, support, love and inspiration. This time I was lucky enough to have a weekend with some of my BBGC girls here in my home.  A late night on Saturday, some girl talk, men in the other room laughing at us, laughing at ourselves. Oh, the conversations were precarious and hilarious at the same time, and much to my surprise, my husband was willing to be lured in, giggled at, and eventually he was fueling the fire.

Before I knew it, my friends were laughing, I was laughing and my husband was laughing too. LAUGHING… Together? What is this dynamic taking place? When was the last time the laughter wasn’t forced or light? This was “pee your pants” laughter.

I asked Julie tonight, when was the last time she saw Kevin and I laugh together, like that? She said “New Year’s Eve”. Wow. SIX MONTHS, nearly seven. I remember the laughter that night, it was much like the laughter last night. And last night’s laughter carried into today, and today into tonight.  And I realized…..

That man, that laugh, that good sport… he is worth the world to me. How did it get to a point of being so caught up in everything else, that we forgot to laugh?

I have a decal on the back of my truck. It says “Live, Laugh, Love” . I also have a piece on my wall that says “live, laugh, love” and another that says “family, the love of family makes life beautiful”. Simple reminders that I look at EVERY DAY, and yet, they elude me.

Live laught love, Photo credit, FrolickingDirtChild

I am blessed with friends who keep it real, while being supportive. I am blessed with family that is loving, and supportive, despite my ornery disposition. I am blessed with a husband, who in the past six months has not laughed a good hearty laugh, because his wife has been too caught up with nonsense to kick back and relax.

Today is a new chapter, as is every day. A new beginning, a chance to be better, to do better, to strive for more. A chance to put in place small goals that when attained will be rewarding spiritually and mentally.

Tomorrow, I will make sure I remember to laugh.