I am not even sure where to start with this entry or how it's going to unfold as I go but let's give it a try. I have put it off for quite some time because it is extremely difficult for me to admit and share my weaknesses. Brene Brown said, "Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose." At forty three years old, I still don't know my purpose here, but I know it's not to eat myself to death. It's certainly not to accept defeat and let my body deteriorate because I have treated it horribly for far too long. Why? Eh, I have my some theories but that's another issue entirely. I decided earlier this year that I had to save my own life and "give up" and have bariatric surgery. I sat on the edge of my bed, sobbing in pain because it hurt just to function. I told Alan that I would do whatever it takes to find a surgeon I trusted and fund the surgery I needed.
(Please know that I don't think others that have chosen the surgical route are quitters or losers by any means. I admire those that have a successful story to share and feel sympathetic to those that still struggle even after surgery. For me, personally, I feel like I would be giving up and giving in to something I've wanted to beat my entire life.)
After LOTS AND LOTS of research online, reading reviews, stalking pages, etc., I found THE surgeon for me. There was something about him and his practice that just clicked for me. Dr. Alvarez with Endobariatric is "One of only 12 world-wide surgeons certified as a Bariatric Surgeon of Excellence" and was named a "Leader in Bariatric Surgery" by Newsweek Magazine. He focuses only on the Gastric Sleeve, the least invasive of the bariatric surgical procedures. I sent in my contact form and took the first step to making something happen for myself. I received a reply right away from his patient coordinator with news I didn't want to hear but expected.
"Thank you for your history submission. Dr. Alvarez concurred with me also letting you know, he would be happy to take you on as a patient once your weight got down to 370 lbs and a lower BMI."
So, yah folks...I was up to 450 pounds. I haven't printed that anywhere yet and I've only shared it with a few people. Those of you that actually read my blog will now know and....GASP....I feel sick just saying/typing/reading it. UGH! Susan, the patient coordinator, went on to apologize for not being able to help sooner but offered encouragement and support. I would need to lose 80 pounds on my own before I could even have the surgery. While it was discouraging, I wanted it bad, so I took it as a challenge. I have lost 80 pounds before, so with the surgery as motivation I got to work.
June 26, 2017
"Good morning Susan,
I just wanted to touch base. I had a 10 day trip to Cabo in May so....didn't really start working on losing weight until after that. (I wanted to eat and drink and figured it would be my last hoorah.) On June 5th I started eating completely clean and eliminated all toxins from my diet. I've been doing really well so far. I'm gunning for that 370 so I can come have my surgery. I've been following Dr. A. on Snapchat and the office page on FB. I'm so comfortable with my choice and know I wouldn't want anyone to do it but Dr. A. I don't want that biggest stomach award though. So, I'm trying to fix that. Hope all is well. Have a great day.
June 26, 2017 (within minutes of my email)
Really great to hear from you and so jealous, Cabo has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. I was there the end of March on a cruise and have been there multiple times. I would love to just go back and spend a few days sans the ship! Hope you enjoyed.
Nice to hear you are now eating clean and I know you will reach that 370 mark so that you can come this way. How cool you are following Dr. A on Snapchat, sometimes that is the only way I know what he is doing for the day! Ha! I am happy you feel good about your decision, and I know you will feel that way 10 fold once you come and meet him in the flesh.
I love those biggest stomach awards, so cool...
All is great, keep up the good work and I will look to hear from you again soon.
Keep in mind, I'm not even their patient yet and she's listening, understanding, and responding to me. So, here's the latest...
And, I'm in tears again just re-reading it. In just a few short months so much of me has changed. I feel like a different person. I feel like someone that CAN AND WILL beat this on my own. I feel even more sure of my decision to wait on surgery. I feel valued by Susan and Dr. A as a person and not just some potential $$$ on their table. I feel....different AND IT FEELS GOOD.
There is so much more to the whole why or why not surgery thing for me and the funding issues, but this is what is truly important. Showing compassion for someone and treating them with respect when they need it most can CHANGE THEIR LIFE. I just hope I can pass that kindness and inspiration along to someone else.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama