The Stuff That I Forgot About…

It’s the stuff that you don’t even think about for the most part once you’ve ventured into – or at least to the boundaries of – normal. Well – maybe I should qualify that. They are things that wowed me constantly the first year or so after having lost my weight. But as the years go on, well… you – okay – I – forgot about.

You know – the stuff that lists are made of – if you’re a WLS pre-op or post-op – you know – those lists…

1.  Cross your legs.
2.  Shop in a regular sized clothing store.
3.  See your toes!
4.  Touch your toes!
5.  Fly on an airplane and not need a seatbelt extender.

…stuff like that. You know – the stuff we only passingly consider a possibility when we’re MO – or SSSMO (’cause the extra S’s make you feel SO much better about yourself) – and then once we’re just ‘O’ or – heavens – even ‘N’ – we completely forget what a big deal they are. [In case you need a refresher: MO = morbidly obese; SMO = super morbidly obese; O= obese; N = normal.]

Stuff like…

…thighs that don’t rub together when you walk.

…feeling like you fit perfectly in your own skin.

…having arm pits.

…arms that hang down – not slightly projected out from your body.

…walking and not even thinking about the pain of each step.

…forgetting that the scale is anything other than an instrument to report information to you – not your nemesis!

…walking into any clothing store – anywhere – and finding your size on a rack, finding an item that you like (because it’s fashionable and cute and will look good on you), taking it to the fitting room, confirming that yep! It fits! And then buying it – affordably.

…not strategizing whether or not you can afford to participate in an activity because of the physical ramifications that it will cause your body to go through.

….not arriving at your destination completely winded, sweaty, heart palpatating, and trying hard to NOT look like you’re about to have a coronary and keel over.

…not feeling yourself judged by nearly every passer-by – judged of character, will, morality – all sorts of crazy stuff – based solely on your size.

These are the things that I’d forgotten about. Oh – not in theory – just in practical application.

I recall clearly saying – oh, somewhere around a year post-op and having lost 175 of the 245 pounds that I would eventually lose – maybe even a little flippantly…

“I don’t ever want to forget!”

You know – what it felt like – what it was like in practical application – to live the life of a super, super, super morbidly obese woman.

I didn’t ever want to lose my sense of empathy.

I didn’t ever want to be one of those “normies” who had nothing but disdain for the MO community. (Believe it or not – I know post-ops who would fall into this category!)

I didn’t ever want to discount the hell that those who were still MO lived through daily.

I didn’t ever want to lose sight of where I’d come from. You know – 365 pound wheelchair-bound, every co-morbidity in the book, BMI 66 – me.

I don’t know – maybe you’ve met one of them – yeah – them – one of those post-ops (of any of the many forms of WLS out there today) who have left their MO lives in the dust – and can’t be bothered with the MO community today.

I didn’t – and don’t – want to be a snot.

I didn’t – and don’t – ever want to be ungrateful.

I didn’t – and don’t – want to ever be unapproachable.

I didn’t – and don’t – want to ever take for granted the incredible blessings afforded me.

I believe – with every fiber of my being – that I have been blessed to be a blessing.

So – with all of that in mind, let me just say this.

…maybe I am a little bit of a snot…

It’s true – I don’t want to forget what it’s like to be SMO – but dang it! – I don’t want to be SMO – or MO – or even O.

I can and will admit it. I like normal! I miss normal!

Is that disingenous?

Now that I’m here – back at Morbidly Obese again – I can tell you with all sorts of confidence – it sucks.

For so many reasons that it’s really impossible to catalogue them – but suffice it to say, it’s no joy ride.

I guess I’m surprised. I’m surprised how distanced I’d become – emotionally, relationionally, practically – from the reality of the life of living with obesity. Thank God that I’m not back to BMI 66 me – but that I’m 18 BMI points higher than I was when I had that horrible surgery in February 2010 – scares the living snot out of me. What scares me more is that it’s not stopping – this horrific weight gain – day by day, week by week, month by month – my weight just continues to go up.

I think another thing that surprises me is that I had really lost sight of – okay – pretty much completely forgot about – that pervading sense of DREAD and sense of heart-sickness – over the seemingly un-winnable battle that is morbid obesity.

I’m remembering anew the sense of having been vanquished by a foe that is poorly identified, defined, or battled.

How thankful I am for Dr. Baltasar!

I continue to think back – and remember how dire the predictions were about my chances of surviving TO my DS in 2002 – much less through the surgery itself.

Of course, “they” didn’t know Dr. B. They didn’t understand his heart of compassion. His understanding – somehow – of how important the battle is – and the best weapons to bring to the fight.

So – big breath in…

Let it out slowly…

I leave for Spain a week from tomorrow.

I have a date with a wonderful Spanish surgeon by the name of Dr. Aniceto Baltasar.

I am a blessed woman.


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Maddie says:

    Wow woman this really brought back a lot and I thank you for it. I have not been skinny long enough to completely forget, but sometimes I do forget here and there. Just the other day I realized that my thighs barely touch when I walk. I suppose that they always will since I tend to be thigh heavy. I still have wow’s. I remember what it was like to walk up a flight of stairs and wish I didn’t have to ever walk back up them again. Winded, struggling to breath, heart pounding out of my chest. Answering the phone and having someone on the other end asking why I was breathing so hard and was I running. I used to lie and say I was doing something when in truth I had just gotten up from the sofa. I’m not N. Even at 161 I’m considered overweight. I have to be around 140 to be considered normal. Despite that, I feel Normal. I look normal. People don’t stare at me except guys, but in a lustful flirty way. I like that. lol. Women and men hold doors open for me. When I was SSSMO (as you say) 🙂 I was ignored. I could have had my hands full struggling to get to the door, but no one would help. I have mixed feelings about how I am treated now. I like it, but I don’t. I know if I was fat again I would be thought of with disdain.

    I was in WaWa (like a 7-11) and this guy was telling this woman (his wife) about how she didn’t need whatever it was she wanted to get and how if she just stopped eating shit like that she would not be such a cow. She wasn’t very heavy and when I looked at what she had it was an apple, a banana and a mini bagel. It was clear to me that she was really upset and as she came over to get coffee she was very quiet. I asked her (for reasons I don’t even know why, other than it seemed like the thing to do) if I could give her a hug. I know it was weird. A stranger giving a hug, but she readily agreed and when I let her go she was tearing up and said thank you, that she really needed that. I said sometimes we all just need a hug. I wanted to tell her what it was like to be fat, but I didn’t. I remember. May I never forget. Ever. May I always be empathetic.

    Recently I was in the grocery store where there was a very overweight man trying to get the motorized scooter out of it’s parking spot. A little girl whispered to her mom “why is that man using that mom?” The mother said to the little girl in a normal tone of voice “Because he is too fat to walk honey and needs that chair to shop.” I was so angry and appalled that I rather loudly said “or MAYBE he had back surgery, or broke his leg, or has a heart condition or lung condition or maybe he has arthritis and CANNOT WALK BECAUSE OF THOSE MEDICAL CONDITIONS and MAYBE NOT BECAUSE HE’S FAT!” The mother gave me a dirty look while grabbing her cart and quickly entered the store. The man in the cart said “thank you.” I know I need to lose weight, but I recently had surgery on my foot and it’s hard for me to walk. I told him that it didn’t matter why he needed it, that he did and that she was rude and ignorant. He told me that it had been a long time that anyone skinny ever stood up for him. I just smiled and said “I’ve been fat. I’ve been skinny.” Doesn’t matter. No one has a right to be rude.

    I’m so happy that you will be seeing Dr. B soon and that you will be able to get what you most desire. I pray for a safe and fast recovery for you. Blessing to you, your family and to Dr. B.


  2. I am so happy for you. You express my feelings about my former “pleasantly plumb” self so much better than I could. Thank you for sharing. When you first mentioned your “repair” operation and the weight gain, I was truly heart sick for you. This news today has truly brightened my day. God speed you to a quick recovery and please, please give Dr. Baltazar a hug for me. Bennie Willis

  3. Queenie says:

    I’m so impressed with all your posts, but this one really hit home. It is so easy to forget “the way it was.” Human nature always tends to help us “forget” the painful, an example is childbirth! But those of us who have been SMO and lucky enough to get medical intervention regarding our weight issue, need to be vigilant in our memories and assist those who aren’t as blessed.

    Thank you for another great, conscience probing posting.

    I will be sending you healing thoughts and wishing you a speedy recover.


  4. Tara says:

    I hope and pray that Dr. B can restore you to normal again. Hugs!

  5. Leanne Untulis says:

    take a deep breath…
    take all the time you need…
    take all the help that is available…
    and take all of our good wishes, because we understand.

  6. Laureen Farr says:

    Thanks for being you. This brought tears to my eyes….Good luck in Spain!

  7. Liz says:

    Praise the LORD!! Lord Jesus I pray an anointing over Dr. B. and a calm and peace over Dina as she crosses the sea to normalcy one more time. I am SO thankful you are getting the help you so deserve after getting your WLS ripped out from under you without a by-your-leave. Safe travels sweet Lady and friend. I cannot wit to ride this journey with you. Prayers to you and yours.

  8. Wow Dina! What great news for you! I have been watching your journey for several years and was heartbroken when your ds was taken down. We can so identify with this post about the agony of being mo, and our inability to change it. Living with those constraints are something no one can understand if they have not been there. Is Dr. B going to try a surgical intervention? I will start praying today that this kind man can help you once again. Do you need anything else for your trip? Blessings, Marilyn

    Marilyn in ohio
    ds in 1994
    Dr. Hess

  9. Steve Bowman says:

    I hardly ever comment on anything. This was one of the BEST things I ever read about our surgery. I hope everything goes just as you want it to go. I was 520lbs and now I struggle to keep my weight up to 240 or 250(I don’t want to get much lower) I have been thru alot of the things you wrote about. I hope people who are considering having our surgery understand that there is a mental part that has to be as strong as the physical body. I hade mine in 2007, and I think it saved my life. Thank you Dina, and Dr. B.

  10. Nicole Linn says:

    Dear Aunt, I had no idea that you were going through all of this. I am thinking of you during your trip and your surgery, and wish so much that we could be closer so I could help you out when you return home. Sending many, many hugs your way.

  11. karen says:

    Bless you Dina for reminding us all that we are here for each other. Your description of life before WLS and the hopelessness just reenforced the gratitude I feel today. Maybe I will have plastics, maybe not, but I have a hopeful, happy life and will never get tired of thinking that my size 2 pants are just a little too big. Blessings as you say, for your life and recovery. Karen

  12. Anne says:

    As a newbie and a preop you make me realize so much of why I need this fabulous tool and how I should treat it. Your posts almost always bring me to tears. I hope you are doing well, and well enough to start writing again.


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