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.]
…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.