Here I am one full week post-op from a vertical sleeve gastrectomy but I am not the least bit interested in celebrating the as “The moment that changed my life forever” or any other such thing. Oh perhaps I look back on the auspiciousness of this day but today, thankfully, wonderfully, I know the day, the moment of surgery is has no real power.
Yes, weight loss surgery is a tool and a fairly drastic one at that but so many people put all their energy into the tool’s potential to change that they forget they hold all the power.
It occurred me last night that from the moment you enter the hospital you are not in control of your own destiny. Yes, you did all the work to be eligible to be there but at this point on your journey you are incredibly powerless. It is a scary moment to relinquish that power. If you have vetted your surgeon, you should feel confident in shifting power to him. If you don’t, you should remove the snazzy wristlet the smiling admitting clerk gave you and reassess your choice. Assuming you don’t ask for a pair of scissors or gnaw it off when the nurse isn’t looking, you move forward in the hands of a team of medical professionals until you are released from the hospital. And, you have no power.
For me, the shifting of power was about 30 hours. During that time, someone else directed the course of my journey. Sweet nurses brought me medications to make me comfortable and laps around the nurses station which made me anything but. I did have the power to refuse to do any of it but when you’ve come this far you’re really not interested in asserting your will.
However, when my throat hurt in the middle of the night and I tried to steer my our course the nurses wouldn’t bring me sugar-free gelatin because, “The doctor wants you to stick to your diet.” Good gravy Davey, I promise I didn’t want to actually eat it. The last time I had chemical-laden gelatin from a box was the last time I had surgery six years ago. I’m not convinced that stuff is actually fit for human consumption. My throat hurt, dammit.
You make it through the night and the discharge orders arrive. You’re free! Your surgeon and nutritionist have given you instructions but no one is forcing you to follow them. Now, you are steering your own course again.
You hold all the power, again.
Oh shit…now you have to go to work.
The moment you realize your future is in your hands is a little disarming. Thanks to the copious amounts of pain medication the realization is a little slow. Within a couple of days the reality and enormity of it all descends. It feels frightening but this is your power coming back to you.
Just as every moment which leads you to choosing weight loss surgery was a maze of twists and turns every moment forward is the same. Surgery did nothing but change the maze you are running.
Now, you’re faced with the choice to rise up into your own amazing power…
(If you’re looking for updates on my progress check this post.)