In less than 48 hours, I’ll be wheeled back to the OR for my VSG (weight loss surgery). Crazy times.
I’m currently on day 8 of a 10 day pre-op diet. An all-liquid pre-op diet. (Liquid is a somewhat fluid –hah get it?!– term, because low sugar and sugar free yogurt and pudding count.) I’ve lost just over 9 lbs in 10 days. I’ve gotten super creative with soup preparation, and fallen in love with some varieties of greek yogurt. Fairlife milk is delish.
I’m going to throw in here before I get going on this that about 8 days ago, I bought a condo with my husband. It’s new construction so we don’t move until next April, but you know, I didn’t have enough going on, so we thought why not? We’re actually super pumped, but to say it’s been stressful between that purchase, my upcoming surgery, and a ton of work commitments is a MAJOR understatement.
I’ve grown even more thankful of my husband, who is so incredibly supportive it’s unbelievable. Even though he has absolutely no reason to, he’s been doing the pre-op liquid diet with me (even while he was traveling for work!), and plans to continue my food phases post-op. I have 2 more weeks of liquids, then 2 weeks of pureed food after surgery. I never thought I’d be so excited to be able to eat cottage cheese and soft scrambled eggs.
I realized that I’ve eaten some form of egg nearly every day for at least 4 years. I went through a ~2 year egg whites for bfast phase, a year of egg sandwiches or egg casseroles, then shifted into hard boiled eggs after doing Whole 30 last summer.
I’m learning that sometimes, food is too much of a distraction for me to enjoy a social event without. I’m also learning that other times, the company is so encompassing that food doesn’t matter at all.
Unsurprisingly, I’ve experienced and am sure I will continue to experience all sorts of reactions when I confide in people about my surgery. Especially women, because holy fuck has society done a number on us, and none of us has escaped without some form of body issues, a lot of which center around weight.
Tell folks has been interesting. My experiences have varied, including:
- Not telling most people at work beyond stating that I’m having “stomach surgery” to those in my direct line of command. Except, when eating yogurt at a company lunch event, my boss’s boss’s boss lady sits next to me, and definitely clues in to my surgery right away. Apparently her mother-in-law had the VSG a year ago, and she herself has considered it. She was very supportive and totally nonjudgemental, but it was weird for the one person who most directly can influence my career to know what’s going on, but no-one else at work does. Odd.
- Friends not getting it, but very “you do you” about it.
- Pro of this: no clear judging, yay.
- Con of this: in an effort for folks not to judge me, I think I’ve been underplaying the seriousness of the surgery. So then they think it’s a non event, or don’t really send many supportive vibes, which is sad since arguably this is a much riskier surgery than my knee surgery or any other thing I’ve ever had done.
- Folks being super encouraging, loving, and understanding (understanding level varies with their own experiences with weigh struggle).
- Friends and folks who don’t want to have the surgery for whatever reasons, but then are either not wanting to talk about it with me, are envious in some fashion, or are more curious than supportive. Curiosity is better than avoidance, but “I’ll be interested in how it goes” isn’t the same thing as “good luck and I’m here for you!”
Just a sampling.
On the plus side, I’ve definitely bonded more with the family member who had the surgery a year ago, and that’s been nice.
And now I’m just internally freaking out a little about 1) am I nuts to alter my body permanently? 2) WTF will food and socializing be like after this? 3) I WANT A BURGER. and 4) I wish folks could just validate my decision, and that just is so fucked up in what it says about my need for approval of others.
Life’s a journey, folks.