Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Big Medicine" and a year out from surgery...

Wow! For the first time since my surgery, I saw a new episode of Big Medicine last night. If you haven't seen it it's a documentary type show about a father-son surgical team that perform gastric bypasses for morbidly obese patients in Houston, Texas. I used to watch it with much fear and trepidation. It showed way too clearly how many obstacles one must overcome even to get approved for that surgery. So watching it beforehand wasn't fun.
I really never believed that I was going to have gastric bypass surgery until I was lying on a table and felt anesthesia being pumped into my mouth and nostrils. I remember waking up in the recovery room (seemingly seconds later) and still wondering if it'd really happened. Honest to God, I woke up with this fear that "I'm waking up too soon...something's happened and they weren't able to do it..." The first nurse I saw that came by and called me "sleepyhead" got her arm grabbed. "What's wrong?" she looked concerned...I must've had a deer in headlights look in my eyes. I mumbled something about "Done?" and she laughed. "Oh yes,,,you're done. You did great." Then I wanted to know if they'd had to do it open or were they able to do it laproscopically. Again, all I could get to come out of my mouth was "Open?" She had no clue what I was asking until she realized I was feeling of my belly for staples. Thankfully, there were none and I knew that I was done and it'd been as minimally invasive as Dr. Richard had promised. I'd lost a substantial amount of weight on my own before surgery to make laproscopic possible. But there was still the possibility of my liver being enlarged and me being closed back up and having to wait. I had a thousand scenarios playing out in my head...none of which came true.
So can you tell that watching that show last night put me in a most retrospective mood about this past year? I really can't believe it's been a year. I've lost 184 pounds in the last year, making my grand total lost right at 264 pounds. Life, in general, has improved in so many ways they're too numerous to mention. We lost Aunt Jean but the family grew with the birth of Henry Alexander ("Great Uncle Tim" has a nice ring to it....) The biggest hurt of all, of course, is that we lost Mother. But I've gotten my life back and she'd be pleased.
Now, if they had a surgery that could remove one's propensity to live in fear and make excuses I'd be all set. With excess weight no longer holding me back from chasing the things I've always wanted to accomplish, I'm forced to face the fact that I'm my own biggest enemy now. Dr Richard told me this was just a tool and "the rest" was up to me. I wonder if he ever gets tired of being right?
I'm on vacation next week. Our annual journey to my in-law's place in "The Redneck Poconos" (a.k.a. Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge.) They've got this skylift thingy that looks kind of like a ski lift. It'll take you up the side of the mountain there in Gatlinburg. My fear of heights is well-documented. But with God as my witness I'm riding that skylift next week. I no longer exceed any weight limits they have on the thing. Years past, I was unable to physically fit into the little lift chair. Now those excuses are gone. Picture Lt. Dan (in "Forrest Gump")hanging off that crow's nest, yelling at The Almighty. That's gonna be me next week. "YOU CALL THIS A MOUNTAIN??!!!!" I have no idea where this overwhelming urge to ride that thing comes from or exactly what it signifies. Maybe I'm knocking down fear one phobia at a time. I'll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, keep an eye on the news...I might be so juiced from riding that lift that I run out into those Tennessee woods and wrestle a bear (put your money on the bear..still....)

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

This is awesome, T. You've had an amazing journey, and I'm sure you have a lot of "sky lifts" ahead of you - things you didn't / couldn't do or wouldn't have even considered that are now a part of your "possible" life. Keep on truckin' and we're still there enjoying your ride! Thanks for the post!