Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Desperation...and a scare

I'm still in one piece. Barely, but still in one piece. I had to go out of town last week and ate out every meal...ugh. I tried to do my best, picking grilled chicken entrees, and I even got a gym workout in while I was there.

Then I got hit hard by a cold (that still hasn't gotten better) and just tried to lay low--do my work and get back home in one piece.

Since getting back though, I've been trying to regain a little bit of control over my schedule. Work is still insane, but last night, while I was in the gym I realized how much I needed to make time for my workouts. While on the treadmill, they only thing I was thinking about was my workout--how good (and yet torturous!) it felt; how the sweat was dripping down my neck, how good that cold water tasted. I wasn't thinking about deadlines or editors or games or bosses or Christmas shopping or Thanksgiving with the in-laws. I just thought about me and my body. Have to admit...it was a nice change of pace.

And I realize, my goal of hitting 15 pounds down by Paris is not going to happen...I've hit a wall--a gain a few weeks ago, a loss two weeks ago, and no idea what to expect this week...but it's okay. Last night while watching the Biggest Loser, Mr. CCC and I saw a stat that had us both a little dumbfounded--the average American gains seven pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So, if I stay at the same weight, I've accomplished something. If I lose any weight, I'll have accomplished something. I'm just setting out to do that right now--lose whatever I can between now and the start of 2008.

And because I haven't had enough proof of why this battle is so important, I got yet another life lesson in desperation and weight loss today.

My stepdad's sister had to be rushed to the hospital this morning...why for you ask? Complications from gastric bypass surgery.

In all reality, I'm not one of those people who is completely opposed to gastric bypass. Sure, I think it's better to try and lose the weight in a healthy way that helps you adjust your habits and doesn't require surgery, but I know that for some people--gastric bypass is the only way out.

Only problem is--my stepdad's sister is NOT one of those people. She was overweight--by about 40 pounds when she had the surgery (it was post-baby weight). Her initial doctor told her she wasn't a good candidate for gastric bypass at all, but unwilling to accept that from her doctor, she began searching for another doctor willing to take her on. To make things easier, she even sewed weights into her clothing so that upon stepping on the scale, the number would be higher.

How a doctor with common sense didn't catch on to that is beyond me (and let's be honest--there are probably more than a few doctors willing to perform this surgery for the money) and she had the surgery a year ago. She's had several complications since.

The most serious came today--when she started bleeding. Upon further research, the ER doctors learned that not only had she had an unnecessary bypass, she had overeaten, rupturing the stitches in her stomach, causing the damage and the bleeding. She had to have emergency surgery to save her life. Her family is a wreck. Her children are scared. Her brother is angry.

I got angry too when I heard the whole sordid story...something my mom didn't understand. She said to me, "How can you be upset? You're trying to lose weight. You've been desperate." I had to explain to her that the reason I was so angry was because stepdad's sister put her life in jeopardy with the surgery. Then she put her life in jeopardy again by overeating when she knew she wasn't able to.

She risked her life for what? To lose an extra 40 pounds? Hey, with some lifestyle adjustments, that comes off. And you don't jeopardize your life. Why anyone would do that--particularly a mother with two small children--boggles my mind. It was selfish vanity....but as one of my friends pointed out to me--vanity is one of the seven deadly sins.

The good news is that it looks like my stepdad's sister is going to make it through this mess. The emergency surgery saved her. She's in recovery right now and everyone is yes, still holding their breath, but a whole lot more hopeful than they were early in the day.

And the whole experience made me grateful--grateful that I haven't reached that point in my life, that I would put vanity above my health; it made me grateful that there are healthy options out there...it made me grateful to know I'm making changes in my life that won't hurt me or the people who care about me.

I can only hope my stepdad's sister learns something similar from this scary experience.

5 comments:

Laura said...

Came across your site tonight. I really hope everything turns out ok for her...what a sad story. Stop by my place if you get a chance.

alishapenn said...

Praying for her! Sometimes it takes something that drastic to make us realize what is truly important.

dragonfly183 said...

Wow, thats really sad. To think she would be so desperate to loose the weight she would do something th endanger her life and possibly leave her children motherless. I wonder if maybe she thought she was invincible. My neighbors son was like that before he crashed his truck into a tree and ended up disabled with one arm for the rest of his life. Some people think there never going to die so they do things that would put there life at risk. I think she may need counseling.

Heather said...

wow I am astounded that any dr would perform that on her! I hope that she is ok, but I just cant get over that. in 17 weeks I have lost half of what she needed to lose so with some hard work she could have done it. Sad.

Anyways, I hope your cold gets better, and good for you for pushing your butt in the gym! dont think about what you wont do (lost 15 for paris), think about what you will do. Just focus on doing the best that you can and you are right, even if you stay the same and avoid those 7 pounds people pack on during the holidays, you will have accomplished somethign wonderful!

Teale said...

I'm glad to see you back on here! I've missed you!