ALMOST 9 months!

So here I am. On the eve of my 9 months post op. I’ve been on this journey as long as a baby develops. It’s a long time. And it flew by like the Southeaster winds here in Cape Town.

 

And I have such mixed feelings. I don’t know where to begin.

 

I honestly don’t!

 

Today I am wearing a pair of skinny jeans. It would never have fit me EVER, not even closely. Couldn’t get my calves in there even. And now? The bloody pants is too big! I am sitting here and it is hanging loose around my hips and legs. And it says SKINNY on it!

 

Of course I am not skinny. Not yet. Hopefully one day.

Anyway. It is a weird feeling.

 

Sometimes I still get surprised at random stuff. Like last night I was stretching my arm out to my love, and I looked at my arm, and I was like, who’s thin arm is this???

 

I have lost two thirds of my excess weight. A third still to go. I realise I won’t make it in time for my one year anniversary on April 17th. But that is ok. As long as I am weighing in the 80s, I will be elated (that is in kilograms – even if it is 89,9 kg, I’ll be so happy!). because the thing is, I can’t REMEMBER when last I was that weight. I remember when I was 17 years old, I weighed in the 90s. So I’ll be really happy if I am in the 80s by then.

 

This operation has changed my life. It changed me. In a good way.

If you are considering it, prepare yourself though. The MENTAL ride you go on is the craziest thing ever.

Maybe it’s just me. Probably is, just me. I had some mental problems beforehand, that was never dealt with. But you see, I do tend to believe that all people (well, most, there are exceptions to this) who are so grossly overweight do have some mental issue of some kind. And they self-medicated with food. That is how you get this size. That is my take on it, in any case.

 

And even if you didn’t get at that size because of some issues, you certainly GET some issues being that big – what with all the taunting and self-loathing, and degrading of yourself. The everyday struggle. Putting yourself down. Being put down by others. THINKING you see the disdain in strangers’ eyes. That does something to a person.

Anyway. So my biggest journey, to my surprise, was not the pounds lost showing up on the scale (although that was the initial high and yay and hoorah). No, my biggest journey is getting to the centre of me. Of who I am. What is wrong. And how can I fix it. And that I am ok enough. That I am actually a great person. That I can and will and shall deal with my demons. Deal with it, and then put it away. And live my life. As I should’ve been doing (and never ever really was).

 

So that’s me being all philosophical on the eve of my 9 months post op!

 

the day my hero died

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I am currently feeling so strange, so strange.

 

 

Perhaps the passing of the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, has a lot to do with it.

 

This whole week has been full of ups and downs rollercoaster.

 

My weight is coming off very slowly, veeery slowly.

 

I am eating as I should. Proteins, low carbs. The only thing I am struggling a bit with is sugar. I drink a lot more tea than I used to. My go to “fix” is tea now. And I haven’t been able to switch to sweetener.

 

So I think that is holding me back a bit. And my eating some chocolate every now and then. Chocolate doesn’t make me dump, strangely so. And it is definitely an upper.

 

Something in which I feel I am in short supply of lately. My mental state is weirdly messed up, but perhaps I am getting better. Seeing my psychologist every week now and I think it is helping, although I find the whole process quite unsettling.

 

I don’t really like to talk about my feelings and emotions, I realised. I shy away from it.

A lot of small little issues coming to the fore, the more weight I lose.

 

Anyhoo.

 

Going to see my psychiatrist on Monday again. Hopefully he’ll up my medicine. The anxiousness and nervousness is still there. It is better, but sometimes it grips me at my throat.

And then I drink a sip of benylin cough syrup. Not good. Not good at all, I know that. I am after the codeine. It spaces me out and I feel zombified and that makes me feel happy.

So there is a problem.

What, I don’t know yet. But there’s a problem.

I suspect that I actually might be suffering from borderline personality disorder. But my psychologist is weary to make a diagnosis. Which is also frustrating a bit as I need to know what is “wrong” with me, so that I can make peace with it and learn how to cope with it.

Now it is just in the air.

Feeling weeeeeird.

 

But happy about my weightloss. Although I hoped it was more by now. I’ve lost a 100 pounds (45kgs). But I still have about 35kgs to go. Oi vey.

The weird depressed state anxious place I am in is also keeping me away from the gym. It is as if I just don’t have energy to lift my arm. I fall asleep when I get home and then I can’t sleep at night. I just don’t have the strength to go to the gym.

 

It’s crazy how one’s head can mess with everything about you.

 

I am talking in circles. I am sad today. My hero died last night. Rest in peace, uTata Madiba.

wandering down the yellow brick road

In less than a week I am 7 months post-op.

 

What a ride it has been thus far.

Difficult to wrap my head around it. I am a changed person. Mostly for the better. I am healthier, I feel more at ease in my skin, I can breathe better, I sleep better, I WALK better.

 

Sometimes the road still ahead gets to me though. I am sure it has some to do with my mental state. A lot of mental issues has come to the surface.

Things I obviously have been burying under a ridiculous amount of weight.

Trying to cope, trying to stay on course in my life, trying to deal with being on edge permanently, combating my perpetual state of anxiety.

And here it is, the big revelation of it all. I am dead on sure that I “suffer” from Borderline Personality Disorder.

And binge-eating was one of the ways to cope.

I am seeing a psychologist every week (and still regular check-ups to my psychiatrist as well) and it has helped a lot.

She hasn’t confirmed Borderline to me yet, but I can pick it up. In the way we talk about things, what comes up, her reaction – her words. I just know it in my gut.

So yeah, big and hectic things. Things that make the weight loss itself take a back-seat for a while. Something I don’t want to happen, but inevitably does.

So, I just try and deal with it.

I am glad for this surgery. It has made me come to a point where I can stand up and face my demons, look them squarely in the face. Not backing off. Not backing down. Not hiding away. Not eating myself in oblivion to try and attain numbness.

And albeit it a scary journey, it is a necessary one. And one I am so glad I am finally able to face, and travel on, to be able to reach my end destination.

 

My feelings currently

My latest rant over at RnY Talk. It captures all i am feeling, so i am publishing it here.

Girls, to be honest i am very worried now about this smoking thing. I smoke. A lot. I stopped for 3 months presurgery and started again about one month post op.

I know it is bad and i understand it is especially bad after this op and why.but here’s the thing. Smoking is all i got.

My life is so terribly terribly shit at work that i feel i am at the brink of a disastrous breakdown. I am doing my all to balance my sanity. Ofcourse you all understand about the stressors and anxiety we have about all kinds of things – including:

• missing comfort from food
• coping without its “help”
• will i succeed
• getting foodstuffs right and ready
• doing research in eating plans and stuff (i am so frustrated cause all the info i get – 65% we dont have in south africa and i just cant seem to manage to get all my protein ;-(((
• trying to amp myself to go gymming and doing exercise. I hate exercise! And i am telling myself i like it and want to do it because it is needed and part of this process – but deep down i still hate it and i want to shout it out so that i can come clean to myself
• i have a lot of debt because of all the costs involved and i cannot seem te get out of it plus my parents are struggling a lot financially and i am so worried about them, they are also quite sickly and i am so afraid one of them might die, i will totally be f*cked of something happened to either if them and i dont know how to make it all better their whole situation and where their desperation is taking them and it breaks me to see them struggling like this they are the best parents in the world and dont deserve this life
• my mental state is up and down a lot and sometimes it gets really bad and i dont know what to do about it – i’m off my meds since surgery and although we have a good bariatric team here i feel the psych part is totally lacking, i saw the psychiatrist but it was a 30 minute or so talk and he was actually yawning (excusing himself for it, but still keeping on) and when i took a huge knock in hospital after my op because the nurses never gave me a substitution for my meds on time (after i had to harass them for it, like it wasnt even important on their notes or whatever) and obviously i was withdrawing he was just never there to check up on me – although his office is around the corner from the hospital – i mean how come?? Shouldnt that be a concern? i mean just one quick check in? especially seeing that i am a “difficult patient” making scenes in the hospital? I was flipping out and telling them something was wrong but noooo. And no use in going to my doctor (the surgeon) as he is just not one of those people that you can go to with your gripes. He is an excellent surgeon and did an excellent job, but there’s not that feeling of connectedness to talk about anything that i am feeling, and my fears and problems i am facing, so that is out. There is just no psych professionals here available to deal with bariatric patients and i feel it is so so so important!
•bloody hairloss and acne
• stressing about my partner and what i am putting him through. He is sticking it out and supports me all the way, but i know he has his own little issues and am i in someway, through all this crap of mine, making him be worse off??
• and the office politics where i am working oh my goodness that is the worst of all of all! I cannot TAKE it anymore, i’m nit even going to begin to talk about it because it upsets me extremely and it is just unbearable and there is actually nowhere to turn
• and what if i get a bloody ulcer from all this smoking????

Cause smoking is all i have now.

My few minutes to escape at the office, my moments of silence when i drag myself away from the kitchen and bad food, my comfort when the stress just gets too much. It is all i have now to cope – and gasp horror what will happen if i take that away from myself??

So it is not just to quiet for me. What if taking it away is the straw that breaks this camel’s back?? I am scared.

Victories 1

Victory 1 – I can take a nice hot bath! Before the op I couldn’t fit into our bath. How sad is that?

Victory 2 – I am not falling asleep at work anymore! In fact, I have quite some energy and tend to be quite upbeat. That’s new.

Victory 3 – fitting into some clothes that did not fit. At all.

Victory 4 – When we went on holiday 2 weeks ago, I walked for an hour (through a forest) – and then I walked up a mountain! All fairness, it was pretty much a hill. But that damn thing felt like a mountain. And I did it! I did it all! If you told me to do that before the op, I would’ve laughed a bit. And then cried a lot.

So on the eve of 3 months post op, things are looking good!

The Others

I call them. The other people. Their thoughts and notions. And should you tell them?

For myself I decided that me having this op is not something I am going to hide. I am proud of myself taking charge of my life. Doing the bravest thing I’ve ever done, for my future children and my family and my guy and mostly, surely, for me.

It is a huge step having weightloss surgery and it affects one’s whole life. Every aspect. Why should I hide it?

On the internet I’ve read at various places how negatively The Others responded to an individual “coming out”.

And I find that very curious. I mainly read American websites and blogs and I have been wondering whether this was a cultural thing.

Because you know what I have found, here in my country South Africa? That each and every person I have told, have been EXTREMELY supportive and kind. All of them are interested to hear more and ask questions as to what it is exactly.

And they are all happy for me. And think that I am brave, of compliment me on it.

They are not looking begrudgingly at me. They are not jealous or mean-spirited in any way.

People actually phone me and send little messages of encouragement and just checking in to check up on me and how I am doing.

And the most precious thing of all, they all understand that it is indeed NOT the easy way out. That it is incredibly hard.

So I have to say I find it so sad to read of people getting negative reactions. Why can’t people have the sun shine over another? Why not take the time to ask questions if you know you know nothing about something, and rather ask what it is about, than to just have to put your opinion on something – you don’t know anything about in any case!

bleddie fools.

Good luck to all out there who don’t have the support of their loved ones, their friends and family, and colleagues!

It’s back to work again…

Today I am back at work.

I was off for 3 weeks, almost 4 (including surgery).

So where am I? What am I going through?

It is getting better day by day, but it is still not easy and I am still struggling to find my feet.

My weight is also at a stand still since I started soft/pureed food almost 2 weeks ago. Which scares me. Having the thoughts of “what if this doesn’t work for ME”. bleh.

I am still struggling to hear my body telling me when it has had enough. My pouch is oh so quiet – so at times I eat a bit too much (and believe me, it is still very little). Then I go into excruciating pain. So now I am to eat too little rather. Which also don’t seem right, actually.

I am just trying to wing it. To win it.

Focusing on the positives. I sleep better! My apnea is definitely improving. I am also walking much better, have more oxygen in my lungs, which is great.

I feel better about myself as well. Started growing my nails, stopped biting it right before the op and now I have beautiful long nails, for the first time in my life and I love it! Also started wearing make-up again.

So nice to fit into clothes that didn’t fit anymore previously.

Everybody is telling me how good I am looking, so I suppose I must be 😉

I have a more cheery demanour about me which I also like.

 

Cannot wait to “meet” me when I am at goal weight and not a fat person anymore! Wonder how I’ll be like.