Monday, June 30, 2014

Pre-op class #23, weekly weigh-in and returning to just a little work

One more pre-op class to go for my weight loss surgery... eeek!  This is getting really intense.  So here's what's left of my process:

  1. Attend the last pre-op class next week.  During that time, the facilitator will determine if I need to go back and see the doctor who originally approved me for surgery if I have not lost within ten pounds of my ten percent goal.  As it looks like right now, I will probably have to do that.
  2. The facilitator will send my paperwork down to Kaiser's Positive Choice clinic to their director, who will contact me to see the doctor.
  3. After I have seen that doctor, I will be instructed to do lab work where they will be drawing blood to run tests.
  4. Once the test results are in, I will then need to participate in an ambulatory test to ensure I am able to walk.  This consists of walking around an office building five times at my own pace.  That is a cinch ... I just walked ten miles a couple of days ago so I think I'm good.
  5. The next step is to schedule an appointment to meet with three doctors at Pacific Bariatric where they will be performing the surgery:  psychiatrist, internist and surgeon. When I meet with the surgeon, my surgery will be scheduled.
At this point, it looks like the surgery will be happening in September.  I'm a little disappointed with that since I'm not really working during the summer and it would have been great to do it now.  However, I understand it is what it is so I will need to contact the director of my master's program and let him know I won't be able to start classes with my cohort in September.  That's certainly not the worst thing in the world.  I was just anxious to get going on the classes but it's not as if it's going anywhere.  I will have to determine how much time to take off of work when the time is right.  The surgeon prefers that we take six weeks off to give our bodies the best chance to recover.  We can return to work sooner if we feel up to it, but he does expect us all to take the six weeks if possible.  My principal, administrator and quite a few others at work know I am going to have surgery and have been super supportive.  I have well over a thousand sick hours on the books, so it's not as if I don't have the time.  It's just hard for me, especially working in a busy high school, to take that much time off, even if deemed medically necessary.  It's probably my work ethic ... I just don't want to let anyone down.  I do believe they can get a sub in and I know a great one so it is possible that life goes on without me.  Letting go is so hard when you like to have control of things.  

Speaking of my class, I lost a couple of pounds this week so I'm happy about that.  Steadily going down is great.  This week we talked about ways of coping with stress instead of eating.  Here are some suggestions as given to us in class:
  • Learn to say no.
  • Listen to my body.
  • Let go of what is not working.
  • Accept myself as is.
  • Say yes to feeling good.
  • Find time each day to be a lone.
  • Simplify my life.
  • Talk about or write out what's worrying me.
  • Take time to be touched.
  • Develop a sense of humor.
Something that really struck a chord with me was this:  I must be willing to leave those parts of my life that no longer serve me.

Do you have those moments when you're in a room full of people but then you read something or hear something that makes you feel like you're all alone with God and everyone else is tuned out, even for just a brief moment?  That was what I felt when I read that.  When I was a kid, I was physically abused for a very long time and raped when I was a teenager.  Unless you've been the victim of those things, it's hard to articulate the feelings you go through, especially as a child.  You feel lost, abandoned and very, very small.  I didn't run to anyone and tell what was going on.  Instead, what I did was I hid inside myself and I ate food.  Food was my escape, my solace in a world I couldn't quite understand.  Food let me not feel pain and somehow made things better in the moment.  

As an adult, I no longer am abused and no longer surround myself with people that can hurt me.  Every person in my life today is there because I have chosen them to be there.  I'm no longer having those feelings of loss, terror or abandonment.  So the food no longer has to be a solace and I can let go of this need to run to it when I'm feeling some sort of emotion I am uncomfortable with.  When I'm bored, I really don't have to go eat something to fill up that moment.  When I come home from work, I really don't have to head straight to the kitchen.  Food no longer has the role it once did in my life.  Especially as I head into surgery, I must leave the part of my life that no longer serves me.  I know it's easier said than done, for many of us, but it takes practice.  That's what my program's facilitator reminded me of tonight ... these things will take time and practice.

Tomorrow I'm going to return to work for just a few days to sub for a co-worker.  She is on a 12-month contract, so I'm coming in while she spends some time with family coming from out of town.  Knowing I wouldn't have as much time to play this week as normal (I know, you are hating me right now, aren't you??), I went with a friend down to Seaport Village today here in San Diego.  Here are some pics of our adventures. FYI, even when there is June gloom going on in the weather, always wear suntan lotion.  Always.  Just sayin'.



happyinca said...

I seem to always need to be reminded that these new behaviors and relationships with food take practice. Thank you for your wonderful post and reminder. You have such a terrific attitude Kathy, and I wouldn't be surprised if they let you have the surgery anyway. You've been working incredibly hard and made wonderful progress. I hope that you will be pleasantly surprised by your doctor visits. You are really making this happen! Christy

Kathy said...

Thank you Christy! In terms of having to see the doctor if I don't lose the 10% goal weight, it's just a formality. As long as I haven't gained any weight, it will just delay the process by a week or two.

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