Now, For the Rest of the Story

Last night, I was just in a plain old funk. I wanted to spin, but my patience was zero, and I am finding when I spin while stressed, the yarn suffers for it. Lots of inconsistency, too much twist; the list goes on. After 4 breaks in maybe 15 yards of a single intended to be a fingering weight 2-ply, I gave up.

Football was on, my team won, most of my picks were good, but the funk continued. The Lager Socks got another rip. I have decided the RIK modification is just not for me. The knots are unattractive and will be uncomfortable in a shoe. They are slooooooow to knit. Not a little slow, but knitting a round with 8 of them took upwards of 15 minutes. This is not what I want in a sock. But most importantly, they just didn’t look good. The whole point of the modification was to avoid eyelets that might make a man shy off these socks. Well, the M1s were creating eyelets, even when knitting through the back of the loop, so the result was I had a knot AND an eyelet, defeating the purpose of this modification altogether. RIP!

I wanted to work on Swallowtail, which has been stowed away in favor of working on the socks and on the Faroese shawl, but its intended receiver was home, and by the time she went to bed, I was too grumpy to fiddle with beads.

The Faroese shawl stayed at work so I wouldn’t be tempted to work on it over the weekend when I was supposed to be working on the Lager Socks. The call of the easy garter stitch and simple pattern is strong right now. Another indication that my stress levels are up. Garter is good for stress.

So, ultimately, I sat in front of the computer or television with nothing to knit. This fact this irritated me even more the longer I sat there. To sit and do nothing, all the while thinking about knitting or spinning…this was pure frustration and irritation, making me even grumpier.

What a crappy evening indeed.

So what do I have to be stressed about? Well, can I level with you for just a little while? I have been trying to find the courage to write about this subject for several weeks, but it is a deeply personal issue, and by going public, I am opening myself to criticism, “helpful” suggestions, and even possibly some harassment. What I am going to write about is a source of anxiety for me, but it is a decision I have made and am starting to feel comfortable with saying “I plan to” as opposed to “I am considering…” The truth is, I have been considering since May. I can still back out, but the time for consideration is over and it is time to be committed.

So here it goes.

I plan to undergo gastric bypass surgery. I have gotten all the necessary pre-surgical evaluations scheduled. Once I have had a meeting with my nutritionist, a psychological evaluation, a cardiac evaluation, and have attended a support group meeting, I will meet again with my surgeon to finally set a date. My hope is to have it done early in January 2010.

So to answer some questions you might have:

Q. Have you thought this through?
A. Yes. And I am still thinking it through. Constantly.

Q. Isn’t it risky?
A. All surgery is risky. My weight has made my chances for developing a life-threatening to life-shortening weight related complication significantly higher than my risk for dying on the table.

Q. Why don’t you just try diet and exercise?
A. Don’t you think I have?

Q. Won’t this change your whole way of life?
A. I absolutely hope so.

Q. What does this mean for your future?
A. I wish I knew. Hopefully, better health, a pant size that doesn’t start with a 2 or have any “Xs” on the tag. Hopefully I will set a better example to my daughter, be better able to help my husband as he deals with his own weight (not as severe as my weight) by no longer being the enabler, and become more physically active. How it will turn out is a complete mystery; I have tried to stop wondering about the “what ifs” and focus on the “how to,” meaning how do I go about changing aspects of my life now to get ready for it, or how do I start getting more walking in to be ready for surgery when my feet and ankles are so painful. Those more immediate things matter to me much more now than wondering about what life will be like much later on.

It is daunting, to be sure. In reading up on the short term and long term diet changes, I got a little panicky last week, but truthfully, once I have healed and adapted, the “diet” that is set out in my book given to me by the surgeon is a “diet” any of us should be on. When you eat primarily lean protein and vegetables prepared in a healthy manner, and get at least 30 minutes of activity in per day, you are doing what ANYONE should be doing. So, surgery is really only a tool to help me achieve what should be the norm. It is a tool that can be abused and ignored, and it can fail if that is what I do. Instead of thinking about what if I fail, I am working on thinking of how to make changes to help prevent failure, and I am trying to start those changes before I even go under the knife.

Am I scared? You betcha. A little fear is a healthy thing; I try not to be overwhelmed by it, but there are moments when I think about it like this. Emergency surgery is like jumping out of a crashing airplane. Your chances of dying while parachuting down are less than your chances of dying in the crash. However, elective surgery is a bit like jumping out of a pretty good airplane.

That thinking is not really productive or useful. My “airplane” is going fine fight now, but I have the advantage of knowing that while all my parts are working fine right now, if things stay as they are, it would not be too long before I find myself desperately parachuting away from a burning wreck, hoping the parachute wasn’t damaged in the disaster.

I prefer to choose my own adventure.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Iseulte on September 14, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    Whatever you need me for, I am there for you – an ear to bend, a running partner (virtual though I may be most of the time), someone to compete with (I like competition too!)- anything.

    Lots of love!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Kristin/HLMauera on September 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Good luck! I’ve seen some people have some wonderful results. It sounds like you are making an informed decision for all of the right reasons and you are committed to the changes you will have to make. I think you have the recipe for success.

    Reply

  3. I have a family member still in the consideration phase. It’s such a tough decision process, and for you to have come through it really says something about your commitment. Nothing but encouragement here.

    Reply

  4. […] see, back in September, I mentioned that I was considering gastric bypass. I began the process in October, and on the same […]

    Reply

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