December 12th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

My body is changing.  My physical form is occupying less space in the universe, and with this slow transformation there is a new self-awareness dawning.  How can I explain this?  It’s almost as if, for all the years –so many years!– that I’ve been taking up so much space, there was a gaping chasm separating my self, the real me, from my self, the physical me.  Maybe I wouldn’t, or maybe I couldn’t look at the latter.  Maybe it was just too much.  This is not who I am, I’d say, and I’d turn the other way.  But the problem is –was–, that we live in a physical world, so there is no escaping the physical self.  That is what manifests.  And what of the inner self?  Where did that one go?  That one who might have been beautiful, smart, capable, excellent.  That one is smothered by the shell that is manifested in the physical.  I spent years struggling with self-acceptance.  The dichotomy between who I was and who I appeared to be was too great.  E R R O R.  C A N N O T   C O M P U T E.

It’s so very easy to soothe this unrest, this distress, with all manner of deflections and cover-ups.   Fill one’s every moment with something, anything, so that you don’t have to think about yourself, and the Grand Canyon that separates your self from your self.  Be a super achiever.  Move mountains.  Consume mountains.  At the end of the day, though, there remains a deep and aching sadness, because you can’t really cover up the Grand Canyon.  It’s still there, and no matter how hard you may try to justify or explain or deflect or deny, the truth of the matter is that it is still there.  You can’t escape from yourself.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

What I’m beginning to notice, as I sit for a moment and gaze down at the legs folded beneath me, is that the chasm is closing.  Ever so slowly.  But it’s closing.  Because when I look down at my physical self, I see my physical self.  And I recognize a faint glimmer of my self.  I can look at the legs beneath me and say, “Oh!  That’s me.  I’m sitting here.  Those are my legs.  They are attached to my body.  They are a part of me.”  And that is the beginning of acceptance.

Two things come to mind as I reflect upon these things.  Why does it take a lifetime and a radical change to deem oneself worthy of one’s own acceptance?  And why is there a chasm at all?  It’s clear to see how the chasm has grown, but not so clear to understand where or why it began in the first place.  The whole matter is tragic.  Such a waste of life.  Such a waste of beautiful moments, beautiful thoughts, beautiful breath.  Such a waste.

I don’t know who will emerge once the chasm has healed, but I do know that I will embrace her, because she will be whole.  She is who I am.  She is the real me.  Hello, old friend, I will say, when we meet.  I’ve missed you.

November 10th, 2013 | No Comments »

Poppy held to her decision and severed all ties with George.  One day, when she’s had sufficient time to heal, she may mourn him properly, but at this stage, she just doesn’t have the mental or emotional capacity.  Steve arrived abruptly, with George’s sudden departure.  It’s all been quite a shock, really.  Poppy and Steve have been getting to know one another, as cohabitants do.  I wouldn’t call it a romance, by any stretch of any imagination.  It’s more like an arrangement. Of necessity.  Oh sure, she did jump into forever with him.  And she really does want to have a long and comfortable relationship with him.  Happily ever after, in fact.   Right now, however, it’s either sink or swim, and sinking is hardly an option.

In one sense, Poppy’s been very stable.  Oh, occasionally something will happen and she will have a momentary lapse of sanity in which she behaves erratically, but those moments are few and generally last no more than an hour. In general, she’s been feeling very good.

That being said, life with Steve has been a cautious, tip-toeing dance, for the first few weeks.  Steve seems to be a sensitive sort, and has his own idiosyncrasies.  For instance, he does not like to be rushed.  How can I say that, in such a way as to express it properly?  He.  Does.  NOT.  Like.  To.  Be.  Rushed.  And he’s a bit of a moody, broody sort.  So he likes to handle certain things on his own terms, and as long as one complies with his terms, there is harmony in the land.  Okay, so be it.  This is part of learning to live together.  Everyone’s got their own personal boundaries that need to be respected.  Steve, bless  his soul, is very clear about expressing his boundaries.  Poppy could stand to take a page from that book.

As the weeks progress, Poppy has also begun to notice that there may be some areas in which Steve and George are very similar.  She’s choosing not to overreact to this knowledge, but to take heed and reflect on it.  The last thing she wants is to encourage any of these tendencies.  So she’s keeping a close watch on this Steve character.  Watching him like a hawk, even.

~*~*~*~

Installment 2 of the Poppy Saga.

Characters:
Poppy the pancreas.
George who likes to gorge.
Steve the sleeve.

~*~*~*~

It’s been just about 4 weeks since surgery, and I’m doing very well.  The first 2 weeks are liquids only, and the next two weeks are soft foods.  It’s a bit challenging, learning to eat anew.  It’s probably similar to what babies go through, as they are learning to eat.  Things like the size of  each bite and how much it must be chewed before swallowing are critically important.  The steri-strips have finally worn off the incision sites, and the scars remaining are slight.  I’ve had a bit of a struggle with waves of depression, off and on.  I also notice that I tire easily, and I’ve been respecting this by allowing myself to rest when I need it.

I will say this much.  I loathe (ab.so.lute.ly loaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaathe) protein powder.  When I’ve finished the tub that I have, I will never buy another.  Ever.  EVER.

That being said, it’s such a relief, not to be hungry!  It’s also a tremendous delight to look at a small portion of food and know that it can and will be filling and fulfilling (although obtaining sufficient nutritional intake is definitely a challenge).  All in all, it’s a very exciting journey.  I feel liberated, and I am looking forward to finding and restoring bits and pieces of myself that have been lost through the years, as I progress through this excavation.

I hope to do a better job than all the king’s horses and all the king’s men did with Humpty Dumpty.

Posted in health, me, VSG, weight loss
October 2nd, 2013 | 2 Comments »

Poppy and George have been together for a long time. Forever, even.  They got along well enough when they were younger, but as the years passed, they lost touch of each others’ needs.  It’s not unheard of…

George is pretty much a self-centered bastard.  He’s generally ignorant of Poppy’s ups and downs.  Granted, her ups and downs are far more pronounced as the years go by.  Oh, sure, every once in a while he says he’ll do better, be better, turn over a new leaf, and he he may do a fine  job of being on his best behavior for a while.  But only for a while.  It never lasts, and bit by bit, they find themselves back in that desert place where neither can tolerate each other.  George wants to do what George wants to do.  Poppy reacts.  It’s not that Poppy wants to react.  It’s just that her defenses have eroded after so many years of hiding behind the issues.  She starts to feel better when George plays nice, and she starts to think that everything is just swell, and things are getting back to the way they used to be, back when they were young.  But it doesn’t take long for reality to slap her in the face.  Because sooner or later, George will fall back into his selfish ways.

I don’t know why that is.  It just is.  I don’t think George wants to be a self-centered bastard.  I think he would want to be better, in a perfect world.  There are probably a million factors that contribute to the entity that George has become.  A lifetime of factors.

It’s complicated.

Be that as it may, George is George.  Poppy is Poppy.  It’s clear that something has to change, or nothing ever will.  They will continue living a marginal existence until they do each other in.  Literally.

It’s a scary choice, in many ways, for many reasons, but Poppy has decided that George has got to go.  Poppy has  high  hopes that she will be able to find her stable place again, that she will feel good all the time, and that she will find her old self.  She hopes that she will no longer feel like she’s wasting her life, but instead like she’s embracing and living her life.  Loving her life!

It may seem harsh to send George packing, but at this point, it’s the only solution.  This limbo has been going on for over twenty years.  It will continue another twenty years if nothing changes, or if they don’t kill each other in the process.

Goodbye George.

She wonders if she will be so fickle as not to ever miss him or regret that she made him go.  She can hardly think about it, though.  It’s just too much.

~*~*~*~

Installment 1 of the Poppy Plight.

Characters:
Poppy the pancreas.
George who likes to gorge.
Steve the sleeve.

~*~*~*~

So I’m preparing for bariatric surgery.  I start my pre-op liquid diet on Friday (4 Oct 2013).  This is not a trigger decision.  I’ve contemplated it for YEARS and after much research and thought have decided to move ahead with it.  Surgery is 14 Oct 2013.  I will have the better part of my stomach removed, leaving all my digestive plumbing intact.  This is called a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG).  This surgery will allow me to eat, but not overeat.  My body will still  absorb the nutrients I ingest.  I’m very much looking forward to feeling satisfied after eating a normal amount of food.  I stumbled across a blog in which a ‘sleever’ named her sleeve, and thought that was clever.  Also, putting character names to my organs helps me inject a little humor, or at least look at it from another angle.  Because it’s scary.  And it’s permanent.  So I thought it might help me as I embark on this journey.  Although weight and self image factor heavily toward this decision, the driving factor is the fact that I can no longer play the ignorance card regarding diabetes.  I have it.  It’s very clear that my pancreas is not functioning as it should, and that my blood sugar control is erratic.  I have proven to myself that it can be controlled, but I have also to be honest with myself and know that I fall to the same patterns, no matter how vigilant I am, or for how long.  Eventually I slip back.  Hello, my name is George.  I’m on a life-changing journey.  I’m taking steps to make dramatic and permanent changes to improve my life.  This is one of those steps.  So goodbye, George.  It’s time for you to go.

Posted in health, me, VSG, weight loss