I went to a group today, a support group, for therapeutic relief….
It was a group for bariatric patients, but since there is no group for stomach-less people I had to attend this shit show. I went to one of these prior to my own bariatric surgery in 2006 and it was a joke back then, but I thought with the advancement of the surgeries and the research that maybe the group would be a little more honest and accurate. It. was. not.
I sat quietly in the “circle of truth” as the leader described and I listened to the other people. It was hard for me to listen to most of them because I said all those things back when I was trying to coerce my doctor into signing the approval paperwork for gastric bypass. “Yes, I will follow all of the guidelines after surgery.” “Yes, I will attend all the meetings as I’m requested.” “Yes, I am doing this for my health, not vanity.” “Yes, I’m aware that it will be a major life change and I can handle it.” “Yes…” “Yes…” “Yes…” Whatever he asked, it was yes. There was one lady who was going through a divorce (as was I when I decided I wanted gastric bypass) and she said that now that she was single she wanted to get healthy and start a new life. Bullshit. She wants to lose a bunch of weight without doing the work and be able to strut her new self in front of her newly ex-husband. She went on to explain that the dissolution of her marriage was because her husband had an affair with a woman he works with and they’re expecting a child; also that he had harped on her for years to get healthy because he wanted to be able to travel and because of her size it was not possible….so anyways, NOW she has decided that she wants to be healthy and do things the “right way”, to which I raised my hand and asked if I could interject. I asked her why she didn’t go to a personal trainer and start on a lower calorie intake diet, rather than rip most of her stomach away and risk serious lifelong illnesses…..
She angrily replied back with a question, “Why didn’t you do all the things you just said?” So I said “Because I was sitting in the same place you are. Divorced, alone, depressed…and I wanted a quick fix.” The leader of the group asked me to explain my reasons for being there and I said that my doctor told me I had to come and I gave a quick rundown of what has happened with me, as quick as I could. The leader said that my results were not typical and I shouldn’t put fear into the minds of people trying to make a new start…..so I guess honesty is NOT the best policy.
So, if I can find a “I had that shitty surgery and now I’m trying to warn you all of what can happen if you don’t follow each and every thing to a T and how you really need to be mentally prepared for the way your life will change and how your body will begin to fail you” support group then I won’t be involved in one. There’s really no support if you go in with more knowledge than any of the people there yet you’re treated as an imbecile.
If I can help ONE person realize that it’s not normal to let someone cut your stomach away from your other internal organs, if one person decides to think about it a little bit more, then I feel like I’ve achieved something. But when a group designed to support people that had or want to have that surgery, when that group disregards any negative statements how are they really helping anyone?
I was sick on December 15, 2006 and almost had my gastric bypass cancelled because of my sinus infection……how different would my life be? Would I have gone ahead when I wasn’t sick? Would I be in this very same spot today? Every second that passes in our normal everyday life is what molds our future. One tiny second can be the catalyst to a life unexpected.