I have the most amazing support system. A-maz-ing! Throughout Mike’s surgery and on-going recovery, I’ve received such awesome blessings…words of encouragement (my people KNOW that I’m not a phone person, so they’re all about texting and Facebook), prayers, shoulders to whine on, genuine inquiries into how all of us are doing, yard maintenance, etc. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
It is a lot when someone in the house has major surgery. It’s even more when both adults are having major surgery less than 2 months apart. Are we crazy? Probably. I’m pretty sure I can name a number of people who confirm that for you. But, we’re both to a point in our lives that we want more for ourselves and more for our children…and our lifelong battle with obesity was getting in the way.
Mike continues to improve. Slowly. It hasn’t been a cakewalk and anyone who says “bariatric surgery is the easy way out” or “bariatric surgery is cheating” can kiss my G.R.I.T.S. tail. (girl raised in the South). Admittedly, I once thought it was an easy fix (remove part of my stomach, make me skinny, life is good), but I’ve learned what really goes into the process and the lifestyle changes that are necessary. And, I’ve seen first hand the obstacles that can come with recovery. So, this surgery is by no means a quick fix.
I continue to countdown the days/weeks until my surgery. Monday will mark 2 weeks. 14 days until my life completely changes (hopefully, forever). Beginning July 4th, my daily “food” consumption will consist of 4 protein shakes and about 72 ounces of water. I know you’re jealous. It’s a glamorous life! That final week before surgery requires a special diet to allow my liver to shrink. Due to the close proximity of the liver to the stomach, the smaller the liver, the smaller the risk for related complications.
Since Mike isn’t eating at full speed yet (and the idea of battling with a 3yo, 4yo and tween over my fave food at a restaurant does NOT appeal to me), I’m celebrating my “last meal” with a group of friends this week at work. We’ll be enjoying Thai for lunch (drunken noodles, here I come).
This morning, I had my final labs completed before surgery. Nothing says “Happy Saturday” like viles of blood and the glamour of peeing in a cup. (If that last sentence offended your sensibilities, you’re new around here and should probably reconsider reading my blog… because things are going to get super-real after surgery.)
And now, I wait. I’m ready to get this show on the road, but I’m also mindful of Mike’s healing, so I think the waiting is ultimately a good thing. There is no way of knowing how my recovery will be. I’m hoping it painless and full of rainbows and unicorns. WHAT?!? A girl can dream. I’ve been told I could return to work anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks…that most people fall into that range. Being the eternal optimist (and stubborn woman) that I am, I’m aiming for 2 weeks. This makes both my husband and my boss laugh. Not because they think I’m weak, but because they think I’m underestimating the shock all of this will be to my system. There may have been a suggestion of taking bets. I laughed. And, just so we’re clear, I’m putting a bet in if there is an office pool…and I’m gonna win 🙂 All kidding aside, I will only return to work when my I (and my doctor) think my body is ready. It won’t be easy and it will be slow going. But I’ve promised myself that I won’t return until I’m healed enough and ready.
Life at work after surgery will be different too. I’ll have to adjust to incorporating the post-surgical diet into my daily work schedule. That may sound easy, but there are days when I don’t sit at my desk for longer than 30 minutes total (from 7:30am to 3:30pm). But, my health comes first and I will need to make those adjustments. Thankfully, that amazing support system of mine has a sturdy foundation at my office.
Tonight, I’ll just focused on the short-term…getting Abby ready for a return trip to summer camp tomorrow after church. And getting my crazy preschoolers to wind down and go to bed after a very fun day celebrating a friend’s birthday. And searching for the little elves to come and wash the dishes…’cause I’m still a lousy housekeeper and that won’t change with surgery 🙂