Sunday, September 20, 2009

Put your left hip in, take your left hip out...

Pictures from left to right: Me at about 198 lbs on 8/24/09 (celebrating my grandson's birthday in William Land Park), and me at about 400 pounds circa 2000, and suffering at home.

Ain't no hokey pokey going's hip surgery on October 1. Finally!!! I'm more excited about this than I was about gastric bypass over seven years ago! Maybe God, who, as I am beginning to discover is more connected to my "higher self" than I ever believed, knew that my tortuously food addicted mind would resist weight loss surgery. I sensed that while I was having my so-called "last meal" (what a joke) at an Indian restaurant with my family. Looking back, it seems so odd that I was much more excited about eating Chana Daal with rice and naan the night before surgery than the prospect of becoming "thin" for the first time in my adult life.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Indian food, "naan" is the bread that's served with entrees at most Indian restaurants. Without indulging in food porn,I have to admit that I would probably eat naan for hours without stopping if I wasn't in recovery. Considering what happens to a post-op gastric bypass patients after eating any kind of bread, I would seriously overdose on naan (or some other kind of bread that I'm tragically addicted to). Can you imagine THAT postmortem conversion in between the medical examiner and the assistants in the coroner's office?

Coroner's assistant 1: So, what killed that 400 pound woman we brought a couple of nights ago?

Medical examiner: Her records showed that she had gastric bypass surgery in 2002, and she kept stuffing her face. It was filled with some kind of bread that swelled up in her stomach, and stretched it beyond its capacity. It exploded under pressure and she hemorrhaged to death.

Coroner's assistant 2: I'll be damned. OD'ed on bread. At least it wasn't 4 pounds of steak like that guy who weighed 700 pounds!

Medical examiner: Yeah, don't remind me. I thought I'd smelled everything, but even I gagged when I opened him up!

Forgive my morbid digression. It's my way of reminding myself of the numerous reasons why I'm in recovery.

So, I'm scheduled for hip surgery on October 1, 2009 at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Roseville, California. I'll be up and walking within a few hours after surgery, and released in 2-3 days. I'm betting on two days. I've had more than enough of hospitals in the past decade. But Kaiser has worked out the total hip replacement process to the degree that patients do not have to stay in convalescent care after surgery. They have a team of home visit nurses and physical therapists who come to the home and work with post-op hip patients. This was very good news to me;I get to sleep at night in my own bed and not bother with the staff and other patients making too much noise at night and waking me up! Sleep is a very precious commodity to me these days.

After three or four weeks of physical therapy at home, I'll be ready for...everything, LIFE! I can walk, in fact, I've been using my cane much less now that I weight 190 pounds (probably less, but I won't be able to weigh myself until the day before surgery). But there's a limit to how long and how fast I can walk. The pain is still extremely bad if I do too much. I'll still have pain in my severely messed up lower back, but at least I'll be able to balance myself and take some of the pressure of my right side and lower lumbar area. That means I'LL BE ABLE TO DANCE AGAIN! And finally do some Tae Kwon Do and maybe even some Jeet Kune Do! Watch out there, now! Ready or not, world, here I come, and THIS TIME, I'm not stopping for anything or anybody! I've been looking out at the world from my window and wishing I could be a part of it for too many years. In less than two weeks,I will be able to get out there and MOVE! Yes!!!

Most of all, I'm truly grateful. As the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, "If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through." I'm more than amazed. I'm humbled by the loving grace of God in the life of this low bottom, gutter-level food addict.

Is there any Remover of Difficulties save God? Say: Praise be God! He is God! All are His Servants, and all abide by His Bidding! A prayer by the Ba'b (The Baha'i Faith)

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