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Hey all! I miss you. I miss LJ. I just kinda forget it exists except when I don't.

Anyway, I'm going to verbalize something here before I start talking about it on tumblr because this is a much, much safer space. I think.

Most of you who've known me forever, are very, very aware that I have been obese my entire adult life and overweight for the rest of it. I've had times where I was eating well and exercising consistently, but due to a weird quirk of my body where I don't really get biofeedback when my stats (blood sugar, blood pressure, etc.) go wonky, as soon as I step off track for even a day, I end up off the wagon for years at a time.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes seven years ago at age 27, the youngest of all my family members to get it, and have been facing a decline in health just as I want to really start and build a career that sort of demands you be someone functional physically and is best when you're in the type of shape where you can squat and hold that pose for long periods of time, or handle someone's feet pressing against your knees while you sit on a low chair and they use your body for leverage. I made it through a year but came out the other end exhausted and weak and with the realization that something drastic had to change.

Four weeks ago I started to talk to my diabetes doc about getting bariatric surgery. Something I swore I would never, ever do. Ever. Why the fuck would I cut my stomach. How could that be considered healthy? How could that be considered sane? But the truth is? What I've done to my body is not sane.

And I've done it. Yes, there are contributing factors. My mom had gestational diabetes with me that she more or less didn't control. Despite being breastfed and active as a little kid, I ended up with a shit ton of allergies and really bad asthma, which put me on a medication that they've basically taken off the market because it speeds up your heart so much that you can have a heart attack. I took that medication from age 6 to age 18. I basically didn't sleep from age 6 to age 18 and then I slept for the next decade only coming out of my hole long enough to go to work and make the occasional trip out to CA to go to conventions. This wrecked havoc on my metabolism, but hey, at least I didn't die from asthma. I mean that seriously. That medication, one of the only ones they had at the time, kept me alive.

I ate a shit ton of shitty food because I felt horrible all the time. I didn't recognize this and I still have to very purposely check in and evaluate my body in order to recognize when something hurts or I feel nauseated or dizzy or anything negative. I made mindless choices. I make mindless choices.

I am now on 8 different regular medications. And I'm 34. And I can change that. Obesity is a chronic illness that, in my case, can be put into remission. Hell, with the type of surgery I'm likely to choose, my diabetes will likely be put into remission as well. That's huge.

At 15 I watched my grandma die a horrible, horrible death due to uncontrolled diabetes. I don't want that to me my death.

And I can make a choice now that could radically alter my body and, at least for a time, help me make different choices going forward, hopefully long enough for it to stick. Statistically, there's a good chance the changes will keep after having the surgery.

Making this choice feels a bit like a failure. I admit that.

But more? It's a relief. It's such a fucking relief.

There's still a lot to do before the surgery. There's still a lot of decisions to make. There's still a lot of emotional and spiritual shit I need to work out so I don't fall down a depression hole when I no longer have food as a security blanket.

So that's the decision. The first of many.

I imagine there will be some things I need to journal about. Starting with how awesome I think the body/fat acceptance movement is, but how many things I think they kinda get wrong even as a lot of what they get right is so fucking important and good. But that's for another day.
There are 14 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
posted by [identity profile] at 02:42pm on 14/04/2015

It's not an easy decision to make. I hope you do well with it and see some results. My sister's friend did it a few years ago and had success with it. It's not a failure--it's a proactive choice that can hopefully help mitigate some of the difficulties you've had with other methods.
posted by [identity profile] at 07:06pm on 15/04/2015
It wasn't an easy decision to make, and yet when I did, it felt easy. Once it was clear that this path made sense, I haven't really angsted over it. The money part yes, but the surgery and what it will take to make the surgery worth it, nsm. Thanks for the encouragement!
posted by [identity profile] at 10:24pm on 14/04/2015
I'm a big fan of doing what works. The main thing is to get healthy, how you accomplish it very secondary. If you and your doctor think that this is a good option then more power to you and may the law of unintended consequences look in the other direction.
posted by [identity profile] at 07:07pm on 15/04/2015
Oh boy. Yes, prayers that the unintended consequences are of the awesome variety and not the "never able to eat solid food without vomiting" variety. The unintended consequence of not doing it has just as shitty possibilities, though.
maidenjedi: (sky)
posted by [personal profile] maidenjedi at 12:11am on 15/04/2015
My best friend is going through this. She could almost have written this post, in fact, except she hasn't decided on the surgery and she's four years younger than you.

I say that only to say, GO YOU, and you have more people in your corner than you may be aware.

**lots of hugs, and support from afar**
posted by [identity profile] at 07:08pm on 15/04/2015
So far every single person I've talked to, but especially my doctors, have been 100% on board and encouraging. Which has been amazing. I hope your friend finds a path that ends with her healthy for a long ass time! **hugsyouback**
posted by [identity profile] at 01:08am on 15/04/2015
I don't think you're a failure. No one is perfect, and no one can sustain the 'ideal' regime that society forces on us in terms of body image. You're still being proactive. Our department admin had bariatric surgery, and she's said it saved her life. This isn't a failure. This is you doing what's right for you and what will most likely work for you in terms of your health. I'm proud of you and I stand by you and I will support you however I can.
posted by [identity profile] at 07:10pm on 15/04/2015
Thanks love! Today is definitely one of those days where this feels like the right, smart, obvious choice. Health-wise. Watching my copays rack up? NSM. But money will figure it's own damn self out. It always does.
posted by [identity profile] at 07:17pm on 15/04/2015
I feel you. The only year I met my medical deductible was the year Kaylee was born. OMG, the visits, the tests, the money, the more money, the "are you sure we didn't pay for this already?"... Our health care system blows, but that's another argument for another day. Take care of yourself! And the moneys, yeah...
posted by [identity profile] at 01:36am on 15/04/2015
(((E))) - good for you! It's a tough decision, and not something to choose without first putting a lot of thought into. You're doing this for all the right reasons, and I wish you all the good things that will come. Good on ya, Chica!
posted by [identity profile] at 07:10pm on 15/04/2015
Thank you! I feel like 3 years of thought is a good long time so I'm confident it's a good decision.
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cofax7 at 03:57am on 15/04/2015
Hey, you!

Good luck, seriously. It's so hard to do what they tell us we should do when so many factors are against us (family background, personal history, personal biology, income, work schedule).

You do what you need to do to get healthy, that's the most important thing. And I hope you have people you can lean on locally for support, that means a lot.
posted by [identity profile] at 07:11pm on 15/04/2015
I have a ton of people to lean on. And all of them have been hella supportive. It's lovely. Thank you for the encouragement and well wishes!
posted by [identity profile] at 04:19am on 17/04/2015
I am here whatever you need. And whatever you choose, I respect it. Which may, in the end, not mean a whole fuckton of anything because I am many miles away but whatever. You know how we do.


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