I am 714 days out from the Gastric Bypass RNY that was the largest gift I have ever given myself. I started thinking about gifts last night as my husband and I were talking about gift giving and how homemade stuff for us is more significant that bought items. This has always been true for us in our marriage, but there hasn't been a time in my life that I gave myself an outrageous gift really for me until I chose to have WLS.
My insurance covered it and I am truly; my out of pocket total was under $1500 dollars, but as gifts go that would be a pretty large one. The gift of WLS was a gift that I knew I wanted but was out of my reach, it didn't matter how much I "saved" or how "sick" I was there was a place and time for this gift. HE knew that and HE had promised to give me what I had asked for, begged for, longed for....to be the best me I could be in this life. HE knew I was ready in the summer of 2010. There was 6 months work prior to that summer and it would be another 6 months until I would receive this gift. My RNY changed my life.
There might not be a lot under my tree this year and there might not be a lot of family time etc in the Christmas of 2012, but I had to sit back and ponder about the ultimate gift of life I gave myself. Have I lived this new life to its fullest? Have I treated my tool the best I could? Have I trusted in it and allowed it to do its job? Have I worked along with it as hard as I should? I'm not perfect and I'm not going to say I am at all, but I can say that my Gastric Bypass allows me to sit here today and I type this. It has been gift that has given me things that can't be wrapped under a tree.
Since surgery, I've ridden on an airplane without a seat belt extender. I've gotten to shop at Victoria's Secret. I've had the opportunity to watch my prescriptions go from 15 to 18 a day to 3 maintenance medications. I watched myself through a mirror where I was so sick, so depressed, so tired that I was almost hospitalized and now I manage my busy day and life like a pro. I've been able to walk...walk...walk...long distances. I couldn't walk down the hall of my residence hall 3 years ago and now my fit bit reads that I walk between 3 and 4.5 miles a day! I wasn't able to climb steps - I avoided them at all costs, now I can take steps without being winded. No package under the tree could encompass the confidence I have when I look down and SEE my feet. No package would allow me to sit on the floor and wrap presents, paint my toe nails, or get on my hands and knees and scrub the kitchen floor. The gifts to from the surgery may be small and normal, but these are gifts I had only dreamed of doing.
Surgery gave me large gifts too. No more diabetes, no more asthma, no more high blood pressure, no more high cholesterol, and my liver is almost in remission from fatty liver syndrome. Again these gifts that were only dreams are today a reality. Surgery and what I did with my tool has given me all this. In 2009 when I started thinking of seriously going after this, my doctors told me I was headed for heart attack by 30, that I could be easily on insulin by 35, and that death could be easily found if I didn't change my life, but now that isn't the case. I'm going to live a long and happy life and I'm going to use this tool the best I can.
WLS has also given me so many awesome opportunities like this blog, talking to others about WLS so freely because it is something that someone should be ashamed over. I've become an advocate. I've become confident in a way that I had never had before and I am able to meet some awesome friends through blogging, forums, and support groups. These are kindred sisters that only understand these immense changes that I've gone through more than my husband and my dearest friends....they have the gift too and they are doing everything they can to use it.
Even if I got nothing under the tree this year, I have an amazing gift that in 17 days I'll celebrate with my 2nd sugervisary!