Greetings from the Land of Feelings

Shit Gets Real
I’m about 2 weeks into what could reasonably be called edginess, A.K.A. Feeling All the Feels instead of numbing them as I had fallen into doing (again.) This is the Onset of Gritted-Teeth Determination to Not Gain Weight, or, Hey, Even Lose Some, since, as I believe I have mentioned in every post since I met with the bariatric surgeon, Dr. Malladi, I cannot gain weight while preparing for gastric sleeve surgery or my health insurance will deem me unworthy of weight loss surgery . . . which is not as crazy as it sounds, because I MUST be able to manage my emotions and care for myself without cracking open a half-gallon of Cookies & Cream ice cream or peeling open a package of Vanilla Oreos. Writing this makes me aware of the role of sandwich cookies in my emotional life. It’s that craving of a quick sugar jolt, coupled with some kind of intrinsic emotional button that gets pushed. I wrote about it in my last post, where I shared how this whole sandwich cookie history started.
Although I plan to be cremated, the image of a tombstone flashes through my head: “She soothed herself with cookies. #SAD.”

I see myself at a 12 step recovery meeting where there are posters showing Ernie the Keebler Elf as a drug dealer. “My name is Beth, and I sold my soul for creamy filling whose ingredients are primarily lard and the tears of relapsed food addicts.”

I will pause here to point out that for approximately an entire decade, I did not eat even ONE cookie OR eat full-fat ice cream. I did not dig nearly whole Oreos out of the center of a half-gallon of Blue Bell, which, if you do not live in Texas, you are not familiar with. (Blue Bell is uh-maze-ing.)

I’m also working at modifying/creating habits I’m to adopt, including drinking only non-carbonated drinks and cutting out caffeine. I think my overzealous pursuit of getting rid of ALL OF IT AT ONCE is what led to intractable migraines last week from caffeine withdrawal. Caffeine withdrawal headaches are like Golgothan from the movie, Dogma. All you need to know is that when they hit, The Shit Gets Real.
And, over the past few years while I’ve been dealing with worsening migraines–which were and are also triggered by exertion, I had stopped exercising, too, I self-medicated with sugar & carbs.
But I’m not doing it now.
I held on. I’ve been edgy as hell, but I’ve held on. I’ve been walking my dogs nearly daily, too, even when I’ve had headaches afterward, because I know it’s got to be part of this life I am trying to reclaim back from Binge Eating Disorder.

UPDATE: I am finishing this post the next day, because, you guessed it, I feel asleep while posting last night. I’m just popping in right here to tell you that I had THE MOST CRAPTASTIC DAY, and I did not eat over it. I’m feeling pretty good about that. I just need to build up a series of these little victories (again) so that I can wake up every morning and when that automatic self-hating, indicting thought process of “WHAT DID YOU DO YESTERDAY, BETH?” can be answered with, “Took care of myself, thank you very much.”


How all this works
Wednesday, November 1, I have a full day of appointments at the hospital I’m having my surgery performed at. I have Bariatric Lifestyles 101, a 2 hour class, as well as Pre-Op class, a Psych eval, and nutritionist consultation and weigh-in. Even though the surgery won’t be until March, these items are part of a check-list of “have-to’s” before being approved. I’m hoping for the last half of the week before Spring Break–perhaps even on my birthday–so I can have an entire week & 2 weekends to recover before going back to work.

November 8, I meet with the gastroenterologist to set up the “Upper GI Swallow Test” that is required, and November 20, I meet with the sleep study doctor because the sleep apnea I have is the thing that will qualify me as a “co-morbidity.” (P.S. Regaining weight that gives me a co-morbidity makes me #SAD.) Then December 5, it’s off to the Fitness Center for an evaluation, another nutritionist consult/weigh in). Next appointments on Jan. 2 include lab work and yet another nutritionist consult/weigh in, then Feb. 5 it’s the last nutritionist consult/weigh in, then the surgeon is notified of everything that’s been completed, they submit the whole thing with documentation to the insurance, and within about 2 weeks, and the insurance either approves or declines.

You may be thinking, “If you can do all the above for 4 months, why do you need gastric sleeve surgery?”

I look to my daughter and the success she’s had. She cannot binge eat. She does not become very hungry.

The surgery is just one more tool, in addition to the lifestyle changes I’m already making.

I want to be free. I want to be like a flower, turning my face toward the sun. I want binge eating to be a non-issue to much more of an extent than it has been throughout my life.

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