Anyone who has spent even a small amount of time following Misdirected knows that I kinda keep things on the DL (Down Low - keeping things hidden, for those who missed the class on Speaking Like The Cool Kids.) I use a pen name, major characters in my life are referred to by nicknames or pronouns, etc. It isn't that I have any particular desire to remain a secret. Far from it, in fact - those who don't know me can work out my real name just from looking at my email address over there to the right somewhere. But I have no wish to expose any one else's life accidentally - as my Mother likes to say, "Those are not my stories to tell." Where my stories intersect with other lives is where I get real nervous about what is safe to talk about.
Imagine my surprise when the love of my life, Loralia, starts speaking to me last night about bringing up a subject that I have specifically left completely unmentioned thus far. Lor is intimately involved with Misdirected - she acts as my copy editor, thesaurus, and memory bank all rolled in to one person. So, she is well aware of anything that I have said or allowed to remain unspoken in these posts. And last night she mentioned to me that I should talk about something pretty relevant to my recent posts. I countered that the information was not really anyone else's business. She was firm: "I don't want anyone to think there is any shame in what we are doing here." I conceded.
So, the news is this: I am actually not going through Bariatric Surgery alone. Lor is also taking part in the process, with her schedule running about 6 weeks ahead of mine. While my surgery will be taking place in August, hers will most likely take place in June.
Our surgery coordinator and our surgeons are delighted - couples that go through the surgery together have a vastly higher long-term success rate than individuals that have to go it alone. With built-in diet monitors and accountability partners right at home, the temptations to fall off the wagon are greatly diminished. And the support system that is required for encouragement and validation? No further than across the dinner table.
Now, this has created some worries in our household. Lor has been a long-time opponent of body-shaming, and has worked diligently for decades with friends, family members and clients to help them to love themselves as they are, rather than cave in to societal expectations of what a "perfect" body should look like. Lor is beautiful and she knows it, and she has helped so many other women understand the beauty they already possess without diets, without input from Vogue and Cosmo, and without...surgery.
But, the hard truth of the matter is that Lor's family has a long history of Diabetes. Lor's family has lost several members to the disease already. And Lor's case of Diabetes has gotten so bad that she recently had to retire from Massage Therapy - her joints and musculature have atrophied so badly that she is in constant pain, unable to do the work she loves any longer. This is hard news for a young woman with many years of life left in front of her. And, one of the best treatments for this disease is - Bariatric Surgery. The decision, for Lor, was not at all about the cosmetic effects of surgery. Same as with me, Lor wants to be able to have some "quality" restored into her Quality of Life.
The two of us found it very odd that, while I was waiting for my initial appointment to be evaluated for surgery, Lor's family practitioner suggested out of the blue that Lor be evaluated as well. Lor's doc was a LOT more aggressive than mine, and moved Lor over into the fast lane, getting her evaluated, approved, and started on the process while I was still waiting for my initial eval. Lor is basically 6 weeks ahead of me on this journey, and I have (selfishly, yes) enjoyed the benefits of being able to see what is coming down the road for me through her eyes.
Thanks again to everyone for your support and interest in this whole process. We both appreciate the encouragement through what has been a pretty mind-blowing process so far.
Envisioning Life Without Diabetes and Arthritis,
- Hawkwind and Loralia