Last you heard, I had enlisted my husband’s support in my quest to have Weight Loss surgery. It was given grudgingly and somewhat conditionally. My husband had quite snarkily asked me what my father would think about that choice, fully expecting my father to come down on the side of “No way, Jose.”
Truthfully, I was dreading breaking the news about my choice to have WLS to my father for that same reason. I didn’t know how he’d react. He never ever made a comment about my weight to my face, but I’d heard indirectly that he was concerned about my health. I really wanted his support, as I knew from my research that having a support system in place after surgery was going to be of the utmost importance. I would need help watching my daughter, getting to and from surgery, and maybe even to help me at home.
I bit the bullet and picked up the phone. After a few minutes of inconsequential small talk, I broached the subject nonchalantly, asking “So, what do you think of weight loss surgery?” My dad, being a huge opera buff, immediately told me about Deborah Voigt, a soprano who’d had the RNY in response to being fired from a prestigious role for being overweight. Well who knew my dad would be so informed? I asked him what he thought of my having weight loss surgery. He shocked the hell out of me.
He said “We would love and support you in any way we could, as we always try to do.” Well, goddamn! If I was writing fiction, I could not have ever imagined a more perfect and supportive response to my question. I could have cried. I think I did.
My mother was similarly unstinting in her support, but much less tactful, saying that it was about damn time… Oh, Roseanna Danna Danna, you were so right.
My husband caved completely in the face of the opposition and began learning all he could. I would still have to go through all of the preop testing, and the surgery itself would have to wait for a year, as it had to be scheduled at the start of summer for me to be fully recuperated in time for the start of the new school year.
During that year, as my husband observed my unwavering commitment to the surgery, his support grew. He watched as I underwent all the testing – freaking out the cardiologist during my Stress Test, and getting yet another hypertension prescription (for exercise-induced hypertension – hello? Doesn’t everyone’s blood pressure rise during exercise? Apparently not through the roof like mine did…). He saw me reading surgery support boards, continuing my research, and making lists of things I’d have to do after surgery.
Since my surgery, it’s hard to imagine that he was ever opposed to it, such has his behavior changed. If he hears of anyone contemplating weight loss surgery, he tells them “You should talk to my wife! Here’s our phone number! She’s lost 145 pounds!” I had to stop him on more than one occasion from throwing out that information to perfect strangers, especially in front of me. I like to pass for normal these days. He’s so proud of me, though, that I can’t get mad at him for it.
My mother, queen of the backhanded compliment, has told me how much “prettier” I am since losing weight, and how, jeez, I used to be enormous! Thanks, Mom. Thanks.
My father, as ever, still hasn’t made mention of my weight, but will ask every now and then how my “regime” is going. And that works for me.
I continue to be healthy and happy after three years of living with my Duodenal Switch. Sure, there are challenges, but overall, I can say that it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve never regretted it. Not for a single nanosecond.