In every life, there are moments that shake us. Moments that rock us to our very core. These moments generally offer us an opportunity to learn and grow. There are lessons to be learned in the painful moments we encounter. The problem sometimes is that we are so blinded by the moment that we loose the ability to see beyond it. I experienced one of those moments this week.
Last week, a good friend of mine died. This was a man who appeared to be in good health. He was relatively young and in good shape. No history of health issues. He felt like he had the flu. Two days later, his wife took him to the hospital. He died as he was being evaluated in the emergency room. The news of his death was one of those moments that knock the breath out of you.
Why do I mention this? What could it have to do with weight loss surgery? Simply this, I realized that life is too short to be tied to my obesity. None of us knows how much time we will be given on this Earth. But the time we have is ours to make choices with.
Do I want to continue to live with the restrictions that come with being overweight? Do I want to continue to let my weight dictate the decisions I make on a daily basis? Do I want to allow my weight to impact not only me, but my family as well? I don't know how many Big Mac's I am away from a heart attack, but do I really want to find out?
Up to this point of my life, I have allowed my weight to win the battle. I have quit, I have surrendered, and until now, I had accepted that this is one fight I am not meant to win. This surgery is more than a tool. It is me standing up and saying that I will continue to fight. Who knows, after the surgery I could be the skinny guy that gets hit by a bus. But what I have realized is that what matters is how I live the moments until that point. Am I going to live defeated, accepting this half life as the best there is? Or I am going to leave this Earth knowing that I took full advantage of the time I was given?
Posted 9:46 PM
Why Surgery? Why Now?
After my initial consult with Dr. Wallace and the team at Froedtert, I called my urologist to get his input regarding the surgery. I spoke to his longtime office assistant and told her why I wanted to speak with the doctor. I have known this woman for over 10 years now. Her reaction was one of shock at what I was considering.
"Why on Earth would you do that Scott? You're really not that overweight! You are not obese!"
After a moment, I realized how absurd it was that I was actually debating the fact of my obesity with someone. In hindsight, I find it humorous that I was having a schoolyard argument with someone in the medical field about my weight. "You are not fat!" Yes, I am, so there!
So why surgery? Why now? Unlike a lot of people who have had weight loss surgery, there was no defining moment when I realized I had to do this. For me, it has been a series of events over the last fifteen years of my life. There are certainly moments though that stand out in my mind. Going to Great America years ago and finding out that I couldn't go on certain rides because they could not safely secure the harness around me. Taking my family to a NASCAR Speedpark and not being able to ride in the go carts with them because I didn't fit. Being afraid that if I gained one more size, I wouldn't be able to get a duty belt I needed for work. Going in for a kidney stone surgery and being told that I was too big for the lithotripsy machine. And when they took me to a different machine, not fitting in the equipment. Having the seat welds break on a new car after only a few months. I can promise that those of you who have not struggled with your weight do not understand the humiliation of things like this.
You also can not imagine how this is an everyday struggle. Not being able to fit in a chair at work. Being afraid that even if you do fit, it is going to break under your weight. Trying to fit into a car that is not made for people your size. Putting off buying clothes because you really don't want to make another trip to the "Big Man" shop. My weight is a consideration in almost every decision I make on a daily basis.
So when I reflect on all of the things I've missed out on in life, the effect my weight has on the simplest daily activities, and the humiliation that goes along with the "oh crap!" moments, the question changes from, "Why now?" to "Why not sooner?"
Posted 6:53 PM