One of the most important things anyone who is considering gastric by-pass surgery is having a good support system for before surgery and especially after the surgery.
Every appoint I have had, whether the surgeon, my doctor, the nutritionist have asked me what kind of support will I have after the surgery. Do I have a spouse or boyfriend to help me? Does my family live nearby? Where will I stay after the surgery? Will I be alone? Will help be available if I need someone?
I have said before, and I will say it again, I am very lucky. Yes, I live alone. I do not have a car. I live about 30 miles from the nearest family member. I am unmarried and I do not have a partner to help me. And my mom lives in another city. That said, I do have a great support system in place.
My sister lives near the hospital where the surgery is taking place. Her home is going to become support and recovery central. She has offered her home up to me for when I get done with the surgery. They have a guest room already set up. She has offered that I can stay with her for up to a month if I need it, or longer if necessary.
My mother will be coming to town for the surgery. My sister will probably be hosting her for her stay as well. My mom may opt for hotel stay for a night or two just to have some space of her own. But I do know she will be here.
My brother and his wife live one maybe two miles from my sister. I’m not really certain of the exact distance, but it is only about a ten minute drive from one house to the next. They have promised to be on hand.
Plus I have a myriad of friends who have promised to be on hand who have promised to be on hand, including the woman who recommended the surgeon to me. She is very excited for me.
I know that sometimes there is often a gap between promise of support and the follow-through in times of crisis or need. We have all had a very close friend whom we think we can count on for anything, yet vanishes when a family member dies.
I know that some people deal with stress, pain, hospital stays, death differently and may drop from sight. And people you barely know will come out of the woodwork to help you through the hardest times. That’s fine. I’m prepared for some of that. I’ve had it happen before. And still, I say I am lucky.
I know my family is fully in support of my decision. Many of them actually cheered when I told them. I know one person has concerns. I do not want to mention that person as they do not really like being mentioned on the internet, but I do know the concern is out of love. And I do know that they support my decision and will be there if I need something.
What also makes me feel lucky is the sheer number of people who have come forward with promises of support. I do know that not everyone can nor will be there, but if almost everyone who has said, “If there’s anything you need…” or “I’m here if you need anything, just call…” just did one supportive thing post surgery, my recovery will be a piece of cake.
One person who has offered me a lot of support, I have not mentioned that much on this blog. I’ve talked quite a bit about my brother and sister who live here in Virginia. My baby sister lives in Minnesota (see before picture post – bride). While she is not here to help me with big stuff, right now, she has been in the past. I’m going to tell you a story now that is kind of embarrassing and silly.
A couple of years ago, I auditioned for The Biggest Loser TV Show. This sounds much more impressive than it actually was, but I did. My sister lived in Pittsburgh at that time and I was visiting her. I told her I was thinking of doing that. In her typical supportive style, she responded, “That would be AWESOME! Not only would you be thin, you’d be famous and rich!” Well, since I am neither famous nor rich, nor even thin, I’m sure you can guess that I did not make it to the show.
I told her that there were casting calls in Richmond, VA. She drove to my apartment in Arlington from Pittsburgh and together we drove to Richmond. We sat out all night on the streets of Richmond with a bunch of other people. She did take off and sleep in the car for a couple of hours, but was back in time for them to let us into the building. She helped me get ready and waited in a room with me with about 500-1,000 other people waiting to meet with people from the show.
I participated in group interviews. I sat at a table with about 9 other potential contestants and a “judge” from the show. We all had about 30 seconds to say something to impress the judges. Or maybe it was 10 seconds, I don’t remember. Then they dismissed everyone. I do not know what the next step was supposed to be because I evidently did not make it.
My sister and I checked into a nearby motel and slept for a few hours. Then got some dinner and drove back to Arlington. It was crazy and a lot of fun.
Recently, for my current weight-loss project, my baby sister has become one of my biggest cheerleaders (a role she knows something about). She reads this blog. She texts me cheerful, supportive texts. She calls me. She writes on my Facebook wall how excited she is. And since she lives in Minnesota, she is already planning the post weight-loss shopping trip at the Mall of America. or Mecca as she calls it. I probably cannot afford all of the “super-cute” clothes she wants me to buy.
So, in honor of my baby sis Jen, here are her two cats Sprinkles and Miley. They are, in her words, “super-cute” if not super-furry.