Monday, April 4, 2011

Happily ever after?

A few weeks ago, I wrote that many people have bariatric surgery believing or hoping that it will solve everything, that they’ll never have to struggle with eating again. Most of the time, that’s not the happy ending to their story. Their story has a different ending that could be happy if they adjust their thinking to it. Is the burden of good eating choices too heavy? If surgery helps you lose all the excess weight, shouldn’t it help you maintain that weight loss without another thought for the rest of your life? Dream on.
I’ve seen a lot of bandsters (including the short blonde one in that bathroom mirror) crash into the Forever Wall, kind of like hitting the “seven-year itch” in a marriage. We prepare for band surgery with all the hope and care of a bride and groom planning a wedding – what we’ll wear, what we’ll eat, what music we’ll dance to. We enjoy a romantic honeymoon with the band, things go great for a while, and then things get harder and harder. At that point, you can fall in love with another bariatric procedure, believing that a revision to gastric bypass or whatever will hand you the key to happily-ever-after. Or you can stick with the partner you’ve already got, survive some tough times, and come out of it all the stronger.
My friend Tami send me these wise comments:
“Your comparison of WLS to marriage made me chuckle. One time my daughter asked me whether I’d ever divorce her dad (sometimes he can be such an ass!). I said, “Absolutely not. He’s family. You sometimes can’t stand your brother, but you can’t divorce him.” Now, if there was a serious “complication” in my marriage, like abuse, I’d have to reconsider my options. And that’s exactly how I feel about my band. It’s part of me, and as long as it doesn’t abuse me with serious complications, we’ll stick together. And just like my husband, I have to respect my band, take care of it, and learn from mistakes.”

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