Monday, April 4, 2011

To have and to hold - until it's no fun any more?

I’ve survived two complications with my band that I suppose you could classify as on the low side of serious: a band slip, and a flipped port. Since the actions my surgeon and I took in response to these complications were swift (in the case of the slip) and sensible (in the case of the port flip), neither one of them ever endangered me – not in terms of my health, and not in terms of my quality of life. In fact, they seemed quite minor to me compared to other problems that my fellow humans face every day – a terminal cancer diagnosis; a fatal automobile accident; a crippling disease; the loss of a partner; parent or child – that except for the occasional moment of frustration or angry, “Why me, God?”, I just kept trudging onward. Perhaps another person with a different world-view and/or different expectations would consider a band slip grounds for divorce. I can’t criticize people who chose divorce, whether it involves their spouse or their band. Only I can decide what’s acceptable and tolerable for me, and others must decide that for themselves. But if you walk down the church aisle three minutes before your wedding begins thinking, “If I don’t like marriage, I can always get a divorce,” perhaps you don’t belong in the church in that fancy get-up in front of all your family and friends after all.
At this (fairly advanced) stage of my life, I’m convinced that God or the universe throws nails on the road before me as a way to get my attention, make me stop and get my bearings, make me enjoy the scenery and make me appreciate how far I’ve traveled so far. So I do my best to learn what I can from each challenging situation with the gastric band that’s complaining or my husband who’s vigorously brushing his teeth or the dog who’s chewing on a chair leg. For all I know, my greatest goal in life is to be a champion cleaner of bathroom mirrors!

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