got this in an email from my OSSG [obesity surgery support group] bulletin board...
LISTEN to the embarrassment we encounter in our every day life. The name-calling, stares, rude comments and looks of disgust we endure battling the last acceptable form of discrimination. People we meet that give us a far wider berth than we need when passing us on the street, in the hall; in life. Afraid that somehow our disease of obesity might be contagious.
LISTEN to our apprehension as we expertly eye the chair. Will we break it, or will we fit. Will we ever fit into life, as "normal" people know it?
LISTEN to our agony as we just walk and perform the simple activities of daily living on joints screaming in pain from incredible burden they were never meant to carry.
LISTEN to the pain of our humiliation when ridiculed by a doctor for "allowing" ourselves to get so fat. Realizing even the doctor's office is not a "safe" place; we tend to neglect our heath even more. Hey
doctor, didn't you take an oath to help?
LISTEN to our hopelessness after being turned down over and over for a job or promotion because we don't "match the corporate image" of the person they envision for this position.
LISTEN to our guilt. Because of our size, we feel we've cheated those we love out of the parent, spouse, child or friend we feel we should've been. Our embarrassment has now become theirs as well.
LISTEN to our anticipation as we eagerly embark on yet another diet. THIS will be the one. This time I WILL SUCCEED!
LISTEN to our frustration as once again we fail at another attempt to lose weight, reinforcing once again our feelings of worthlessness, failure and defeat.
LISTEN to our fear for what life holds if we don't have this surgery. We try to ignore it, to stuff it down, but when we are brutally honest with ourselves, we realize an early death is an almost certainty.
LISTEN to our indecision as we do extensive research, trying to outweigh the risk of complications (up to and including death) versus the chance of a new life. A chance to improve our health, move without pain, play with our children, the opportunity to just "fit in" to society.
LISTEN to our indecision as we second-guess our decision to have surgery. As we ask ourselves, "Should I try just one more diet?" And tell ourselves, "If I only had more willpower."
LISTEN to us as we eagerly meet with the surgeon, with our five-page, single-spaced, list of questions in hand. Let down by the medical profession in the past, can I really trust this person who looks at me with compassion, as he assures me I'm a "good candidate" and he can help? Please, God, I want to believe him, tell me I'm not setting myself up for failure once again.
LISTEN to our feelings of helplessness as we place our future in the hands of an insurance company. Fully aware that with a simple denial letter, all the work we have done to this point, may be pointless. This
surgery is not without cost, physical, emotional and monetary.
LISTEN to our joy as we open the long awaited "approval letter" or obtain financing to make this dream a reality.
LISTEN to us as we grasp for a chance at improved health, of moving with ease and just living life as a "normal" person.
LISTEN to our renewed hope of living long enough to see our children grow up, get married, play with grandchildren and grow old alongside our mate.
LISTEN to our fear as we roll into the surgical suite. The sights, the smells, the needles, the faceless people behind the masks. Do you care? Do you understand, or will you too make cracks about my weight once I'm asleep? My life is now in your hands, please take care of me. I have a brand new life ahead of me, and so much to live for.
LISTEN to the sigh of relief as we wake up in pain but alive! Stand up, walk a few steps, cough and deep breathe. Sure nurse, whatever you say, I can handle it because I'm alive!
LISTEN to our delight as the weight starts to drop off, realizing this is for real. We are actually on the losing side.
LISTEN to our misery as the body we once knew so well, now betrays us with nausea and vomiting when we attempt to eat.
LISTEN to our frustration as we attempt to do something as simple as drinking a glass of water.
LISTEN to our panic at the first plateau or weight gain. As that little voice inside tells us, "Once again I'm a failure."
LISTEN to us relax and let out our breath as we watch the numbers on the scale edge down once again. Plateau over. Renewed hope. Maybe I will make it after all.
LISTEN to our efforts to move as we slowly and painfully attempt to exercise in a body that is still morbidly obese.
LISTEN to our confusion as our emotions wreck havoc with us. Why am I crying? Why do I feel depressed? Why am I mean and snapping at the ones I love? I don't like this person that has taken over my emotions.
LISTEN to our sense of accomplishment the first time we walk a mile. It rivals the high of any runner completing their first marathon.
LISTEN to our depression when we realize we can no longer soothe our emotions with food. We now have to learn to feel and deal with these emotions.
LISTEN to our tears as we mourn the loss of that brief but satisfying sensation of gratification we once obtained from the "comfort foods" we can no longer have.
LISTEN to our obsession surrounding the scale, vitamins, protein drinks and carb counts, determined not to fail "this time".
LISTEN to our sense of accomplishment as we pass up that calorie laden, high carbohydrate treat, telling ourselves, "My new life is sweeter than any dessert."
LISTEN to our elation as we reach that "century mark" that once seemed so distant, but now is a reality.
LISTEN to our resolve to reach our goals. Moving the weight on the scale down another notch, reaching a new "century" of numbers, wearing the dream outfit and attaining our "goal" weight.
LISTEN to the gratefulness in our hearts as we thank our surgeon for not only their technical skills, but equally important, their understanding and compassion for the morbidly obese. Thank you, doctor, for the opportunity to rejoin society and live life.
LISTEN to our amazement as we come to the realization that "reaching goal" wasn't the most important thing in life. It was the lessons we earned, the friends we made and the sense of accomplishment we gained along the way.
LISTEN, don't talk, don't give advice, don't judge, just listen. And then, maybe then, you will start to understand the life of a morbidly obese person.