At long last, this is my one-year-out-from-surgery post. I had my duodenal switch surgery at USC Hospital on 24 March 2005. My surgeon was Howard Kaufman who did an amazing job. That morning I weighed 357 pounds on the hospital scale. That was 10 pounds down from my high weight of 367. I didn't really lose 10 pounds pre-op, more like 5, but I'd spent the previous evening before surgery celebrating my last night pre-op with a bowel prep for surgery.
Sooo, can I just say, what a difference a year makes?
Yeah, okay, so it's really been 13 months since surgery. This post is a bit late. But heaven knows I've never been one to be on time with anything. I'm kind of crappy and unreliable that way. Sorry.
But I thought I might try and buy you off with some pictures.
Soooo, for my friends the picture 'hos, here ya go. I'm glad you encouraged me to get them done this month, otherwise I might have waited until I could get my hair cut. But you get me in my wild and woolly state. Seriously, I think the prenatal vitamins are finally causing my hair to grow at about twice the rate it did pre-op. It's grown a least an inch an a half in the last two and a half months. Hope that means I'm healthy.
Please excuse the expression on my face for the front picture this month -- it's supposed to be funny. Paul took several front shots -- this was going to be a joke. But I like the way my 13 month self seems to be giving my pre-op self an ironic look. Besides, I still freeze up and my mouth looks funny in most pictures. This pose kind of takes care of that.
This month, Paul did something a little different for me. We did the front / side / back photo arrays as before, but I also had him do a pre-op and now side by side for me. I'll put them all up because really, can there be too many pictures of me on this blog? Seriously, I know I loved looking at before and after pictures when I was pre-op and in my early days post-op. It just seemed so magic and impossible. When you get to the array photos, you may notice that the thumbnails are rather small. Just click on them to see the bigger version.
Thinking about it, I still love looking at people's before and after pictures and progress photos, though I don't trawl through them quite as obsessively as I once did. And seeing the changes still feels magical and impossible all at once. (If you want to see some amazing duodenal switch post-op transformations, check out the photo arrays on Marybeth's or Sharon's or Kim's blogs. They're all three smokin' hot babes, really. And as an added plus, they write well too. )
When someone puts up a new blog, the first thing I look for are the pictures. Putting the photos side-by-side this month and looking at a year ago versus today, I really can see the difference and I can tell I've been transformed. That's kind of amazing to me because it isn't something I can see in the mirror on a day-to-day basis. It's not even something I see when I look at the photo itself. It's only seeing the before and now together that makes the change seem clear and real.
I like this one of me from the side this month. It's partly the cut of my jeans, but I love that it looks like I've still got my 'back' (er, that would be my bum, right?). The cut of the jeans do their best, but Fred's definitely still rather tucked in. My tummy is pretty round. And I fear that my hernia, by late afternoon, can start making an appearance. Still, honestly I'm not complaining. Things are looking pretty good and I have to say I feel totally normal when I see the pictures. The figure I see isn't someone I'd think of as "obese," even though that's where my BMI (31.1 as of today) puts me. But hey, that sure beats the delightful label of "super super morbidly obese," right?
That's what the poor girl on the left got to see on her medical charts by the way. Couldn't they just have used something like "fatty mcfatty"? Why must medical science be both cruel and insulting all at once?
Looking at these pictures is a bit painful because it reminds me about how hard life was back then. Even the progress photos were hard for the first few months because my weight started so high that even losing 50 pounds made little difference in how I looked. I've said this before, but I will again. I don;t think I knew how overweight I was until I started losing and saw the pictures. The irony is that now I don't see myself as I am either. But hey, I'm working on it, really.
And at least when I look at the pictures now, I don't see an obese woman. Whatever the BMI charts may say. I mean, is someone in size 14 jeans really "obese"? Or, as I see myself, just a normal late 30 something with willful hair?
I've still got 30 pounds to lose. But that's a long way from 200. And looking at my hips and thighs, I hope I know where the last round is going to come from. Thanks for being with me through this journey. It's been a trip so far, hasn't it?