I had been dreading attending this group meeting. Support groups have never been my thing. I always felt like I give more than I receive. So I wasn’t looking forward to this one with any positive expectations.
I was wrong!
I believe in admitting it when you’re wrong and, gratefully, I was. This group was fun! Yes, the topics were for the most part serious. But the group moderator was able to not only laugh at himself but make the rest of the group laugh. Not an easy feat in a group of obese people sitting in an auditorium/lecture hall.
Everyone there had either undergone bariatric surgery (gastric by-pass or lap band procedures) or had been admitted to the program and was contemplating the surgery. The topics were wide ranging, from insurance issues to what to do with all the leftover skin after the weight loss to why some people lose a lot fast and others don’t to how to “stay on the wagon” and not gain weight back.
There were some scary comments – the man who had developed a narrowing and was now unable to eat very much at all. A repair is being planned. There was a man who started out at nearly 600 lbs and is now about 287 – lots of spare skin that needs to be contained by a girdle and sports bra (yes, I said a man) – but the insurance company says the skin removal is not “medically necessary.” He needed to see a dermatologist for the rashes that are common in the skin folds and had warned him about the undergarments. When he undressed for the doctor, the doctor commented “You really do have a bra!” The man replied, “Yeah, and I’m not a transvestite in training.” The dermatologist has recommended the surgery. (My personal opinion: The insurance company should be celebrating this man, who is no longer diabetic after his weight loss accomplishment. He’s saved them thousands of dollars in actual and potential costs down the road!)
There was some discussion of post-op complications and problems – but everyone there said they would do it again, because the benefits and gains were worth the short term difficulties. There were folks there who looked like they had never been fat a day in their lives. They are working on maintaining weight loss – great role models. There were some who had had the surgery but not yet reached their goal. They received lots of encouragement. There were those of us on the pre-surgical end of things – still a wide range of sizes. We learned and laughed and supported those who had gone before.
This group meets once a month and, although I may not get to every meeting, I think I will try to make as many as possible. It’s both a reality check and a reminder not to take yourself too seriously.
The group organizers are very good about starting and ending on time. (Must be the medical appointment mentality showing – “Your 15 minute appt is up – maybe we should schedule you for a longer appt next time?” That promptness is appreciated by me, at least. I got to go to the meeting and still get home in time to catch the first episodes of this season for Ugly Betty and CSI.
Ugly Betty is a show I didn’t think I would watch last season because I hated the title. But I caught on episode and was hooked. The premier episode this season was very well done, with plot twists and unexpected outcomes and fantasy sequences that were disguised so well you didn’t know they were fantasies until the very end. Very creative, yet touching on real human emotion and the unfairness of life.
CSI(the original) was part 2 of the cliff-hanger last episode of last season. One of the techs was abducted and placed in a murder scene by a psychotic woman. Left in the desert. She’s a “survivor”, though, and in the end, the fact that she lives is more due to her inner drive, her creativity and luck, not the skill of the CSI staff. That’s really the way life is, isn’t it? It’s how we react in a bad situation that’s the truest predictor of our survival.
The cat is sitting at my feet begging for his lunch. I guess I’d better go get it before he gets too aggressive. That’s my instinct for cat survival.