Weighty Matters

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The Importance of Support

on March 1, 2012

No, I’m not talking about good bras.  🙂   I mean the emotional and physical support from others that have helped me on this journey.

I am extremely fortunate and have received nothing but support from family, friends and co-workers since I first shared that I’d decided to have bariatric surgery.  My brother and sister-in-law immediately said they wanted to fly down and help me in the first days after my operation.  Another good friend made plans to spend 10 days with me after family went home.  My bosses were behind me all the way, telling me that they would support in whatever way I needed and they never once complained about the number of days off I had to take to run to doctor appointments.  My immediate boss had to cover numerous things for me while I was out, but nobody asked if there was any way I could come back to work earlier than planned.

I don’t know how many different conversations I had with friends about the journey leading up to surgery or how many chats we’ve had since.  Everybody is on my side and being active members of my team.

As you know, this hasn’t been the greatest week as my body and systems adjust to the change in diet and I learn more about balancing things.  It’s no secret at work that I’ve felt like crap.  Every day my boss has told me that if I need to, I can absolutely work from home if I’ll feel better.  Today I did just that for the afternoon.  I was able to come home, take some meds to help my system and finally began to see improvement.

It isn’t easy for me to accept help and even harder for me to ask for it.   I’ve lived alone for so long and by nature am self-reliant.  I don’t like needing assistance with things I’m used to doing for myself, but post-surgery there was no choice.  I was frequently tired.  I couldn’t lift or carry anything that weighed more than a gallon of milk.  I wasn’t permitted to drive until I was no longer taking any of the prescribed pain meds.  In those first few days, my brother and sister-in-law ran errands for me, including shopping.  My sister-in-law did my laundry.  Knowing I was limited to broths, she didn’t just buy boxed stock.  She brought home a chicken and veggies and slow cooked them so that the broth would be loaded with flavor after she removed the ingredients that I couldn’t ingest.   If I wanted something to drink, one of them brought it to me.   They accompanied me on my walks, knowing that I didn’t have my full strength.   My brother drove me to do some things before they left, including picking up my dogs from doggy camp.

My friend Marilyn was vigilant in her care and even went so far as to help me clean out the utility closet after we discovered that the dryer vent had come undone and spewed lint all over the place.  By help me I mean she did most of the work while I sat in a chair and wiped lint and dust off things.  She also dragged boxes of books out of my office so that I could sort them.  When it was time for my first post-op doctor’s visit, she drove us up and back to Miami — four hours round-trip.

Now that I’m five weeks post-op and have regained much of my strength and endurance, the emotional support continues to be important.  Friends and family check in with me on a regular basis to ask how I’m doing.  They cheer my progress with me and are understanding and sympathetic about the challenges.

It’s good to be so loved.  I appreciate every single one of them and know that I’m truly blessed.

I also know that not everyone who takes this journey enjoys this kind of unconditional support.  I feel for them and hope that they can find support elsewhere if they don’t receive it from their family and friends.   I also hope that, no matter what, they keep putting one foot in front of the other, marching toward success.   We make this decision and take this step for ourselves.  It’s our futures that are at stake, our health that must be improved and protected.

If nobody in my life had supported me when I started down this road, I still would have done the same thing.  I would have found a way to make it through on my own, but, God, I’m glad that I didn’t have to.

To all of you who have helped me on this endeavor — in person, at work, on the phone and here on the blog — thank you from the bottom of my heart.

5 responses to “The Importance of Support

  1. Judie says:

    Wow, what a wonderful support system. It is awesome to have so many wonderful people in your life.

  2. lunarmom says:

    Support is vital! And you have it by the boat load. Which is beautiful, also it’s quite telling. You are loved, and that has much to do with how much you LOVE.

  3. Hope says:

    I’m so glad there are so many people in your corner. It’s nice for me to have the company. 😉

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