Joy (cithra) wrote,

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medical 'stuff'

So this morning I have an appointment with Dr. Dellinger, my gastric bypass (baryatric surgery) physician.

I've never liked going to doctors - in addition to all the 'normal' stuff about the whole experience being associated with not feeling well, for the majority of my life a trip to any medical facility included censure about my weight. Sometimes just the manner of the nurse taking my initial vitals, sometimes an actual lecture/discussion - but even the kindest inquiries provided a perch for the ample flocks of free-floating guilt with which I travel.

This went away for a bit post-surgery, because the news was uniformly good. My recovery has gone remarkably well, considering. The only real bump in the road has been the development of an incisional hernia about a year and a half ago.

To my great good fortune, one of Dr. Dellinger's specialties is hernias. At my last appointment then, he said to come back in a year or when it (the hernia) got to bothering me to the point of irritation, and we'd take care of it. The repair will likely be another full surgery - actually, the procedure sounds kind of cool. It involves (as I remember his description) the implantation of a surgically neutral mesh, sort of as a patch, through which the muscle regrows as it heals. This gives the mend some extra strength and helps to avoid reherniation - which can be a problem. If you've ever mended a worn piece of clothing only to have the seam pull out of the surrounding fabric in a new tear, you can understand the problem. So I envision myself coming out of this with a kevlar stomach, woo hoo! Get me some tights and a nice cape and I'll be ready to take on any Arch-villain you like.

But... because my weight has stabilized, and because of being mentally head-shy about weight-related doctor visits, and because I'm not terribly good at complying with all of the behavioral strictures I've been given, I find I've got the guilt thing going again this morning around my appointment today. Like I'm mentally bracing for a blow, or blows to my self-esteem. Now, my weight stabilizing is good - one of the prerequisites for the hernia repair surgery, actually - but somehow not being in a state of accelerated loss anymore is somewhat nerve-wracking. Oh, how deeply I have internalized the "thin=good" paradigm! [As an aside, I'll admit that a good chunk of the mental "stuff" I've worked through over the last couple of years has had to do with problems in my life I used to attribute to my size, but which remain problematic for my surgically enhanced self as well, especially relating-to-people issues.]

So the guilt is back, roosting in/on my head like a giant foul fowl, for no good reason except I find myself expecting a lecture about something. I hate the constant mental semi-cringing state it puts me in - it's so easy to fall into, to fall back into even now.

The hernia itself has actually begun to be bothersome on a regular basis. It didn't get in the way yesterday, but the last hike prior I went on it did. It's annoying in any case, and it's been over a year since my last follow-up appointment (another piece of guilt) so it's high time for me to drag myself into the clinic.

I don't have the foggiest idea when the repair will be scheduled for, and that's also a matter of conscience. I have a fair amount of stuff going on this summer/fall, between work and the Silver Mist group and the plan to take Mom to D.C. I suppose I'll find out later today. I can't remember how long it took between scheduling and surgery for the gbs itself, but it seems like a while - months-ish at least. If that's the case, it would probably dovetail with my plans fairly nicely if it happened in mid-to-late October or even November, both in terms of events scheduled and in terms of leave usage. And to think I was finally getting some sick leave built up again. Oh well, that's what it's for, after all, theoretically.

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