I don’t know even where to start. This blog was originally created for writing about health and wellness, specifically recording moments of my own journey. It was intended to inspire others who were pondering the question of whether to have weight loss surgery. I have had many ups and downs, stalls and progress. I am not done with my journey. In some ways, it feels like it has only just begun. This coming May will be 3 years since I underwent a gastric sleeve procedure that forever changed my behavior and actions towards diet and exercise. I told someone the other day that I am on a permanent diet. It’s true. There are still many different foods that I don’t eat. There are some that I can eat in small amounts, but it’s not even worth the trouble of worrying about how my body will react so I just stay away from them.
I have gone through so much in the last 6 months. I know I’ve said that before, but this time around the changes are so much so that I can’t hardly keep up. My mind is in slow motion while everything around me is moving at the speed of light. I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve written a blog post. It could have been a few weeks or it could have been over a year. I am barely holding the pieces of my brokenness together.
This time last year I was living in a large metro area in the South, in the biggest house I’ve ever lived in right on the lake. We were struggling to stay together as a family and feeling as if we were holding our breath for fear of what new crisis would present itself. My husband’s job had relocated and we were faced with either following his job or face financial ruin. We chose to follow the money. We pulled the kids out of school, away from their friends and family, and told them that everything was going to be better. I painted a very convincing picture to them and they became excited about moving to a place that had never even seen before. We were so unprepared . We hurriedly picked a place to live and didn’t spend more than a cursory glance at the school system before we embarked on a train wreck of a hasty decision. If I could give one very important piece of advice – don’t ever make an important decision during duress. Without going into all the details, the school system that had moved into was a disaster. I ended up homeschooling my kids for the rest of the time that we lived there. Everyone was miserable. We were living in a house that was actually too big with an even bigger rent payment. My best friend lived only 5 minutes away and looking back, it was either a huge mistake living that close to each other or it was a blessing in disguise. I have since learned things that I wish I didn’t know. About this time last year, I begin to feel quite restless and downright miserable living there. I began to plan a trip to visit family, only instead of packing a few days’ worth of clothes I packed them all. I stuffed my car as much as possible, drove home and never looked back.
After I moved back home, I began renovating my house. My Mom helped me with painting and picking out new furniture. We spent several weeks trying to decide how i wanted everything to look. She suggested I decorate my home with bright Spring colors. So I ended up surrounding myself with turquoise and coral red. I painted over the drabby walls with a fresh coat of ivory paint and everything seemed to be back on track. My initial goal was to come home, fix the house up and live in it until it sold. Then we would move on to another location where my husband could work. He went ahead to the new location and rented an apartment while we stayed behind and worked on the house. The kids re-enrolled in their old schools and everything was going along smoothly. It just felt right. It wasn’t long after getting things in order that my Mom’s health began to deteriorate quickly. I finally convinced her to let me take her to the hospital. That night we learned that she had stage 4 Lung cancer and didn’t have much time left to live. Ironically, I had just started working for an Oncology doctor a few weeks before. Mom had several hospital stays, underwent many tests, and finally was given 6 months or less to live. I had quit my job upon first learning of her cancer diagnosis. She entered into hospice care and I became her caregiver. Three months after her cancer diagnosis she passed away. I gave the hospice nurse permission to remove her oxygen mask and I turned off the oxygen tank. Mom took four more rattled breaths and then no more. As she lay dying I reminded her to visit me in my dreams. I told her to come and wait for me when it is my time to die. I will see her again one day.
Although I knew that she was terminal, I still wonder even to this day if I did enough for her. Did I give her too much medication at the end? Is there anything else that I could have done for her? I’ll never know. It’s been about 3 1/2 months since her death and I feel like I am just now coming out of shock. Even as I write this, it still feels like she has just gone somewhere and will be back sometime. When that feeling takes over I go visit her grave and that’s when it hits me. It’s devastating. I relive her death all over again. The grief is overwhelming. I can’t even write about it. It’s too painful. I can skim the surface of the retelling of her sickness and death, but maybe one day I will be able to write it all out. Maybe one day I will grieve a little less, but I will forever be changed.
Everything in my life has changed. I have a new job. My husband has a new job. I have begun to question my entire life. The one thing that I have learned about this entire experience is that life is too short and too precious to go around being miserable and putting off things that need to be taken care of today. Why does it always seem that you have to walk through hell to get to Paradise?
And all along this entire process, I have stayed on my post-weight loss-surgery diet, eating 5 times a day and counting how much fluids I have taken in throughout the day. I have just starting working out at the gym and it seems to help alot with stress and with getting my body back into shape. it is a painful process, but it is one that I must go through. I have questioned every part of my life over the last 3 1/2 months. I know one thing to be true: the result of your life is by the effort you have put into creating it. If you want to be happy, you create happiness. If you want to be successful, you create success. If you want peace, you create peace. You find the thing that makes your soul sing and you chase after it until you catch it. You don’t let anything or anyone deter you from what brings you joy. You keep yourself busy when you feel like giving up. You forgive yourself when you feel overwhelmed. Others treat you the way that you allow them to treat you. You don’t have the life of your dreams by just sitting around and daydreaming about it. You create your destiny. You get love by creating love and spreading it around. Our ability to love is not bound by size or amount. Love expands into infinity. It does not have a maximum capacity. No one ever said life would be easy or fair, but life can be the best it can be by our attitudes and actions. We can have the life we’ve always imagined, but how bad do you want it?