Before surgery, nobody really talked about the “elephant in the room” (that would be me LOL), but they would talk about how fat this person & that person were, as if it didn’t or shouldn’t affect me…but it did. So much that I’d cry.
When they asked what was wrong, I’d tell them that if that’s how they felt about fat people, that’s how they felt about me. I was told I wasn’t fat, I was fluffy– which I found equally insulting & patronizing. But they stopped the fat talk when I was around.
Now, after weight loss surgery, they’re very supportive & tell me how great I look.
Each of my family members’ reactions have been very different…
My oldest (30) wants to take me to eat & trusts I’ll stay within my boundaries, but he’s worried about me dying because he knows of several people who have.
My middle son (26) wants to police everything I put in my mouth & feels he has the right to reprimand me when I eat unapproved foods. He once went 3 days w/o speaking to me because I’d eaten 4 small fried shrimp, then blew up at me when trying to talk it out. I understand his concern & love him for it, but I told him it wasn’t a common occurrence & I’d be the one to suffer any consequences my body felt I deserved.
In all fairness, the mother of one of his friends had weight loss surgery, lost weight, broke ALL rules ALL THE time & somehow passed away — I had to remind him that’s not me not what I’m doing.
My youngest trusts me to know what I can/can’t tolerate & knows I’m not gonna force more in than I should. He’s pretty laid back about it all.
My husband is great — most of the time. He loves that I look healthier & my Type 2 diabetes is resolved & that I think more highly of myself.
However, intimacy has taken a BIG hit since surgery. If I’m not experiencing nausea (14 mos after my RNY), I’m feeling with gas, bloating, &/or diarrhea or not feeling very sexy because of all the loose, saggy skin.
The worst, though, are the aforementioned GI issues. Most of the time I don’t even have a warning when it’s gonna hit & that’s the LAST thing you want happening during THOSE moments.
And the smells — OH MY GOSH! For that reason alone (& the ensuing reactions) I find myself regretting ever having made the decision to have surgery. But I did, so here we are… not as close, physically anyway, as we once were.
As for how strangers perceive me… I’m no longer the object of small children pointing & telling “Mommy, look at that fat lady!” (which the mother would pretend to ignore, only to have it repeated). I no longer get looks of abject terror as I make my way down the aisle of an airplane & I now fit in my own seat w/o encroaching upon the small amount of space allotted to the stranger in the next seat.
Still, I think I miss the intimacy more than I enjoy all the good stuff I listed. It was always an area we enjoyed often. Sure, there was a little body image issue, but not often enough to affect that part of our relationship.
Now, it can be weeks or more than a month we go without, not for lack of want, but for the uncertainty of “what may happen” & I now get hit with frustrated questions like, “Are you ever gonna wanna do it again?”, outta nowhere & that puts me on the defensive.
Spontaneity is a thing of the past. These moments must be planned & prepared for. By prepared, I mean I won’t eat anything until after intimacy, & I mean all day with nothing but water or maybe tea, & we all know that’s a no-no bc I’m not getting my protein.
He doesn’t know this. He thinks I had a sudden surge in my libido or I’m having a good GI day, I don’t want him to feel guilty. But that’s life now. Nobody prepped us for this possibility.
Too late now. And yes, I take anti-gas & anti-diarrheal medications, to little or no avail. I carry body spray everywhere I go, just in case.