Today’s the anniversary of a major day in my life. Remember that long hospitalization? Well, it happened the weekend before I was to meet with the surgeon for my gastric bypass. Obviously, I missed the appointment.
And, when I finally escaped, I had to start all over again in the queue, and waited for about a month. In the meantime, I saw the pulmonologist [one of my favorite people in the whole world], and worked on walking. Up and down the driveway, dragging the oxygen tank in one hand and using the cane in the other.
On November 6, 2001, I walked into the surgeon’s office, and found that I’d lost more than 80 pounds! He was impressed, I was shocked.
But he still wouldn’t approve me for the surgery, not until I’d jumped through quite a few hoops: clearance from the pulmonologist, which required a sleep study [performed on Thanksgiving Eve – I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way!], psychological clearance, a mesh stent in my abdominal aorta, a couple of visits to a cardiologist for a nonexercising sress test, and to another one for a transesophogeal echocardiogram [and, after I swallowed the camera, it short-circuited, and they had to pull it out and bring me out of anesthesia – I awoke to a cursing cardiologist and had to reschedule!]. And, of course, to lose as much weight as I possibly could.
I was not happy. After all the work I’d already done, and he wouldn’t do the surgery. But, if this was the way it had to be, it was time to get moving. Step by step, appointment by appointment, I went through everything. When I finally saw him again, all signed, sealed, cleared, approved, he scheduled me for surgery, but more than 2 months away!
I was crushed. But his reasoning was that he wanted me to continue to lose as much weight as possible, and to be in the best possible shape. It was for my safety.
Another major disappointment, but I kept going, doing what I had to do. As luck would have it, someone had to postpone their surgery date, and I got the slot!
The surgeon was right, all the way along. Because of the extra time, the extra weight loss, the exercise, etc., the surgery went well, and here I am!
Sometimes hearing a NO isn’t the worst thing that could happen to a person. Sometimes, it’s about all those tiny little steps. They’ll get you to the end, but they’re actually far more important than the grand finale.
So, if you’re looking into the surgery, or into another major life change, remember that the journey, and all its lessons, is what matters!