A history lesson

I wanted to have a quick recap of what’s already gone on up to this point.

Myself and my wife have both struggled with weight issues for many years. We’ve tried various slimming clubs and diets. In fact, when we first met we had both recently lost significant amounts of weight. We have struggled to keep it off long-term though, but we’ve always tried, together. Then one day a few years ago she made a decision to go down a route I didn’t feel I could do down with her. She decided to have a gastric band. And lo, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth! (In other words I panicked and fretted and worried). I worried about how it would change things in our life and our relationship, I worried about how my wife would cope with our then very young daughter when she couldn’t pick her up after surgery, and mostly I worried about losing her on the surgery table. We discussed it at length and though I had reservations about the procedure I did my best to support my wife. I went to appointments with her, I read as much as I could about it all, I even did the liquid pre-op diet with her. All this helped me come to terms with the idea of it changing our lives for the better!

The surgery went well, and my wife recovered quickly but unfortunately the band just didn’t work. The idea behind a gastric band is that it restricts your eating and make you feel fuller, quicker. A little like a gastric bypass I suppose but with no structural alterations of the stomach or digestive system. You’re told beforehand that some types of food are off limits as they will get stuck in the constricted part of the stomach causing pain and nausea. What my wife found was the food getting stuck was things like salad leaves, meat, fresh fruit. The things she could eat with no problem? Chocolate, bread, pasta, basically bad carbs and fats. She did lose some weight simply because eating was a chore and food got stuck regularly enough that it ruined a high proportion of her meals. It made her miserable, and it made me feel like I didn’t do the right thing by not trying harder to convince her not to have it done. Eventually, after almost two years she made the decision to have the band removed.

We decided to do our best to lose weight through more traditional means, slimming clubs, good diet, exercise, we convinced ourselves it would be different. However, this plan just didn’t work, there was always something to nudge us off track, a birthday, a night out, the fact that the neighbour’s dog looked at me funny (honestly, I’ll make up any excuse to eat cake). So, after around 18 months of dieting again my wife decided she wanted to have a gastric bypass. I was really quite shocked. After the hardship the last procedure put her through I really did not expext her to want to do anything like that again. And lo, again, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Actually, that’s not true this time, at least not out loud. I made out like I was fine with it in fact. Internally though I was struggling. I was scared of all the same things as I was before but this time with the added factors of first hand experience and the knowledge that this procedure was basically irreversable.

I kept up the facade that I was fine for a few weeks. Silently screaming in my own head. It wasn’t until we watched the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, that I came clean to my wife. That series saddened me, more than I expected it would, and because I was already struggling it chipped my armour and I told my wife everything. We talked and I felt better. It meant I was able to read up on the procedure, the diet afterwards, the success stories. I’m at a point where I’m at peace with my wife’s decision.

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