Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Three Months Of My Butt On the Internets.

Tomorrow will be the three month mark of my reconstructive surgery.  Where I was nearly cut in half, 27lbs of skin and goo removed, and 900 stitches put in place.

I would love to say how easy it has been and that life is all pink unicorns that fart rainbows and fluffy clouds that rain glitter.  But it has been hard.  Really fucking hard. 

Healing has been a tough road.  What am I thankful for?  The surgeon who performed the surgery and his assistants.  I can email in a question and usually have a response from them within the day.  The quality of service has been second to none.  I was worried since I live so far away that it would be hard to connect with my surgeon, but each week I send in my photos and questions and each week he advises on my progress. 

The mental part of healing has been hard on me, especially since it is taking so much longer than the normal patient.  I want this to be done.  I want to be back to my normal life.  Especially since I thought by this point in my healing my life would be back to normal.  Yet, I still cannot lift anything without pain.  My exercise is still just walking.  I still swell up easily if I overexert myself (which I seem to do every single day).  I get tired very easily.  And I still have three wounds that require attention every day.

I have had some pretty miserable days and I am worried that I am burning bridges with those around me.  My emotions just seem to swell up and overwhelm me.  I am lost in how to deal with them and how to make amends to those it affects.  For most of my life I have eaten to mask my emotions.  Eating gave me the ability to feel like I could manage myself.  Feeling upset?  Binge eat something and feel (fake) happy again.  But since my gastric sleeve surgery two years ago, I am no longer able to do that. 

Right now, all I want to do is eat some shitty carbs and hide from the world.  Instead, I am going to eat my healthy protein-filled breakfast and continue to blog about how frustrated I feel.  And if you are curious, breakfast today is 3/4c of cottage cheese, 1tbsp of hemp hearts, and 1tbsp of sugar free jam (24g of protein right there).

When you are the fattest person in the room for your entire life, you excel at faking it.  I could fake the outgoing personality on my bad days (and then everyone comments on what a great personality you have).  But lately, I cannot even fake it.  Every emotion I have, which seems to be either the super happy or the super miserable with no inbetween, is out there for the world to see.  Well not really the world, just all the people I am close to here.  And I feel awful about it.  I don't want anyone to see me as not the happy Kara they usually know.  If there was a flower store in Faro, I would be buying all my close friends huge bouquets.  Or maybe I should just be forced to go and scrub their toilets or something else nasty to make up for it all.

I know so much of this is tied to hormones.  Having all of those fat cells cut right out of my body and then the physical healing process has sent my mental stability into a tail spin.  There is no balance in my body chemistry right now.  Then you combine that with the inability to sleep well due to the pain and wham!  The perfect combination to make Kara miserable with no clue why or how to control or fix it. 

Alongside the hormones, is just getting used to a new body.  I woke up and didn't look like me anymore.  The weight loss was more of a gradual process, but to change so drastically in a 12 hour time....  I wasn't prepared for how much it would affect me and for how long.  The results have exceeded my expectations by far.  But I am just not sure who I see in the mirror now.  I feel weird having almost zero ass.  I don't know how much I like that part of my body right now.  I am happy that it is so much smaller, but it feels a lot less feminine.  It is hard to look at the wounds on my body that are still persisting.  I am tired of dealing with them.

I am guessing most people are thinking to themselves and talking with others saying, "I wish she would just snap the fuck out of it and get over herself."  And I truly wish it was that easy.  I don't have anyone here in person who knows what I am going through.  Not being able to have anyone who understands is probably the hardest part of all.  I have a separate facebook account that I now use to access a couple of support groups for people who have gone through the same things I have- massive weight loss and reconstructive surgery.  It helps, but I think real person to person support would be so much better.  However, I love where I live so I will deal with this the way that has gotten me through the last two years- just blogging about it.

I can handle the criticism from my close friends, family, and heck even strangers about my blogging so openly about my feelings and posting of my nearly naked photos.  I have to.  Because this is the only outlet that works for me.  This is my therapy.  If I stopped this, I would have no outlet to get these emotions out and I am scared for what would happen to me if I lost this.  So friends, family and random internet strangers- just deal with it.  Don't look it you don't want.  And try not to judge me.  You aren't in my shoes.  This is what works for me, so this is what I am going to continue to do.  You can continue to criticize me or choose to try and just understand or accept me.

So right now I am hoping that it just gets better.  All of it.  It needs to get better because right now I feel so incredibly lost and miserable that I am completely at a loss as to what to do next.  And that isn't how I want to be living my life.

And now that you have skimmed through my emotional novel- the weekly photos!


My ass just 3 months ago.  No wonder it hurts to sit on.

Yes.... maybe this is why I am still swollen. 

No real words for this other than gross.  Oh, and that is my thigh.

I don't see any change from last week! 

Go away pubic swelling.  Just go away now.

I think improving.... but who knows.

Again.  Go away pubic swelling.  You suck.

The camera makes this inner thigh scar look worse than it is.  It is getting so much lighter!

Still rock hard scars here.  And my tail bone hurts all the time.  All.  The. Time.

Right hip wound is healing fast!  I know, still gross, but so much improvement.

Left hip wound seems to have closed off and now just filling in.  I cannot feel any sort of cavity in there when I push on it.  So I think it has healed well inside.  But the area feels like a deep bruise.

Missing from the photos this week is my inner left thigh wound.  Photo was just crappy.  But the wound is very shallow now and getting smaller.  That persistent bastard should (fingers crossed) be done in another week to 10 days I hope.


Jaclyn said...

Your journey is so fascinating to me. I admire you and I am sure there are many, many others silently cheering you on. Way more than those who are chirping you. I can't imagine the pain, physical and emotional you have gone through and find your blog so real and raw and informative. You are a superwoman in my eyes!

Nancy said...

Your bum shape IS improving! Looks more feminine every week. It's just taking time to settle out - you said the doc said it takes a year for the thighs to get over swelling, and the bum is really part of the thighs, it's still a work in progress. You are looking absolutely wonderful! Sorry to hear the hormones are screwing with your moods, that's hard to deal with. It will get better!

Anonymous said...

All your inner turmoil is only natural--just as your body is slowly growing back together, your feelings and self-esteem are doing the very same thing since they're all part of the same person:)

Who cares what your bum looks like and what the esthetics of your scars are? They are not the key things that make you you.

You are your love towards your family and the place you live in, you are the energy that forces yourself through this whole experience. You're laughter and tears, curiosity and empathy. Try not to worry that much about looks and mood swings :) It's all part of you, and it's all good.

Laura said...

It is winter in Canada. We all feel crappy in February. You have even more reason to mope than the rest of us. Be patient. You will be back to normal "soon". I am really enjoying your posts. It is so educational.

Dawn said...

I don't think you should or could "just snap out of it". I think you have been incredibly brave and strong, but it's a hell of a road you're traveling and if you DIDN'T feel a little hormonally wacky, or emotionally fragile or physically drained and frustrated, I would be surprised.

I think you look different this week, you have curves in your torso this week, and your legs look smaller to me. I'm sure the swelling is going to leave unevenly and way slower than you would wish it would, and you'll be meeting a stranger in the mirror to some degree for a while, but it's happening.

I can't even imagine the mental impact of being in a pretty much entirely different body so quickly, let alone the pain you're dealing with, and that little fear that must lurk now and then that it won't ever be better. (It will. I have faith that it will. You are gorgeous now, and it will get better, and it will settle and heal, (and the world will be brighter and warmer and weren't you smart to put in raised beds so you can garden no matter what? It's seed catalog season!))

Of course you care what you look like, and who hasn't fretted about their bum? Plus you have a different bum to the one you were used to fretting about, and this new one is still under construction. (And as Nancy says, it IS improving, honest!)

If that all doesn't fuck with your head a bit, I'm not sure you'd be entirely human....and from what I see, you are very much entirely human, and it's wonderful. I don't know you much at all, but I like what shows in your words and your pictures (yes, even the gory ones...such courage!)and in your struggles and your honesty.

So...rant, vent, complain, brag, cry, laugh, rage, sulk, worry, love, embrace and carry on.

You're pretty darn awesome.

Dawn said...

Also.."delayed stress response". Run it through the googles, and see if you think it fits...somehow the fact that it has been 12 weeks (-ish) triggered me to recall a conversation with a counselor long after I thought I "should" be past an event. Somehow just knowing it was a normal thing to feel so frazzled and ridiculously moody helped, so I thought I'd come back and mention it to you, just in case.

Janet said...

I haven't commented in a long time, but I have always loved following your blog. As a scientist, I find it very strange that anyone would object to the way you are documenting your journey. I LOVE seeing the pictures and the measurements, etc. It makes everything so concrete, and it is very inspiring to follow the progression of weight loss and healing. If there were not people like you who are willing to share, then how would the rest of us who are not in your shoes ever learn anything?

As for the emotional stuff, it can help to be honest. It seems to be human instinct to fake it, but people understand that emotions can be crashing and churning and don't necessarily reflect how you want to be. Most people really do appreciate honesty, and they can be very forgiving if they know what's really going on.

Art said...

You've embarked on a huge change which will result in a better life for you, your children and your husband; you'll be around much longer to share their lives and love. Keep the end goal in mind as best as you can. Maybe this is like sitting in the dentist chair for six months instead of an hour. It will get better. Figure out small things you can do for those who you fell you feel you may have stepped on. They probably understand but they are not in your shoes (or bat suit) and will never totally get it, either the before or the after.

Nita said...

It's winter outside and inside. But it's getting lighter every day...inside and out. Your healing journey is keeping pace with the season. Spring is coming. Inside and out. :)

Fignie said...

I just want to send you a BIG ASS HUG!!! And if I ever see you in person - I'll be brave enough to come give you this hug! (I'm way too shy!!)

Thank you for posting this - and posting throughout your journey - it gives me inspiration that in time - everything works out. With hard work - it works! You are amazing!

Hoping that with spring (one day) nearing - and sunnier days - it'll help with some of this ...

Anyways ...... Hang in there! Keep posting - write out the feelings ..... :)

Jackie said...

Criticism schmiticism. Good for you, doing what helps you while you're in a period of major recovery. Don't be discouraged!

I've really enjoyed reading about your journey and all the work you've put towards a happy and healthy life. Cheering you and your recovery on from Nunavut.