Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remembering Another Time

I was going through some of my pictures earlier, and ran across this one. November 6th 1992. I was working on a model railroad that I had gotten for my birthday. I still have a weight problem today, but I thank God that I am not like I was then! I can walk up several flight of stairs now, where then it would have taken me time, and considerable pain. I can walk more than 50' without being winded, heck, I can run for a short distance. I was home bound and miserable at that time, and now I can get around. I can put in a full day of physical labor, where back then I could only do brief tasks. I was strong, but all of my strength was focused on maintenance of living. I was on oxygen 24-7, and suffered from a congestive heart problem. I had a rattle in my lungs, and fluid retention in my extremities. I was in pain, I was lonely, I was dying.
When I see someone who is in the condition of the man in the picture, I hurt for them. I have empathy for the life that they live, for the pain that they feel, and for the lonely life they lead. I feel for them, the brunt of jokes, the staring eyes, the laughing children, the comments from jerks and misinformed advise givers. I was surrounded by good friends that supported me through this time, but at times I felt like I was the only person in the world. It is impossible to explain, unless you have been there. It is a prison, it is a torture, it is a hell.

Today, I am not perfect, but I am a darn sight better off than I was. I am healthy, and I thank God for that everyday. I can go to movies, fly on planes, drive cars, ride in (some) roller coasters. I am living.

Once upon a time when I was the man in the picture I was asked why I wanted to lose weight. My response was I want to live. They then asked if I was afraid I was about to die. I said, "no you misunderstand, I am alive, but I am not living." Living and being alive are two different things. Now I am living, where back then I was pretty much dead. I was just waiting for my body to give out, and not dreading the day.

When I had my first gastric bypass surgery, I was given about a 20% of dying during the surgery, but I decided that the risk dying was outweighed by the desire to live. Besides what did I have to lose, virtually I was dead already. I was at peace with the whole idea. I did die on the table, but was resuscitated. Of that I am very pleased.

I had a revision of the surgery done a year and a half ago. The mortality rate was considerably more in my favor this time. Also there have been wonderful advances that help people to maintain weight loss, than when I went through the surgery the first time. Education is the key. Now I am working on losing more, but if I never lose another pound I am living, and I am happy.


hanna (kmcaldwell) said...

wow! you look alot different today, i am so glad you made that change in your life! i love you more that words can tell!

love hanna

Danneel said...

We are greatful you are living today!

Our family is so greatful for you! We wouldn't be the same without you!

Thanks for all you do for me!