Patient Zero

Photo Credit: Small Creatures via Compfight cc

(This special Saturday edition brought to you courtesy of Friday getting away from me!)

Since the beginning of Misdirected’s conversion to a full-time weight-loss surgery blog, I have attempted to keep track of everything. How I felt, what I thought, what was happening to me both inside and outside. It was a journaling experience of sorts, that has gradually turned into a journal that gets shared with several hundred people every week.

However, now that we have had a real, live surgery in the family, I have stopped paying a whole lot of attention to what is going on in my life, and am almost totally focused on what is happening to Lor post-surgery. Pain, discomfort, and diet have all been dutifully logged. Her times of energy vs. her times of exhaustion. Her doubts are measured against her optimistic periods. All carefully cataloged, and much of it recorded here.

It is no secret why I am doing this, of course: My own surgery is exactly a month from today, and I want to know what to expect. Our nutritionist laughed during my last visit, and told me I would be the best-prepared surgical patient ever, thanks to my observations of Lor. It seems kind of heartless, really, sending my wife into the trenches before I ever get there. We had a pretty well thought-out plan for why we scheduled things the way we did, but every day I wonder if we chose the correct order. I just know that I am glad to be 100% healthy and able to care for her while she is recovering from surgery and settling into her new life. And if I get to pay close attention to see what is coming down the road for me, surely that is an unintended “bonus”, and not my nefarious plan all along, right?

As it turns out, I am not alone in carefully watching this process.

Members from both sides of the clan, Lor’s and my own, check in on a regular basis. They are, of course, concerned about her health and recovery. But they are also watching this process very carefully. Obesity is not uncommon in either of our families. Lor’s success (and how hard she has to work at it) is being used as the measurement by which many others will decide if they are going to investigate surgery as a treatment option for themselves. “It is like there is a new drug treatment being tested, and I am ‘patient zero’.” Lor quipped yesterday. Her success will be what convinces a whole lot of people that there is something to this whole weight-loss surgery thing.

In that sense, Lor was the right person to go first. She is a practitioner of alternative medicine, so agreeing to have surgery in the first place meant that she really believed in the process. Everyone who knows her is aware that she is a meticulous researcher, paying special attention to what could go wrong, and never over-estimating positive potential results. (“Counting chickens” is her favorite phrase for being overly optimistic.) If she chose to do it, goes the family logic, there is really something to this.

The surgical prep and surgery have been so successful for one reason: she is stubborn. There is a reason she had already lost nearly 50 pounds before she ever had surgery – once she makes up her mind to succeed, she refuses to fail. She never set a “goal weight” exactly, talking more about the health benefits of losing (and keeping off) about 50 pounds. She already blew through that goal like an oncoming train. Next stop, 60 pounds down. Give her a day or two.

A better ambassador for the benefits of weight-loss surgery could not have been picked. But we will have to give her a few days before we start asking her to make public appearances. kissing babies, cutting ribbons, etc.

The weight of everyone’s expectations has kinda worn her out.

Recording The Success Of Patient Zero,

– Hawkwind

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