Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Weight

Guys, I’m in midterm week month, so blogs may be shorter or non-existent until things settle down over here in Crazy Town. But it’s Tuesday so let’s not forget why it’s good to be here instead of the alternative.

Weight.

It’s become a nasty word in the world these days, wouldn’t you say?

Gaining weight. Weight of the world. Light-weight.

It’s not too long ago that the word weight carried a negative connotation to me as well. Yet recently, I’ve begun to embrace it.

What is weight to you? (Image courtesy of shutterstock.com)

What is weight to you?

There is nothing more comforting or calming to me than to feel the weight of my husband against me.

A hug, a hand, or when he is recruited to be my blanket because I just can’t get warm enough in the winter. I breathe easier, my heart rate slows down, and I almost always fall asleep.

Something about the weight of my hand in his.

Something about the weight of my hand in his.

When I was recovering from surgery, it was all about the weight. Was I eating? Was it leaving me properly in my new device? Too fast? Too slow? Was I gaining weight?

Despite one person’s comment that my 20 pound weight loss was (after a 5-day hospital stay and one organ removed) “looking good” on me, gaining weight was a top priority post-op. Both times post-op, actually.

GI surgery means things get scary in that world and weight gain = success!!! Normally a dirty phrase in my world, I was thrilled to see the scale headed back toward my normal.

I was healthy again. Weight was a good thing.

Feels good to be healthy again.

Feels good to be healthy again.

And there is nothing in the world that feels better than having the weight of a baby on your shoulder as you rock her to sleep.

My sister-in-law was always asking if it was too much for me to have her lying on me or if she was heavy in my arms. Heavy? Psh. Weight is no matter when my little Peanut needs to be rocked to sleep. I shooed her away and held Peanut as long as I possibly could.

Like Obi-wan says, there is no house so peaceful as the house of a newborn baby.

I don’t mind feeling the weight anymore. It reminds me to be calm, to be grateful, to be present. And that’s certainly Better Than the Alternative.

Now go out and run.

The Stuff They Don’t Tell You About

As I headed into surgery a month and three days ago, I was sure that I had all the pertinent facts. I knew what was supposed to happen, I knew what might happen and I knew what my post-op goals would be. So organized.

Relaxed and ready to go! Life’s a beach!

Yeah, no.

Recovering from surgery is hard work!

No one tells you you won’t be able to rest in the hospital, not even at night. Not even during Quiet Hours. Not even when your Mom is there to guard your door and tell people to go away. Not one uninterrupted wink. So. Tired.

No one tells you that you will be so excited to get the hell out of there that you will take a terrible “Going Home” picture to mark the occasion but really all you want is for that wheelchair to get here so you can finally get some sleep at home.

“Take the picture. Take the picture. TAKE THE FRIGGIN PICTURE AND LET’S BLOW THIS POP STAND!!!”

No on tells you about the fatigue. About how you’ll need more naps than your sweet baby niece who is 9 months old. It went like this: wake up, shower, sit down, fall asleep. Wake up, eat breakfast, sit down, fall asleep. Wake up, eat lunch, pop in a movie, fall asleep. Right, Deb? This was my routine the entire first week I was home.

No one tells you about the battle wounds. I mean, outside of the surgical scars. I have a scar where my IV was, a scar where a drain was, and I had those bruises for THREE WEEKS!

Next time, I’m getting shot up in my thighs where there’s more fat.

And no one, I mean NO ONE explains the catabolic response your body might have to the trauma of a major surgery.

{I’m about to complain about unintentional weight loss so, if you’re one of those people who is going to go nuts on me and tell me that I’m crazy for complaining about trying to keep weight on, look away. Then come back, ok?}

Because my surgery was so rough on my body, the response was for my body to go ballistic. I lost almost 20 pounds in the first week or so. But not 20 pounds of fat. OOOOOOOH NOOOOOO, that would be too easy! My body was in such dire straits for nutrition to fix the broken parts that it essentially ate my muscles for the protein.

That’s right, I’m a cannibal.

Skinny mini Abby.

This is a huge pain in the ass when I am not up to eating my normal amount of food, let alone enough to keep up with the increase in demand post-op. Took me a little while and a lot of eating, but I’m back up to a healthy weight. Phew!

You know what else no one tells you? The catabolic response can include night sweats. Sexy, right? Soaking-the-sheets, change-your-PJs-at-2am, why-am-I-swimming-in-my-bed night sweats. My body is working overtime to heal, which means I’m sweating like a beast running a 90 degree marathon in the middle of the night.

Aaaaaaand they haven’t gone away yet. Sweet.

There are so many things that happen during recovery that seem like little side effects but they are actually gigantic nuisances that make recovery something other than just lying around watching the most recent seasons of Mad Men, Downton Abbey, The Good Wife and every chick flick on iTunes. It’s hard work to recover!

So, here I am in recovery. Walking my walks, taking the stairs to build up my legs and praying that my legs remember how to run when I give that a go for the first time in the next few weeks.

Dear Body,

It’s time to game up. School starts on Monday. Get it together.

Love,

Abby

Now go out and run!