I have my fat girl surgery in less than a month. Soon, I will be a shadow of my former self. My only fear is looking like a bobblehead. That's not really true of course. My fears contain multitudes.
One fear is that I will die on the operating table looking up at a florescent light. They say death is hardest on those you leave behind, but I would be horrified to die from an operation designed to to make one stop eating. It would a very American way to die.
Don't take this wrong. My goal in talking about this is not to trivialize it. Instead, I want to bring my fears out in the open with the hope that they will dissolve in the sun of recognition.
This fear of death includes leaving my husband all alone with the dogs and the two moms. I don't know what he would do without me by his side. My outgoing optimism balances out his pessimistic and hermit like tendancies. Plus, I know him pretty well after almost nineteen years and he loves me. He really loves me despite my round tummy. What can I say? I know he is hot as only an Argentine can be, but I am just plain loveable.
Another fear is that I will get a staph infection and end up very sick. I read an article by one of my favorite doctor writers Atul Gawande about staph infections and it freaked me out. I told my husband that I asked my doctor about the risks, but I lied. When my doctor asked me if I had any questions, I shook my head. Maybe I don't want to know.
Finally, there is always the fear of failure. Despite my purported confidence to everyone that everything will go well, I am afraid I won't be able to stop eating. That I have eaten whatever I wanted for far too long. That I will will have surgery and give it a go for a couple of months and slowly start sliding back to eating too much too quickly and drinking beer and Diet Coke.
Then I look in the mirror and tell myself, this has to change, you have to change. There is no more time. My hand lifts and almost without thinking, I give a sad little wave to the person in the mirror.