Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bariatric Betty becomes a better juggler

Moms are used to multi-tasking.  It's our life. And often we give up things we enjoy to be the family taxi driver, playdate arranger, tutor, soccer and football coach.  Many give up social time with friends.  But being obese, I gave that up long ago.  I just don't have the energy to "go out with the girls" after a long day.  After walking the dog, exercising, doing dishes, laundry, and meals I am exhausted.  The house is always a mess.  I try to tackle the kitchen floors one day, the dining room table another, but it's tiring and as soon as I'm done it starts getting messy again.  I volunteer with the PTA, and try to meet a friend or my husband for lunch occasionally.  Going to evening soccer practice or football games the kids are in is something I make a priority, but otherwise I will often choose to stay at home. 

I know that I've given up more than social time over the years - I've given up time that I should have been getting healthier.  Some of that time I spent eating the non-healthy foods that helped get me here.  Some I spent sleeping to make up for interrupted sleep at night.  Some I spent taking my son to OT, PT, and speech therapy appointments.  Some of that needed to happen.  Some didn't. 

So now I need to use all that time I didn't use, but there's no savings account that has kept it for me.  Yesterday I met with my trainer for the first time who came up with a great strength training program to add to my cardio and will be documenting my exercise program for the insurance company.  Last night I missed a football game of my son's so I could use the elliptical and do dishes.  Tonight I'll take him to another football game while my husband takes my other son to his soccer practice.  Tomorrow I have my first pre-op educational class at Hospital C, which starts at 5:30pm.  My husband is already taking off work early on Thursday so I can make my 4pm appointment with the surgeon (yay!) and his team.  So I called in a favor with a friend who will pick up one son after school and take him to his Wednesday 4-5 kickball and then back to her house.  I'll get my other son to my husband's work at five and go to the class from there, and my husband will pick up my other son on the way home.  Friday, the day after the pre-op educational class, the kids are off school and we are all traveling back to Central Ohio for part of the day so my husband can have his rheumatology appointment and the kids can visit old friends. 

Did you actually read all that?  Just typing it makes me feel dizzy.  Busy.  Busy busy busy.  I feel like my life is one of those garbage bags that those garbage back they advertise that you can just keep stuffing more stuff in because it will STRETCH.  And my life WILL stretch, because I will make it. 

So now I need to work in 1/2 hour of strength training three days a week.  That actually shouldn't be too bad.  It's the appointments that throw me for a loop - traveling all over town to check in with different specialists. 

However, this is bringing up guilt (how can I miss my son's game and just stay home?) and concern (when and how will I be able to eat dinner before the game so that I don't crash blood-sugar wise?).  And I think about what it is going to be like around surgery time, with more appointments, going in for labs, x-rays, and then the hospital stay and recovery.  My mom has offerred to come over to help for a few days, which is wonderful - but three days is about our limit.  We love each other to death, but both of us being strong willed with different styles starts to grate on her nerves and she starts missing my dad too much. 

I've decided that I'm going to have to get some structure set up a couple weeks before surgery so that things don't start getting derailed by everyday needs when I'm gone or not yet functional.  First of all - the boys will need to start making their own breakfast.  They can do it, it HAS happened before.  Yet somehow every morning they expect it to be made for them.  On the weekend when I really try to encourage them to do it they often say "It's ok, I'll just wait until you have time."  Time for them to put their big boy pants on.  At 8 and 11 they are perfectly capable of using the toaster or the microwave, and pouring something in bowls and glasses.  They are going to have to help with laundry - one load a day is needed to keep up with our family of four.  One of them can gather and start the laundry, and the other can flip it and bring it back up.  I should be able to fold.  And if I take it slow I should be able to get dinner together.  My husband will have to shoulder taxi duty for a while, and get the kid's lunches made for about a week. 

I have to keep telling myself that this is all worth it.  Because if I don't get rid of the diabetes and obesity, I won't be around  for the long haul with any of them.  I need to do this for me - but I also want to do it for them.  Missing some moments now should help me be able to have years more with them later.  Having others help me with chores and other things now will be paid back in spades when I have energy to do more when I've lost weight.  My family is supportive.  I know my husband will do anything he can to make sure this surgery happens - he has seen me have laproscopic surgery for ovarian cysts and my gall bladder before, so he's not even that worried about it.  He knows this is going to be so good for me.  But when the kids start whining, or complaining, I'm going to have to be strong and remember.  Stretch.  Ask for help.  It is worth it.  Keep juggling, don't give up.  And get started on that Saturn halloween costume!

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