This one is not so easy for me to talk about my dolls…but Have to give credit to those pesky folks over at BlogHer for getting me to “open up” and allow you to get know me more!
When I think about the things I would change about myself…relates really to the biggest mistake I ever made in my life (this one’s huge) and it effects every waking moment of my life..
I in 2007 made the educated, thought out decision to have gastric bypass surgery…. It was for me the choice between life and premature death, being able to further my nursing career, at the time hopefully get rid of my type 2 diabetes, horrible neck, back, knee pain ( at 256 lbs) I felt like my body could get no bigger…seriously and my asthma was out of control and I had had a baby whom I loved very much…and still do…but my biological Father died 3 days before my son Cody was born. It crushed my soul…he was taken by the common health and life takers that 90% of Native American Males in the United States die from:
*Diabetes ( and the complications relating to having and trying to treat the disease)
He was the last male in his family. My aunt is the only surviving person left when my Dad died…everyone on his side died prematurely and the tragic part about this is..I know that all of the deaths could have been circumvented with proper medical care and treatments!
It’s not uncommon our Native American culture to have one, two or all of these risk factors run through our blood…it’s like really something to expect, be aware of and to try to prevent or at least catch at the onset! ( This is real talk here..)
Our culture is PROUD and that’s a good thing…but there can be too much of a good thing when your pride prevents your from using your common sense and seeing a Dr. on a regular basis, testing for “common factors” that run in your family, race and even tribe! Also being too proud to accept that your human, flawed and the Great Spirit created the ability to know something’s not right within yourself…so get tested at least yearly..if you have health issues…take your medications like your supposed to and follow your Dr’s orders…He didn’t he was too proud and that “pride” means he now has 2 Grandsons he never got the opportunity to meet…
When I made the decision to have my gastric bypass procedure in 2007 was because in my mind the Gestational Diabetes ( Pregnancy Related Diabetes) that was supposed to “disappear” did not…and that was my biggest fear (at the time) I watched my Dad struggle to catch his breath because he had to be put on oxygen, adjust his ever-shrinking body into pajamas that no matter what seemed to swallow him up…the rounds of dialysis were getting to him and he was turning a very sort of color…he ended up spending his days for “trying to make up for lost time with me” and apologize as he tried..he knew that he should have taken better care of himself and his Daughter shouldn’t have had to race home 2,000 miles pregnant, with a husband deployed to Iraq, so he could try to cram “it all in” before he had “rush” to meet the Great Spirit well before his time!
So there I was almost alone…papoose in tow having the very “Life-Encompassing ” review of what I had to “look forward to” if I remained a very “voluptuous” ( I was a sexy, sexy big-girl) (You’d have to have a big body like mine to contain all the “FAB-U-LESS-NESS” that is Simply Davia) and my body was a temple to be worshiped…but I didn’t want it to be my premature casket I was lugging around at 256 lbs!
This was not an easy choice for me…10 years in the making…I had always been a “bigger girl” and I rocked it…(I loved my Big-Girl-Swag) No adapted diet, no amount of hitting the gym etc at that point was going to help me…Being honest my Dr and I with my medical records sat down and really came to a decision…did I want to exist or did I want live and live fully…with my Son, A (at the time..or so I thought…) adoring, loving, husband, a ever expanding career as a Nurse…the choice was mine exist or live survive or thrive…there was no question in my mind!
(My best friend had the surgery done when we were younger and she stuck with me through the decision process..hell she still sticks with me even 1,500 miles away in Colorado..
Thank You Kadee Newton..Your friendship is far beyond Gold..it’s more Platinum-ish)
I didn’t have an addiction to food, no love/hate relationship to food, no body hatred, no “hang-up’s”… I remember owning and really feeling sexy in my own skin! So passing the physiological testing and two months a meeting with the shrink…I had to decide which “type ” of the gastric bypass surgery was for me…there was no doubt in my mind…the Lap-Band was my choice!
At the time (we were all ready to go) I received a call to come into Dr. Medlin’s office because they wanted to have a chat…(Now this is the part where I can tell you if I had 1 thing to change about myself this would be it…this inability to stop…see the sign that was before me…set off a course that would and will tragically put me into …later the one place I DID NOT WANT 2 END UP)
He said ” Were all scheduled and ready to go..dates set..I am set, your set BUT…”
( This is the point I should have seen it for what it was..A define warning sign danger was ahead..I should have had a much different response.. But…)
“Your insurance company ( at the time TRI-CARE) will NOT cover your Lap-Band surgery, I know you had your heart set on this one because it’s reverseable…but your still a candidate for the surgery…I would like you not to get discouraged…they sent us back a response letting us know that they will cover and have approved you to move forward with surgery..if you choose to have instead the Roue-en-Y procedure… You already know all about this option because we covered it class, our conversations and I want to tell you I think it’s still a great option and you will be just fine..you are young, pretty good health and I think you will really at no risk for having any major complications at all!”
So there I sat…I thought about it for a few…and I didn’t hesitate to pick up the pen and sign myself up for the procedure that I would end up regretting for the rest of my life!
That decision which was supposed to be an option for me to not just “exsist” but “live” and to “survive” but “thrive” with minimal complications….has impacted my life, my health, my children and my future…in so many “unimaginable”, “mind-blowing,” “OMG,” well really sad and tragic ways..that they couldn’t even fit this kinda “crap” in one “Season” of the Housewives of I am “richer,” “better-looking,”“privileged,” insert zip code here…or on a pamphlet of the “Hello do not have this Damn Surgery Fool Unless You Want These Medical, Emotional, Social, Financial complications to happen to you!”
By trying to “save” my life, by trying to “prevent” premature death, by trying to “thrive” it cost me and continues to cost me everyday of my life!
I have lost the weight…I now weight 125 lbs with about 30-40 pounds of loose skin, severe scar tissue that covers about 75% of my entire abdomen and effects my ability to walk, sit up straight, stand, sleep and other things…I have had a total of 16 yes…16 surgeries that has left me with no stomach…none…and several feet of intestine gone with it as well..so eating not only hurts…it’s something I struggle to do to stay alive…now food hold no pleasure or joy…just the constant physical reminder, distress and pain that I made one hell of a “bad choice”…(I am not done yet)
I require surgery to have my abdominal cavity reconstructed… So my activities of daily living can be a bit more “normal” “tolerable”…And because I have become permanently disabled…my “insurance” will not cover it..no matter HOW BADLY I need it…not to mention the “sexy big-girl” curves and body I used to once adore…now resembles something of a skeleton surrounded in a suit of heavy, painful, suffocation…and there is no ability for me to break free from that sensation…
My Womanly “Body” has become my prison…my beautiful curves now take on the appearance of a 90 year old woman..requiring me to have to “scoop” and “tuck”, “adjust” my body into clothing that “masks” my really frightening “naked” body…Who would ever imagined that at 32… I would be trapped in a suit of skin, scars, pain and have “spill” myself into clothing…And that no matter “How I really feel,” “How Bad I Really Hurt,”“How Unbelievable and Wrong That Doctors Who Can Make Mistakes On Human Beings And Get Away With It” this really is….
I have learned though…that there is no decent Physician who will ever treat me as a person who was severely mistreated, left really to die, horribly disfigured…I know there is no compassion or decency in their profession as a whole and I continue to live everyday with that reality…I see it every time I take a shower, try to get dressed…it physically reminds me anytime I try to sit, stand, lay down, try to play with my boys, hug someone, try to tie my shoes…the “lack of” is a constant and the pain is as constant as the need for air. My Mental pain is something no one can thankfully see as I try to “put my best..foot, face,etc forward,” as I recall the trauma of being abandoned by the “Professionals” I trusted the most…my “Fellows in Arms” the “Men With Pen” that I spent my career trying to assist as a Trusted Friend, Support, Colleague, turn their own backs to me….when I became the “patient” instead of the “professional”
I have learned “I am sorry” really means “Too Bad For You This Really Sucks I’m so glad it’s not ME or Someone Close To Me Going Through This…I am NOT going to HELP YOU…Much-less I am NOT GOING out of MY WAY to HELP YOU find a qualified WILLING, Capable..Doctor, Surgeon or Specialist who could…”My Time is Worth $$$ and your “insurance” doesn’t pay me…
I have learned to expect that “cold shoulder,” “dismissal” from not only “Doctor’s of Every Speciality” in The United States…but from “Family, Friends, So Called Love-Ones” over the last 6 years of my struggle. I have learned no matter what how bad this is, hurts or feels…this abuse will happen..I have learned to accept it for what it is and to always try to keep a smile on my face, my hair and makeup in place and to keep moving forward because I am still blessed with TWO AMAZING SONS…and for THEM I have to live my life and try to “appear” at least for their own precious sakes….like Im not affected in so many ways…to avoid any horrible and negative “effects” in their lives…they don’t deserve that!
The real story is No i one gives a damn…Trust me I have tried to share my story, tried to get this to never happen to anyone…ever…especially without the ability to recover their right to live, dignity and to take of themselves and their family after “mistakes” aka “Life Altering Complications” happen..
I have lost more then just my ability to have my career, my ability to have basic dignity in life as a 32 year old Woman… I lost my ability to Fully and Completely Live My Life….Play with my sons….Be the type of “Mother, Provider, Protecter” that they deserve…
But I motivated by the opportunity to reach out and share with anyone and everyone who is willing to read, hear or see what I have to say about my story, my struggle, my “conditions” because I honestly feel in my heart of hearts…that I may not be able to change the past, I can use my present “circumstances” to help avoid being “ignored,” “Put on a shelf,” “Fade into obsecurity.”
There has to be a “reason” for so much suffering, pain mistakes…I REFUSE to lay down an accept that I am a “Victim” of a series of “Medical Mistakes,” or “Tragic Medical Complications!”
My life is an open book worth sharing to everyone…the beauty in all of my “story” is that I am not at the “end” quiet yet…I have a voice so I can use it…a personality that is undeniable, a set of some unusual “character’s both in the start…now the middle and let’s see who comes out here towards the ending to “rescue” this damsel in serious distress…. Because let’s face it America…we all may like “drama,” “suspense”… But we LOVE rooting for the “underdog,”“down-n-Out,”…And at the end of the day..we love a “Happily Ever-After!”…
Let’s help me and my boys find out..who will stand up and help us find mine!
Your Very Own Real-Life Damsel in Distress