My Personal Life


Today’s post is a little, okay a lot, different from the norm. In fact, I think this is a first time occurrence. Truth is, I’m a pretty private person. I’m not one to share things from my personal life with the masses. Now, that being said, I’ll share personal experiences that I feel might be of help to someone on their journey to better health in a heart beat, but in general, I’m not one to broadcast my life. I’m not one to ask for help either, I guess my Irish blood takes over in that regard. I like to be able to handle situations on my own, even situations in which my head knows I cannot possibly succeed without help, my heart (and my pride) rarely allow me to reach out for it. I think that’s why I’ve had so much inner conflict over whether or not to share this with all of you. It’s not that I’m trying to hide it, that I’m ashamed or even embarrassed; I’m not any of those things.

When all of this started six and a half years ago, I knew only that this time was going to be different. I knew that this time I would not stop until I had achieved my goal. Now that being said, when I began this lifestyle change, my goals were different then, than where I actually ended up. Looking back, I think that is because even though I knew I wouldn’t stop until I had successfully reached my goal, I was still afraid of getting my hopes too high. It’s true too that, at the time I set my original goals, it felt like I was requiring so much from myself, I didn’t dare ask more.  It’s not like I set a goal to lose 20 pounds, far from it. My original goal was to lose 150 pounds. I honestly don’t think that, at the time, I thought I’d be able to lose more than that. I’d always been labeled as “big boned”, and the truth is, I believed it and set my goal accordingly.

Fast forward to the present, goal achieved (and then some), and though I’m thrilled with the success I’ve had, because of it, I was left with loose skin on my abdomen. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it bothered me. In a post about a month ago titled, Managing Expectations, I talked about the loose skin that is to be expected with significant weight loss, and I assure you, I am no different than anyone else. So, after years of hard work in the gym trying to take care of it on my own (that’s the stubbornness I get from my Irish blood I was talking about earlier coming out), much deliberation and weighing the pros and cons, I decided to undergo the process of removing it and having the muscle repair work (from having five amazing kiddos) done.

Two weeks ago today, at 9:10 a.m. CST, I was taken back to change into the surgical gown and receive my anesthesia. After that was done, they took me into the O.R. and the last thing I remember pre-surgery was the anesthesiologist saying, “Okay Laura, now I’m giving you the sleepy medicine we talked about.” I remember thinking, “Oh good, I’m so ready for a nap.” Lol. The next thing I knew, I was coming back to consciousness in the recovery room and my middle section (from my ribs to the top of my legs) felt like it was on fire.

The next few days were rough, there’s no getting around it, but with much appreciated help (and honestly, a lot of humble, yet frustrated, acceptance of said help on my part), I got through them. I had my first drain removed four days post-op (yeah, I set a new record – go me!! :)). With each passing day, I continued to improve and feel a little better. I was able to do more and more on my own (oh happy day!!), not that I was able to give up control of that much anyway, lol. One week post op, I was standing completely upright, taking the stairs and walking (almost) as fast as I normally do. My second drain, as well as the majority of my stitches, were removed at my follow up appointment four days later (10 days post-op).

Today marks two weeks post-op, and I’m doing remarkably well. I dare say I’m recovering and “bouncing back” much faster than anyone, including the doc, expected me to!  I’ve already received clearance from the doc to hit the treadmill again, and that’s something I’m pretty stoked about! I’m back to most of my normal routine and have to keep reminding myself to take it easy so I don’t land myself back in bed (because that much holding still and doing nothing drives me nuts!!). Through the whole experience, my family, the doc and the nurses were all wonderful; I honestly don’t think I could have asked for better. I’m glad that I made the decision I did. For me, it was the right answer.

One of the things that was of considerable deliberation for me when contemplating whether or not to go ahead with it, was the scar I now tote around with me everywhere I go. Before having the surgery, the thought of having such a large scar was, truthfully, a little scary.  It’s not “pretty” and it’s not small by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not attractive in any traditional sense of the word…and yet, to me, when I look at it reflecting back at me in the mirror, I can’t help but smile a little.

The doctor told me at my last pre-surgical visit that I’d have “a scar to remind me of what I’d been through”. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve decided he’s absolutely right. All the hard work, the literal blood, sweat and tears, the effort, the frustration of plateaus, the determination to get past them…they have all made their mark on my character, had a part in my success, not only in achieving my goals but in building a successful business and everything else I do, why not on my body as well?

The quote I used as the picture for today’s post resonates with me, on a lot of levels actually.  It’s so true. The truth is, we are all scarred; so many of the experiences, the storms if you will, we encounter in life leave us hurting, aching and longing for relief from the pain we feel.  We eventually heal with time, but we are all left scarred. Those scars are just hidden inside on our emotional selves, our mental selves and our spiritual selves. This scar happens to be on the outside, where anyone can see it (provided I am willing to show you of course, lol), but so what?

We all come out of the storms we encounter as a different person, hopefully for the better. I feel that I am definitely a better person, a stronger person than I began as. And yeah, I’ve been through hell, but I came out on top dammit!  I’ve even got the scar to prove it. 🙂

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