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Realistic expectations

Monday, January 21, 2013

This morning I met with a plastic surgeon regarding a pannectomy. I can not even express how anxious and nervous I was! After decades of feeling like people judge my physical appearance and find me lacking, I was a wreck about what this one man's opinion would be! Would he tell me I haven't lost enough weight? Would he tell me that he couldn't help me?

First.... I will say that it's pretty embarrassing to put your skin/fat folds and wrinkles out there for someone to see and photograph! BUT! The good news is that the surgeon agrees that the surgery at this point is medically necessary. Now it will be up to the insurance company to see if they will cover it. I have a few things in my favor for this: I do get rashes and infections under the skin fold. Also, I have a 14" scar that runs midline from a previous surgery. The scar is being pulled from the weight of the skin. It's VERY uncomfortable. Also, in spite of 4 hernia repair surgeries, and 3 meshes sewn in, I still have a bit of a hernia. The weight pulling down on the meshes/hernia is not good for long term repair. SO! We shall see.

Against me: Many insurance companies see this as a cosmetic procedure and just don't want to pay.

The doctor and I spent a long time talking about my expectations. And he agrees that my expectations are realistic. I already don't have a belly button (was removed during an emergency surgery), and he can surgically give me one! That was BEYOND my expectation. I expect a lot of scaring. I expect surgery will be painful. I have endured 7 abdominal surgeries in the past 10 years. After every one, I have been off ALL narcotic pain medications by day 5, and did whatever after care was necessary. My eye is on the long-term prize.

I have discovered an active life. I have worked to build muscles and coordination that make me feel athletic. I have increased my stamina to the point that I can jog and race my 4 year old across the park. I am not willing to let these things go.

I am not expecting perfection. I am expecting less pain from rashes and infections. I am expecting to jog without hearing the slap of my stomach skin hitting my legs. I am expecting to have reduced back pain so that I can push myself harder in the gym to meet my goals. I'm expecting that I will continue to do the work. I am expecting surgery to remove the excess skin.

So... now I wait. And continue to eat clean, and stay moving. And live my life. This is in God's hands. I am in God's hands. It is well with my soul.
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