Friday, April 30, 2010


I wrote my last final exam for my diploma today.

I will now pause to let the enormity of that sink in.

{ Pause. }

When I started my program in the fall of 2006, I thought it would be easy. 2 years, 4 semesters, badda bing badda boom, let's go.

The last four years have been life-changing. I failed out of college. I got back in. I was diagnosed with a learning disability. I moved 5 times. I met Keith. I got engaged. I said goodbye to two friends I never thought I would have to. I lost a grandmother and a mother-in-law. I raised my GPA from something like a 1.2 to meet the cut-off for Carleton, which is 3.0. And now I'm looking at WLS and all the major lifestyle changes that comes with it.

In a way, I'm kind of glad it took me 4 years to finish - I am a completely different person than that 19 year old who started and then promptly crashed & burned. I know I can fail, and I know I can pick myself up and succeed. I've learned that with great joy also comes great heartache. I've learned that life goes on after death, and it's okay to miss someone so fiercely it physically hurts, even months later.

Most of all, I've learned that setting a major goal and working hard to achieve it feels absolutely amazing when you finally do.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Open letter

I honestly do not know what to say to you at this point. It has become very apparent to me that you have a bias against obese people and are full of judgment while thinking that the only tool to managing weight loss is to put down the fork.

It has also become very apparent that you have done absolutely no research on the subject of morbid obesity, and the ineffectiveness of the method you believe works for everyone. It is painfully obvious you also have done no research on weight loss surgery - and you are not open to learning about it. Your ignorance is mind boggling.

You have brought up my weight literally every time you speak to me for the majority of my adolescence and early adult years; causing significant psychological damage and then wonder why I 'fly into a rage' whenever it is mentioned. It is an heart shattering thing to realize that you would love me more if I just lost the weight.

You seem to be under the impression that this decision to have surgery was decided very quickly; you couldn't be more wrong. I have been thinking of it for years; I just didn't know I could afford it.

And, once again, I find it mind blowing that you can't even be bothered to do your research on it (even as something as simple and fundamental as what they ACTUALLY DO).

Perhaps its better that we no longer talk for the next 18 months or so. I don't need your negativity. I don't need you telling me what I need to do for my health and life. You actually have NO IDEA what I go through on a daily basis, and I do not need such a negative and ignorant person in my life at this point.

From now on I will not be answering your phone calls, or your emails, unless it is an emergency. I have tried, and now I cannot try anymore.

I'm sorry.

Although I have a feeling not as sorry as you'll be.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Have a date!

I just got back from the behaviourist appointment - it went really well, if I do say so myself!

Twenty minutes to half an hour after getting home, the clinic in Utica emailed me with a surgery date.....

July 20, 2010.

I do have to complete those darn pesky Educational classes before surgery, with the last one being July 14. July 14 - July 20 = less than a week. Pretty damn good, really!

So I have to be in Utica in July 19 for 2 appointments, surgery the next day, in hospital until the day of the 22nd, and then a check in their office on the 23rd, and then home.

Am. SO. effing. excited. Hurry up July!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fingers crossed

Finally found out what the additional testing was - Dr wants me to see a behaviourist at the WMC.

So I have an appointment for tomorrow morning at 9:45. I have no idea what the appointment will entail, so I'm a little nervous. It helps that it's with the behaviourist that did the majority of our sessions while I was doing that crazy Opti-Fast diet, and she's amazing.

Another thing I asked about was getting a surgery date that was before the Educational Classes (as mandated by the Ministry) are started or finished - and was told that I had to complete them before surgery - which puts it anytime after July 14th. I do have a feeling that that requirement could be bent though from my initial appointment with the doctor here - she alluded to the fact that this might happen. So I'm hopeful.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Utica: Visit #1.

So yesterday we made the trek down to Utica, and I can now say I've officially been to four countries (first time in the States).

Um, some HATES: Hill Island Bridge, like, woah way too high x 2. And the highways definitely take some getting used to. (Seriously, I have no idea how anyone knows what they're doing, ever).

It was a really, really long day. We left our place at 2am, and once we got gas and coffee it was more like quarter to three, and then we took the long way. I've discovered I hate night driving on the 401, even from the back seat. My jaw is still sore from the massive clenching I did. (Although I do have some cause for concern, since FIL nearly got into at least four accidents during the journey there).
We got back to our place at about 8pm, and immediately crashed into bed. I don't even remember who won Boston/Sabers last night.

Appointment was good, fast since all the questions were basically answered with a no. (Heart attack? No. History of blot clots? No. Stroke? No. etc). I found out that the clinic doctor here wanted me to some sort of additional testing, but hadn't told the clinic in Utica what kind of testing they wanted, so the clinic in Utica couldn't give me a surgery date yet. Doctor here is supposed to tell clinic in Utica on Monday, and clinic in Utica will tell me as soon as they know.

The nurse did mention they're booking surgeries for June. JUNE. That's where their schedule is right now. Like, the month after May, as in, possibly five to eight weeks away. Like, WHAT? JUNE?!

I had to sign a zillion and six forms, the funniest being a waiver promising not to get pregnant 18-24 months before and after surgery. Sure! I'll sign that one without hesitation, thanks! I have to be off birth control pills for a month before & after surgery as well - so am kicking myself for getting rid of those condoms right about now. Oh and I have a whole page of blood tests that need to be done, quite lovely. And a little packet of info for my doctor to fill out plus an EKG to do and I have to request my sleep study results. Trick is, the info & bloodwork is only good for 30 days, and has to be faxed to them at least 1 week before surgery.

And after surgery, I have to go do a whole wack of bloodtests again, at least 1 week before my visit, which I will be doing a whole bunch of - at the 3 week, 3 month, 6 month & 1 year mark.

Financially I'm most worried about the week-long stay for surgery and the gas for the 3 week visit after...sigh. So I'm going to go there and type this: If anyone wants to make a donation to this fund shoot me a twitter/email/facebook. It would be more than appreciated. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Turning bad into good.

First: a little background. In Ontario, there's provincial funding for school called Ontario Student Assistance Program (loans, of course, lets not get crazy here). OSAP has a basic minimum academic requirement to maintain in order to get your next loan - which is passing 60% of your courses. If you don't maintain this, your file is red flagged and you have to meet with a Financial Assessment Officer and explain why you suck and explain via letter to OSAP why they should just hand over the damn money already.

As you can guess, I went through this process many, many times. Like, every semester from January 07 to April 08 (summers included). Ahem.

And the lovely Officer assigned to my file is a wonderful woman who got to know me quite well (as we've already established) and has been an amazing asset to have over the last year. In fact, she was the one who arranged for me to come back a semester earlier than I expected on full OSAP, among other things.

This February I was preoccupied with the whole Mexico fiasco and forgot to apply for the semester bursary in the time the application window was open. I sent off a panicked email to her and she promptly replied that she couldn't do anything until everybody elses applications were disbursed (April), but after that she would drop off a paper application for me at the Registrar's Office for me to fill out. I did so, and today I received confirmation that I received 650$ as a bursary.

See? Amazing.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yeah! OOC funding approved!!


Got the call yesterday.

Initial consult is going to be April 23rd in Utica, New York.

April 23rd.

That's, like, 3 weeks away. SO EFFING SOON.

I also met the husband of the person who runs a major support group for people who've had WLS in Ottawa. (He's also had the surgery.) He's Keith's ball-hockey captain.

Small world, eh?