You can pick the reason why I am two weeks away from undergoing gastric band surgery.
Love of food? Yes.
A history of failing to moderate any vice-like substance? Sure.
Use of food to accommodate other emotional needs or insecurities? If you insist.
I have always been a fat bastard. The name fits much like Ray Liota’s description of his friends in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas. “You know, we always called each other good fellas. Like you said to somebody, you're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella.” While in high school, my weight became easier to accept because I played football. If six or seven of us were grazing at a Chinese buffet or chicken wing place, 4,000 calories were easy to justify . . . because we were fat bastards. One guy would steal another guy's chicken wing, and he was a fat bastard. When the wing thief had a handful of fries missing, he'd look up in horror, find a giggling comrade and say "You fat bastard!"
Now, nearing 40 years old and more than 325 pounds, it’s not that funny anymore.
For the past 9 months, I have been going through the surgery process, various medical tests and meeting with a dietitian. I originally started at 361 pounds. I had my pre-op appointment a few days ago, and now I am almost done with the first of two weeks on all liquids and then I'm under the knife.
Generally, the whole process should take 6 months but I had a battle with acid reflux to resolve. I never realized I had a problem, though I sometimes needed an over-the-counter antacid for heartburn, that was when I ate too much, too quick. But, nevertheless, the reflux was picked up during my upper GI test and the surgeon called for an endoscopy to verify there was no damage to esophagus. But, damage there was . . . in the form of ulcers. So after two months on a prescription, the ulcers have healed and now it seems all is clear.
The purpose of this blog is simple. I have taken great comfort in reading about so many other people’s procedures and I feel as though I owe it to the weight loss surgery community to share my story. Maybe my words will be helpful for someone else.
In addition, I am hoping that the phrase said by writer John Dufresne rings true, "We don’t write to be understood, we write to understand." Who knows, maybe an epiphany or two about being a fat bastard will occur.