Last week, in Sex Love and Obesity Part 2 we left off at the point where I had found out my insurance would not pay for bariatric surgery and I had depression eaten my way to 420 lb.
“Do you believe in the nobility of suicide?”
As harsh as it may sound it’s a question I ask people who don’t seem to understand how dramatically obesity can impact your health both physically and mentally.
At that point in my life, I did, and that is exactly what I was doing. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to die before 40 and I was digging my grave with a fork and spoon.
I was diabetic and taking insulin shots three times a day. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and severe edema – all of which were requiring medical treatment. I had a plethora of medical conditions that were brought on by my obesity, and it didn’t matter because there was no way that I was going to lose over 200 pounds and be able to keep it off without the help of bariatric surgery.
I was 35-years-old, I hated my life, and I didn’t really believe that I was worthy of anything better.
I was content to die from obesity.
Nothing in my marriage was getting better, we were still in the same holding pattern of being strangers that passed in the hallway with nothing more than a few words exchanged. I felt alone. The marriage was physically and emotionally vacant.
He continued to not try to find a job and take unemployment until it ran out. Essentially, he was sitting on the sidelines watching me drown in the mess that had become our life together.
We never fought; I wasn’t allowed to fight with him and he was exceptional at sticking his head in the sand and pretending that problems didn’t exist in a hope that they would go away. I figured that at that point in our life, I was just one of those problems he was escaping and sooner or later he would bury me and find someone more in line with who and what he wanted.
This was the life I was living when I got a call from my Father. He told me a story about how he woke up in the middle of the night from a nightmare that I had passed away and confided in me that he spent his days worrying that he was going to outlive me and that all he wanted for me was a happy and healthy life.
Two days later I got a letter from the insurance company explaining that they had changed our insurance plan to include coverage for bariatric surgery.
I saw a light at the end of the tunnel and I was willing to chase it. I didn’t want my then 85-year-old father to spend the rest of his days worried about me and I suddenly decided that I wanted to live. That same day I started making phone calls to try to get a consultation appointment with a bariatric surgeon.
I borrowed enough money from my Godfather to pay off all the credit card debt that we had gotten into living on them to pay the bills and buy groceries while our finances were in a downward spiral. I sold him my Jeep to get us out from underneath one of our car payments and get our finances back to something we could afford to keep up with on my dwindling income.
I moved us out of the rent to own house we were living in, knowing we were not going to qualify for any sort of loan to allow us to buy it with the end of the 4-year lease terms just a few months away. We moved back into an apartment that was nearly $500 a month cheaper to give us more breathing room financially. My husband finally went back to work again, and things started to look like they were going in the right direction.
I started the process of having bariatric surgery. I started working on meeting all of the pre-operative requirements.
I still believed that if I lost the weight I could save the marriage.
I chalk much of that up to denial, delusions and an overall desire to believe that people will do the right thing.
I started exercising, a lot. I began using it as an emotional outlet and a way to get my weight down to what the Bariatric Surgeon required to put me on the table. Between August of 2009 and September of 2010, I had managed to lose nearly 70 lb. and get my BMI was where it needed to be to meet my surgeon’s requirements.
I was about 4 weeks away from my scheduled surgery date of October 19th, 2010 when I found out that my husband had been lying to me, yet again about his online affairs.
This time the lie had been going on right in front of my face for the better part of a year. The woman involved was someone I knew from the online games I played. This time around I wasn’t sure that I could forgive him. There were letters talking about how he was waiting for his daughter to graduate from high school and turn eighteen so that he could leave me. There was talk about in person visits and emails about how the only reason he stayed with me was because of money.
I considered leaving at that point. I had a bag packed and was ready to get on a train to California and go stay with my best friend and her husband. The sting of betrayal was so deep I was almost sure there was no coming back. But he asked me not to go, and agreed to find a therapist to see together to try to fix our marriage.
My best friend, who is like a sister to me, told me I could come and stay with her as long and I wanted. But, she also told me that she felt that I really needed to stay there. We discussed how instead of trying to fix the marriage, which we all knew was sort of lost cause at that point, I needed to focus on myself. I needed to make sure I stayed where I was because I needed to be available for all of my doctor’s appointments and to make sure that the surgery actually happened.
Stay at that point was hard. I was angry.
The next few weeks were terrible. I was angry all the time. I buried myself more and more in exercise. During the first week, he came home with a sore on his foot and that quickly went from bad to worse and landed him in the hospital with a horrible infection in his foot. He was given a diagnosis of a rare muscle degeneration disease called Charcot Marie Tooth. The diagnosis was bad. It really wasn’t something that was treatable, he’d just have to accept that it would get worse and worse and they would just have to continue to medicate him more and more to try to compensate.
He was in the hospital for two weeks and I hardly visited. I was just too angry with him over the betrayal. I didn’t want to be anywhere near him, even if he was in the hospital, in pain and dealing with his new diagnosis.
In Sex Love and Obesity Part 4, we’ll talk about how I started putting myself first – sometimes.