Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's Completely Normal to Obssess About Your Weight Before Surgery

The nurse asks me to step on the scale.  I'm okay.  I knew this was going to happen. I am nonchalant. I place first one foot, then the other, on the black rectangle. I'm SO okay, I don't even insist on taking off my boots and jacket first.

A number flashes.  A number I haven't seen in months.  (Because, oh god, the thought of stepping on a scale means instant panic attack.)  I'm elated and disappointed the number is in kilograms, not pounds.  It will require math to figure out my gravitational pull.

I have been fasting for two days (for medical reasons), with no liquids in the last twelve.  I cannot brain. 

Take the number, multiply by 2.2... 2.2... By 2.2...  Carry the one... Carry... Shit, my head hurts.

An equation that would normally take moments, is now circling my brain like a predatory animal.  The answer just out of grasp.

The nurse shows me to my alcove; pulls the curtain closed so I may undress.  My skin dimples with the cold and I shiver.  The hospital gown is scant protection from the winter temperature.

Take the number, multiply by 2.2...

I am poked and prodded.  My dehydrated veins resist the IV.  The nurse apologizes again and again.  I barely notice.  Smile.  Nod.  Laugh.

Ten times 2.2 is... multiply by 2.2

The doctor arrives and goes over the risks of the surgery again.  I nod, thoughts still spinning.  Then the anesthesiologist gives his spiel, inserting humorous quips to detract from the dangers of general anesthesia.  I smile, my most understanding and reassuring smile.

"I'm sure I'm in good hands.  You know what you're doing."  Take the number, multiply by two.  The 0.2 can come later.  I just have to double the number.  Double..."

 A new nurse arrives to wheel me to the operating room.  The anesthesiologist pushes a button on a big machine, and I start to go fuzzy around the edges.  My last thought: shit, I didn't lose enough.


Since I found out my weight, things have started to spiral out of control again.  I eat too little.  I exercise too much.  I purge whenever possible.  And I feel like shit for it.  For a while, things were getting better.  For a while, I thought I might be recovering.  I forgot how good you can feel when your body is properly cared for.  To not always feel like you're floating, or nauseous, or have no energy, or just hurt ALL over.

The stupid, sick, completely fucked up part?  The number on the hospital scale?  It was, by far, the least I have weighed in my adult life.  But it's not enough.  It's never, fucking, enough.