I am not big because I sit around all day stuffing my face with food. I don't eat junk food. I don't drink pop. I don't binge either. In fact, I eat less than 1200 calories a day. I am large because I have a disease that went unchecked for over 35 years (largely because doctors see an overweight person, label them, and make up their minds that "they just aren't trying hard enough") called lipedema, which turned into lipo-lymphedema because the disease advanced. I am currently stage 3 and holding out hope that I won't reach stage 4 anytime soon. But that's another story. You can read all about what I have here.
Last month I saw a surgeon about the gallstones. To give you an idea of the kind of prejudice I go through with doctors and my disease, he wrote on his chart that I was 400lbs, without even weighing me. I am pleased to say I am NO WHERE NEAR that size. But this gives you a good idea of what he was thinking about me while he was talking to me. He informed me that not only did I have gallstones but I had a hernia as well. He would prefer to not touch the gallstones (since they don't bother me [and they really don't]) and because it's so difficult to operate on people of "my size". He then proceeded to tell me that I should stop eating junk food, getting fast food, drinking pop, etc. (all the things I don't do) if I ever hoped to be operated on. I tried to tell him about my disease and he said to stop using that as an excuse. I then tried to tell him I didn't do any of the things he mentioned and he said, "Well you're obviously doing something. You're only lying to yourself." A typical male doctor. Prejudiced and judgmental. He was very lucky I didn't bop him on the nose!
He then told me something "funny" was growing on my hernia. When I asked him what he meant by funny he said, "Unusual, you know...odd." Odd? Funny? I guess I should be relieved it's not cancer because if it was he wouldn't use the word "funny" right?
Flash forward to today. I saw another surgeon (referred to me by the other one) who is going to perform an endoscopy on me to look at this "funny" thing on my hernia. This doctor came in and said he was glad to see that I wasn't 400lbs. and wondered why the other doctor would write that in his chart. He said he was very glad that I wasn't because operating on a person of that size would have been difficult. Good...already I feel better. A nice doctor who isn't judging me. Off to a good start. He then added, "But operating on someone of your size is also a dangerous thing."
Sigh. Moving on . . . he wanted to discuss the "funny" thing the other surgeon talked about. Apparently it isn't growing on my hernia, it is growing on my esophagus and according to him and my medical charts it's been there since my last CT scan (several years ago) that no one bothered to tell me about! He then informed me that it was unusual because it looked like metal. Metal!?! He then asked me if I'd had any operations on my stomach. Nope. Only my legs and abdomen. "Well then," he asked. "Have you swallowed something metal?" I racked my brain. "Maybe it was a penny when I was a child?"
For some reason back in the 60's, mothers used to bake coins into birthday cakes. Could I have had a nickel or dime in my stomach for all that time? He said it looked calcified so...maybe?
"But it could be diverticulitis."
"Whatever it is I'll take it out when I do the endoscopy."
"Okay. Great. So what about my hernia? Are you going to fix that?"
"Well you have two hernias..."
At this point my inward dialogue is something like this: "Why am I only getting little bits of information at a time about what is going on inside me? For crying out loud this is my life, my body. Be truthful and stop hiding things from me! Do all doctors do this? If it's cancer will they even bother to tell me?
Okay, so I have two hernias. How did I get two hernias? Then the thought popped into my head about all my exercising (I do sit-ups in a vain attempt at thinking it will make a difference. I know it won't but I do them anyway).
"Would doing sit-ups have caused this?"
"Sit-ups would definitely make it worse."
Of course they would! (BTW, he never answered the question).
"So . . . the hernias? Are you going to fix them?"
"No...a woman of your size ..."
Really? You're going there? We were doing so well...okay...so a woman of my size?
"Makes it dangerous to operate on you. So unless they aren't bothering you we'll leave them alone."
Really? So all the coughing I'm doing after and during each meal and every drink I take isn't bothersome enough?
"When they start getting painful ... sharp ... excruciating pain ... we'll fix them then."
That's what the other surgeon told me in regards to my gallstones. But he was more, "When it feels like you are having a heart attack, then we'll take them out."
So basically if you are big and you need surgery don't count on it. But if you are in so much pain that you end up in the ER you might luck out and actually get fixed!
If you don't die waiting to be seen in the ER. Which in Canada is a real possibility.
I've been thinking why Michael Buble is so interesting and why so many women, men, teenagers and even children like him so much. I would like to say it's because of his voice and his music and while that is a HUGE part of it, I think it is something more. He is so darn charming, personable and funny that he makes you feel like you are his best friend. And that's his appeal. You can tell when he is enjoying himself onstage and at the end when he said he didn't want to leave - you believed him.
Continuing on with my "date" night with Michael...the first song he sang was Fever and I near jumped out of my skin because, as I mentioned yesterday, I was in the first row, so when these tall pillars of fire shot up in front of me (so close that I could feel the heat) I was very surprised. I will say that the disappointing thing about having to sit in the handicapped section is that you don't see the middle of the stage. So I couldn't see Michael when the curtain pulled back and the big screens were so close that I nearly had to bend over backwards to look at them. Nevertheless, I was thrilled to be so close because he made frequent trips to the stage in front of me.
He sang all of my favourites and a few more I hadn't heard before. There was always something going on behind him. The stage moved, the screen projected something - a sensory delight that was great but honestly if he just sat on a stool and talked and sang all night I would have been satisfied!
When he introduced the band he sat right in front of me. He was so close I could see the sweat dripping off his face. And speaking of sweat...did I mention I got his towel? I'll tell you about that in a bit.
After he introduced the band he went from one song to the next until finally the moment I know I was waiting for (but never really knew how much fun it would be), red and white paper hearts exploded from cannons that were directly in front of me and rained down so heavily that I was literally drenched in hearts. The pictures up top do not do justice to how many hearts enveloped me. Picture that basket full to the brim. There were so many I literally could not see my purse which was stuffed in my basket! Now here is where my evening became even more fun.
Just before the hearts exploded, Michael had been in front of me singing and I waved at him and he waved back. Sweet! After the hearts were done, one of his crew decided to have some fun with me and picked some up off the floor and proceeded to dump them all over me. A few seconds later, he gathered more up and began to walk toward me again. I looked at him and said, "Don't you dare!" He laughed and stepped back. I returned to watching Michael, but I could see this guy out of the corner of my eye. He looked at me again and arched his eyebrow and smirked. I laughed and said, "I don't trust you!" He responded with a laugh and walked away and I thought that was it.
One final thing - about the hearts. It was probably the funniest thing to happen to me all evening. I went to the washroom and while that in itself is not funny, what was in the toilet bowl when I was finished was. Hearts! Lots of 'em! I don't know how they got down my pants. I did find some in my bra later, but my pants? I had on a top that covered the top of them so I'm still puzzled about that one.
All in all it was the perfect evening! My Bublette girls took very good care of me and I will forever be in their debt. I only hope I can meet them all again sometime. As for Michael...well... I can't wait until he comes back again.
Where do I start? So much happened yesterday that I want to get it all down as soon as possible - before I forget the little details. First, I would like to say how pleased I was that I was able to sit in my scooter all night long. Whew! What a relief that was. In truth that was my biggest fear of the evening. Until I tried to go down the ramp to get on the concert floor - I almost tipped over - twice! But that was nothing compared to the rest of the day. A mere blip in a day full of surprises. Let's start with the Bublettes.
These lovely ladies above are all friends I met on Facebook through Michael's fan page - the Buble Insider. What a lovely bunch of gals! Tammy (pictured above with me) was my plus one for the Sound Check Party (oh, yeah - I won a Sound Check Party). Not all the girls are pictured here (it was hard to meet up on the concert floor when there are so many people about), but there were more. I only wish the lighting had been better, but this was before the show and the lights were very dim.
At the Sound Check Party Michael rehearsed a bit and then asked for a request. The song "End of May" was chosen and he had to look up the lyrics on his phone, because he hadn't sung it in such a long time. On stage with him were his wife Lu who was taking care of their son Noah. We were not allowed to take pictures, so here is what Noah looks like.