One Year Ago

One year ago today, at this very moment, I was seriously struggling to wake up from my surgery. My wife and mother were in the room with me, along with a few others, and I was in significant pain. Pain from the six fresh stomach scars from the surgery, pain from the nausea caused by the anesthetic, pain from the gas trapped in my upper back and shoulders, and pain from being 6’10” and cramped into a fucking Hobbit bed that all you normal-sized people would call “a single” (I call bullshit). A few hours from now I’d have a clarity we’re rarely gifted with in life, and I’d have already decided on the title of the surgery-related memoir I knew I needed to write.

And I was 160 pounds heavier, and still taking medication for diabetes, blood pressure, and other weight-related health problems. Babies have been conceived and born in the time I’ve been off those medications.

Today, my feet are hanging off the end of a Hobbit couch that you normal-sized people would call “a couch,” and I’m grading essays on my brother-in-law’s farm in Northern Washington. My wife is out with our nephews, and the dogs are snoring next to me as I grade essays.

This whole process has taken a lot out of me. I’ve lost some muscle along with all the fat, and I’ve also lost a fair amount of hair. They say that can happen when you have weight loss surgery and, uh, yeah. It can. They also say that if you’re getting enough protein and vitamins, it can grow back. And I guess it might, but I honestly don’t give a shit. My “Young Picard” days have been looming large for a long time now, and the truth is, I’ve never felt healthier or happier.

On a normal day, a sentence like that would be all my diseased monkey brain needed to start spiraling down the “it’s all going to fall apart” rabbit hole but, as I hear the kids in my classes say, “Not today, Satan.”

Not today. Today is a good the best day.