Thursday, August 8, 2013

What?? No More Main Street Station Buffet?? (PART I)

There's a very important anniversary coming up for someone very special in my life. As many of you know, my wife Tonya Baltazar means a hellava lot to me. I don't know where my life would be without her, so if I could help her in any way possible I would.

I've been with my wife for a total of 11 years, and for most of the time, she's been, shall we say, a more than average size woman. I didn't care how she looked, what's most important is I loved her no matter what she looked like. But I could tell the extra weight was carrying a heavy burden on her daily life. Physically, she had a hard time moving and it took her a long time to get around places. She fatigued quickly if she had to do anything physical for a long periods of time.

For a period of 3 or 4 years, she tried everything to lose her weight: She tried everything from exercising to crash diets to fad diets, but nothing seemed to work. Then one day, I was at work chatting with my co-workers when the topic of weight loss came up. I knew someone who had lap band surgery, so I decided to talk to my wife about it...

Needlessly to say, the thought weight loss surgery peeked her interest, so for the next few weeks, she did all times of research on Lap Band Surgery. For those who don't know, Lap Bank weight loss surgery is basically a device on the top of the stomach to slow the consumption of food. It's an effective surgery but it becomes a pain in the ass because you had to adjust it from time to time. Then one night my wife said she saw something on the internet, "What about this gastric sleeve weight loss surgery?"

My wife explained the surgery to me where they about 25 perfect of the stomach. She found a web site with other's who had the gastric sleeve surgery and 100 perfect had high praise and high recommendations for it. The next couple of months, my wife because a disciple to this web site, reading all the stories of how much weight all these people had lost and the positive impact it had on their lives.

With each stories she read, with each smile she saw, with each happier person she soaked, the more she want to do the gastric surgery. There was one hiccup to this weight loss surgery, it was irreversible. If she decided to go with it, she never go back. I asked her if this what she really wanted. Admittedly, she nodded, "I want to see my kids grow up. I want to be there when each get married. I want to be a grandmother. I want to be there for everything is my kid's life" With that, I was convinced at her determination and as her husband and her biggest supporter I was going to help her get this surgery to make her dream of losing weight a reality.

After three months, and lots of paperwork, the time had finally arrived, Aug 16, 2012. The night before as we were packing her day bag, you can tell she was a extremely nervous. This was life-altering , major surgery and with any surgery there was an element of risk.  Around 8PM, the night before the surgery (I remember this night like it was yesterday) she called her three kids into our room, and with tears flowing she spoke from the heart, "In case something happens to me tomorrow, I just wanted to say that mommy is proud of each of you. I love all of you." She gave each of her kids a big hug and kiss...I had tears in my eyes too cause the thought of losing her would break my heart.

The next day, we arrived at the hospital early in the morning and after all the preliminaries, she was laying in the hospital bed. A blur of nurses, doctors, and orderlies prepared her surgery. I don't think she or I remember half of the things they were saying to us. All that mattered was my wife was going into major surgery, and I was thinking about all the great and beautiful times we had as a couple. My wife was getting nervous as the moment of truth arrived. I did my best to reassure her that everything would go smoothly, but even I was nervous.

That 30 minutes before the surgery seemed like the longest 30 minutes of my life. A million thoughts raced through my head. Will this surgery work? What if something goes wrong? What if doesn't work?? Finally two orderlies walked in and prepared to wheel her to the operation room. I gave my wife a big kiss and we hugged for a minute but it felt like an eternity, united in our love for each other no matter what happens for the next two hours. I shed a tear and said, "I love you with all my heart" then watched as they wheeled her further away from me. Her bed shrinking with ever feet away, until she disappeared around the corner leaving me with a hallway full of bustling nurses, patients, and doctors walking back and forth through the hallway. I stood there for a moment, frozen in time, said a prayer to myself, then walked into the waiting room...This was going to be the longest 2 hours of my life.....

PART II SOON: The Aftermath..."What?? No more Main Street Station Seafood Buffett??"

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