When I exercise outside, I don't listen to music. Instead, I use this time to listen to my body, to take in the beauty around me. (I would use the phrase 'commune with nature' but my allergies are too extreme to go that far.) I live in a very beautiful part of the world.
As I was running that day in preparation for my second triathlon, I was struck by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains which are, essentially, in my front yard. I was running on my favorite local road when all of the sudden I had a bolt of direct inspiration. It was so strong, it stopped me in my tracks.
"Your knees won't hold out. You have to do something more, and you have to do it quickly, or you won't be able to do anything at all."
You may or may not know, I am a spiritual person. I happen to use prayer in my daily life as a way to communicate with my Maker, and I felt this direction I had just received was divinely inspired. It didn't come as a voice, but as a thought, and not from me. And it brought peace.
After pausing to consider what this could mean I took the quickest route home, ran to my bedroom and hit my knees in prayer. "Heavenly Father, I heard that direction. I have an idea of what to do...". I then went downstairs and told my husband very sincerely that I thought it was time to consider abdominoplasty, but before we spoke about possibilites in too much detail I wanted to make sure that we were on the same page, so I asked him to also pray about it, which he did, and also felt a comfort about it.
My triathlon confirmed my feelings. During the bike ride and the run in particular, I could feel the extra pressure of my midsection and imagined what I'd be able to accomplish if it were smaller.
I had heard of a surgeon in Ogden and knew a woman who had gone to him for a different procedure, so I emailed her and asked her opinion. Hers was a glowing review, not just of the surgeon's abilities, but also of the anethesiologist's as well as the sensitivity and professionalism of all staff. After researching a little more, I phoned this surgeon's office and made an appointment for a consultation (the cost of which would be applied to my surgery, should I choose to go with their practice). My friend was right -- a very welcoming, knowledgeable, and professional office staff. My first impression of the doctor was that he was probably very nice and kind of an ass -- in that way that you want your surgeon to be confident, you know? So it didn't bother me. He answered my questions thoroughly.
He explained to me what would happen during the procedure and the kind of recovery involved ("Two weeks flat on your back, four additional weeks with zero lifting."). When he mentioned that my scar would be low enough that, "You can still wear a bikini, no problem," I let out a burst of laughter. "That's funny," I told him, "Let me introduce myself."
I asked how soon we could do the surgery, and his answer: "Well, before we proceed, you have to lose some weight."
My heart fell.
"Yeah. That's what I've been working on. And it hasn't been working. And so I'm here. I guess . . . I guess I don't qualify for the procedure?"
"No, what we do is we schedule it for three months from now, and I give you a prescription for phentermine."
"Uh, will that put a hole in my heart?"
"No, what you're thinking of is the combination of phentermine and ephedrine. Phentermine, on its own and short-term, has no lasting ill effects."
Some more questions and formalities, and before I knew it I was driving away from the hospital (where the office is located). By the time I was back home in Provo that night, I had filled my prescription at the pharmacy and I had a date for surgery on the calendar: October 15th.
*If any of this story sounds a bit familiar it's because I was one of the anonymous contributors to a post at Segullah last December about this very situation.
*Eager to know what happened in my three-month preparation for surgery? See you tomorrow!