I came home from work on Monday night with a fever, stuffy head and thigh muscles that felt like they were in a vice grip. Taking care of the pain is tricky and, honestly, scary. Because I don’t have much of a stomach left, I have to protect the lining which means that the list of medications I am no longer allowed to take is about a mile long.
In short, I can take Tylenol. Period. And guess what we had none of? Tylenol. Period. And guess who hauled their sick ass to the drug store because they wouldn’t ask their husband to do so? Me. Period. And guess who has been pissed as hell for the past 24 hours at her husband for not knowing I needed his help?
Well, I’m probably not the only wife that lay claim to that.
To be fair, until this year, I have never really asked Mr. Adams to take care of me in our fifteen year relationship. There’s never really been a need. More than that, it has rarely been a requirement of mine that the people with whom I have relationships actually nurture them - including my husband. Including myself.
Surgery - and everything that has followed it - was a promise to myself that I would take care of me. I get it. The rest of the world, however, has yet to understand that I expect them to take care of me too.
Sometimes - say, when I have a stuffy head, fever and sore muscles - it is easy to forget that the rest of the world hasn’t been on this multi-year journey with me. They don’t know that I have different expectations now. So, yesterday I had to actually had to say to my husband, “I expect you to take care of me when I am sick. You are it for me - my person. When I need help, I expect to be able to lean on you for help and get it.”
Amazing that we are about to celebrate our thirteenth wedding anniversary in less than a month and I have never before laid out that expectation. And, to be clear, the declaration was as much for me as it was for him. I have never allowed myself to really lean on him - or anyone, really, save a few members of my family.
I have, for all intents and purposes, trained my husband to expect that I am 100% self-sufficient. Turns out I’m not - or at least I choose not to be - and I had to bring him up to speed on that memo.
I am a member of a few different Facebook groups for women who have had bariatric surgery. At least once a week someone posts a question about whether anyone else has experienced “losing friends” (or spouses) as a side effect of surgery. Some attribute it to “jealousy” or friends not being able to “handle” our new-found confidence. And, I’m sure, there are instances where that may be true.
However, I believe the real issue is that you don’t get to the point of weight loss surgery without having different expectations - of yourself and of the world surrounding you. At least not successful weight loss surgery, anyway. You’ve changed the rules of the game and people around you are simply confused - and why shouldn’t they be? Nothing has changed for them. You have to clue them in on the new rules…
I value me. I value my health. I value my life. And I expect you to as well. This means… fill in the blank. Fill in the blank will be constantly evolving as I evolve, but I commit to sharing with those that matter what it means today.