Mother, you’re breaking your Daughter’s heart.

nuff said.

'nuff said.

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to write this.  I knew I wanted to write about it, from the moment I had this conversation with her, but I just didn’t know how to approach it.  I’ve decided to make it an open letter to my mother.

Mother,

My heart is breaking for you.  This year has been terrible – first the thing with Baby Sister and Nephew, and then Stepfather died in the Spring.   I’ve been amazed at how strong you sound every time we talk on the phone.  I wouldn’t blame you if you just broke down, but you just keep going, no matter how hard things get for you.  You truly are an inspiration.

But then you talk about having lap-band surgery.  And my heart breaks even more.

You say that you “need” it.  That your health is just “so terrible,” and it’s the only thing that’s going to save you.

But Mommy, you’re going to do yourself more harm than good.

You say that it’s going to cure your diabetes, high blood pressure, and back problems.  All of which you know are inherited.  Grandmother had every single one of those problems, and Grandfather has at least two of them that I remember.  You say Grandmother was once as big as you are now – and honestly, I haven’t seen you in 5 years, so I don’t know how much you’ve gained – and you use that as an excuse to prove to me that you have to have this surgery.

But Grandmother wasn’t always very heavy.  I remember her being roughly the size I am now.  And I know that when she died, she was pretty small.  Just because she was heavy at one time in her life does not mean that one time caused all those health problems.

Having the doctor close off part of your stomach is not going to do you any good.  You’re going to become malnourished.  Sure, your diabetes might get better.  Because you’ll be starving yourself. Your body needs more than just a few ounces of food a day.  And it would even if you were thin.

I know it’s hard to fight the fatphobia that you see every day.  Even people who are well meaning are a lot of the times, unknowing fatphobes.  It’s institutionalized and it’s almost impossible to get away from.  I understand that, I really do.

But I hate to see you taking all of that fat hatred in and turning it on yourself.  Don’t you get enough hatred pointed your way from others?  Do you really have to hate yourself, too?

Part of my reaction is our relationship.  Since finding each other again six years ago, we have developed the kind of relatioship I only thought we could have in my dreams.  I have been able to turn to you when things got bad, and you supported and encouraged me.  I never thought I’d have that.

Part of it is my own rising self-esteem.  I can hear the self-loathing in your voice even when you don’t outwardly express it – because I’ve been there.  And I know how good it feels now to be able to say I like myself just the way I am.  I want you to know that feeling, too.

And part of it is that I’ve learned so much in the last few months, and hearing that you’re seriously contemplating surgery – to fix one thing that’s not broken, and to fix others that it simply won’t work for – seriously terrifies me.  You just don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.  And while I know that there are serious statistics – X amount of people have serious health problems, X amount of people actually die as a result of the surgery, X amount of people will actually end up gaining all their weight back – I never thought to save the URLs of the blog posts/studies/news articles I read, so I can’t “prove” it to you.  I know what I know, but without that “proof” I know you’ll just dismiss me as being a worried daughter.

And I am a worried daughter, no question.  But I also know that what you’re contemplating doing is going to be so much worse for your health than doing nothing at all.

And it makes me want to cry.

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5 Responses

  1. There are a lot of good posts of the dangers of bariatrics over at junk food science. Some of those might help.

    My mom’s been starving herself for years, my Dad is so “proud” of her now because she can’t finish a serving of food. It concerns me a lot, especially since she’s already been through so much.

    You and your mom are in my thoughts.

  2. You’ll be in my prayers. My mother-in-law died last year, 2 days after having the lap band surgery. They said it had nothing to do with it, it was a coincidence (claimed she had an aortic aneurism, which was genetic) but I will never believe that.

    She wanted to have it so she would be healthy enough to play with my son, her only grandchild. And now she’s gone and he’ll never know her.

    Please, do everything you can to stop someone you love from doing this surgery. Please.

  3. From this article from Junkfood Science:

    “If asked, every single one of [the patients] would call themselves healthier, but from my perspective their health is worse. They all require more monitoring and more interventions than they did before having the surgery.”

    I really hope you can convince your mom to reconsider…

  4. Nothing to add, just thinking of you and wishing the best for you and your mother. I hope you can somehow introduce your mom to FA, but I also hope you know that if she goes through with the surgery, it is NOT your fault for “letting” her.
    And wanted to tell you that this post was just featured on my WordPress dashboard!

  5. My ex’s mother, who I still love very dearly, just had a gastric surgery to lose weight.

    I am afraid for her, but I found out too late to say anything except “I wish her the best.”

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