My mother used to warn me to be careful what I wished for. When she was a little girl her best friend wished she could get the measles so she wouldn't have to go to school. Many of the children in their community were going through unplanned vacations from school because of the red spots and she wanted an excuse to skip school too. The child got her wish and got more than she'd bargained for, a particularly hard case of the measles. She was painfully ill and eventually died of complications.
Having been extremely skinny all of my life, I used to wish I could gain a little weight. Even during the short stretch of my modeling career I got yelled at each time I lost a pound or two. Like my mother's friend, I got more than I bargained for when my metabolism somehow changed and I started piling on pounds. I soon discovered I hated all those extra pounds and I began wishing I could lose them. No matter how hard I exercised and dieted the pounds seemed determined to stay. Little by little the single digit sizes disappeared from my closet to be replaced with ever greater double digits. Then something happened-- three major surgeries in six months. The first knee replacement surgery didn't affect my weight much, but the pancreatectomy turned off my weight gaining problem, made me a diabetic, and forced drastic changes in my eating habits. (Not a particular kindness for a chocoholic!) Quite unexpectedly I got my wish and dropped nearly forty pounds in a couple of months.
I'm neither bragging nor complaining, but under the circumstances that much weight loss has created an array of problems. My clothes don't fit. I look like a bag lady draped in clothing three sizes too large. Even my shoes and my underwear are baggy!
Well meaning friends and family assure me it will be fun to go shopping for a new wardrobe, but that's where my third surgery comes in, another knee replacement. I can barely walk. Today is the first I ventured downstairs without crutches and nearly strangled the wooden stair rails in the process. I need help getting my shoes on. I'm not permitted to drive. I need safety pins to keep up my shorts when I have physical therapy. I'm afraid a shopping trip is some distance in the future.
Another complication that caught me by surprise is the cold. I'm freezing. Unlike my friend, Susan, in Hawaii who lost a similar amount of weight the past few months, I have to deal with Utah weather which isn't kind to someone who just lost forty pounds of insulation. On those recent warm days when my husband turned on the air conditioning, I reached for a sweater or a blanket.
Even with good insurance my surgeries have taken a big bite out of what I might consider wardrobe replacement funds, but the biggest expenses turned out not to be medical. The day before my pancreatectomy we discovered a gas leak near our fireplace. That involved turning off the gas, ripping out the fireplace, installing new lines and valves, then installing a new fireplace. After my second knee replacement surgery, my husband returned home to discover our garage door was broken and had to be replaced. Both required hefty financial contributions.