Ok, so all of you who are heartily sick of hearing me prattle endlessly about once being fat and then becoming unfat through the rather amazing Duodenal Switch
surgery can just hit your back button now. Of course, you'll miss hearing about some really great bonding, a few personal triumphs, and the pseudo recipe for a truly incredible Martini. And also? My first experience with being a stalker.
Oh, still with me? Excellent.
The day started off pretty well - driving out to Conshohocken on the Blue Route, I recognized my friend Shari's car, and nearly scared her off the road by beeping and waving like a maniac. Because I'm related to Sammy Hagar (no, I'm not, really), I passed her and led her to the hotel where the Obesity Help
conference was taking place. Having originally been dubious about the usefulness of a conference that was pitched to the mainly RNY crowd, I'd decided to go check it out, check out the vendors, and, failing any useful activity, hang out in the hotel bar with mah peeps. I was expecting to see my girl Shari, of course, plus my girl Sharon
, my man Tom, and the amazing Melting Mama
The vendors turned out to be a bit of a disappointment - they'd had some no-shows and some pull-outs, so there were precious few freebies. But, I soldiered on, resolute. First thrill of the day? Melting Mama recognized me! "Peevish!" she said. Holy crap!
thought I. But I managed to converse without sounding stupid. There's Personal Triumph Number 1. Then, I found that Tom had scored us a table in the back corner. The OH people had put out little goodie bags, with a folder, pen, and two bags of Kay's Naturals Protein Snacks. We busted out the protein chips and started sampling. Not bad. I also saw that two more of my peeps had arrived - Hedy and Heather.Here's Hedy and me outside the conference.
Sharon had just arrived when they started the official introductions. The nice coordinator lady, Joanna, introduced our speakers: a well known plastic surgeon (who showed us some saggy nakey pics of the now nipped and tucked formerly obese), the "motivational speakers," the people I came to see (i.e., Beth & Michelle), and a bariatric surgeon who did "all the surgeries: RNY, Lap Band, and Revisions." Sharon & I exchanged a glance, and I just knew
we'd be having a nice little "chat" with that particular surgeon later... We sneaked out a little early, because I couldn't take any more nakey pictures with boxy boobies, under the pretense of getting more coffee and had a nice girly hug and chat. You know, sometimes, when you meet someone and you just *click*? Well, that was Sharon. To quote my friend Shari, "Sharon's cool as ballz."
We made it back to the conference hall just before Beth & Michelle started their cooking demonstration. When we were walking through the room to get to our table, I noticed how small Sharon and I were compared to the rest of the attendees. At that point, Sharon turned around and said "Is it wrong of me to feel good..." and I knew she'd totally had the same thought. Nothing like shared schadenfreude. Beth gave a shout out to the DSers in the room - we hooted and hollered like baboons, except for Tom. Tom was an oasis of sanity (and testosterone) in our crazed midst. Tom also brought snacks. If anyone hinted at hunger, Tom hit them with his nuts - chili-lime Cashews or Trail mix from Trader Joe's. Nobody goes hungry when Tom's around, dammit. After the cooking demo, though, even Tom's nuts weren't hitting the spot. Spurred on by hunger, Sharon, Hedy, and I sallied forth to scout out something edible. It was then that we saw the Bariatric Surgeon from earlier.
Did I say we were like baboons earlier? Because at that point, with a glance and a raised eyebrow, we shifted species and changed from baboons to predatory lionesses as we went to beard this lion(ess) in her den. The poor woman never stood a chance, as she was stuck between two tables, and Sharon, Hedy, and I formed an impenetrable wall of DS might in front of her. I believe I may have fired the opening salvo by asking if she'd ever consider doing the DS. To her credit, she did not diss the surgery one bit, and merely stated that it was the next level up in technical difficulty from the RNY, and that she wasn't ready to start it yet. She seemed startled when I revealed to her that we three were all DSers, blurting out "and you're three of the thinnest people here!" Hello, personal triumph number 2.
After winding up our
wiped the blood from our mouths
split up to
accomplish some things: like visit the potty. There was, of course, the inevitable line. Having consumed about 3 large cups of coffee at this point, trying to scout out another potty was out. of. the. question. Sharon, meanwhile, having been fed up, or rather not
fed up, ran across the street to Wawa and scored us some tubs of pepperoni & cheese. LOVE HER!!
The first of the motivational speakers came on, with a powerpoint that would do any seventh grader proud. Sharon, Hedy, and I made it through about 5 minutes of that lady before we had to bail. Back out we went and decided to check out the plastic surgeons giving consults. Hedy signed up for an appointment, and Sharon, Heather, and I decided to crash it. By this time, Beth & Michelle were out in the hall giving out samples. Beth had brought some awesome chewable vitamin samples from Celebrate
. I'll vouch for them: they were delish! The cocoa flavored calcium? Nom nom nom. And also? Samples of the new sweetener Truvia, being offered by Coca Cola. Not bad at all.'Cuz DSers loooove salad - NOT!
We hovered a bit around the banquet tables while they were putting out the food - very healthy fare: deli meats and cheeses, a selection of breads, grilled chicken breast, grilled vegetables, and salad. There was fruit and a teensy pudding parfait for dinner. I'd heard it was sugar-free, so I passed on it. Tom, however, got one. I think the expression on his face says it all.
The general concensus on that pudding parfait was not only
did it taste like ass, but most of us had had ass that tasted better, and it had a nasty aftertaste, which we dubbed the "asstertaste."
The plastic surgery consult was next, and it was hilarious. While we were waiting, we showed each other, as well as several perfect strangers, our scars. I bared my scarred-up, stretch-mark-blasted midsection for the camera even. Yeah, say it with me "sex-ay!"Baring my gut to perfect strangers! Shameless hussy!
The surgeon was so nice and patient with all of our questions, that I gave him all of my information, and will even call my insurance company to see what, if anything, they'll cover.
At that point, we gave up on the conference and hit the bar for the most perfect martinis ever. Sharon (Cosmo), Hedy (Chocolate Martini), and me (Naples Martini)
I had a Naples Martini, which was Stoli Razz, Limoncello, lime juice, and simple syrup all shaken up and served in a chilled glass. I believe there were two of them during that afternoon... *hic*
Shari and Ray found us there, as did Beth a little later. Sharon, Shari, Beth, me
We all headed back to catch the end of the conference, when they were giving away the door prizes. Sharon and I got no joy, but Shari ended up with a toaster, that I traded away for a jar of chocolate PB2
. Sharon and Shari took off for home, but since I had nobody at home to worry about, I hung around and chatted with a couple of Delaware people that were waiting in the lobby.
It was then that I experienced Personal Triumph Number 3: while chatting with Hambear, a lovely lower Delawarean, another older lady approached me and said "Do you mind if I ask you, I've been wanting to ask you since I saw you this morning, did you have weight loss surgery?" Well, damn if that didn't about blow my mind. Then, once she'd received my affirmative, she asked if I'd had plastics. She just shook her head in disbelief when I told her no. I took that opportunity to "Pay It Forward," and told her all about the DS.
At that point, I pretty much attached myself to Beth and became her personal stalker for the evening, trailing her to the bar (where I said "buongiorno" to Naples Martini Number 3), her hotel room (total stalker!) and then to dinner. I called it a night at about 9:30 and headed down the Blue Route to home.
Overall, I'm sad that there weren't more vendors - they had a captivated and eager audience they really missed out on capitalizing upon - but thrilled beyond belief with the opportunity I had to meet and connect with others who've lived this same experience.
Here's to kicking Obesity's Great Big Ass. To your health!
Labels: peevish, Weight loss surgery