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Monday, March 07, 2005

My Life! My Privacy!

I cannot think of any occasion when it is necessary to defend the very personal decision for weight loss surgery.

The only person to whom you answer is yourself. When you discuss your surgery with others, many will be understanding and compassionate. But there are others who will belittle you for the decision calling you weak. They will callously open the wounds you have suffered in a society where it is acceptable to denigrate a person for being overweight. If you are sensitive about your weight protect yourself at all times and avoid confrontations that will hurt. You can protect yourself by keeping your personal medical history private.

Not many people in my immediate world that knows I am a weight loss surgery patient. I made this choice of confidentiality because I am a fragile person. The slightest mention of my size for years brought tears to my eyes and trauma to my soul. For most of my life I believed I was bad person because I was fat. While I have resolved these personal issues with great struggle and effort, I will defend forever my right to privacy. When asked how I lost “all that weight” I answer honestly, “I’ve changed the way I eat, control my portion sizes, and I exercise.”

Some fellow patients don’t agree with my approach, they say it is dishonest. But I compare my answer to a pregnant woman being asked, “Is this your first baby?” If she previously had a miscarriage or abortion, must she be compelled to share that information with someone for the sake of honesty? No. That is her private medical history. Just like my weight loss surgery is my private medical history.

Perhaps the path of privacy isn’t for you and you can openly share your experience with all who will listen. If you can do this I applaud and admire your courage. If you are like me and wish to guard your privacy then I applaud you as well.

You own the decision to be as private or as public about your surgery as makes you comfortable.

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