Does the name: Arvind Mahankali mean anything to anyone? What about the word ‘knaidel‘? Well if anyone has been reading the news lately (and by the way Kim Kardashian apparently had COSMETIC SURGERY while PREGNANT) they will know that Arvind Mahankali is the 13-year-old from New York who won the Scripps national spelling bee for correctly spelling the word ‘knaidel’…a small ball of leavened dough.
Now…I’ve noticed an extremely interesting but very DISTURBING fact from working so closely with banded patients. What I’ve noticed is that although many lapband patients are incredibly talented in so many ways…they are terrible spellers. A STRANGE phenomenon you have to admit!! What is even more strange?? The one word that many seem to have particular difficulty with…“Success”. Yup, not a real difficult one if you ask me and I’m sure young Arvind could bang that one out in his sleep.
Just this morning a woman came in with a long face apologizing, because she wasn’t really a ‘success story’. So this woman has gone from 190 lbs to 137 lbs. Good numbers right? But even better…she is no longer classified as ‘diabetic’ and is no longer taking hypertensive meds. Does that spell ‘success’ to you? It does to me and I’m sure Arvind the spelling boy-wonder would agree. This womans’ complaint was that it has taken three years, and she can’t get down to her initial goal of 120 lbs. Forgive me and don’t judge me but… I WANTED TO SHAKE HER!!!!
The dictionary meaning of success is as follows: “The attainment of wealth, position, honours or the like”. Now I’m not a rebel by nature and certainly not one to routinely question authority (despite what my mom might say), but I’m not really impressed with that description of the word. It’s cold, impersonal, narrow and seems to apply mainly to the ‘Bay Street Boys’ or those who are busy climbing the corporate ladder.
“Success” to me as a nurse and in particular a ‘lapband nurse’ is soooo much more than the description above. I see success every single day in my job and it has absolutely nothing to do with ‘wealth, position, honours’. Maybe it has more to do with the ‘or the like’ part tacked onto the end of that definition.
Success is not measured by the scale alone!!! In fact the scale is really a very small piece of equipment in all of this and sometimes I would honestly like to throw it out the window. I know many people find it is a good way to stay on track, but more and more we (being health care specialists in the field bariatrics) are moving away from looking at the scale as ‘the’ measurement of success.
Here follows MY definition of “SUCCESS” (and pay attention there may be a quiz later):
Success is getting your blood pressure down to normal and not having a stroke or heart attack because of that. Success is getting off your diabetic meds and avoiding all the horrible complications that can go along with that disease. Success is avoiding that hip or knee replacement that the Dr. says is right around the corner. Success is going for a bike ride on a summer day and getting down in the grass and playing with your grandkids. Success is riding on the rollercoaster at Canada’s Wonderland. Success is not vomiting afterwards (ok so that has nothing to do with the band). Success is doing up your bra and crossing your legs, it’s fitting into theatre seats and riding on airplanes without the seatbelt extender. Success is our patient who climbed the CN tower…(and the thing that got her to the top of the tower? Her kids chearing her on? (no) Spirit of her dead grandma? (no) Hot fire-fighters on each floor? (bingo:)).
YOU lapband reader are success. Success is not just the number on the scale. It is all these ‘little’ things that you are achieving and changing in your life that are really not ‘little’ at all..the things that improve your quality of life everyday and mean so much more than being able to say “Hey I’m XXX lbs”. But YOU have to recognize this and accept this and celebrate these victories both big and small because these are the things that keep you going and make this journey so worthwhile.
This is getting a little long but I want to include below something that we have posted at our clinic and for which I take no credit (just in case the author is out there and thinking ‘wait a minute sister…’) which I think sums up this blog:
~The scale can ONLY give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity…
It cannot measure success, beauty, talent, purpose, health, strength, passion or determination ~
Yours in health, wellness and good spelling (Arvind made a cool 30 grand on that little gem)