Hi, this is David, Jerry’s husband. She has asked me to put this post together to talk about how her weight loss journey has impacted the people in her life. Well, I have definitely been impacted, so I think I can offer up some observations.
There have been two major effects that immediately come to mind. First, physically, Jerry has SO MUCH MORE energy than she did before! In the past year and a half since her surgery, it’s almost like I have a brand new wife, and a brand new life with her. Before, most weekends were spent with Jerry resting, recovering from the efforts of her work week. More often than not, if we had plans on the weekend, we wound up either canceling, or I would just go alone. I hated it, but I also knew that the only way she would be able to get through the upcoming week was if she had the downtime she needed over the weekend. I know she hated it just as much as I did, but she really didn’t have much of a choice.
Now, she attacks her weekends with a vengeance! The need to “be productive” is deeply ingrained in Jerry, from her German mother, and so these days, things get done. Often times now, *I* am the one that needs a rest. Our children and I both laugh now about how much effort it requires to keep up with mom. After spending so many years on the couch, Jerry is making up for lost time, and I am loving the change.
I will admit, it can be exhausting sometimes, and it did take some time to adjust. When she was heavier, and dealing with the extremes of her Lupus, I gladly assumed a lot of the housework – laundry, dishes, shopping, etc. After her surgery, she started to taking on more and more of the household chores. I felt guilty the first few times she took on the laundry – I was so used to trying to maximize her ability to rest, it was hard to watch her dive in. But, over the months, we have gradually figured out a really good balance between the two of us. She does the dishes, and I put them away. She cooks, and I shop. Neither one of us feels like we are doing too much, and neither one of us worries about the other one doing too much. We really are in a good place, and both so much happier now. 🙂
The second major impact Jerry’s surgery had was more of an emotional one. When she was at her heaviest, and dealing with the worst of her Lupus symptoms, the phrase that often echoed in my head was “10 to 15 years”. That is the estimated life expectancy of someone with severe Lupus. And I couldn’t imaging only having 10 to 15 years more with the person that has made me happier than I had ever been. And so I deliberately focused on savoring and enjoying every moment I had with her. Knowing that, in all likelihood, her disease would steal her from me far too soon, made every moment I spent with her all the more important.
But now, with the loss of so much weight, Jerry’s symptoms are far less intense. She is still affected, and always will be, but not nearly to the level she was before. And now that she has the energy to exercise, and improve her health even more, I am hopeful for a much longer life with her. Make no mistake, I will never have enough time with her, but now I at least look forward to more. And I still savor every moment.
I hope I have provided at least a couple of ways that Jerry’s weight loss has impacted me, and us. In summary, I can say, it was one of the best decisions she could have made, and I will be forever grateful that she did.