Advocacy

On January 27, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Follow the Leader. Please.

Advocacy (noun) – act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending
Definition thanks to Dictionary.com

I’ve been in this community a long time, and I’ve learned a few things.  Well, I’ve learned quite a bit — most of which I’d have to start charging a fee for the blog to post.  But one of the non-R-rated items would be the different attitudes that are pervasive in the WLS community.

So many people enter this community and feel we should all see things the same way just because our guts have been similarly rearranged.  We all had this stigma attached to us at one time and thus we should all be exactly the same when we are skinny, moderately slim, not-quite-as-fat-as-we-were-bef0re, or simply back to where we were but have been through the process.

This isn’t the case.  We are all different, and we all see things in a different way.  This is okay.

Some of us want positivity 100% of the time.  They want nothing but happiness and glitter and rainbows and sunshine all of the time.  Please do not talk about deficiencies or possible complications.. but if you really must, do so in a way that is wrapped up in pink puffy clouds and using words that are light-hearted and fun-loving please?

Then there are some of us who are pretty damned plain-spoken.  We’re seen as different by the positive pixie crowd.  We’d like the truth, fairly unvarnished please, in all the gory details, thanks.  Yes, I realize that is a 1:100 chance, but did you realize that my guts are really fucked up now thanks to my own decision and so strange things happen to me, so please tell me the this-is-very-rare-but-it-could-happen things, please, thanks.

But most people are in the middle.  And that’s a good place to be.  We have to forge a path for ourselves.  No fault in this.

The fault comes when the fighting begins.  But that’s a different topic alltogether.

The same differences come when it comes to advocacy positions.

From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream.  That’s how we win the future.  We do big things.  -  President Barack Obama

The Bariatric Bad Girls Club felt there was a huge hole in patient advocacy.  The other advocacy groups, such as the WLSFA and OAC are available, but they don’t focus on patient advocacy – especially early post-op advocacy.

Coming soon will be packets that will be available to new post-ops and pre-ops which will have information about their surgery, nutritional guidelines, vitamin comparison sheets, common issues post surgery, etc.  It is not an easy task to undertake, but it is a needed one.  Together, we will do the big things.

Advocacy takes time, it takes manpower, it takes passion, and it takes money.  If you have any of these things in abundance, please let me know as this is an area of our community we feel needs the most help and are getting left by the wayside the most.

We are all different.  We need to learn to CELEBRATE these differences and EMBRACE them rather than point fingers at how one group does things differently than another.  We are in this battle together, and only together will we win it.

BBGC Mission:

The Bariatric Bad Girls Club is a social network where members find support and tools for advocacy. Real women (and a few brave men) share the good, the bad, and the ugly of everyday life after weight loss surgery, including matters from which others shy away. The BBGC emphasizes education and self-advocacy for bariatric patients. Its members fervently believe in correcting the misinformation surrounding life after weight loss surgery, but they just as adamantly believe in maintaining a humor-filled atmosphere and not taking themselves too seriously. The BBGC was created for the misfits of one-size-fits-all bariatric mentalities. Now, it is a forum for honest information and the occasional cupcake. There must always be cupcakes.

If you’ve not become a member of the OAC, please do so.  This is one way for our voices to be heard and for everyone to become an advocate.

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8 Responses to “Advocacy”

  1. Amanda says:

    Thank you! It’s people in this community who advocate and look out for one another that have been a vital asset to me in my WLS journey!

  2. JaimeK says:

    Fresh, positive, real, breathable words….I love to read what you write. Thanks.

  3. Lynn B says:

    Bravo

  4. ~Sarah~ says:

    Andrea, I have time! And, considerable photoshop and website skills! :D Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!! :D

    Huggles!!
    ~Sarah~

  5. Sherry says:

    You have a wonderful way with words, and I agree with everything you said. I would love to see everyone just get along and remember we are all different ( no two alike) but we are all steal dealing with; what comes after WLS. I may not know what a person is really about, just by knowing them on FB. I just try to Love everyone, Hell, I’m getting too damn old for Drama, cuz with that usually comes heartbreak, and I’ve already had enough of that.

  6. Sherry says:

    Oops! I do know how to spell still…

  7. Toni Lee says:

    Well spoken! Wish everyone would read what you have to say. Agree, don’t agree but we are all in this together… or we should be. We don’t need to agree but we should be supportive.
    I am grateful to read about other’s and their journey – both good AND bad. One of my biggest regrets prior to my surgery? I didn’t wade past all the pink puffy clouds and find out more about the different types of surgeries and possible complications.
    Now 6.5 months later I am just beginning to feel like a person again. I had so many various complications that I feel like I’ve just basically pissed the last half year of my life away.
    It’s hit and miss when you try to find information about possible complications. I can’t go back and change my surgery or turn back time and not do it. What I can do though is knock those damn pink puffy clouds out of my way and continue to read and learn about the small possibility of something going wrong and perhaps learn ways to keep that from happening. Knowledge is power. The more I learn, the more I can do to help avoid more complications.
    For helping me to keep my body out of more trouble, I thank you and a few others like you who believe in the truth.

  8. Audra says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have found I don’t look good in pink puffy clouds, so I’m with you. Tell people the good and the bad and let them decide for themselves.

    I’ve avoided OAC because I’ve been on some other websites where the post-ops are extremely judgmental of anyone who is different, who has problems, or who does eat an occasional piece of bread (sacrilege!). In particular one site who will not be named (but I believe you’ve called them out before). And I have to say that it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    But the opportunity to be an advocate for others, that puts me all in. If you ever need a writer, feel free to contact me. And thank you for your website (it made me open my eyes to the importance of labwork!)

    Audra (aka the Bariatric Babe at scribblinginthemargin.blogspot.com)

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