Wednesday, April 11, 2012
April 2012 I have lost 32 pounds again and am down to 336.
I have 78 more pounds to lose to get back to where I was 258 pounds at my lowest with Spark People.
I got some hard news from the doctor as to why I am Morbidly Obese in the first place. I have four conditions working against me: Sleep Apnea, Hypothyroid, PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) an autoimmune disorder that attacks my body and causes inflammation and chronic pain. The last one has been particularly difficult over the last two years. It causes chronic pain and fatigue. Finally having a diagnosis for why I am so exhausted gives me great comfort and while that means I am unable to exercise as much I can still do light exercise when I donít have flare ups. I can also live a healthy lifestyle geared toward eating anti inflammatory foods that are good for my health and my disorder.
I am very grateful for my new doctor who took the time to actually listen to my symptoms and who gave me 22 different tests in an effort to actually find out what was wrong and got to a true diagnosis. The other doctors and Nurse Practitioners did not care about my chronic pain and treated me like a whiner and a hypochondriac.
I have a long way to go just to cover my lost ground, and then to get to a "healthy" weight. My diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder has uncovered why I am so fatigued and has illuminated the challenges ahead but I am strong.
It will take much longer than I thought. I may need to consider bariatric surgery or other options to get this done faster since I have additional challenges but the point is I know what is wrong know so I can fight the war with all of my resources.
Knowing what is wrong makes me feel MUCH better. Just knowing I can take the elevator without feeling like a chump is great. "I have a chronic degenerative pain disease and I will be taking the elevator as needed thank you very much."
You know at first I was massively down because I just wanted to get better and get cured but there is no cure for this. But now I am just relieved that I am not crazy and that there is a treatment and that I might get "some" relief. I can think quietly to myself: I look normal, as I have an "Invisible Illness". You can not catch it, you can not see it. It's called MCTD. My body is attacking itself on the inside. I am in pain. Lots of pain. This pain is real. It can be measured. Doctors now know what I have is real. It can be treated. I know I am doing everything I can to be better. I know I am eating right, and sleeping with a hose strapped to my face, and wearing funny looking arthritis compression gloves. I live a real life of daily pain. I have been for many years. I am strong.
I'll fight Friends. I'll fight and I'll fight and I'll fight. There was never a question about that. It was the doctors. They didn't believe me. They treated me like I was a hypochondriac. They gave me sub par care and they just wanted me to get the frack out of their offices. The new doc ordered 22 tests and took so much blood I seriously questioned if I would be able to drive home. Really. He is a fighter too. I'm in good hands now.
Finally. And since July I have lost 32 pounds so I am doing alright - if rather slowly.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Oh I am so messed up.
I was feeling just terrible for the last two years and I finally declared war on feeling awful and started with my Migraines. This month I double my migraine medicine and it is helping.
I have very large and painful cysts on my ovaries that cause terrible abdominal pain and I am working through that. There isn't much I can do about them but I changed my doctor/gyno and the new one diagnosed a gall bladder problem in about 10 minutes. WOW. Nice.
The gall bladder has had terrible nausea, acid re-flux, heartburn, and severe to moderate abdominal pain. I am looking forward to fixing that. So far we have done some sonograms. I have some great over the counter stuff for the heart burn and nausea.
I got my thyroid test done. My doctor thought it was normal but I politely but sternly disagreed and requested another more thorough blood panel or I was going to a different doctor. The second panel proved what I thought that I did have hypothyroidism and I getting that treated finally. He is a nice man and to be honest the first test did show I was normal on the old system but on the new system for thyroids I am "high."
I asked for and got a sleep study. I found out that my exhaustion is caused by sleep apnea. My sleep apnea is caused by my facial structure. I have a small jaw and overbite and huge tonsils and adenoids. This combined with my hypothyroidism that causes swelling in my throat can cause me to stop breathing at night. While losing weight may help a little my sleep specialist assured me that it is more likely that the apnea and exhaustion caused my obesity, not the other way around. I found out I stop breathing on average 20 times an hour. Wow. I knew I was an insomniac now I know that even when I am sleeping I am not getting any quality sleep. We are going to try out a CPAP. I am excited to try one and hopefully finally get a good nights sleep.
I declared war on being ill and I found out that after spending every weekend in a doctor's office for the last two months that sometimes you can't win every battle. I can't make my cysts stop. There is nothing I can do about them other than change to a much more expensive birth control which may slow them down. The migraines can be managed but not stopped. I found out that I had a traitorous gall bladder and that the Benedict Arnold can be chucked out. To it I say good riddance! My sneaky thyroid finally got caught acting up. I suspect it has been naughty all along. I will, with my doctor's help bring the dear thing in line. But most importantly I found out that the longest battle, my war I thought I had won with sleep, is not over.
I know I will feel better but right now I feel really burdened. I am tired and sad and just want the pain to stop. *sigh* But I am fighting, and I know that it will make me strong.
Monday, November 07, 2011
This is my new favorite song Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over with lyrics www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny4deVFsYuo you can listen to it too. Be ready to turn it up and dance.
(Not motivational just a photo of me. People like photos. I am trying not to grind my teeth.)
When I fight, I fight to win. But sometimes I shock myself with how long it can take before I have had enough, before I say "I'm done."
When I do, Heaven hath no fury like unto me. None may stand between me and my goal- except myself of course.
People said I couldn't go to college, I went with no help from my family I worked my way through. They said I couldn't lose weight, I lost 70 pounds. People said I couldn't work two jobs. I worked two jobs full time for a year. I do things that people think are impossible because I am a fighter. But I also put up with things I shouldn't. Like no sleep for 20 years. I had insomnia where I slept 3-5 hours a day for 20 years. I just thought that was how it was.
I expect this will be a rather long post so to try to avoid that I will bullet point it where I can.
I've been rather unwell for a very long time. Some of this I am sure is connected to my morbid obesity.
But I do not think my MO is causing me to be ill. I have good blood sugar and my blood pressure is great so while I know being fat isn't good for me it seems it is a symptom of another disease not the cause of my current illness. I am tired, lethargic, suffer from insomnia and headaches and migraines and I find it all very frustrating but in spite of that I lost 70 pounds about 2.5 years ago. I failed to keep it off because even though I was sick, and tired and miserable I worked two jobs for a year. So I am not saying I am incapable or anything I am saying just the opposite... but it is getting worse.
I'm working only one job and I am sick so often I can't seem to lose a pound and I am so lethargic I can't seem to get motivated at all. I have only lost 8 pounds since July. It's November. 4 months, yesh! Now I can say, YES I know I haven't really been trying because I have been really ill. I spent August coughing and wheezing and bleeding for the whole month. September I finally shook the cold that wouldn't end. October I had another cold and MANY migraines. Now I normally have a lot of migraines but I started on a new team by having six days in a row of migraine day after migraine day. Then after that I had two headache days. If you don't know the difference you don't get migraines. And I worked through all of it. I worked for three reasons, 1.) I am on a new team I can't just not show up for my new Team Leader/supervisor she needs me to be there. 2.) Paid Time Off and occurrences, I only had 15 hours of PTO and you have to schedule time off to avoid occurrences which can lead to termination if you have 6. I had 3 of which came from October from a cold and two migraines simply could not work through, and 3.) No vacation time to schedule off was available due to some serious national negotiations that effected the whole corporation. The team needed me to be there even more. As a matter of fact I was utterly miserable and managed not only to show up for work but worked on average an extra 2.5 hours overtime every day. That is what I do. That is what I have done for years. I take my damn pills and go to work.
But I am so exhausted. I and am tired of being sick and sick of being tired. I know that now more than ever I need to wake up and eat a good breakfast and take a walk and a shower and put on some make up and go to work smelling nice and looking good because when you don't feel good you NEED to put in extra effort. And after work I NEED to work out to get endorphins and help my body but I am in so much pain so often that on the days where it isn't at a 5 I go home and rest to recover and when I _am_ in pain I just go lay in bed and moan.
I have a great job. I have a wonderful boyfriend. I have awesome friends. I feel like a lame jerk because I can't really do anything with any of them. Right now I am fighting with myself to finish this blog post and NOT just go to bed.
I know I am strong. I know I am because I have lived with this pain and insomnia for a very long time and I lived my life, saw my friends, and I was pretty ok. I have tried to accept the pain for what it is... merely pain. Before I blamed the insomnia. I thought it was causing it... but I have the insomnia practically under control now and I still ache. And it's worse. And I am afraid to go to sleep because when I wake up I can be in more pain then when I closed my eyes.
I feel so silly writing about this. I just want to be strong. I just want to go back to losing by eating the right things at the right times and with moderate and fun exercise but right now there is a pain in my brain that feels like a thick 4 inch long 20 gage carpet needle in my head. Then it passes to just a dull ache.
And so once again I am at war. I declared war on my Weight and I won... But like any cocky moron who walks into a war zone with no after plan I left the place a wreak and as soon as I bugged the troops out the place fell apart. No surprise there. So I am going to try again but this time I am facing the Migraines. I defeated Insomnia, hopefully forever and now I must face my Headaches and Migraines with more than a bottle of ibuprofen and some acetaminophen. Like many other times the public (you) are being lately informed of the "aggression tactics."
I am going to the doctor already. I went a few weeks ago. And before you ask I am living a mostly healthy lifestyle. I don't drink coffee, rarely tea. I don't drink pop. I don't do drugs other than those prescribed. I do not drink alcohol. I do not smoke. I do not associate with smokers. I do not wear perfume daily. I use unscented hypoallergenic soaps and laundry soap. I avoid foods known to cause Migraines and I certainly avoid the ones I know cause my Migraines. I drink lots of water and take daily vitamins. I eat fruits and veggies. I am doing as much as I can except exercise and some eating right because some eating right demands things like cooking which takes more energy then I have right now. But I am certainly not going out of my way to put bad things into me.
I am even getting a new doctor. And going to a neurologist since there is no logical reason for the migraines. I am taking daily preventive medication that doesn't seem to help _yet_ and I got an abortive that doesn't seem to stop the migraines either though I am going to give it a few more tries before I give up. I am stretching, and working on ergonomics.
I got off the birth control pill and chose a couple of other forms of birth control to try to stop the pain.
I got an accommodation to wear sun glasses at work and am trying to find the Migraine filter glasses.
So far the war has been...
Well lets just say I broke down crying at dinner today because I was getting a Headache. Because I want to be healthy. I want to be thin. (Not the same as healthy AT all.)
I will win. I will face the illness. I will defeat it. Then I will face my morbid obesity. I won't just lose some weight. I will go all the way to my last goal and I will maintain it. But while I am fighting Migraines and Headaches I will continue to slowly lose Weight and focus on my health because some effort is better than no effort.
Goals for this month:
Go to the new doctor Nov 9
Go to the ophthalmologist Nov 16
Go to the dentist Nov 22
Go to a chiropractor Nov 29
Go to the neurologist
I said WAR.
I am strong.
Monday, October 31, 2011
So I am sick, a lot. And I get these headaches, a lot. And about two years ago I started having these nifty and also scary as heck visual hallucinations so yeah... I have been living in pain for a long time and because I was a chronic insomniac these things were to be expected. I have mostly licked my insomnia through constant hard work. (See my insomnia journal.) And now I finally realized that I am having a very difficult time losing weight because of constant migraines. I was ill with them before but they have gotten worse.
It is hard to talk yourself into working out when you are in pain, nauseated and exhausted.
I didn't want to get on prescription medication before because 1.) it is expensive, 2.) they have lots of side effects 3.) you can overdose. I don't like the idea of getting on something with no end date. Birth control was as far as I was willing to go into that area. Now I am desperate. Work is in the busy season and overtime is mandatory and I am getting stressed out. My migraines feel worse than ever. So I broke down and got medicated. Expensive medicated.
I talked to my doctor and he prescribed a daily preventative treatment that will take one to two months to kick in and a "when you have the migraine" treatment. The when you have it is 10$ a pill, and if I actually took it for every migraine I would be in 30$ so far and I have had the prescription for 1 week. The non generic daily is 400$ a month. Yeah, it is expensive so it MUST be good. So far the side effects for the daily med are mild facial numbness, mild confusion, tingling in the arms/hands/feet, mild upset stomach and dizziness, and pop tastes funny. I am on a low dose and I just started. So yeah. I am trying to be happy. Depression is one of the known side effects, but I think that is just the chronic migraines that most patients have. It is pretty miserable to be in pain all the time. I want to be optimistic. If I can end the constant cycle of migraines I will have more energy and be able to live a much better quality of life. That will be awesome.
Apparently my Great great grandmother killed herself due to migraine pain. I don't blame her. Blessed be modern medicine.
On a completely different note, 360 and holding. So that is something.
Happy Samhain to all you Neo Polytheists out there! I will be working an 11 hour shift today, so no celebrating for me... maybe later.
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