Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I just came home from another blood draw. Every two weeks a full blood panel has to be done to see if the medications I'm taking are causing any collateral harm. Ain't that a kick in the head.
So many changes. And.. Still BODY FOCUSED. But in different ways. And it strikes me as a cosmic joke. It strikes me as ironic. It is not poetic. And it is not justice. But IT IS.
Alice in Wonderland... has long been one of my images.
You know... the cake... the potion... BIGGERsmaller... smaller...Bigger.....
In recent years, that image was replaced by the more easy glib remark/reference to Oprah stated to people I don't know so as to communicate quickly, a kind of shorthand: "I've gained and lost 100s of pounds multiple times.... youknow, just like Oprah" .
But short hand isn't what I'm after today.
Today it's close up and personal.
The irony, i mean.
See... There's something so ironic to me about getting to a littler body (165 down from 230/45).. . and replacing the baggage of overweight with the carryingcases of infirmity and medical treatment.
Some fat people - me included - eat to GET OUT OF OUR BODY. It's like being divorced. Compartmentalized. Cut off. Bubblewrapped. Buffered. It dampens the signals between self and world... cushions the noise, the blows, the volume, the resonance... filters down the antenna.
Busted out from sedentary life -- SPARKED FOR 1.5 YEARS !! with "healthy WHOLE FOODS" and Exercise that is LIFE ACTIVITY and not a rubric agenda for weight loss... Enjoying the gradual and gradated peeling of the onion... the losing off padding and BEING MORE ALIVE IN MY BODY.... Less lumpy... and more vital.
And NOW... In the midst of CeLEBRATING all this accomplished....
P O O F !
*Moderate U.C. and Oral meds 2010
*Moderate/Severe U.C. -- steroid hell, and then advanced immunosuppressants with warnings
*HEMMORHOIDS (horrid appendages and unknown future)
THIS -- I am SURRENDERing to it (cuz there's no other choice, and the stakes are high)
Yet - Emotionally -- Emotionally --
LETTING GO OF ANOTHER LAYER OF FOOD PLEASURES....
LETTING GO OF Cinderella stuff
My U.C. demands a restricted diet. Now, I'm still figuring out what that means for me.
But ... Processed foods, sweet foods, and thoughtless foods.... NO LONGER ON THE TABLE.
Desire and Food.
As if it wasn't weird enough already ?
The health stakes make 'bargaining' a lot less.
But there is emotional loss. Need. Sorrow.
I need more hugs. I need more body contact from Joe.
And, so lucky am I, he is hearing that and offering it.
So lucky am I... I spent most of my adult life - single. 1/3 with cat. 2/3 solo, not even plants.
Now I'm living with my sweet Joe D'Angelo. He is a gardner. We have living plants and flowers all the time. We cook together. He is nurturing and flexible (in ways that I'm not); and vice versa.
One foot in front of the other.
I WORKED OUT WITH TIM YESTERDAY!!! And I was ready to push the envelope.
Yes.. my blood glucose is still f'd from Prednisone, and my heart rate goes up too high too fast. But I still recover well. And my BP when measured by docs is still normal.
I am still strong.
And there is LIFE to BE LIVED in acceptance of the given circumstances.
The wrinkles, the extra skin, the sagging boobs, the crepe crinkled thighs.... THAT I expected. THAT I was emotionally prepared for. But I had HUBRIS, my friends. I come from great stock and little family history of illness. 50 years of obesity and chronic yoyo dieting... with LITTLE IF ANY heart or other problems.... led me to believe that I was in-the-clear... that my health would always be with me.... at least until much later in life. And... uh... well...
Yep. Shi-F-t happens
THE ALCHEMY OF FOOD PLEASURES... for U.C. ?? I'll find some.
Accept exactly what is now; do not ask it to be different.
Breathe. Smile. Choose.
That's all for now.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Round the corner, round the corner.....
What a ride. What a season. Where did it go? the fall, the holidaze. Funny, what a gust/flash/seachange will do for one's sense of Time.
I grieved so much the past few weeks and months. Grieved that I am sick at all. Grieved that I didn't feel trust in my physicians. And then I took out my metaphorical machete and set out to get my needs met.
I've felt like a combination of needy small child and Ganesha the remover of obstacles. A combination of Chicken-Little (yes, "the sky is falling" one) and.... I don't know what.
I've always been this way. An Expect-the-worst kind of person. As a kid, taking tests at school, I always went in thinking to myself and projecting the what-if "I may totally blow this". That's been my style.... anticipating with big fear and then steeling myself with big metal. Although, I think maybe I've spent waaay too much time in the big fear ... without the metal.
Swordsman. Machetes. Steel and Stone... and Fire.
I've been reading a bit about Tibetan Medicine this week. Reminded of the FIVE ELEMENTS:
And the three sources of illness: Wind, Bile, Phlegm.
It's interesting stuff. And it connects totally to some of the sensations and connections I've made while getting bodywork done... especially Thai Massage... yoga... the meridians of the body.
My lower legs, especially inner ankles get Blocked. Blocked in energy, and in water, in Chi, in flow. "Undistributed matter". Whether it's thoughts or feelings or energy... blocked up stuff causes trouble. WE KNOW THIS. (We overeaters... really know this).
I hope to gather many illuminations from this chapter of my life -- this COMING TO TERMS WITH CHRONIC COLON ILLNESS 2011/2012 period of my life. (For the record, I am told to count the beginning/onset of my condition with 2007's first presentation of proctitis. I wish I'd been more proactive back then with creative curiosity -- but I was typically just wanting it to go-away...)and
DESIRE - AND THE GUT
One of the many life lines in my palm and in my narrative has been a sense that I don't know my own wishes, I don't connect enough with my DESIRE. Volition is another word for it. Ambition is another. Appetite...(geneen roth)... could be another. Marion Woodman has some stuff to say about this as well. I've also been a HUGE PROCRASTINATOR. And soooo INDECISIVE - PRONE TO FENCES.
One thing an inflamed gut does... is talk loudly.
Live wire. Antenna.
One thing that being so sick does.... it disappears time to hem and haw on certain things. Some stuff just has to get done.
There have been and will continue to be lessons for me in all of this.
I am open to and desirious of integrating them all.
There have been gifts in all of this, too. There alway are. If you look for them. If you allow it to be so.
JOE, my dear kind, tender hearted lovely dp/"husband" Joe....
I have seen more of his heart and soul than I have looked at in a long time.
This time has brought us closer together in many ways. And I am a lucky grateful lady.
Weight Loss from Illness -- 182-161# (Sept-Jan) Whoosh
My trainer, Tim, asked me two weeks ago -- when I so fearfully told him how weird it was to lose 20 lbs from being sick and that IT doesn't feel good. He asked me... if I could allow it in any way to be a gift. I wasn't sure then. I may be able to do that now. I can tell you... that IT IS WEIRD WEIRD WEIRD in many ways. The more tactile bones in certain places. The just-bought jeans that are already to big. The resonance of the world, the too loudness of my pulse and my heartbeat (or maybe that will die down from the healing of my gut! i hope so!).
Being buffered and padded by layers of bigger body MUST have had some allure, some benefit. And seeing the ALLURE AND BENEFIT of this NEW PHENOM... well.... I'm inviting it in. I can't say I 'get it' quite yet. I feel timid. Maybe because of the speed.
But I'm still "fat"! ahahahhah 5'3 and 161lbs. On the charts (bmi and other) I stand to lose another 15-40, depending on which target you're aiming at. I DON"T KNOW WHICH TARGET I'M AIMING AT. I REALLY DON"T. That's all I'll say about that now.
For now.... Holding my Weight here for a bit sounds good to me. Other things are more important right now.
THESE ARE MY GOALS FOR JAN/FEB/MAR:
Get the colitis into remission.
Get rid of this Anemia!!!
Get off Prednisone!!!
Work with nutritionist to determine what I can and cannot eat (vis a vis the UC).
Work out with gentle yoga 1x a week with Tim... and work up
Get strong enough to exercise again!!
New computer and software upgrades -- get the home office together
That's enough, I think. Oh. No. Add this:
STAY CONNECTED. SPREAD THE LOVE. SPREAD THE SPARK. OCCUPY.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Omg. There's no where to start. But I do want to say something here about the long strange trip this has been this Fall.
Ulcerative Colitis - diagnosis, treatment, mental adjustment, and HUGE CHANGES
I met with a nutritionist this week who I will meet with every two weeks for the coming who-knows-how-long. I am just SO fortunate that this SAME woman that I worked with many years ago for over-eating/eating normalization counseling (loved her, learned so much, haven't seen her in so many years), this same person has a thriving consulting practice with the GI Clinic at a local hospital, which means she has expertise with my NEW CONDITIONS! (godsend)
Trusting and feeling known right away is the biggest gift to me of this week.
There IS ongoingly and daily SO MUCH CONFUSION with what is happening in my body, with what is being recommended to me to do about it.
You know, the paradigms of the world don't find consensus on anything. So.... Deciding where to put one's faith (in a person, in science, in metaphysical other principals....etc etc) is always at issue. NEVER BEFORE HAVE THE STAKES BEEN SO HIGH FOR ME. AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS A SEACHANGE in my experience.
I lost 15-17lbs at my sickest which included bad side-effects from medications.
Now the current medication I'm on messes with blood glucose -- distorting my sense of hunger and fullness, and often depriving of any sensory uplift from the foods I do eat. (Great, right?! Ugh).
The next medications being recommended come with mesmerizingly haunting warnings. And if that wasn't weird enough, absolutely no promises for success. It's more a "Its' worth a shot" kind of prescription, with high stakes consequences. MENTAL and emotional strain for this one.
It's taken me a long time to realiize that part of my anxiety and confusion was truly coming from an inappropriate LACK OF COMMUNICATION between my and my specialists. I lost my GP just weeks before all this started, as she left her practice to care for a sick child at home. It's taken me weeks to locate a new person from that office who can and will (she says) call these overworked specialists, cull the objective data and subjective recommendations for me... and then ON 12/30/11 I GET TO MEET WITH A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL WHO WILL TAKE THE TIME TO TRULY EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT MY CHOICES ARE AND WHY, WHO WILL LISTEN OPENLY TO MY QUESTIONS AND FEARS. . . . . At least that's the hope/promise.
A family friend who is a retired physician said I shouldn't be in treatments I haven't fully understood and agreed to. And that strengthened my resolve to slow down this train and make sure I'm doing what's right for me.
I have taken out my credit card and am spending on this now. I am creatively seeking as much knowledge as I can - meeting with various kinds of health people (chiropractic, nutrition, massage, strength training 1x week to keep body awake and tuned). I'm doing so much at home. I am SO PROUD OF MYSELF ACTUALLY. I am using my good and wonderful noggin now to study voraciously and learn all I can. (It's a good channel for my focus during otherwise distorted days due to not-being-myself-physically... and for the the insomnia caused by the drugs I'm on, too)
My insides are not working properly!!! It's haunting. The drugs have stopped it from being daily pain and suffering. But the evidence of MALFUNCTION is very present all day every day.
Interestingly, I have some skill with malfunction. Being the fat girl for so long ingrained in me some adaptability to not being "regular". Now I get to channel that as a psychic advantage in accepting these conditions and getting creative with them.
SPARK taught me to get more creative with so many things. And I'm USING SPARK'S TOOLS NOW FOR THIS! I have to adapt my goals and formats on Trackers and in my heart and mind.
It's still taking shape, y'all.
I'm down to 167 lbs.
(it's been a roller coaster 183-163 and now a four lb gain in one week)
Losing Weight is NOT my priority now.
Maintaining this weight and GETTING MY COLON and immune system WORKING AGAIN IF POSSIBLE - THAT's MY CURRENT GOAL.
Rolling with it. What else is there to do.
Celebrated with Family tonite and yesterday.
My beautiful niece and sister. My mom. My half-sister and her beautiful daughters visiting from Milan.
*footnote Italian Pannetone and Parmesan and Romano carried to me direct from Milan. Amazing. Had to taste. And yet... not contraband, but not kosher on my new food program.
MORE ON THE NEW FOOD GUIDELINES COMING.
It's Unfathomable Almost to have so many reversals of what I can and can not eat!!!!!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Seriously. I do. From the idea to the shopping, feel, smell, slice, combine, menu, balance, cookery, table, presentation... ALL OF IT.
And... for large swaths of my life I ate compulsively, graze/binging my way up and down the scale over decades. Unconscious eating.
These two profiles I know --- e.g. the FOODIE and the "compulsive overeater"
This illness experience is bringing me a profile I've surely never felt seen or been before, and it is INTERESTING. Scarey at times. Instructive at times. Mystical at times. Interesting (to me anyway) ;-)
I AM DOING AS BEST I CAN TO PROVIDE GOOD TASTEY FOOD FOR BODY WHICH NEEDS THE CALORIES AND NUTRITION, AND FOR MY MOUTH AND TASTE BUDS AND EMOTIONAL PLEASURE TOO.
Because of my current condition, my DIET IS RESTRICTED DIET.
"Low Residue." Low fat. No fried. Little or no dairy. Avoid raw veg/fruits.... Absolutely no corn, nuts, seeds or legumes.... uh..... what does that leave? In a way... it's litlle kid food?
Clear Juices (pomegranite, cranberry, apple)
Cereals and grains (low fiber, lower gluten)
thin sliced turkey
will have poached fish (branzini) tomorrow
cooked restricted veggies
yams and potatoes
bananas (some okay)
Cutting small bites on my plate, carefully chewing.... with the overwhelming awareness of wanting the nutrients to be absorbed and that What Goes In Must Come Out is an edifyingly stark contrast to the ME I have ever and always been before.
Tonite for dinner I had:
Perfectly cooked Carrots (disks) !!!!! yum
Perfectly steamed Zucchini (disks) !!!! yum
A few bites of Joe's Whole Foods meatloaf muffin (yum)
I ate soup and sandwich for lunch and drank lots of juice during the afternoon
At breakfast at one of our favorite spots...(where I usually order tofu scramble, or eggs, or "eggless wonder"), I ordered the Oat Bran Pancakes with some sliced bananas... and barely mustered the appetite to eat one of the three.... Cutting into bite sizes....
Hey...I've never been a pancake person... But this was like being a different person.
I've reached the acceptance phase. The hospital staff and stay got me there.
Joe found a poetic moment to remind me today that there is Grace and Benefit somewhere, or even many places, in this experience. He looked me in the eyes (swollen with some tears at the time) and smiled that invitation and reminder.
Yes. Today I am my own hero.
When I'm in better shape there will be different nutrition suggestions.
I'll blog another time MAYBE to share about
HOW STRANGE IT IS TO FEEL SO WEAK, TO FEEL SO FRAGILE
But for now...
I'll just say good nite til tomorrow
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