Taking care of ALL of me

Monday, May 06, 2013

Jan 1, 2012. Weight 198
May 6, 2013. Weight 175!

Wow. That makes 23 pounds lost in 16 months + 1 week. (and before my hysterectomy, January 2007, I was about 224. Granted about 5 of that came off with the uterine fibroids, but still! So say, 219-175 = 44 pounds gone that AIN'T NEVER COMING BACK, SISTERS!

So what about the rest of me?? Once upon a time, I was very consistent with working out, cardio and strength, and very active. What happened? Accidents happened first of all, doing a certain amount of havoc to my muscles and spine. I did a lot of chiropractic and physical therapy, and got as repaired as I was going to get, it seemed. Kept up the chiro for a while until I noticed I was feeling WORSE with each treatment. Cue the Arthritis monster.

For some reason (i blame the chiropractic trauma), I was developing early onset osteo-arthritis. I was right around age 48 at this point. I still tried to do as much gym work as possible though and stay fairly active, though weight was starting to creep up.

Cue cute new husband, with an incurable sweet tooth! Hello blubber Mamma. Hubby was actually also very trim and active, but for some reason we gave ourselves permission to eat... (cue psycho slashing music) CANDY. We also tried a gluten free diet, which consists mainly of highly starched menu items in place of healthy whole grains. Oh dear. what a mistake. And I'm a good cook. We both gained an inordinate amount of weight between 2002 and 2007. We were still pretty active, with hiking and schlepping around the world being favorite activities. But each year, the pictures got more and more disturbing.

So with the hysterectomy, I determined to regain control of the rest of me. But then my family and my body decided to throw some wrenches into the works. First problem, arthritis was getting monumentally worse, to the point where I was unable to walk more than one or two blocks. The rheumatologist told me there was nothing that could be done, and to take my Percocet and be happy. Gee thanks. Fortunately a few years ago I found a Pain Medicine doctor that had a different solution that literally took me from shopping for wheelchairs to being able to walk and function more or less normally again! Yay.

Second problem. I have a disabled son that bounces in and out of our house. Because of the nature of his severe issues, this invariably caused massive stress for hubby and me. Can't really go into it more than that though. (well I could, but it's not a pretty story) But this also sort of explains where I disappeared to for a while. That, and the next problem.

Third problem, the Latex Allergy that I'd had for 30 years turned anaphylactic, which means it decides to try and kill me on a fairly regular basis. (like at least a couple times a week or more!) Literally. If it weren't for an amazing allergist, I probably wouldn't be here now. But fighting that unfortunately means lots of steroids, both daily and as emergency interventions. Also, Epi pens, Prednisone, and more really fun stuff (not). All of which have the lovely side effect of making you gain weight and spiking up your blood sugar. So when I say I lost 23 pounds, that's really more like losing 30 or 40 pounds, cause I keep having to fight off the side effects. And, in order to remove one of the causes of ER visits, the Allergist banned me from the Gym. Yah, lots o latex in there folks.

Fourth problem. Latex Allergy has a fun little complication called Latex-Fruit Syndrome. This means your body starts looking at fruits, vegetables and other things as if they were actually latex, and dutifully throws you into anaphylaxis for those too! So now I am allergic to all the foods I eat most often, which of course encompasses most of the diet foods I love, like lettuce and celery. I am now allergic to more than 30 foods that I could eat fine 18 months ago. And to be clear, I'm not talking inconvenient rashes or sniffles, I'm talking life threatening, throat closing stuff.

So now what? I've learned to substitute cabbage salads for lettuce salads, cauliflower for potatoes, and other such substitutions or resigned myself to the fact that I will never be able to enjoy favorites like cantaloup or even lemon water again. We adapt. We're mighty humans, that's what we do.

The allergy medicines gave me Diabetes, literally, and so I was ordered to start working with a nutritionist, who has also been an amazing addition to my new medical team! She put me on Metformin and helps me navigate my ever narrowing available food chart.

And I am reassessing the Pain problem again, with a new clinic that actually treats the patient like they are intelligent or something ridiculous! Love these people! (and they don't use latex-THANK YOU!) They focus on the whole person and the whole body's response to pain. I'm hopeful.

And...cue Drumroll...... I am buying stuff to outfit myself with a latex-free home gym! I found an elliptical machine that seems to have all plastic and metal parts! I may actually be able to use this!!! Everything, and I do mean everything, else has latex and rubber on it, whether on the treads, the handles, the elastic bands.... wow. And, I am so sensitive to airborne latex, that just taking a walk is like seeing if I can survive a run through a whirlpool of swirling knives. If I'm lucky, I can survive an early walk before people start blowing up balloons all around me, but life doesn't always let me do that.

And I bought a new scale. Our old one was getting mighty finicky and random. So I bought one that does the body fat water muscle and bone measurements... Still not sure what it all means or whether it's really that relevant, but it tickles the geeky part of me anyway.

So there we go, Spark Friends. I'm getting used to buying Large, instead of Extra Large, and my new 36" jeans are starting to get loose... I'm actually considering getting a 34"!!! (wow, scary) I gave all my 40" shorts to my hubby, who is down from a 44" and also doing well. And my energy and optimism are way up. Life is good.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks! emoticon
    1732 days ago
  • NHES220
    Go you! Great job. You can do this! You are overcoming a lot of obstacles to get there and you are getting it done!
    1781 days ago
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