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Making a big change

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

It's been a long time since I've posted to my blog. Much has happened. I've learned I need both hips, both knees and my left shoulder replaced. The most damaged is my left hip, which makes it impossible to put weight on my left leg. Three surgeons have refused to do the surgery unless I lose weight first. The one at Mayo was the most professional and I have more faith in him. Even though I've lost so much already and kept most of it off, I need to lose another 100 lbs before he will operate. In the meantime, he said I should not walk more than 20 feet as I need to protect my "good" leg. I can walk in a pool, but am unable to climb the steps to get out of the pool. I just bought a step cane to help with that and am anxious to try it out as soon as the sore on my leg heals. I've been chair bound and mostly housebound now for a year. Isolation is not good! In that time I've stayed on my healthy diet of 1200 calories with almost no loss; so at Christmas 2014 I dropped to 800 calories a day. Since then I've lost 12 lbs--not a huge amount in that much time. I've been doing chair exercises, but even those are very limited due to my damaged joints. I try to stay off pain meds but on a good day my pain level is about a 4; some days it goes up as high as 8 or 9. After a lot of research I've decided to try the keto diet (adequate protein, high fat and very low carb). Yesterday I had my lab work done so my doctor has a baseline to monitor my health and I started the diet yesterday too. I've avoided eating fats for so many years, it's quite an adjustment for me. But so far I'm able to stick with it without a lot of problems (I've never been a big bread eater anyway). The hardest might be cutting back so much on fruit--natural sugars make fruit high in carbs. On December 26, 2013 I had bleeding ulcer and lost 4 units of blood--nearly died. To heal, I had to switch to a very bland diet which was higher in carbs. I gained just over 20 lbs of the 103 I had lost. Since going back on my healthy diet and not walking, I was able to lose most of that. I'm hoping this change will help speed up the loss a little so I can have my surgery and be able to walk again. I've had a physical therapist showing me some new chair exercises and that should help too. I've been averaging less than half a pound per week, and that's just too slow. I'm hoping to lose around a pound a week or more. Ideally, I'd like to have that 100 lbs gone in a year so I can have the surgery. Using the computer is difficult for me so I se an iPad now, typing with one finger. It's very frustrating so I may not post often, but I continue to track my food, water and exercise daily. I've been doing that for three years now and still find it very helpful--especially now that I'm on a new diet.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So terribly sorry to read about all the issues you've been having. Wishing you all the best, but hope you'll take the comments by MrThing2000 to heart...especially about the calories. When you cut that low, your body thinks it is starving and goes into starvation mode, which means it tries desperately to hang onto every bit it can...thus a very, very slow weight loss, if any at all. Have you checked out the resources on the Chair Exercise Team? I think you're a member there. Also, Beth (IndyGirl) uses the arm cycler almost exclusively for her exercise. She's talked about it a lot in her blogs lately. I have used it for a foot pedaler, too (they are used for both), and it is a good way to get the lower legs moving with no weight bearing. Anyway, wishing you all the best and putting you in my prayers!! Jeannie
    2173 days ago
  • MRTHING2000
    It sounds like you've been through hell. Sorry its been so difficult. But if you push through, you'll get there.

    800 calories is way too low. The metabolism slows down too much at that level and begins to store calories by slowing things way down. That's why at 800cal a day, you're only losing 12lbs in several months, while you'd think you'd lose 3-4 pounds a week.

    Key will be to up your protein levels to promote healing, obviously limiting carbs (40g or less will really help, but don't shoot for less than 20), and just enough fats to stay satisfied and help absorb meds.

    If I've learned anything, it is that protein and especially Vitamin D and Vitamin E promote healing. Vitamin D especially for joints. The bones just need them or the bones, just like muscle, quickly break down. It can either build stronger or eat it and become weaker.

    My suggestion is to up your calories to a 'goal weight level'. Eat as close to 1g of protein per that body weight goal level. That's very hard to do, but eat at least 0.6g of protein at an absolute minimum. Eat less than 40g of carbs. Eat fats in sufficient quantities but not tons of it. When in doubt, eat more protein and fewer fats.

    Next key is to figure out WHY the joints are inflamed and breaking down. Osteoarthritis sounds likely, rheumatoid seems possible too. There are some meds like IgB and methotrexate that may help. Vitamin D in 5000 IU doses daily will definitely help. It takes a lot to overdo this one. I'm not convinced that glucosamine and controidtin do anything, or shark cartilage, but I suppose its worth a shot. Shouldn't hurt to try.

    Hopefully it doesn't sound preachy. Not meant to be. I wish you luck on your journey and if you need anything, please feel free.
    2173 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/6/2015 6:59:45 AM
  • .DUSTY.
    I'm really sorry to hear what's been going on with you and the pain you're in! I'm happy you have a doctor and therapist you like.

    Hang in there! There's light at the end of the tunnel:)
    emoticon emoticon
    2174 days ago
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