Tag Archive | obese

Paying the Price

I can’t believe it’s been 8 months since I last posted here!  Time flies when you’re sicker than hell.  I’m still losing weight, and I like that a lot, but it’s been ridiculously difficult ~ not the losing part, but I just can’t seem to feel well.

My new, diminutive size tummy hurts.  It hurts all the time.  Like 24/7.  I can’t remember the last time I felt comfortable enough to relax… well, except when I went to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Mesa, AZ back in April 2019.  I was taking prednisone, which made me feel almost superhuman!  That was great!  But when I got home and the prednisone  wore off, it was back to feeling like crap again.

I occasionally put posts on Facebook of my accomplishments, and often I get comments about how “inspirational”, brave, etc etc I am.  I don’t FEEL inspirational!  I feel like a miserable failure.  I can’t get to a point where I can actively exercise, which would help further my weight loss.  My entire existence right now is unpredictable.  My digestive system has complete control and a mind of its own.  I can never tell if I’m hungry, as it hurts all the time… whether or not I eat or drink.  I can never know if/when I’m going to have to visit a bathroom – public or not – or what the outcome will be.  Sometimes I only have a few moments’ notice before I just HAVE TO GO!  Or I may not go for days.

I used to have “safe foods”, no more.  All bets are off.  I’ve become sick from eating just about anything… everything.  And that has negatively affected my outlook on meals.  We really don’t even eat meals as a family anymore.  I never know when or what I can eat, and sometimes the pains get so bad, so quickly that I have to put something into my “pouch” really fast or I end up doubled over.

To be honest, although I look better and I smile a lot in pictures, this has been a living nightmare from hell.  It was so bad last month, that I called my surgeon and agreed to have yet another endoscopy AND added a laparoscopy!  Dr. Cooper found an umbilical hernia and – how to explain this – my intestine had become “attached” to the muscle/wall of my new stomach via scar tissue.  So I got that all fixed and felt pretty good for awhile.  It lasted about 9 days before the pain was back, and did I mention the gas?  There’s just no way to explain the incredible amounts of gas my body is creating on a daily basis.  And yes, I’m on prescription medication for it, as well as guzzling Gaviscon (which helps somewhat).  I’m headed back to my gastroenterologist on Monday, Dr. Edison.  It feels like we’re running out of options, which I find hard to accept because I just cannot live like this for the rest of my life.

But there you have it.  This is my life for now.  Maybe next time I’ll talk about my elusive post-surgery Bucket List.  Wondering if I’ll ever be able to realize any of those dreams!

Thanks for stopping by!

Blessings ~ Tamara  57377380_10213474460391685_7512428413848649728_n

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Catch 22

Sometimes I feel so torn, like I have no right to complain about my problems ~ that others have it so much worse than I do and I should just shut up and feel blessed.  But when my life, that I thought was on a pretty good track, goes awry, I need some time to regroup, ponder and pray.  Lord, what am I to do next?

That’s what has happened recently.  Besides being morbidly obese, I have severe arthritis in my feet and knees ~ especially my right knee, which is now bone-on-bone and beyond pain comprehension most of the time.  I now walk with a cane all the time, which I hate.  I’ve been seeing an orthopedic specialist for 2-3 months now, and, after visiting him yesterday to hash out our next strategy for pain relief, instead he said he can do nothing more for me.  Then he went into a long dissertation about how bad my knee(s) are and that I’m a candidate for knee replacement surgery IF I can lose a minimum of 60 lbs first.

He continued his long monologue about bariatric surgery, and that it appears to be my only last bastion before being immobile/unable to walk.  I sort of remember being in minor shock at that point.  Deer-in-the-headlights kind of thing.  I thought, “But no!  That can’t be!  I’ve been working hard, changing my eating lifestyle and losing weight!”  He seemed to have read my thoughts and said that at the rate that I’m losing, it would take me about two years to lose the necessary 60 lbs.  “Not fast enough,” he said.  He’s talking by the end of THIS year.  But I’ve lost 25 lbs. since the week before Christmas.  I thought it showed good promise.

I left his office in a fog.  That fog turned into despair and then depression.  The thought of bariatric surgery made me shudder.  You see, I had such surgery in 1988 when I was 29 years old.  From the moment I woke up in the hospital, gagging on the NG tube down my throat, the next 10+ years would be a nightmare of hell on earth with regard to my digestive system.  Most of the first 5-6 years were spent vomiting and/or feeling nausea like you can never imagine.  I used to have extreme nausea for hours, sometimes all night, and would curl up on the floor or the bed in the fetal position and rock myself until the feeling passed.  I used to beg God to make it stop, crying that I would never eat whatever hellish food that had made me sick that time.  It continued on into my current marriage, as of 1998, and I used to have to ask Al to pat me on the back (it helped?).  It was embarrassing the first time it happened with Al, and I had to explain it all… why I was curled up into a ball on the top of our bed groaning and begging to die.  It may seem irrational, but I’d rather spend an eternity in the firepits of hell than vomit once.  Vomiting, for me, IS the embodyment of death.  Next to gagging, it’s the closest I can come to meeting eternity without actually dying.  I don’t know why.  So, this bariatric surgery had been my near-death experience, over and over for decades.  It has lessened now to only once or twice a year… praise the Lord!

And now here I am, again, confronted with having a new torture to deal with all over again.  Even though my common sense tells me that, after 30 years, procedures have changed.  It has to be better now.  And I know I have to try this again.  I say “try” because I may not get accepted, and/or my insurance may not cover the surgery.  Last night I wallowed a bit.  But I also prayed and asked many of my wonderful friends to pray.  I figured my options are either sit and do nothing while my health continues to go downhill one part at a time, or I could take God’s hand and keep going, keep moving forward and do the best that I can to right myself.  I’m admittedly scared.  I’m no longer 29 years old.  It’s 30 years later and I don’t heal as well.  Regardless, I cannot be idle, self-pity or wait any longer.

The answer is to push forward, step-by-step and go where God leads me.  I’ve contacted a local bariatric team at our local Crouse Hospital in Syracuse.  It’s the way to start.  I’m working with them to see if I qualify and if my insurance covers the surgery.  I should know in a few days.  I have to be optimistic.  Any other option is not acceptable.

 

July 27, 2017; Journal Entry 2: Eat Clean ~

I guess the term “eat clean” is the mantra for those (of us) who are trying to get healthier, lose weight, and live (not a “better life”) up to our potential. I haven’t researched all that is involved in this journey yet, it’s going to take awhile to take it all in. Besides, Al reminded me that Dr. M doesn’t want me to change my eating habits just yet. He wants me to be “raw” (in my natural state of gut health) for when I get all of this blood work done that he has requested. That’s next month. He said after he sees the results, THEN “we’ll talk”! He said he is going to teach me how to read carbs (and avoid them), sugars, fructose ~ I sure hope he teaches me how to replace them with stuff that tastes good! Regardless, there is plenty of information out here on the web just for the asking. And I already have several/many friends who are supportive and willing to help. One particularly special lady in one of my quilt groups has requested to be my partner in my endeavor! I almost cried! We’ve exchanged phone numbers and will keep in touch with each other throughout the journey. One of my goals is to lose enough weight to be able to fly down to see her next year (she’s in Florida). No, I won’t fly like “this”. Massively obese and unhealthy. I filled the dishwasher yesterday and had to take a shower afterwards as I’d broken out into a soaking sweat. Then, drying myself from the shower made me all sweaty again. No, I want to go to Florida and not be ashamed to wear shorts, or even a bathing suit, or sleeveless shirt or tank top.

Anyway, the research begins. Mostly, I need to find good, clean alternatives to the crap I’ve been eating ~ and it’s gotta taste good. Flavor is my downfall. Can’t they make a nice, dark lettuce that tastes like a potato chip? Is that asking too much? I’m not kidding myself, this is going to be tough. I’ve been craving carbonation all day so far. Soda will be the hardest thing for me to give up… but I am determined. I want so hard to make this work this time. No tricks, no special pills ~ just healthy eating and bring in some exercise and I’ll get there. I HAVE to.

Input is very welcome in the comments. Know of a good, healthy recipe? I have an awesome Ninja blender that could make rocks into a smoothy. What’s yummy?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Blessings ~ Tamara