Saturday, June 24, 2017

Here I Am

Whew, has it already been a month and a half since I last posted? Time is just flying past, so it's time for a little update on our situation and, of course, my weight.

We have been spending so, so much of our time on medical stuff. It is easy to become completely consumed with it. My daughter had 5 medical appointments this week and has more next week. We've driven hours to specialists, stayed overnight in the hospital, started and stopped medications and gotten some additional information about her medical condition that is helping us have a more clear and direct path forward. I am finally feeling hopeful and the goal is to have her well enough for school by the end of summer, with accommodations. Physical therapy has been a great blessing; the therapist is amazing. We see her twice a week and my daughter also does the exercises at home daily. We are ordering "more aggressive" orthotics to support her as she works towards better mobility and less pain. She also is slowly starting to use my recumbent exercise bike for 5 minutes a day, and we joined a local summer-season pool where she is to swim at least 3 days a week. So we are keeping busy! Thank you so much to those of you who offer up prayers for my daughter. I believe they are helping! And I so appreciate that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers even not knowing specifics about the conditions she is dealing with. She is old enough to want her privacy, and while there are only a few of my real-life friends who read this blog, I just want to respect that. So thank you!

All of this has made my life more active, too! I swim with her most of the time and am working up to longer stretches of being in the pool. I've had more and more symptoms of my autoimmune thyroid disease cropping up, mainly extreme fatigue and always feeling cold (so the pool feels icy to me!) I finally went to the endocrinologist this week and found out that yes, wow, my numbers are a wreck!! Even with Hashimoto's, aside from my TPO antibodies all of my thyroid bloodwork has always been pretty much in the normal range. Last year my TSH ranged between 1.36 and 2.52... but this time, it was 7.9!!! That is a huge increase and, along with very low T3 and T4, out of range enough that the doctor said I needed to go back on Synthroid. I started that this week and already feel much better.

I also am on my last day of antibiotics. I feel like I have been on antibiotics forever!! I have an ENT appointment for the sinus stuff to make sure that is cleared up. I am working on getting more sleep, too. After my last post, I laid off the sugar (not 100%... I still have something sweet on occasion) and increased the veggies. I've also been getting on the scale at least weekly to keep an eye on the number. Today I weigh 253, about the same as I have been all of this year. I did have an uptick early in the year to 260, but got that off pretty quickly. Looks like my weight is just staying stable and hanging out in the low 250's since about February. I wonder if the Synthroid will help get that number down a little bit. Surely the swimming and activity will help, too. My next focus is to cut the carbs in my eating. I have gotten back to eating things like a baked potato or mashed potatoes with dinner, or a simple sandwich for lunch. I eat pasta once or twice a week, too. It'll be no big deal to get back to lower carb substitutions like cauliflower or zucchini noodles... it's just a matter of habit and taking the time to prepare those extra foods for meals (because my family does NOT like squash or cauliflower... but they do eat other veggies!) It just takes a little more planning.

I hope to see my weight get back down into the 240's shortly. Maybe even by July! We'll see.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

I Need To

Thank you all for your kind comments and support on my last post about my daughter. Every little bit of support counts these days. I have felt like I am both flailing and failing as I try to navigate all this new medical information and care basically alone, to the point that between hospital visits I took my girl and we went to stay with relatives for a week because I thought I couldn't do it anymore. I am so glad to have family that loves us and cares for us that I can just crash on them and say "I just can't. Here we are." Their love gave me strength to keep going. I just wish we lived closer to family, because it is a long flight away and not something we can do again anytime soon. My Aunt may come and stay with us for a bit later this year and for that I am thankful.

I have been so consumed with caring for my family's needs that my own needs have not even been on the radar lately. But the other day, after another specialist doctor visit that gave some needed direction (and is referring her for physical therapy to help with her ability to walk and balance and be strong, and possibly reduce pain, as well as ordering orthotics to help with this) I felt a slight relief like we are on the right path with her... and during that relief my own body told me HEY. You have GOT to pay some attention to ME. I had a sudden awareness of how terribly unwell I have become. Nutrition and sleep lacking, stress levels high, exercise non-existent, my own body has been unable to even fight off so much as a cold without it turning into bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections, and other long-running illness that just will not heal. I am on my third round of antibiotics and have been kind of a low grade of sick for months... not sick enough to have a fever or have to stay home, but just a general unwellness with little persistent symptoms like fluid in my ears or stuffiness or coughing just at night. I am completely exhausted and all of my joints hurt. My knees pop and crack and I get random pains in my hips and feet. And my rosacea has flared up to the worst it has ever been, causing my face to be red and sore and itchy even with medicated creams. I have almost constant headaches and my "happy place" has become, as it was a decade ago, sitting in front of the TV at night with a pint of Haagen Dasz after a long day.

I know that as I head downhill healthwise it is affecting my ability to meet the needs of my child, and I just cannot have that happen. She needs me and I certainly need to have the energy and focus to deal with all the appointments she has every week, especially now that we are adding PT.

I have scheduled appointments for myself with doctors who can help me get better. I am going back to the endocrinologist to check on my Hashimoto's thyroid disease, and another doctor who can help me get a handle on the infections that won't go away. I need to gather all the strength I have and do good for my health with it by getting more sleep and relaxation, making time for a long walk every day, and cleaning up my eating.

Thanks for listening. I am glad to have this place to sort out my thoughts, and even gladder to have your support and prayers.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What to say

My heart is not in blogging right now, but with those asking if I am okay and for an update, I decided to write something today. Am I okay? No, not really. Actually not at all okay, but what can I say about it? I decided years ago not to write about my family members' stuff, out of respect for their privacy. I wish I could. I would love to ramble on and give a lot of details about what we have been going through and share my emotions about all of it. It would probably be therapeutic. But I can't, because I don't want anyone coming back later and being upset that I wrote personal details about them. So without the benefit of being able to vent, there is no reason for me to write here at all. So I haven't.

But I do appreciate the concern and the support I have always gotten here so I wanted to say something. But what? Well myself, I am just finishing up a couple weeks of antibiotics from being sick. I feel like crap and am not getting enough sleep. My husband is having health issues that are affecting all of us. But the thing I am drowning in is that my daughter was given a pretty devastating diagnosis. Her deterioration has been life altering. We have spent a lot of time seeing doctors, therapists and specialists and travelling to the hospital hours away. I have been working on getting second opinions. We went to the hospital a few weeks ago, we are going again in a week, and again in one month or sooner. She is in daily pain and can no longer dance or go to school. As much as I would like to say more, I won't, and I ask you to respect that. I am just sharing this bit so you can see how it is affecting our lives. I love her so much and if only I could take away her pain, I would.

I am very emotional inside because I stay strong on the outside because I have to. It seems SO stupid to me to say *anything* about food or dieting at a time like this, but that's what the blog is about so, the update is that I have started stress eating and feel like I am kind of losing it. I eat food as a way to cope, or quell anxiety, worry, stress. I know I have started doing it. I cram food into my mouth because if I don't I will fall apart. I feel the tears and fear and scared emotions welling up and about to spill out (which I just cannot do... I have to take care of everything and can't be breaking down) so I hurry and shove some food in there to smash those emotions back down.

I need a better way to cope but right now this has to do. After next week we will know more about the course of action and what the next few months holds. Depending on that, maybe I can find a different way to deal. I am too high stress right now to make any effort in the food or diet direction.

Hug your kids. Just go hug them or whoever you love.

Friday, March 3, 2017

FAT Tuesday

I really appreciate all the comments, thoughts, and advice I got in the comments of my last post and via email. It's so good to know that even when I am feeling down and not sure which way to turn diet-wise, people are caring and supportive and not judgmental. That means a lot to me. For those who were worried I was falling into a depression, don't worry! It was just a normal fluctuation in mood. We all have happy days and harder, sad times... and overall, I am feeling good and happy (although not content about my weight right now, but that is what motivates change).

Well, I'm still too fat. But I had a kind of cool experience this week at church. We had a special service for Ash Wednesday this week. That's not something I am very familiar with. I wasn't raised observing Lent, but when someone would remind me that it was "Fat Tuesday" you can bet I was all about that! Even this year, we joked about it and ordered pizzas for dinner and one of my sons brought home a box of Cadbury Creme Eggs for "dessert." I never noted any spiritual significance to any of this, personally, but I got to thinking more about it during our service. The sermon talked about how giving something up for Lent is not about torturing yourself by giving up something you really like. It is a reminder that every time you think about wanting that thing you gave up, it reminds you of your need for God. There was more to it than that but I thought that part was pretty insightful. So although I did indulge in the Fat Tuesday pizza and candy, I decided to give up sugary desserts for Lent (until Easter). If I want something sweet I will stick with fresh fruits or sugar free sweets. I am also adding daily Bible reading to my goals, even if only for a few minutes a day. It can only make things better!

Aside from those small changes, I am doing a few other things to try to remedy my problem of being too fat. I'm making sure to keep walking a couple of miles most days and I decided not to buy chips anymore. I can still have them if they are available at parties, dinners, or potlucks but just won't have them at home.

I know those are two very small changes in how I eat. I was eating chips and/or desserts a couple times a week, so I think cutting those things out will help. I feel like I am teetering on the edge of weight loss or gain: a small uptick in food would result in gaining weight, and a small restriction will result in loss. Everything else is staying the same for now, except for the continued walking. I lost 7 pounds in January and maintained in February, so I'd expect to start losing again in March with these couple of changes. I don't want to do anything drastic or overly restrictive to "rock the boat" emotionally so to speak. I am still cautious about keeping my recovery from ED first and foremost... keeping the emotional calm about food that took me so long to cultivate.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Too Fat

I guess it's time for an update. And maybe a little self examination, because while I feel like I have done pretty well getting my food issues under control, all is not well in LynLand.

I lost 7 pounds in January and nothing so far in February. Today I weigh 253, same as I did on February 1. Part of me is starting to panic a little about this; I looked at the calendar this morning and thought, "okay, I have THREE days left until March 1. Surely I can knuckle down and cut carbs more and do some more exercise and get at least a couple of pounds off by then." Somehow, part of me still feels ashamed that I am still so fat. That I did not lose any weight this month. Even though I have found peace about food, my weight still bothers me. I have spent the last year (or so) lowering my stress level around all the weight stuff: food, tracking, calories, junk food, body image, the number on the scale. But what remains is the realty that I AM TOO FAT.

I am too fat for most of my clothing.
I am too fat for my circulatory system. My blood pressure is higher than it was 25 pounds ago.
I am too fat for my knees. They hurt when I walk.
I am too fat for pictures. Once again I find myself avoiding being in photos because I think I look awful, and unhealthy.
I am too fat for my comfort. It is hard to get up and down, I have acid reflux again at night, and my body is just too hard to haul around all the time.
I am too fat, and that makes me sad.

So much of the time I look around and feel thankful for all I have, my kids, my life. I don't want to be a negative Nelly or a complainer. But I also don't look at my body and think it is fine just the way it is. Maybe it is, on a "don't judge", self acceptance, love yourself kind of level. I mean there's no point in loathing myself or being down on how I look. My body has done a lot of great things for me. I love it. But it's too big to be truly healthy! And I haven't been acting like I love it... not really. Not all these years.

When I eat healthy foods it does feel like self care. I don't think I eat that much. But obviously it's too much, right? Or I wouldn't be this fat. Even if you want to put some blame on age, or hormones, or thyroid disease, or slow metabolism... I would NOT weigh 250+ pounds if I was really taking *good enough* care of my body.

Maybe I have been focused too much on my emotional well being (which yeah, it is important) and not on my body. I've said I was eating 90% healthy and maybe 10% carbier, sugary or junky stuff. But when I stopped and thought about that, there's an error in my thinking. It's not that 90% of the FOOD I eat is healthy and 10% is not. It's that 90% of the TIME I eat healthy. Like... there are about 90 meals in a month, right? So for about 9 or 10 of those meals I eat carby stuff. Maybe some pancakes with syrup, sausages and orange juice. Or a bacon cheeseburger with fries dipped in Ranch. Not overboard for a normal person... but HIGH in carbs, fat, and sugar. Same for snacks. Say there are 60 snacks in a month. Then 6 or 7 of those would be carbier. Like maybe popcorn at the movies, or a few cookies and regular hot cocoa, or a bowl of chips and dip. The calories, carbs, sugar and fat in those meals and snacks is SO MUCH higher than the nutrition in a regular meal or snack! So much higher. Like a 50 calorie handful of baby carrots versus a 200 calorie bowl of corn chips and guac. But eating those foods in "normal" portions is what helps me NEVER to feel restricted... because although 9 out of 10 times on "spaghetti night" I go with spaghetti squash, every once in awhile, if I really want it, I have the actual pasta... AND a piece or two of garlic bread. And it is so much easier to eat and be satisfied with small amounts of something like the spaghetti squash, but when I have pasta I want to eat a lot more. More calories, carbs, and fat.

The whole thing sucks because I felt like I have finally found peace with food by eating this way, and I DO NOT want to wreck it. But I am too fat! I am too fat. :(