Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weigh In, and the Effects of Chronic Pain

I am in a lot of pain but wanted to write anyway, so please forgive me if I sound a little off.

First order of business: I did get on the scale this morning and saw 222. That is up 3 pounds from my last weigh in on November 1. You already know how I feel about that.

Second: I mentioned I have a 2-day detox plan I committed to reviewing. I haven't been doing many reviews at all, but when this was offered I was curious. I've heard about detox plans but never tried one... didn't want to spend the $200ish dollars. But to try one for free? Hey, that might be interesting. And I really do enjoy writing reviews on products like this. I think there aren't enough *truly honest* and informative reviews out there on diet/health products, and I hope my reviews help others. They are fun to write, too... my last review on Sensa sprinkles has been pretty popular and I enjoyed writing it. Anyway, I always check ingredients and since this detox plan is gluten free and doesn't appear to have any crazy, harmful ingredients, I agreed to try it. It's only two days after all, and claims to possibly help speed up metabolism, break a weight plateau, cleanse and detoxify the system, and increase energy. Yeah, I take those claims with a grain of salt, but we'll see, right?

I was planning to do the detox today and tomorrow but I woke up feeling quite bad and I think if I do this detox while I am still sick I am going to regret it. It wouldn't really be a fair review because I already feel like crap. It's just going to have to wait, which sucks, because I wanted to get it done and focus on Medifast. Instead, I am doing the best with what I have and I think the best option is to just start Medifast now and fit the detox in when I am feeling better.

Also, I wanted to repeat something I said in the comments on my last post. Unless you've experienced chronic, daily pain for an extended period of time, I think it's hard to understand just how much it can affect a person... not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. My pain is not mild, it is at least moderate and often severe on a daily basis and has been for most of the last 7 months. It hurts to stand, to walk, to do anything at all on my feet. Add to that the headaches that have recently come back to plague me, and you have a person who is starting to feel very beat down and hopeless. All I want at this point is to escape the pain. Escaping the obesity is connected, but secondary. The pain is part of what is driving me to make my choices right now. Frankly, I am desperate. I am back to taking all manner of pain medications, doing physical therapy twice a week and the prescribed exercises daily, sleeping (very little) with uncomfortable big plastic splints on my feet, limiting activity, and keeping lights off and blinds drawn to attempt to keep migraines at bay. Some days I just want to go to bed and not get up. The pain is affecting me deeply.

I know that when I was on Medifast before, my headaches were gone completely and I stopped getting sick. I know that when I weighed less, I did not have this foot pain. It is my last straw of hope and if this is not the answer I don't know what I am going to do. I can keep low carbing but losing a pound or two a month is not going to cut it. I need results and I need them now, because I am convinced that weight loss results will bring an end to my pain, too. If I am wrong, I don't know what I will do.

28 comments:

me said...

Hi Lyn,
I lived with chronic pain for 5 years, started with planetary fasciitis, then sciatica, and then a herniated disc so I understand it's tough. It will get better but it does require time. Losing weight helped a lot but I felt results right away by exercising. I used a recumbent exercise bike which took the pressure off my feet and back. Perhaps you could try that? I had the pf for over 2 years and it eventually went away. It will take work but it will get better

me said...

I meant to write plantar

Anonymous said...

I don't really know what to say except that I'm sorry, all of this must be incredibly hard for you. I hope you have a chance at some point to get some relaxation --you need it and you deserve it. Who knows, it might even help with your pain and weight loss issues --high stress is known to exacerbate both of those things.

Keep your head up.

Julia Stambor said...

I have read that some pain medications may cause pain if taken for too long. Besides, if you mix up different pain meds you might be maximizing the side effects while getting no more relief than if you take a single drug. So it might be worth looking into this. And getting back on medifast meals sounds like a good idea- if you were rid of your headaches when you last ate like that maybe you could phase out some of the pain meds soon. Chronic pain can be a bitch to have, IANAD, but you should perhaps go see one about those meds before you damage your kidneys or something like that. Even non- prescription drugs can be dangerous when mixed.

Lyn said...

Julia~

I agree. I cringe every time I take them... although even the OTC ones are 'prescribed' by my doctors. I stopped taking all pain meds for awhile, maybe a month or two and was trying natural anti-inflammatories instead. The pain is just too debilitating now. I do take the minimum dose possible to get some relief. I hope to be able to stop taking them soon.

Karen said...

If MF works, do it. Pain is no bueno . Get 100% connected into the resources at MF. Health coach, face book page, MF bloggers. One you start , stay OP. transitioning to low carb / paleo was much easier than I thought it would be when it was time to stop loosing and start maintaining.

The clarity will come, and hopefully freedom from the pain with it. Stay 100% OP. good luck!

Fair Enough said...

i do know what it's like to experience chronic, horrible pain. I required emergency spinal surgery (laminectomy & discectomy )and was unable to walk at all for a short period (last winter.) It was pure hell and I'm only 27, 26 during this time. I've never had health problems previously, was always active, and was reduced to basically being crippled and unable to leave home. I had horrible shooting pains that left me crying all day long, followed by numbness on one side of my body that left me severely limping and unable to walk, really. I spent most of my waking hours kneeling on the floor, hunched over the couch, because any other position was painful beyond belief.

I only missed out on exercise for a very brief amount of time, and right back when I could continue again, I started. No excuses, no feeling bad for myself, nothing. I knew it was really important to be active again not only for my recovery for my weight maintenance and general mental health. I couldn't get around very well at first and started with VERY` brief walks...but I was persistent. I worked myself back up to my old level of fitness in under a year and am now able to go on 2+ hour hikes with my husband, swim, and go on the treadmill at a high incline when outdoor activity can't be met. I can walk FAST again when in public, something I've always done, and something that I really missed when recovering.

My basic thing here is A LOT of people have dealt with pain and health problems including people you'd never expect. I don't tell many people "in real life" about my struggles I went through, only very close friends, and I bet no one would ever think I went through such a thing. It is very, very draining and hard but you have to push through and not give up.

I also maintained a 40 pound loss that I've been maintaining for almost 10 years now, and kept my calories very low during that time because I *knew* I wasn't burning anything at all and was barely moving. You can bet I lost muscle tone during that period but I've been working ever since to get it back and firm up. So you can always try to make your situation a little better/easier on yourself. Just do what you need to do and stay persistent.

Anonymous said...

Lyn:

Your decision to begin MF today is great. I hope it helps with your migraines again this time. They are terribly painful.

I've suffered two laminectomis & discectomies plus having a very rare cancer tumor removed from inside my spinal cord (ependymoma.) Irreversable damage has been done and I suffer with daily chronic pain. You are not alone in this.

My poor feet suffer with burning pain which means painful walking and standing. I've had two bouts of plantar faciates in my lifetime and oh that was painful. I had to stay totally off both feet one complete summer. I never got those foot braces. I did do the PT the doctor recommended.

I'm a reader of your blog but don't usually post. Today I decided that I'd offer encouragement as you begin your weight battle with MF again. Please, this time.... please stay OP. You owe it to yourself.

Wishing you the very best.

Lyn said...

To all who shared about your experiences with chronic pain, I am so sorry you have suffered too. It's good to hear it can be overcome and I do wish you healing and wellness, and hope those still suffering find relief.

Anonymous said...

lyn - i haven't ever commented, but used to read your blog daily. now i visit every once in a while to see how you are doing. i want to point you in a direction that i really hope you will consider...

http://180degreehealth.com/about-180-degree-health

read through what he has to say. i really feel that your biggest problem is that your metabolism is extremely damaged from all the low-cal diets you have done. in the end, no low-cal diet is ever sustainable...your body wants to be fed and it will fight you until you feed it. there is so much that is misunderstood about metabolism and weight loss, and unfortunately, diet companies are a large part of the reason why. anyway, i really hope you will look in to what he says.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

I will read it, but want to point out that I had this same kind of regain and stall before I did any low calorie dieting. So if my metabolism was 'damaged' by anything, I'd guess it was binge eating.

Anonymous said...

Re: the previous anonymous comment, the entire "metabolic damage caused by dieting" theory is being debunked anyway.

A recent, reputable study was done with two groups of people: one group had an extensive history of yo-yo dieting and the other had never dieted before. Both groups were put on the exact same diet. Both groups lost equal amounts of weight, leading the researchers to conclude the chronic dieters did NOT have metabolic damage.

I believe this study was published in the American Journal of Medicine, but I might be misremembering the exact journal. I read about it on MSNBC.com so the article could be found there through a search.

Hang in there, Lyn.

Rebecca

Crys said...

You're onto something with the headaches and diet. Around the time I had surgery, I went to a world renowned naturopathic doctor in AZ who was convinced my headaches were food reality. In fact, he's says 90% of headaches are food toxicity and more specifically, sugar. I took something called the ALCAT test and it identified foods I had an intolerance to. We're not talking just unhealthy stuff -- I'm talking asparagus, kiwi...

Since surgery I eliminated everything I had a high intolerance too and eat everything I had a medium/mild intolerance to in moderation. As a result, I went from daily headaches to 2 in the last 6+ months. One due to dehydration and another due to TOM.

Check out the ALCAT test.

Anonymous said...

My sympathies regarding your chronic pain Lynn. I too have multiple conditions that require multiple medications that probably will someday damage my liver, kidneys. The thing is, without these meds I become basically crippled, using two cains to walk and needing help with basic self care. Ill take the meds. Thank God I have a neurosurgeon that realizes that not all conditions can be white-knuckled through with shear determination. I never even try to explain to people in my life that the more I move, the worse the pain gets, and my activities have to be carefully staggered and limited. Im sure weightloss will help a lot, but never feel guilty if you need chemical assistance as well. Im happy for those who aquire conditions that they fight and overcome through tough and dogged persistance, but the clinical realities are not always the same for similar conditions, or even the same condition with varying degrees of damage. We know you'll work through this with whatever resources you end up needing. You're a survivor like that.

LHA said...

Lyn, I wish you the best of luck on your new MF journey! Just reading the comments over the past couple of days is an illustration of how much conflicting advice there is on weight loss, health and maintenance. All of these ideas are probably right for some group of people. You have decided at this time that MF is the right choice for you, and everyone needs to respect that. No one knows your body, your life and your needs the way you do! I hope you will soon be feeling better and look forward to reading all about it.

Anonymous said...

Lyn - sending loving thoughts, support and lots of prayers your way. You can do this. You did it before, you can do it again, one day at a time. I'm starting back on my Medifast tomorrow, after a two week break. Every time I eat, I'll be praying for you. If I was there I'd give you a big hug, look you in the eyes, and say, you CAN do this! Lots of love! ErinK

Lyn said...

Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts. ErinK, wow, thank you for the many prayers. That means a great deal to me. I will pray for you as well.

Diana said...

Lyn, I'm so sorry you're in so much pain. I know foot pain is the worst because to do anything, you need to walk. Now you have the headaches too.

I'm going to suggest something that I know is probably going to horrify you. We both feel the same about any kind of surgery, but have you given any consideration to the lap-band? It's the less invasive of the weight loss surgeries and is completely reversible.

The only reason I think you should consider it is because of the pain. The extra weight is also doing damage to your knees.

You're a young woman and shouldn't have this kind of pain.

Anyway, it was just something I'd been thinking about for you. For me, I'm too old to have any kind of surgery. But if I was younger, I know I'd seriously look into it.

Take care and I hope you feel better soon.

i should be full said...

Lyn, I hear the pain in your post and I'm so sorry this pain has been brought to you. You are such a strong person and to hear the extent to which this is bringing you down is distressing.

I have not had to live with the chronic physical pain that you describe so I know I don't know what you are going through. I have, however, suffered from chronic and severe clinical depression and so I do know the feeling of wanting to get into bed and not get up again until the pain is gone.

I hear the hopelessness in your tone today and I want to just tell you that if Medifast doesn't bring you the results you want you do not need to give up. I suspect that if you follow Medifast's plan as you did before it will bring you results, but if it doesn't you shouldn't lose hope.

The biggest struggle I had in finally being able to lose the weight was in accepting that I could not create a plan for myself. Clearly, others can make up a plan for themselves, but I can not. All my expertise and knowledge doesn't do a lick of good when it has to go up against my eating disorder in hand-to-hand combat. I always loose.

My success 7 years ago in losing 94 pounds came from giving myself over to a plan made by someone else and I followed it exactly. Once I was at goal I started changing things and by the time my son was born 3 years later I couldn't lose weight again and the scale started it's upward creep.

My success over the past 6 months has been entirely attributed to following a plan, again, not made up by me, and following it to the letter without allowing myself to have any control to tweek or alter the rules.

This is what has helped me. Maybe it wouldn't help you. But, I say all of this because I want you to have hope.

You say people have criticized you for changing things too much. What I see in that tweeking and changing has been your restlessness and the intensity of your desire to make things better for yourself.

As long as you want things to be better there will always be hope. Hang in there. Or, as we say in OA: don't leave before the miracle happens. It will.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you Lyn and hoping you are feeling better.

I had a thought; since you are still in so much pain, why not go ahead and get the cortisone shots, to try and improve your quality of life while you drop the weight?

Unless you didn't write about it in your blog, that is something you still haven't tried. It seems at this point it would be worth a shot (groan).

I know what you are going through and things have to get better!

Take care,
Rebecca

Tessie said...

Lyn,
Is there a yoga studio within your community? I don't remember you ever trying yoga. It is very calming and depending on the class it can help stretch things without the usual pain.

To Diana:
I have researched the lap band for myself. In the end it wasnt the choice for me because in certain cases it can cause erosion where it restricts the stomach. I never did go through with it..... But it really does have an amazing success rate! Also, the key to success with it seems to be a very knowledgeable team that helps control how much food goes through the little opening. This is restricted by adding or subtracting saline in the band itself. Some have reported the technicians missed the port all together and injected saline into their bodies. A good reputable team is necessary..... But the surgery is super cheap in Mexico. :( a hard decision to be sure.

Lyn said...

You know its funny you guys mention lap band. I was just thinking about how after I did Medifast, for many months I felt like I *had* lap band surgery. Remember me talking about how my stomach was smaller and I could only eat smaller portions? Like I was satisfied with so much less? That effect has gone away, probably because I was ignoring it and eating too much (of "healthy" food like bean soup) and stretched my stomach out again. If I get that effect back this time I am not going to screw it up again.

I actually have a friend who went to Mexico for lap band surgery and she has had SO MANY complications and missed a lot of work. I feel so sorry for her. It scares me.

I may try the cortisone shots although the PT warns me that as many people that it 'works' (temporarily) for, it also can cause damage of some kind and make things worse.

When I am feeling better I may try yoga. My goal right not is just to get back to the gym for strength training. I've missed it for about 2 weeks being sick.

Lyn said...

i should be full~

agreed, making my own plan hasn't been too successful. I need a maintenance/low carb plan but I will be researching that before I get there. Thank you for the words of hope.

Kristi said...

Do you remember the almost miraculous pain-free feeling waking up after three days on Medifast? I pray for that feeling for you again!

Anonymous said...

Depending on your level of pain, it may be well worth discussing the cortisone shots with your doctor if you are concerned about risk.

The biggest concern is infection, but this is rare. When repeated injections are done in a joint there can be other concerns but these shouldn't apply in your case.

If I was as desperate as you are describing I would go for it, but everyone's tolerance for medical intervention is different.

If you do have the injections be sure to ask your doctor to add lidocaine to the steroid. This will provide immediate relief and make the process less painful as well.

I hope you find relief soon.

Anonymous said...

anonymous rebecca,

there is a lot that people do not understand about metabolism. i'm not saying that her metabolism is broken, or that anyone who yo-yo diets has a broken metabolism. and, just so you know, "broken" metabolisms CAN be fixed. it is very likely that people will lose weight when they are put on a diet, whether they have yo-yo dieted in the past or not, unless there is some other underlying issue such as hypothyroidism, inflammation, etc. the body has a specific homeostasis, and it will do anything to get there. many people hate to believe in set-point theory because that would mean they are not in control of what their body weighs, but there is so much proof that your body has a set point and will do anything it possibly can do get back there. the truth of the matter is though, is that diets are successful for around 1% of people for longer then 5 years. and that 1% tends to be people who fall on the restricted eating spectrum. why? because your body needs a certain amount of energy. it needs that energy to to all of the functions and keep your running properly. there is an unbelievable amount of metabolic damage in people in our society because we all diet and gain and diet and gain. in fact, if you look at many studies, you will see that obese individuals many times eat WAY LESS then those that are a so-called "normal" BMI. every time you diet, especially below starvation levels, you slow your metabolism. and it stays slow, thereby making it even harder to lose weight the next time you attempt to diet. the only way to fix it is to eat. but, as this goes against everything that is put out in our fat-phobic society, you don't hear much about it. in fact, it wasn't until the 70s that BMI 30 was even considered obese. and who was on the committee that lowered the BMI scale? well, people from weight loss companies. how convenient.

oh well. our society has become so brainwashed by weight loss companies and fear of being "fat" that it is almost impossible to get the truth out there.

i'll leave you with one thought though. look up the minnesota starvation experiment. the men in that experiment were put on a "diet" of 1500 calories a day. by the end of the 6 months of experiment, they were all skeletons. when they were allowed to eat a normal diet again (for men 3000+ calories) they eventually went back to the weight they started the experiment at, after a bit of an overshoot. and ALL of them went through massive hunger (what we call binging) in an effort to restore their weight and the damage to their bodies by the starvation. what does that say about the fact that we tell people that to be healthy, they need to eat only maybe 1800 calories. it is a bunch of bunk.

i am passionate about getting the appropriate information out there, but unfortunately, it is very hard to get people to believe. as someone who has done extensive work with those with eating disorders and has done a lot of reading in to the research behind obesity, etc., i firmly believe that any "diet" is doing more damage then not. But, it is pretty much impossible to convince people, so i'll leave it at that.

Val said...

Dear Lyn:
Surfed by but wanted to comment that hydrocortisone is NOT your enemy! I had a few inj's when my plantar fasciitis had flared up (making me a truly miserable, mean-spirited person); truly miraculous for the short term. The dosage is too low to have any systemic effects.

Best wishes,
Val

i should be full said...

Diana & Lyn: Just so you know, I had the LapBand surgery 7 years ago. It's been amazing; both difficult and rewarding. The LapBand helps a tremendous amount with portion control as long as you follow the rules and eat only whole foods. I have a page on my blog chronically my journey with the Band. Or, if you have questions, you can send me a personal message.

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