THE UGLY TRUTH
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Well, I've had to face the truth recently. I should have known not to let my body go to pot - & especially, being a Registered Nurse, I should know what happens when we get FAT! And I'm not saying this to put myself - or anyone else - down, it's just plain fact, in my case.
A lot of you know that I've been dealing with several health issues lately. I had my right knee replaced 8 years ago, & the Ortho thinks it's going bad - so it might need to be re-done. Why? Because I let myself go. I had lost a bunch of weight just before & after I had that knee done, but stress got to me, & I've been seesawing a lot in the past 4 years or so - but I had put all the weight back on that I had lost, plus another 15 lbs., before I started seesawing.
When I had the right knee done, the doc said the left one would need to be replaced "soon." Well, I think 8 years is great for that - but if I hadn't let my weight go, I'd probably get several more years out of it. However, it's now in a condition that I need the surgery now! My doc, though, wants me to lose weight first - which I agree with. He ordered a knee brace for me, & it helps some, but not enough - I still have a lot of knee pain, & I can't do a lot for exercise.
In the meantime, I discovered what I knew, as a nurse, was a hernia that's at the end of the
l-o-n-g incision from when I had my gallbladder removed in 1989. Why did it decide to pop out now? Because I've let my weight get out of control! When I went to the GI doc, he said he thought I had another hernia, lower in my abdomen - he thought it was at the incision from colon surgery I had about 5 years ago. YUCH! Another hernia? Just what I needed - yeah, right!
So I had a CT scan of my abdomen & pelvis a couple of weeks ago. I went back to the surgeon last week, & he said he thought I should lose the weight first - that losing it should resolve both hernias, because he thinks they both have some fat in them. I really think that he was being kind, because I got his secretary to make a copy of the radiologist's report on the scans.
I read the report - didn't like what I saw, & put it down. But I had to go back & look at it again - & again. Here's where it really gets ugly. Not only do both hernias contain fat (that's why I think the doc was being kind, it says so right in the report!), but I have "fatty infiltration" in my liver & in my pancreas. What does that mean? I have FAT in both of those organs, & no fat belongs there! I also have "atherosclerotic changes in the aorta and common iliac arteries." Meaning: I have plaque in the main artery coming from the heart, & the ones going down to the pelvis & lower extremities. The word for this plaque is atherosclerosis - you may have heard of that. It comes from a diet high in cholesterol. Unfortunately, I've already reduced my cholesterol intake, & my most recent labs showed that my levels were normal - & I've been taking a medication to keep it low. That means: back to the drawing board for this particular problem, in addition to the obvious -
Getting back on track with my food intake!!!!! I have to cut out more of the things I love, & start tracking my food intake again. I was doing it a while back, & if I didn't lose, I at least maintained - but lately my weight has climbed again. I'm not back at my all time high, but I won't be long reaching that if I don't start doing what I know I should be doing - and NOW!
So: my goals for the rest of this month (& forward, from now on, but I'll add more goals next month) are:
1. Continue drinking 8 glasses of water daily - this is one thing I almost always do, no matter what, though for the last couple of weeks, I haven't been as good at it.
2. Start tracking my food again - everything!
3. Find a substitute for butter as a flavoring. I use a lot of herbs & spices, but I still love butter on rice, potatoes, & a lot of cooked veggies. Maybe I should just eat my veggies raw, but then I want dip for a lot of them - using a low cal, low fat salad dressing is good, & I do that quite often - will have to do it MORE often!
4. Weigh in weekly.
5. Find an accountability partner - or several! There are several on the Christian Women Dealing w/ Chronic Illness & Pain Team who want to have some accountability, so I'm going to have to come up with a place to put that on our Team Page for all of us to use.
I'm not going to add exercise yet, because I'm having problems with my mobility - I'll ease into that in May, hopefully. Besides - I'm having to move this month (might have until the end of May, but not sure), so that's going to keep me pretty busy. Also, I'm looking at surgery for a rotator cuff tear in my left shoulder - which will probably be scheduled once I get my move done. So I know that's going to slow me down a little more, just because I've let myself go & I'm no spring chicken, so surgery can be more difficult to recuperate from. I plan to allow my body what it needs to heal, while continuing with my weight loss goals.
One thing that may help: Since I'll only be able to use one hand/arm after the surgery, my insurance will probably pay for meals to be delivered to me for 2-3 weeks. I'll request a 1200 calorie diet plan if so - that way, I'll be forced to follow it for that amount of time, & maybe I'll be able to continue that once I start cooking again. Right now, I allow myself up to 1400 calories. But that's to get me back into the swing of things without feeling like I'm starving myself - & eating everything in sight as a result!
I know this has been a long blog, but it's taken me a while to write it - I didn't want to, but I knew I HAD to! Thanks for reading this, if you've come this far - & please pray for me, that I can do what I know I have to do. God bless you all, my Spark brothers & sisters!