Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I was just looking at my last blog: the pictures of my size 18 jeans. Right now they're hanging in my closet with the "too small" clothes. Along with my size 20 jeans. AND that size 12/14 shirt I had on in those pictures. In fact, my I am fighting to not have to put my size 22 jeans in with the small clothes too.
Here's what's happened since I left you about a year ago:
I was doing fantastic in school and finally started to believe I belonged in a department, when I became ill. I lost strength and control in some of my muscles. For example, I could not stand and laugh at the same time - I would literally fall down because my legs wouldn't hold me. It felt like they were gone. Also, if I was sitting and started to laugh I lost all control of my neck muscles. My chin would drop to my chest, and I would have to physically pick my head back up with my hands.
It gets worse. I moved home because I couldn't live alone. After a few weeks, my muscles weakened to the point that I could not cough up the sinus mucus in my throat (it was allergy season) and I stopped peeing (as in I couldn't go.) I was admitted to the hospital, given a catheter, received breathing treatments, and underwent tests (such as a spinal tap). The diagnosis was an incredibly long word that meant GVHD (Graft vs. Host disease). They started my on IV antibody therapy immediately (which I still receive once a month).
I was discharged after 4 days or so, but at home I pretty much remained in bed. I still had the catheter and it seemed to keep coming apart or finding some way to leak (I have the worst luck sometimes). Plus, my parents house does not have central air conditioning and the downstairs was unbearably hot. So I pretty much stayed upstairs in bed watching tv, reading, etc.
I believe it was at this point when I started becoming depressed and eating the worst possible foods a person can eat (I won't list them so you aren't tempted ;)).
Finally, in the beginning on July I was relieved of my catheter! yay! My family and I spend some time in our home away from home (camper at our district church camp). We went down about one weekend a month until October. Still, I continued to recuperate at home by taking things slow.
Then November came. My church had a choir for Christmas, and I wanted to participate. I went to rehearsals until I realize stairs were involved and I couldn't do it without handrails. It was at this point my mom and I discovered that I had foot drop. Basically, because I sat in bed or on the couch with my feet up all the time, my leg muscles weakened and the tendons and muscles in my achilles area shortened because I had my toes pointed all the time. I was in fact climbing stairs by pulling with my arms, and walking/standing on my toes. Uh-oh.
In December I started Physical Therapy. I did stretches and exercises at home, wore braces for 4-5 hours every day, and had personal therapy sessions 2-3 times a week when I was able to attend. I made a lot of progress at first, but then it was like we hit a brick wall. My insurance decided they wouldn't pay anymore, so I am not rehabbing myself at home.
It took a couple weeks for me to wrap my head around losing PT, but then I made a plan to do it myself at home. A better plan, i think, because I am incorporating healthy eating and strengthening all muscles, but especially my legs.
I got on the scale and realize I had gained about 45lbs in a year. That was unacceptable. So, I am now on a vegetarian meal plan that I love. Also, I need to move to rehab myself, so I walk on the treadmill (not very fast) every day and i do some of the feet exercises shown at PT as well as some Spark People strength training routines. So far I have lost 6lbs in 2 weeks.
I cannot and will not accept the person I am now as me. I need to be better physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am working on that every day.