Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Another year. Not any closer to where I wanted to be. Last night was rough. Like I had to pop some pills in order to dull the pain enough to sleep rough. I am seriously losing myself here. The physical pain wears on my mentally and I just feel like I'm falling apart. Trying to not lose hope.
I have an appointment to see a new PCP on January 26th and I'm hoping this starts a one-year journey to weight loss surgery. Because my body needs help. My willpower rocks...my body needs help. It was this realization that I got from 2014. I'm at the chiropractor's office every week just trying to help it stay together from all the hard work I put in. I promise I'm trying to not feel discouraged, but it is hard to keep it together.
I had a long time with my chiropractor. He's one of the only doctors that gets me and knows I'm not lying to him. He knows how hard I'll work. He knows my determination. He knows I will follow doctor's instructions. He knows I'm fighting back against this as hard as I can and I can tell he sympathizes with me, which honestly feels nice for once. That being said, unless we can take care of the weight issues, this back thing is going to continue to be a HUGE problem, so much so that there's talk of simply deadening the nerve endings in my lower back so I can get through the days without pain so bad that every breath hurts.
So, my goals for 2015 are a little all over the place...because everything is up in the air and I feel a little out of control. (The one thing I can control is my food intake...but I'm kinda making small changes and holding off on the full-force lifestyle changes until after the 26th since my insurance requires me to lose 10% in those 12 months leading up to surgery. Flat out...I'm waiting...because I want it to REALLY count. That being said, I'm trying not to do too much more damage until then.)
1. January 26th - New PCP. I am hoping and praying this will be a good thing. I've done research and the biggest comment made about this doctor is that she LISTENS to her patients. That's SUPER important right now. I need her to take me for what I'm giving her because I'm not one to feed someone lies. What I will be discussing with her: (1) my PF pain, that is just as bad today as it was day one, (2) my lower back issues, (3) weight loss and weight loss surgery including my journey, what happened, and how I ended up back here even though I fought for the past two years to hold on to ANY of my successes, (4) the chronic pain and how to manage it. I'm hoping I will leave that with a BEFORE weight, a plan of action, and approval to move toward my goal of surgery. I WILL do the hard work, I just need her to put her stamp of approval on it.
2. Food restriction. I've already begun (like I said, I'm trying not to go too hardcore because I want those pounds to count) making changes to the types of food I'm eating. I moved from eating a full bagel with cream cheese, to a whole wheat english muffin with a little bit of peanut butter, to having a homemade shake every morning this week. Still plenty of room for improvement there. I did discover Silk Vanilla Almond Creamer, which tastes amazing in coffee and really cuts my creamer calories, so I have a feeling that will be coming in handy for me. (I can drink my coffee straight black, but I really don't want to yet! *lol* Plus, I just looked up the nutrition facts - 15 calories per Tbsp vs. 35 for vanilla creamer from International Delight and only 2 sugars per serving instead of 5 for the other...I could probably actually use this post-op.) Lunches, dinners and snacks still need a lot of work. I've added in Chobani and granola for a snack instead of candy bars and chips and such. Again, moving in the right direction - SLOWLY for now. After my appointment I'll have a better plan, but I'm thinking it's going to include becoming a health food nut. It's just about the only thing in my life I can control right now.
3. Exercise AT SOME POINT. I really, really, really want my workouts back. Right now I'm at a loss for what to do. I'm walking a little more. I try to take the stairs when I think my body can take it. It's REALLY hard right now because EVERYTHING hurts and any move could be the one that causes extreme back or PF pain. I'm pretty sure I'll end up with an MRI some time this year to see what's going on in my back so we have a better idea as to how to manage it. But my only goal for this is to actually be able to have SOMETHING I can do actively 3-4 times a week. Even if it's just yoga. (Which my back will NOT allow me to do right now either.) I'd prefer it to be walking or swimming or even some workouts that make me sweat in the gym, like boxing, but if I have to settle for something super simple for now, I will do that. Again, the goal for 2015 is to get me ready for surgery...post-op should start to open more doors for me.
4. Improve mental health. I had no clue how much chronic pain can impact a person's mental state. I get it now. I understand why people who struggle with this all the time struggle with mental problems including depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. (I'm not saying I'm considering suicide, just that I understand how this could lead someone to that point.) Chronic pain is absolutely EXHAUSTING. Your body is constantly working trying heal something that doesn't seem to want to heal. It makes you want to sleep more (which, for me at least, makes things WORSE). It makes you want to hide and do nothing and turn off everything and just tune out. Little things really irritate the crap out of you. I cannot tell you how many times I've said "I'm just TIRED!" this year and I mean fully 100% tired as a human being. Life is exhausting right now. So I need to find ways to meet my mental health needs. I think this will involve fulfilling my interests and keeping my mind mentally tasked with things I CAN do - craft projects and photography projects and things of that like. I will continue to see my therapist as well (thank GOD I found one that actually seems to want to help me!). I'm going to work on being the best everything else I can be so that my confidence is boosted even while my body is trying to destroy me.
5. Friends. This ties into 4. I need friends. My friends. New friends. Old friends. I need to know who my support is. I need to know that I'm supported. I've already gotten a boost in this area. Two of my closest friends have reached out to me lately and showed me just how much they care about me. I'm trying to recognize that when I see it, acknowledge it, and foster that relationship more. No more will I devote my time to friendships that are based on what I can do for someone else...they must be based upon mutual understanding, love and deep care for one another. If they aren't deep in that way, I don't have the energy to devote to them. I want to start doing things like sending cards and remembering birthdays and if I whittle myself down to those few important friends that I know are real I may actually have time for that.
They may be strange goals. They aren't what I typically do. They aren't goals you can count and measure one for one - they're ideals and wishes and dreams and desires. I need something more basic because it really would be too much right now to put anything down when I know everything might change. I'll have more quantitive short term goals after the 26th, I'm sure, but for now, I'm good with this.