Monday, December 27, 2010

Something "catchy"...

Every year, I find some sort of "catchy" phrase that I use throughout the year...

Shine in 2009... Thin in 2010...

I was having trouble thinking of something that rhymed with 2011...

211 in 2011 kept jumping out. It's not really a catch-phrase, more like a goal weight. I was sure I could think of something better... until this morning.

I am starting over today, using my Isagenix products and cleansing. I weighed in, to assess the holiday damage, and to get a starting point. Again.

My new EatSmart (more about that later) scale says I weigh 311.6. Not good, but better than my pre-surgery weight.

After thinking about it, I think I WILL use 211 in 2011 as my catch-phrase/goal this year. That's a 100 lb weight loss. Which is doable... less than 10 lbs per month. I can do this, I know I can. 211 lbs will put me even lower than my pre-baby weight in 2005 (239), which has been my goal for a while.

I can do this, and I'm ready. No time like the present.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Do you have a "reset" button?

Something really weird is happening... besides my crazy-swollen leg and cankles.

Somehow I feel like after having surgery and being sick, my body has hit some sort of "reset" button.

I no longer feel compelled to binge on sugar.

I don't even want it. Or crave it. It doesn't phase me.

The holiday season is usually very hard for me... weight-loss-wise. I always fail my diet because I can't say 'no' to the sweet treats, cakes, cookies, fudge, candy, etc. that seems to constantly be passed around. I eat all I want, and usually just deal with the fall-out on January 1.

But this year is different. I just don't want it.

Last week, I made two batches of cookies for my kiddos when we had two snow days. I can count how many I ate over three days... under 10. And they were very small, quarter-sized cookies. In the past, I would have sat down with the whole container.

I have received cookies, candy, and fudge as teacher gifts this week. Instead of snacking on it throughout the day, it's just sat on my desk. I actually brought in Dunkin Donuts for my co-workers this morning and only had ONE. One of my co-workers even made a remark about how something had changed. She knows my usual struggle with sugar and all things related. She seemed a little shocked at my behavior, lol.

All those sweet treats are sitting on my kitchen table. Still wrapped up. I just don't want them.

Oh, and I suddenly don't like pizza anymore either! TWICE I've passed up pizza because the thought of eating it makes me sick. I just don't want it.

Don't get me wrong... I AM NOT COMPLAINING. This is really a good thing for me!

Somehow, after all this drama surrounding my surgery, my body has hit a 'reset' button and I guess it just needs something different. Maybe it was the Isagenix cleanse I was doing before my surgery... who knows? All I know is that this holiday season I am losing weight instead of gaining. I am in control of my eating. Which is good.

On another note... I thought I had taken the last of my Lovenox injections on Wednesday, but since my Coumaden levels are still too low, I had to go back on the injections today. Which is a total bummer. AND my leg is swollen tight tonight. I am SO sick and tired of being sick and tired. I really want to be back in the gym next week. A girl can only hope, right?

Monday, December 13, 2010

And the saga continues...

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings! And I'm not singing, lol!

This surgery saga keeps going and going... and according to my doctor, it could continue for MONTHS.

I went in to my doctor for a follow-up appointment on Tuesday. The seroma behind my incision was (and still is) oozing, but during the night before I woke up with horrible pain in my right leg. When I mentioned this to him, he sent me for an ultrasound of my leg to check for a possible blood clot.

And of course, I had one. A big one. "Deep Vein Thrombosis".

Straight to the emergency room I was told to go... do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

I only had to spend the night in the hospital (thank GOD). I am now on Lovenox injections and Coumaden to thin my blood. WHICH SUCKS.

Both the lady from the pharmacy at the hospital and my primary care doctor have scared me to DEATH about the risks of having this blood clot and taking blood thinners. Every medication I take and everything I eat can affect the Coumaden levels in my bloodstream, which will also affect the thinness of my blood and whether or not the clot moves and kills me. Any chest pain, any leg pain higher than my knee, any unexplained coughing or shortness of breath... it can all mean that the clot has moved to my lungs, where it can cause a pulmonary embolism. Which "could" kill me.


Soooo.... I am definitely trying to take care of ME. My leg is MUCH better. For days I could barely walk on it. It is still swollen, but the pain is almost gone and I am not limping as much now. I am still on the Lovenox injections twice per day. Because I am so big, I have to take 140mg, which has to be split into TWO injections of 100mg + 40 mg. That's FOUR injections per day that HURT LIKE HELL. (One more reminder of how being overweight SUCKS). But I am doing everything the doctor says. I am taking care of me.

I was looking forward to getting back to my Isagenix cleanse, but my doctor said NO because of the Coumaden and the fact that a lot of natural herbs don't interact well with it. I am bummed, but I am doing very well with eating. My appetite is back, but my portions are still small. I weighed the other day and saw the lowest number I've seen in a while. I've lost over 10 lbs since all this started.

I'm not stressing the weight loss right now, though. It will happen if I stay aware and keep the portions right. I am making good choices. I am really trying to be WELL again.

Everything happens for a reason. Maybe this experience is to teach me that my health is non-negotiable...?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surgery - The SAGA

Sorry for my absence (again). It isn't because I scrapped my diet again. It isn't because I haven't been focused on me and my health. Surgery has just been hell!

I had my surgery on November 23 (Tuesday before Thanksgiving). We celebrated Thanksgiving and my baby daughter's birthday (she turned 5!) on Sunday the 21st. It was a great, busy day. I was in complete control with eating... I didn't even finish one plate! I did have desserts, but not much. I had a leftover plate on Monday, and didn't finish that one either, lol. I just haven't had an appetite since starting the Isagenix products. I had to fast starting on Monday night for surgery.

The surgery went well on Tuesday. The doctor cut me open right on my c-section scar and was able to remove the entire mass, plus some one the other side that didn't show on the scan. I came home Tuesday night around 9 p.m. with minimal pain. Wednesday and Thursday were good - just slept a lot and popped pain pills. On Friday, I felt a lot more pain around my belly, but I figured that if they'd used local anesthesia on my belly the feeling might just be coming back.

By Saturday, I started getting worried. I didn't feel well. The incision site was sore, and my whole body ached. I was running a low-grade fever, and started having chills and sweats. This was the same case on Sunday. I felt like CRAP and just KNEW I'd contracted the flu or something from germs at the hospital (I always get sick when I go to the hospital).

I went in to my doctor on Monday, and even though there wasn't any visable redness around my incision, he told me that I may be getting an infection. With both my c-sections, I got infections, but there was stinky, puss around my scar. He sent me home with antibiotics, and told me not to go back to work until after he saw me on the following Monday (12/6). I admit, not going back to work made me upset. My whole point of doing this surgery before Thanksgiving Break was so I would only have to take 2 days off from work. I reluctantly called in for 2 more days, thinking I would start feeling better with the antibiotics and could go back earlier.

THIS made my friend that was with me (Max) very upset. She pointed out that this was NOT putting my needs first, and that I needed to give my body time to heal 100% before I went back into the classroom. I agreed, but I just "needed" to get back to work. My students depend on me, and I felt like I was neglecting them. My principal had already told me not to worry about my job in jeaopardy, but deep down I still felt like I was.

By Tuesday, I wasn't feeling much better. My friend had been helping me for the past week with the kids, but I knew she needed to get back to work, so she went back to Nashville. I picked my kids up from school, and it took all the energy I had. When I got home, I went to the bathroom and all I had on my mind was crawling back into bed with a Lortab. That never happened.

When I sat on the toilet, I noticed blood on my panties. It was near the waistband, so I knew it wasn't menstral blood. I stood up and looked in the mirror, and blood started POURING out of the corner of my incision. POURING. I grabbed toilet paper, but it just kept soaking right through. By the time I got my oldest daughter in there with paper towels, I was standing in a pool of blood. Not blood, really... It was more an orange color. But it was sticky like blood. It finally stopped, and my brave daughter cleaned up the mess so I wouldn't have to bend down. We shoved an Always pad down there (hey, it's absorbant!) and I went to my room to get dressed. I knew I needed to go to the ER.

I drove myself to the hospital, because it takes all my close friends at least 45 minutes to get to my house. I also didn't want to freak anyone out - including my kids. I figured it was just a little drainage, but I wanted to make sure. I got to the hospital about 20 minutes later and there was no wait. Jess and Max met me there for moral support, and I had a neighbor on standby if the kids needed anything. After testing the drainage to see if it was infection (it was), they sent me for a CT scan and found there was a pocket of fluid under my new scar that was probably more infection. When they were checking me over, they also heard rattling in my left lung. An x-ray confirmed that it was pneumonia! DAMN!

So here I am, calculating in my head how long it would take to recover. The doctor said I needed IV antibiotics to kill both the pneumonia and the infection. When I asked him if I needed to get someone to stay the night with my kids or take them to school in the morning, he looked at me as if I were a lunatic and said, "You are going to be in here for AT LEAST two days."


I laid there and cried like a baby. What was I going to do? But Jess and Max assured me they would take care of the kids, and I should only worry about getting better. But I was still devastated. I would HAVE to take the rest of the week off from work. I felt like I was letting everyone down. Why did I have to get sick? Why couldn't this just be an easy procedure to heal from?

So... I just got home from the hospital today. A little earlier than I expected, but I am so happy to be home. My lung is clear, and my white blood cell count is back to normal. I still have fluid oozzing from a little hole on the end of my cut, but my doc thinks most of the infection is gone. I am still on take-home antibiotics for the next two weeks, and I will go back to the doc on Monday so he can check things out before I go back to work on Tuesday.

I have been so emotional today. I think my time alone in the hospital really forced me to think. God has a way of making a statement sometimes. I HAD to put my health first, even though I wasn't thinking of me. I was thinking of my family and my job and all my other obligations, but I STILL wasn't putting my needs or my health first. Wasn't the whole point of me having the surgery in the first place for me to finally rid myself of chronic pain that I had been dealing with for four years? But even though I didn't want to give myself time to heal, God made sure that I HAD TO. I feel like it was a very humbling experience. I have to put ME first in order to help ANYONE in my life. Why do I have to constantly remind myself of this?

Everything will be ok. I am feeling much better and resting on the couch. I am finally, slowly getting my appetite back (I stopped eating on Sunday because of nausea), and I am determined to only eat good, clean food. As soon as my doctor tells me it's ok, I will pick up where I left off with the Isagenix products (He told me to stop while I was on so much medication post-op). I am finally, seriously on the road to good health. No more pain is amazing. Even with being sick and having this infection, I am still not in the amount of PAIN I have been in over the past six months.

Oh, and guess what? That mass WAS endometriosis. Somehow, some of those pesky endometrial cells had implanted outside of my uterus on my abdominal muscles. My doctor explained that this is way more painful that "regular" endometriosis because muscles bend and flex, and with those cells there it causes excrutiating pain. He was sympathetic, and I felt so vindicated. There was something REALLY wrong with me, no matter what all the other doctors and ultrasounds and predictions said. I wasn't crazy after all!

I will write more tomorrow, hopefully, about all the thinking I've been doing about my future health and weight loss efforts. I have finally jumped over a huge obstacle to my success. My dirty, painful secret is now gone and I have a chance at a new start. And I am so excited!