Never Say Never Again


I haven’t posted in a while – mostly because IF I GET TIRED OF LISTENING TO MY DRAMA I’m sure others do too.  It’s exhausting.

Yes, I still deal daily with my adult children’s chronic mental and physical health issues – yes, I’m still dealing with my divorce… and the resulting anxiety and minor depressions.  And once again it has become crystal clear that, as much as I hoot and hollar to other women that we must always take care of ourselves first if we are to take care of others, I have been ignoring my own health.  Or, at least, not paying attention to it.   No. Ignoring it.

I went to the doctor this week for the first time in about 2 years.  After seven years and multiple health insurance changes, I was finally able to get back in to see the coolest doctor I’ve ever had.  I had to wait almost an hour past my appointment time, which normally would have driven me up the wall, but then she spent forty-five minutes with me.  Well beyond the expected ten minutes in and out crap that most doctors manage.  She listens.   She responds.  She’s intuitive.  She picked up right away on my anxiety and low grade depression issues.  She recognized my self-medicating with wine (better than Zanex, I argued) and suggested we try something that might be more helpful and less harmful.   She acknowledged my concern about regain after my gastric bypass surgery 10 years ago and the psychology around it – the stressors in my life and how they  are impacting my health.  Within that 45 minutes, she started the following processes:

  • Ordered immediate blood work to check hemoglobin for diabetes indicators, and thyroid functioning (done that day)
  • Referral for mammogram (done yesterday) and colonoscopy (scheduled for May)
  • Referral to a local bariatric center that, besides doing surgeries, offers post-op medical/lab support, support groups,  psychological counseling and regain weight loss programs designed for post-op patients.  (intake appointment next Thursday)
  • Rx for a low dose of prozac to calm me down and help me cope with my day-to-day shit. (started Wednesday)
  • A follow-up appointment in a month to check on me and see how I am doing

I walked out of her office feeling better and stronger already simply because I finally felt like I have someone in my corner – rooting for me – not just telling me to lose weight and get therapy.

That’s a long way around to NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN.   In 2008, I weighed 147 pounds – 3 years post op and 10 lbs up from my happy weight of 135-ish.  In 2009, it was 151.  Not bad, four  pounds.  This week I weighed in at 187.

I was one of those post-ops who swore NEVER AGAIN.  I’m never going back “there” again. The reality is that without vigilance, without continuing to always work on our HEAD BATTLES along with our FOOD BATTLES, we can easily regain the weight we so painstakingly lost. We can … and we do.

But our tool is always there – our pouchies for us RNY gastric bypass post-ops.  I’m back at that sick and tired of being sick and tired point.  I’m not beating myself up nor am I full of self-loathing for having regained.  I am concerned that the very issues I sought to avoid in 2005 are again realistic concerns … a very strong family history of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  I’ve been lucky so far, but I fear the possibilities.

So next Thursday I begin a medically supervised fasting weight loss program designed and administered by a medical group that specializes in weight loss surgery and support.  I am grateful that my health insurance covers it. I will take advantage of this as long as i have this insurance (pending my divorce becoming final) or can afford a subsequent medicare supplement that also covers this service.

I’m putting myself out there for the benefit of others on this journey.   It’s real, this path we take.   Never the easy way out, always requiring care and vigilance.  But don’t ever give up.

Namaste …..

I honor your journey –

IttyBitty

 

 

 

Head Battles – WLS Journey – 10 years and 6 months later


 

Yeah, it’s been a while, but as I recently read on one of my favorite blogs, life happens.  And life has been happening.

It’s a never ending – obesity and head battles.

2005 - 225 lbs
2005 – 225 lbs
March 2006 - 135 lbs
March 2006 – 135 lbs

And I am now half way in between the two weights.

I often contemplate how I got my head into that  place of commitment and action – that place that allowed me the strength to make the decision to have weight loss surgery.  I would like to get back there – I know that place is still inside me, somewhere in my brain.

And I remind myself daily that this tool I have was not brain surgery – it was stomach surgery.  Funny how I still know all the right answers.  And I also know all the triggers to the emotional eating that is occurring at this time in my life –

  • 2 adult children with bi-polar/anxiety disorders and other chronic health issues
  • going through a divorce (however currently amicable) due to husband’s inability to cope with the issues my kids have. We have been married just 4 years, so he has no emotional  investment in them and their issues (understandably).  He also has no desire to understand mental illness.  He is an acknowledged alcoholic.

I thank my higher powers that I currently have a good job.   I am self-supporting, which allows me to provide a home environment for the time being for my son.   That being said, it is a bit of an unanticpated burden and I live pay check to pay check  Son and I are hopefully working through this and building some parameters and expectations on both our parts.

The “UN” mindfulness part?

  • Too much comfort food and too much wine.  My self-medicating.  I’ve tried therapy for stress and anxiety – anxiety meds and anti-depressants are not my cup of tea.  I still have unused Zanex from 2 years ago.
  • No exercise
  • Insomnia – and yes I know, lack of exercise and alcohol are major contributors.

The plan? I refuse to call it a “resolution” because I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

  • Returning to food choices that I know are appropriate and supportive of a WLS lifestyle
  • Reducing at least if I don’t eliminate the alcohol
  • Exercising if only walking and stretching to start to get back into the routine
  • Finding and participating in support programs for caregivers for family with mental illness and an al-anon type of group.
  • Allowing myself to grieve the loss of what I thought would be my life partner and cheerleader – not that I ever expected him to fix my problems, but there was a hope of him standing beside me.
  • Reminding myself to set personal boundries for self preservation
  • Engaging in my relationships with my women friends – rather than sharing and relying on them, I tend to do the opposite and isolate – I get tired of hearing about my problems, how can I expect them to?  Yet I know I would be there for any of them in a heartbeat

It’s mostly remembering to take care of myself ahead of everyone else.  I am the first one to tell people to “take care of you so you can take care of those who need you”.

I’m looking in the mirror – saying those words.

Do you need to say those words to you?

Namaste – I honor you and your head battles.

Itty Bitty