Category Archives: Arthritis and health issues

Big drop

After a 3 day hospital stay I was 234 from IVs (I went I at 222) pain meds had me constipated and then killed my appetite.
I went to an orthopedic rehab and scared them because they expected me to lose the 12 pounds difference and in the first 10 days I lost 25 …. by the time I left 3 weeks later I was 199.  Two weeks later and I average out at 195 (my new ID even says that) I was stalled for 2 months yoyoing between 212 and 219 until 3 days of stress eating caught up with me right before surgery.
Also I am 3 years out, I spent the entire time pushing protein and trying to get enough calories to heal and I am still trying and while I am on a lower dose of meds and can eat more often I now can’t stomach more than a few bites at a time.
Sometimes going back to basics does help, I now work out as much as I can, I drink 2 protein drinks a day (I am a DSer and need 140 grams of protein to heal OK) and eat about 85% protein with a few sweet or fibrous things to help with the constipation.
I could lose more quickly by not forcing higher calorie proteins like nuts but I am aware my body needs at least some calories to heal my knee. 
In the end basics matters but so does taking care of yourself

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Filed under Arthritis and health issues, exercise, Food, knee replacement, protein

Fear of screwing it up

I will be honest, I am scared of screwing up this knee replacement thing.
I am not afraid it will hurt, it WILL hurt like hell but that pain should end soon enough compared to a lifetime of pain.
I am not afraid that the joint will fail or I will die, I am healthy, the odds of either are rare and I can only hope for the best.
No I am afraid that *I* will fuck this up by not being dedicated enough, not being strong enough to push through the pain and do what needs doing. I am afraid I wont be able to make myself do my pre surgery exercises in a sensible way and not set myself back, I am afraid I will slack on my physical therapy when the time comes.
I know I have an illness that makes everything seem just that much harder but I can’t help it, deep in my heart of hearts I am convinced, no matter how hard I try to think otherwise, that I am just lazy and a weakling.  Maybe it all really is my fault, maybe everything from insulin resistance to chronic fatigue are totally in my head and in the end I am just lazy.
Or worse, maybe they arent in my head, maybe I just can’t win.
OK so I have vented those fears so it is time to put them to rest, even if I am just lazy I can change, I can keep trying.  Even if it is an illness that makes everything I do harder I simply have to work smarter and more diligently and do what I already should be doing for my health with my eating, very high protein, moderate healthy fats, and very low carbs with very little gluten. 
And when it hurts, when I want to quit and give up I have to remember that this battle is for my quality of life as well as the quantity because I need to keep moving to stay healthy.

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Filed under Arthritis and health issues, changing how I think, chronic fatigue syndrome, confession, depression and mental health, fears, knee replacement, Motivation, spoonie

No more excuses

I know I need to make changes and finally I am finding reasons to get my knees done, reasons to be healthy, reasons to try, now I am seeking the Ways to make it happen.

It is time for me to step back and take a look at my life, ask myself “what do you want most to actually achieve? What things would you like to do that you have either not done or given up on?”
One of the first steps is to list my goals:
simple goals
difficult goals
complicated goals
realistic but hard goals.
Now is the time when I must take a much harder look, dig deep and ask myself “what excuse do I use to not even try to make these goals come true? What excuses am I giving others and worse, myself, to not make it happen or to not even find a way to do the best that I can and at least keep attempting to make it happen.”
It is time to be brutal, be honest and once I have a list of excuses I need to make another list of why each of those excuse is total bunk and bullshit, then make a list of ways I can try to achieve each thing, ways I can change things in my life to accomplish my goals.
It is time to stop finding excuses and start finding ways.

Excuses that all lead back to me needing to get my knees replaced:

I can’t exercise enough because my knees hurt so much (get them fixed)
I don’t sleep well partly due to pain and it makes me cranky (time to get them done)
I eat goodies I know will make me sick because of pain, I have little control when it hurts so badly (then it is time to face the fact this pain will last forever without a replacement)
I can’t lose weight if I can’t walk without so much pain (*cough* sugar *cough cough* sweets *cough* KNEES, REPLACE, NOW)

Excuses I have used to avoid getting my knees replaced (and the answers to why it is wrong)

Pain, it will hurt (I hurt every day of my life, I am currently 44yrs old with no massive illnesses, that is not right when I could fix it.  The pain and bad knees make me walk badly, my hips, back and feet pay the cost.  Major pain for 6 months to a year or ever increasing pain for life?)
They won’t last long (actually if I am good and keep my weight down I could be looking at 15 to 20 years, I would be 60-65 before they needed redoing and by then they might even have better ways to do it)
I will need so much help for a while I will be a burden (hate to break this to you chica but you are going to end up a bigger burden in 10 years if you can’t walk, now you will heal faster than you will at 55 and now mom and Alex can actually help you, then someday maybe you can help them.)
SCARS-12 inch+ scars (fuck you, I am aging faster due to pain, I see it on my face every day and it is worse on bad days, I am covered in stretch marks, I lost half my body weight, my husband doesn’t care about all that why should scars matter?)
I need to be under 200 pounds for a while (think back, that was my plan, the surgeon was willing to do them at 250 pounds, I wanted to lose to a magic number and I don’t think it will happen without the surgery, don’t lie to yourself)

So no more excuses, in a week I will know if we can do them,I want them done in April, I have 2 major events in March, I want chances of snow and ice to be slim and if the cortisone helps I would like to build up some more muscle.  If I have to have them done sooner, oh well it will have to be.
No more excuses.

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Filed under Accountability, Arthritis and health issues, challenge, changing how I think, confession, fears, goals, health, Motivation, pain, taking steps to improve things

What if I told you…

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I have been afraid to go forward with getting my knees replaced for a lot of reasons, one of which is pain, but a few months in hell, pain wise, for taking a chance at making things better has got to be better than a lifetime in a painful purgatory being punished for what you were not brave enough to do at all.
My knees will not get better by themselves, even if I lost another 80 pounds they will hurt for life without being replaced, I also don’t think I can actually lose more weight without being able to move easier.
I am now thinking of pain like grains of sand filling buckets…a slow but increasingly painful trickle over the next 15 to 20 years will be far more suffering than a short deluge that may give me peace and comfort for the next 15-20 years.
I want to live a long time and part of that is me losing weight and I don’t think I can without being able to move more, what would the point of going through weight loss really be if I still end up immobile? I want to walk with my husband and not be a burden on him.
3 years ago on April 26th 2010 I had most of my stomach removed and my upper intestine rerouted and since then I have lost nearly 200 pounds (I had lost 52 pounds before surgery so I weighed 411 when I went in and I am between 212 and 217 now) 4 and a half years ago I asked myself basically the same question, do I want to be in the same condition and most likely worse in 10 years if I last that long? I realized I was more afraid of the consequences of standing still in the middle of the battle my life was than I was to fight to win. 
Now I realize that I am only half done with this battle, time to fight on the second front and win back my mobility and vanquish pain.  I can’t let doubt cause me to surrender without trying.

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Filed under Arthritis and health issues, changing how I think, fears, goals, Motivation, taking steps to improve things

Feeling under attack by my own body

Damn splenda, when I first ODed on it about 4 months ago I thought I was dying. I had just given up sugar and was reducing my shockingly huge caffeine intake by 70% and so I was drinking massive glasses of tea and realized that I been using 25 packs a day and getting horribly  sick. I reduced to no more than 7 a day and was doing fine but my body is never happy with what I want and sometimes I slip up and drink a few more.  The thing is now 10 is enough to trigger the reactions and splenda is actually harder to quit than sugar has been and I go through hell trying to give either of them up for long.

Symptoms include:
Dehydration and a miserable thirst despite drinking alot of water
all over body ache similar to the flu
Muscle weakness and horrendous joint pain,
A near migraine level headache
Itchy skin, especially my hands,
PMS type irritability,
None of which by the way is really touched by pan relievers.

I know it is evil stuff. My pain tells me that, I also know I have two different issues with my body that cause it to react badly to sugars. I am insulin reactive which makes my body treat even small amounts of simple carbohydrates (sugars) as if they were an even more highly addictive substance than they actually are.  I also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which causes sugars to react badly with my moods causing foggy thoughts and depression as well as increasing my over all inflammation.
I know all of that but giving it up cold turkey is hell and the only way I ever have managed for even a month, giving up even 90% means the 10% triggers my insulin resistance and my cravings, and now even smaller amounts of splenda is triggering a toxic reaction.
I sort of am feeling sort under attack by … I don’t know…fate or something.
All my life sweets were my addiction, they were my crutch and security blanket and I am more than aware that they were killing me.  I ate myself up to 460+ pounds, I crippled myself and I now know that at least a good deal of my depression, chronic pain and other random illnesses I now realize were related to CFS were exacerbated by my ridiculous sugar intake.  I know I have to give it up for so many reasons but it just makes me so sad that I am someone whose body is so messed up that they can’t have even a little something sweet.
I work at giving up sugar and one of the few treats I was still able to enjoy was sweet hot tea or coffee and now it feels as if I can’t have any.
If I drink too much caffeine I either can’t sleep worth a damn or if I really drink too much I crash out for days. I can no longer drink sugars at all due to the weight loss surgery causing liquid sugar to react badly with my stomach, apspertame makes me sick as a dog eating grass and now anything more than 4 packets of splenda puts me in pain. Oh yeah and Stevia tastes like hay.
I know that I just need to stop, stop eating sugar for my health as it causes ahost of physical and mental issues with my weirdo body and now I just need to give up sweeteners all together.
And I really need to give up this feeling of being punished and stop being so lax in taking care of myself and I need to put my overall health and comfort ahead of momentary impulses for sweets and the temporary comfort it brings.

NOTE: All I can think about as I write this is whether I can justify a danish or not in the morning.  Crap I want to cry.

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Filed under Addiction, Arthritis and health issues, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and mental health, Food, health, Insomnia, pain, spoonie, the past

Resolution #1 treat myself right and learn from my mistakes

Ive been pushing myself, day after day, more and more lately.
Not because I want to prove something but because there is so much that needs doing. Things that need cooked, things that need cleaning, or need organized or created and I just don’t seem patient enough to take time, to wait for help, and I keep thinking I will be fine, that I can just do this one last thing and then one more until my body rebels.
I give myself just enough time for the pain to fade a bit (but not enough time to heal the damage I am doing to my joints, my back and my still weak muscles or messed up nerves) then I go back to pushing myself too far.
I should be the last person to be accused of a Puritan work ethic but I guess you could say that is the problem if by that you mean that I suffer a lot of guilt about weakness, real or perceived, or that somewhere deep inside I have a no pain no gain mentality, despite knowing better, and that no matter how often I see it to be otherwise I have a general conviction that if I can just push past the pain this will be the time I get blessed, get strong, get better.
The thing is while I can do more than ever before I still take a lot longer time than most people to cover and the more I push without letting myself heal the longer and worse the pain is during my recovery.
I have so much that I  want to do but I have to accept that when everything aches and I push everything begins to hurt.  I also need to accept that hurting is a sign not of personal weakness of character but instead a sign that I am harming myself and that in my case it breeds worse pain as it keeps me awake, keeps my muscles and nerves stressed and makes it harder to heal at all.
The hardest thing for me is not that I dont give assistance to others, it’s not that I fail to give understanding or sympathy or that I judge others too harshly but that I don’t give myself those things. I constantly judge myself a failure which is why I am so hard on myself and by being so rough with myself I set myself up to fail, thus making a vicious cycle of self abusive behavior and thought processes.
it is time that I learn to give myself time to heal, give myself the right to slip without it being a grand failing for which I berate myself then throw my hands up and give up trying.  Somewhere along the line I developed something of an all or nothing mentality  , either I succeed right off or I declare myself a failure and since I have already failed why try to do better?
This is one of the things I am going to resolve to do in the future, give myself time to heal physically, mentally and to learn new habits of action and thought.
  I need to allow myself to fail in small ways without declaring myself an epic failure and giving up, if I slip and have a small treat it is no excuse to berate myself as I eat more and more because I already blew my food plan, if something takes a long time to do it is no reason to hate myself and give up trying. For each small failing I need to simply start again, start over fresh and make myself succeed no matter how difficult it is without harming myself.  If one method leads to pain, to slipping where my determination is concerned then I need to look to find a better way to do things.
And so I resolve to be good to myself, to take care of myself and to find success from failures without giving up or repeating the same mistakes over and over.

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Filed under Accountability, Arthritis and health issues, changing how I think, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and mental health, goals, Motivation, obsessions, pain, spoonie, taking steps to improve things

I should be writing about Splenda poisoning

I quit sugar 16 days ago and like a total fuck up increased my splenda intake so much that I am now very sick, for me the symptoms are like having the flu while in the middle of bad PMS.
I should be writing to tell how horrible it is and what I am doing to alleviate the symptoms but one of the symptoms is my mind is so distracted and another is my fingers are so swollen and painful it hurts to type.
So the story will be put on hold and this may have to count as my Nov blog challenge post of the day.

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Filed under Addiction, Arthritis and health issues, health, pain, random daily stuff, Random Thoughts, spoonie

Feeling in control for once

Nov writing month blog challenge day 3

CONTROL
The thing is in the last 11 days of not eating any sugar my only cravings have been purely mental ones after the second day, usually when I try to cut back or just have even 1 piece of dark dark chocolate a day I crave the sugar physically far worse than mentally but I realized that due to a long term problem with chronic fatigue syndrome dating back to my teens when my weight went insane I have major physical reactions to sugar and caffeine and they can increase my pain and inflammation. 
Without any processed sugar and less than 25% of the caffeine I was drinking just 2 weeks ago I now have less pain, anxiety and anger issues and I am not as exhausted all the time but I have to accept that I will always face triggers but I am the one who aims the gun so to speak.  I choose if I eat, I Choose what I eat, I am not helpless to my cravings and if I keep resisting them physically at least I will be more able to resist the urge. 
I did not give in last night despite the list of excuses and I realize I don’t have to ever give in if I don’t want to. 
Maybe for one of the first time ever in my life I am not just exerting real control over what I eat and why but more to the point for the first time ever I FEEL IN CONTROL.  I have quit sweets before but I always thought of it as a transient condition.  I was always just waiting out whatever goal date I had set for myself, such as no sugar for a month, counting down the days til I could indulge my addiction. 
This is the first time I have no deadline, no end date, I am not telling myself that we will have cake for my birthday in a month, or if I behave I can have Christmas as a free day and yet I feel safer and more in control of my eating than I ever have before.  Accepting that there is no way for me to have free days without them becoming free months is also truly for the first time accepting I have a biological issue that effects how my body deals with sugar and that while my addiction is not my fault my recovery is my responsibility.

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Filed under Addiction, Arthritis and health issues, challenge, chronic fatigue syndrome, Food, obsessions, positive thought, taking steps to improve things

Giving up so much but getting more back

So it seems that not eating carbs, sugars, and drinking lots of milky tea this week has finally made a difference, in 3 days I lost 5 pounds and I am now at my lowest adult weight of 217.

Lets just hope I can stick with it and lose 13 more pounds by Dec 7th (my birthday) to reach my goal of half of what I weighed the day of my weight loss Surgery when I was 411 pounds.
Personally if at all possible I would love to lose 20 pounds by new years day so I could strt the year under 200 pounds.

I just wish it was easier for me and not such a constant struggle.  I really wish that I had more self control but the fact is I have major impulse control issues, right now I am having to give up so much for my health and to reduce my pain on top of all the stuff I have had to give up due to my altered anatomy (but much of which I wasn’t giving up enough which explains why I have been stalled)

Just to give you an idea here is the stuff I can NOT have:
*Simple carbs/sugar, including alcohol,
*Large amounts of gluten,
*Pasta, bread, actually regardless of if it is gluten free my body can handle almost no grains/rice of any type, except very small amounts of Quinoa
*Almost every raw vegetables (only a small amount of well cooked ones)
*And almost all fruit due to the fiber,
*Anything at all with MSG or most nitrates
*Anything deep fried regardless of how little breading is on it
*Fibrous, dry or under cooked cuts of meat
*Too much Splenda sweetener
*Any sugar-free candy
*And I have had about an 85% reduction in caffeine from what I was drinking 2 weeks ago
Here on the other hand the kind of stuff I can eat:
Milk (lots of it…especially in tea)
Lite (low sugar) yogurt
Cheese
Very tender Chicken, fish, non fatty Beef and Pork (this gets old fast BTW..and it is expensive even when you eat small amounts)
Scrambled eggs in small amounts but not Boiled as they can make me sick
Small amounts of Quinoa
White or black beans super well cooked
Tomatoes and cucumbers (if peeled)
Well cooked peppers in small amounts, same with onions
Nuts like Almonds (though too many hurt my guts)
Peanuts and Adams Peanut butter
Split pea soup if I cream it
Decaf coffee and tea
A small amount of regular tea
When I stick with eating only what I can then I feel better eventually but the first week or so is hell, last week I tried to let myself have about an oz of dark chocolate but I think it was making it harder.
By the way when I list what I can and cant eat, or the meds/ vitamins/ supplements I take I am not looking for Pity not even from myself.
I knew most of what I was giving up with my surgery before it happened in late April 2010 (30 months ago) but I have cheated A LOT.  I realized recently that beyond slowing my weight loss I was having issues with sugar and carbs exacerbating my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and causing many symptoms to flair up and because it was getting so bd I can not eat Sugars (carbs) very much at all with out exhaustion and increased pain sensitivity and a serious increase in inflammation which leads to lower mobility and even more pain.
All of this is my choice, my choice to give up those things just as it is my choice when I eat things I shouldn’t, yes Insulin Deficiency makes it more difficult to resist sugar but it does not make it impossible nor does it force feed me against my will.  No, I am the only one who puts the food in my mouth and I can choose even if it is difficult to the point of tears not to eat something.
Everyday for years I had to make the choice to walk despite horrible pain (there are still days like that even nearly 250 pounds smaller) I could of chosen to give up and never walk anywhere but I kept moving s much as I could.
I make my own choices…I could have kept going as I was, not having surgery, not changing anything and simply continued to get bigger and by now I would be in a wheel chair and compulsively eating to deal with stress and pain and making everything worse and I would be in so much more pain than now and so exhausted (as I have been most of my adult life) that I would not of been able to help myself get better.
For that matter I could have kept going the way I have been for the last year or more since surgery, eating the foods I knew upset my stomach and guts and having no energy and stalling weight wise for months on end, and just hating myself for failing to behave.
So no I am not asking for pity, I made my choices and now I am trying to live up to the decisions I made.
sadly I realize that this means I get to change things like how I socialize since food is a huge part of that, there may be times when I shall simply have to avoid certain social situations until I can feel more in control of myself.

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Filed under Accountability, Addiction, Arthritis and health issues, changing how I think, chronic fatigue syndrome, Food, goals, health, Motivation, pain, positive thought, spoonie, taking steps to improve things, the past, weigh ins

Fell off the wagon

Oh man if I ever doubted caffeine and sugar kick me down I don’t now.  I am totally wiped out and head and body achy after eating a horrible amount of sugar yesterday and this morning (yay stress and weak will) and drinking a big mug of regular coffee (yay the habit of always pulling my coffee of the pot Next to the decaf and not paying attention)
I felt better by Thursday last week after barely eating sweets for a week and less caffeine and now I feel the same old same old.  Good to recognize this now before I get back in to the habit of eating sweet stuff all day and drinking a pot of coffee a day.

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Filed under Addiction, Arthritis and health issues, chronic fatigue syndrome, Food, health, pain, spoonie, taking steps to improve things

I will do it myself

In my household that is not a statement it is a threat that carries quite a bit of weight since even though I almost always end up hurt because I over do I get impatient and try to do things.  Things that often involve me climbing on chairs and furniture and using my staple gun.

I hate hate hate that there is so much I can’t just go and DO around here like insulate the large garage door…if I was healthier and more stable I would drag the plastic and staple gun and a sturdy chair out and JUST DO IT. (ugh I hate that slogan, not everyone can Just Do It) Beyond the arthritis that has destroyed my knees there is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that causes me to suddenly become exhausted and messes with my balance.
Poor Alex has to not only deal with having to do the work eventually (even though he doesnt see why it bugs me so much) he also has to deal with the worry I will throw caution to the wind and do it anyway (I wish) and maybe hurt myself (not something I wish for) and on top of it he gets to deal with me being angry at myself for being too weak to do it and the fact that I often take it out on him.
I have an amazing husband and I just wish I could make life easier on him since he deserves better than me feeling so upset about it.

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Filed under Arthritis and health issues, chronic fatigue syndrome, spoonie

Theory

Time to test a theory, the sites I checked about chronic fatigue say that both sugar and excess caffeine can exacerbate a flair up of symptoms, today I was more or less fine until I ate chocolate and drank more than my morning coffee (this was at around 6:30)  after that my energy crashed and my pain levels went up.
So tomorrow I will not have excess garbs and only a 16 oz coffee early in the day and a little tea throughout. We will see how I feel tomorrow night.

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Filed under Accountability, Addiction, Arthritis and health issues, Food, health, pain, spoonie