Category Archives: spoonie

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

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

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

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

click click click

I had Alex put his hand on my knee recently when I was having a bad day and it was grinding, I think he was a little bit shocked by just how much you can actually feel it click and grind just putting your hand on my knee.
I wanted him to get an idea just how bad it gets so that if I get grumpy, if I get depressed or snap a bit he can maybe try to remember what it felt like from the outside and try to understand how much worse it is living with it all the time.
Pain wears you down, it eats away at your joy for life and tries to kill your creativity, the fact that I have not given up and hidden away, have not stopped enjoying life or trying to create is just stubbornness and the sheer luckiness of being born with a hell of a lot of joi de vie.
If I had a different nature, different personality (which is a mix of my genetics and upbringing) and different support network then I might give up, stop trying to do better and give up trying to live a happy, creative, love filled life.
I really believe that a person’s ability to enjoy life has a lot to do with both their genetic make up and the way they are taught to experience the world and how they learn to face adversity. I use to confuse people by saying “I am depressed but in a pretty good mood.” A dr once confirmed that you can be physically depressed but depending on the situation you might not be unhappy really. Depression is in my case at least a series of physical symptoms, sometimes those symptoms do include overwhelming sadness while other times no as much.
Pain can trigger waves of sadness without other depression symptoms but I remind myself that the feeling is transitory and just like my bouts of depression they are awful but transitory. I will get through it,no point in dwelling on it, or basking in the pain and sorrow or eating up the drama with a spoon.
things to remind myself of.

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Filed under Arthritis and health issues, changing how I think, depression and mental health, health, pain, spoonie

not hungry at all, not good

I have had very little appetite for the last 3+ weeks, and when I do eat I fill up very fast and feel sick if I eat more than a little bit at a time, I have gone through this phase before and it is physically and mentally stressful.  I am more sensitive to pain right now and when I most need it I have no energy.
Yes this is part of what weightloss surgery is supposed to do but my kind of surgery means I dont absorb a lot of what I eat and so I need to eat a reasonable amount every day or get weak…which is what is happening, I have little energy and I fade out fast and while I am losing a little weight I could end up stalling my metabolism pretty badly.  I am trying to get enough protein but it is hard, gonna have to invest $40 I really dont have in the only protein powder that doesnt make me sick on Friday.
I hope it evens out, while I would not mind not being hungry often I would like to be able to eat enough not to feel so sick

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Filed under health, pain, spoonie

PTSD from old pain?

Note: it is kind of hard for me to type right now, I am laying in bed with my right leg very elevated and my mini-laptop on my chest (propped up on a blanket so I can see the keyboard) and I am more than a little doped up so bare with me. Today I got my forth set of cortisone shots in my knees and for the first time the shot themselves were very painful due to inflammation of the joint and connective tissue. Since it is difficult for me to take any kind of anti-inflammatory medicine due to the weight loss surgery making NSaId drugs dangerous for me I had not thought to take anything for swelling and since the pain was not too bad when I walked in I thought everything would be ok. WRONG…the shots themselves were unusually painful and afterwards we went out to coffee and I walked a little thinking that it would help break down the crystals in the cortisone and loosen my knees up. WRONG AGAIN we went home (appointment at 10:10, coffee around 11, then home by 1) and my right knee started to ache a bit so I went to bed and made a big mistake. I had my electric throw over me and the heat from it may have increased the swelling because quickly the pain was excruciating and I could barely move. Alex needed to sleep since he works nights so I got out of bed and took some pain meds and even some rum out of desperation and no luck. A call to the doctors office had them informing me this sometimes happens and that if there is swelling before the shot it can be made worse which hurts and can pinch the already damaged nerves. They said to elevate it and ice it (I hate that part) I lay on the couch with my knee up and a bag of frozen cauliflower on it and called my mom and cried because the pain not only was so bad but because it reminded me of the years of pain I had with arthritis and the many many times I hurt this bad with arthritis when I was twice this big. I had jinxed myself by saying that the worst pain with the cortisone worn off before the shot was not as bad as an average day at over 440. I think if it is possible I have a form of PTSD where my knee pain is concerned, I am terrified of the pain not going away and spending the rest of my life like this. There will come a time when I need the knee replacements and I understand that they are horribly painful for months and ache for up to years but I am trying to put it off if at all possible and lose more weight…I think I needed this reminder about how serious this all is to motivate me.

If I had any doubt that I really do need to lose more, that I need to be far more serious about it all then this changed that, taking a step and wanting to throw up from the pain makes me realize that I can never slack, I can never allow myself to gain back the crippling weight that did this to my joints in the first place.

Another note, out of desperation I took a celebrex, I took maximum strength chewable antacid, ate some stomach coating stuff and hoped for the best (still hoping one NSaID doesn’t do too much harm)  In July when I do this again I am doing a few things differently:

#1 super hydrate to help with inflammation

#2 take the 2 days before it easy and not walk all over the place or go out a lot so the knees can relax (i over did in the days leading up to the shot Monday)

#3 the evening before and the early morning of I will take first a Celebrex then later a Midol with hardcore Antacids and stomach coating foods (1 of each…talked to my WLS doc about it nd once in a very long while it is ok)

#4 late night before the shot I will ice my knees for a while and lay on my back with them elevated

#5 as soon as the shots are done I will go home, elevate them and relax, Alex has agreed to plan on taking the 3 days a year I get my shots done off just in case so unlike tonight I wont be home alone if something does happen

and most of all

I want to lose at least 3-4 pounds a month between shots so that I can be down another 12-16 pounds by July (putting me at around 220)

Every pound I lose helps!!

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Filed under Arthritis and health issues, fears, goals, Motivation, pain, spoonie, taking steps to improve things, the past