I struggled with whether or not to write this post and put it out there on the entire drive home from Baltimore today. I finally decided I would, even though it's ultimately humiliating, because I'm hoping I will find a few people who can help me along and be cheerleaders on the sidelines because I absolutely know I can't get through this alone. Yep, this is a post all about me, and yes, it's a "please pay attention to me" post, and I apologize for that. Yes, I'm asking for support from people I've never met. But I believe that kind of help is not to be discounted -- nope, not at all.
Today was the day when I thought all my pains would go away. I've waited nearly three weeks to go to this higher-level doctor at University of MD Medical to find out what they can do about my stomach pain. Can my gall bladder be taken out? Can they do another, special endoscopy to see into ducts and valves they know ARE faulty to see if there's a hidden stone? When will he schedule me for the pain-relieving procedure?
Short answer -- he's not. Humiliating answer -- you're fat. Lose weight.
Yup. You heard me.
I get that I'm overweight. I. GET. IT. I'm as active as a person who's been in chronic pain for a little over three years can be. I have a gym membership, and I go when I a) can stand up straight and b) am not totally nauseous from pain, oh, and c) when I don't feel like I have a grapefruit trying to explode out of my chest.
Being overweight has been the result of a number of things. Going from three hours of gym time a day to zero when I went on crutches for a year (thanks to working out too MUCH) didn't help. Going on fertility drugs didn't help. Being pregnant didn't help. I was making headway and then bang, the pseudotumor cerebri and migraines made it painful to move, let alone even walk at any speed.
(Enter full-throttle scream of frustration here).
Today, the new doctor said he knew my valve in my gall bladder wasn't working properly, but the procedure to verify how bad it was only worked half the time, and then there was a 50-25% chance it would cause pancreatitis, which would result in being in the hospital for a month and cause permanent damage. So he refuses to do the procedure. He also said he doesn't have enough in front of him to convince a surgeon to take my gall bladder out, since IT works. Then he said that grapefruit is probably my liver, enlarged due to fat, pressing against its harder capsule.
So he told me I have to lose weight, and good luck with that, and oh, go see your pain management specialist for narcotics and injections.
|Grindstone at Prospect Hill, VA|
After bursting into tears, knowing I was going to have to keep this pain, and dealing with the humiliating pain that basically tells me "You did this to yourself, you freaking fat idiot", I realized I have a hard road ahead of me and I have to get down that road one way or the other. I need to put my nose to the grindstone and work out, through the pain, even when I'm sick to my stomach, even when my head hurts. I need to eat better, a goal we've already been moving towards, anyway, but DRASTIC changes have to be made -- as in, salad every day, veggie burgers, egg whites. I really don't eat meat but the pasta and rice will have to go. Everything comfortable has to go.
One of the reasons this is hard is I've dealt with eating disorders all my life. Unbelievably, for someone my size, I've fought anorexia in my 20's, and now I'm a stress eater. I realized that, knew that, but felt powerless to stop.
But I have to. And I could use some cheerleaders behind the scenes.
Just like in AA, I need a sponsor of sorts -- someone who won't judge me or preach at me but will listen when it's hard or frustrating for me, and who will cheer the small goals. If I backslide, a gentle nudge, an "I believe in you" rather than a lecture -- yeah, that would help.
My husband can't really help me here because he wants me to be happy and loves me no matter what size I am. He's been with me through very thin to very not. And sometimes it's easier to manage the frustrations with someone else, because heaven knows he has enough on his plate just having a sick wife.
Thanks for listening. Email me if you feel up to random emails from me while I try and work through this.
(Why the flowers and trees? Because they're peaceful, and represent growth, and hope, and rebirth. All were taken by me at Prospect Hill, VA).
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