Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Buck Up, Little Camper

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).

Book Review:  "The Last Jew of Treblinka"


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party..


  1. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Lori, I am so sorry you have this to face. I know what it is like to struggle with weight and I watch my husband and daughter struggle with their migraines. You're a strong young vibrant woman and you have within you whatever it takes to begin this journey. You know what to do. However, I'm not convinced that fat should be causing that much pain, but then I don't have a medical degree. There is a small group of us on Facebook that support each other with our weight loss triumphs and failures and if you would like to give us a try, let me know. I'm thinking of you and you will be in my prayers.
    Lisa Staten

  2. First, as I mentioned in the email I just sent you, I question the doctor's idea that your pain is happening because you are overweight. I know several people that are very overweight and they don't have this issue. Of course I'm no doctor...

    Lori, you've lived overseas, been in the military, made your own beads, birthed a sweet son, and so much more. You CAN do this!

  3. Lori, I'm so sorry about how the appt. today turned out... but I'm relieved for you that it wasn't something far worse.... we all could use a nudge and support towards a healthier lifestyle and better eating habits. Tonight I'm trying my 6th new recipe from Taste of Home's diet cookbook! :-) So far the family has liked what I've been making...
    Sending you a hug!

  4. Are you freaking kidding me? I worked in the medical field (non clinical) and saw too many M.D.'s blame weight for *insert-problem-of-the-day*!!! Is there ANY way to see someone else and get maybe a second opinion? Regardless of whether you need to lose a few pounds or not, I'm finding it hard to believe that it's causing all of your stomach pain. I'll support YOUR decision to lose as little or as much as YOU see fit! Have you thought about Visalus? I don't sell it, and I'm darn sure not affiliated with the company, but I know several people who swear by it. From treating and controlling Lupus, to back pain, headaches, etc. Anyway...you can email me any time!! Dry those tears...don't let some uppity-come-lately M.D. take away your sparkle! (((Hugs)))

  5. Oh,Lori! I was so,so,so praying today was the day, the day the pain would end,or there would be a day to look forward to the end of the pain. I don't know exactly what you're going through,but if there is anything, ANYTHING I can do, please, please, please let me/us know. I'll be e-mailing you later today. There will be a reasonable end to this unreasonable situation.Keep the faith, I believe in you,you're an extraordinary human being, who gets ME through some of my toughest days!This ain't over, as difficult and exhausting and frustrating as it can be to fight, but keep searching, get another opinion (I know that's a challenge). Know you are thought of and loved every second, every day. Peace, Love, & Sunshine

  6. Lori, I'm so sorry about what you are going through. I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago and the pain before was excruciating!! For me it felt like a red hot iron band clamped around my rib cage. Some of the attacks lasted for hours, at first I thought it was a heart attack, but it didn't kill me! lol As far as loosing weight, I've had to do that too, only my diagnosis was Type2 diabetes. My doctor (a female) told me I had to stop eating starch and sugar. Oh man was that hard!! I loved my starches, it took 3 months before the cravings finally stopped, but I lost 45lbs and have kept it off for almost a year. I eat lots of meat and veggies, keep bits of dark chocolate on hand, a girl can only give up so much you know! lol I do not exercise, maybe we can help each other there. I have back problems and joint pain when the weather is damp. You are not alone sister!! Email if you want, I'll make every effort to get back to you quickly! Keep your chin up!

  7. Wow, that hurts to get a diagnosis in that manner. You are such a strong person, Lori, and I know when you make up your mind to make the changes you need in your life that you will be able to do it. One day at a time and you will reach those goals and enjoy better health. I will be on your team of cheerleaders.

  8. Hi Lori. I'm so sorry you are going through such an ordeal. You need to remember though that no one knows your body like you do and one doctor doesn't always have all the answers - let alone all the right answers. So you're overweight - which one of us isn't. If you feel like there is something else wrong and I think in your heart you probably do, then you need to keep looking for answers.

    I need to lose weight too, maybe we could do it together. I have been having some chronic foot pain in my right foot - feels like what I've heard a bone spur described as - but I don't really know. All, I know is that when I'm on it too much, it hurts. All my husband can say is if you'd lose weight it would be better. Well, I'm not that obese and I'm in good shape even at my weight. I don't mean to turn this into a comment about me, all I'm saying is maybe you still don't have the right answer for your pain. I'm no doctor, but my legal opinion is that it sounds ludacrous that being a bit overweight could cause so much pain. Maybe if it was your joints or your back, but your guts? Come on.

    I will be here for you anytime you need me. You have my e.mail address and you can talk to me any time you want to. I will support you and I won't judge you, but I may remind you that maybe you need to keep looking for answers until you get one that at least makes sense. Maybe I should ask you.....does that answer make sense to you? with regard to the pain I mean?

  9. I 'love' how doctors can look past everything that problem has causes... then tell you.. that's the problem. A friend of mine has 3 hernias... yes, 3.. all at the same time. It took forever to get in to speak to a surgeon about getting them repaired, and he told her he wouldn't do a damned thing.. until she quit smoking. Because smoking weakens the lining and that's what was most likely behind it anyhow. >.< So now, despite massive amounts of stress over her injury, sick kids, missing work, and now a break up with her boyfriend.. she's got this jerk pointing the finger at her and telling her it's her fault and she has to change before he'll help her. I see his point, but still... Laying a guilt trip is hardly going to help the situation.

    So basically, two points in that little rant... one, you're not alone in dealing with guilt-loving doctors, and two, I understand the double edged blade of your situation. You know it's an issue but there's only so much you can do about it until you gt help with the pain.. and you can't get help with the pain until you deal with the weight. Don't jump into exercise if it's painful.. you could end up making something worse. Start with dietary changes and walks.. make it a family outing every evening after supper or something, so it's not as much 'exercise' as family time. When you do get into exercise, again, try to either involve your family or buddy up with a friend :) Dietary tip, swap out bread for wraps... less carbs and calories ;) And something I love, frozen fruit for snacks. I like blue berries or seedless green grapes. They're mostly water, so freeze great.. and they crunch :) Can't have a better snack on a warm or hot day then a small dish of frozen berries to crunch on!

  10. First, I will be your cheerleader. I need one, too. Second, find a different doctor. I'll tell you why.

    I had the same problem. There were no stones and no cancer, no sludge - nothing showed up on any scans. My doctor did not tell me to lose weight, but he did suggest taking the gall bladder out. It was only working at 15%. I asked for alternatives. He suggested low-fat, high fiber, and try to lose a little weight. He even said the low-fat diet would help with that. He did NOT tell me it was the only answer. I did those things. In addition, I found that yoga stretches (in the comfort of my own living room) helped.

    Then one day, six weeks later, in the middle of Wal-Mart, I had a pain so bad I thought I was going to fall down. I got home, called the doctor & told him that after that immense pain, all the other pains had subsided. The general consensus is that I had adhesions that formed on the gallbladder. They don't show up on scans & the general procedure here is to remove the gall bladder. I still have mine.

    Here's the kicker - adhesions can form spontaneously & the theory is that stress can cause them. Ugh.

    I'll be your cheerleader. Stretch, eat less bad fat, eat more fiber, and get active. It's hard when we do what we do (i.e., beady things) but I bet we can do it.


  11. I'm so sorry - that's beyond frustrating that they can't give a better answer. Did they say how MUCH weight you'd need to lose...like what percent of your current weight?

    Can they give you steroids for the pain and other issues to take for the days you want to try to go to the gym?

    My mom had a lot of issues, thyroid, sleep apnea, bone spurs, chronic pain, deveated septum, etc etc. She was told she needed surgery for a couple of issues but that they wouldn't operate before she lost 3%. That didn't sound like much, but it turned out to be a lot.

    She decided to get the lap band procedure and in about 8 months, she lost 100 pounds. She has no leg pain, no sleep apnea and is doing much better. She still hasn't gone for the surgeries to fix the problems that weight loss won't.

    But she's also someone who would never even try to go to a gym and didn't do well with diets. perhaps if they can control the pain long enough for you to do some exercise (swimming, something light on your body) then maybe it'd be easier for you to get started?

    good luck!!

  12. Oh dear Lori, I'm writing this with tears flowing for you...and screaming in my head for the insensitivity of the medical profession! Shame on all of them!!

    Let me share a couple of things with you...my daughters both were obesely overweight last May. They did it during their 20's through poor diet and too much partying. They went to their first WW meeting last May and have lost 45 lbs (older sis) and 36 lbs. (younger sis). It hasn't been easy and they've had to really change their lifestyle. Both are in service industries/retail. I don't know if WW is something that would be a fit for you or not. They are both far from goal, but they are encouraged and convinced this is the plan for them.

    Weight is not an issue for me but a degenerative hip is my issue. I also worked the gym too long and too hard and totally burned out. I now go to a water therapy class underwritten by the arthritis foundation. The water temp is amazing...93 degrees. I 'll also be starting an aquatic class for fibromyalgia as it's focus is muscle building. Believe me, it does make a difference and it IS exercise. But as I'm sure you know, in the water it doesn't feel like excercise! lol

    So, dear Lori, I'm here in Tucson cheering you on, even if it's just an ear to listen.
    Blessings and love

  13. Hang in there Lori! I'm going to email you later tonight with details about my husband's diet.

  14. I just emailed you sweetie!

  15. Lori, I know I'm echoing many others' sentiments here, but I am SO SORRY that you had this experience today. It's beyond frustrating~ I wish I could say that you were the only person I know who has had this experience, but all to many times doctors are like this.

    I'm sending you an e-mail, but I'd be willing to be your cheerleader. You were so kind to me in your comment the other day, and I'd like to repay you for that kindness, as I said in my post.

    Keep on going. You don't need to smile all the time, but you need to keep on going. If you want to lose the weight, that's your choice, and I support it... but I think you should also get a second opinion. Or maybe a third. <3

    Lots of Love,
    Julia ( http://beautifullywhimsical.blogspot.com )

  16. After our talk I know how much you are hurting right now both physically and mentally. I wish there was more I could do.

  17. You must know deep down that you didn't bring this on yourself Lori - you've coped remarkably with pain and done your best with bad circumstances. Unfortunately, doctors are as subject to their own biases and prejudices as anyone, so it might help for you to get a referal to another doctor (apologies if you've already been through that.) just to see if they're more helpful.

    Over the past few years, I've found out how much my eating patterns are dependent on a).stress, and b). habit. It was so much easier for me to cut out extra bread/chips/chocolate after a few weeks of stopping myself before I went to get something, and asking why I wanted it. So it'll be a slog, but you'll get momentum after a while :)

    *hugs* for good measure.

  18. Oh sweet Lori, so sorry...headed over to leave you an email. It would be too long to for here! ((HUGS))

  19. Girl, don't get me started again on Dr.'s. And DON"T take one person's opinion as a statement of fact. They don't know everything. I will be your go to girl for anything you need to talk about. I'm thinking maybe we could all benefit from some loving support from each other on making some life changes. I have a cortisol imbalance which is keeping me from I think Jean Wells and Skye had some great responses. I'll email you later. Much hugs!

  20. I hate doctors like that! No matter what you do, make sure you allow yourself that comfort food every once in a while, it will help you stay away from the binges. Even when I was doing weight watchers, they told us to have one day a week that we didn't count anything and you know what? It worked!

    Love & hugs to you and kicks to that mean doctor!

  21. Sorry to hear about the news from the doctor. It just seems that some doctors use overweight as an excuse to blame medical problems and denying certain procedures. Now, of cause it can cause problems and of cause severe overweight can be a reason to not do some procedures, but really, some docs just take one look and go "you're fat and that's the source of what ever is the problem". (In my case, I can have a slight pain at the lower ribcage sometimes, but it's more a combo of stomach fat and bra underwire pushing against the ribs due to my poor posture in front of the computer, where I spend hours on end. *embarrased*)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say I wish you all the luck with the weight loss and new diet. I hope you can find good goals, short-term and long-term, and keep your eyes on the finishing line even when there are bumps on the road (there always are, aren't there, when you try to change lifestyle in terms of excersize, food, etc. But they pass. They do.)

    I didn't want to suggest diets because I haven't tried them myself, but in Sweden LCHF is all the rage -- though heavily debated -- and I've got friends who've lost considerable amounts of weight using that diet and swear by it. Not my cup of tea, but it's always worth looking into different options before deciding on a diet, I guess.


  22. I'm sure you've already received so many loving emails (yes, from me, too) but let me reiterate what I've already said and back up these fine ladies... don't EVER let a dr. put all the blame on YOU. I can't imagine that pain is coming from the liver bumping into it's "fat capsule!?" I had to have my gall bladder removed 2 yrs ago and it was *because* I got pancreatitis because it wasn't working right. You keep after those MD's. As I said before, pain is your body's way of telling SOMEthing is wrong. I, too, am overweight and neither my PCP or the specialist who did the surgery told me I was too fat to help! (what a jerk!) You should a) get a 2nd (and if necessary 3rd) opinion and, b) write a letter to the AMA or local Medical Review Board about this dr's insensitivity. These things go on their records now-a-days and, after so many complaints, the dr is reviewed. Don't buckle, Sistah! (and read all your lovely and loving emails... one of them will have a great suggestion that will work best for you!)

  23. Just an FYI:

    I read an article about a lady with MS. Could not work out as she was wheel chair bound. She was told she HAD to lose the weight....don't remember why.

    She went on the NutraSystem (sp?) and lost the weight.

    NOT saying this will work just an FYI for research for you to maybe check out when your not in pain so you don't have to bounce and eat salad every day.

    HUGS cause that really is the only thing I can truly offer. Hope tomorrow is better :o)

  24. I'm glad to see that so many of your comments echo what I wrote in my email about another opinion, and the ease with which doctors ascribe weight to issues that have nothing to do with weight.
    Hugs coming your way, Lori!

  25. Lori...

    I really wish I had advice to give, or just the right words to comfort you--because that sort of callous treatment from someone who is supposed to help you is disappointing, frustrating, and just wrong. Doctors are supposed to work with their patients (isn't that how they get paid?), not berate them!

    I can only imagine your heartbreak and your disappointment... And that's what brought me out of lurking, to comment here.

    I just wanted to let you know that you are a beautiful person--both inside and out. Simply from reading your blog, I can tell that you are strong and vibrant and awesome... someone who creates beauty and generously shares that beauty with others. You make the world lovely.

    I know that this road is scary and long... But know that, even though I am a stranger who hardly knows you, I am your cheerleader.

    You can do this.

    Wishing you comfort and unexpected joy... You are in my prayers.


  26. Hi Lori.
    A good "Diet" Book that my Dr recommended to me(for the food not the phases but I did them anyway!!) and it has helped me(with digestive problems, high cholesterol and high sugar)is The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston,MD Its the one with the shiny blue green cover. I now have 3 of his cookbooks!It is basically eating balanced foods. Nothing to mess up or restrictions.Eating the way people ate before we ate processed/fast foods. I have been following it for 5 years. Bonus is I lost weight and have kept it off!!
    Good luck with whatever you choose to do. Remember to think positive..You can do it!

  27. Oh Lori. The best thing you can do for yourself is to ask for support when you need it. I believe in the power of positive thought. I know it's what has gotten my family through the past eight years after losing T.J. I will gladly cheer you along or just listen if you need that.

    Jean mentioned having a partner(s) in weight loss. Maybe that would help. Maybe we could get an online group together to support and help one another. I know I'm ready. I sat at work today loathing myself, for a number of reasons, my weight being the biggest reason. I'm 5'6" and the last time I weighed myself I was 225 lbs. I'm mortified to type it. I've gained 45 lbs in the two years since my hysterectomy. I have to do something.

    Perhaps a second opinion would be helpful. At worst, you'd hear the same thing and know that weight loss is a priority; at best, another doctor may have a different suggestion or perhaps see another reason for the pain as Bead-Mused said.

    I am thinking of you and wish I was nearby to give you a hug or a shoulder to cry on.

  28. I agree with the other comments, and I also have your back. I know 1000% that no one can do it alone. Your support system is more important than the foods or the movement, so that is saying a lot. I guess I do see the value in a doctor who does not want to rush right in for a surgical procedure. There are millions more who would do it without hesitation.

    Feel free to write about your needs or your journey here.
    There are other people in varied fields who have started online support systems that benefit themselves AND the readers who already care about them.
    (Read that as We care about YOU.)
    One is a 60 y/o author, another a no longer 20 y/o DIYer. On both sites I have not seen anyone complain about the topic. All have been very supportive.

    You show your strength by opening up to those who care about you and asking for help when you need it.

    I am not particularly religious but there is an online Get Healthy program sponsored by a church. it is called the Daniel Plan. Their experts include Dr. Oz, Dr. Amen (from PBS tv) and others. There are good things to be learned from them.
    And it seems that every day another one of my friends is going gluten free. I am still struggling to be chocolate free!

    Don't give up on finding the medical professionals to help you but also use this community for support. We believe in you and truly want to help.

  29. Buck up Little Camper my Ass says Sharon. I agree with Moobie Grace. You need another opinion. I have had the Gall Bladder surgery. In fact, when they did it I had had an attack, one of many. My amalyze was up and I had Pancreatitis. Absolutely you can cut the fat from your diet - you can avoid nuts (a biggie) and greasy food but it will not cure that bladder - you need it out. Why suffer like this, find a different doctor.

    I am fat - Yup - that's the way it is. I understand the humiliation. I recently saw an uber surgeon about my knees. I have no cushion in the knee caps...all the women in my family have or had arthritis. And I've already had a CMC joint replaced in my thumb (which I wasn't exactly walking on). Well, he said he'd refuse to do any eventual surgery unless I lose weight - and lots of it - and then went into BMI and stuff.

    I know I do - I have a treadmill, recently purchased. I get the part where it hurts so much to work out and it becomes a Catch-22. I'll do it with you if you'd like. And if you'd rather just have the kind nudge you can have that too.

    But first - and I apologize in advance to anyone who doesn't like cussing but F--- that doctor. If you have good insurance start going to emergency rooms with every attack. In short order you will have a surgeon there to take it out. In the meantime - new doctor....ASAP.

    Hugs and Love -

  30. Ouch.It really didn't go well,did it. Eating is such volatile issue- if you don't struggle with it, you don't understand. I too am an emotional eater and carrying about 30 pounds more than I should, so count me in as a support person. Thank you for being so vulnerable and honest. As so many others have suggested, I really think you need to get a second opinion. Is there a holistic chiropractor around you? I just wonder if being adjusted could help that valve to "unstick" and lessen some of the pain. Prayers continue. Christie

  31. I am certainly not a doctor, but why on earth would they not want to remove a malfunctioning gall bladder. I can see why trying to repair the valve could cause future issues. If it were me, I definitely would be getting another opinion.
    I am joining your cheer leaders !

  32. Hey Lori, so many wonderful notes for you here, I just want to send you a hug and wish you all the best.

  33. oh Lori girl, you are so speaking my words...anytime, anywhere, I will even send you my phone number...call me I will be there for you...
    by the way, a lot of your symptoms sound like my diagnosis, have you talked to a specialist about that...I will email in a bit...
    hang in there,
    you are doing fine...

  34. Hugs from me! And a shoulder if you need it. And some rah-rah and pom-poms, too.

    I also need to lose weight -- I am just so damn lazy. In the middle of all your pain, there you go, inspiring me again.

  35. I am so sorry this didn't result in a more specific diagnosis. I would echo the second opinion...and don't rule out non-traditional options in tandem with looking for a cause. Acupuncture, reflexology, massage, a good chiropractor or osteopath could possibly give you some pain relief during with your search.

    If you need a partner/cheerleader or someone to hold you accountable, I am far away (in the Caribbean) but am happy be there. I am not small, and by medical standards would be called overweight (although people are always surprised and estimate I weigh a whole lot less so I am sure a bit of it is muscle), but I workout (with trainer and classes etc) 5-6 days a week and am strong and sick free for years. I eat fairly healthy according to most but as my trainer (and best friend) says, life should always include a bit of chocolate each day. It's all about moderation. You may find that really looking at the foods you eat could change how you feel as well/lessen pain etc. No processed foods, try to lessen white flour or eliminate and get whole grains makes a huge difference. It's not about deprivation it's about moderation. We don't eat processed at all really and when we travel to the US and eat out for a few days or indulge, everyone in the family (including my 8 year old) can tell a difference in how they feel...I can taste the difference so easily now it's a bit scary.

    I live in a place with no fast food or take out so I do a ton of cooking from scratch. If you would like some recipes for tasty fare that is good for you let me know...maybe this is something people could share on the blog. Everything I make is easy (I share my recipes a lot and people are always amazed how easy and tasty things can be) Another easy change for my family was years ago eating off of salad plates vs dinner plates...it cut our portions in half without any problem and you feel like you're eating a lot because the plate is full.

    Make sure you eat breakfast. Protein (turkey bacon) with an egg or oatmeal which stays with you or a good homemade smoothie (my daughter is the master of those recipes)...and keep small snacks through the day.

    Exercise is important for me mentally and even when I am not feeling great helps me...I would think if you had an exercise bike for days you can't make it to the gym where you could just do 10-15 minutes is cardio you wouldn't get normally...

    Most importantly thought know you have people all over thinking of you, encouraging you and cheering for you...and in the end maybe sharing brings so many together
    which is a beautiful thing. Let me know if you want recipes...


  36. Lori dear I don't usually read comments however I have read enough here to agree...You nor your weight are to blame! This doctor needs to be replaced! I just do not understand how many of my friends had their gall bladders out after only a few short days of pain and you cannot! Your health and well being is foremost for YOU, ZACK and your wonderful supportive husband!
    I am on your cheerleading team and I am emailing you now. Healing Hugs...

  37. That doctor is an ASS, When you have gallstones about the only thing you can eat is carbs because anything else that is acidy or fatty makes you sick. I know I was living on saltines until my gallbladder was taken out. And it has absolutely nothing to do with weight, I am not overweight and was not then either, it is genetic, it turned out I inherited my dads bad gallbladder as he had his out the same age as me which was 36 years old. You need to find another doctor. And we wonder why we don't want to go to doctors when we don't feel well. I also have migraines, mine are a lot better now that I have been going to the chiropractor for the last few months. I used to have headaches at least 3 times a week and I didn't even know they were migraines as I didn't have the typical pre migraine symptoms like flashes... so I just thought I was unlucky and would just power through them with tylenol until I could go home and sleep it off. It wasn't until my son was born and I was talking about the headaches I had that my doctor said those are migraines. I don't like to take the medication unless I know I am not going anywhere as i cannot drive after I take them so I usually try to take a nap.

    I am happy to talk to you anytime and give you shoulder to lean on. My email is mlgovaar@pacbellnet

    Mary Govaars

  38. Well my friend...I concure with with others are saying...I know of some very over weight people that are not I pain...especially the kind of pain you are having...idk it must be so frikin frustrating to have gone through all this testing etc and now to mabe have to seek out a second option..I have a very hard time with all these issues being caused by your weight...regardless...I am also needing to lose some weight...I also in my 20's struggled with an eating disorder...and youbalready know of my struggles with pain and my hip replacements etc...I mean I eat like a bird and can't seem to shake a pound...I am here for you ...we can be there for each other...you have a great support system Miss Lori..you are not alone okay...we love you...hugs xoxo...Lana

  39. Lori, when I had my shoulder injury I had a hard time getting doctors and physical therapists to take me seriously -- so I fired them and found some who did. It's amazing how much one professional's point of view can change, depending on how much s/he believes in having a good relationship with a patient.

    So I'm going to agree with everyone who suggested a second opinion. I also agree that something low impact, like water aerobics, would be perfect -- a fried of mine with severe RA does that, and it doesn't seem to cause her too much pain.

    I have lots more to say on this subject, but I think I'll say it in an email. Thank you for being brave and reaching out. I'm really glad you did. *Hugs.*

  40. Sending hugs and prayers as you start this difficult journey. Take small steps... even something as simple as switching from regular salt to Lite Salt, if you are a salt lover. That one little change got me headed in the right direction to losing weight. Good luck to you. I will be in your cheering section.


  41. You know I'm always here for you and in your corner and you know I can help you with this.

  42. You have got to be kidding!!! That doctor is a real jerk. I would like to tell him that my 97 pound mother had to have her gall bladder out ... definity no weight issue there.
    Once I went to a new doctor (new job, had to switch from my old lovely dr to one in an HMO *groan*)- the first thing out of his mouth when he walked into the room was "I know what is wrong with you, you're too fat" I kid you not, exact words. I got my butt up off the exam table, put my clothes back on (with out saying a word to him), walked out to reception and asked to see the head of the clinic. Filed a complaint then and there, and with the insurance company. Don't know if it did much good then, but HE is no longer with the organization.
    Sorry to get distracted with my personal antinote, but I wanted you to know this is type of dr behavior is not an isolated incident. ANd to not take it personal. Like I said, he is a jerk.
    My advice, don't just take it from him. Lots of doctors think that MD stands for Medical Deity .. (I work in health care, so see a lot of jerky DRs and a bunch of great ones). Maybe there is someone you know who knows someone who works in health care in your area who can recommend a good physician. We who work with them, know who is good and who to stay away from. I wish you lived in my area so I could help you with that.

  43. Lori,
    My doctor told me to lose weight (when my cholesterol got too high). I also have other problems that might seem weight related...but here's the thing - why do I know plenty of other people that are my size or larger, and they don't have any similar problems? While I'm willing to agree that extra weight could be a contributing factor, it is NOT THE CAUSE!! You are not to blame!!

    I agree with the other comments - find a new doctor. It's a shame you waited to see that hot-shot doctor, and it sounds like he's drinking his own kool-aid. Just because he's "famous" or respected by his peers, that does not mean he's right.

    And I must agree with Krys' comment. I think you should seek out alternative medicines, like acupuncture and chiropractic. A gentle adjustment might help you headaches, and my husband's father swore by his acupuncturist!

    When it comes to exercise, try just doing a little weight lifting. I know cardio burns fat, but building muscle ALSO burns fat! And, it doesn't get your heart rate up, so maybe it would not give you a headache!

    And, lastly, maybe see a nutritionist. I went to one a couple years ago. I didn't go to lose weight. I went to figure out how to eat right! She introduced me to lots of stuff I never would have tried otherwise. And I am still eating those things, and feeling better.
    Please know that you have tons of support (just read all the comments on this post) and let us know how you are doing! My thoughts are with you!! Good luck with it all!!

  44. My first thought is that this doctor is not what you need. I don't care about the accuracy of the diagnosis (well, not true -- we all want desperately for you to feel as great as you make us all feel), but this doctor's style is not healing. What you need is a doctor who will support you, and give you a loving kick in the butt when needed, not shame, humiliate, and make your pain worse. I have no doubt that you can do whatever you set your mind to do, but know that you have a whole army of people who are here to cheer you on (and if you'd like to add me to the email list, I'd be happy to lend an ear and a shoulder). This doctor may be a medical genius, but he is an emotional ass, and doesn't deserve your spending any more time, money, or mental anguish on him.

  45. Lori,Sending love your way. I wish that I had some crafty words to make you feel better, but I don't. I did see that your latest posts seem happier and more upbeat. I wish you happiness and a pain free existence.

  46. lori, i totally understand about the 'fat' part. i am doing weight watchers and that is the way i would suggest for you. you eat whatever you want, you just have to count what you eat...that means pay attention to it. if you fail, then you just start over, the next meal or the next day...it is not a diet, it is a way of life. try it. read about it. dr oz knows.d email me if you want a fellow ww struggler. samsmama01@gmail.com

  47. Your post makes me so upset and angry! I seriously pray you find a doctor who provides the care and support you need. I had some horrible experiences finding doctors I could actually talk to, so I know some of the frustration you must feel, though you probably feel it to an even greater extent because you are in so much pain.

  48. Anonymous8:32 AM


    I don't know what to say other than you have a lot of people rooting for you. Being in pain when you're trying to accomplish what seems impossible is so so difficult.

    I try to read your blog as regularly as possible so you may have mentioned this but do you know what is causing your headaches? I had debilitating headaches and went to see a chiropractor (really to get my husband to go) and I found out my neck had lost its curve. Once they started adjusting, my headaches went away with some occasional soreness. I know your pain is mainly in your stomach, but decreasing your headaches might make it more manageable. It's worth a shot since you have insurance. I go to Chiro One if you have one where you live. They are excellent...they've changed my life!

  49. Lori, I am so sorry that you are going thru all this- I will keep it short because I reading all the comments they say a lot of what I would say-but I do want to add two things-
    a friend has recently gone thru some chronic abdominal pain isuues. Finally after poor specialist medical care (including surguries), the family doctor recommended a tens unit (spelled wrong I am sure) and it is working wonders for her. The doctor said the nerves had the be retrained to not feel pain or some such thing- point is, after monthes of horrible pain - it is working. As you can tell, I am short on details but hope I give you enough info to check into it.
    The second point I wanted to make is I have recently gone thru a year of charting- charting food, charting headaches and migraines, charting bathroom habits, etc (it has been a tough year medically but may have been the best thing that happened because I now pay attention to things that have bothered me for a lifetime and I used to ignore). Anyway, my point is - I learned some amazing things thru all this charting and was able to pinpoint a lot of causes to a multitude of issues. It doesn't solve all the problems but it certainly has helped me avoid discomfort and gives myself and my doctors something very valid info.
    I know I am late with this- and rushing too as I must go out but I just want you to know I am thinking and praying for you.

  50. Anonymous9:42 AM

    Lori, I am sorry that you are having all of these maladies! As others have mentioned, I do believe you need to seek out another opinion; this Dr. sound like a jerk with his insensitive bedside manner! It really does sound like your gall bladder needs to be removed. I also think you should not beat yourself up with your weight. You have been dealing with so much that you need to give yourself a break! Also, if you haven't done so already, get some blood work done and have them check your tsh levels. Your thyroid may be contributing to those unwanted pounds. Wishing you pain free days ahead!

  51. ugh. get a 2nd opinion, and when you get that 2nd opinion, if they too trot out "your 2 fat" then ask them what they would do if you were skinny.. cause I guarantee there are skinny folks out there with the same problems.. and they don't tell them to loose weight, they treat them. I won't get into the whole weight argument, but just cause you are at 1 point in your journey doesn't' mean you are not worthy of true health treatment. I will never forget being pregnant and unable to eat anything for the first 3 months ( I lost 17 lbs in 1 month) and the baby doctor telling me good job! now lose another 30 lbs ! I was pregnant!! total idiot! Some doctors just get so focused on your waistline they forget you have a heart and a brain too.

  52. I have chronic migraines and KNOW what it's like to always be in pain, not be able to get out of bed.

    What I don't understand is this: bile is made in the liver, stored in the gall bladder, it aides the breakdown of fats... if there is a problem with the duct and it is either not getting in or not getting out to do its job then don't they realize the metabolism of fats is compromised? Some vitamins are fat soluble. Meaning they break down in the presence of fats to be absorbed and utilized. If your fat synthesis is compromised, wouldn't those vitamins be too? (you should check your blood work for vitamin deficiencies) Then the next question is what is the body doing with all the bile its not using? Why aren't the doctors questioning this?

    How they do not attribute that to the weight is BEYOND me. I'm sure it didn't 'cause you to be over weight but it's probably helping you STAY over weight or atleast working against your ability to lose it. And answer me this.. is loosing the weight going to change the function of the valve?

    I'm no doctor. I'm just fresh out of LPN school but do you tell someone with seizures to lose weight? No!! That doesn't change the function/condition of their nerves. I know the weight makes the body work harder and given you're condition that's probably why they want you to loose it but to act as though that is the ONLY answer I think is ignorant.

    But Lori pancreatitis is NOTHING to screw with! You really want to avoid that route if possible.

    Please keep us posted on your journey to health and wellness. We'll be rooting for you and cheering all the way! :-)

  53. Oh, dear, this is awful!! Lori – I am sorry you didn’t find the answers (or not the ones you were hoping for, at least!)

    I do understand how that could happen (I was in pain for the last month of my pregnancy, and I have a huge pain trash fold, but I was walking and tears would go down my cheeks – just because my beautiful baby was pressing on the wrong nerves), I am no doctor and I don’t say he’s right or wrong… But for sure losing weight cannot hurt (unless you do it the wrong way).
    That being said – I hope you have a good nutritionist / dietician to consult and go through this new phase in a proper way. I hope your pain doctor is able to manage your pain so you can have a decent day. And know that we are here and listen – you can email me any time you feel down! I am usually able to cheer people up  at least I’ll give it a good try!

    Be positive, Lori, good things will happen, I have fate in you!

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