Weigh In Wednesday: Life is good edition

Sometimes God completely surprises you

Just a month ago, we found out my Aunt/Godmother had been upgraded to active on the donor registry. Because there are so many people across the country needing a liver, we expected to wait a long time (2-3 years) for her to get a cadaver liver. We wondered how far Janice’s disease might progress while she waited for a liver. When her doctors spoke of the possibility of a living donor transplant, two people stepped forward to be tested to determine if they could donate half their liver to Janice so she wouldn’t have to wait so long.

Then completely out of the blue, the Mayo Clinic called my aunt last night to tell her they had a liver that was a near perfect match for her. The surgery began this morning and was completed by early afternoon. Blood and bile began flowing immediately in the new liver as soon as it was hooked up. The surgeon was very pleased with how well the surgery went. Janice did not even need to receive any units of blood or blood products which is highly unusual. She is still in Transplant ICU but may be transferred to a room in the Transplant wing as soon as tomorrow. As with any transplant patient, the next two days are crucial.

God is GOOD. Our prayers have been answered!!!

In case you were wondering, Janice is one of my family members I’m run/walking a half marathon for in July. Mile 13 is dedicated to her. She has ulcerative colitis plus the degenerative liver disease. Both are autoimmune diseases. I am so thankful God has blessed her and all of us with such a precious gift. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers… as well as for the family of the person who died and ultimately saved her life. If you are not a registered organ donor, I urge you to consider registering and telling your family and friends your wishes. You could help save a life! In Wisconsin, you can now register as an organ donor online.

April is Donate Life month, too! Every year, people across the U.S. make a special effort to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donors and to encourage more Americans to follow their fine example. Learn more about Donate Life Month here.

Update on my health

I had a checkup with my doctor this week to see where things were with my blood pressure and thyroid counts. The good news? My blood pressure was 128/84! I don’t have to get it checked for another 6 months. The bad news? My thyroid counts went up again so they increased my meds again. I’m honestly not surprised that my counts were high again. I have been feeling crappy again – low energy, cold – lately and I am anxiously waiting for the meds to kick in!

And now… drumroll please…

I gained .2 lbs this week (aka no change)… BUT I lost 5.75 inches in the past 4 weeks. My grand total is 12.8 lbs lost and 18.5 inches lost in 12 weeks! While I’m very happy with those numbers, I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t lost more weight in 12 weeks. I’ve been working out 4-6 days a week and have tried to be smarter with my food choices. I’ll just have to work harder!

Checking up, slowing down and a wardrobe malfunction

On Friday, I had a checkup with Dr. H. regarding my myriad of health issues. First, I talked with Nurse Debbie. I was bursting to tell her I lost almost 11 pounds. She was SOOO excited for me! She asked what I was doing and I said I was exercising and eating less. I made sure to point out that I’m not cutting anything completely from my diet, just eating smaller amounts of food. She agreed this is probably the best way for me to lose weight.

Pulse was good. Blood pressure was… (insert fanfare) 136/86. Still not great, but down from 149/92 in December! SCORE.

I also told Debbie about my plan to do a 5k in April and a half-marathon in July. I even told her about my breakthrough C25k moment last week. I also told her about something that happened during that run/walk that I didn’t share with y’all. I had a wardrobe malfunction. I was about 12 min into the intervals on the treadmill when I felt a li’l drafty. Figured it must be because I was running oh-so-fast. Then I did a “pants check.” Yep. Sure enough, my pants fell below my bootay. Luckily, I was wearing a long shirt and *hopefully* no one saw too much of my underwear. I quickly pulled my pants up. I hope I didn’t scar anyone for life. Nurse Debbie started laughing so hard her eyes began to water. She said she felt bad about laughing but it was too funny. I assured her I didn’t mind if she laughed… I’ve been laughing about it all week.

So then Dr. H. came in and we had a really good talk (20+ min) about everything. I told her about the 5k, half-marathon and this blog. She was so happy I’ve lost weight. “I’m impressed,” she said when she realized I had lost almost 11 pounds in just 6 weeks. Dr. H. laughed about the wardrobe malfunction and said she definitely thought I could walk a half marathon in July. YES!

Dr. H. was very happy to see my blood pressure had dropped and attributed that to my exercising. She said that hopefully in a few months, it will be back down to normal! I’m so happy I don’t have to go on meds!

I went to the lab to have some blood drawn to check my Thyroid levels and my TSH was down to 5.24 (from 10.2 in December). She upped my meds slightly and hopefully the increase will help regulate my levels enough that I don’t need to up them anymore. I started the higher dose Saturday and haven’t noticed a difference just yet. Soon, I hope! My iron counts were good, so I don’t have to increase that.

The results from the sleep apnea link test I took earlier this month came in last week. I wasn’t in the “normal” range, but I wasn’t in the “grossly abnormal” stage either. Basically, that means I have to do a sleep study at the hospital. THAT should be a blast. I hardly slept with the apnea link, I can’t imagine how I’ll sleep with even more stuff hooked up to me and a video camera watching me sleep. I just might make an obscene gesture or two, to make sure they’re paying attention.

I also talked with Dr. H. about my knee pain, telling her I think it’s just weak from not working out and maybe I aggravated some scar tissue from the surgery I had when I was 18. She said if the pain wasn’t stabbing/short, I was probably right. So I’m gonna work on strengthening my calves/quads/hamstrings plus hip abductors/adductors and hope that helps righty out. Acupuncture is actually helping quite a bit, so hopefully the combination of the above with the new brace I ordered I will be able to continue C25k training next week. I’ve decided that I’m taking this week off, and focusing on the strength training and will just do walking and/or biking for cardio.

Reminder:  I’m selling coffee to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis research!

Weigh In Wednesday and other musings

Not much to report on the weigh-in this week. I was -0.2, which is really nothing at all. I’m ok with it. I’m surprised that I’m so ok with it. Usually, I would be upset about something like this, but I know that I had a big loss last week and I didn’t work out as much this week, so it makes sense. I also had some food splurges (though not as bad as it could have been) so I’m really happy that I basically stayed the same this week. It is just pushing me to work harder this next week. I can do it. I will do it.

My knee isn’t bothering me as much anymore, but I’m also trying to modify my exercises to accommodate it. I’m not doing the higher impact circuits on the 30 day shred, and am focusing on ones that will still get my heart rate up, but won’t irritate the ol’ knee.

This is the knee I had surgery on almost 9 years ago. It’s always been a little beyotch. Right now it’s really more of a dull ache or feels stiff. Totally manageable. I’m going to look for some knee strengthening exercises and some other workout dvds that will be easier on my knee… though I will still do the shred. I love it. I feel good when I do it. I haven’t felt good about myself in a long time, but I feel good about myself when I do this workout. I can feel the changes in my body… even if the scale didn’t show it this week, I know I’m making progress. Next week I will be taking measurements again, so we’ll see what kind of changes I have there. Can’t wait!

Now, on to my health… which is becoming a huge part of this blog, and for good reason. It is my poor health that was a kick in the pants for me to change my life.

So, some fun things to share (as if what I shared yesterday wasn’t enough).

  • Had an appointment with my neurologist (Dr. V) today because of my increased headaches lately. The appointment was… interesting. He asked if I had been stressed lately and I started laughing. “Yes doc, I’ve been crazy stressed lately.” He asked what was stressing me and I explained about a situation I’ve been dealing with for the past few weeks that has really stressed me out… plus, I was just told last month that I’m anemic, have hypothyroidism and they need to monitor my blood pressure. What’s NOT stressful about that? Since my headaches started getting worse in November, the month before I was diagnosed with anemia and hypothyroidism, he thought those might have been aggravating my headaches. My headaches are caused my a chemical imbalance in my brain – low levels of serotonin… so my low thyroid levels could be contributing to the problem.
  • Dr. V asked about my sleeping habits and then asked how tall I was… and then proceeded to calculate my BMI… by hand. We’re talking long division folks… He didn’t have a fancy program to calculate it (I knew it was about 40.5 right now), and seriously, there is nothing more horrifying than seeing someone calculate your BMI by hand. I almost threw up to see him crunching those numbers. Then he said, well you’re morbidly obese. Punch. In. The. Gut. I mean, I knew I was fat, I knew I was obese… but MORBIDLY OBESE??? I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t cry when I got to my car. How many times this month am I going to cry in the clinic parking lot? He wanted to figure out my BMI because of how I’ve been sleeping, always being tired, etc… he also thinks I should get tested for sleep apnea. So, two docs in one month tell me I should get tested. I guess I can’t put it off any longer. I will have to find the money for it somewhere.
  • Dr. V is sending me to physical therapy for my neck. He thinks the tightness in my neck might also be contributing to my headaches. So, again, more medical bills. I am really upset about all of this. I have already spent a small fortune in the past 2 months on medical bills, and it’s just going to get worse. I am not handling this all well. I’m scared. I’m worried. I’m stressed. My mom talked me off the ledge cheered me up a bit today by reminding me that I am taking control of the situation. I am eating healthier. I am exercising. I am committed to getting healthy. Where’s my genie y’all? Fairygodmother? Bueller? I know change can’t happen over night, but it sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?
  • I wasn’t afraid to see what the doctor’s scale said about my weight, cuz I knew already. 🙂
  • My blood pressure was 126/82. WTH. Just last week it was 149/96. I don’t know what’s going on, but I was encouraged to see a good reading.

I’ve lost  .2 pounds in the last week and lost 7 pounds in 3 weeks. Want previous stats? Click here.

What do nausea and my heart have in common?

Today, I learned something.

Something I wish I didn’t know.

But now I know, so I’m gonna share it with you, whether you like it or not.

So, remember when I shared a li’l TMI last week? In case you don’t, here’s a li’l refresher. My doctor took me off “the pill” (you know the one) because she thought it might have contributed to my recent high blood pressure readings (let’s not forget about the tons of stress I’ve been under too!)… anywho, it’s been almost a month since I stopped taking those magical cramp-stopping pills.

And I’ve been feeling different the past few mornings.

Nauseous. Achy. Nauseous.

I was getting ready for work yesterday morning and thought I’d be ok… but then 5 minutes before I was going to leave I threw up. Yup. Sure did. I thought what any other person would think, “Oh, I must have the flu.” So, I called in to work, put my pjs back on and went to bed. My sister bought me Sprite and saltines.

Late morning, I felt a lot better, but I took things easy the rest of the day. By the afternoon, I was feeling great but didn’t want to push it so I had some soup. No problems. I figured it MUST have been a li’l flu bug or something and chilled in bed the rest of the night, catching up on my DVR’d Nip/Tuck episodes.

Then, the alarm went off this morning… and I felt nauseous again. I never threw up but began to wonder… could this nausea be connected with me going off the pill?

A few minutes of Internet searching confirmed my suspicions. Especially if you’ve been on the pill for years (8 or so for me), when you stop taking them, your body goes through some type of hormone shock… and in some cases, you can experience morning sickness.

Yup folks, I have morning sickness… and I’m not even pregnant.

WTH.

One of the reasons why women get symptoms like nausea, giddiness, and general feeling of purging which is very similar to morning sickness in pregnancy is because the hormones are being restored to normal production. Birth control pills have to alter the hormones like estrogen and progesterone in the body in order to stop pregnancy. When a woman stops taking birth control pills the hormones come back to the original level and these hormones are vital for pregnancy. That is why women get similar symptoms to pregnancy when they stop taking birth control pills.

The most common symptoms experienced by women who stop taking birth control pills are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

via scumdoctor

Good news… and bad news

Today was, well, interesting. I had a doctor’s appointment for a checkup and got to talk to her about how I’m trying to change my life. She was very proud of what I’ve done in the past two weeks and even asked, “How did you lose that much in 2 weeks?”

My answer?

“I exercised.”

We both laughed and she replied, “Yeah, well that’ll do it. You’re a step above me!”

I have a long history with my doctor. I have been going to Dr. H. since I was 12; I basically grew up with her. She is my mom and sister’s doctor too, so she totally understands my family and always asks about them when I go for an appointment. She knows I’ve struggled with my weight since my very late teens, and knows I’ve tried every diet in the book (even ones she doesn’t approve of). She’s seen my weight creep up and up and up for the past 8-9 years to where I’m at right now. She doesn’t judge. She is very compassionate and knows what a heartache this is for me. Dr. H. knows about my anxiety issues (and prescribes me Xanax as needed). Bottom line – she is amazing. I can honestly say that not wanting to lose her as my primary care physician has been a thought when I’ve considered moving. I just have a really good connection with her and I know that she genuinely cares about me – this isn’t just a job for her.

But I digress.

(oh, there’s a li’l tmi in the next paragraph: you’ve been warned)

So, today Nurse D. took my blood pressure, to see where I’m at since my physical in December (when it was first documented as being high). Today my blood pressure was 149/96. If you don’t know about blood pressure, I can assure you that is not a good number to see. I had never had even the slightest high blood pressure reading before December 2009. This is all so bizarre. In December, Dr. H. mentioned that the first thing to go if my blood pressure stayed high was the birth control pill. (here’s the tmi) Late in December, she told me to stop taking it, which should make my next “time of the month” a blast. I’ve been on the pill for years to help regulate my lady business. Cramps were out of control and I felt like I was losing gallons of blood. (end tmi)

ANYWAYS, so I went off the pill a few weeks ago in the hopes it would lower my blood pressure, but as you can see from my reading today, it was high again. I am supposed to go back to see Dr. H. in a month for another BP check and if it is still high, I will have to start taking medication. High blood pressure medication at the age of 27. Unreal. I held my shiz together til I got to the car and cried my eyes out. I am TOO young for this. I can’t believe I let myself get this fat. I don’t want to die.

Unfortunately for me, even when I do lose the weight, the high blood pressure problem may continue, as there is a long line of family history of blood pressure issues. My mom and my uncle were both on high blood pressure meds in their early 20s and they were both at very healthy weights when they were diagnosed.

So, I’m scared and upset which I’m sure is not doing anything to help my blood pressure (what a catch-22). My doc said we need to get this taken care of or I could have some major problems ahead of me.

So, there you have it… the good news, the bad news and a li’l tmi.