Monday, December 20, 2010

Friend Making Monday



Kenz does these fun little posts on Monday... and I am sitting in a Starbucks killing time before I go retrieve husband and we head home.  Thinking I should shop but my knee doesn't have it in me today, so I blog. 

Three of your favorite movies:
Sound of Music
Dirty Dancing
White Christmas

Three of your favorite things to drink:
Trenta Unsweetened Iced Coffee from Starbucks
Caffeine Free Diet Coke
Water

Three of your favorite songs:
In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
Kissing a Fool - George Michael
Waiting for You- Seal

Three people who have been a positive influence on your life (outside of your family):
My former boss.  I've been out in San Francisco keeping husband company while he had work to do on Friday and Monday.  I arrived on Thursday afternoon and spent the afternoon chatting with her.  She reminds me that I am capable as a woman.  (*Edit* Geeze typos, I really should print ALL blog posts!)    Yeah, can't say enough good things about her.

My friend Chad.  Back when I lived in Boulder he worked at the nicest health club in town.  He was extremely encouraging to me.  Just said come in and work out... 

My husband.  I know, doesn't exactly count, but when we met I was almost 100 pounds heavier.  Wanting to last, wanting us to last I knew that I had to be doing more for my health.  I can't give him credit because I was the one to do the work.  But being with him has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  He makes me want to be the best version of myself. 

Three things you to do keep yourself entertained:
(When not overwhelmed by school.)
The Internets
Shopping
More Internets


Three things you're attracted to in the opposite sex:
Height!
Smarts!
and more Smarts!

Three things you love about yourself:
I know who I am.  It's not been easy getting to his point but I have a VERY definite sense of self and have no fear of letting the world see who I am.  Good and bad.
I've figured out how to put one foot in front of the other every single day to keep myself moving forward.  Not always easy, but necessary.  Life is not static.  For so long I sat paralyzed by fear, by fat, by life.  It's a process, I'm working through it.  I don't always get it right, but I keep trying. 
My sense of style.  I'm vain and I know it. 
Fav thing in cosmetics bag. on Twitpic
 I'll travel in the above outfit today.  Dress is Calvin Klein, belt from LL Bean, Sweater is cashmere from Anthropology and the necklace is vintage Dior and belongs to twin sis.  Oh and the jacket I am super proud of... An online return at small Macy's up near UNH, its Ralph Lauren and I paid 20% of its retail price. Pin is a vintage Mink Puff.

The last 3 people you text messaged:
Husband
Twin Sis
Mom

Three things you're looking forward to this week:
Cleaning
Laundry
Being at home with nothing to do.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BioChem

It's so interesting to learn about what the body does with fat.  So weird to think about it on a molecular level.  Exam tomorrow and then weekend in San Fransico!

PS.  If you are looking for plastic surgery posts.  May of 2009 and 2010 are places to start.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Soon-- till Wednesday.

So much to do still!  I'm expecting a couple of A's but also wishing every day at 11:11 that I get a B- in Biochem.

What a long semester.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Non-Compliance vs Non-Participants

So I've been giving this post some thought.  And I had to go a bit further and apply to myself because giving it some thought... there is a difference between non-participant and non-compliant. (Pardon the short choppy sentences, I'm exhausted, but want to post this.  It kept me up last night.)

Read my blog you know that I am big believer in being active participant in your own life.  I was not for a long time.  First two ACL's.  I was non-participant.  I was explaining this to husband and he jumped ahead.  Yes, I know where you are going Sweetheart, I'm already there.  I am currently non-compliant.

If I am being honest that is the truth.  As soon as the Synvisc wore off all that hard work I put into my summer when I was working out, riding my bike and walking everywhere suddenly wasn't quite so doable anymore.  My pain has to be better managed in order for me to feel like I want to keep on building on what I had instead of letting it slide.  But how to manage that?  More exercise?  Really?  I know systemically I could be stronger, core especially, however I wonder if that really will provide any pain relief.  Everyone else seems to think so.

Which is why I feel non-compliant.  I am ACTIVELY making this choice to be a lump on a log and it sucks, but I can't see what is supposed to motivate me.  Every time these shots wear off I hurt worse and often differently than before.  That's hard on the heart when your knee continues to fall apart.  I'll give either Synvisc or other hyaluronic acid chance in 6 months again if they let me...   But long short term I have no idea what if anything I am working towards.  If, well, when I have surgery again I know that I am going to have to get into shape for that.  No way would I go into a surgery again weak as I am now.  Plastics was different, but this, no way.  I am active participant and fully realize that I have to hold up my end of the bargain.

As always, I have more BioChem to do. Could you in one page support your opinion with science on why the FDA should or should not grant the Corn Industry's request to change the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to Corn Sugar?  I'm still at 1 3/4 pages.  I say it's disingenuous.  Like sugar, but not sugar, too many chemicals used in the process.  Too bad your product got vilified...  Alas, I bet the gov't says yes.  Also (science!) while metabolized the same way, where the components of glucose and fructose enter Glycolysis is at different points because of how HFCS is made.  (Fructose is free not linked to Glucose as in Sucrose) This has implications Scientist don't quite understand.  Is HFCS contributing to obesity?  Hard to say, but I think probably a little bit yeah, that processed shit is just not good for you even if they don't know exactly why.

PubGet is my new best friend.  I've just learned of this service.  <3

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shift

I think that radical shift in thinking needs to come sooner rather than later.

It's been a rough couple of weeks... couple of months.  So much of my sense of self these days is wrapped up in how much I hurt.   Trying to separate myself from the pain is difficult.  Pain pills aren't exactly my friend.  I'm a big fan of the Ibuprofen and consequently Prilosec.  I have some Tylenol 3 that can take the edge off before bed but I almost always wake up at some point in pain and so my am dose of Ibuprofen lately has come with Psuedoephedrine.  Like I said pills and me are not always friends.  The temptation to use them not for their intended purpose is what keeps me saying no to most.  Been there-- I remember that ah-ha moment in the summer of 2007 distinctly.

I have Lidocaine patches too but if you've ever tried to use one on your knee you know how well they don't stay on.  Normal activities cause them to become unstuck... and at night unless wrapped up or taped on they roll right off.  I've peeled countless off my sheets in the morning.

Let's see? What else...  ice is my best friend?

I know that what is really lacking from my life is strength and a sense of physical well being.  But how to get that when the idea of sawing off your own leg sounds more appealing than going to the gym?  I know that this one problem shouldn't keep me from working on the rest of me. I had a great chat with a former classmate last week who is now a PT. She had some good suggestions.  I need to focus on overall picture I think.  Knee is what it is.

But I can't seem to get out of my own way.   I'm working on that aspect too... more therapy, not sure if she's helping me make peace with my past, but it does help to talk to somebody.  (Venting this past week was what helped me realize I needed to make amends with secretary not just complain about it.) I need to let go of this guilt that I feel.  As my husband reminded me this evening, no one is blaming me but myself. Right.

I also have an appointment with the pharmacologist at the suggestion of my therapist. Cymbalta maybe for a bit?  FDA approved it in early November for osteoarthritis pain as well.  I don't expect miracles but it seems like it could help.  I've read all sorts of studies about osteoarthritis pain and depression.  It's just such a nasty pain... makes me sick to my stomach.  That could also be the Ibuprofen though too. /blogress  See how easy it is to get distracted by the ouch?

I'm no stranger to sadness.  There was a time in my life when I took Zoloft and it did help.  It's no coincidence that when I was no longer weighed down by sadness I was able to change my life.  I don't expect the path I followed to lose the weight to be the same road I travel to make peace with pain.  They are similar yet different.

Regardless, I need to get moving.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How did you get back here?

It's a food holiday!  We had a nice low key meal, I blanked the dessert but otherwise it was lovely.  Things I'm thankful for include my husband and my sister and satellite phones that let me talk to my Mom in Sierra Leone for a few minutes.

I'm also thankful I can still put one foot in front of the other.

But I wish it didn't hurt so damn bad.  I'm still waiting... and hope is fading... that this Synvisc shot is going to kick in.  On my miserable scale I'm currently a bitch.  I hate being like this and when I hear some of the things that come out of my mouth?  Yikes! I cringe just thinking about it.  Pain makes me a not so great version of myself.  I know this and yet I feel powerless to do anything about it.  I already feel like I am pushing my limits of functioning as a non-crazy person.  Fixing me is going to require another radical shift in the way I think about myself... again.  But for now I guess I just acknowledge, be aware and try to keep it in check.  Not always easy for me.

I stopped by my Orthopedist office yesterday.  I need him to sign off on another form for my handicap placcard but I did it in person because I had an ulterior motive-- I really wanted to meet his secretary.  Unlike in past offices, patients (as far as I can tell) don't have any face to face interaction with the doctor's assistant (secretary, admin, whatever you want to call her).  Contact only via the phone makes it hard to get a sense of who you are dealing with without knowing what exactly is on the other end of the line.  Since her office is not in the clinic area we had never crossed paths in person.  I like to think I'm pretty likable but she and I were having some definite issues (that started earlier this year) and it was my hope that meeting in person, putting a face to the name and voice will help my cause down the road.

Although she started it (she did!) I know I was pretty awful on the phone a couple weeks back.  I haven't gone into the details but after the October fuck up and then having my appointment cancelled with no notice, I'm sure one could imagine I was not in the best frame of mind. Hysterics could be a good word here... but basically I bitched her out. She being who she is had no trouble dishing it right back.  I know now why our conversation about the cancelled appointment devolved as quick as it did.

I can small talk anyone, years at the coffee shop working mornings and being the over compensating fat girl for so long gave me the gift of gab.   Weather is my favorite but I can talk anything, religion and politics included but in this case it was vintage and antique jewelry that provided teh common denominator.  She noticed my pin, it's Weiss and I thought eureka! An opening...

But I should back up...  She greeted me (of course) with a "How did you get back here?"  Umm, I followed the signs that say Suite 11x until I came to the door, where I knocked and the nice girl behind the desk directed me to your office?  Being greeted this way kind of threw me but I recovered quick, I'm well aware by now that her default is abrasive.  I introduced myself and immediately apologized for my bad behavior. That was a genuine apology, pain can make me mean and my tirade was uncalled for.

So the pin, I always find wearing jewelry is a good way to 1.) get compliments which leads to 2.) having something to talk about.  She showed me her pin, Irish tourist jewelry with marcasites and some sort local marble that I didn't quite get the name of.   I learned that she used to be a metal smith she likes to travel and loves beads.  We talked about the warehouses in Providence where you can buy bulk vintage rhinestones, fittings and the like and about parking in the city when she owned a Pinto!

We also chatted about my knee.  It was important to me for her to understand who I am and what I've been through.  I freely acknowledged that these past experiences make me the pain in the ass patient I am now.  It's been a while since I've gone into my history and I think she was mildly impressed.  I name dropped my former surgeons, she had similar impression of ACL Doc #3 which was nice to hear.  She also reaffirmed that current Doc is a really good guy and encouraged me to check in with him if I don't get relief with this shot.  That was also nice to hear.  Hopefully she'll remember me the next time I need something not as that crazy girl on the phone but as that woman with that great not rock crystal necklace who's been through more than someone my age should.  My care is important to me and I really want it to be as hassle free as possible.

That being said my visit illustrated to me why I had to drop off this form again. On original application it's just a box that needs to be checked, but no doubt the Doc didn't and I'm sure she didn't look it over before she sent it out.  There were piles everywhere!  Filing, maybe research? and who knows what...  I would drown under that much paper. Stepping into her office and seeing all that it was immediately clear to me why it's oh so difficult to get shit done quickly and correctly.  But now I know and it won't change how I interact with his office.  Well, I'll be the kinder gentler version of myself after making that personal connection but I was reassured that I need to continue asking questions and following up.  The system, alas, is ridiculously dysfunctional... Think poorly trained weekend staff resulting in a need for blood work before a rescheduled MRI or poorly trained staff who don't know they don't do shots in Foxboro.  Secretary is unfortunately the gatekeeper to all this dysfunction.  If she does her job well I don't get that far, if she doesn't I end up wasting my time and even worse the doctors, her boss.

We had a guest lecturer in my US Healthcare system class last week a local woman who is the CEO of Portsmouth hospital.  She really pressed the kids in the class that you have to love your job and have a passion for helping people if you go into healthcare.  I'm pretty sure this woman is not exactly passionate about her job and to me that's evident in how she performs it.  She also said something during the conversation that made it sound like where she's at now is literally just a job to her, fine, good to know. That doesn't make her a bad person (I'd actually love to pick her brain about beads and jewelry and all that good stuff) it just means that the patient expereince is not important to her. There may be people out there who can over look that when it comes to their care and the quality of it,  but I can't.  I'm thankful that I have developed a sense of self that pushes me to be proactive.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh Internets! Part II

If you've read my blog you know that I pretty much went up and then down, then plateaued, then down again.  It took over four years.

I'm about to climb up on my soap box.  I know my way isn't everybody's weigh but it did work, so draw your own conclusions.

It's actually pretty easy to lose weight right?  I had success in high school losing 40 pounds over a summer but eventually it came back on and from there it was just up and up.  No secrets to that one regain, I just wasn't ready.  When I had my ah-ha moment in 1999 I was in college and had no real stress in my life.  Sure there was "drama" but nothing like what would come in 2007 and nothing like what had caused me to gain even more weight starting 1997.

All life has drama and stressors though.  At all times.  It's just relative.   I find that when people perceive their life to be stressful (wether or not it actually is I don't think is terribly important) or when everything is a major catastrophe then weight loss becomes a way of feeling in control. With everything else spiraling, changing yourself for the better is so appealing.  So righteous, "Look what I can do even though my world is falling apart."  But what happens when your world is done falling apart?  (Admittedly for some it never does, there is always more drama.) You are left with this foreign body and nothing to motivate you. Maintenance is not about control, it's about living.  If you don't give yourself the tools to keep it off along the way then why even bother?

On the other hand are people who are just sort of bumping along with no real hindrances.  Their weight loss is only sustainable as long as life keeps it nice and easy.  They are also in control but like the above it's an illusion.  As soon as they must cope without food, they often can't and the weight comes back on.  

So what is one to do if they want to lose weight and keep it off?

Realize that this is not a zero sum game.

When things are overwhelming the best thing that you can do is take care of yourself.  This does not mean starving yourself to keep on losing weight.  Or jumping into a bag of cookie head first and saying fuck it. MODERATION is required.  This is not easy to learn and comes only with much practice.  Weight loss is about patience and making peace with ourselves.  The end will come someday when you get to a happy weight and the tools you acquire along the way, especially when life is beating you down will be crucial in maintaing a loss.  Getting to goal shouldn't mean you start living then.  You should be doing it all along.

Puffy Post Plastics

So what's it been... a year and half since my tummy plastics?  This cold I have/had comes with this awful cough that had me all puffed up.  I was uncomfortable in a way I hadn't been in a long time.  The skirt I have on today I could not wear last week, too snug in a way that I couldn't quite figure out.  Scale was showing water weight but knowing what I had eaten I couldn't figure out why.  Must have been the muscles involved with the coughing.

Interesting the way the body works

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My own Metric

I give one point for each.  Scale ends up being 1-10 this way.  It's never a zero.

Lateral (split between Tibial and Femoral so each location gets .5)
Medial (Tibial/Femoral again split same as above)
Patellar
Bakers Cyst
General Edema
Stiffness
General OA Achy Joint

Then it's +1 for any sort or worry or thoughts...
+2 if I act on any of that worry.  So for example.  I add one point I think about pain and add two points if I cut short a shopping trip because of it.  Tears are an automatic 2 points.

Currently I'm a 7 with both tibial and femoral lateral pain, patella pain, bakers cyst pain, edema, stiffness and tears.  Lots and lots of tears today.

It's amazing to me how many different ways my knee hurts me.  Intensity should probably be a consideration but I think I capture that with +1 and +2.  This works for me.  I'm hoping shortly to be back down to 4 or hopefully even a 3!  I expect the stiffness to fade, the lateral pain to ease off and if I don't hurt I don't think about it so those three points go too.

Still waiting for the Synvisc to kick in and trying not to fret that it hasn't yet.

Entitled

That's a loaded word.  But when it comes to my knee it's how I feel.  I'm uncomfortable saying it however because I still struggle with my own culpability with regards to how I got to this point.  I know what happened to me is NOT my fault.  No teenager really understands the implications of surgery and the long term consequences.  I came across this article last week and sobbed for an hour after reading it.  It's about the adolescent knee and the risk for osteoarthritis.  I've said it before but just so I am clear.  I don't think that docs should be operating on 240 pound teenagers who have no hope of rehabbing properly.  Just because you can doesn't meant that you should.  I truly believe that I would be better off today without any of those ACL surgeries.

But I did do them.  And the doctors did too.  I often wonder if the last doc who told me I would lose my mobility by 40 considered any of my past history.  What was his motivation for recommending surgery & using scare tactics?  I think he was more interested in my cartilage than repairing my ACL.  I wonder what it was that he saw in there that made him do a 180 after the procedure about the state of my cartilage.  Clearly it had been roughed up, but having done all sorts of reading now... I don't think my problems were good for the technique he was working on at the time.  I wasn't a patient needing help in his eyes I was a potential research subject.  And when I wasn't useful... well, it took more time than it probably should have to catch that Staph infection imho.  Talk about being a pain in the ass patient.

Which brings me to what is still aggravating me.  Really, I feel I've suffered enough because of that one arrogant doc.  I'm not keen on suffering because of inconsiderate office staff.  I have no use for rudeness, for having to do everything twice and least of all I can't stand being second guessed and scolded.  I'm the consumer here but as a patient this is MY LIFE that your actions are affecting.  I pay attention to my own care because I have to.  I have learned the hard way that even those who should be paying attention often are not.  They may also not have your best interest at heart.

At this point I am just about making my life a little easier and I think I deserve that.

And to say again... I really like my current doctor.  He won me over the moment he said there is nothing I can do for you right now.  He got all the information he needed first to make that call... and I respect that immensely. He's as close to perfect as you can get for a doctor but unfortunately he comes with a b*tch of a secretary.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

That was me?

I have this cough that rattles my chest.  It physically hurts to breathe and I'm exhausted.  At 165 this is a hard cold to have.  I can't imagine all that extra weight sitting on my chest.

But just an hour ago I was reminded of how hard it must have been to cough when I was heavy.  I was walking behind a girl on campus whose size I recognized.  I couldn't help but watch as she coughed and the serious physical effort required.  That was me.  I tried to remember that physical discomfort and I couldn't imagine feeling worse than I already do.  Huh.

I still have a few, "Oh I don't miss that from when I was heavy..." type moments but for the most part I do try to NOT contrast and compare life at this weight and that weight.  It was novel at first but I prefer to think of myself as just this way.  Sure those experiences make me who I am, but I want to be just this girl who lives with food.  Clearly, I'm still dwelling on maintenance success thoughts.  I think its okay that I can't recall that life much any more.   I find motivation in living.  Dwelling on what that was like and being motivated by it no longer apply to me.  I have my own new and different issues to deal with now.  Some a result of being 345 pounds but some not. 

That's a relief actually.

Time heals all wounds right?  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You're no Meredith

Had Synvisc shot last week but not without more bullshit and drama.

All admins and support staff get compared to Meredith.  It's a fact that I have these experiences with which to contrast and compare.  It's also a fact that all of these experiences have lowered my tolerance for bullshit.  I have no problem asking direct uncomfortable questions when you are rude or not doing your job.

Anyway, Meredith... She was support to Dr. Donaldson at Tufts NEMC and awesome at her job.  A rare combination of both competent and courteous.  Not exactly warm but that was okay.  She always made the Doc look good, I never had to chase for anything and she didn't second guess me.  She set the bar high.

The experience I've had with the support staff in current Doctor's office? Sucks.   Do I get to blog the bad with the good?  It's my experience, my POV but I wonder if it's appropriate.  What happened last week was enough for me to ponder quitting this Doc. Maybe I'm just coming from place of pain or hyper sensitivity based on my US Healthcare System class...  Maybe.

Fact: Appointment was cancelled and doctor's office failed to notify me about it.

Sigh.  While situation was obviously remedied the emotional energy I wasted was too much.  It shouldn't be this difficult to get good care!

Checking in for Six Years of Maintenance

I'm under a pile of work so I'll stick to the highlights of the past year:

I am no longer afraid of gaining back the weight.  That has been the biggest difference between five and six.  The fear is just gone.  This year threw some challenges at me but here I am, admittedly at the high end of my range, but comfortable.  165 and all my clothes still fit and I'm able to live with food.  Maybe I'll get motivated and take off a few pounds of pain that I seem to gain with every Synvisc cycle.

The Dr. Oz experience where I got to meet some of my favorite ladies.  Hi Lori and Jenelle!  It also kind of sucked as you'll see if you click the link, but that's okay.  I'd do it again.

I had a thigh lift but NO knee surgery and found a new orthopedic guy who is on the same page as me.  I'm hoping to be surgery free for a few more years now.

I decided on a school and am well on my way to completing my coursework to become a Registered Dietician.  It's a process but everyone up at UNH has been kind and helpful.  I feel like I have found a home up there and am excited for the future.

Back to the BioChem.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm jealous of Dara Torres

I think this is a neat neat procedure.  But when you read about it... contraindicated for those with no ligament and history of infection. Sigh.  Working up courage to ask Doc what exactly my future hold prior to swapping out my own parts for something shiny and new.  Where the worst pain is he can't visualize.  MRI is clouded with arcs as a result of leftover teeny tiny metal fragments from my past experiences.  I would love to know what the cartilage looks like on the the lateral condyle of my femur.  Alas, it'll be a surprise until they actually go in and look. Been wearing heels lately to shift weight to medial side...  Can't do too much of that though, I hurt there as well.

Still torn about the shot on Thursday.  Pinged the Doctor... I hate being such a worrier but I'm not feeling great.  Past history makes me this way...  Paranoid?  Over thinking?   I recall my first plastic surgeon telling me that I was his little worrier.  Aw.  And then I broke open.  Or when I KNEW that something was desperately wrong after that 3rd ACL attempt and it took weeks for the surgeon to finally listen.

I hate being a nag but I know me, I know my body.  You don't go through DRAMATIC physical change with out being aware (or in my case it almost feels hyper aware) of what's going on with you.  When you ignore your sense of physical self for so long when you start paying attention decisions about your health and your care become that much more important.  I take this seriously now.  I have too, even if it means driving me (and my Doc maybe?) crazy.

Damnit, I hurt.  A lot.  But as I have blogged in past the shots hard on me systemically and I have concerns.  I'll make a decision tomorrow.

Such a mental mind fuck the chronic condition is.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Be nice to your knees

I'm sporting a nasty viral rash.  Pain included.

Thankfully it's not like the knee pain.  I'd NEVER!  But sadly there has been a rash of stories in my Google alerts lately about people taking their own lives because they can't deal.

I get it.

Shot happens on Thursday.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Judgement

School is a lot of work.  Good happy work.  Amazing though the judgement that just oozes out of some of these girls.  Really, this is EXACTLY why I want to become an RD.

I have so many thoughts on ADA and the profession... trying to bring it all together in my head, but not quite comfortable blogging about it yet.  Stay tuned.

After today I can only hope that with age will come awareness.  I forget what it is like to be 19.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fail

I'm still baffled and bullshit about the Synvisc fail this week.  Doc was charming as always but for some reason it had to be him to inform me that the shot I wanted isn't given in that office.

I took the news pretty well I think.  Didn't say much actually, too exhausted and too overwhelmed.  Rescheduled for the 11th of November.

In case it's not apparent I schedule my life around pain.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Best Friend

Thanks for coming along on this amazing journey with me.  (Like you have any choice).  You inspire me everyday to be the best version of myself.  I don't always get it right but your love and support mean a lot to me. 
 I love you!
Edited to add.  I am positive that in this picture I am on the right.  I had another picture up yesterday on Facebook of little us.  When I was heavier I had a hard time identifying myself in tiny twin photos.  Now there is never a question for me.  I am that familiar with myself as a person and where I have come from.  My weight loss journey really helped me get a sense of self & and allows me see where I have come from.  <3

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

I have some time in the middle of my day when I commute up to UNH.  Last week I decided to hit up Freeport, another 70 miles away.  I have been wanting to return some backpacks to L.L. Bean that had been rumbling around in the back of the car for ages.  I love their return policy, these were bags that my husband bought ages ago but didn't like the way they fit so they just sat in the closet.  Two years later I finally got around to returning them and they gave me current value.

And with that, I bought this dress and ended up only paying 40$ for it.  I think I'll wear it for my Birthday.  It's the most gorgeous heavy silk and I adore it.  Should go well with a tweed jacket I scored thrifting for this fall and the old lady shoes I bought while shopping with my sister yesterday.  We both bough a pair of brown oxfords, but mine are all chunky heel and hers all sexy heel.  That's fine, they're still cute and I know they'll make me happy to wear them on Wednesday with this lovely dress.  I have no problems working with what I have.  Style & confidence comes from the way you wear it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Relief

My handicap placard was issued.  Thank you thank you thank you thank you.  I have to admit, I just kind of sent it off and had no idea what if anything was going to happen.  I can be cowardly sometimes and asking for things... it's hard especially when I still feel like this is something that I have done to myself.  And i know, I KNOW, that this is NOT something that I did to myself.  

Looking forward to Wednesday's appointment.  Hopefully there will be time to chat.  I feel extremely well educated about what my options are way down the road, what kind of cartilage defects are good for what kind of surgeries and where the current state of cartilage and osteoarthritis research is.  I know ALL OF THIS STUFF about other knees and all that and yet I have no idea where my cartilage damage is.  How do I not know that?  Frustrates me to read about these procedures... and not know.  I assume there is some meniscal cartridge damage because I've read in past surgical reports that it had been trimmed.  But other defects?   I assume that the articular cartilage is messed up in places but where those places are...  I have no idea.  Well, I have a general idea, I know where I hurt.

Learned something interesting in Nutrition Education and Counseling this week.  It's okay to revise goals.  Shows you have been thinking about them.  When I said I want to go 5 years being surgery free.  I still hope for that... but seriously, I'm a little under a year in and I don't know if I can last.  I know I need to try, but I don't want things to get too roughed up in there, I already fear that I may be past the point of no return and that some of these neat biological procedures might not work on me.  Most assume that you have no other issues and only one or two defects.  We all know that's not me.  They also assume you have ligaments.  Also not me.

I'm feeling bit sorry for myself today obviously.  It's the result of not being able to stand for a show.  I can go and hang out at the bar before hand, but the actual show.  Yeah, no.  Standing and I.  We are just not cool.  Especially if I want to walk tomorrow.


Wednesday can't come soon enough

I'm kinda over 33 and ready for 34. And obviously I'm looking forward to seeing the Doc. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Foam Roller Fair

Generally my pain seems to be easing up a bit.  At least that's what I've noticed it this week, I keep a pain diary.  It's not a lot, more like a 6 with no help...  I credit the foam roller with this.  It's really the only thing I have been doing differently.  I had forgotten how good that pain feels and after 10 days of 5 minutes a day it's already easier again.  Perhaps this is all in my head, but I'll take it.

Of course as I sit here and type this blog parts of my knee are a screaming pinging 8 because of my afternoon at the Topsfield Fair.  It was a great time with Twin Sis and we basically wandered and ate.  I had 1/2 a pretzel, an apple, a pickle, 1/2 sweet potato fry order, 1/2 a turkey leg and an twist cone with chocolate jimmies.  And some kettle corn.  Not bad for fair food... I could have done a lot more damage.

Twin sis took this picture of me earlier today.  Love the shirt but something in the camera angle makes me think I look fat.  (It's my arms.)  Amazing because I've seen a weight lower this week than I have in months.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pain vs. 345

When I got to 345 pounds I was PROFOUNDLY uncomfortable in my own skin.  I hurt, it was difficult to move and I was losing feeling in my fingertips.  (my ah-ha moment)  The thing is... I could do something about that discomfort.  I was able, thru sheer will, to take it away.

I can't take away the pain of my OA.  I can not will it away, work it off or change my life to rid myself of it.  There are things I can do to help alleviate it, but at the end of the day, I am left with it.  No matter how hard I wish and no matter what I do.

At least for now.  But the future, almost 40! seems so far away.  One step in front of another for how many more years?

The tears of frustration I have cried over this fact...  I wish I could get people to understand what it is like living with this part, this part that constantly reminds you of who you are and how you got here. Unfortunately few will ever get this far in their own journey and even fewer will be scarred by the weight they once carried.

My "thinness" reminds me everyday of what I am capable of, the pictures I posted earlier, also reminders.  I can do great things, but I can not take away my own pain.  Until then I deal.  The best ways I know how.

Two more weeks.

Recent life in pictures & hats. And a glimpse into how I shop.

This was a fun evening.  One thing I love about where we live now is the walk home.  Won't love it so much when it gets cold again, but right now.  Still a big fan.  Great lighting along this bridge. Tank is Ann Taylor and Coat is London Fog.  Necklace is some sort of marked vintage that I can't recall.

Same night but now with hat as I was a bit further along my walk.  Parts of it are a wind tunnel and I was frozen by then even though it was 75 and humid at 11pm.

That's my favorite scar.  Denim jacket is Ralph Lauren, thrifted and PERFECT!  Dress is from Target earlier this year.  I kind of wish it was a bit longer but it works on me.  I know it's just left over "I hate my legs."  

I <3 Mom.  Pardon how tired she looks here she was just back from her first week of PhD school at UAB.  Hat is from Target, earrings are antique sterling screws and the sweater is something I bought on sale at Banana Republic last Fall.  I've always loved the cardi coats. 

 I am in the dressing room at Savers here.  The skirt and shirt are both silk and both Calvin Klein.  The sweater is cashmere with a gold thread running though it.  It is a different cardigan than above even though it looks similar. Can't see the shoes but one of my favorite pair of sandals.  I am also wearing my wedding jewelry, besides Haskell I have a thing for Regency rhinestones. 

I'm acting like a dork.  This jacket was something I picked up at Savers.... It still has both it's original tags.  One from Lord & Taylor and the other from Filene's Basement with it's automatic markdown.  I was thinking for Halloween, but it's actually not too bad for every day.  Shirt is Brooks Brothers, thrifted and jeans are BR.

Lots of old bathrooms at UNH.  Again with my tan trench (I also have a black one) and my omni present LV.  Turtleneck is cashmere (sensing a theme?) and from Ann Taylor.  I have a hard time paying more that 40$ for cashmere. So it has to be uber on sale or from eBay.  
From today.  Hat is from Coach, sweater from the Gap and the earrings are Haskell. I'm also wearing a brown denim skirt from Tommy Hilfiger and my favorite belt from JCrew.  

I'm a big shopper, I don't buy as many things as I did when I got to this weight but I still love to try things on.  Occasionally I am overwhelmed by the sheer number of clothes I own.  It's left over from high school I think.  I had the one pair of jeans.  That's it, just one.  I used to wash them out in the tub like every night.  My roommate was not impressed with that practice. She had enough clothes to send out, they left on Thursday and were returned the following Wednesday.  Not me, I simply didn't have that many, not enough to even last the week really.  That experience left an impression.   Recently I've been thinning the herd as it were.  Still need to cut down on the skirts  and sweaters but I am getting there. 

I hate paying full price for things.  Lingerie & workout clothes are always new, but the rest comes from all sorts of places.  Thrift stores, consignments shops, mall stores, friends.  At the end of the day it's about fit and how it looks on me and not what the tag says.  Size or price. If I really want it, I'll buy it regardless of if it is 100$ or 10$ or 1$.  It all evens out in the end. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bedtime

But first, Marie Claire...  meh.  Sucks that they had to be assholes about it.  Put yourself out there like that though and people are going to judge.  And judge harshly.  We all know how I feel about my knee...  The idea of running through pain like that.  Not for me, way excessive, again, to me, but to others, probably not.  It's a fine line.  I will say I think there is something to that article.  I'm pretty sure we all pass through that point, some move on and some do not.  Depends on how you want to define yourself I think...  In general though I'm more about those who are still on the journey down or new to maintenance.  People like me already have it figured out.  People like them, well, I've never really had any interest.  It's a lifestyle I'll never relate to on many levels. 

Also a fine line, healthy living blogger and weight loss blogger... that's a different post. 

I'm about living not obsessing.  I chafe at the ED term too...  I think we've covered that here as I feel I have worked quite hard at learning to live with food.  That desire comes directly from having not lived for so long.  Stuffing and hiding was what I did. 

In similar news though I've kept track of everything I've eaten lately.  I think it's school doing it to me.  Feels good to touch base like that, but not sure how long I can keep it up.  Till my birthday is the plan.  (or when school assignment is over)

Just home from a show at the Orpheum in Boston.  omg tiny seats!  I'm normal sized and it was hard.  Moved two songs in to a seat better on my knee.  That place is ummm, not for the handicapped.  I'm glad I can say yes to nights like tonight.  Live music was not part of my life when fat and I know I missed out.  I need to keep evenings like this part of my life now.  Even if it means a painkiller chased by an ibuprofen cooled off with an ice pack. 

So it's about to be sleepy time... third exam of the semester coming up this week in US Healthcare systems.  I'll give you a hint, it isn't really a system.  


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Novel Drug Tanezumab

Courtesy of my OA Google Alert.

"Sometimes pain is good in protecting you."

So this is kind of cool.  Pfizer is developing a drug that inhibits something called Nerve Growth Factor.  NGF is something that helps your nervous system develop but is also released where there is inflammation, like in an arthritic knee.  The NGF binds to the cells which cause pain.  Inhibit NGF = less pain.  (As I understand it)  Neat idea.  It's novel therapy, meaning no other drug works this way so obviously I'm interested.

Not so neat is the FDA halting Phase III because too many people had to under go TKRs.  I'm thinking that if you are that desperate for pain relief, you are headed down the path to the TKR anyways, it's just how fast you get there.   The linked line above is why I don't really push it... I want to preserve what I have for as long as I can.  At 33, every day counts.  I'll need to read more to see what the FDA's issue is.  Perhaps there is more to the degeneration than what the drug company/researchers are saying.   They believe that the degeneration is due to more activity because the knee doesn't hurt.  I totally get that.  But maybe there is some other sort of damage going on?  Like I said need to read more as I am totally interested in this possible treatment.  But having worked in Pharma I know it's still years down the road if at all.

Less than three weeks till my next shot.  My current 11:11 wish involves it lasting the 6 months...  I do worry though that when my knee doesn't hurt that I am doing damage.  You use it without thinking about it, like it's "normal" even.  But it's not.  Only when the pain wears off and you cringe with each step to you think, hey, my body is telling me something.

Original Article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Midterms

Already?

Biochem on Wednesday.  This stuff is seriously interesting.  But dense and time consuming.  School is like a job.  The seminar class I take for NUTR really tried to impart that on the room this evening.  Varied success I think.

Lots of my mind.  Can't wait for the 20th!

Monday, September 20, 2010

New pain in my repertoire

One thing I can't change is my osteoarthritis.  I can change how I deal with world when I hurt though... And I do hurt currently.  On a scale of one to ten I'd say it's a seven with no pills.  A manageable five with ibuprofen and blissfully calm three right after I ice.

This time when the Synvisc wore off it came with a bunch of fluid that is sitting around my knee cap.  As the fluid built up my knee cap started hurting more and more.  I've never had any OA pain behind the patella before but I suspect that's what this horrible achy burny grinding is.  It's not like the OA pain in other compartments probably because it's a non weight bearing part of the joint.   Regardless it's new and different and I need to add it to the list of all the other places and ways in which my knee pains me.  What's one more right?

Except...  I'm not sure I can take much more.  I'm a bit of a grumpy gus right now.  Blog is place to vent as I don't self medicate with food or drugs.  If only I could talk about it and somehow that would lesson the ouch.

Interesting to compare and contrast this OA pain in the patellofemoral compartment as opposed to the medial and lateral compartments.  I wonder if this cartilage is degrading in the same way as the rest of it. Interesting to me how it just hurts differently.

I think about pain too much. 

Just saying

Instead of expecting/wishing/hoping others will change.  Focus on changing yourself.  That way YOU get to decide which way things go instead of whatever direction someone else kicks your heart or your will power or what have you.  It's not as easy of course but at least you get to call the shots.

For example...  my husband is out of town this week and over the weekend he went out and bought a bunch of sugary snacks.  I could sit around and lament the fact that he brings this stuff into the house, I can ask him to please not to but in the end I can't expect him to change.  We've been together for over 8 years now and I have had to make peace with this.  The only thing I can change is how I react to his behaviors.  That way I am in control.  It might be hard but I have no one else to blame but myself and I am not living with constant disappointment.  Disappointment sits on your heart and makes you miserable.  Misery loves company but I have no interest in bring other people down.  So I take charge to avoid making myself miserable.  Make sense?   You can apply this to all sorts of aspects of life.  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Capable to Cripple

I think all this feeling of inadequacy is simply because I hurt again.  Pain manifests itself in so many ways in my head.

It's hard to feel positive about life, yourself and interactions with others when all you want to do is cry.  Or cut your own leg off at the knee with a butter knife.  That might actually hurt less.

My cane is back in the car.


You know that feeling?

That one that where you feel like you are watching people interact around you?  But not with you?  That feeling of being excluded because of your weight?  How much of that is self fulfilling?  Is it actually real or just in your head?

If you were a fat kid maybe it was obvious on the playground, never being part of the gossipy girls clique, but not able to play with boys.  In high school maybe it meant that all the best seats were taken in the dinning hall or you were never invited to hang out in other peoples rooms.

So much of who we are as adults comes from our past.  Growing up hassled & fat is something I am still trying to over come.  I guess I like to think that if I put on a happy face (which I've always done) and a nice dress everything will be okay, but in reality, I think those wounds might be deeper than I realize.  I still feel like I need validation, which is totally stupid & silly, but is in fact the truth.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

People make judgements on limited information

I had dinner with my former boss the other evening.  I have no doubt that our friendship and mentor/mentee relationship (and it's so not Sienfeld) will continue to grow.  It was like no time had passed at all.  The title of this post... is what she had to say about why she gets dressed up every day.

I couldn't agree more.  It's human nature to judge...  I prefer to give less ammunition than others.

I wore this last Friday...  Jeans are Banana Republic with JCrew braided belt.  On top is black silk cami from Ann Taylor, brown velvet track jacket from JCrew and the leather vest is something I thrifted, size medium from Neiman Marcus.  It's one of my favorite pieces for this fall.  I never leave the house without jewelry and here I am wearing one of twin sis' antique crystal necklaces.  Same day, but later, hair has been cut and I'm out for beers.  I was struck by how freaking tiny my thighs look to me in this picture.  Subtle yet noticeable difference I think.


This is something I wore last week maybe?  Felt a bit bold wearing stripes and spots, but it worked!  Dress is wrap from JCrew and sweater is from Banana Republic.  Earrings are screwbacks, pressed base metal with milk glass beads.  This was an outfit I wore to class.


I take A LOT of pictures of myself.  I am addicted to my iphone but after having avoided myself for so long... I dunno I guess I expect the novelty to wear off but it doesn't.  I look at pictures of myself sometimes and still feel unreconizable.  I was trying to get a picture of my knee here.  I swear it changes shape on a daily basis. I wish I had a better picture of this outfit.  The jacket is vinatge and wool.  It's has a very simple military look and fits great.  Underneath is a silk shirt from a label I can't recall...  scoop neck with a big bow at the collar.  Skirt is Calvin Klein and yes, it's leather.  I wore this to class.

This past Thursday I finally wore jeans for the first time to UNH.  Six classes in and the girl who sits next to me in Nutrition Education & Counseling (who also works at JCrew Outlet) said she was glad to see I was capable of dressing it down.  ;)



Friday, September 17, 2010

Storage Bins

I will be sticking to my 5 years surgery free policy but I just have to say that when I gain any weight right now it so very OBVIOUSLY shows up in my arms.  Natural systems tend toward lower energy states.  It's much easier for my body to puff up an already existing fat cell than to create a new one.  I noticed this last year after the tummy but it's more pronounced that I don't have those fat deposits in my thighs.

Now my arms are fat.  I'm still sitting at 162ish but those extra pounds are sitting only in my arms.  I cried the other morning when I couldn't comfortably wear one of my most favorite long sleeve button down shirts.  My husband bought it for me when I was newly thin, button downs weren't something I ever really wore.  This color and fit was perfect ( I <3 Calvin Klein btw) and I've even replaced the buttons when I lost two.  Nothing I can do about the arms however.

Well, lose a few and lift.  I've been to the gym this week.

The body is so weird.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Naked Expectations

What do you see when you look at this picture?

Screaming Fat Girl

Ack.  You're gone.  :(

********Edited to add********

Thanks for putting it back up, like I said, I think they are important.

***************************

I've started school again and two weeks in and I am a bit overwhelmed thinking of myself in their terms.  These need to become my terms.  I know I'll get there, but the education is going to be a bit bumpy while I reconsider the past 10 years or so.  I did it my way, but to help other people help themselves I have to do it their way. With their jargon, not just the ADA's, but all the phycology that goes along with it.   My exposure seems woefully limited to this one class.

Your blog was incredibly insightful... you think about yourself in their terms.  I need to get there.  I've been thinking about it all week.  It's a nice change of pace from thinking about my knee actually. /blogress

I was hoping to go back and read some more of your archives.  Totally selfish and I admit it-- but I wish you didn't have to go private to go dark.  I'd hate to think that you would be one of those blogs that just disappears.  Perhaps ironically because of your success instead of failure?  I have no idea why you've gone, but I wish you well.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stages of Change

I wish I knew why.  Up until this week I was unaware that Stages of Change is actually a behavioral model or framework with which you can measure someone's readiness to change to healthier eating habits.  Apparently I have reached the final stage, Termination, in which a client (or in this case me)  has maintained their changes for more than five years.

When I read that all I could think about was the blog I used to read and how the community is aware of a different kind of termination.  I hope that he found peace.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fat & Lazy

I wonder if I'll be able to escape the fat & lazy mindset completely.  Takes over when I am in pain.  The only thing that keeps me from self medicating with food is more pain.  So I guess now it's pain that makes me lazy.

One foot in front of the other.

I'm making a commitment to do some volunteer stuff.  Been called out on my fat & lazy ways and it's true...  I need to be doing more.  August ground to a halt when the shot wore off.  Can't live my life like that.  Can't let pain dictate who I am.

Thinking mornings a couple times a week at the Greater Boston Food Bank.  It's nearby, easy to get too and at a ground level I want to know what people are getting to eat.  Classes have my mind all over the place.  What do I want to be when I grow up?  I know I come from privilege (contributes to my fat and lazy ways) and some education on what's it like for so many should come from doing some good I think.

Okay, back to the school work.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Stay in school kids!

I'm slightly overwhelmed by the fact it will take me longer to become a registered dietitian than it will have taken me to lose the 185 pounds.  

Sigh.

I was such a _____________ in college.  Too fat to fit in the seats and yet to ashamed to do anything about it.  Such a cycle that was, semester after semester.  Add in some surgery and my GPA is a disaster from CU Boulder.  Sad thing is, when I went to class, all A's and B's.  The F's show up when I stopped caring.  Fastest way ever to tank your GPA.

When my husband and I decided that I would go back to school I never dreamed it would take me this long.  Science in college would have been helpful, but that's life.  Getting laid off a couple of weeks earlier would have helped moved this along by a whole year, but what can you do.  Life happens at its own pace, even if it is that of a snail.  

I was never a math and science kind of girl.  I know that now, now, I can do it.  I can even hold my own with the over achievers of the world as evidence by the fact that I've taken almost all of these science classes at the Harvard Extension School.  Since it's still Harvard and they have a name and reputation to protect these classes are not your regular continuing ed types. Alas Harvard doesn't do nutrition, at least not at the Ext.

Enter UNH.  Turns out that I don't actually have to get the masters right now to be an RD.  You can get an accredited university to sign off on your course work, do the internship, take the exam and get credentialed.  I can do this at UNH and I am super excited that I am finally at the point where I can take actual nutrition related classes!  I have 16 left and can do this in two years taking course credit load and financial limitations into consideration.  I am excited to have a plan in place (that doesn't involve rejection) and to be moving forward.

So this semester is my last class at the Harvard Extension School-- Biochem.   Trying again, I dropped it last fall after an unfortunate flu shot reaction and nasty fall cold that cut into a lecture before the first exam in week three.  I'm actually glad I dropped it as I'll get a ton more out of this class now that I have taken Organic Chemistry and Anatomy and Physiology.  For the nutrition classes I'll be commuting to UNH three times a week and they include, Clinical Perspectives in Nutrition (Here's what you can do with this degree type of thing), US Healthcare System and Nutrition Education & Counseling. 

Someday I'll have a shingle with my name on it.  This process, like the process of losing weight, while long and drawn out can only have goodness at the end.  I know it's cliche, but anything worth having is worth working for.  And for me, the journey is just as important as the destination.  

But that's another post. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thigh lift scars


Ouch, I have to say that my scars, especially when I sit cross-legged, are a bit on the painful side.  We have reached the point where they are tightening up before they let go again.  They are also pulling in a weird way and I'm not sure if that has to do with how I am healing or if it's just swelling that's makeing me feel tight.  I haven't had a follow up since before vacation-- I should make that call.  I'm curious if all the bike riding I have been doing is contributing to the change in the way the scars look (and how I am staying together) or if that's just what is supposed to happen.  I knew the scars weren't going to be pretty but it's a noticeable difference.  At least to me anyway, I've posted a picture after the jump.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I bounced

All the way to 167!  I'm off a few from that now, back in the low 160's but it happens, still, and I suspect that my weight will continue to fluctuate.  I think knowing that allows me not to freak out.  It's a range, my clothes still fit (although some better than others) and when I bounce like that I am still the same me.  The me who has lost over 180 pounds and kept it off for almost six years.  So this is me, giving myself some credit.  

Oh and also, random post plastic surgery thought.  I have a crotch now.  Kind of crass to put it that way but it's true.  This last surgery really made that apparent to me.  A lifetime of not being able to see those parts...  you notice when they are visible and readily accessible.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

I saw Moose

Another reason why my knee is doomed. From an article in the New York Times,  Moose Offer Trail of Clues on Arthritis by Pam Belluck

The arthritic Bullwinkles got that way because of poor nutrition early in life, an extraordinary 50-year research project has discovered. That could mean, scientists say, that some people’s arthritis can be linked in part to nutritional deficits, in the womb and possibly throughout childhood.

Let's add nutritional deficiencies to the list that also includes;
  • obesity
  • ACL problems
  • surgical trauma
  • general trauma (car accidents, falls)
  • genetics
  • being a girl
  • infection

Ouch I need to brain dump

I'm having a rough day.  Life seems up in the air at the moment but it's really not because I know that whatever comes will have a process, something to work through.  I am the biggest procrastinator.  I used to blame it on my weight, but I am kinda lazy sometimes, especially when I hurt or am overwhelmed.  And that's me today, physically hurting and overwhelmed.  And I have no business being lazy with the summer coming to a close.

I smacked myself in the eye last night with a glass hummingbird.  Yes, you read that right.  Today I had to pack off my husband for a trip to the left coast for a depo, woke up early in pain but got to see a happy twin sis, ran some errands and then came home and cried.  My face hurts, my heart hurts and it's cloudy.

Ouch.  Hoping 3 hours of immediate icing keeps most of the bruising at bay.


Tomorrow is a new day and I am making plans.  Fall semester has come together and I will apply for programs this fall come hell or high water.  I fear rejection and not having good enough recommendations.

Today is really about being lonely I think.  I have this life, that I love, but I still crave interaction and I really wish that I had gotten more of a head start on it.  Comforting myself with the fact that I have already done so much only gets you so far.  I just have to keep moving forward, even if I'm all teary.

Boohooing gets me nowhere.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What if?

I'd take back all that skin for a knee in good working order.  Pain is a weight I don't feel I'll ever escape.

Where I'm at with my thighs

I'm super happy with the results but I do wish that the incision on the inside of my thighs went further down.  I feel like there is still too much skin (and now with even less up higher) just above my knees.  It's hard to explain, but when I stand or sit even you really can't tell.  It's just when I kneel and really, how often do I actually do that?

Our first hike on vacation and it was already apparent that this surgery is a WIN!  It's such a different experience to walk from your hips and not your knees!  I think I must have mentioned at least 20 times on vacation how pleased I am with the results.  All that excess in the way is just gone.  I took a couple of pictures when I was in the hotel in Bozeman.  Hard to see... but that's the point right?


I'm done with surgery for a while.  I need to work with what I have and although this body is not perfect, it's never going to be tight and there are parts of me that will always sag, I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to fix myself up a bit.  I am struck by how much easier it is to be "skinny" in this body.  I tried hard not to let the skin bother me, but now that it's gone it's apparent to me that it's a mental weight that never really lets you go.  Scars don't weigh on me the way the skin did and I can't imagine stretching myself back out.  No way.

A few vacation photos...


Said Iceberg in Iceberg Lake

Husband and I at the Lake

Campsite at Grand Teton.  Be nice to your knees folks!

From the Highline Trail on the way out to the Chalet.

View from the Chalet at midnight!
On the way down from the Chalet.

10 miles in the heat.  But there were Moose!

Being silly after drinks at the Jackson Lake Lodge.

This is the personal sized sundae!
I wish you could see the mosquitoes circling my head here.

Most.Favorite.Geyser.Ever.  This is Grand.

Deep Fried Avocado.  Best thing all vacation and it was on our last night at the Montana State Fair.  

Vacation is Over

Alas.  So we spent two weeks out west, Montana, Wyoming and a drive through Idaho just so I could say that I had been there.  I've been home for a week and miss my husband like crazy already.  I'm also back in pain.  We hiked a bunch on vacation...  well, a bunch for us.  In Glacier we hiked out to Iceberg Lake, 5 miles out and 5 miles back,  it had some elevation gain, but nothing too crazy.  I managed and in the end it was so worth it to wander through hillsides of wildflowers and to see an ACTUAL iceberg in a lake.  Neat.  Not so neat was the poor guy that we passed on the trail on our way back that had to be airlifted up and out.

Our next hike was out to the Granite Park Chalet.  Literature says its a 200 ft elevation gain, that's net, not actual.  I was distressed at one point when we came around a corner and had to go up over a haystack and across a snow field but I just kept going and I am so glad I did.  About half an hour from the Chalet and about 15 minutes after we had passed that point some rocks broke off the cliff, bounded down the hill and smashed into two teenagers.  They are going to be ok, but they also had to be airlifted up and out.  We spent the night at the Chalet and then the next day hiked back down.  You had to go up to go down and in the end it was about 2300 ft. of actual down.  DOwn is easier in someways, cardio mainly, but it' a bit rough on the knee.

We took a break after that, spent the day in Missoula and then it was off to Grand Teton.  Only one big hike there and it was all flat.  About 80 sunny and gorgeous we were hoping to do a lollypop trail but it ended up being more of sickle.  We had to back track as there was no bridge over a creek.  Earlier in the season it had been closed for bear management.  The mud looked like it would suck us right in so we turned around.  Worth the effort however as there were two moose just chilling about 250 yards away.

After that it was up to Yellowstone. We've been a bunch and this time took in oldie but goodie sites.  Walked the 350+ stairs down Uncle Toms Trail in Canyon to get to the viewing area for the lower falls.  We hiked up to Inspiration point to see Old Faithful go off.  We wandered our favorite boardwalks in various geyser basins and in generally recouped from our first week.  We also bailed to Bozeman, after watching mother nature kick peoples ass already (also climbers struck by lightening at Grand Teton and a drowning at Yellowstone) I was kind of done when that Grizzly bear ate that poor man in a campground just north of the park.  I don't know why that bothered me so, but nature is no joke out there.  I feel very lucky that I only had one oops moment.  It was in Yellowstone and we were coming off of Inspiration point and my left foot slid.  I could literally feel my femur scrape across my tibia.  Yikes!  But I didn't fall!  This was huge for me.... and I know it is a result of the strengthening I have been doing.

That was almost two weeks ago and since then the knee has been going down hill.  Fast.  The Synvisc has worn off and I am sad to see it go.  The past week has involved some mental gymnastics.  Amazing to think about all these things I've just listed and I did them PAIN FREE.  Now I wince when I get out of bed in the morning.  I wish it wasn't so up and down, but what can you do.  Live.  And that's what I did.  I iced whenever I could but mostly I just did my thing.  It was awesome and freeing and I can't wait for the day that's me all the time!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Vacation

I'm sitting at a laundry mat in Missoula Montana this morning. We've spent the week in Glacier National Park and are headed to Grand Teton today and then up to Yellowstone by early next week. It's been lovely to spend this time with my husband. We have rented a convertible and thankfully his ear is cooperating so we have been able to chat while I get sun.

Yesterday we chatted about food and how he just can't eat anymore when he's full. What started the conversation was his being behind some woman at a mini mart who was buying a 44 ounce Sprite and 3 bags of pork rinds. Normally he does not pay attention to that kind of thing but he mentioned it to me when he got in the car and then again about 50 miles down the road. He wondered why she would do that? Consume that many calories with no nutritional value... Hard to say but every reason I came up with he couldn't really relate too. It was enlightening to actually discuss this with him again. I don't think he really understood how important he has been to me in my journey. I've said in the past that I have learned from him. So true- his biology is something I think many heavy people covet. I know I'm not built like him but I can take cues from how he lives with food. There is no right way to lose weight ( well, within reason) or keep it off... We are all different but how wonderful that we can learn from one another.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Six Weeks Post Op

Maybe I have gotten a bit aggressive with the activity?  I have also been slacking on the compression garments in this heat and now I am paying price.  I have a small fluid pocket.  I'm hoping it will reabsorb over night.  I have garment on and plan on leaving it there for a few days.  Well, I'll change it out but you know what I mean.

Left side is just about healed.  I'm almost there!  Scars are tightening again a bit right now... as they do at about 6 weeks.  It's slightly uncomfortable but it's not keeping me from actually using the toilet like a real person again!

Gym is totally different experience in this body.

 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I joined a gym

For real and true.  I am tired of being skinny fat and weak.  I am tired of making excuses for myself.  I don't want or need to lose any weight, I just want to be steady on my feet.  We'll see how it goes.

As for the lack of blogging.  Sometimes, especially after I've been sitting on my ass for weeks thinking about how and why I have gotten to where I am-- I need the break.  You see I don't always think about this stuff anymore.  I just live my life.  I hate how that sounds, but it's true.   Plastics brings all back for me, it's like a former life and as I've said, I don't mind the reminder of who I once was, but I prefer to look forward.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Busy

When I stop blogging it's because I get busy.  Self imposed busy but I like it.  Sitting around thinking about healing stops helping after a while.  Miles walked, trips taken, exercise done... sunshine sat in :c)  That's what's making me better now.

I love the freedom that comes with this life in this body.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do you eat in the bedroom?

Husband and I have had many conversations about this.  No eating in bed, please.  I know I made the mistake of having a popsicle recently and I think that made it seem like I was okay with it.  But I'm not, I just wasn't moving that well after surgery. It's a combination of things... the chewing noises, the crumbs, the chocolate on white sheets and of course it's also mental.

For me bedtime is that-- bedtime, crawl in, close your eyes and drift off.  I have a hard time falling asleep and often can't until he shows up.  Husband takes his time, needs to decompress, I get it, but I don't understand why that includes a snack in bed when he could have easily stayed at his computer and eaten there.

Just now he crawled into bed with a piece of chocolate cake!  I kicked him out and I don't feel bad about it.  It's late, I have to get up early for therapy and I just want some rest.

I fear this is something he will never understand about me.  I try so hard not to let my food ish affect his life, I know I have said before my issues should not be his issues.  I fail at that sometimes and I know it.

But seriously, chocolate cake?  Sigh, it's something to talk to my therapist about.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I've gotten all clear for...

Walking.  Any distance I want.  This is excellent news.   Even though that spot on left leg is still healing.

In other news husband came home the other day with literature from the office building...  There is a really nice gym near by.  Like between here and his work.  It's the health club attached to one of the hotels and it has a pool.  He's been encouraging me to join.  Not in a "Honey, you're fat way," but in a "Honey, you are unsteady on your feet," way.  I know it.

I think it is time to add some exercise back into my life.  The excuses are getting old.  Even I am tired of them and they sound so hollow.  I can keep my pain manageable.  And the wear & tear?  It's going to happen regardless.  Maybe being stronger will balance that out?  I don't know, but I should at least try.