Friday, April 3, 2015

Confessions and Realizations

I have been toying with the idea of re-starting this blog for a while now. You see, I've gained it all back. Every. Little. Bit.
It's utterly and completely humiliating to know that I was on the right track and I couldn't keep at it. My husband tells me it's not my fault. For the past year or more I've suffered through an injury. I've had foot pain in my right foot for years and years now and it finally got to the point where I was unable to go about my daily tasks without ending in excruciating pain. So I after much reluctance I hauled myself to the doctor.
 My primary care doctor thought it was an untreated stress fracture (because what else could someone my size have?) so he ordered x-rays and sent me to an orthopedist. More x-rays and an MRI. Do you know how noisy and scary an MRI is? Turns out not broken and no major sprains or deformaties. He thinks perhaps it's tendonitis and sends me to physical therapy to strengthen the foot and ankle. That actually winds up making it worse so he sends me to an ankle specialist 2 hours away. He does yet more x-rays and another more extensive MRI. Nothing. Again. He agrees with ortho-guy that there is some tendonitis and perhaps some small fracture that's not showing up on x-ray so I get what my husband affectionately refers to as 'the kickball boot'. It's a walking cast that I get the joy of wearing around for 6 weeks. Oh, and this was during the spring and summer and I am on our local school board. So there are about 400 some kids in the area whose graduation pictures will be forever marred by my fat ass in a kickball boot on the stage handing them there diplomas. Not to mention all the times I hauled that stupid thing around to my daughters track meets all across the state. So yeah, good times. So, the boot comes off and still no improvement. In fact, it seems to be more swollen and tender than it was before. What the hell?!?! He then recommends nerve testing and starts throwing around works like 'Lupus' and 'MS' and 'ALS'.
At this point I'm terrified. I'm 34 (at the time) years old, I've got two kids and a husband who works away 6 months out of the year. This cannot be happening.
It takes me about 2 months to get in to see one of the best neurologists in the state.Meanwhile my leg had started to weaken and I was having some lower back pain which I had never had before. I had decided that I was not playing around. The neurologist, who by the way looks nothing like Derrick Sheppard but is in fact way nicer, keeps me in his office for about an hour asking me all kinds of crazy questions and wanting to know can I lift my leg this way - I can't. Can I lift my leg that way - I can. Can I walk on my toes? How about my heels? Not really on either count. Seems like something I really ought to be able to do. Can I bend over? Yes. Backwards? No. He wants to know have my hands ever gone numb. Yes. Recently? Yes.
Then he decides that Nerve Conductivity Testing is, in fact, in order. No problem, I think. Boy, was I wrong. Holy shit. Let me just say that if anyone ever wants to stick needles into your body and send electrical currents to certain points of your body all while you bend your leg this way and that - it's generally not going to end well for you. Neuro-guy informs me that we are going to do this that very day (another hour - I have never had a doctor who had basically cleared there afternoon for me and I wasn't sure if that was good or bad) The whole process did suck, as promised. But it did show that there was significant nerve damage coming from my spine, running down my leg, whereby this particular nerve (not the sciatica before anyone says that) splits behind the knee and running to both sides of my foot. So, OK that explains that. And Neuro-guy sends me to an associate, a neurosurgeon, to determine if I need surgery for said nerve problem.
I don't, thank god.
They send me to yet another associate (that's six different doctors for anyone keeping count) who is a pain management guy. I was worried before my appointment that this was going to be one of those 'pain clinics' that is basically just a pill mill. Could not have been further from the truth. This pain guy prescribes no narcotics. He is adamant about only accepting patients who are willing to do in-office injections and physical therapy. He even recommends acupuncture and yoga. My kind of doctor. I proceed to go through 3 different rounds of steroid injections in my spine. It helps a bit. Then I begin physical therapy. Again.
But this time it's different. Pain guy wants me to focus on my back (the root of the problem - so to speak) and has me doing all kinds of yoga-like stretches along with pool therapy. Now, I do feel that it is perverse to ask an overweight white woman to put on a bathing suit in the middle of winter, but at this point I was ready to try anything. And shock of shocks it seems to have worked. I have been released from PT for two weeks now and had my follow up with pain guy. He is pleased with improvement and has written my a prescription for an anti-seizure medication that works in my case by relaxing the coatings around my nerves thereby lowering the inflammation. It is also working. I could not be more pleased considering the fact that my next option was a surgical spinal stimulator implant that is kind of like a pace maker for your spine. It works by running tiny electrical currents up and down a particular nerve to scramble the pain signals it sends to your brain.
So I can totally see where my husband is coming from when he says that my recent weight gain is not my fault. But I know the truth. It is totally my fault. Yes, I was laid up and unable to exercise for the better part of 18 months. No, I did not have to eat everything in sight. And boy did I? The less anyone was able to tell me what was wrong with me the more I ate. And the more they tossed around scary diagnoses that couldn't possibly have anything to do with me the more I ate. And the bigger I got the more I ate. And on and on and on.
But that is not even the worst part.
I've known for a while now that my son has been sneaking food. We're talking cookies and candy and granola bars and all the stuff he shouldn't have.
He's overweight. He knows it. I know it. His pediatrition is more than aware. The only person who doesn't seem to be aware is my husband, but that's a whole other issue. I mean, the kid is 5'6" and 175lbs. He'll be twelve at the end of the month. Just today we had to go buy him new shorts because the only ones he had that fit him were stretchy-type gym shorts. And I get it, kids grow. I want him to grow - taller. He's clearly already big enough. And he knows he's a big kid and it bothers him. Quite a lot, actually.
So we've joined a gym. Now that I am capable of working out again I realized just how much I had missed it. Sure it sucks balls and it hurts and I leave the gym sweating and crying and smiling all at the same time. But The Boy seems to love it. He's in a Kids Fit Class which is kind of like a Zumba meets soccer drills meets yoga situation for kids. He also has fallen in love with the elliptical machine. All to the good, I think.
So imagine my surprise when I set down on the couch with my box of Trader Joe's Gluten Free Oreo-thingys was half way gone. What the hell! Now, I know it wasn't The Girl because she doesn't like them. And I know it wasn't The Husband because he's gone. And I know it wasn't me because I just opened the box and carefully had 3 cookies. So it must be The Boy.
Why would he do this, I wonder. He knows better. We've talked about nutrition. The trainer at the gym has talked about nutrition. We've even talked about how it's perfectly OK to have a few cookies or a piece of candy as a treat as long as everything else you've eaten has been on track. I don't want him to ever think he has to be on ' A Diet'. I want him to think in terms of what he can eat rather than what he can't. But 14 cookies is certainly not on the Eat This list. I mean anybody knows that. He's not some mindless toddler just cramming anything he can get his hands on into his mouth. He knows this! We've been over this! Again, what the hell!
And then it hits me. I know that eating things I should not eat is what got me here in the first place and yet I did it anyway. I know that I can almost never stop at just one cookie and yet I buy them anyway. I knew that since I was unable to exercise my eating habits were going to be even more important. And yet? I ate all the food anyway.
He is my son afterall. We say all the time, "Do as I say, not as I do." But every grown-up in America knows just what a cop out that is. It doesn't sound credible even to us. So how can we expect it to sound credible to our kids?
So there you have it. I have not only made myself fat. Again. I have made my son fat as well. I'd love to tell you that I have some magic plan of just how exactly I intend to remedy it but the truth is I haven't a clue. I know that we will be eating better and getting to the gym more as a family. But those are just words. Action will tell.
I guess I have no other excuses now. I've really done it this time.