Where Have I Been?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged anything. So, where have I been? Well, in July, I was readmitted to the mental hospital. It was July 7 just after the 4th. I had such a great weekend on the 4th. I was laughing and having fun. But my sister in law said I was talking to her like I didn’t know her. Between her, my husband and my family doctor, they decided I needed to go in again. Of course, I didn’t want to be there again. So, I threw a bit of a fit when we got there. Because I wouldn’t sign myself in, I was petitioned by my sister in law to go in.

I was in inpatient care for a little over 2 weeks and then I did their partial program for 3 weeks. My meds were adjusted a little while I was there. Those meds include Cymbalta, Benztropine, Haldol and then Trazodone for sleep. I take Benztropine for the side effects I was having with Haldol. I hope and pray that I don’t need to go there again. I will manage the stress. They figure that what caused this incident was driving over to the other side of state by myself for a training class. I got there and couldn’t find the building I was supposed to go to. I texted my boss for direction. Turns out, he didn’t go. So I was lost. Never did find the building. I ended up stopping at the store and getting a pop and a candy bar. I called my husband and told him I was coming back home. The situation stressed me out more than normal. If I’m asked to go across state or somewhere far from home, I’m asking for someone else to drive or take my husband or something. I don’t want to place myself in that situation again!

I started back to work last week. I’m working 3 six hour days per week right now. Tomorrow, I have a Psychiatrist appointment. We will talk about what the next step is. Back to full time or maybe work four days. I’m not sure. These three short days have been going fine. I went through all the emails in two days. I asked one of my coworkers if he had anything I could do. He’s the senior architect. And he said the forms project is just about done and right now there isn’t anything. So here I am today, blogging. I had another coworker ask for help on his project so that’ll give me something to do. I just have to wait until we load the necessary software that I need.

My weight: I’m currently at 315. That’s a little over 10 lbs. that I’ve lost in the last couple months. I’m just eating smaller portions of things I like. Everything in moderation. I walk for exercise, but not very often.

That’s all there is for now.

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Update

Where do I begin? It’s been two months since I’ve lasted added an entry to this blog. I have been hospitalized a total of four times in the last 10 months. I really don’t remember a lot of the day that I was admitted for each visit, except for this last one, which was back the end of July to early August. What I remember is something else I’ll say. I behaved in ways I never would. I remember going outside the morning I was to be admitted, laid down in the grass in the shape of a cross and was yelling at the sky. I was yelling “I’m a believer”. The uncomfortable part was that I chose to lay down in the neighbor’s yard. I went back in the house and my husband said you’re going back to the hospital. So we went. On the way there, I was somehow reading nearly every sign we passed and I would yell “I’m trying to use my coping skills”. When we got to the hospital, I was sitting in a room and I couldn’t sit still and I was singing and yelling. I was admitted and there I stayed until early August.

Now I’m not saying that I loved the place because I didn’t. I missed seeing my family so much. But I will say, it helped. I got under control with the help of medication. I was always one who hated medications. I didn’t like pill taking at all. BUT, in this case, I was okay with the meds. I certainly don’t want to go through what I went through again. I did what I needed to while hospitalized. I participated in the group therapy sessions and classes. I don’t think I missed any of them unless I was tired and preferred taking a nap. Thankfully, my husband had open visitation so he did come by now and then. I loved the visits. My daughter also came too on most visits. After two weeks I was discharged to the partial program. Partial was group therapy that ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week. At least with partial, I got to go home each day. I completed 4 days of partial and then was discharged fully. I was so happy to be done with it. Even happier that I felt stabilized and in much better moods.

My diagnoses ranged from Severe Depressions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Schizoaffective. Yes, my hospitalizations were at a Mental Hospital.

I’ve made great progress so far because I’m now back to work. Of course, I’m taking it slow. I work 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. three days a week. I get re-evaluated by my Psychiatrist on Monday the 13th. I think I could handle some more hours. I just don’t want to get overwhelmed or stressed right away. I don’t want to have any more episodes that could land me in the hospital again.

I could keep going, but I’ll stop here.

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Who are You to Judge?

Once upon a time, there was a young adult just getting her feet into the work world after high school. She landed a job at a somewhat local coffee shop. She started training for two hour shifts each night; by no means was it equal to a full time job week.

She goes in eager to train because she is a fan of coffee and seriously wants to learn. She’s the type that learns intently by listening and watching and not necessarily spending her whole time smiling, but will when she feels the need. She did the homework as given, studied the manual at home, etc.

After a very few short days, the Store Manager says; “well you’re not smiling, you must not want the job and you don’t talk much. If you don’t have a smile by tomorrow, you might as well not work here.” Now this girl left work that night hurt, but fighting tears because the she is one tough cookie. She thought to herself…lady, you didn’t even give me a chance to work in front of the customers and when I did you were in your office not paying attention!.

Keep in mind, this girl was told at one time not to talk to other Baristas.

The next day, the girl went in knowing she technically hadn’t lost her job; but was very reluctant due to the hurtful words said by the Manager.

She worked two hours with four other people on the floor, while the Manager once again sat in her office. The Manager came out and said “you still don’t look happy, you might as well leave.”

The girl left mostly relieved but pissed because had the manager actually watched her work in front of customers, she would’ve found a VERY helpful, kind and smiling customer service oriented worker.

The End.

No names or locations used for purpose of Anonymity.

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Transformation Tuesday

I could show a picture of me from my heaviest weight and a more current one, but instead I’m going to show you what I feel my transformation will be like. I want to lose weight. And really, I need to lose weight.  I’ll be happy to get to 250 first and then to 200. I’m not all that concerned about “onederland”.  My goal is to be healthy and happy.  Oh and I want to eliminate the constant pain I have in my feet and knees.  This pain gets quite bothersome.  I remember my mom had severe pain in her feet and legs too.  However, she had a very large (probably 80 lb) mass on the back of her left leg. This growth was a result of something called Lymphedema.  That made walking difficult for her. She was morbidly obese too. She let the pain take control and was bed bound. She was this way for the last couple years of her life. It wasn’t any fun watching her slowly die.  It is not my intention to be like my mom in that aspect.  Quite frankly, I’m sick of dealing with the pain. I don’t like the idea of being bedridden. I’m young yet and I want to be able to live and move and enjoy life!  I know I’m 43 years old and have PCOS, both of which will make losing difficult. But I have to believe that it’s still possible.

Here’s how I feel my transformation will be:

Transformation Tuesday Img

Now this caterpillar is cute despite its large size.  But this is what I vision; my plump self morphing into a much prettier and healthier me.  And with it, I believe I will gain self confidence and self-esteem. I will be a whole different person. Right now, my fat is like a shell that I hide in. I’m ready to come out and face life.

Peace, Love and Smiles.

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Stepping Out of My Comfort Shell

First of all, let me say that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. And, I shouldn’t let fear interfere with that. My true friends will support my decisions and love me for me. Those that ridicule really aren’t friends.

I’m choosing to take another step out of my shell of comfort. My weight/weight loss has been a struggle for me since high school. Compared to what I am now, I certainly wasn’t fat in high school; however I was built a lot huskier than most girls so I was viewed as overweight and I was unhappy. I was shy and felt like I didn’t matter. Self-esteem; I had none. Those years were tough. Later, after having kids, the weight kept increasing. I’ll be honest, back then when I was a lot younger, I didn’t give weight loss a whole lot of thought. Now I’m not sure if that’s just because I was young, depressed or what. The weight kept coming on. I got to a high of about 403 lbs. That’s when my knees ached all the time; so much so that I went to a specialist. What was I told? We could do some shots, but surgery is out of the question until you lose some weight. I left there teary and upset. Reality was, I wasn’t surprised by what I was told, but I was still emotional about it. On the drive home, I stopped at a red light and was crying. At that moment I felt someone grab my shoulder and whisper the words “it’s okay”. It scared the crap out of me because I was alone in the car. I cried harder. Then I thought that perhaps it’s one of my guardian angels talking to me. At that moment I made the decision to seek out help in the form of weight loss surgery. This is something that I really don’t talk openly about except for on the video logs I’ve done.  I was always concerned what others might think. I feared they would think I took the easy way out. Trust me…surgery was my last resort. I hated the idea of it because I really wanted to lose the weight on my own. I figured that was only way my grandparents and other family and friends would be proud of me. Would they see me as a success if I got surgery? I put those thoughts aside and went to a weight loss surgery seminar and made an appointment with a surgeon.

I went through Grand Health Partners. My surgeon was Dr. Baker. He’s a wonderful doctor and I easily found faith in him. He was also my husband’s surgeon. He is a gifted pianist and also enjoys singing Southern gospel music. Knowing he plays piano gave me assurance that he has strong steady hands. Whether a person’s hands really are strong and steady from piano playing, I don’t really know. He also had a great bedside manner. We discussed the surgeries available and what might be best for me. I had gone in assuming I’d have the gastric bypass just like my husband. However, the doctor thought the gastric sleeve would be best for me. The seminar I attended was held in October and my surgery date was set for December 15, 2009. I was actually surprised by how quick it all came together.

Two weeks prior to the surgery, I had to start a liquid diet. Because of the way my body reacted to the sucralose in their products, I was able to have Carnation Instant Breakfast instead. I could also have broth if I wanted something warm. It was tough, but I did it. My day of surgery weight I believe was 356. I was scared and nervous going into surgery. My fear blocked any possible view of a future thinner and healthier me so I did not get excited like I’ve heard some people do.

The surgery went fine. I didn’t even need any drains which I was very grateful for. My stomach was reduced to the shape of a banana and thickness of a large highlighter. For two weeks following the surgery, I also had to do the liquid diet. I ended up getting Oral Thrush and was put on an antibiotic rinse. The surgeon’s office told me I could start on yogurt as that too would help with the thrush. Yogurt never tasted so good. And the first time I could have scrambled egg – heavenly. Best egg ever! I proceeded to lose weight and I started to feel better. I followed the rules of the tool. I had great loss for about 6 months and then it slowed. I also experienced hair loss during this time. That wasn’t so fun. I started a vitamin regimen of Biotin, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12 and a multi vitamin. I took them daily. After a while, I was able to get off my blood pressure meds as well as the Metformin I was on for insulin resistance. I was feeling good. I got down to a low of 253 lbs. And I felt great at that weight.

And then…some tough times started and sent me on a huge emotional rollercoaster. First, I found out my dad had lung cancer that metastasized to his brain. I found this out in October of 2011. I’m not sure how long he battled lung cancer without most of us knowing about it. He passed away on November 10, 2011. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure how I’d take his death because we really weren’t all that close. There were some choices he made in life that were quite disappointing to me. I don’t like to say I hold grudges, but I was unhappy about it for a long time. I ended up taking his death quite hard. That’s because I felt an extreme amount of guilt. I should’ve made better effort while he was alive to visit, etc. I had questions for him that I was always too afraid to ask and now they’d forever be unanswered. It was a tough few months. I did gain some weight back.

Forward to March 2012; I received word that one of my best friends (who I thought of as a sister) had gone missing. This was March 6 to be exact. I was exercising to a Jillian Michaels DVD when I got the news. Jillian Michaels just happened to be one of her favorite celebrities. My husband went out to help search. I stayed home and was a nervous wreck and in tears. I kept praying that everything was okay. The next day I went to work. Later in the day, I was notified that her body was found in a nearby pond. She was gone. I cried and cried. Her death hit me particularly hard. She was my best female friend. I could converse with her about anything. The day they found her was also my daughter’s birthday. That made for a bittersweet day.  I have not, to this day, exercised to a Jillian Michaels DVD again.

Now it’s June 18, 2012. I go for a bike ride and while I’m out my husband calls to tell me our dog Chyna isn’t doing well and that we should take her to emergency. He comes to get me and we head to the emergency Vet. I had no idea that our night would end with her having to be put to sleep and having to bury her in our backyard. Our pets are like kids to us. So this was very tough as well. I cried several more tears.

I experienced quite a bit of loss over the course of 6 months. My depression got worse. I gained some more weight. After a while I was able to get back to exercising and I tried so hard by recording everything I ate in MyFitnessPal. I did a lot of bike riding and had worked up to being able to do 12 miles. That was a lot for me and I was proud of that. I ended up getting so obsessed with all of it. I entered some contests through YouTube, etc. My obsession got so bad that it caused stress. And I wasn’t losing any weight. I was gaining. I chose to back off on some of that stuff to reduce the stress. I wasn’t enjoying myself at all. And, with the scale going up, that just made things worse and my depression seemed to get worse and on top of that…anxiety.

I had my first anxiety/panic attack in the summer of 2012. It scared me because I had no idea what it was. I was shaking so bad, while my husband held me and tried to comfort me. I went on to have a few more attacks. The worst was in December of 2013. That landed me in the psych hospital. I’ll talk more about that adventure later.

I want to share the success story of mine that is on the Grand Health Partners website (link is below). I was proud that it made it on the site. However, now…I’m no longer 255 lbs. I’m actually around 306. I can’t help but feel like I’ve failed the surgery. However, I remind myself that despite all these hurdles and weight gain, I’m still not where I once was. I’m still down a good 100 lbs. I’d like to lose another 100. It’s not going to be easy. I’ve come to have a strong addiction to soda pop and chocolate.

My Success Story

I’ve written a lot here and if you’ve read it all, thank you! Bless you. I’m going to end with this…no matter which method you choose for weight loss, it’s a lot of damn work. Surgery is not an easy way out. I’m proof that if you don’t work it 100% and you’re not with it mentally/emotionally, it’s just not going to happen. You have to put effort in and be in the right frame of mind and emotionally healthy to achieve the greatest success with weight loss. And that’s what I’ve been working on for the last six months…healing my mind and getting my emotions under control.

I feel like I’m close.  Here’s to getting myself over these hurdles that life has thrown at me.

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Sunday Blog 01-11-2014

Yesterday afternoon, our family met up with my sister Kat and her husband Larry at The Cracker Barrel. We all had such a great time. There was plenty of laughter, conversation and good food too. Later, my husband and I went for a little drive North where we had pizza pockets for dinner. After that, we went to see Lone Survivor. I thought that I’d cry throughout the movie and have that anxiety feeling in the stomach too. I did better than I thought I would.

Today, we started our day with a nice breakfast that my husband made. We then went to a couple places so that my husband could do some mechanic work. And now, my husband is off doing a little ice cleanup at a clients house and I am at home, typing this while NFL football is on TV. I also have some laundry going.

I really enjoyed spending time with family this weekend.

Peace. Love and Smiles.

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Blog – January 8 2014

So far today, I’ve cleaned the kitchen a bit, worked on a photo collage of my brothers family to hang in the house and rode along in the plow truck with my husband. Currently, we are at Fred’s on Plainfield having a little lunch.

After this, a plan to find a plow light kit for the plow truck or should I say the Bronco with a plow kit added? Whatever.

Also may be visiting a few clients he has to see if they need their drive cleared as a result of more drifting snow from our Michigan winter, which has been dubbed The Polar Vortex.

For now,
Me
🌻

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