Ho Hum…it’s one of those days!

February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m going to warn you from the start.

 I have a little black rain cloud hanging above my head right now.

 If you were Winnie the Pooh, I’d be Eeyore. Ho-hum. 

Before I had weight loss surgery, I was at least 417 pounds.  At one point I was told that I was 450.

But I never saw that number light up on a scale.

So that means it doesn’t count…right?

It’s hard to know because my scale at home did not go up that high and naturally I avoided them anyway.

Physically I felt horrible all the time. 

Each and every day I was guaranteed to wake up in complete pain from head to toe. 

I slept in a recliner because my weight would crush me at night. 

For a long time, I had pillows that propped me up in the bed. 

After awhile this became too dangerous because if I moved in the night, I could risk ending up flat on my back. 

This would completely suffocate my airways and I would wake up in a panic unable to breathe. 

For the last year before I had surgery, I had terrible anxiety about sleeping. 

I would often doze off only to wake up very suddenly in a panic with my heart racing because I was so fearful of suffocation. 

As a single mom, I constantly worried about dying in the night and having my children find me in the morning.

You cannot even being to imagine how this thought plagued me as I worried about the emotional ramifications this experience would cause them. 

The guilt at having self inflicted all of this upon myself made it worse. 

I hated the idea that I would put the children through something like this because I allowed my weight to get so out of control. 

As a mother, I wanted to protect my kids not harm them!

I didn’t want to traumatize them in this way!

So I spent the last few years half sleeping. 

Dozing more than anything else. 

Too afraid to fall deeply asleep and never wake up again. 

Can you imagine going years without a good nights sleep? That alone will wreak havoc on your body.

Thankfully, my brother helped me get a recliner so I could sleep propped up without risk of suffocating. 

It wasn’t at all an easy task. 

For one thing, they don’t make recliners to fit someone of that size usually. 

Even the overstuffed large recliners don’t fit someone over 400 pounds necessarily. 

I was very lucky that Lazy Boy had one that just barely worked. 

My brother who lost 250 pounds before me knew what it was like trying to get a task like this accomplished.

We drove there and he went in while I waited in the car. 

Waiting in the car had become my thing. 

I was used to that. 

I waited in the car while my oldest daughter went into the grocery store to get groceries. 

I waited in the car to drop off and pick up my kids from school. 

I waited in the car almost anywhere we went if at all possible. 

I had to avoid walking.

Walking was painful. 

I was constantly worried that my weight would crush my ankles and shatter them. 

My left ankle was already weak from where I had fractured it once before. 

The bone just couldn’t take the weight.

4 times in the past 5 years I sprained that same ankle as it buckled from my weight. 

I knew it was weak so I had to be very careful with how far I walked. 

When I started my weight loss journey back in July, I immediately started an exercise program. 

Originally, I wore flip flops to walk in.

 I could not bend down to get on a pair of tennis shoes and my feet were too swollen anyway to fit in shoes.

In the beginning, I could only walk a few steps.

 I started with something small and manageable.

 Pacing up and down the hallway.

 Then I moved to walking outside.  

The first day I went to my neighbor’s mailbox and back. 

This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. 

It was Texas in July. HOT!

I could barely breathe. 

Making it to that mailbox was my  marathon. 

Every few days I added mailboxes to my routine. 

I just kept going and going until I made my way around the entire block.

I will never forget what it was like when I first made it all the way around the block!

 It had seemed like something I could never do.

 Yet with consistent daily walks, I was really there in no time!

All along the way, I’ve had neighbors watching me. 

In the beginning it was with curiosity. 

What is she doing out there?

How long will she keep at this?

As time went on, I had more neighbors coming out of their houses to cheer me on. 

Do you know I’ve lived on this street for almost 6 years but hardly knew anyone!

Suddenly, I knew them all! 

An army soldier on the other side of my block stopped me one day and said this….

“I see you outside every day walking.  I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this but you’re doing a good job.  I know it can be tough but I’ve been watching you.  You’re doing great”

Wow. 

Here was someone in shape…I mean ARMY shape….telling ME that I was doing a good job. 

It also made me realize that people were watching. 

Watching and taking notice. 

This made me cringe on the one hand because I felt ridiculous. 

There I was hauling myself around heaving and sweating in my 400 plus pound body with swollen feet shoved into flip flops. 

But then there were other neighbors too…the lady in the scooter who told me she had broken her hip.

Her husband died. 

Her daughter worked long hours and she barely got to speak to another living soul except when she scooted around the neighborhood. 

She looked for me each day.  Happy to see me coming.  Always flashing me a thumbs up.

Every day I was able to walk farther. 

The weight was coming off. 

I could finally wear tennis shoes. 

As I made it further, I met more people. 

A woman who told me she’d been inspired to start walking too. 

She had just been diagnosed with diabetes and she worried. 

She was the mother of three kids and she struggled with depression. 

But now with the diabetes looming over her, she felt even worse. 

The doctor had told her she had to get the weight off and start exercising. 

She didn’t think she could do it but then she saw me. 

She saw me out there at 400 pounds doing a little bit at a time and she thought “I can do that too”. 

When she told me this, I was amazed. 

Shocked in fact that anything I would do could ever make an impact on someone else!

When I walked outside, I felt embarrassed. 

Humiliated even. 

I hated that I looked so big and so ridiculous. 

I hated that just putting on my shoes was so exhausting that sweat was pouring down my face before I even could get out the door. 

But here was a woman telling me that I had actually made a difference to her. 

That made me feel like my walks took on a whole new meaning. 

It wasn’t just about losing weight. 

It was about community. 

Getting to know people and hearing their stories. 

Isn’t that what Jesus has asked us to do? To reach people right in our own neighborhoods by sharing our stories?

I didn’t have to say a word. 

I just walked and people saw my struggle. 

Without a word, they identified with me. 

And they shared their own stories. 

Before long, I was living in a neighborhood full of people that I considered friends. 

And I stopped feeling so withdrawn. So isolated.  And I stopped focusing on ME. 

You know that’s what really can kill your spirit. 

Self focus.  Woe is me. Woe is me. 

Like Eeyore. 

Focusing on the puddles of life instead of the rainbows. 

Always getting stuck in our own personal setbacks and forgetting about the people out there in the world who struggle too. 

I had a major setback about 2 months ago.

 I started having various issues with my left leg. First I was having a pain on the inner portion of my left foot.  That healed with the purchase of new shoes and several exercises given to me by a personal trainer.

A few weeks later, however, I injured the back of my left leg.

If this wasn’t enough, I started feeling numbness in my toes on the left foot as well.  

The last two months have been like a mystery unfolding with doctors trying to figure out what the root of the problem might be.

More doctor visits, more bloodwork.

 I was a bit low on Vitamin B which I increased. This helped with the numbness.

 But the pain in my left leg near the calf behind the knee kept getting worse.

With so many issues on the left side, they thought it might be a nerve but my visit with the neurologist ended up with a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.

This injury made my walking routine (which was up to 5 miles) increasingly harder.

 The pain was becoming more intense.

 We modified my exercise program at this point but the pain made every step difficult. 

A few days ago when I was walking across the room, a sharp pain shot through my left leg.

I’m glad I didn’t fall because even though I’ve lost 125 pounds, I would still be a tough one getting up off the floor! 

The pain was so severe I almost went to the Emergency Room but decided against it.

My appointment with the orthopedic surgeon is right around the corner and I’m hoping he has some answers.  

Yesterday morning my daughter helped me out of bed.

 I was able to walk as long as I did not bend my left leg in any way.

 It has to stay completely straight in order for me to walk. The pain is just too great. 

This has not only derailed my exercise program but it’s now inhibiting my ability to walk at all!

One of the best things about losing weight has been gaining the ability to walk without pain.

When I weighed 417 and up, there was never a moment that I was on my feet when I wasn’t also feeling nauseous from the intense pain.

I almost always felt sick and in a constant state of misery.

 The weight was crushing my feet. It was crushing my lungs. It was crushing my spirit.

Today, I feel similarly crushed.

I can’t get up out of a chair or walk across the room without being in pain.

 I feel just as debilitated as I did 7 months ago when I couldn’t even get out of bed without assistance.

 Now here I am again.

 I know it’s for a different reason but the end result is the same.

 My daughter has to assist me getting out of bed or out of a chair.

 She has to hold on to me as I’m walking to make sure I don’t fall.

 Every step that I take is fearful because if I move in just the wrong way a shot of pain will surge through my entire left side.

It’s so painful I feel the room spinning. 

I can’t exercise and as a result my weight loss is slowing down.

I know that every day that goes by I lose the progress I made.

I was gaining stamina. I was gaining muscle strength. I was walking further every week.

I looked forward to seeing my neighbors and hearing their updates. 

I feel like with every day that this injury steals from me, I have lost all the progress I made plus some.

 I would like to say I’m back at square one except that I feel I’m even worse off than that!

Wow–I’m sure right about now you’re wondering why I didn’t send out invitations to my pity party!

All I’ve done is whine and complain.

 I guess part of writing this blog is sharing how I feel.

And today this is it.

 I’d like to say that everything will be ok but right now in this moment I just don’t feel that way.

So instead I’ll ask for your prayers not so much for my leg but more for my mindset.

 Getting depressed and feeling defeated is exactly the kind of destructive pattern that has sent me towards a downward spiral in the past.

 I know that allowing myself to slip into this defeated way of thinking will only serve to further seperate me from my ultimate goal of being victorious in my struggle with weight loss.

This is where it becomes a battlefield in the mind. 

There are always going to be things waiting to throw you off the path. 

We have to be ready. 

So I’m writing how I feel and then I’m giving myself a good kick in the pants. 

Telling myself to snap out of it!

Yes I’ve got troubles but am I the only one?

What about the person out there with something far worse?

What about the people that can’t even put food on the table?

What about the parents who can’t find their children?

Or the mother who just lost her job?

I try to remind myself of my neighbors who’ve shared their struggles with me. 

It gets me focused on others and reminds me that I’m not the only one having a bad day. 

We all get down in the dumps, don’t we?

We get just sick and tired of it all? Today is that day for me.

This is a clip that always helps me when I get like this.  I hope it helps you too!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan February 15, 2012 at 7:59 am

Good for you to realize this is just a minor setback and not a total derailment! Getting those feelings off your chest is so positive!

Keep at it! Keep inspiring those neighbours!

Reply

Irene February 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Hi Holly!!!! Wow, you know I never realized you were fighting to lose as much as you are. I just wanted to let you know you now have a new fan!! I'm rooting for you hunny, and YES you CAN do it.

I have arthritis in both my knees, and in fact is one of the main reasons I finally decided to have my lap-band removed and revise to the VSG. Don't let that pain in your leg become a pain in your ass. Find out what it is so that you can get back to doing an excellent job that you had been.

One last thing, it's ok to feel down sometimes. I'm normally a chipper type, but I have my moments too. Life's tough, even with WLS. It's not an easy answer, no matter what anyone thinks… but the tough shall overcome any obstacle. I see you as one, so you WILL too.

*hugs* LilMissDiva Irene

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Holly February 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Thanks!! I have to remember what you said. It's not a total derailment. Great advice!

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Holly February 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Irene!! thank you!! You are seriously one of my biggest mentors whether you realize it or not. I follow your progress on fb and the vsg board. Your posts always uplift me and encourage me AND kick me in the butt as needed! Thanks soo much!

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Irene February 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm

:)Thanks that's so sweet! You're gonna far surpass me though, so keep on working it!!

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Sheila February 16, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I am sorry that you are in so much pain. I was hoping the pain would go away soon, and clearly it has not. 🙁 I love how you are connecting withe people, and think that is pretty special! I will keep praying for your leg and hope that you get some answers (and relief!) soon.

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tz February 17, 2012 at 5:58 am

what a great blog! Love the video clip thanks for sharing. Your post made me cry, you are an inspiration so I'm so glad you are sharing. I hope they find a way to help you through this pain so you can get back on track! You are an amazing person!.

Reply

Holly February 19, 2012 at 2:17 am

thanks Sheila!!

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Holly February 19, 2012 at 2:17 am

Thank you so much. Your comments encourage me!

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