Sunday, April 20, 2014

Confession


***WARNING*** Read with caution. This post may cause triggers if you are recovering from an eating disorder.

I have an eating disorder. This is not known by many people. I suppose I have always been too embarrassed to admit the problem.

I realized I had a problem in high school, but I never told anyone. Something told me that my habits weren't quite right. Normal people don’t hide food in their rooms and have secret stashes of sweets. Normal people don’t sneak into the kitchen when people aren't looking to get a snack. Normal people don’t measure how much of something they ate just to make sure they aren't the one to finish the bag. Normal people don’t plan their errands around how many fast food places they can hit. And normal people don’t sneak into the bathroom to puke their food up.

It never became serious until I went to college. I was lonely. I missed my family. I missed my friends. I made new friends, but I was worried they wouldn't like me if I was anything but perfect. The puking became a huge problem. I knew it was dangerous, so I got help. I went to the nurse at our college, and she put me in touch with a counselor. I stopped purging, but it took me a long time to stop binging. In fact, I had problems with binging up until just a few years before my mother passed.

My parents never knew. My sister knew a little, but I didn't tell her the whole story. You see – my parents were sick. My father was recovering from more heart complications. My mother had just lost her leg from an infection, and her diabetes was out of control. My sister had just gone through a terrible miscarriage. We had several deaths in the family. The last thing anyone needed was more problems coming from me. So I kept it a secret. I went through the entire process alone. This wasn’t the only thing I kept a secret. I figured it was better to handle things myself rather than add stress to the people I love.

As years went by, I finally mentioned to my sister that I had trouble with binging, but I never told her how serious it once was. It is still something I struggle with from time to time, but for years I have been able to be in control of it.

Until now…

All this stress with Dad is taking a toll on me. I have gone back to binging. I do really well, but at the end of the day, it all falls apart. I’ll just sit and binge. Yesterday was my wakeup call that I may really be in trouble.

I had a great day. We signed Dad out of the health rehab center and took him for a picnic. My sister came up with the kids. We spent hours at the park – eating, playing with the kids, talking. It was fun. It was the most fun we have had as a family in a long time. Then everyone went home.

I was lonely. I was bored. I was upset because I tried on a pair of summer pajamas that I loved last year and no longer fit this year. I was depressed. So I started eating. I ate A LOT! I ate until I was sick. It wasn’t until I found myself leaning over the toilet with a finger down my throat that I had a ‘What the hell are you doing?” moment. I stopped myself, but it scared me.

I think it may be time to get help again, but I’m not really sure where to start. I don’t have much money. Paying for help is not an option. Yet, I can see myself start to fall apart again. I’m exercising every single day. I plan healthy meals every single day. These binges are erasing all of my hard work.

I hate it.




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Working on My Fitness


I'm totally channeling "Fergalicious" right now with that title. Ha!

Anyway...

As you all know, I don't like exercising. I also don't have much time to exercise, which means I have developed this bad habit of not doing it. When I do find time, I want to be able to switch things up. There are only so many times you can walk a treadmill before it becomes incredibly boring. If I am bored, my motivation is even less than it already is. Let's be honest - that makes it pretty well non-existent.

I know that in order to lose weight, you must exercise. Right now I cannot afford a gym membership and our fitness room at the apartment constantly has broken equipment. Thankfully warm weather means taking walks or riding my bike will soon be an option. What about the cold and rainy days though? My sister recommended checking out YouTube. There are tons of people that log on and upload workouts.

When I started searching I knew I wanted beginners workouts. I have really let myself go, and my fitness level is pretty low. I also wanted short videos - 10-30 minutes of exercise that I can do without equipment.

One channel I am enjoying is Tiffany Rothe Workouts. Her videos are short and focus on specific areas of the body. I've done several of hers so far, and each one works because I can feel it the next day. They don't appear as difficult as they actually are.

I also really like Psyche Truth. She has some great Yoga videos that I have been doing before bed. They help calm me down and lower my stress level.

Tori Teaches Fitness and Joanna Soh have also had some great workouts. These tend to be a little more difficult though.

I have found YouTube to be a great resource. I can focus on straight cardio or choose to work on one body part at a time. I like the variety and the fact that it doesn't require me to pay anything. I feel like this puts more control in my hands, and I love that.

Do you use any YouTube workouts?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Project

Lots of updates for you guys today. I would have checked in sooner, but you will soon know why that didn't happen.

First off - I do not have diabetes. I am still technically in the pre-diabetic range. It turns out that my hormone levels were way off due to my polycystic ovarian syndrome acting up. This was causing the headaches and general crappy feeling. I was put on a higher dose birth control (one with more estrogen) and I had to go in for one estrogen supplement shot. It was terrible! The shot made me nauseous, so I spent the majority of that day puking.

The doctor believes the hair loss is also from the hormone levels, but I do have a slight rash on my scalp now. Because of this, she wants me to see a dermatologist. My appointment isn't until the first week of May, so if things improve I can always cancel.

Dad had another set back. He went in for a test about two weeks ago and while waiting to go in, he began to throw up. Turns out he was throwing up stomach bile. Apparently the gall bladder died, so he ended up having emergency gall bladder surgery. The gall bladder was so bad that it was gangrenous. He was in the hospital for a week. The doctor says it was going bad for a while, but Dad never noticed the signs because of everything else that was going on.

Dad is now back at the rehab center. He feels much better, is eating more, and is making huge progress in therapy. I think the gall bladder issue was causing him a ton of problems that we didn't even know about. Since it is out, I see a huge improvement in him. According to rehab, they see him possibly going home in 3 weeks or so. He is already able to transfer from bed to chair and to the toilet. Things like that.

We know that he will go home with a walker for good days and a wheelchair for bad days. Now, my job is to make the apartment more accessible for him.

My first project - Get rid of the huge buffet in our dining room. It was an antique that my great-grandparents bought in the late 1890's. I held on to it for sentimental reasons, but really the thing was falling apart. Even after I tried to refinish it a few years ago, it kept getting more and more unstable. I didn't have the heart to get rid of dishes after Mom died, but there is a lot of stuff we don't use. My idea was to clean out some cabinets and then place my antique dishes (which were in the buffet) inside those cabinets.

I'm fairly certain my mother was a hoarder. 

Notable finds: 1970's Tang pitcher, some really ugly glasses that apparently came out of dish detergent boxes in the 60's, lids that go to a pot set we owned about 10 years ago, 3 coffee cups with broken handles that someone tried to super glue, and more sets of glass glasses than any family of four could have possibly used.

Lots of stuff!!!

 Once all of these things were out of the cabinet, I placed my antique dishes in their spots. I then had the fun task of getting the buffet out of the apartment. No one would help me. No one. I ended up putting this on some of those "moving men" things you can buy at Menard's and did it myself. It's a good thing I chose to get rid of it. The entire back part started cracking off about half way down the hall.

Goodbye buffet.

I did some moving around of furniture, and this is the finished product.

The angle makes the space between the wall and table seem smaller than it is.

The next thing will be figuring out the living room and my Dad's bedroom. Dad wants a twin size bed. He wants a smaller bed because he says the big bed is difficult for him to get in and out of. The nursing home wants him to have a hospital bed because he need a rail to help stand. Our co-pay on this will be very expensive. Buying a twin size bed and getting rails (like the one found here) would be much cheaper. I just need to make sure it will be approved by the people doing the home inspection before I buy it. We will also need to get a riser for the toilet and some bars.

Lots of work to do, but I will get there.
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Hair Loss is Driving Me Nuts!

I'm not usually a vain person, but the hair loss is getting to me. I'm already freakishly tall. I have broad shoulders like a linebacker. I wear glasses because contacts don't work for me. I'm clumsy and awkward - something I never grew out of like everyone told me I would. Plus, I'm extremely overweight.

Let's make me bald on top of all that.

There are a lot of thing I don't like about myself, but my hair was never one of them until now. I always loved my hair. It was the one thing people complimented me on.

I now have noticeable hair loss to the point where others are commenting on it. It's getting harder to hide.

Below is my hair wet. When it's dry I can fake it some with hairspray and a fine tooth comb.

Most of the hair loss is on this side.

This side isn't as bad.

My test results from the doctor have come back, but I haven't seen the results yet. My follow up appointment is next Monday. The doctor mentioned that if there was no reason for my hair loss (thyroid, vitamin deficiency, etc) she would send me to a dermatologist to check it out.

I think I may take her up on it. I'm too young for this crap.

Meanwhile I am trying to put more protein and healthy fruits and veggies into my diet. My A1C test came back with my blood sugar averaging the diabetic rage, but just into the diabetic range. The tests I took last week are supposed to give me a more accurate diagnosis of whether I have slipped into diabetes.

I hope I have not.

I suppose this post was just to vent. I'm frustrated with everything, but I know all of this is my fault. I had time to turn things around, and I chose not to. Now I am paying the consequences.

Sorry to be such a downer.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Gave In...

While taking a shower this morning, I had huge balls of hair coming out of my head. Trying to do my hair was tons of fun. Let me tell you.

I broke down and made a doctor's appointment for Monday morning. 

This is most likely all caused from stress, but I would like to make sure.

I'll let you guy know what we find out.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Major, Major Fail

Dad pulled through. We almost lost him more than once, but he made it. He ended up on the ventilator for a little over a week before they weaned him off. He is now in rehab, and there are a lot of things he needs to overcome. His bladder and kidneys are not working correctly. His body is extremely weak. He has memory problems, vision problems, and simple things like eating are a struggle. It will be a long time before he can ever come home. The good news is that he is making progress, so I am hopeful.

The last month has been absolute hell. I have never been so stressed out. Even when my Mom died it wasn't like this. We had Dad to fall back on. This time around, it was all on my sister and I. Hours and hours of sitting at the hospital. Spending the night with him. Praying for a miracle. Trying to work.The hospital was a 45 minute drive from our apartment. That in itself was hard.

Even now that he is in rehab, I find my day very busy. I go up each night and spend a few hours with him. This often means that I am gone from 7:30am to about 8:30pm. There isn't much time for me. I got into the bad habit of eating fast food and heating up cans of crap for meals.

I weighed in yesterday. Sadly, the number on the scale did not surprise me.

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Yep. I am back up to 315 lbs. I gained about 20 lbs. in one month.

To make matters worse, I feel like crap. So much so that I called my doctor. I have bad headaches that I know are caused from blood pressure. It's where my head will start pounding and my face will get really hot. My joints hurt. My legs are swelling. I'm losing my hair.

My hair is wet here, but you can see how bad the hair loss is.

The doctor wanted me to go in and get testing done, but the problem is that I cannot miss work. My boss has been an angel, but I have missed a ton of work. There is no way I can take off a few hours for an appointment. I know all of this is caused from stress and weight gain, so I am hoping that as things calm down my health will improve. I will eventually need to go in and get checked out though.

I'm attempting to somewhat start over again.

My last "bad" thing I ate was a cupcake. My birthday was Friday, and Dad somehow managed to talk a friend into buying me cupcakes for my birthday. After this, I went home an got rid of all the bad food in my apartment. Three bags of crap I donated to a food kitchen on Saturday. Better to donate than to throw away...

I had one. The rest went to the nurses station.

Sunday was a snow day. The roads were too bad to visit Dad, so I spent the day cooking. I boiled up a big pot of chicken with spices to flavor it up a bit. I like to have this for soup. I also throw some into vegetables or rice - things like that. It's nice to have it pre-cooked, so I don't have to mess with it.

Boiling some chicken.

Other than chicken, I also grilled a few chicken breasts. I made up some turkey chili and some veggie casseroles that have to be thawed and then stuck in the oven. The idea was to plan out my whole week of meals. What couldn't be frozen or made in advance, I at least broke into serving sizes to make it more easy for me to figure out during the week.

This week there will be no excuse for hitting the fast food drive through or eating boxed whatever. My meals are pre-planned and mostly pre-cooked. It's a matter of heating things up.

At this point my goal is to eat better. I haven't figured out exercise or anything else. If I can eat better, that is a good start for me.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Things Are Not Good

I know I promised to give an update on Dad about a week ago. Things have been so crazy that I didn't have a chance to.

The surgery itself went great. The aortic valve and bypass grafts were replaced, and the heart was able to be restarted. Open heart surgery patients always come out of surgery on a ventilator. Dad was able to come off the ventilator just a few hours after the surgery was over, which surprised everyone. He was doing so much better than anyone expected.  He woke the next morning sore, but feeling good. He even ate breakfast - eggs and a cup of coffee.

By Wednesday morning everything went downhill. His lungs are full of fluid. It started off with him only needing to be on oxygen. Then they needed to alternate oxygen with time on a bipap machine. Eventually it progressed to were he was on the bipap machine almost the whole day.

The inside of the lungs are full of fluid. They gave him diuretics and were able to get a lot, but not all, off. Now he also has fluid on the outside lining of the lungs. The lack of oxygen and pain medication made Dad hallucinate. We had a few really rough nights where he was completely out of his head. Yesterday they went in with a needle and drained 900 ml. of fluid off the lungs.

Dad woke this morning finally in the right state of mind. He felt better, was able to breathe without the bipap, and even tried to eat. By this afternoon, everything went bad again. He is now on a ventilator. The doctors have sedated him. He is completely worn out and doctors think that giving his body a break for a few days will allow the lungs to heal better.

I am trying so hard to stay positive, but I am terrified. My Mom went on a ventilator. They too said it was to give her a break, but my Mom never came off. I am hoping things with my Dad do not end the same way.

To make matters worse, I am now sick. I woke up this morning running a fever, so I didn't go to the hospital for fear of giving him whatever I have. I think the reason I got sick is because I am so run down. I'm not sleeping well. I'm not eating well. I am still trying to work because I can't afford to take time off. It's too much.

I don't know what the next few days will bring. I am hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.