Monday, November 16, 2009

A few non-scale victories

I think when I posted last week, I must have been in a funk or something. I felt really anxious and stress out about my diet and weight loss for about 2 days. Then, I just suddenly felt better. I don't know what caused the initial change or the change back, but I feel normal again. I went to weight watchers last Friday and I weighed in. I only lost 0.8 pounds over the past 3 weeks, but that is ok. It's a loss, so I'll take it. It's a milestone even. I weigh less now than I have since before I got pregnant with Jeremy. I'm not going to weigh again until the first week in December.

One of the things I have been doing lately is reminding myself of all the good changes that have occurred with me since I started this journey. I call these non-scale victories (NSV for short). So, here is my list. I am constantly adding to this list, so you may see me refer to these NSV in other posts.

1. I feel better now, despite my many physical challenges (I am mildly disabled due to recently diagnosed multiple sclerosis), than I did 3 years ago prior to starting WW (and prior to the start of any of my medical problems). I think that is a pretty major NSV and one that I am very grateful for.

2. I got sick last week and I really missed going to the gym while I was sick. I couldn't wait to get back into my exercise routine. I never thought I would miss going to the gym.

3. My rings are loose and need to be resized.

4. I am wearing a pant size that I haven't fit into in over 8 year.

5. I sleep a lot better than I used to before I started exercising.

6. Even though I haven't lost a pound in 9 months, I have had 3 people tell me this week that I look so much thinner.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I am finishing up a really good book. It is called "The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl". It is about an Australian woman who loses a lot of weight, like 175 pounds. It has been inspirational for me, but also discouraging for me. I don't know how it can be both at the same time, but it is. I think I have done a better job of eating well since I started reading it. However, it has also served to remind me how little progress I seem to be making. I have been stuck at the same weight for 9 months. I have done lots of different things to get the scale moving and it just won't budge. In July, I got a gym membership and started going to the gym regularly. I met with a personal trainer who told me I wasn't eating enough. I started eating more, making sure it is healthy, along with exercising 6 days a week. I gained 5 pounds in the first month. Since then, I have lost that 5 pounds plus 2 additional pounds, but that still puts me only1 pound lighter than I was in February. I'm sure not going to get very far by losing 1 pound every 9 months. I have now cut out most of the sugar from my diet, although there wasn't that much sugar in my diet to begin with. I have been obsessively following the WW program, working out religiously, except for the 10 days I was sick, and drinking lots of water and it just isn't working. This week, I am finding that I am getting scared to even eat. Every time I go to eat something, I fret over the calories and points in it. I don't eat anything until my stomach is growling because I want to make sure I am truly hungry before I eat and that I am not eating out of boredom, stress or any other emotional reason. I was becoming obsessed with the scale, so I stopped weighing in at WW, but now I keep getting on the scale at home. I didn't weigh at all for almost 3 weeks. I got on the scale this morning and my weight is the SAME!!! How can it be the same? I am beginning to think the only way I am going to lose weight is to just stop eating. It's not like I am getting close to my goal weight so my body is holding on to the little bit of fat I have left. No, I have a lot of fat left. I still have 65 pounds to be at the max weight my doctor recommended and 80 pounds to lose to be at the max weight that WW says I need to be. With 80 pounds to lose, my body should be willingly getting rid of the extra fat. I talked to my neurologist and endocrinologist about it and they ordered a thyroid test. I had that drawn last week. My neuro also wonders if my migraine preventative medication may be slowing my metabolism, so we are weaning off the beta blocker to see if that will get my metabolism going. When I exercise, I can't get my heart rate out of the 90's because of the medication, but just decreasing the dose has been helping that. I was able to get my heart rate up to 105 yesterday. I am really hoping that this helps. I just don't know what else to do. Giving up is not an option. Maybe I'll get a lap band or bariatric surgery. That isn't my first choice, but neither is staying fat. I'm tired of feeling like a blob.

Aside from my weight loss woes, life is going pretty good. Things are status quo around the house. The boys keep me busy with home schooling, occupational therapy, scouts, cooking classes and just being boys. Rachael's schedule is really busy, but it doesn't effect me nearly as much now that she can drive herself. She is going to have some great opportunities with dance this year. The Tapestry Dance Company (the professional dance company at the studio where she takes classes) is going to involve Visions in Rhythm in a few of their professional shows this year. This means she is going to be dancing at the Long Center and people will actually be paying to see the dances. They are going to be doing a big Christmas show that showcases performers from all over the central Texas area. They are getting to re-do some of the professional companies dances from over the past 20 years. This is all to celebrate Tapestry's 20th anniversary. She is excited about all of these opportunities she is getting. She is doing fairly well with her college classes, but we have completely fallen down on keeping up with her high school home school classes. She just has so much work that she needs to do for her 2 classes that I hate to add more work onto her. We really need to work on math more t hough so she can be ready for the SAT. I think we will work on a bunch of math in between ACC semesters.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I think I would have rather had the flu

A week ago on Saturday, I started not feeling good. I really thought it was just bad allergies. I didn't have a fever, but I had a sore throat, congestion and a headache. I took some migraine medication, but the headache stayed just under the surface all day. I felt better on Sunday, so we went to church. I didn't want to miss church for 2 reasons. First, it was the primary program. I love the primary program every year. Second, it was Andrew's first time to pass the sacrament. It was a great Sacrament meeting. We left after sacrament though.

I felt fairly normal, except the sore throat, for most of the day. Around midnight that night, everything changed. I got a sudden severe migraine and had a fever of 100.6. I took some migraine medication, but couldn't take anything for the fever since I had taken 2 Aleve prior to my Avonex (the shot I take for my MS). I took another migraine pill at 2, the slept for about 30 minutes. At this point, my fever was 101. By 6am, my head hurt so bad that I couldn't stop crying even though it hurt my head to cry. I took some Demerol and tried to sleep. I ended up moving to the recliner though because it hurt too bad to lay down. By this time, I had a severely stiff neck. I went to the doctor at 9:30 that morning. They ruled out strept throat and flu, but he was really concerned I might have meningitis. He sent me over to Seton SW ER. It didn't take them long to get me back and get the IV started. They gave me some morphine with some phenergan. It took the edge off the headache, but didn't take it away. The second dose of morphine brought the headache down to about a 4/10.

Now the fun really began. To find out if I had meningitis, they had to do a spinal tap. I have had a number of these in my life for various reasons. This was my 11th spinal tap. Needless to say, I have a lot of scar tissue in my lower back. I also have chronic low back pain. They failed to get the spinal tap in the ER, so sent me to have it done under x-ray. That failed 3 times, so they transfered me to the main Seton hospital to have a neuro-radiologist do the tap. It took him 3 attempts to finally get spinal fluid. So, 8 huge needles into my back to find out I didn't have meningitis. They diagnosed me with viral upper respiratory infection with sinusitis. They sent me home on antibiotics and symptomatic care. Like I said, I would have rather had the flu.

Today is the first day that I have felt normal. I found that I actually missed going to the gym while I was sick. I went today and did water aerobics. I managed 35 minutes, but felt exhausted after about 20 minutes. It's going to take a little bit to get my stamina back to normal.

The good news for the day though came from my neurologist. I saw her this morning for a normal follow up visit. She said my reflexes are almost normal except my left arm. I have hyperactive reflexes as a part of my MS. They are now only 2+ rather than 3+. I also have less spasticity to my legs. She was very pleased with how I am doing from a MS stand point. The only new abnormality is that my left pupil is bigger than my right and my left eye-lid is drooping. She said that could be from the migraine, so we will just watch that for now. I don't have to go back to the neurologist for 6 months unless I have a new problem develop. Seeing the neuro every 6 months is normal for most MS patients when they are doing well. She is sticking with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis as my diagnosis. There is still no diagnostic test supporting that diagnosis, but I wouldn't be doing so well on the Avonex if it was some other neurological disease. I have found lately that I am a little paranoid about my MS. I have gone 18 months without a flare. I feel as close to normal as I have since this whole thing started. I just wonder when the bottom is going to fall out. I guess I should just count my blessings. I went through more than 2 years of the unknown. I'm grateful for how well I am doing and I am grateful that I found such a wonderful neurologist who will listen to me and know that I am not just crazy.