A trip to the ER

his post technically has nothing to do with my weight or the WLS coming up, but I’m posting it anyway, some thoughts I had had to do with weight, but even if it hadn’t, my blog my stuff I wanna tell. 😉

So two days ago I woke up with horrid pain in my right leg, mostly the upper thigh and especially when trying to walk. After that, it got worse. It started to hurt always when sitting, laying, certain leg positions, and only hours later other leg positions and walking became pretty much impossible. I broke down crying of pain and after telling friends about it they suggested it could be a blood clot (especially since the thigh was also warmer than the rest of the leg) and I should have it checked out. Well, blood clot or deteriorating bones are pretty much my nightmares. So my boyfriend supported me and brought me downstairs to the taxi we called, made sure I can safely get in and out and off I went.

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I was lucky and didn’t have to wait for long, well in the beginning until I was called in to sit on a lounger – these things are bloody hard. This hospital didn’t have the capacity to do my gastroscopy because their loungers couldn’t carry my weight. So I was pretty worried about being on one. Let me tell you it made strange creaky noises whenever I moved, but it did not collapse. Luckily.

My bp was so high they needed to check me through an EKG. But it was just the exhaustion from hobbling through the hospital plus my weight being a factor too. EKG showed my heart is fine and that my BP went down to normal after a while of rest. The nurse took my blood and that was when the actual wait began.

The internist came in maybe 1.5 hours later, telling me that from what he can see there is no sign of blood clots in my bloodwork, so that was a huge relief. There were signs of an inflammation in my body. He wanted to wait for the rest of the blood work. Another hour later he came back with a new blood kit telling me that if my results are right, I would be lying unconsciously on the floor, so something went wrong. He took blood from a different spot on my other arm and went off again. Since they had to start anew it would take a while.

2 hours later he returned, everything was okay. Awesome, so why the pain. He then checked out my leg, pressing here and there and when I howled in pain he said that this was the hip bone. Oh the joy, now he would tell me that my weight is causing it to break apart. But no he didn’t. Instead, he told me he’d call the orthopedist to check on me and left me alone again.

By that time I was in so much pain, not only from my leg but also from that ‘bed’ which was hard and uncomfortable. I also have this bit of ass that gets squeezed together into a roll when I sit or lie and that hurt like a mofo. So I got up or tried, it was hard. And painful. That squeezed roll got stretched and blood shot through it and the pain was incredible. Then standing hurt my leg but I couldn’t sit. At some point I had to sit again and mind you this continued (sitting, standing, bending halfway over the bed, laying down, standing again etc) until I left to go home! That was the most painful part of the whole thing.

So a while later a really friendly looking Orthopedist came to me and told me they are going to do an x-ray. It only took a few minutes until the nice orderly came by to push my ‘bed’ through the hospital. Once there I had to get up to stand for the pretty picture. The woman doing the x-ray tried to be friendly but was very obviously low key judging me by making comments about my weight. I just ignored her and after the pics were done I was rolled back to the ER.

Well, here even more fun followed. By then it was midnight, meaning that I was in the ER for 6 hours. I have seen people come and go, some were committed to staying others were driven home by an ambulance. And then I sat and waited… and waited… and waited.

Around 3 am the night internist – a lovely Turkish doctor – came by to apologize for the delay. She had wondered why I was there waiting and sitting for hours and checked in for me. The Orthopedist had surprisingly being called into surgery. So that explained it. It was half-past 3 when he finally arrived. X-Rays were clear and didn’t explain why I had the pain.

He then said based on that and the bloodwork, he assumes that the inflammation they spotted is in my hip joint. He gave me pain meds and suggested an anti-flammatory pain gel to spread all over my hip and thigh, hoping that’ll help. I hope so too. If it doesn’t get better in a few days I am to check with a local orthopedist. HA! Funny. I can’t even walk to the loo without supporting myself on everything I can get my hands on.

So when I came back home, 11 hours had passed. Longest ER visit of my life tbh. And most painful. My ass still hurts. But compared to other folks I have seen that night I was lucky. They were much worse, to begin with. I am relieved though it wasn’t a blood clot since those are freaking dangerous.

Right now I am still in a lot of pain. No matter in which position I am in I am in pain. Last night I slept only 4 hours because no position I found was good enough to stay in and sleep without pain and discomfort. I had to take a break several times while writing this because sitting hurts too. I’m feeling very much a burden on my boyfriend who has to do all kinds of things now that I usually did. He has to work and I keep him from that by asking for water or something to eat or helping me to stand up. I feel absolutely useless and hate that feeling. I couldn’t do much, to begin with but now it’s even less.

I hope the gel will help and that it won’t last too long until I can at least sleep without much pain and get my own drink and food. So cross your fingers.

 

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One step closer

Yesterday I got another step further in my journey to WLS. I had my gastroscopy to check if everything is okay with my stomach and intestines. I thought that I could post a bit of a more detailed account of that, for me and maybe for someone else who is curious. If you just want to know about the result, scroll to the second to last paragraph! 🙂

If you know me, you are aware that I’m a nightowl, sleeping at day, getting active at night. So having to get up at 5:30 am was horrid, but I managed. It was the first time in ages that I went out and still could see the moon outside.

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In my effort not to come too late, I was actually almost an hour early. It gave me enough time to read the paperwork they gave me properly and make sure I didn’t miss anything. I was the envy of the other patients, because in contrast to the hard stretchers they got, I had a cozy and soft hospital bed, because I’m too heavy for the stretchers. It was so comfortable that I almost fell asleep on the spot. It was really early for me after all.

Then the fun began. I was asked where my doctor usually gets my blood drawn. So I told them, right back of the hand. The nurse didn’t like that and wanted to try the ‘regular’ spots first. Told her that my veins are shy and even if she thinks she has one nobody has been able to actually get something from them. Apparently she didn’t believe me and after attempts on 3 different locations she finally went to my left hand and surprise – not – she got blood right away. So she cannulated my hand, for the drugs to make me sleep.

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I went back to waiting, because there was another patient inside the gastroscopy room before me. I got a really cute hospital gown though, and I was super duper thrilled that they actually had one in my size. I never get anything in my size. I’m a EU size 68  (I think it’s like 38 US, not sure) so that was really special. It even had some more room in it. Look at these cute little smileys (it’s the logo of the Hospital).

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Either way after some waiting I was wheeled into the room and prepared with the same questions I had gotten several times already in the last hour. Made me wonder why I fill out the paperwork if they ask me anyway, but I didn’t mind to keep my mind from wandering. We joked around for a while, which was nice too and I had the exciting moment of hearing that my blood pressure was ‘perfect’.

The big moment came with the doctor entering, showing me the tooks he’d be using and explaining the procedure. I remember the nurse pushing the drug into my hand (didn’t feel that hooray) and she told me that I’d feel weird in my head. I did only a second later and because I already had the mouth piece in and couldn’t talk I did a lasso with my hand as a sign that I’m getting dizzy.

I expected to have time and that I would notice to feel more tired. But one moment I was there wide awake, laughing at the nurse’s jokes, watching the doctor to pull the tube out of its plastic wrap… and the next moment I wake up and saw I had been out for an hour.

Other than a bit of dizziness in the start I didn’t have any problems of after/side effects. And according to the nurses I was surprisingly quick to get back on my feet. Only 10 minutes after waking up initially I was out in the waiting room to get my results.

Back at home I eventually started to feel tired so I napped away several hours but I felt really well, still do. And my stomach seems to be great, nothing should be in the way of surgery based on my stomach at least. I’m glad to know that.

Next week I have to hand in my nutrition diary for the last two weeks and hand in the paperwork I collected. It’s so close. Cross your fingers that thing will progress quickly from then on 🙂

 

Shit’s getting real

I knew that as soon as the new year is here things would start rolling, though it feels like it’s all at once now lol

Today I received an email to confirm my lab appointment for bloodwork on Friday morning, after that I got an appointment at my diabetologist’s office for Monday morning and when I thought that’s enough for now, I received an email with my first date for the nutrition course, which will be next week Tuesday evening.

So, things are starting and I’m buzzing with a mix of excitement and nervousness. So the usual. 😉

I’ll be groggy af, but I can’t wait to get started!

Weight Loss Surgery – Oh my

I can hear the gasps of surprise. I am still here! Things have happened, lots of attempts, lots of fails lots of giving up. But then while sitting at my diabetologist’s desk I made a promise that I didn’t think I would ever make. I promised to have a talk in an Adipositas Center of a Clinic about Weight Loss Surgery because neither I nor my doctor believed that I can do it alone and I need help.

So I decided to get back on this blog and will be using it to write about the whole thing, every step of the way from now until whenever. Back to the story.

I never even thought of going the WLS route, not because it’s bad, but because I am so afraid of surgery that I get panic attacks only by thinking of it. Not the surgery itself, but the general anaesthesia, or more precisely not waking up from it. I have had a near phobia of death ever since I was a child without even knowing where it came from since the first death I remember was when I was a teenager, many years later. When I was 20 my doctor told me that if my weight doesn’t change I won’t become 40. Well, my weight changed, in the wrong direction. Because I am an emotional eater.

Either way, yesterday I had my consultation at the clinic and it was a day full of surprises. First of all the people, patients and doctors alike were all super nice. Not a single judgy look to be seen, no whispers behind one’s back. The chairs didn’t look like they’d collapse when I just look at them. I could have jumped on them and they would have been fine. As someone who isn’t overweight, it might not be special but if you had chairs collapse under you or cut off your circulation, or did not even fit you because the seat was too small, this is heaven.

After my initial talk with the front-man, who was a humorous, happy young man who enjoyed talking a lot and made me feel welcome from the first second, I had to fill out a bunch of papers while I waited for my first of several talks. I had just finished when I was called in, which surprised me since I had been told to bring a lot of time. Not that I minded. The first talk was actually just measuring and weighing me, ugh.

To my utter surprise, I must have either shrunk 4 cm or I never was as tall as I thought. Still 1.86m so tall enough anyway. Maybe if I keep shrinking I will one day look UP to my boyfriend lol I also have gained weight, more than I thought I gained. So full disclosure, starting weight is 214.2 kg (472.23 lbs). That makes a BMI of 60.1. My waist diameter is 179cm (so almost as much as I am tall), forgot how much my hips are, but a lot.

So after that initial shock and surprise, I waited once more, not more than 10 minutes on a heavenly comfy chair before I met with the Surgeon. She was a very friendly and patient woman, explaining everything in detail and answering my questions. So a few things here. She would want me to get a gastric bypass (Either Roux-en-Y Gastric-Bypass or an Omega Loop Gastric Bypass ) because of my diabetes. It would eliminate the need for Diabetes meds from the moment of the surgery. There is a chance that some parts needed for the rearrangement to be not too fatty, are too fatty and won’t hold securely enough. In that case, the doctors would make the decision to do the Sleeve instead during Surgery.

Bypass

One of my burning questions, of course, was the risk of the surgery. The clinic I went to has performed over 400 surgeries by now, some patient with a weight higher than mine, and they haven’t lost a single one. Some had some problems later on and had to go back under the knife, but went out of that well as well. While it did not just snap away my fears, it quieted them down a lot for now.

In the end, my weight and its negative effects are a higher mortality risk than the surgery. Now isn’t that a scary thought?

Other questions also were answered, like yes I can still have kids without problems. The hospital stay after the surgery would, in general, be 3 nights. Leaving the stomach in there won’t cause any problems, on the contrary, it still has a function so it’s needed. Yes, I’d have to take vitamin supplements and be under constant control with blood tests and such. And my life would change radically.

Usually, before this kind of surgery, patients have to visit a nutrition course for half a year and proof that they tried to lose weight with help of a doctor. Here is where my BMI comes in because patients with a BMI above 60 don’t have to do that beforehand. That means two things. If I decide to do it, it could be much sooner than I expected. And I still need to do the nutrition course – or rather it was suggested and I want to do it – because it shows not only healthy eating but also helps to adjust to the life with food after surgery which will be a huge change.

There were more questions answered but I don’t remember them right now. If you are curious about anything to feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll see if that was one of the things I asked too 😉

The next talk was with the nutrition Lady. She went with me through my food diary for the last week, gave me points where I need adjustments, gave me tips for alternatives, went through the food pyramid with me and gave me a couple of things that I can already ‘train’ myself to do. Changing habits and all that. All things that would be important to me after surgery as well. And they are all things I don’t do now, so it’ll be hard, but helpful. Lemme see what it was.

  • Eat slowly, take your time and don’t do anything next to eating. Focus on it and enjoy it.
  • Take small bites, really small birdy bites.
  • Chew each bite 15-20 times. (How in the heck am I supposed to chew birdy bites that often?)
  • Make sure your food is like a mash before swallowing. Later after surgery especially in the beginning, it can cause trouble otherwise.
  • Eat fewer carbs and sugar, add more protein. (Did you know there is an eggwhite bread? I had NO idea. Got some today, will see how it tastes.)
  • Veggies are your best friend. Starving? Eat veggies as much as you want. But remember to chew a lot.
  • Drink water, but stop 30 minutes before your meal and after your meal is done, don’t drink for another 30 minutes. Otherwise, your food will just drop and wash out through your stomach and didn’t get all the great digestive stuff it needs. (I know it is more complicated but that’s the gist in short.)

I have tried it for the first time today. My bites were still too big, I did chew until I violated the not doing anything rule and read my emails and gone was the food without chewing, oops. I didn’t have any veggies and I drank in the middle of dinner. But it was the first day of breaking a 38-year-old habit. I’ll just have to break through that and be more mindful.

So after the conversation, there was done I had a brief talk with the psychologist. She wanted to know about family history, illnesses, mental health of course, what my biggest wish is to achieve with this surgery and most importantly if I have a support network. As this is a life-changing surgery, a support network is so very very important. To go through it alone would be so hard. So I hope everyone doing it does have one. I am lucky because I know I do.

My last visit was back at the front desk, where I got a nice folder with all kinds of information and a list of what the Adipositas Center needs from me for my application. Once I got all that together I can hand it in and they will fill out everything for the insurance, to make them pay for the surgery. I am relieved that I don’t have to fill that out myself because these forms always frustrate me.

The Center calls me as soon as the next nutrition course begins so I can start that right away. Most likely January. It’ll be once a month and goes for 6 months. A group of 5-6 people who all are in the process of getting that surgery. Yay for no fat judgy people, we’re all in the same boat.

The biggest piece of information I got from the lovely man at the front desk. He suggested to start the process right now and get the stuff together as soon as possible. As soon as the insurance agrees to pay, that agreement lasts a full year. What that means is, since he knew that I’m afraid (I wear my emotions on my sleeve), he told me I can change my mind at any time up until the day of surgery. So basically, if I am too scared the day before I can cancel and thanks to the 1 year ‘warranty’ I can try again later. It is good to have that piece of safety, the knowledge that I can change my mind if I really feel I can’t do it.

So right now, it’s holiday time, doctor offices are closed so I can’t do anything. But I have decided to start the process. I’ll talk with my doctor, do the courses, collect the paperwork and hand it in. And then if all goes well and I don’t get cold feet, I’ll go through with it. And if not, I know it is okay. That helps my stomach to not want to hurl constantly right now. That’s good, that’s always good.

So, here it is, step one into a future, in which I have a chance for a normal life (with a lot of work (after all surgery is a tool, not a magic spell to do everything for me) and change but better than now no matter what).

Wouldn’t that be something?

 

Back on the needle

When I was diagnosed in 2005 I was in the hospital for two weeks. I was sent to classes to learn how to deal, what to do, what not to do, how to improve and what happens when things get worse. You know what nobody told me?

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Diabetes sucks! Big hairy donkey balls.

Yeah, most of the time it’s alright. It can be berable and if everything goes well one can live with it. It isn’t a disease that hurts – at least not until the bad side effects show themselves – which also makes it tricky and easy to ignore.

For a couple of years I had the unbelievable luck that I had gotten rid of it. I had always known it was temporary. So now I am back on the needle. For the last couple of month I have tried to get it back under control. I have take so much insulin for each bread unit, so much Basal that I wonder why I don’t inject the whole vial for one dinner. The pills I have to take to make it even work leave a bad taste in my mouth and give me the runs. At least I was able to change from Metformin to Siofor (which also is a metformin but in a different way put

The pills I have to take to make it even work leave a bad taste in my mouth and give me the runs. At least I was able to change from Metformin to Siofor (which also is a metformin but in a different way put together), because with Metformin I suffered like a beaten dog from cramps and nausea ever day. So at least that is gone but the runs still suck.

I get some other pills that are helping to get rid of some sugar by peeing it all out, but it’s not much. In the two plus something months I have been back on the needle I was once (!!!) at a blood sugar level that I aimed for. I measure my food, I raised the insulin per bread unit and what not, but daaaang that bloody sugar just doesn’t want to go down.

I’ll keep trying. My doc said to try to go to a full Siofor instead of a half and see if my stomach allows it. Of course he also suggested to move more. I know that sport helps, exercise is great to lower your blood sugar levels. Though with a body like mine I can hardly stand for 3 minutes without my back yelling bloody murder at me.

I sound like I complain a lot, don’t I? Actually most of the time I just swallow it and think that I’m lucky. My parent’s neighbour lost his leg due to diabetes and ignoring it. Many people have it much worse, at least I get treatment and help from my doc. But hell, just because others have it worse doesn’t mean I have to like all this. So suck it up, I complain!

So what I do now is continue. Measure, weigh, calculate, adjust and make sure that I don’t end up like many others who didn’t.

Back on the needle I go!

#diabetes, #health, #medical-stuff, #truth

“Lose weight” The ‘heal-all solution’

Got the flu – Lose weight
Got a broken arm – Lose weight
Eye sight is getting worse – Lose weight

Quite sure that many of you out there have heard the same bullshit no matter what the problem was that brought you to the doctor in the first place. It is crazy how much people get reduced to the numbers on the scales. Yes I know all the important stuff. I know that high weight IS dangerous and unhealthy. I know that many of the problems that I have are caused by my weight.

The problem is, if you enter the doctor’s office and ALL they see is your weight, you might be really sick but aren’t helped because ‘losing weight’ is what apparently cures everything. I could go on a long rant about how overweight people can be as healthy as thin people can be unhealthy and all that stuff we’ve heard a million times. The simple plea that I keep bringing up to my doctors is:

“Take my issues seriously. If I tell you I am coming down with a cold, a flu, constant headaches, pain… check me up. Pretend I’m not the fattest person you’ve ever seen and check me for my bloody symptoms. Don’t tell me I’m fat, because guess what, I have mirrors, I see myself every day, I feel my weight every day, every doctor in my life has told me, every person side eyeing me on the street has in one way or the other told me – I KNOW. You are not giving me news. The news I want from YOU as my doctor is how to get rid of being sick.

Alright now to the sunshine part of this post. I have found a doctor who surprisingly took three whole sittings until he even hinted at my weight. I wanted to cry. It felt so good to be taken seriously, to not be looked at like that fat person who will be cured with less kilos on her body, a smaller number on a scale. That doctor is my diabetologist, and I have promised almost a year ago to tell you about this positive experience.

I went to this doctor because my old diabetologist would have taken several month to even get me on his schedule despite dangerously high hba1c results in my blood test back in October. Not for one second I have regretted the change. My new diabetologist is the first doctor in my now 38 year old life to not say “You have to lose weight” the first time he opens his mouth. We started my treatment for my diabetes right away. I got pills, got some other things for injections to test and when they didn’t work we tried something else.

In our third sitting he right out said “Listen, I’m not going to tell you to lose weight because I’m sure you know all that and everyone has told you.” It was a real honest laugh between us. He also said “I know I can’t tell you anything that makes it easier either, because let’s face it, I have no idea what you’re going through.” He is skin and bones and knows it. He doesn’t pretend to know the tiniest bit. And I love him for it. We still talked about what I tried, what I did not want to try (Surgery, I have huge panic attacks just thinking of it – not healthy), and what I could try.

So far nothing helped but that is not the point of this post, I’ll talk about that later. The point is, this man is taking me seriously, he is seeing me as a human being. And as a fat person who spent most of her life around doctors telling her that she is only worth proper attention when she is thin… that is the most precious thing a doctor could have given me.

Do you have experiences like this? What do you do when your doctor sees losing weight as the one stop heal? Have you found a doctor that sends them all to hell and sees you as a human who needs their help? Tell me about it down in the comments!

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#doctors, #fat, #lose-weight, #medical-stuff, #weight-loss

What happens if you ignore medical everything for years

I’ve been very quiet lately, not only here but everywhere. Partly it was because I got super busy, but also because I got sick and I fought with depression. Now I got a long medical update for you because you know what happens when you don’t take care of anything medical for years? It all piles up like crazy. And now that’s kicking my ass.

It started because I got a weird pain in my leg and it started to look bumpy and red. Me being a hero ignored it and thought it was just some random stuff like I bumped into something or I got a rash because of whatever is in the air here. I thought I can get rid of it myself and tried with mountain pine tonic which is supposed to help with blood circulation or hydrocortisone ointment, putting my legs up, cold and warm wraps and stuff like that. You know the stuff mum tells you to do when your legs hurt. But nothing worked, it got actually worse.

So after about 2 or 3 months I had one day of pain so strong I cried because I couldn’t take it anymore. It hurt when I sat, walked, slept, even when the super thin fabric of my pants brushed over it. It was swollen, hot and painful af. So my plan to go to the doctor if it wasn’t better on Monday, became the order to go the next morning. My doctor took a look and since it was a Friday at 10am she couldn’t take blood anymore. Because that was too risky she sent me to the hospital to make sure it wasn’t thrombosis. Well long story short: after 5 hours in the hospital filled with being prodded, poked and examined I got the diagnosis: Erysipelas. Wohoooo no thrombosis!

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That apparently is an acute infection caused by a streptococcus bacteria. That’s what I got for scratching my itching legs, or not being able to reach my feet for proper care and not cleaning the flat (which I wrote to you about before). So I got antibiotics and was ordered to rest my leg (which is hard when you gotta run from doctor to doctor) and to report back to my doctor the following Monday. So I did that and she wanted to draw some blood for a full on blood work because the hospital only had done a partial one to make sure I don’t have thrombosis.

When I got back the results the real work started. The numbers did not look too well. I have a too high cholesterol, my long-term blood sugar is waaaay too high, and whatever blood results show the infection was also still not low enough. So I was sent to a dermatologist for my leg which still hurt despite being MUCH better already. I then had to listen to a lecture about my blood sugar – which I already expected – and my cholesterol. But first things first.

The dermatologist took me off the antibiotics but prescribed compression socks because the weight I put on my legs is not helping the healing process. That was two weeks ago, I am still waiting for the socks. Health insurance has to OK them, which means that takes 10 days if I’m lucky and then because my legs are too big and I am too heavy for regular ones they have to special order them. Measurements were taken really fast, but I wish those things were here already. I am tired of the pain and swollen legs all the time. New bloodwork will be done in about 3 weeks to see how it came about. Until I get these socks I use iodine tincture on my leg to help out with the chance of it getting worse again.

Because of my high sugar results (6.7% – 7.5% is normal Hba1c, which is the long-term measurement, I am at 12.2%) I had to make an appointment with my diabetologist. Next open slot was in January, so I actually got on the search for a new diabetologist, because I seriously couldn’t wait that long. It was too pressing. And I feel super lucky that I have found one. I am going to make an extra post about what happened there because it was actually pretty special. But for now: I am taking care of it.

I also have an appointment for an eye doctor in a month. Haven’t had my eyes checked for like 15 – 20 years. Oh my.

The two weeks full of doctor visits have been exhausting. Not only because they generally are, but also because I had to get up early in the mornings, and walk there which to me is a whole day trip, because I am really bad on foot, even without the hurting leg. And having to go out among people, strangers and such is also exhausting for my anxiety. Right now it calmed down some. And I start to feel accomplished for actually taking care of myself.

Do you take care of yourself? Do you struggle with it? Did you ever have to catch up with all your medical appointments of a 5 year period in 2 weeks? Tell me your story and share your experiences down in the comments!

#doctor, #health, #self-care, #truth