Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Update on Bloodwork

Heard from the cardiologist's nurse - the comment was "your bloodwork is stable". I'd hoped for better than that, but after careful consideration, stable is probably the best I can hope for right now.

Have not heard back from the orthopaedic surgeon, which means she gets a call tomorrow. I think the drainage is worse, the hole is definiately deeper, neither are good signs at all!!

See the regular doctor on January 4 - with a major discussion on pain management to ensue. The echocardiogram is the next week - will tell the true tale of where I stand and where my heart is.

At this point, I have plans to permanently retire in September, but the codicil that IF the echo shows further damage and deterioation, I will retire right after Valentine's Day.

Keep me in your prayers!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm Back (Again)

Hello old and dear friends who think I've fallen off the face of the earth!

I didn't, but I have to say I've had a damn good summer and fall. I had posted about my power chair, let me tell you I've been all over Nashville, gone to movies and restaurants, parks and concerts - yes I saw Paul McCartney!!!! - shopping to my heart's content at the MALLS - just had a blast!

Now that winter has really set in here in Nashville, I will have to be inside more and I have some goals and activities to accomplish too.

First - I am facing an orthopaedic surgery right after Christmas. It's not the hip - it's the ankle! Yes, that word I choose to avoid and have feared for about seven years now, since the last visit to the bone doc. At that point, he told me amputation was the only choice and I wasn't far from it - so I left and never went back. Until, I hit the outside of the ankle with my chair's front wheel - not once or twice - but maybe four or five hard licks - and the drainage started.

When three tubes of neosporin didn't clear it up - well I gave in and made an appointment. Good news is - I didn't hear the "A" word. Bad news is - the outer plate has to come out since it will most likely never heal. Now that plate has caused me lots of problems, always been way too close to the surface and didn't allow me to wear any kind of shoe but a clog type.

Surgery on me is still the big "Oh God, what are we going to do?" but cardiac says ok since it's only about an hour surgery - ortho says they can give me local with minimal bleeding and after Christmas I'll suck it up and go get it done. I would appreciate your prayers - there is always the chance this is the beginning of the end and I normally just hate odd years - 2011 is an odd year.

I saw the cardiologist this week too - and guess what? With all the playing and running I've done in the last 6-7 months - I have gained 18 pounds - I am up to 425. Not good, but no where near as bad as I'd expected.

Drum roll please - my hemoglobin is up to 10.5 only 1.3 less than normal and my hematocrit is up to 35!!! Haven't seen these numbers since 1999 before the car wreck. So, if I can get my eating back on track and ortho doesn't kill me, I may make it a few more years after all.

I sure hope so!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

All of Me

So, I've addressed a lot of things regarding weight and health, but I think I've avoided something that is very important to the overall health of a person. That would be sex, or lack or it. Or, more importantly, a 1:1 relationship that is intimate and trusting.

There is a man in my life. He's been there about 11 years (since we first met). He is a great guy - educated, successful in his job, steady. Right after I met him, I had the big car wreck. Through all of that he cheered me on from afar, encouraging me in a way that no one else, not even my husband, did. So, yes, I've known him since before I was divorced.

This weekend he came to town to visit. We sat up almost all night Friday talking and catching up and sharing. He is a very cuddly guy - something most women want but never get. He gave me the biggest compliment of my life from a man - that if he'd met me when we were twenty, we would have run off never to be seen again!

As always, our visit was brief - he left Satuday morning. But, he gives me hope and accepts me and my body and all the things that don't work like they use to - if I ever had a soulmate I think it may have been him.

Even with visits that are few and far between, I have trusted him more than I ever had any other man with my heart. And, I've realized, again, that there has to be someone in your life that you can have that level of intimacy and trust with to truly be healthy.

Hoping I see him again this year!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Hips have It

So, let me start by saying I'm loving this chair! I have been all over the place - it is so so nice to have mobility back that does not include pain! A friend and I go up to the student center and have lunch at least once a week. And, now I take my chair to the office. Makes life much easier - I am not exhausted when I leave there or in so much pain I can't think.

Speaking of pain - I saw the orthopaedic doctor last Friday. They did a series of xrays on my hips, pelvis and back. The good news is that my right hip is in great shape! The bad news is that my left hip is in horrible shape! There is no cartilage at all, bone on bone, and that is chipping away or being worn off. He said there is no option but a total hip replacement and there is nothing that will take away the pain in the meantime.

Also, the L4 and L5 vertibrae are out of alignment and severely arthritic - why I can't seem to stand up exactly straight and why, if I could walk much, my back would bother me a great deal. Not much to do for that - just a fact of life at this point.

I am going to see the orthopaedic surgeon for a consult - I'm not sure I can stand the surgery and I'm not sure they do it on someone who still weighs 400 pounds. But, it'll be a starting place and if it's something I have to do after I lose another 100 pounds, I'll have it on the schedule.

Good thing I got the power chair - and the doctor agreed - said I would need it!

Interesting sidenote - there was this huge black spot right near the center of my pelvic bone - Doc said "That's your fibroid tumor - did you know you have a fibroid tumor?" I almost laughed but I didn't! I did manage to tell him that the fibroid had it's very own year - 2009 - and it was not allowed to say or do anything this year!

I didn't weigh at this visit - I've been doing better and have only eat Dominoes once per week the last two weeks!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Progress Report what - Number 50?

Been a little behind - for one I let my home phone get cut off which zapped my internet. That's back on - just some bumps in the never-ending bumpy road called life. Thank God for the bumps though - they keep me awake! (and you make see that on facebook too)

I saw the GYN surgeon around March 15 or so - she was pleased that things have continued to be good - code for 'yay no bleeding'! Right now we're not going to do anything but wait and see and if I don't go thru menopause in the next year or so, we may do the hysterectomy.

Had an INR - holding steady at 2.8. I weighed too - down to 403 - 198 pounds lost!! Man, will I ever get below that 400 pound mark?

Saw the cardiologist this week - he said he was very happy with the progress I've made. I had gained 9 lbs since the GYN visit - thanks to Dominos Buffalo Chicken Sandwich!! I am retaining a great deal of fluid again - I guess that will never be over. Blood pressure was 124/82 can't get much better than that.

We discussed the weight loss surgery which I still don't want to have and Mitzi was with me. She commented that I'd done so good on my own - but he said that I need to get down to 200 - he don't see me any smaller than that - and that I could jumpstart the process with surgery instead of spending another two years getting it off.

The compromise - we are at the edge of summer which was great for me last year. I've signed up for the CSA Farmer Box again - and if I can repeat what I did last summer I can get 50-60 pounds off by the time I go back to the cardiologist in August! He agreed and we'll go from there! I weighed 340 pounds when I married Ronnie Martin - I'd love to be there by the end of summer.

FYI - I got my powerchair! It is great - wish I had done this years ago - I have life and freedom back - I've been all over the campus, to a concert, to church several times, just everywhere. In process of getting approved for AccessRide and at that point, the city is my domain again! Watch out for the white haired woman on the candy apple red Jazzy!!

I really got to do something with this hair!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

True Age

Have you seen Dr. Oz on Oprah or his own show talking about your true age? That's the age your body thinks it is or the age at which your body is performing.

Last year around this time when I was in such bad shape I honestly didn't know if I was going to live to see summer, I took the 'True Age' test. It wasn't so good - the test told me my body was 70!!! Now, I was feeling about 170 and like I'd already been dead for a year or two so I wasn't surprised, but I was hurt. It really did hurt my feelings to be in that bad of shape.

So, after the year I've had, three surgeries, 4 hospitalizations and losing 196 pounds, I decided or remembered actually to take the test again. This time my true age was 58.6 years!!! Hallelujah!

That is still about 9 years older than I am right now - but that is 12 years improvement in one calendar year! I'll take it!

Suggestions for me from the test were to take less meds (don't really see that one happening), increasing my consumption of Omega 3's and get more exercise (which I desparately need to do).

If I stay on the path I've been on - maybe my true age will match my chronological age sometime after I turn 50 on June 1!! Woo hoo!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Exam Results

So the mobility exam went well - I was a bit apprehensive since I didn't know what to expect. It was not too much to it really - I can't walk without assistance from someone or something - not much else to know.

I did weigh in - I was at 406. Now, I was glad not to be above 407. I can see in my legs and abdomen that there is excess fluid back on me - so I have continued to lose fat since my weight had not increased. Goal between now and cardiology visit in April - get the fluid off and maybe just maybe, hit 350 by my birthday.

My sweet little doctor told me he was leaving! He's not leaving Vanderbilt but going to be a fellow in the pulmonary institute. I told him no offense but I hoped not to see him and he agreed, as a patient, he would not want to see me since most of his time will be in ICU. He is going to see me one more time before he leaves in June and he said he would miss me! He is a real sweetheart and I will miss him too!

He continued to say something about my weight loss and I explained it to him this way. There are days you never forget, the days my babies were born, the days my parents passed away, and Feb 3, 2009 whcn I topped the scale at 601 pounds. I told him that the milestones before that should have jolted me, but they didn't. I will never forget that day and the fact that I left there severly determined to change my fate. I told him I had been sure I would have died shortly and he agreed saying I was headed for something very bad before things changed.

I am just glad I got a chance to do something before it was too late! I will be satisfied to get down to somewhere between 200 and 225 pounds - about the size I was at high school graduation and in a size 18 clothes which is so much easier to buy now than 30 years ago!

OK - next update after the INR bloodwork next week!