Being Down But Not Out
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
This is my first attempt a blogging...welcome! At little about me: My name is Trish. I am 40, married, "mother" of two dogs named Marco and Polo and and one cat named Oliver.
I am a teacher to a set of wonderful 4th grade students and work with two great team mates in a departmentalizing situation where I teach language arts in the morning and social studies in the afternoon. I am currently off work due to an injury but hope to return ASAP!
I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. There are family pictures of me at age 6 or 7 where I think I look like a normal weight but that is the last time that I think I can say that is true. My family doesn't take a ton of pictures (maybe because we are all overweight). However, sometime around age 9/10 things changed for us as a family. My dad took a job in Michigan because it was the only job he could find and my mom went to work for the first time in my life. We lived in Ohio and my dad commuted home on the weekends to see us or we went to visit him. My older brother and I were home alone after school quite often. This is when my eating started. I think I ate to "get away with it", and to comfort myself. No one was home, no one could tell me what to do. Finally my whole family moved to Michigan and I kept putting on the weight. I remember growing up my Grandma used say it was "baby fat" and I would outgrow it. I think at 12 I knew it wasn't baby fat anymore!
So here I am today...40...happily married and 278 pounds. I have at least 100 pounds to lose. Long story short...I have tried many programs and diets and been between 235 and 293 for about 20 years now.
The title of this blog is Down But Not Out. Why am I down? Well, I am literally down...in bed...on bed rest. Yikes! Not good for the weight at all! Last year, while working, I turned my ankle off a curb at work and sprained it very badly. I was off work for a week and the doctor (from work) told me I was good to go back. So I did. I kept an ace bandage around it and finished off the school year. I kept a bandage around it and went about my summer. I kept telling myself that sprains take a long time to heal. Then summer was over and I was still wearing a bandage. I may be fat, but I am active. I was doing yardwork, walking my dogs, riding my bike. Still with a bandage, still with pain. Finally I was able to go my own doctor, see a specialist. Turns out I still had torn ligaments and tendons. I was never okay, I should have done this last May! So the school year starts and I have to stay off of my foot, wear a non-weight bearing boot and get around on a knee scooter. So for the first twelve weeks...that's right, I said it...12 weeks of school, I taught my lovely 4th graders from a scooter! How fun is that! NOT! Finally, the moment of truth...I get to walk in the boot and all will be better, right? Wrong! Still hurts! So we try another brace, still hurts! So I have another MRI, it shows the tendons have mostly healed but the ligaments are still torn. Now surgery is my only option. So December 6th I have ankle surgery. I have two torn ligaments. One has fibrosis because it is has sat for so long without getting help=the ends are starting to die off (the doctor is worried this surgery may not be enough for this one) and he tells me I have to have complete bed rest for three weeks. This changes my life. I move into the first floor bedroom. Have a bedside commode, my mom has to have surgery December 7 for a bad hip, which means I can't be there for her. I can have no salt or dairy...only fresh foods. It is right before the holidays. I am not feeling good about life. I am not allowed to bathe. I tell my friends to stay away, I might stink and there is a toilet in my bedroom! Who wants to visit that??? My husband is awesome! He is there to help me but he has to go to work everyday. When he is not at work, he is taking care of me and at my bedside. I could not ask for better. My first check with the doctor is December 21st. I am expecting a Christmas miracle. He will tell me that he is taking all the of the bandages off, putting the walking cast on and I have to use the scooter again for long distances but I am good to go, right? WRONG!!! He takes the bandages off, takes the stitches out, tells me it looks good, wraps me back up, and tells me THREE more weeks of the same bed rest, same restrictions. And now he tells me he sees dog hair on my bandages. I say yes, I have two dogs and a cat. They lay on the bed with me and make me feel better. He says NO WAY. Their hair can cause infection. Keep them away from you at all cost. See you January 11th he says, Happy Holidays! I think...well...what I think is not polite to say here...I am sure you get it! So I get back in the back seat while my husband drives me home (to keep the leg up) and begin to ball, cry, meltdown. This is NOT my Christmas miracle. This is the opposite. I cry to my mom on the phone, I cry to my husband, I cry to my friends. I cry by myself. I have some people who will listen but almost everyone says to let it out but then get on with it. Then something clicked and I realize...I am down, but I am NOT out. I am not dying. There are worse things in life. As my husband told me...you are the one keeping your friends away. He is helping me keep my hair washed and I am taking a sponge bath everyday. I don't smell and if my friends can't sit in the room with me and my commode...are they really my friends? So I put the word out...I am ready for visitors and they started to come. My mom was able to come over to see me after her surgery for a little bit. My dad comes over to see me every other day, my brother comes over at least once a week. My husband is a constant support. My friends call and visit and email and text. We put a pillowcase over my leg to keep the dog and cat hair off my bandage and said screw the doctor! If it didn't cause and infection the first three weeks it is not going to cause one the second three weeks. I joined SparkPeople and here I am. Due to my restrictions I am eating more fresh fruit and veggies than I have in the longest while. I am down, I am not allowed to do any exercise yet (I asked and the doctor said no) but I will be soon and I will have to start with non weight bearing stuff but I am actually looking forward to being able to move my body and not just lay here. I have done quite a bit of thinking and soul searching. THIS is the time to change my life. This is the time to become more positive and to make good choices and to stay in the game. I may be down right now but I WILL be getting up soon. When I get up, I want to get up and get after it with a new SPARK!