This picture was taken right after all my major medical issues began. I had just been diagnosed with pituitary failure and placed on steroids, which caused me to gain a healthy 20 lbs. I was in shape and feeling good. I still had residual neurological issues, but for the most part, I was able to be active and resume “normal life”.
The picture to the left was taken shortly after I had brain surgery. I avoided the gruesome surgical pics, but you can see in my face the results of many high-dose steroid episodes. I had gained up to my highest 180lbs and nothing fits, or even feels right. At this point my body is so swollen from the steroids that I have developed stretch marks that go all the way down my to my knees and part way up my back. My stomach is distended, and I feel like my skin is so stretched it could burst. Needless to say, it was very unpleasant.
The picture to the right is of this summer. My weight gain has stabilized to around 160-170lbs. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and I am mostly functional in the sense that I can walk around, and go places. There have been times when even that was impossible. I have spent time bedridden, wheelchair bound and close to death. 2011-2013 are years where my health has gone from scary to terrifying to unbearable to okay to good. Last month I slipped a disc in my lower back and couldn’t feel or put a lot of weight on my left leg. I probably have problems with my cervical discs as well, as my arms often lose feeling. I see a pain specialist, but so far nothing helps.
So to the point. I have two rare brain disorders and many medical issues. I am gluten intolerant, have a failed pituitary gland, have asthma and slipped discs plus degenerative signs in all my joints. I have had a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis and other problems, and I am in constant, sometimes unbearable pain. The brain issues cause depression, and I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I have frequent panic attacks, and I am sometimes so depressed it literally feels like I cannot move. My anxiety has hospitalized me, my disorders have mistakenly placed me in mental institutions as my thyroid failed with my pituitary failure and no one noticed because it is extremely rare. I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and that is still a possibility. My medical issues have nearly bankrupted our family, and we are in collections for medical bills that I don’t know if we can ever pay. It is hard enough to just afford food and medicine.
This week I decided the pain killers weren’t working and the side effects were worse than the drugs, so I stopped taking them. There are withdrawal consequences as I am dependent on pain killers at this point, and I will suffer a lot before I have cleared them from my system. There just has to be a better way, and I will find it. My depression and anxiety got better without the medication, so I know they were contributing to the major panic attacks I’ve been having for the past several weeks.
Here are my goals:
I want to be as medication free as possible. There are some I will take all my life, but others are optional.
I want to become a certified personal trainer and teach Zumba and Yoga or Pilates.
I want my weight to drop to 150-160 at the highest.
I want to become independent and debt free.
The government shutdown delayed the ruling from my judge on my disability case, which is quite annoying. Before I become anyone’s personal trainer, I need to get in shape myself. I am a licensed Health Coach, and I need to use what I know to become healthy and manage my pain naturally. This is a journey I never wanted to take. It sucks big time. My son is autistic, ADHD, dyslexic and has a mood disorder. My husband has his own health issues. We are not a healthy, happy family. I don’t plan holidays, we just manage to celebrate them. I regularly borrow money with no idea how I’m going to repay it. I am the family member that others either feel sorry for or avoid. I literally hate my life. I love my son and husband, but I would do a lot to get out of my medical issues and our financial distress. Sometimes I need an experience to tell me what life would be like if I didn’t exist because I wish I didn’t. I also often dwell on suicide. I am morally against it, I know it would majorly damage my family, but sometimes the pain and illness is so bad, I would do anything to make it stop. Being depressed and not thinking straight doesn’t help either. So far, I am still here, still trying and still coping. We’ll see how long that lasts. Tomorrow may be a very different rant. I may hate life and wish I were dead, but that is the purpose of this blog. I need a place to rant, to vent, and to share my feelings. For those of you who stumble onto it, I hope it helps, if not, it isn’t the blog for you.