Excitement, Obstacles & Why Can’t Anything Be Easy?

I haven’t been writing much lately, for a few reasons. Just bummed mostly but excited for family to come. I had to get the house ready as best I could and get groceries so I’d have food to feed everyone. It was a good visit but not long enough. I lost a few hours with them too, because someone couldn’t bend a little. They’re gone now and I miss them tremendously!

I had to cancel my last appointment with my therapist because it was scheduled the day family would arrive. I emailed her later to explain why since I didn’t get to speak to her personally when I rescheduled the appointment. I told her about a few things that have happened in the last three weeks and when she responded she said, “Nothing is ever easy for you, is it?” She nailed it! I’ve been saying that for years! Here’s a rundown of the things that have happened in the past three weeks:

  1. My insurance covered the last round of injections I received but changed their policies since then. They won’t cover them anymore, so now I have to struggle not knowing if they would have helped with my pain.
  2. Ortho doc won’t reconsider knee replacement surgery because my weight/BMI isn’t where they want it to be and my legs are still weak. I think by the time she decides to move forward with surgery, my insurance will no longer cover it. That’s just my luck.
  3. My new doc (since January ’17) that I searched for over the last 10 years, has left the clinic and they won’t tell me where she went! Figures. I finally find a good doctor; one who listens and actually tries to help, and she’s gone. Now I have to find a new doctor or see another in that clinic.
  4. I tried to include my first-born grandson, (who was adopted by his other grandparents) in our little family get-together even though I knew what the outcome would be. The other grandmother wouldn’t hear of it, even though she too, was invited. Instead, she went behind my back and made other arrangements for D.M. to see my daughter (his mother) and his little brother. This took several hours away from us. I’m glad my daughter was able to see D.M. but it’s a shame that other grandmother couldn’t bend a little and come to our house so we could all spend time with D.M.
  5. D.M.’s birthday was Oct. 23. I made arrangements to meet after school to give him his gift in person. This is what we’ve been doing the last few years for Christmas and birthdays. I didn’t think this year would be any different. The night before we were supposed to meet, I find out D.M. is sick. Ok, so I mailed him his gift. It has now been 2 weeks and I’ve not heard one word about whether he liked his gift from me and his great-grandpa. Nice. What a way to teach a kid manners, right?

Anyway, nothing is ever easy for me. It seems that I run into an obstacle at every turn. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect life to be easy but sometimes it seems the universe hates me! Every month, there’s something new staring me down…as if to say, “Don’t get too comfy!” I wonder what’s in store for me in November…..

It Never Fails

So, if you read last night’s post you know that I had an appointment for Gel-One injections in my knees. The last injections (Synvisc-One) didn’t help but for just a few short hours. I thought I’d try the Gel-One this time. I was hoping for the best but was keeping my hopeful thoughts stifled because I have learned in the past to not get my hopes up too high.

Well, I was right to not get my hopes up. After receiving not one, but two automated reminder calls for 2 days prior, which asked me to “press 1 to confirm your appointment” and being told to “please come 20 minutes early,” I hobbled into the Ortho building. I hoped I wouldn’t be waiting for over an hour like the last time before even seeing the doctor.

I was called pretty quickly. The male nurse/assistant/whatever-the-heck-he-was was pleasant and led me to the exam room. When I sat down, he proceeded to tell me that my insurance had approved the injections but then after some changes, they revoked that approval. Great. Just my luck. This is why I don’t get my hopes up for any kind of medical care. He said the shots were rather pricey, and I probably wouldn’t want to pay out-of-pocket. “Hell no!” I told him. “At $3,000 bucks a knee? Nope!” He said they could offer cortisone shots, which I had had before with no noticeable pain relief…..and that was way back in 2011. My knees weren’t half as bad back then! No way in hell is a cortisone shot going to help now!

The nurse/assistant/whatever-the-heck-he-was was very apologetic about the wasted trip. He said he wished he had caught the problem as late as even yesterday, so he could have let me know. Not his fault. I don’t blame him.

It never fails. Every time I get close to getting help, I get shot down. It’s been happening year after year after year, with one thing or another, since 2007.

AND….AND….AND….the new doctor I found in January, whom I like so much, has left and they won’t tell me where. I would like to continue seeing her but how can I if I don’t know where she is? She may have moved out of state, in which case I will have to search for a new doctor but I most likely will have to see another practitioner in that same office, at least for the time being.

So for now, I keep my head up high and carry on! I’ll do what I have to do to take care of me until the time comes when they decide it’s time to do knee replacement because that’s the only solution there really is for me to have quality of life. I’m pretty sure their injections aren’t going to help much, even if my insurance approves them again.

Hopeful…. But Not Too Hopeful

I’ve been sitting here at the computer tonight, not really into anything in particular. My mind is elsewhere. I’ve got an appointment tomorrow with my ortho doc.

6 months ago, I tried the Synvisc-One injection in my knees. I had such high hopes. When I left the office, I was walking faster than I had in years and I had less pain. The shots seemed to have helped! I went home, under orders to not overdo it, so I took a nap. When I woke up the effects of the injections was gone. Despair set in. I couldn’t try the other injection for 6 more months!

I’m not really anxious about my appointment. I didn’t experience any severe pain with the last round of shots so I’m not worried about pain. I guess I’m just trying to keep myself from becoming too hopeful. High hopes have always caused disappointment in the past. I still have to hope this round of injections will ease my pain, but I’m not counting on it. I never count on anything to actually pan out in terms of help for my pain issues….story of my life.

I’ll hit the sack tonight with hope for a good result tomorrow but I’m not going to let it keep me awake thinking about it. I guess that’s part of the reason I’m writing about it. Getting it off my chest before bed.

Fingers crossed. That’s the best I can do.

 

 

What I Have Learned About Dieting

Many of you who know me or have been following my blog, know that I have weight issues and furthermore, issues with doctors and their fat shaming. I’ve been having weight issues since my first child was born, due to underactive thyroid. I think the biggest issue with that underactive thyroid was that for 5 years it went undiagnosed because doctors passed my weight gain off as “still eating for two” or “finishing what’s on the kids’ plates” or “sitting on my ass all day.” Those were just the nicer things they said to me. Once I was diagnosed and put on medication, I was able to lose some weight but then I hit a plateau….and stayed on that plateau for many years. Then I started having pain issues and my activity level decreased. That’s when my weight increased. At my heaviest, I was 275 lbs.!

Fast forward, to March 2016, when I was so fat shamed and humiliated that I left a doctor’s office in tears. I had no choice but to purchase a diet program — because up until then I had tried every diet known to man, except for the ones you have to pay for. I learned a lot about losing weight since then. I lost 10, then 20….and more. It was coming off! I lost 60 lbs. total! I hit a couple plateaus along the way. I even gained a little back, but I’m back on track now. I won’t give up!

Keep in mind, I am not a nutritionist. I am not a dietician. I am not a diet or weight loss counselor. I am writing from my own experience and the things I have learned are things that have worked for me. I hope this might help someone who is in the same boat as I am…..because we all know how much help doctors can be sometimes.

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Eat. Eat. Eat. Don’t starve yourself! You have to keep your metabolism going throughout the day but you will slow it down to a snail’s crawl if you skip meals or starve yourself. Also, be prepared to eat every 2-3 hours. That’s 3 meals, and 3 snacks per day. No, it’s not a lot! Eating this often keeps your blood sugar stable and you won’t get those sudden urges to pig out!

Watch your portions. Read the labels. Don’t take just a little extra; stick to one portion.

Find what your calorie intake should be and try to aim for that number. And yes, you have to count your calories. If you have had doctors tell you, “You just need to count calories,” they are only partially right. Counting calories is just a small part of losing weight, which is why I failed for so many years. I’m sure there are others who have had the same problem.

Drink 64 oz. of water each day. Tea and coffee can be part of that 64 oz. if it’s not doctored up with fats and sugars. (Use artificial sweeteners or honey, and fat-free, sugar-free creamers.) Other drinks like Crystal Light and the like are also acceptable – but drink mostly water.

Make sure to eat at least 4 servings of vegetables each day! Seems like a lot, I know. It’s really not. Half a cup cooked or 1 cup raw is one serving. Make sure they are non-starchy vegetables. Oh, and the best part (to me, because I love my veggies!) is that you can eat as many as you want and you really don’t have to count those calories!! If you get hungry during the day at any time, break out the veggies! (Just don’t drench your veggies with oils, dips, and dressings! Those calories will count.)

Limit salt, alcohol, sugar, fat, and calories. Limit the extras as well; things like salad dressing, ketchup, mayo, syrup, olives, chocolate, etc. It’s ok to have a serving (look on the bottle) of ketchup on your turkey burger but let’s not go nuts and consume too many extras. Salt and alcohol will cause a little weight gain so limit those and drink a lot of water. Water will flush it out.

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BREAKFAST: Eat within an hour of getting out of bed. This gets your metabolism going. Eat a protein and a carb. Not just any protein or carb. Eat LEAN protein and carbs that are low on the glycemic index. Look them up. Make a list of the items you like and can afford to purchase for your diet. Try low-fat, low-calorie yogurt and 1/2 of a whole wheat bagel or a serving of granola cereal and 1/2 cup of low-fat milk. There are many possibilities.

AM SNACK: 2-3 hours after breakfast have a snack. Your snack should be a LEAN protein at this time. Try a boiled egg, yogurt, or a palmful of nuts. It’s a great time to have a glass of water too!

LUNCH: 2-3 hours after your snack, have lunch. Have 1 LEAN protein and 1 carb, again low on the glycemic index. This is a great time to add 2 servings of veggies! If you love salads like I do, be sure to limit your salad dressings to 1 tablespoon. You could have tuna salad with wheat crackers or a turkey burger with a small wheat bun.

PM SNACK: 2-3 hours after lunch, have another snack. This time, have a LEAN protein and a carb. Could be an apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter, or wheat crackers and a tablespoon of cream cheese. Don’t forget the water!

DINNER: 2-3 hours after your snack have dinner. Here’s where you get 2 LEAN proteins and a carb. You could have a chicken enchilada with cheese, or salmon and 1/2 baked sweet potato. Don’t forget to add 2 servings of veggies!

AFTER DINNER SNACK: 2-3 hours after dinner, choose a cookie, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, fruit or a brownie. Be sure to stick to one portion! You have to treat yourself or you will go nuts! Trust me, every single time I have tried to cut out my favorite snacks I have felt deprived and it just doesn’t work! Have your sweet or salty snack and then STOP!

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Just a few last things:

If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up! Just do better next time. You’re worth it!

Don’t forget to exercise a little. Every little bit counts.

Don’t weigh yourself every day. Weigh yourself once a week, in the morning.

Make yourself accountable. Write down everything you eat and drink, including calories. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Be honest with yourself. Reward yourself but not with food. When you lose 10 pounds, buy a new dress or new purse. Be kind to yourself. You didn’t gain the extra 10/20/30 pounds overnight. You’re not going to lose it overnight.

Create an inspiration board. I put post-it notes all over one wall where I can see it from my desk. My granddaughter even added one for me.

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I hope this will help someone. I know how it feels to not get any help from doctors. I know what it’s like to lose a little weight and then gain it back. I know how hopeless a person feels after trying so hard to lose, only to gain. It’s frustrating. It makes you feel like a failure. You’re NOT a failure. You just haven’t found what works for you. Just keep trying. NEVER give up! I’m here for moral support if anyone is in need.

Seriously, I’m here.

 

Wings, Crunch!

Yesterday, Dad and I headed out to the nearest Walgreen’s, which isn’t very near I might add. He needed a refill on his antibiotic ointment and he had a new script for an oral antibiotic – both for the cellulitis on his lower left leg. I had been telling him for weeks, if not months, to go to the doctor and have that rash looked at. It started as what looked like a bug bite and then developed into a round rash, the size of a silver dollar. It just kept growing and growing, until it was covering nearly his entire lower leg. He just wouldn’t go to the doctor. He kept telling me, “I have an appointment in October.” Um. Ok. So what? When I took him for his Lifeline screening last week they told him he needs to have that looked at because it might be infected….so then he decided it was a good idea to go to the doctor! Geez. Anyway, I digress.

At Walgreen’s, we dropped off the new script and the old, to have them filled. We then went on to have lunch. We decided on Buffalo Wild Wings because it was half-price Tuesday! We each ordered a small wing basket (10 wings each) with a side of fries. We couldn’t eat them all; I only ate 3 of mine and the fries. I think Dad ate 4 and some fries. We always end up taking some home, which is great because then I don’t have to worry about making anything for dinner. I think anyone would agree that that’s always a good deal! We asked the server for a couple of boxes to take our food home in and then we were on our way, back to Walgreen’s to pick up Dad’s meds.

On the way out to the parking lot, Dad dropped one of the boxes. Ugh! It just happened to be mine. The box popped open and a few of my wings hit the asphalt! OMG. Dad scooped them up and put them back in the box, getting wing sauce all over his hands. Good grief. Good thing I grabbed a few wet wipes off the table! But OMG, my wings! He felt bad and said I could have his but I didn’t want him to feel bad or for him to not have any wings for later. I told him not to worry about it because I could rinse them off. After all, I have hot sauce at home that I can coat them with after I rinse them off. Ugh. My wings!! (Maybe with extra crunch!)

At Walgreen’s the lady informed us that Dad’s insurance won’t cover the cream until the following day. He was already out of the cream. The oral antibiotic couldn’t be filled until the day after next. So, this was a wasted trip and we have to go back on Friday to pick them up. Bureaucratic bull squirt is all it is.

On the way home, we stopped to get gas. The screen on the gas pump said, “Thank you for shopping with us…..” on the first screen and then the next screen said, “…today.” We had to chuckle about it because of course, it’s today! Why even say, “today?” It would never say, “Thank you for shopping with us last Thursday” or “Thank you for shopping with us tomorrow.” Of course, it’s today!

I find humor in the dumbest things!

Oh, and I rinsed my wings off pretty good, coated them in my own hot sauce, heated them and you would have never known they had been dropped on the asphalt! Ha!