Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Height: 5' 7"
Hi from San Diego :-)
My name is Darcy and I reside in San Diego, CA, with my husband and 3 sons. As much as I've tried to denied that another decade has snuck up on me, it truly has and I need to take ownership of that -- and after cruising through the Golden Girls thread, turning 50 seems to put me in the company of a great group of women I'd love to join, so I'm posting my bio now and then will dive in to the other thread. Sorry for the length, but thought I'd throw my story out there in detail up front. :-)
In my past life, I majored in horticulture but was never able to be employed in that capacity. Instead, I went through a 2-year internship/training program as a budget analyst for the Dept. of Defense and worked as a budget analyst afterwards for several years, where I met my husband. When our first baby was born and childcare fell apart, I quit my job to stay home with him. It didn't take long to realize that wasn't going to work the way we thought it would financially, so I was in need of a new career I could do from home, so after a training course I became a medical transcriptionist because I always loved all things medical. What started out as a part-time job quickly morphed to a full-time job with crazy hours and long nights, not at all condusive to good health. Adding on a 2nd job didn't help with that, but allowed me the chance to move into management and expand my horizons a bit, but my hours sitting in front of a computer continued to grow, and exercise and eating right took an "easy" back seat. From that point on, it seemed to be a matter of "if I exercise for an hour, that just means I'll be up an extra hour tonight working to make up for it", and with my short hours in bed every night, it was a no-brainer to talk myself out of exercising. Add in 2 more kids and.....well, you know the result!
Back in 2005, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but at the same time I was waiting for a diagnosis, my doctor was worried about my blood pressure and blood sugar and was so focused on those that he dismissed the RA symptoms (told me just to take a couple ibuprofen a day until I saw the rheumatologist for confirmation of the diagnosis -- like that type of pain would be fixed with ibuprofen? I think not! Not to mention the pain and stress of the condition definitely raised both blood pressure and blood sugar). He threatened that if I didn't lose weight and get my blood pressure and blood sugar under control, I'd be on 5 different medicines for the rest of my life. I didn't like his attitude at all, but I started dieting and after the prednisone started helping with the pain and stiffness, I also started walking -- I lost 19 lbs in 6 weeks, 10 of that while on prednisone. I was so excited about my next appointment and showing him what I accomplished, but when I got there he walked in, looked at the sheet on the chart with the current weight and said "If you think you can control this with diet and exercise alone, you need to lose at least 10 pounds." I was so hurt. I said "Did you not notice the 19 lbs I already lost?" To which he replied "well, obviously you're working at it." The tone was so condenscending and I was crushed. It took all I had to keep it together through that appointment, but I broke down in tears back in the car, bought a very off-limit treat on the way home, and began a downward spiral food-wise that undid all that hard work and I gained the weight back. Needless to say, I never returned to him -- and never took the time to find a replacement doctor either. I obviously had done all the work for him rather than me, and that was a huge mistake.
Two years ago, I got sick with a fever and then a cough that wouldn't go away. My OB/GYN and rheumatologist both had appointments with me during the weeks I had that and both thought it sounded viral, so I didn't bother getting it checked. But after 3 weeks, it was still there, so my husband finally called and got me an appt. with another physician because I hadn't done so. I was diagnosed with pneumonia but also found a great doctor I felt I could really work with, who actually took his time with his patients. I was sick, but oh-so happy too! I never scheduled a physical, but saw him for a couple of acute visits, still kind of in denial of any lurking problems there might be.
In May of this year, I saw my rheumatologist, who noted my blood pressure was high. I got home and had a call waiting from my primary doctor's office asking me to schedule a visit to discuss it. It was high that day too, and I could no longer deny there was an issue, since these 2 visits were both when I was feeling good! I bought a blood pressure meter and tested many times a day for 2 weeks and took in the readings -- not really high, but with the history of high readings and mine in the 120s/130s, he opted to start me on lisinopril. Didn't take long after turning 50 in Feb to start falling apart. LOL He ran a bunch of labs and while glucose was borderline, everything else was normal and surprised me (and allowed me to stay in denial). I had a follow-up in July, with the same labs run again, and glucose had increased, as had A1c and cholesterol -- and my weight was up by 4 lbs, despite no real change in a not great diet and no exercise happening over those 2 months. Blood pressure was great, but suddenly that wasn't the real concern. I told him I knew what I needed to do but hadn't managed to find the time to do it. He said "I'm giving you 2 months to get your butt in gear and start walking and watching your diet, and then we'll repeat labs and go from there." If it's not better, I'll be on the meds for blood sugar, cholesterol, aspirin, etc. Having a doctor who is willing to work with me, supports me, encourages without threatening --- wow, makes a huge difference in how I accept it. I'm truly willing to work with him and make this happen this time!
So, I'm not on any specific program or diet yet, as I'm not sure which way I want to go, but I'm watching portions and have cut out all snack foods, cookies, etc. I'm finding it much easier to reach for veggies, cashews, fruit, etc. for snacks rather than the easy carbs I would have grabbed before (at least in these early days). I'm not able to walk consistently every day yet due to work demands, but I have worked in some walks since my last appointment, and have even gotten my kids out with me for some. I've only lost 3 pounds, but it's a start and the eating habits have to be helping, even if just mentally right now, to set me up to keep going later on. I think the support and accountability from 3FC and the Golden Girls will help me stay on track, and I'm really looking forward to becoming part of the group!