On a Mission
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: La Plata, MD
Newbie with unknown obstacles
It's hard to even figure out where to begin. I guess I'll just start with how I came upon this site and fill in from there.
I've been seeing an endocrinologist for about 6 months after seeing a slightly elevated thyroid reading and being told it was normal from an internist. Well, an internist's front desk person after 3 weeks of waiting for them to call me. Anyway.
Yesterday, I had my follow up with the endo about my 6 month blood tests and second GTT. My cholesterol is fabulous, good blood pressure as always, vitamin D is low but better than the last two times (28 to start, 21 after 3 months of TAKING vitamin D, and 33 this last time). My thyroid has been within normal limits the whole time I've been seeing this guy, but he has me on Synthroid to get it lower because of the results I brought to him on my first visit.
The GTT is where things get bad. Everything was high the first time around, so he put me on Metformin twice a day. After the first 3 or so months, I figured out that my stomach problems were related and I had to stop taking it during the day. I can take it at bedtime without being sick all day long. But even with that, my insulin levels were all up from 6 months ago and my fasting glucose and 2 hour glucose were up from 6 months ago with the 2 hour glucose hitting the pre-diabetes range. He hasn't diagnosed me as pre-diabetic but wants me to try taking another diabetes medicine to help get things under control instead of hitting that point.
Yesterday, he prescribed Byetta which kind of scares me, so I was looking for more info which is how I found these forums. Even the slightest chance of an increase in energy, which he says this should provide, is worth checking things out, even without possible weight loss. Energy would lead to weight loss, I believe, because I could actually feel like exercising.
I am currently 286 pounds. I think the highest I've ever been hit at 289. One year ago, I was 171, which was the highest at that time, and I tried Nutrisystem. I liked the forums ok for support, but the food was awful to me. I'm such a picky eater, really, that it's not funny. Some of it was edible, so I decided to do a second month picking out the things that I liked. Instead of everything I requested for lunch, I got 30 of one of the things I found to be the nastiest and canceled my sub. Around that time, my now husband moved in which impacted how and what I ate as well. He's supportive, though, and sees that he needs to start making changes for his future as well. His only obstacles, though, are from his brain.
I, on the other hand, have been fighting so many things without reason that it's hard to know where to begin. I have a sleeping disorder of some unknown kind. I sleep, but I don't get rest. The two sleep studies I've had show no apnea but that my brain actually fights itself out of REM within a minute of entering it. This leaves me tired all the time. The most I can get from anyone is wow, that sucks. I take Trazodone every night to keep me from waking up every hour which at least helps me stay functional.
On top of that, I have what I've come to refer to as phantom pains. Most of them come and go, some only once before disappearing forever. The pains started about 4 years ago in my right knee. It was constant, and it was bad. At the time I had no insurance, but my aunt who is a doctor suggested I try not to use it and see if it got better. How do you not use your knee when working a minimum wage job at a coffee shop to pay the rent? Yeah. Since then, I've had it x-ray'd to find no problems, which is also what was said when I had an ankle pain and a pain in the top of my foot. My knee isn't as consistently bad as it was in the beginning, but it does hurt most every day. Along with it, my other knee hurts sometimes, I still have random periodic pains in my ankles and shoulders, although more in the right shoulder than the left. Actually, now that I think about it, the shoulder pain started about 8 years ago and stuck around for a few before disappearing for 4 or 5 years. Plus with all of this there have been periods of headaches every day with occasional migraines. The biggest problems for me are the pains and lack of energy. Those definitely inhibit a desire to exercise.
My weight struggles began at 5 years old when I went out of town with my grandmother, a former nutritionist, for 2 weeks. Despite her training, my grandmother didn't really live by it. She was one of those "Eat everything on your plate and then have two desserts" people, especially since she didn't know how to deal with a child. I gained around 30 pounds that trip. As a child, you don't really see yourself and how weight plays a factor, at least not 20 years ago.
From there, I was always heavier than my classmates. That's probably where my sweet issues began, too. I don't think being heavy really bothered me that much until I was around 14, and even then, I didn't feel all that bad. I was 135 but carried my weight well. I was confidant, I was pain free, and that was when I was still sleeping like a normal human being. I was just larger than most of the other people at school. I didn't really check my weight at all back then, I just remember that I was wearing boy's clothes with that whole skater fashion. Big pants and big shirts were cool, so I didn't even realize I had a figure until I was 17 and a size 12. I had the poochy tummy, but seriously, most normal people have a little pooch. I look at the pics from back then and I think I look emaciated. It could just be the drastic difference between now and then, what with being twice as large. I look at those pics and see myself in the mirror and feel like I ate that person.
When I left for college, I was 161 which really isn't shabby at all. I still felt bigger than other people, but I really did look pretty good. If I could go back to any weight, it would probably be then. I lost about 16 pounds my first semester of college but gained it all back by Sophomore year. It seems to have just kept going up from there, mostly thanks to anti-depressants. I was seeing doctors around then trying to get a handle on things which included trying Zoloft (hungry ALL the time but food made me sick, eventually the drug gave me the shakes and killed my concentration), Effexor (which got me up to the 185 point), and eventually Lexapro which I'm still on. By the time I graduated college, I was 212 but stayed there comfortably for a while. It wasn't until I started working my first big girl job that I jumped up to 230. Stress from work and poor eating from working night shift helped with that, but I vowed to take control.
Three years ago, I joined a gym, started seeing a personal trainer, and all that good stuff. I stuck to eating mostly baked chicken with various sides, make sure to stick to portions. I started taking my dinner to work with me and eating it in two halves -- half around 5p and half around 8p. I lost 30 pounds in around 3 months, and I felt great. Slowly, though, as I bought my first house and found myself too far away from my gym, I got out of my habits. Luckily, I didn't gain for a while, until I met my husband. He also loves food and until recently has been able to eat whatever he wants without consequence. We spent a lot of our first year together eating great things, and slowly the 30 pounds crept back. Then it crept to 40 and 45 and 50 and 55. And then I quit smoking (2 years yesterday, **** yeah!) and I hit 270, which as I said before led me to Nutrisystem and brings us back to the beginning of my tale.
This time, I need to change for more than just how I feel. I need to change for my health, for my husband's health, and for the health of our future children. I need to lose weight and learn better habits and find a way to exercise despite the pain and tiredness. I know that I can do it if I focus on it, even though I know it will take time. I know that if I lose weight, I will feel better. I know that I felt better 80 pounds ago even with the work stress. This is a struggle that I need to face, that I need to defeat, and I will need more than myself to be able to get there.
I am hoping that, if nothing else, the Byetta can help give me a kick start on my body's control, on having to re-train myself to handle portions better, on so many different things.
Here's to another chance.