Friday, February 24, 2012

Taking Chronic Disease Management Class

To keep my location more private, I don't want to say the exact name of this class, but it is for people dealing with chronic health conditions and being held by a local agency for the elderly and disabled. They know about my housebound issues but so far the weather has been my friend on the day the class is held. I figure it may have something to teach me, even in terms of day to day functioning and survival. I would like to think I had tried my best in trying to survive. This class meets for 6 weeks, and teaches everything from goal-setting, nutrition, exercise, and communication with doctors. That latter thing for me will be of utmost importance. Many of the people did seem to be in better shape but I know disabilities often are "hidden" too, while many of mine are visible, some are not. I am looking forward to what this class may offer. My first "goal" is to lift can weights for 15 minutes a day followed or preceded by my apartment walk. In 2008, I could not even do 5 repetitions. There are things where help is needed and hopefully these are the folks with some answers at least.

I want a home!

Some personal life issues are coming up and one of the latest is telling a family member, "I am not going to move anymore". They may decide to move on or not but I have drawn a line in the sand.  When one is fat and been sick, they want to have others by their side. They want to know people in real life, not just on a screen or on a phone. They want friends. They get tired of seeing the back end of people. They want people who "know" them.

Some time ago I wrote about losing my last small town, and while I faced the grief of that for many years, I  made up my mind to seek friends and connections here too which I have started to find.  Being told by the rolling stone family member, "it's time to move again". I asked them, "Are you nuts?" I have told them recently, "No I will not." There comes a time in every person's life like this, what will you tolerate and what will you not? I could be hanging on the cliff even with the nursing home awaiting, but I am tired of giving up what I value and care about and will not anymore.

When one is poor, the economic nomad nonsense, that the upper middle class subscribes to for career advancement is a waste of time. Take it from me, unless the corporation is going to add $50,000 bucks to your salary every year you move, stay in one place even even then question the wisdom of ripping up roots, and realizing you are left with nothing. Working class and poorer people like me, stay by your friends, that is your riches. I should have never moved from the one loved community and letting economic desperation direct some bad decisions. As one gets older, and lacks money for visits, even your family will become nothing but a series of strangers you exchange holiday and birthday cards with. Who wants to live life alone and unknown? Doesn't one want other people even to give to?

Of course when one moves and sacrifices so much and the other party does not keep their end of the bargain, things do start disintegrating. I am one fat woman, that has tired of facing poverty and the street, and knows poverty is easier and better with some friends who are at your side. So having reached my middle age, I drew the line in the sand and said, "We will either stay in this community, or move back to the former one". "Nothing else will be tolerated". Sometimes you have to do for yourself what you need to do.

They can make what choice they want to make, but I've drawn my marker. I think being someone that wants others to be happy, that in this case, I forgot my own happiness and I am not going to be dragged along for failed ventures anymore.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Fat Volunteer

One thing I think is important even if you end up on the low echelons of society, is to ask yourself, "What are you doing for other people?" Even if I die broke,  I do think one wants to live a life where they have done things for other people. This isn't a gospel of works, as I adhere to the gospel of grace in my religious pursuits but being led to help others is part of what life is about. Some of my most satisfying parts of life have come about via my volunteer work. If you can put a smile on someone else's face, it does help you forget about your problems, maybe I volunteer out of that personal motivation too, but that is not a bad motivation.

One thing, personality wise, I am a person of causes and desiring to speak out, and have taken on an "activist" role in different capacities during life, this includes war protesting to protesting factory farms. Fortunately, if one is willing to give, there are people out there willing to work around your health problems. So you can be given a place in the community and I've been able to find it in my old one and here too.

Even this blog, I write, in a way to defend people who are stuck in my position, I do not want to see anyone almost die like I did and one day, want to see cures, and real help for the severely fat. This is a "cause" I am committed too. For all my own personal suffering, and perhaps I bore some to tears here with the ins and outs of a body run amuck, I know this country is getting full of people like me. That said, even as severe as I have it, I can still walk, talk, shower myself, cook a meal, get in a car and drive [two miles and if its warm enough]. Many cannot, they see their lives even more destroyed by severe obesity, ending up bedbound, and there are thousands now in the nursing home. I am not kidding and they are INVISIBLE to society mostly outside the few Discovery Health channel network shows that usually focus on selling weight loss surgery.

Even in size acceptance, while some may say we are just the .05%, we are there, and should not be shunted off. There are many orphan [rare] diseases with far less patients who get far more funding and help then the severely obese. Sometimes I do go looking for websites, you know that have this focus, outside of a few fat bloggers in the upper weight echelons, there is essentially NOTHING.  So whose speaking out for those in the severe obesity camp?

I guess I am, and while it's not easy, I plan to continue as long as I am able. 

My Big Fat Valentine's

My relationship with Valentine's Day was not a good one. I dated late and didn't even have a boyfriend until I was 25 years old. In other words, we are talking extremely delayed psycho-social development, even though my obesity when young was more on the moderate-mild rather then later very severe end. An extra 40lbs was enough to be cast out from the running.  Young fat women can have it pretty tough out there in the "no fat chicks" sticker world.

As I have gotten older, I have realized there are many severely obese people who remain permanently outside of the dating game. 45 year old virgins in the super-sized fat world do exist. After what I have gone through, I am not surprised. What are fat people told constantly but "you are too fat for anyone to love you?" I wish I knew now what I did then about love. If anyone has a fat daughter or son, tell them they deserve love too, if your kid has any confidence they will not be left on the sidelines.

Being raised by a family, that told me I was too big, ugly and large to attract anyone, did not do favors for my dating confidence. One thing, perhaps some can tell by vestiges of my posts here, my upbringing had some problems. I didn't get pats on the head but a LOT of criticisms. Being big, fat and later poor was not the child my parents wanted and they felt gypped. Even with a college degree in art education and nearly another in paralegal studies [I was switching to something more practical tired of art teaching cut-backs and wanting job that demanded less physically], I was their "DISAPPOINTMENT". Even though once in a moment of pique, I asked my mother "Why'd you marry the man with the 450lb mother?" What did they expect?

One of those messages was "You are too big, for any man to ever date you!" said when the fat ratio was lower and I was more on the amazonian side. Which was strange, what was I supposed to do SHRINK? I would later lose 4 inches from osteoporosis [according to one osteopath], and still am not used to the difference between 5 foot 11 and now 5 foot 7. I dare say there were a few interested parties, but being left in a heap of dateless Saturday nights and realizing my life was not going the same way as other girls, made my self esteem sink into a hole and I was not in the place to even recognize the would be suitors existed. Sadly with a few, I probably thought they were just making fun of me or not taking them seriously. I still remember this one poor hapless fellow I unknowingly blew off at the computer lab in college. Ah to go back to those days and give myself a shake to clear my own mind, I wish!

One thing even worse, was there were family rumors, that I was actually homosexual and that is why I was not dating normally. The undiagnosed PCOS and androgen problems butching the heck out of me did not help. I was bigger, hairier and far more aggressive then other girls. However I have only been attracted to men. Oddly and ironically, my desire has been for bigger [not necesssarily fatter] and taller men. Having one's own father tell me, "You can bring your girlfriend home", in a spirit of "tolerance" because I had not had a boyfriend by age 22, was weird and spoke volumes even as to how little my own family knew me. Once they figured out, my heart was set on men, then I got to listen to "Are you going to be an old maid?" When my thin sister married at the age of 19, this question only got more intense.

So Valentine's Day for me was usually a day spent crying my eyes out. Which was dumb looking back, why are we not telling young people who are not coupled up, to do other things with their lives or have enough confidence within themselves? Why is every woman judged on if she has married or not or if she is popular with the men? Oh I didn't woefully cry over no boyfriend everyday as I was busy working my butt off even just trying to survive, had my fun times with close friends, and was already teaching and volunteering, with the poor health making things even harder, but Valentine's Day used to hit me in the gut. I told people it was unlikely I would ever marry and just didn't want to mess with it anymore.

Add to this unrequited love when I was 22 or thereabouts, already teaching, meeting someone I was interested in who another friend whisked away and started living with at the time. He would later cheat on her and I would realize mixed together we would have been volatile, but I filled journal after journal lamenting lost love. Ready to spill into a pile of tears at any second. It was a bad scene. I needed God and more strength in myself instead of seeking after what other people couldn't give me.

Anyhow, later I would finally meet Mr. Five Hundred Pound Peep. The family would say "There goes two peas in the strange pod". It was heart pounding love, where we were kissing by the second date, and going nuts over each other. Of course I was akin to a 14 year old at the age of 25 due to lack of experience but I was in love. FINALLY.  

See: "The World Fattest Bride?" Yes really I could have been.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Searching for a New Endocrinologist

I need to get a new endocrinologist.

I've had two good ones, the doctor who took me pro-bono when he saw how sick I was and did thyroid tests and the second long time small town doctor [he was from Ghana] but excellent who diagnosed the PCOS and Pseudo-Cushings, found troubling adrenal issues and allowed me have 10 more years plus of life. My last nurse physician was very good too, and there they dealt with some para-thyroid issues and other things I was dealing with.

The present one endocrinologist I have, he just doesn't listen. Remember he is not my only doctor but an adjacent specialist. He seems to know a lot about diabetes which I like, but the rest well it is not so good. He rubs his chin and says odd things like "you are the fattest patient, I have ever had who has ever been a "controlled" diabetic, and tells me, yes the woman with serious bowel and digestive issues and respiratory problems that are so bad, I can't even go outside in cold weather, to go sign up for the torture called weight loss surgery. Even after I said to him directly, "Are you nuts?" I'm barfing my guts out now already!" I ask him things about PCOS and he just doesn't seem to know which worries me greatly.

I am noticing some NEW TROUBLING symptoms, and I need someone who is not going to brush me off or has given up on me as would be nursing home material that is not going to get any better. I do wish my stress levels and financial pressures would ease up a bit. I barely stayed out of the hospital the other day having this boil become infected. Thank goodness it was far up enough and on the good leg so I had a chance to fight it off, and used colloidal silver on it, but I was left weak and tired. The doctors did call in some antibiotics. I try to delay using those if I can, because I'm allergic to so many and have developed new allergies to some that even used to save my life.

Some weird symptoms now include being very low on Vit D even taking 50,000 units a week, having past parathyroid problems, which seemed to be alleviated, they were testing them for a time but told me lately they were now normal, my acanthosis nigricans is getting far worse, skin on the back of my thighs is turning brown black, and I can tell I am getting more oily and greasy, and the best way I can describe things,"SWARTHY" even being on Spiro. So that probably means the androgens and testosterone are jacked sky-high again. Something is off, I know it. They say my TSH is normal around 1.0 but I am taking .475 of Synthroid to keep it there which I have heard is such a huge amount even the pharmacists have double checked it.

I have not gained weight, in fact have lost around 70 [way too slow over the last 5 years] but then even keeping the amount of weight I have kept on my body, is scaring me, compared to the food I do eat.

I have asked for help from medical researchers etc, for years. My body sometimes feels like a total enemy. Seems again, I will have to try and convince some recalcitrant types to do some necessary testing. I have ordered OLD records that are 7 years old from the doctor who diagnosed me with the original PCOS and rest. My recent day to day good housecall doctor just left for a new job. I am kind of scared frankly because the fat bigots do outnumber the good ones.

It was good to find out the housecall doctors did have the old records on file, but why were they stored in the main office instead of the one closest to me? I know some of these folks will not believe me when I say "I have PCOS", I better have PROOF.



Friday, February 10, 2012

Dr. OZ presents the Obesity Hegelian Dialectic!

LOL, I know that title would get a little attention.

I wish I could have been there...

[no, wait a minute, no I don't]

But remember these are the TWO SIDES I speak of where the truth falls through the middle...

the "in denial, I love to be fat" crowd, vs, the let the doctor bash us, foist health destroying weight loss surgery or more diets that fail garbage on the other end.

And nothing really changes, and no real help, and no real truth.

Are Fido and Fluffy Greedy Gluttons Lacking Willpower?

More than half of America's pets are obese, survey shows

It's the chemicals, people. Dog and cat food is full of so much crud.

I don't think Fido and Fluffy woke up one day, hating exercise, and wanting to get big and fat.

Hmm some think it's from feeding "grains" to dogs and cats. Whoever came up with that bright idea when they all mostly eat meat in the wild?

It's interesting what this vet website says about cats eating too much to get protein out of deficient food.

Add This One to the Fat People Are Hungrier Files

Fat people may be overweight because their brains say ‘keep on eating’ even when they don’t need the calories

The results showed that morbidly obese subjects had a significantly higher glucose metabolism in the striatal region of the brain than lean participants.

This region is responsible for rewarding emotions and desires.

These findings are yet another step towards understanding how brain responses vary in people with weight problems.

Lead researcher Professor Lauri Nummenmaa from the University of Turku in Finland said: 'The results suggest that obese individuals' brains might constantly generate signals that promote eating even when the body would not require additional energy uptake.'

It is now hoped that the discovery will help develop more effective obesity intervention strategies.

Seriously why should we even get hungry if our bodies don't need the food. This may sound semi-eating disordered but sometimes I enjoy the freedom from hunger pain and appetite that light illness can bring. I often have in my imagination and have wonder is this what it is like for non-insulin resistance thin people where they can take or leave food for hours? Anyhow any of you fat people out there, as the hunger pains hit, or realize you can't go 12 hours without eating without feeling sick, think to yourselves, why does my stupid body WANT the food, if it's just going to pile on more fat?

But hey I agree with this commenter too...weird how people online are "smarter" then many of the "experts" who just hound us to death about our failed will-powers.

Strangely enough, folks. all human beings are INDIVIDUALS. We are not all the same sex, height and shoe size. And our metabolism rates vary too. The "eat too much, exercise too little" argument is the classic example of the "causal oversimplication" fallacy. The human body is a highly complex machine and many factors, some more than others, some known, some suspected and some unknown, all contribute to heart disease, cancer........ and obesity.
The rest of the commenters just continue with their social programming zombie responses of all the fat people overeat because they are jerks, or something like that, that never makes any sense.

What Do I Make For Dinner?

You won't find anything like this to eat in my town....

It's getting harder to figure out what to eat.

I really am unhappy with the quality of food where I live, I feel like my access to good food has become limited, it improves during the spring and summer months. But there is too many times, I am just eating whatever I can afford or my husband can scrounge up. The town we live in, if you do not want Chinese food, or cheese or MSG laden subs, pizza, or hamburgers and don't have 50 bucks per meal per person for the more exclusive restaurants, this is an absolute culinary wasteland. Oddly this isn't just my imagination, a few online even agree.

The guy from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives would be bawling his eyes out to see the greasy french fries and limpid chicken sandwiches they call food around here. In other words, unless you are rich, they phone it in. And there's no health food store or deli in this place, which just astounds me as I lived in a little ho-dunk middle of nowhere rural town that even had a health food-co-op right downtown.

Today being sick and housebound from cold, I told my husband to get me salad off the grocery store salad bar which he did, lettuce, carrots, beets, peas, fresh mushrooms, some pieces of cut up chicken, and I ate some of that and saved half for tomorrow, and ended up eating some of his frozen pizza--[the one brand with no MSG] except in my case, I peel all the cheese off, which can be like doing pizza surgery before I eat it, but thoughts of "white flour" alert" goes through my head. The night before as I was ill and tried to figure out what to cook, I told him get me some chicken tenderloins and I made that with veggies to put in some tortillas. Why was I cooking dinner at 11:00pm? It sometimes becomes a task I put off and I think my habit of snacking on half of dill pickles or even occasional fruit like grapes to stave off hunger is doing more damage then good. Why can't I find something healthy to eat in this place without having to dedicate at least an HOUR to cooking?

It's getting harder to afford food and put it together and with all the food allergies to even figure out what to eat in the first place. One thing I have noticed with cash, to buy boatloads of veggies or fruit, to make stir frys or make an Amy's meal, its far easier but the short times, even finding something I can afford to eat is hard. Some may say why didn't you make your own salad, I did with dinner the last two days, from scratch and ate lots of chopped up cucumbers and oranges, but trying to figure out what to eat is hard and getting worse. Does anyone else face this?

It's getting bad. Sometimes I dread when my husband comes up to me, "What are we going to have for dinner?", and if we are broke and on the last 20 dollars, my answer is often "I do not know.", lately is has been "I do not care!". There are times in one's adult life where they wish they weren't the cook in the household and someone else could worry about it for a bit. Don't tell me to tell the husband to cook, he is already running too many errands, my recalcitrant body demands, even in this cold weather. Lately I see eating as a nuisance, something I almost do out of habit to keep the fuzzy vision, hunger pains and rest away from me. Most food is gross to me. Are My taste buds are dying with age? Maybe I'll eventually lose more weight because all of this has just made me lose my appetite more.

Anonymous Comments Now Allowed

Hopefully that will make commenting here easier, since not everyone has a gmail account. They are still under moderation but I check in usually daily or every two days. Thanks.