Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Go Big or Go Home

I've always been the nerd who pushed herself to the limit when it came to grades and school.  If someone got a 97 on a test, I needed to be the one who got a 98. Unfortunately, sometimes having a high score isn't always the best thing in the world.

Case in point, my thyroid.  I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease/hypothyroidism four years ago while having trouble conceiving our second child.  Basically, it means that your thyroid doesn't produce enough hormones to balance your body and metabolism.  For four years now, I've been on medication to regulate it but, if you've read my recent blogs here and there, I've been feeling really shitty as of late between the weight gain, surgery, and pain. And thus, I went to the doctor who I screamed about in my last blog and had blood work done.  In keeping with her "I don't give a shit" manner, when the results came in, her nurse informed me that my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels were "high" and that I needed to go back to my endocrinologist.  I already had an appointment with my endo for the 21st of August so I didn't think to worry.  On a whim today, I decided to look up my lab results on my patient profile online.  The results of my TSH screen floored me and further validated my feelings that doctors today could give two shits about you.

The results were as follows: 

Normal levels of the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) range between .5 - 4.5. My lab results came back and (despite my daily dosage of 200 mcgs of synthroid) my TSH level is at a 10.71!!!!!!

10.71 people.  My thyroid is simply a decorative accessory or lazy motherfucker that just sits there and does nothing.  EVERYTHING I have been doing to lose weight, to feel better, to alleviate this pain has been pretty much for naught.

So, on a whim, I decided to look up the symptoms of hypothyroidism.  I mean, I know I already have it, but I just wanted to refresh my memory.  Remember, I've been dealing with this crap for 4 years.  So here are the symptoms (with my commentary).
  • Fatigue (I'm a mother.  This is a given for anyone of us.)
  • Increased sensitivity to cold (I live in Florida. "Cold" is 72 degrees)
  • Constipation (I eat so much salad and leafy greens that the toilet is my best friend)
  • Dry skin (Yep.  Me and lotion are like "this".)
  • Unexplained weight gain (Well, when I was pregnant, I could explain it.  Now?  Not so much)
  • Puffy face (That pretty much goes hand in hand with being a big fatass)
  • Hoarseness (This one is true as well.  I've found it hard to talk sometimes, feeling like I'm pushing the words out of my throat. I sound like a skvitchery old lady)
  • Muscle weakness (Let's just say that I cannot star in "Over the Top" at any point)
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level (I was told my cholesterol was "high" by the "caring doctor")
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness (No comment)
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints (Really, no comment)
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods (When my period decides to show up, every six months or so, it's like a fucking episode of Dexter down there)
  • Thinning hair (Yep, and no amount of Garnier Fructis Volume Enhance will change that)
  • Slowed heart rate (Probably but I'm not sur.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)
  • Depression (I don't need a fancy named thyroid problem to be depressed, baby)
  • Impaired memory (Huh? Wait?  Where am I?  What is this place?)
I'm no doctor (although I think I have more compassion than some), but I'm guessing that all of this bullshit I am going through is related to this 10.71 TSH level.  You think?

Hope to get some answers soon.  But really, 10.71 TSH and your nurse simply says "it's high"?  Epic fail.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Paining and Gaining

A few months ago I casually mentioned to a friend that I wanted to express on my blog the troubles, both physical and emotional, that I've been having since my spinal surgery in May 2012.  My friend vehemently opposed such an idea, telling me that I would come across as a "whiner" and would just annoy people with my "looking for sympathy" post and that I should just "deal with" whatever I was going through and leave the "sob story" for other bloggers.  So, I didn't post and I carried on with my life.  But as of late, I'm getting sick and tired of being, well, sick and tired, and I'm at the point now where I just want to say a big ol' "fuck you" to everyone and everything.  I'm not here to give a sob story or whine about how bad my life is, but I am here to vent and get my shit out in the open and maybe, just maybe, shed light and understanding as to why I am the way I am lately and feel the way I feel.

First off, I'm pretty much done with the medical community and doctors in general.  They don't give a shit about their patients.  Especially ones who are overweight like myself and who are begging and pleading for some help.  Fuck you. Fuck you. And fuck you.  Just because I'm fat doesn't mean you can dismiss all of my problems to the "she's fat" category and tell me to diet and exercise.  Guess what?  I'm on a fucking 1200 calorie a day diet already and I'm pushing through excruciating pain to get to the gym at least three times a week.  So don't tell me about "diet and exercise".  What the fuck do you want me to do?  Eat air and damage my spine even more just so I can be your idea of "healthy"?  Fuck you. Fuck you. And Fuck you too.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Before I had my back surgery I went to countless doctors, explaining to them that I had horrible pain shooting down my left leg and that I knew something was wrong.  All of them.  ALL OF THEM said "You're fat. You have sciatica. Lose weight."  Look, I know my body (all of it) and I knew that we weren't dealing with sciatica.  I begged for MRIs and scans, telling these doctors that this was much more than sciatica and that I was in agony and all they saw was a fat girl complaining about her back.  No one listened to me.  And finally MONTHS after I begged to be heard and scanned, I had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance, pumped full of morphine, and told casually by a doctor (13 hours after I had been admitted) that I "needed surgery yesterday".  Gee?  You FUCKING THINK SO?!?!?!

And now, 14 months after my spinal surgery, I am back to square one.  But, as though the Universe were playing a cruel joke, the pains are now down my right leg and my back hurts so bad that there are days where walking the few steps to the kitchen seems like the Exodus out of Egypt.  And the carousel of doctors has begun again.  I tell them my pain, they see a fat girl complaining about her back.  This last doctor put me over the edge today.  After 10 days of waiting for lab results from blood tests, her assistant calls me to tell me that the doctor, after reviewing my results, recommends "diet and exercise".  REALLY?  REA-FUCKING-LLY????  I spent an hour in her office explaining to her my diet, showing her my food journal, explaining to her that I was stuck in a vicious cycle of being overweight and in pain which prevented me from exercising as fully I wanted which was because I was overweight and in pain which prevented me from exercising as fully as I wanted because I was overweight and in pain which prevented me from exercising as fully as I wanted because I was overweight........
But no.  Apparently, she didn't listen to me either.  Apparently, NOTHING I fucking said registered other than "she's fat and whining about her back".

Let me tell you something, unlike most of the fat asses that I see stuffing their faces with whatever the fuck they want and sitting on their couches all day doing jack shit, I don't do that.  I don't want to do that.  I want to go bike riding.  I want to go swimming.  I want to go hiking up a goddamn mountain with my kids and then have a picnic and play frisbie.  I care that I am stuck hobbling through the grocery store using the cart as a walker.  I fucking care that ten minutes on a bike renders me IMMOBILE for the rest of the day.  I care about the foods that I put in my system and you had better believe that I care that I am not providing the best possible parenting to my children that they deserve.  I can't pick my child up when he cries.  I can't chaperone a field trip to the botanical gardens because there's too much walking.  I can't go for late night walks on the beach with my boys.  I can't fucking do anything without being in excruciating pain.  And with pain comes anger and I take it out on my kids.

I am a horrible mom right now.  And I know it.

I am so fucking sick and tired of this bullshit.  And I don't care who knows about it anymore.  Here's my sad story blog.  Deal with it.  I am unhappy and miserable and in constant pain.  You want me to point to the number on the chart where my pain level is at?  It's off it.  My kids are suffering, my husband is suffering (I can't ride a bike, you think SEX is easier?), and I'm fed up.

And while we are at it, let me comment on those annoyingly self serving "fitness" memes that everyone seems to be posting on Facebook as of late.  You know, the ones who are like "just get in the gym" or "being sexy is just too easy", or "no excuses for being fit".  A giant fuck you to you too.  And a giant fuck you to the comments on those memes about "fat people just need to stop eating" or "fat people need to get off the couch" or even those lovely ones about how "fat acceptance is just ugly people trying to make themselves feel better".  Screw you.  You have no idea why some of us are suffering inside these giant bodies.  Screw you if you think I wouldn't kill to be able to go back to my Yoga class and ride my bike again.  Screw you for not having to deal with horrible pain on a daily basis.  Screw you for not needing your child to help you put your shoes on because you can't bend over to do it yourself.

I'm tired of doing what I am supposed to do and getting no help and no results.  After my surgery I blew up from being so inactive that I put on a ton of weight.  I've managed to get 50 pounds of that weight off and now I've been hindered with the return of pain and I've virtually come to a standstill.  I went to the aforementioned doctor to seek guidance, help, and maybe some encouragement.  "How can you help me, doctor, get through this plateau I've reached?"  "What can I do to stop this pain?"  "Can you recommend some physical therapy?"  "Can I please have an MRI?"  "Help Me."

You're fat.  Diet and Exercise.  Thank you, drive through.