Friday, March 18, 2011

Not on track...

Run over by the train, is more like it.

I've been to see a physical therapist four times about my back, which turned out to be not just my back. I have medial and ulnar nerve damage in my left arm. I have lost more than half my grip strength. I have next to no pronator strength. The PT isn't 100% sure, but thinks I could also have damage to the C5 disk in my spine. I'm wearing a brace on my arm during the day and at night, and doing physical therapy exercises at home, and seeing the PT twice a week. My upper back pain has subsided quite a bit in the past week; my arm hurts like the devil.

Unfortunately, my 5 minutes a day of PT exercises has been the extent of my physical exertion for the last three weeks.

I really didn't think it could get much worse, but it has. I weighed 186 today. I've been weepy and depressed, and pushing it down with food. I finally broke down and bought some clothes last week in size 14s, and in some ways I felt like it was a gift to myself--to acknowledge what IS, and to allow myself to have something to wear that actually fits. In other ways, it was a mental defeat. I never dreamed I'd be back here again.

I finally, just yesterday, called and made an appointment with a counselor. The office I'm going to is well respected and I asked specifically for someone who deals with eating disorders and depression. My appointment is Wednesday.

I also am going to have someone start cleaning my house twice a month. I found a girl who cleans for another lady in our office building, who charges $15 an hour. Having my house clean will be a huge help.

I have so many projects and responsibilities that are hanging over my head unfinished....they mentally push me down and I often just feel helpless, like nothing ever is going to get done. Instead of finding it in myself to take baby steps and chip away a little at a time, I feel overwhelmed and do nothing. Then I feel guilty. I feel like a failure. Because I've got scrapbook stuff strung out over the living room, I've got estate stuff for my Dad that's still not done, I've got Christmas snowmen in my family room and dining room (yes, still), I've got mail at work that hasn't been opened for two months, I've got a printer at home that still isn't set up yet.... and more and more and more.

I know this is very unhealthy. I know it's related to my food issues. I'm hoping I go to the counselor next week and we can figure out how I can be "fixed." Because, despite what I hear on the Growing Human Kindness CD's, I can't convince myself I'm not broken. That's how I feel. Broken. Something's wrong, down deep, and it needs to be fixed. Clearly, I'm not in any position to fix myself right now.

The failure thing is a big issue for me right now. I can't hide my weight gain any more. I'm a walking statistic--I've regained the majority of my lost weight--and I feel like everyone I know, who gushed & praised & said how great I looked, now feels sorry for me or wonders how I've let myself get back to this size again. Whether they are thinking that or not, and regardless of how it doesn't matter what other people think, this is what I think they are thinking. And it makes me want to hide, and not participate in life.

More than anything else, that's why I finally called the counselor. I can't NOT live my life. I've been there too many times, and it sucks. I don't want to live like this any more. I just want to feel normal again.


Jill said...

Laura, do you know how many people are in your position and have no idea? I think it is GREAT that you can recognize what's going on, AND get help!! You are taking care of yourself just by doing that simple thing - getting help. And the cleaning lady? Can I tell you that I am 100% jealous?! ;) That will take a huge load off of your mind, right there. And good for you for buying clothes that fit. I think trying to squeeze into clothes that don't fit makes us even more miserable - like our jeans are mocking us because we aren't where we used to be. Screw that! Give me the bigger, kinder jeans any day! :)
So see, you are doing loving, kind things for yourself, even if it doesn't feel like it, because you know you are worthy.

I'm so sorry about your arm/back thing. Did something happen to trigger it or did it just come out of nowhere?

You will be okay, Laura. It's going to take time, but you will be okay if you keep fighting for it. I know you are tired, but don't give up. As long as you keep trying, you will get there.

Call me for ANYTHING. I'm serious.


Laura I. (G.G.) said...

Oh, Laura <>. You gotta do what you gotta do, friend. That type of pain is--it becomes everything--and it's hard to focus on ANYTHING else until it's gone. And you need something to help you cope with it--there's nothing (NOTHING) for you to be ashamed of, dear.

The food--the devil you know is better than the devil you don't, at least that's what I told myself when I was going through it. Gaining weight is better than becoming addicted to something far, far worse. You will lose what you've gained again. You were strong before and you will be strong again.

I hope I'm saying the right things. I want you to feel better so badly. Will be thinking about you and wishing you the best.

(If it makes you feel any better, my psych. is going to recommend an eating disorder therapist for me to talk to in a couple of months after I'm done with a work assignment--I've made tons and tons of progress, but I'm at a point where I believe the right kind of therapy WILL help.)

Forgive yourself, Laura. You're human and have been under loads of stress for a long time.

This too shall pass:-/

Laura N said...

You girls are making me cry. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and solidarity!

The arm/back thing is because I turned 40. Seriously. Everything just starts falling apart. Ha.

I didn't do anything specific to it, that I know of. I figured out before the PT had to tell me, that working on a laptop for almost 5 years, looking DOWN at my screen, since the latop was on my desk--instead of having my screen at eye level--has boogered up my neck. Needless to say I have my laptop on a stand now and an external keyboard and mouse at work, which is a big reason I think my back/neck isn't hurting as bad any more. The crazy thing is, my arm/grip thing sort of happened overnight. It was fine, then it wasn't. She isn't sure what that's about. We are hoping for improvement over the next week or so (she is doing ultrasound treatments on my arm to help the nerves fire & heal more quickly) and if it doesn't, then I get to have something MRI'd (neck, arm, I don't know yet). Yesterday when she pulled on my head & basically put it in traction, the pain in my arm went away. That's what makes her think my c5 joint is involved, but she's not 100% sure yet.

And did I mention none of this is paid for until I hit my $2500 deductible? Yeah, I'm basically just paying out the nose and saying screw it, I need this--that goes for therapy, house cleaning, and PT. Whatever it takes. I can't stand myself like this, and neither can anyone who lives with me, haha. Really, it's worth whatever it costs to get better. That's how bad it is now.

And, today is my 16th wedding anniversary. At least that's a happy thing. My husband is being uber-supportive of me. He's amazing.

Vickie said...

You wrote:
"I have so many projects and responsibilities that are hanging over my head unfinished....they mentally push me down and I often just feel helpless, like nothing ever is going to get done. Instead of finding it in myself to take baby steps and chip away a little at a time, I feel overwhelmed and do nothing. Then I feel guilty. I feel like a failure."

And I am writing to say I identify 1000% with those feelings. That is exactly where I started. The STUFF/projects were smothering and overwhelming and huge. I thought (literally) never in my life would I dig out from under it all.

I also was dealing with huge physical pain - migraines, knees, lower back. In pain nearly every minute of every day. It made me feel frantic. And that frantic feeling made me coccoon not move. And I couldn't sleep. That made everything worse.

I have been where you are. And I know how awful it is and I know how hard it is to dig up and out.

I did not buy actual clothes which fit (lived in sweat and pjs and overalls). and it would have helped a lot if I had.

On the scrap book stuff - I think they are setting most of us up for failure. I have read blogger mom after blogger mom who is HAUNTED by piles of scrapbook stuff. the investment, the idea of the 'family memories', the physical piles, the feelings of failure.

I have suggestions:
find a high school kid to do it for you,
get photo albums for the pics and then get 3 ring binders/sheet protectors for the bigger stuff and just put the stuff in them instead of doing the fancy pages,
filing the stuff by year and then letting Sophie do it when she is older (just having it filed by year so you have the dates is HUGE),
having your mom and sister come over and do it with you (if that would be helpful and not make it worse),
lower your standard of how fancy each page must be

Jill is very correct that most people have NO idea where they are in their process. they have NO idea what the issues even ARE. The fact that you can go into therapist and even talk about how you feel will be a very good start.

Start writing it down. Just short hand notes. So you remember all the bits when you get there. We have a lot of AHA moments when things seem so raw that it is hard to realize we will lose that clarity. But we get busy with something else and push them down, and that clarity is gone. and I think that adds to the failure feelings.

there is something about having feelings, and all the anxiety that goes with them, just floating around that is Paralyzing with a capitol P.

The very good thing about where you are right now is even the tiniest strides forward will feel HUGE. There is a lot of hope in what you write because you are taking action. You are finding yourself help.

PS - totally relate to the stacks of mail too (by the way), that has been a huge struggle in my life.

Vickie said...

noticed you did not include your weight in your title. . .

Cindy...154 said...

So glad you are getting help, counseling, house cleaning. We expect far too much of ourselves. I still have one snowman tablecloth on my island in the kitchen but all the other stuff was put away promptly this year. I have considered someone to clean the house for pay. I can't keep up either. Hang in there. Thank you for your honest posts. I know you will get through this. It is not easy but you will.

Vickie said...

You wrote:
How many hours a day do you workout? I'm sure you have it written somewhere... but would you mind replying? I know Dr. H on the Biggest Loser tells his contestants if they want to stay slim they will have to workout 90 minutes a day for 5-6 days a week, if they want to keep the weight off. This is a big reason why I regained, I think, because I pretty much stopped running and weight training. I think I'm going to have to be one of those, 90 minutes 5-6 days a week people, if I want to have a snow ball's chance of losing again and keeping it off. It seems to me that you workout at least 90 minutes a day, and probably more.

I responded:
The first thing I always think, on this topic, is most of us cannot work hard enough to burn off bad food choices. And usually that is actually NON-food choices.

My food is very balanced (I have to watch carbs because of my insulin resistance). I eat portions. I eat at meal time. I eat real/whole foods.

With that in mind, the quick answer is I am currently doing 3 hard hours in a row twice a week.

I am fatiguing muscles and then working the fatigued muscles as these classes are back to back.

I do free weights and pilates with the same instructor who has a boot camp mindset. Then I do an hour of Zumba at a fast paced, hard level.

I can maintain with this amount of work. I could not lose with this level of work. And I could not maintain with this level of work and bad/non-food choices.

Vickie said...

In view of what you wrote, I think you should try hard to get another post up by this Friday. I usually bug you at the 2 week mark. But I am now bugging you at the one week mark.

Vickie said...

its friday - how are things going?