Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy New Year, etc.!

So.  Holidays are over.  Big storms have abated for the time being.  The most recent D&C/biopsy has been completed.  Trying to catch up on work.  Lots has been going on.

My concern that I would need that hysterectomy had grown.  Spotting continues every day.  Thinking about logistics again:  If family can come here and there, should it be while I'm in the hospital or afterwards?  Can I afford to get a visiting nurse if need be? What would I do for meals if I'm laid up for awhile? Etc. etc.  I found it much more fruitful to put my mind to these things than anything related to how I would feel, would I be scared, etc.

So now I sure do know a lot about how to manage daily life when you can't manage it yourself.

I had done a lot of cogitating on the Hunger Within thing, but I was having a little difficulty getting beyond the paying some attention and making some choices based on what would make me feel better.  But, before I was to go on holiday, I signed up for the Metabolic Fitness program at the Cardio Dept. at UM.  This is a six-month program of nutritional and exercise guidance, with weekly group meetings, for people with metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is, briefly, what you've got if you've got high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, round belly, diabetes or high risk of it, etc.  There are a lot of things they talk with you about before you sign up.  I did a treadmill stress test, which showed -- as I could have told them -- that I was *really* out of shape.  But they got the numbers they wanted to see, EKGs, etc.

I met with the dietitian/social worker before I left for the holidays, a few weeks before I'd start the program.  We talked about a Mediterranean eating plan, which is what they recommend, along with a partial meal replacement shake thing (a "medical food") that I could use for a few months to get kick-started.  What I found very interesting was that I was prepared to make big changes.  I had decided on my way to the appointment that, no matter what meaning certain foods might have for me (nostalgia or otherwise), I needed to let that go.  Whatever emotional or psychological responses I have to certain foods, I could rethink my relationship with them, and make all that less important than my health and well-being.

So I decided to get through Christmas, get back home, and start the eating plan on Jan. 1st (mostly, I think, so I could remember the anniversary date of when I started, I think).  Two weeks later, I met with the dietitian again, and I'd lost 10 pounds from the last time she weighed me.  Almost too much!  So we reviewed what I'd been doing, and made a little bit of an adjustment.

It means having balanced meals, which means more shopping and more planning than I'm used to, but it's not a problem.  What else am I doing in the evenings?  Mostly TV and mindless activities anyway, because I'm "too tired."  So might as well do a real meal, feel a little better, and maybe end up less tired.

And then the group met for the first time.  The other newbies hadn't seen the nutritionist yet, and they were pretty caught up in looking for ways to fail (it seems to me), although I probably am not giving them enough credit.  I could hear the digging in the heels thing, though. Still, they paid their money (I don't think insurance companies want to pay for obesity mitigation.) and they were there to do this thing too.

And now the exercise component.  This was my big fear, although I realized this set-up was made to resolve the semi-realistic fears I had, because the program is designed for me, there are health professionals around, I'm having my heart rate monitored, etc.  And I couldn't come up with any other excuses anyway.  So now I've been to their fitness center a couple of times and I've committed to going three mornings a week.  Before work.  Yawn!  And so far, so good.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the most recent D&C/biopsy was done about a week and a half ago.  A few days later, I got the results.  The IUD seems to be doing the job it's there for.  There is no cell growth/hyperplasia, no polyps, no sign of incipient cancer.  The doc wants me to keep the IUD in while I work on losing weight.  If I can get the weight off and keep it off, the extra estrogen shouldn't be produced, and the IUD won't be needed, and I should be all safe and sound.  Whew!

My doctor has really taken exceptional care of me.  I'm so glad to be her patient!  And the people who have designed these programs for rethinking relationships to food, and well-being, etc. etc. have been really amazing.  They're really dedicated to helping people who have found no other way to help themselves.  I'm so glad I could get the help here, right where I work.  It's amazing.

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