Sunday, April 26, 2015

Good health should never be taken for granted

The title of this post is a given, common sense, and everyone knows it. But do we really think about it until that good health has been compromised? If you're like me, probably not. We expect good health, until it's not there.

My bout with pneumonia this past two weeks was a real wake-up call. My attention and dedication to living a healthy life went on vacation the last of couple years.

I have excuses, really, I do. Let's see, there was the most horrible divorce ever. Even my attorney said he'd never seen such a contensious divorce in his 45 years of practicing law. It was also extremely expensive. This due to the other party fighting me tooth and nail on every single issue. It was very bad, but it's over and it was worth every penny and every agonizing moment to get rid of 250 pounds of ugly fat (that was my attorney's saying).

Then the rare, extremely aggressive cancer that I was diagnosed with two years ago, and hasn't resurfaced yet. Even though that should have been my original wake-up call to get healthy, it was more of a "who the heck cares what I eat or if I exercise, I'm going to die anyway". I agree, stupid philosophy of mine.

Then love. Yes, I fell deeply and madly in love with the most wonderful man in the world. I'm still in love with him, more so today than two years ago, and every day he tells me he loves me more. I'm so blessed. Even though he's a health nut, tall and slender and works out a lot, he doesn't pressure me to lose weight. He leaves it up to me. Of course he wants me healthy, but he wants it to be on my terms.

Then my dear sister died. The sister that I had been guardian of for the past 2 1/2 years. The sister I spent every Sunday trying to give her one happy day a week. Next my favorite niece committed suicide, and my beloved kitty of nine years that I loved like a baby, died suddenly and unexpectedly. Food has always been my friend during times of pain,

Things have been going pretty smoothly this year, so far. Then the pneumonia thing hit two weeks ago. It was five days of high fevers, not being able to breathe, and feeling so miserable that I just wanted to die. I actually felt too sick to go to the doctor, but my boyfriend made me. I haven't had pneumonia since I was eight years old. I'll be sixty in August. Sixty! I'm fat and out of shape. My body is old beyond it's years because I'm not taking care of it. Recovering from pneumonia is taking it's sweet time. I know this has everything to do with being morbidly obese.

Now it's time to be serious about my health. I don't want to be one of those frail old ladies that can barely shuffle along. I see them in the stores, riding in the electric carts or leaning on their baskets, moving so slowly through the store. They're usually very overweight and they have a sadness in their eyes, like life is such a miserable struggle for them. I DON'T want to be one of those ladies!

My plan is so simple. I'm feeling much better, but exercise other than short walks, is out of the question. I managed to get outside yesterday for about 20 minutes. Not much, but at least I'm moving. My eating has been good the last two days. Weight Watchers is the only way to go. It's healthy and they have made it so easy to track food.

I want my health back. It's not gone, just temporarily on vacation. I have my annual physical on Friday, which I'm dreading. I have a new doctor, since my old one retired. This one is young, just finished her residency in 2014. I'm not sure if I'm going to like her. She doesn't know I was 232 four weeks ago, and am 219 today. True, some of the weight loss was water/muscle due to my illness, but so far I'm hanging steady at 219. If she doesn't mention my weight, I will not be going back to see her. I hate doctors that pretend I don't have a weight problem. Most people would probably disagree with me, but I want her to say something. If she doesn't bring it up and ignores it, then she'll be ignoring a huge health issue of mine. I'll let you know how that goes after I see her on Friday.

It feels so good to be back to blogging. I can't believe how much I missed it. Even if people don't read a word I write, at least I'm getting my thoughts written down. It encourages me to stay honest and stay on program.

Thank you to the few of you that commented. You're so kind, and your words mean the world to me.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Did eating healthy give me pneumonia? Nah!

Four weeks ago I rejoined Weight Watchers, cut out sugar, made healthy choices, started taking my daily vitamin again, actually tracked my food. I started back to the gym, was wearing my Fitbit, walking at lunch and getting in my 10,000 steps a day. Things went pretty good for two weeks. Down a few pounds, feeling better, more alive. Life was good.

Then it all went to hell in a hand basket last week. A coworker came to work with a bad cold. Next thing you know, I'm sick. The cold turned into the flu, with 103 temperature, vomiting and diarrhea. I thought I was going to die. The flu turned into pneumonia. This all happened in one week. I saw the doctor last Monday, she sent me home for another week. My blood oxygenation was 91, which is pretty low (I've never seen mine below 98). At 91 the red blood cells can't get enough oxygen and organs can get damaged. Breathing has been difficult, and then there's the coughing. I coughed so much and so hard that my ribs ached.

I'm doing much better today. My blood oxygen is at 95, which is a huge leap from 91. I had ordered an oxygen meter online. A rather expensive one so I wouldn't get false readings. I checked it on my boyfriend and he's a steady 99 or 100. Until today I was at a steady 92 or 93, seeing the 95 is very exciting. I can feel that I'm getting better, which is a huge relief. I have a new respect for people with COPD. I have just experienced a touch of what it's like to not be able to breath easily, and it's miserable. My energy was at the lowest I've ever experienced. I actually got up, showered and dressed this morning. Life is good again.

It's truly ironic that I finally make an honest attempt to get healthy and then this happened. I suppose it's just life, slapping me down a little when I get a little too cocky about myself.

I've lost a few pounds, but it was mostly water weight and probably some muscle. Up until yesterday I could barely stand to look at food without wanting to heave. Today my appetite is back, so I'm back to tracking all my food in my Weight Watcher phone app, back to making healthy choices.

I want to come back to blogging. I doubt there's anyone that even reads my blog anymore. I always come back, post, then disappear for months. I hate people that do that because I wonder if they're okay. I'm going to try it again, this blogging thing. It was such a huge piece of my life. I miss it. I miss you guys, the few of you still out there that know me. I still ready your posts, usually once a week I catch up on you. So many people have dropped out. I always wonder what happened to them.

Until tomorrow...