Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A rude awakening

I'm going to start this blog by "coming out" about my various health issues.
-At age 23, I was diagnosed with Hypertension, or high blood pressure. I didn't have health insurance at the time, so I really couldn't do much about it. I did quit smoking half a pack a day of cigarettes, although I continued to smoke on occasion. I've now been on medication to reduce my blood pressure for at least the last 6 years or so, and it is currently pretty well controlled, although I do get "white coat syndrome", which is a spike in BP when you're at a Dr.'s office.

-In November of 2009, I went to my doctor with severe abdominal pain. Many tests were run, and nearly a week later, I got a diagnosis of Endometriosis with multiple large ovarian cysts. In the meantime, one of my cysts had burst, causing indescribable pain. I was very relieved that the specialist I saw insisted on immediately getting me into the hospital to remove the remaining cysts and clear out any other scarring caused by my Endometriosis. The surgery itself was as successful as possible, but there is no real cure for Endometriosis. It causes infertility, as well as scarring and cysts in my entire stomach area. The surgery was done through a 12-inch incision on my stomach, which made recovery pretty painful and difficult.

-As a complication of the 2009 surgery, I also had a "heart event". After exhaustive tests, it was characterized to my as a small heart attack. A subsequent stress test, however, found minimal damage to my heart and its function. Heart attack/heart disease runs in my family pretty hardcore, so I wasn't surprised that this happened, only that it happened so young. I was only 27.

-In February of 2011, I had a second surgery to remove cysts and scar tissue once again.

-Beginning in my mid-teens, I have had bouts with depression coupled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I get panic attacks pretty regularly unless I'm on medication to control it. I've been on medicine for several years now and I rarely have a panic attack that's difficult to deal with any more. I have had some issues in the last year or so with anxiety attacks when I'm trying to fall asleep. I have a prescription now for another medicine to take on those rare occasions that my anxiety gets really severe. I haven't had to use them too often, though, and I think that maybe having them is a bit of a security blanket for me.

-Over the last couple of years, I've been developing acid reflux issues. I'll sometimes wake in the middle of the night with bile in my throat. When that happens, I usually get really panicked and sit up and gasp for air. Not so much fun for my husband.

-I'm currently taking medicine to relieve the symptoms I experience from Restless Legs Syndrome.

-Because of the Endometriosis and low egg levels, I'm facing infertility. My current Dr thinks that the only chance I have of having another child would be through IVF. I really wanted another child, particularly one with my husband, but I'm not willing to go through the expense of IVF when the success rate for the first time is so low. I am going to get a second opinion at some point to see if there are less drastic measures that we can take.

-Yesterday, I got the results from blood tests taken last week. I am Diabetic. This is a pretty big blow to my lifestyle and my ego. I love bread and sweets. Like I have an unnatural love for them. I'm still reeling from the news, and I am so confused at this point about what kind of dietary changes I need to make. It's only clear to me that I do need to make drastic changes. I'm only 30, so I have time to turn things around a bit, but it will take work.

-Related to the high blood pressure and Diabetes is my weight. I am currently a size 14 and firmly in the "Obese" category. For perspective, I'm 5'3". In high school, I weighed around 100-105lbs. The day I had my son in 1999, I weighed 139lbs. When I met my husband about 8 years ago, I weighed around 125lbs. I currently weigh 183lbs. I think I've been in denial for a while now about how heavy I really am. I can't keep putting off making changes. I need to start exercising very regularly and I need to change my eating habits.


Susie said...

Oh my, diabetes on top of all your other problems! I'm so sorry. Well, I have about 20 lbs to lose (babyweight and I-love-food-weight), so if you need a workout buddy or encouragement, let me know. I go to the YMCA near me about three times a week for Zumba and running.

Gloria Waller said...

I hope you get everything under control, You sound pretty ready to get healthy, wish I could get in that mind set and stop smoking so I could breath again, You and my daughter Paige have one thing in common, is the ovarian cysts,she had surgery while pregnant and it was a rather large scar and very painful...... I wish you the best!!