Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Changes can be scary

Well I'm back again to talk a little more about the changes to my eating style. Previous to my hospital admission I was not following a program that would result in weight loss. I had long since given up on the idea that I would be successful in this area. I knew that it was not a healthy attitude by any stretch of the imagination. I suppose in a way I put my mind into neutral and carried on comforting myself with the very thing that was actually harming me, and maybe even killing me. 

Firstly I think it might be helpful to speak about my history.

I come from a long line of eaters. Eating to my family is the one thing we shared that we also enjoyed. Coming from an Italian background food was the  main attraction to our get togethers. But whilst many can control their portion sizes and what they choose to eat I was never mindful of this. I ate until I was stuffed, often crying because I had a tummy that was overfull. This was me as a child. Similar thing happened when I attended birthday parties, I would eat the rich party foods and be sick when I returned home. Although this wasn't just me, as many other kids had the same problem.

Anyway, as I grew up I kept up the eating. 

Food was my crutch, in good times and bad. 

The only times I ate very little is when I visited my boyfriends family home and was too embarrassed to eat in front of them, so I would take a little bite of food and leave the rest. Boy was I hungry after a couple of days. I would make up for it when I got home. (we had a long distance relationship).
 I met the bloke when I was about 19 years old and married at 20 and had a baby quite quickly, just before my 21st birthday. At this stage I was about 101kg and my doctor told me to lose weight as I was too big. However instead of getting smaller I was becoming increasingly bigger. My first child was quite unsettled and I also developed post natal depression, which 26 years ago was really just becoming more widely recognised. Unfortunately, I didn't know I had it until much, much later. In the mean time one way I was able to stay awake during the night to comfort her was to eat. I would scoff ice-cream, lollies, chips, biscuits. You name it and I ate it. It worked. It kept me going until baby would finally sleep and then I could too. Of course after this I joined WW, Easy Slim, tried the diets from the Women's Weekly magazine, all to no avail. My eating was taking over me. I had another four pregnancies and each time I got bigger and bigger.
he ensuing years were filled with much self loathing and derision. I felt terrible and my self esteem was shot.
This is when major depression set in. I was one unhappy girl. 
So this brings me to now. I have had a massive wake up call. I have so ill that I nearly died.
My lifestyle needs to change if I wish to live further. And I do. I really want to be here for my family, my friends and most importantly me.
But to get to the state where I can safely say I have done it, is going to take more strength than I know. To be honest others have more confidence in me than I have, and that is not a good place to be in. I need to feel it too. 
But I have no evidence that I am capable of conquering this massive undertaking. So I need help real quick to change this mindset. I have the support from family, friends and even people I have never even met in person. I am amazed at how a community I belong too via the Internet can mean so much to me. 

Since being home we have been eating some beautiful food. Trying hard to stick to the daily limit of 6000 kj. I know there have been a few days when I have gone over that. It is so hard when I see delicious food. The dietitian told me that even so called healthy food can be over eaten. This means fruit which I enjoy a lot needs to be limited to 2 pieces a day. Not happy about that. 
So this rescue Jan program will be the most challenging of my life. But I am here and I am saying I will give it my best shot. On days when I loose my way I will be kind to myself and not self flagellate. It's no good for the soul.
In the mean time, apart from the healthier food choices and portion control I am listening to relaxation music, classical music and the odd rock song in an attempt to calm my fears and anxieties. I have a long way to go. 
But I hope to record my results here, amongst other parts of my life that come up. 
I hope to be able to sew again soon, my attention span is still limited at the moment. I am quite surprised I have been able to write so much, when I can hardly keep my eyes open.
My insomnia has kicked in big time. :)

The photos I have put in this post are just a selection from my life recently and I like to put pics in my posts.

Well for some unknown reason I was unable to place the pics in between the words like I wanted to so they are all here now.

                               Quiche (not so healthy) with a roasted pumpkin, almond and baby spinach.                

                                        A view of our pantry. Most of the foods in here are fine to eat as they are the things that make food taste better. Anything too rich has been chucked. Lets see if anyone can see anything that might be better not being in here. ")

                                                  One of the nice cold meat and salad meals I ate in hospital. Dinner was at 5pm so by 7pm I was hungry again.
                                                  These are the flowers my SIL sent me but was unable to enjoy due to the rules of no flowers.
                                One of my extra swollen legs last week. Still have a lot of oedema to get rid off. My DD was massaging me with her foot and left this indent on my leg.

Till next time, take care

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A most Harrowing Time

Hello. Have you missed me? I have been thinking about how I would write this post for a few days. I don't want to give every minute detail, for fear of boring you with the details but I do want to give an account of what has been occurring with me and to my family for the past few weeks.

In the early hours of the Jan 5th, I awoke with the chills and a fever and having trouble breathing. This was odd to me as I had not been ill up to then. It was quite sudden. I sat out of bed and the bloke was concerned so he joined me watching as my breaths became more shallow. By 8am we decided to call for the Ambulance. Within ten minutes two ambulances appeared out the front. I was slightly embarrassed as I was only covered by a sheet, having been so hot. Never the less they put me on some oxygen and decided I needed to attend the emergency department of the local hospital. I was led out to the ambulance which had parked on the front lawn, close to the front door. I had trouble walking due to my breathing but eventually we got out there and then the struggle began to get me into the ambulance. Due to my size I couldn't get onto the stretcher so they had me squeeze into the seat in back that was way to small for my big bum and it was so uncomfortable.
 On arrival at the hospital we were told that they could not take me in as they did not have a bariatric bed for me. I cried as by then I was getting distressed. In all I waited two hours. Yes two bloody hours in the back of the ambo while they looked for a bed. Eventually they found one and I was placed onto it and wheeled inside to a room. More good news-NOT!
The attending doctor informed me they could not assess me so were sending me to Perth. I was stunned as I still didn't think I was so ill.

Anyway I travelled by road, in a bariatric ambulance to a major metropolitan hospital some 7 hours drive away. I only remember things up to two or three hours into the trip. The rest is a blank.

I awoke groggily to hear my sister telling me to do what the doctors said as they were trying to help me. Apparently I broke three masks and swore at the staff. Sorry people-I know not what I did.

The next time I wake it was to see the worried face of the bloke and my daughters who were all crying. I was thinking what are they all doing here crying? It  was then that the bloke told me that they had nearly lost me.
Gulp! I couldn't take it all in. In the ED they had to try very hard to save me, not once but three times. Yes folks I was knocking on heavens door. My body was shutting down and I was nearly no more. Sigh. How utterly shit is that?
I am just 47 years old. I have a beautiful, caring husband, five of the loveliest daughters and many friends and family. Anyway thanks to the excellent treatment of the amazing doctors of Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital I pulled through. One of my doctors who came to see me on the Sunday said he was surprised to see me still here, after seeing me in ED. The odd thing was I was a little numb. I just could not accept what had happened. Which was obviously a protective mechanism. In fact even now I feel a little lost.
I saw so many different doctors and other allied staff it was confusing.

Basically what happened was that unbeknown to me I had a chest infection. I also had infection in my lymphodeama leg, which made my body toxic, and it caused my body to go into a tailspin. I went into respiratory failure. The treatment to get me going involved pumping me with fluid. And it caused me to gain 18 litres, which is the same as 18 kg of excess fluid. As if I wasn't heavy enough. When the physiotherapists got me up I could barely stand due to the heaviness. However they then pumped me full of diuretics and I dumped most of the fluid, although I still have some in my left leg and waist and tummy. :(
The decision was made that to save my life in the future the time had come to get into serious weight reducing mode. Sigh. Yep again. I know I need to do this to survive. I have been put on a 6000 kj diet and it is tough to say the least. I can't stop thinking about food. But I will save the talk about that for another blog post.

I am on a BPAP machine when I sleep. This ensures I get enough oxygen when I sleep and helps rid my lungs of carbon dioxide. To use this I had to get over my claustrophobia real quick. But it is not the best nicest thing to do, not to mention the way I look. :)

So there you go. I am sure I have waffled on way to long, but I had a lot to say.
I only have a few pics today and they are not the best but it adds a little colour.

                                            Beautiful flowers my SIL gave me but was not allowed to have in the respiratory HDU.

Take care, talk soon.

Oh and I must thank all the people who have wished me well. Not everyone knows as the kids posted mostly on facebook or sent texts. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello and welcome to 2012

Happy New Year

How nice is it to have a brand new year lie ahead for us? As I wrote previously I am not one for making new years resolutions. I used to, but found that by the year end, most of them were never realised. Instead I write down a list of goals I would like to achieve given the time and usually the money. This year there are numerous things going on my list. Things like getting the bloke to finish painting the bedrooms, (2 down three to go), changes to the garden in order to make it easier to look after in the drought like conditions.
Continue to declutter.
That word would have to be the buzz word of the past five or ten years wouldn't it? Everyone is at it all over the place. The problem is as soon as we get rid of some things a new lot sneaks back in the door. I used to have a system that if I bought something new into the home then I had to remove something else. But after a few years of neglect that system well and truly went out of the window.
So now, I do my best to buy less and remove an item when it is no longer useful to our family.

Anyway back to the list. Let's see. Oh yeah, I need to buy a wheelchair the next time we go to the city for a follow up sleep study appointment. I have put this purchase of for a while as it is a little difficult for me to comprehend that my health has deteriorated to this level. Someone close to me used to tell me; as a way of inspiring weight loss in me, that if I didn't watch what I ate I would end up in a wheelchair like my dad. Real helpful. NOT!
So now of course here I am on the verge of buying the said w/chair. Self fulfilling prophecy?
I have done my research and the one that looks like it best suits my needs is sold and available in Perth and it costs $1428. That is a big outlay, but if I want to move around outside my home then there is no choice really. As regular readers would remember I had the experience of using a chair last month, sheesh last year even. And it was fine using it where no one knew me, but it's another thing alltogether to be pushed around in my own home town where I have lived all my life and where I have worked.
Have to take a break, can't keep my eyes open.
Back again. Right where was I? Yes, meeting people I worked with will be the test. In some way I feel less of a person because I will be in a chair, and having to get the bloke to push me in it. It's not that I think people with different needs are inferior to me, not at all. I worked with and advocated for people who had a disability for many years. In fact I now have more empathy at the obstacles people in chairs face. My own father was in a chair and he was a big man. Initially he found it quite hard to accept it and he would Initially he found it quite hard to accept it and he would make a fuss quite often.
It's the vulnerability and the fact that you are dependant on someone else to get you where you want to go.

Wow that was more than a mouthful. Back to my list. I want to then be able to go to the dentist and have my eyes checked. I haven't been able to access these places due to my inability to walk any distance. My eyes have certainly deteriorated due to the ageing process and the strain from using the computer way too much. And there's the dentist, oh the lovely dentist. I am really scared of the dentist. Hate the smell of them, the pain the loss of control when your mouth is jammed open and someone is fiddling around in there. But my teeth have been neglected and in urgent need of treatment otherwise I might end up with plastic ones.

Well that's all I can write for today, my eyes are shutting and I just have no energy in me.

I hope this year will be a good one for all sorts of reasons.

Take care,


Note: For some reason blogger has changed the format and I have no idea how to work with it. Please suggest things if you know anything. Also if you have tried to comment and not been able to let me know. I have had one person tell me she is having trouble posting.