Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly weigh-in & medical update

I gained weight this week ... boo.  I'm not too surprised given I did a bad job of being on top of weighing, measuring and planning my food out well.   Besides that, the stress that I was feeling this week sort of immobilized me from working out as much as I would have liked to.  So, I'm hoping for better results next week.

At 4:30 this morning, I woke up by the alarm on my cell phone going off near my ear.  I wanted to get up a little early so that I could go to the office and get some work done before heading to my neurology appointment since I really didn't know how long that would last.  I must have dozed back to sleep because at about 6:30, I woke up with a start, looked at my cell phone and said, "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!!"  I took the fastest shower known to man.  Who knew I could move that fast in the morning!!  When I eventually got to my appointment, I told the nurse taking my vitals that my blood pressure was probably going to be high since I was stressed with getting there on time.  It ended up being 112/61.  Not exactly high.  It's so weird for me to have regular blood pressure readings, especially when I expect them to be super high for some reason. 

I was told that I would need to take off my pants, shoes and socks, then put on the hospital gown.  I looked on the exam table and there was a gown, a regular-sized gown (just sayin!).  It fit around me with no problem.  Will I ever get used to the fact that my body is different now?  I wonder sometimes.  I had to sit on the table for about 45 minutes before the doctor came in, which got me annoyed since I was the first appointment of the day.  But whatevs. 

By the time she came in (no cutie patootie doc for me today), I had let go of my annoyance and just chalked it up to the ability to have more time to myself to calm my nerves.  I was feeling very nervous for some reason.  I guess it's probably because you generally don't see a neurologist for run of the mill stuff, so it can make a person worry.  She asked me a million questions to probe at my lifestyle, family history, issues that I was having.  Pretty much anything and everything was fair game.  As I was describing what was going on with the pain/weakness in my legs, my constant dizziness and my lack of sleep, my voice was starting to crack.  I was trying to hold in the tears as much as I could, trying to be strong so that I could remember to tell her everything she needed to know.  But, when she asked me if I was feeling frustrated by the not knowing of my body's pain, I could barely get out my "yes" and instead nodded my head.  I just didn't want to cry, not then and there.

One of the many machines the doctor used to
shock and poke at me.
We eventually moved on to the physical examination.  She tested my reflexes, my strength in my legs and other body parts, watched me walk, tested for neuropathy with my feet.  Then, it was time for her to send electric currents through my body and poke my legs with needles.  These were not the cute little acupuncture needles.  These were big honking needles that you can feel down to your bones.  She warned me, "Kathy, this is going to hurt."  Not a little warning that I might feel a little sting.  It was this WILL hurt.  Man was that an understatement!  Oh my goodness it was painful but I soldiered through.  As my back was towards her, I did cry.  Not out of pain, but out of a release I was feeling to at least be on the road to some sort of answers.

The good news is that, from what she could tell, I don't have neurological damage.  There is still a few tests she wants to run in the morning.  She did tell me I am suffering from some major fatigue.  She did prescribe some meds that not only helps alleviate the pain of that but will also help me sleep, which I desperately need.  She did tell me that she advises I stop using the Optifast product, not from a neurological standpoint but because she doesn't feel I'm getting enough nutrients in.  So now my dilemma was do I stop it because she prefers me not to be on it, not as a neurological physician but more because she just doesn't get it or do I listen to the clinic that has worked with thousands and thousands of patients for well over 30 years?  She did tell me that I am no longer have hypertension or diabetes. Dang, she was the second medical professional to tell me I am no longer diabetic.  I'm still sitting here trying to process that bit of info.  It's a dream of every diabetic to one day be free of diabetes and now here I sit, living out that dream.

Then, later in the day, I had an appointment with my worker's comp doc.  He put me on some meds to help with the pain in my hand and we will be meeting again in a month.  If there isn't improvement, we're going to be discussing surgery.  The good part is that it will take away the pain.  The bad part is that I will lose feeling at the surgery site.  Between his meds and the med from the neurologist, I should really have no problem falling asleep since his cause drowsiness, too!

Finally, my last medical appointment of the day was when I went to the Optifast clinic.  I had called my counselor earlier in the day to talk to him about what to do about going off the products.  He disagreed with the neurologist because she does not specialize in the products like they do and she was giving a personal opinion.  I told him I want to do what is best for my health.  So we agreed that I would meet with the medical staff in the evening and discuss my options.  They were also upset with the neurologist.  The fact of the matter is that they don't want to jeopardize my health and never would do that.  If it meant getting off the product, so be it. We looked at all of my options and, as a group, decided that I would go off the Optifast 70 product and onto the Optifast 800 product with a lean meal added in.  So I would be getting nearly 1,000 calories a day, as well as increased fat and starch.  In fact, I would be getting 120% of the required nutrients a person needs each day.  In the meantime, I will take the medication that has been prescribed and continue on with the tests I have to do tomorrow.  I felt very happy with that decision.  I couldn't previously go on Optifast 800 because of the diabetes.  Now that is no longer a concern.  We are going to play it by ear, see how I feel and see what happens as a result of the additional tests.  I still have around 60ish pounds to lose and I really do want to continue on the products because they have worked so well.  Besides, that one meal a day of actual food (not just shakes) is giving me practice for when it's time to get off products completely. 

With the Optifast 800, I now have thicker shakes, as well as a soup and peanut-butter bar each day.  And, I still have the lean meal as well.  It does feel like a lot of food, even though it really isn't, and I'm grateful I have a little bit more time to transition.  Stay tuned for more updates on my Optifast saga!


adorkbl said...

I hope the transition to the new meal plan helps with some of the medical issues you have been having. And awesome news on the hypertension and diabetes!!

Kathy said...

Thank you ;-) I am hanging in there, for sure. I definitely am grateful for how far I've come and I know I'm not done yet!!

Big Heart said...

welcome to 800 K-dawg! We'll have to talk about how you like/dislike them :)

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