Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Story

Before I can tell you about my setback this week, I have to give you a little background.

I have weighed about 180 since I can remember, or at least since I was a teenager. I slowly crept up to around 200 somewhere in my late 20's or early 30's. This is funny because I can remember telling myself that I would never allow myself to weigh over 200; I would become bulimic before I allowed that, or at least that's what I told myself. Well, bulimia was never an option for me. It seems as though I've gagged myself a few times when I stuffed myself so full that I was uncomfortable, but it never came of anything. Well, around 4 or so years ago, I quit smoking. I gained a almost 60 pounds when I quit. I now bounced around between 250 and 260. Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am only 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches tall. I don't know how tall that is in meters, but I'm not a very tall girl. (I am the tallest girl in my immediate family, though. My mother and sisters are all shorter than me.) A couple of years later, I started nursing school. Very soon after beginning school, I began to have a sudden onset of severe pain and swelling in multiple joints in my body. It took some months for doctors to decide that I had rheumatoid arthritis. I was on the maximum dosage of steroids for an entire year. Along with steroid use comes weight gain. One year on predisone and I gained an additional 15 pounds. My top weight? 277 that I was aware of. I may have weighed more than that at some point, but at that weight, I avoided that scale at all costs. I finally got to quit taking prednisone but I was placed on weekly injections. I quit going to the rheumatoligist that I began seeing in Tulsa, Ok. For one, Tulsa is about an hour away from my house. Another reason I quit going to him is that I did not care for him. He didn't do anything wrong. I just didn't care for him. He seemed kind of dis-interested in me, and his nurse definitely left alot to be desired. So, I found a rheumatoligist that comes to Stillwater, which is right here where I live. On my second visit, my new rheumatologist could not find any proof that I had rheumatoid arthritis(RA). I began to taper myself off of the injections with his approval. The doctor ran a few tests and decided that whatever was wrong with me was not RA. Since I was asymptomatic, the doctor left me with the instructions to taper myself off of my medication and to call if I had any further problems.

So here we are at today... Two days after my last encouraging Rheumatology visit, my left hip hurt too bad to be able to walk the treadmill a the Y any more than 5 minutes. I had to quit and thought, "It's just a bad day... My hip will be better tomorrow." Well, lo and behold, it was better, but my second toe on my right foot had swollen and still is... three days later. I can barely walk on it. By the time I get home from work, all I can do is prop up my foot, take ibuprofen and put ice on it. Now I know this may seem odd to you and you may say, "Well, did you injure your toe?" No, this was quite common when I first became "sick" with whatever is wrong with me. You know, whatever is not RA. I am feeling very discouraged right now because I have been really focused here lately. Going to the Y every day, despite the circumstance. I have really felt like all of my obstacles were out of the way and the only thing for me to do now was to get healthy. I just don't know what to do at this point. I know we all have setbacks, and I am ok with having some. It's just that this setback has lasted almost all week and I don't know that I have the patience for this big of a setback.

I am the type of person that I would normally come up with a flip side to the problem and come up with a great solution, but I don't have one right now. I am very tired and my foot is ready to be propped up; it hurts so incredibly bad. Thank you so much for listening to me rattle on. I felt like I needed to give you a little background information before I just started carrying on.

I wish you all well on whatever journey you are on, if you are on one.
Thanks for reading,


  1. Ah Rachel, I'm so sorry that you are struggling. I know how discouraging it is to feel like something is weighing you down with no end in sight. One thing that sometimes encourages me is to think about how small whatever my troubles are in the huge scope of my life, and how I'll probably barely be able to remember the rough time a few months from now when things are different/better. I've held on through many tough times with that to comfort me.

    Also, it seems like this new doctor might be more willing to work with you and explore other options, hopefully leading to a permanent solution. Good luck and you're in my thoughts.

  2. Rach,
    I hope this new doctor can give you a correct diagnosis and treatment. This is only a temporary setback, and really, it doesn't have to be considered a "setback." This is a part of your journey. So you can't exercise right now, don't beat yourself up over this. If you remain true to your calorie budget---you'll still lose weight my friend.
    After successfully getting this condition under control---then you'll be back up to full speed. This isn't the end of your journey---it's the very, very beginning of a most amazing're on the way Rachel.
    I do sincerely hope this condition subsides or is treatable---for your comforts sake.

    All of us here in the Anderson household love you and care about you. I pray it gets better quick.

    your friend

  3. Hi Rachel - Found your blog & have been really interested to read your entries so far. I'm also a new blogger on a weight-loss / self-gain journey. Wishing you all the best and hoping that this setback doesn't leave you feeling too down. In a long journey there are always some barriers to be overcome!

  4. Hi, I came over from Sean's blog.

    Frustrating, isn't it? Just keep sticking with it, pestering the doctor, find a new one. I have a lot of pain issues, many that I blog about, many that I don't. I just work through it, and it stinks.

    I need to quit smoking and it scares me about the weight gain--but congrats to you for quitting!

    I look forward to following you on your jounrey.