Welcome to my story. It first starts off at the age of 3-4. I have pictures of me back then, and you would have thought by looking at them, that I was supposed to be a long thin person. But I'm not. At that age my mom married her second husband, and he always cooked with whole foods. Nothing in the house could be a %age of anything. Anyway, another problem was that if I wanted anything sweet for dessert, I'd have to eat everything on my plate, and the portion sizes were out of control. I couldn't help it, I was only a kid, and should have been given kid portions.
When I was 11 I started ice skating. I always felt fat then, and when I really started getting serious about it, I hadn't lost any weight at all, but I gained a whole bunch, only it was all muscle. I was still tick though, so in my mind at 14 I was fat. I stopped ice skating befor my freshman year of high school, and by the end of my freshman year, I was a little depressed and confused and starting eating to make myself feel good.
During my high school years I wanted to jion the swim team, but was too afraid to get out there in front of classmates in a bathing suit. I look back now, and think I probably didn't look as bas as I thought i did. I regret never joining the swimteam in high school. Then when I turned 18, I was really depressed over losing a guy that I had already known and been around for 5 years, and was very confused about my feelings and ate again to try and make myself feel better. I gained most of my weight in college. By my third to last semester, before I was going to graduate, I found out that I had hpv. It devastated me. If I wasn't depressed before, I was most certainly now.
At 22, having hpv, and being single, I thought then, that I was dirty, and that no one would want me, I wasn't going to be able to get married, and certainly wasn't going to be able to have kids. I used my grief over the situation to try and get healthy for myself. I started taking vitamins daily, all different kinds, calcium, vitamin c, vitamin b's, vitamin a, e, magnesium and zinc, fish oil, multi-vitamin, niacin. If they had it, I took it. I started portioning out food into actual serving sizes. I started riding my bike 23 miles a day. One of the major reasons why I did that though was because my truck had a gas leak in the gasline so it was costing me too much extra money to fill up the tank all the time. It was a good thing that happened at the time because I needed an exercise outlet.
I don't think I rode the 23 miles a day for more than 10 days, and it wasn't 10 in a row, but maybe over a period of 4-6 weeks. In that time frame, I went from a size 24 to an 18, and I looked and felt really good. I was forced to quit the job I had that was so far away from school and home, because of the gas problem and the time contraints I had riding two hours to get there and two hours home. I didn't stop riding my bike, I just stoppe riding it so far, and back then I was drinking a ton of beer, so I put some of that weight back on, if not all of it. Then the job I started working at had a fitness month, and I participated in it, I rode my bike to work everyday, which was less than 4 miles to and from, and I was controlling my portions, and I think after 3 months of that, I may have lost 25 pounds. I felt good, and I looked good.
Then in 2001 my grandfather died, and 2 months later my grandmother died. I was very upset. I didn't start eating very much right away. I was also having problems with a roommate, and moved out of that house and into my grandmothers house alone. I was always meaning to get back on my bike, but was now living in a very shading area of town, and being outside didn't make me feel very comfortable. Then, in 2003, I found out my dad who I hadn't spoken to in 9 years, had end stage prostate cancer, and only had 2-3 weeks to live. So, I dropped my life to be with him those last couple of weeks, and I snapped mentally. I couldn't keep a conscience thought, I couldn't make a decision, I was hurting myself. The psychiatrist had me on 8 different medications. 2 anti-depressants, 2 mood stabilizers, 2 sleeping pills, 1 anti-anxiety, 1 for restless leg syndrome side effect from one of the mood stabiliers. I gained at least 100 lbs, on top of the 75lbs over weight I already was.
In December of 2005, I was starting to wake up from the big grief fog I was in, and I was sitting in bed one night, and didn't feel comfortable. When I moved I could hear myself grunt, and couln't even move my legs or my body around very well, just sitting in bed. I tried to cross my legs, and sit indian style, but I couldn't anymore. I was then living with my dad, and had been since September of 2005, and he wouldn't let me cook with anything but real butter, and I *had* to use a cube of butter for the entire dinner, which basically made me fat, and hardly fattened up my dad. I had gained so much weight so fast, that when I did sit indian style, I would cut off the circulation to my calves and feet and toes. My skin turned white when I sat like that, from all the pressure.
A couple days after that, I went and looked in the mirror at my naked body. I couldn't imagine having gone from weighing 235 at the most, to exceed 330lbs. I didn't want to get on a scale, because I didn't want to know I had gone over 300. I knew I had because I could actually feel it in my body. However, that waking up from my fog helped me to see a lot of things, and finally I was able to get off all those medications I was on. By April of 2006 I was off all medication, but April 22, I got really sick. I've got asthma but its only a chonic acute thing. Yes I have it all the time, but it happens so rarely that I get sick, or that I have an attack, that theres almost really no point in me using inhalers. Boy, was that ever wrong.
I went to the emergency room on the night of April 22. I stayed there for 13 hours for them to try and make me better so that I could go home and get well. They discharged me and I could breathe, I did have some congestion in my chest, but not enough to worry about, or so they thought. I was back in the emergency room the next night, and waited almost another 13 hours before they finally decided to admit me into the hospital. During my stay there, a registration person came to my room and told me that Blue Cross was not going to pay for the hospital stay because of pre-existing condition limitations on my plan. I am still fighting them about this, to this day. Anyway, it stressed me out so bad, I had an asthma attack in the hospital, and had to stay an extra day because of it.
So it took me two weeks to recover, and really all I had was bronchitis. I had to be put on regular breathing treatments in the hospital, I was given i.v. steriods that was supposed to lower the inflammation of my lungs, and 2 liters of oxygen because my saturation levels were below 90%. I thought for sure I was going to have a problem with breathing again, severely, within the next 5 years. Boy, was I wrong. On halloween 2006 I contracted a nasal virus. In 36 hours, it worked itself into my lungs, and I was in the exact same place I was in April. My mom told me that I should try to stay out of the hospital this time, and I did, but for a whole week, I had been taking mediation, and still wasn't getting better. I called my doctor to order a nebulizer for me because my inhalers weren't working, and then a couple days later, I was desaturating at 80% and becoming hypoxic. I had to order oxygen so that I could have it to get well. The day after I got the oxygen I was 95% better.
Before I got sick in November, in early October around the 11th, I asked my mom if I could have the money to pay for the surgery as a christmas and birthday present for the next I didn't care how many years. I didn't think she would say yes, and I was right, she didn't. When I got sick, I had to have her write me out copays for the doctors and specialists that I needed to go to, a pulmonologist, and an asthma/allergist. She complained to me that this was why she wasn't giving me the money for my surgery, and that if I really wanted it done, I would save the money myself. I yelled at her, and I said needing money because I was very ill, compared to needing money because I want a surgery that I can use as a tool, are two different things.
And then Monday, November 13th, my mom calls me on the phone, and asks me how much my surgery was again. I said, "$950." She said, "Come pick up a check." I was shocked, and excited at the same time. I didn't know what I had done to deserve it, but wasn't going to argue with anyone about the money either. Later on that day, I asked my mom why she changed her mind and paid for the surgery. She told me that one of the reasons why I was so sick, am now starting to get sick more often, and why I'm staying sick for so long, is because of what the added weight is doing to my other systems in my body. It's not just affecting my back, and how I sit, but its effecting my breathing, and the ability to do it well. It's also effecting my reproductive system, in that I haven't had a period but more than 3 times this year. One was March 2006 for 6-7 days, end of July 2006 for 2 days, and starting October 19th I was on it for 25 days. which actually almost makes up for 5 months worth of periods.
I had to go see my gynie, and they ordered all kinds of lab tests, and a pelvic ultrasound, which all came back normal. Which leads me to believe that the lack of periods is because I'm so obese, and it's causing a strain on my reproductive organs. So here I am now. 4 days pre-op, and totally excited to start my next big adventure. :)