Thursday, August 25, 2011

On Respecting Your Body

Yesterday I went to the doctor.

I should preface this with a bit of explanation, something to make more sense of the situation: I am morbidly obese. Although I've lost 10 glorious pounds in the last couple of months, it's nowhere near enough, and I have over 200 more to lose before I can plop myself contently back into the "obese" category and live out the rest of my life knowing that while I may be big, at least I am no longer threatening my own health with my weight. Right now, I weigh 375 (the doctor's scale tacked on .6 to the end yesterday but I am choosing to gleefully ignore that addition). My all-time heaviest was hovering near 400, which I was told time and time again I did not LOOK like I was carrying, but my body was reacting to that weight I didn't look like I had. My knees are a disaster and I was recommended that if after losing 100 pounds or so that if I do not see a marked improvement I should begin specific physical therapy. I was told I can likely expect a knee replacement before I turn 40 if I do not get the weight off and do so quickly. My back hurts almost constantly, it's hard to breathe, I have exactly one pair of fitted pants that actually fit me, I cannot purchase clothing in normal stores, and I have gastric issues related to my weight. I have obstructive sleep apnea because of my weight; it's a condition that didn't exist until last year when I finally hit my heaviest and began waking up feeling more exhausted than I had before bed, had horrible headaches that started when I woke up and lasted most of the day, and needed to nap for hours to even feel as though I'd rested. My weight has controlled my life for some time thanks to my obsession with food, and my unhealthy relationship with it. I do not respect food and appreciate and enjoy it, I LOVE it, I crave that which is most unhealthy for me. I use it to fix my problems, to fill me in ways I feel my life often doesn't. I use it to cure depression, to sate anxiety, to "fix me" as it is.

But I've been having a problem I'm going to be pretty blunt about: my monthly cycle is completely haywire.

It was getting progressively longer, and occasionally throwing two periods out a month, basically doing whatever it pleased. I had been charting as a form of birth control to try to avoid having to subject myself to more hormones that my body has proven before it HATES. And we were doing great until my body stopped being predictable, and my cycles went from around 30 days to this last one, which was a whopping 45 days.

45 days with no period, no signs of one, nothing. And I knew I wasn't pregnant, and tests had confirmed such, but there was something desperately wrong - further confirmed when I had two days of what might have been a period, and then two days of something that was a poor, pathetic excuse for one, and then nothing. So I called my doctor's office and begged to get in ASAP, and found myself with this darling little blessing of a woman who might be 30 named May Kim. She has a thick accent, she's a good foot shorter than me and might pass 100 lbs soaking wet (but that's a lot of water). She's absolutely the sweetest person I've met in a doctor's office, and for the time being is my new family practice doctor. I adore her.

I had what amounted to a LOT of stuff done yesterday at this appointment; some of it was done because I haven't had an actual check up appointment in two years (oops) and some out of concern for my health. I had blood drawn to re-test my thyroid, to check my cholesterol, and for my blood sugar (which I'm fairly sure is the only thing that will have relatively normal numbers). I had a PAP smear and breast exam. I talked to her about my weight, about the problems it has caused, about my hypermobility and about how that is likely also contributing to my knee problems.

But there were some things that made me nervous, maybe too much so. I got asked things, things like, "Have you ever had an abnormal PAP?" Which is pretty typical except that during the exam it became, "You're sure you've never had an abnormal PAP, or gotten any high results..?" And then, "I'll want to see you back after you get your PAP results." And I guess, all in all, those shouldn't really be fear-inducing questions but to me they are, because I am terrified of anything I can't control and to me having such similar but more pressing and urgent things said to me makes me fear and wonder and concerns me.

Of course, there are people I haven't shared this with yet. Like my lovely husband, and my mother, and basically everybody else I know who doesn't read this. I haven't shared because I don't feel like it's necessary until I know for sure if something's wrong or if I'm just reading too much into things. I don't want to set off panic where it isn't due but I might ask if you have time, if you won't consider lighting a candle for me tonight just to make sure.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there and try to stay positive. I know it must be very scary to hear those kind of words from a doctor. I just said a prayer for you that everything will be ok and that you can find your way back to a healthier lifestyle that isn't so hard on your knees and life. I have an unhealthy relationship with food myself and I understand how difficult it is to break it. You can do this! :)