Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weekly Weigh In: My Embarrassing Admission

I haven’t written a Weekly Weigh In post for several months now. Just a couple days after my last post I was scheduled for another total hip replacement surgery. It wasn't even a year since my first hip replacement. Thank goodness I only have two hips! While I wasn't looking forward to going through the surgery again, I was really looking forward to being out of pain. It had gotten so bad with this hip that I was on crutches for four weeks PRIOR to surgery. When I hobbled into the Doctor's office for my pre-surgery appointment on crutches, they all stopped, looked confused and said, "wait, you haven't had your surgery yet, have you?" In other words, 'you're not supposed to be on crutches until AFTER surgery'.

The truth is, my surgeon had tried to talk me out of the first hip replacement because I'm "too young". When the pain was so bad that I could not do daily activities, I insisted on the surgery. The day after the surgery, he came in to my hospital room and said, "You were right! Your hip was so chipped up and was bone on bone. If we had gone in to do a 'clean up' I would have closed you up and told you to come back for a total hip replacement." It's not that I wanted to be right, but I have a real high pain tolerance, so when it gets to a point that I can't take it anymore, it's usually way past surgery time.

Second time around was a repeat...again Doc tried to talk me out of it. "You're too young", he said. "The MRI doesn't look THAT bad." Of course, he admitted that the MRI couldn't ever show the bone inside of the joint. Again, I insisted. I agreed to wait long enough to put 12 months between the two hip replacements (almost to the day). Again, the day after surgery, he came into my room, shook his head, and said, "You were right, AGAIN!" Again, I reminded him that I didn't WANT to be right, but I knew my body.
This time I had asked him to take pictures of my hip joint. I really wanted to see what was causing such pain. (I wish I had thought to ask for pics of the first one.) I hope this doesn't gross you out. They're actually very clean pictures; so here are two pictures of the ball part of my hip. They were taken with the Doctors cell phone, so quality wise, we got what we got.
You should have a layer of cartilage that completely covers the ball to protect it. If you look closely, you can see the cartilage on the outside has been worn very thin and the middle has been worn completely off, exposing bone. This just means that every time I moved it was rubbing bone on bone. Oh, is that all? Makes sense, with the amount of pain I felt. hip replacement was late May. Surgery went spectacularly! When I left the hospital I was weeks ahead of where I was last year physically, same surgery, other hip. Why the difference? Well, that's for another post (too long to put in here). I promise I'll write that one soon because a lot of people have asked me why this surgery went so much better and I am healing so much faster this time. It is really quite interesting...well, I think it is.

But I still haven't told you about my embarrassing admission. Yes, it has to do with my weekly weigh in. I was updating my medical history this morning...when you've had as many surgeries as I have, you have to print your medical history on a full page of paper to give to Dr's for your file. There is no way to even begin to write it in the two lines they give you.

Anyway...I was updating my medical history this morning and I realized that I have had SEVEN surgeries in the last three years and (the embarrassing admission) gained 7 pounds with each one of them!! Seven pounds...okay, not so much. But times that by six...that's 42 POUNDS!!! Wow! I suddenly find myself 49 pounds heavier than I should be.

Five years ago I fought to lose 65 pounds and get back in shape after having 30 weeks of chemo and 6 surgeries in 12 months. I finally felt like "myself" again..strong and healthy. Now I am the first to say that being strong and healthy is a lifestyle, not a diet that gets you there and then you're done. But there is definitely a different approach to losing the weight to get back to that state and maintaining it once you are at that healthy place. I'm also not a huge proponent of aiming for a particular weight. I believe too many people get hung up on a number (or a size) that they have heard should be their ideal weight. Every body is different. I believe you know your healthy weight when you feel good, you feel strong, your clothes fit comfortably (in the appropriate size) and you know (if you are honest with yourself and not being "hollywood critical") that you look good.

So how does someone who loves fruit and veggies, juices every day and blogs about a healthy lifestyle get 42 pounds overweight? Each one of these surgeries left me unable to exercise (including walking) for an extended period of time. I was used to eating the amount of calories that I could handle while running 5 miles a day. Obviously, I didn't adjust my caloric intake once I wasn't able to exercise. Another contributor was all my well meaning friends who brought lots of great treats to "cheer me up" after surgery. Or took me to lunch so I could get out of the house a little.

And so, here I am, with 42 pounds to lose. I acknowledge it. I accept responsibility for it. I don't like it. I don't like how hard I'm going to have to work to get it off, but I'm willing to do it because today I am sick and tired of carrying it around. It drains me of energy and strength. I can't fit into my clothes, and I refuse to by a new wardrobe in a bigger size. Try picking up a 25 pound bag of potatoes and carrying it around your house for a while. I'll bet you don't get very far before you set it down thinking, "there is no way I can carry that all day!". When you gain external perspective like that, you begin to understand the extra stress you are putting on your body by being 25 pounds over weight.

So my question(s) to you is this. Are you interested in taking this journey with me? Whether 'Weekly Weigh In' or 'I'm Losing It, Again!'? Do you have a personal goal to improve your health? Is it motivating to you to read my progress? Would you share challenges with me and comment with your progress to help motivate others?

Leave a comment with your opinion and your thoughts on your personal health goals and what would be motivating to you!