The 600 Pound Woman and Me

As I reflect on 2012 I realize I really need to whine less about pain and stop being so damned sad.  Not even sure if what I feel constitutes as ‘wallowing’ in self pity or not. All I do know is that I need to stop talking or more importantly fixated on it.  On the plus side, I don’t lay around thinking ‘life isn’t fair’ so that’s on my side. But the whining has to stop. My life has become completely defined by pain.  And now, pain and my inability to walk more than a few steps.  I’ve given up hope of being pain free…as we get older we have pain; everyone does. Bones ache, muscles hurt, activities you did at 22 now hurt you at 42 and you spend days recovering.  I guess that’s ok.  When I see commercials for Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, and Aleve I wonder what it’s like to have a level of pain that can be fixed by taking 2 aleve for a few days after you played Weekend Warrior.

Anyway, back to not whining.  It’s something I need to work on because I’m alienating myself. Even though the people I speak to most are good about listening or putting up with me, I feel truly withdrawn from everyone.

New Year ’s Day I spent the majority with my family at their house alone with a friend of my moms.  We had a big dinner and talked and enjoyed conversation and a good meal.  After sitting in the dining room for a while and having done some of the cooking (I’m not complaining about that, I wanted to do the stuff I did) my hips and back were killing me so I retreated to the living room to relax.

The tv was on, decided to change channels and turned on the guide to find something else to watch for a few minutes before the rest of the family joined me.  My go-to channel is Food Network but according to the program guide there was a show on I don’t care for.  On the same screen with Food Network was one of the channels in the Discovery family; I believe it was Discovery Health. There was a show that had already started titled ‘My 600 pound Life’.  Normally these are not the type of shows I watch; maybe because I’ve always been overweight but there was little else on and decided to stop searching.

Where I picked up the woman featured named Melissa had just had gastric bypass surgery. Her husband was talking about how much he was in love with her and would do anything for her at any cost and so on and so forth. She was post-surgery but in the hospital, they showed her getting up with the assistance of hospital personnel and walking down the hall, she spoke of the surgical pain and how jello was not a meal. Got to agree with her there.  Anyhoo she lost something like 33 pounds in the hospital.

Fast forward to 2 or 3 months ahead and they showed a person mowing grass. ‘That can’t be her’ I thought, but indeed it was. She had lost already roughly 100 pounds and the change in her face was a remarkable.  Initially I thought perhaps another very large person lived with her and was mowing, but no, it was her!

I was barely paying attention until that point. They showed her mowing the grass then walking up the front stairs on her porch. She was smiling and laughing and excitedly talking to the camera about walking upstairs without assistance. To prove her point she walked up and down a few times without holding onto the handrail.

Wow. Felt like I had been punched in the gut.

My eyes began to water and I was glad no one was in the room with me.  Even now in my head I see her walking up and down those steps. I can’t do that.  If I walk up or down stairs I have to do it like a toddler, one foot up, then the other, repeat all while holding onto the handrail for dear life…using it to push and pull myself (makes no sense but not sure how else to explain it).

Fortunately my niece rushed into the family room to fling herself on my lap and play Draw Something with me. Attention diverted, thoughts moved on.

I went to bed shortly after 10 but couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes there were a million thoughts and half of those were about that woman, Melissa.  I saw the scale at her 3 month checkup which they showed after the stair climbing. She was 577 pounds. Mowing the grass at 577 pounds. Walking up and down stairs at 577 pounds. I don’t weigh anything near that and just stepping up on a curb causes me a mini panic attack. The whole night was filled with negative, defeatist thoughts. How much this person was able to do without any problem. She never mentioned pain from it, doesn’t mean she didn’t have it (or hell, she may have been drugged up, who knows?)but the fact she could DO it. And those thoughts shifted to thoughts about her husband. He was a relatively attractive man, normal size and most of all so loving and caring. So deeply passionate about her well being and happiness.

Going out on a limb here to say she probably was quite heavy when they met and probably got much larger post-marriage. Where are these men? Why haven’t I found one? Maybe my personality is complete shyte. Maybe she’s as giving and loving as any person could be. Maybe I’m selfish and rude.  Maybe she’s really charming, who knows?  Ugh. As I’ve said before, I have friends, I have family, I have support but there’s something different about having partner support. Having so much pain all the time and dealing with it alone is unbearable any more.

I’ll be seeing a surgeon by the end of this month about my hips… I’ll find out IF he will do it at my age/weight/condition. IF he’ll do both at the same time.  I have hope they will get replaced and provide me with infinite amounts of relief…but as I reflect on new hips, I remember that the chronic pain won’t stop because when my hips aren’t the prime cause of my pain or ability to walk, it’s my lower back.  And let’s not forget my left knee which also needs to be replaced (and let me tell you, knee pain is a special kind of torture).  Each of these different surgeries requires time off work – not just for surgery but physical therapy too. I believe hips require less recovery time than spine and knee I believe – not sure how it will be for me since I need my hips done at the same time and I’m at the weight I am). It’s very difficult not to think about those things once I think about surgery in general. And as soon as those thoughts begin, the panic and anxiety set in that I will be in pain for…well, forever probably. After my hips are replaced I’ll need to build time off from work again to get the next most urgent thing replaced.

Hopefully I’ll continue to lose weight; I’ve lost 42 pounds in the last year and I don’t think I could lose it any faster. Sadly all the times in my life where I’ve counted fat, calories, stuck to diet plans and so on and I have rarely lost anything. But the last year I’ve been so stressed out and such that I’m losing without trying. That’s both a good and bad thing. I’ll take it though.

It’s a new year and I’m trying to be happy. I want to be happy. I hate things like they are. And – you know what? It’s no wonder Mr. Right hasn’t walked into my life. If I saw some woman limping and lumbering along I likely wouldn’t ask her out either.  Who would want to invite a maimed person into a relationship? Well, that ends wallowing for today and maybe the rest of the week. Trying to keep the wallowing and whining off my social networks.

Hope you’re having a great day and a terrific start to the New Year, wherever you are.

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About limpalongwithme

Quasi geek, social butterfly, information sponge, lover of spas and I spend my days dealing with major chronic back and hip pain. Recently diagnosed with dysplastic hips as a grown woman and I need a place to talk about it as I try to move forward.
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