Progress is Progress
Weight loss, strength training, new habits, and recap of my appointment with Dr. Poland, my new endocrinologist. Under the cut since some have asked me to keep food/weight loss-related content hidden as it can be triggering.
I mentioned yesterday that I met with a second endocrinologist, Dr. Poland. After going over my history, labs, a physical exam, she feels that there is another factor at play here with my weight and stature. What that factor is remains to be determined, but she does think Cushing’s is quite possible considering I have some of the very unique signs and symptoms. I’ll do two to three months of repeating the same few tests (establishing reliable data takes time…) before we move on to any kind of imaging studies (did you know nearly 10% of people have pituitary abnormalities that show up on MRI’s?). Blood pressure is okay (a bit low), blood sugar is normal, no high cholesterol, etc. The goal is to keep it that way.
We discussed my current eating habits: low carb/healthy carb, whole grains, lean proteins (mostly chicken), lots of green veggies, fruits, and lots of water (which is no problem since I drink nothing but water anyway)— this “diet” is something I’m already adhering to, only I see it as healthy/clean eating rather than a diet. Dr. Poland actually suggested I cut out grapes and bananas, which I wasn’t expecting but since neither are my absolute favourites, I suppose it’s do-able. I picked up some Quinoa to try at the Fresh Market yesterday to substitute for a pasta (which I am missing and hate the texture of whole wheat pasta)— 8g of protein per 1/4 cup! She also said no granola, but I don’t think a small bit in my greek yogurt is going anywhere, sorry. It’s only 100 calories/serving and I have half a serving so there are some things I’m not willing to give up. Granola is one of them.
Dr. P then firmly explained why I need to exercise for a minimum of one hour per day. Uh, yeah, that would be great if I physically could. This isn’t about being out of breath or the burning everyone experiences when pushing themselves while exercising— those things are things that get better as you build endurance and not something I’m unwilling to push through.
We’re not talking typical exercise pain. We’re talking about my hips feeling unstable and like they will pop out of socket when I do any kind of squats. We’re talking about my shoulders making awful noises (crepitis) with certain movements (overhead triceps are a big no no), with limited movement and excruciating pain. We’re talking about feeling like walking on broken bones, hands too swollen and weak to physically grasp a weight, things of that nature. Not to mention the crippling fatigue and energy required to do the most basic of tasks, let alone exercise.
I take walks after dinner every night and walk for as long and as far as my body allows me. I then wait until about 11-midnight for pain medication to take effect and begin a weight lifting (3-5lbs depending on how I’m doing that day) routine, then do cardio to the best of my ability. Sometimes I manage 2 minutes of cardio, sometimes more, and sometimes none at all. I always feel worse after I work out and not in a normal, sore-the-next-day kind of thing.
So one hour of cardio is currently physically impossible and she didn’t quite understand that. Part of that is probably because I look relatively normal and despite being in pain and being exhausted, I’m a happy, friendly, even bubbly person. Sick and disabled plus friendly and bubbly can be confusing for people—even doctors— to understand. And for some reason, lately on my worst days I’ve been hearing "oh you look so good!" and "you seem so happy today," which makes me wonder if I’m actually overcompensating with my positive mood for my miserable physical state. Hmm.
After all of the tests come back, we reevaluate in November and discuss the diagnosis, the next step, and whether or not to try a medication to lose some weight (which would be so amazing) since there are two new ones just approved by the FDA and on the market.
All in all, I feel satisfied with the appointment and how thorough Dr. Poland was.
I managed eight minutes of cardio today. To those of you without the limits of physical disability that might sound like nothing, but for those of you who, like me, find it difficult to physically get out of bed, get dressed, and do the most basic things, you know how huge an accomplishment this is! I went from five to eight minutes— still something I can’t do without being heavily medicated, but exercise is exercise and I’m proud of myself for pushing through the kind of pain I experience. Was only able to do a few reps with the 5lbs because they were just too heavy for my hands to hold and grab onto, but I’m definitely pushing myself and I’m okay with it.
(I plan on putting my food journal and fitness blogging/progress into a separate blog, mostly for myself to keep track of various motivating resources and recipes, so if anyone is interested in the link, send me a message)
Depending on how tomorrow is, I’ll know if I need to give it a rest. So far I’m lifting every day, cardio every other day since that is the hardest on my body. Half of me feels determined to keep pushing myself and the other half of me is screaming STOP, BEWARE AND RESPECT THE FLARE…
especially since my facial rash showed up yesterday and that is usually followed up my oral sores/ulcers.
We shall see.
If I can do eight minutes of cardio with what I go through and an entire weight lifting circuit, anyone (health people, I mean. Chronically awesome readers aside) can do it.
I see Dr. S and go for my next infusion on August 2nd. I also move into my new apartment this weekend, so that’s exciting. Preparing for the upcoming semester and trying to arrange my medical care up there while getting all of my appointments in while I’m home is taking up my time when I’m not resting, so I’m behind on posts, asks, and emails— please bear with me :)
Hope everyone is hanging in there,
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- tarardh likes this
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- wayfaringmd said: Are you able to do water exercises? That might be gentler on your joints and it’s really good exercise.
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- taletreader said: 8 minutes is AWESOME. Also, Livestrong.com lets you track exercise and food for free. I use it to track my water consumption
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- chroniccurve posted this