Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rekindle the spark...


I ran across this quote on Pinterest this evening and it spoke volumes to me. We all need at least one person in our lives that can rekindle that spark within us. I am so thankful that I have several of them. And I hope that I can and have been that person for someone else. 

I've been through quite a bit lately with this health scare and it's not over yet, and I am grateful for having people in my life who I can turn to. 

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Do you have that special person who can rekindle the spark inside you? 
Do you have what it takes to be that special person for someone else? 

~ Erin

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Where to begin?

It's been so long since I've sat down to blog - I think the last entry was back in November or December. So much has taken place since then, it's really crazy. I am not sure where to even start...forgive me if I start babbling...

So, this coming Tuesday will be 9 months post op. 9 months. It hardly seems possible that it's been that long, it seems like just yesterday I was getting ready to under the knife. But here I am 9 months out and down 121lbs...69.25 inches...7 pants sizes...4 tops sizes. I exercise 6-7 days a week doing everything from Wii Fit, treadmill, recumbent bike, yoga, ketttlebells, etc. I try to work out at least an hour to hour and half a day. I am determined that I will loose more - the weight loss has slowed down some now and I've found that upping my protein intake and exercising even more is helping break through the plateau. I must admit I am really enjoying working out. I never thought those words would come from my mouth but it's true. The days that for whatever reason I can't work out or don't get to, I feel so guilty and just blah. And yes, there are mornings where I'd rather just sit around when the kids get on the bus and are on their way to school, but once I get exercising I just feel so much better physically and mentally. It really makes a difference. I am doing things that I never would imagine I would be doing. At the end of March I signed up to take 10 weeks of swim lessons. I am 37 yrs old and finally learning to swim. Part of that was the fear of the water but a huge part of that was the fact that I wasn't comfortable getting into a swim suit. And granted, I am by no means thrilled with how I look now in a swim suit, I am ok enough with how far I've come to say the hell with it and get into that bathing suit and get into that pool and conquer my fear. Last week I actually swam unassisted for the first time in my life. What an incredible feeling! I am so looking forward to spending weekends at the lake this summer, sipping iced tea, watching the kids and dog running around and going for swims!

 It's amazing how one's life can change after a dramatic weight loss. There is one thing I've noticed and that is people treat me a lot differently now. People used to either look past me or give me those looks of pity ...you know when you see someone morbidly obese and you look at them in disgust, judging every move they make. And maybe you personally don't do it but we all know someone who is like that. That doesn't happen anymore...people smile more at me...they chat me up more in general conversation...I get compliments all the time...and yes I've noticed that I get more attention from the male population...that is something that is really weird to me. Flattering...yes...but still weird. 

I've also noticed that I have this growing confidence in myself...I carry myself differently...head held higher...back straighter...shoulders back...I pass a mirror and I don't wince anymore. I look in the mirror and actually think that I am actually pretty now. And yet at the same time, strangely enough, it's hard to not still think of myself as that person 121lbs heavier. Sometimes I still see that girl in my mind. For example when I go shopping, I immediately assume clothes won't fit and I try to find the biggest sizes...and then I am in complete shock when I find the smaller sizes fit. It's just so surreal sometimes. 

At this point I am hoping to loose another 40lbs at least. Ultimately, I'd love to drop another 80lbs but I would settle for 40. I can't wait to see what the next nine months brings in terms of the weight loss and all the new found activities. 

***I should stop here and give a warning - the following is pretty intimate and personal - if you are offended easily, then maybe you should stop reading here.**

This week I had a pretty major health scare. You know the kind that has the big "C" word. It all started at the end of April when I discovered a hard lump inside my privates. It hurt quite badly and really freaked me out. I went to the Dr. that week and she took at a look at it and said she believed it to be an infected abscess. She injected some numbing medicine (which hurt like hell) and then she lanced it. She put me on antibiotics and on my way I went. About three weeks went by and everything seemed ok and then as I showered one day I noticed it was back. And the pain was back. I went in to see the Dr. again last week and spent 45 minutes in the stirrups while she attempted to cut it out. It was so deep though that she had a hard time and warned me that she most likely wouldn't be able to get it all. She took what she was able to get out to send for pathology. After a couple more needles of numbing medicine, she was able to put in three stitches and sent me on my way with some antibiotic ointment. By the weekend I could tell there was still more in there. Monday I went in to get checked out and she told me to come back on Wednesday to get the stitches out. When I went in on Weds, she had to give me more numbing medicine via needle to even take the stitches out. By now let me tell you've I've had so many needles in my privates and it hurts like hell and I'd die happy if I never had to experience that again. My Dr. wasn't happy with the way it was healing so she set me to see an OB/GYN the next day. (BTW, path report came back saying it was either a Bartholin's Cyst or fragments of Fallopian tube - which is weird considering I had a complete hysterectomy 2 yrs ago. So Thursday morning I go to see the OB/GYN and while doing her exam she discovered a mass between the bowels and colon. She immediately called a surgeon and scheduled me to go for a CT Scan and meet with the surgeon. 

So off I went to the hospital for the CT Scan and then met with the surgeon. Long story short, he scheduled me for surgery for Friday (yesterday). I tell you that I was incredibly scared. You know you think you are doing all you can to get healthy and then something like this happens and you really get scared. There has been a good deal of cancer in my family and it always looms in the back of my mind. My grandmother died of breast cancer...my uncle died of cancer...just to name a couple. So here I am freaking out that there is a very real possibility that I could have cancer. 

Yesterday morning Karl and I went to the hospital and I had surgery. So the good news is that there is no cancer there! Phew! But there was an infection and it was more intense then they had thought it would be. Basically the infection created a "tunnel" from the rectum to the vagina. The Dr. doesn't feel very confident that it will heal properly based on what it's like. If that is the case, they will have to send me downstate to a specialist to have further surgery, in which they would have to cut the sphincter muscle. {taking a deep breathe} 

This all just blows my mind. I meant to ask how this could have happened...or what could have caused it but I was just so glad to know it wasn't cancer. I go back on Tuesday for a follow- up and will have to raise that question then. I am just glad to be on my way to being able to put this past me. I realize that there is still the very big possibility that I will have more surgery, but at least now I am on the path to getting healthy. 

I have got to say this has been a huge wake-up call. While I've been loosing weight and exercising, I will admit that I haven't been very good at taking my daily meds or vitamins. I know what I need to do but often, I forget or put myself last. But this has made me realize that I need to take care of me too. No more "forgetting" me. So this morning I got up and had my breakfast and took my vitamins and meds. And I used this as an opportunity to once again talk to the kids about how important it is to take care of yourself. Both Karl and I have cancer in our families and it worries me what the kids will face as they get older. 

I suppose for now this is a long enough post...the beginning of playing catch-up! I hope now that school is almost over and things will settle down a bit that I can get back to regular blogging. 

~ Erin