This past Christmas a beloved cousin who I don't see very often pulled me aside and said, "Are you okay? You look -- tired." In case it is unclear, she is a very nice lady who would not say "You look like shit" to a person on Christmas, but that's what she meant. And she was not incorrect. I decided, in the spirit of the holiday, to continue the conversation using her word.
"I AM -- tired."
I began the litany. She'd asked for it. And then - when it didn't send her screaming - I decided to confess, "I went off my meds right after Dad died. My prescriptions ran out and I just never bothered to fill them."
My meds, for what it's worth, control my rather extreme hypothyroid issues.
Her eyes widened. That was a long time to go without meds. "Do you feel better on them?"
"Of course I do."
She put an arm around me and nodded, seeming to grok the entire situation. And then she summed it up. "You don't want to feel better."
Dagnabbit, she was right. It had been such an awful year and I felt so BAD and feeling better seemed almost wrong. I WANTED to feel bad.
Eventually I decided that I didn't want to feel bad anymore. I wanted to get back to the world of the living. But how could I go to my doctor and ask him to refill my prescriptions after all that time? How could I face him - the man who had always tried to help me through this - puffy of face, dragging of ass, and lacking of thyroid hormones? I was afraid. But I pulled myself together and made the appointment and when I told him why I'd done such a stupid thing he didn't yell at me - he hugged me. "Ready to get back on track?" I nodded, not trusting myself to speak. I'd cried in doctors offices before and always felt ridiculously stupid afterwards. I didn't want to cry. Crying time was over. It was time to feel better.
He refilled my prescriptions then told me to come back in 2 months for blood work. I felt a lot better in a couple weeks. Before the 2 months were up I was back at the gym and JUST before the 2 months were up I'd started working with a trainer. I felt great.
Until he read me the results of that blood work. He hadn't yelled at me when he found out I'd been off my meds for 6 months, but he yelled at me but good when he went over those results. A lot was going on, but the most concerning issue was triglyceride levels that were through the roof. He said, "It looks like all you eat is carbs!" Of course this was not true, and I tried to protest, but he stopped me, "You need to cut them out - your body does horrible things with them."
"Cut out - like - fruits and carrots - and stuff?"
"Cut out - like - breads and pizza and rice and pasta - and stuff."
"I'd rather cut out carrots."
"Cut it out - and come see me in 2 months."
So I did. Mostly. I can count the amount of times I failed to stay within his parameters in that 2 month period on one hand. I lost weight, as I mentioned in the last post. I feel that it might have been unfair for me to mention that, though. To folks fighting with a vanity 4-7 pounds or something it probably sounded like a huge accomplishment - but I wasn't kidding when I said that it really isn't even noticeable to the casual observer.
It wasn't about the weight.
I wanted to get those levels under control.
He called me yesterday. Perfect. That was his word. Perfect. My triglycerides are perfect. My cholesterol is perfect. My blood work was perfect. I am healthy.
I may not lose another ounce or another size or another inch, but if I can remain healthy, I will consider what I'm doing a success.
I have met my goal. Now the hard part - maintaining it.
As I was leaving his office, he said, "Every 7-10 days I want you to have one meal - not one day - one meal - where you eat anything you want."
I was never much of a fan of cliff hangers, but I'm going to have to complete that thought in another post...