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Weighing In

Today I had yet another doctor appointment. Instead of returning to the one humble, now gorgeous rural doctor’s office where my family and I get most of our care- the home of very high turnover. This is the clinic where I have seen over 8 doctors in the past two years. No two of them can agree on my treatment, or as more often the case, lack of it.

Despite the convenience of the rural health clinic, I made an appointment many months ago with a well-spoken of physician quite a long drive away. I felt like a country bumpkin driving into town to see a new doctor, The appointment took well over two hours. The  doctor kindly stated that I was not one of their normal patients. That was a nice way to describe the past three and a half years of my life that have been largely consumed and drastically altered due to a poorly executed tooth extraction and the resulting pain deep pain in my right ear which became the nerve pain I still live with every minute of every day.

One thing established at the visit was that I still have a sinus infection- despite a round of regular old antibiotics, then a round of the super-strong anthrax killing antibiotic. Now I’m on the double strength version of the anthrax killer, I worry if I am not over this month-long sinus infection in a week I may be forced to go to the hospital for the IV version of this antibiotic- a possibility spoken of several months ago by my Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, due to the large amounts and types of antibiotics I’ve been on these past almost-four years. I hope that is not the case, as that means in the future (which in my world is two months max) I will have to go back to the hospital for IV antibiotics when the next ear or sinus infection hits.

Despite the kindness, efficiency and great help the new doctor was, one part of the visit really shook me up. My weight- the first thing to be recorded as I walked towards an exam room-was much too much, especially when compared to the weight I was only a month ago. Over the past year I have gained an alarming amount of weight. I’m painfully aware that my metabolism is not as efficient as it was before my age started with a 3, and was two digits long. I can also easily attribute about 25% of the total weight gain on my Rockstar (or two) a day habit, as well as my ever increasing sedentary days. The constant pain is exhausting. My sweet husband makes sure I get my nap each day, whether or not our youngest one does. Excluding a brief time in my twenties when I had a gym membership, I don’t work out. Due to my mild cerebral palsy it has always been a challenge for me to do many physical activities- run, go up or down stairs, walk for long distances. Unfortunately all of these are activities suggested to lose weight. I have fallen down too many steps, and in one memorable, and incredibly painful time, down an entire flight. As such I am terrified of stairs. I’m fairly sure I could manage something resembling a run, if say, a snake was nearby, as I’m scared of those much more than stairs. (I can’t even look at a picture of a snake in a book without freaking out. Even writing the word gives me the heebie jeebies!)

Certain tests will be done to make sure I don’t have a thyroid issue or any other issues that would case such a great amount of weight to attach itself to my belly and backside. I will take a long vacation from certain sweet treats I have a hard time refusing. I will start on the vegetarian diet, with a lot less processed foods, mostly. That’s the bitch of it. (Sorry if the cursing bothers you.) I know what I eat, and the junk that I eat, but good heavens, I don’t eat that much garbage. Also, since the pain in my ear has become much more vicious this past year, my ability to make a meal for my family in less than 3 hours – not counting spaghetti- is a miracle. I love to cook- mostly healthy food, but also delicious desserts. This past year though, the pain has just drained me of energy. So I am sedentary, yes, Mild cerebral palsy makes walking through a Walmart an exercise that will leave my hips and knees aching the following day. Other than cutting the Rockstar breakfast and keeping a food journal, I’d love to hear if anyone has suggestions for weight loss. The idea of getting back on the scale in a month and seeing an increase again is not an option. I’m worried though, because aside from swimming, which even here it’s slowly getting too cool for, other physical activities are likely to cause me falls and minor injuries like sprained ankles.

Mostly though, aside from the health concerns, I just feel embarrassed, ashamed and unattractive. My gauge of weight gain or loss used to be one pair of jeans I’ve had for ages. During a period of time when I was incredibly depressed and inactive I could just barely fit into those jeans. The last time I tried to wear them, a month ago, was impossible. I’m never had much confidence in myself. I felt I lacked any special skills or uniqueness that set me apart from the world. Cooking and creating natural products became something I could practice and become better at as I learned more. This neuralgia has stolen a lot of things- my energy, ability to cook quickly, some of my memory, and now, the thought of myself as attractive to my husband. Don’t get me wrong, he will always say I am beautiful. It took me years to stop disagreeing with him. Now I would absolutely think he must be lying if he said I am beautiful. I am a lot of things, but attractive is not on that list. I hear, “Fat, fat, fat” repeated in my head as the cruel children in elementary and middle school called me a cripple. I am ashamed, despite being a feminist, despite knowing women are more than their dress size. I am my own harshest critic, the silent voice in my head yells louder than anyone’s kind words.

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