Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mammograms, Hormones and Fat, Oh My!

So, I got to see my GYN last week--first time since my post-hysterectomy check. I had a whole laundry list to talk to him about that ranged from my horrible acne problem to my horrible weight problem to an increasing social anxiety problem.

He verified that yes, I have gained a boatload of weight. Twenty pounds in year, to be exact. 

I'm short and small boned (no 'I'm big boned!' excuse for me!) and am now just on the verge of being officially called 'obese'. Forty pounds boys and girls and you get The Label.

Anyhow, I had to have my first mammogram. No one in my family has had breast cancer, but my mom and dad both died of cancer, my maternal grandfather, too. And my sister and I both have had adenomas removed from our colons that were pre-cancerous (that's just a friendly way of saying they were cancer but hadn't sown any seeds yet.)

My mammo tech, Joanne, was awesome and she warned me 'not to freak' if I got a call saying they wanted to do an ultrasound of my breast. Since it was my first mammogram they needed to take a close look at any anomalies so they could establish a reliable base-line.

Well, the call came today and though I didn't FREAK, I still felt that rush of adrenaline that's not the good kind. Anyway, I go back in next week for all that fun stuff.

But I have to say: Do NOT put off having a mammogram if you have been so far. It's honestly not that bad. It's quick and SO worth it. It felt good to be there doing something right for myself and my family.

Okay, back to my doc and all my complaints. 

He said probably my anxiety issues are an image problem and I just have to say: I love this man. He is most awesome. He sits and looks right at me and makes me feel like he gets me. Acne and fat belly and all. 

So he decided to switch around my hormones in an effort to relieve the acne problem. Five days on them and so far, so good. I still feel human, I haven't had the desire to eat my children or bite my husbands head off. I swear my acne is already getting better too--though he said that could take about a month. He did warn that these new pills may decrease my libido, so we'll have to see about that. So far I feel okay ;)

Now ... the fat.

I explained to him my complete confusion on the whole weight loss thing:

1. I did Weight Watchers for three months, religiously, and lost nothing. Went to my doc's PA who diagnosed me with pre-diabetes (which was why the low-cal diet wasn't helping me) and prescribed the South Beach Diet.

2. Did South Beach for four months religiously and only lost four pounds. That didn't seem like nearly the pay-off I deserved for how much I was denying myself. The holidays came and I decided to indulge myself.

3. Depression set in. I had failed at these two diets, life was hard, I sucked. Let's eat!

4. Months and months of taking no care. My body has turned into a pile of mush, more closely resembling a trembling bowl of overcooked oatmeal than a womans' body. I can't fit into any of my clothes comfortably anymore. I cry every Sunday morning (and have even skipped Church a time or two) because I can't bear to be seen in my fattened state. Nothing fits. I'm zitty. I'm fat. Leave me alone.

5. I go back to see my GP, stressing that this time I want to see HIM, not the PA. He says 'oh no, you're not pre-diabetic!' and says I need to do Total Health and Fitness (oh yeah, which costs $60/week btw!) No more low-cal diets. No more South Beach diets. I need to eat the THF way! When I tell him my husband is out of work and there's no way we can afford THF, he's at a loss for what to tell me and sends me away with only a vague understanding of what I can do to save myself.

6. Increased depression and fat-inducing eating ensues.

Which brings me to my visit with His Holiness Dr. Scott Hansen last week.

Dr. Hansen looks at my chart, and determines that my blood sugar was indeed indicative of an insulin problem. He prescribed Glucophage, or Metformin, which is a type II diabetes medication. They also use it for PCOS patients (which I had, though I don't have ovaries anymore) and has a side effect of weight loss. And he told me to do WW because they have a higher long term success rate than any other weight loss program, I can eat what I like, within their allowances and I'll get lots of support along the way.

Oh and the best part? I did NOT need to have a pap done because I no longer have a cervix, lol! I honestly wasn't sure if he'd left it in or not! Yes, I had an internal, but it was brief and I survived.

So it's been a week since I started back with WW. I am not doing well. But, I also haven't gone shopping so there hasn't been the appropriate things for me to eat in the house. I got started on the community boards online so I could have a good support system. I need to go join the gym because I think I need water aerobics to get moving again--my fibromyalgia has been acting up something awful, which is typical when you ... guess what? ... don't exercise! Don't exercise, hurt more, hurt more and you don't want to exercise! Such is life.

I'm not going to challenge anyone to join me. I suck at challenges. I'm just putting it out there in case there's some other girl out there who once thought "why do people let themselves get fat, when they can totally stop it?" and now finds herself trapped inside a body that is JUST GETTING FATTER seemingly despite all your best efforts. I feel like I'm drowing inside the fat, getting lost inside, and soon no one will be able to see me at all. 

I'm not feeling very hopeful, really, at the moment, but I'm reaching up and hoping for a hand to hold on to. I'm praying a lot for help, and know that I will be helped, the more I reach out and look for it.