The ramblings of things that make me…um, well…me.
I’ve had this post just sitting here for close to 2 weeks now. Just trying to think of what to say and how to word it…and if I really wanted to post it at all.
Whew, ok, got that part out of the way, that was the hard part, I think. Admitting it is the first step, right?
I’ve been a big girl my whole life. Yeah, I know I’m only 32, so that isn’t a long time, but to me…it is my whole life. This post isn’t supposed to be a downer, because this entire blog is supposed to be about the things that make me happy, so that is why I’m posting it…because what has happened in my life the last 6-ish months has made me happy and I feel like I should share it with all of you. 🙂
My story actually starts about 2 years ago (I know, I said 6-ish months, but you have to get a little backstory for this to work itself out…stick with me, I’ll try to fast forward through some important points that you’ll want to know about me and how I got through to today.
July 2010 – The Book Hipster family is visiting family in Michigan for about a week. As I’m washing my face one morning, I get this shock of pain in my right cheek/nose area, which I can only describe as what I think it would feel like to be given a mild dose of electro-shock therapy. It was painful, fast and totally unexpected. And it only happened once. I shake it off and don’t say a word to anyone as I think it was just some weird randomness that my mind may have created in my sleepless haze.
A couple months down the road, it happens again…except this time, it isn’t just a one time incident. This sharp electric-like shock happens on and off for one to two weeks. Sometimes when I’m washing my face. Sometimes when I’m eating. Sometimes when I’m brushing my teeth or blowing my nose. Same area. Same horrible pain. And then it is gone.
Now, this happens almost on a regular basis for about 9 months. And quite honestly, most of that time I didn’t have health/dental insurance so there wasn’t much I could do about it because going to the doctor is hella expensive when you don’t have insurance and the pain wasn’t that bad (Ok, it really was, but I just would tell myself it wasn’t in order to keep myself from giving us an added bill to pay off). But at about the 9 month mark of this happening at random a strange thing happened. It came back…about a million times worse than it had ever been…and it wasn’t going away. The pain wasn’t completely constant, but it was always in the background waiting to strike. Itching my nose would make me gasp. I had to start chewing food (and softer stuff at that!) on the left side of my mouth because if I chewed on the right side I’d be in tears from the pain. Brushing my teeth…holy mother of all that is evil…I’d be whimpering the whole time! And this was all in one, yes ONE, week.
About 2 months before (so, January) we had put me back on the insurance with the enrollment period, so when my week of torture began I could actually do something about it. Thinking maybe it was a cavity (as it seemed to involve my mouth/teeth area more than anything else) I make a dentist appointment. Dentist takes x-rays and does a thorough exam…he cannot find any reason for me to be having this pain. No cavities, so issues that he can see. He refers me to an Endodontist…oh yay…a specialist! The Endodontist not only looks at the x-rays I brought from the Dentist, he takes his own and does a thorough exam of my chompers. Yeah, he couldn’t find anything wrong either. Crud. Now what? The Endodontist says that he CAN do a root canal, but quite honestly feels it would be unnecessary as it might not fix the pain issue. He thinks a better option to start is for me to see a Neurologist (um…wait…what?????) because there are all sorts of nerves in the face and it is a possibility that it could be nerve related. Oooooh, boy!
I spend the next day calling local Neurologists trying to get the earliest appointment I can. I have to wait a whole week to get in to see one. A WEEK!!!! One more week of pain before seeing someone. I want to just die the pain is so much some days. One good thing (or bad depending on if you’ve ever done it) is I decided to go online and start looking up face pain. Yeah…if you’ve ever heard the phrase “Never look up health issues up online”…it is totally true and you should never do it. It is scary as all get out! I was getting all sorts of things. But I did find one thing that was me right down to the crossed ‘t’s and dotted lowercase ‘j’s. Trigeminal Neuralgia. Whatever site I was on was what I had been experiencing for the last 9 months…it was almost like someone had been following me around and writing a blog about it. It was quite scary! Even worse…I started searching for that disorder specifically and reading all sorts of treatment options…one involves drilling a hole in the skull behind the ear (Yes…the EAR!!!!) and inserting some cushioning “pads” or something into the area for the nerves. OMG…I was freaking out! I’d never been so freaked out in my life. Even when I was pregnant and the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat at 12 weeks (and then after rushing to the ultrasound room we found it!). After finding that, the computer went off and I waited until until my Neurologist appointment to happen. And I wasn’t going to tell him what I had found online either. I wanted him to hear my story of what I was feeling and have his decide what he thought it was. Yeah…he agreed with my thoughts. I had Trigeminal Neuralgia. Yay.
That was March 2011. I immediately started taking an anti-seizure medication for pain management and while at times I have an “off” day where I’ll have some pain or I’ll feel like my face is “twitchy” or “off”…I don’t have any issues. Now, if I miss too many doses of the medication in a row, the pain starts to show up. Also, I’ve noticed if I’m having allergy/sinus issues with the weather changes, that will cause some mild discomfort and pain too. But nothing like it could be, so I live with it.
Ok, so that is the backstory…now for the real reason for this post…
This past March (2012), I had a check up with my Neurologist as I do every 3-4 months. Just to make sure the medication is still working and that all my other functions are still working (he goes through this series of “checks” where he’ll make me use my arms and legs to push and pull so he knows I’m not having any issues elsewhere). This check up also involves us sitting and talking…yay…talking. *eye roll* He’s never commented on my weight status before, so this totally caught me off guard, but he flat out told me that I’m young and need to lose weight and start exercising. He said that it wouldn’t really help with the nerve disorder, but that it would be better for me because diabetes and high blood pressure run like wildfire in my family (I did have Gestational Diabetes when I was pregnant…even had to take shots! So, I’m more prone to Diabetes even without the family background). And that I was young enough that if I started any exercising routine, it would be easier for me now than say when I was his age (60+).
I left the appointment defeated. Let’s be honest here, I don’t do exercise. I’m the least athletic person you will ever meet. I was in Marching Band in high school and college. That is the extent of my abilities…ha! And dieting…forget it! Food is my Achilles heel…and leg…and hips…and arms…and…well, you get the idea. I like to eat. And it is usually stuff that is bad for me. So, if I needed to start exercising where do I begin???? I contacted the one person that I thought could steer me in the right direction…a FB/Twitter friend who always seems to be working out (and you can tell based on some of his pictures…I’d tell you his name because let’s be honest, he probably won’t read this anyway and wouldn’t know if I did tell you, but I’d rather keep you from stalking his pictures. Ha!). Any exercise had to meet 4 requirements: 1.Easy, 2.Free, 3.Had to be done in the 3 alone hours I had in the AM and 3. Had to be able to do it from home because I didn’t have a car in the mornings. His answer…walking. Just 30 minutes 4-5 days a week (to start at least). And I could always add more time or other exercises later as I felt comfortable.
The next morning…I started walking.
It became my morning routine. Throw the Kidlet on the school bus…go walk for 30. I even got myself a pedometer to use. Between that morning walking and all the extra hours I was working at the store during the time, people said I was losing weight. I didn’t believe them. Until I decided to step on the scale. Yeah, I was losing weight. Eeeek!
I was enjoying my morning walks so much. I had a Spotify playlist and new pair of TARDIS blue earbuds…I was having a good time! Then, Jillian brought home an interesting piece of paper from school. It was regarding an upcoming 5K through the district. And you didn’t have to run it…you could WALK it! My brain went crazy and instantly decided I could do it. Yes, me, the most non-athletic girl in the world was going to walk a 5K. INSANITY!
I started upping my morning walk 1/2 mile at a time and eventually was able to get to 3.5 miles every morning (a 5K is 3.1 miles if you didn’t know…I didn’t!). I was doing this 5 days a week.
Come May (yes, I had only been walking for MAYBE 2 months…2 !?!?!?!) I was ready for my 5K!
Well, obviously, I didn’t die doing the 5K cause I’m writing this post. It was hard, I’ll be honest…I was so scared I was going to be last across the finish line, but I wasn’t! I did walk the whole thing even though we did have the option to run if we wanted. There is no way I was going to run it. I don’t run. I told a friend, “When the Zombie Apocalypse happens, I’ll probably be one of the first ones they’ll eat because I just don’t run”.
Here is my main reason for this post…if you’ve made it this far…I love you so much! This got a lot longer than I had planned and I’m sorry for that. Guess I had more to say than I thought. I have a goal…it may not seem like much, but to me it is HUGE! I’m still walking…and trying to watch what I eat. Well…I have 8 months before the 1 year anniversary of the 5K…8 months. And by this coming May I want to do the same 5K I did last year except I want to run/jog it. Just saying that out loud freaks me out and scares me. I already feel that it will not happen, but that is my inner voice saying that. Run…run…run… *shudder* I’m posting it here to hold myself accountable to all of you (well, those of you who actually care) that I want to do this. If you follow me on Twitter or FB and I seem kind of down about my walking/weight/running, throw me a note of encouragement or something. That is one of the things that really helped me when I first started walking. I’d get text from Mr. Book Hipster or from a few friends who knew I was walking. It made my walks easier and boosted my confidence to keep at it. 😉
In regards to my weight loss I don’t share numbers. Ever. Mr. Book Hipster doesn’t even know how much I weigh. That is between me and the scale and God and a regular Doctor (when I decide to start seeing one again…don’t yell at me!). If I ever post a number here for the whole Blogoshpere to see, it will be an “I lost this amount of weight” number. Maybe if I ever get down to an insane number I wouldn’t be utterly humiliated to post, I’ll post it. However, I do not ever see that happening, so I’ll at least share the good numbers. Ok?
So…how much weight have I lost? Lots of it. To date, I’ve lost a total of 35 lbs!!! Now, that Disney vacation we went on didn’t help me even with all the walking as I gained 5 lbs back…ha ha ha! I’m at 30 lbs down though, so that is awesome! I’ve gone down 2 pant sizes and 1 shirt size!!! AND I had to take my wedding ring set to the jeweler to get it resized because it was falling off my finger! This is a HUGE ego boost for me! I look and feel so different! And this is the smallest I’ve been in my adult life. I’m about 10 lbs lighter than when I first met Mr. Book Hipster when I was 18. Crazy, huh? I’m hoping that by continuing in my walking and maybe eventually running, I’ll keep losing and will be able to look even better! Notice a difference in the pictures below??? Yeah…
And I’ll I’ve done is walk my butt off (literally, I’ve lost weight in my butt)!! Now, I tell people, if I can get off my butt and do it…really anyone can! Now I need to go walk…