Saturday, July 31, 2010

Don't Eat Healthy

Let me make the back story as short as possible. Since December of 2009 I've had four wicked episodes of abdominal pain, one that sent me to the emergency room in January and one that would have sent me there this past Monday night had I not known for sure what it was. Right upper quadrant pain that goes around to my back and up to my right shoulder - this here is textbook biliary colic (pain from gallstones). I had it once in December, once in January, and once this past Monday. I was fine with it, even though it was excruciating on Monday night, because I knew what it was and it didn't freak me out. I just took two heavy duty painkillers that I was prescribed during my ER visit, which I had NEVER taken before Monday night, and went to sleep. I woke up very sweaty and tired but feeling much better on Tuesday morning, and I told myself that if this horrible pain only happened once or twice or three times a year, I could take it. I've also had some random abdominal pains in that general area since last year, but whatever...nothing to write home about.

I didn't think anything else of it until it happened again on Thursday night, just four days later. Then I woke up Friday morning and almost barfed in the shower, and I dealt with abdominal/back pain all day at work. That's when I knew something wasn't good. Cue me calling a general surgeon for an appointment.

Interesting aside: I was talking about my predicament on Friday morning with one of the doctors I work with, who has been out of his residency for a few years now. When I told him that this pain landed me in the ER back in January and that they didn't even do an ultrasound while I was there, he said, "Did you let them know you were a doctor?" I told him of course I didn't, it's not something I broadcast just for shits and giggles. He said, "It's okay to announce it. You'll get better treatment, which is unfair, but it's still true." Isn't that horrible? I mean, HE wasn't being horrible...he was stating what is a truth. But it's still a shame.

So now go back to me calling the general surgeon. The surgeon's secretary said, "He's not in the office today, he's only on call. You'll have to come to the emergency room." And I said, almost apologetically, "Ugh, I just feel so stupid. I'm a doctor...I don't know why I let it go this long!" So smooth, right? Well, I'll tell you what...that surgeon's door opened for me. The secretary actually said, "Oh, you're a doctor? Hmmm...let me know, I can probably get him to come see you later today." He came in to see me that afternoon, PLUS set me up for an ultrasound and pre-admission bloodwork after hours. That doctor thing works sometimes.

So there I am getting my ultrasound. The ultrasound tech is super nice, and I'm looking at all of my organs on the little monitor. Then I see my gallbladder...full of gallstones. I go, "Holy shit, look at that!" She said, "I'm not a doctor, I'm not allowed to say anything about your images!" I said, "It's okay, I'm a doctor, and those are gallstones." She calls the surgeon and puts me on the phone with him, and the first thing I say is, verbatim, "Dude, my gallbladder has like a bazillion stones in it." Very intelligent.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I am scheduled to have surgery on August 10th. Balls.

What's with the eating healthy thing? Well, I'll tell you. Most people think it's fat people that get gallstones. Most people think you have to have a crappy diet to get them. Au contraire, mon frere. The surgeon said my gallstones most likely formed when I drastically changed my diet a little over a year ago. I stopped eating processed, nasty foods and instead filled my diet with mostly whole foods, a lot of fruits and vegetables, and a lot of plant sources. Because my gallbladder didn't have to squeeze out bile as much anymore to emulsify a bunch of fat, the bile just chilled out in my gallbladder, stagnating and finally forming little stones. (My surgeon friend asked me last night, "Is it one or two big stones?" I said, "No, it's a bunch of pebbles." He said, "Oh man, they're the worst kind." Thanks.)

Oh, and the people who say fried, fatty foods bring on gallbladder attacks? True enough...just not entirely. On Monday night, which was by far the worst pain I've ever experienced, I had eaten steamed broccoli, steamed brown rice, and tofu for dinner. And on Thursday night, the attack that carried through until yesterday, I had spaghetti squash with organic marinara sauce and a piece of whole wheat bread with less than a teaspoon of butter. I mean, really. And interestingly enough, Hubs and I went out for dinner last night and I had no symptoms at all. And I did NOT have a healthy dinner. But that's the way it's gone for me - my attacks were all after healthy meals, and when I'm on vacation or something and am not eating healthy at all, I have no problem with it. Maybe so much bile is squeezing out that it's just pushing the stones right out of the way. ;) Maybe I need that action in my gallbladder. It may not just be a joke actually, because they did see one stone stuck in the top of my gallbladder during the ultrasound, and I'd hardly eaten anything yesterday until dinner.

Funny story: The ultrasound tech said, "Have you eaten anything today?" I said, "Yes, I had a peach at 12 PM." (It was 4 PM.) She said, "Oh, we really like you to be fasting..." And I said, "Well, it was a peach....4 hours ago....I think it's gone by now."   LOL

I also think it's funny when people say that having their gallbladder out made them gain weight. gained weight because now that your gallbladder is out you can eat all the fried, disgusting, fatty shit that you want.

So now you know The Adventures of My Gallbladder. Think goods thoughts for me on the 10th. General anesthesia scares the shit out of me!


By the way, 230.8 yesterday.  That's down 2.8 since the Friday after vacation (last Friday) from 233.6.  My metabolism did its job on our vacation and held me pretty steady, though I definitely did gain a bit.  That's okay, I'd rather gain a pound or two than get off track completely. 

Happy weekend!  :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Linen Pants

Folks, I'm back from vacation...perhaps not exactly skinnier than before, but definitely back.  We had an awesome time at the beach, and I consumed enough calories to power a small village for at least a week.  I didn't have any majorly disgusting binges or anything, just a lot of eating here and there, grazing on high-calorie, high-fat, processed crap.  I'm actually feeling good about getting back on the wagon, if you can believe that!  I'm sure that feeling will last all of a week or so.  ;)

Here's the good news though:  My linen pants, which I'm not sure if I've referenced in the past, still fit.  Quick linen pants back story for you...I bought a pair of these gorgeous, off-white pants about 5 years ago.  Linen, no stretch, very pricey.  That last fact was unfortunate though, because the pants never fit me.  But of course I never took them back - instead, I always told myself that I would lose a few pounds to fit into them and that they would be my motivation...

...hahahaha!!!  Oh, that's hysterical.  Oh God, ouch...I think my side actually hurts from laughing.  Too funny.  But that's actually what happened.

So anyway, I've been trying these pants on periodically throughout my weight loss.  At one point I couldn't get them higher than my knees.  A few months ago I could pull them up over my ass but it looked like I was trying to cram 10 pounds of meat into a 5 pound sack.  They zipped and buttoned but I still looked gross.  Then about a month or two ago I tried them on again - the number on the scale has essentially been the same since Christmas, mind you - and they buttoned, zipped, AND looked amazing.  And so to celebrate the fact that they still fit, I'm wearing them today.  :)  Comfortable as ever.

I'm back on track today, but it sucks a big one.  I'm hungry, I'm low on energy, and the fact that these pants still fit makes me want to go out and have a salty, fatty dinner with Hubs.  (I guess so I can eventually make them NOT fit again?)  Damn linen pants!  They're a double-edged sword.

Official weigh-in this Friday.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Long Time, No Weigh!

Get it?  Instead of "long time, no see"?  I'm so clever!  It must be all the glucose feeding my brain.

Okay, seriously now.  I haven't weighed myself since June 18th, and I have no plans to do so until Friday of this week, and even then I may not.  Why?  Well, because I feel fat.  Do I think I'm actually fatter?  No, not at all.  Everything that fit before still fits, everything that was loose is still just as loose.  It's clearly psychological - I know that I haven't been following my healthy eating plan as strictly as usual, so I automatically feel as if my face looks fat and I have puffy fingers.  It's just the way it is.

I'd been doing fairly well up until the holiday weekend.  I'd been getting in my 5-9 fruits and vegetables every day, all of my water, and staying in a reasonable calorie range.  Reasonable meaning I'd eat about 800 throughout the day and then just eat dinner without counting.  Dinner was never anything like a bucket of fat smeared with butter, so I wasn't worried.  But see, then the holiday weekend happened, and holiday weekends are baaaaad.  Think beer, mixed drinks, wine, desserts, chips, and ice cream.  Nothing in gigantic proportions, but still more than I should have consumed.  What can I say?  If I get a taste of it I miss it.  And I really gave myself license to eat this weekend (up to and including Monday!).

Still I worried?  No, I'm not.  Am I deluding myself?  No, I'm not.  I'm not going to gain weight by eating like a "normal" person.  "Normal" people allow themselves to indulge and don't worry about packing on 10 pounds in one sitting.  "Normal" people know better, and I have to remember that.  They know that the give-and-take will be what matters - indulge today, eat healthier tomorrow.  Even Steven (Seinfeld reference!).  It's all about a give and take, but for us dieters, give and take almost seems like a sin.  Clearly we will gain weight if we don't stick to 1200 calories a day that come from only fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and a touch of protein.  Obviously we will beef up to critical mass if we miss a day of exercise or don't drink all of our water or even - *GASP* - eat dessert more than once a week.  This will derail us completely and we will gain back all 5, 10, 20, 50+ pounds we lost.  We're so unlucky.

Does anyone else find this extreme black-and-white thinking horrifying?  Gosh, how much more punitive can we get than when we are chastising ourselves for not being perfect eaters?  And look, I'm not saying this to give us all carte blanche to just eat through our pantries or refrigerators or cupboards of shame.  I'm not talking about either extreme here - neither the perfect nor the wretched.  I'm talking about sometimes relaxing and finding the middle.  And let's face it, the middle doesn't always help us lose weight, right?  But the middle is what helps us maintain, and maintaining is a valuable lesson in and of itself.

Voltaire said, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."  Voltaire was awesome for that, and that's become a quote that I apply to many areas of my life.

And before I forget, the lovely Lauren over at Piece of the Pie commented on my last post and wanted to know how dinner was.  Truth is, Lauren, I don't remember!  LOL  It's been so long since I've posted that I can't recall a damn thing.  But when I have a fabulous dinner sometime this week I'll give a full report.  :)

Happy Tuesday!!!