Saturday, October 26, 2013

Knee brace and weight loss.

I need to call the Orthotist on Monday.  I got a letter of approval from my insurance company for the specialized brace.  I don't understand all the medical jargon and would like to clarify exactly what the brace will correct.  I hope it'll be for both the OA and patella.

I am down to 249#.  I had bought new underwear not even the week before and they are too big.  They aren't falling off, yet, so I'll wait to buy new!  I think the pants I am wearing are a size 2X.  They are ones I purchased second hand and they have no tag inside for me to see the size or brand.  I would suspect that I am in a 3X Just My Size.  They tend to run smaller than other brands, I have noticed.

Not much more to blog about.  I am transferring schools at the beginning of next year.  This school is still online, but I get a 15% discount through my husband's employer. They also have a degree specific for Paralegals.  Our local technical college has a similar program but it is not online.  I cannot afford a motorized wheelchair, as I am sure I wouldn't be able to walk the campus.  Also, online classes are much easier because I can do the work at night when everyone is gone and the house is quiet.  I can't drive, either, so online courses are much easier for me.

Monday, October 14, 2013

More issues to deal with!

So, I have lost the weight I regained and another pound (I was down to 252#, but went back up to 258#).  That brings me down to 251#.  I am practically starving myself to lose weight, though.  Anytime I go over 800 calories, I gain.  I am tired of this BS!  I want to be able to do more exercises!  My body is telling me I need to vary my routine and I can't because of my knee!  I called my surgeon, in hopes that he'd be compassionate and see that I am trying to lose weight.  When I first saw him, he gave me the hope that if I was able to lose just a little more weight, that he would replace my knee.  Well, he told his nurse that I would have to lose a CONSIDERABLE amount of weight, now!  I asked, what's a considerable amount?!?  I can't lose much more, as my body is telling me I need to do some different exercises!  I even asked her if I need to starve myself to death to get a knee replacement!  She said not to do that!  Looks like I have to, though.  She did say if I could find a surgeon at University of Wisconsin, Madison, that they'd refer me to them.  Well, my insurance won't cover anyone up there.  They are my only hope, as it's a training hospital.  I don't understand what's up with the orthopedic surgeon, though?!?  He said he's done knee replacements on patients that have weighed much more than 300#!

I only called because I have seen two different people about a knee brace and both gave me the impression that my issues cannot be fixed with a brace due to my excess skin.  Well, I called the last one I saw, an Orthotist, to see what she thought and if she knew of anyone.  She didn't know of anyone, but she did say she found a company that could make a brace to correct both my OA and my knee popping out of place.  The only thing is, the company wants me to try a patella brace for the kneecap, first.  If that corrects the kneecap issue, they will then go ahead and make a brace for both issues that I am having.  She said she sent in for approval of the patella brace, to my insurance company.  I just tried calling my insurance company to see if they would approve two braces, though.  The representative didn't understand my question.  I said I have TWO knee issues that need to be corrected with braces.  She said if that is the case then all they have to do is put in for approval of each brace and it should be covered.  So I guess if they don't approve a second brace, I am stuck with the patella one.  I guess that would be fine if it works to keep my kneecap from popping out, as that is the reason I cannot ride my recumbant bike!  It's all a waiting game, basically.  The Orthotist told me to hang in there and give the brace a chance.  I really do hope it all works out, as there is nothing else I can do, short of starvation, to lose this weight.  And we all know starvation doesn't really work for long.  All it did was kill my mother, and she wasn't trying to lose weight.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

NSV and Weight Loss!

I can finally see over my belly to see the numbers on my scale!  Sometimes it'll even talk to me!  Depends on how steady I am.  I tend to sway side-to-side, more so when I was heavier!  It's nice not to have to depend on my husband to read the numbers or weight until a doctor's appointment, anymore!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In 15 days, it'll have been one year since I've started this journey!

I didn't even realize it, until the nurse was taking my vitals and said it's been almost a year since I started my medically supervised diet.  Once it sank in and she left the room, I almost cried thinking of how far I have come in such a short time!  I am not a proud person, I am very humble, but today, I was proud of myself!

Well, one thing I never mentioned was that I had my PCP order a pregnancy test for me last week.  According to our bariatric center, we are to use two forms of birth control -- hormonal and barrier.  Our barrier method had failed a few weeks back and I got very paranoid.  Although I have been on the Depo-provera (with no problems) the past 18 years, I was still worried.  I have heard so many stories of women who had lost weight, rapidly, getting pregnant on whatever form of birth control they were using.  Tubes-tied, even (nothing is 100% effective, I have been told).  Well, I am happy to say that I am not pregnant!  I do not want children, nor have I ever.  Plus, I am not in a physical or mental place to care for a child.  Also, I do not want to deal with a teenager in my 60's!  I am perfectly content having furbabies.  I don't know what it is, but I have never felt my biological clock ticking, even when many of my friends started having children.  I do not feel that I would make a good mother, no matter what anyone says.  Anyway, I am very relieved to find that news out.

My TSH was 1.97, which is under 2 and perfect for me (I do better when it's between 1 and 2).  I had a feeling my TSH was high due to not taking my pills on a regular basis.  All is well, now, thankfully!  I got my anti-nausea pills prescribed and just need to pick them up Thursday when we are out and about, again (I have Zofran for now).  She also ordered an ultra sound of my stomach.  She wants to make sure it is not my gallbladder.  I doubt it is, as I believe it is my hiatal hernias acting up, again.  She felt the Prilosec should be taking care of it, but I had to remind her that I had the nausea problem prior to surgery.  So, I go in for my ultra sound on the 10th.  Hopefully it's not my gallbladder, as I really don't want to have to face that surgery, when I'd much rather have the knee replacement, if needed.

Speaking of my knee, I had my PCP check my orthopedic surgeon's notes and there was nothing about a prescription for a knee brace.  So, I called and left a message for my physical therapist, as she was the one that was going to talk to him about revising my diagnosis so that the brace would be covered by insurance.  I am waiting on her to return my call and update me.  I sure hope it works out, as I'd much rather use a brace than get surgery.  I did ask my PCP if she would handle my Arthrotec prescription for me, as I no longer see a point in going to a rheumatologist when I am seeing an orthopedic surgeon for my knees.  She agreed to do so.  So, that's one less doctor for me to see.  Thank goodness!

I got my flu-shot in one arm and my depo in the other and they are both kind of stiff, now!  Nice!  LOL!  Not really much more to update on.  If I think of anything, I'll just make a new post.  Take care and have a great week!

NSV's -- May be considered TMI!

So I've been thinking about some non-scale victories I have had since my weight loss has started.  Besides fitting into smaller clothes, wearing smaller rings, and smaller bracelets, there are others.  

I am able to stand up and take my clothes off before I get into the shower.  Prior to that I would sit on the toilet.  I still have to use my shower chair and don't trust myself getting out of the tub if I were to take a bath.  Someday, I will get there.  I am able to reach places I couldn't reach before.  I don't need my husband's help to wash myself.  I can wash my feet without using a bath brush, even!  I can dress myself and put on my shoes.  I can't always stand very long to find my clothes in the baskets in our closet (we don't always hang our clothes up), yet.  I can get up and stand long enough to slice up a cucumber when I want one.  I can get up to get a water out of the fridge.  I can't stand long enough to cook (a chair won't fit in our tiny kitchen), but I can get myself a tuna salad packet or some string cheese.  There may be more, but I can't think of any right now.  I try not to focus on what I cannot do -- like going up and down stairs and using my recumbant bicycle as I would like to (I am limited to chair exercises due to my knee).

I have a doctor's appointment, in the morning, and am going to inquire about having my anti-nausea medicine prescribed again.  I am also eager to see the results of my TSH test.  I am going to see if my PCP has access to my orthopedic surgeon's notes (I'm sure she does).  I would like to see if the knee brace has been prescribed.  If she's not able to tell me, I will call my physical therapist to find out what is going on, as she is the one that initiated the process of approval.  Oh and I can't forget to see if my PCP will prescribe my Arthortec, as I would like to stop seeing my rhuematologist.  The only thing he's done for me is prescribe that medication and give me cortizone injections on rare occassions, which do not work.  He never suggested the Gel-One injection in the 12 years I've been seeing him.  His only options for me were to lose weight and get a knee replacement.  How about seeing if the Gel-One injection would work, doc?!?  It may have worked prior to the bone spurs!  I don't see much of an improvement, as I am still in daily pain and my knee cap keeps moving on me, as I move.  Although, yesterday it wasn't knee pain, it was more neck and back pain.  Sitting up in my bed is hard on me since we got the new mattress.  It's comfortable to sleep in, though!  

I am down to 255# as of 09-30-2013.  I was thinking that I am only 20# more than what I weighed in high school (1985 - 1989).  Back then I thought I was huge!  I never envisioned myself gaining over 200#!  I always thought to myself that I would lose weight and show my bullies how "thin" I was at the class reunions.  To be honest, I don't even bother with class reunions, as I still keep in touch with those who matter the most.  Surprisingly, most of them aren't those I hung out with in high school.

Hope everyone is doing well and have a Happy October 1st!  This is my favorite month of the year, due to the leaves falling and Halloween!  :-)