Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Cry for Help

I took that picture 8 minutes ago. And yes, my bra straps are showing. One thing my job doesn't allow for is a strapless bra. Not enough support. And when the thermometer in my car reads 107 degrees Fahrenheit, this chick isn't wearing sleeves. My cheeks are 8 shades of red, I have no cover-up on, and there's sweat beading from the outsides of my nose.

Neutrogena Helioplex SPF 70? Pfft. You've got NOTHING on this sunshine. I'm bright red from head to toe. Don't get me wrong. I love some sun. I loooove some tan. And I adore my "natural happy pill," le Vitamin D. However, I didn't sunscreen my lips this morning and they HURT. And I'm sweating, still... I've been in 71 degree air conditioning for at least 40 minutes, now. 

And that house behind me? Messy. Gotta clean it. Don't wanna. 
Gotta clean it, TODAY and TOMORROW. It magically has to get done.
But I'm hot and tired. And I want to decorate my guest room. So right now, I'm intermittently blogging between spray painting my nightstand Robin's Egg Blue. 

And my mascara is running.

But... those are really the least of my issues. 
If you read my tweets this morning, you know I had a doctor's appointment, yesterday, and boy did I get a wake up call. Some of you might remember a few weeks ago when I had some scary chest pains and took myself to the doctor instead of to work. As a precaution, my doctor decided to take a pretty ginormous blood test that day, which would end up showing basically everything in the world that I never wanted to/definitely needed to know. Fortunately, my heart is in great shape and I was most certainly suffering from a panic attack that day. Myocardial stress is supposed to be under a score of 125 (I don't know the units) and my measurement was 5. Excellent.

However, there are several other things that tested and came back in the red zone, ie: High Risk.
Artery inflammation.
Very low Vitamin B12 and protein.
Platelet sticking.
Of course, weight.

Insulin? You might jump to thinking that's a diabetes problem. Well, you're not entirely wrong. But here's the kicker. My glucose levels are perfect. I'm producing WAY too much insulin, though, which is mega bad and a sign that if I don't get my act together, I could become diabetic in the future. Your pancreas only creates a set amount of insulin for life. Kind of like women have a certain amount of eggs. We don't get more throughout our lifetime. We're born with X amount and that's how many we get. Same with insulin. You get X amount and when your pancreas secretes it all, it's gone and you have none left to transfer your sugars and carbohydrates into fuel for your bones. (Thank you pancreas and insulin for working so hard.) So, the insulin score is supposed be between 4 and 9. Mine is 47. BAD. Easy fix? Kind of... Exercise is the answer. Aerobic exercise and reaching your metabolic heart rate burns carbohydrates for your body so insulin doesn't have to. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day should decrease the amount of insulin my body is letting out. 
My ass is about to get serious about movement.
Oh- and as a precaution, no more white starches for me. Damn it to hell.

My cholesterol has been high forever. "High" is over 200. Mine tested at 267 in college. When I  became a vegetarian in 2006, my cholesterol dropped to 230 by mid-2007. This time around? 288. Kicker? I also had a genetics test done for my cholesterol and my problem is SEVENTY FIVE PER CENT genetic. Thank you, paternal family. That means only 25% of my cholesterol problems can be remedied with diet. Good thing? My GOOD cholesterol (HDL) is very high. When it's over 60, it becomes protective of your heart against the LDL. Mine is 72. Worst thing about this for me is that I have to be on medication, which I've been so against since I found out my cholesterol was bad many years ago. Most cholesterol lowering medications are very dangerous to a fetus, so being at child-bearing age, I'm SICK about having to be on something. But I can plan ahead for whenever Husband and I are ready for baby 2 and I'll get off of the medication 1-2 months ahead of time and I guess get back on after I'm done nursing. Ugh. As for diet? I don't eat red meat and barely eat other foods high in cholesterol (yolks of eggs, fried foods, seafood, cheese). Okay, that's a lie. I love cheese.

WAKE UP CALL # 3 (are you bored, yet?): 
Because my cholesterol is so high, the doctor ordered another test, which measures the size and amount of the physical pieces of cholesterol. The bigger and less, the better. The smaller and more bountiful, way worse. The size of pieces of cholesterol are measured by how many physical pieces there are per cubic inch. You are supposed to have less than 1500 pieces. I have over 3500 pieces. This means the cholesterol is very tiny and can go into the arteries with ease. Bigger pieces can't get into the small openings of the arteries. Because my cholesterol is so tiny, it's already sticking to my arteries and they are becoming inflamed. This means the openings are getting smaller and blood may not flow through as easily. The cholesterol medication I'm taking also has niacin, which opens up the arteries for blood to flow more freely.

I don't really like meat. At all. I eat it out of necessity and convenience and I probably get it down 2-3 times per week. Other than that, forget about my protein. B12 is found most saturated in red meats and that just doesn't happen for me. I'm not completely opposed to red meat, but I really don't like it and it's tough on my stomach. I can't digest it well (mostly because human bodies weren't created to properly digest meat, anyway) and I can be up all night with cramping after eating a burger. So, I'm on a B12 pill and have been strictly ordered to eat low fat, high protein snacks between meals. Think: almonds, hummus, nut butters, greek yogurt, cheese, dried or canned beans...

Having high cholesterol is often tied to red blood cell platelet sticking. This means that your red blood cells should flow through your bloodstream singularly. The measurement of a single platelet is 1500 (I don't know the units). The measurement of my platelets is averaging 8500, which means my red blood cells are sticking together in large clumps, which could cause the obvious: blood clotting. Bad kind. Blinding, cardiac arrest, brain aneurism kind. So now, I'm also on 81mg of Aspirin each day, taken 30 minutes before my cholesterol medicine to help thin blood and reduce the painful discomfort of "flushing," caused by the cholesterol pill. 

Every.Single.One. of these problems can be greatly reduced, if not erased by losing a garbage truck load of weight. The exercise needed to reduce my insulin is not going to help me lose the massive amount of weight that I need to lose to get healthy. I've always said, "Yeah, so I'm overweight, but at least I'm healthy." Well, that's not a truth I can lie about, anymore. 

Why am I telling you all of this? It seems pretty private and serious, right?
I need you.
That's the cold, hard truth.

I've tried and tried and failed at this for too many years (about 9 to be approximately exact). After my pregnancy, things definitely took a turn for the worst with my weight and I guess my eating habits, but DEFINITELY my exercise habits. I think when you're a mom (and other moms, correct me if my generalization is wrong), you are so freaking exhausted from the state of BEING. You wake up early (and sometimes are up throughout the night), try to cram some coffee down your throat to make it through the morning, go to work, or work from home (including SAHMs), feed your kids or work through lunch (either way, usually forgetting to feed yourself anything healthy or satiating), work through the afternoon, either at the office or around the house, cook dinner (tasting a bit while you're plating the food, so you're not even that hungry when it's really meal time), get your kid(s) bathed and ready for bed, snuggle, read, clean the kitchen, do the night's dishes, pick up toys, slide a load of laundry in, fold what's in the dryer, and barely brush your teeth before crashing, face-down in your bed.

WHEN do we get time to focus on OURSELVES? Our own health and well-being?
When do we realize that if we're not healthy, we won't be here to take care of our families, which is so clearly our number one priority?
When do we reach out and ask for help and support? 
I'm not waiting until it's too late. I'm believing that you will be my support system and that you will help me do this FOR REAL. For me. For my family. For my LONGEVITY. 

It's not just about how I fit into my clothes, anymore.
It's about living to see my great grandkids.

I'm not afraid of my secrets, anymore. I'm not afraid to tell you that I'm not healthy. 
And on Friday, when I start my weigh-ins, meal plans, and link-up (name TBD), I hope you're here with me, not only holding my hand, but not being ashamed and not letting yourself come last.
Let's take care of ourselves.

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