Tuesday, January 27, 2009

food cravings

I have noticed this interesting thing about myself and my food cravings.
There are quite a few things that I CRAVE, but I don't actually want to eat. I just want the item around. It's a type of hoarding, I think.
I often crave ice cream, for example.  I buy some Edy's Slow Churned (it's DIET ice cream and actually tastes BETTER than regular--amazing--I bought it not knowing it was diet and now I won't buy regular anymore).  But after I buy it, I don't actually EAT it.  It sits in my freezer taking up space and getting all nasty with ice crystals and I end up THROWING IT OUT, half full, a few months later.  Immediately I think, "I want ice cream" and buy more...repeat.
I wanted ice cream today. I was going to get a $.99 sundae and then I remembered that I had some moldering Edy's at home.  I put a scoop in a bowl, squirted on some Hershey's syrup, put it on the table, turned on my DVR...and the ice cream melted. Eventually I ate about half of it.
I do this at restaurants too.  I want a certain food, I go to the restaurant and order it, then eat a couple of bites and pack it up for my husband to eat another day. (I hate leftovers.)  I hate it because it seems wasteful. 
And I don't understand why it's going on.  Am I not really hungry?  Do I not really want the food I think I'm craving?  What do I want, then?

Bad things continued

Last Wednesday, after the disastrous blood draw, I decided I needed to go to the doctor for the pains. My doctor randomly went out of business at the end of December and I haven't gotten my medical records from him yet (someone else I know who uses him just got theirs, so it's obviously a slow process). I received a letter from a doctor at a clinic requesting my business. I used the clinic years ago and remembered her as being nice. I called the phone number in the letter and got a random voice mail that did not need to be a doctor's office or clinic. I called a bunch of times, same VM. I went to the clinic's web site and there was a completely different number and it said you could walk in without an appointment or call for extended-hours or special appointments. So I called.
The receptionist was rude beyond belief. Here is an approximate transcript.
"Hi, my doctor, Dr Axxx, retired and I got a letter from Dr Bxxx saying she wants to be my doctor. I'm in terrible pain and I'd like to make an appointment."
"We don't take appointments.  You just come in and wait."
"The letter said I could make an appointment and so does the web site.  I'm in terrible pain, I can't sit around and wait, I'd really like an appointment."
"We don't take appointments.  The doctors are all booked up."
"If you don't take appointments, how do you know they are booked?  When won't they be booked?"
"We don't take appointments.  You have to come in."
(sound of Rosie hanging up)
Thursday when I got up the pain was so bad I couldn't breathe.  I'd take a step, double over in pain, unable to inhale, then start gasping for air, take another step or make a small movement, lather, rinse repeat.
I couldn't find my cell phone. I couldn't find any of the 3 regular phones to call my cell phone.  I finally found one phone (problem with cordless phones: they get lost and the battery runs out) and called my cell, no answer.  I debated trying to get dressed and going out to my car to search for it, but I couldn't move.  I debated putting on shoes and going outside in my sleepwear which seemed to be best.  When I put my hand in my pocket for my keys, there was my cell phone--the ringer still off from the blood drawing appointment.  I called a good friend of mine to ask her to drive me to the clinic.  She is a great person and it helps in a situation like this that she's also overweight (has had lap-band surgery but not gotten thin from it). She didn't answer her home or cell but I left messages.  She called back shortly saying her daughter heard one of messages and thought I was dying--basically I was gasping out "I can't breathe, come take me to the doctor".
I needed a shower but there was no way I was climbing into my tall tub without having some kind of seizure.  It was all I could do to go downstairs to the laundry to get clean clothes. Then I couldn't put them on, couldn't bend over.  I knew my friend would dress me (she once brought me ginger ale when I was puking everywhere and helped me out--she is really a GREAT friend) but I hated to ask for that.  I was able to pull on sweats and a t-shirt before she got there, although she had to put my boots on my feet.
She drove me to the clinic.  I could barely walk in.  I explained my problem.  The receptionist said I should have made an appointment.  "I called yesterday and was told I couldn't make an appointment."  "That's not true, we take appointments, just not on Thursdays.  You misunderstood."  No, I didn't.  Then she wanted me to fill out about 5 pages of paperwork and bitched that I didn't have my medical records yet. I explained that my old doctor hadn't released them yet, but somehow that was my fault. 
I'm sitting there crying, every time I use my right hand to fill out the paper I have a spasm and can't breathe.  My friend, like an angry mom with a hurt chick, is at the receptionist asking if maybe I can't fill out the forms another time.  She's saying that I need to see the doctor right away, maybe I have a kidney stone, who knows.  The sullen receptionist leaves, comes back and says the doctor REFUSED to see me and said I should just go to the hospital ER to get a CT scan and ultrasound.
Off we go to the ER, the ER I hate, the one that killed my dad.  We sit for 2 hours, with me gasping and crying and unable to breathe, in the waiting room. Other people dying in the ER offer me helpful information.  "I had a kidney pain like that a few weeks ago, it was a virus, it's going around"  "kidney stones hurt worse than labor pains!"  etc.  Finally they take us in and put us, yes, in the very room where they had my dad chained to the bed in hard restraints for 2 days with no food, water or medicine.  I completely freak out but there are no other rooms.
Another problem presents itself. I am so dehydrated that I can't pee.  And they won't let me drink water or even chew ice.  This to me seems insurmountable.  How can I manufacture pee with no liquids coming into me? The nurse wasn't exactly unkind, but she implied that we'd sit in the father-killing room until I manufactured enough urine for them to test for blood.
Eventually a doctor comes in.  I tell him I can't pee because they won't let me drink.  He pokes my back and decides, with no further testing, that I have a back spasm.  He says he'll give me 1 pain pill and a prescription for more.  It's at least a half hour before a guy comes and brings me my one pill and prescription for Percocet and discharge papers.
I might add that my husband was texting me frantically. He was at work and since he carpools he didn't have his car.  He wanted to come to the hospital.  He would have had to borrow a friend's car or pull someone out of work to drive the half hour to where I was. I convinced him to stay at work.  He hates hospitals and is useless when I am sick.
I was starving hungry by then (still convulsing in pain and unable to breathe) so I said I'd buy my friend dinner. I had planned to buy her LUNCH (she picked me up at noon) but it was a long day.  My husband got dropped off and we went to Walmart to get my pills.  15 pills=45 minute wait.  It was absurd. I couldn't walk because I couldn't breathe and ended up just sitting beside the pharmacy area.  The pills cost a whopping $3.12.
And didn't help much.  Taking 2 Advil liquid caps worked better.
After we ate, I went home and collapsed into bed.
Friday morning I had to go for my ultrasound of the lady bits. I asked the woman if she could check my kidney for a stone. She said she could, but since I was having the scan done at the gynecologist, no doctors there could read the kidney scan anyway, so she wouldn't do it.   The scan took a long time and was nasty. It was done from inside with a big wand.  The tech didn't find anything wrong but has to leave the final reading to an MD.
That's my story.  The gyno hasn't called back with blood test or ultrasound results.  I'm off the percocet but the spasms continue.  They are ramped way down and I don't stop breathing anymore.

High Fructose Corn Syrup contains Mercury

High Fructose Corn Syrup contains Mercury
I just saw an article that says high fructose corn syrup has mercury in it. Now I'm not one of those people who thinks HFCS is the root of all evil/obesity in the world, or that HFCS is a bad thing, but I do think that those who hate and abhor the product will jump all over this:

Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies....In the first study, researchers found detectable levels of mercury in nine of 20 samples of commercial HFCS. The study was published in current issue of Environmental Health. In the second study, the agriculture group found that nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury. The chemical was most common in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments.
How does the mercury get in there? The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common. The contamination occurs when mercury cells are used to produce caustic soda.
I know non-diet sodas have a lot of HFCS in them.  Not sure what other products have a lot, but I know it's everywhere, just like MSG.

(screenprint; title link goes to original article)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

bad things going on

Since late summer I've been having two periods a month, extremely annoying.  I finally got so pissed at it that I went to the doctor to get checked out.  She could not give me a diagnosis, and I have to get an ultrasound of my various lady bits, and I had to get several blood tests as well.  I was not happy with the diagnosis on my paperwork--hemorrhage.  That sounds way worse than having extra periods.
The "cure" may well be that I have to take some kind of birth control pills.  Since I gained over 100 pounds on Depo-Provera (in a year--that drug sucks) I haven't taken any other hormonal BC.  I have a horror of gaining more weight.  Friends of mine say that the newer formulas of pills, patches, etc don't cause insane weight gain like they used to.  But I am extremely sensitive to them.
That's not the only thing going on.  Since Sunday I've been having massive muscle spasms in my back, so bad that I can't breathe and am doubled over in pain.  They are more frequent and more painful each day. I have no PCP because mine retired abruptly at the end of December and hasn't given me my records yet.
Today I had to have blood taken.  I have had a problem with that my whole life--my veins collapse and my vision goes black and eventually I just pass out.  It was a fasting test so I didn't have anything to eat or drink since last night, as instructed, including taking Advil for the back pains.  I could barely walk into the lab my back hurt so bad.  I could not relax because I could not breathe.  The woman taking my blood (trying to, anyway) kept telling me I was dehydrated. I said, "yes, I haven't had anything to eat or drink since 10:30 last night. I am very thirsty.  But I was told to fast and have nothing after midnight."  The reply? "You should have had something to drink."  Argh.  So I'm dehydrated, I'm having horrible waves of pain, my vision is almost completely black and they're telling me to RELAX.  I can't BREATHE, and any movement of my right arm or twisting of my side causes pain.  It took them over an hour to get enough blood--every time I had a spasm the flow of blood stopped and I had to be re-stuck.  My arms are covered in bruises.
When I got home I took two huge Advil and laid in bed until 3:30, trying not to move.  I had to meet a friend at the pool and when I got up to get changed all I could think of was that it was a bad idea for me to attempt any movement.  Since I was home alone, I was literally screaming in pain when I tried to maneuver myself into my corset swimsuit.
I did manage a half hour work out while my friend did laps. It wasn't the greatest workout ever, and my form wasn't the best, but I did move.  I drugged myself first with two fat Advil capsules which probably helped.
But I figured something out.  I think the back pain is a kidney stone.  My dad and grandpa both got them.  I'm hoping when I go for the ultra sound they will agree to check my back too.  I looked up symptoms and I appear to be having a colic-type attack.  Supposedly the pain is worse than labor pains.  And here I am walking around, going to the pool to work out, with these pains doubling me over in agony.
So my life is pretty sucky right now.  My friend said her friend at work had the two-periods thing and she had a tumor.  great.  Nothing like some cancer to improve my life. I hope not but it's a possibility. This same friend said that if I die she will take some of my animals, the ones my husband doesn't like and wouldn't care for properly, if I die.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

is round a shape?

I am bulbous and disgusting, but how bulbous and disgusting am I?  And is it better to know how bulbous I am, and therefore hate myself over it, in order to motivate me to change? Or is it better to love myself in spite of my disgustingness (if that is even a word)?
After watching Biggest Loser and You Are What You Eat, I wondered what I looked like from all angles.  I don't have a full-length mirror.  I asked my husband to take pictures of me and when I told him why he got upset and refused.  So my friend came over and took a bunch of pictures of me with her i-phone (coolest toy ever). 
My task, that I've set myself, is to make art from my fat.  When I am done I will post it here.  Actual photos of me and my fat.
I actually regret that the day she took the photos my edema was in a good mood.  My leg wasn't bright red, my ankle wasn't flopping onto my foot, and it looks pretty good.
As good as someone who thinks round is a shape can look pretty good, I mean.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Too fat to adopt, round 2?

In 2007, I posted about a couple who were deemed too fat to adopt a child in England.  (original post, follow-up)  That turned out to be not entirely true, although the man in question weighed over 500 lbs.
Now apparently another man is being denied a child for being fat.  This 37-year-old man weighs 24.5 stone (343 lbs), and has to drop his BMI to <40 to adopt the child.  If he's 5'10" (an average height for a man; the article doesn't say how tall he is), then he has to go down to 275 lbs (19.5 stone), which would bring him to a BMI of 39.5.  That's 68 lbs (or about 5 stone--I want to weigh myself in stones, it sounds so much smaller) he's got to lose.

The council told him his body mass index...was more than 42 and...it would have to drop to below 40 before he could be considered a potential parent due to risks he could become ill or die.
Like any non-fat person is guaranteed to live forever. My dad wasn't morbidly obese and he died of early onset Alzheimer's even though he ate fish, used his brain and exercised!  A friend of a friend's 18-year-old daughter got hit by a car on Christmas Eve and died on the side of the road--and she was skinny, so clearly she'd be a good parent and live forever, right?
And meanwhile, any drug addict with a functioning uterus can pump out crack and meth and AIDS babies until she dies of some disease. I guess that's okay.  But let a fat guy try to adopt one of these kids...no way!  (And I have no idea of the source of the guy's potential kid, I'm just making a point.)
Don't get me wrong, I don't suddenly like children.   But why is a drug addict or a welfare mom with 6 kids she already can't care for a better parent than this fat guy and his sterile wife?
This kind of stuff makes me think there is no god.  Because it makes no sense.

(screenprint of original)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

lie to me and make me hate my food

A new technique that may have a weight-loss benefit is implanting false food memories.   So, for instance, you can start to believe that pizza makes you sick and you really love to eat raw veggies.
The catch? If you KNOW someone is going to alter your food memories, it won't work.

Subjects who were told that a particular food had made them sick years earlier not only believed the made-up events but also stopped craving the food.....Making an association between eating a fattening food and getting ill may be beneficial.
(screenprint of article)

National Body Challenge

I decided, just now, to sign up for the National Body Challenge through Discovery Channel. Don't know what it is. But it's free. Why not?
So far, I can tell the meal plan will be useless. It says you can "customize" but it's really only that you can pick ingredients. Every meal seems to have fish or seafood in it, or something weird I won't eat, like grapes and feta cheese. Eww. What's wrong with simply eating grapes? Why put that nasty foot cheese with them?
So as it progresses, if anything looks useful, I'll share it. There's a widget, but it's not available for Blogger, just for Myspace, etc.

half ton teen, dad & mom follow up

Due to my switchover to a new cable system, which failed miserably, leaving me with no TV for several days, I wasn't able to watch any of these shows. I have Half Ton Teen set to record next time it's on through my DVR, but dad & mom do not appear to be on again any time soon.
I have Discovery Health channel again, so I should be able to watch and review more shows in the future. If you hear of any, please let me know through a comment.

Biggest Loser & You Are What You Eat

I just changed to AT&T U-Verse fiber optic cable tv, which is cheaper than Comcast, has more channels and comes with a DVR.  So I tried to tape a bunch of eposides of "How Clean is Your House" which I used to watch at a friend's house because I didn't get BBC America.  I let a bunch of episodes pile up and decided to have a marathon during a snow day last week, only to find that through some flaw in BBC's programming, instead of a show where I could gasp at people's filthy houses (and say to myself, "at least my house isn't that bad!"), I had four or five episodes of You Are What You Eat.
I had never watched it, and I was feeling sick (I had a migraine for days) so I just watched them.  They were okay.  The people lost weight, started exercising, but the woman in charge of the show seemed to have a one-size fits all strategy.  She made everyone eat miso soup, for instance.  Everyone seemed to be constipated--she blamed the high fat diet of one person, the high carb diet of another, etc.   I'm as fat as anyone on the show, if not fatter, and I am NEVER constipated.  She had these people getting colonics and claiming they were so constipated the colonic didn't get any poop out of them.  After watching them all in a row, they blurred together into so much sameness.  I doubt I'll ever watch again.  There were no hints or tips that a home viewer could use, no recipes for a diet or exercise plan.
And then I was over a friend's house and she had the first episode of the new season of Biggest Loser on her DVR and she was all gung-ho to watch it.  She is overweight too so I didn't feel like she was saying "you need to lose weight" or anything--she watches different types of TV than I do and she couldn't believe I'd never watched it.  I know the premise, and actually another friend of mine knew someone who was on it a few years back.  You lose weight, get a prize.
My friend was more than happy to explain the premise to me, how people get voted off if they don't lose enough weight, etc.  So I sat there and watched the whole thing with her. I could see why she would like to root for certain teams and people, and dislike others, and the idea of color-coding the teams made easy to keep track of who they were.  She has an i-phone and showed me slideshows of how much previous seasons' contestants lost.  Yeah, it was impressive (although when I tried to explain the posing and dress and lighting tricks that makes it look ever more impressive, she didn't believe me), but again, unreal.  Losses of hundreds of pounds in just a couple of months without surgery? 
But overall, I was absolutely APPALLED by the show.  To see people being UPSET at "only" losing 11-13 pounds in week?  Any person not on the show would be doing the happy dance at such crazy weight loss.  And other people lost what? 20-30 lbs and more?  In a week?  I don't believe it's real.  I don't believe it's healthy.
And does it last?  I did a search on previous winners and found out that most of them gained their weight back.  And how they dehyradated themselves and made themselves sick to win.  This Time magazine article seems to have quite a bit of information on the subject (totally worth reading).

Ryan Benson...lost 55 kg to win the first season in January 2005 but says he regained 14.5 kg within five days simply by drinking water (now weighs 136 kg). Matt Hoover...had a 7-kg rebound within a day of winning Season 2....Hoover...has gained 24 kg since November 2005.
One woman (Kelly Minner, a runner up) has lost more weight, but seems like the majority of people gain it all back. So what's the point? I think if I didn't have to work or do anything else but exercise all day, with a personal trainer and the motivation of $250,000 I could lose weight too.
I'm not saying "Don't try to lose weight" or don't diet, or don't exercise.  But honestly, as much as I didn't like You Are What You Eat, I think the show's format is a lot healthier and probably induces actual lifestyle changes.