When the Doctor Says…

This is a very personal post. Some people will wonder why I’m sharing such personal moments of my life with anyone who comes in contact with my blog and I promise it’s not for pity or attention.

I’m of course hoping that someone will read this and think “I’m not alone, there are others just like me” and also writing it down means I have to face it. I can’t just bury my head in the sand and hope it goes away.

There have been several moments in my life when a Doctor has said something that literally took my breath away, caused my heart to race, and made me want to throw up. I am going to share some of those so you understand the level of the last words my Doctor said affected me.

We’ll start when I was 20 and the Doctor said you’re PREGNANT. I was completely unprepared, in a bad relationship trying to find a way out, and I thought “I’m not even old enough to drink how in the world am I going to be a Mama?” God knew what he was doing when he gave me Steven. Having a child gave me the out I so desperately needed. So at the very young age of 3 it was Steven who saved my life.

When I was 29 in January the Doctor said you’re PREGNANT. Again I wasn’t prepared. Steven was supposed to be my only child (pregnancy was not kind to me). Jay and I were still so new in our relationship that I had know idea how we were going to raise a baby and an 8 year old together.

In February the same Doctor said you’ve LOST the fetus. It’s important to note what she saw as a “fetus” we saw as a baby. I was devastated. I sat in her very full waiting room crying and bleeding, waiting on an internal ultrasound to prove what she had just told me was real because I didn’t want to believe it. Other pregnant mothers tried not to notice me because maybe miscarriages were catching. Jay was driving down from SC, where he worked at the time. This doctor clearly lacked bedside manner putting me back in the waiting room.

Once Jay arrived the Doctor did an Ultrasound (the internal kind) and found a faint heartbeat. Apparently, I had been pregnant with twins (common in my family) and one had survived. This same day, full of confusion and on a roller coaster of emotion this same Doctor then told me “you have CANCER and you HAVE TO ABORT the remaining fetus”. She was so methodical and matter of fact it seemed almost cruel. Jay and I gathered our things and left her office immediately. We found amazing doctors (a high risk obgyn and oncologist) who worked together to bring our Jake into the world. Had I not gotten pregnant I wouldn’t have known I had Cancer (I didn’t go to the doctors a lot) so again God used pregnancy to save my life.

After Jake I spiraled into what I and the obgyn thought was a bad postpartum depression. When I was 31 the Doctor said your CANCER HAS SPREAD. My only option was a hysterectomy. I didn’t even have time to have the 3rd child that at this point I decided I wanted. I ended up being hospitalized for suicidal thoughts for the first time. Over the last decade this has happened more than I’d like to admit.

At 32 the Doctor said you have BIPOLAR. I didn’t want it to be true but it answered so many questions. It made points in my life make sense. It was both a devastating and an enlightening diagnosis. I have since learned, after years of various medications and hospital stays, that I have treatment resistant Bipolar so I am constantly changing medications.

When I was 40 I was in such a zombie-like depression that the Doctor said I had to have ECT (ELECTRO CURRENT THERAPY). For about 2 months a couple/few times a week Jay and different family members would come wait at the hospital while I had my brain fried (exaggeration). After 2 months I couldn’t handle the side effects anymore so I stopped it. I hated it but it did eventually make things a little better though I still remained depressed.

At 41 I was hospitalized yet again and put on new medications that were like a miracle. For the first time in years I didn’t feel sad. The biggest side effect was I started to put on more weight (often a side effect) and I began to have more manic episodes. I didn’t realize the extent of the weight I had put on until I saw pictures of myself at Christmas. I couldn’t believe what I saw.

At 42 I made an appointment with my general doctor, who I hadn’t seen in over a year, because I was so swollen my socks were cutting off my circulation. She has always preached diet and exercise. She doesn’t believe in quick fixes. This time when I was weighed I realized I had gained a 100 POUNDS since February. When my doctor saw my weight for the first time ever the doctor said you are MORBIDLY OBESE and I feel like your only option at this point is SURGERY. I was shocked, scared, and embarrassed. How had I let things get so out of control? I currently weigh over 300 POUNDS. It is absolutely shocking to hear the word “morbidly.”

My insurance won’t cover weight loss surgery (a tool not a miracle) so Jay and I after attending a seminar have began looking for other options. Just an FYI in the past I have tried Jenny Craig, weight watchers, Nutrisystem, diet pills, and several exercise routines with some results lasting about 3 months and then I gain all lost weight back and then some. When I told my doctor that my insurance wouldn’t cover weight loss surgery she said find new insurance. 😳

So that’s why I posted the picture and that’s why I’m sharing my story. I’m scared it won’t work, I’m nervous it will affect my Bipolar, I’m concerned it will cost us a fortune. 2020 was supposed to be our year of paying off debt (I still owe $15000 from my ECT treatments). Most of all I feel like I have no other option. I want to live, I don’t want my joints to hurt, I want to walk 20 steps without an inhaler so one way or another I’m going to have surgery. I’m going to do what the Doctor says.

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