Just a Clarification

Published October 27, 2013 by Tina Marie

Just wanted to say that I did add to my previous post, “Cheating Your Surgery.” I didn’t mean to imply that caffeine use was cheating. I know that everyone is given different guidelines to follow. I was told no caffeine, but I do indulge in the occasional cup of Sugar-free Cappuccino. My apologies to those that felt I said they were cheating by using Click or coffee.

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Cheating Your Weight Loss Surgery

Published October 26, 2013 by Tina Marie

I have a friend who had the RNY and was recently diagnosed with an ulcer.  She followed the rules; no carbonated drinks and no caffeine (even though I have seen some WLS patients drinking Click, a caffeinated protein drink, or even coffee on their vlogs).  It doesn’t seem fair, when there are people that are cheating their surgery.  Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t indulged in soda or junk food.  I have ate pizza, in the past, but it was only one piece.  I was still able to lose weight, though.  Now, when my husband orders pizza, I just eat the toppings off a piece or two.  I am speaking of those who seem to eat out, and eat junk, often.  I guess when you do dump, though, it’s a blessing in disguise for these people.  I mean, what’s the difference between dumping and taking laxatives to avoid weight gain?  So these people are taking advantage of dumping syndrome (which to me, is no fun).  Eventually these habits will catch up to them, I hope.  I mean, it really isn’t fair to eat junk and lose weight.  I know, life isn’t fair and I should just suck it up.  I guess I should look at it more as they are cheating themselves.

Added: I know that every weight loss surgery patient has different dietary guidelines. I did not mean that I felt using Click or caffeine was cheating. I love my sugar-free cappuccino! My apologies for the mistake!

Immigration Reform and Why I Don’t Agree With It.

Published October 26, 2013 by Tina Marie

Warning, this may offend some, but I’m beginning not to care. Either agree to disagree with me or move on. It won’t upset me. My last blog post triggered my PTSD, as it brought back old memories, and I’ve been playing Bejeweled on my iPad Mini to distract myself. I like playing Bejeweled. It actually makes me think. I think about things to “rant and rave” about in my blog. This post may seem to jump all over the place, but it basically comes down to cheating the system.

I identify as a Democrat. Even though I do not agree with everything our President has done, or is working on, I respect him. That being said, I do not agree with immigration reform. First off, Reagan granted amnesty to illegal aliens back in 1986. The stipulation was that they enforce stricter border patrol and not allow any further immigrants to illegally come into the country. It was also supposed to include stricter penalties to employers who hired these illegal immigrants. That seemed to have been taken out of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act just to get it passed (A Reagan Legacy, 2010). Yes, I know many Republicans now see Ronald Reagan as not being conservative enough. Examples include “Rep. Duncan Hunter calling Reagan “a former liberal … who would never be elected today,” or Mike Huckabbee noting the obvious that “Ronald Reagan would have a very difficult, if not impossible, time being nominated in this atmosphere of the Republican Party” (Ronald Reagan Officially Too Liberal, 2011). So, my question is, if immigration reform did not work when Reagan passed it, what makes anyone think that it would work now?

“Illegal immigrants generally receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children” (Welfare Use, 2011). In 2009, 71% of households headed by illegal immigrant, with children, were using at least one welfare program. These programs tend to be primarily food assistance and Medicaid (Welfare USe, 2011). So, basically these illegal immigrants are getting free food and free health care. When there are legal U.S. citizens that are being denied for these benefits and need them, this is an atrocity in my mind.

I do know that there are employers that will hire illegal immigrants. Usually they pay them “under the table” and do not report them as workers. I have a loved one working for one such employer, but will not reveal who it is, as they would most likely get fired from their job. It’s a running joke there, that if you yell that “ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is here,” that you will find exactly who these illegal immigrants are.

Anyway, basically those are a few reasons why I do not support immigration reform.

References

A Reagan Legacy: Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128303672

Ronald Reagan Officially Too Liberal For Today’s GOP. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/21/997013/-Ronald-Reagan-officially-too-liberal-for-modern-GOP#

Welfare Use by Immigrant Households with Children . (2011). Retrieved from http://cis.org/immigrant-welfare-use-2011

I’m Fat, Lazy, and a Burden to Society

Published October 26, 2013 by Tina Marie

 I feel the need to rant and let some negative feelings out.  If I don’t, I may burst.  This rant is in no way directed at anyone, but may offend some.  If you don’t agree with me on these issues, you can either agree to disagree or stop following me or unfriend me (this WordPress blog automatically posts to my Facebook).  This is based mainly on my experience in life and with society, in general.

First off, I am fat.  That is a known fact.  My BMI is 48.6.  Considering it was 85.1 a little over a year ago, I believe I have done a good job losing weight.  I had weight loss surgery, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, on February 18, 2013.  I am currently at a loss of 134 pounds since my surgery, and a loss of 187 pounds since my medically supervised weight loss started on October 16, 2012.  I had tried many diets in my lifetime and nothing stuck.  The best I ever did on a plan was with Atkins; a low carb, high protein, high fat diet.  I had lost approximately 80 pounds, but gave into temptation and ate carbs once, again.  I have found, despite weight loss surgery and watching my calorie intake, that I am still sensitive to carbs.  It has been proven that people can be sensitive to carbs, even though there is much debate about the issue.  I find that when I eat more carbs (short for carbohydrates), I tend to stall or even gain weight.  This is because carbs cause your blood sugar to spike and suddenly decrease, causing one to feel the need for more food.  “Sugary foods and drinks, white bread and other processed carbohydrates that are known to cause abrupt spikes and falls in blood sugar appear to stimulate parts of the brain involved in hunger, craving and reward, the new research shows” (How Carbs Can Trigger, 2013).  How do you know if you are sensitive to carbs?  “A doctor can measure glucose and insulin in a medical clinic as a more formal way to make a medical determination” (An Updated Guide, 2010). 

I have been obese most of my life.  I had a belly and chunky thighs as a toddler.  Despite being very active growing up and dieting constantly, I could not lose weight.  I rode bike, ran around, walked, and played softball, even.  We didn’t have any video game systems, or a computer, until I was in high school and even then, I was still actively walking and playing softball.  I remember my first real diet at the age of ten.  I was restricted in what I could eat and how much I could eat.  Sensible plan and my parents even went as far to put a chain and lock on the refrigerator.  That didn’t last for long, though, as my mother was partially paralyzed due to a stroke, while she was pregnant with me, and my father worked a lot of hours during the night.  One time, he even had to take on two jobs to support our family.  So, I was left to prepare my own meals and rarely were there any healthy foods in the house.  My breakfast, when I was around five or six, consisted of a Twinkie and a glass of Tang on my way to Kindergarten.  So I wasn’t really raised with any knowledge of nutrition.  My mother was also diabetic and could eat anything she wanted.  She drank Pepsi and ate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups when her sugar would get low, instead of using a glucose tablet or a glass of orange juice.  She was 4’11” and weighed around 110 pounds.  She never had to diet and never gained weight.  In fact, she would lose weight.  When I was around twelve, my grandmother would take my mom, and I, to T.O.P.S. or something similar.  I was rewarded when I lost weight by my mother placing a poker chip in a large ice cream container.  Once I received a set number of chips, I would be able to get a prize of some sort.  I don’t remember getting any prizes, so I assume that didn’t last very long either.  When I started going to high school, I don’t remember any specific diets that I was placed on.  I was still active outside of school and playing softball in the spring, though. 

Once I had graduated and started working, my diet was terrible.  I worked in fast food and we got half-priced meals on our lunch breaks.  So, basically that was my diet.  Once I did join The Diet Center and another time, Formu-3.  I even did Weight Watchers for a while.  None of them lasted very long, as I would get frustrated when my weight loss stalled.  All of this yo-yo dieting caused me to regain weight.  “The more often you partake in yo-yo dieting, the more likely you are to experience reduced metabolism. This effect can be difficult to correct, particularly if you continue the process of yo-yo dieting. In some cases, slowed metabolism becomes permanent” (Health Risks of Yo-Yo Dieting, 2013). 

I was displaced from my job in my early 30’s and eventually ended up on disability due to degenerative joints in my knees.  Being unable to do much, physically, due to this and the antipsychotics that I took after I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder, I got up to 436 pounds by the age of 35.  I met and married my husband after that.  Not long after our marriage, I started the Atkins Diet and lost about 80 pounds.  Of course, as I said before, I gave into the temptation of carbohydrates at Thanksgiving and Christmas and all hope was lost.  Not too long afterwards, I did try going to Overeater’s Anonymous.  I had to report what I was eating to my sponsor and she encouraged me to add more carbs.  Big mistake, as I ended up gaining the weight back.  After that, I just gave up.  I was basically bed bound by the time I started considering weight loss surgery.  I rarely got out of bed, except to go to the bathroom and eat dinner.  I started taking college courses, online, and had a laptop in my bedroom with a hospital table, which is still there.  The degenerative joints have only worsened due to my many years of morbid obesity and I no longer have any cartilage in my knees.  I am currently waiting on a knee replacement on my right knee, when I lose enough weight.  My goal is to graduate with an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies and become a Paralegal.  I would also like to get off of disability.  These are the two main reasons why I had the surgery.

Anyway, as far as being called “lazy,” I was very active growing up and even after I ended up with degenerative joints in my knees, would do chair exercises.  When I first was diagnosed, I was told my only hope for improvement was losing weight.  While I was still working, I would work out in our employer’s gym that they provided, mainly riding a recumbent bicycle.  I did purchase a recumbent bicycle prior to my surgery to help in my weight loss, but the pain was too much.  I also have an instable kneecap and the pain of bone on bone while pedaling, combined with it, was too much.  All that I am able to do are exercises in a chair or in bed.  I am currently waiting on a custom-made brace that should help with both issues.  Despite my weight loss, I still need to use a rollator (just a smaller one, now), which is basically a walker with wheels and a chair.  I would love to be able get rid of it and no longer have to use it.

I don’t really understand how I am a burden to society.  Yes, I missed a lot of work at my last job.  It was due to the emotional impact of being physically and mentally harassed because of my weight.  Due to the factory being a union shop, there wasn’t anything that management could do.  The union protected the man that physically harassed me, as his representative was his drinking buddy.  By the time the mental harassment peaked, I was in no emotional state to do anything legally about it.  I lost my job at least twice due to being in the mental health ward of the hospital for the harassment and my Bipolar II Disorder.  I got it back with the help of EAP, the Employee Assistance Program, for those with addiction and mental health issues.  My mother passed away in 2000 and my father in 2002.  I had a nervous breakdown after my father passed away and was also diagnosed with the degenerative joints of the knees at the time.  That is when I was put out on disability.  They had no job in the plant with my requirements of standing for 15 minutes and then sitting 15 minutes.  The positions that were sit-down jobs were taken by people with higher seniority.  I only had approximately seven years in, at the time.  I eventually took a buyout from the company, as they closed the factory down.  Anyway, I do pay a premium for my primary and secondary insurance.  My primary insurance is through my husband’s employer and absolutely refuses to pay for anything related to obesity.  So, if the doctor even states in their notes that I am obese, they do not pay for it.  Once, I went to the emergency room, thinking I fractured a bone in my foot when a can of Lysol fell from the upstairs to the downstairs, and ended up landing on my foot.  It bruised it and I could barely put any weight on it.  Anyway, they listed obesity as one of my diagnoses and the insurance refused to pay for it.  Medicare did pay for some of the visit, but I had to pay for the rest.  I don’t understand why they even had to diagnose me with obesity, as that was already diagnosed, and not a result of the can falling on my foot!  So the joke around the house was that I became fat due to the can falling on my foot.  Yes, I do get Social Security Disability Income, but that is something that I paid into all the years that I did work.  The amount is based on how much I made and how long I had worked.  When someone does not work in their lifetime, due to a disability, they may be able to apply for and get Supplemental Security Income through Social Security.  SSI is funded by tax revenue.  Social Security Disability Income is from the FICA taxes taken out of your paycheck specifically for Social Security.

I really meant for this to be a vicious rant, but I it ended up more explaining how I became fat.  For those that believe that I am lazy and a burden to society, screw you (I want to say worse, but I won’t)!  I hope that your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, which is considered normal, and that you have never have a weight problem.  I also hope that you are perfect, physically and mentally.  I have seen thin people who could not gain weight and I have seen thin lazy people (my mother basically sat on her couch and could eat whatever she wanted).  I have seen many active fat people with no other health problems, but their weight.  I was that way, myself, for quite a while.  Some people smoke, some people do drugs, and some people pick their noses.  We all have our vices.  Some just have a bigger stigma than others.  I wish those that took the time to read this a blessed life!

References

An Updated Guide for Low-Carb Dieters. (2010). Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/an-updated-guide-for-low-carb-dieters/?_r=0

Health Risks of Yo-Yo Dieting. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/353915-health-risks-of-yoyo-dieting/

How Carbs Can Trigger Food Cravings. (2013). Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/how-carbs-can-trigger-food-cravings/

Useful Links

A Heavy Burden. (2010). Retrieved from http://sphhs.gwu.edu/departments/healthpolicy/DHP_Publications/pub_uploads/dhpPublication_35308C47-5056-9D20-3DB157B39AC53093.pdf

About BMI for Adults. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html

Alzheimer’s Disease: Risk Factors. (2013). Retrieved from http http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers-disease/DS00161/DSECTION=risk-factors

Are Obese People Really Lazy. (2013). Retrieved from http://exercise.about.com/b/2013/07/10/are-obese-people-really-lazy.htm

Causes of Diabetes. (2013). Retrieved from http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/causes

Fat Equals Lazy, Say Doctors. (2003). Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/4380.php

Heart Disease Facts. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

High Cholesterol Causes. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/tc/high-cholesterol-cause

Leading Causes of Death. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm

Men’s Health: Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.womenshealth.gov/mens-health/top-health-concerns-for-men/chronic-lower-respiratory-diseases.cfm

Nephrotic Syndrome. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000490.htm

Pneumonia Fact Sheet. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/influenza/in-depth-resources/pneumonia-fact-sheet.html

Stroke: Risk Factors. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stroke/DS00150/DSECTION=risk-factors

What You Need To Know About Cancer: Risk Factors. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/cancer/page3

Chilling Night Terror

Published October 9, 2013 by Tina Marie

I thought that I would post this here, as I don’t get into my PTSD issues on my Blogger. I just woke up from one of my infamous night terrors, shaking! I am terrified to go back to bed, because when I usually do, the whole plot line just returns. I remember bits and pieces of this one, but not all.

It mainly took place at Hardee’s, a fast food restaurant where I had worked in management. The theme was the same as most of these night terror’s that I have had since I was a young child. I am helpless, not knowing what to do, with no help in sight. Funny thing is, I was very good at what I did, procedure-wise. I basically failed as a manager, in that I was very hands on and helped my employees out. The other management frowned on that, as you were mainly to observe and direct. In this terror, I had demoted myself from a manager to a cashier. It was a noon lunch rush and I was stuck on my own as the only cashier in the front. I could not figure out how to operate the register for the life of me! One of my high school teachers was there and even a few of my bullies from that era. It was not good!

I am sure the reoccurring theme of feeling helpless, and not knowing what to do, stems from my childhood. Right now, I am still too terrified to analyze anything. I do know that I hate the feeling of helplessness and not being in control. When I was a child, the dreams were mainly of me not being able to scream for help. As the years and night terrors progressed, it moved on to dreams where I was unable to dial emergency for help. Once, as a young child, I was dreaming that I could not move and was unable to yell. I woke up so terrified that I was unable to move! I couldn’t even get out of the bed, as I was literally paralyzed! I remember being taken to the emergency room that night, as my parents felt something was physically wrong with me. I was too scared to tell my mother what really happened. The doctor’s found nothing wrong with me, though.

I need to get on a regular sleep schedule, so that I can take my Prazosin. Even 1/2 the dose I am to take, helps ward these night terrors off. The thing is, on my husband’s days off, and my brother’s, I schedule all my doctor’s appointments. That means no sleeping during the day, as I normally do (husband works third shift and I try to use the quiet time to do homework). The side effects of the Prazosin can be bad when I keep stopping and taking it. It was originally to control blood pressure back in the 1970’s, but doctors found that it worked much better in warding off the night terrors of Vietnam Vets who had been in combat. The first day of taking it, it does lower my blood pressure (which it’s pretty low as it is since having WLS). I have taken it and have gotten up to use the bathroom, only to forget and pass out. Luckily, every time, I caught myself as I was sitting down to go to the bathroom, but when I awaken, I need help back to the bedroom. That is fine and dandy if my brother is up around 3 pm, or my husband is up early. Not at 8 am, when everyone is sleeping, though. So, after that long spew, I just don’t take the pills and hope for the best. If I could take the medication on a regular basis, it would be fine, as the side effects disappear after a day.

My counselor is out for three weeks, after Saturday. He is going to a monestary, as he does twice a year. He is Buddhist, which I find fascinating. I love different religions and learning about them. Anyway, as much as I like my counselor, he didn’t recommend anyone that I could see in his absence. He did say that he would try to fit me in on Saturday, before he leaves. I may just take him up on that offer. I will call later in the morning and leave a message. He is only available Thursday’s and Saturday’s due to working in Madison for an insurance company. It didn’t seem that this Thursday would work out with all my other appointments, though.

Well, my husband is awake and I am going to get out of the bedroom, myself. Have some important personal stuff to take care of. At least I won’t be returning to sleep and the night terrors, soon. Until next time, Bright Blessings!

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