I've been in a real self reflective mood recently. Thinking about where I came from, where I've been and where I'm supposed to go and then panic strikes as I am afraid I may never get there! It sometimes wakes me up at night and my heart is racing and I'm just feeling really anxious. Nothing went the way it was planned. Nothing.
It all started when I got fibromyalgia. I believe it was way back in the first year of nursing school. I remember walking long walks with my dad and then wham! One day came my second year of school and I couldn't walk a block without my calves being bone hard and hurting like all get-out. I was thin in nursing school. Here's what I looked like:
This was taken my first year of nursing school in 1991. I was modeling off my new clinical uniform that grandma and grandpa bought for me. I remember them getting me a lot of my nursing school stuff: uniforms, stethoscope and books. My mom tried real hard and worked real hard, but those were extra expenses she couldn't swing. The state of Michigan paid for my education....and I never even worked a day as a nurse there! I had a pell grant that took me all through school.
Anyway, back on point. I looked and felt great and then the fibro comes and I couldn't walk with my dad anymore so the weight started to creep up on me. School was very stressful and I had that speech impediment and I found great comfort in Sara Lee and Betty Crocker. Fine ladies in my humble opinion!! When I graduated from nursing school, I looked like this:
As you can see, my youthful figure got lost somewhere inside this person's body!!! Once my weight started to creep up, it did it with a vengeance. I couldn't stop eating for comfort. It's no secret that I had a lot of stressors back then....my dad and his prescription drug habit, my mom and her failing health and working 12 hour shifts EVERYDAY for three months, and we couldn't keep a car running for more than a few days. I had to get to my clinicals and it's kind of hard without wheels. So my mom was real inventive and I went to school in ambulances far more than I'm willing to count. (She was a 911 operator for Medic One) The paramedics loved it and would zoom me to school with lights and sirens blaring. I'd slink out and walk as fast as I could inside the building. Oh, well, desperate times call for desperate measures. I graduated with honors May of 1993.
I came to good ole' Arizona in 1993 and landed a job at Yuma Regional Medical Center, where I worked for the next 10 years. I worked on a med-surg floor and we got patients ranging from cancer to kidney dialysis. I learned a lot. Then I moved on to Yuma Rehab Hospital for another 3 years and it was here that my fibro was really getting out of hand. I had to call in sick a lot and they didn't like that. I could barely walk, how could I work? I used up all my sick time and we started having problems with finances. (To back up - I got married in Nov. of 1996 and we moved in with my parents in Yuma to combine expenses as they weren't doing so hot with paying bills, either!)
I clashed big time with the manager at the rehab, quit that job and got another with a hole-in-the-wall nursing home in town. That was my worst job to date. I was in charge of everything- 100 residents and only two nurse's aides to help. The emotional eating got really bad at that job and I ballooned up even more. Since I'm being so honest, I'll show you a picture of how I look now, even though the pic was taken a few years ago in Imperial Beach, CA.
I really did NOT want this picture taken, but my mom was very stern about it. I couldn't take any more of her if she couldn't take any of me. So I allowed a one time viewing of Shamu-the whale....(that would be me!) Anyway, I worked at the nursing home for six months, then couldn't stand it anymore and quit that job. I then tried travel nursing and that's how we got to San Antonio, where we had planned to move to as I had lined up a wonderful job at Northeast Methodist in Rolling Oaks, TX. But, because of my weight and how I felt, I knew in my heart I couldn't keep that job long. I could barely stand, let alone work a 12 hour shift. The weight on my bones and joints is excruciating. I am soooo very angry at myself for gaining so much weight!!! How could I be such a pig? I just don't deserve to live! God, I hope my insurance approves that lap-band procedure!!
I've spoken in previous posts about what happened in San Antonio and my mother's death. I decided at that point that I was going to lose weight and I just didn't eat. I didn't FEEL like eating. My whole world was turned upside down, inside out. I lost 100 pounds since her death July 2008. But I still have about 150 MORE pounds to go and I'm just stuck. At each doctor's appointment, my weight is either the same or higher. And I don't cheat or eat half as much as I used to. It's just not fair! And now I can't even stand for five minutes without my legs feeling like they were thrown in a vat with steel knives and burning hot oil. It's horrible!!
It shouldn't have worked out like this. I should still be working, our bills paid, my mom still alive and with my dad, and Frankie and me living in our own apartment but still close to our family. We should be planning for vacations and getting flat screen TV's and a computer in every room. I love STUFF and we should be getting STUFF. Unfortunately, it just isn't how it should be and for that, I'm very depressed.
Have you ever felt like that? I can't even talk to my dad about it. It's funny. When he left for Michigan in May of 2009, he promised he'd call me every day and email, too. Now, I'm lucky if I get a one-liner email every two months. Phone calls are practically non-existent. Guess he's moving on quite nicely in his own apartment and going on chat lines. Maybe it's for the best. I can't deal with his drug problems right now in my life. I feel storm battered and I need to heal and recover from the past.
At least I have my husband's parents to lean on, and my wonderful sister-in-law and brother-in-law. My grandma lives in Texas with her son and I have her calling me very frequently, which I absolutely LOVE. I love hearing her voice and distinctive laugh. It instantly cheers me up. I miss her so much it hurts. When we can finally get our stuff back from San Antonio storage, we are definitely meeting up for lunch. She said she would come from College Station just to see me! That warms my heart. My husband and I have had a very rough road, but at least we haven't had to travel it alone. So even though things didn't go quite as I had long ago planned, maybe my life was meant to go a different way and I'm learning as I go down life's bumpy road.
Whew! My fingers are getting very sore so I must stop for tonight. Thanks for listening to me drone on and on. I love blogging and all my new online friends. You guys and gals are family to me, too, and I cherish each and every one of you!!
Until next post,
FibromyWHAT? by Melissa Schranz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.