Dude, I am not gonna lie. Though I have had a few precious family members asking WHEN the next blog post will come, can I just say it is really hard to think about typing when I am using every last ounce of energy to stay on this new diet plan called “Eat to Live.” I am sure that Dr. Joel Fuhrman has my best interests at heart, and when this journey is successfully completed I will probably love the man, but right now I am thinking that it would actually be in his best interests to NOT show up on my door step. I would probably have a few words with him. or at him. Either way, this girl in misery does NOT want the company right now. At least not his. But whatever, I am doing it. Which, I have to confess, is nothing short of a miracle. Let’s back track…
The last few years I’ve had random sharp shooting pain in my lower abdomen that I have almost always been able to work through. I pride myself on being “tough,” so telling the people that I am with, whoever that may be, that I need to sit down or that I am in horrific pain is not on my top ten list. So when this sharp shooting pain has arrived, I have done my best to wait it out and suffer in silence. Honestly, I am really, really good at this. I would say that this happens at least 3 or 4 times a year but I’ve never really thought much about what it is except that, in the back of my mind, I am convinced that I am dying of some type of cancer and I take a few minutes to think about how much my family will miss me when I’m gone. Which makes me smile. Charming, right?
So, back in January I was at the house of my beautiful friend G. We were having a girls’ night. A few glasses of wine, some incredible homemade lasagna, and just us girls… It was pure bliss! Up until about 10:00 p.m. when this pain feeling came again, pretty major. As in, for the first time in my life, I just couldn’t hide it. I calmly mentioned that my belly was hurting and thought I might lay down on the couch for a few minutes. Well, G knows me pretty well, so that I would even forsake a half-finished glass of wine must signal some kind of serious trouble. So she waited, and watched, and quietly waited and watched some more. All the while the other girlfriends were chatting, and I was quietly sweating and moaning over on the couch. It sucked.
When G found my phone laying out, she decided that maybe it would be best to have sweet Bri come and get me. I begged her not to, but it was too late. 🙁 The girl who likes to hide all things had been outed. BY A GIRLFRIEND! Argh. So Bri showed up at the door, walked in, and G explained that I really needed to go to the hospital. And I smiled my nicest smile and said “Sure, sure, along we go now.” And Brian helped me hobble to the car where I proceeded to direct him HOME TO MY BED. But I married a brat. A stubborn brat. He drove right past our house, onwards to the hospital. I just gave him the angriest look I could muster while feeling like a dagger was coming out of my side, and he shot back “Really?” Then I believe a few words came out of MY mouth but he drove on. And we landed in the ER parking lot where I rattled off the finest vocabulary words that I reserve for only the most desperate of situations. Even then, though, he managed to grab my elbow and got me out of the car. So as I got out of the car, instead of following him into the ER waiting room, I quietly and slowly started hobbling away. Pain was shooting through my body, but I was heading in the general direction of home. Though it was 2 miles away, I’d be damned if I was going to the hospital to get this silly thing checked out. All the other times I’d felt the pain, I’d just waited it out. And it went away! So why did this have to be any different? And as I heard footsteps start to catch up to me, Brian’s calm voice simply said “Go for it. I’ll call your parents.” In that moment, my shoulders lowered and I knew I had lost. He held the Queen of Spades and used it. I knew there would be no winning if my parents got involved. And it was not worth the mess. Just. Fine.
Once inside the hospital, they took my vitals and gave me my own cute little hygenic room. Lovely, but all I wanted was to go home. I could hear my bed calling to me, like a siren beckoning a little lost sailor. Sadness.
The main lovely thing that did come of this is that I got some sort of kick-ass painkiller. I have no idea what it was (probably a good thing or I’d be searching the Mexican online pharmacies) but it. was. PERFECT! And then, the fun started. Remember how I’d been at a girls’ night out before this? Yes, and I’d had a few beverages. Oh, and my dearest G told us all to show up in jammy pants in case the evening turned into a sleepover. So, the good news for the hospital was that I was super relaxed when the meds combined with the pre-meds I’d given myself. And when the nurse mentioned how cute my jammy pants were and I had just sewed them myself that afternoon – Well, looking back I don’t remember much of the conversation but I do remember the nurse in absolute stitches and how she kept telling Brian that I was just the funniest person she’d ever met. Ha! Turns out us type A’s can have awesome senses of humor when we relax enough. Who knew?
So, test results came back and I did have something real going on. I’m so glad. I’m always glad when the thing that I think is very bothersome is also, in fact, very real. Time after time, when I’ve been in physical pain, I deny it, worried that maybe it’s all in my head. And maybe if I pretend it’s not there then it really won’t be there. But, it turns out that if you feel real pain, then there is, most likely, something real causing it. I probably would have learned a lot if I’d gone to med school.
Anyway, the tests showed that I had an ovarian cyst that had burst. The actual bursting was over, so the pain would subside and all would be well. However, they did mention that I should get checked by an OBGYN to just verify that everything was good. Which, amazingly enough, I did! I think I was so afraid that another girls’ night could be interrupted this way and I wanted to do everything in my power to prevent another ending like that ever again. So, the doc gave me the thumbs up and said “Call us if you have these problems again. Otherwise, toodle-oo.”
Which would have been great except that it came back. In May, and now again in July. I’ve had several ultrasounds that show that I am continuing to get ovarian cysts. And, if this continues on, we will need to “handle it.” There are several different options, but none of them sound great to me. So, the main thing is that it’s time to figure out how to PREVENT them from happening. And, it turns out, being overweight can mean hormonal imbalances and that can mean ovarian cysts. On top of which, I don’t fit into any of my clothes these days. So, combine that the doctors want me to get healthier with the fact that we don’t have the money in our budget for an all new wardrobe, and I am just today finishing Day 3 of Eat to Live. My head hurts, my belly is starting to rumble again, and I would LOVE to calm my stressed nerves down by chomping on something sweet. But, Amy (my lovely sister) is in this with me. And we can’t give up. Because that means we are giving up on the other person, too. And I will never. NEVER. EVER give up on a sister. Seriously, cut off my fingers and toes but I WON’T give up on her. And I know she won’t give up on me. So we are in this crazy, painful, beautiful journey to get our health back. And it is just beginning. I’m so scared. I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything this hard. Losing 50 pounds is something only brave, amazing people do. So if I do it, does that make me one of the brave, amazing people out there? That seems so very backward. I feel anything but brave. Especially not amazing. But I’m in. No turning back, and I’m all in. And hence, the title of this post. Good times at the Graber house! (And, as my body begins to transition from in-shock to back-to-normal, I will have more normal posts!)