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I am an elementary special ed. teacher and an adult reading teacher. I love scrapbooking, card making, jewelry making, fiber arts, cooking, baking, and gardening.

Four years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was 260 pounds. The nurse practitioner who diagnosed me put me on Metformin. I started working on losing weight, kept a food journal, tried to figure out carbs and blood sugar, etc. I started losing weight and dropped 48 pounds in four months. I was shocked because I'd never had much luck losing weight. Once I had lost that weight the doctor took me off of the Metformin because my blood sugar levels were completely normal. Unfortunately, I slowly started gaining weight back. I was very frustrated because I was still trying to be careful, but it didn't seem to matter. Then last year, I had a herniated disc in my neck that blew out against the nerves going to my right arm. I couldn't feel most of it, couldn't use it because I had no strength in it, and was in excruciating pain. I was out of work for five months. I had to have a foot surgery done during this time too. While all of that was going on, I started coughing. The coughing kept getting worse over the course of the fall, until January when it got to the point that I never stopped. I hadn't gone to the doctor because I really didn't feel sick and I had so little sick time left after the previous spring, but it had gotten to the point that everyone at school was asking me if I was okay and the kids were saying I was hurting their ears, so I went to the doctor. He thought it was bronchial spasms and put me on several medications. It didn't clear up, in fact it got worse. He put me back on the meds and made an appointment with a pulmonologist. I ended up in the emergency room twice and they finally admitted me and kept me for 8 days trying to figure out what medicine would allow me to breathe. They diagnosed me with reactive airway disease. During this time they also diagnosed me with fatty liver disease and sleep apnea. Then while watching a tv show, I heard about poly cystic ovary syndrome and a light bulb went on. After doing some research I found out that it causes just about everything that is wrong with me and that the main treatment for it is metformin. When you have PCOS metformin does help with weight loss, which explains why I lost so much weight when I was on it before. Now they think I have dystonia, which causes involuntary muscle cramping.
Ugh, I am so frustrated. I have been working really hard to take off this weight because it negatively affects all of my conditions. I have managed to take off 31 pounds of the 36 pounds I had regained and am still working on it. It has been a frustrating year and a half. Perhaps it took all of this for me to get serious about trying to get healthy. I just hope it's not too late.

It has been two years since I have been on here. My husband developed several life threatening conditions in December of 2014 and ended up in the hospital with a blood pressure of 60/42, pancreatitis, his kidneys shutting down, and critically low electrolyte levels. He was in the hospital for 11 days with that and then over the course of 4 months had to have 4 different surgeries. I thought he was on the mend finally.
Then in July 2015, we got word that his brother had died suddenly and he and his siblings went up to upstate NY to take care of the burial. The morning after they arrived, he suddenly collapsed with no pulse or respiration. They finally got him back and he was on a ventilator for two weeks, then in progressive care for an additional week. He was then flown back to OH to a rehab facility for 11 more days. He worked hard to get better and he was doing really well until March 2016.
My reactive airway disease suddenly flared up and I was back in the hospital for 7 days. The lower part of my lungs collapsed and they had to use really strong medicines to open them up again and get my RAD under control. The medicines caused my heart to start racing all the time, which made me feel like I was running a marathon all the time. While I was in the hospital, they did a CT scan and found that my lymph node in my chest were enlarged. My pulmonologist did a PET scan and found that they were also enlarged in my abdomen and that there was increased uptake in all of them as well as in my vocal cords. He was concerned that it was lymphoma, so he wanted to do a biopsy. I went in for that in May. It was supposed to be a 40 minute procedure, 3 hours in recovery and then home. Unfortunately that's not how it went. After they removed the bronchoscope, my vocal cords closed and I stopped breathing. They had to intubate me. The next thing I knew it was 4 days later and I was in ICU. 7 days in ICU and 3 days in respiratory, then 3 weeks in a rehab facility because I was so weak. I was diagnosed with Vocal Chord Disfunction, Tachycardia, and Sarcoidosis. While I was in the hospital, my husband had another heart attack and a third stroke. He was in the same hospital on the same floor for the last 5 days that I was there and then was in the rehab facility with me. While he was there, his blood pressure got so low, they had to put him back in the hospital for another 5 days. We have been home for a month now with home health therapies coming to us.
Between the Reactive Airway Disease, the racing heart, Asthma, and the Sarcoidosis, I am so tired. I get so out of breath. My husband has very little energy either. I am trying really hard to be positive, but I have been having a hard time.
It's hard to exercise when you can't breath.

Member Since: 1/28/2013

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    Are you interested in a Challenge?

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    1349 days ago
  • v TIME-4-TINA
    well, in her defense, when I was 15, I wouldn't be too thrilled if people thought my 48 yr. old mother looked like my sister! ha ha!! But your right, she should appreciate the good genes I am passing on! Not to mention the beauty! ha ha! Her father looks young too.

    Thanks for the ego boost!
    2616 days ago
    Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share your story. It always makes such a difference to me when I see pieces of myself in others; it makes me feel less alone. emoticon
    2618 days ago
  • v TIME-4-TINA
    Thanks for the goodie and the comment about my mother-daughter photo. It's funny, I take it as a compliment that you said we look like sisters, however, you know my daughter would be mortified!! I posted that pic on FB and a lot of comments came in like that and she wasn't a happy camper! ha ha!! She made me feel like the elephant man!! Or the Crypt Keeper!

    btw, my background is in reading too. I am a reading tutor in the elementary school and I also tutor privately.
    2619 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/2/2014 11:18:39 AM
    I read your response to another blog, and had to visit your page. As a parent of a child that needed months of residential treatment (not locked however) I so very much appreciate the amazing people working in those programs.

    You have much on your plate. I can empathize with the feeling of losing oneself when giving so much care to others. My degree is in Early Childhood. After years of preschool teaching/directing, I found a placement in a special ed district. When my Preschool student aged out, I ended up working with young EBD adults. Since I parent one, I wasn't sure I wanted to do this. I actually loved it. Seems I have a natural talent.
    Anyway, I also cared full time for my disabled mother from the age of 16 on, until she passed away at home as planned. She was "total care". This care was congruent with parenting our bi-polar ebd daughter. Between my mother's needs and our daughter's I hit over 200 lbs as well. After several unsuccessful RTC placements, we found one that was amazing. I could finally breathe. Find time for me, Joined WW and lost my weight.
    I wish you well on your journey. You have health issues working against you, and it sounds like time issues as well. You can do this! You are more than worth it, and Blessings to you. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
    2619 days ago
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