Monday, March 11, 2019

The cost of obesity

I started to write a post for last Friday...but due to a commute, a passenger in the car (I gave a ride to a coworker), exhaustion and just life, I was unable to complete it.   It WAS going to be about getting my life in line before I have to deal with the cost of medications due to illnesses that could be managed by weight.  This was sparked by a conversation I had with my good friend Donna, who appeared in a motivational post last year.   She has continued to do amazing with her weight loss and is actually at goal, but she continues to work to eliminate each of her medications (you’ve got this Donna!)!    But she made the comment to me, ‘get it under control soon before you have to deal with the astronomical costs of medications.  And THAT was what the post was going to be about but then I experienced Friday and while the rest of this post is going to be ‘similar’ the cost of obesity hit much harder in my life and well...I’m freaked out!

Years ago I was diagnosed with arthritis in my knees. When I was overweight they ached sooo horribly!  But as I lost weight the pain settled down to a random twinge here and there.  However, as I have gained the twinges began to increase.  I knew it and even talked to people about the fact that I had an idea of the breaking point weight that when I reach  my knees issues would really  kick into high gear.   I have even made the comment that I was getting close to that weight!  But I didn’t pay attention to it.  It hadn’t computed in my head.  Afterall, actions and words are two different things!

Last week was a normal week.   Everything was normal.   I wasn’t off the rails with my quest for health...but I wasn’t totally  on target with the actions needed for this quest.  The memorable thing about my week was climbing stairs.  We live on the third floor and I noticed in passing that my knee was strong as I went up or down the stairs....strong for the first flight.  By th second flight I was feeling the old familiar ache of arthritis. Luckily, it cleared up as soon as I got on flat terrain and was only a small blip on the radar of my daily life.   Until Friday.  Friday morning came and I went down the steps in the morning and managed to contain my groan of pain confident that it would subside within minutes.  However, it didn’t subside.  It aches throughout the day and by the time I got home Friday evening I was truly suffering!   

My knee had not ached that bad since before I lost all the weight years ago!  And Leta be honest.  I e gained about half of it back!  I had known that I was teetering on the edge of the number on the scale where my knees typically really start to hurt really badly.   I had been feeling more and more twinges and hearing my knees creak and crack a whole lot more, but I had paid it no mind!  But Friday night I could not ignore it any longer.   Ohhh no I couldn’t!  I would move my leg and the pain would become more dull and I would breathe a sigh of relief...but within moments the pain intensified and I just ached!   Lovely.....not!

On Saturday morning I knew we were going grocery shopping/errand running.  My knee already hurt so I went to the closet and pulled out my bin of ‘supplies’.  I opened it and selected a knee brace.  As I was making my selection my thought was that the bin was truly my personal current cost of obesity. 

I have ankle braces, knee braces, ace bandages, devices for planters fasciitis, kt tape and wrist braces.   With the exception of the wrist is all due to the excess weight on my body damaging my joints!!!   That bin is my current high price of obesity!

The price is high....honestly, higher than the price to lose weight.   You see.  I can restrict and manage my weight and eliminate SOME of the issues that I have created (some of the damage is done, but in my experience it is more easily managed and more easy to live with at a lower weight).  I can then live!   The cost of I continue is most assuredly knee replacements, wheel chairs, walkers and living a life where there is no mobility...or at least greatly reduced mobility.   Which cost is higher???

So, knowing that I am teetering (and crossing) the line where my knees really bother me has made me realize that it’s not so or die time in terms of my health.  There is no more fiddling around!  It’s time!

There are two things I can do:
1.  Lose weight (the biggie)
2.  Exercise:  arthritis can be managed through exercise!  A personal trainer once told me that I need to build up the muscles around my knees in order to take up the slack for the lack of cartiledge.

I took it easy on Saturday and wore the brace a lot.  But on Sunday it was in the upper 40°’s and lower 50°’s.  So we headed to the mountains near us.  We headed for a trail to hike! I knew it wasn’t going to be a fabulously long hike.  Not was it a fabulously difficult hike.  My knee couldn’t handle it.  But I know that to fix the problem I have to be active.  

We weren’t counting on there being snow...a couple inches.   But it was fun!!

I was careful and we only went a few miles.  But I have started to take back my life!!!!