Saturday, March 28, 2009

How to Lose 55 Pounds in Less Than Three Months

1. Have 6 infected abcesses in abdomen.
2. Have two surgeries in less than three weeks.
3. Receive diagnosis of congestive heart failure, and kidney failure (reaction to the contrast dye used for CT scans).
4. Spend seven weeks flat on back in hospital.
5. Develop severe loss of appetite and intestinal problems due to infection.
6. Consume less than 500 calories per day, due to #5.
7. Spend two weeks in rehab hospital.
8. Have wound vac for three and a half months.
9. Work with physical/occupational therapists three times a week.
10. Work with wound care nurse to avoid developing infection in abdominal wound that runs from hip bone almost to hip bone, several inches deep.

I could write a book :).

And with that title, it might even be a best seller.

But since those steps involve passing through the shadow of death, I can not in good conscience recommend it.

Four months after the second surgery, I have graduated from wheel chair to walker, and from walker to cane. I am the proud owner of two handicap placards, one for each vehicle. I can eat, dress myself, and even do a little (very little) cooking, sitting at the table, after someone else has assembled the ingredients and stands by to put everything in the oven. I exercise every day, for about an hour, a routine that would take a healthy person perhaps ten minutes.

Every day I am thankful to be alive, to be at home, to be making progress. I struggle with frustration, depression, and my inability to carry out normal daily activities, but when I look back three months, I am amazed at the progress I have made, and thank God for family, friends, and a husband who does for me all the things I can't do for myself.

I know that I will never be the person I was before. In some ways, that may be a good thing. Losing weight is a plus. Having wonderful doctors, and miraculous medicines to keep my heart beating on schedule and my pulse rate from going through the roof.....having family and friends who support and encourage me.......having a God who is with me through it all...... how blessed I am.

I would love to write that book--but I don't think anyone would willingly go through those months, no matter how much weight they want to lose. So I guess my "best seller" will remain a figment of my overactive imagination.