This last year (2016) I was working as a manager for a big box retail store. I had been with the company for three years.
As most people working for major corporations, these companies frown upon sick days, doctor’s appointments or really anything that takes away from the company itself.
So, as I have done many times before I put my health on the back-burner and continued to push myself forward. I was working towards a co-manager position and had been also looking into regional training centers to become a corporate training facilitator.
I remember it quite vividly. I was preparing myself for our daily afternoon meeting. My notes were all completed. My reports were printed and copies in hand for the Assistant Managers. I had already gotten myself setup for the weekend- which would have been my first weekend off in about six months.
I decided to run to the bathroom- I had about 15 minutes until the meeting was set to begin. I began to urinate and it was pure blood. At this point I was not surprised. I had already been diagnosed with Kidney Stones. I knew I had not been drinking water like I should have been.
I washed my hands and went to the meeting. As I sat down on the chair, I began to sweat profusely. I blacked out within a couple of minutes. My supervisor was sitting there and after the meeting he acknowledged that I looked like I was dying.
My supervisor drove me to the local hospital. I don’t remember much thereafter, but I do remember them saying that they did a partial chest cavity scan.
Two Inguinal Hernias, 18 Kidney Stones, Fatty Liver, possible mass on my Gallbladder, and several nodules on my Lungs.
I had finally accepted that I, at that point in my life felt for the first time completely defeated.
I was quite weak after that trip to the emergency room. My parent’s came down and got me. Even after the weekend of bed rest, my body was very resentful of my drive to go back to work Monday morning.
I pushed through for another two weeks before I finally requested FMLA.
Doctor’s visits became almost a daily routine for that month. Sometimes I saw three or four doctors in one day. I didn’t even know that there were that many doctors. It felt as if I was a bad science project that an entire team was assigned to fix me.
Oncologist for the nodules. Gastroenterologist for the the Liver and Gallbladder. Urologist for the Kidney Stones. Dermatologist for the psoriasis. Not to mention the few that I am forgetting.
After a month my company told me that I had to go back to work. I did not even have the strength angymore to work 15 or more hours a day. After two weeks they told me that I wasn’t needed anymore.
It was probably the best thing that could have happened. I got out of the one place that was literally killing me. From inside and out. Mentally and physically.
I put all the doctor appointments on hold until I was able to get insurance again. I didn’t even know where to begin with changing my lifestyles and improving my health.
Within a few months I had gained nearly more weight than I had ever experienced. I topped off at 283. In December I was booked for a trip that I had already paid for and decided that I would go even if I hadn’t gotten my healthcare figured out.
The week I got back I found out that I had gotten insurance again. I started to reschedule appointments and get blood-work that had been put off. I got a call th next day about my labs. The nurse who called me knew that I had just gotten back from vacation the week prior. She asked if I had consumed a lot of alcohol.
My Liver was pushing it’s way into Liver Failure. This was the sign that I had not seen but did put into perspective all the issues I was having. I had gained an incredible amount of weight. My medication that I was taking to treat my Psoriasis wasn’t working. At this point, the toxins in my body were not being filtered through my Liver but instead being put back into my body. I was essentially a ticking time-bomb about to detonante at any moment.
They thought maybe it was a misread. They thought maybe if i kept getting the same blood-work done that the numbers would get better. After another month they only continued to rise.
The next steps were to meet with a dietian and one of the specialists about my liver. All the specialists were asking me to make diet changes. Most of which conflicted with the next “experts” thoughts. The dietian was able to put it all into not only a suitable diet but also a complete overhaul of my routines.
The Gastroenterologist wanted to do a Biopsy on my Liver but I wanted to give it at least a couple of weeks on my dietian-guided diet. After the two weeks of being on a diet that was specific for my health issues I had already lost a significant amount of weight but my Liver Enzymes doubled.
The biopsy was scheduled and executed. No new findings were discovered. In fact, they were able to say at that point my Liver was suffering from Fatty Liver Disease – which was already determined.
I went ahead and continued the diet as planned. This Tuesday I will have been on this diet for 11 weeks.
I have lost 49 pounds. My Liver Enzymes are back to normal range. And, the nodules have disappeared or at least shrank.
I’m thankful for the doctors and nurses who have been caring for me. I am also thankful that my parents and siblings have been so supportive of this whole process.
And, I am still working towards my final goal. By the end of this journey I want to be down to 200 pounds. I only have 34 pounds to go. So much to accomplish, but, with everyone’s support I know that I can make it through this.