As a child I was told repeatedly by my Step-Mother that I was ugly, fat, lazy, stupid, would never amount to anything, would never get married 'cause no man would ever want a slob like me, and that didn't I deserve any better.
I knew at the time most of that was bullshit.
But I believed the ugly, fat, and lazy part. I got hit with this crap mostly through my tweens. When most young girls begin to have image problems. Is anybody surprised that I am image problems?
I thought not.
But anyway....I digress.
Wait...Another memory just became pertinant. I also remember hearing from my Dad a lot "All you ever say to the question of "How are you doing" is "Tired". Why are you tired all the time? When I was your age, I had lots of energy!"
Okay, moving on.
For most of my life. I have felt like crap. No energy, blahs, depressed, cold all the time, craving sugar/caffeine ALL the time, and other I won't mention digestive problems. All the doctors ever said to me was "Lose weight, you'll feel better" and when I tried to tell them that even when I lost weight (and indicating how damn difficult it was) I didn't feel better, I got blown off.
In 1996 I actively went to Doctors and said "WTF? Something is wrong with me physically. Think of something, run some tests, figure it out." At that point I got a partial diagnosis, my OBGYN said "Huh. You have PCOS. You are already on the Pill. That's about all we can do." Okay. Lovely to know, but not helpful. My general practice Doc thought it might be hypothyroidism. Ran a test...number came back normal. She handed me a sheet describing a low fat diet, said lose weight, you'll feel better.*
A year after I had the girls, everything came to a head. I was suicidally depressed, burned out beyond recognition, and desperate. I got handed anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills, and sleeping pills. I got pissed off because I felt that my Doc was treating symptoms and not treating the problem.
I got a second opinion.
In the last 18 months I've been diagnosed with: hypothyroidism, Celiac Disease, and sleep apnea.
It's taken a total of 12 years** to get completely diagnosed and treated for FOUR life impinging diseases/syndromes/conditions. It's changing my world view somewhat. I always thought I was lazy and weak-willed. I thought I was fat because I was a failure as a human. That my step-mother was right. All 4 of these diseases make it difficult to lose weight***. Add the four of them together? Man that deck was stacked against me.
I've had my CPAP (actually its a BiPAP) for a month. Within the first week, my life long, impossible to deny sugar and caffeine cravings are gone. And they've been gone ever since. I've lost 5 pounds in the last month. The only conscious change I've made is wearing my CPAP at night. Maybe I'm not a failure. Maybe I'm not a compulsive eater. Maybe I did try my damnedest, and it wasn't good enough, and it wasn't my fault. Maybe my body was just so FUBARed that I just couldn't win, no matter what I did.
I see other fat people now and I don't think "What a lazy ass, go to the gym and do something for god's sake. And quit eating all that crap!"****
Now I think "I wonder what they aren't being treated for."
I'm not saying that every fat person out there has some sort of metabolic problem that causes them to be fat or prevents them from losing weight. I'm just not willing to say that there isn't.*****
I'm hoping that in the next few months I'll continue to feel better. Which each successive diagnosis, I've felt a little better...and then I'd stall. I'm hoping that the CPAP is the lynchpin. The last thing that needed to be treated so that I can feel normal.
Not that I'll ever be normal. I'll still be my own weird self.
I just want to be my own weird self....and feel good too.
*Note, at that time, she was right. Since then, the numbers of normal have changed. Technically I was sub-clinical
**Another way to look at it, is that its actually taken 34 years, as my mother will attest that I've had apnea episodes since I was 2. And she started looking for answers when I was a kid and blown off then. My non-kaiser doc thinks I've been sub-clinical hypothyroidic since I was a child, and we've known since I was 8 (10?) that I was allergic to wheat (non-symptomatic (or so we thought), so I continued to eat it).
***Some might argue the Celiac as a difficult to lose weight disease, especially since malnutrition is one of the main problems. But the other main complaint? Extreme Fatigue. Also, they are now finding that Celiac's are just as likely to be fat due to their bodies pushing them to consume even more calories to get the needed nutrients their digestive tract wasn't able to absorb on a "normal" diet.
****Yes, I do admit to thinking these thoughts. And I'm usually just as harsh to myself when I look in the mirror.
*****Its estimated that over 97% of people with Celiac's don't know it. Researchers know that thyroid problems are severely under diagnosed. And I'm sure the numbers for PCOS and Sleep Apnea are just as bad. Though I will admit...its getting better.