Phyllis Tells her Story

My doctor has suggested that I write my story. Heavens to Betsy. So here it is:

Once upon a time back in 2005, there was this fat chick. She was being held captive in a rehab/care facility. “Care” was a stretch. She was there with a broken ankle and two cracked knees. It was the summer. No air conditioning. Plastic mattresses, not an end place. My roommate liked to watch tennis on the television. So I got to listen to the ball being hit back and forth. Thwack, thwack, thwack. It was miserable and I missed my cats, Jack and Slinky. Three months. Besides that, I was weighed on a freight scale. Humiliation. Me and the wheelchair tipped in at 305 lbs. I was unable to walk. I was a blubbering beached whale.

Besides, dear friends I was diagnosed with stage three kidney disease preparing for dialysis. I had already lost my vision in 1998. My retinas had a tear in them. I woke up one morning the light from the window was painful. Was it from uncontrolled diabetes? Probably. Let’s get real, being a fat diabetic and not moving doesn’t make for a happy kidney. So, in 2009 I went for a yearly physical. Bite the bullet and do it. There was a brochure on (Medical) Weight Loss appropriately staged on the counter to peruse as we wait and wait.

The Oregon Medical Weight Loss was in the same building. How convenient. A light bulb went off in my head (low wattage). “Phyllis you are hurting badly. You need help.” I thought to myself. We all have tried other “programs” with promises. I wasn’t committed or serious. So I started this journey in 2009 with OMWL as a patient with Dr. Gulick and team. I wasn’t very happy. The ladies said later that I was really a bitch with glazed over eyes.

This story won’t be on the New York Times best selling list.

So following the program was quite the challenge. No carbs, period. Just protein, protein and more – and exercise too. Holy cow. Your vitals are taken weekly. Blood work showed my vitamins and minerals were in the red zone. From years of neglect. So, Dr, Gulick, with patience of a saint (maybe that’s too much) later shared that she never had a patient that was such a challenge. She shared my case with her peers at their conferences. My ears were ringing. I’m obstinate and dense. I don’t make it easy for me or others. Working on those issues and with Dr. Gulick, my kidney doctor and with the magic of technology I was able to get off insulin which I had been using since 1992.

Insulin keeps sugars low but it puts weight on too. The goal was to lose weight. So I was shooting myself in the foot (which is one of my traits). Dr. Gulick stands her ground with determination. She is a fighter for your cause. She studies her book looking for medicines that don’t harm kidneys which most do. What a roller coaster. No wonder there are so many health issues. The side effects of the prescriptions are a big problem. And it is easier for the doctors to prescribe them and the patients’ to use them rather than get to the root of the problem. Dr. Gulick is a puzzle solver. Which I am the biggest puzzle. Granted I’m not cooperative. Always have been and will continue to work on. Following the program, getting ducks in order, I’ve lost 130 lbs. in 5 years. Slowly going up and down. With the right drugs life is crazy good at 64 years old. Removing the abusive baggage helped greatly.

Friends have seen my progress, asking how I did it. This is the time I speak up for myself and share. I don’t want others to go through the same stuff. Many have followed suit with pleasing results.

I ride the bus for persons with mobility issues. It is a captive audience just sharing little things with the other passengers and the bus drivers. Some are going through the doors at Oregon Medical Weight Loss. This is my purpose. The issues are reversible with a positive attitude and help.

Our creator has thrown me quite a challenge from birth but has also pulled me through when I asked. So with the weight loss my kidneys have repaired and are in the black. My kidney Doctor was flummoxed. So I am off his list of things to do. But what is on my to do list this 2014, maybe love, I’m ready now.

When I last visited with my eye surgeon I told him I couldn’t see the “cowboy” walking on the sidewalk. His reply, “you can see the sidewalk, right?” It is very frustrating not to be able to see details. I feel I am being rude when someone says hi to me and I don’t know who they are until they speak to me. I have to have the light in back of me to see faces. I could have avoided all of this. Had I back in 1990, when I was diagnosed with diabetes, taken it seriously and followed procedures.

In closing this, I want to say that I have never received so much love and care from Dr. Gulick and her fabulous team.