My story begins innocently enough with a trip to my pulmonologist for my annual “I can’t breathe” check up. We do the tests for my lungs to see what my lungs are doing, or should I say what my lungs are not doing. She sits me on the table and asks what’s been going on, I proceed to tell her my usual “well doc, I seem to be short of breath and sometimes feel as if I get no oxygen in my lungs. It’s worse at night and I wake up coughing or having the feeling as if someone is strangling me.” She brings me to her office and gives me a LIST of medicines. Allergy medicine, an everyday inhaler which has steroids, a rescue inhaler and some pills that are supposed to help my throat because every time I cough stomach acid ends up in the throat? She took some blood to run some tests and said to call her if I feel worse on Monday.
As I left the doctors office, I sat in my Jeep and thought to myself “damn Steph, what happened to you?! You never needed any of this! You were a star athlete and in really good shape… Get your shit together you’re not even 30 yet!” My next move was to call my husband, “How’d it go babe? Are you ok? What did the doctor say?” I answered as I drove down the street to pick up my endless supply of pills. Standing in line, I again started to reflect because that’s what I do, I overthink things, I analyze every little thing to exhaustion. Something needed to give, but what?
Enter 30 year old Steph now to the picture, after an incredible and unforgettable trip to Cuba I came back with a totally changed view of everything. I mean EVERYTHING! Life, people, food, work, the car I drove, the House I lived in, the toilet paper I was so easily able to get. I started to think of how precious everything we have in life is and how I really didn’t even notice it. Still, holding dearly to my inhaler and at this point keeping one in my Jeep and one on my nightstand. I got a call, from my doctor. “Steph, I need you to come in if you can to go over your blood work if you can.” I couldn’t so she read them to me over the phone.
My cholesterol was all over the place too high for my age, my sugar was insanely high and in her words, “Steph, you are .2 mg/dl away from diabetes, I’m going to need you to get some exercise,” Also, I’ve never seen vitamin D levels this low before I’m prescribing you some vitamin D pills to get them back up. “I need you to really try and lose a little weight.” For those that don’t know, I have PCOS and bad… If you want to have a baby it’s a little trickier and complicated than just getting knocked up. PCOS contributes to weight gain, diabetes and a whole bunch of other issues. My doctor was concerned for my well being especially because I’m so young.
I hung up the phone and broke down. If there’s one thing you have to know about me is I never weighed more than 120 lbs. all my life. I got married at 23 and that’s what I weighed. I always played sports and tried to eat a health balanced meal. My family always called me “flaca” which in spanish means skinny. So, here we go. I weighed in at 160 lbs. I had gained 40 lbs in 7 years! I couldn’t believe this was me. My health was no longer good and I knew it but I guess I needed a reality check. I loved my cheeses, all kinds, it didn’t matter to me as long as there was cheese I was happy… I loved my burgers, tacos, mac and cheese, all the “normal” comfort foods and then some. This put some things in perspective though. If I wanted to be healthier and fit back into my jeans or even have a kid at some point I needed to change. Yes, IVF is in my back pocket but it’s science and feels so cold… So this blog is about my journey to a healthier life and also a way to vent my frustrations.