There was a time not all that long ago when I lived in a silent fear. Some may think of it as hypochondria but for me it felt like a very real and scary fear. I had reached the level of obesity where I feared going to doctors.
It wasn’t just exercise that made me breathless walking from the car to the front door could do that to me.
A twinge of pain on my left side would leave me paralyzed with fear that I was having a heart attack.
An ache in my foot would leave me terrified that maybe my weight had cracked a bone in my foot. It sounds so silly to type it but when you go to the doctor for a cold and they tell you that you have to lose weight you develop a fear and inferiority complex that the only possible cause for any ache or pain is your weight and a doctor will tell you that.
My left leg ached for 2 months before I went to see a doctor about it. She told me it was the heat, edema. She didn’t mention my weight she recommended water, movement and celery tablets. They made me pee …..a lot but still my leg remained swollen if anything it was bigger,
I went back to the doctor, again was told it was fluid and this time was given fluid retention tablets…the swelling got worse.
So one thursday in January 3 months after the swelling had started my leg was seriously like the elephant man. I was in agony and barely able to move it. After finishing work and struggling down the 43 stairs (yes I counted) Chris took me to the local hospital.
As luck would have it this was also the day our groceries were due to be delivered so he left me at the hospital to go home to meet the delivery. The triage nurse was great I showed her my leg and checked that I was in the right place- was this a silly thing to be at the hospital for. The nurse reassured me that I was in the right place, that the swelling was severe and the pain was concerning. I settled into the waiting room to begin the time ticking process of waiting to see the doctor.
Just over 2 hours later a doctor called me through he asked me what was wrong I got as far as saying my leg was swollen when he cut me off. “This is not something to come to the hospital for- this is something you see a GP for. You are wasting everyone’s time here, you need to go home now”. I was so shocked at the way I was being spoken to my mouth literally fell open. “But I checked with the nurse and she said it was right for me to be here” “Well what is she going to say go away- they’re not allowed to say that they have to be nice go home now”and with that he left me alone in the curtained area never once looking at my leg hiding underneath the skirt of my maxi dress. I held in my tears until Chris came back to pick me up.
By the time I sat in the car I was a pathetic sobbing mess barely able to speak and Chris my sweet shy quietly spoken husband was yelling names and words I didn’t even know he knew about this doctor.
The next day we went to a different GP who looked at the bottom of my leg for 2 seconds before he went yep that’s definitely more than fluid he looked further up my leg and on the back of the left thigh found what he called a mid sized ulcer that definitely needed antibiotics and dressing and he also sent me for tests- advising that he thought it was a blood clot. When the results confirmed the 17cm clot I asked him a lot of questions but one that I was scared to ask “Is my size the reason I have this?” He looked at me with kindness and smiled and answered ‘No sometimes these things just happen”.
It’s been 9 months since they found that clot. I have learnt to walk and lift and move again in that time, my body is different, I AM different. Still obese yes but not as morbidly so. Yet there was still 1 thing I hadn’t done.
On Saturday my 3 year old niece and I were kicking a soccer ball together when she cocks her head and looks at me “Can you run?”. What do you tell a 3 year old um I’m scared I’m to heavy too, so I answer “Ummm I’m not sure”. “It’s easy I can teaches you- Watch”.
I smile as she runs around in a circle, my golden haired girl. She looks at me and says “See like that” So I copy her I run around in a circle. She laughs, we do this twice more. A year ago I couldn’t have done this. 6 months ago I didn’t know I could do this, on Saturday I stopped thinking and just did it.
To most people running in a circle 3 times isn’t a big deal, but to me this is MASSIVE. It’s the next step, the next level, onwards and upwards and Baby I Was Born to Run.
<Linking up with the gorgeous Jess of Essentially Jess because I Blog on Tuesdays>