Yes, it is true. Gather is like a safety net for me of sorts. I had came to the conclusion that I would probably never get a chance to fulfill my dream of being a regular classroom teacher. I am a great teacher and I challenge my students to reach goals that they may not even consider setting for themselves at the beginning of class. I expect them to be kind to others, mind their manners, and try to help others. But I don't fit in with the "society" of most teachers. I'm just a poor working girl and often am looked down for that. So as I have been mad at myself for taking the chance and going into debt to obtain my degree, I started to notice that more than a few changes had been made in my life.
I have had weight battles for years. Honestly, I'm not even sure when the last time I was a normal size. Looking at old photos, probably about 17-20 years ago. With each passing year, the number just crept up. Then it hit that 300 point and I started trying harder to lose weight. I would drop down into the 280's and then bounce right back up into the 290's. I was eating better but I just couldn't lose it.
So the years rocked on and I kept going. My breathing got to be more of a battle and climbing stairs caused me to lose my breath no matter how slowly I went. It was horrible having students make fun of me for being out of breath. It didn't matter what I said to them, the administration wouldn't back me up. I would think that if I ever caught my kids acting like that then I would punish them so severely that they would never consider doing it again. Luckily, my kids must be smart enough to not make fun of others in front of me.
But life rocked on and in between dealing with my husband's eye injury and recovery, my mom's broken hip, surgery, and eventually being put into a nursing home, while trying to work one or two jobs, I basically gave up on trying to lose weight. I did try to continue to eat better most days. I just didn't have the energy to do more than I was.
On a Wednesday, I took off work to take my husband to the eye doctor and came home thinking I would just spend the day resting. I was exhausted! I had been working a summer program from 8 until 5 with several field trips each week. I also had some of the most disrespectful students imaginable in the class. Instead of the administration backing my up on their following the rules, I was told to ignore them. Not too fond of that supervisory decision but I tried hard. The exhaustion was getting the better of me, so I took moment to check my weight on my way to take a nap. 295.8 so it was back up in the 290's and I was even more upset.
I spent the rest of the day napping, reading, and basically anything at all that I could do to relax. Then I started feeling like I was running a fever. I couldn't hold my head up and all I could do was sleep. About 10 pm, I started sweating profusely, then I started running back and forth to the restroom every hour. I know.. too much information. But that is to explain the next thing I got to tell you.
I woke up at 5 when my husband was leaving for work and I weighed 287 something. I thought okay, that's strange and went back to bed. When I got up at 6, I felt horrible, weighed again and it was down to 286 something. I knew that was way too much to lose overnight so I called in sick at work and went back to bed. The doctor's office didn't open until about 9 so I thought I would nap until time to go pick up my husband's payroll and make one trip do both since I was feeling so weak.
Eventually, I got out of bed feeling like walking was going to be struggle. I weighed again and it showed 285 something so I took a shower and got ready to go to town. Each step seemed to take too much energy. But I ran my errands and went to the doctor. I even took a phone call that was letting me know that I had lost my job. Don't get me wrong, the job had become horrible to deal with but I needed the money.
When they got me back to check me out, my weight on their scale was 287 but the scary thing was my blood pressure was 180/103. So they started running the normal battery of tests on me. Xray, EKG, blood, and urine. The Xray and EKG showed no changes. The doctor felt that my new symptoms required more tests.
Four hours later, I'm leaving with medicine for my blood pressure, something to keep me calmer, and something for inflammation to allow me to breathe easier. I also hold in my hand a name and number of a cardiologist to make an appointment with. It seems that at 47 years of age, I am finding out that I was born with a heart defect that has never been found by any of the numerous tests that I have had on my heart and lungs since I was in my early 20's.
So now, the changes that I had been considering making are up in the air as I wait to see what changes I have to make. The words that the doctor said still ramble around in my head and I'm not sure if the overwhelming fear and shock that I felt was coming from him or me. All I knew was I had to do or say whatever I could to get out of that room as quickly as possible. I'm on standby as to what changes I will need to make instead as I sit here with the entire world spinning out of control as I wait for that next appointment.
My hope for that appointment is that I can find out more about what is wrong, what needs to be done or if something can be done, and trying hard to hold it together as my husband will be with me for this visit, if he can get off work. Honestly, I'm more scared of having to try to hold it together for whomever goes with me than I am of hearing what the doctor says. After all, I have lived with this condition my entire life and the few words I do hear over and over is that my body has compensated for this situation up to now but that it may need help compensating soon. I mean, this is the way I was born, this is my normal. I don't need fixing or to recover. This is my life. I may have to tweak it a bit though.