What Does A Cab, Covid, & Water Have To Do With Me Walking?
Hi, and Welcome to my 2nd Blog for Cindy’s Corner. Check out my 1st blog if you missed it. For this blog, I want to share my current journey to lose enough weight to lower my BMI for knee replacement surgery. Let’s take a few steps back on how we got here…well, more like 13 years ago. I was dealt a diagnosis with aggressive arthritis that was attacking my left knee. I had arthroscopic knee surgery, and the orthopedic surgeon stated my meniscus tear looked like a frayed rug fringe. The surgeon cleaned up the meniscus by cutting the fray and discovered I had bone on bone. I recovered enough to keep going as long as I used a cane. In 2017, I was considering that I would probably need to start planning my knee replacement since I was beginning to have more and more issues with my mobility. So, I thought that I might need to do this in 2018.
Unfortunately, on May 24, 2017, on my way into the office for work in Washington, DC, I was a pedestrian struck by a cab in the crosswalk. The cab driver was excessively speeding. I was hit right in the front of his hood, rolled up to the windshield, and then rolled to the driver’s side door as I felt my glasses, face, and hair ripped from me. I was so fearful that I would roll under his back tires, so I pushed as hard as I could with my arms, and the cab spun out, and I had no choice but to go along with the cab where I was thrown into the 4-way intersection. I tried to get up because I was so scared of being hit by another car. I heard people screaming at me to lie down and that I had been hit, and I was like, in my head, are you crazy, but I could not use my right leg. So instead, I lay down and felt everything, and people began to assist me. I heard one person calling the police. A gentleman stopped his truck to block oncoming traffic where I laid. The gentleman from the truck asked me if I wanted him to contact someone. I asked for my purse, and another gentleman handed it to me. I gave the truck gentleman my phone to contact emergency contacts. Two ambulances showed up and the police. I was transported to by ambulance to the hospital in Washington, DC. During the ride in the ambulance, they asked if I had lost conscience and I had not. I was also thankful I was alive with no brain damage. I had skin abrasions along with being black and blue all over my body. My right leg received the most damage, the tibia and fibula were broken. I had to have surgery to pin it so that, eventually, I could be mobile.
I spent a week in the hospital after my surgery, and at least the food service understood gluten-free and Celiac. Still, due to my left leg being useless due to the bone on bone and my upper body strength, I could not go from the bed to the chair or use the bathroom. I had to go to a rehabilitation facility. Who would think I would miss the Hospital at least a little!? The rehabilitation facility was just awful! Due to not being mobile, I had to deal with a bedpan, and a person spilled it and let me sit in a soaked bed for over 4 hours. Also, the food service was horrible; they did not understand gluten-free/Celiac Disease. I complained a lot to my sister Marty and told her I needed her here at this place. Chef Martha ran a rehab and hospital kitchen for almost 8 years; she needed to teach them a thing or two!
The upside was I lost weight, because I could not eat. I was there for 4 weeks; I was so glad to go home finally…but it was a long road to recovery, and a setback happened November 2017. I went to get off my couch and a sharp excoriating pain shot through my left leg. Due to the holidays, it was prolonged to find out what the issue. They first required me to take additional PT. Unfortunately, that additional PT did not help, and I was in constant pain. I went to DC for an x-ray with my orthopedic surgeon, and the pins were shifting, which is a sign that I was not properly healing. They said the bone was not mending in one area, so I needed a bone graft. I cried about having another surgery, but my surgeon reassured me I would bounce back, and it was not like the accident.
In February 2018, I entered the hospital, and they removed the hardware. They used bone from
my right hip to do the graph and put back the hardware. I was just in the hospital for a few days
and came home. They had me up on it shortly after my surgery because it was not like the accident. I had to go back to PT and wait for the healing. I had many issues for a long time, and it took time for that leg to bounce back, more like early 2019. I thought I would address it as soon as possible after my leg felt strong enough and I was prepared to deal with a knee replacement. But then walked in COVID, and that shut down everything.
2018 Healing after the bone graft.
So about 4 months ago, I started having terrible issues with my left knee. It was too painful to do anything physically, and even walking was difficult. So went to my first appointment to see the orthopedic surgeon, but they won’t do that surgery until I can lower my BMI. The Body Mass Index, I feel, should not keep you from having necessary surgery. It is an outdated tool that needs to be abolished. This is my opinion, and I will let it go because I have no choice. I told my orthopedic surgeon the challenge for me is that I don’t lose weight without working out, and now I could no longer use the recumbent bike or stepper at the gym. I have hypothyroidism to boot, which also makes it challenging for me. The deck certainly feels stacked against me. The ortho suggested I do at least 45 minutes daily in the water. I walked out of the office feeling frustrated. I lost over 100 pounds before and have kept it off but getting myself down another 48 pounds just seemed daunting.
My husband suggested finding an indoor pool and figuring out membership. There are limited options for year-round indoor pools in Dover, Delaware. For one of the ones, we checked out, you had to pay for each time you attended. If I had to do 5 days a week, that option was just not budget friendly. I looked into our local YMCA in Dover, Delaware. The fee structure online was not clear, so we decided to pay a visit to the facility. They provided us an affordable option; with Wil, being a senior citizen, and retired military it became a doable expense. So, we joined the YMCA they have an abundance of water classes, and I started going to them instead of trying to do it myself.
My first class was an 8 AM Aqua Riser’s class on Monday and Wednesday in the pool's shallow end. I then added a 9 AM Hydro Pump and 10 AM Water Yoga classes for Tuesday and Thursday. A class for me gives me structure and motivation; you also learn moves instead of trying to figure out how to get a good workout on your own and it at least makes me push myself. But on Friday there were no classes, and I would have to figure out how to do this in the pool alone, but I felt I did not know what to do. So, I reached out to a past workout trainer I worked with for some guidance. I explained my goals, and she suggested I get the Hydro Tone dumbbells; they make the upper body work harder than other equipment I used. I also invested in water gloves and a water belt. I felt having non-shared equipment may be healthier, germs and all.
At the locker room and getting ready to do class with my hydro dumbbells.
Now I needed to deal with my eating habits. I am carb sensitive and gluten-free compared to gluten, items such as pasta, bread, pizza, etc., are higher in carbs. I looked into Weight Watcher’s, which I had used in the past, but that was a long time ago. I did research and decided that the virtual app would work best for me instead of attending in-person meetings, and I am still careful about too much exposure to people. It was affordable for a small fee for the rest of the year at $10 a month. I thought that was great. I love that I can track my food, activities, sleep, water, and weekly weigh-in. They also have challenges you can join, for example, tracking your meals daily for a week. The app also provides you the ability to add your food along with your recipes. They also have tons of resources at your fingertips. For example, there are communities you join and recipes they provide; you can also give them a list of items from your pantry or refrigerator, and they give you a recipe.
Okay, so where do I stand now that I have been doing this for about 60 days you might ask? I have lost 11 pounds, a bathing suit that is now too big, and my core and arms are much stronger than before. I plan to lose 53 pounds before the surgery; I want an additional 5 pounds for myself. I get a lot of recommendations to find another doctor to do the surgery. In the long run, losing weight and strengthening and building myself up before surgery would be more beneficial. I am willing to put in the work and effort because I believe in myself and the process. It isn’t easy, and I know this, but I prepared for this journey and what I have to do to get there, along with the potential pitfalls and setbacks that might happen along the way. The best plan is to be prepared; I think I am doing just that for myself. I will keep you posted as I do my blogs and, if I can, on specific episodes of Allergy Dragon’s Lair.
Me sitting on my front porch drinking coffee before heading to work out in the water.
Are you going through a weight loss journey, or have you completed one? Do you have anything to share about your journey on knee replacement, weight loss, etc.? Also, how do you handle staying on track once you meet your goal? Feel free to reach out to me via CYADennis@outlook.com or CSmith.CFO.AD@gmail.com. I also have a Facebook group called Glam’ma Beauty & More. I hope you will join my FB group so you can learn about skincare and makeup and have fun with my VIPs. I love giving away items, so check it out in September, I am doing another awesome giveaway. What other things would you like me to cover in Cindy’s Corner? Do you have any Community Questions for our Allergy Dragon’s Lair show? Message me on any of the contacts mentioned above links or leave a comment. Share this blog and subscribe to allergydragon.com for more content like this.