Doctor’s verdict

After 3 days, Meridia is out. So I’ve got $91.80 in unused pills to stare at.

Scared.

It’s 1:17 am, and I don’t know what the freak is going on. I took my third dose of Meridia 16 hours ago. I sleep with a CPAP machine due to sleep apnea, and while I was chillin’ in my sleep, something woke me with a start. This happens often since Meridia, as one of the side effects is difficultly falling and staying asleep. Typically, I’d change positions and drift back off to sleep, but this time was different.

Changed positions. Noticed left arm is asleep. Flex left arm, circulating blood. Left foot goes numb. Brain starts thinking: “omigod, we’re about to have a heart attack! Lie still! Maybe it will go away!” I can’t lie still. I turn my ankle in circles, hoping the numbness is just a momentary lack of circulation. Start running down list of heart attack warning signs: numbness in left side (check), shortness of breath (nope), increased heart rate (stop… count for a minute… nope), pain in chest (check), shoulders, or back. Cycle back into freaking-out mode.

I just decided to stand up and walk around, maybe take some aspirin, see if things get better or worse. Consider calling ambulance or heading to emergency room. Decide not to disturb Lee, because he has to get up at 3am for work.

Take a look in medicine cabinet, no aspirin. I have Aleve… is aleve an aspirin product? Check label. Back side reads: Naproxen sodium may cause a severe allergic reaction, especially in people allergic to aspirin. Front reads: 220 mg NSAID. Think back… Meridia can’t be taken with NSAID’s prescribed for heart health. Ok, well does that mean Meridia can’t be used with an aspirin regiment, or that even 1 aspirin would cause a severe reaction? Decide to not take aleve. Drink a glass of water (hydrated veins are happy veins, no?)

Head to Life-Saving Information Resource Portal (laptop). Re-read Meridia’s complications. Read up on heart attacks again. Note: by now, numbness in left side has mostly subsided. Weird pain at/around the collar-bone area on left side. Notice that I hear a high-pitched tone in my ears, and I can also hear my heartbeat clearly (symptoms of increased blood pressure). Read information on women’s failure to heed heart attack warning signs up to 6 months before a cardiac event. Read stroke symptoms, which also match tonight’s event. Start writing blog to record event and calm myself down.

So here I am, with a steady heart rate of 73 beats per minute (normal for me is 68-72ish), only the slightest remaining numbness in my left foot, some weakness in my left arm, no more clavicle pain. If that was an episode, I think that maybe it’s over. I’m left with questions:

  • Biggest question: did I just experience legitimate heart issues, or was it more like anxiety/nervousness or trouble sleeping? All are side effects of Meridia.
  • Did I make the right decision in not calling an ambulance, or should I have called just to be safe? Will ignoring tonight’s episode open the door to a more severe one later on?
  • How in the hell are you supposed to differentiate between legitimate heart problem or stroke versus something benign like anxiety? (I know the answer: you’re not. You’re supposed to get to a doctor.)
  • Did I wake up because of the sleeplessness effect, a heart problem, or an apnea episode (a possibility, even with CPAP)?
  • And most importantly, do I stop taking Meridia, or do I write this off as over-worriedness and continue with the medicine?

I’ll probably call Dr. Aung’s office in the morning and see what they recommend. Dr. Aung was hesitant to even prescribe the Meridia, so I know she’ll tell me to stop taking it. I just wish I knew: is this the medicine, or is this just me freaking out?

The dumbest thing of all: I’m pissed that I just spent over $100 on a medication that I probably won’t get more than these three doses out of. Stupid, I know, because I’d pay $100 a month to not take a heart attack / stroke / anxiety – inducing medication.

Update: Dr. Aung wants to see me in person right away. Unfortunately, I’m already at work over an hour away, so I’ll just leave work early today and meet with her at 4:00.

A glimpse into my family life

An email to my parents and sister:

Remember when Lee’s cousin/aunt Brenda called and was all, “WHO IS THIS? DO YOU KNOW A BRENDA LASTNAME?”

It wasn’t Brenda. It was Brenda’s girlfriend, who found our numbers in Brenda’s pocket.

So we weren’t being stalked by a crazy ex-con relative of Lee’s (and, by extension, a relative of mine I suppose. I hate that.) Anyway, we were being stalked by a crazy ex-con relative of Lee’s’ jealous lesbian lover. So all is well.

Meggs

Was that confusing? Yes? Ok then!

(edited to remove Lee’s cousin/aunt’s last name. She has a lot of pent-up anger from prison, and with the rage-filled girlfriend, too? I ain’t no fool.)

Thump-thump

I know I may just be overly scared, but I put my first Meridia tablet in my mouth exactly 85 minutes ago, and I just had what I think it a heart palpitation. I got kind of warm, felt my heart speed up for a second, felt like a rush to my head (almost like a speed-headache) and then everything went back to normal. I don’t know if this is Meridia, or just me freaking out about Meridia, but I’m paying very, very close attention. I know it’s probably nothing. I feel 100% normal right now.

But what I really logged on to write was that I’m continuing to lose weight. I stopped counting calories, stopped entering my foods into fitday or the foodsdatabase, and just do what I do. For some reason, this works better for me. I know that after surgery, I’ll have to track protein and such, but now… I prefer not to count anything.

My sister is getting married December 29th and I need to fit into a size 24 David’s Bridal gown. I looked back at my weight history and thought about the sizes I wore during each time period, and I think that if I get down to about 290-ish pounds, I’ll be good. I know that’s a huge goal, but it’s only a loss of 2.35 pounds per week, which is totally doable. I’ve only been losing 1.69 pounds per week thus far, but that was without tools like alli and Meridia to help. Anyhow, there’s this fantabulous chart on the foods database that tracks my progress, and it appears that I’m right on target, see?

image1.png

It’s great to know that if I just keep on keepin’ on, I’ll have no problems with that dress come wedding time.  Interim goals: the chart shows that I need to cross into the 330’s by August 2nd, so I’ll be working on that. Other fun figures: if I can maintain this rate of loss, I’ll weight 310 at Halloween, like 303 on Thanksgiving, and like 291 on Christmas. I like the way that future looks!

Meridia Day One

It’s 9:22 am, and I just took my very first dose of Meridia. If you don’t hear from me ever again, assume I had a heart attack and died. This shit is scary!

But since I haven’t dropped dead yet, I might as well fill you on my continued use of alli. Let’s just say this past week brought lots of, um, treatment effects. Obviously, I need to get the fat content in my meals waaaay down.

I want to tell you the nitty gritty details of this week’s alli escapades, but with my real name and photo attached to this website, a tiny bit of censorship is in order. I’ll just give you a few words or phrases, and you can imagine the rest: uh oh! orange explosion. lunch hour women’s restroom. decision: go commando (and risk a second accident going directly to pants) or take scissors to underwear and then turn them backwards.

I won’t tell you what I decided. But I took my office scissors home that night and ran them through the dishwasher.  My husband recently took an intensive food safety course on pathogens and cross-contamination, and now megameggs = germaphobe.

Last thought: is it safe to take Meridia and alli/Orlistat together? Meridia works on the brain to control hunger, and alli works in the gut to block fat absorption, so it seems to me that I should be safe. I can’t find any information that contraindicates the two, but who knows. Again: if I’m not back soon, I’m dead. Just follow the path of orange grease droplets to find my body.

Second visit with new PCP

(Refresher: I’m on the 6-month supervised pre-op diet with my primary doctor and a nutritionist. After two months, Primary Doctor #1 retires. Enter Primary Doctor #2, Dr. Aung.)

Today was my second visit with Dr. Aung, signaling the beginning of month 4 of dieting. We discussed the sonogram results and that I do not have PCOS. My last period began May 15th, so I’m still not sure what’s up with than, and neither is Dr. Aung.

My blood pressure was back down to a normal 120/82 without any medication. She did prescribe Meridia, so I’m interested to see how much that’s going to cost. With a $25 coupon on their website, I’m expecting a pretty steep expense. She also ordered additional testing (HbA1C, fasting glucose, bmp, and TSH), and a visit to the dermatologist.

I’m glad she prescribed Meridia now, since last month’s comment was: “Let’s see how 6 months of dieting goes, and then maybe I’ll prescribe you something.” Ack! Let’s not drag this out too long, mm’kay?

Ode to blogs

I’m 90% sure I’ll have laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery in the near(ish) future. Naturally, I want information. Lots of it. So I bought or borrowed every WLS text I can find, talked to the few post-ops I know, joined support groups, and searched medical journals online. But sometimes, you just want to ask 500 people simultaneously, “how long was your surgeon’s waiting list?” or “what the crap is a foamie?”

And these questions, fortunately, can be directed to any of a handful of WLS message boards. I myself joined boards like ObesityHelp and Quixotic (both of which could use a serious web 2.0 makeover (says the girl with the generic free blog)).

Generally, these boards are awesome. They’re free, well-attended, and I’m beyond impressed with many posters’ willingness to share the nitty gritty in these very public spaces. The openness and support is really rather astounding. BUT. The whole message board thing?

I am so over it.

I’m serious. To watch (read?) grown women insult each other in the lamest, most uninspiring ways is somehow very… sad? boring? unproductive? freaking ridiculous? Suicide-inducing? Exchanges like:

You’re not my mother!”

“Thank gawd I’m not your mother!”

“Yeah, thank GOD you’re not my mother!”

“You’re not a Christian!”

“Your mother’s not a Christian!”

Seriously, ladies? F’real?? But that just brings me to my real point: I *love* blogs. Unless an arsehole commenter creeps in, it’s pure bliss. Your readers are people who want to read your stuff. You can post whatever the heck you want. No moderation. No banning for cryin’ in the sink. (And–omigod–no rules against talking about banning!!)

No 18 million clicks to look at 9 measly photos and another 19 million clicks to get back where you came from. Just you and your wordpress. Or me and my feedburner. The downside: you can’t ask a question like, “what’s y’all’s favorite protein bars?” and get a big response (well, at least I can’t). But you know? That’s a trade-off I’m willing to make if it means I can keep my mom out of it.