On April 22nd 2011 I hit a wall. I was just released from the hospital for the who-knows-how-many-times for an asthma flare. I was on 80 mg of prednisone (the best and worst drug there is and close to the highest dose you can have out of the hospital) of which I'd had a million side effects from. I met with my pulmo doctor and asked, "Is this it? Is this my life now?" . . . I had been taking every medicine there was, even traveled to Denver to visit the number one pulmo hospital in the country. She looked at me and sympathetically and said, "I'm sorry." I had reached an all time low. I was beat down, sick, and sick of being sick.
I didn't like where I was at and yet had absolutely no control over my body. I couldn't stop the flare ups, I couldn't stop the side effects and I didn't want to live like that. I allowed myself a week long pity party and felt a nudge saying "get up" . . . "seriously, get up!" . . . and I got up. I did some research and made a choice. I spend hundreds of dollars on medicine and doctors. I could make an effort to spend money and time on what food went into my body. A common side-effect of prednisone is weight gain and I had gained 100 pounds in three years. Yuck. There wasn't a lot I could do about it at the time - my options were, side-effects or breath. I went with breathing. But I also knew that part of the weight gain was from becoming apathetic about everything. It didn't matter what I did, I still got sick so why worry about what I did? And a vicious cycle began of flare-up, hospital, more drugs, more weight, less energy . . . rinse and repeat. I wanted off . . . I wanted some control and some hope and some attempt to make my body as healthy as possible. My rationale was, if my body was in the best shape it could be in, then when the next flare up came (which it will - chronic diseases are just that - chronic - not temporary - no cure), I'd be in the best position possible to overcome it. And so it began . . . I wrote down every bite I ate and counted calories to stay within the same amount everyday. Some research I did said that when you have a chronic condition, your body is in an ongoing roller coaster. Keeping the same amount of calories everyday allows one constant for the body to count on and help with stability. And I got rid of sugar . . . and I got rid of unhealthy carbs . . . not rocket science . . . not dieting . . . just an intentional healthy eating plan . . .
One year later . . . On April 22, 2012 . . .
I have lost 70 pounds . . . I have reduced my prednisone prescription from 80mg to 2mg . . . I have energy . . . I feel healthy . . . I am able to walk my kids home from school . . . things I NEVER thought I could EVER do again . . . by family and friend support, intentional eating and prayer, God has worked a miracle in my life. I have not been back in the hospital since that last April (an unheard of record of time for me over the past four or five years), I have experienced very little asthma flares, and most importantly, I have hope - that I can be an active outside mom again - that I can be a fun wife again - that I can travel without worrying about how close the hospital is to our destination - that I can leave my bubble of air filters, and nebulizers - that I can make goals and dreams and plans for the future - that there is a future for me . . . and it looks bright!