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July 01, 2003: Not exactly answers, but close enough

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I knew I was going to have to go see the doctor at some point, but some little voice inside my head kept insisting that I needed to wait. "Wait until it's been two months," the voice insisted. "Wait until you get June's measurements, because maybe, just maybe, a miracle will have happened and things will have started to go the right direction (that would be down, in the case of my weight), and then you don't have to go because you can pretend it was all a bad dream and everything is just happy and rosy again."

Of course, it should be obvious at this point that this is not what happened. In fact, when I did my weigh-in and measuring for June, I'd gained yet another pound, and the little gadget that calculates BMI by sending electrical pulses through your arms (or however it does it) and thus actually really does calculate the percent body fat and does not simply rely on height versus weight – that little gadget said my BMI had actually gone up, even higher than when I first started Curves two months ago.

The amusing thing about all this was that the instant I got on the scale I knew that it was not going to be good news. But I was okay with it. All throughout the measurements and the slap-in-the-face facts that physically I have slid even further backwards, I kept up a running conversation with myself, in much the same manner as those insidious cell phone commercials where that odd little man asks into his phone every few steps "Can you hear me now?" Except I was asking "so are you going to go all emotional?" "No. "Okay. How about now?" "Nope. Still no need to sob hysterically." "Okay, how about now? Are you going to fall apart now?"

And even though occasionally I keep hearing that little ongoing query in my head the answer still is that I'm fine. I'm fine with the weight gain. Okay, actually, I'm not fine with it at all. But apparently my neurons have decided that they no longer need to go bezerk and dump me, sobbing, in a little blubbery pile somewhere dark and cold. In fact, there have been no episodes at all since the last time. Which in a way I suppose should not surprise me at all because Murphy's Law clearly states that the moment you realize that you will have to break down and contact a professional to get something fixed, you will never be able to reproduce the error for them, and in fact things will work even better than before, just to spite you.

But I did go see the doctor anyway, last week. For one thing, since new job = new health insurance, I had to get yet another copy of my prescription to send away to yet another mail order prescription company so I can avoid having to go to the pharmacy every month just to get the little happy pills that keep the evil Cramps of Doom (and the accompanying hormonal Day of Suicidal Impulses) far, far away. But I figured that at the very least I should find out if this little issue of exercise+diet = weight gain might be something physical.

We discussed medications for the weight loss, but the doctor was pretty frank about the fact that they wouldn't really do me any good. He mentioned the possibility of thyroid problems and so he sent me off to get some blood taken across the hall, where I had possibly the world's best ever phlebotomist because I did not even feel the needle going in! The doctor told me that he is proud of me for doing what I am doing with the healthier eating and the Curves and the biking and the trying-to-kill-myself yard work, because I really am doing everything right. And then he told me what I already knew, which is that it is highly likely that I could keep doing this for six months or six years and that probably I will eventually lose some weight but that basically I have a crappy metabolism and there is nothing in the world that is going to change that. And at least I will be healthy, even if I don't ever manage to drop even an ounce of flab from my bones.

I have no idea when the blood tests will come back but I am not expecting anything more than a cursory postcard indicating that everything seems normal. Because let's face it – he is right. Life sucks and it isn't fair, but that doesn't mean I can't keep at it.

Oh and by the way, I did talk to him about the whole sporadic life-sucks-let's-cry routine, and he pointed out something that hadn't even occurred to me but which made such perfect sense. He said that it's very common to have a delayed reaction to stress – stress related to a job, or family, or whatever. And it made me stop and think. Because in the past year – heck, in the past nine months – I was laid off from a job where I might have been bored but at least I loved the work, and I dealt with a job where I was told things that turned out to be untrue and where I felt at times as if I was constantly so angry that it was all I could do to not scream, and now even though I'm in a job that I adore, everything that has happened to me and to Richard in the past few years has sunk in to the point where I cannot help but feel as if I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop; that one of these days I will walk in and they will tell me that they don't need me anymore and then this crazy circle will start up all over again. And suddenly it all made sense that I was finally starting to react to it all; in the only way my poor confused little brain knows how.

I don’t know if this is really the reason. I only know that it makes sense to me, and I so desperately needed those episodes to have some reason behind them beyond some chemical aberration where my brain forgot I was a perfectly rational human being and instead thought I was just a bit insane.

So I'm sticking to this as the truth for now, and waiting to see if it becomes anything else. And all the while, keeping up that running query in my head.

"How about now? Are you going to break down now?"

No. Not now. And if I can help it, not ever again.

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