August 10th. August 10th was a bad day in 2012. Really bad day. It all started in May though.
Things were great until May. We belonged to a great church at that time. Sunday morning service was a modern production with rock music, theatre and a great message. This was the first time my husband or I felt comfortable inside church walls. Plus, this church was only 5 minutes from our house.
We were community theatre actors who loved drama more than God. God didn’t even factor into our daily lives. So when we got turned onto God, we became very active in that church. Our daughter loved going to church every Sunday. We were involved in the childrens’ program there: skits, music, improv and Sunday school lessons, even Jesus Bingo! We were also on the adult worship drama team. We served, volunteered, wrote, directed, played, performed, got really close to God and got our hands dirty. We loved it. Until we didn’t love it. I was on fire for God, but my husband stood near me with the firehose. Even though we were doing what we thought was right, we were so far from being right. What we didn’t know: my health was going to take center stage.
I thought that this was the church I would grow old in. God had different plans for us.
May 2012-I was sitting at the breakfast table, helping my daughter get ready for school. I was about to brush her hair when my brain just shut down. It was like being inside of an agitating washing machine; wobbling drone in my ear and I couldn’t speak. I could hear my daughter calling my name, but I couldn’t respond. She got very scared. Me too. After a few seconds, I could physically speak again, but I was in tears. What was that? Was that a stroke? A near heart attack? Oh God.
In late May, I started having breathing problems. Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t get a deep breath. I thought I was developing asthma or something to do with my lungs. I couldn’t walk, exert myself, read from the Bible in small group without struggling to breathe. I certainly couldn’t perform on stage without being out of breath from very small movements. Even sitting and speaking loudly. I never once thought of going to the doctor. I managed my symptoms. I made a resolution to get into shape. Start walking. I thought I just needed to be more active.
June and July of 2012-We joined a gym. Started working out. Walking, biking, swimming. Every time I got in the pool, the pressure in my chest seemed worse, but I loved feeling nearly weightless. I was working out, but I wasn’t losing weight. I could just tell by the fit of my clothes. I didn’t really weigh myself. I had an idea of what I weighed, but didn’t really care. The last time I weighed, I was about 478 lbs. And that was a year before I had any problems.
August 2012-I was eating right. Or so I thought. I was eating low calorie foods, salad, lean meat and drinking plenty of water. August 9th, I had a very large intake of Gatorade after a very vigorous lap swim at the pool. And down I went. Crash.
August 10th-I was admitted to the ER with congestive heart failure at 513 lbs. Needless to say, everything changed. Low-sodium diet, exercise, 100 lb. weight loss. August 10th, 2012, was like walking out of a forest and finally looking back at the place where I was lost.
Guess what day my first meeting with someone about my weight loss surgery is…August 10th. 2016. 4 years to the day. I’m going to walk out of another forest. Life is so weird. And great.