Alas, having gained 20 lbs (the equivalent of 20 boxes of butter stuck to my stomach) since February, primarily due to medication for myasthenia gravis, I am feeling (and looking) more like a beached whale than myself. Between the meds, the dangerously out-of-control blood glucose and the painful alien-something-growing-inside-my-left-foot, my ability to walk and exercise has been, shall we say, *compromised.*
I am a complete stranger in my earthly vessel.
It is well-known that prednisone often causes both weight gain and redistribution of fat (I am now a certified prednisone moonface), but I realize that without it, I am not able to function normally. It’s depressing, nonetheless. Having fought hard to lose and keep off 45 lbs a few years ago, I’m having a difficult time accepting my growing girth. Apparently, prednisone can negate any effort on my part to stick closely to the diet that has controlled both weight and diabetes over the last 12 years. Regardless of what I eat or don’t eat, my numbers have spiked out of control daily. Recent additions and changes to the med cocktail have helped to bring the numbers down to safer levels, but the blubber remains.
Climbing into bed last night around 2am, I lay awake waiting for Mr. Sandman for long enough to have considered ways to attack this weighty issue. I wondered if, while it’s too painful to walk much on pavement, I might be able to walk in the pool each morning without aggravating the alien too much. Resolving to go to the gym in the morning to evaluate my possibility, I drifted off to sleep. Awakening too early, once again, I dragged my sorry tush out of bed and donned a bathing suit, grabbed a towel and headed off to the gym. I cannot bear to see myself in a swimsuit; worse, I cannot stand to look at myself clothed, with my prednisone moonface and 20 extra boxes of butter.
Although my foot hurts too much to swim, I was able to walk the length of the pool and back 20 times in half an hour, before the muscles in my legs and back became too fatigued to continue. Damned myasthenia…. As I walked, I tried (without success) to visualize the pool as beach, breathing in not chlorine, but fresh, salty, ocean air. With each lap, I reminded myself that I have to get moving and keep moving, or I won’t be moving at all. Once I had reached 20 laps, I did a few physical therapy exercises and then headed home, committed to making this effort at least five days a week. Whether it works as I hope or not, I figure a daily half hour jaunt in the pool can’t hurt, and by the time I’m done, my feet will be really clean.