My rebirth story begins back in 2015. I have spinal stenosis, and due to that I was experiencing increasing lower back pain as I continued to work throughout 2015, 2016, etc. At this particular time I was not aware that I had Spinal Stenosis. All I knew was that I would experience excruciating lower back pain, and that it was getting tougher and tougher to sit for longer than 2-4 hours at a time to work. I did my best to work through this all the way up through to 2017. In 2017, right before my birthday I had a bad fall where I had to have some help to get up. Well I did not think much of it at first, because there was no real pain I guess due to the initial shock, so I just went home.
Over the next few weeks, I found that the pain was incrementally getting worse. As I found it harder and harder to sit for long periods of time, I also found it very hard to even walk to the bathroom as my legs got weaker and weaker. It wasn’t too long before I had fallen several times, and had needed the Fire Departments help getting up. This had to be one of the more humiliating things that has happened in my life. I know that they are there for things like this, to assist people in medical crisis but still, it was incredibly embarrassing.
I had a final fall on September 13th, which I ended up on the floor for around 6 hours. It was early in the morning, and on my way to the bathroom unfortunately I lost my balance and fell. As I had not been moving much due to the severe pain, and due to the falls my legs were jelly at this point and I could not get up by myself at all. I had to wait until I was found about 6 hours later. At that point the Fire Department was once more called, and this time I was taken to the hospital. At that time, I was too heavy and too large for any of the hospital equipment at the hospital I was taken to, to be evaluated for my back pain. They did however, at least evaluate one of my legs which ended up having Cellulitis. They treated for that, and then determined they would send me to a rehab facility for a few weeks.
They ultimately decided that a Rehab Facility was the best choice, as I would be able to work on leg strength and build up to being able to walk again. Unfortunately they still had not gotten my pain medicine regimen correct so therapy did not go very well for the first few weeks. Just as they finally figured out a pain regimen that was working fairly well, not entirely but well enough, my insurance called them up and said they would not be paying for my stay any more.
From there, I asked them to transport me to the county hospital since I had no other choice. I could not be sent home as an invalid. I had no one who could take care of me. Anyways, so they got me all set up with a transport over to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. I was admitted to the Ortho floor after they did their initial evaluation. I was on the Ortho floor for roughly about a month. While the doctors worked on my pain regimen, they had Physical Therapy come down and work with me every day in order to work on strengthening my legs. This really helped and allowed me to at least have the ability to get up and take a step.
Once I was at this point after about the 3rd or 4th week on the Ortho floor, they finally got me admitted to the Rehab floor. I spent an entire month in the Rehab floor where I worked hard with both Physical and Occupational Therapy to get back to ‘normal’ movement. Upon the completion of the month, it was determined that I had achieved enough completion to be able to generally move around on my own, and transfer from wheelchair to bed and back. So they released me, and allowed me to go home. This was at the end of January, so I spent roughly a total of 4 long months in Hospitals and Rehab Facilities.
During my stay at the hospital, I realized that when I got back home I would not be able to sleep in my bed. The reason for this is due to my severe chronic lower back pain, which still had not been fully diagnosed. The doctors at Parkland did get a CT scan, and from that indicated a possibility of Congenital Spinal Stenosis. Once I got home, things began to get easier just from repetition. I did still need a lot of help as the days went by, but things got better and better. One thing I had thought about long and hard during the hospital stay was my weight and how it was only going to continue causing problems later on in life.
With that realization, I had already decided before I even got home that a lifestyle change was necessary. I had spoken in detail with my sister whom was my roommate about the necessary changes for both of us. She was hesitant, while she did not want to fully embrace it at first, she was at least willing to help me embrace it. I lost around 25-30lbs in the first month, at which point she completely came on board. As time passed, I learned more and more about the lifestyle, and lost more and more weight as we both continued on the journey.
At the one year mark from the time I had entered the hospital, I had lost roughly 200lbs . This includes weight I lost while I was in the hospital, and weight I lost from life changes after going home. The reason I wanted to share my story with everyone is simple really. I’ve been heavy my entire life. I’ve always used food as a shield for emotions, as a plug for the emptiness inside. I want to help bring awareness to these things, and to the changes and support that are available for you to improve yourself!