Tag Archives: NASH

I’m not overweight…I have a fat liver, okay?

This blog was first written in my mid-30’s…but has been updated throughout the next decade since I’m now 49. Yikes, that is hard to admit!

All my life I have been underweight. Skinny, even. Twenty pounds underweight at times. at 5’6″, 104 pounds was not attractive, despite hearing how fat I was on a daily basis by someone from my past. Slowly, though, those pounds crept up. I gained to 118…which was an awesome weight (at 24.) I looked much better, thank you very much. I was happy. In fact, that is what I weighed years later when I attracted Hubs. I like to think it was my intellect that drew him in, but I’m sure my tiny waist didn’t hurt!

Then, we (read: I) got pregnant with twins! After 3 miscarriages and a stillbirth, I was elated. I would do anything to shelter these two, tiny lives. But, being super sick, I only gained 31 pounds. And that is NOT a lot of weight when you are carrying two babies. The day I left the hospital, I was in Size 4 jeans with a belt and tucked in shirt.

Yep…I. Was. A Maternal. Goddess.

For the next year or so, I settled in around 128. After childbirth, your wobbly-bits don’t always back the way there did previously. But, that is A-OK! I was loving my body with a little more curve. Then came pregnancy number 6. I only gained 21 pounds this go around and again, I lost most of it post-pregnancy. Yay me! I found my new steady weight was about 135. That would have seemed obese to me in high school. But, here I was in my 30’s. Curvy is where it’s at. Yet, you never get over that desire for the svelte figure of your youth.

Are we really so driven by the numbers on the scale that we forget to see the big picture…which should simply be to be healthy?

Apparently so, because I’ve spent the last 10+ years trying to get down to what I believed to be my ideal weight. It’s my fault. I do love me some fried food. Sweets are not my downfall. But, give me some of my own world famous (in my mind) fried taters or cube steak and gravy, and I will eat until I feel like exploding.

Of course, it didn’t really matter, because I wasn’t fat. I still wore a Size 8 (then 10, then 12, then back to 10) and I looked fairly slim. Okay, my stomach was not washboard, and my arms began to jiggle a smidge. Ooh, and my butt was a bit…how do you say…dimply? But still, I wasn’t obese or anything. Right?

So, imagine my frustration when I began having foot problems. I couldn’t walk first thing in the a.m. If I sat for very long, my gait was that of a lame horse. All kind of gimpy, I was. Well, I knew there had to be something wrong. It wasn’t just excess weight. I went to the doctor. Yessiree, Plantar Fasciitis. Oh, and a bone spur. Yay, it wasn’t my weight! Then the doctor said (drum roll please), “and it will be more aggravated by excess weight.” Wait, excess what? Holy crap, Batman, he must be looking at someone elses chart. I know I’m not skinny, but excess weight? Moi? Hold on there, partner.

While I was at it, we talked about my general feeling of blah. I’m tired. And thirsty. And lethargic. And now I’m depressed about this excess weight you mentioned. ooh, and my blood pressure is high. I know I’m older (I know, it was a shock to me, too), but I shouldn’t feel as if I’m falling apart all the time.

Well, multiple vials of blood later, I could walk most of the time without agony. Then came the call. “Um, Mrs. Francis?” Yep, that’s me. “Your blood tests came back abnormal and we’d like you to come in.” Okay, when? “This week?” No can do, Nurse Ratchet, I’ve got work…and a meeting. “How about Monday?” Let’s see…what about Thursday. I’m off half a day, so this will be easier. “Okay. You won’t cancel, will you?” Well gee, if you’re gonna make me think I’m dying, then no. I promise. Thursday it is.

I headed to the doctor expecting nothing. In the past few years I had been diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Epstein Barr, Multiple Sclerosis, and arthritis in my hips (the only one that ended up being true). I definitely felt like I had this one in the bag.

“Hey Kristin, how’s it going,” asked Dr. Weeble (not his real name, but very appropriate.) I just want to say first and foremost, doc, that I am in love with Naprosyn. It’s awesome. “Well, that’s good. Let’s see, you do not have diabetes. Your sugar and two month sugar are normal. Your liver enzymes are elevated a bit. (I already knew this because after my slight (total) high-speed come-apart, Nurse Ratchet told me.) “It’s more than likely just Fatty Liver Disease (what the heck? Is this really a thing?), but we want to check it out.” And, they weren’t just elevated. They were awful. So, what does that mean, doc? “We’re going to get some more labs and an ultrasound of your liver.”

Off I go to the land of Needles R Us with order in hand. One stick and 143 vials later (yes, I exaggerate, a bit), I go home. And did I tell you the best (read: worst) news? I can not longer take Naprosyn (the best drug alive) because it metabolizes through the…yep, you guessed it, the liver. Sheesh, this is just not my day.

I go back a week or so later to find out the results of the new labs and my ultrasound prior to heading on vacation. This was going to be a breeze and I was going to celebrate all over the Caribbean. “Hey Kristin.” Is that how he always greets me? “Well, your ultrasound showed fatty tumors on your liver. It sounds worse than it is, probably. I’m still sure it is Fatty Liver Disease, but I want you to see a specialist. He’ll run a bunch of exotic tests to confirm it is FLD. Your gall bladder was fine (I won’t be in a few years) and I don’t see any blockages. Your pancreas is 3 mm, which isn’t really considered enlarged, but something they will also check out. I’m also going to start you on Lisinopril (can’t take it, makes me cough) to get your blood pressure in check. You need to try to lose some weight (there he said it). That will help with your liver and your feet.” That’s all well and good, but how the *bleep* am I supposed to work out with my feet flipping hurting me?

Before the original blog was finished, I stopped writing it. So, here is the ending.

My feet are great. A few steroid shots and they have stopped hurting. I have fatty liver disease. And NASH. I think it stands for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Will they go away? Nope. Can I keep them from getting worse? Yep. How? Losing weight and getting healthy. My blood pressure is still high, but doing better. I have high cholesterol. But, it is also improving. My now comfortable (for my body only, not for me) is around 168. Somehow, I’m a solid Size 10. I look thinner than I am, which is both great and sucky.

But, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve been married for 18 years. I have a 17-year-old daughter going off to college next year (I am so not ready to talk about it) and a 15-year-old daughter who is a freshman. I have a career I adore. Plus, I still write. Despite all that, though…I want to be a better me. I want to look and feel better. I want to walk across the parking lot without getting winded. And these things are improving. I’ve lost 8 pounds since November (you do the math of what my weight was when I started). I’m walking over 3000 steps a day (as measured by my Christmas Fitbit). I go to The Hub (our local community owned gym). I Swerk It (app) at home.

But, thanks to my good friend, Stacie, I am beginning my 21 day journey. I will be living, breathing, and blogging about my 21 Day Fix. In fact, tonight I jump started with 2 miles on the bike, 1/2 mile on the treadmill, plus a full circuit of machines. Then I finished it up with 10 minute ab fix. Tomorrow I start my shakes and portion control. Will I blog daily? Probably not. I won’t post before photos until I have after photos. Hey, I have some pride. The main reason for this blog is to hold myself accountable and to maybe motivate someone else to get up off their butt and work towards a new tomorrow.

Happy fitness, y’all!