(I was at home for both photos but yes, that’s my hair uncovered. May you never suffer from the multiple conditions that cause my head, face, scalp to constantly hurt. I am likely one of the few women to get a heter for hair covering due to severe health problems.)
In high school and early college, I looked emaciated enough to earn the name “the Somalian.” My first boss bought me lunch every day because she thought I couldn’t afford to eat. I couldn’t. Seriously, I still wore clothing from the girl’s department.
But since 2011 when I had to go on the strongest painkiller I’ve ever taken to help me get my Ehlers Danlos to a manageable point, I have been obese. Possibly, the worst thing you can be if you have Ehlers Danlos. I have sprained my wrists and my ankles daily. I’ve subluxated my shoulders and my hips. I’ve fallen down and over just trying to walk and stand. I’ve twisted my knees. Thankfully, I have broken anything. And (hopefully) I haven’t developed early on-set osteoarthritis that comes with Ehlers Danlos, wobbly joints and body parts and obesity.
Two years later, after already having gained 20 pounds on Motrin–I am considered intolerant to all NSAIDs now which is kinda funny when you have inflammation in all your joints–after my botched wisdom tooth extraction and 15 pounds on Prednisone for the allergies that flared up because, well, Ehlers Danlos invades your whole body and makes everything worst, I am two pounds away from having lost…
I have lost almost 50 pounds since January 2013.
If you had told me at 17 that one day I’d be obese, when I hated missing school because it meant also meant missing free breakfast and lunch and freedom from my very scary home life…well, I would have laughed in your face.
The first Dominican boy I liked in high school wouldn’t date me because I was too skinny. He may have said skeletal. Rice and beans apparently hadn’t hit me hard enough!* (His friend later asked me out but in doing so, also compared my thick, tight-curly then-long hair to pubic hair.)
I am so much stronger than I have ever been now. Sometimes, I think I’m stronger than I really am. Apparently, even though I was spacing it out throughout the day, well, working out three times a day or three hours a day is not something that my body does. Apparently, I was doing this because the endorphins are the best painkiller I’ve ever experienced in my life. They make me feel like Superman.
But after I collapsed into a chronic fatigue coma in my bed for two weeks, I’m taking it easier at the gym. Doctor’s orders. Trainer’s orders. Also, I threw up at the gym thanks to POTS. But my job is still the same.
I won’t be coming back any time soon on a permanent basis though I am still trying to do what I can in my own way for the Jews and future converts who contact me from all over the world…at my own pace. I’m still posting articles and quotes and comments on my Facebook page.
2013…and it took long enough because I was first misdiagnosed in 2005 when my body pretty much shutdown like a computer gone awry is the year that I put my health first wholeheartedly. Because of that, I’m feeling stronger than I’ve ever felt.
Even though I’ve got to lose 10 pounds before I move from obese to overweight, I look strong. I have muscles I haven’t had since I was 17. I can pick things up that I’ve never imagine I’d ever pick up again with my horrible motor skills. I can do more that I ever thought I would be able to do again.
And I’ve learned that there are things I will never be able to do again and if I can’t find a way to do them differently, I need to accept it, move on and do what is right for this body. Because I am no longer than underweight high school girl.
I’m a 33-year-old woman with severe Ehlers Danlos Type 3, an amazing team of doctors and two gym memberships, an awesome trainer, a Weight Watchers membership and the most supportive husband, sisters and family and friends that that underweight high school girl could ever have imagined having in her life.
35 more pounds to go and maybe the next baby photo you see on this page will be a mini-me!
Thank you for your continued prayers.
Aliza Moriah bat Avraham & Sarah
Note/Update: I actually gained 75 pounds in a month and a half on that painkiller but I lost 15 as soon as I got off of it. Unfortunately, at the same time, a bout with allergic asthma caused me to be put on steroids and I gained it right back again. If the scale is right today, I may have just passed 50 pounds. Thank you for your support.