Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Breaking the cycle of negativity…

I grew up knowing that my mother was different than everyone else’s mom. It was something I had to learn to accept, though to this day I’m not sure I did until this year.  I wasn’t the easiest child during those early years either. I’m sure I still am not in her eyes. But somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood, I’ve just stopped resenting her.

This year was the first time in my life that when people asked me of my spiritual beliefs I could truly say that I was very spiritual. Maybe not in the “traditional” Southern Bible Belt way, but I pray and I put faith in more things than I have ever in my life. My head is spinning with change.  Positive change. A word so overused this year but very appropriate to my growing. Discovering who I am was never something I felt I had to journey but somehow I am on one and I’m not as scared as I thought I would be.

I’ve always loved my mother, but one word I can never put to her is the word change. She’s just not a fan. Though her words from years gone by are less harsh, they still hold weight in my heart. She is manic depressive. I have to tell myself that everyday when I think of what she may have said or what I anticipate her saying. Even though she is more well than not through medication, she still is the mother I watched have breakdown after breakdown and I for one was a child who had to grow up fast.

This morning was a breakthrough for me in all of this I’ve just written. No matter what you try to attach to what shapes my mother, beyond her control or otherwise, one word I have to associate with her is negativity. She is a wonderful woman, loving and kind and I don’t say this as a way to insult her passive aggressively. But as I move along in my path in life, and as she has so much trouble accepting much of it, her general words on it all are not supportive. For years I craved acceptance and for years to come I will have to forget about asking or wishing for it. And in growing I have to shut my mind and ears off to words that will no longer help…especially these: “You know IT runs in the family.”

Let me tell you about IT. My grandmother, uncle and mother are very familiar with IT — mental illness.  Suddenly a mention of having trouble getting out of bed or the fact that I have been working on projects to help non-profits seems all to familiar to my mother. “You have highs and lows. You always want to do different things.”  What I reminded her of is that I have a thyroid disorder as I’ve mentioned in this blog before and so does she. The thyroid has much to do with mood and all around general health. And in the mornings that I have trouble pulling myself from the covers, I don’t dread my life. I’m just tired. And through my wanting to help people anyway I can, I’m not overly simulated with mania, I just want to make a difference.

I let her know today that I have to break this cycle of negativity. We have to as our own selves. We have to make our own path and follow it even if it feels scary. Even if your family doesn’t approve. You just have to take YOUR step. No one else can do it for you. And not everyone will applaud when you take it.

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Resolutions: Pointless yet expected

Last year I posted my resolutions. I even went as far as making a page on here about them. I can pretty much say if sticking to resolutions were a class I probably made a C- or maybe a D? You can read them all here. But I’m going to recap.

1. Never watch Beaches again. Reminds me too much of a friend I miss dearly. (Check. And that friend and I are in the same zip code now.)

2. Stop yelling every time something doesn’t go my way. (I did pretty well with this one…)

3. Here’s the most common of all: Lose a total of 30 pounds by next year. (Well this didn’t happen. But you can read why here. All I have to say is I have an Oprah excuse.)

4. Keep up calorie-counting. (Um yeah…that got old.)

5. Get over the things I can’t change. That’s a big one. (Bombed.)

6. Make myself more available when it comes to sparking new relationships. It’s time I’ve found grown up events and places (i.e. not bars) to frequent to nab me a man…(First part. Yes. Second part…um yea.)

7. MAKE MORE MONEY. (This did happen. And my photography helped a little as well.)

8. Travel. No excuses of money, time or if I can get people to join me.  (My three-month stint at “love” took me to Vegas.)

9. Get my dream lens…at all costs. A new camera won’t hurt either.  (Check and check. But now I have another dream lens I want.)

10. Complain less. That’s a hard one so I have one caveat: Complain less to people in person and get it all out on my blog.  (I did pretty damn good with this one, considering where I had to start. Only I wish that I blogged more.)

So I’m ready to get going on this year’s set of resolutions that I am going to work like hell to actually complete. This is a new year that I have been waiting for all last year. Last year was a real challenge.

Read my 2009 list after the jump…
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All I want for Christmas is a disease

Your body speaks to you. And if you listen very carefully it can tell you when something is wrong. It seems to be the most basic thing to know and be aware of, but sometimes we DON’T listen when we should. This year has been a very trying one for me. One of constant illness and I’ve written about it here along the way. It turns out that some of my problems are closely related to a diagnosis I just received last week.

My life-long friend has been telling me for a long time now to see her doctor. He is an endocrinologist and knows a heck of a lot about the thyroid. I have had bouts of tiredness, strange moods and just all around scatter-brain behavior. I jokingly chocked some of that up to undiagnosed adult ADD.  I just can’t seem to get my thoughts together sometimes and lose focus. With all of this combined along with crazy hormones and the fact that I haven’t dropped a pound after I hired a trainer a few months ago, I finally took my friend’s advice.

I have had my thyroid checked before so I thought nothing was wrong. However, my antibodies were never checked and it turns out that I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease which basically means the body attacks itself. My thyroid is pretty much not working properly which explains the weight issues and all of the hormonal changes.  The doctor is a Dutchman and isn’t a big fan of American practices. He asked all the questions none of my previous doctors have asked. He even tested my reflexes. And he felt around my neck and found that I have a goiter. None of these things were done before and he took the time….now I finally know why I’ve felt like crap.

I’ve started on Synthroid. It is supposed to get my thyroid in order. And through all of this my dear friend is giving me advice and sending links to stories I should read to further understand this whole thing. All this time she kept bugging me about it. If only I had listened sooner. So all I got for Christmas so far is a diagnosis, a disease and meds. But at least I know now before the new year begins. Hopefully it will be a better one. I plan to keep updating here to chronicle this thing…and maybe I can finally countdown OFFICIALLY to an even hotter 31.

I need no more crosses to bear…

I’m not exactly a religious person though I do believe in a higher power, a creator and all of that. I waver on evolution. That obviously has a place in the grand scheme of things even though I know it’s not a popular belief system. Even with my issues with being raised Christian but leaning more toward agnosticism, I’ve always held on to the saying, “God gives us no cross we cannot bear” or some variation of that. I have always heard that saying from hardcore Christians throughout my life. My mother used to say something along those lines though I believe she had her own way of saying things.

That bit about bearing crosses, maybe  it’s true. However, I’ve had enough crosses from just this year alone. More than I care to recall, more than I care to see again…

I’m sick today, yet again. I just can’t seem to get on the path to good health no matter how hard I try. Which leads me to medical bills upon medical bills. And then there’s all the changes with work: the layoffs, firings, resignations, issues with managing, slowly losing grip once again to a social life and pretty much realizing I’m kind of alone in a way. I have wonderful parents but I can’t lean on them forever. I guess this reads as a pity party. But really I’m trying hard to grasp at the aforementioned saying, “God gives us no cross we cannot bear.”

Through it all, I guess I get to the next day and the next and the next — but at what cost? When do the crosses stop coming? Where do I put them all?

Doctors can kiss my ass…

I’m fed up. I’ve had it up to HERE with constant probing, testing, poking, prodding, cutting, gouging and I don’t just mean on my physical person on that last one — I’m in deep with medical bills. As some of you already know I’ve been quite ill since the early part of the year. I’ve had to change my diet entirely, stop drinking (although I had one drink here and there and regretting every minute of it afterward) and I basically am worshiping the organic food (organic EVERYTHING) gods.

After constant pain, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and feeling like hot pokers are in my stomach, I still have no answers. And now I’m facing the dilemma of having a laparoscopy which pretty much sounds like THE most invasive surgery I can think of involving my lady parts that doesn’t actually involve removing them. And for what? Just to have my doctor trample my flowers while trying to find a weed, as my father puts it. I am tired of the procedures. They never turn up enough to solve my problems. And the doctors seem to just grasp at straws — and my wallet.

I just feel that most doctors are truly disconnected from their patients. They don’t try to fit themselves in your shoes — let alone walk around them a bit and understand what they feel like. It sometimes seems that I’m floating aimlessly in a vortex where no one can reach me or care to. Where I can’t get my feet on the ground. All of this and I’m trying to be a homeowner, which means I’m still unpacking, settling in, cleaning and decorating. And that also means I have been neglecting my love of blogging — and reading them.

What do I do? Do I just go ahead and do another procedure and endure a three to five-day recovery time? Or do I just heal myself…not knowing what exactly I’m healing?

Juicing is saving my life…

Before you report me to the authorities, I actually mean juicing raw fruits and veggies as oppose to jumping on the human growth hormone wagon. It’s funny, I’ve mentioned my recent juicing to friends and I feel I always need to have a disclaimer because of their confused faces. The term juicing USED to be unofficially owned by my recent idol — Jay Kordich, the Juiceman himself — long before Roger Clemens got pegged for a different kind of juicing.

Though I’m typing this blog post from home because I have had a minor setback on my road to getting healthy from sickness that has been a nuisance for several months, juicing has been a lifesaver for me. Because I’ve been to a gastroenterologist so much lately I might as well send her holiday cards, I had to find an alternative to normal eating. I just can’t seem to eat like I used to and I was losing so many nutrients. And leave it to an episode of Oprah featuring a cancer patient giving up her martinis for homeade juices that convinced my mother to hand over her The Juicemancoveted juicer (something I have begged from her for years) earlier this month.

If you aren’t familiar with good old Jay, he is a guy who is obsessed with juicing carrots. But he doesn’t stop there. So far I’ve juiced celery, asparagus, radishes and ginger. My fridge looks like a produce aisle. According to his book, and his fame, Jay cured himself of life-threatening illness with juicing. I suppose he was more popular more than a decade ago, but I’m sure he still looks as youthful as he does on the cover of his 1992 book and he was in his 60s when he wrote it.

Being that food has been an evil for me, I’ve had to get pretty creative with this juice stuff. I’ve mixed some crazy concoctions. And I’m convinced that if I hadn’t at the time of my mother’s generosity, I would be a lot more sick than I am today. I know I sound like an infomercial right now, but I was surely a person who didn’t really get into the whole raw food craze. But I will have to say, it’s been a true help on my way to recovery. Now if I can just get my doctors to figure everything out before I turn orange from all that carrot juice.

Another aside: Booze and I are officially over. The world looks really different sober.

Up the pooper, down the hatch

So the colonoscopy and upper scope are over. They have diagnosed me with hemorrhagic gastritis and reflux esophagitis. They found a polyp in my stomach which is being tested as we speak. And through all this, I didn’t even get ONE CALL from my supposed boyfriend. Doped up on anesthesia, I sent a text:

I had my procedure today. You didn’t even call to see how I was. OK. I get the hint. I’ve let you go. I hope all your dreams come true. I wish you had said goodbye when I asked you to…

I’m still in a dopey fog, and I don’t want to go into that “goodbye” reference. Point is, he didn’t even respond. I was worth THAT much?! After he took me to Vegas, had me meet his family and wanted a committed relationship, I wasn’t even worth the call. What is funny is that everyone else did. Even an old friend I had become kind of estranged with and hadn’t talked to in almost a year. She has been wonderful and checks up on me.

The irony is I would have never got everything checked out like this if I hadn’t got so sick while I was in Vegas. It’s not my fault I haven’t been as fun anymore — I am a shell of my former boozing good time self.

Maybe all this was/is a blessing in disguise. Everything happens for a reason (and other crappy cliches). Or maybe life just sucks.