Ready To Move Forward Again

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I was taking to my husband yesterday and how this year seems like the worst year of my life. I’ve had other horrible years in my past thanks to crippling depression but something about this year just makes it feel so much worse. Strangely I am not dealing with severe depression right now even though I have never been through as much as I have been this year. Sure I’m a little down at times and frankly that’s to be expected. I’ve read that Fibromyalgia is rarely present without depression and anxiety. I am shocked that this is the least depressed that I have been in the last 5-6 years. The beginning of my year saw me hospitalized for 2 weeks and out of work for 8 weeks. My kidneys were failing me and I was severely anemic thanks to an allergic reaction.
Even though my kidneys recovered and my anemia is long gone, I’ve been left to deal with fibromyalgia for the rest of my life. Fibromyalgia is a condition where the sufferer experiences chronic, diffuse, aching pain all the time, disturbed sleep, chronic low energy, and a host of other issues. I have to visit yet another specialist on Monday. This time a urologist to be evaluated for a bladder condition called interstitial cystitis, which can commonly accompany fibromyalgia. I could let this depress me even more but I’m trying not to let that happen because there is nothing I can do to make it go away. I can just manage it and stay strong.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about my fibromyalgia and how it effects my life on this blog. I requested a book from the library about foods that help with fibromyalgia, I am waiting to get it but I’m interested to read it. I’m ready to move forward again with my life.

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Enlightened Ice Cream Review And Giveaway

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Enlightened Ice Cream is a new product, they call themselves “The Good For You Ice Cream.” For ice cream the nutritional stats are impressive. Products range from 70-100 calories and 7-9 grams of protein. For someone who has had weight loss surgery this is a nice treat and adds a little protein to their daily count. They are also low in sugar and high in fiber. You can either buy ice cream sandwiches in Vanilla Bean or Mint flavors. Or you can get yourself an ice cream bar available in 5 different flavors, Peanut Butter, Fudge, Orange Cream, Coffee, and Toasted Almond.

One box contains 4 bars or sandwiches and costs around $5.50 a box. I do wish more came in the box and that the product was carried in more stores. Since it’s a new product I know we will hopefully be seeing an increase in where they are available. I found the three different kinds I tried to be very tasty but had to drive 30 minutes to nearest store that carried them. I tried Vanilla Bean ice cream sandwich, the Fudge Bar, and the Toasted Almond bar. My favorite of the three was the toasted almond! Not a flavor you see too often so it was a lovely change from the usual flavors of ice cream bars you normally see. I had really wanted to try the peanut butter bar since I’m a huge peanut butter lover but sadly the store didn’t carry that flavor.

I suggest that you have the Enlightened Ice Cream brand in a store near you to buy a box and give them a try for yourself.

I’m giving away a free box to one lucky blog reader. To enter leave a comment on this blog post on why you want to try Enlightened Ice Cream and what flavor appeals to you the most. Also make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner! Contest ends at 11pm (EST) on July 31! Good luck!

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Fibromyalgia

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So I had my appointment with the rheumatologist this past Monday. She spent over an hour and a half with me. She was very thorough and went through all my symptoms and went through prior test results that I had done that ruled out other conditions that can produce the same symptoms. She concluded that I do have fibromyalgia. I am taking Cymbalta for it which I had already started on a few weeks prior for my migraines. Cymbalta is one of three medications that are approved for fibro. I was also give Tramadol for pain as needed. Also trying my best to get back into walking at least three times a week will also help. It’s a catch 22, you don’t want to exercise because you are in pain all over and exhausted but in the long run exercise like walking, yoga, swimming, etc are good for fibro. I’ve walked twice this week and will mow my lawn tomorrow or Saturday. This diagnosis gives me closure to the symptoms I developed after my allergic reaction. I couldn’t understand why my body hurt all over all the time, why my migraines got worse, why my insomnia worsened, and many other problems that I didn’t have just 7 months ago. It’s been just over 6 months now since my allergic reaction that landed me in the hospital for 13 days and required me to get 11 blood transfusions. It’s been a rough year but now that I have an answer to these new problems and a treatment plan I feel as though I will be able to tackle my future.

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Why I’m Not Ashamed Of My Body

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Despite losing 130+ lbs I am still a big girl, I know I always will be. I still get looks of disgust in public and face weight discrimination. People (medical professionals included) see my big body or the number 285 pop up on the scale when they weigh me, they like to judge. They assume I don’t exercise or don’t try to eat right. Sometimes people try to give you their “two cents,” but I smile and nod and remember that I am personally not ashamed of my body or the number of the scale. There is so much more to me than a number and I embrace that.
Why am I not ashamed? Because this body of mine has gotten me through so much. It’s survived childhood epilepsy and a rape. It has survived two major surgeries and years of crippling depression. It has recently survived a massive physical trauma and withstood 11 blood transfusions.
I love every flaw and every curve of my body because it has gotten me through so much. If this body had failed me I wouldn’t be here right now.
I will keep loving my body and everything it gets me through. I will keep it as healthy as I can so that it can continue to serve me. I will continue to not let the scale or numbers define me because they are nothing to be ashamed of.

A New Development???

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Asking for thoughts, vibes, prayers (whatever your choice of worship is) for an appointment of mine coming up.

I was at the neurologist for my migraines last Thursday and she is having me see a rheumatologist on the 14th which is Monday. She thinks I might have developed fibromyalgia which can happen after intense physical trauma like I went through in January with my bad allergic reaction to Topamax. I’m in pain all over all the time and I’ve developed other issues since then which fall in line with fibromyalgia. I’ve been tested for things like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases but they were all negative. Things like exercise has been harder than ever before. I went from being active (even doing 5Ks) the last few years to unable to do much. Even walking a few miles seems like too much for me sometimes. But I’ve been trying to stay as active as I can. I had to take a less physical job at work because I was no longer capable of doing what I was doing. I’m always exhausted but my blood tests and vitamin levels have been fine the last several months. No amount of sleep refreshes me. This would also explain my worsening depression. I am trying to remain positive.

Anyway nothing is confirmed and I don’t know yet but just think of me during my afternoon appointment please. Thanks all!

Guest Post: BariatricDate.net

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Today’s post is a guest post all about a new dating site just for bariatric patients!

Lose Alone No More: New Dating Website Caters to Bariatric Dating and Friendships

On July 1, 2014 a brand new website opens especially for bariatric patients and those who are considering or have undergone weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass. This website is open to any bariatric patient, whether you are seeking friendship or something more.

Gone are the days of trying to explain your plight on a profile page, or worrying about what potential matches will think about your photos. Here you can be yourself, and develop relationships with real people facing the same issues you are. No more attempts to explain your insanely tiny meals, or why you wear elastic pants or how you feel about stretch marks.

Want to establish a network of friends to support each other? Looking for a soul mate who has walked the same road as you have? Interested in finding out what life is like out there, now that you’ve created a whole new you? BariatricDate.net is the place for you!

This unique and innovative bariatric dating site was created by a woman and her daughter, both of whom have been through bariatric surgery and have developed new and adventurous lives as a result. They know the challenges associated with bariatric dating, and have crafted a site where bariatric patients can meet each other, chat together, join forum groups and meet a whole new group of exciting people.

You are not alone in your quest. Best-selling author Anne Rice, comedian Rosanne Barr, American Idol mentor Randy Jackson, weatherman Al Roker, blues artist John Popper, and many other celebrities have found life, love and fulfillment through bariatric surgery. [1]

It can be tempting to put off dating after such a major life change. What will people think? How can I explain what I eat? What will they think of my looks? At BariatricDate.net you won’t have to deal with any of these issues. Just sign up, post a photo, fill out your profile and start meeting people! Not ready to meet a romantic match just yet? No worries, you can also participate in the forum and chat groups and meet some buddies who share your goals and interests.

Studies show that bariatric patients with a solid support system of caring people are more successful in meeting their weight loss goals. They lose more weight, lose weight more quickly and make healthier choices in all areas of their life. Further studies show that online support is just as effective as in-person support. [2] BariatricDate.net is just the place to assemble this important social support network.

Visit BariatricDate.net to see how this bariatric dating site can open up an entirely new world for you, where your past is no secret and your future knows no limits.

For more information, please email Laura Conley and Alexandra Chambers at info@bariatricdate.net.

Sources:

1. http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-famous-people-who-have-had-a-gastric-bypass.php

2. http://phys.org/news124471522.html

Side Effects

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I’m sure you noticed in my last two blog posts that I seemed extremely depressed. I was but I think I determined a cause. About 3 weeks ago my neurologist started me on a medication for my migraines, this medication, Pristiq is technically an anti-depressant. Ironically one of the side effects is an “increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.” The medication had also kindly packed on about 7 lbs in just 2 weeks. That’s more than I put on in the 5 months I spent on Prednisone, a steroid. So I decided I needed to get off this medication soon before it all got worse. I started weaning down a few days ago and already feel back to my normal self and the scale is going back to what I was. Sometimes I wonder why we take medications, sometimes they seem to do more harm than good.

Blah

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I went to counseling this morning, it didn’t help. I feel even worse today and not sure why. It’s so easy for people to say to me “but you have so many good things going, how can you be depressed?” But depression isn’t that simple. Everything in your life can be perfect to others but that doesn’t mean it is to you. I’m trying to get through this all but each day it seems harder to. Today I feel angry, angry that what happened to me at the beginning of the year happening. I know that I didn’t cause it. Every since I have not felt the same. I have missed several days of work and despite having notes from doctors and the emergency room for everything I have now received a written warning. I now have two emails into human resources because I was certain at the beginning of the year that I turned in FMLA paperwork and that the doctor marked off that it was interment FMLA meaning I still might require time off for my condition. If I do in fact have this the warning will go away but it’s just another thorn in my side of my what seems like a shitty year. I had never called off at this job before this all happened. It’s not Iike I was home having fun. Blah…I just can’t cheer up. Sorry for the rambling but I needed to get it out.

Burden

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Lately I’ve been holding in a lot of feelings. I have wanted to get this out for awhile so here it is. This year had been a crazy whirlwind for me. At times I feel like I can’t handle it. At the beginning of the year I suffered a bad allergic reaction to migraine medicine. I spent 13 days in the hospital and required 11 blood transfusions. There were plenty of moments where I thought like I was going to die. Now 5 months later I have times where I wish I had. I’m not suicidal, I’ve been there and this is different. I haven’t felt the same since, both physically and mentally. No one can give me a reason why. I also feel like a huge burden to my loved ones.
At the end of last year I felt on top of the world. I was my lowest weight ever and I felt happy. Two weeks into 2014 my life changed and was on the line for a few days. I’ve spent the last five months on a steroid pill which is not helpful when you want to keep losing weight. I haven’t lost any weight all year and actually put on about 6 lbs which isn’t bad for being on steroids so long when I think about it. But I feel like a WLS failure. I’m holding steady with a 130+ lb loss but it doesn’t seem like enough sometime. I’ve stopped following some bloggers because I can’t stand them focusing on their amazing huge weight losses.
Sure my life hasn’t been all bad this year. Patrick and I bought our first house this year. But we still never see one another so it’s hard to enjoy it together when we only see each twice a week. We got new kittens too but I still greatly miss Rowan my cat
of 10 years who we had to put down at the end of February.
I don’t know where I’m going with this post to be honest. I just felt a need to write everything down. I just want to feel normal again. I want to feel like I’m an asset to this world and not just a burden.

I’m Back!

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I feel terrible that I haven’t posted in about three weeks, but it was for good reason! Two weeks ago my husband and I moved into our first house! We also got our new kittens who we are absolutely in love with! We’ve been super busy!

My husband and I in front of our new house (June 2)

My husband and I in front of our new house!

Linnea and Elena, our new kittens!

Linnea and Elena, our new kittens!

I also started a new position at my job. I transferred to the home care department at the retirement community I’ve been working at. I’ve been in the new job a week and really like it a lot! It’s far less stressful which is good for me in many ways! I’m so glad I made the switch.

I finally went to a neurologist about my headaches and was officially diagnosed with chronic migraines which I suspected all along. I need to get help after my allergic reaction at the beginning of the year to Topamax which I was taking for the daily headaches. We started me on a medication called Pristiq which will also help with my anxiety problems. I also spent two full days at the Cleveland Clinic having infusions done. I got a slow drip of different things one at a time. I had anti-nausea medication, a muscle relaxer,  magnesium, something for my blood vessels and a migraine medicine.Since then my migraines have gone from being constant to episodic so that’s an improvement for me. The infusions should help for up to 3-4 weeks. I am also waiting on approval for Botox injections.

I am officially of the steroid medication that I have been all year for my allergic reaction! I spent 5 months on it and only gained 6 lbs. I’ve okay with that. Steroids are not friendly to the body and considering the medication saved my life and kept me from dying I am just fine with a little weight gain.

I also turned 31 a few weeks back! Now that life is starting to calm down for me (knock on wood) I am going to start planning my health education consulting business that I am aiming to start next year! I have a Master’s degree in Health Education and it would be nice to finally utilize it!

I have a blog post stirring inside me just need to find the time to write it…I am hoping maybe tomorrow. I have a lot I need to get out!