Update from my most recent doctor appointment

Hi all!
Last Friday I went to see my beloved Dr. Gent. It was a mess on the roads and I was pretty anxious because my test results hadn’t come in.
When I got there, I did my normal weigh-in and blood pressure check. The nurse was surprised to find that I’d lost 10 pounds since I saw them 5 weeks ago and my blood pressure is now 120/80. It’s still a little high for me, but it’s down 10 points on top and bottom numbers, so that is good.

We had a great appointment. He listened to my concerns about the afternoon dosing. He still thinks I’m working up to my optimal dose, so we upped it to 1/2 grain in the afternoon and kept my morning dose the same at 3/4 grain. He seemed pleased that I was being so compliant with my eating and suggested that I up my apple cider vinegar during the day. I need to remember to do that. It’s hard to keep track of things when I’ve got meetings and I’m running around everywhere. Sometimes, it’s a wonder I can get my afternoon dosing in.

I asked AGAIN about my progesterone levels being off because my period is still really messed up (sorry, TMI but I have to keep it real up in this piece). He knows I’m feeling really unbalanced but insists that I need to get my thyroid optimized before we mess with any other hormones in my body. I get it, but I’m tired of having cramps for 2 weeks straight.

In other news, Bikram yoga is going well. I’ve been doing good about going 4-5 times a week since my flare a couple of weeks ago. It’s amazing how crappy your body can feel for a week and then the next week, you’re a superstar in class. It’s liberating and humiliating all at the same time. I know the instructors don’t care, but I am incredibly sensitive to my performance in class because it’s a direct feedback on how my body is operating. I’ve really had to practice kindness and humility this month towards myself on the mat.

I have a lot going on at work and the 90 minutes in the hot room have been wonderful for me to shut down and not be worrying about things.
There’s been days where I’ve been so worn out from the office that I just want to drive home, crawl onto the couch, and cry into my hard boiled eggs because I’m so mentally spent. Forcing myself to go into the studio and focus on breathing, even if I need to lay down and just BE, has been really great for my stress levels. I just tell myself that being stressed is not good for my Hashi’s, so this is medicine.

I’m loving my new shorts that I got in January. I may be shallow, but a cute pair of side tie shorts with a fun pattern really make me happy. I also ditched the tank top a couple of weeks ago and started wearing my sports bra to class, which has made me a lot more comfortable. After a week, my self-loathing stopped and I am so much better with what I see in the mirror! I’ve got a long way to go but I’m committed to making the best choices for my health.

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Health updates and how the new food plan is going

I have to be honest, it’s been a rough month for me!  I think I had a Hashi’s flare last week. It was really terrible, now that I know what I’m looking for.  I’ll get to that in a second.

For the past month, I’ve been taking a 1/4 pig after lunch (waiting 2 hours after eating).  I’m not really sure if it’s helping me.  I’m not sure if it’s that my body isn’t absorbing it as well as it does on an empty stomach first thing in the morning or if it’s just too low of a dose.  I see Dr. Gent on Friday so I plan to ask him then.  I just haven’t noticed a difference.

Anyway, last week I started having some of the earlier September 2013 symptoms: really tired, can’t concentrate, forgetting why I was walking out of my office as soon as I set foot in the hallway, word finding problems, etc.  What really made it worse was I was DRAGGING myself through yoga.  It literally was like my body would not move. 

The best way I can describe a Hashi flare (for me) is this…it’s a combination of two things.  You know when you take cold medicine, maybe Nyquil, and then the next day you are a zombie?  And then you know how when you are really sick, like the flu and you can’t move the limbs on your body because they feel heavy and you just can’t function your muscles?  It’s a combination of those two things for me.  It was really frustrating to experience this because I felt like I had really turned a corner in December and early January, but I guess this is a lifelong thing for me. 

What’s even stranger is that I am not sure what set it off because I feel just fine this week.  But, I did only go to yoga three times last week because I couldn’t bring myself to go in that room and sit down.  Becka said it would be okay to do that if I needed to, but I feel like such a slacker when I do.  This whole thing is very humbling for me.

Onto other news, I’m on Day 23 of my autommune-ish protocol eating experiment.  Recall I’ve removed all inflammatory foods, per Dr. Gent, like dairy, gluten, and all grains.  I also am not drinking any alcohol, even my beloved cider.

It was pretty rough at first because yoga is pretty intense and I didn’t have any starches for the first 17 days.  In the past week, I’ve introduced sweet potatoes every other day at lunch and that has gone really well.  I’m being really, really careful about my starches because some people have inflammation issues with that as well.

So I’ve been plugging away at it and now I’m down 8.8 pounds.  I weigh myself every day, track what I eat, what I drink, my supplements, my exercise.  I’ve got a little binder I carry around with me everywhere.  It pretty much is all consuming, but at least I’m getting somewhere!

 

An ode to my ladies

I’ve thought about doing this post for awhile because I always seem to have people ask me how I’m able to maintain such a busy life with working, teaching, 90 minute yoga classes at night (5 a week), and taking care of my mom.  Oh, and there is my own house and marriage to worry about.

I’m honestly not sure.  I just do it.

Then, the next statement is, well you must not have many friends, right?

I find this statement confusing to me because I didn’t know when it was expected for people to have a lot of friends.

I know, this seems odd.  I have a lot of people that I’m friends with and clearly I’m an extrovert.  I love people.

But I don’t know when having 559 friends on Facebook became the norm,  I have 154 and even that seems high to me.

I’ve discovered in my adult life that I prefer to have a lot of friends, but only a few people that I really spend time with.  Part of this IS because I have a crazy life that isn’t really normal.  I realized, for me, I do much better when I have a FEW people that I really nurture relationships with and create space for in my crowded world.

While this may seem snobby, I just don’t have time for juggling a lot of social engagements, for building relationships, etc.

So I allow few people in to my world and trust them with every fiber of my being.

This last week has been pretty rough for me (my cat died recently, weather sucks, I’m slugging my way through another inflammation diet, etc).  It’s times like this that I really appreciate those people.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my peeps around campus, Kevin’s gigging buddies, etc.  But you know when you’ve got a handful that are your “go to” people?  Those are the ones I’m grateful for, especially when I’m not my chipper self.

Without further ado, I give you an ode to my ladies.  My four chicas who I love dearly, all for a variety of reasons.  Meet my posse.

I will do this in order of how long I’ve known them, from oldest to most recent.  I’m going to put pictures in there that I think represent us best.

First is Annette.

 

annetteDitching the boys 

 

 

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Annual Black Friday tailgating in the Busch Gardens parking lot!

I have known Annette for over a decade. We met because her husband was taking drum set lessons from my husband.  His lesson was the last one of the day on Saturdays, so Annette and I would always be in the waiting room together.  One day, after many weeks of the same, we peeked at each other from atop our books (we happened to be reading the same thing) and started up a conversation.  I can’t remember what happened next and how we became friends, but I get a little crazy if I go more than a couple of weeks without seeing Annette.

I picked these photos because Annette is my great reminder to RELAX and not take life so seriously.  We both have ridiculously crazy lives, but she is my constant reminder to have a good time.  I love her because she is REAL with me and I can be the same way with her.  I look up to her immensely from a professional standpoint and I have learned a lot from her that I apply in my own workplace.  If I killed someone, Annette would help me bury the body.  We may not talk to each other for days on end, but when we get together, it’s “girl, you won’t believe the *&#@! I had to deal with this week”.   We complain, let it go, and move on.  There isn’t a time I see her that I don’t laugh hysterically about something.   That may or may not be because of our husbands’ behavior.

Bottom line: when my life feels ridiculous, Annette.  When I need to celebrate, Annette.

Next up is Gretchen.

576423_10100324828333547_244661316_nBesides Mr. Hall, my #1 fan

knittingKnitting in ‘da club!  

My bestie, Gretchen.  Where do I even begin?  I met Gretchen because we work at ODU and we have a mutual interest in crafting.  Knitting, at that point in time (5 years ago).  I showed up for a knitting group that Gretchen was running and we clicked.  Well, after we went out for Mexican across the street and found that we are both very messy eaters with a tendency to spill salsa on our fronts!

(As a side note, notice how swollen my face looks in the second photo?  This was in 2009, when I believe I was in an active flare with my Hashimoto’s, based on my medical records I pulled last year. I was maybe 30 pounds lighter than I am now, BUT I can see the inflammation now that I know what I’m looking for!)

Gretchen has literally been through it all with me.  House disasters, a doctoral program, dissertation meltdowns, family drama, work drama, health drama, you name it.  Gretchen is the one who will stop anything for a friend in need.  She is my cheerleader.  She challenges me to be better for myself and supports my decisions.  Gretchen and I may not actually SEE each other a lot, but we can run up some text messages!!!  Gretchen is my safe place.

Next up, Cori. It was hard for me to find a still photo of us because a lot of what I have are action shots or photos with her, me, and Megan (you will understand why in a second).

923500_10100517547088617_1880644863_n (2)Being silly, as usual

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Blanket sharing, because I’m pretty sure the concept of personal space doesn’t exist between us

Oh, Cori, my Cori.

We met under such stressful circumstances.  I had just been kicked out of 3 months of PT at Bon Secours with a slap on the wrist for “too much complaining about traveling pain and mysterious inabilities to make progress” and was desperate for someone to take me seriously.  I think I was also in the tail end of a Hashi flare.  It was a bad, bad time in my life.  I don’t even know how she tolerated me for a year and a half.  That was October of 2011 and she was assigned to me by a colleague who thought that she would be the right type of personality to manage my *ehem* “difficult” situation.

Somewhere along the way, Cori and I became kindreds.  That’s what I call it.  Like finish each other’s thoughts, anticipate what the other is going to say.  It all started with the comment, “we are kindred spirits with supreme ideas”.  Exactly.

I don’t even know how to describe my relationship with Cori.  She’s my sounding board, my cheerleader, my sister from another mister.  While she and Mr. Hall share more tendencies towards a free-spirit attitude, she and I are just easy.  There’s no drama-mama with Cori.  You know how you feel when it’s the holidays and you have family over to play games or something like that?  Then, afterwards, you are all hanging out on the couch?  That content feeling?  That’s my kindred.  We come from very different paths but it works.  Alike but not alike, different but not really different.  It’s awesome.

 

And finally, Megan.  Megan is Cori’s sister-in-law, so that’s how I met her.  A lot of my photos are of the three of us.

ladiesKevin says that when the three of us are out together, we look like sisters

Megan was a happy surprise in my life.  She is a constant for me, a true friend.  And, she makes me laugh.  Oh, how she makes me happy!  This is us, last summer at the end of a long day of boating.  I don’t remember what I was hysterically laughing about, but it was probably something ridiculous.

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With Megan, I can just be me.  She is the one who asks, how are you and I know she means to listen to whatever I say.  If Annette was helping me to bury the body and it didn’t fit in the trunk, Megan would lend me her SUV.  She’s just like that.  Selfless, supportive.

The thing that I love about Megan is that we can talk about pretty much anything.  We’ve had bizarre conversations about bodily functions, family, and higher education (she also works at a university).  I can complain about anything and she never sounds bored of it.  I can go on about work stuff and she expresses true interest.  I’m just really grateful that she’s in my world and I can’t imagine ever not having her in my life.  Even if we don’t see each other a lot, I know that when I see her next it will be like no time has passed.

So there you go.  My ladies.

They are how I stay sane.  How I can do the 50 million things I do every day.  Each of them special in her own way.

If any of them are reading this, thank you.  While I may not say it a lot, heck even ever….you are so important to me!