Ant Bites!

Let me premise this by saying I have problems.

Thursday night, we went to the library for my son to meet his Reading Comprehension tutor.  I was discussing a test he had the previous week and then, OW!.  I walk a little further with her and feel an ouchie on my toe.  I see this black ant and I try to fling him off casually as we are walking and talking.  Eventually, Roger goes into a study room with her and I investigate my foot.  Two bites.  I didn’t know blank ants bit like this.  Rob appears about 10 minutes later and my foot is incredibly itchy.  Then I feel something on my other foot — another black ant (or the one I tried getting off my right foot).  By now, I feel itchy head to toe and feel like I am covered in ants.  I hate that feeling.  I could not wait to go home and take a bath.  After my bath, I put cortisone cream on my right foot and, once it penetrated, I put socks on.  My itchiness would not subside, so I took Benadyrl before bed.  The cortisone cream was doing NOTHING.

The next day I awoke with itchy foot and exhausted body.  By noon I had drank 4 cups of coffee and was still exhausted.  Then, I noticed my throat/windpipe seemed like it was narrowing and my voice became very hoarse.  I decided to call my insurance company’s nurse line to see if I should go to the doctor. After extensive questioning and my history of allergies and having experienced anaphylaxis previously, she said I had to go to the doctor.  Of course, both my physician’s office and allergist’s office close at 1 pm on Friday.  I had to go to RapidMed.  Thankfully, the wait was not too long.  I ended getting two steroid shots (one in each hip) and prescriptions for 1. more steroids 2. antihistamines 3. a pill for allergic reaction.  I had a 4th prescription for epipens but they are backordered at all Walgreens.  They have not had them for months.

Before bed I took my prescription antihistamine that did absolutely nothing for the itchiness, I applied more cortisone cream and was incredibly itchy for hours.  Finally, I fell asleep and woke up groggy and with the same itchiness.

Today, I started my steroid pack and took the pill for allergic reaction.  I am not sure which one is helping but the itchiness has subsided a bit.

Oh, and one last thing, on my internet searches, I found out that there are Black Fire Ants and their bites are just like the Red Fire Ants.

Quick updates

Today has been a slow and steady type of day.  I had a nice workflow going, had my “maintenance” allergy shots (which are itching up a storm still), did a teeny bit of straightening around the house, walked with Roger to and from school, and am now stationary bike riding and typing.

The wind picked up on the way home from Roger’s school and I question whether these allergy shots do a damn thing.  I still take a Zyrtec and one Benadryl each night and sometimes an allergy pill during the day.  I still get congested and sneeze quite a bit — which Rob is concerned with re:  cervical fusion/ACDF surgery.  And, I still get numerous sinus infections, which the allergist touts does not occur once you get allergy shots.  I think it’s been 3 years since I’ve been getting them and the only reason I am not stopping is fear that it may be worse without them. Then I’d have to start from the beginning again and build up my tolerance.

My mother had her follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon regarding her broken pelvis.  The bones are healing nicely, but she is in the worst pain of her life.  When the doctor did her exam, it was obvious that her intense pain is stemming from her back.  She is trying to get a spinal cord stimulator implant to relieve her chronic back pain.  She is getting in-home OT and PT.  She is such a strong woman!  My father has been ceaselessly taking care of her.  He is really remarkable, though exhausted, at nearly age 82.  We try and go over to visit and when my father needs time away.  However, it is hard with our daily work/Roger schedule!

Roger is doing well though he’s starting to complain about being tired much more often.  I am thinking he may be affected by seasonal allergies or still adjusting to the time change.  He has asked to stop taking Hip Hop Boys.  He is still in swimming lessons, School of Rock, Miracle League baseball, and occupational therapy.  Maybe that is why he is exhausted!

Robert quit his office job about a month ago and is now working from home as a full-time, independent artist.  He has been building up his Instagram followers to over 82,000 and been doing some vendor shows.  Next month, we got a booth in the artist’s row at a convention in Dallas.  He is making a steady income and much happier.  We still have to adjust to having only one car though — I think that may be the hardest adjustment in the weeks to come.

That’s a wrap!

 

 

Sleep-deprived Sunday

Let me catch you up:  Thursday and Friday nights I had terrible allergy attacks at night and, therefore, slept terribly.  Yesterday, we still ventured to the St. Paddy’s Day festival in Lewisville but I was in a foul mood.  Some of Roger’s behaviors that I may have overlooked on more rested days, I got quite upset about yesterday.  So, last night I decided to take Zyrtec-D since it is always a go-to when my sinuses get really bad.  However, it’s been a few months and I forgot that horrible side effect it has on me.

I fell asleep around 11 and woke up wide awake at 12:25.  I tried for over 3 hours to fall back asleep, even taking melatonin.  My last attempt at sleep was counting backwards from 1,000 (which is in a sleep meditation I sometimes listen to).  When I could easily count backwards and not get tired, actually be more awake, I realized it was time to get up.

I got up and started working at 3:45 am.  I usually only have an hour – 90 minutes of work to do on Sundays.  I was worried Roger would wake up and not fall back asleep, but I could not be a prisoner to the bed anymore.  Of course, Roger woke a few minutes past 4 calling for me.  I told him to either lay in bed and I’d put on the light or lay on the couch outside of the office.  He chose the latter but never fell back asleep.

We came downstairs after I was done with work at 5 am.  I cleaned up the kitchen some, got the animals’ water dishes refilled, filled up the dishwasher, and sat with Roger while I drank two cups of coffee.  Then I started a wash and decided to start riding my bike and blog.

We still plan on going to the Fort Worth Zoo today.  I actually think my exhaustion will hit later today or, most likely, in time for work on Monday morning!

End of week

It is the Friday of spring break.  Unfortunately, it was not quite a break for us.  My husband and I had work and my son was in camp all week.  Luckily, he was so excited for camp each day and said he had a best friend at camp.  Last night, we went to Main Event and played video games and Roger got to play laser tag with a friend from his school.  Today, after camp, my husband is taking him to the park and then we will all go to my parent’s place for dinner (bringing over Chinese food).  Roger is probably a bit disappointed I did not go to the park, but I woke up with horrible allergies.  It’s that time of year when I start having days that feel flu-like but know it is just what happens when the weather is nice.  I get to only explore the great outdoors on hundred degree days that are allergy-free.  This is truly not fair!

I have decided to have another appointment with the neurosurgeon I met with last year prior to my ulnar nerve surgery (who recommended traction).  I have an appointment with him two days before my follow-up with the new neurosurgeon.  As you can see, I am really wanting avoid surgery!

I have not received a call from the imaging place yet re: x-rays.  I called them yesterday and they did not get the order yet.  They said they will call me.  So, this afternoon I emailed the neurosurgeon office via the patient portal and will follow up with both over the phone on Monday early afternoon, if I hear nothing.

Now that a couple of days have passed, I feel like the idea of surgery is a long-past memory.  I am cheerful, despite allergies.  I am loving my new office arrangement and ordered a new, larger turquoise rug (to compliment the orange walls), so I can stretch during breaks.

Tomorrow hopefully my allergies can subside so we can enjoy a day outside in the gorgeous weather.  There is a St. Paddy’s Day Texas Style festival in Lewisville I would like to check out.  I have also heard the Dallas Arboretum is beautiful.  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Big Ball of Stress

Achieving balance is what most people are striving for  – or at least I am.  However, at this time in my life, I view everything as stressful.  Work is stressful, cleaning is stressful, trying to find time to exercise is stressful, eating healthy is stressful, getting Roger ready for school/camp/bed/classes/therapy is stressful, playing with Roger is stressful, trying to fall asleep at night is stressful.  BUT doing nothing is the most stressful of all for I think of everything I should be doing.

I think I have forgotten how to relax.  What is the first step?  How do you train yourself to relax?  It really pisses me off when I see others relaxing while I am stressing out.

I also think I have forgotten how to have fun.  It takes a lot to make me smile or genuinely enjoy myself.  It wasn’t until The Dead Milkmen were actually onstage playing that I enjoyed that night.

I genuinely feel bad for my son and my husband.  I want to have fun.  I want to let go.  Will a brain swap work?

Any tips or advice appreciated (just comment).

Busy, busy day

So, as life would have it, I slept terribly last night.  I knew today was jam-packed and I am sure that this is what affected my sleep.  I kept telling myself I needed a good night’s rest to make it through today but I ended up restless.

Beside the daily grind of getting Roger ready for school and walking him to school, working at my job, and picking him up for school, the following is scheduled:

  1.  Pain doctor appointment – my lower back stinks today from not getting rest last night (BOO)
  2. After work, a dental cleaning – I had to reschedule since I had bad allergy attacks the day of my last scheduled cleaning
  3. Open house at Roger’s school (as well as In-N-Out Burger dinner there)
  4. The Dead Milkmen concert in Dallas – now this should be so much fun.  The last time I saw them I was in high school.  I believe it was 29 years ago (GULP) but it will be a late, late night for me.

Barring the doctor’s appointments, it should be a fun day.  Roger is excited for Open House and Rob is excited for the Dead Milkmen.  I am excited for sleep tonight!

Weekend Anxiety

I am still under the weather with coughing, allergies, chills, some tummy issues, etc.  Unfortunately, Roger, as an only child, wants to be entertained.  This morning he was already talking about what fun things we could do later:  karaoke, games.  Thankfully, he is aware my back hurt too bad last night from roller skates that he took that off the table.  Of course, resting and watching a movie are always off the table for Roger too!

This weekend happens to be a 3 day weekend as well, so that gives me an extra day of “fun” to schedule for Roger.  I am trying to institute a family fun day on Saturdays to do something out of the ordinary (zoo, museum, Dallas in general, etc.).  Tomorrow, I am pitching Ripley’s Believe It or Not since it will be quite chilly.  We will see if everyone is on board with that decision.  Sunday, I hope to feel up to Yin Yoga and Mediation followed by a short date with Rob.  Monday morning is still unscheduled but I have a make-up swim lesson planned for 1 pm followed by a play date with Roger’s best friend followed by Occupational Therapy.

I just have to make it through today first!

Where’s My Groove?

Yesterday was amazing!  No, the day was not perfect, but it was our first day to be back to a normal work/school day routine.  I slept pretty well Sunday night.  I rode my stationary bike and worked for 30 plus minutes.  I had peace and quiet for 7 hours.  Lovely.

Today I was hoping to feel the same way and to accomplish more.  I slept pretty terrible with Roger coming into the bed at an early hour.  I had this “Himalayan salt” night light that I think kept me in a light sleep.  I guess I do need total darkness.  Needlesstosay, today I am feeling groggy.  I also chose to have my allergy shots today (even with my cough).  My airflow was registered much lower than usual, but I was still able to get the shots.  That means I had to take an antihistamine this morning.  That, coupled with the contents of the shot, is adding to my tiredness.

When do I get to feel great and get back into the swing of things for 2018?  It feels like an unfunny gag.  You had a day of feeling good, now you get 5 weeks of feeling crappy.  I know lots of people have been perpetually sick, especially with the huge changes in temperature here in DFW ranging from 20’s to 70’s the past couple months.

Come on, health, I have too much I want to accomplish and enjoy to still feel under the weather!

Discouraging

Initially, I was going to make this blog a remainder of the week post.  However, today I am feeling quite cruddy and that’s just discouraging.  I have been eating healthy, exercising, and doing meditation.  Instead of energized, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus.  I still have this same sinus infection/ear infection.  It has almost been a month.  The antibiotics do not help and, unfortunately, today I started wheezing a bit.  That means a third trip back to the doctor’s office next week is most likely.  I did tell Rob that if I still feel this terrible on Sunday that I am taking the day to rest/sleep.  Work and after school have been very busy and a tad stressful.  I have had very little down time this week.  I am sure that is not helping my recovery.

However, I will now list the positives of my week:  being a classroom helper on Tuesday, Roger advancing to the next level in swimming, starting a liberal local book club, a very good teacher conference on Thursday, coffee with some great ladies this morning, dinner and conversation with my parents on Wednesday, and lots of love and sweetness from my son and my husband.  Seeing that list makes my infection not seem so bad!

Always something.

Update on the remainder of my week:

Wednesday I had an appointment with a new therapist.  I was told to arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork.  I arrived early and no one was there until about 10 minutes after my appointment time.  That was a huge turn off.  Second turn-off was the décor.  Way too much cutesy/ranch type of décor with an overload of essential oils.  My third issue was her disagreeing with my internist about ending hormones at the five year mark.  And the final issue was that my appointment ended at 45 minutes (and that included the time they were late and the paperwork was filled out), so in actuality my session was 20-25 minutes and cost my co-pay of $40.  I did make a second appointment for November, but am not sure if she is the right fit.  Maybe I should try a second go.  I’m sure I will obsessively think that through.  That same day I made a flu shot appointment for Roger.  That was traumatic.  We got the numbing patch and he still cried and screamed when the shot was administered.

Yesterday I took my husband to his endoscopy/colonoscopy procedure.  One polyp was found and will be biopsied.  They took other cultures to make sure nothing else is going on in there.  He was very nervous but the general anesthesia seemed to have no affect on him after he woke up.  For me, I am usually tired and I nap and then I’m up all night.  He was up the remainder of the day and went to Roger’s hip hop class with me.

The beginning of the week I made a doctor’s appointment for my remaining cough and my stuffed right ear/popping ear.  Today was my appointment and I was correct:  I have an ear infection now.  It is always something!  Another round of antibiotics and, hopefully, all will be clear.

Health update

Yesterday morning I had a lumbar epidural.  I had a choice between local or general anesthesia.  I chose general anesthesia and am glad I did.  The back doctor had wanted a caudal epidural but I had extra bony growth, so the needle could not go the whole way in.   They had to do a higher injection.  The downside is that while I was under I coughed/sneezed the entire time.  I came out of anesthesia with a bad sore throat, almost no voice, and a raw nose.  Thankfully, they said I kept apologizing, so at least I was nice while under!  However, I had Rob make me an appointment at our internist to see if I had more than just bad allergies.  Today was my appointment and I have ANOTHER sinus infection.

My second appointment of the day was my follow-up with my orthopedic surgeon re: my ulnar nerve surgery.  I am doing very well and she released me back to work on Monday.  I told her how my other fingers are going numb and she fit me for a carpal tunnel splint.  However, she thinks the problem is stemming from my cervical issue.  I guess time will tell.  I have another follow-up in 3.5 weeks.

I would be in a better mood if I got more than 2 hours 19 minutes sleep last night.  The antibiotic shot must be somewhat working because my headache has subsided.  Here’s hoping I am more myself before I head back to the workforce Monday!

Still on Medical Leave

Everyday I have thought about updating my blog and everyday I am too exhausted to open the computer.  The high allergens are not helping my activity level.  Add to that the limited activity of the day and I am an achy zombie most of the day!  I have not been consistently taking any pain medication (even OTC, especially due to the fact I am having a lumbar epidural next Wednesday).  My sleep and energy levels are the same post-op as pre-op, which I am not very happy about.  I have been sleeping alone downstairs and I still cannot get a consistent five hours of sleep per night.  I have begun taking melatonin which makes me fall asleep quicker, but does not aide in any other way.

I don’t want this post to be all bah humbug, so I will note some positive changes I have been trying to make in the past couple weeks.  I have been attempting daily meditation via the app Headspace.  Secondly, I have started using MyFitnessPal app again, consistently.  I have shed a couple of pounds but find it hard to lose weight if I try to eat more than 1200 calories, which is too restrictive for me.  Hopefully when I can add some exercise in, that will help my endeavor of losing these 35 pounds I have gained in TX the past 4  years!

Next Thursday, I have my next appointment with my surgeon and am hoping I can go back to work part-time, at least.  I am very bored but do not think I have the energy level for full-time work, yet.

End of Week 9, Beginning of Week 10

The end of last week started Roger’s 7th birthday celebration.  Thursday night he could not sleep because he was so excited for Friday night’s Queen concert.  He was tossing and turning all night, sounding like he may be sick, and awoke at 4 am.  That day his sitter was sick and he had to occupy himself while I worked.  In the afternoon, we met his first grade teacher, looked around the classroom and around the school at some new things going on.  He was even given a kit kat for that night and some M & Ms from his principal.  He was thrilled, especially as she announced his birthday on the loudspeaker as we left the building.  I had an afternoon dentist appointment, which the candy made Roger hyper for but he did well waiting for me.  Luckily, I got him to take an hour nap before we left for the concert.  He enjoyed the show and was very excited during “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” but starting crashing at 10:30 pm.  However, when we got in the car, he perked up and fell asleep around 12:30.  Unfortunately, he woke up at 6 am on Saturday for his birthday.  Saturday was a pretty full day that started with gift opening.  We also had our dogs’ obedience class, followed by lunch, a classmate’s birthday party, School of Rock, pizza and cake with my parents and his best friend, Amanda, and her family.  Finally, he fell asleep around 9:30 pm and woke up at 7:30 am.  He NEVER sleeps that late.  It was amazing!  Sunday was his formal 7th birthday party at Bach to Rock.  It was the latest party we have had for him — ending at 4:30.  We were exhausted afterwards.  The birthday weekend ended with some lego play and Mooyah for dinner.

Last night an allergy attack woke me up around 4 am.  To say that I am a little tired is an understatement.  So, the start of my day was trying to fall back asleep followed by some Buzzfeed, mail, facebook, etc.  For some reason starting a new week put my mood in a bit of a damper.  In the past (even recent past), weekends seemed more stressful than weekdays.  Possibly, that is due to the fact that I like structure.  However, the past few weekends have relaxed me quite a bit.  I was blaming some of my back/arm pain on lack of sleep.  My pain levels have been pretty low Friday and Saturday which does not correlate with the lack of sleep.  It doesn’t even correlate with stress levels.  Setting up the house and the party are both stress factors for me, but neither aggravated my upper back/neck/head aches.  This week I have my 3 important surgeon appointments while experiencing virtually no pain.  My left arm was in a ton of pain last Thursday but that feels like a lifetime ago.  My headaches have been very mild the past 1.5 weeks.  I feel like my body is correcting itself before I make a commitment to surgery!  Due to no known nerve damage, I am pretty sure I will not opt for neck surgery .  The severe damage to my left arm nerve (assuming ulnar nerve entrapment) may force me to have surgery, pain being present or not.  If the time allots, I will give a brief synopsis of my appointments Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

 

Monday, Not So Funday

Usually I love Monday’s.  I get to get back into my work groove and my routine, which I love to be in.  However, this morning, I had to have a work call with my boss first thing in the morning.  The call was not stressful, but a small project was given to me for the day.  As the call continued, work emails kept pouring in.  On top of that, the dogs were barking on and off.  Also, our dryer was being installed.  I just felt so much stress.  When I feel so much stress, I speed up my work and try to do hours and hours of work in a couple of hours.  I become a tad crazy about the workload and try to complete it as quickly as possible.

I do not feel accomplished today.  Instead I wonder why do I do this to myself.  There was no time frame to finish the project but I put all this weight on myself to do a good job in an efficient manner.  That is the worker they hired.  I still work at that fast speed but now my head spins in the process.

This cycle of back pain – headache – depression – lack of sleep – utter exhaustion – lack of focus/concentration is burying me in a big hole that I don’t know how to dig out of.  Also, my allergies have been making a comeback although it is not high allergy season.  I wonder if my immune system is crushed under all this.  I feel so hopelessly BLAH.

I start physical therapy tomorrow and hope that will start some good cycle.  Secondly, next Monday I have an appointment with the pain doctor and am hoping that will help as well.  I contemplate seeing a new therapist who may not be so much of a cheerleader but give me a kick in the butt, but right now I do not know if I could deal with that.  I may have to physically feel better before I start feeling better mentally.  Or should I work on both at the same time?  With it being summer, I do not have many extra hours to work with to go to doctor’s/therapist’s appointments every day.

My poor husband has to deal with the brunt of my anger/grumpiness.  I unleash it all on him.  After I do or when I am alone, I realize what a terror I have become and feel so guilty.  Yet, the next flare up, I do the same.  I hope he realizes how much I love him and appreciate his support!

Good Morning, 44

Yesterday I was in such a foul mood all day that I had mentally prepared to write this blog about my 43rd year.  I will still write the intended post but I am not in quite the same sour mood I was when contemplating it.

I kept questioning why I was so depressed yesterday.  Was 44th the hard birthday for me?  People had said 40 would be hard but was not for me.  I was looking forward to my 40’s.  Why was turning 44 so depressing?  Then the realization was that last year was a hard year for me.

Physically, I had (have) issues with my back and had some other instances that I had to go to the doctor and, in one instance, the ER.  Hormonally, this year was utter chaos.  My testosterone levels went from non-existent to way too much and the physical ramifications of that are still rearing it’s ugly head:  body acne and body hair growth.  These were two issues I have never had in the past 43 years.  I had inquired at the OB/GYN how long I should remain on hormones (read 5 years).  They pretty much told me I could remain on them forever.  When I told my internist, she adamantly said 5 years maximum.  Since we decided to stop the pellet for 6 months due to the side effects, that means I shall remain hormone-free due to my 5 year anniversary of my hysterectomy is 2018.  Mentally/emotionally the testosterone made me more edgy and still is as I have to wait for all the excess testosterone to exit my system.  Besides the Biote hormone pellet, my 43rd year was full of medications for depression/bipolar/anxiety and allergies, as well as supplements.  I, with the help of my therapist, nutritionist and internist, have decided to wean off the majority of the medications.  Currently, my roster is fluoxetine, Zyrtec, multivitamin, probiotic, and vitamin D3.  I have cut out about 10 medications/supplements.

My 43rd year had been a year that I have dealt with being my most unhealthy self.  I have made small steps to try rectifying it but not consistently so.  In addition, 43 was a year of added stress:  Roger entering public school, my mother’s surgery, a short stint of returning to grad school, the passing of Snuffles, other family issues, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been positives (mainly on the Roger front in regards to progress/growth).  However, I do not think I have allowed myself time for grief and that is why a low mood has persisted.  Is it too late to grieve?  How can one force oneself to grieve appropriately?  Does one just move past it and say hello to the new day/the new year and push through? So many thoughts as I enter year 44…

It’s been a week.

Well, I haven’t posted in a week.  The weekend did not go smoothly and it was very tumultuous, unfortunately.  However, I will not disclose information of such personal, family matters.  I will just state that things are back on track, all is well, and I have an amazing husband and a caring father.

Monday, I remained in bit of a funk.  I was completely wiped out emotionally and mentally, so I skipped exercise and just made it through the working day.  I had issues with getting onto the Remote Desktop at work on Saturday, so I had an additional workload for Monday night.  The problem ensued Monday night and I had to use my iPhone as a hotspot to finish my procedures.  Prior to that, it was a couple of hours trying to connect and contacting Spectrum.  It was very stressful, to say the least.  Fortunately, by Tuesday morning, the internet and phone were working again and (knock on wood) have been continually working.

I was able to get in some exercise on my FitDesk on Tuesday and went to an intermediate yoga class yesterday.  Oh boy, that kicked my butt (or my legs and back, to be exact).  All of my strength was used on that workout.  Yesterday, I tried the no caffeine again, as well as eating only non-reactive foods.  I was completely depleted by 2 pm and asleep at 7:30.  Unfortunately, I only got 7 hours of sleep, because my sleep is always restless since having Roger.

This morning I woke up sore and determined to change up what would be a very restrictive LEAP diet.  I contacted the nutritionist with an outline of what I plan to modify.  She said it was a great idea and that I will probably last longer on the “diet/lifestyle” due to the modifications.   First summer life with a 6 year old boy who happens to have autism and working full-time will be hard enough without having insane food restrictions.  The first modification:  COFFEE.  I had a cup and was actually able to vacuum.  Yesterday, I was lump on the sofa.

On a different note, tonight I get to see one band that I have been aching to see for the past 28 years:  The Damned.  Both times I previously set out to see them, there was an issue.  This is their 40th Anniversary tour and I thought, yet again, the plan was going to be foiled when Captain Sensible fell off the stage and broke his rib(s).  And, then, once it was still a go-ahead, our sitter double-booked for tonight.  Fortunately, I met with other sitters and we have that covered.  Now, the weather calls for hail, so there’s always something!

One more tidbit of good news:  in the past two months, I have lost 7.2 pounds.  If I just lose 3 pounds a month, I will be at my goal weight by next March.  No pressure – just taking it one step at a time.

So depressed.

Yesterday afternoon and this morning, my sore throat got even more sore.  My allergies have been attacking me from every direction.  Today, I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus a half dozen times.  I am so depressed that I have not felt well in so long.  However, today may be one of the worst days.  My nutritionist advised me to stop coffee (I’ve been on one cup a day) in preparation for next week’s change to the LEAP diet.  I told Rob, so he only made himself a cup.  Needless to say, to make it through my working day feeling like crap, I had to make myself one cup of coffee.

Now to boast about some accomplishments this week:  two yoga classes and one day on the FitDesk.  I planned on riding today as well, but the walk to and from Roger’s school with the doggies was too much for me.  I also created some tentative work/sitter schedules through the end of July.  Things may come up (they always do), but I feel ready for the summer now.  I must schedule some fun pool and CAC time with Roger.  I want him to enjoy his first summer out of school.

Here’s hoping I feel better to have some fun with the family this Mother’s Day weekend and I get out of this emotional funk created by this physical setback!

Building a routine

It may not be the ideal time to build a routine, being that schools lets out in a few weeks and that may throw a wrench in my routine.  I went to Monday’s yoga class and it was a great class.  It was mainly a stretching class which helped my back immensely.  Wednesday’s class is more advanced, but I plan on doing as much as I can.  There is always child’s pose when it gets too tough for me.  That begins my routine:  Monday and Wednesday will be yoga days.  Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I will use my FitDesk.  Saturday will be my rest day and Sundays I may check out the Yin & Sit yoga class.  This Sunday is Mother’s Day and I signed up for Yoga Nidra which, according to the website, is the practice of conscious yogic sleep, a meditative and restorative experience that allows you to transcend physical and mental barriers so that you may place intentions – or sankalpa – at the innermost level of your being.   The yogic sleep part sounds good to me!

I’ve also been sticking to the one cup of coffee per day til the first day of my LEAP lifestyle change.  This is going to be my hardest habit to break.  I’ve realized how much coffee has suppressed my appetite in the morning.  I’m hungry at 9 instead of 11 or 12, which I am not used to.  Also, my depleted energy no longer gets a caffeine boost.  Hopefully, a few weeks into the dietary changes, I will have energy once again.  Although knowing it will be a bit overwhelming, I am very much looking forward to the change.  I will need to write a food log, as well as note any bodily reaction to the foods I am allowed.  I am used to logging on a notepad, but considering putting them on my blog.  I was reading another blog that has been following a person on a LEAP diet and she said she does not have the ability to log daily, so I will be aware of that challenge.

In the meantime, I’ve typed up my next three work schedules which lead up to summer but will need to figure out past that.  I should also start planning meals for the time leading up to summer.  Hmmm…maybe tomorrow.

Busy, busy week

Besides my job, this week has been a busy and exhausting week.  As a recap, I went to yoga for the first time in a bajillion years on Monday.  It was so hard — I am so out of shape.  I also had to deal with insurance (re:  my son’s ABA therapy), gather garbage, do some wash, change the kitty litter, and wait for the roof to get replaced.  It was just stressful trying to do a lot in a little time.  Boy, was I in a pissy mood.  Tuesday, I felt utterly crappy and I had my allergist appointment that led to 4 new medications that have not aided in making me feel better but just cruddier.  Wednesday was my son’s ARD for 1st grade.  Already nervous about what services could potentially be cut, I was still feeling utterly horrible physically.  Thankfully, not much was cut.  We were, overall, in agreement.  The shortness of the ARD (the last one took 2 days) gave me time to rest, which I NEVER get to do.  Thursday, a friend drove me to our sons’ first Field Trip in kindergarten.  They went to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and Nature.  Can I tell you how exhausting a field trip can be?  My mother noted it may exhaust me more since I am older than a lot of the moms — thanks!  Today, I got to have a nice “normal” workday at home.  Unfortunately, the roof work started today, which means I got to hear hammering since 8:30 this morning.

I did make a few decisions today despite the noisiness.  I decided to end my chiropractic care.  I went through the suggested 15 session schedule and have seen no improvement.  I am definitely going to have to take a different course of action when it comes to my back.  The only time chiropractic care helped was in NYC when I went to an integrative practice.  They would not even adjust me for the first few weeks — just do stem and hot/cold therapy.  After adding adjustments, physical therapy was slowly started.  Finally, 30 minute back massages were added.  It worked like a charm and was a fantastic approach.  I may try to find a similar practice here.

My other decision was to stop taking 3 of the 4 medications the allergist prescribed.  I’ve decided to finish the course of antibiotics but stop the rest.  Nothing has changed in my overall being and definitely not the areas they were targeting — cough, labored breathing.  I emailed the office and they said to follow-up Monday if there was no change with being on the antibiotic.

Next week, I am hoping to conquer yoga 2 days.  I know, crazy.  I will definitely go Monday and let you know if I survive.

Queen of Allergies

I went to the allergist to talk about how my allergies have gotten worse and the shots do not seem to be helping anymore.  Unfortunately, I get the highest dosage possible and I get an epi-rinse since I get a bad reaction from them.  When the doctor came in, she referred to me as “the Queen of Allergies”.  Below is a list of my allergy test results.  Anything with a fraction, I am allergic to (they did not test food).  She is gung-ho, YAY, allergy shots, so she does not want me to discontinue.  Instead, she wants me to take a bunch of meds to try and feel meh, instead of hellish.  She thinks it’s a combo of untreated sinus infection, allergies, asthma, and acid reflux.  I go back in two weeks.  Above my allergy list is my treatment list.IMG_3688

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“Mommy, you’re sick a lot”

I woke up this morning with terrible allergies (surprise, surprise).  I told my husband that I probably will not accomplish much around the house and only have energy for my work.  My son retorted, “mommy, you’re sick a lot”.  I told him that I have really bad allergies that have been making me very sick.  In actuality, I have a compromised immune system due to my allergies, stress, lack of sleep, etc.  Hearing that from my son took me a bit aback.  He usually does not pay too much attention to how others are feeling.  He is only 6 and usually life revolves around yourself at that age.  Double that with his autism, he usually will just keep asking for me to do things and take him places once I say I am sick.  He probably still will afterschool.  However, he does know he has to accompany me to the allergy doctor.  Maybe he will listen a bit to what she tells me, but I bet he will just be focused on the iPad!

I was hoping to feel better today.  I did yoga for the first time in a long time yesterday.  What was a simple, beginner’s class really tested me (and my allergies).  I also rode the bike for an hour yesterday.  Today, I planned to ride the bike but woke up with terrible wheezing from the allergies.  I did conquer work and was able to do a few laundry chores during my lunch.  My lunch has consisted of leftover matzo.  My stomach feels terrible, as well.  I figured crackers would be the best bet.  Tomorrow is my son’s ARD.  I am sure the stress of that is not helping today.

 

Blargh

My days have been blargh to horrible.  This is due entirely to my damn allergies.  I go to bed feeling meh, wake up in the middle of the night to an allergy attack, wake in the morning to my nose still running, and the day continues that way.  Last night, I finally took a Benadryl thinking that would end the post-midnight allergy attack.  NOPE.  I felt the same as each previous night.

I was not going to let that interfere with my day, however.  After I walked Roger to school with the doggies, I started work while riding the bike on my FitDesk.  I could only do 15 minutes before feeling completely ill.  My breathing has been compromised, my tummy feels totally terrible, my head hurts, and my back aches so badly.  Poor me.  I hate to complain so much because I know it could always be worse. (Case in point, yesterday, I looked up the boy in the bubble because I want to hermetically seal myself off from the world, but then felt terrible about making the comparison).

So today, as everyday, I am doing the most I can — working, doing a few household chores, and counting the hours til bedtime!

Not maintaining under maintenance

Today, I had two doctor’s appointments:  the nutritionist followed by the chiropractor.  I will start with the easier of the two — the chiropractor.  When I began going to this practitioner, he set up a 15-visit schedule that would culminate with a maintenance schedule.  Today would begin the talk of maintenance.  However, Monday my back was in really bad shape.  I hurt going through my normal daily routine.  Today my back was still quite stiff.  Clearly, I do not want to “maintain” this level!

The nutritionist appointment was very thorough and a lot to wrap my head around.  We talked about my LEAP results, my current medication, and my feelings about the process.  Due to weaning off of gabapentin, she thinks I should start once that is clear from my system.  My last day of taking gabapentin will be next Wednesday night.  I have a field trip to attend with my son on Thursday, so I will delve into it next Friday or the following Monday (at the latest).  This also gives me time to wean off of coffee/caffeine.  That shall be the most difficult part:  reactive to caffeine, coffee and tea.

During the appointment, we discussed allergy shots.  Her son has been on shots about a year longer than I.  We are both on a maintenance schedule.  I have been having almost nightly (very early morning) allergy attacks and I, overall, feel flu-like.  I am considering discontinuing the shots.  They have to add epinephrine to each shot so my reaction isn’t as extreme as it was in the past.  I still swell and itch, though.  I guess a visit to my allergy doctor to discuss should be in my near future.

Am I doomed not to maintain under maintenance?

The results are in.

My LEAP blood results as well as the battery of blood tests my PCP/Internist gave me are in.  I will start with my regular bloodwork.  Basically, there were two areas that I have high scores in (YAY!).  One was EOS which I googled and found means the following: Eosinophilia (e-o-sin-o-FILL-e-uh) is a higher than normal level of eosinophils. Eosinophils are a type of disease-fighting white blood cell. This condition most often indicates a parasitic infection, an allergic reaction or cancer.  I will gather that it has to do with my allergic reactions to life, in general.  The nurse did not discuss, but I gather my marks weren’t high enough to investigate further.  The second is my testosterone level from hormone replacement therapy.  Normal range is 8-48 and my level is 217.  Well, that explains a lot — the body acne, the hair, the wonderful, quick-to-anger mood, the constant hunger and weight gain, the overall GROSSNESS.  Unfortunately, all I can do is wait for the testosterone to leave my body which can take 3-6 months.  I will be doing follow-up bloodwork in 2 months.

The LEAP results are a little more complex and I formally get to discuss with my nutritionist tomorrow.  I am reactive to almost all foods and, GASP, caffeine!  It shall be a big lifestyle change, but I need it.  My allergies will be the death of me, otherwise.  I am least reactive to: peach, cranberry, mushroom, spinach, white potato, millet, cocoa, vanilla, mint, carob, pecan, peanut, pinto beans, and potassium nitrate.  That should make for an interesting meal plan.  I am most reactive to: barley, caffeine, cashew, celery, codfish, corn, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, grape, green pea, msg, paprika, parsley, rice, saccharine, sesame, sodium sulfite, sorbic acid, strawberry, tapioca, tea, tilapia, tomato, walnut, and yellow squash.  We have to slowly add members of the above family of food to see if I am reactive to them as well.  The test, obviously, does not cover every food in existence.  I am most sad about caffeine and tea.  I don’t think I can totally drop coffee all together, but definitely need to wean the amount I currently intake.

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s discussion and will keep you posted.

 

Baby Steps

Such big plans I had with my “45 for 45”.  I do still plan to work on health improvement but taking a slightly different approach.  The past month I have been reassessing my health and allergies.  I am allergic to most everything environmental (barring some strains of mold, horse dander, and roaches).  If I am allergic to trees, grass, etc., I must have food sensitivity.  I have met twice with a nutritionist.  The first time was to set simple goals for stress relief, adding vegetables/fiber to current diet, replacing afternoon coffee with tea, and taking Epsom salt baths.  The second meeting was to discuss my horrific allergies.  I take two types of allergy medicine and have been on 3 maintenance allergy shots for about 2 years now.  They are not making a dent.  I figure I must be adding to my misery by eating certain foods.  Although reading pro and con articles on the subject, I decided to have LEAP bloodwork.  My allergist’s office also gives the test, which is not covered by insurance, for double the cost and ONE follow-up appointment.  The nutritionist says it takes much more than one follow-up since, in addition to the bloodwork, we will be testing other foods by adding them slowly back into my diet.  I hope to have my results back by the beginning of May.  I can just picture EVERYTHING in the red category (meaning highly reactive).

Yesterday, I made an appointment with my primary care physician/internist to discuss my medication list and the side effects I am having.  In other words, I made the appointment because I feel gross.  I am on hormones due to my oophorectomy/hysterectomy.  The testosterone has given me terrible body acne and body hair growth.  Neither of which I have ever had to deal with in my 43 years.  I am also very inpatient and quick to anger.  Well, those I have had to deal with in my 43 years.  My other medications all tend to have the side effect of fatigue and insomnia.  I get roughly 4-5 hours of sleep per night and am dragging all day.  That does not give me much motivation, focus, or acuity.  We have decided to reduce my supplements to only a handful (Multi-vitamin, Calcium, D3, B12 shots, and probiotic), replace Zyrtec with Xyzal, and taper off Gabapentin.  I may also decide to taper off  Singulair, Fluoxetine and Simvastatin.

Lastly, I bought a FitDesk for downstairs.  With the new puppies, I can no longer ride the bike upstairs without doggies under my feet.  In the living room, they will stay on the couch while I ride and work.  I received the bike on Tuesday, built it with the help of my husband Tuesday night, and have ridden it Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for 45-50 minutes each day.  I have hopes to, eventually, add other exercise to my routine, but baby steps!