Last week and new beginnings this week

Last week was a really tough week.  My mood was incredibly low, as was my patience.  There were many stressors in regards to deliveries, appointments, and feedback (or lack thereof) in regards to Roger’s academic progress.  My week was filled with many thoughts all over the place and total lack of focus.

Today I have decided to try and get back into the swing of things.  This is a theme of my life:  out-of-whack week followed by an in-focus week (or attempt to that).  So, today I have focused on work, exercise, my weekly schedule (and Roger’s), and some laundry and garbage chores.

Today, I had a podiatrist appointment (I need orthotics due to some feet issues).  He politely stressed that I need to be healthier.  I couldn’t agree more.  I am hoping my motivation can remain.  It comes and goes so quickly!

I have a new therapist appointment on Friday of this week.  She is a “psychotherapist”.  I am not sure how different that is from the counseling I have received in the past.  I hope this time I “click” with the therapist.  I always do some on-line research when I make appointments.  On FB, I saw that she “liked” the God Delusion, so that is a positive to me!

Happy Monday

I absolutely love Mondays and will always try to choose not to make any Monday appointments.  I get back into my groove on Mondays.  I get back into the swing of work, get back to my days alone, get back to my food and exercise regime.  Mondays are great for me.

Last week ended with me completely worn out from my first week back at work.  I hope this week I am not so wiped by the time the weekend comes.  I was an absolute nightmare to be around yesterday morning!   Depression, anxiety and stress were the key words.  Today, I am a cheery lady.  Hmm, maybe we should not discount that bipolar diagnosis!

 

Week 6 of Summer

Thus far, for me, summer is a bummer!  I just can’t find my happy.  I know I am being vague.  I really don’t feel like writing but hoping it may get me a tad out of this bad mood.  I felt pretty okay the end of last week.  Saturday was very stressful for various reasons regarding our dogs and pain and workload and energy.  However, Sunday I felt much better.  Unfortunately, that feeling was fleeting.

This week began in a shambles.  Monday I had a sitter for Roger, since there was no camp and no therapy that day.  I felt like a prisoner in one room to get my work done.  Yesterday, I also had physical therapy.  It lasted longer than intended and I started stressing about all the time I am missing from work for all these therapies.  This morning I woke up feeling much the same, stressed, tired, terrible headache and tinnitus that I just cannot ignore anymore.  Again, I had another physical therapy appointment and, again, stressed over missing work time.  The headaches and tinnitus are just so constant as of late.  This headache must be at least a month old.  The tinnitus is about a decade old but the volume of the past week has increased greatly.  I feel like it is making me completely crazy.  I am in such a bad mood all day long.  I feel terrible for my son and husband, but especially for my son because he does not understand why I am in a bad mood so often.  He asked my husband what was wrong with me on Saturday.

Today, I called my therapist and made an appointment for tomorrow (even more time to make up for work) and had a friend recommend a psychiatrist.  I am getting so depressed as of late that I don’t want to keep sinking deeper.  This calendar is filling up pretty quickly with more and more appointments.  Now, I just have to figure out when I can have a full day of rest.  I do not know if I can wait until the end of August!

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…

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!