Pellets

Yesterday, I got my hormone pellet inserted. This has been the best form of hormone therapy post-hysterectomy. I had my hysterectomy in 2013 a month before my 40th birthday. Since having my hysterectomy, I have been in a constant state of fatigue, brain fog, and extreme mood swings. The pellet helps me feel a tad more normal. If I am not on hormones, my estrogen and testosterone fall to zero and getting out of bed becomes a exhausting process.

I still am tired most of the time. I still cannot remember things moving from one room to the next. And I still have mood swings. My mood swings have lessened with the help of pellets and the meds my psychiatrist prescribes. One of those meds are supposed to give me more energy. I would prefer to say that it heightens my motivation vs. actually giving me energy. My exhaustion now depends mainly on sleep. Unfortunately, I am also a crappy sleeper.

In the midst of all this, I have gained an awful 40 pounds (40!!!!!!) over the past 12 years of being on and off hormones and on and off all types of psychiatric medications (also a few known to promote weight gain). This year I have been trying to focus on health. I may not be the best everyday. Actually the weekends/days off are the worst. I cave in to the sweets and during downtime I tend to eat more.

Monday through Thursday/sometimes Friday I am pretty good with good choices and behaviors. Today is Tuesday (my Monday, since I took yesterday off for my pellet appointment – it initially exhausts me for about 24 hours) and I am back on track.

Unfortunately, I cannot exercise or clean until Thursday afternoon due to the pellet. BUT this Friday may be my first tennis lesson in “oh so many” years. The weather looks promising. YAY! AND this weekend I am planning to try out my new bike (again I learned when I turned 37 and only rode a few months before I became pregnant). Roger hated the trailer, so we never rode bikes again. Now, 10 years later, I am taking the plunge.

YAY ME!

Insomnia

A few weeks ago my doctor prescribed a new medication to aide with my depression and lack of motivation. This medication would help “bump” up the effectiveness of my current depression and anxiety medication. It is working wonders on my motivation and energy (energy when I get enough sleep). However, one of the side effects is insomnia. My psychiatrist warned me but said to take melatonin. I was already taking melatonin. EVERY night I wake up between 1 and 3 and stay awake for hours before being able to fall back asleep. Monday – Thursday I wake up for work between 5:15 and 5:45 (depending if I exercise). This week, since my sleep has been between 4 and 5 hours, I opted to sleep the extra 30 minutes in the morning. Last night was the first night I got 7 hours of sleep (despite waking up for a bit of time around 2 am).

Today I have my virtual follow-up appointment. I hope she has a better suggestion than melatonin for the future. I want to stay on this medication but need my sleep. I was already a poor sleeper and I am getting worse. I hope I have not inherited my father’s curse of insomnia!

January 2, 2021

Yesterday was the day that the world would reset and joy would return. Well, maybe not quite that BUT I think a lot of people view January 1st as the day to reset and refocus on goals, projects, life. In the weeks leading up to January 1st, I envisioned the day filled with journaling, self betterment routines being discovered and written down, leaving the house and going for a walk. I let myself down. I woke up in so much pain (from my head down through my legs). No, I was not hungover – over 5 hours I had 2 beers and a glass of champagne accompanied by food and water. I was super congested (as most days have been due to my allergies/sinuses) which have been causing super headaches. My husband thought maybe I slept wrong. That usually is accompanied by a specific pain: neck pain or arm pain from laying on it oddly, etc. I was awake for a long time but unmotivated to get out of bed, even not wanting to open my eyes and look at my phone (which does not take any motivation). Much later in the day, I did spend some time alone upstairs trying to get things squared away. However, it was not what I had planned in my head. I thought, “Tomorrow will be different. I will wake up, feel motivated, get things done, and go for that walk!”

Today arrived. I awoke with the same congestion and headache. Thankfully, I did not wake with the same body aches as the day before. I told my son later we would go to the park so he could use his new scooter. After hours of watching “Cobra Kai”, we asked my son what he wanted to do the rest of the day. He did not want to leave the house today. He went back into the bedroom to play Pokémon Go and watch or make some videos on YouTube. I mustered up the motivation to pack away some of the holiday decorations – all but the tree and what is on the tree. “I should do more, ” I thought to myself but the lazy feeling continued. My husband asked about laundry and I decided to start the first of 3 loads.

Eventually my son did ask to work on some gifts from the holidays – Crystal Growing and Candy Making kits. Of course, we lacked the ingredients for the candy but we did start the crystals. My husband is out getting ingredients for those recipes while my son plays more games on his iPad.

I came up to my office to see if inspiration would hit. Did it? No. I just keep perpetuating the thought that I have let myself down. There is so much that needs to be done around the house – so many drawers of crap to go through, so many closets needing to be cleaned up, so many exercises I could be doing, so much dust around the house from the holiday decor being put away. My husband or son do not care about me accomplishing any of those. They love me as much whether I do them or not. I wish I could give myself the same love.

What a week!

What a week it has been for me! But that doesn’t involve any awesome adventures or life changing elements. It means it has been a hard week for me to make it through. AND IT”S NOT EVEN OVER – 1 more day!

Every day this week felt like it should be a Friday. This week was super busy but so exhausting. The days dragged in as much as it wasn’t Friday every day. Work has been crazy busy. Virtual school work has been crazy busy. Getting ready for the holidays – yup, crazy busy.

Maybe the last one is why this week is more exhausting than it should. Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Monday, after work and school, I wrapped Roger’s 8 gifts. He also gets Christmas. Yes, he may be a tad spoiled.

Or maybe this week is more exhausting than it should be because each day after work/school I had a task. Monday I’ve explained. Tuesday I visited my parents. I love seeing them but there is a stress that is mounting that I believe is due to the quarantine. Wednesday I cleaned quickly before Roger’s play date came over. Today we had about an hour of school work to attend to after my job ended. Now Rob is getting last minute items and Roger is counting down the minutes until sundown – 5:21 pm central time – which is menorah time and, more importantly for him, gift time.

I am so looking forward to the real Friday being over and done (or at least the obligation part of it). Do I have big plans for the weekend? If you call getting sleep and being lazy big plans, then I’m living the high life!

Analyze this

Being who I am I love to analyze myself.  My analysis is mainly of who I am or what is occurring at the present time, near past, or close future.  If I do think of the distant past, it is mainly terrible memories – when something bad happened – with a few happy moments intertwined.

My older sister has moved in with my parents to be the caregiver of my mother since my mother is wheelchair bound.  Being around my sister, I start remembering the past more.  I am not recalling specific events but mainly feelings of the time.  I am putting together pieces that help me realize why I was so quiet, why I holed myself up in the room most of the time, why I did not seek my parents help for most of my issues.  I was seen as the good child who didn’t need help.  I probably could have used more direction in life.  However, I turned out alright.

The more the family unit of my mom, dad, sister, and I are together the more I feel the past.  It is amazing.  It is not sad or happy.  It is just awareness and my eyes are wide open.

Communication

Let me preface this post by saying the past few days I have been in a horrendous mood.  I think it was missing my normal bedtime Friday night and not drinking enough water both Friday and Saturday.

Today I woke and made the mental decision not to stay in that mood.  I enjoyed the morning with my son and cups of coffee.  Then I woke my husband up and enjoyed a real heart to heart conversation.

We both had things on our mind (not about each other) but stuff clogging up our brains that needed to be vented.  It was as very nice conversation in which we both listened and understood the other completely.  I am so very lucky to have someone I can communicate so openly with.  Of course, at times, we don’t have such nice communication.  However, it’s so nice to be able to start this Sunday with such openness.

After our discussion, I enjoyed some “fat burning” yoga.  It is an old DVD I have used for YEARS.  I did this video on Thursday and was not able to do much.  Today I had a much better flow and better flexibility.  I am wondering if this morning opened me up to be able to do more.

I hope you all have at least one person you can be completely honest with and be completely yourself around.  It is so nice to be able to release all that fills my brain at times.

 

Post-workout Recovery

Despite my pride for finishing that hard-as-hell circuit training class on Monday, my body was not very happy with me.  When I decided to go back to working out and joined a gym after my surgery, I told my husband (and myself) that I would ease back into it.  That is what I had been doing with beginner’s Zumba and beginner’s Yoga, the exercise bike, and very little (due to lack of fitness) elliptical.  Monday’s workout was way too advanced.  It was not easing in but something I may hope to be able to do in a year’s time when I fully recover from ACDF.

Monday night I could already feel the pain beginning while trying to sleep.  By 4 am (my ‘wake-up and begin work’ time), literally every muscle in my body ached.  There were muscles that no matter how in shape I was I must never have worked out.  The most striking is whatever muscle is from the elbow to the wrist.  I have never exercised that muscle and I’m not sure I want to again!  My neck muscles, shoulder muscles, back muscles, stomach muscles, glutes, quads, inner thighs, calves all hurt like hell all day Tuesday.  I felt like crap and had to take a nap after work.  I still felt crummy when I woke up from the nap.

This morning my muscles tamed down a bit but definitely not enough to do any sort of exercise besides walking Roger to school and back.  Fortunately, I had a massage booked from a Groupon and that helped immensely.

Tomorrow I am going to attempt gentle yoga.  I know I can always go into child’s pose if need be.

* An aside:  I get an inspirational quote in my email daily.  Today’s rocked and I want to share it with everyone.
“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”
Mark Twain

Namaste

Misread

Last week, I signed up for an orientation class at the gym.  They have this large piece of equipment in the middle that is capable of numerous exercises but pretty difficult to decipher without training.  I received a confirmation email and kept it in my inbox.

This morning I look at the email again.  It states “Small Group Training”.  GULP.  Did I sign up for a circuit training class?!  I called the gym and explained that I am completely out of shape and, probably, unable to handle this type of class.  (Also, at 10 am tickets were going on sale for the Polyphonic Spree’s 17th Annual Extravaganza.  That was the time the class started).  The person who answered the phone reassured me that modifications would be given and to try it out.

Reluctantly, I went to the gym.  Thankfully, the first warm up the trainer put me and one other lady on was the treadmill.  I was able to walk and buy the concert tickets (Row C in the Middle Section!!!).  The following 40 minutes were treacherous.  I had ACDF surgery in July, so I had many modifications.  Even with the modifications, my body started dripping in sweat halfway through the class.  By the end of class, my legs were jelly.  We took a snapshot since this was the first class of its kind at the gym.

Tomorrow my body (especially my neck and back) will let me know if I can handle this class or if it’s too soon for me.  Either way, I am super proud of myself for not cancelling, not giving up half way through and not half-assing it.  I DID IT!

I’m back

I keep getting notifications on Facebook about how long it’s been since I’ve updated my page.  I update my page whenever I update my blog.  After much thought, I was contemplating stopping the blog altogether and posed that question on my page.  One individual said I should continue writing.  So, I decided to give it a go today and see where this takes me.

As I was setting up my computer to start this, my eight year old son comes up to sing me a song he had just written.  It included guitar solos.  After his private performance to me, he asked if I could take a video.  The song was over eight minutes long.  He is now in the process of writing a shorter song for me to video.  Earlier today, he was drawing evolutions of his own Pokémon.  He has so much creativity and motivation!  Of course, in my mind, I compared it to my lack of creativity and motivation.

The end of last week I decided to create a inspiration/vision board.  At first, my goal of the board was to promote weight loss/fitness and positivity.  As I added things, I realized other aspects of me I wanted to shine again:  being excited, being imaginative, remembering to give myself some breaks.  I had put it off for some time but had an opportunity to work on it when my husband took my son to the movies.  For about an hour and a half, I focused completely on the board (along with the background music of Hank von Hell’s solo album).  I was embarrassed to tell my husband what I was making because I knew he would find it silly. I found it kind of silly before I actually created it. The pic is cut-off in parts, but you get the gist:  vision board.

I’m off to listen to the new song and enjoy my day with my son.

 

Stress

Stress has been eating away at me this week.  I wrote a quick list of my stressors hoping it help with my stress level.  Yeah, no.

Currently, like many folks, a big stressor is financially-based.  We have had some health issues this year and even with medical and dental insurance we are spending oodles.  On top of that, we need a new fence.  The wrought iron fence that was here when we bought the house is incredibly rusted.  In some areas, you can push your finger through the rusted areas and disconnect the fence.  We have put down half the money and just waiting for our place in line.  A fence around an entire property that is not shared with neighbors is a huge expense.  Both of our neighbors are fence-less.  This morning our downstairs TV died and our dogs both getting a badly-needed grooming.  On top of that the pile of expenses add the amount it cost us to put my niece and her son up at a hotel for a week.  The money is all going out before it has a chance to come in.

My next stressor is my life schedule.  I love having a scheduled routine.  I love putting my plans down on calendars.  However, I do not like the back-to-back-to-back schedule that I will be facing in October (and probably through the end of the year).  Rob is having two procedures in October and, possibly, a third in December.  Besides the procedure dates, there will be post-op appointments.  In addition, I still have my post-op and x-ray appointments.  On top of that add Roger’s appointments at the orthodontist for an expander.  I just realized that we all need our flu shots too.  And, of course, we have Roger’s weekly OT, Swimming, Baseball, and Tutor.  He also has nightly homework that I need to help with.  I also signed up to be Room Mom Helper and trying to fit in volunteering at the school.  Finally, I have my full-time work schedule.  Just typing that all out stresses me out AND exhausts me!

My third stressor I listed under the category of FOOD.  Then, I decided to add a slash and put weight loss.  That reminds me that I am also trying to keep exercise and house cleaning in my schedule, as well as preparing dinner (Rob is usually the cook).  As my blog stated yesterday, food/eating has been a life-long stressor since I was called “tub of lard” in elementary school.  Kids are wonderful, eh?

My fourth stressor is work.  Work has been overwhelming lately.  I love my job and my colleagues.  I actually prefer when there are projects that are due.  However, returning a few weeks ago from my medical leave, I still have have back pain on and off.  My supervisor would understand my need for breaks still.  BUT I feel obligated to get the work done quickly and accurately.  That is just my thing.  I guess work is not the stressor but my expectation of myself at work.  This morning I woke with terrible pain between the shoulder blades.  This is an area that is known to flare up post-ACDF surgery.  I need to be kinder to myself re: work (and life).

I usually don’t unload as much as I did today.  My little sheet of paper lettered A-D with subheadings was just not doing the trick.  I am hoping getting this all out of me will release a teeny bit of the stress.  Re-reading this blog, I guess my only true stressor is my EXPECTATION of myself.