Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolution - Not what I expected!

I wanted to start a blog to document my path towards spiritual, mental and physical health. However here is what I’ve learned – when you are hurting so bad you can’t move or you are so sick from an accidental gluten slip up that causes a full blown Celiac attack you just do not feel like getting on the computer to write about it. However I just do not want to give up on this. I feel like it’s important to use this to think my way through my journey. I also feel like it’s important to share my journey if it would help just one person – even if it doesn’t cure them or help them but just lets them know that they are not alone in this world. If I can accomplish those two things then I feel like this would be worth every thought, every word typed – every time I put myself out there.
The recap is this – I hurt like heck almost every day. The few days I don’t hurt I end up having stomach problems or some other ailment like the flu or a cold or the last one – a sinus infection that just wouldn’t go away (like 5 weeks wouldn’t go away). Then there is the rare day that I have a few hours with nothing – no pain, no ailments, no celiac attacks – nothing. Those are blissful moments that I often forget to savor because I’m too busy wishing that I would have more moments like this, or wishing I wouldn’t hurt at all, or whatever the latest wish may be.
Now here it is December 31st and everyone is talking about their New Year’s resolution. So I run through the usual ones in my head – lose weight, eat better, work harder, spend more time with my family, etc. All of these have been running around in my head all day – so I walked outside to enjoy this lovely view from this cabin I am in until Jan 2nd. That is when it hit me. I started thinking about all the things I’ve wished for. I am always wishing I could move to North Carolina. I was pretty sure if I could get up here my life would be complete and things would just fall into place. However here I am looking out on everything I’ve ever wished for and yet I hurt so bad I can hardly move. Seems North Carolina didn’t fix that. I am still having to watch my diet so that gluten doesn’t sneak in and cause me to be miserable for a few days. All the answers to the world and life haven’t magically appeared to me here in this gorgeous state.
I am still thinking about all of the other things I have wished for. To lose weight, to have more time, to not have Celiac, to be more spiritual and on and on and on. What I have done is spent a lot of time wishing for things that just are not going to happen and even if some of them did – it just won’t change the fact that my life isn’t perfect, that I have AS and Celiac. It doesn’t change anything except for the fact that I am wishing my life away.
So my New Year’s Resolution is this – I am going to be happy with the here and now. I am going to enjoy every minute of the time and place God has given me. I am not going to wish I could move to a different state, that I had a different body or that this hadn’t happened to me. I am going to learn to live in this moment and do what I need to do to take of myself each and every day. I don’t want to look back and only see wishes – I want to see a life.
I can only hope that whatever New Year’s Resolution YOU chose is something that will change who you are to the core of your being – like mine did.
Happy New Year and I wish many blessing to each and every one of you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's been a while

I know it's been a while since I posted and well it's still going to be a bit longer - today I am just posting this letter to lighten the mood - tell you I will be back and well to wish everyone a happy holiday!

Dear chicken company - please note that my generation does NOT require the gibblets to be left in the chicken. It's gross enough I have to touch the chicken at all but to have to dig around their body cavity for 20 minutes trying to loosen their insides feels a little too much like surgery to me.

Personally I am a bit squeamish when it comes to that. So if you would be kind enough to stick those in a separate package and sell them for 2.50 in the same freezer section just in case my mother or grandmother feels the urge to torture me again by making me eat them I would greatly appreciate it.

I mean seriously - I am helping you make an extra buck and it will help me NOT pass out when trying to fix dinner for my loving family. 

Sincerely - Gross - I mean really GROSS!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back to the Basics

Good morning everyone.  I am writing to you again to say that I am having to go back to the basics.  It seems that becoming healthy is not going to be an easy path for me.  As I told you before I went to the GI doctor and he gave me a medicine that seemed to have helped.  Well it did help but not for everything.  No more all day nausea and no more pain but the weekly stomach aches are still here.  So this week at the insistence of my loving husband (and when I say insistence I mean verbal reminders, email reminders and then as a last ditch effort yesterday two reminders that popped up on my phone!) I once again called my GI doctor. 

The GI doctor agrees something is still wrong and gives me another medication to try along with the first one.  Now let me tell you I am starting up quite a collection of medications.  I am up to 5 pills in the morning and 3 pills at night - fun stuff everyone!  So I picked it up yesterday and started taking it last night.  The doctor also asked that I keep track of what I eat to see if we can pinpoint what causes this.  He explained that if I do not figure this out or if the pills do not work then I get the joy of swallowing modern technology so that they can see my insides from the top down.  Really cutting edge stuff if you think about it but still I am finding it a little weird that I have to swallow a camera!

Now I know I just started it but by 10pm my stomach was killing me and I was so nausea it made me feel like the room was spinning (heck maybe it was)!  I put a patch on (oh those are the patches they gave me for nerve pain in my side after they took out my gallbladder).  It cuts the burning pain down on my side when my stomach starts hurting like that.  With that and some cuddling with the hubby I was able to fall asleep.  However every time I rolled on my side or stomach I woke up.  A restful night it was not.

Needless to say when I got up this morning it was with the thought - something has to give on this!  I am so sick of being sick (if I may be so clique)!  Now comes my bright idea for the day :)

I figured if my doctor wants me to track what I am eating I may as well do it right.  My bright idea is that I am starting all over - going back to the basics if you will.  I am going to start with fruit.  I will only eat fruit for a day or two.  If I can get my stomach to quit hurting while eating fruit then I will add that to the list of "hey I can eat that!".  If not I will eliminate it from my diet and start with vegetables and see if my stomach improves on that.  Once I find what I can eat I will only eat that for a few days to give my poor stomach a break.  Then I am going to slowly add foods one at a time to the diet and document if I am able to tolerate them or not.

Honestly at this point I do not know what else to do.  I am just so tired of not feeling well.  As sad as it is my only goal right now is to go a week without feeling bad.  Just a week - not a month not a year - ONE WEEK!

I can only hope that my journey is going to help someone out there who is also trying to heal themselves spiritually, physically and emotionally.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is God first in YOUR life?

So it's 2am and I am up.  I do this alot.  I am up when people sleep and sleep when people are up.  It's getting to be a horrible habit.  When I am up like this I think of my mom.  She used to be up alot too and sleep during the day.  I used to get frustrated for her sleeping so much.... now well now I know why she did it and I wish I could talk to her and say I am sorry for getting so mad at her.  But I can't so I do everything else.

 I have read half a book, caught up on my emails and been playing bejeweled for over an hour!  Mostly though I've been thinking about where God is in my life right now.  No I don't mean questioning if he's here or not but just thinking where I put him.  First, second....maybe even last.  I keep thinking that life is getting to be like bejeweled (I know a sign of a true addict) however it fits for this.

I am playing this game that only gives  you one minute to find the patterns and score high.  It goes fast and you are trying to find the patterns the right ones to move all before TIMES UP comes on your screen.  I begin to wonder am I missing something - did I pick the wrong one - why are others doing better at this than me. 

Then it hits me - this is my life.  It's going by so fast and I am just moving things around and working as fast as I can to get things done and BOOM TIMES UP!  Maybe that's what is wrong I am the one who is doing all the moving around - looking for the right path - you know just like in the game.  So I have to ask myself is God first in my life.  Well... I want  him to be, I mean him to be, but I guess the truth is no.

So the true questions is how do I change that?  See I can't do this alone (oh don't get me wrong I have a wonderful family who is always there to help) but ultimately if God is not first then you are doing it alone - don't kid yourself.  So how do I put God first?  Do I read my bible first thing in the morning?  Do I pray before every decision?  I do read the bible, I pray heck I pray alot!  So how come I do not feel like HE is first in my life?

I wish after several hours of comtemplating I could say I've figured it out... but I haven't.  I am still trying to figure it out. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Health from start to finish

So let's be honest here - I thought I'd just jump on the health bandwagon and viola I'd be on my way.  Apparently that is NOT how this works!  Since I last wrote I have been getting better, getting sick, getting worse and now we are back to getting better.

I just went to see my GI doctor this week and found out that my system is just not adapting to having my gallbladder out!  Well there's a thought - my body not following the rules!  To better understand this let me go back and catch you up.

I went on the pain free diet my arthritis doctor put me on.  It was tough to get used to but I did it!  I started eating better and watched my pain level drop tremendously!  Then about two weeks ago I started getting sick again.  I originally thought I had that stomach flu being passed around and waited it out a few days.  When I realized it was getting worse not better I went to see my regular doctor.  She put me on some antibotics and medicine for a possible ulcer. 

An ulcer?  What?  Well it wasn't a shock to me. I have been working obscene hours, not sleeping and worried about EVERYTHING!  So an ulcer made sense to me.  I decided to be a good girl and actually take the medicine this time - hey there is a first for everything!  After a week of medicine and no improvement I decided to go see my GI doctor on Monday.

First let me tell you.  I absolutely LOVE my GI doctor!  He is fabulous!  My son calls him the GI Whisperer!  So I go in - lay out the symptoms, tell him I am hardly eating and have lost 15 pounds.  He says I think your body is not adjusting to your gallbladder surgery.  He starts me out on an acid neutrilizer and then will eventually put me on another medication to help my body deal with the bile being dumped into my stomach.  I know - GROSS!  But hey I am just calling it like he says it :)

So I took the medicine and saw immediate response.  So now I have to try to get back on track health wise and back on my pain free diet.  Not easy since I went back to sweet tea and ice cream to get through the last two weeks! 

Now this seems pretty easy right - just get back to it - you did it once it should be easy to do again.  Well here is the issue - mmmmm I AM STARVING PEOPLE!  Two weeks of not eating!  Are you kidding me I want to go eat EVERYTHING in sight right now. 

Well it's 3am - not a good sign but hey it is what it is.  I am going to start back on eating right today.  Wish me luck and pray I don't eat the frigerator contents before the family wakes up!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A week of being healthy - ends sickly

So for the most part I followed my diet.  I didn't eat red meat or pork.  I am now drinking unsweet tea (God what kind of southerner have I become!) and eat more veggies than ever before.  I lost a little weight and yes my pain level has gone down just like the doctor's book promised. 

However I had a celiac episode on Saturday.  I picked up take out for my husband and I on Friday night.  I ordered a chicken salad for me (at a trusted gluten free restaurant).  I know I am not suppose to eat any meat for the first two weeks but the book did say if you couldn't resist to at least stick with chicken - I did not fail too miserably on that!  Apparently though I ran into some cross contamination.  By morning I was doubled over in pain with tear streaming down my face.  Not very great timing however (because I had just brought my son home at 3am and at 6am the house was quiet for once).  My husband lay awake with me holding me in his arms.  It would have been one of those moments you look back on later in life and smiled about.  However about 10 minutes into our storybook moment I started having stomach pains.  Within 15 minutes I was doubled over and crying.  Here's a tip for you Celiac's out there that get these stomach pains - a heat pad dulls the pain down a bit.  What did I do but wrap the heating pad around my stomach sighing that my moment had been broken by this disease I live with. 

Let me digress a bit and say - I know what I have is not as bad as others out there have.  I am at risk for diseases such as stomach cancers and others that are not so pleasant however on a daily basis this disease has just made me change my lifestyle.  Know this though, even though I always remind myself it could be worse, Celiac changes who you are and your family around you.  There is a constant stress of cross contamination.  My husband and child are always on guard as am I.  There is no relaxing when it comes to this and there are days it is tiring.  There are also days like Saturday morning when it's a darn inconvenience! 

Anyhow let me step off my soap box and continue my journal of this week. I spent all of Saturday morning and most of the afternoon in pain and sick.  I did get to sleep a little which made this a bit bearable to deal with. By Saturday night I was feeling better but plain wore out.  Exhaustion always comes after a battle with Celiac as well as only sleeping from 3am to 6am the night before!  So I curled up with my husband a little after 9pm and crashed.

This morning I woke up feeling like my head was going to split in two, my throat was going to crack from being dry and in pain and well I'd just say "stuffy nose" doesn't even cover how congested I was today!  I am trying to figure out how I got sick.  My kid has been kicking a virus for over a week yet I've managed to stay well through it all.  Something I always strive for since it takes me twice as long to heal as everyone else (something else Celiac has gifted me with).  However the day he is finally feeling great I am down and out (mmm maybe the little bugger snuck in and passed to me when I wasn't on guard).  That meant today was a day of being on the couch and feeling miserable.

Now it's almost midnight.  I feel better except for my stomach is hurting again though this time I think it's from an upset stomach not Celiac.  The pain is too "normal" to be Celiac!  I figured now would be a great time to update everyone about my journey.

I did managed to stay on my diet for the most part all week and all weekend.  Kudos to me for getting that win.  Yes even though I failed from time to time I call it a win. You have to take the wins where you can get them.  However do I feel tremendously more healthy - heck no.  Do I feel like this is going to lead to health, no pain, and all of that.  No not at this time.

I do know that I have only taken a few steps in my journey and that I have a long road ahead of me.  So I will try to find sleep tonight and then take another step tomorrow!

Where is yoru path leading you today - where will you let it take you tomorrow and what will your win be?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Preliminary is NOT looking Good

I  just want to say if this is any indication of how this is going to go I should probably stop now!  My plan was to start on Sunday (isn't that what everyone does - pick a day to start)!  Then my pain levels shot up and I told my husband - I have to start this now I cannot be in pain any longer. Let me stop here and say never EVER start a diet without a plan and without the food to back up the plan!!! Okay I am sure at this point most of you are nodding your head and saying "duh" but hey a girl can make a mistake right!?

So back to my down fall...being the great husband he is, he fixes me a salad for dinner last night.  I eat it begrudgingly. Just so you know when I say begrudgingly I mean complaining and whining the whole time I am eating it all the while him telling me I eat this salad all the time and the only difference is there is no lunch meat in this one.  Let me tell you the lunch meat makes ALL the difference!  All in all I think I did pretty good last night.  No sweet tea, no junk and no meat. 

Then I woke up this morning thinking what does one eat for breakfast that has no sugar and no meat in it.  So I came up with a boost (I am sure that has sugar but I tend to come down sick if I skip them) and a banana.  Not a bad start at all.  Then around 10:00 I am STARVING!  So I opt for some cheese.  Now here it is at 12:30 and I am STARVING again!  So I look and look for something to eat. 

Here is my downfall ladies and gentleman....  I decide a veggie made pizza on gluten free crust is the perfect thing!  I mean yeah the sauce probably has sugar and I don't think I am suppose to be eating anything white (okay I know I am not but come on I am hungry!).   So my compromise was a gluten free veggie pizza with water (instead of sweet tea)!  There I think that's fair.

Okay so not a great start to a good idea.  What do I do from here.  Lick my fingers clean of pizza sauce and try again.  Oh and maybe I should get the plan and food in place too!  mmm something to think about!

Wish me luck (next time) and I hope you are having luck with your journey to get healthy!

God Bless (and Lord please keep the pizza away from me)!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Healthy in Body, Heart and Soul - the beginning

So let's start with my health.  I was diagnosed with Celiac in March of 2008. Recently I was diagnosed with AS (ankylosis spondylitis) as well. Before all of this I was told I have disc degenerative disease and poly arthritis. I have had countless surgeries in the past to include a hysterectomy and gallbladder surgery.  Medically I am a mess!

Physically I am a mess too.  I have gained way too much weight and I would love to say it's because I have all these medical reasons but reality is I've let myself get to where I am.  I know weigh at least 80lbs over what I should.  I tend to say well let me eat this and then I won't do it again and I'll get back on track or well I am really stressed out and need this food right now.  I have all sorts of excuses (running of your own- give me a call)!

Mentally - well I am tired.  I am stressed about daily life things (like everyone else), I still have my childhood "wrongs" to deal with (though I think I've dealt with most of them some keep popping up), I miss my mom who died when I was 17 and well - let's just say mentally I could use some pick me ups here!

So what does that leave - oh yea my soul.  That seems pretty important - so with all of this going on I want to continue my spiritual journey as well.  Where am I headed?  Well hopefully on God's path - but I guess we'll have to see.

So, on Monday after running some errands I was driving home thinking about my weekend.  Plain and simple it was tough.  I hurt so bad and felt very helpless about it all.  I ended up staying up until 2am last night and during that time I did a lot of thinking.  I thought about how I got to where I am, I thought about my past and all the pain and suffering I endured and I thought about why I wasn't moving forward to being healthy now in all parts of my life.

So the solution - I am going to blog my way to a healthy body, heart and soul!  I figured if I had to write it down and be accountable I'd be more than willing to follow through with it.  Truth be told - I am just tired of the pain, the weight, the emotional roller coaster, the diseases, the mental issues, and feeling lost spiritually - well I guess EVERYTHING and like my husband says "if you don't like it then fix it".

So I start my journey with a plan (well sorta).  I am going to start on my health first.  So I am reading up on a book by my doctor called "Diet for a pain free life".  I think I am going to start there.  From there who knows but at least I have a starting point!

So come along on my journey with me - let me know your thoughts, what you are going through and anything else you want to tell me about!  I look forward to moving well forward :)

God Bless!