I Feel a Migraine Coming

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Those of you who get migraines know exactly what it means to feel one coming. While I know everyone is different, for me it starts with trails of light as I move my eyes. I don’t have the pain at this point, but I know it’s coming.

While we’ve had a little reprieve from the freezing cold weekend, we are getting a little bit of snow tonight and a lot more is coming our way on Saturday. While I can definitely relate my migraines to hormonal changes (period week is hell), I find that the pressure with storms really affects me.

The more I read about and talk to people with fibromyalgia, migraines are a common thread for many of us. While my fibro and rheumatoid arthritis cause me a lot of pain, nothing compares to a migraine. When it’s bad, I can’t function at all. I’m useless as a mom, editor, parent advocate, etc. Just plain useless.

I’m hoping to head this migraine off by taking some Excedrin. I don’t want to pull out the Maxalt just yet. I’m like a crazy person. I feel like I have to hoard those for horrific migraine days. I didn’t take Melatonin earlier tonight because I thought I’d be exhausted. I was up late editing last night, and I worked a full day at the office today. That means no time for a quick nap or a cuddle with my cats.

One new thing I’ve been trying is essential oils. I know there are a lot of great companies out there, but since I have no idea what I need or want, I bought a sample pack on Amazon. No idea even what brand they are, but I love them. I use the peppermint when I have a headache coming on, lemongrass just makes me feel happy, lavender to help sleep, and then there are a few others. I only bring this up because of the migraine issue. If you haven’t tried peppermint oil, it’s worth a shot.

While it doesn’t take the place of medication (sorry, I wish I could say it did), I do feel a noticeable difference when I put it on my temples. A friend just told me about a certain blend that is good for fibro. I’ll report back on that if I buy it. It’s from doTerra, which is supposed to have wonderful products, but they are pricey.

Why I’m a Crab Today

I think I’m crabby because even though it wasn’t a bad day, I just don’t feel great. I hate to complain when I know I have days where my pain level is far worse, but it’s exhausting just not feeling great. I can’t remember the last time I woke up and felt refreshed by a good night’s sleep. Heck, even on a great Ambien night of sleep I still wake up exhausted.

Maybe BLAH is a better word. I’m blah because I haven’t had a day without a freakin ache in so long. I’ve been under my heated blanket since 5:30pm and my fingers are still like icicles (thanks Raynaud’s). So there, that’s tonight’s post. I’m blah and I hate it.

Tomorrow begin my weight loss journey with Ideal Shape. I don’t want to bore anyone, but I feel like if I hold myself accountable on the blog, maybe I won’t eat a bag of cookies or chocolates. I’m actually excited even though I technically started smaller portions and cleaner eating on Monday (we are going to ignore the Pepperidge Farm cookies I scarfed down when I got home from work).

Worst case scenario, tomorrow night I’ll be reporting back that the shakes were horrid. Best case, I’ll like them and feel full between the shakes, snacks, and drinking way more water than usual. They want you to take your weight and divide it in half, and that is the amount of water you should be drinking each day.

Hopefully, I can do that! We’ll see. I just want this extra weight off in time for summer.

Oh and to finish up, I was invited by the women who work at the pediatrician’s office to see 50 Shades of Grey. What the hell was I thinking when I said yes. I didn’t even make it a quarter of the way through the book…they lost me at “butt plug” and the whole contract thing. I know I said I was making an effort to be more social, and they are all super nice, but dear lord…I wasn’t planning on seeing that one. Should be interesting. I’m either going to cancel for fear of not knowing anyone, or pop a half a Xanax and force myself to go!

Before I admit that the half an Ambien is kicking in, I just wanted to say hello and thank you for all the new blog followers. Thank you Goddess Simmons Drew for sharing the blog on your FB group. Connecting with people that understand what it’s like to have an autoimmune disease and the crazy roller coaster it is, has made a world of difference to me. We’re not alone.

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Too Busy to Blog???

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I really don’t have a great excuse as to why I haven’t written a blog lately. I’ve been really busy in the evenings doing a few editing projects. I also have been feeling like crap. Yesterday my vision started getting blurry during my session with my tutoring client and that turned into a really horrific migraine.

In all my stupidity, I didn’t want to cancel bringing my daughters to a Christmas dance shown that is put on by the company that they dance with. In some ways, I think they are shunned a bit for not doing the company Christmas show, and instead auditioning for the Nutcracker, which is a huge production that includes dancers from all the surrounding towns and into New York.

We had promised some of the girls’ friends that we’d go, and I bought the tickets ahead of time. I napped as long as possible prior to the show and off we went. It was a very nice show–more like a variety show, with singing and dancing. I made it through the first act okay, but during the second act I was counting songs from the program and estimating the time before I could go home and take a stronger medicine.

I drove home with one eye open and when I got back I took a Maxalt, which is something I only take in extreme cases. It’s just super expensive, like $100 for four pills, so I use them sparingly, but dear lord, last night I needed one. I went to bed with ice packs on my neck and over my eyes.

Luckily, I woke up and the headache was gone. I had plans to do some shopping today, and that went south when I hit a park in a department store parking lot. It was a little fender bender. My car has a scratch on the bumper and the man’s car had a small dent. You know that feeling right after an accident. That crunch sound and the “oh my god, this is going to  be a fortune feeling.” I had that. The man was an older war veteran and he could not have been nicer. He wanted to make sure my girls were okay, etc. We were all fine, and that’s what I tried to focus on. You can always replace a car, not the people in it.

After that happened, I lost interest in going to Kohls. I decided to shop online. I actually got a lot accomplished tonight. My biggest issue #1 is that my youngest daughter wants the Lalaloopy Diaper Surprise doll. Don’t know it? Oh it’s this doll that you give a bottle too, and she POOPS charms. You read that correctly. She poops out charms for a bracelet. I’ve tried to talk her out of it, but it was at the top of her list.

Feel free to have a laugh and check out the commercial for it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXexeL3IQbI

I have yet to decide what to do about that request. She has so many dolls on her list, I am going to have her narrow it down tomorrow. Another dilemma is that she wants the Baby Elsa and Baby Anna dolls from Frozen. Good luck finding those!

My second large issue is that my son wants a phone. Last year we told him if he made the honor roll, he could get one. That worked well. Then he lost it. He’s been without it for about 4 months. My argument is to replace the phone because I’m not spending $200 on an iPod Touch when he already has an older one and a Kindle Fire. My thought is, he is in middle school. The school has after school activities that he can just show up for. He could send me a text.

It’s no that I feel he 100% needs a phone. I just think the alternatives are all going to be only used until he gets a phone. I don’t know. He has just about saved up the money to replace the phone from chores and cat sitting for my parents. I just don’t want to get him a bunch of crap. I did find some fun things for him, but they are all fairly small. I got him a practice football jersey with our last name on it—he’s going to flip!

I also got him an indoor putting thing because he plays golf. There just isn’t that one main gift for him. I’ll figure it out. His dad doesn’t think he should get another phone, but I think people deserve a second chance. Plus that’s something he cares about it, so all I have to do is threaten to take it away, or take it away and have him think about the way he’s acting, etc.

My journey with my health is at a standstill. My step mother, who is a nurse, thinks I should go to NYC or to Yale for a second opinion on the thyroid issue. I’m going the no sugar route tomorrow. We’ll see how long I last, but my weight is a huge problem. It’s really depressing for me because I’ve always been super thin up until these last two years. I hate seeing myself in pictures or even a mirror. I look terrible.

My friend keeps pushing me to try one of those 30-day cleanses, but that sounds so overwhelming. There are four days in the month where you fast. You take a supplement and a full glass of water each hour for two days. I mean, people in her group are posting amazing results, but that is not an easy plan to follow.

Tomorrow I’m going to pretend like I’m back teaching step aerobics and do my thing downstairs. There is a fine line between working it and pushing it thought. I have crazy tech week for the Nutcracker. I can’t be out of commission with joint pain.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. I’d like to be down 10lbs by Christmas. Fingers crossed.

Arthritis Hands Suck and Other Musings

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Everyone is posting on Facebook with their pumpkin recipes, jack-o-lanterns, and fall-themed things. To me, fall means the start of cold weather and the start of increased pain. Today was the first day in a while that I spent in bed most of the day. I couldn’t get warm, even with my heated blanket. My hands were cold, stiff, and painful. And to top it off, my youngest daughter faked being sick (age 8) because she missed coming to the gym with me.

You know those times where you are in a lot of pain and just want to sleep and something is talking incessantly? Yep, that was my day. I got to watch youtube videos on how I need to do her makeup tomorrow for her Elsa costume. She talked and talked…and talked. Even though she was incredibly annoying today (and I say that with love), I love the age she’s as and her out-of-the-box thinking. I love her exuberance about everything. Even on days like this, I know I’m very blessed to have my kids. They are everything.

I just spent the last 20 minutes on Amazon shopping for heated gloves. Those suckers are expensive. I’m going to try and buy a set of those heat packs for gloves and see if that helps. I have to go to my son’s football game on Sunday and it’s going to be cold. I don’t want to miss it because it’s the first game that he’s a starting player. I know I have written a lot about my son, and that he’s just not the star athlete that he wants to be, but for him, this is a huge moment. The coaches noticed how hard he’s been working and playing and they shifted him to a starting player because of it.

Don’t ask what position he’s playing because I probably don’t know, but I have heard nose guard and some other kind of guard. Someday I’ll be a football mom and understand the game, but for now I’m just super proud of my son. I feel guilty without much to say about my middle daughter today. She is thrilled that I’m going to be the room mom at Nutcracker this weekend and that I can finally see her practice the Ginger Clown piece.

I feel like everything else I have to say tonight is more of a grumble on not feeling well. I’m trying to keep my head up for my appointment on Tuesday, but I have to be prepared for the “non-answer” and no solution. I just want a reason for getting this heavy. I’m not eating enough to be this fat. I never thought I’d be one of those people looking for the quick fix to lose weight, but at the moment, that’s me. It just sucks. I hope the endocrinologist will at least let me try metformin based on my symptoms. but I have no idea.

Tomorrow is a busy day and I can’t sleep (even with a half an ambien). I have to work with my tutoring client and then my daughter’s class has a large pumpkin carving event at school. The whole fourth grade participates and she’s so excited about it. Then we’re coming home and getting ready to go to a party at the neighbors for Halloween. It’s very casual, and then we’ll go trick-or-treating. I know it will be fun, but walking around in the cold doesn’t sound appealing at the moment. I’ll get in the spirit at some point during the day tomorrow.

I just wish I could get some sleep now so I can stay awake and have some energy for it. I’m off to try. Sleep well friends!

And Here We Go Down Another Path…PCOS

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Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome. Those are words I haven’t thought about for more than 12 years. When I was struggling to get and stay pregnant, I read every possible thing I could get my hands on trying to figure out what was going wrong, why I wasn’t getting pregnant, why I kept miscarrying, etc. With my degree in WedMD in hand, I marched into my brand new reproductive endocrinologist’s office and told him that I diagnosed myself with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I expected an argument. People with PCOS are overweight. I weighed 95 pounds. He spent some time reading my records, then looked at me and said, I agree with you, but I’d like to hear why you think so.

I went through all of my symptoms. I never had a regular period from the beginning. I’d go 6 or 8 months without getting one at all. I have always had issues with what I consider excessive hair. You know…those stray hairs on your chin or the female mustache. I get them on my chin all the time, and it’s the one thing that I can remember being made fun of in high school and I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I have darker patches of skin on my under arms, and of course highly cystic ovaries.

What I didn’t have was the obesity and the insulin resistance, but this doctor focused more on my ovaries than anything else. My ovaries never completed a cycle. Instead of maturing an egg and ovulating, my body would “overcook” it and it would turn into a cyst the size of an orange, or sometimes even a grapefruit before it would painfully burst. Once we realized this, and took the control of ovulation away from my body and instead induced it with a shot, I conceived on the first try with all three babies that I have.

So why am I telling you this? The endocrinologist today said he was going to redo the thyroid tests, but that 95% of the cases, the ones that I already had done would be accurate and diagnose hypothyroidism. Just in case, he is doing the Free T3 and Free T4 to see if I’m in that 5%. He also said the previous test that I did to see if my body was producing too much cortisol was basically useless. In order for the test to be accurate, I need to take some sort of steroid at 11pm the night before the blood test, and then fast before the test. That was not done before the last one.

On a separate day, he’s testing all my male hormones, or androgens. When we discussed my hair loss, he mumbled something about male pattern baldness and I almost cried. I think because it’s along the front? I have no idea, but that was not fun to hear. I go back in 3 weeks to discuss all of this testing. I wish I could say that I felt good right now. I feel like shit. I haven’t thought about my PCOS in a very long time and he mentioned that perhaps because I’m on such a very low dose birth control, it’s not suppressing the male hormones enough. He did say there were options and things to do if any of these tests come back showing a problem. That was the one silver lining of the appointment. It wasn’t left as, “well, you just need to eat less.”

He was a very nice doctor and did seem to listen that I really am doing everything I can. I’m going to work on cutting out excess sugar. I could never cut out fruit or stuff like that, but I don’t need to have a KitKat now and then or the Ferrero Rochers that I love. I think the more I have that stuff, the more I crave it. I just hope these tests give me some answers…any answers.

The other thing that’s bothering me today (other than feeling like crap about the way I look) is that this morning, after all three of my kids missed their buses, my husband snapped that all I do is lay in bed. At 7:45 in the morning, I’m not at my best. It really helps me to sit with my heating pad and allow my body time to loosen up. And frankly, I had about ten more minutes before I had to get into the shower and be at the gym. He can drive the girls to school. Who drives them to dance, football, and picks them up when they need to stay after school? Who runs to the store when they need more pencils or a dumbass poster board that they tell me about the night before a project is do? ME! So yes, you can get off your ass and drive them to school…so he did. Did I feel guilty? Nope! Not in the least. I stayed in bed for 5 more minutes then got in the shower.

So that’s my endocrinology update. It’s a different direction than I thought we were going. I don’t know if it’s a direction at all. I’m just feeling a little lost at the moment. Hoping to regroup by tomorrow. I’ll really somehow and study up on PCOS again.

Been Diagnosing Myself Again

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Usually I’m the first to admit that I spend way too much time on the Internet researching my illness, but in many cases I’ve been 100% correct. Case in point, my infertility years. I read every possible thing I could get my hands on about miscarriage and ovulation and medications to make you ovulate. I diagnosed myself with PCOS despite not being glucose intolerant and went into the reproductive endocrinologist to explain my diagnosis. He agreed with me. Why? Because I know what the hell I’m talking about!

So I starting writing a blog the other night after seeing my ALS Ice Bucket challenge video. I was very upset seeing myself on video. Do I look horrid? Well, no, but I don’t look like me! My face is so puffy and I’m way overweight. All I could think about was that everyone must be thinking–wow, she didn’t age well since high school. Should I care? No! Did I? Kind of! I don’t Photoshop my pictures to impress anyone. I’m a fairly simple girl. I just want my regular clothes to fit. That’s all!

So I started writing the blog and it got me thinking about my appointment this coming Tuesday with my rheumatologist and how I need to prepare. Overall, my pain level has been significantly better in the warmer weather. I’m going to discount the week in Disney when I completely overdid it and sent myself into a terrible flare (I will come back to that in a minute, though). My main concern is the exhaustion. Lately, I will go teach my Pilates class in the morning, and I can hardly keep my eyes open on the way home. I get home and sleep for 1-2 hours, and it’s not a light nap. It’s a deep sleep, so deep, in fact, that I don’t hear the phone.

It’s pretty much the same scenario if I run to the store. I need to rest afterward. This just isn’t normal and it is getting worse instead of better. Now I’m not naive enough to think my pain level is going to stay this way when it gets colder, and I want a plan in place to deal with the winter. I can’t do another winter med-free, or periodically using pain meds. It was awful. I also don’t want to use Lyrica or Cymbalta because of their side effects of weight gain.

Given that weight gain is a big concern for me, when they both have a side effect of severe weight gain, that’s not a road I want to go down. Now gabapentin had less side effects, but I got off course while looking that up and started reading more about thyroid issues and Hashimoto’s Disease. Now my thyroid levels were in the normal range, but I happen to exhibit every other symptom of hypothyroidism. Chronic hoarse throat/laryngitis, severe exhaustion, weight gain, hair loss, sensitivity to cold, joint and muscle pain, puffy face, muscle weakness…HELLO…This is me! Going back to my Disney trip when I ran my body ragged, as I started to feel the pain, I lost my voice…completely. I couldn’t do anything more than whisper for our last two days, and then I came home and slept for 3 days straight before getting and antibiotic that was called in for a sore throat/sinus infection.

Now I need to convince my doctor that there are different ranges of normal for TSH, T3, and T4. Hashimoto’s is actually an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid causing hypothyroidism. So then I thought, what if I don’t even have RA because I’m non-serum RA and what if my correct diagnosis is Hashimoto’s and fibromyalgia? No one is arguing an autoimmune disease. My ANA level is high. I’m sure my rheumy with do more blood work after our chat this Tuesday. I don’t actually think there will be much he can do for me, so in the art of working around him, I’m calling Monday to make an appointment with an endocrinologist.

I was feeling positive with this new direction and I figured, let me check with my aunt to see if she knows of any family history. I seemed to remember something about my grandmother taking thyroid medicine. Well, she just got back to me and as it turns out both my grandmother and my uncle (my mom’s brother) had/have hypothyroidism and my grandmother had all of the same symptoms I do. I don’t know why this made me cry. I read it after I pulled into my driveway and turned the car off and I sat there for a moment and cried.

Maybe it’s that connection. Maybe it’s that I could be on the right path to figuring out this awful autoimmune puzzle. I think I have my work cut out for me to get a doctor to treat me, even if I’m borderline, but I’m sure going to try! I will have to see how my bloodwork from this week comes out. Any recommendations on thyroid bloodwork? I’m not really on meds that would affect it. Should I go first thing in the morning? Also anyone with Hashimoto’s, please feel free to leave a comment letting me know some of your symptoms and if you were misdiagnosed in the beginning. There’s always the possibility that I have RA, Fibro, and Hashimoto’s…let’s not go there yet.

I’m focusing on the positive of having something to discuss with my rheumatologist and perhaps a new endocrinologist. I’m not stopping until I get some answers.

 

A Much Calmer Night

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Boy I was hell on wheels last night (see yesterday’s post). I do have a bit of a temper, but as I said last night, I’ve never lost my cool with this friend before. As a matter of fact, I can’t even think of many friends I’ve ever lost my cool in that way with. I mean, okay, there is the friend who told me I was stupid to start blogging–by the way he sent me a random text tonight about Caillou. It actually made me laugh, but I’m not buying into the game. When we were really good friends a few years ago my youngest daughter had a bit of an obsession with Caillou. For those of you fortunate enough not to know what the heck I’m talking about, Google it. He’s a bald, whiny little boy, that complains about everything. I can’t stand that kid. Apparently my ex-friend’s (LOL) daughter was watching the show on television this evening.

Anyway, he is really the only friend that I can think of that I got into fights with. I mean really arguments. No matter how angry I am, I don’t say mean things to hurt people, and unfortunately he can’t say the same. When I argued with my friend “Lilly” the other night I was harsh, but never mean. I didn’t call her names or use mean language, or say one thing that I regret saying. What I said, she needed to hear. Whether she took it in or not, I have no idea. My guess is no, but I gave it a shot.

Today was hectic again. I feel like I have so much to do before we leave on vacation and not enough hours to get it all done. I need to do some serious cleaning tomorrow and organize the kids’ bedrooms. Even if I can just get the kitchen, living room and bathrooms set, I will be happy.

My back and hip are still pretty stiff and nothing I’m doing is really helping. I go back to the rheumatologist the week after I return from Florida, but even with all my online research, I’m just so hesitant to start anything new. I’m not great, but I’m certainly not as bad as I was during the winter. I think if I’m going to break down and try something new it will be when I’m in desperate need. I know I’ve asked a lot of questions through this blog on Lyrica and Cymbalta. Those two drugs seem to be what are commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia. The side effects make me really nervous. First of all with so many people claiming a 30lb weight gain with Lyrica, I’m super hesitant to jump on that bandwagon. I already feel as big as a house.

With Cymbalta I read things like thoughts of suicide, and other side effects. I know they have to list every single thing every person noted, but I get nervous. Right now I’m still on the Flexeril 10mg at night, but I really don’t feel like it’s doing that much. Lots of people say they feel sleepy and relaxed. I feel nothing…seriously nothing. Sometimes I wonder why I take it, but I think overall it does reduce my migraines because my neck doesn’t get as tight.

The other thing the rheumatologist is going to bring up is doing those trigger point shots again. I’m going to give those a big thumbs down for me. The first time I thought they really helped. I’m not sure if he hit a nerve, or if that’s even possible, but beginning just two days after the shots I add a marathon three-week migraine and I would prefer not to relive that experience…ever. What I might do is ask to try a different muscle relaxer, not necessarily a stronger one but possibly a different kind. Any thoughts on this? Is anyone taking something for fibro that they actually feel is helping?

It’s really difficult because I feel like the fibro is affecting all my muscles and the RA affects my joints. The combination is just not fun. I know it could be so much worse, but I’m trying to think ahead for the winter months and have some sort of plan of action in case I have a really bad winter again this year. Any help is appreciated. I know different drugs work for different people, but I’m always interested to hear what people think is actually helping them to feel better. There are dozens of medications and I’ve taken so many that I just don’t think have done anything for me. It’s just not worth the risk if it’s not helping.

Then I’ll add into the mix my yearly ob/gyn appointment. I work myself up into a frenzy each and every year, but this year I’m already a wreck. My appointment isn’t until August 5th, but I’ve already decided that I have a cyst on my ovary and I’ve probably waited too long to deal with it, and it’s going to be cancer. After all, I’m 42 and my mom died at 43, and this has been my fear all along. I don’t know how to stop the irrational fear…at least I hope it’s irrational, but I can’t shake it this year. I have been having pain on one side, similar to the type of pain I get with a cyst (which is all too common for me and they are usually normal). The truth is, I’m just scared. This is going to sound like the most conceited thing ever, but my kids won’t make it without me. I think about what their life would be like with my in-laws calling the shots. They haven’t got a chance.

So I can’t die. For that reason alone…my kids need their mother…I can’t die. It’s going to be a stressful few weeks and I see a few Xanax in my future. We do what we need to do to get by. One day at a time.

Go Away Cold Rain

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It’s been a few days since my last blog. Mostly I’ve just been too tired and feeling stressed. I’ve started to write a blog once or twice but it just wasn’t flowing. I just have had a lot on my mind over the past few days, yet nothing huge. It’s just a lot of little stuff all at once. I have so many end of the school year things going of with my kids, and the weather has been cold and rainy, which makes it that much harder. Today was downright dreary and damp. I haven’t limped this bad in weeks. I am in quite a bit of pain in my hip and all the way down my leg.

I don’t think it’s supposed to warm up any time soon. Maybe over the weekend, but I’m not sure. It’s June and I’m still freezing and in pain. Something is wrong with this picture!  Anyway, I’ve been a bit down because my weight loss journey has been sucking. I’m losing about a pound a week. That just plain sucks. I’m going to try and step up the exercise, but it’s depressing when I’m hearing all these other people on MediFast losing 7lbs on the first week. I lost 3lbs. I just can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. I’m eating about 1,200 calories a day and I’m still not losing weight. I’m going to try to add in more cardio, even though it’s against what my “coach” advises, I’m kind of a rebel like that and I do my own thing anyway.

If I push myself to walk or do my elliptical everyday (or everyday that I’m not feeling like I can’t walk) then maybe I’ll see better results. It just stinks to not feel good about yourself. Overall, I will admit that I do feel better now that I upped my dose of Celexa back to the 20mg. I’m not snapping at everyone. I’m sure my family is happy. Heck, my daughters broke one of my kitchen chairs and I took it all in stride and even laughed it off the other day. I think I would have flipped out two weeks ago. I just feel better on the medication…even if it’s adding to some of my weight issue.

My kids are getting out of school next week and part of me is excited not to have to get up at 6:30 in the morning, and then the other part of me is dreading hearing that they are bored, and the bickering. We have a few things planned for the summer, some camp and one vacation, but I don’t like to over-plan. I really like to relax with the kids and plan things as we go. My son starts football in August and that’s four nights per week, so July is really our time to do whatever we want. I have broken it to them yet that they have two of them have reading for summer school. They aren’t going to be thrilled with that, but it’s something they need.

I wish I could explain the other reasons why I’ve been in a pissy mood. I’ve just been a big crab. I’m starting to see how school politics interferes with children getting much needed special education services. Many of the families that I’m working with have children who more than qualify for special education services, yet they are given the run around by schools and told bullshit reasons why their kids don’t qualify. If those parents don’t ask the right questions, they would believe these “professionals” and for someone like me, who is a huge believe in the benefits of early intervention, it can be devastating to a child to miss out on services during this crucial time. I’m slowly learning that it’s often not about the child or his/her needs. It’s about money, and that makes me very frustrated and angry.

Maybe it’s me and my rose colored glasses, but I’d like to still think that the schools want to help children with special needs. They are required to under the law. But it’s often political crap. It’s more frustrating though when it’s a little child losing out in a fight between grownups. It’s hard for me to watch, and has kind of made me reconsider my own path in work toward being an parent advocate. I started my first course…and wow, I haven’t been to school in a long time! And, I have never taken classes in law, so this is all new to me, but it’s online so I can watch the seminars over and over and do the papers when I have time. Slowly but surely, I might have a chance to get it.

There are so many kids that need help and so many parents that don’t know where to begin. I’ll be the advocate that is not making any money though, because I will be helping all the people that can’t afford an advocate in the first place. I’ll try and find one or two paying clients a month 🙂

Ok, well that’s it for my crabbing. I’m going to turn on my eating pad and go to bed.

 

Perhaps It’s Time To Up the Meds

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I tried. I tried to lower my Celexa in the hope that it would help me to lose weight. It’s been a month and you know what? I’m a bitch from hell! I’m snapping at everyone. I have so much anxiety and stress and I was starting to wonder what the hell was happening. Was I under THAT much more stress? Okay, my son has been going through a lot and it has caused me to want to get on his bus and pummel someone…but I haven’t actually done it. I think it’s more the fear and worries I have for him that are affecting my life and causing me to be…well, neurotic.

Today I was actually thinking about moving out of my town because I hate the people involved in all the sports and I hate that I feel like my son doesn’t really fit in. I’m not moving. I’m not losing it, but I did decide that I felt better on the higher dose of Celexa. The tiny dose of 10mg that I was on wasn’t cutting it. I felt better on 20mg and it’s not a failure. Yes, I’m telling myself that as much as I’m telling you.

I accept that I just feel better on the 20mg. I might even go as far to say I’m a nicer person, maybe even a nicer mom. I’ve been snapping at my kids and I don’t like that. I just feel like I’m on the verge of tears or a breakdown a lot of the time, but it never actually comes to that. I’m getting upset about stupid things. So, I started back on the 20mg tonight, and I’ll call my doctor tomorrow to tell her. It’s the right decision for me, even if it hinders the weight loss a bit.

Today was a decent day in terms of my RA. I was able to get out for a three mile walk for the first time in a really long time. It was really beautiful here and I just needed to get out of the house after a disastrous playoff baseball game (we lost) and a hellish 5-year-old birthday party for my nephew that was really loud. I took some me-time and went for a walk. It was a beautiful, sunny day and it really felt good. I have a feeling I will be achy from it tomorrow, but it was worth it.

I’m going to see how I feel and maybe try to do half of that walk tomorrow. It’s fairly flat, so it’s not as difficult as my regular walk. It’s not as hard on my joints though, because it doesn’t have the steep hills. If I feel okay, I’m going to try to get out there again. I think it did my mind good, as well as my body.

My hands are a bit swollen this evening, which is odd. I’m not sure if the walk started something or whatnot, but it’s not horrid. Just enough to be a little annoying. I’m going to take an anti-inflammatory before I go to bed and hope for the best. I’m watching the Western Conference Hockey finals. I am hoping the Chicago Blackhawks win, but only for a friend of mine, not because it really matters to me. It only matters that the Rangers win. Playoff hockey is so much more interesting to watch.

I have a busy week ahead and I am going to work on not being so cranky. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

Losing My Voice and Possibly My Mind

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I don’t think I’m getting sick. I mean I don’t feel like I’m sick. I feel like I’m getting an RA or fibro flare. I can’t really tell the difference with the exception the I think my RA flare tend to affect my hips and hands more and my fibro flares I feel more through my shoulders and muscles. Either way I start to feel rundown and achy. I’m not sure with the scratchy voice comes into the mix. i don’t have a sore throat so it could just be allergies, but I’m sounding a bit like Bonnie Tyler (and all the early twenty-somethings are asking who??).

I got to sleep in today, which was nice. I went out with some friends last night to play Bunco and had a few drinks for the first time in almost a year. I am not a drinker, mostly because I don’t like the taste of alcohol, but also because wine gives me migraines. The friend hosting Bunco made this fruity concoction with Limoncello and something else with strawberries and raspberries and it tasted like fruity lemonade. After three glasses I was very thankful I wasn’t driving, even if it was less than a mile down the road.

I truly needed the night out after this long week. I am finding myself so angry at people, and now I’m at a point where I’m questioning if lowering my Celexa was the right decision. I’m not going to say I haven’t had a lot on my plate. If you’ve been reading this blog you know I had a whole lot to deal with my son’s IEP and his school, and now there’s some bullying issues, which turned a whole lot worse when I heard a few things that have been happening on the bus, and trying to make ends meet is a constant struggle. Like every other parent in the world, I’m crazy running around from one activity to another, trying to squeeze in homework, dinner, haircuts, projects, etc. There are only so many hours in a day, and as much as I hate to admit it I’m not Super Mom. Add to that the fact that I’m a mom with an autoimmune disease that doesn’t know how she’s going to feel from one day to the next and go ahead and try and plan a week.

It’s not easy. But we do it! We make the best of it. I know I’m not the only one. I’ve heard from many of you through this blog, and honestly, that keeps me going. It helps more than you know to hear that other people are doing this, too. Of course, I’m not thrilled to hear others are struggling, but you get the idea.

About a month ago, my doctor lowered my Celexa in an effort to see if that was causing some of the weight gain. I’m only on 10mg, and I believe the average dose is 40mg. I was only on 40mg for about 6 months, then I went back to 20mg. I’m not sure it had anything at all to do with my weight, but I do see myself snapping a lot more now that it’s lowered. I think I handled stress and anxiety better at the 20mg. It’s something I need to think about and call my doctor about this week as I need a refill. I think a lot will depend on the scale on Tuesday. Of course, I’m sure the snacking and three drinks blew the diet again last night, but I was very good again today.

I am hopeful that tomorrow and Monday I can get out for a walk. Today brought back those painful pins and needles in my feet. It’s been a little while since I have had them. I was sitting at my son’s baseball game, which they bombed by the way, and my daughter wanted to run to the car to get a water and I couldn’t even go with her. I don’t think I can ever get used to that feeling. It’s like sharp little needles jabbing into the bottom of my feet. Not fun!

The rest of the day was just status quo. No real excitement other than grocery shopping and spending some time with my girls. Tomorrow is my son’s first playoff game so if you could send a few positive vibes his way for a spectacular hit, that would be awesome. The team is having a two game slump, and they need to make a comeback. I’m worried about tomorrow. Then again, when don’t I worry!

Still Crabby…And Afraid of My Scale

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You read that correctly! I’m afraid of my scale. Tomorrow is the big day. I’ve spent one full week on Take Shape for Life/MediFast and the last time I stepped on the scale was last Tuesday morning. Technically, I started the diet a week ago today, but I forgot to weight myself that morning and ended up weighing myself on Tuesday.

So tomorrow morning, first thing, I need to get on the scale. Oh it’s going to suck. Why? Because I’m not sure how I did. I stuck to the plan. I didn’t even mind the plan (with the exception of the god-awful mac & cheese). I’ve enjoyed the foods, and I don’t feel hungry. In terms of being easy to do, it’s working for me, but tomorrow will tell if it’s working for me in terms of the pounds, and that’s what really matters.

I will get discouraged if I only lost one pound, or if heaven forbid, I gained weight. I truly didn’t stray from the plan with the exception of one Chips Ahoy cookie this weekend. It was staring me down on the kitchen table and I caved. It was one. I ate it, and moved on!

I told my coach today, it’s almost easier not knowing how much I lost because I feel like if I didn’t lose a lot of enough, I’ll lose my motivation. Part of the problem is that with this plan they don’t want to you do heavy exercise for the first few weeks because of the reduces calorie diet. On the days I teach classes, my coach has me eating extra servings of protein and calories to compensate for what I’m burning off in class. So there you have it, I’m scared.

So to sum up today’s two blogs, I’m depressed and scared. Pretty darn good day, huh! I snapped out of the depression a bit. My daughter came home and apologized for our argument and told me how much she loved me. We had a good took about her fears about singing and decided that we’d talk to her voice coach about some strategies to help with her nerves.

My son is lucky he survived the day after he took a Sharpie to my youngest daughter’s doll. He had to cough up $40 from his own bank to pay for another one for her. I was so angry and disappointed in him for doing something do mean. I really don’t think he even understood just how mean it was until he saw her crying. That was super fun to deal with.

There’s just been a lot going on. So many things weighing on me, culminating with my son’s special education PPT on Wednesday morning—the first PPT ever that I will be bringing an advocate. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I have the upper hand, but it’s still nerve-racking. The good news is, the advocate I’m bring with me is so knowledgeable and calm, I know I’m in good hands.

I just think the stress is wreaking havoc on my autoimmune system. My body is shutting down and I’m feeling exhausted and flu-ish. I’m not sick. I’m just achy and rundown. Exactly the way I feel at the start of a flare, minus the pain. I have some stiffness, but other than some leg pain, there really isn’t any extreme pain; just aches.

This too shall pass. Hopefully I’ll have time for another nap tomorrow and that will help!

 

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