Monday, April 25, 2011

MRI results

I don't have any brain tumors or any other abnormalities in my brain. WOO HOO!  :-D

I do have some nasal/sinus congestion so I'm on penicillin for that and then I go back for a follow up MRI to see if it's cleared.  If it hasn't that means it may need to be cleared out via surgery.  When I told my mom about the congestion, she mentioned that both my grandma and uncle had the surgery because their nasal passages were so clogged it gave them headaches!

So, so, so thankful nothing major is wrong in my noggin!  It doesn't explain the migraines or the nausea  or sheer exhaustion, but I'm just thankful that we ruled that out.

I've been doing fairly well otherwise.  Still having trouble with no appetite, so I don't eat and then I get really weak (and more headaches) because I haven't fueled my body properly. Working on it, though.  The penicillin and Zoloft make my stomach very queasy and I get nauseated quite easily when I eat.  So it's a tricky balance.

I head to Arizona this week to see Dr. Ray and I'm very much looking forward to feeling better, emotionally.  I'm excited to see how long I feel good when I'm not messing with my hormones. ;-)  I'm not sure if I'll stay on the Zoloft, or if I'll switch to something else.  I also still am having lots of trouble sleeping.  I wake up for no reason and don't fall asleep for a couple hours.  Last night I woke up a little after 2a.m. and didn't fall back asleep until after 4a.m.  My eyes are burning and feel like they might fall out of my head, but it's a restful, easy day around here so all is well.

I had a very nice Easter Day with my family and am so thankful for all the blessings in my life!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hanging in there

Howdy Folks,
I've been on the Zoloft for 4 days and so far I've experienced:

A drastic decrease in my appetite.  As in, I eat basically nothing and don't feel hungry.  One day I had half a small yogurt with 2 T granola and two pieces of toast with butter.  And one cup of coffee. And that's been fairly typical.  I know this isn't healthy and I'm working on making sure I get enough good food in.  It's hard though, because NOTHING sounds appealing.

I have a mini Snickers sitting in my cupboard that, under normal circumstances, would've been gone before you finished reading this sentence.  And yet, there it sits. Totally not tempting me.

Protein is especially unappealing, which is not good.  So, I'm working on it.

I weighed myself today using my sister's scale and I'm down 2 pounds from the last time I weighed which was last Tuesday, I think.

I don't really care about my weight right now. Ha.  It's the last thing on my mind, really.

Speaking of minds, yesterday I had my MRI.

It was LOUD.  Very loud.  They give you earphones to wear and pipe in music, but when the machine turns on you can't even hear it!!  I also had a panic attack for  a few seconds as I was being slid into the tube... FREAKY. It was a little like a coffin.  And they have this mask that goes over your face and they strap your head down.  But overall it wasn't bad at all.  I did feel the pull of the magnet (MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and it felt really weird.  But not painful.

I haven't heard back the results, and I'm taking that as a good sign. No news is good news, right? I'm sure my doctor will call to tell me the results and if they were normal then there is no hurry. Right? Right.

In other news, the Zoloft seems to be working....but I sort of feel like a zombie.  Like everything is faded.

I don't feel sad or depressed or anxious or angry.  But on the other hand I don't feel cheerful or happy or content. I just feel sort of numb.  
I go back to see the therapist in 2 weeks so I'll see how I'm doing then and reassess.  If I have to choose, I would choose numb over the anger any day of the week.  It's helped me slow WAY down and appreciate my children and be able to spend moments with them just being.  Sitting next to each other with our arms around each other.  Snuggling.  

The house is a total, absolute, epic disaster.  And it has been all week.  And I just don't have the energy to do anything about it.  I am so tired.  Exhausted.  Usually if the house is messy I will clean it up at the end of each day.  Not this week.  The kitchen has been dirty all week.  I just can not make myself go in and clean it up.  Dishes aren't piled in the sink, because I have been rinsing them and putting them in the dishwasher (for the most part) but the counters are scattered with stuff.  And I haven't swept.***EDITED: I just walked in the kitchen and there are TOTALLY dishes piled in the sink. Oops.***

But we're all alive and healthy... well actually 2 of my 3 kids had strep earlier, but have been on antibiotics for 3 days now and are better.  So we're all still alive. :-D  And tonight, FINALLY Josh comes home!!!

So, overall, we're doing well.  Hope you are too!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This is how I feel.

I am nauseated, dizzy, exhausted, weak.  I feel like everything is weighing down on me.  My husband is gone for the week, and I really don't know how much more of this I can take.
I am taking my kids in for strep tests this afternoon.  Their throats hurt and I think they have sinus infections on top of it.  They are grumpy and don't feel well.

I have approximately 12 loads of laundry piled up in my bedroom, waiting to be folded and put away.  My house needs to be vacuumed and swept.  The dog needs a bath.  I need a shower.  

And yet, just thinking about it all makes me so tired that I just want to find a dark hole and hibernate.  Or else drink a 5 Hour Energy Drink. ;-)  Except those things make me super jittery and in my current state I don't think that's even remotely wise.

I am taking it easy, and not expecting too much of myself.  Really, I'm not expecting anything of myself besides taking care of physical needs like food and sleep.  

I am sorry to be such a downer, but I don't want to just pretend everything is hunky dory when it's really not.  But at the same time I don't want it to be a complainfest either. 

So I'm keeping my head up, taking it slow and easy, lowering my expectations and just aim to get through this day in one piece.  =)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Brighter Tomorrow

I had my appointment with my new therapist today.  Although I cried through the whole appointment, it was good.  I really like the therapist and I feel confident in her skills.  She prescribed me Zoloft for my anxiety/panic attacks and also gave me a new prescription for Xanax.

I took my first Zoloft this afternoon when I picked it up, and I'm hopeful that it will work.  In the past I have been switched from different meds to different meds to different meds and nothing really worked.  I'm hoping that between my visits to Dr. Ray and the Zoloft I'll have some semblance of normal life. Whatever that is. :-P

Speaking of Dr. Ray, I will be going to see him at the end of the month. It'll be a very short trip, but that's fine with me.  I just need him to work his magic and then I'm ready to head back to my family. =) 

I also am waiting to hear back from my regular MD regarding my migraine medicine; I've been getting one a day so I am very anxious (ha! There's Zoloft for that) ;-) to get started on the medicine that will prevent them.  I have my MRI on Wednesday and I'm just looking forward to having it behind me.

I feel like I've accomplished a lot in the past few weeks; maybe not counting calories and dropping pounds, but at least my children and I are still alive, healthy and (relatively) happy.  That's what is most important to me anyway. 

I won't complain if the Zoloft reduces my appetite (a possible side-effect) and I drop some pounds, but mostly I look forward to feeling GOOD.  Being HAPPY.  Being CONTENT.  Being CALM.  ENJOYING my family and my life.  I look forward to that so very, very, very much.

It takes 4-6 weeks for it to fully get in my system, but today is the first step, the first day to a better tomorrow.  A brighter, happier, cheerier tomorrow!

I'll keep you posted. =)

Friday, April 15, 2011


It's Friday, Friday, yesterday was Thursday and tomorrow is Saturday... :-P  Hee Hee  That song has the dumbest lyrics EVER! However Rebecca Black is cute and has a good voice for only being 12. Or 13 or whatever.

But. I am happy it's Friday.  Sorry I didn't post yesterday. Thursdays are crazy around these here parts and I had a meltdown and had to take my 2nd to last Xanax.  Eeekkkk!!

Anyway, about my doc appt last week.  First off, I LOVED the doctor.  She was hilarious and quirky and honest and blunt and I trust her completely.  She was compassionate, and even came right out and asked if I was afraid I had a brain tumor.  And then she didn't laugh or make me feel dumb when I said, "Well, actually, yeah.  I am afraid of that."  She said it's completely normal for people to wonder if there's something wrong in their noggin when there is excruciating pain, especially if it changes your eyesight and you have other physical changes.

After asking me lots of questions about the severity, frequency, type of pain etc... and performing some neurological tests, she told me she is 99% certain I DON'T have a tumor. :-D  But she is ordering an MRI anyway because there is that 1% chance and she likes to cover all her bases and she wants me to have that concrete proof also.

Next Wednesday I'll have the MRI.

And she is also 99% certain that all the pain, vision changes, nausea, etc... is being caused from migraines.  Migraines induced by lack of sleep and extreme stress.  And she, being the supersmart doctor she is said there are certain medications that are non-addictive that prevent migraines AND help you sleep! So she is prescribing some for me.

But first we are trying to get the records from the kooky doctor I saw in WA who didn't get any background info on me before she saw me.  They want to know what she prescribed me for migraines because it didn't work and also find out what the deal was with the positive HPV result from my pap.  Because the chances of me actually having HPV are very, very, very slim.

So HOORAY all around! ;-)  I feel very comfortable with this doctor; I feel like I can be completely honest with my symptoms and she takes them seriously.  She is extremely thorough and knows her stuff.  I trust her so completely that at the end of my appt I even asked if it was necessary if I have the MRI, since everything she said made sense and relieved my fears of a brain tumor lurking in there.  But she said she wanted to order it anyway, just so we're both 100% sure.  And I'm good with that!

I have a super busy day and weekend ahead of me, so I'd best be off.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For Mary Beth

MB, this is just for you! =)

Go to the doctor, woman. STAT.  You will feel SO MUCH BETTER.  I promise.

I will get on later today (hopefully!!) and give you all a recount of my MD visit, but for now I just want to encourage all of you who were putting off doctor's appointments to just get them scheduled and do it!

It lifts a burden you may not even have known you were carrying.  I feel 99% better after just going to see the doctor (who was VERY kind and funny and thorough and I love) and beginning the process of sorting everything out.

She is 99% sure I do NOT have a brain tumor. Shocking, huh? :-P 

So I just wanted to pop on (I have masses of housework to catch up on) and encourage you, Mary Beth, to make an appointment.  If you have insurance and the means to go, just do it!! It will be such a weight lifted.  I speak from experience.  Do it for me, if you can't do it for yourself. :-)  Call today and get it over with.

And that goes for the rest of you too, if you've been putting off an appointment because you're scared of the results, or you feel too busy to go, or you have to pick a provider and it's all just too daunting and overwhelming.  MAKE TIME.  Sit down, organize it all and get the process started.  You will not regret it.  I promise.  I triple promise!!!

I hope you all make time to take care of yourself, because in the words of L'Oreal.... YOU'RE WORTH IT.  You really, really are.

I'll be back either today or tomorrow with the full run down of my appointment.  But I'm well and SO RELIEVED.  So very relieved. =)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Taking Care of Business...

You're welcome.  You know, for getting that song stuck in your head. ;-) And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're welcome for well... um... for just being me. :-D

Today I have an appointment with a new general physician to A) establish care B) talk about my migraines, memory issues, exhaustion, and severe muscle tenderness C) hopefully get a definite answer that there's nothing in my brain that isn't supposed to be there.

I'm nervous because I tend to be a little hypchondriatic.  Stop laughing, Mom and Liz and Jen!!!  Maybe I tend to be more than just a little hypochondriatic (that's another word I just made up, by the way) but still.  I'm afraid I'm blowing things out of proportion, but my whole life I've been afraid I have a brain tumor.  And I'd just like once and for all to put that fear to rest. 

So anyway, I'm going to see this doc and I'm nervous, but glad to be getting it done.  Every single one of these appointments that I've been putting off for months and is now getting done, well, it just lessens my stress level by leaps and bounds.

I have had a small epiphany lately, and that's this: My life is a day-by-day operation.  I don't think I can make  hard and fast rules that apply no matter what.  Some days it works for me to count calories and keep track, some days it doesn't.  Some days it's possible for me to be more active and some days it isn't.  Some days I need a little chocolate and some days I don't. 

So my plan is to take it one day at a time. One decision at a time.  Even if yesterday was a day that I had a chocolate chip scone, *ahem* that doesn't mean I have to eat the rest of them today.  And just because I was kept on my toes all day long yesterday, and didn't get a chance to take a walk outside (even just to get the mail!) doesn't mean that today I can't.

Baby steps.  Little, tiny, baby turtle steps.  I'm pretty sure I've said this before, and yet I tend to forget it in the chaos of life.  So I'm going back to my roots, so to speak.  Getting back to basics, to the very simplest level of things.

I ate a salad for lunch yesterday, and that's a start!!  ;-)

Happy Tuesday! 

Monday, April 11, 2011


Phew.  When it rains, it pours!

In the last two weeks the following have happened:

Josh's work vehicle got broken into, and they stole his suitcase/clothes and laptop.
Our van transmission pooped out, leaving me with no car to get to my many appointments, or a way to get Kate to school.
My friend and I had planned a trip together to AZ so I could see Dr. Ray and she could sit in the sun.  Our tickets got messed up, and then she hurt her back very badly, and I can't find a babysitter. So we postponed the trip.

There are lots of other little things, but those are the huge, gigantic things that have been stressing us out.  So today, I decided to simplify.

I canceled as many of the appointments as I could.  I am enjoying a day with my sweet Kate at home.  I am taking it easy, and slowly, steadily working on the house.  I am going to be very aware  of what I eat.  I am going to make sure to drink enough water.

I feel like life got so complicated, so stressful, so FULL that everything started spiraling downwards, everything became too much.  I was on the brink of a breakdown.

This past weekend was spent at our church conference center, and it was SO SO SO nice.  I got to visit with my friends, the kids had an absolute blast, and it was just the breath of fresh air that I needed to clear my head.

"I can see clearly now, the rain is gone..."  :-D

I feel so much better about everything.  All the issues aren't resolved, but when I simplify everything it takes 90% of the burden away.

So. I'm doing better.  I'm going to focus on being healthy/eating well/drinking water.

I gave my scale to a friend of mine who is doing HCG, so I haven't stepped on it in a loooong while.  When I get it back I think I'll weigh once a week. I'd like to start making changes, small changes, so that the pounds will start coming off.  Even if it's slowly.  That's ok.  That's basically all I can manage anyway.  I don't have time (or even the ability to work out, with my bladder issues).  So for now, I'll be focusing on my food intake in hopes of dropping a few pounds, to get back to where I ended my last HCG round at.

I have no idea what I weigh currently. I don't even particularly care about the number.  I just want to feel good and healthy.  That's my goal.

I hope you had a good weekend and I wish you all amazing success this week! I'm looking at you, Dawnie!!! =)

Friday, April 8, 2011

If Stress Burned Calories...

I'd look like this:

In fact, this is how I feel. Emotionally, mentally, physically.  I'm drained.  There's nothing left to give.  There's no more resources to tap.  There's just nothing there. Period.

In reality, when I'm stressed, I eat.  So I'll prob end up looking like this:

I'm struggling.  I have so many appointments in the next few weeks, GOOD appointments, appointments to help me be healthy.  In the next 15 days I have no less than 7 appointments.  Sometimes I have 2 on one day.  I scheduled an emergency trip to Dr. Ray.  We don't really have the money and Josh doesn't really have the time off, but it must be done.  I can feel myself spiraling downward at an alarming rate.  And I don't want to go back into that deep, dark pit.
So next week, I'll be heading to AZ for some much needed help.  I also scheduled an appointment with a new general practitioner to discuss my headaches, absolute and total lack of energy, inability to sleep, etc...  I have ALSO scheduled an appointment with a new therapist who can help me with meds for the PPD/anxiety that I've got going on. 

Things are moving in the right direction, but even taking those steps adds a TON of stress.  I don't have lots of babysitting options.  My mom is willing, bless her heart, but SHE has a weak body too! And already has an immensely full plate, so I don't want to add to her burdens.  Josh is insanely busy.  We both had a good, long cry this morning about it.  It's SO STRESSFUL.  We don't get to see each other often, he is maxed out at work, I am maxed out at home.

And to top it off, his truck got broken into while he was volunteering for our church and they stole his laptop (which had ALL his work info as well as our personal budget/finances on it) and his suitcase of clothes.  STRESSFUL!

I am really trying to take things one moment at a time, but it's a struggle.  I don't want my situations to rule me,  I don't want my children to suffer because *I* can't handle things, I don't want my life to fall apart every 3 months when it's time to see Dr. Ray again.  I am searching for answers, but haven't found a solution that works long-term yet.

So that's where I'm at today.  I feel like a shell of a person, frantically trying to keep my head above water, while providing a good, warm, loving home for my family.  But if it can go wrong, it will.  And it has.

I'm thankful that I know Dr. Ray's treatments help, and I won't be doing HCG to mess them up again.  I am thankful that I have appointments with people who have the knowledge and authority to prescribe the medicine I need to function and be the person I want to be.  I am thankful that I have a Savior who loves me, cares for me, and is there to help me in my need.  I am thankful I have a super wonderful and loving support group.

So although today it feels like I'm drowning in "LIFE", I will not give up. I'll just keep taking it moment by moment.  Doing what I can, to the best of my ability.  That's all I can do.  And the eating? Well, I'll have to tackle that once some of these other things come into order.  Because I can't successfully juggle all these balls, and eating too much is the one that doesn't affect the rest of my family negatively.

I am so ready for this roller coaster to be over.  So ready.  But I know that God has a purpose and plan for me, and currently, this is what I need.  So... deep breaths.  Pot of coffee.  No high expectations of myself or my children. Plentiful hugs and kisses, and a soft answer. And on we go...
Credit: 320 Sycamore

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mowing the lawn = TBW

What does TBW mean?  Well, I'll tell you. :-D  It means Total Body Workout.

Our grass had gotten long.  Really long. 
Ok, that isn't my lawn and it wasn't THAT tall.  But it was close.  It had been quite a while since we'd last mowed, but since Josh is busy and gone so much, and he's the primary lawn-mower-er, it just kept getting put off.
So I decided that it'd be pretty nice of me to surprise Josh and do it myself. *ahem*  I must admit I did try to get my brother to do it for me, but he had to work.  And I do know how to operate a lawn mower; I used to mow lawns for money when I was younger.  But it's been a while.  Like, 18 years or something. :-O

So, we'll skip over the part where it took me a good ten minutes to even get the thing started and go straight to the actual mowing part.  It was hard. Really, really hard.  Our yard is on a bit of a hill, and I had to use my entire body, straining and grunting, to get the mower up the hill in the tall grass.

Pretty much, I felt like this girl.  Except, I was pushing the mower up the hill.

It took a while and I was sweating and my heart was pounding and my legs were aching and I just generally felt like I was have a stroke/heart attack/aneurysm and the worst part was the lawn didn't even look good. There were large chunks of grass everywhere, and the lawn looked like a kid who had taken scissors to their own head.
Except, in lawn form.  A little something like this.
With a side of this thrown in.
It was bad.  Very bad.
Luckily, my husband came home, saw that I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown/stroke/heart attack/aneurysm and took pity on me.  He sent me inside to lay down and finished the job.

But not before telling me there are actually different settings on the lawn mower.  So I could have raised that sucker up 3 inches and had a MUCH easier time mowing. 
I'm still sore.  And I'll leave the lawn mowing duties to my husband.  Or maybe I'll just hire a goat next time.

(That is not my yard.  Or my goat.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Holding It Together

Well, here I sit, with a bursting bladder, but trying not to go. :-O  WHY would I do that, you ask? It's part of my therapy. I have to train my bladder to be able to only use the restroom every 3 hours.  Right now I'm aiming for only every 2 hours, which seems like a breeze, right?  Except, that I'm ALSO drinking a minimum of 50oz of water a day.  So my bladder is really getting a workout! I feel like it'll absolutely explode and I still have an HOUR to go. EEEKKK!!!

I was very discouraged yesterday, with my health in general.  But I feel much better now, more hopeful.  My therapist is very optimistic about my prognosis, which is a huge relief.  And although it's a lot of work and brain power (I actually have ALL KINDS of alarms set on my phone to remind me of all the things I'm supposed to be doing, for my bladder alone) it is so worth it.  And when I'm organized and know what I'm supposed to be doing, it's a huge help.

I am continuing to keep track of what I eat; it helps me to visualize everything I've eaten/drunk.  I'm not perfect and it hasn't been completely healthy.  Last night I enjoyed some authentic, greasy, salty tortilla chips with Tostitos cheese sauce.
It's totally fake, but was soooo good. And I didn't overdo it, but enjoyed it in moderation.

I don't really have much else going on, health and diet and exercise wise.  

Hope you're all doing well!