random thoughts and meditations

I spent about six hours in bed today, with my cat.  I didn’t get much sleep last night, for no real reason.  I was just exhausted and feeling yucky when I woke up.

So, today, was a pretty low-key day for me.  I’m holed up with Netflix and editing photos–terribly jealous of all my friends who are road tripping and barbecuing…vowing to be that girl more in the next few months.  This time in my life is just a necessary break.  Or so I keep telling myself.

I got my labs taken care of on Thursday.  The office was insanely busy with the lady checking people in also taking blood.  I hate when labs overwork their phlebotomists like this.  Luckily, she was awesome and it was a quick, painfree poke–a rarity for me.  I do have a bruise on my arm–so I look like an addict–but it’s fading slowly.  The labs came in on Friday morning, and they were a mixed bag.

A little background…

Several years ago, when I decided to join TFA, I was given a physical wherein we discovered I was hypothyroid.  The condition was managed pretty poorly and basically treatment made me feel crazy while also causing me to gain a ton of weight very quickly.  It was literally one of the most mentally challenging parts of my life and brought up so many issues I thought I’d dealt with.  I decided to get off that bullshit train and then dealt with a ton of problems that ended up being gall bladder related and eventually landed me in the OR for emergency surgery a few years ago.  We’re pretty sure the mishandling of my hypothyroid condition and all the weight I gained back then and then lost was what triggered all of this crap.

Losing my gall bladder was a come to Jesus moment for me.  Up until then, I just avoided doctors of all kinds–relying on myself to figure it out.  Well, that failed miserably.  So, after that stuff happened, I decided to get my shit together–on my terms–and decided to combine Western and Eastern medicine to get myself back on track.  Losing a gall bladder is different for everyone–but I had a very hard time with it.  No one talks about this shit because it’s pretty terrible and not exactly what you share with company.  Close friends saw what I was going through, and even they lost patience with my silly body.

The first year, I suffered from all kinds of GI issues as my body adjusted.  I was rediagnosed with a very severe case of hypothyroidism as well as pcos.  I had severe allergies that almost got me hospitalized.  I gained weight and lost weight.  I was very malnourished and was afraid to leave the house.  It was not a good time.

Western medicine was really not my friend during that time.  I had a doctor who ordered every test imaginable and tortured me mentally with thoughts I might have rare cancers.  I decided to go elsewhere and found my current doctor who is wonderful.  But I also turned to a naturopath/acupuncturist in Boulder who also dealt with Chinese medicine.  I worked with her for a year getting myself back on track.  Then I worked with a chiropractor and found my therapist.  And eventually I tried rolfing.  These things really transformed my body and mind.  I finally felt stable.  Though I still am losing my hair–one strand or 20 at a time–three years later. (Good thing I was blessed with way more than my fair share).

But the entire time, I really struggled with how to nourish my body.  I have to be very strategic when I eat.  I have to use enzymes and probiotics and fiber.  I tried very hard for a long time to eat Paleo–no gluten, sugar, dairy, etc.  But it drove me crazy.  I had people in my life who judged me harshly for the choices I made when these strategies didn’t work for me–who were trying to be supportive–but didn’t understand what I needed–at ALL.  So, when our living situation changed, I finally said, “Eff this.”  I decided to try my best to eat healthy, whole foods–but I also decided never to veto an entire food group again.  If I wanted some damn bread, I’d eat bread.  If I wanted a soda, I’d drink a soda.  I finally felt sane again.

And it worked well for me, for a long time.  Over a year, in fact.  I wasn’t feeling crazy.  I was maintaining my weight or losing it.  But then things kind of got out of whack again and those old things I did–like throwing myself under a bus to serve everyone else?  Well, that happened.

See…for the last several months, I had no idea when we were going to move…and every time a date was set, it was pushed back because of stupid shit.  I had less time because I was doing way more.  I was working more.  And I was expected to basically pack up everything by myself.  I also was stressed financially because I was dealing with everything here–which wasn’t always exactly fair–but evened out eventually.  Because of all of this, I cut back on the higher quality food I was eating and chose things that were less expensive, but still healthy.  I also stopped seeing my therapist and my acupuncturist and my herbalist–thinking I was past the worst of it and could just resume after the move–when money would be so much better.  Besides, it was hard to schedule appointments when I had no idea when I was leaving.  And then Fogg got sick, and money got even tighter, and everything became really really really stressful.

Stress is really bad for someone with PCOS and hypothyroid problems.  Because it triggers hormonal changes and that is not good.  I handle stress really well, but it’s been a prolonged, constant thing with zero support.  I’ve done as much self-care as I can on my own–but I need more support.

The move should finally be complete–everything out and not just some things like now–by the end of August.  So, the end is in sight.  But the next eight weeks are not going to be a fun time.  At all.

And my labs basically showed what my heart and soul have been through this year.  My thyroid numbers were way high–after months and months of stability.  My blood glucose was pre-diabetic by one point–despite eating very little sugar–indicating my PCOS is making a comeback.  My adrenals were shot.  I was deficient in Vitamin D, and I had some kind of unknown infection.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been relying far too much on caffeine because I literally have had nothing left almost every day.  So, that’s the verdict.  Which meant higher doses of meds.  And a recommendation to see a nutritionist–which is odd because I know exactly what I need to do.  I just haven’t been able to do it.

I’m embracing it though because it means I have to be accountable to someone and that is what’s missing.  I feel like I’ve gotten past some of my old issues with food in the last year–though I definitely need to get some therapy on that shit soon.  And the friends who judged have agreed not to comment at all on anything I choose for myself ever again.  I won’t tolerate it.

I’ve started tracking food, and yes–I do feel a bit OCD about it–but not in that out-of-control, scary, perfectionistic way I had in the past.  It’s more of a let’s figure this out kind of concern.  I’m cooking more, and my mantra is to keep it simple.  I see my nutritionist on Tuesday.

The big lesson here is that I really do need to put myself on the damn list.  And I did it this weekend.  Along with all the cat to-dos and the household to-dos, there’s take a 15 minute break and sleep.  Even brushing my teeth is on the damn list.  And it’s working.

I just wish it wasn’t this constant, conscious choice I had to make.  I wish it was automatic for me.

###

Friday, I took Fogg to the vet, and she agreed with the other vet about those four masses–so that was a relief.  As for the new thing on her chin, she felt like it was probably just a pimple or a scratch.  She took some cells and looked at them under the microscope.  they were nonspecific–no mast cells, thank God.  I’m watching it for a week and cleaning it twice a day with Betadine.  If it doesn’t go away in a week, we can get the cells tested and do a biopsy to be on the safe side.  We’ll see how that goes.  I’m hoping it just goes away.

###

When I woke up from my very long nap with Fogg, I heard about Elie Wiesel’s death.  I was pretty sad and depressed about that–despite how long he lived.

As a little girl, I was obsessed with the Holocaust.  The Diary of Anne Frank and Night were always on my bedside table.  I read parts of them almost every day.  I guess–as a kid who was terrified all the time–who knew death intimately–I really related to these stories–to the hope in Anne Frank’s words and Wiesel’s call to bear witness.  To be a survivor.  They were fundamental to the person I became.  So much of me can be found in those two books.

It’s sad to me that the man who wrote one of those books is no longer here–when we need him now more than ever before.  When the world is so scary and we are grappling with so much of what inspired these horrible events.

It makes me want to do more for human rights and more to speak out against the Trumps and the Westboros of the world.  It’s kind of ironic too that he died this weekend.

I’m looking forward to a quiet rest this weekend, though there will be plenty of work to be had tomorrow.  Tonight, I’m savoring my time in Lightroom.

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