Friday, January 16, 2015

The Whole 30 at 35

It's no secret that my body functions better without eating a bunch of crap.  To be honest, no one has a body that functions well on crap.  We just choose to ignore the signs/symptoms of food intolerances.  For someone like me, ignoring those intolerances isn't helping the bigger picture.  Would you like an anatomy lesson again?

OK, for those who didn't read my other entry on the benefit of clean eating.  Where does the immune system live in our bodies?   Anyone?

That's right, boys and girls, the immune system lives comfy and cozy in our intestines.  It is in that whole system that our body grabs nutrients and ships them off to where they belong in the body.  Alcohol is turned to sugar and shot at the pancreas, fat gets broken down or stored, and ... our white blood cells are nourished to fight infection!  The immune system is what keeps us going.  When we feel blah, sluggish or like we are "fighting something" we really and truly are "fighting".  Your immune system goes into high gear zapping the bacteria and viruses that are threatening us and that makes us feel "run down".  It's rather a sophisticated system.  I learned a lot about it when my gall bladder decided it wanted to move out.  Anyway, that's where the immune system is and ... for me?  My immune system is badly broken.  It's confused and self destructive.  It's kind of like a Emo-teenager, self harming every chance it gets.  I take medication to get my immune system to be more like that of a lazy teenager, sleeping a lot and not really doing what it should be doing.  Why?  Because it's confused remember?  My immune system is an idiot and seems to think that things like sinuses or kidneys are the enemy. 

I know how to fix this and I have been lax in that for awhile.  So, recently, I started to get back on track.  I cleaned up my eating.  NO SODA because there is mountains of sugar and sugar substitutes are horrific on our health for even the most healthy person so I definitely refrain from fake sugars.  But, no soda.  I also cut out gluten products and other processed sugars.  I didn't go completely strict but ... I was doing alright.  I had told my doctor I was starting to do that.  One of my friends kept suggesting The Whole 30.  Our supervisor was doing that and the health benefits are incredible.  I started looking into it and my general doctor was way on board.  She had said a clean, fiber rich diet would be amazing for me.  So ... I started looking into it even more.  Honestly, the eating plan for The Whole 30 is something that I should adapt at all times but, at the very least, I need to commit to it for a whole 30 days to start with. 

What is it?  Meat, Eggs, Vegetables, and Fruit.  Seems fairly simple right?  The vitamins, and nutrients obtained via these foods are all naturally occurring.  No one takes an apple and injects it with more sugar to make it sweeter.  Nope, it happens in nature.  Vegetables are fiber rich and yes, some of them have carbs.  Honestly the "low carb" lifestyle people so crave isn't talking about vegetables because if you cut back on those you are definitely missing some key ingredients that your body needs.  But, hey, no one wants to take advice from the fat girl. 

Honestly, the extent of dairy that I want is something like goat cheese.  I love goat cheese and would love to be able to add that back.  I already use a lot of coconut milk in things anyway so my dairy intake is usually limited to a serving a day but ... who knows what I will do after 30 days. 

Here it is folks.  I will be starting The Whole 30 on January 19th, 2015.   I will be strict.  I will be hard on myself.  I am looking at this from a health perspective.  If I lose weight in the process, good deal, if I don't but I feel better so that I can go back to working out like a regular person?  FANTASTIC!  Being able to live some semblance of a normal life would be the epitome of everything.  I would like to start living and not counting the minutes until I can get back into bed.  I am only 35 years old (oh god, I am 35).  I don't want to die this year like I fear ... and I know that doing things to improve my health so that I can enjoy my time on this earth will only be a benefit to me both physically and, more importantly, mentally. 

I do not intend to preach my eating habits on anyone.  I don't look down upon anyone for doing anything any differently.  We are all fighting our own battles that may not be visible on the outside.  What's major to one person might seem minor to another, but that is not our place to judge, is it?  Someone might look at me and see an overweight person who seems relatively healthy, weight aside.  They don't know I am fighting a battle against my own body every single day.  They can't see inside me and it isn't my place to announce it to the world.  That's my issue.  It in no way diminishes someone who might be facing something bigger or smaller or equal.  We all have our battles, we all choose to live our lives how we see fit and that is the beauty of being individuals.

Now, I've said enough on the topic.  I am trying to look at life in a more positive light right now.  I am trying to see the world differently than I've looked at it in the past.  Will I be successful?  Probably not everyday, I'll admit it.  I might falter.  I might whine.  But, once again, that's my choice and freedom to do so. 

I hope you have a wonderful day. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I'd like a refund

As the minutes tick away the end of my 34th year on earth, I am feeling myself sinking further into a sort of depression.  Why?  Well, the last few birthdays have been just sort of ... eh.  No, it isn't because there wasn't a grand fete thrown in my honor.  I've learned that once we become an adult, the birthday parties sort of become a thing of the past.   It's more that I've been miserably unhealthy for my birthday.

The trials and tribulations of my health battle continue. Over the last month or two, the reactions to my medication have become worse.  I am now quite miserable for the entire week.  It tapers back from injection day to the weekend just before I have to have an injection again.  But, it always ramps up crazy after that stupid shot.  I've broken down, researched other meds that my Wegener's peeps use, and made an appointment to see the doctor about changing the medicine.   There is one that I want, desperately, because if I tolerate it the side effects will fade away!  Oh to feel somewhat normal again.  There is no greater hope. 

While I focus on getting to the 20th where I can throw myself at my rheumatologist's feet and beg her for the medicine, other things are happening.  Like, the massive lump on my spine between my shoulder blades.  I don't think it's attached to the spinal cord.  It feels mostly subcutaneous but it doesn't really move around like it's near the surface.  It's definitely not something that can be popped (believe me, the husband tried).  It is red hot!  It's all red around it and you can feel the heat radiating off it.  My neck hurts, my shoulder is starting to hurt now.  My neck is a constant pain which makes me think that the cyst is pressing on the spine in some fashion ... and then I have been having shooting pains in my left shoulder.  No.  It's not a heart attack. 

Dan is worried about cancer again.  He said the lump could be a tumor.  I replied with "It's not a tumor!" and then, Arnold's voice was in my head and I snickered.  Dan didn't see the humor in what I said because he is convinced I am not taking this seriously. 

Yes, there's a wee voice in the back of my mind who is murmuring about plasmacytomas.  After all, I had one in my neck that had globbed onto my salivary gland. That had also been just a lumpy thing in my neck that was passed off as an "inflamed salivary gland".  We all know how that turned out.   So, in order to remain relatively sane, I am telling myself that Mr. Lump is only an inconveniently growing cyst and not a dang thing to worry about.  It's just strange.  There's no bite marks, so it wasn't a love bite from a sneaky spider.  There's no clothing item that really rubs there so it's not like it was irritated by something.  It's not an ingrown hair because thankfully, I am a girl with a hairless back, minus the regular peachfuzz every human has. 

I fear there will be another minor, locally anesthisized lumpectomy to make sure it's nothing to be worried about because that is how ol' Dr. Z rolls.  Unfortunately, the first chance I have for anyone to look at it is that same doctor's appointment on the 20th.  There were no earlier appointments available.  I'll have the rheumatologist look at it and see if she sees anything to be worried about in relation to my major disease ... Boris the bastard never sleeping dragon, aka Wegener's Granulomatosis or Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.  (Why are there so many I in that word?).  If she is concerned in any fashion, or if she thinks it needs further review, I will call Dr. Z's office and see if he can poke at it in all his cancer seeking wisdom. 

Unfortunately, this just means my 35th year is not starting out any better than my 32nd, 33rd, or 34th.  Is it any wonder there is a heavy sadness that I drag around with me wherever I go?  I never feel good.  I feel like I am fighting the worst flu imaginable ALL THE TIME.  Lately, the nausea is intense.  I lose my appetite SO easily.  I just want to lie down.  I feel needy and just want people to hold me and talk me through it.  My body aches, I feel feverish.  There are days when it takes every bit of concentration to pick my feet up off the ground to take a step forward.    How can someone feel happy when they feel like that? 

Some of the tiredness is my fault from working too much.  I don't have a choice there ... so I continue to trudge along.  At the very least, I can brag that how many people can feel the way I do and still bust their ass like me?  Not many, let me tell you.   I am working on my lying.  I want to tell people I feel fine because it's sort of annoying even to myself to be asked how I am and I say "Horrible".  Who would even want to keep talking to me?!

Oh 35 ... I have dreaded you for the last few months.  Not because of your number.  No.  I dread you because I live in fear that you are the last birthday I will celebrate.  I don't know why.  I just do.  Something feels so ominous about you and ... I am scared.    I am not ready to leave this place.  I haven't yet done enough living.  Hell, please just let me see my house finished.   

I wish I could do something for my birthday.  Anything to make it feel like a good day, instead of feeling like I am turning down the final corridor of my life.  Maybe it's just the sadness ... maybe that's why these feelings have come.  I can't explain it.  The nightmares about dying are more frequent.  Like ... I see the white light and I find myself running the other way. I wake up with my heart absolutely racing.  Sometimes, I can't seem to regulate my heart beat and it's all over the place which makes the anxiety worse. 

I don't want to die.  I have been taking the steps to make the shell that this sick person lives in look and feel better.  Except for the cheat day I will be having tomorrow ... I will not be eating bread, no processed/added sugars, very limited fruit, lots of veggies and protein.  Very clean. I want to lose weight so that, at the very least, should something happen to me ... I'll be pretty before I go. 

I know this is very melancholy and I apologize.  But ... I needed to get this off my chest. 

It's just a cyst.  It's just a cyst. It's just a cyst.  Dr. B will change my medications, I won't have a bad reaction to them, and things will look up.  I have irrational fears and they will not come true.  These are all things I must say to myself.    It's going to be OK.  I have to say it because ... who will?

I just thought of something.  I'll be 35 in 22 minutes.  It's kind of like the warranty on my life.  35 years, so many thousand miles ... things are starting to break!!!

At least that made me smile!!!