From Here to Health

My journey back from autoimmune disease

Latest Intention

So I would really like to lose 10 pounds by the end of July.  I’m just putting that out there.  My husband and I are going on a business trip that has some dress up events and I would like to really enjoy shopping and dressing up for the occasion.  There is a part of me that says “Don’t worry about those 10 pounds! It’s no big deal.”  And part of me believes that.  But the other part of me wants to conquer this demon.  I know from past history that I feel better in my skin with those 10 pounds gone.  I don’t ever want to settle for less than what makes me happy.  Also, I feel like losing this 10 pounds would mean than my thyroid condition was heading in the right direction.  I believe that our thoughts have energy.  I believe I can use that energy for my good or to my detriment.  I want to fill my mind and this blog with words that support my intention to lose this weight!  So even though it is just 10 pounds, and even though it’s not that big of a deal, I am putting my words out there that this 10 pounds has to go and I am going to make it happen!  I have considered the idea of posting a picture at the end of this.  Something to keep me motivated.  Maybe in my fancy new dress, or horror, my bathing suit.  I don’t know yet.  I like the idea of having some external motivation to keep me going, but I’m not sure how I feel about posting a picture (flattering or unflattering) of my results.  I’ll give it some more thought and get back to you.

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Health History- Continued

I think we left off with my visit to the Rheumatologist.  I had been to rheumatologists in the past.  I had actually tested positive for rheumatoid arthritis before I ever had my kids.  Then years later I was tested again and it was negative!  It was all very confusing.  They tested me for RA again and it was negative, but my SSB numbers came back elevated and along with my list of symptoms was enough to get a me an official diagnosis of Sjodgren’s Syndrome.   I had never heard of Sjodgren’s!  I was relieved to find out that my condition had a name because for me that felt like a first step in trying to treat it/manage it.  However, as I learned more I began to get really scared.  My doctor told me I had the most dangerous complication from Sjodgren’s which was vasculitis.  That was why my arms and legs hurt all the time.  She also explained that the ringing in my ears was due to inflammation in my orbic nerve.  She continued by telling me that her only other patient who presented with my symptoms (who was also my age) began having mini strokes.  Mini strokes!!  I was 32 with 3 small children.  Mini strokes were literally my worst nightmare.  I may be the only one here, but I had actually had thoughts about what the worst thing to happen to me could ever be, and it was mini strokes.  I had this picture in my mind of being trapped in my own mind, unable to communicate, but still lucid on the inside.  Watching as my family used all their time, money and energy to take care of me, all the while making them miserable.  It was horrible. And now here was the person of authority telling me that that was what was going to happen to me.  I was a wreck!  Isn’t it funny how what you think about in your mind will try to com to pass?  I have found that over and over again since I began on this journey.  Needless to say I began to change the thoughts that I let set up camp in my mind.

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The beginning…A very good place to start

Oh how I wish I had started doing this at the beginning!  Nevertheless, I am going to try and go back to where I think this whole journey started using my (these days) less than stellar memory.  This is just one of many areas that has been impacted by my health issues.  My memory just isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I now believe this journey started during my pregnancy with my twins in 2001-2002.  I felt fantastic until about 61/2 months and then it went downhill very quickly.  I developed preeclampsia and my babies (both boys) quit growing.  I was admitted to the hospital at 30 weeks and they were born at 31 weeks via emergency c-section.  It didn’t register with me at the time, but I now believe my body saw this event as a serious trauma.  Obviously, I wouldn’t change anything because the surgery saved the lives of myself and my boys, but I didn’t realize at the time the domino effect this event was going to put in place.  Fast forward 6 weeks and my boys were in the NICU, but doing well. I, however, was very sick with a mysterious virus.  We believe it was West Nile based on my symptoms and my Dr. concurred that it was possible, but for some reason didn’t think it was necessary to test me.  I did recover after about a week, but looking back I realize that after these events my level of vibrancy was slightly diminished.  At the time I attributed it to being a mom to premature twins and all the extra responsibilities that came with it.  Caring for them and pumping breast milk for the first 11 months was pretty all consuming. There is a lot more I could say about being a mom to twins (it’s pretty fantastic!), but since this blog isn’t really about that I am going to try to stick to the topic at hand.  Going forward over the next few years, the symptom I remember most is headaches.  I had pretty bad migraine, cluster, and tension headaches after my boys were born.  I didn’t think all that much about it.  I had CAT scans and saw doctors for it, but just kinda figured that I was prone to headaches and that was that.  Fast forward to Nov. 2003 when I began trying to get pregnant again and more issues come in.  My husband and I conceived our boys on our very first try so I thought getting pregnant again would be no big deal.  Easy peasy, right?  Wrong!  We did get pregnant again (with our beautiful daughter) but it wasn’t until Nov. of 2006.  I tried Clomid.  I had all the invasive tests to look for structural damage and scar tissue.  Apparently nothing was wrong, but I still couldn’t get pregnant. There was obviously some hormonal issues going on that made pregnancy difficult to achieve.  This took a huge emotional toll on me.  I know now that the stress over the fertility issue was another domino in my tumbling health, but once again I didn’t know it at the time.  Back then I mistakenly thought that mind issues were mind issues and body issues were body issues.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  They are 2 sides of the same coin, ever intertwined and connected.  As I said earlier, I did eventually get pregnant again.  Once again, this pregnancy had difficulties and that is where I will pick up tomorrow.

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