From Here to Health

My journey back from autoimmune disease

ED Day 2

So I am not going to bore you guys with a list of foods today because it was EXACTLY the same as yesterday.  If you want to know, just check out the ED Day 1 post.  I foresee this happening a lot because it is easy and let’s get real…how many ways can I do these 4 veggies??  My meat will probably rotate around based on what the rest of the family is having.  We just got a giant box of meat from US Wellness Meats so I will be trying to cook those selections in a way that is ED friendly.  Luckily my kids don’t really care.  They often prefer dinner to be simple.  They like to have a hunk of meat and just dip it in something yummy so that works out in my favor while I am doing this.

Moving on to how I felt today.  In a word- BETTER!  Granted that is not saying overmuch since I felt like totally doody on day 1, but I’ll still take it.  No headache today for starters.  And the skin on my face is clearing up. The bumps on my legs are another matter. My hair was still falling out today, but at a MUCH slower pace.  I was only picking them off myself like 2-3 times an hour versus constantly all day long!  My biggest issue today was probably my sore, bloody gums.  I don’t really know what to make of that except to say that I think it is hormonal and must have some type of inflammatory component to it as well.  Hopefully healing the gut will cut the inflammation.  I also experienced some bloating/gas issues in the later afternoon (3-4 hours after lunch).  It was mild compared to how bad it is at times.  Weirdly, it felt worse than it looked.  Normally when I feel like  that, I look 4-5 months pregnant and that didn’t happen.  I still felt it, but the visual was definitely different.

I had one other success in this arena yesterday.  This is going to sounds silly…..but I didn’t buy gum!!  I know.  Sounds redonk, but it really felt like a victory for me.  Whenever I commit to something like this, there is always some way in which I cheat.  I hate to say it, but it is true.  And this time, I can’t afford to cheat.  It could really screw up my results and this is WAY too important.  After 3 years of experimenting, I really need to know what foods I can tolerate and what foods I can’t.  I know there are a lot of tests out there that could help me in this endeavor, but the truth is that I just can’t afford them right now.  Plain and simple.  So this is it. I stood there reading gum labels and trying to justify how this would be OK but my less crazy voice won out and I put it all back.  Thank heavens for small victories, right?

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What Went Well Wednesday

First strawberries of the season

First strawberries of the season

1. I slept until 7:45!  Unheard of!

2.  Finn had her annual acrobatics and dance recital rehearsal.  She was super cute!

3.  My Aunt Chery, my mom, my grandmother and my cousin all came to watch her at the rehearsal.  I felt so blessed that they would spend 3 hours out of their night to come watch her.

4. Had a romantical morning with my hubby;)

5. Did a short sprint after my morning walk and it went well.  I was a little concerned that I might have lost some of my aerobic capacity since I haven’t been running or WODing, but it was surprisingly easy.

6. Enjoying lots of reading on Jen’s borrowed kindle. Blessed to have such a generous friend:)

7. Calls from friends just to let me know they are praying for me.

8. Made an Egyptian collar necklace with Finn.  This absolutely makes the cut for What Went Well because I am not a crafty person so it feels like a huge triumph when I make something with my crafty kids.

Just another day:)

Just another day:)

My Egyptian Princess

My Egyptian Princess

 

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What Went Well Wednesday

I am going to admit that I didn’t keep a list yesterday like I did last Wednesday, so this may not be completely chronological.  But here are the highlights of the last few days.

1. Increased my deadlift to 135#.  I know, I know…that is still a light deadlift, but it is the first time I have been able to increase my weight without back pain so I am stoked!

2. Increased my benchpress to 75#. (FYI- these aren’t maxes, they are just working weight doing multiple sets of reps)

3. Had a girls’ CrossFit lunch with 10 ladies from the gym.  We awesome food, fellowship and fun.  I love these ladies like family:)

4. Got my new digestive enzymes with HCL.  Seriously hoping that they help with the bloating.

5. Haven’t had a night this week where I was up all night! Yeah!!

6. Got a 2 hour massage from a massage therapist, CrossFitting friend.  Heaven!

7. Only one of my kids required an expensive antibiotic for the pink-eye that ran through our house.

8. Took a long walk with my boys. (picture below)

9.  Discovered Chris Kresser’s podcast and love it!

10. Made hubby made me awesome sweet potato chips!

Hello Kitty Sleep Mask

Hello Kitty Sleep Mask

My Newphew, the Easter Bunny

My Nephew, the Easter Bunny

Coop and Pres on our Walk

Coop and Pres on our Walk

 

 

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Hormones Part 2…Low Progesterone

According to the quiz in Dr. Sara Gottfried’s book, I have low progesterone.  This did not surprise me, as it was low the last time I had it tested.  It was in the “normal” range, but at the very low-end of normal.  Add in the fact that apparently my testosterone is converting to estrogen and you likely have a scenario of estrogen dominance.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that my progesterone is technically too low, but in relation to my estrogen, it is too low.  Unbalanced.  The story of my life these days!  The steps that she recommends that I am incorporating right now are:

1. Vitamin C- She recommends 1,000mg per day.  I am currently taking 800mg.  I have played with it a little and I don’t think I can take more than this without getting loose stools.  TMI, I know.  You can always count on me for that;)

2. She highly recommends hanging out with others.  This is because of women’s coping mechanism of “tend and befriend.”  I am a naturally social person.  I LOVE being with others.  However, when I am not sleeping and my hormones feel wanky, I sometimes want to hide in my bedroom.  For me this step means making a conscious effort to go to the gym even if I am not working out.  To accept that lunch invitation even if I have to cram myself into a pair of pants that feel too tight.  To go to that party, even if only for a little while, because inevitably I feel better and sleep better when I stay connected to the people that I love.

3. No Joe- Not a problem since I don’t drink coffee, but I expanded it to include caffeine in general.  For me, this meant no kombucha which I was already giving up due to the AIP. (Autoimmune Protocol)

4. No wine-  I rarely drink wine anyway because it makes me feel junky.   It screws with my sleep and gives me CRAZY heartburn.  I would love to indulge in it once in a while because I truly like the taste, but this is one more reason why I will be staying away.

5. Chasteberry- She highly recommends chasteberry for balancing progesterone.  She suggests two brands and since one is from Germany and I couldn’t read the site, I went with the one I could get at my local GNC.  It is called Fertility Blend.  It has a proprietary blend of chasteberry along with vitamin E, B6, B12, folate, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and Selenium.  My plan is to try this for 1-3 months depending on the results I get.

I am having some hormone panels done tomorrow, so I will have some updated info, which of course, I will share:)

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21 Day Sugar Detox- Day 14

Another great night’s sleep!  I can never express my gratitude when I wake up refreshed after 8-9 hours of sleep.  After years of intermittent sleep (on a good night), it is so great to be filled with joy when I open my eyes in the morning.  I actually think it is worth the years of no sleep to experience the true joy I feel now for simple things that I ABSOLUTELY took for granted.  I know you guys have to be tired of hearing me praise a good night’s sleep, but it just never gets old to me.  It reminds me that His mercy is new every morning and I get a new opportunity to be the person I so desperately want to be.  What a gift!

On another note, I went to CrossFit today.  I strung a few double unders together during the warm-up so that was totally awesome!  Lifts were snatch (my nemesis) and front squat.  Not much to report there, except I did go up 10 pounds on my snatch.  I’m still not getting all the way into my squat.  Practice, practice, practice.  The WOD was 3 rounds (1 minute each) of push press, air squats, box jumps and rest.  I did pretty good, but after those air squats there were a few times when I thought I might not make it onto my 20″ box.  FYI- I am 5’1″ so 20″ can feel pretty far for these little legs.  I kinda want to try a higher box (just to see) but the next level is 24″ and think that might be a bit much.

In the evening, I took the boys to the Monster Jam.  One of my dear friend’s daughter was singing the national anthem and she had extra tickets. She did such a beautiful job.  It was my favorite part of the evening.  The boys seemed to like the truck stuff (as boys are apt to do), but I thought it was a little boring and a lot loud.  My friend’s husband is a pilot so he brought super awesome headphones for the boys so the noise didn’t even phase them!  I did have a pair of earplugs that my hubby wears at FedEx but I wasn’t super good about keeping them both in because I really wanted to converse with my friend and that was too hard to do with them in:)

Monster Jam

Monster Jam

Boys First Trip to FedEx Forum

Boys First Trip to FedEx Forum

It was fun to be out with my boys doing something they wanted to do.  We were all starving when we got home and my husband had made the BEST meal ever.  It was so good that I asked him to make it again for breakfast today.  Sadly, it just wasn’t the same today.  Maybe it was because I wasn’t as hungry.  Maybe it was because he never uses a recipe or measures anything so recreating the same thing twice is really difficult for him.  I am going to try to get him to perfect it and write it down so I can share it with you guys.  It can become my first truly original recipe post!

 

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21 Day Sugar Detox Days 12-13

I just need to say that I slept 9 hours last night so I am so excited this morning!!! Yeah!! The last 2 nights I didn’t sleep at all.  I did however read 2 complete novels that were pretty awesome.  I came off my thyroid meds because I think they were giving me anxiety and heart palpitations.  I don’t know for sure if it was the cause or not, but I didn’t feel it last night so we’ll see. I thought at first that I felt wonky because of the 21 DSD, but then it went on too long for that to be the case.  Then I thought it was “lady business”, but that came and went too so I was left with the new thyroid med.  I guess we’ll see how I do without it and then make a decision with my doc.  I feel the need to confess that I fell off the 21DSD wagon on Valentine’s Day.  I split a small coconut vanilla tart with my kids.  It was literally only a few bites, but I wanted to offer full disclosure.  It was yummy and I don’t feel guilty, which I think is awesome.  I am already planning to do the 21DSD again towards the end of March.  I had such a sugar issue that I think it is going to take multiple times for me to get where I want to be.  As an example, I have been having the sugar-free allowed “treats” every day during this go around.  Even though I am not getting the sugar, I think I am still psychologically addicted tothe treat mentality.  I would like to do it again without the allowed treats.  Or at least cut them down.

On another topic, we ran 3 miles at CrossFit on Wednesday.  I am not a huge fan of running and I hadn’t done more than a 400 m sprint since coming off my hiatus in December.  I did the whole 3 miles (in the freezing cold) and it was mostly fine until my knee started hurting during the last 1/2 mile.  Hopefully it won’t give me any problems at the gym today.  Yesterday I was so tired from 2 sleepless nights that my only exercise was a walk with the kids.  It actually turned out to be the best part of my day.  My daughter held my hand the whole way and talked her face off.  My boys would periodically turn around from in front of us to say “love you mom.”  My sweet babies.  It was a blessed Valentine’s Day!

Thanksgiving Meatballs, avocado, spaghetti squash, cauliflower/parsnip mash

Thanksgiving Meatballs, avocado, spaghetti squash, cauliflower/parsnip mash

This was lunch on Wednesday.  There was a 5th meatball but I literally forgot it in the toaster oven and it caught on fire!  Like a serious flames shooting out fire.  I had to wake my husband to put it out and then the kids and I had to spend the rest of the afternoon at my mom’s house due to the smoke!  The 4 I ate were delicious.

I made “healthier” peanut butter cups for the kids for Valentine’s Day.  Here’s Finn after one of hers.

Enjoying a Peanut Butter cup with Breakfast

Enjoying a Peanut Butter cup with Breakfast

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A few more words on my “weight” revelation

Any of you who read these posts probably know that I plan nothing beforehand.  When I have a few minutes, I just sit down here and type.  Just let it fly.  One day, I hope to actually put some thought into what I want this blog to be.  I take that back.  I have put thought into it, I just haven’t put any real action behind it.  I think I am hoping it will just evolve naturally into this living thing where I say something, you guys respond and there will be a natural progression- like a conversation.  We’ll see how that goes:)

Anyway, I wanted to speak a few more words about my newest revelation.  The one that states that I don’t have to lose this 10 pounds.  Really I don’t.  My doctor said so!  I was at my gynecologist last week and for the past couple years I have been asking her how I could get this 10 pounds off.  What she thought the “problem” might be.  This visit I asked her, “Do I have to lose this weight?  Is there any medical reason why I would need to?” Her answer was no.  Your BMI is great and if you feel better with the 10 pounds on then you absolutely shouldn’t worry about it.  All of this while literally weeping because I knew just in asking the question that I had given myself a huge gift.  Shaken off some pretty serious chains.  Let me put this in perspective.  In the 6th grade our class had to get weighed for the President’s Challenge.  You know, one of those things where they count your sit ups, pull ups and how far you and bend over and touch your toes.  Mind you, I did really awesome at all that stuff, but what I remember is that when I got up to the scale (in front of everyone, something that probably wouldn’t happen these days) someone said, ” I can’t believe she weighs 104 pounds!”  Maybe they meant that in a a good way.  Like, 104 pounds is soooo small.  But what I heard was, ” 104 pounds is too much to weigh.”  I realize now of course that 104 pounds was fine.  I was 5’2″ tall.  Same as now.  I didn’t grow another inch after 6th grade.  Now I weigh around 124 pounds so I know that at 104 pounds I was small.   But ever since that day I have had an unholy obsession with the number on the scale.  I can tell you what I weighed the night I met my husband.  The day we got married.  When I went to Paris.  When I went to Disney.  After giving birth to my daughter. When I was diagnosed with Sjodgren’s. When I was diagnosed with Celiac.  The list goes on and on.  I haven’t tried to commit these numbers to memory on purpose, but they have just carried such a strong tie to my self worth that I held on to them.  My commitment for 2013 is NO MORE SCALES!  I want to take a trip this year and my memory be- Wow, I slept so great on that trip, or I ate the most amazing local food on that trip, or even I had the best sex of my life on that trip ( of course this being a trip that my husband took also)!  The point is that I want to have other benchmarks for events in my life.  Things that actually carry meaning and worth. It really is so hard to put into words the way that this has changed my life.  There is a lightness of spirit that hasn’t been present for literally 20 years.  I am so excited about all the things I will have the energy to do now that I don’t have a commitment to obsessing over that number and how many calories I will need to cut or cardio hours I will need to put in.  Hopefully I will have some time to put into making this blog super awesome:))

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Health History- Continued

After my diagnosis of Sjodgren’s and vasculitis, the rheumatologist put me on Prednisone.  I knew immediately that I did not want to take it.  I had heard horror stories from friends and family about the side effects and complications with it.  However, I was scared.  The doctor was telling me I had to get my inflammation under control ASAP if I wanted to avoid the mini strokes.  I had ZERO peace about it, but I decided to take the drug.  It did not go well.  It made everything worse.  I just couldn’t tolerate it.  I couldn’t sleep.  I could barely eat.  It felt like there were bugs crawling underneath my skin.  I was incredibly anxious.  I took the Prednisone for 1 month- September 2010.  After that, against my doctor’s wishes, I quit.  I knew this was not my path.  I had been praying continuously and earnestly the entire month and I just felt God telling me that this was not His plan for me.  I knew there was a plan. “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,” says the Lord, “thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Jeremiah 29:11  I clung to this verse with white knuckles. I trusted that whatever God had for me, it was for my good.  Even if it was death.  That was a hard thing, but I just had to let go and know that He had me in the palm of His hand. I decided that whatever the Lord had for me, it was not the path of conventional health care, and I went in search of something else. Something that would bring me a sense of peace.  Something that would honor the way my body was designed.  Something that would help me get my body back in balance and promote the natural healing that I knew was possible.

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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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