Saturday, April 23, 2016

Good News and Next Steps

Life keeps happening whether I write about it or not. So let me catch you up a little on the latest.

I FINALLY heard back from SSI about whether they are going to open my case for review. It took almost a year for them to decide not to. So I'm going to do something extreme to my hair to celebrate my relief at not having to jump through a thousand migraine-triggering hoops to prove my migraines. Maybe I'll dye it blue, or cut a mohawk, or both. Bleach and dye cost money though so we'll see.

My periods have gone absolutely apeshit bananas on me, they're now two weeks long and I had another terrifying bleeding spree that left me *this close* to going to emergency. I forced myself to eat salty and sugary foods to keep my blood pressure up and I doubled up on the iron supplements to keep my iron stores from becoming dangerously low and luckily the bleeding stopped before I felt I was in mortal danger. Well, it slowed.

So my doctor gave me micronor, which did trigger an IC flare last time I tried it - over a year ago - but since I've had the IC under control for a while, and I didn't have a whole lot of options, I went for it. It's helped, but I'm still bleeding, way more than is normal. I had another ultrasound done and they found a cyst on my ovary and growths in my uterus, possible fibroids or polyps. I'm going to have surgery to check things out in there and remove anything problematic, and also to put in a mirena, since it's my best bet overall to control the bleeding without compromising my future fertility.

A side note on periods and quantity: my doc recommended doubling up the micronor on days when I was bleeding heavily. I asked specifically what "heavy" meant, because I suspected my perspective of what was a normal amount of bleeding might be skewed. She said if I need to empty my cup (about 25 ml capacity) more than 4 times a day, that was heavy, and to take a second pill. I threw my head back and laughed, then put my face in my hands and cried. I'd already emptied my cup four times that day and it was only 11am, and this was considered light by comparison with the previous week! The doc agreed I was essentially hemorrhaging every month, and put a note of urgency on the surgery order.

My depression continues. I tried zoloft for nearly a week, but it gave me the shits and nausea so bad I was like, I'm never going to be not depressed on this pill, and I quit it. My doc recommends splitting them in half and trying again. Maybe after all this period stuff is under control, I will.

I've got a little garden going! Growing things is so therapeutic for me, I've made it a priority this spring. We got some thyme and rosemary, I resurrected a few kale plants from last year and one chard, I'm pretty sure the peppermint will bounce back from whatever rodent-related assault recently decimated it, and I got one of these grow your own mushroom kits going in the kitchen. No sign of growth yet, but I'm hopeful!

Holy cow this is more than I've written in a month. Better hit submit before I wander off or lay down and forget all about it.

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Still Here

I keep trying to write, but it all feels really pointless.

So this is just a marker to say I'm still alive, still struggling, still here. I do think I'll be back, but right now, it's just too hard to write it all down.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Slay

It's an uphill battle, but at the top there might be s'mores.

Exercise is the hardest and most rewarding thing I do for myself. It hurts afterwards, but feels so good in the moments, and the long-term benefits are undeniable. It's incredible to me that my body has relearned a level of fitness that I never thought I could achieve again. Even if I'm unable to work out for weeks, months, my body bounces back into it so quickly, it restores my faith in my ability to heal, and be well. Being sick all the time can make every little nothing ache and pain seem like another permanent albatross of bedridden anxiety, but exercise may be retraining my brain to remember that pain can be productive, and I will survive it much better by not diving headfirst into a debilitating depression, thankyouverymuch.

My mental health remains stable, which is nice! I've had fleeting depressive or destructive thoughts, but nothing I couldn't handle in the moment, which makes me feel like I'm successfully slaying a dragon. Depression is so big, so threatening, and so all-encompassing, it feels like there's no way out, at least not alive. Depression lies. It may look like a dragon, but with the right tools in hand, it can be reduced to a newt, which is a harmless, adorable creature that we do not slay, we let it do its own thing under the leaves. We know it's there, but we don't need to bother each other, not on such a glorious day.





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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Better, Worse, Same

I'm not really here.

I'm having to force myself to come here and write, and even when I do I'm leaving half-finished drafts when I inevitably run out of steam. And what's worse is that I'm essentially rewriting the same post over and over. I see the older drafts, maybe even give them a once over, think, "I could rewrite this better from scratch." Start all over and get confused/distracted/tired at roughly the same place on every one.

So my brain is weird right now, in that sort of unfocused way, but my emotional well-being has been better. I'm unable to get mental health care through my county (I'm not addicted to anything or actively self-harming/willing to be institutionalized for it, and that's the limit of their powers right now) so I've been taking St. Johns Wort regularly and it's been helping with that wave of depression I was getting nearly every month at the end of my periods, the last two (three?) have gone great. Woohoo for emotional stability! I'm so relieved not to be afraid of myself anymore.

My head is not great lately. I always think that winter is easier on me because I don't have to worry about the heat, but the weather changes are frequent this year - thanks el nino - and I'm finding myself planted in my chair far more often than I'd like. The nausea is back, and it's brought body aches with it. I feel like I've got weights attached to my limbs, and I'm sleeping a bit more than I feel is normal for me.

My IC continues to stay under control, I haven't had any pain at all and my usual frequency and urgency remain usual. I am still following my IC protocol, but not nearly as strictly as I was when I was healing. I don't avoid anything entirely but eat only very infrequent, small portions of ingredients that I know flare me, like onion or citrus.

Oops, running out of steam. Is this a complete post? It is if I say it is, so it is.




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Monday, January 11, 2016

On the Eve of my 37th Birthday

I'm recycling the title from last year's bday post because I liked it so much.

I'm ready for 37. Bring it on. 36 was hard, my mental health was a mess, I felt more alone than I can ever remember feeling, and I didn't know for sure that I'd come out of it alive. But here I am, another year older, another year wise-assier.

I'm not in a much different place than I was a year ago; I'm still studying spanish, I still live in a wee house in a big-tree forest and still have two dogs, a man, and a whopping case of the migraines. But this year I took some control back. I started it off by beating my IC into remission (if there is such a thing) and now I have pain extremely rarely, and it wouldn't even be worth mentioning if I wasn't specifically mentioning it. That gave me some confidence, so I started doing more research and following my own instincts, outside of my doctor's limited recommendations. I began using essential oils, vitamins, herbs, and supplements for my health issues and while I haven't found anything for my migraines, I've developed a routine that has helped my emotional state, my immune system, and my skin. With the promise of better access to mental health care in the coming year, things can only improve, at least on that front.

The migraines remain. At least they're consistent. I've had some really good days though! A few really terrible ones, lots of mostly awful and frustrating ones, and not a few where I just kept going, despite what I felt, because sitting still was making me feel like a slow-growing mold that had started to rot. The other day I was walking in circles picking up clutter and putting away stray hair clips because I simply couldn't sit down. Despite not being able to think or really even see, I was still compelled to keep moving, keep sorting, keep doing, until I began stumbling into furniture and finally laid down, and almost immediately fell asleep. So, no improvements physically, and none expected in the year to come, but never say never, because nothing is certain.

I'm made some strides in setting boundaries for myself and my health, and I've stuck to them. This is something I'm starting to really like about myself. Some might see it as being rigid or unkind, but I have to protect myself at least as much as I would protect a friend. No one would fault me for protecting a friend.

I am getting some baaaad baby fever. I'm still not in a great place financially to have a kid, and I'm unsure what it would do to my health and certainly doubt my ability to care for a baby with a constant migraine, but my heart aches.

Tomorrow, I plan to spend the day with my mom, who is dealing with some significant health issues. She and I have always been close, and sharing a birthday has always felt special, but this year is harder for her, and I'm glad we're going to be able to be together. I'm tempted to never leave her side again.


It's a beautiful, complicated, sad, joyful, hilarious, ridiculous, painful, demanding, interesting, fabulous life. And I'm here.



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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year: in Review/Incoming

Goals for 2016:

-Write a short story, and submit it somewhere
-finish beginner spanish, continue to learn at least 5x week
-continue to exercise
-find inner peace, nbd

2015 was rough on me, and I couldn't think of a thing I'd accomplished in the year, until I looked back on what I recorded here. I kicked ass this year, even though this year kind of kicked my ass. It was a mutual ass kicking.


Things that happened in 2015:

I've successfully managed my IC through diet for a year. I don't know if I'm in remission, because I do experience pain if I get daring and eat something too spicy, or forget to pick the onions out of a dish, but it doesn't last long because I go back to eating safely.

I wrote more this year. I worked on a few short stories - though I don't know if any of them will ever be finished - and wrote a bunch about food.

I reevaluated my social media usage, unfollowed people that don't make me happy, and joined some groups and apps that do.

I started last year thinking about having kids, and that ache has only grown. I'm no closer to an answer to that question, unfortunately.

I broadened my supplement intake, and opened my mind a bit more to the woo, including acupuncture and essential oils.

I had a tiny, rather unsuccessful vegetable garden and my first flower garden ever. And I am already thinking about what to plant next year because I am a masochist.

I got to work for a dog sitter! This was an incredible amount of fun and I hope this gig continues into 2016, even if only infrequently.

I've been more honest with myself and others about my mental health. It's not great, Bob.

I've continued exercising, and even started jogging! It still baffles me.


So, I am moving forward, things are happening, even if they aren't happening at the pace I would choose.

Happy new year, friends. See you in 2016.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Current Events

I'm getting ready for xmas, which will be spent with just my immediate family.

I've managed to buy some presents, and I'm already half packed for the overnighter we're spending at my parents, but I think the truffles we were thinking of making are not going to happen because I'm already consciously keeping reserves of my energy.

I joined a facebook group for chronic migraineurs, and it's helped me feel a little more connected to the world lately. They're talking a lot about this daith piercing trend that's happening. I don't have a great track record with piercings, they take forever to heal, but I'm interested in hearing others' experiences with it. It sounded like bunk to me, especially because the daith doesn't line up with any acupuncture points for migraine, but some people are seeing positive effects so I can't help but be curious.

I haven't seen any changes in my migraines since starting the vitamin E regimen, so I won't be buying more when the bottle runs out. The St. John's Wort may have made a difference however, I found my depression to be a little easier to ride out this month, but I still felt really anxious, maybe even more anxious than I was before? I dealt with it ok, but still, it was not my favorite.

I'm having a bit of an emotional crisis over having biological children. I always thought I'd get to it, but my health, money, having a relationship, home life and financial situation that feels stable enough to bring a child into it; it's never felt right, and now I'm faced with a bit of a now or never choice. I can always adopt in the future, and that's something I'd like to do, but I can't help but feel turmoil over this choice to either possibly lose my chance to give birth or to dive into the deep end and have a child now. I need to see my dr after the new year, and all I can do is hope that she'll have another option for me.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Realities

The older I get, the more cynical I get about Thanksgiving. The origins of the holiday are total bull, and there are so many people going hungry in this country (in the world) that spending a day stuffing my face in the name of community and gratitude feels a tad hypocritical. And then there's the migraines, so it's not like I'm rushing to the family table where everyone is in their finest and wearing perfume up the whazoo.

Anyway. Today will be spent at home, kind of a normal day save for the menu I'm aiming to cook, if we can get all the food - we have no potatoes at the moment, and if I don't get my mashed tapaytas and mushroom gravy I'll be bummed - and if I can even manage cooking it.

I've still been extraordinarily tired lately, even with supplements and being able to hike again most mornings. Today will be a day for slow and steady progress.

So, if this all works out, it'll be mash and gravy, green beans, a really simple apple, almond, and sweet potato dressing, and maybe some lentil loaf bites.

Tomorrow, we're heading to my parents' house for "leftovers", though knowing my step-dad he may just make a whole new meal.

And I'll just leave this here, because it was informational, funny, and we should all know the truth about our history.


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Friday, November 13, 2015

Coming Back

Ok, I seem to be regaining my balance for the moment, so let's stop to catch up, shall we?

I did, indeed, cut my hours at the dog sitters', and after the initial upset I felt at losing something that felt important to me (a sort-of livelihood, people counting on me, awesome dog interaction all the time), I am realizing that I am slowly regaining the energy to do things around the house, and I went on my first hike in two weeks this morning.

I'm really excited about some wool socks I made on a whim yesterday, too. I haven't sewn in ages beyond basic repairs and was feeling super down about my ability, but then I was inspired to demolish an old wool sweater and turn it into the warmest socks I've ever had on my feet. They look completely wonky, as if I perhaps made them with one eye closed and a hand tied behind my back, but they fit and are comfortable and did I mention warm? Warm.

My head continues to torture me every day, and it's been particularly sensitive the past few weeks, I'm guessing due to the weather finally changing. I'm nauseated a lot, but since I haven't been in a car in a while, it's staying under control with minimal ginger. Those anti-nausea pills were a miracle for a while there, but now I'm kind of afraid to take them, since I only recently got my pooper running regularly again. I did get some fiber powder to use in conjunction with it, but I'm still not rushing for it unless I have to. Next car ride, probably.

The IC is still here. I've read anecdotes of people having full remissions but I don't see that happening for me anytime soon. I'm not in an active flare, and I can currently get away with eating very modest amounts of acidic foods and spices, but there are some things that still trigger pain, like onions, caffeine, or tight pants. I can't complain about it though, considering how ridiculously restricted my diet was this time last year, and oh boo hoo I have to wear stretchy pants for the rest of my life, what ever will I do with all this comfort?

Though, it's funny navigating life as a person who doesn't drink alcohol or caffeine, other people's addictions become very apparent very quickly as they loudly proclaim their inability to EVER go without [drug of choice] and how it's the only reason they get through [minorly unpleasant life experience]. Actually, meat eaters do this with me too, but not smokers, interestingly. I think smoking has just enough stigma now that peer pressure isn't cool anymore. I'm still a jerk (apparently) for telling people not to smoke around me, but they are also a jerk for spreading their toxic clouds of cancer all over, so it's less awkward I think. For me, at least, haha.

And I've joined a forum or two to try and forge more connections in this world. I've been too isolated, so I've got to make social interaction part of my self-care routine, whether my introverted self likes it or not.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Some Choices Suck

I had to reduce my already measly hours at the dog sitter's and i'm devastated over it.

This feels nothing like when I left my job when I first got sick; that was more like a reclaiming of my life, as if I was taking myself back from the job. But this... I love being with the dogs, and telling the owners that I couldn't be there for them like I'd been trying to feels like a step away from life. I feel like I've lost everything that made me likeable and now I'm just the migraine.

I just feel really lost and sad. That's all.

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