Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dr Results (Jennifer)

Its been a tough few months, but especially the past few weeks.  The stress ate me alive for sure.  Or should I say I ate my stress.  I am disappointed in myself but at the same time know it doesnt define me and I know I can get back to where I was and even better as far as the weight goes.

Today I had my appt with the ENT for the results of my CT scans I had before Christmas.   I hadnt heard anything about them so I was assuming all was good.  The other day they called with the automated system to remind me of my appt.  Fine, until I heard that I was scheduled with the dr?  I usually the the nurse practitioner and that is who I scheduled my appt with.  But whatever...maybe it was nothing.  So I go there today and I waited an hour just to get into a room.  The nurse talked to me about my symptoms and said "they didnt find anything in there".  Oh good, I thought.  Then as she was leaving the room I asked who I was seeing today.  She looked and said the doctor and the nurse practitioner.  I thought to myself, Oh God, thats not a good sign.  I waited another half hour in the room and decided it was because I had to wait for both of them to be free at the same time.  Thank God my mom came with me.  Then the nurse practitioner opens the door and tells me to come out.  What?  Um...this is the exam room and you are supposed to come IN!!!  I didnt say that of course.  What I did say was "OH GOD".  She must have see the worry and said not to worry its wasnt that bad.  I go out and there is the dr at the computer looking at my scan.  He showed me how I have sinus blockage which is probably causing my discomfort.  He said I also have TMJ which is contributing to the issue.  I knew that.  I have had it for years.  So, six weeks of therapy for my jaw (who knew there was such a thing) and then some sort of sinus surgery which is not as invasive as it used to be I guess.  And since the right side doesnt look normal either, but not as bad as the left, he will *fix* that too. He used all sorts of big words and medical terminology which totally lost me.  But, at least I wasnt crazy all this time. 

And on top of that(yes, its gets better), the new practice I saw a few weeks ago for a new primary care dr...well they called yesterday morning to inform me my thyroid function is low.  Hypoactive thyroid, and now they want me on medicine.  I have an appt next week to discuss that.  I have been tested tons of times for thyroid disease and nothing has ever been *off*.  Why now?  The thought of taking a pill every day for the rest of my life....I think I just need more information and be a little more educated.

So, I hope all of you had a great holiday.  I wish mine wasnt so stressful but overall it was a great time.  I definately gained some weight and I feel absolutely nasty.  And I mean that.  NASTY.  There is a roll hanging over the pants again, at least the ones that still fit(not kidding) and I have got some awful acne which I am sure has something to do with how poorly I have been eating.  Today someone from the gym said they were wondering where I have been, and that I look tired.  Yup.  Thats about it!  But I am on my way back.  Not having the frustration of not feeling well without knowing why is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  Getting back into my healthy routine is tough but I am doing it!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No news... (Jennifer)

My scan was Tuesday afternoon and I havent heard anything yet.   My hubs is a big fan of "no news is good news".  I hope he is right.  I am off to bed.  Thanks for the prayers and thoughts.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I went (Jennifer)

After trying to talk myself into rescheduling my appt for my catscan today I decided to get it over with and I went.  So now I wait.  I am waiting to NOT get a call back that something is wrong.  If all that is going on is from TMJ (they say this is a possibility) then I will gladly accept that and deal with it.  Really I would.  It beats many of ther alternatives.  My follow up appt is at the end of the month "unless something is wrong, then they will call sooner".

I forgot to share a little story in my post last night.   Yesterday I went for my allergy testing.  I am allergic to most things apparently but dont have many symptoms so that is good.  This testing, however, is one of the *straws* they are grabbing at for a diagnosis.  I dont buy it.  Anyway, I was there for quite a while because apparently when you are allergic there are several rounds of injections to see just how allergic you are.  So, I got chatting with the lady who was stabbing me with needles over and over again.  I was telling her how I have lost over 60 lbs and she screamed (she was a very outspoken kind of lady) "Wow!  You would never know!  You are such a tiny little thing!".  Me?  Tiny?  Um...I immediately thought about how this was going to have to make it into my blog.  She was a smaller lady, much smaller than me in my opinion so I was shocked to hear that come out of her mouth.  And it felt good, even though the scale revealed I gained...are you ready???....9.6 lbs in the past few weeks.  Between the steroids, not feeling well and just plain giving in the scale was there to remind me of the consequence.  But, I wont let it get me down.  However, I DO feel it in a major way.  The pants are tight, I feel the roll over the pants, and just plain fluffier.  Its a good reminder that 10 lbs can change things so much.  Sometimes when losing weight, slowly especially, its hard to notice the difference a few pounds makes.  Until you put it back on and feel like a house. 

I am not giving up at all.  I will continue on with this journey to a healthy me.  And I hope that I can turn the stress off and refocus on my exercise and eating.  I have been praying the test went well today.  Thanks to you all for your thoughts and prayers.  They are much appreciated.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Stressed (Jennifer)

Most people claim to be stressed around the holidays.  Maybe its the shopping, or spending lots of money, lots of things to get done and much busier schedules than usual.  Me...I have always loved Christmas time.  I love the music, I love the shopping, wrapping, spending time with family, and this year decorating the tree with my girls was the best time I have had in ages.

But I am stressed for a different reason.  Most of you know I havent been feeling very well lately.  I have had swollen glands, been to several dr visits, three rounds of anitbiotics, steroids, antihistimines, mucinex, allergy testing, x-ray...etc.  They have said its pneumonia, then the chest xray was clear, maybe its allergies, or TMJ.  Lots of maybes but no feeling better.  Today was my follow up visit with my ENT.  I told her how my left side of my neck is still feeling swollen and uncomfortable and my ear still hurts.  It feels like it goes right down into my chest and I dont really know how else to explain it other than my left side of my face, neck, ear, throat, and  part of my chest dont feel right.  They decided its time to do a CT scan.  They scheduled it for tomorrow.  While logically I know it is the next step in figuring this whole thing out (its been going on for months now), I am very stressed over it.  I have mentioned before that becoming terminally ill is one of my biggest fears in life.  Now...I know this is jumping the gun but for some reason its always in the back of my mind.   In my mind, I fear that they will find something, call me a few days before Christmas with bad news, I would be upset for the holiday, and it just goes on from there.  I honestly dont know where this fear comes from.   I cant figure that out no matter how hard I try.  But, it definately plays a big part in my fear of going to the dr. 

That was a big deal for me to share *outloud*.  Call it, (and me) what you will but that is just how I feel.  I wish I didnt have this fear, believe me.   It definately isnt pleasant.  So now I know that I will have this test tomorrow afternoon and then spend the rest of the day(s) petrified that they will call and tell me something is wrong.  Part of me (the fear in me) wants to call and reschedule the test for right after Christmas so that in the event that something is wrong so it wont ruin my Christmas.  The logical part of me wants to just get the test done.

So thats it.  Pretty deep right?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting there (Jennifer)

I have been doing pretty well in my eating since getting back on track.  But, tonight we had dinner with the inlaws and while the day was going well and I ordered a salad for dinner, I then started picking at my daughters food...then some other left overs.  Then, my mother in law had fudge in the car and it was all over from there.  Those of you who read regularly know this is a roadblock for me!

But it was not a complete failure.  In the past if I overate I also gave up on exercise.  Always.  I am an all or nothing kind of girl usually.  Thats why when I was on steroids and eating everything in sight, I also did not exercise. And not feeling well didnt help.  I figured...what's the point?  I am too far gone today so I will start tomorrow.  I said that day after day after day until it was two weeks later.

Today, after overeating and feeling bad about it, I told myself right away that I was going to hit the treadmill tonight.  Some exercise is better than no exercise.  This very statement is a huge accomplishment for me to even be able to think!!!!   So, I went home and even though the hubs was too tired to exercise, he came down with me and napped while I did.  I could have easily skipped but I actually *wanted* to do it.   Like I had something to prove to myself or something.

Last night I planned on one fast paced mile(fast pace for me is 6mph).  I ended up doing two miles alternating between 6mph and 7mph.  I pushed myself and did 2 miles in 19:19.  Then I walked for  a quarter of a mile and ran another mile at 5mph for 3 total running miles yesterday.  Tonight, I was unsure what I was going to do.  I got on and started at 6mph.  I ended up doing 2 miles at 6mph (20:20), walked for a quarter mile again, and then did another 2 miles at 5mph.  Four miles tonight.  I never walk in the middle of my runs but I figured since I was running a faster pace than usual I would give myself that little recoup time in the middle.  

So, since Wednesday when I got my act back together and decided to try to meet this 26 mile challenge by the end of the month ( I had not run at all this month before then) I have completed 13 miles.  Wow.  Thats half way to my 26 mile goal.  Tomorrow I will most likely take a rest day but will try to focus on my eating.


Friday, December 17, 2010

The dreadmill (Jennifer)

Last night I got on the treadmill for a run.  I joined Jess's challenge to run 26 miles in the month of December.  As of the 15th I hadnt run even one mile yet because of how I was feeling.  So I was asking myself if its a possibility to run 26 miles in 16 days.  And I decided that all I can do is try.  I sure like a challenge.  My glands were a little less swollen yesterday so I hopped on the dreadmill and went at a leisurely pace, although even that seemed a little tougher than usual.  I ran 4 miles to make my total of 6 miles this month so far. 

My run last night was not as enjoyable as some I have had on the treadmill.  There was no runners high making me want to keep running.  Instead, there was a lot of watching the laps blinking (I covered up the time but still knew how far I was running by watching the laps-such a cheater I am) and waiting for it to end.  There are no changes in scenery or distractions like there are on an outdoor run.  But at the same time I am so very thankful to have one in my home(even though I almost sold it a dozen times in my big girl days). When all was said and done the treadmill said I burned over 600 calories for my 4 miles.  I am not sure how accurate that is though.  I have asked Santa for a new calorie monitoring watch  :)

Another run is in the plans for tonight.  I am hoping I am feeling this one a little more.  Its so hard after a tough run to convince myself to go at it again.   But then I tell myself its only 30 -45 minutes and there is no excuse!  I came across an article about losing weight and running.  The article was saying how when we run our bodies can get used to it after a while and refuse to drop any further weight, or even gain weight...even with a proper diet. Doesnt that seem so unfair???The guy recommended that if this happens (or to avoid it) that a person should change one or all of these things up....change intensity of run, speed, and/or distance.   I am thinking i will do a quick mile on there tonight.  Short and intense.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Amazed (Jennifer)

I am nothing short of amazed by how different my body feels in just a few days.  I have spent much of the last two weeks eating poorly and being hungry most of the time.   My tummy hurt, I felt guilty, my pants were tight, I felt frumpy and I swear I saw a fat girl in the mirror.  I got back on track in the last few days and I am just totally amazed at the difference.

I have been putting my *normal* healthy things(more protein, less sugar, whole grains, veggies, etc)  into my body and in return my body has had no hunger pains, cravings, no bloated feeling, etc.  Wow.  That is just the affirmation I needed.  And mentally, just feeling like I am doing good for myself makes a world of difference.  I dont like to feel like I am letting myself down.  Does that sound stupid?

The hubs will be home from work soon and I will attempt a run on the treadmill.  Yesterday I did a run( also on the treadmill since it has been snowing here by the feet for the past two weeks) which while it was successful in the end, it was not the smoothest thing in the world.   I was also trying to make sure my girls were staying out of trouble.  They are two and three so it was hard to run and keep my attention on them too.  Its impossible to get into *the zone* that makes running even a possibility for me.  In fact, I am not sure I will try it again any time soon. 

So, thats it.  I am learning lots throughout this journey.  Eat good things and I will feel good.  Eat crappy food and I feel crappy..well, other than for those few short minutes while actually eating it!  Its not worth it.  I am actually glad to have had this experience.  Its okay to splurge and eat some yummy stuff here and there but not every day all day like I was.  I cant even believe that is how I used to live every day for years.  The other day I looked back and actually got sad that I missed out on so many years of my life, good years too, by being obese.  It restricted me in so many ways from being the person I now know I am capable of being.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I am back (Jennifer)

I cannot even tell you how awful it felt eating like crap.  I mean, the food that I ate was yummy but most of the time my stomach was uncomfortably stuffed to the gill yet I was hungry(thanks to the steroids) and I was feeling guilty.  And to be honest I kind of treated it  like it was a *break* from my healthy lifestyle and almost like the steroids were the excuse.   

Looking back I learned some huge lessons.  First, once my appetite increased and my stomach expanded it was very hard to go back to eating smaller portions.  I would start the day off with the best of intentions and end up caving for one thing or another swearing tomorrow would be a better day....the day to start.  I caught myself in the act though, and recognized this vicious cycle.  Start what?  This is my life, not some game.  I am glad I had the willpower to get back in control and out of the cycle before too much damage.  And I am happy that although I did gain some weight, that a few pounds was enough to make me feel gross and *want* to get back to my healthy ways.  I am avoiding the scale for a bit to focus on my my healthy behaviors.

Second, although I have been stressed about not feeling well lately, knowing that I was not eating well and not exercising much made my mood even worse.  I felt bad about myself.  I was failing myself and I knew it.  I caught myself with a damaged self esteem and outlook again.  I talked with my husband about it and he agreed that I was pretty cranky and feeling not so great about myself.  He must have told me 5 times over the past week to go for a run.  Does it really make that much aof a difference?  Apparently so :)

I went for a run today.  I started with two miles since its been a while.  It was nice.  I wish I could say that I am feeling better physically but I am still not.  My glands are still all swollen and my ear, neck and chest all hurt...mostly on the left side  :(   Nothing back on the blood work yet.  I think I will call tomorrow and maybe even make another appt.  I am hoping no news is good news .  My allergy testing with the ENT is Monday but I am doubting that is what is causing all this. 

Thanks to you all for your continued support and kind words.  Its amazing how words from someone you never even met can make your day, right?

Jess-think I can do the 26.1 miles by the end of the year?????? Today was the first I ran this month I think  :(


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tomorrow (Jennifer)

I dont think that when I created this blog that I intended to use it for accountability.  But I have to say that right now, that is exactly what I am using it for.  I have been struggling with not feeling that well.  And I still have swollen glands and I am not feeling that great(still no answers by the way).  But I am now off the steroids (which I dont believe helped anything at all including my weight) and I am hoping to get back into the swing of things. I have really let myself go and I dont like how it feels.  It is like a blast from the past and I need to take my life back into control before I undo much more of my hard work.

Tomorrow.  I need to have a plan.  I havent been exercising because I just havent been feeling that great.  But not exercising isnt really making me feel better either.  So, I am back at it tomorrow.  I plan to get up and run in the morning.  Its my best shot of jump starting myself back into the lifestyle I want to live.  With the exercise, it is much easier for the healthy eating to follow.  Its odd how that works for me.  An all or nothing girl I guess   :)

Water, I need to drink tons of water too.  That should combat some of the hunger I am struggling with now that my stomach seems to have stretched and I am wanting to eat more before getting full.

I need to get back to blogging regularly too.  That helps me immensely.  I am also going to go back and read some of my older posts to hopefully reinspire myself.  The scale will be ugly tomorrow no doubt.  But I must face it.  This isnt a game.  This is my life.

I am a bit disappointed in myself that I let myself fall out of my healthy habits.  I had been in *the groove* for so long that I thought it was my norm.  I was shocked I let myself fall out of that .  I partially blame the steroids as they did make me soooo hungry, but part of me kind of gave into that as well.  Like I had an excuse.  But, whats done is done and there is no point in dwelling on what I cant change.  What I can change is the choices I make from this day forward.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

A few appointments (Jennifer)

The other day I had my appt with the ENT.  I saw the nurse practitioner who after hearing my symptoms went and brought the dr in.  They did a scope of both my nose and throat right then and there.  The good news is that everything *looks* good in there.  He said it is possible that my symptoms are being caused by allergies causing fluid to drain into my chest.  But he didnt think so.  He said another option is that it could be from my severe TMJ.  I have had TMJ since I had my wisdom teeth out as a teenager.  He said that can cause intense inflammation and radiate into the neck.  I still feel like I have this swollen feeling in my neck and chest...all on the left side.  So, I am having allergy testing done next week and he wants me to see a physical therapist for the jaw which is said is a quick fix???  Hmmm... I can only imagine.  Anyway, he said if things arent better in 4 weeks he would like to do a CT scan of my face and neck.

Today was my appt with the new primary care practice.  I had decided I had enough of the very large(an ineffecient) practice where I was going.  This new practice has 1 dr and 1 PA.  I felt welcomed there.  I met with the PA who had excellent bedside manner and actually took the time to hear me out.  She said it is great that the xray I had is negative but that she disagreed that I had been put on 3 consecutive rounds of antibiotics.  She listened to my chest and said I have rough(I think this is what she said??) on the left but there is no pneumonia sound.  And apparently thats okay?  I am not sure how it works since I am not a dr.  But if it sounds different doesnt that mean something isnt right? She did take some blood work, which I dread because it just means I have to wait for more results and stress over it!  I am totally like that.  I wish I werent!  Amongst the bloodwork is a thyroid test.  qAnd, I got a flu shot today too. 

I would love it if all of this were *just* allergies.  Odd that just the left side is swollen and its all the way from my ear to my chest...hmmmm....  I am trying to be patient. 

Thats about it for now.  I am off the steroids today so that is a plus!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Checking in (Jennifer)

Just a quick check in.  Tomorrow I see a nurse practitioner at the ENT practice.  I made the appt last week because I am getting fed up with how I am feeling.  My glands near my ear and down the left of my neck are still swollen.  And I am pretty sure the antibiotics(all three rounds now) arent helping whatever it is that is going on.  I am weaning off of my short treatment of steroids, 8 days total, and surprisingly I am not sure they helped that much either.  They certainly did NOT help as far as my eating is concerned.  And to be honest I cant wait to feel back in control of what I put in my mouth.  My appetite on steroids is so hard to explain.  Its more than just being hungry.  I am ravenous. My stomach is growling and hungry(starving it seems) yet my tummy is full.   But I eat anyway, as if I hadnt eaten in days.  Its kind of like the whole middle step of thought processing before eating is non existent.  This experience has taught me a lot about myself.  It made me realize how(before this week) I was really doing pretty well with my thought processes in my everyday diet for the last several months.   I have been able to exercise control and eat proper foods that made me feel good.  I look forward to getting back there.

Thanks for all your thoughts, well wishes and prayers.  They are much appreciated. 


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quick update (Jennifer)

The good news is that they called Friday evening and said my chest x-ray was negative.  The bad news is that I still dont feel  normal or like any of the meds are fixing it...AND I am on steroids which is a nightmare for someone trying to eat well.  I am hungry, VERY hungry.  I had actually forgetten (and this is definately a huge reminder) how it feels to be so out of control hungry.  My pants are tight, I feel bloated, and my self image has plummeted because of it.  Only a few more days on this medicine though.  I have an appt next week that I made with an ENT and also a new primary care practice.  So...I will keep my fingers crossed and keep praying.  Thanks to you all for your kind words and thoughts.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

No update (Jennifer)

As expected, I did not get a call back about my chest xray yesterday.  And also as expected, when I called today they said they didnt see the results and my dr isnt in today so I wouldnt hear anything anyway.  Tomorrow I will call again and hope to hear good news.  She isnt in until mid afternoon.  Getting bad news on a Friday afternoon would totally stink :(  Trying to be positive.

I did, however, decide that it is time for me to get out of that practice and into a smaller one.  So, I made myself an appt for next week.  They were just so nice on the phone so I am hopeful. 

Fingers crossed.  I really appreciate the thoughts and prayers.  I have been praying a lot.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Getting nervous (Jennifer)

I have been saying how I have been back and forth to the dr and they kept saying bronchitis, then it was bronchitis on its way to pneumonia...etc.  I have now been on antibiotics for what seems like forever.  I went back in for my follow up this morning and told her I really dont feel much better.  I still feel like there is something in my chest I cant get out.  She listened and said it sounds wheezy and like pneumonia.  She also said the glands on the left side are extremely swollen and I have quite a bit of fluid in my left ear.  I got a chest x-ray and I am waiting for the resuts.  But I have to be honest.  I am getting really nervous that it is more than pneumonia.  She put me on round 3 of antibiotics and now steroids too (ugh).  Which is odd because she said today that she has already used the "big guns" on me (Cipro and Levaquin).  To me, (I am not a dr by any means)  if it were pneumonia wouldnt it be getting better with all these antibiotics?? 

So now I wait for the dr to call me with my xray results.  She is off tomorrow so I am hoping I hear something today.  I get myself all nervous waiting for results like these.  I am a nervous nelly.  And, I am a little sour with my previous medical experiences, as I have posted about before, so that doesnt help either.  I have been so tired.  It just isnt like me to feel like I want to nap during the day or to still feel exhausted when I wake up in the morning.  I am hoping this all gets cleared up fast.  I am petrified there is something really wrong.