Monday, December 13, 2010

No matter what I say, you aren't going to listen anyway.

What most people don't ever realize about me is that I am a REALLY GOOD LIAR. Sounds shocking, doesn't it? I don't lie to make people mad, I don't lie to hurt anyone's feelings, I simply lie to hide my own feelings. Be honest - would you still talk to me and be friends with me if I was Eeyore? No. You wouldn't.
I have to lie in order to have friends. No one wants to hang out with someone who is perpetually sad. A lot of people have told me that I have so much that I shouldn't be sad. I have a good job, a loving husband, good friends, a nice place to live, food in the fridge, and clothes on my back. Great - I have some things. But do the bad things outweigh the good? Let's see.

- In-laws who lie to my husband and I with every word out of their mouths.
- A father who always says he'll call back, but never does.
- A step-mother who says she loves and misses me, then talks shit about me when I'm not around.
- A mother that can't get out of bed and take care of herself, so my grandparents and I have to take care of her.
- Two sets of grandparents who are soon likely to need my assistance in daily life.
- A disease that affects every aspect of my life, with no cure or decent treatment available. One that has destroyed my hopes of being a mother, and doomed me to a life rittled with weight problems.
- A mental illness that makes the sad times even more sad, and the happy times seem like a freak show.
- A husband, who, although he loves me dearly, couldn't take over the responsibilities as the head of the household if something happened to me.
- A list of people I consider friends, but rarely see, and that only happens if I have planned it and paid for everything, or if I drive all the way to them, because the possibility of coming to my side of the world, if just even once, is out of the question.
- A home packed full of boxes because I don't have the mental or physical ability to unpack.
Do I need to start listing the little things as well?

I go home every night after work, so mentally exhausted that I don't want to do anything. I can make plans and lists all day long, but as soon as I get in the car, the drive to do anything disappears. I buy groceries to cook good, healthy meals - but the food rots in the fridge because cooking drains what little energy I may have out. I tried to do yoga - but realized that the way I was taught to breathe does not coincide with the poses meant to be relaxing. Nothing is relaxing if you can't breathe. I have scrapbook and stamping supplies wasting away in boxes, Christmas presents unwrapped, dozens of puzzles unopened, piles of unhanged pictures, and all these dreams of just once not watching tv for a night.

And when I finally do get off the couch or out of bed, like to force myself to clean and cook for one of my 'parties' (which rarely, if ever, does more than half of the guest list show up), I am so stressed out that I don't want anyone coming over anymore. But I put on my fake smile and force myself to try and enjoy the evening - even though I know that I likely won't get any thanks for it. (If the 2 people who have told me thank you for the parties are reading this, you have no idea how much your thanks means to me.)

When we were in college, we saw our friends at least 3 nights a week. I know that life changes after college, and it becomes a lot more difficult to see each other. It just hurts me that we have grown so far apart. One friend in particular could know just by being near me if something was wrong. It doesn't happen anymore. Things are worse now than they ever were in school, and you can't see it.

If I fell off the face of the Earth, how long would it take for you to notice I was gone? No, I'm not talking about suicide. I couldn't do that to myself or my family, so don't be concerned. But in all seriousness, if I stopped texting you and stopped posting on Facebook, how long would it take for you to miss me?

So I lie to you to hide all of this - it's a necessary evil to have some connection to the outside world. I waste hundreds of dollars a month on pills and doctors to be normal again so I don't have to lie, but in the end it does no good. I'd rather save myself the money and just lay in bed all day, forgetting about all the responsibilities I have - because I have no reason to keep lying. I'm tired of lying. I'm tired of being unhappy all the time.

And if you are thinking "Wow, she's being overdramatic and a drama queen", you continue to think that. Go ahead and continue being inconsiderate. I don't do this to be dramatic. I do this, begging for help, so sooner or later someone will finally realize that I do really need help.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I love my alternative remedies!

While on DCI, Vitex and Cinnamon/Chromium blend, I have consistently lost 1-3 pounds a week without much effort, lost most of my cystic acne, seen a drastic reduction in my hidradenitis suppurativa, and my cycle length has gone from 534 days to... 41! I'm sure if I hadn't been so extremely stressed out from our emergency move last week, it would have been shorter. My husband was threatened at gunpoint right in front of our apartment building for politely telling someone they were driving in the wrong lane. We found a new place the very next day, and got out as soon as we could. I had alot of cramping last week, so I was expecting AF. She showed up today - which explains the crappy feeling I had this morning.

The only annoying thing I have been dealing with for a while is sore breasts. They don't hurt as long as I'm wearing a bra. As soon as they have no support, they hurt pretty bad. Shockingly my hubby can't tell me if they've gotten bigger, but I think they have. Not sure why, but it's a minor inconvenience compared to the success I've had.

I have two months of unlimited yoga classes that I can't wait to start sometime in the next week or two. Our new place is also two stories, with fairly steep stairs, so I'm getting a good workout just moving throughout the house. I'll get to start my at-home workout regimen again soon, once we get everything unpacked and I have room to set my gym back up.

I'm adding EPO to my pill regimen - I've had them for two weeks now, but have been waiting til AF showed up to start them.

It still cracks me up how excited I get when AF shows up. I guess it's because I know my pills are working, and we could get lucky and get pregnant before XMas next year. That's the current plan and dream - and DH has decided if we need to use a donor, we will. We've already determined which friends we would like to ask first, before we start searching for donors we don't know.

Oh, and on a side note, DH had a job interview today, and all the guys that work in the shop congradulated him on getting such a great reaction from the boss. He could have a job by the end of the week! :)

Lots of baby dust to all - Twitch!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Paranoia. Seriously?

A weird thing has happened to me in the last few years - I've become paranoid/skittish/pessimistic. I used to be up to trying pretty much anything. Someone wanted to go out to a new place for dinner, no problem. Concert? Sure. New medicine from the doctor? got it. But now, new things scare the crap out of me. It's pretty annoying.

Let's start with locations - concert and sports venues. Superpages didn't really worry me too much because I knew that the lawn was big. I've been able to handle that. But American Airlines Center? hahaha yeah right. It was designed to have a crapload of people. So was the Ballpark. My heart races, my hands shake and my legs turn to rubber when there is any thought of going to some large place. I don't understand why. I used to go to the District Conventions (massive gathering of Jehovah's Witnesses) when I was younger, and never had a problem. There were thousands of people, and it didn't matter to me (of course I did know that I was fairly safe in a large group of JW's.)

Going to the Stars game last March was a big ordeal for me. I knew that I wanted to go, since I love hockey, and I knew Hubs would enjoy it. Plus, I got to hang out with an old friend from high school. Driving there would have freaked me out more, so we took the train. The train ride was fine, but as soon as I got off the train, there went my heart. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be while we were there, and the game went great. Then, as it got really close to the end, my heart started racing again. I had seen how many people were there, and the idea of making through everyone to make it back to the train on time freaked me out. The 15 minutes it took to get on the train felt like an hour of agony. Once I got in my seat on the train, I was okay again.

We went to the Rangers game a few weeks ago. Again, I started freaking out. We got there an hour early so I wouldn't have to deal with large crowds at the entrance, and I stayed as close to Hubs as I could. I didn't leave my seat after we sat down because I didn't want to get lost - even though the bathroom was just inside from us. Leaving was scaring me, too, so we stayed until a large number of people were gone.
There are some places I've wanted to go to for a while, like Pete's Dueling Piano Bar. I've heard rave reviews, and it just sounds awesome. But don't actually try to get me out the door, because it won't happen.

Talking on the phone - anyone that has known me for a while knows I used to talk on the phone ALL THE TIME. I didn't care who I was talking to, as long as I was talking. Now I can't get on the phone. I will talk to most of my blood relatives with no problem, but I'm uncomfortable talking to Hubs  family or anyone else. This is a 180 from where I used to be - I remember talking to Drue's mom for hours when Drue couldn't talk. My hands get clammy, my hearing starts to fade, and I start trying to find any excuse to get off the phone. It's not that I don't want to talk to them, I just can't.

I'm really pessimistic lately, and again, those that know me know that it's really odd. If I start noticing bad things happen, I start counting. I'm a firm believer in "Bad things come in 3s", and I can prove that it's right. I almost didn't go to a Korn concert (my favorite band) because bad things kept happening. First - Hubs locks the keys in the car while in Flower Mound - and waits 2 hours to call me and let me know. In turn he picks me up late from work, so we rush to leave for the concert. Halfway there, Hubs realizes that he left the tickets at home. That was number 2. When we got back home I was so afraid of number 3 that I didn't want to leave. I was scared that we would get into a car accident, or Sam would get kidnapped, or something bad that I didn't want responsibility for. It took Hubs 45 minutes to calm me down and get me back in the car. I was nervous the whole night - wouldn't take my eyes off of Sam, and watched every car around us, so I could try to stop an accident before it happened. And no, that day was not the only day that bad things came in 3s, I just try not to remember the exact details, otherwise I'd obsess over it constantly.

I made a comment to my Dad last week, "No matter what I do to make good things happen, the opposite occurs." His reaction was pretty humorous, and very true. "Yeah, you do seem to be unusually Murphy-prone." I take very good care of my cars (mechanically), but the weirdest problems show up - ones that I couldn't prevent. I go to school to get my Bachelor's degree, but I'm so sick lately that I won't be able to get a job anytime soon that I can pay off my loans with.

I went to the doctor yesterday because I knew something was wrong. I've been in extreme pain lately, and pain killers wouldn't fix it. I get diagnosed with costocondritis and musculo-skeletal strain. Apparently due to my un-managed exercise-induced asthma, I never fully got over bronchitis in MAY. The excess stress put on my lungs to breathe correctly has put massive strain on my ribs and all the muscles in my back. I am on steroids to reduce the inflammation and antibiotics to get rid of the rest of the bronchitis. I was also given an inhaler to take care of my asthma. The pills were no problem - I take 18 thousand a day already, a couple more for a few days won't hurt. But the inhaler, that's another story altogether. It took me an hour to force myself to use it this morning. I'm supposed to use it every 4 hours until Sunday - then I can stop and just use it when I need it. I actually cried. I realized I didn't want to be dependent on this all my life. (I was also afraid of the taste - I kept thinking about the nasty taste of nasal spray running down my throat. YUCK!) Hubs told me I wouldn't be dependent, but I knew he was wrong. I've been trying to work out, exerciser and lose weight. The instructions on the inhaler said that if it was being used for exercise-induced asthma, that I needed to use it 15-30 minutes before I planned on exercising. That would mean using it every day. Every time I try to do something good for myself, something else goes wrong. I don't get it.

There really wasn't any reason to post this, except to get it off my chest. There's a lot more to this, but I'll post that when I'm ready to explain it properly. I don't have the money to pay a therapist listen to me, so I use this blog. I doubt anyone reads it - my husband doesn't even read it unless I ask him to. I guess I know that by putting it out here, if something happened to me, someone could go back and read what has happened to me and know that I was trying to find help.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Breakfast in a bite

We all know the saying, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." I agree, but rarely can find time to eat before I have to head out to work. I much prefer getting as much sleep as I can, and I'm often getting up at the last second. I am also on a low carb diet, so my breakfast options are limited.

That's where this awesome recipe comes in! Think of these as egg muffins! I make these the night before so I can grab one or two on my way out the door! Grab a muffin pan, some eggs, and any toppings you want - I used minced garlic, diced turkey bacon, salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 350. Spray the pan with cooking spray. Crack open each egg and pour into muffin pan, taking care not to break the yolk. I usually make six eggs at a time - they are only good refrigerated for a couple of days. Sprinkle whatever toppings you choose carefully over each egg. Stick the pan in the oven and bake for at least 10 minutes. I love runny yolks, so 10 min is fine for me. If you like a firmer yolk, cook for 15 minutes.

Once out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes so they slide right out of the pan.Store them in tupperware and eat them for breakfast the next day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Journey with DCI - Week 5

I am very pleased to report that after 5 weeks of DCI, my acne is almost completely gone! I have no more cycstic acne. I have a few little red spots left, but that's it! Awesome! I am very excited that I have seen results like this - because I have only had a clear face after using ProActiv, and I'm too lazy to do that entire system.

I have yet to see AF, but I'm still hopeful. I wasn't expecting my acne to go away so fast, so I'm hoping that in the next month or so she'll show up.

I bought a couple of infertility books last night that seemed pretty all-inclusive. I can't wait til they get here so I can start reading. Oh, and I bought a gym. It's a Weider Total Body Works 5000. It's one of those that you use your own weight to work out with. I've used one like it before and loved it. We are rearranging the dining room tonight so we have some room for it as well, so I can watch tv and work out. My new weight goal is to reach 240 (on my scale) by our anniversary on Halloween. I have about 15lbs to lose, but with all the exercise I'll be getting between now and then, I think I can do it!

I'm so excited and I feel so energized that I'm finally getting my life together!

I hope everyone else is doing well! Sending you lots and lots of baby dust!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Helpful advice to a friend with PCOS

I was reading comments yesterday on a PCOS facebook fan page. I was in shock to discover that all of these women posting thought that the only thing they could do to deal with their PCOS symptoms was to take Metformin. Although Metformin does work well, it comes with some nasty side affects, like painful stomach problems and the inability to stay out of the bathroom for more than 5 minutes at a time. So I commented on the status, reassuring these women that Metformin wasn't the only option. In less than 20 minutes, I received a long message from a girl roughly my age that was heartbroken because Metformin was making her sick and the doctor told her the only way she would ever be able to have children would be through fertility drugs after she lost almost 60 pounds. Now while I do agree that losing weight makes it a little easier to have a baby, it's definitely not absolutely necessary. I know several women that are larger than me that have been able to get pregnant and have beautiful, healthy babies.

I wanted to post my reply to her here so others could benefit as well.

Hi Liz,

There are a lot of different alternative remedies, and I will be honest, sometimes it takes some trial and error to find what works best for you.

I want to talk about Insulin Resistance (IR) first, since no one has told you about it before. This, by far, is the most difficult of all PCOS symptoms to handle. The fertility issues can be dealt with using fertility treatments, but IR is a whole different story. Unlike diabetics who cannot produce insulin, we produce entirely too much. When we eat carbs and sugars, our pancreas releases insulin into the blood stream. That insulin travels through our system to reach our liver and muscles. In a normally functioning human being, the liver and muscles start sucking the sugar out of the blood when it receives insulin. As the amount of sugar in our blood goes down, the insulin levels go down. In women with PCOS and IR, our muscles and liver don't react properly to the insulin, and do not suck the sugar out of the blood. Because of this, insulin is continuously released by the pancreas and we get fat. It sucks.

Obviously, the best way to combat this is with a low-carb, low-sugar diet and exercise. This is where so many people have issues. I, for one, love pasta and chocolate, both of which are very bad for me. Instead of trying to cut them out completely in the beginning, switch to healthier versions, such as whole-wheat pasta, and dark chocolate. These have less sugars. Also try to switch to sugar-free desserts. Most of the time you can't even tell the difference in the taste. Eating several smaller meals a day instead of 3 large meals can also help, because you are not introducing so much sugar into your blood at once. As for exercise, try taking a walk around the park, or go swimming. It doesn't have to be some crazy workout schedule like body builders. There are also some alternative remedies that assist with getting rid of this weight.

Ok, as for the rest of the PCOS issues, this is where the alternative remedies come in. I have tried several, but not all of these. Like I said earlier, it takes a little trial and error to find out what's best or you.

D-Chiro-Inositol (found at chiralbalance.com for about $50-$60 a bottle) - If you weight more than 130lbs, you would take at least 1200mg a day, or two pills. Under 130lbs should take 600mg a day. This has lessened my facial hair, eliminated my painful cystic acne, and I don't crave sugars as much anymore. This is currently the only thing I am taking. I've lost 10 pounds just from the reduction of sugar cravings. Many, many women on DCI often find that their period comes back within the first or second month. I'm on month 2 of DCI, and I haven't had a period yet, but I have been having cramps, which I haven't had since the last time I had a period, April of 2009. Many women also get pregnant after being on it for a few months, after their cycles return to normal.

Insulite System - (pcos.insulitelabs.com) This is an intense regimen of pills, but it works. I did it for a while and saw some great results, but it is a little expensive, and it can be hard to follow. It costs $97 a month for 4 bottles of pills, as well as a suggested diet and fitness plan. If you do this system, you will take 18 pills a day. That became too difficult for me.

Natural Progesterone Cream - This is to help bring on your period. Apply 1 tsp of NPC several times a day for 14 days. At the end of 14 days, you should get a period. Then, you start counting your cycle days, starting with the first day of your period as cycle day 1. on Day 14, begin another 14 days of the NPC. Again, you should have another period. This is a natural hormone supplement designed to get you on a 28-day cycle.

FertilAid for Women (fertilaid.com - or Fertility Blend: fertilityblend.com)- This is a supplement designed specifically for women trying to get pregnant. It has a mix of herbs that are known to increase fertility, such as red clover blossom and chasteberry. However, if agnus castus gave you a rash, I would not recommend that you take this supplement, as chasteberry is the same thing as agnus castus.

FertiliTea (fertilitea.com)- If you like drinking tea, you might like this. I absolutely love it! It is essentially the same ingredients in the FertilAid pills, but in liquid form! It tastes great. However, again, because of the rash you got from agnus castus, I would not recommend FertiliTea, but rather Preconception Tea (http://thefertilityshop.com/fertility/preconception-tea-p-75.html). It does not have agnus castus in it.

There are still a lot more options than just the ones I listed. I highly recommend signing up on SoulCysters.net. All the girls on there are so helpful, and really supportive of our situation, because they are going through it too. Another website you can use for research is pcosfaq.com. Mary created that site as a compilation of all the research she had done about alternative treatments.

Feel free to send me a message anytime you have questions, and I'll do my best to answer them!

-Lynne


I'm beginning to think that I might have a future in promoting awareness. Anyone know how to make money doing this? I'd love to know that my job is helping people like me, ones who used to think that life was hopeless, and felt that we had to succumb to this disease instead of fight it.

My Journey with DCI - Week 4

I know this week is a little late, but I wanted to wait until after I went to the doctor Wednesday to post. I had blood work done a few weeks ago, and I was very curious about the results. I had a basic metabolic panel and a liver function panel. As with most PCOSers, our liver can become a concern due to Insulin Resistance. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about that for a while. Everything came back perfect! All results were within range, and I was excited to find out that my fasting glucose level was 89. Score!

Even better still was my weight. I have lost 4 pounds since I started on DCI last month! I started at 256 and I am now 252. Thats a total of 10 pounds in the last 3 months. There have been no intentional dietary changes - I'm still addicted to Chipotle and Jack in the Box's Chicken Teiyaki Bowl. However, I have been craving better foods lately. At midnight Monday, I was starving... And I didn't want junk food. I wanted a veggie plate full of broccoli, tomatoes and ranch dressing! Well, my wonderful husband brought me a veggie plate for lunch yesterday and it was awesome!

I am going out this weekend to buy some sort of home gym system. I have yet to decide which one, but of course I will keep you updated. Just recently I have felt happier, and more aware of my actions, and what I need to do to change them. I've been a little more motivated than usual, and I hope it stays this way! If so, I could be looking at more than 4 pounds lost by next month! My new goal is to be down to 240 by our one-year anniversary, Halloween! I just might be able to fit into one of the costumes in my closet if I do!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is this what happy is supposed to feel like?

Glossary:
DH - Dear husband
AF- Aunt Flo
O - Ovulate
ICSI - intracytoplasmic sperm injection (expensive advance reproductive therapy)

In 2006 I was diagnosed with depression and bipolar II disorder. I was off my meds for several years, and just got back on them about 3.5 months ago. My psychiatrist decided that my depression wasn't bad enough to give me a second medication, so she just prescriped Equetro for my BP. It has worked fairly well, and I haven't had any intense mood swings. But... I don't think I'm happy. I sure don't feel happy. I feel, well, depressed. I can't get excited about anything. I don't want to leave the house, because it requires so much effort to get out the door. I don't want to cook because it hurts to stand for too long. I don't want to go to work because it means I have to get out of bed. All I do when I get home from work is sit on the couch and watch tv til I can force myself to go to bed. I know this isn't normal. I've done this for 6+ months. When I see a baby on tv or on FB, I have to change the channel. I've stopped talking to every person I know that has recently had a baby, because all they do is talk about the baby.

And my husband is depressed, too, although he'd swear otherwise. He has stopped talking to the friends he has that had babies as well. At first he just said, "I'm happy for you, but it's really a sensitive subject for me, could we talk about something else." After the guys kept rubbing it in his face that they were dads, her started ignoring all texts and phone calls from them.

I just really don't know what to do. I know that in order to increase our chances of having a baby, I need to lose weight and get my symptoms under control. I KNOW I need to do that. And when I'm thinking about what I want to eat, I'll tell myself I've got to be good and start eating better. Then what happens? I order the bad food anyway. I know I need to start exercising, but when I think about doing it, I start to panic because I don't have an inhaler for my exercise-induced asthma, and I freak out about having an asthma attack. On the weekends, when I remember that I need to take my herbal supplements for PCOS, I think about how I have to get off the couch, make sure I eat with certain pills, and I wait long enough after taking them before I eat again, and I just decide not to take them.

I know I need to clean my house. When I'm sitting on the couch and I look around at the mess, it just makes me sick. But when I get up and have half-a-minute's worth of motivation, I look at the mess again and realize that there is a lot more work to do than the time I have to do it, and I sit back down and don't do it at all.
Whenever I think about doing something, I always question myself and wonder, "What's the point?" I know that even if I get my symptoms under control, get AF back and start to O, it won't do us any good. DH has azoospermia, and we can't afford to take him to the doctor (or pay for insurance) to get it checked out, and determine why. We don't know if his problem is reversible, or if we will have to resort to ICSI. It's just this feeling of hopelessness and despair that I can't shake, no matter how I try.

Even though DH and I have talked about getting around his azoospermia by using a donor, I don't think I can bring myself to do that. DH said that he would love the baby as his no matter what, but how do I explain it to our child later on? "We don't know who your dad is, we just have his medical records." "Your dad is defective, so we used some other guy's sperm to make you." "Your dad is not really your dad." If someone ever told me that my dad isn't my biological dad, I'd be heartbroken. My grandparents aren't really my grandparents. My sister isn't my full-blooded sister. I couldn't handle that, and would never want to expect my child to, either.

I asked DH last night, "If you could go into NiNi's office with me, is there anything at all you'd like to tell her?" He said no. And this broke my heart. Why? Because I don't know if I'm just that good at hiding this pain and anguish, or if he doesn't pay enough attention to me to see it himself. So I rephrased my question to him and still got the same answer. "So you think that the meds I'm taking have done what they should and I don't need any adjustments?" Again, no.

I just can't handle all this anymore, and I didn't know who else to talk to. I don't know how to bring this up with my psychiatrist, because she'll just complain that I didn't bring it up a few months ago at our first session.

I want to start over. Go to a place where no one knows me, where I have a clean house, a job that includes insurance, where I can start fresh.

Has anyone else felt like this? If so, what did you do? What medications did you take? What can I do to be normal again?

My Journey - Insulite and DCI - Week 3

Sorry I didn't write last week. My great grandmother died, and it sent me in to a depressive spiral. I've managed to drag my self out of it enough to go to work, and now I can post.

I have been thinking about this a lot, and I've decided to stop the Insulite for a little while. 18 pills is extremely difficult for me to handle, especially since I keep getting new info on how to take it. The GlucX pills are apparently supposed to be taken 3-4 hours away from any other supplements we take. With the medications I am on for other issues, along with the other Insulite pills, there's just no way I can do that. And $100 a month is a lot of money to waste on pills that I can't take consistently.
So I'm going to stick to DCI for a little while. I'll continue to blog about it, and you can follow along if you want.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Journey - Insulite and DCI - Week 1

It has been requested that I start a blog about how Insulite is working for me (@pieceofanarnia) Since I am taking Insulite and DCI concurrently, I'll blog about both.

To start off - I started taking Insulite on 7/26. The Insulite is by no means an easy undertaking. It involves taking 18 pills a day. 10 are taken between meals, and 8 are taken with meals. I took two large empty prescription bottles, handed one to DH, and told him to put a week's worth of pills in his bottle and I'd do the same for mine. I have them marked as to when I should take them. It has been easiest for me to take the first set with breakfast, then then the next set between breakfast and lunch. The third set comes at lunch, and the last set before I leave work. I only have trouble remembering to take it on the weekends, but I'm getting better about it.

As for the DCI, I have started off with 1200mg daily on 8/17, taken between breakfast and lunch with a set of my Insulite pills. The recommended dosage is 20mg per kg of body weight. After that calculation - I should be taking 2400mg daily, but as with all new medications, you need to watch for side affects. I have not had any issues with taking them, so I will be bumping up to 2400mg daily at the start of week 3.

So here's the latest changes:
- I started at 262 pounds. Last week my doctor weighed me in at 256. I was ecstatic! (This might have been due to the Adderall my psychiatrist put me on, but I have no way of knowing, TBH.)
- I did notice with the Insulite that the hair on my chin, although still dark, does not grow back as quickly after I yank them out.
- I have also seen a major reduction in my facial acne - I currently only have one large cyst-like pimple instead of 4-5, and small blackheads.
- I have noticed that my forehead gets oily very quickly, but I have heard from other Insulite users that it is from our bodies detoxing and that it will go away. (This comes from Insulite labs - I will email them to confirm.)
- My nipples have been sore - Pretty sure this is from the Insulite, because it started right after I started taking them. DH is not too happy, and it can be uncomfortable at times. I have not found any other users that have experienced the same problem. (BFN assured me that it was not a PG symptom.)
- My hairbrush does not accumulate as much hair after brushing. I have had this problem for years before I was DX'ed, and just found out recently that it was a PCOS issue. Apparently Insulite is helping.

Ok, that's all I can think of for now. I'll write again next Monday to give the latest news, as well as the transcript of my notes from this weekend's Fertility seminar!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Are you sure these aren't placebos?

Two weeks ago I broke down and paid full-price out of pocket to go to the psychiatrist. I knew that my bipolar disorder and depression was getting out of hande and I needed to be put on medication again. Well, I expected to get the same medication I was on last time. We went through all the motions, and she asked me all sorts of questions. We decided that I needed to get back on Depakote for the BP. Cool, it worked last time, I hoped it would work this time. As she was writing out the prescription, she asked me if I had any other medical conditions. Without hesitation I said I had PCOS. Her eyes got real big and she said "I can't give you Depakote anymore.". I was puzzled, but she didn't look like she wanted to go into detail, so I didn't ask. I knew I could find out online that evening. So she gave me Equetro instead.

I got home that night and googled "Depakote and PCOS". Immediately I found this:
"Because divalproex (Depakote) was widely used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, the possibility that it might cause PCOS was of great concern when this began to surface as an issue. There was resistance to admit that the medication might indeed be a cause. But the evidence slowly became more solid (e.g. Morrell 2008), and now there is little debate -- although articles on this subject almost always emphasize the connection between bipolar disorder and PCOS. In other words, bipolar disorder itself can cause PCOS; then medications like divalproex (Depakote) just increase the risk that PCOS will develop"

Yup. Isn't that lovely? Then I started counting. I went to this doctor and was prescribed Depakote in late 2006. I was diagnosed with PCOS in early 2007. I know that this is a short time frame to claim that my doctor is the reason I have it. So I have decided to believe that she just made it worse. I am not holding this against her, because at the time, there was no way she could have known. I guess the most upsetting part is knowing that the medication I was taking to stabilize my mood so I could be a good mom is part of the reason that I am having so much difficulty becoming a mom. It's one of those catch-22 situations. My life seems to be full of those.

But anywho, back to the new medication. Of course, before I took the first pill I did lots of googling to make sure that there wasn't any problems with this medication. I have not seen any yet, but I plan on checking often.

I have been on Equetro for 2 weeks. I know that it takes a while for the full effects to be seen, but I expected to see some small glimmer of hope by now. I asked Hubs  and he said that he did. He said my mood swings weren't as drastic, and that I didn't angry as easily. I'm not sure if I believe him. I saw the looks on friends' faces this weekend at a party when I got frustrated. They've seen me get frustrated before. They've seen me get MAD. But I have NEVER seen that look of horror on their face. I didn't have the courage to ask them what was wrong, because honestly, I didn't want to know. I'd much rather pretend it didn't happen.

The one thing that did happen this weekend that I was surprised about was my decision to go to Hurst Stars and Stripes for the 4th. I hate public events. Too many people, long lines, crowds rushing to their cars afterwards, and the the horrific traffic. But we had friends over and I didn't want to be the reason they didn't do anything, so we went. I checked out several different events before choosing the one in Hurst. It had a lot of provisions set up to ease the traffic and what not.

We parked at NE Mall and got to ride an air conditioned charter bus to the park. We took camping chairs with us. Once we got off the bus, I led the way around the back of the event to the food area for drinks. The lines were horrendous! It was difficult to determine where one line ended and another began. But I found a vending stand that had three people taking orders at each window, so there were only 1-2 people in each line instead of 100. We got 4 drinks and nachos for $11. I then found a large clear grassy area in the back corner, far away from the band. We didn't care too much, because we were there for the fireworks, not the music, and it allowed us to smoke without bothering other people. No one was downwind of our cigarettes. We hung out for about an hour before they announced that the fireworks were about to start. They told everyone to turn south for the best view. Well guess where we were? As far south as we could go. We turned around and we were seriously less than 50 feet from the fireworks. It was AWESOME. And to top it off - my camera, the one Hubs bought me for my birthday, has a fireworks setting! I took over 160 photos! There were some crappy ones, but most of them turned out awesome! This one is the coolest, IMO. It looks like a face!


http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=184346&id=518511924&l=4088ef8744 (Link to the rest of the pics.)

After the show was over, we started to head back to the buses. We managed to get on the first bus back, and were home an hour earlier than we had expected. So I guess I can't say that the medication isn't working at all, because my normal, non-medicated self would have stayed at home and watched fireworks on tv. It's a glimmer of hope in a long, dark tunnel. Maybe, just maybe, this stuff might work. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping these aren't just placebos.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pizza cupcakes!

Ok, I absolutely love cooking these, because you can add any toppings you want and be uberly creative! This makes 10 pizza cupcakes.

Ingredients:
- 1 Can refridgerated biscuit dough (I get the Kroger brand for 50 cents)
- 1 can spaghetti sauce
- 1 package sliced cheese
- Regular muffin pan
- Toppings of your choice. Meat must be precooked.

Directions:
- Start by preheating your oven to 400.
- Open a can of biscuit dough.
- Using your fingertips, flatten a biscuit until it is large enough to cover the bottom and halfway up the side of a muffin cup. (Repeat until your pan is full or you have run out of biscuits)
- Fill your formed crusts with spaghetti sauce
- Top with a slice of your favorite cheese
- Add any toppings you desire.
- Bake in oven for 12 minutes.
- Remove from oven, cool and enjoy!

At some point I will add pictures to make this easier. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Time for a diet...

I recently started taking a new medication to manage my PCOS. I have been having some unpleasant side effects, so I jumped on my PCOS forum and asked other women about it. Apparently, these side effects are common, especially after eating greasy or sweet foods. The medication is supposed to help my body fight my insulin resistance, so anything greasy or sugary is going to make my system go haywire. I don't want to stop taking the meds, but I hate the side effects, so I'm starting a no carb diet. I've done no carb diets before, and they have worked out very well, as long as I had someone making sure I follow it. (My grandmother is very good at the guilt trips) I am hoping to use my distain for the side affects as motivation to stay on the diet. An added bonus for myself, which I'm also hoping will keep me dedicated, is that Mayhem Fest is in August. For those of you that don't know, my absolute all-time favorite band is KoRn. I was offered a chance to go see them at OzzFest a few years ago, but I couldn't go because of my ex-husband. My new hubby, Hubs  was the one that had offered the tickets for me and Meanie, but I knew I wouldn't have any fun because Meanie wouldn't allow me to talk to anyone while we were there. But now... :) The Mayhem Fest lineup includes Rob Zomibe, Lamb of God, Hatebreed, and you guessed it... KoRn! Did I mention I can also afford the tickets? Here's the kicker - It's in Texas, at SuperPages (formerly Smirnoff), in AUGUST. Ughhh... With me weighing in at 260 (although I don't look that heavy), the heat would leave me miserable. So my other motivating force behind the diet is to lose enough weight that I can fit into a cute and cool outfit I can buy from HotTopic. (I was thinking a tank top and skirt *crosses fingers*) Ok, it doesn't have to be from HotTopic, because they are expensive, but they have limited sizes. I want to be in a size they sell. To do this, I'd have to lose at least 60-80 pounds. Yes, I know that's a lot of weight in a relatively short period of time, but the last time I went on the no carb diet and stuck to it, I lost 30 lbs in 1 month. I have a little over 3 months to lose the weight, so as long as I stick to the diet, I should have no problem dropping it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hilarious conversation with a Mormon

You may or may not know this, but Hubs and I are practicing Pagans (for lack of a better, more easily understandable term, witches.) We of course do not try to force our views upon anyone, and out of respect for everyone else, normally try to keep religion from becoming a topic of conversation. Unless the situation deems it necessary, or in this case, hilarious.

There are times when you meet someone, start talking to them, and begin to wonder what giant mountain they crawled out from under. This is one of those times. Hubs was awoken by Mormons today. No biggie, we normally tell them we aren't interested and they leave. Well today, Hubs had his shirt off. So after he opens the door, he asks them to hold on so he can throw a shirt on. Well, Hubs has a 3 inch pentacle on his shoulder. Very hard to miss. (For those that don't know, a pentacle is an encircled 5-point star. It's essentially the Pagan version of a cross.) One of the Mormons said, "Excuse me sir. Are you Jewish?" **I'll allow time for you to pick your jaw up off the floor** Hubs' response was "Huh?!"
Mormon: "Your tattoo, the Star of David."
Hubs (as I'm sure he holds back a roar of laughter): "That's not a Star of David."
Mormon: "Yes, it is."
Hubs: "No sir, that's a pentacle."
Mormon: "A pentacle? What's that?"
Hubs: "It's my religious symbol. I am Pagan."
Mormon: "What's a Pagan?"
Hubs: "You may have heard of it as Wicca."
Mormon: "What's Wicca?"
Hubs: "Ok, I've got one more term for you. Nature witchcraft."
Mormon: "Oh. I haven't heard much about that."
Hubs: "Have you heard of the Salem Witch Trials?"
Mormon: "No, what's that?"
...............................

So Hubs discusses a little bit with him, and then he says, "You know, you don't react the way most people do when I say that." Mormon: "Well, Jesus accepted everyone, so we should too." Finally, at least he has some decent knowledge.

So to summarize, the Mormon couldn't tell the difference between a 6 pointed star and a 5 pointed star with a circle around it. That made my day. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New book in the works?

Lately I have grown increasingly frustrated with my husband, because he just doesn't understand how I am feeling. I try my best not to take it out on him, because it's not his fault, but eventually that's what happens anyway. I've googled my heart out trying to find decent information to give him so he can understand and help me out so we can be happy. I've found short web pages, but nothing that really goes into detail about it in terms he can easily understand and put into action. So instead of trying to find websites for him to read, I've decided to write a book. I plan to include tips, suggestions, activities, and ideas on how to help a person living with depression, written from my point of view, as someone with depression. The tips I have found online were written by people who hadn't felt the way we do, and they just don't quite have it. Something is missing, and I plan on filling that gap.

With that said, I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. I will give credit where credit is due, so if I include your thoughts in the book, I won't claim they were my idea. I especially would like to hear from others that suffer with depression, because we know what we need to feel better. We know what we would like our friends and family to do, even if we don't tell them, so here's your chance!

Please email your thoughts to CourtneyLWallace@gmail.com with the subject "Book Ideas". Thanks in advance for all your help!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rant about Healthcare Reform

I have battled with depression and bipolar disorder for over 10 years. For the last 2.5 years, I've been able to manage my issues without the need for medication. I had kicked my ex out of the house, met a new guy, and things were looking up for me. When I lost my job in August of last year, I could tell that I might run into some problems. I was starting to get depressed, but it wasn't overwhelming. We made it though a tough time of almost losing everything, but pulled through. Now I've got a good job, and I can afford to pay the bills, so my stress has lightened considerably. Until yesterday. I don't know what happened, but whatever it was, it hit me like a freight train. I couldn't get out of bed, no matter how hard I tried to talk myself into it. Hubs tried to help me as well, and I think I freaked him out, because I just started bawling for no apparent reason. After a lot of coercion, I finally got out of bed and dressed so we could go to a SuperBowl party. Not such a good idea. I really wanted to go, but I was dreading being in a crowd. I lasted less than 2 hours before I had to go home and get back in bed. The stress of trying to hide how crappy I felt just wore me out even more. This morning wasn't as bad as yesterday, but I still had to force myself out of bed.

I'd like to reenforce the point that these feelings are not your typical "I'd rather sleep than go to work" feelings. These are so intense that moving any body parts are physically and emotionally extremely exhausting, therefore making it even harder to get up and do things. I hate it when people say "I know how you feel", when in reality they have no idea. That's what a lot of people don't get. Yes, everyone has these feelings at some point in time, but most can handle them properly without ever realizing it. When people have depression or bipolar disorder, we can't handle it properly. We are not over-reacting, and we are not trying to play a victim. We are not hypochondriacs, are we are not making these problems up. Have you ever had Mono? For a month you are stuck in bed feeling like you are going to die? That's a little closer to what being depressed is like. And when you have depression and bipolar disorder together, it gets even worse.

Hubs had found some of the medication I was taking a few years ago, and I have contemplated trying that. Unfortunately, those take up to 2 weeks to kick in, and I can't take the next 2 weeks off of work. The biggest issue with the medication is the cost. My bipolar medication costs $250 a month, and depression meds cost another $150-300, depending on the brand and dosage. There are a lot of drug assistance programs out there to reduce the cost of the scripts, which can help in some cases, but not mine. I work as a contractor, so the company isn't required to provide health insurance benefits. I make too much to qualify for low-income assistance, but I don't make enough to afford insurance out of pocket. After pricing a bunch of them, I have reached a average of $300-500 a month to cover the premiums that would include mental health care. It costs just as much for the insurance as it does for the meds.

Needless to say, I am currently stuck between a rock and a hard place, with no clear exit strategy. What makes this all worse, though, is that there is no end in site. Obama is trying to push for health care reform, but I'm not getting my hopes up until something actually happens. Currently, there is no definitive way to tell if any of this reformation will help me out. Here's what HealthReform.gov tells me:
Here's What You Will Get Out of Health Insurance Reform:

Reform will bring down costs generally and make insurance more affordable and accessible, ensuring more choices for quality coverage
- Ok, how much? A $50 decrease in preiums still leaves them at $250-450 a month.

Reform will establish an insurance exchange that will provide easy one-stop shopping to compare rates and services and promote competition
- This exists already, so no change there.

Reform will offer tax credits and assistance to families, and to small businesses so they can offer competitive, affordable rates to their employees.
- Great! Tax credits! But who will qualify for them? My husband and I are not considered a family because we don't have a child.

Reform will end discrimination based on gender - a healthy 22 year old female can be charged premiums 150% higher than a healthy 22 year old male under the status quo.
- That's nice. So my premium could drop to $200-400? Still too much.

Reform puts a cap on what insurance companies can force you to pay in out of pocket expenses, co-pays and deductibles.
- That would be nice, but again, how much? $1000 less? That still puts some deductibles at $4000-9000. I don't have that much to spend out of pocket before the insurance company takes care of it.

Reform will expand coverage for children through their parents’ plan until they’re twenty-six if their parents so choose.
- Screws anyone that gets married before the age of 26. I qualify as a full-time student under 24 on my dad's policy, but I can't get in under him because I'm married.

Reform will eliminate discrimination based on pre-existing conditions or medical history.
- Good. Another year without my meds isn't going to work.
All in all, I can find a problem with just about everything they are talking about changing. I think it's time for me to move to Sweden, where healthcare is free. I might not make as much money, but I'd be a lot happier because I'd be on my meds.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wind Down Wednesday - Give yourself a neck massage!

This tip comes from ehow.com. Especially if you work somewhere that involves a lot of time on a computer, a 5 minute neck massage can do wonders for your stress level.

Step 1: Loosen up your neck before you give yourself a neck massage, slowly stretching it forward, backward and side-to-side.


Step 2: Pour some massage oil into your hands and rub the oil between them to warm it (though you can give yourself a neck massage without it).

Step 3: Flatten your right hand and mold it to the back of your neck. Your fingers should be facing toward your left side and wrapped around that side of your neck. Gently but firmly pull your hand to the right, down toward your chest, using your palm and fingers to apply pressure to the neck as you go. Then do the same with your left hand. Alternate each hand repeatedly in the same sweeping motion several times.

Step 4: Make fists and use the fleshy side of them to gently but firmly pummel your neck. Start at the bottom where your neck meets your shoulders and work your way up toward the base of your head. Retrace your steps back down your neck. Repeat several times.

Step 5: Place the tips of your right index, middle and ring fingers on the right side of your neck, at its base where it meets the shoulders. Use your fingertips to make small circular motions, working your way up the neck as you go. Retrace your steps back down. Repeat three times. Then do the same with your left fingers on the left side of your neck.

Step 6: Place both your right and left index, middle and ring fingers on your neck, at its base where it meets your shoulders. In one slow sweeping motion, slide your fingertips up the length of your neck and back down again. Repeat several times.

Step 7: Repeat Step Three, using your palms and fingers to make sweeping motions across your neck.
Step 8: Repeat Step One, giving your neck a gentle stretch to end the massage.


It also helps to close your eyes and imagine a calm, serene place. Works wonders for me! Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, January 18, 2010

New year, new outlook?

"Happiness is a form of courage." ~ Holbrook Jackson

I know that I am a very strong person. Anyone that's ever met me can agree wholeheartedly. When you go through as much as I have in my relatively short life-span, you'd know there are only two ways to be; strong, or weak. I guess it's really that way in every situation.
- When your parents arguing all the time and you are the oldest sibling, you have to be strong for them. When the arguing got really bad, I'd make sure my sister and I would have plenty of things to do in our room so we didn't have to be around our parents.
- When they finally got divorced, I had to be strong for my mom and my sister, because most days my mother couldn't get out of bed. I'd help my 7 year old sister get ready for school, and do my best to make sure we had food to eat.
- When I jumped from school to school because we never stayed in one place, I had to be strong in the face of ridicule for being the new kid.
- When people made fun of me because I was close to my teachers, I had to be strong. It was hard for a young kid to bounce from school to school, and sometimes even miss big chunks of it, and still have friends. I gravitated towards my teachers because they weren't making fun of me.
- When my grandparents told me I wasn't allowed to talk to my dad anymore because we were Jehovah's Witnesses and he wasn't, I had to be strong and tell them to shove it. I didn't have a great relationship with my dad then, but I wasn't going to screw it up because my grandparents told me so. If they didn't want to talk to their son, whatever. But that was not my decision.
- When my dad kicked me out of his house on my 12th birthday, I had to be strong, because I didn't get to finish that school year. I had to fight for the ability to move on to the next grade because they wanted to hold me back for not finishing.
I'll be the first to admit that there were times that I just felt I couldn't be strong anymore. It was at this point where suicide was a daily contemplation, and sometimes even attempted. One person that helped me in particular was Lizz. When I switched from pills to blades (because the pills weren't working), she was the one that got the tearful phone call from me saying I needed help. She was waiting for me when I got off the bus that morning, and I don't think I'll ever forget that moment. She didn't say anything; she just let me cry. When my dad found out, he told me, "if you do it again, I'm putting you in therapy." I guess the worst part of hearing that was in order to get what I felt I needed (therapy), I'd have to cut myself again. When we finally went to therapy, we went once. The therapist talked about herself the whole time, and my step-mother decided that therapy was unnecessary.

I went on to finish high school early, even though I had missed so much. I never went to kindergarten or 1st grade. I only went to the second half of 4th, and the last 8 weeks of 6th. I never finished 7th grade. I was late to school almost every day in 10th grade and spent most of my Saturdays at school making up the missed time. I still finished school and graduated 6 months earlier than everyone else. Not that it did me much good.

I moved to PA to go to college, and I foolheartedly decided to get married instead. He turned out to be an abusive husband, and it took a year and a half to finally get up the courage to kick him out. I wasn't as strong as I wanted to be for a long time. During this marriage, I finally got a chance to go to a psyciatrist, and I was diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. The medications I was prescribed worked wonders. They gave me the strength I needed to fix what was going wrong in my life. After I kicked my husband out, a lot of people kept telling me we needed to work it out. "There will always be rough patches, you just have to work through them." Then an amazing thing happened. I was happy again. I didn't have to take my medication anymore. I wasn't depressed anymore. Those same people that told me I needed to work it out started saying they'd never seen me happier, and that maybe splitting up was the right thing to do. Woohoo, glad to finally get everyone else's approval.

For a while now, though, I haven't been very happy. I've only been content to hope for better things. The friends I met and had so much fun with in college I now only get to see about once a month, sometimes even less. Although I still talk to friends from high school via Facebook, I don't actually hang out with any of them anymore. Hubs and I used to go to the movies, out to dinner, to the comedy club, or wherever we could so we could get out and have fun. I know that since we were not working for a few months that made it difficult, but now all we do is play on the computer or watch tv. The highlight of this past weekend was getting to play Scrabble with him. Don't get me wrong, playing on the computer can be fun. We used to play WoW together. I know it's cheesy, but something about watching Hubs advertise that he gets to play games like that with his wife is cute :) I just want to be happy. I don't know if we just got too dependent on money to have fun, or we just got boring, but it sucks.

I guess the point of all this rambling is that although I may be happy after I have shown courage, most of the time I'm not. I have been strong and courageous, and still very unhappy. Everything I have done in my life has been for other people or because I'm good at it. Most of the time it hasn't been what does Lynne want to do, but rather, what does Lynne have to do?
- I want to study frogs in the Amazon. Instead, I'm a computer programmer. I'm good at it, and when I succeed in writing some bad-ass code, I am temporarily happy. But that happiness subsides when I realize that no one cares how cool it was, they just want it done. I guess I don't get the appreciation I would like/need.
- I want to be a mom. Doctors told me that wasn't going to happen. Now all I can do is pretend that it doesn't hurt me to see people who don't want/aren't ready for a kid have one. I pretend to be happy for everyone else that has children, when it breaks my heart that I can't have the one thing in life that I really wanted without out spending tens of thousands of dollars to adopt. I have to change channels when there's a baby on tv.

And now, here it is. A new year, a new decade. A chance to determine whether I'm ready to sink or swim. I have a new job, a new husband, and some good friends. This is the chance to prove to myself that I am still strong and that I can be happy. My goal - to be happy with what I have instead of unhappy about not having what I want.