Monday, December 10, 2012

Getting To Know Myself - Day 4

If not now, then when?

Usually when it feels right. But the time may never feel right, and you'll never do it. You have to trust yourself to make the right choice, and that's the hardest part for me. Do I trust myself to make the right choices? Do I believe that I'm going down the right path? When I look back at some of the other choices I have made, I know they were horrible choices. But I have to tell myself that if I didn't make the stupid choices, I wouldn't be where I am now. I wouldn't have the best husband in the world, because we never would have met. I wouldn't have my fur and feather babies. So what stupid choices in the future will lead to better things? I guess we may never know.

Disclaimer: If you don't like what I have to say, that's fine. You are entitled to your own opinion, just as I am. And if you want to respond to anything I have said, I welcome your comments. However, if you want to comment solely to bash me or my opinions and beliefs, don't. I'll just delete it. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Getting To Know Myself - Day 3

Is it possible to lie without saying a word?

This one seems fairly simple. Yes, you don't have to say anything to lie. Withholding the truth can be seen as a lie. The problem is trying to figure out if the silence is truth or fiction.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Getting To Know Myself - Day 2

If you have the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?

We have got to stop being so damn cruel to each other. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but it is unnecessary and ridiculous to attempt to force them on others. This comment, of course, is focused on one thing, because it's the basis for pretty much all other arguments - religion. If you are happy with your religion, that's fantastic. I just ask you to remember that the United States started because the colonists wanted the freedom to believe in whatever religion they wanted. They even incorporated the separation of church and state. The funny thing, though, is that separation never truly happened. And those who try to keep that separation catch hell from the Christians that believe the government should enforce laws based on religious beliefs. We are bombarded now with hateful billboards, lawsuits, etc.

Did you know that at most schools in the country, you are allowed to wear a cross or a Jewish star necklace, but pentacles and pentagrams are forbidden? Why are some allowed to wear pieces that reflect their religion while others are not?

So here's an easy way to fix this. If it's religious, the government doesn't touch it. No nativity scenes on public property. No more 'In God we Trust' on money. No more 'Under God' in the pledge. If two men or two women want to get married, so be it. In school, either ban all religious symbols altogether, or let everyone wear them.

**I realize that these suggestions would also imply that Christmas should not be celebrated, and cities should not throw tree lighting parties. I'm okay with Christmas, mainly because it's not celebrated correctly anyway. The date Dec 25 was chosen several hundred years ago by a king to join Christians and Pagans  together to celebrate one occasion. Jesus' birth is clearly documented in the bible. Luke 2:8 "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." If you do a simple google search for weather patterns in the Middle East in December, you'll see it was too damn cold for shepherds to be watching their flock in the fields at night. But I could go on and on about how Christmas isn't really a religious holiday (as Christians want it to be.)**

Disclaimer: If you don't like what I have to say, that's fine. You are entitled to your own opinion, just as I am. And if you want to respond to anything I have said, I welcome your comments. However, if you want to comment solely to bash me or my opinions and beliefs, don't. I'll just delete it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Getting To Know Myself - Day 1

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

Certainly not 24. I really don't feel like a 24 year old. I often get frustrated that I haven't even lived for half a century and I have 4 life-long illnesses. Some of which will increase in severity as life goes on. My Wii Fit told me once that I was 71 years old, and I cried. I don't want to think that I'm 71 until I'm actually 71.
But that's not answering the question. If I didn't know how old I was, and I based it off of normal people, I'd guess I was in my 30s. Some of that is due to being sick. But I have also been through a divorce and a second marriage, raised twin infants and a toddler, and held down long term positions at just a couple of companies.

I used to think that being 20-something would be awesome. Friends and family have said that it can be the best time period of my life. I don't know if I'm holding myself back from enjoying my 20s, or if everything I've dealt with in life has forced the 20s time period away completely. Or maybe I have the wrong idea about what my 20s are supposed to contain. When I was younger, I had planned to be done having kids by the time I was 25. I'll be lucky if we get to start trying to have kids again by 25. (Shit. That's only 3 months away.) Of course, it really doesn't help that I've spent most of my 20s depressed and unmedicated. Maybe now that I'm back on my meds and actually feeling like doing stuff, the second half of the decade will be better.

Disclaimer: If you don't like what I have to say, that's fine. You are entitled to your own opinion, just as I am. And if you want to respond to anything I have said, I welcome your comments. However, if you want to comment solely to bash me or my opinions and beliefs, don't. I'll just delete it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Getting To Know Myself

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I don't know myself. In all honesty, I'm not sure how to do that, either. But I do know that I don't want next year to be anything like this year. So I did some googling and found a set of questions to ask yourself to provoke your thoughts. I figured I'd do one question a day until the end of the year, and see if I know myself a little better than I do now. I'll post all the questions first, so anyone can do it with me. I'll try to add a linky thing to the bottom so you can link up.

  1. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
  2. If you have the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
  3. Is it possible to lie without saying a word?
  4. If not now, then when?
  5. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  6. Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?
  7. Have you done anything lately that's worth remembering?
  8. Who do you love? What are you doing about it?
  9. When is it time to stop calculating RISK and REWARDS, and just do what you know is right?
  10. Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?
  11. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
  12. When you're 80+, what will matter to you the most?
  13. Do you ask enough questions? Or do you settle for what you know?
  14. Do you celebrate the things you do have?
  15. When all is said and done, will you have said more than you've done?
  16. When was the last time you tried something new?
  17. What activities make you lose track of time?
  18. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
  19. What is the difference between living and existing?
  20. If you have a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be in your life?
  21. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
  22. Time or money?
  23. Are you aware that someone has it worse than you?
  24. What makes you smile?
  25. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

Disclaimer: If you don't like what I have to say, that's fine. You are entitled to your own opinion, just as I am. And if you want to respond to anything I have said, I welcome your comments. However, if you want to comment solely to bash me or my opinions and beliefs, don't. I'll just delete it. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Of course, things never go right for long.

And yet again, more reasons why I should start a petition to change Murphy's Law to Lynne's Law.

I love(d) my job at the pottery shop. I was excited to go to work. But on Saturdays, things went a little haywire. I've decided to blame it on the amount of work I'm doing, in combination with all the new medications I'm on.. I just couldn't wake up when the 7+ alarms went off on Sat mornings. And I was late too many times. My boss expected me to be dependable, and to open the shop on time. And I failed. So I no longer work at the shop.

What frustrates me more than anything, though, is that I was just starting to feel better, a little less depressed, and as usual, life gets turned upside down again. And for me, it always happens in threes. Sometimes it's three little things, and sometimes it's three big things. And it started this time with a big thing.

I shouldn't be so upset. In reality, losing that job actually means making more money, because I'll be at my first job more often, and I get paid 3x more there. I'll be able to take care of more financial issues, and relieve some of that stress. But what becomes of my happiness? I know that I can still go to the pottery shop on Saturdays. I know that I'll be able to afford more projects. But my heart is still broken because I won't be working there anymore. Instead of working on projects several days a week, I now have to schedule the time into my weekend.

It will relieve some of the stress I've been dealing with - pertaining to all the hours I've been pushing myself to do over the last couple of months. I'll be able to do things on the weekends now, instead of just sleep. But it still sucks.

I'm afraid of #2 and #3. I want to consider getting on the scale this morning as #2, but that wasn't anybody's fault but my own. The scale said 239.6 today. I really wanted to cry, but I can't be sad at something that I could have stopped. I didn't have to eat all those donuts this weekend. But I eat when I'm depressed. Sugary, unhealthy foods, because they emotionally make me feel better. But I don't physically feel better - I end up feeling worse, then regret it later, like I did this morning.

Maybe things will go better this time, and there won't be a #2 and #3.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Very Inspiring Blogger Award :)

A couple of days ago, Mrs. O from The Ohlers nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blog award. Honestly, I almost cried. I've been blogging off and on for 3 years now, and I've never been considered for an award; especially a 'Very Inspiring' award. For a while I had hoped my blog was inspiring to other women with PCOS, but I started to realize lately that I'm not posting about happy stuff anymore. I'm sure that's partially due to the depressive funk I've been in for so long. It's hard to inspire others when you can't inspire yourself. For someone to still think I am inspiring gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling that I haven't had in a while. And I really do appreciate it.

And now that I have been nominated, it's my turn to follow suit! Here are the rules:

A) Display the award image on your blog.
B) Link back to the person who nominated you.
C) State 7 things about yourself.

1. I love my husband.
2. I treat my animals like children because we can't have any of our own.
3. I have two jobs and also volunteer with Power Up for PCOS.
4. I openly admit to being crazy, because I never want people to expect normality from me.
5. I only have 3 birds because that's all that the city I live in allows.
6. I disagree with the way a lot of people view/treat pit bulls - and when we have a house and yard of our own, we'll be working with the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans to adopt one.
7. I recently discovered I'm not half bad at painting pottery!

D) Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to their sites.
I didn't make it to 15, but to be honest, I don't really read a lot of blogs. I've drastically cut down on my computer time.

Annie @ Just Beginning Our Illusory Hope
She is an inspiration because she has tried so hard (and succeeded!) in losing weight with PCOS. And now she's a Power Up for PCOS volunteer!

Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit
Leanne inspires me to get to know myself and try new foods. I lost count of how many recipes I've used from her!

Gena @ Choosing Raw
Gena inspires me because she decided to go back to school for Pre-Med, and she shows all of her blog readers how easy it is to make and eat awesome food that's super good for you!

Shannon @ 15th and Madison
Shannon inspires me because she doesn't let anything get her down. We have both gone through a rough marraige/divorce, although for very different reasons, and we are still moving on and getting back our lives.

Jen @ Life, Crafts & Whatever
She inspires me because even with adorable 4 little girls, she still finds time to do awesome crafty stuff. I know that if she can do it, I can too :)

Anasara @ Impregnable!
She inspires me because she hasn't given up on her journey to be a mother.

Sarah @ SECS vs PCOS
She inspires me because she never has anything bad to say. I can always count on her to provide a little encouragement when I need it most. I can only hope that I have the same effect on her that she does on me. And she's a Power Up for PCOS volunteer, too!

Christina @ The Ohlers
Besides having nominated me for this award, she inspires me because she spends a lot of time helping women with PCOS, from running a weight loss challenge to moderating a large facebook group.

E) Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link to the post.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Doctor and a Photo Gallery

I finally went back to the psychiatrist. I knew from the first few moments I met him that I would like him. My mom went with me for my first appointment, and he asked her, "Do you want to come back and help me torture her?". We had originally planned for mom to come in with me, but while we were waiting, she told me that it was my decision, and she would sit in the waiting room if I didn't want her to come. In the last few months I have become more open and honest with her, so I didn't have a problem with her sitting in. It actually turned out great, because I'm not going to be able to go to her appointment with her since I have to work. I was originally supposed to go with her to her appointment so I could tell the doc things she forgot. She started taking notes about things she needed to tell him during her appointment.

We walk into his office and I see dozens of dragon figurines, as well as a lot of Star Trek memorabilia. It was awesome. It was a fairly short visit, much shorter than it was with my last dr. It was concluded that I'm bipolar 1, not bipolar 2. He did say that in the coming years, the number on the end probably won't make a difference, because they are usually treated the same way. During the session I realized that I had more problems than I thought I did - I knew that a lot of bipolar people had anger issues, but I didn't think that I did. I was wrong. He asked me if I got angry, and I told him yes. But I only got mad about stupid little stuff, not major issues. Like if hubby didn't put his wallet in the right place, I'd get pissed. Then it hit me. 'Holy shit, I do have anger issues. I'm one of those people.' It was a shocking realization, to say the least. But after I let it sink in, I was glad to finally understand why I got so mad sometimes. I hate getting mad at hubby, especially when I get mad over stuff that doesn't really matter. At the end of the appointment, the doctor summed me up in one sentence. And he was completely right. So he gave me several new meds. A happy pill to help me get out of the depressive funk I've been in, a bipolar med to help control the anger and level out my moods, and upped the dosage on an anti-depressant that my rheumy used to have me on.

I started my meds on Saturday night, that way if things went bad, I wouldn't have to be at work the next day. I still ended up missing Monday, because the combination of my bipolar meds with the sleeping pill I was given made me horribly drowsy and unable to concentrate. I didn't take the sleeping pill last night, and I wasn't so drowsy this morning - but I did have horrible dry mouth. That's apparently a side effect of all the new meds I'm on. It's not really a bad things, though, because it'll make me drink more water.

So I'm hopeful about the new meds. I'm looking forward to being normal again, having less anxiety, and maybe even having a social life. And speaking of being normal, my second job at the pottery shop has been great for me. After 23.5 years of believing I had no artistic ability whatsoever, especially in comparison to my sister, I was wrong. I can actually paint - at least if I'm following a design I can. Here's all the work I have done so far:

Get Adobe Flash player

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Threaded Art Project

I don't remember if I found this on Pinterest or StumbleUpon - but either way, I decided I had to do it. This came from the Honey & Fitz blog. She used cork board, and if you value your time and sanity, I'd go with cork too. But I had black shelves from a collapsed bookshelf laying around, and I kept them because I figured I'd eventually use them for something. Here's her project:

Isn't it beautiful? I ended up choosing the word 'Passion', and I wanted to do it in red to match our living room. This project ended up costing right at $5. The nails were 97 cents per box and I got 2, and the crochet thread spool was  $2.97. I bought my supplies at Walmart. I already had the black shelf, a hammer and tape. Be very careful with your fingers if you are using a hammer. About 2/4 of the way through the hammering, my husband got the idea to hold the nail with pliers so I'd stop smooshing my fingers. I just wish we had thought of it earlier! 

Get Adobe Flash player

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Great end to a good week

(This was from the first week of October. I was going to put pictures in it, but never got around to taking them.)

This week:
- 5 days of work
- 1 flare-up
- First walking group walk (which included two laps around the pond instead of one!)
- Shopping with Mom at Grapevine Mills: 
     * New doormat with bright owls that says 'Who's there?'
     * Floor length knit dress
     * Monopoly U-Build It game
- Shopping with Mom and Memaw at Stein Mart
     * Polka dot heels with peek-a-boo toes
     * Peacock feather flip flops
     * Short sleeve blue knee length dress
- First week of Soul Cyster Weight Loss Challenge
- First week of Pregnitude
- Picked next tattoo design, now to work on colors (reward for meeting goal at end of challenge)
And it ended with game night with hubby. We played a round of our new Monopoly game, then hopped on our computers for some mopar. Best part of the night? Realizing that hubby, who professes to dislike musicals, was singing along with me to Moulin Rouge soundtrack music. *Words cannot truly express how awesome that felt*

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rest in Peace, Don.

As the time to leave for the funeral is approaching, I felt the need to get some things off my chest. (I know that it's not nice to speak ill of the deceased, so I'm going to be as nice as possible with this.)

Friday, just after hubby dropped me off at work, he called me. I was busy with customers, so I didn't answer. When I had the chance to listen to his voicemail, I knew something was WRONG. Like WAY WRONG. And damnit if I wasn't right. Hubs' grandfather suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. And I couldn't be at home to comfort hubby like he needed. I know that things like this happen, but I'm still sad that I wasn't available when he needed me.

I guess, due to the tensions in the family, it hasn't really hit me that Don is gone. I don't believe we were on the best of terms. The first time we met, he berated me for dating someone without a job. Actually, he words were something to the effect of "You are an idiot for dating him." I understood his position, and I let it slide. I love my hubby, even if we were living in a cardboard box. The last conversation hubby had with him didn't go well, either. He said "I have better things to do than talk to you." I don't understand how you could say that to your own grandson, but I couldn't change it.

The last time we saw Don was at our wedding, almost 3 years ago. I have one picture of them. Although my list of must have pics included one of us with his grandparents, it never was taken. I'm frustrated with myself for letting that happen. I'm mad that Don won't be around when we renew our vows and have a good photographer.

I'm sad that I didn't get to know Don like I should have. Because of the tension in the family, I stayed in the shadows, and let my husband make decisions. That's what I was supposed to do, right? He didn't want to go to Thanksgiving at his grandparent's house, so I didn't force him. And I can tell that he's regretting that now.

Life isn't fair - we see that on a daily basis. Life is disappointing. And that's what I'll be thinking about during the funeral. I've got a laundry list of shoulda woulda couldas in my head, and they aren't going away. We should have gone to visit. We could've set aside our differences and joined the family for Thanksgiving. I could have sent pictures when I said I would. We should have called and talked. But now, Don is gone, and that chance is over. So I can only hope that this was a blessing in disguise and it brings the family back together, for more than just a funeral.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 1 of new schedule

Today is the first day of my new schedule. And so far, I've already been failing. But I've got the rest of the day to go, and I think I can be more successful this evening. My first round at the new planner is complete. It has several sections:
1) Weekly At A Glance - Has a block for each day of the week, and notes at the bottom. This is for major events and appts.
2) Daily Schedule - Simple sheet with time blocks from 9am to 11pm, in 30 min increments. This is the section to add more detail to my day.
3) Morning and Evening Schedule - This has all the stuff I have to do on a daily basis, such as brushing my teeth, taking a shower, taking my pills, eating, etc. Has a time allotted column for every task, and a y/n completion column.
4) Food Journal - Checkboxes for water intake and supplements. Space to write each meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Each meal has a checklist of the types of food I ate, veggies, fruit, grains, protein, fats. Notes section at bottom.
5) Pain and Mood Diary - Has a grid for me to track my pain and moods on a scale of 0-10 at 3 times of the day - AM, mid-day and PM. Each page can handle a whole week. Notes at bottom.
6) Stress Diary - Place to record the cause of stress, as well as the physical and emotional symptoms that went along with it.

I only printed out enough for one week. This way, if there's something I need to change or add, I don't have to reprint a bajillion pages. I also printed them all in several pretty colors (teal, green, purple and red). I did that mainly because I was out of black ink, but now that I've been looking at it for a while, I like the colors. Maybe the colors will make me feel happier or more likely to use it frequently. I already know I need to add three more sections - a basic to-do list, a supplement list and a pain tracker. The pain tracker will be a little more in-depth than the current pain and mood diary. It'll resemble the stress diary, with the space to add what the pain was, where it occurred and what I did in response. the supplement list will detail when I started a supplement/pill, when I ended it, dosage and side effects. This will be useful to me and my doc.

I want to get the pain tracker added tonight so I'll have a month's worth of data to give to the rheumy at my next appt.

The Soul Cysters Weight Loss Challenge started today. We have 15+ participants, which is awesome. The prize pot is pretty large, and I've already decided that if I win, part of hte money will go to a new tattoo, and the rest will be donated to Power Up for PCOS. I'm starting a walking group in the area tomorrow, and hopefully I won't be the only one walking.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day planner in the works...

I drive myself crazy with how often I decided I'm going to start making changes, then don't follow through. I HAVE TO MAKE SOME SORT OF CHANGE. I told hubby last night that part of my problem was him. Things are different when you are married. You don't just live your life for yourself, you live your life for your spouse, too. If I was living alone, all the household responsibilities would be up to me. However, as I am the one working and hubby is the one at home, he has the responsibility of helping out around the house. Things such as: I cook, he does dishes. I'm not expecting any more out of him than he would expect out of me if the roles were reversed. I am right in my thinking so far, yes?

Now I clarified that I was not specifically blaming him for my previous failures. I know that a lot (80%+) of my failure is my own damn fault. But being depressed and going home to a ton of things that need to be done is not helpful. AT ALL. When I know I need to make healthy meals, but there are no clean dishes, I get frustrated. When I finally want to tackle a project I've been talking about for months, then get told it will take a lot of work, I get frustrated. When I have to treat my husband like a child to get something done, I get frustrated.

So after I told him my feelings, I told him that I wasn't mad at him or upset with him. I said I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I also told him I felt he needed to hear my reasonings, and that we needed to keep an open line of communication so we can get past this. It was a good talk.

I said all that to say this - I am going to create a custom day planner, and schedule my days down to the minute. I think if I force myself to follow a strict schedule for a while, the habits will be formed and things can start getting better. The day planner will include several sections - food tracking, symptom tracking, activity logs, goal sheets, etc. I will monitor everything that goes on with my body. I have to learn my pain and emotional triggers so that I can avoid them. I have to learn about myself. I have to change my life.

And this schedule will be available for the hubby to see, so he can help me. He doesn't like forcing me to do something I don't want to do. It's not in his nature. But things have to change, and he's got to help me if I'm going to succeed. He is my only true supporter - mentally stable enough to help me when I'm feeling crazy. Although my family are somewhat supportive of my need to change my life, they aren't really helpful. My mom's got just as many mental problems as I do, and depressed people cannot help each other. We bring each other down more than we lift each other up. I can't count on her to go exercise with me. My sister lives on the other side of the metroplex, and sadly we don't have the close relationship we once did. Honestly I don't know that she truly understands the issues, and if she did, I don't know how well she can help me living so far away. And I don't have friends, either. When I can go weeks without a text or phone call from anyone other than my husband and my mother, it's obvious that I don't have close friends. I don't know why no one talks to me anymore - and I've got so many problems now that getting new friends is freakin' hard. No one wants to become new friends with a crazy person with severe baggage. I've also tried using my online support system, but they can't drag me out of bed to do something.

Anyways, I'm trying really hard to figure out how to make this change work. I'm starting the Soul Cyster Weight Loss Challenge again, Oct 1. I can't be successful with that if I don't make some life changes.

When I finish up the different pages/sections in my planner, I'll post them, in case it could help someone else.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spike Needs Sympathy... And I just need some crazy pills!

This week is our 'Torture the Dog' week. Today he's at the puppy spa, getting a bath, nails trimmed and fur shaved. Tomorrow he loses his man-hood. Sometimes I'm glad that he can't understand English, because he'd be really pissed off if he knew what tomorrow was bringing.

As hubby and I were laying in bed at 3am, frustrated that neither of us were even remotely close to being tired, we decided we'd try to pull an all-nighter. That way, we'd go to sleep earlier tonight so we could be up early tomorrow to take Spike to the vet. Every once in a while we succeed, and get lots of stuff done. We went to the grocery store, grabbed breakfast at Whataburger, dyed my hair, and watched TV. I had planned on going into work earlier than normal, so I could leave earlier. Apparently I passed out on the couch around 6am. So much for staying up all night. Oh well. At least we got some stuff done.

I had an ulterior motive for staying up all night - I've really been aching for a manic episode lately, because I'm so tired of being depressed. I know that it's not a good idea at all to imduce a manic episode - and I DO NOT ADVISE IT. I will not recommend it for anyone. Manic episodes can lead to varying forms of self-harm, and it's not safe. With that being said, I did it anyway. My manic episodes usually lead to excess spending and spreading myself way too thin. Today I feel like I've been hit with the crazy stick, and have very little ability to stay focused on one task at a time. Since I got paid Monday, take a guess as to what I've been doing today...

Before I talk about it more - I need to clarify one thing. Most of the money I have spent today has been for good reasons.

Hubs took the dog to the groomer at Petsmart, and made the mistake of going to look at the other animals for sale. When I get home tonight, I'll get to meet the two newest additions to our crazy little zoo - two mice. One is white with a big brown spot over one eye. She has been named Coconut. The other is white with lots of black spots, like Spike. She is currently un-named. I'm leaning towards MooCow, but its not official yet. **UPDATE - her name is Dot, like the little girl in Animaniacs!**

I paid my registration for the Power Up for PCOS 5K walk on Sept 29. Since I'm hosting, I kinda needed to pay it.... And I entered the Soul Cysters Weight Loss Challenge. Maybe a group challenge will motivate me to start losing weight again. I also found unpainted ceramic support ribbons that are the perfect size for magnets. I bought every single one they had (came out to about $1 a piece). I'll be painting them teal and selling them on the Power Up website to raise money! I'm also bidding on a set of 24 ceramic pumpkins for the Paint Your Pumpkin TEAL for PCOS event we are hosting next month.

I forked out $75 for a Groupon for the Concealed Handgun License class I have to take before I can get my CHL. That groupon covered both me and hubs, so sometime in the next year we both hope to be card-carrying badasses lol. (Without the groupon we would have spent at least $150)

I had to post before and after pics of the dog. Mainly for your entertainment - he looks so different, and when hubby sent me the pics, I almost died laughing. Before on left, after on right. I'll post better pics later.

Spike better be happy he got lucky... We set two alarms at 6:45 and 6:55 to get up early enough this morning to take him to his neutering appt. At 8:30, hubby wakes up, starts cussing about how we didn't hear the alarm. There was no way we could get him there by 9am, so we rescheduled. Spike got a temporary extension of man-hood lol. He's rescheduled for next Wednesday. Maybe this next time I won't stay up til 3am.

But since I was already up so early, I decided to go into work early. I have plans with hubs and Mom to paint at the studio tonight, so going in early means I have more time to paint. Still haven't figured out what project I'm going to start on. Hubs is already on his second, and I haven't even picked out my first lol. I feel so behind :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Job First Day update - and the resulting pessimism.

The first day of my second job was great. I enjoyed every bit of it. I spent most of the day cleaning greenware (removing clay seams from pottery left by molding process), and got to load up the kiln. I also got to start learning how to dip glaze pieces. I'm not so great at that yet - the better you are, the less glaze you get on your fingers. My fingers were very glazy lol. I think this job is going to go well, especially because you have to have a delicate touch when working with all the pottery. And since I have very little strength in my hands these days, I'm always gentle.

Have you ever met a person or heard about someone who has a fun job, and you feel a little jealous because they get to do such cool stuff every day? That's sorta how I've felt about crafty jobs, like this new one. About halfway through the day it hit me - "I've got that crafty job now!"

But it's times like this that start to worry me. It's not intentional. I'd love to not worry at all. But as I was writing out my schedule for the next month, I realized just how little I was going to be at home. Along with two jobs, the first Power Up for PCOS group meeting is this evening, The 5K is just a few weeks away, and the only days I'll have off this month are Sundays. Sunday will pretty much end up being my 'catch up on sleep' day. So if I'm always at work or some volunteer function, when do I get to spend time at home with the hubby? When will I have time to get around to cleaning the house, since hubs still can't figure out that he needs to do things during the day? What will happen if my RA or fibro flares up again? What if this stupid depressed mood I've been in for the last year gets worse? How am I ever supposed to get into a workout routine if I have no time? If I'm not home, what about cooking?

Yeah, I'm pretty good at being a pessimist. I'd love to be an optimist. Hoping that some of these worrysome questions will answer themselves in the next few weeks.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September Goals and Blog Hop

It's already September? Good grief. That means that our 3 year wedding anniversary is next month. The PCOS 5K is this month. Christmas is around the corner.

August Goals:

  • Walk at least a mile twice a week (2.5+ laps around BBR pond) No. But West Nile has me eager to stay at home so I don't die. 
  • 3 days without red meat, pork or poultry  No. At least I'm doing vegetarian days every once in a while, even if they aren't in a row.
  • Start oil-pulling again  No. Seriously just not remembering to do it at all.
  • Rearrange dining room  No. But I have sent out invitations for a Halloween party already, so that should provide some motivation.
  • Attend a transcendental meditation info session - Did this! Applied for a scholarship because I can't afford the tuition on my own.
  • Listen to my Circle+Bloom mind-body meditation sessions 3+ times a week (after downloading them again)  No. I downloaded them. Listened once. Really need an mp3 player so I can listen in bed.
  • Complete and sell some of the crafts piling up in the bedroom. FAIL. No excuses, either.
  • Start doing yoga again so I'm ready for my free week of yoga at a studio in Sept. Did a full week, then stopped again. 
  • Convert local PCOS group to a Power Up for PCOS group! (My volunteer interview is this evening!!) DONE! First emPowerment meeting is next week :)
  • Test out the White Rock location for the Sept PCOS walk No, but I'm not viewing it as a failure, because I had legit reasons for cancelling the test walks. West Nile Virus. It's so bad this year that all of the DFW area is getting aerial spraying this year. 
  • Convert my old bakery blog into a recipe warehouse SORTA. Haven't added any recipes, but I took down the bakery stuff.

Carry over from August:

  • 3 days without red meat, pork or poultry - I just started a cleanse today that will have me off meat for 3 days, so I'm hoping for success.
  • Start oil-pulling again - gotta put notes up in the bathroom about this!
  • Rearrange dining room

September Goals:

  • Have a successful 5K PCOS Walk - Sept 29
  • Have the first PCOS emPowerment meeting in the area - Sept 12!
  • Start doing yoga again
  • Use my free week of yoga
  • Complete a one week system cleanse
  • Fix my sleep schedule so I can wake up by 9am every morning.
  • Get a membership to MassageEnvy

You know that pottery job I talked about last month? Well I got it. I start next week. I'm really looking forward to it. I need something to get me off the computer. I'm in front of the computer WAY TOO MUCH.  Funny thing about this job though - I told my grandfather that I got a second job. He's been nagging me about not working enough. I hadn't increased my days at my software job because I can't afford the gas needed to make the extra trips yet. It took several weeks for him to understand that. Then I tell him last night that I got the second job, and he complained. WTF? So I'm just going to ignore how he feels about it, because it's stupid to get griped at for working.

Since I got the new job, I'm having to modify my schedule a little. I'm not used to getting up before 10am, but training at the new job starts at 10am. I need to start coming in earlier than noon at my software job anyway - staying til 8pm is a little... well, rough. I just need to go to bed earlier. 

Guess that's all I have to say today. Join the link up with your goals!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meditation for Stress Relief

As made obvious by the name of my blog and most of my posts, I'm all for natural methods for resolving any/all illnesses and diseases that we may come across in life. Originally that was due to my lack of health insurance = No insurance mean no meds. But I can't just go throughout life without some sort of treatment. Without some sort of treatment, I'd be in so much pain I couldn't move, crying uncontrollably, and probably begging myself to commit suicide. Yes, it's that serious (although besides my husband, no one in my family believes that my problems are serious enough to justify contemplations of suicide)

After years of researching natural treatments for all my problems - bipolar disorder, depression, PCOS, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia - it occurred to me that natural methods have to be better for you than modern, Western treatments. Our bodies weren't meant to be pumped full of man-made chemical concoctions. The prescription anti-cancer meds I am currently on for my RA have very specific dosage instructions. I'm only supposed to take it once a week, because if I took it daily, IT COULD KILL ME. The daily naproxen regimen has increased my ability to bruise. Now I consistently have 5-10 unexplained bruises in random places on my body. Certain medications for depression can increase the likelyhood of suicide. "Here, take these so you stop thinking about suicide - but be careful, because if they don't work well for you, you might be more likely to commit suicide." WTF? Why would I want to take something like that?

My husband told me last night that he didn't want to do see a doc about depression (I think he is depressed because of his male factor infertility) because he didn't want to take any pills. I don't blame him. He said that there's a pill for everything nowadays, and the world isn't getting any better. And he's right. If medications worked so well, there wouldn't be a new surge of interest in natural and holistic treatments, dietary modifications, etc.

Several months ago I watched a show about transcendental meditation. I was intrigued because it had so much science to back it up. I've always been interested in meditation, but I've never been able to shut my brain off. I've tried visualization techniques, quiet rooms and comfortable chairs, etc. Nothing has every worked for me. I know I probably haven't tried hard enough, because I usually get frustrated and give up. During the show, they talked about Vedic City, Iowa - a city that incorporates TM into everyday life. The crime rates were ridiculously low. All the students had good grades. Everyone was happy. What I wouldn't give to be blissfully happy, if even for a day. So I'm going to an intro session about TM tonight. I've been wanting to go for several months now, but I'm learning that I can't plan to go somewhere in advance. I have to just do it. I don't know what I'm going to feel like from day to day. So spontenaity is my savior at the moment. If I want to do something, I have to do it right then, or else it won't happen. This morning I had no plans to do anything after work. Now I'm going to be driving 45 min across the metroplex to learn more about TM.

This decision is in line with the latest diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The rheumy told me that I needed to start sleeping better and reduce my stress levels considerably. So that's my fuel for now. I also stopped by Massage Envy last week to find out if they have any therapists with fibro experience. There are two at the location I chose, and the monthly membership is ridiculously cheap! So I told hubby that when I get paid next month, I'm going to invest in a membership to Massage Envy. (I also told him he'd have to get over the fact that the two therapists with the right experience are... Men. He doesn't care, which is awesome.) My gift to myself, to get better.

I'll write later about how the intro session goes.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Date Night at the Bedford Food Truck Festival

This evening, hubby and I went to the Bedford Food Truck Festival. It was within walking distance, and the weather was great, so we walked. There were five trucks - taco, pizza, sushi, slushies and vegetarian. I went solely for Good Karma Kitchen, and I got hubby excited about Slush Works.

I made a bee-line to Good Karma Kitchen. Today's menu included Crazy Good Tacos, Korean BBQ tacos, Reverse Frito Pie, and Crazy Good Taco Salad. Hubby got giddy about the frito pie, and I chose the taco salad. Frito pie had tri-bean and veggie chili, frito chips and cheese. He inhaled it. The taco salad had a taco crumble, jalapeno lime cream sauce, spring greens, beans, cheese and tortilla chips. It was fantastic. The jalapeno added just a little kick. The prices were a little higher than I had hoped, having spent $17. But it was very satisfying and a yummy vegan meal. Hubby said he could live on that chili if he 'had' to go vegetarian. It gives me hope for reducing our meat consumption!
Yay! A gluten-free, vegetarian truck!
Crazy Good Taco Salad
Reverse Frito Pie
Reverse Frito Pie, all mixed up
He really enjoyed it! There is hope!

We also stopped at Slush Works... twice. They were downright amazing. The menu offered 3 flavors of slush - mango, lemon and coconut. There were extras you could add: mojito (spicy ginger ale and mint), Carribean (passion fruit and coconut puree), Zhi tea, berry fizz (housemade summer berry soda), limonata (fresh lime and sparkling water), and creamsicle (vanilla bean whipped cream). I had a small mango mojito and hubby got the small mango Zhi tea. They were out of this world. So awesome, in fact, that we splurged and went back for seconds! The second time around I had a large mango lemon mojito - I've been on a ginger kick lately and the ginger ale is just perfection. Hubby another large mango Zhi tea.

Hubs ordering seconds!
Mmm... slushies!
Mango Lemon Mojito
Mango Zhi Tea

I just might have to start using Twitter more often so I can enjoy these trucks another time! Hubs said that if I start going to the farmers' market again and Good Karma Kitchen was there, I'd have to bring home another frito pie! Tonight was a fun date night where we got great food and great exercise!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Venting about the need for and the lack of sleep.

My rheumy prescribed Elavil as treatment for my fibro. He did this because he knew I didn't have insurance, and the most popular drugs like Lyrica, Cymbalta and Humira are expensive. Elavil has been around so long and used for so many things - anti-depressant, sleeping pills, chronic pain, etc - that it's on all the $4 generic prescription lists, so it certainly doesn't hurt my pocket like the other drugs would. I was grateful that he took my financial restrictions into consideration. Now I'm starting to regret it.

It's 7am, and I haven't been to sleep yet. The Elavil helps me sleep, but it also gives me nightmares. I dealt with it in the beginning, because I'm no stranger to nightmares. The rheumy also suggested that I do what I could to reduce my stress levels. About a month ago I impulse bought herbal drops called 'Deep Stress', made by WishGarden. I started taking 3 droppers full at night before I went to bed. Just a few days after I starting, I realized I wasn't having nightmares. I told the rheumy at the last visit about the nightmares. But I also told him that the drops were helping, so he wasn't worried about it. I was so excited to finally be getting some decent sleep. Until last week, when the nightmares started coming back again. I thought that I might be developing a tolerance to the drops, so I skipped them for a night. Had nightmares. Used them the next night. Had nightmares. Skipped them again, had nightmares. So hubby asked me if I was willing to skip my Elavil dose one night to see if I still had the nightmares. I decided that last night (or several hours ago, however you want to look at it) was the night to do it, since I don't work on Thursdays. The result? I think the nightmares are worth the sleep. I say that simply because I laid in bed for over an hour, unable to get comfortable, unable to shut my mind off, unable to sleep. I used to watch tv until I got so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open - even that's not working this time.

So it just frustrates me. If I take the meds to sleep, I have nightmares. If I don't take them, I can't sleep at all. If I continue not sleeping, my fibro pain will start getting worse again. I hate the nightmares, but I do like that I've been able to cook more lately. I did yoga all week last week and didn't hurt nearly as bad as I thought I would. Is the life that almost resembles normal worth the nightmares? Or do I talk to the doc about switching to a more expensive drug, in turn adding more stress because I'd have to work more? I'm tired of all these Catch-22 situations with my health. I'm not a football player!

Ok, vent over. I'm going to attempt this thing called sleep again. Even a nap would be satisfactory.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Yoga? Why yes I will!

One of my goals this month was to start doing yoga at home so I'm prepared to use my free week next month. If you walked into my house, you'd think I was a regular yogi - plenty of yoga clothes, 2 mats (because the first one wasn't as pretty as the second one), resistance bands, etc. But in all reality, I haven't done yoga in almost a year. In fact, I stopped looking at the closet door so I didn't get mad that my mat had been in the same place for so long.

The floor was vacuumed moments before this pic was taken. 
If you look closely you'll see that it's already covered in 
hair again.
So Monday I texted the hubby and said "Do not allow me to do anything when I get home until after I do yoga." Then I had to quickly modify it with this comment, "Okay, except for vacuum the living room floor so I don't gag on dog hair while I'm doing it." (I still, to this day, don't understand why I decided to bring home a white dog when everything in the house is black.) After vacuuming the floor, I had to decide which yoga dvd I wanted to use. I picked one out that I hadn't done before. It had a 25 minute program that I was excited about - until I opened the case and discovered that the disk that was in it was NOT the same as the cover. As this was the first time opening it, I realized that the person I bought it from on Amazon had sent me the wrong one. But that was like a year ago, so there was nothing I could do about it. So I decided I was going to use the Sara Ivanhoe '20 Min Yoga Makeover for Flat Abs' that I have used many times before and enjoyed. Couldn't find it. So hubby kept looking for it while I tried out another one, 'Yoga for Beginners' that I got from Gaiam a while back. Hubby finally found my dvd 30 min later, but I was already doing the Gaiam one, so I figured there was no reason to stop and change it. The old me wouldn't have gone through all this hassle just to do yoga. But the new me pushed through all the obstacles, even though they were minor, and did yoga Monday. Did yoga again yesterday, but tried the 'Basic Yoga for Dummies' dvd this time, since I didn't love the Gaiam dvd (just a little too slow for me). Realized that Sara Ivanhoe made the Dummies dvd, so I was excited. My core was in pain for the rest of the night, but I expected it. To go from not doing yoga at all to doing the entire workout will do that to you. But I knew that the pain was worth it. Because sooner or later, the pain would go away, and I'd be stronger, skinnier, and more relaxed.

What am I doing when I get home today? You guessed it, yoga! Haven't decided which DVD yet, but I know I'm going to do it.

Do you want a free week of yoga at a studio near you? Then head over to the Yoga Health Foundation website and sign up for a free week. You can use the free week anytime in September or October. I chose to go to the Divine Center of Yoga in Southlake, specifically because they have a class called 'Adaptive Yoga' designed for people with arthritis and fibromyalgia - just like me! I hope that you'll try yoga, because what do you have to lose besides the gas to drive to the yoga studio?
Here's the link to a free week:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Official! Power Up for PCOS Texas is up and running!

I am very excited to start the Texas chapter because there are so many women in Texas that need a fabulous support system like Power Up.

Visit our page: Power Up for PCOS Texas

About the group - This isn't a support group; it's an empowerment group. We don't just sit around and complain about our symptoms, we learn how to overcome them. Power Up has provided a fantastic webinar series that will be shown at our in-person meetings. We participate in a 5K walk every September, and do lots of fun awareness campaigns like the upcoming 'Paint your pumpkin teal for PCOS' in October. All fundraising is donated to inCYST Institute for Hormone Health, an organization dedicated to helping find safe products and methods to treat/manage PCOS.

We will be starting in-person meetings in the DFW area in mid-September, and I hope to expand to Austin by the beginning of next year. I will provide frequent updates on our Facebook page, in our private Facebook group (FB Group), and by email to everyone in the Cyster's Circle. To join the Cyster's Circle, head over to Cyster's Circle and sign up! I'm looking forward to meeting everyone!

Monday, August 13, 2012

What you should know about Fibromyalgia

This was not written by me, but by someone who understands. I only know of the original writer as 'C.S.' - I would give more credit if I knew more. I know that my little blog doesn't reach the people who should read this, those who think that these problems are 'all in our head'. I added my two cents in red.


1. My pain - My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I can not work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is real. 

2. My fatigue - I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can't. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can't help you with yard work today, it isn't because I don't want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability. This weekend I had plans to reorganize the house, walk the dog, cook, etc. I spent the weekend in bed. I didn't want to be tired. Hubby even had to listen to me complain about how I hated that I was too tired to do anything, despite sleeping for so long. 

3. My forgetfulness - Those of us who suffer from it call it fibro fog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don't have any short-term memory at all. Yes, I used to be a walking phone book. I used to remember events months in advance. I don't anymore. And believe me, you aren't the only one noticing. My heart aches when I reflect back on times where I used to have a memory. 

4. My clumsiness - If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

5. My sensitivities - I just can't stand it! "It" could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, odours. FMS has been called the "aggravating everything disorder." So don't make me open the drapes or listen to your child scream. I really can't stand it.

6. My intolerance - I can't stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I sweat...profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don't feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don't be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it's cold. I don't tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it. 

7. My depression - Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house or die. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from FMS as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

8. My stress - My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I'm not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely. I didn't quit my job because I was lazy. I didn't wait so long to go back to work because I enjoyed sitting at home. I couldn't physically or mentally handle work. I write software and for a long period of time, I couldn't remember how to write the languages I've known for years. I'm still having to reteach myself how to do my job.

9. My weight - I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My appestat is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it. I wish that my lack of eating would result in weight loss, but it doesn't. I don't eat crappy foods. I don't eat sugars. I don't drink soda. But I am still overweight. 

10. My need for therapy - If I get a massage every week, don't envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is knot-filled. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.

11. My good days - If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don't assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

12. My uniqueness - Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else.

I hope that this helps you understand me, but if you still doubt my pain, your local bookstore, library and the internet have many good books and articles on fibromyalgia.--Written by C.S.