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Goodbye 2011, I've learned a lot from you!


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Things I learned in 2011:

1) Not all endo's are created equal.
My new doctor is amazing. My first visit proved to me that I finally have found a doctor willing to look at the big picture. My labs showed that I have Hashimoto's antibodies, and that I am pre-diabetic. So that's where this little pot belly started coming from! We finally got my labs into the normal range, and I'm finally starting to feel a little bit closer to my old self.

2) Sleep is pretty much a huge deal.
My husband started waking me up in the middle night because apparently, I had started to sit straight up in the middle of the night while I'm sleeping. I thought it was strange, and we kind of laughed about my weird new sleeping position. A few months passed, it didn't stop, and I had literally started feeling like a zombie. More of a zombie than I had when my thyroid first started acting up. I spoke to my nurse practitioner about it, and he suggested that I have a sleep study done. It showed that I have sleep apnea, most likely caused by all the weight I've managed to put on thanks to my thyroid (or lack thereof). Now, when I'm able to sleep with my cpap mask on, I really feel refreshed in the morning, and have the energy to do things again. Its wonderful, and my doctor tells me that it should make it easier for me to lose weight now. Yay! At the end of last year, when I had been working out 2 hours a day with my personal trainer on base, I had ended up actually gaining 10 pounds. Since I've had the cpap, I've lost 16 pounds. Its coming off slow, but at least its coming off.

3) Diet is important for managing my health issues.
I can't let myself wallow in self pity, and munch on cookies all day thinking "why me?" I have terrible gene's - thanks mom and dad. That's why me. I've got to deal with it. Besides, pre-diabetes is reversible according to my doctor, and I really like having my legs thank you (I had an aunt who lost hers due to diabetes). I've been following my doctors advice, and have put myself on a modified low carb diet, and I love it. I feel full all day long, and sugar free life savers are pretty kick ass.

4) Smoking is disgusting.
My thyroid issues started causing some issues with my eyes - more than likely exasperated by my smoking. I had to see a specialist, and am looking at having surgery sometime in March to fix my thyroid eye disease via orbital decompression. Had to have a CT scan and everything. The results were pretty scary. The muscles in back if my left eye are about 8 times bigger than normal, and its strangling my optic nerve. The plastic surgeon gave me an ultimatum. He said he won't do the surgery unless I successfully quit smoking, and that if I don't quit, its only a matter of time when I go blind, because the smoking was making it worse. All I could think about was not being able to "see" my little girl grow up, and that was a done deal. I used Chantix for the first 2 weeks to get past all the major withdrawals (I couldn't do that to my family), and the rest was pure willpower. I've got an app on my phone that keeps track of how long I haven't smoked, money saved, and whatnot. Today is says 58 days without smoking, $144 saved, and 576 Cigarettes not smoked. 576?! Are you kidding me? How disgusting is that? Anyways, I'm excited to get my eye put back in its place. It'll be nice to not be have THAT social anxiety when I leave my house.

4) If I'm going to exercise, I've got to be regular about it.
There's really no sense in exercising one day, then putting it off for 3-4. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it every day. But I've got to switch it up to actually make it fun and interesting for myself. I've ended up going back to the exercises I enjoy like Pilates, but I've quite a few routines to choose from every day, so I don't get bored with it. For cardio, I have my elliptical, and stuff like Zumba for my Wii. My daughter likes to "workout" with me, and it makes it really fun. :D Other than that, I've started getting out and exploring my neighborhood. I had no idea there was a giant park a 5 minute drive from my house with a nature trail bike path. I started taking my daughter and her bike with us, and I follow her as she rides along. There's a group here that's really big on kayaking, and cleaning up our waterways... I'm seriously contemplating it, it looks like great fun while also being eco conscious.

5) I'm responsible for showing my children how to be healthy.
Yep. We talk now about smart food choices. My school age children don't eat school lunches anymore - they pack it themselves. Sandwiches on whole grain bread, a nice yummy apple, baby carrots, granola bar, skim milk. Oh... and they have oatmeal for breakfast before they leave. And not the type that's full of sugar, and preservatives. The old fashioned kind. But we like to add honey, and fresh fruit. Its really satisfying watching them, even my 3 year old starting to make good choices for food. My daughter would take an apple over chicken nuggets any day. I can't wait till spring time so we can get started on our garden again. I'm sure they'll be a lot more help this year.
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