Where to begin?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Hello. Wow! It has been about 3 years since I have seriously spent any time here @ the SP site. And I wouldn't say I've given up or been lazy or anything, just busy is all. I was pretty much killing myself working and I actually mean the killing part... now where to begin?

I'll go back to a year ago, January 2013, of course another new year, a year of new beginnings and doing it - for real this time... well, that didn't work out so well, let me tell you why.

I was unhappy with my job, but for some reason I kept doing it, because I needed the money, 1. to pay off my business loan and 2. because my husband and I got used to a certain amount of income and it was easier to just keep doing it rather than finding something else or quitting because the $$ was really good. But you know what wasn't good? The stress!!

Anyway, in January 2013, I was primed to make some major changes and start eating healthier and getting back to the gym, etc.etc., you know -- all those promising new year's resolutions we all make. Along with all that, my husband and I decided that this year I would be winding down my work some to finally have kids (I was about to turn 36!!). So, I went to see my OB/GYN to find out if I was healthy enough and to get off the pill. The appointment was right before my 36th birthday and even though I am almost 200lbs overweight, she didn't think there'd be a problem with me trying to conceive after being off the pill for a month, so we did. About the same time we were making this wonderful life-changing decision, something else was going on in my life, my grandmother got really sick and had to go to the hospital. My mom was pretty sick as well (they were living in the same house). And then grandma went into hospice and all hell broke loose. Because my mom was sick and in a house by herself which was 1.5 hour drive away, she didn't know what to do... my grandma, who owns the house, was given 3-6mo to live and just as I decided to start living stress free, the stress just continued to pile on.

I'm not good about asking for help... I've always done everything myself and also helped others, but my mom didn't know what to do and I didn't know what to either. Not only was she stuck in this big house, she had 3 big dogs and everything was just a mess. So, I decided to ask my dad (her ex) for help. He and my stepmom came up from Florida to help me in the dead of winter, move my mom closer to where I live, clean up the house and get it sold, we did this all within a month! It was insane and then all of a sudden, I wasn't feeling too good. I got pneumonia!!! And it lasted for almost 2 months and knocked the crap out of me... AND I was still working and still trying to help my mom get situated, etc.

Anyway, I finally got over the pneumonia by April, but then work started getting insanely busy and it just seemed like the stress would not stop. I continued to work during the rest of the year and after few more months of crazy deadlines and non-stop stress from the woman I worked with, I decided I couldn't handle anymore, so around June I put in my notice that I was moving my business back home and would be taking some time off from work to focus on my health and babies. I told her I'd keep working there for a few more months or until she could find someone to replace me. We had a few big events in September and October that I already signed up to work at, so I would work until at least then.

Even though I got over the pneumonia earlier in the year, I didn't feel like I ever got back to 100%, I was constantly tired and the stress was really wearing on me. My friend told me about her acupuncturist and how that acupuncture helps with stress and getting your body back into balance and maybe even with pregnancy! So I started getting acupuncture in late July and after just a few sessions, I was feeling a bit better! I did feel more balanced and felt like other things seemed to be working better, but I think the stress was just so overwhelming at this point, it wasn't helping that much.

By October, things were going a little better and we had done one of those events I was talking about before and it was very successful, but still really stressful. A week later, at the 2nd event I wasn't feeling good at all, I was weak and queasy and I wondered if maybe I was pregnant??? I bought a pregnancy test the next day and took it the next morning. It came back positive!!!!!!!!!! I burst into tears when I saw the result, I truly believed the acupuncture helped me get in balance and pregnant! I didn't know what to do, I was so excited and happy and I knew NOW was the time to make major changes, so I let the woman I worked with know that I was pregnant and the stress levels needed to come down big time or I'd have to quit sooner than originally planned. I let my mom know I needed to focus on myself and my health and I couldn't help her so much. Everyone was surprisingly understanding and excited for me as well. I thought I was doing everything right, eating healthier, taking prenatals. By the time I found out I was pregnant, I was already 6 weeks along!! Wow, so exciting!! I made my first prenatal appointment that would be 2 weeks after I found out. And then 2 days later, I started bleeding... it was very light at first, and of course, I panicked, called the doctor --- they told me if it was light and a certain consistency, then everything should be fine. I tried not to stress and worry, but over the next few days it got worse... so dr. told me to come in and we'd check things out. On the day of my appointment, I miscarried - right there in the office. It was horribly devastating, and at the time, truly one of the worst things that's ever happened to me. It was only a week from the day I found out I was pregnant... and then I wasn't anymore. I took the rest of the week off.

The confusion and sadness of the miscarriage lasted about a week and after talking to a lot of people about it after a while, learning how common it is and hearing about thyroid issues and other things that can cause miscarriage, I decided I needed to get checked out again (more than just the standard tests you get at the annual physical). The same friend who referred me to the acupuncturist referred me to a diagnostic doctor she's worked with for years. I scheduled an appointment immediately, as my OB/GYN wanted us to try to get pregnant again after my next period, so I needed to find out answers quick so I could make sure it was 'safe' to try again. I did NOT want to experience that pain and sadness again.

Jump ahead to December appointment where I got the results of the blood work (they took 16 vials!). We only had about an hour to go over everything... there wasn't enough time to cover all the things that came back... the dr. has NO idea how I even got pregnant in the first place (acupuncture!!), let alone how I'm able to function daily working long hours and going to the gym (oh yeah, I joined a kickboxing gym at some point during the year, but the workouts were exhausting, so I cancelled my membership to join a gym that has a pool). I found out that I have a gene mutation (Compound Heterozygous MTHFR) which means you cannot properly break down folic acid and makes it harder to get pregnant and stay pregnant and have healthy pregnancies; it also makes you more susceptible to viruses/infections and other illnesses. I had never heard of that before. I also found out I had hypothyroidism, anemia, active Epstein-Barr virus (once mono), another unidentified virus (did more blood work to identify), C-Reactive Protein (inflammation), extreme vitamin D deficiency and a few other deficiencies. Shocking to say the least, almost any one of those could have caused my miscarriage!! So, now that I know about all this - what the hell do I do with it??? And what do all those things together mean? Well, the hypothyroidism would certainly make you feel tired and have a hard time losing weight along w/ the anemia! And what's causing the inflammation? This was all very scary, so after talking to people and researching online about all the different things and working with my friend (the awesome referrer) to figure out what to do, I've decided what changes need to be made in 2014!!!!

First off, I've been prescribed Armour for my thyroid issues as well as natural supplements for iron, vitamin D and methylfolate (skip the need to break down folic acid since my body can't). I've been doing this regiment for about 2 weeks now and I do feel a little better already, I can tell my body is digesting food differently, so now I need to feed it the good stuff it wants! Along with my daily meds/supplements, I'm also ready to implement the following goals:

1. DE-STRESS - I feel like this may be one of the major causes of some of my illnesses and how I feel on a daily basis. Work is probably my #1 stress, so I've decided now that I'm working from home again, that I will only take on the work that I want to (especially with my business loan paid off -- YAY!) and can handle without causing stress. Of course, working less means less income, but I feel like if I'm not so busy with work, I can focus on other stuff, like making home-cooked meals --- imagine the $$ that would save!! Which leads me into #2.

2. CLEAN EATING - I already know what food bothers me, I have bad reactions or terrible heartburn every time I eat certain things! But I still eat them, how dumb is that? Well, I've decided I'm cutting out the foods that are not good for me, specifically: WHEAT, SOY and DAIRY (specifically milk). I'm going gluten-free, soy-free, milk-free and also going to cut down on sugar and fat as much as possible. My husband and I need to stop eating out so much and I'd like to become a better cook! I set a goal of cooking a new clean eating recipe everyday for the next 100 days! Is that crazy??

3. COMMITTEMENT TO DAILY EXERCISE - weekdays will be easy, I've already been going to the gym for about a month now! I've really been enjoying doing H2O fitness classes in the pool 4 days a week (and lap swimming) along with 1 day in the gym doing strength training. It's the weekends I need to figure out, when I'm with my hubby -- he wants to lose about 30lbs, so I'll be looking forward to some fun and active things to do on the weekends. I love playing tennis...

4. DRINK MORE WATER - I think I'm getting about 60-70oz a day right now, but I want to increase that to at least 90-100oz, if not more. Water and green tea are really the only things I drink anymore.

5. GET MORE SLEEP - along with the clean eating, we need to make sure we're eating no later than 7pm on weeknights so we can get to bed by 10! So, we need to stop watching TV by a certain time each night to let our minds relax on their own and fall asleep faster.

6. DO SOMETHING *I* LOVE - I need this, my body and brain need this very badly. I need to do something fun that I love to do at least once a week. I've been so busy helping everyone else, trying to make them happy (that's pretty much all 2013 was), that I'm making this year for ME! I love being in nature, taking photos, drawing and painting... I have all the supplies I need and my camera, I need to get back into it this year, and I will! :)

I have another doctor's appointment next week to look further into the previous blood work results as well as the additional tests we ran (hopefully identify that 2nd virus I have) and I'll be finding out more about additional treatments I need to kill off/suppress the viruses I have. I think I'm going to choose the weekly IV infusion of vitamins in super high-dose form, this could take 8-12 weeks, but I want to choose the most natural way to get my life back in balance along with my new healthy lifestyle to lose weight/get fit and feel great --- really start living my life and have babies!!!!!

Who's with me??

If there's anyone who actually made it all the way through this blog post and has any advice/feedback about my diagnosis or just wants to share similar results, please share! I'm still trying to figure out some of this stuff! I've read from other people online that you can still have a healthy pregnancy even with all this stuff, if you are taking good care of yourself!

I also have some links that I found with more info about thyroid and the MTHFR gene if anyone is interested.

I would love to have friends/accountability partners to talk with help me (help you!) through this exciting time in my life, please add me as a friend/send me a message!
Until next time - be healthy & happy!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD4274730
    Hey, I know this is a bit late in the game...I understand the devastation of miscarriage. I've had 3 now, in about 3 years, although we've been trying to have a baby for about 4 years now. I'm also hypothyroid, but only my TSH is off. The rest are normal.

    I, too, am Compound Heterozygous MTFHR, but my homocysteine levels are normal. Did they check yours?

    Anyway, I thought I'd reach out :)
    2294 days ago
    I added you as a friend and I hope we can communicate with each other. Please email me whenever you want to talk...
    2326 days ago
    Even though I've lived all of it with you, it's still overwhelming to see everything that's happened to us listed like this... I am very proud of how you've gotten through it, and I am here to support you as we get on track to a healthy lifestyle! I'm looking forward to the home cooking and exercising, and the improved health that will come with it. Love you! emoticon
    2326 days ago
  • LIZZK80
    Hey there!! I just added you and I read through your whole blog and I hope that you accomplish all your goals this year!! I'm not sure if you read my blog from yesterday or not but I found out I have a virus that just appeared out of no where!! I had stomach and chest pains for about 5 days but today has been the first day I've gone without having to use my prescription pain med!! I'm hoping it's just something that I can pass through and continue going to the gym. I haven't gone in almost a week because of the pain. If the pain continues I was told I will has to find a gastro dr! I just hope it all goes away so I can keep doing my gym exercises and so I can get pregnant soon too!! Anyways, good luck and I hope to hearing more from you!!
    2328 days ago
    Thank you for adding me and being so candid. I'm glad to hear you're motivated to make these lifestyle changes and that you're not living in a depression due to your results. I am inspired by you and glad we are now spark family! I have a physical soon and am also worried about my results, I have a very high stress fast paced lifestyle. I'm taking charge of my health and happiness and am delighted to be on this journey with you. Keep us posted and cheers to being healthy! emoticon
    2328 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/9/2014 2:04:30 PM
  • X_TINA74
    Hi Sweet Pea!

    You had a rough year and you made it through...sometimes it's tough to be the strong one but you do it beautifully! I am looking forward to our new recipes, new adventures and new clothes!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2328 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3813288
    I did read your blog! ALL the way through. Keep working on your goals! Look to the pages here on SP, for support, inspiration, motivation, whatever you are in need of each day. Everything we can dream, can become reality.
    2328 days ago
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