Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Sick Shimmy

It's been a while, huh? Sorry. I'm swamped. There's all my stuff and then all the toddler schlepping, which is beyond crazy. I don't know whether I'm coming or going these days.

Sharp contrast to the adrenal days when I did nothing. Sometimes I wonder if I'm overcompensating now because I cannot believe how busy I am. Surely I didn't do this much before?

Not only does the toddler go to OT, PT, and then EI, but I signed her up for a therapeutic horse program. After she got so frustrated that she threw her shoes at the PT, I thought it might be time to look for something more fun than challenging. This seemed to fit the bill. However, it is also Another Thing To Do which I need like a hole in the head.

Well, too busy or no, she had her 'meet the horse' session this past week. HUGE smile on her face.

This is her horse. Note the hairy eyeball. It's relevant. And yes, that's a slice of the toddler.

The poor horse has Cushing's. Bwahahahaha. I'm being stalked by adrenal sh*t. They told me they weren't sure how effective the treatments were and that she was their best horse for little kids because--get this--she just stands there.

Yeah, because she's so f*cking tired. That's why. Let's f*ck up your HPA axis and see how fast you move!

Poor thing looked miserable the entire time and I had total empathy. I hope I'm wrong and the horse enjoys the interaction, but my gut feeling was she's not happy. I felt like I was participating in animal abuse.

I hope the regular sessions use a different horse. One that doesn't make me feel like I'm doing something bad.

Speaking of abuse, I exercised for three hours yesterday and now I'm sick. This amount of exercise was not planned. I did Zumba in the am, declined a free pm class only to be invited to a 'Girl's Night Out' at another studio that had a free Zumba class followed by belly dancing. (Yes, my life is full of free Zumba with a side of belly dance, aren't you jealous?)

I am a sucker for dance, especially belly dancing. So off I went. I did the Zumba class because I was afraid they wouldn't let me do the belly dance otherwise. And I really wanted to wiggle it, just a little bit.

The belly dance class was phenomenal. The best instructor I've encountered to date. Really superb. (See also: Flattery will get you everywhere. I was told I was a natural and had good lines which is like a major compliment in dancese.) The zumba was meh. Very aerobic-y and my preferred brand of Zumba relies primarily on booty popping to raise the heart rate, so I phoned it in partly wanting to take it easy and partly because the choreography was boring.

However, did you know that a shimmy is equivalent to running? Ignorant of this fact, I shimmied my ass off. Once my hips wind up, they don't stop.

I was too sore to sleep and today I've been sneezing all over the place, completely run down and shimmied out.

So not cool.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some Good-ish News

No weight loss, but I have shrunk enough to:

1. Wear those jeans I was talking about, I think, last Fall. I recall writing something about needing to lose a little bit more weight so they would fit better. That didn't happen, but they fit me now.

2.See that my arms are smaller. I can tell by the fit of some shirts that used to be tight. Thanks to genetics and steroids, I have underarm acreage that, given enough momentum, could be used as a weapon. It's not unusual to have issues with fitted blouses as the arms are out of proportion. So this was a welcome change.

I credit 1&2 to the idea that I've been replacing fat with muscle.

3.Go shopping in my closet for a fancy outfit to wear dancing. A nice knee length flared skirt that spins beautifully on the dance floor, and a lightweight cardigan set.

Given how often I take steroids and how little control I seem to have over my weight, I buck conventional wisdom and hold on to both the skinny and fat clothes. I'll purge stuff that I don't love or that won't keep (dress pants, for instance, do not store well), but I keep my favorites.

Between pregnancy and steroids, this strategy is paying off. I haven't had to buy many clothes.

With one caveat, I recently decided to invoke Murphy's Law of Weight Loss Plateaus by purchasing some pants that will fit me now. I've tried to hold off, but I haven't lost any weight in almost a *swear word* *swear word* year. I need some clothes. Some of the stuff I've been wearing is not holding up. Jeans are durable, but not if you wear the same pair every dang day.

I figure, once I have clothes that fit, the weight will change. Because isn't that how it always goes? Now, whether the scale goes up or down depends on how perverse Murphy's Law is that day.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Procrastination Station

I'm supposed to be working out, but I don't wanna. So I'm here instead. Delaying the pain.

Fatigue is eating me up, more this weekend than it was. Not sure why.

Saturday, we went to a green home exhibit. The home uses 90% less heating and cooling. It was interesting. The house is actually for sale, and will be moved to a lot in a chic neighborhood sometime this Fall. I didn't get to hear most of the presentation due to toddler wrangling, but I took lots of pictures and have a booklet which I'm assured has all the info.

They decorated and staged the home with recycled works from local artists, that was way cool to see. However, for $400k asking price? I expect a 4 bedroom home and a study. The layout was for a smaller, cheaper house. Material costs really bumped up the price. $53k in German doors and windows alone.

I think we'll just turn down the thermostat, thank you very much.

After that I took a nap. Never a good sign.

Then we dropped the toddler off with the 'rents and went dancing. 80s cover band. Excellent band. I love to dance. Music just infects me and I can't not move. I jitter and bounce like an addict. We tore up the floor, but, after the first set, the hubby looked at me and said "You're tired."

Another not good sign.

I tried to get into the second set, but, before the first song hit its mid-point, I was telling the hubby we should go. It wasn't even 10pm. Super lame-o me.

In my defense, the day started with some wheezing and there was smoke from all the smokers just outside the door and the facility had a healthy build up of third-hand smoke. I think a big part of it is just drag on the system due to the asthma. I actually took Pulmicort last night and this morning to try and head off any further asthma flare up. So far, no wheeze today.

So, today is a little fuzzy around the edges. I'm just...tired. Down to my bones.

But life goes on. Two batches of muffins made. Dishes done. Floor mopped. House dusted and picked up. Now for the HIIT squat routine from hell.

Friday, September 16, 2011

AM Relish

I woke up this morning at 7:20 and just relished the feeling of not wanting to sleep all day.

Last weekend, I made myself get up at noon even though I wasn't ready.

It's a nice change.

I'm not sure if some of the lingering fatigue is recovery from the endoscopy or just the fact the schedule has gone from lazy hazy summertime to go-go-go school time. Call me naive, but I thought summer was busy. It wasn't.

I feel overwhelmed. Go here. Go there. Schlep, schlep, schlep. Fill out reams of meaningless paperwork or else child will suffer.Wait. Stop. Work. Fill out paperwork for work, also meaningless. Go. No, wait. Go. No, stop. GO already! Toddler tantrums x 1,000,000. Here's a last minute schedule change with cascading effects on everything else. Reorganize your life around it. Now, make dinner, clean the house, plan a toddler birthday party and hurry up or you'll be late for work.

Nap? No time for rest, way too wicked for that!

PS: I ate an entire bag of nut granola. Low carb, but only if you don't inhale the entire bag and deep throat the crumbs at the bottom. I ate other things too, including, possibly, a small town.

The weight?


Calories in, calories out? MY ASS!

Set points are a bitch.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hungry Hippo

Things are on the upswing. I am so hungry. Starving. Hungry enough to eat the house and then the neighbor. I would think it's a steroid side effect, except I didn't take any.

Still a little tired. The asthma is freaking out about the drop in temperature this week, which is not helping.

For a while, I dithered over whether it was smart not to take steroids. Well, I'm alive so...thumbs up?

Would I have recovered faster with steroids? Or would I have been ensnared in their 'make one thing better while making a thousand other things worse' net? I don't know.

Steroids are passive-aggressive. They help you with one hand, stab you in the back with the other. Death by a thousand cuts.

I expect to be back to normal next week. This week I'm back to doing everything, but still have to lay down in the afternoon. Just to keep things interesting one of my many job hats came up and sucker punched me.

Like going from 0 to 100mph when you're already out of gas.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Never Sober for Long

I staggered through Saturday, upright at the grocery store only by virtue of a shopping cart turned impromptu walker. The fatigue was all consuming.

Sunday was slightly better on the weakness side, but the spinning kept me out of the game. I really hate the dizziness. Sometimes it's related to low bp, other times not. This time not.

Monday is better yet with actual hunger and the spinning didn't start until now.

But the school schedule has started. Which means no stopping. There' s a preschool tour, an OT appointment. All while feeling like my head is going to spin off.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wish Me Luck

I am still struggling, but continue to hope it will sort itself out without steroids. Right now, it's muscle cramps and fatigue. At least I don't feel like I'm going to pass out.

I perk up at night and so we went out to see a movie, a rare date night.

I recall this pattern of crap during the day, better at night from before, but I can't remember what it means or what comes next in the sequence.

Saturday, I ate breakfast. That was good. Except I couldn't get up and didn't go upright until almost noon. So really that was lunch.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

And Then...

So last we left off, I was loopy and dealing with; an irritating smoke detector, a toddler who was convinced her mother violated the Geneva Convention by serving chicken for lunch, and frustrated, misbehaving dogs.

The toddler ate her chicken and actually liked it once she got over herself. The smoke detector eventually stopped on its own, which made me alarmed. What good is a smoke detector that gives up? It didn't even last an hour.

Then the yellow lab went downstairs and unleashed a passive-aggressive revenge sh*t unlike any I have ever seen. Or smelled.

Fortunately, by then, the hubby was home and got to clean it up. I do 100% of nighttime parenting. He cleans up the poop and vomit. Trust me, he has it easier.

Then our aging black lab started walking like her back was broken and seriously hurting. I thought we were going to have to take her to the emergency vet and put her down, but she recovered. Must've been a muscle spasm or her leg fell asleep. Love that dog and she's getting older faster than I'm willing to accept.

I finally came back online around 5pm. Ate a good lunch and then struggled with dinner, but managed something before going to the preschool parent's meeting. (So excited for her to start, they have lots of cool stuff planned.)

Friday was a repeat with no breakfast. I have so much to do, without hunger or low blood sugar it's very easy to forget to eat.

By Friday afternoon, the low bp struck. So no appetite, low bp, and some adrenal-like flank aches after the endoscopy that were strong enough to wake me up at night.

It's all adding up to an updose, but I'm resisting as long as I can. Maybe I just need more sleep. Plus a good shot of pickle juice.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Like Drunk Dialing

For some reason, the loopier I get, the more I blog. I wonder what that is about? Right now*, my blood sugar is low and the food is still cooking. What else to do but write some rambling blog post?

No need to buckle your seat belts for this ride. We aren't going to go that fast.

I forgot to eat this morning* and went to Zumba anyway. At first, I wasn't going to go. I was so tired and the asthma was cranky to boot, it didn't seem like a good idea. The toddler was crushed at the cancellation, so I hustled us out the door. On a wing and a rescue inhaler.

I thought about eating, but then forgot and didn't remember until we were half way there. The work out went pretty well. The out-of-body experience didn't start until we were almost home. This is actually an improvement and another change. It used to be, I crashed if I didn't eat breakfast by 10am. So at least I last longer sans steroids.

Some gummi bear vitamins for a quick sugar boost and cucumbers with salt are not quite holding me together, though.

Cleaning the entire house awaits me, which the dogs were unkind enough to filch a yogurt container off the kitchen counter and shred it while we were gone. They're mad because it has rained all week and they can't chase squirrels all day in the back yard. Clearly, the evil yogurt must die.

The toddler is also screaming about the her awful lunch. Clearly, all her evil mommy's fault. I will say, being loopy extends my tolerance for whining by quite a bit. I just can't focus enough to care. Eat the chicken or scream bloody murder, whatever.

Ahh, here's the punchline to the day. My cooking just set off the smoke detector. One I can't reach to turn off. Not without a ladder and I am way too lightheaded for that. Nothing is on fire (for once!) and I don't think my cooking is scary enough for an alarm, but there you go. Now here we sit amidst the beep-beep-beep.

At least if the house burns down, I won't have to clean it right?

*By 'this morning' and 'right now' I mean Thursday. Time delay blogging just to confuse everyone.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Toddler Fall Kickoff

The toddler is in the basement* with a roll of blue painter's tape, doing God knows what, and I don't care. I blame the anesthesia fog. Benadryl lingers for a long time in my system. There's a reason I only take one Tylenol PM or one Nyquil or half a child's dose of Benadryl. 100 mg of Benadryl? Was a lot for me.

Things are getting busy here. Real busy.Preschool is about to start. The toddler has a seriously overbooked schedule, if you ask me. Not one extra-curricular. Just school and OT/PT. Between those two things, she's got something every day of the week.

I think I'll hold off on dance class etc... until January. Just to give us some time to adjust.

The week breaks down like so:

Monday: Early Intervention OT

Tuesday: Preschool, alternate weeks private OT/Zumba

Wednesday: Preschool, PT on alternate weeks

Thursday: Preschool, Zumba

Friday: Early Intervention Specialist home visit

I'm glad I feel better. There's no way I could have done this schedule last year. I'm a little worried about being up for it even now that I'm off steroids. I still sometimes have a mini crash after busy days.

(If it doesn't look like much to you, keep in mind I'm working, cooking, cleaning, plus driving the toddler to all her various appointments as well as my own. It's not like we have OT on Monday and are done for the day. I wish!)

Anyway, I hope this will be the last year of PT and maybe OT. Of course, today alone she's had three falls. Two with the PT and one down the stairs here at home. Poor bean. The PT thinks her low tone makes her move too fast and she tries to beat gravity and loses. I'm not sure that makes sense, but it's nice to have a theory.

The other day she tripped and the hubby caught her around her upper arm. Then we panicked about whether or not her arm would bruise.

When she was just shy of 2, she fell on the stairs. I caught her as I was right there, keeping an eye on her. She was suspended from my hands for a bit and had finger tip shaped bruises on one forearm as a result.

We are always afraid people will make the wrong assumption about those kinds of bruises.

It doesn't happen often, but when it does, we dither about what she will wear to cover them.

Then we feel weird because all we are doing is catching her when she falls and saving her from a more serious injury.

But it's just so easy for people to assume the worst, you know?

*Finished and child-proofed. It's more about what she's going to do to the basement than what it's going to do to her.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Foggy with a Chance of Fog

I do not understand drug addiction. Demerol, Versed et. al? Made me sleepy and that was about it. If the definition of high is sleeping all day and trying to push thoughts through cotton, then I'm unimpressed.

If you want to be tired and foggy on the cheap, about $20 of prednisone would mess you up for months. Just FYI for those addicts on a budget. Although the moon face and buffalo hump that comes with steroid use are probably why it has never caught on.

Today we are having what I call a 'pajama day' which is code for 'cartoons, as much as the toddler can stand to watch'. Just slowly easing into things whilst detoxing from all the drugs.

Sleep was, ironically, hard to come by last night. They said my throat would be sore, like a cold. In reality, it feels like my throat has been in a fight. The soreness is one of physical battering. I swear I can still feel the scope in my throat and the memory of choking comes with that sensation, which made sleep even harder to come by.

The toddler bag I packed kept her busy. The hubby could have left, as it turns out, and come back later, but they poked around the hospital instead. They had breakfast in the cafeteria and played with everything in the bag. Now that we're home, she's been hoisting it on her shoulders and lugging it around, clearly enamored.

I'm glad I wrote down the contents, so I know what to pack next time.

My weight continues to annoy me. At the moment, I'm gaining weight even though I haven't eaten since Monday (don't worry, I've got chicken roasting in the oven right now). I've decided it must be some residual adrenal crap. Not eating, for me, is adrenal. I don't have any other symptoms and I don't think an updose is necessary, but the complete lack of appetite is not normal.

I'm going to tweak my diet a bit, tweak the supplements, continue to exercise, force feed myself as much as I can and not worry about it. Hopefully if I keep doing the right things, it will even out.

Now to just shake the vestiges of drugs, sleeping too much, not being able to sleep at all and get on with things.

ETA: The hubby felt bad for me and kept trying to take care of me as if I was sick. He was angry on my behalf about everything yesterday. In case anyone feels the same way...I'm not angry and I'm not sick. I'm not looking for sympathy either. I don't need it. I'm fine, but it was a definitely an experience, which is why I'm talking about it at all. I've essentially been banned from Twilight anesthesia and told I shouldn't have it again. That doesn't happen everyday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Twilight Fiasco

The endoscopy ran into some complications.

Namely that I am not a good candidate for Twilight anesthesia.

Their words, not mine.

I have a vague memory of choking and a flurry of activity, but I did not wake up.

Unfortunately, I didn't have to be awake to be a problem.

I was restless. Fighting the scope. Clawing at my mouth.

They gave me more Demerol. More Versed (sp?). Enough Benadryl to knock out Godzilla and I still fought.

After 45 minutes (for a 10 minute procedure) they gave up.

I am now the weenie patient who needs a surgical consult for whatever is the next level of anesthesia after twilight.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Packing for the Doctor's Office

Tomorrow is the upper GI endoscopy. Hubby and the toddler will be my ride and have to stay on the premises as a result.

Ergo, I find myself tonight packing a bag of things-to-do and snacks to keep her busy.

In her bag:

-dark chocolate
-low sugar juice
-play laptop
-portable magic brite
-books to read
-workbooks to do for OT goals (dot-to-dot, coloring, mazes)
-crayons (a brand new box)
-Brainquest card deck

Hopefully that will keep her busy and the hubby sane for the 3 hours they'll be stuck waiting for me.

I am nervous. My first endoscopy ever, I woke up with the tube down my stomach still. When you're doped up and your body decides to ignite the fight-or-flight response because it thinks you are choking to death, nothing a doctor says can calm you down. You are beyond words.

Now that I think about it, there have been consistent problems with...what is it called? Twilight? anesthesia.

-They couldn't get me to sleep during the wrist surgery. (For good reason. I was fighting it as they'd botched the nerve block and I was afraid, rightfully so, it would wear off in the middle of surgery. It did. I ended up with general anesthesia).

-I woke up during the first endoscopy.

-I required extra anesthesia for IVF egg retrieval because of the pain (OHSS and swollen ovaries are not comfortable.)

The first experience with the endoscopy was bad enough that I begged the doctor to be sure I didn't wake up for the second one. That was the only time I didn't have a problem.

So I told this GI doc about the whole waking up thing and they just nodded dismissively. That doesn't mean they weren't listening, just that they looked like they weren't. Maybe it will be fine.

But I'm nervous. Partly because that kind of panic sucks. Partly because I don't know if my stress response is intact enough for that. I think it could be, but I don't know and I'm not really interested in finding out the hard way.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Exercise without Weight Loss

Exercise is the only thing that makes me feel like I have any control over my body's destiny. The call-and-response of pushing myself further and being rewarded with strength and endurance is a thrill.

I'm over whatever funky gunk was going on the last few weeks and I've since had several hard work outs. The hubby was the impetus. He played a pick-up hockey game and sucked so hard, he asked me to "squat him."

So I've been his trainer. We did a HIIT squat routine and I didn't even feel it. If you recall, back during the steroid tapering days, the same workout wiped the floor with me. I had to updose. Now my body says 'That's it? That's all you got? We can do more.' So I went and ran stairs.

At the moment, I'm in better shape than the hubby. I want to enjoy those fleeting moments where I can leave him in the dust on a run. It won't last. He's a natural athlete and will rapidly outpace me. The word athlete is never used in conjunction with my name, so I get overly excited anytime I can out-do anyone.

I would love to get excited about the scale moving down as well, but my body is stubbornly holding on to this weight. I had a funny experience the other day that, I think, shows the barnacle-like nature of this set point.

I pigged out.

My appetite has been low and, as a result, I've not been eating on a regular schedule. The thing is, sooner or later, my body wakes up and force feeds me whatever calories I missed for the day. Usually this happens at night. I know it's going to happen and I want to eat to head it off, but I can't make myself eat if I'm not hungry. It just doesn't work that way.

So the neighbor girls threw a (lovely) pinata party for the toddler and brought over cookies and ice cream at the precise minute my body threw a hissy fit about the lack of calories. So I ate quite a bit of stupid sugary stuff* figuring I'd gain a few pounds, but not do any permanent damage.

*Five cookies. Two heaping bowls of ice cream.

Then, the oddest thing happened. I got hot. Furnace hot. The a/c was on and I was just frying up inside. This persisted through to the next day. When I checked the scale, no weight gain.

I'm convinced my body was burning off those calories to preserve the set point, and it marks another situation where my body has broken with patterns of the past. Typically, I would see a 3-5lb gain from that much sugar and bloat. Neither happened.

I don't know why my body likes this particular number on the scale, but it is hell bent on sticking to it.