Friday, August 31, 2012

TGIF

TGIF! I get to start progesterone again tonight! Woot!

The eight days without weren't as bad as it was last time. Thank God. Last time was horrible.

Now I'm afraid I won't feel good on progesterone. It's silly, but I keep waiting for the misery to start.

I feel superstitious about it. Like I should be throwing salt over my shoulder, knocking on wood, dancing naked around an oak tree under a full moon etc...

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lower

Still chugging along over here. Energy is lower, but I'm hanging in. It probably doesn't help that we've been staying up late watching True Blood and then the toddler has been getting up waaaaay earlier than normal. The bookends of bad sleep.

Saw Doctor Alternative and we're pretty much done. It's just a matter of letting my body 'settle' into its new normal. Doc says the acne should improve which would be nice because cystic acne in your ear canal? Doesn't feel so good.

Actually everything is supposed to keep improving. I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday with a Cherry on Top

Today went well. I have no complaints.

Bummed around the house most of the day. Worked on a story that should be ready for publication sometime this week. Went for a 2.5 mile walk in 90F heat.

We made better tasting juice today--still not sure how I'm going to incorporate juicing into my life. Not really interested in a juice fast, but I like that we went through 10 large carrots, 4 cups of spinach, 2 apples, and some ginger today.

Energy is good.

Life is good. Steak for dinner! Now that we are out of house guests (temporarily) the budget allows an indulgence here and there.

I am afraid it will all end tomorrow.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Three for One

As of today I am undergoing...

Sugar withdrawal aka cherry pie withdrawal (it's big in Michigan).

Caffeine withdrawal aka Coke Zero withdrawal (again).

Progesterone withdrawal.

Wheeee! Isn't this fun?

We went to the grocery store and the woozies hit me like a tsunami of stupid. The hubby found me putting tea in the cart and taking it back out over and over again. When he asked me what I was doing, I could only look at him blankly. He gave me the car keys with instructions to "go sit in the car"

Only I couldn't find the car.

So I went back into the store and stood in the checkout line with him, giggling maniacally.

Because I had this movie going in my head of me taking off my clothes and streaking through the grocery store. When the cops arrested me I would blame the complete and total lack of drugs.

Oh yeah, completely unhinged over here.

I kept my clothes on (cellulite came in handy for once) and went home to crash into bed instead. I didn't sleep though, my head is screwed on too weird for that.

Now I'm drinking Green Ass-ade.

That's when you buy a juicer off Craig's List and concoct things to drink. Like lemonade with ginger and Romaine lettuce.

You would think that the sourness of the lemon and the zip of the ginger tempered with the sweetness of Stevia would overcome the flavor of Romaine juice.

You would be wrong.

Ass-ade people. And not just any ass-ade, it's green, yo.

Yo, yo, yo.

I think I'm still tripping a bit. I have no idea why. I am not on anything!

Anyway, I thought I could maybe do something useful with juicing. I make a mean blueberry spinach smoothie (hint: add cinnamon and stevia). I've made a primitive juice with a blender, straining the liquid form a spinach, apples, stevia and ginger puree. It was delicious.

I thought I was ready for this juicing thing. I wanted to 'flood my cells with nutrients.'

And what do I get? Green ass-ade.

Turns out my original opinion was right: The reason why juice recipes are 99% fruit and 1% vegetables is because veggies don't taste better in liquid form, they taste worse.

Much much worse.

Anaphylaxing asked me on my last post:

"Hang in there. I'd be interested to know in the low progesterone symptoms vs AI symptoms or are they the same for you?

What's your current view for steroids?"

Progesterone and AI symptoms are pretty much the same in terms of fatigue with weakness. My unedumacated theory is that I didn't have enough substrate to make what I needed and taking progesterone improves that situation. However, I can still outpace my stress response as last week's biking episode showed, so I would imagine I still have to be careful with illness and exercise--no extremes is probably best for me. Overall, progesterone is a HUGE improvement. I think it will eventually give me my life back.

And believe it or not, there are a lot of people who get 'sick' after exercise. Some of them have AI. Some of them fall under chronic fatigue syndrome or celiac's disease. I am actually not alone. Also not the only one who finds that vitamins turn things around.

As for steroids, haven't been on any since late May/early June. Haven't needed them. The bike incident was the closest I've come to it. Although I haven't been pushing exercise like I have in the past, I've been focusing more on the demands of daily life.

I can't and won't rule steroids out until I've gone a year without them. I can always get a few good weeks or months here and there. I need more time to pass before I declare the cycle broken. Way too soon to claim a victory.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Off the Cliff

So the deal-io with progesterone is I take it for 20 days and then have 8 days off to induce a cycle.

As I've mentioned previously, not being on progesterone is horrible. It's the horror of going to a Halloween haunted house and finding out the serial killers are real as opposed to paid actors.

I am not exaggerating.

Tonight I'm due to stop taking progesterone until next Friday.

You can imagine my lack of enthusiasm, yes?

As far as I know, there's no information out there that talks about how to manage this (dose change, low dose during my cycle etc...) or if it will go away. I can only hope that, with time, my body will build up enough reserves to make it for eight days without completely losing its shit.

Until then, I am resigned to being completely useless for the next week.

Ugh.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vacation Schmacation

My daughter is loving vacation. She lost her first tooth this week! At four! Now no one will believe me when I say she's not six. She's swimming and playing 'mermaid' and diving for rocks in the water like she's eight.

The hubby is loving vacation. Throwing the toddler up in the air. Building sand castles. Riding bikes. Helping the toddler curate her burgeoning rock collection.

Me? I wish I had stayed home.

I like schedule and routine and I had a good, productive groove going. Now it's been ripped up by the roots and set on fire.

Plus I've had some kind of cold the last few days. I'm finally feeling better but I really miss my bed at home.

Can you tell I'm a homebody?

I mean, I like to travel and all, but this is our fourth visit to the same (small) place and my (large)extended family is here which is always stressful. I'm ready for something different. I would be okay if we missed a year of this vacation.

I'm glad that we'll be on our way home tomorrow. There I know how much I can do, whereas here I make myself sick. I want to be where I know the rules of the game.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bad Biking

I'm still not exercising much. I tried to keep up with everything--squatting and doing push-ups while I had bronchitis--however, that fell to the wayside as the fatigue from fighting to breathe sapped my will to do anything other than rest.

Since then, I've only walked and done one session of yoga a week.

In short, I am out of shape. Partly from illness and partly because I've lacked the ambition to claw my way back to fitness. It doesn't seem worth it when I'm just going to get sick again.

So when the hubby and I decided to go bike around the lake yesterday, I was a bit wary of my ability to actually do a ten mile loop, even one graded as 'easy'. (It doesn't help that I like to ride low so my feet can touch the ground when I stop, this makes peddling a lot more work than it should be and very hard on the knees. Also the bike had no gears, which also makes for a harder ride.)

I made it 6 or 8 miles and then had to turn back. It was fun, but I am not in shape for that much exercise. I hit the wall on the way back and was glassy-eyed with fatigue by the time we returned the rental bikes. My knees were a numb mess of inflammation.

From there I collapsed into bed and slept fitfully for three hours. My throat became sore and I started sneezing, my nose itching like I was coming down with a cold. I was just absolutely fried and wondered if I had managed to even outpace the positive impact of progesterone.

Today will be an interesting test of my ability to recover or not. The progesterone is a major improvement, but it's apparently not foolproof.

My body is mildly sore today. I can walk normally, which was not the case yesterday, and the cold symptoms are gone (I really wish I knew what that's about). Hopefully, if I just take it easy, I'll be fine.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Never Enough Vitamins

This past week has been very busy as the to-dos of life ganged up on me just as we were getting ready to leave town for vacation.

Some hiccups in how I've felt...

The pattern of cold symptoms and cold sores is, apparently, still active.

I forgot to dose the C, D3 and zinc like I've been and bam! Instant sore throat and the corner of my mouth starts burning. Plus fatigue, although at least half of that is to be blamed on my new inability to fall asleep.

However, today, after a good night's sleep and remembering to keep up with the vitamins, I'm doing good.

I would guess the vitamin things sounds dubious to most people, however, here is a persuasive data point:

My D level at the beginning of May, just as the bronchitis took hold, was 90. It fell to 50 by the end of the month as my body used it up to fight the bug.

So our bodies do use this stuff up and we do need to replenish our reserves.

Now why I need to constantly replenish my reserves is what I don't know. I should be able to go a few days without vitamins. It's not like I'm eating paper and rocks over here.

In fact, my new favorite salad is greens with strawberries, blueberries, feta cheese, red onion, and pecans all drizzled with balsamic glaze. That's lunch tomorrow and then dinner will be chicken taco salad with greens, peppers, guacamole, salsa etc... lots of veggies.

So why do I fall apart if I don't keep up with the vitamins?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Amazeballs

I feel fabulous on progesterone.

Fucking amazing.

I have no idea what will happen next. If this is the end of the sick that has plagued me for over two years or if there's some other cliff for me to trip and fall over.

Too many times I've been optimistic only to have things go breathtakingly backwards.

But OMG I hope this never ends.

It's not without some problems. First, life without progesterone sucks. It's horrible when I have to stop it. I hope that evens out with time, otherwise I'm going to be incapacitated by fatigue one week out of every month.

I also have acne everywhere. I am not sure if it's the progesterone or something else. I've taken progesterone before to maintain my pregnancy (also felt fabulous then, hmmmm a clue!) and did not have acne so why it's acting up now, I have no idea. Maybe it's because I'm not on the pill anymore?

Or maybe the progesterone has enabled a hormonal shift that allows the PCOS to be more of a PITA than it ever was? I don't know.

I do know I'm doing more than I ever have.

Yesterday, I grocery shopped, cleaned the house, hosted a large party and went for a 2.5 mile walk. At no time did I feel weak or faded. That's a new personal best for me.

Please don't let it end.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Can Smell Them Coming

The hubby says our guest always smokes outside, even when at home. The habit of a 'clean' smoker. Typically 'clean' smokers aren't so hard on my system and I was hopeful...for a second.

The thing is I can smell them from thirty feet away. It's like they are steeped in second hand smoke. Smokes outside my ass.

It's a smoker's menage-a-trois over here. I've got first hand, second hand and third hand smoke all competing for the title of Most Irritating to My Lungs.

Fortunately, the cold is done with me and, aside from a few hacking episodes, I've been okay.

However, my guest arrived not only with a carton of cigarettes, but also a nasty cold.

From another continent.

Meaning it's probably not a germ my system has seen before.

I'm now flashing back to Paris 2006 where I caught a bug and spent a lot of time lingering in ERs on the brink of hospitalization.

But, hey, I could always get lucky, right?

Meanwhile....

I really like progesterone. If it's not the answer, it's going to be a significant improvement. At least once we're done tweaking the dose. The regimen is not quite finalized yet and I'm waiting somewhat impatiently for a doctor's appointment to sort out the best dose and schedule for me.

I also wonder if you can develop Exogenous Cushings from too much progesterone? Can it tip me into cortisol excess or does the body have a mechanism by which it ignores extra progesterone? I just want to be sure the progesterone can't cause problems. There's a ton of progesterone involved in pregnancy and that doesn't lead to too much cortisol as far as my limited knowledge knows.

Random factoid for you...I had a Meyer's Cocktail today and there's a book on cancer treatment in the alternative doctor's IV clinic. It's from the 50s and one of the treatments was to juice raw calf liver with carrots and drink.

Yeah, I suspect not many patients got better drinking that.

And yes I do kind of wonder at a doctor who would pimp that out as reading material for their patients. Especially considering they're vegan!

Even worse than the raw calf liver was the 'cancer diet' with a ton of simple carbs. I guess they didn't know that sugar fed cancer back in the day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Where There's Smoke

The cold is on its way out. I think. Since I've blown my nose exactly once...I doubt it's going to morph into anything exciting. Although I'm still lagging on the energy front.

Getting up at 5:30 this morning did not help. The hubby's alarm went off, a death knell for sleep, at least for me.

And suddenly I can't go to sleep so well.

I can't stop thinking about the circus.

Seriously.

We went and they were hiring and it captured my imagination. Then I found a PBS documentary and watched it with rapt attention.

Now it plays in a loop in my head, looking for story angles.

During the day, there's too much going on for daydreaming, but when I finally lay down for the night, there's literally a three ring circus in my head.

Sleep issues on both ends don't help.

Our third house guest of the year has arrived. Conveniently, no one mentioned they smoke like a chimney.

My airways not only react to actual smoke, but also the residue on the smoker's skin and clothing. The severity of the asthmatic reaction depends on how stable my lungs are.

This teeny tiny cold has destabilized my lungs. Someone had a fire a few nights ago and one whiff of that had me hacking like I was a smoker. We had to seal up the house and run the a/c.

So I'm bit anxious about how this is going to go.

Monday, August 6, 2012

That Floating Feeling

The cold is plodding along. I'm feeling faded and blah but trying to keep up with all the things that need to be done before our next house guest arrives.

Yes, I do take lots of C etc... to try and beat these bugs. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes not.

I've actually been taking a cocktail of C, zinc, and D every day now because I had this epiphany that...

If I exercise and that makes me feel like I'm getting sick, but I improve with vitamins, then maybe I should take them every day and prevent the whole thing in the first place.

Duh.

So the vitamins work well against adrenal whatsits exercise colds, but not so much for actual bugs.

So far, it's mild. The toddler has lots of gunk though, I'm hoping it won't hit me.

On the writing front... I just have to get this out of my system...one of my colleagues has hit it big and is fielding offers from large publishing conglomerates with many multiples of six figures involved. It's so cool.

However, I have to say, if a writer can out-earn a traditional publishing offer with three months of sales on their own, do they really need a publisher? Something to think about... do publishers think writers can't do the math? I'm surprised at how low their offers are against what a writer is actually earning.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not Procrastinating

I just slept like the dead for the last three hours. The toddler has the boogies of doom. You do the math.

So. Not great news.

The weakness has already started.

May it be a wimpy cold and pass quickly.

The timing is really horrible, but at least we already deep cleaned the entire basement in anticipation of our guest. That was the hardest part. The rest of it the hubby can mostly do without me if I'm too whacked to be helpful.

I've accomplished what I can with my writing goal. The first two projects came together so easily, but the third was a nightmare. It's not going to be publishable any time soon, ergo I counted having a really ugly rough draft as a win and am moving on. It'll need to sit for a while before I can edit it into anything worthy of publication. So now I publish the first two parts hopefully this coming week and start work on the next project.

Assuming this cold doesn't hinder me too much.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shh! Don't Jinx It

I don't want to say anything about my health because it's in flux and I don't know where it's going to land so might as well wait and see before I devote hundreds of words to it, yes?

So here's some random nonsense for you...

1.Do you ever catch yourself watching one of those drug commercials and as they list the side effects you're going 'yes I have that, yup that too, yeah and that' only you don't take the drug?

I had a moment like that the other day and it cracked me up.

2.Several Olympians have the same diagnosis as my daughter and that makes me happy. Not that they have a diagnosis, but that it didn't stop them. I worry a lot about doors closing for her, maybe I don't need to worry at all.

3. When I was at the hospital visiting my friend, I told her 80 something roommate who was about to be released that she should go see Magic Mike to celebrate. It had been a topic of loud conversation and she asked what it was so....

We tried to explain Magic Mike to her in polite terms and finally I just told her it was 'life affirming.'

So that's me, witnessing about Magic Mike to little old ladies in the hospital. Ha. I'm either exactly who you want visiting you in the hospital or your worst nightmare.

4.I have set an ambitious writing goal for myself in the midst of a hugely busy month. August is crazy over here. One relative left. The next relative arrives next week. I have a week long sales gig thing at a preschool. Plus summer camp. Visits with relatives having babies. And a vacation. Things are so jam-packed I can't keep track of it all and have double-booked myself several times now.

That's a great time to decide to finish a huge project, right? What can I say? When the muse is hot, the muse is hot. You don't say no to the muse. I'm about 60% done with the project and hope to have all the rough drafts done before we go on vacation later this month.

I'm close. The plot is giving me fits though. I'm ready to end the thing and it just keeps going. We'll see what happens.

If I'm scarce here, it's because I'm focusing very intently on meeting my goal. If I'm posting all the time, that means I'm procrastinating mightily. As I'm doing right now.

So no, I'm not dead, but I might be off killing my characters if they don't start cooperating soon.