Sunday, July 13, 2014

Things That Happened

Since it's been a couple of months since I've blogged, I thought I'd give a little update about what has been going on in my life this spring and summer. I'll try to be concise. I am going to just cover the 'big stuff" and will get into some diet, health, and exercise details over the next few blog posts.

Shortly after I stopped blogging, I had another set of cortisone shots in my feet for the plantar fasciitis. The doctor said it was okay since it had been almost a year since my last set of shots, and again he did a very low dose. I had immediate, almost total relief from the pain that lasted for weeks! But strangely, the skin at one of the 3 injection sites began to peel off... layer after layer of thick, wide strips of skin. Then, the actual injection point on my left foot became a little red hole, and the tissue around it began to degrade, forming a pit where my heel felt mushy and dented in. Apparently this is a not-too-common side effect of steroid injections. I began massaging it several times daily with coconut oil (which is anti-bacterial and very healing), and in about a week the skin stopped peeling and the little red hole went away. There is still a mushy "dent" where tissue is missing. I am not getting anymore steroid shots. (And yes, after about 7 weeks, the plantar fasciitis came back. It's rather mild though compared to how it used to be, and not affecting me too much. The shower chair went to the garage and has not come back!).

One of my kids had a medical crisis, so I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks driving to and from the hospital and dealing with doctors and specialists. It's ongoing, and stressful, and affects my self-care and my eating (stress eating is a siren call to me). If you've read my blog for long, you know I don't really share much about my kids anymore out of respect for their privacy (I'm not a Mommy Blogger after all... I believe each child's story is their own to share if and when and with whomever they choose) so I leave this in the most general terms... but it's affected me and made me look hard at how I cope with stress. I have started seeing a (new) counselor for help with this and am learning meditation as a coping skill.

Some other things have happened that I will just give the basics on right now, but will share more details in later posts. Here, in no particular order, are some things I've done or experienced over the past couple of months.

- I found out that a nearby hospital had purchased equipment for metabolic testing. I was able to go and have my resting metabolic rate measured and had my metabolism assessed.

- I went to an endocrinologist and, through blood tests, was diagnosed with thyroid disease: Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease. The doctor who diagnosed me prescribed Synthroid and recommended an elimination diet.

- I spoke with another specialist and got further recommendations regarding diet, and used this information along with the elimination diet information to formulate a new way of eating. I then found out it wasn't very 'new' after all... it's called the Autoimmune Protocol.

- I have gradually changed my diet in a very drastic way... much more on that to come. I have eliminated about 90% of what is recommended and am cutting out the remaining 10% in the coming week, including specific spices and the last traces of dairy.

- I found through research that there is a lot more to autoimmune disease and recovery than just diet; I have made and am still making lifestyle changes also to better my health.

-I was finally able to join a gym with a pool and a handicapped-accessible entrance so that I could get to and from the pool easily (when I was having severe plantar fasciitis). I have been swimming regularly with my daughter.

- I had some serious symptoms that sent me to the doctor and ended in a uterine biopsy. This was a very stressful time for me but thankfully the pathology report came back negative for cancer. I later had an ultrasound that ended with a surgery recommendation.

- We are now part of a loving church family where we were welcomed with open arms and I am able to feed the spiritual part of me in a low-pressure, non-judgmental place. It's been a relief that I didn't even know I needed.

Overall, I have had some wonderful happy times and some truly awful times so far this summer, with kids graduating, birthdays, concerts and recitals, sickness and sadness, joy, pain, travel, relaxation, and plenty of hard work. I am so blessed to have the family that I have. I am using the experiences, information and new focus of the past few months to change my life... moving forward from the anger, pain and disappointment into a time of hope and healing.


Anonymous said...

So glad you've gotten some relief with your feet! I've prayed about that often.

Hashimoto's. :o Well--that explains a lot. Unfortunate diagnosis, but it should have relieved some of the self-blame about your weight gain and loss difficulties. (And some commenters may owe you an apology!)

Church. WAHOO!!! :d So glad you've found a good place.


16 blessings'mom said...

I am so glad you're back and you're okay, I have been worried about you!


timothy said...

so happy it's been a productive bloggy-vaca. I missed you but was sending waves of healing your way all along. gonna look up that eating plan so i'll know morer about it.

Vicky said...

I am glad you are back!

Laura said...

Hi Lyn! I'm so glad you're back! It sounds like you may be on the right track and I'm so happy for you! I've been praying. :)


Mary McNamara said...

Lyn! This is so crazy!! I have been thinking of you SO MUCH lately and wondering if you maybe had a thyroid issue - I say this because I am in the middle of dealing with this myself! I just this Saturday had a bunch of tests for Hashimoto's and hope to get a diagnosis soon. It is SO frustrating feeling so miserable and not being able to figure out why...desperate for some concrete answers .
I wish you and your family the best.


Carla Birnberg said...

SO GLAD to see you checking in.

Karen said...

Auto-immune diseases are hard to diagnose for main stream medicine. I've come to know that functional medicine docs are better at this sort of thing...

Glad that the elimination diet was recommended and that you are finding your way on the AIP. I do a modified AIP with huge success. Everyone has a different food template on AIP- so kudos for self experimenting.

It took me a full year to feel better and myself again after my 1997 Hashimotos diagnosis. I feel great with my TSH in the 2.2 or lower range. 3.0 is denfnately sub-acute for me.

Here's to the next steps and give yourself the time to get better. It will come. There's no mistake that the foods that are good for my AIP are also very low on the emotional eating/binge scale for me.

Keep going and I think you'll find navigating the binge/emotional/everything in between with the AIP, the right thyroid dose, and good support.

Onward, Lyn!

Betsey C. said...

Wow, lots of stuff going on with you! So very sorry to hear about your sick child, I hope things are resolving there. As a mother, everything else takes a back seat to that.

It sounds like your feet are going to heal up! At this point, I bet some weight loss will be the final nail in the coffin of your PF.

Sorry to hear about your thyroid disease. It does explain a lot, though. I just knew there had to be a reason you were not losing weight.

Thanks so much for writing again. As you can see, you are very well loved in this cyber community!

Sending hugs!!

Jack Sh*t, Gettin Fit said...

I guess I should follow your lead about not blogging about my children, even though I'd got some killer stuff about messing with my teenaged daughter's boyfriend. Okay, okay... the high road it is.

Take care of yourself. Always nice to see you posting.

Lori said...

I am sorry that you have had hard times this summer. From the brief overview you gave it seems like you've made progress. That is what is important.

Catherine55 said...

So glad that things are going better and are looking up!

Taryl said...

Blah! That's making my head spin just reading it, and I'm not a horrible stress eater and would still be diving for the nuts and icecream. What a roller coaster for the entire family, but I'm glad you found a church you're liking and that seems like a good fit. I don't know where I'd be without the precious brothers and sisters in Christ The Lord had brought our way in our local congregation.

It's funny you mention thyroid issues (and I'm so glad you got a disgnosis!) as I have them, myself, and other non-related autoimmune issues. One of the huge reasons I eat low carb is because the vast majority of my food sensitivities and allergy triggers are items I no longer eat on a low carb diet, which has made the benefits of sticking to it immense. I didn't realize how badly I felt until I did an elimination diet and figured out my triggers. And some of them I have been able to reintroduce, after several months of abstaining.

Your feet sound like a painful mess, though I'm glad the steroids helped the side effects sound ghastly. Big hugs.

Lyn said...

Thanks all! I am spending the day at the hospital tomorrow, and will post about my metabolic testing when I get back. Prayers and good thoughts always welcome!

Blods said...

So nice to see you're back Lyn, thank you for returning to us. you were missed. Hope things pick up soon on the health front for you and yours Blods xx

Desert Singer said...

Have thought of you a number of times and it sounds like you're moving in a great direction! So glad to see you back :D :D :D

Janet said...

I am so grateful that you have returned to your blog. I am so sorry to hear about your child's illness and also the diagnosis you received - but also very happy for the positive results of your biopsy too! Talk about ups and downs and back and forths! Stress-eating is also my problem... While you were away I actually (for the first time) considered having weight loss surgery. However, during my appointment to discuss it, I was told I am NOT a good candidate so it's now off the table. However, I was offered a non-surgical program and have had a good amount of success just in the 3 months since I began. I believe this program is different because while it is a 52-week program, the ability to keep attending the therapy/group sessions is for LIFE! And, that's what I need - I need the weekly reminders (I actually attend 2 sessions per week) that I am worth it and that I am capable of being a MUCH better emotional manager! I have also learned to speak up for myself (rather than stuffing my face to numb emotions)and that abusing myself with food is NOT the answer!

I won't say I've found the secret to weight loss or maintenance but I will say that I am for the first time ever, truly hopeful that this will be the LAST time in my life that I have to lose half of my body weight to be at a normal BMI.

Please know that I am out here (and have been nearly since your journey began) cheering you on. You have my full support and admiration for your courage.


Amy said...

I'm happy you were able to get some answers! It is so frustrating feeling like something is wrong and not knowing what is wrong. You have inspired me to pursue my own nagging health issues that I've brushed aside because the preliminary tests did not show a reason for my symptoms. It's not the first time you've inspired me;). Welcome back!

Bobbie Seyer said...

So glad for all your reports. My favorite part is that you found a loving church family. That is so important in every way. I know, I am part of a loving church family too. You are loved!