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.
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