Tag Archives: stomach issues

my stomach is on strike

16 Jul

For the last few weeks, my stomach has decided to take a trip down memory lane & revert to its ultra troublesome state.  This past week was the worst so far & I almost had to go home early from work on Thursday & then did have to call in sick on Friday.  I have some special meds to take when it gets bad, but they make me a little blurry, which isn’t a helpful side effect when working with patients!

I’m in the midst of a bad IBS flare up & it completely sucks.  There are some variations in the types of IBS and mine includes an epic stabby feeling inside my stomach, nausea, & bloating.  It’s quite painful & unpleasant.  Since mine is combined with an ulcer, Pepto Bismal tabs are my bestie.

AA039781

I like the taste of these now.

My diet has played a role.  Since I started working at the office, I’ve eaten more gluten than I have since I went to France for my brother’s wedding two years ago.  There are a lot of office treats & I’ve had to grab some lunch out when I’ve forgotten mine at home.  Way, way, too much for this gluten sensitive gal.  I’ve been eating way too legumes, a no-no on the approved FODMAPs list also.  Then there’s been sooooo much popcorn!  I’ve never had problems with popcorn in the past but it’s been extreme as of late.  I just finished my last 1/2 a bag of Skinny Pop & I won’t be buying any more for as long as I can hold out. This one is going to be TOUGH.

skinny-pop-logo@2x

Skinny Pop – it’s my true (addictive) love!

Next up, the stress.  Ugh.  Starting a new career is challenging and I get frustrated with myself as it feels like my progress is slow.  Money is tight – what is this rent & utilities nonsense?!  It doesn’t help that WA is in the top 10 for most expensive states to reside.  I love LuLaRoe but I’m finding it difficult to forward this income source as my business person skills don’t seem to come second nature to me.  There are some other loose ends as well, so consequently, my anxiety is playing a key role in my Pepto popping madness.  My insides are basically downing pint size shots of cortisol, or at least this is how it feels.  Bad dreams, constant fretting, and I was having at least one panic attack daily for a month.  It’s no wonder it feels like Wolverine lives in my stomach & is trying to find freedom from the confines of my stomach lining!

How-strong-is-the-acid-in-stomach-copy

I’m guessing this is why Wolverine wants out (source)

Then there is the lack of exercise.  I’m quite the couch potato.  This isn’t good on a couple of levels.  1.  The New York Marathon is in 4 months – eeeeek!  I have downloaded a 16 week training plan which looks doable for a successful finish.  But there is that whole thing of ACTUALLY GETTING OUTSIDE!  2.  I’m finding I’m quite fatigued when I get home in the evenings.  9.5 hour days are long & I just want to be in sweat pants, sitting, & zoning out in front of the tv.  Productive, eh?  My former stomach doc told me working out helps with the stomach pains, & that I have to get up even if I feel really crummy.  Of course it’s easier for him to say than for me to do.

my goal

When I was speaking with my sister about some of the above, she asked me to think about things I can control so I don’t feel so helpless.  And there are a few if I convince myself that it’s within my reach.  There is an optimistic part of me that while currently being drowned in stomach acid, is hoping feeling more in control helps calm this flare up as missing work isn’t an option and my stomach hurts!  The stomach issues are also aiding in my lackluster LuLaRoe sales since my energy levels are tapped by the time I get home.  But it means I really do need to take this control back.  I’ve already jumped back on the gluten-free train – I need it out of my system.  I’ve started down the path of dealing with my student loans dilemma, & I went for a run today.  I advertised for a couple of in-house LuLaRoe Open Houses for the week & reread my last post on motivation – turns out I can give myself decent advice.  These aren’t giant steps but they are steps nonetheless.  I mean, starting somewhere is better than not starting at all, right?

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stomachs have feelings too

1 Nov

Happy Halloweenie!  Did I do anything fancy pants last night?  Ummm… no.  Why?  Because my stomach is a horrible organ conspiring against me.

I’ve called my stomach a number of unpleasant names – on this forum, to my friends and family and simply while talking to myself in my apartment.  Things like, jerk face, brat, the “mean girl” of my organs and then some other names I won’t recount here.  Right now, I am cursing my stomach like a sailor.  I feel like I’m back to where I was a year ago and it is not only exhausting but highly frustrating.

The thing is, I know I haven’t given my stomach a fighting chance and it is rebelling.  I’ve hurt its feelings.  I think of this as a “flare-ups” and this is the worst case in duration and pain-wise in months.  It is absolutely stress related and I am basically a cortisol dumping ground.  You know how I keep mentioning work craziness?  Currently, one of my supervisees got a new job so I’ve been doing most of his job for the last month and half.  Then one of my other supervisees was out for two and 1/2 weeks on medical leave so I’ve been doing chunks of her job as well.  This is all in addition to still fulfilling the expectations of my position.  Oh and coordinating three large programs.

My stomach/health are on the ol’ chopping block at this point.  I eat Pepto chewables a couple of times per day in addition to my prescription stomach meds to help ease the nausea/bloating.  I come home mentally beat and anxiety-ridden so sleep is hard to come by.  I’m back to sleeping with the tv on or I won’t sleep at all.  I haven’t done laundry in ages and I am short-tempered and irritable.  This was by far the worst week since I had to step up my game on one aspect of a large project and it was the day of reckoning for one of the larger events.  Everyday is a new day of trying not to vomit.  Last week I had a migraine and then during the weekend and into Monday I had the stomach flu.  Yesterday, my stomach seemed to give up on me again and I was down for the count.

this is absolutely how I depict my stomach

To make matters worse, I don’t feel I am doing quality work with any of these jobs.  I am really struggling with this aspect as I’ve worked diligently at conquering some of my administrative inadequacies.  Not to mention, I often feel like I’m neglecting my other three supervisees who need me.  As the name of my blog implies, all of the above is a recipe for disaster for yours truly.

In other health news, I’ve had this strange obsession with sucking on ice.  As in, I “eat” (I don’t chew ice – this makes my teeth cringe) but I down large cupfuls a few times per day.  It’s been going on for at least 3 weeks now and progressively getting more intense.  It’s SO WEIRD!  I even bought my own mini-ice machine!  Then there is the problem of me almost passing out in the mornings.  It was happening once or twice a week and then this past week it was four times.  Naturally I used my best computer/ER watching skills and scoured the internets.  Obsession with ice and the passing out piece are symptoms of iron deficiency!  Odd, right?  I also started eating a banana within the first 10 minutes of waking up to make sure my blood sugar isn’t too low.

As I overheard this little 4(ish) year old say in the grocery store the other day, “I’m a hot mess”.  I think I’ve done a decent job up until this last week of keeping it together in public.  Some of the frazzle came to the surface this week.  It’s important to say, my supervisors have worked to find a replacement for the vacancy and this person officially starts Monday.  So while I still need to do the training, I think in two weeks I should be less inclined to carry emergency Pepto chewables for my poor nervous tummy.  My medical leave supervisee is also returning on Tuesday so this will help as well.

silver lining?

I also turn to sugar in times of distress.  I’m working on this one since I know it’s detrimental.  I haven’t worked out officially in almost two weeks due to my knee, so to the treadmill for some walking is in order.  I know these will help calm my stomach issues but it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I kind of thought I was done with the really bad flare-ups.  I do understand it could be worse.  Nevertheless, constantly feeling like you want to puke your guts out and not sure if you should eat or not eat (I never know which one will make me feel better.  Again.) and having your stomach blow up like a balloon about to pop makes me dog-tired.

I’m not sure if I am done whining/sharing about this.  My tummy hasn’t been great since August but beginning Sept 25th all hell broke loose.  So, it’s one day at a time over here in Michigan and reminding myself if I can get through 14-15 miles on a knee not working properly I can get through this.  And I’ve  done it before.  Now time to shove some iron down my throat, practice my calming exercises and try to get back to a routine.  I can do it.

a good reminder

a good reminder 

pancakes are jerks

7 Apr

First and foremost, today is my grandma’s birthday!

gr kate and my sister - I adore this picture!

gr kate and my sister – I adore this picture!

Happiest of Birthdays to a wonderful woman!  Seriously, everyone she meets loves her oodles and oodles.  I just got lucky to be her granddaughter.  People are jealous.

I have some odds and ends to share…

1) My stomach decided to stage a violent protest today.  Last night I made some brownie overnight oats.  It’s been on my must try list for some time and I was motivated last night so I made it.  These were some highly anticipated oats, my friends.  It made two servings and when I tried some today, I found them pretty rich.  I wasn’t sure if I totally dug them or not and then was only able to manage 1/2 of the serving before I put it back in the fridge.

before I delved into what I was hoping was chocolatey breakfast goodness

before I delved into what I was hoping was chocolatey breakfast goodness

It wasn’t long before my stomach starting picketing.  Now, I can’t be sure the oats were the culprit.  They did have a fair amount of milk in them (I used evaporated milk since I was out of almond milk – I use it for cooking).  I hurt for the rest of the day and I still can’t be sure if I feel better because my stomach is sore from the manic cramping.  The question… do I try the oats again to make sure it was them?  Or do I throw out the batch?  I’m conflicted.  (I got the recipe here)

2) I ran/walked 5 miles on the tready on Saturday.  I had a wicked dizzy spell in the middle of it so when I jumped back on for another 5 on Sunday I stuck to walking.  Still a bit woozy so I’m thinking I was dehydrated?  Yesterday I planned on a few more miles but gave into the siren call of my couch.  I still managed 3 walking miles for the day.

3) I made pancakes this weekend.  I was craving them and after the run I wanted a GIANT pancake.  Naturally, I chose a small frying pan and filled that sucker with batter – I wanted a super thick pancake.  I’m sure you might want to face-palm me right now because you guessed it – this bad boy took FOREVER to cook!  Oh my gosh!  20 minutes later it still had a gooey center, so I started scraping the done part off in order to try to cook it in mashed up pieces.  It was a pancake massacre… that still had a soft-batter center.  Thankfully butter, syrup and ham helped to hide the not-quite-done-parts.

this is a great illustration of my pancake sadness… and confusion

The thing is, this is the second time my pancakes have been mini-disasters.  The first time, fine, I tried to put together my own batter with flour and some odds and ends.  Not happening.  But this time I used a box mix!  The rest of the batter still didn’t cook very well even though I made them smaller/thinner.  I used Krusteaz gluten-free mix.  At this point I’m sticking to the Bisquick gluten-free pancake mix – those were more successful.  It was a bit tough on the ego to mess up pancakes, hence my firmly placing the blame on the pancakes themselves.  Jerks.

I thought I had more.  I guess I don’t.  But please weigh in on my question:

Try the oats again in order to not waste food in case they weren’t responsible for the loads of pain I suffered today?

I was active!

15 Jan

Edited:  I wrote this yesterday and somehow forgot to hit publish… just know I’m writing about Tuesday eve.

You may have noticed I haven’t talked about working out much as of late.  Why?  Because it hasn’t been happening.

At all.

beautiful Dean gif

Don’t get me wrong – I have LOADS of excuses and most of them are even valid.  For instance, last week?  I struggled to get back into a routine and failed.  Miserably.  The thing is, I’m getting restless and jealous of blog/facebook/twitter posts that talk about running.  I’m starting to get the running bug again, which is welcomed.  Then our local pool is finally open.  Turns out when a pool springs a leak (giant hole) it takes a bit to get it up and running again.

Yesterday I decided to go for it. I packed my swim bag at lunch. Office mate said its 90% prep & 10% execution but that ratio is way off for me. I’ve changed into my running clothes & then sat on the couch. BUT the couch didn’t win last night!

swimming

in all my swim cap glory!

So, I went swimming!  Wahoo!  Last week, I tried on my two speedo suits and both fit.  One is a size smaller than the other and while I like a tighter fit (a hail back to my hs swim team days) I want to get more use out of the older/larger one.  I found out at the pool that the looser one has lost a bit elasticity in the bum area but I made it work.

Anyway, it was great.  Hard of course, but still it felt good to be gliding through the water again.  Dr. Ascot keeps saying I need to find more ways to de-stress and he doesn’t feel running is the best option for me.  I don’t necessarily agree but since I can’t seem to get into yoga right now, swimming fits Dr. Ascot’s requirements.  I also don’t plan on quitting the running side of life – it’s a part of me and I’m missing it.  Swimming seems to balance running well, in my opinion, and gives me exercise that is more soothing.

apparently this doesn’t meet the criteria either

As mentioned, it was tough.  My arms were already “feeling” it as I got out if the pool.  I did a total of 40 mins & I’m estimating between 35-36 of those were spent being active.  My goal is to make it for 45 mins-maybe even an hour & this will take some time.  I also looked up some YouTube videos to see how to better my technique.  I’m certain I was literally dragging ass last night-I need to get my hips up & more involved in both kicking & rotating.  It’s a good challenge.  One of the main reasons I bought a fitness tracker – oh yeah, did I mention I completely caved?! – was because I found one that is water proof and tracks the activity.  I love this.

I have a tentative schedule in mind for swimming and running.  I would even love to start running outside again.  This has been a great winter for running outside – until last week.  I didn’t take advantage of it at all.  Even though I felt guilty about it, I also knew my health needed to come first.  When my stomach riots it’s nice be inside.  Now it’s a million degrees below zero  sooo… I’m going to wait a bit!  Wimpy MI runner right here!  My inner WA is showing.
So, I defeated the couch.  My new twitterer tag will be #deniedthecouch whenever I go get in motion.  I hope to use it a lot.

deny or this could probably happen

sickness abound – done with 2014

2 Jan

As I mentioned in my last post, it was quite a week.  Actually, the last two weeks weren’t all diet 7UP and the Mindy Project.  If there was a cave anywhere close to me that had cable and a bed, I would have taken up residence there.

Getting sick on Christmas is the ultimate suck.  Okay, probably not the ultimate but it was lousy nonetheless.  Some kind of plague descended upon my lungs on Dec 23rd & kept their foothold until Dec 29th – and those were the really bad days.  It was yucky.  I was grumpy, exhausted, missed out on Christmas festivities & felt like hell.  I went through a bottle of cough syrup in a day & a half.

my attempt at holiday spirit on Christmas day.

my attempt at holiday spirit on Christmas day.

Thankfully, I started to feel about better RIGHT in time to prep for my endoscopy & colonoscopy. Yep, 2014 didn’t want me to go gently into that good night-oh no, 2014 wanted to be remembered!  I mentioned a while back that the nurse giving me my instructions for the prep told me I could do all of this on the 30th, when I was flying across the country.  He was/is delusional. Office mate had the joy (misfortune) of taking me to my appt at 6:30 am and hang out until I was done at 9:30 am.  I told the doctor to tell him my insides are all pretty – my doc obliged.  Hopefully, this eased some of office mate’s discomfort when he got to hear about my innards.

I had my last meal at 2pm on the 29th & then had to fast until the 31st at 10am.  I was HUNGRY! I can’t decide if being in an airport setting/traveling for 12 hours was helpful or not.  In one sense, I couldn’t just get up & be taunted by treasures bestowed in the fridge.  On the downside, the smell of french fries wafts through the airports like the siren’s call to sailors.

I made it though.  The same nurse who told me I should do the prep while on the plane, also told me I would bounce back from the anesthesia by the evening.  Days later, I was still feeling groggy. My dad said this was normal considering all my body had gone the last couple of weeks.  I’m sure some of it was jet lag & time change & my never-ending sickness… See what I mean about the 2014 vendetta?!

is it possible to punch a year in the face? do years have faces?

Actually, based on the accounts of my friends & fb statuses all over, everyone was sick over this Christmas season.  So, I should stop complaining… But I won’t.

my fam sprayed this in whatever room I was in - my nephew actually sprayed me.

my fam sprayed this in whatever room I was in – my nephew actually sprayed me.

I’m quite happy 2014 is over.  Other than my bright & shiny Dopey moment right at the start, the rest of the year was unpleasant.  Doctor visits galore, lots of sickness & all kinds of introspection left me exhausted.  What good did come out of this year?  Plenty of happy moments for my friends & family that I got to be a part of.  I figured out a gluten sensitivity that I’m slowly working to incorporate into my daily eating in the form of the FODMAP diet.  I’m learning to read labels-as in REALLY read them & somehow, magically, I’ve kept this blog up & running.  Ha! I even kinda-sorta kept myself up & running!  Oh wait… dairy has turned on me – jerk.  I got coffee from a 3 different coffee shops while in WA with nonfat milk all three times just to make sure.  Yep, my stomach recoiled and I got to sit there hurting.  Lesson learned – x3.

it’s taunting me with it’s jaunty dance

2015 is going to be a year of big changes.  I’m on the road to taking more control of my health.  I have doubts all of this testing is going to lead to some sort of cure but managing it is my prime focus.  There is a trip to Paris in my future for my brother’s wedding.  And I’m slowly dehoarding & looking at some life changes-I even wrote a letter to Santa asking for a husband.  Think it will work?!  I went to a hypnotherapist (more on this soon!) and learned some really helpful stress management techniques.  So while I’m not making resolutions, I’m creating strategies to feel more fulfilled and healthy – decent concept in my mind.

 

proud of this self

6 Dec

All too often I catch myself thinking of the “failures” in my life.  Maybe it was how I didn’t train enough, or didn’t do as well with a work project or haven’t done a load of laundry in about 3 weeks (this is no joke-it’s scary up in this apt!).

So today I am going to write on the items I currently pride myself on.  Once again, a list – I think I love these things!

I'm slightly obsessed with these

I’m slightly obsessed with these, too

1.  I’ve stuck with my gluten-free lifestyle.  I could be a bit overly concerned with it, although I’m guessing this is necessary in the beginning of any big change.  I de-glutened my cupboards on Sunday and found I tend to hoard food along with items.  It was a good lesson for me.  Again, I don’t think gluten isn’t going end society as we know it but it doesn’t work for my body.

2.  I’ve stayed strong in the face of a PLATTER of delicious cookies, carrot cake with loads of cream cheese frosting and naturally, my favorite brownies with frosting in the cafeteria.  Please know, it’s not the sugar I’m worried about.  I was having a convo with a co-worker and she said, “well, a little bit of gluten won’t hurt, you probably don’t need to worry about it”.  But this is a deep and twisty rabbit hole I’m not willing to jump into.

I ate pie instead

3.  SO MANY RACE EMAILS!  Goodness, they just keep coming, “join us!”.  And I really want to, honest but I know racing isn’t good for me right now.  Heck, running is barely right for me.  My stomach doesn’t approve of the jostling – at least in the beginning.  I can’t tell if it would calm down after a few miles since I haven’t made it past 1.5.  Oh well, I haven’t signed up – I’ve stayed strong.

4.  I’ve stayed very focused at work.  Every night this past week was a late night in my work world.  It wasn’t pleasant and by last night I was exhausted.  Nevertheless, I met deadlines, performed well in an important meeting, and accomplished a to-do list that never stopped growing.  I’m a firm believer in a healthy work-life balance and I am the guardian of my own time.  However, my work days were packed to the gills and work-life balance sometimes must be heavy on the work side of things.  Accepting it is just as important.  I gotter done real good this week and last.

5.  I made turkey pot pie from scratch!  It was a TON of work but I am so impressed with myself.  The recipe called for a bit too much thyme so just a note to self for next time.  Yep, I even crafted my own pie crust – for both this and my pumpkin pie.  And just let me say, not only was my pot pie very good but it was beautiful!

in a heat shaped pan no less

in a heat shaped pan no less

6.  It was an ugly sickness week.  Stomach and hormones combined is a nasty and painful result.  Again, I didn’t let it beat me emotionally or physically.  Oh I spent  some time on my couch but not a one sick day.  Progress.

simon is a perfect sickness partner

simon is a perfect sickness partner

7.  I haven’t given into my own personal sugar monster!  I’ve indulged – I don’t think abstaining is the right choice for me but I don’t need it.

These are all related and each one took some effort to accomplish.  It’s easy for me to push something off until the next day… and then the day after that.  Retraining habits man, it’s no easy feat.  I appreciate this and am damn proud of myself!

my special specialists

14 Nov

I like to think I am very special.  A sparkle or a bright shiny star.  I also seem to be very accident prone and a sickly creature.  This is all-encompassing for this “special” label I’ve placed upon myself.  The sparkle is simply me trying to compensate for constant injuries and/or illnesses.  Loads of fun happening up in this body!

My hand appointment finally came and went.  Monday morning I met with the hand specialist and he was a pretty cool guy.  I was nervous he would take a look at my thumb and mock me for my weakness then get up and call me a wimp.  Then walk out.  None of this happened and instead we came up with a game plan.  Next week, I will be getting a splint that is created from a mold of my hand.  Neato.  After a month, we will move to a cast if my hand/thumb are still being non-compliant.  I like having a plan.

Constant pain and irritation are really annoying.  Sometimes it feels like my thumb slips out of place which grosses me out.  It was nice to be taken seriously and have the inner workings of my hand explained.  He went through all of my options as well.  The last option is surgery, which I completely agree with.  Get this, they take a part of my tendon from my arm and use it weave the tendons tighter in my hand.  I find this both disgusting and nifty.  Science man.

Next up, we have the stomach specialist.  Thankfully, this appointment did not take 6 months to get.  In fact, my lovely doctor got me in within 2 and half weeks or so.  Apparently, this is the expedited process.  A friend went to her regular doctor with similar symptoms (and in some ways worse) and they sent her home saying, “I’m sure we can get you an appointment in six months or so”.  Crazy pants.

My tummy is a big part of why I started the Whole30 in the first place.  It’s really nice to feel proactive and attempting to get some control over my out of control GI system.  The appointment was yesterday and it was both good but overwhelming.  Quick and dirty: he is taking me off 8 of my meds – scary! and replacing them with 1.  Yes, a major positive.  He said, “you are on too much shit”, haha.  Ummm – BUT they are kind of my security blanket…

Another piece that is overwhelming is I must have more blood work and other tests done, get scoped from the top and the bottom – will they meet in the middle?!, (ON NEW YEARS EVE! WHY??), a biopsy of my tummy and follow a FODMAP diet.  Essentially it’s like the Whole30 diet I am currently on so I will need to continue but possibly add some dairy (please oh please).  The scoping stuff sucks because I’m flying back the day before and I have to be ready for the test at 7 am the next day.  Because God hates me.

The doc said he will make me feel better – WIN! – although he followed up with the list of possible issues and they are not great.  OR it could be that all of my meds have essentially killed my stomach and I need to help it heal.  Oh and he says I need a new job, have a severe case of anxiety, wants me to see a therapist and start doing yoga.  I guess he is a life coach on the side.  Lots of info yesterday in less than an hour appt… I was internally screaming…

yep – but I looked calm and collected – maybe…

One more thing… Wednesday morning I dropped my work phone and it hit my toe.  I don’t think it’s broken but it hurts like a son of a gun.  Who knew toes came in so many colors?

***Special shout out and a “thank you” goes to my sweetheart of a buddy who had to endure my minor meltdown.  I poured some water out in your honor.

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