Life's Path

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hyster Sister Club

So life is going good.  No major health issues have come up.  YEAH.  About time!  But there are a few loose ends that I want tied up.

As you may remember from reading, I have suffered from Endometriosis and Fibroids since I was 17 years old.  It has not been an easy journey.  23 years I suffered with this.  In and out of the ER.  Too many drug therapies which I wish now I had never done.  Too many laparoscopy surgeries to try help me along and clean things up.  My womanly parts have been through so much in 23 years.  And I was not going to be using them to have children.

A few years back, when I had my last laparoscopy surgery, my gynecologist said that there was nothing more they could do with surgery and there would be no more laparoscopy.  He said that we would either have to control this with medication or I would have to think about a hysterectomy.

As you know, I don't like giving up on my health.  But this was one area that I was tired of fighting with.  Every month was hard on me.  I wasn't going to do any more medications.  I had done enough and nothing had helped and I wasn't putting my body through that toxic mess anymore.  I had to make the choice.  So, when I turned 40, I told myself that it was time and I signed the papers to consent to surgery and wait for the call.

I got the first call in January of 2016.  I declined surgery at that time as I had just started a new job 3 months earlier.  I didn't want to take all that time off so soon after starting my job.  I told them to put me back on the list and to call me later in the year.

The call came late August 2016.  Surgery had been booked for September 12.  I had an immediate flood of emotions.  This was going to finally happen!  BUT, it was the day of my husband's birthday!  NO!  Talk about bad timing!  But I kept the appointment and then called my husband to tell him that I have ruined his birthday for this year.  He of course laughed at me and said he didn't care and what was most important was that I was finally getting this surgery done and we could move on with this stage of our lives.  So so thankful for the most kind and supportive husband EVER!

I only had a few weeks to prepare for this surgery.  And I went into go mode.  I did a cellular cleanse to help get my body in tip top shape before going under and having all that trauma done to my body.  I was cooking up and storing bone broth for the healing process after. I upped my essential oil routine to help make sure I didn't get sick and to ward off any germs in the hospital. I was making sure my body was prepared before hand and after the fact.  The body is amazing and takes care of you and will do so all the more if you help it out.  I was more than ready physically.  I also readied myself mentally and emotionally for this.  I had a great support group of some women who had been through this surgery recently.  I was able to pick their brains about what to expect and what to be ready for after.  Preparation is so key!

A great website that I was directed to was HysterSisters.  What a great resource!  If you are going to have this surgery, I highly recommend you check this website out.  So helpful and resourceful.  And you become a Hyster Sister!  😃😊

The morning of September 12, 2016, I was the most calm and prepared as I have ever been for a surgery.  I knew this was the right step for me.  I didn't even get nervous when they gave me the IV (I hate getting IV's!).  Before I went into the OR, I placed my hand on my abdomen and said a goodbye to all the parts that were about to be leaving me.  I was so ready for this.

The surgery went well and I was so thankful that my health care benefits allowed me to have a private room.  THIS was KEY to recovery.  Having my own space was golden.  Just me and my husband able to hang out and do and say as we needed without interrupting anyone else or being interrupted by anyone.  Well, besides the nurses coming and going at all hours of the day and night but hey, they are just doing their job!  If you can get a private room after surgery, do it!  You will not regret it one bit.

There were some firsts for me with this surgery.  I have never had a catheter before.  Thankfully they put it in when I was asleep.  The only annoying part was the nurse coming in early in the morning (around 1 AM) and waking me to say that they could take the catheter out now as it had been 12 hours or they could wait until after 6 AM to take it out.  I thought this was the most bizzare question to ask me at that time of day!  Please, leave it in!  This means I don't have to try and get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I can just lay here and sleep and rest and heal!  Please nurses, you should maybe ask this question earlier in the evening so that the plan can be made before interrupting what little sleep one actually gets in the hospital.  Again I know they are just doing their job but seriously!!

Things went really well in my first 12 hours of recovery so I was able to go home the next day.  There is no place like home! Recovery is not joke, you need a lot of help.  You are not able to lift more than a loaf of bread.  You can't open doors etc as that is too much strain on the abdomen.  You need to take this seriously for a proper and successful recovery.  I couldn't drive until at least the 6 week mark of recovery.  And even then, that was really hard.  You don't realize how much pushing pedals works those ab muscles!  You literally have to rest, have people help you out and not do a thing for at least 6 weeks.  This is crucial!

I was very lucky to have lots of people come and help me out during the days and I got plenty of rest in my recovery.  Huge shout out to my amazing husband as he was so key in taking care of EVERYTHING and making sure I got the proper recovery.  Well, almost...that is for the next entry!  Stay tuned.  Life is always throwing curve balls. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

It's been awhile and much has happened...

I can't believe it has been so long since I last wrote.  That can be a good thing.  Things are going well?  Nothing to really report or say??  I guess so, but when I think about it, there is much to still say and report to you.  Health is a constantly changing and evolving thing.  You never know what can happen, good or bad.  So where do I begin...

Once we got the Lupus under control, it has gone pretty well!  I have not had a flare up and it never did go systemic to this date.  I am so beyond thankful for this!  I still have to be careful in the sun, still have to manage stress levels and always keep up with nutrition and supplements.  So far, 3 years later, all good!

But then little blimps come up here or there that we don't see coming and sideline us once again.  Yup, it happened.  Life was going good.  Having fun with friends and family.  Working with my brother and back at my old roots of Teen Time of Edmonton.  One of my best friends was getting married in just over a month.  I had the honor of helping to plan and coordinate her wedding.  It was lots of fun and the weekend was coming up and we had the bachlorette party coming up!  It was a Friday evening in June, I was running around doing last minute errands for the party the next day.  I had one last stop and then was going home to be with my husband to relax and watch a movie.  But, that did not happen.

I had just finished calling my husband to say that I was running a bit late but don't worry, I had one last stop and then would finally be home and we could have supper.  I then pulled up to my last stop across the street and parked the car.  I got out and ran across the street and went to jump up on the curb of the sidewalk.  I didn't make it.  My feet did not clear the curb and I went head first into the cement sidewalk.  The next thing I knew, I had people around me helping me up and asking me if I was okay.  I had the worst headache.  Blood was coming down the side of my face.  I wasn't okay.  At least I had the sense to tell someone to get the phone out of my purse and call my husband.  It was also a good thing that I had my crash right outside a restaurant so that there were people around to help and the staff saw what happened and were able to get me some ice and a chair to sit on.  My husband made it to me and so did the bride to be (I don't remember how she found out but was glad she could make it as well). 

After initial assessments were made, we decided that I probably had a concussion and would go home to rest.  My husband is a former professional athlete and has suffered his fair share of concussions so he knew how to take care of me.  That night the head pounding was intense.  The next day was better but I missed half the bachlorette party as we didn't think it would be wise to spend the whole time there.  The Sunday, I felt pretty good!  I had a good bruise but I was pretty much headache free and thought all would be well. 

And then we go to work on Monday.  Yeah, that's when the reality hit in.  As soon as I began to work on the computer, the headache came flooding back and I could not stand to look at the screen.  I tried to do as much work off the computer.  The next day, I tried to go to work again and it only got worse.  I knew that this was not good and I needed to see my doctor.  Doctor confirmed my concussion and so began a long 5 month journey.  I was not able to work for 5 months.  I suffered many debilitating headaches.  I couldn't remember things.  Light was bothersome.  I would be driving to an appointment and I wouldn't know why I was on a certain road or where I was going.  I would have to pull over and look and my calendar to see where I was to be going to remember anything. 

As long as it was, I was thankful for the time.  I did many massage therapy sessions.  I tried Cranial Sacral treatments as well which were very beneficial.  I did a float tank which was super cool. No sensory and floating in Epsom salts was super beneficial.  It was a lot of down time and very limited screen time during these months.  I wasn't even cleared for exercise until about 4 months in.  But all of that was so necessary to heal my brain.

I learned a lot in this time.  I was able to sympathize better with my husband and his post concussion syndrome.  I learned that time is the greatest healer and we owe our bodies that time.

The brain is an extremely precious tool.  We need to take care of it. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Answers with my skin...And stress is evil.

Okay, I have to apologize as I have taken more than a few days to continue with my story.  Again, life gets away on you and before you know it, time has flown by! 

I left off with me heading to the dermatologist to see if we had any answers as to what was going on with the invasion of red spots all over my body.  When my wonderful doctor comes in the room, she looks at me with hopeful eyes and says we have an answer.  I have discoid cutaneous lupus.  I ask her how I could have gotten this, due to my current health conditions being so good.  She says most likely stress, and at that point I burst into tears.  She immediately starts asking me about things in my life and is overwhelmed with what I have gone through in the last year.  She immediately takes out her notepad and takes me off work indefinitely.   She says that my body has been in defense mode for too long and it is shutting down because of the stress and it manifested itself this way. 

In some ways I am relieved to know what is going on.  In other ways, I am saddened to know that the effects of events in this last year have done this to my body.  But again, I look at this as a way to learn.  Never again can I let stress and life do this to me.  It is awful how I look.  I am so thankful that it did not spread to my face and that I can cover this mess up.

Now that we know what we are dealing with, we know how to properly treat it.  I start off with two types of creams, one and antibiotic as the spots are open and we don't want them to get infected.  Another is to help with the inflammation that has occurred from the spots.  We start that, go off work and try to get life stress free (is that even possible???) and I will come back in a month to see how things are going.

I end up back in the dermatologist office in early January and things are not better, they are actually worse with the spots.  We have talked things over and because my body is in such a state of flight and fight mode, we have to get it to calm down so that it can heal itself.  I have to go on the awful, yet helpful drug prednisone.  It is a strong steroid that will take much monitoring.  It is the only option at this point.  I have even talked to my naturopathic doctor and she is in agreement.  Sometimes, you have to take things like this to help the body out.  So I start my prednisone treatment. 

And it is a miracle drug.  Within a couple of weeks, my skin is calming down and the spots are going away.  I still have to do the two cream treatment twice a day as well.  We call that connecting the dots!  Thank goodness my husband is a rock star and no matter how awful my body looks, he graciously twice a day plays connect the dots. 

Within a couple of months, I am spot free and my skin has healed up very nicely.  I have minimal scarring, which we are incredibly thankful for!  I can live with some scars.  I am staying away from stress.  The doctors are continually amazed that I have not gone systemic with the lupus (where it attacks the liver etc)  They tell me that my diet has saved me from going systemic.  It looks like I will just have the skin lupus. 

Which means I have to be careful in the sun.  Cover up, sunscreen.  I will always have pale skin as I will not be exposed to the sun in ways that I used to before.  But it is okay.  I can get used to a life of floppy hats and long sleeves.  The sacrifice is worth it.

I am going to post some pictures so that you can have a little glimpse into what my skin was like.  If you don't want to see them, then the post will have to end here for you.  I post these as a remind to myself to not let stress and life get me back to this point.  I have to take care of me, first and foremost.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Things take a bit of a U-Turn...

Time to catch up once again!  2013 was such a whirlwind of exciting and life changing events.  It was hard to keep up with everything sometimes.  But even before 2013 and all it's events, I have to back up to 2012.  This is were things begin. 

How do I begin, where do I begin?!?!?  I am back on track health wise, doing better than I ever have!  Loving how Isagenix has cleansed my body, given me a body that I only dreamed of.  I was back in the work force, getting my feet on the ground in the working world again.  I had taken on a new and challenging position with a local school board.  I was excited for the opportunity to be challenged and stretched in my career.  Glenn and I were still planning very full and active lifestyles.  We were going here and there, many weekends away soaking up and taking in all that life had to offer.  After spending so much of my life not well and turning down opportunities and not living life, it felt so good to be in this season.

But not everything was all roses and fun and games.  Many painful experiences happened along the way as well.  Some of them are too personal to share, some of  them just come with living life.  And although it was a part of life, at times it can be too much and overwhelming.  But let me back up just a little bit....I am getting a little bit ahead of myself in the story!

We had spent some weekends of the summer out and about on different lakes and in forests.  We loved the hot summer sun, the long boat rides, fires on the beach etc.  But after one such adventure in August, something started to "develop" on my right shoulder.  It wasn't painful, wasn't itchy, just was there and wasn't going away.  It was a red ring type shape and it was on my shoulder.  I still felt fantastic.  But this thing was there.  So I finally went to the doctor in September.

Of course I did some searching online to see if I could figure out what it was.  It kind of pointed to ringworm.  But when I saw my doctor, he quickly ruled that out.  It was something else but we weren't sure what.  Because of all our outdoor activity, he sent me for testing for Lyme disease. 

When the results come back negative, (which is a relief) we scratch our heads and try to figure out what is going on.  In the meantime, there are more of these "spots" developing on my body.  My torso, my arms, my back, my legs etc.  Again, for the most part, they do not bug me or are painful but they are there.  I now need to go see a dermatologist.  We don't know what is going on.  In the meantime I am sent home with a cream that needs to be applied 3 times a day to the spots to see if this helps.

I see the dermatologist in November.  By now, my body is being overtaken with these spots.  The cream has done absolutely nothing.  Only 2 of the spots affect me now with minimal pain.  Sometimes they feel deep and burning.  The dermatologist thinks she has a pretty good idea of what is going on but only a biopsy of one of the marks will confirm her thoughts.  So we biopsy one of the spots on my torso so that if any scaring develops, it is the least likely spot that people will ever see on me.  And now we wait for the results.  It is going to take a couple of weeks.  I won't be able to get an appointment back with the dermatologist until January.

In the meantime, my life is taking some serious blows, one after the other.  In total by December, I have in this year experienced 7 very stressful situations that I have had to deal with/go through.  My working situation was one of them.  Without going into too much detail, as there was many, let's just say that by December, I am in tears every single day that I am at work.  The situation is not getting any better, nor will it.  I have exhausted my options in terms of asking for help, trying to get this current disaster sorted out.  But it won't.  So on top of everything else that has gone on in the year, (the other 6 traumatic events) I am now a mess at work for 7 hours a day.  My supportive husband tells me every day to quit, give it up and walk away as it just isn't worth it.  I am too stubborn/prideful/caring about what other people think if I do walk away that I don't.  So foolish when I look back on it.  Why was I hanging on so tight to something that was so destructive?!?!?

It is the very beginning of December and I know that my biopsy results will be back.  I can't wait for the January appointment.  I cannot stand to look at myself as I am covered in deep red scabby looking sores on all over my body.  I call the dermatologist office and they have a cancellation.  They can see me on December 13, 2012.  I gladly take it.

Things continue to escalate at work.  The morning of December 13, I am in the basement of my work, in absolute tears, talking on my cell phone with my dear friend in Ottawa who has been with me through many journey's.  I tell her this is it, I need to walk away now.  She agrees but tells me I should at least wait until I see my dermatologist later that morning.  We should probably know what is going on with my skin and body before I just leave my work.  I agree that it is wise to do that, I can hang in for another hour or so.

Again, I just want to remind you, that even though my skin was an awful mess, I still felt absolutely fantastic through it all.  If these spots were not on my skin, you would never know that anything was going on with me.  I am so thankful that I had that!!

So I pull myself together and head off to my dermatologist to get the results.

But just to keep the mystery of what happens next...well, you will have to wait for the next post in the next day or two!!  ;)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Catching up!!!

Life flies by and you never know what is around the corner...especially with me!  I have a few things to update and it is time that I caught you all up with what has been going on in the past year.

As you know we made some changes to our diet.  Things were going well and we felt good but I knew that our bodies could be better.  So I was looking for ways to improve our bodies even more.

So I started looking into cleansing.  Whooo, now I know what you are thinking, why do you want to do something like that were you are sitting on a toilet!?!?!?!  NOT THAT KIND OF CLEANSE!!!

I am talking about doing a cellular cleanse.  We live in such a toxic environment, that I knew we had to help our bodies out more.  But I found out that finding a cellular cleanse is HARD.  Not much out there and I have high standards....lots of criteria to be met.  And then one day I got a call out of the blue...from someone that I didn't expect would give me the answer that I was looking for.

Glenn's ex-wife told me of a nutritional system that her and her husband had been doing.  She was concerned for me and knew of my health problems and she took a step of faith by going out there and telling me about this.  I listened, it sounded what I was looking for.

So I started my research.  And I liked what I was finding.  It was a cellular cleanse.  It was organic.  It was gluten free.  Not only did we cleanse our cells, we could then replenish them!  Are you kidding me?!?!?!  This was something that was available to me?!?!?!  I had to give it a try.  I had nothing to lose!

So on March 23, 2012, we began our journey.  We really didn't know what to expect, but we knew that something would happen.  And boy did things happen!  In the first month we both released around 10 pounds and 16 inches.  All we did was weekly cleansing and putting proper nutrition back into our bodies. 

We continued.  We gained so much energy.  Our aches and pains were no longer issues for us.  We were sleeping through the night.  I had my immune system back.  That was HUGE for me!  We felt so alive and so much better!  I knew that my body was capable of feeling better and functioning better!  It just needed the right ingredients and it took off and did amazing things for us.  We owe so much to Glenn's ex-wife for taking the leap of faith and telling us about this amazing nutritional company called Isagenix.

Not only did our bodies change, our personal lives changed.  We have mended our relationship with Glenn's ex-wife.  We now have family gatherings all together.  It has impacted our lives so much for the better.  We are truly truly thankful.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Shortbread cookies

It has been awhile since I have posted but things are going good so there really isn't much to update you on.  But I had to share this...

Christmas once again has come and gone and we had a wonderful season of celebrating with friends and family.  But sometimes, as strong as I am, I feel a little left out.  I mean, I am used to not being able to have all the goodies at functions, I get used to bringing my own snacks and treats.  I have found wonderful alternatives to some of my favorite things that I can eat.

But...sometimes I REALLY miss shortbread cookies.  My mother-in-law shared with me a few years ago her wonderful shortbread cookie recipe.  I always make a batch of them at Christmas time.  They are a hit.  But now, I can't eat them.  And I can't find any wheat/gluten free shortbread cookies that I like yet.  So it kills me that I can't have these!

But...I broke down and had one in a sheer moment of weakness.  I couldn't help myself.  And it tasted so GOOD!  I am not going to lie.  So GOOD!

Nothing bad happened to me.  At least, not right away.  I thought I could have gotten away with it.  Ah, it is not so simple.  Although I did feel sluggish (I tried to blame it on other things), my thumbnail started to grow back with the groove in it.  And now that it is in the final stages of growing out (which is the most painful!) I am continually reminded how much I should have left that darn cookie alone.

So lesson learned...even 1 little cookie can wreak so much havoc.  At least I wasn't stuck in the bathroom.  That could have been worse but at least it would have been over with in a couple of days.  This thumbnail has lasted for over a month.  A reminder never to do it again.

So the hunt is back on.  To find me a version of shortbread cookies that I will LIKE and won't harm me...

Thank goodness Christmas only comes once a year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

November 2011

I start this month off by seeing Dr. Game to see if my iron levels are any better.  Although my ferretin is up, I still border on the side of being anemic.  Dr. Game believes from looking at all my blood work that the problems stem from my under active thyroid.  We did extensive testing on my thyroid a few weeks ago and it shows that although the "normal" levels for TSH are good, when you look at my T3 levels, I am not converting the synthroid that I am on to help my thyroid out.  As well, my thyroid antibodies show that my thyroid is clearly not working right.  So Dr. Game says that until my thyroid gets straightened out, I will always be anemic so I need to go back to my doctor.

I see my doctor a few days later and tell him about my appointment with Dr. Game.  We change my thyroid med's.  This may help a little bit but it won't take care of the problem completely.  It is frustrating trying to work with doctor's sometimes when they just want to keep throwing a pill at you.  What we really need to work on is getting my body to transfer the med's to my body properly.  So I am a little frustrated but I will give this new dosage of med's a try for awhile and see if we get anywhere.  I guess my thyroid story be continued...

I also have my follow-up appointment with Dr. Moysa.  He is very pleased (as am I!!) with the way my breasts are developing after the surgery.  Unless I have any problems, I no longer have to see him.  COMPLETE SUCCESS!!  Best thing I ever did for myself was have this surgery!  And good thing because I can now be a bikini girl.  Which leads me to our trip!

It is our 10 year anniversary this month and we are celebrating with a bang!  We decided 2 years ago that we wanted to do a big trip and started saving up all that we could.  We knew that we wanted to do a 2 week vacation, in the Caribbean somewhere where we could relax and enjoy just being the 2 of us!  We ended up choosing Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and on November 17 we left for 2 weeks of paradise.  We stayed at the 5 star, adult only resort called Royal Bavaro Catalonia.  We were able to get a suite with our own swimming pool!  It was pure paradise and we enjoyed every minute of our vacation.  Here are some pictures!  We even renewed our vows in a ceremony on the beach.  Pure bliss!

In our pool at our suite

In the main pool

10 year anniversary!

Vow renewal ceremony