Life's Path

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.  http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/how-lupus-affects-skin  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 is....to 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

Monday, December 19, 2011

October 2011

October 3rd I went back to see Dr. Game about the results from my CT Scan.  Of course nothing showed up and I don't have lymphoma.  I am still anemic and I have to up my iron meds once again.  I will follow up with him in 4 weeks time to see how things are going.

Things are going really well with my health.  I feel good.  Nothing crazy has happened.  I am healing up nicely from my 2 surgeries.  Life is on the up swing.   I am doing some reflexology which I absolutely LOVE.  Not only does it feel good to have your feet and calves massaged, it just works really well with my body.

Other than that, we are just gearing up to get ready for our big trip next month to Punta Cana to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  We have so much to celebrate!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

September 2011

So it has been about a month since my CT Scan and I haven't heard anything.  I follow up with Dr. Game's office and they say that the CT Scan revealed nothing and that I can see him for a follow-up appointment on October 3rd.  Phew, just as I thought, everything is okay.

September 6 I have my womanly physical with my gynecologist Dr. Mayo.  I am back to regular yearly checkups for my pap smears since I have been cleared by the colposcopy doctor that my cervix no longer has abnormal cells.  My appointment goes well and I ask Dr. Mayo about my surgery that I have been waiting for for over a year.  I have very heavy periods that last 7-10 days and they figure this is a factor in my anemia problem.  We discussed over a year ago of doing an endometrial ablation, yet I have heard nothing of this surgery to date.  When I tell Dr. Mayo that I am still waiting, he immediately tells me that he will check with his nurse.  He comes back in and says that I will be booked for surgery before the end of the month.  He is very apologetic and says somehow my paper work got put aside.  The office will get back to me in the next couple of days with a surgery date.

True to their word, I get a call a couple of days later and I am scheduled to go in for surgery in St. Albert on September 28th.  I am happy about this as I am still not working so we can get this procedure out of the way before I head back to work.  

Everything else with my health is doing really well.  I feel good, no, I feel GREAT!  Things seem to be really going along well.  I am looking for work, working out again, living life like one should be.  I am LOVING my new body.  So with this surgery, it will just fine tune one more thing and I will be a completely new person.

Surgery on September 28th goes off real well.  It is just day surgery so I am home that night resting.  The next day I am a little tired, probably from the anaesthesia but other than that, I feel good.  You would never know that I had surgery.  2 days later I am washing all the windows in our place for fall cleaning.  So happy that they were able to get me in and get this surgery over with! 

Now we just have to see what Dr. Game, my blood specialist has to say.  What is up with those high white blood cell counts in my stomach?  We will find out!