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After Cheat Day Updates and 16 Hours With No Power– then a keto dinner

I am 1.5 lbs down from the 5.5-5 lbs I gained after Sunday. I won’t lie, I am a bit disappointed. I weighed in at 162, took 1/4 pack of the ketone drink with my favorite black Organo coffee with ganoderma reishi mushrooms, and went on with my day… which was almost entirely without power/electricity due to a tree falling on power lines 1/2 a mile from my house last night.

We didn’t get our power back until 4 pm today.

It is starting to get chilly outdoors (30s/40s), so temps in my house dipped below 60F most of last night and today. It wasn’t fun, since I currently have a toddler who is sick with croup and fever (again).

I have been rather strict with my keto diet since yesterday. Today’s meal was my favorite standby of roasted beef marrow bones with avocado halves and a salad of arugula, capers, shallots, lemon, and olive oil.

I am hoping tomorrow’s scale is better… but I kind of overate the keto foods tonight at the last minute…¬† even though I have over an hour of cardio in, some weighted hula hooping, and over 19k steps per fitbit today.

It’s been such a stressful week! I need to keep moving to save my sanity!

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This Blog Saved Me & Social Isolation- Also, WHY I Overshare…

Today I spent the entire day in bed- something I don’t remember doing (except when I did bedrest during pregnancy) in EONS. The stress of the last day caused a massive and sudden flare up of my lupus, which is never fun.

I am SO glad that I had the luxury of doing this- and had people to help watch baby while I did.

I slept, mostly. I had nightmares- so many! A few of them involved my parents, but the details are faded.

I needed this. It helped. The rest was lovely.

The evening was spent playing with my new ‘toy’, the iPhone 6- and the Periscope app, which is a live streaming vlog thing from your phone. Sam showed me it this morning. It was a lot of fun and gave me something to take my mind off of my troubles.

I know a lot of people wonder why I am so transparent with me life.

I grew up in a household where we were ashamed to admit to things- or hid things- or whatever. Not always, but oftentimes. I refuse to do this now. If I don’t have the courage to speak up, who will? If I can inspire even one other person going through tough times (alone in their heads or otherwise), I feel like I will be doing my job.

Living in fear, in shame, in secrecy is not good at all, not ever. I overshare because I have to. If I don’t, the feelings and thoughts and memories inside of me threaten to eat away at my soul. I have to force myself to be honest with myself- and I can only seem to do this with the written word… as poorly written/edited as it may be.

Also, I am ‘landlocked’ in a house with a baby and males who aren’t the best conversationalists- this blog SAVED ME. I started this on the 1st of July of this year when my back went out again and have been pretty much faithful about posting ever since. I have a wee bit of social anxiety as well, which can translate to agoraphobia at times. If I don’t feel I look good, I don’t want people to see me-type-thing. Spending years in front of a camera and having to be photographed is often a shitty thing for the ego as one ages, believe me. It’s shallow and stupid, but it happens- it’s happened to me.

Though I have a TON of friends on my Facebook and Instagram, I really don’t in real life. People come to visit, they come to my dinner parties, they ask for readings… but I never seem to ‘connect’ fully. I also don’t know how to give my own problems a voice in Real Time. I feel guilt to even admit to them. Sure, I can bitch and moan like the best of ’em, but I have been so used to being the ‘ear’ to others, I can’t be vulnerable in person. It’s like I have an armor around me that is made of smiles and jokes and laughter- or anger. I try to avoid drama at all costs nowadays, even if I sometimes lose my goddamned mind and instigate it within my own family because I get sick of the same dynamic.

Our voices are formed within the familial unit(s). If we feel we don’t have a voice, or our opinions/thoughts don’t matter- this can be as bad as physical abuse. It can, like it has with me, translate into a lifetime of defensive hurt.

Writing it out is a solitary thing. There is no pressure. I can see what I think. I can read what I think. I can understand the whys of who I am. It’s non-sexual mental masturbation at it’s finest, really.

I talked to a friend in real life recently who says that she NEEDS people and has a problem being alone. I have none of that. I’ve always felt alone, even in crowds. I understand her, though.

Today, when I was going through one of the toughest times in recent history emotionally- not ONE SINGLE ‘CLOSE’ FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER REACHED OUT, at least no one I know in real time. The ones who did were folks I’d never met before, people from the Internet or FB or what have you and THIS HELPED ME SO MUCH. For the first time in years, I NEEDED to be ‘talked off the ledge’ and I am so grateful for those few kind words from virtual strangers.

I don’t habitually HAVE issues like these, so people are not used to me ‘venting’ per se. Maybe that’s it. I don’t know.
I just know that it hurts not to be able to have anyone to talk to in real life. It hurts to watch my children be depressed, too, and not be able to do anything about it. I cannot easily speak to my older sons, they’re men and have their own support systems.

When I posted the blog of the things that happened to my FB wall, for the most part it was met with UTTER SILENCE. I had one person whom I knew that was kind enough to speak up, but that was it.

I scrolled through my own FB feed and saw others venting about their own problems- and, as I usually am prone to do, I left messages and comments.

I hate seeing other people hurt. I hate hurting emotionally, too. It makes me sad that my ‘real life’ is the most unreal when it gets down to the brass tacks. It makes me sad that only the strangers and friends I never met were there for me.

So, yeah… this blog saved me. If I cannot talk to another human being, at least I have the comfort of knowing that I can talk to myself.

I have people coming to me, asking for readings all the time. I understand that they NEED me. I understand that they need someone to help sort out their problems. I have, for the most part, refused to do any readings (I am a professional psychic, btw) since becoming pregnant with Maisie. My job takes a lot out of me. I absorb too much. I want to be able to reserve my energy for my child/children/parents right now, because they NEED me.

My biggest question is: Where do I go when I need someone to talk to?

This blog is really the only answer. I can feel sorry for myself here and ‘let it go’.

I DID, however, have ONE PERSON call me and ask about the incident with my mother. It was my 2nd oldest sister.
She reprimanded me and yelled at me for not ‘standing up to my mom’- not realizing that our mother has dementia now and it really would not do a damned bit of good to go off her. It would just make it worse. My mother now TRULY has no control over her rages. At one time, when it was ‘just’ the bipolar, she should have been accountable.

It’s far too late now.

I can’t change anyone. I can only try to change myself… and ramble and type on until my fingers hurt and I am able to get this all spewed out so it no longer lives inside of my head.

Social isolation blows. Being frozen within yourself, ditto. I love my blog, though. I love that I have a voice, even if nobody reads/hears it. I love that I can remove the clutter from my brain and brush myself off and go on with my life.

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All About Lupus and Lupus Flares: Having a horrible lupus flare today. Can barely move.

Lupus sucks.

I have not had a full blown flare in years. Yesterday’s debacle was enough to propel me into the most painful, debilitating one I can remember in eons. Mine were obviously caused by the stress of yesterday and my joints ache, I can’t move, super tired.

High dose vitamin D3 has usually kept mine under control- as well as practicing stress control- but I’d been lapsing on the D3 lately.

The bottom mind is: Stress CAN cause dis-ease. It’s unhealthy and can harm you.

For those who don’t know what a flare is, from this page:

Most lupus flares are preceded by warning signals or arise from certain conditions.

Systemic lupus is a disease that can affect many parts of the body. A lupus symptom that is active for a while is called a lupus flare; if the symptoms go away for a period of time, it’s referred to as remission. Some doctors prefer to use the term “quiescence,” which means a quiet period, instead of the word remission.

“I don’t like to use the term remission since lupus symptoms rarely go away completely,” says Jennifer Anolik, MD, PhD, a rheumatologist and researcher at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y.

If you have lupus, you may have symptoms like fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain most of the time. More severe symptoms such as exhaustion, weight loss, fever, and anemia can occur during periods of a flare and may require treatment with steroid medications.

“Lupus flares can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe,” notes Dr. Anolik. “Symptoms of a mild flare might be the appearance of a lupus rash. A very severe flare could cause fluid collection around the heart or even kidney failure.”

What Causes a Lupus Flare?
If you have an autoimmune disease, like lupus, your immune system incorrectly turns against normal cells and tissues in your body. In lupus, the immune system makes proteins called “auto-antibodies” that can attack many parts of your body and cause inflammation. Anything that triggers your immune system can then cause a lupus flare. Triggers may include:

Ultraviolet light. “UV light is a common trigger for a lupus flare. Exposure to the sun typically causes a lupus rash but may also activate more severe systemic symptoms of lupus,” notes Anolik.
Infections. Any type of infection can stimulate the immune system and this may result in a lupus flare.
Stress. Stress can be emotional or physical. Lupus flares are common after physical trauma, surgery, or emotional events.
Pregnancy. Lupus flares are common during pregnancy and in the period after the birth of a baby.
Starting a new medication. Certain drugs, such as sulfonamide antibiotics and the over-the-counter herbal drug echinacea, have been shown to trigger lupus flares.
Stopping a drug. Always talk to your lupus doctor before starting or stopping any medication. particularly Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine). “Studies have shown that lupus patients on Plaquenil are less likely to develop a lupus flare,” says Anolik. “Patients should know that if they stop taking their Plaquenil it can cause a lupus flare.”

What Are the Warning Signs of a Lupus Flare?
If you have lupus you should be aware of the signs or symptoms that can indicate when a flare may be starting. Some common warnings of a flare are:

Becoming overtired or feeling as though your stress level is building up.
Having more frequent or higher fevers than usual.
Aching in your muscles, or more painful and swollen joints.
The development of a rash.
The development of any symptoms you have not had before.
Remember that lupus can affect almost any area of your body. It is important to report any new symptoms to your lupus doctor so you can get treated for your lupus flare quickly.

How Often Do Lupus Flares Happen?
“Every lupus patient is different, and the number of flares is unpredictable. If a patient is having a lupus flare every month, I would be concerned that their disease is not as well controlled as it could be. Three to six lupus flares a year is about average but we also have patients in quiescent stages of the disease who go for much longer periods without a flare,” notes Anolik.

Lupus flares are a normal part of the disease. You should become aware of the warning signs and see your doctor when they occur. Researchers are actively studying ways to prevent lupus flares. “In the future we hope to have tests that can better predict a lupus flare and allow us to start treatment even before symptoms occur,” says Anolik.

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Part 2 of the Dumpster Diaries: Red Room/Office Revamp

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This is how full the dumpster is after 4 DAYS. We can keep it only 6 more days (unless I want to pay an additional 15 bucks a day). I have TWO MORE ROOMS to clean out.

OMG! My house is a CLUSTERF*CK!!!!!!!!

Go to my previous post if you don’t know what’s going on-

My ‘game plan’ for the revamp is this (not in order):

1. we have a 10 day dumpster rental (it was rented last Weds, so we have 7 days left).

2. The ultimate goal is to get the back room turned into a studio for the oldest son- we will have to empty it of my clothing and stuff, drywall and paint, put down carpeting.

3. I had to clean out parts of the basement to make room for extra stuff from the other rooms to be moved into storage there.

4. I have to clean out the upstairs kitchen (which houses stored furniture currently) in order to turn that into the master bedroom’s closet.

5. The “Red Room”/my office has to become my son’s interim office while the remodeling happens.

The rubble in the red room

BEFORE: The rubble in the red room

super cluster fuck before pics

BEFORE: Super cluster fuck

The basement part was carried out on Weds/Thurs. All day yesterday we worked on the red room. We weeded out junk and papers that were no longer needed and threw them away. Walls were scrubbed, furniture polished/scrubbed- the whole 9 yards. My Art Deco burled walnut library table and lamp that I purchased in Paris were spiffied up.

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

The furniture was rearranged to better suit my kid’s needs. My handmade rug from Afghanistan was hung on a line and beaten with a Victorian wire rug beater (which, for some reason, always intrigues the neighbors/tourists/passersby when I have someone beat the carpets- I DON’T know why! We always did this when I was a kid…).

beating the rug

beating the rug

For SUCH a small room, I was shocked at how much crap we had to throw away! It’s just crazy how things pile up.

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

We went through every old paper, receipt, scrap and disposed of everything that we no longer needed or used.

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

The walls and floors and furniture all needed a good scrubbing. Everything was SO gross. I have neglected this room for 2 yrs (since becoming pregnant and having the baby). The problem (#firstworldproblems) with owning a huge, old house is that it is SO easy to pile junk into a room and close the door/forget about it for a while.

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they'd fit.  Bye-bye window for now...

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they’d fit.
Bye-bye window for now…

At this point, my stress levels (and everyone else’s) were pretty much at max. We had to drill a hole into the floor to run the ethernet cable to the modem (and fish it out through the basement and back up through an air vent again).

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

The end result was worth it- it looks lovely again and no longer like a dark storage hovel. It took me all day, in between doing other stuff, just to finish writing this post!