Friday, June 28, 2013

"Behold, I make all things new."

I feel like The Lord is weaving His grace and mercy through my life ALL the time, but especially lately. Since starting my new medicine/supplement regimen a few weeks ago, I definitely feel like I am becoming a new person! I will admit, the thought of taking all of these pills, EVERYDAY, scared the crap out of me - it's a little overwhelming!

I know it's still a little early to really feel the affects of all these medications, but here's what I feel lately, whether perceived or real...

-definite mood changes (in a good way)
-fulfilling my wifely duty has become... um better (that's about all I'll say on that)
-most days I feel like I have more energy
-no heart palpitations

Some symptoms I'm still experiencing but hope will go away soon:

-trouble getting to sleep
-excessive tiredness (especially in the morning and afternoon)
-blurred vision
-hair falling out
-weight loss (we can hope right? ha!)

My attempts to eat more Paleo have completely blown up in my face lately :( womp womp! WHY must I love donuts, cookies, ice cream, and French fries? WHYYYY! But alas, we shall try again tomorrow, um well maybe not tomorrow, it's date night tomorrow... we shall try again on Sunday!

Speaking of falling off the wagon... AGAIN, I totally wussed out on the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge - boo! But here's the deal, it's all goin' down on Monday y'all. I begin my half marathon/marathon training on Monday and plan to integrate some kind of cross training work, as well as some weight lifting. It WILL get done. I WILL menu plan. I WILL NOT succumb to the power of the power of the cookie or the French fries, or the twix bar! I WILL be the person I want to be. No excuses. BAM.
See my problem is, if I don't have something specific and easy to follow, I tend to fall off track. For over a year now I have followed the guidelines of Diane Kress's Metabolism Miracle, and it's been easy and manageable. It wasn't until I tried to switch things up that I got derailed. I need something relatively easy to cook for breakfast and lunch that I can make everyday. I don't mind eating the same thing or things day in an day out, I think I need that in order to stay accountable to myself. If I don't have to think about what I am going to eat, then I'm cool - no problem - it's when I begin to stress over food and cooking that things get hairy. So, why not just keep doing what you've been doing then? you may ask. Well, in my attempt to eat cleaner and more "primal", I need to cut out grains, dairy, and processed junk. My former breakfasts consisted of French toast made with low carb bread and Waldon Farms calorie free, carb free, everything free syrup (which there is nothing "clean" about it), and for lunch I would more often than not eat a wrap on a Mission low carb wheat tortilla with laughing cow cheese, deli turkey meat, avocado, cucumber, spinach, and chia seeds. So, now I'm at a loss of what my go to Paleo-ish breakfast and lunch can be? If I could just get that part down, I'd be set! Here's what I've got so far:

Paleo coconut flour pancakes
Spinach scrambled eggs with bacon
Sausage or Ground Turkey egg scramble
Paleo Cinnamon Bun Muffins (haven't tried these yet)

salad with grilled chicken
Butter lettuce wraps

Pesto Chicken with Cauliflower "Rice" and green beans
Big Salad with Grilled or Rotisserie Chicken
Grilled Veggie and Steak Kebabs
Tacos with ground bison and Butter lettuce
Spaghetti with ground beef, homemade marinara and spaghetti squash

I know there are a MILLION and one websites and cookbooks out there, but it's all just so overwhelming! I think the dinners will be fine - I'll pretty much just cook what I have been cooking, just take out the dairy (cheese). Let's just take a moment to shed a tear for cheese :( Ok, moment over. Moving on. So yeah, I just need to put my big girl panties on and suck it up and just do it!

So, that covers my inside and my outside, but I also feel like I have been transforming spiritually lately too. Since (unofficially) joining our church, we have felt so blessed with the Lord bringing amazing people, messages, and worship opportunities into our lives. Several weeks ago I signed up for 2 different women's book studies. The first one is the study of The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian, and can I just say, this book has really opened my eyes and my heart to what being a Christ centered wife really means, and how I can honor God by honoring my husband. It has definitely inspired me to be a better wife, although I'm still waiting for the Power of the Praying Husband book study to surface! The other study I am doing is on the book, Unglued, by Lysa TerKeurst. Boy, did I feel a sense of relief that I'm not the only one about to lose my ever lovin' mind, and come unglued on the daily from stress and my raw emotions! This study has been GREAT - seriously, and not even just as a mom, but as a friend, wife, and just as a member of society. It really shows how you represent God with the way you react and interact with people and how you can use those raw emotions to really glorify God. I highly recommend both of these books! I also plan on reading Ever After by Vicki Courtney after I'm finished with these books.

Anywho, this has been a (not so) quick update on what's been going on in my life lately. I'll leave you with one of my fav songs - especially when sung by JThom at VRBC in Coppell - oh how I miss our old church! The Lord really does make beautiful things out of us!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Guess who's back....back again....

If you are now bobbing your head to the corresponding Eminem song that matches those words, give yourself a pat on the back. Aren't you thrilled to learn we have similar taste in music? I mean what SUV driving mom of twins doesn't rock out to Eminem, right? Don't answer that. So yes, after a LONG time, I am knocking the dust off this blog and going to fill your screen with the ramblings of what's been going on 'round here lately. 

So, if you've read my infertility story, you know that I have hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's thyroiditis) along with premature ovarian failure and a hysterectomy to boot (don't be jealous). With this disorder, comes it's own set of challenges, primarily with the symptoms it causes in my body. I have been on medication for the past 2 years that were supposed to "fix" my issues, but let me tell ya, the only thing that was "fixed" was the number on the lab result sheet. Apparently, this number was all my doctors cared about and dismissed all of my other issues. It was not until just recently that I discovered that my doctors back in Dallas ssssuuuucccckkkkeeeeddd! Lately, my symptoms have really been bringing me down and have gotten the better of me, and I really hate that. There is nothing worse than going around like a raging hormonal biatch to your husband and kids while also being incredibly sad all the time, unable to sleep, have zero energy and even less than zero libido, I mean talk about feeling like a worthless, useless ball of crap!
I knew I had to do something, things COULD NOT continue the way they were going, but I was powerless to do anything about it on my own. I had tried everything I could think to do for the past 2 years to make these symptoms (as well as sooooo many more not mentioned) go away, but nothing I was doing (diet change, exercise, vitamins/supplements, antidepressants, spending more time in the word, yoga, meditating... you name it!) was working :(
I knew I needed to find a new doctor, so I hit up the 'ol webbernet and did some research. Through my research, I discovered that the LAST person I needed was an endocrinologist. So, there was the first mistake I made. And also, that I was not alone. The internet was full of countless people who were also suffering with unwanted symptoms despite their labs being "normal" and their doctors not doing anything about it, or worse yet, blaming the patients for their issues. One woman was even told to seek psychiatric help! Reading all this really pissed me off! What the heck is wrong with the medical community that they can't seem to address what appears to be a pretty common problem??? Seriously, I don't get it!
I began to seek out a doctor that was open to taking a deeper look into my condition and not just what my TSH level was. I ended up deciding on Dr. Wiseman - perhaps it was subliminal (Wise-man, I sure hope so!). His practice promoted that they were an integrative practice that offered both conventional, as well as alternative approaches to wellness. What I also liked, was that they tout that they are a practice dedicated to treating the whole person and understanding the root cause of medical issues and specifically listed thyroid and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy as disorders that they treated. Sounded perfect. The reviews were great. So, I made the call and got myself an appointment for the very next day - score! I told the good dr. of my laundry list of issues and symptoms and while he agreed my case was definitely unique, he had more/less heard it all before and was very confident that he could help me get back to "feeling like myself" again, which is someone I'm not even sure I remember anymore. He had me go get some lab work done so that he could confirm a few things and would have me back in a week to talk treatment plan. Over the last 7 days, I have continued researching some of the things he was talking about doing (switching my medication from synthroid to armour), and I began to see a common theme forming with all the posts I was reading... people would respond that their lives had been completely transformed with this simple switch. Seriously, I did not find ONE negative review about it! This got me VERY excited! But at the same time, I began to get very angry. Angry at my former doctors who didn't prescribe Armour in the first place. I felt robbed. Robbed of the happiness I could have been feeling over the last 2 years instead of the chaotic roller coaster of hormonal hell I had been living in. Then I was so sad thinking about how this horrible cycle would just continue. That uninformed doctors would continue to force their useless medication on these poor unsuspecting patients all so they can get the result they want on the labs, check it off their list and collect their paycheck, without much regard for how the patient is actually feeling.
I was also reading a lot about people changing their diet to grain-free, dairy-free and Paleo/Primal and having amazing results. I decided to take a deeper look at this idea and must say, I'm pretty sold.
I've tried it over the past week and honestly, it's not much different from the low carb diet we've been following for the past year. One big adjustment was including more eggs and meat into our meals, something we had previously been trying to decrease after watching Forks Over Knives. I don't know if it was the added protein, the mood change or both, but I lost almost 5 pounds over the course of the week! Holla! However, I'm fairly positive I gained every bit of it back last night when I went out celebrating with the girls from my church. Celebrating the end of our healthy challenge no less! Ha! Hmmmm, celebrating being healthy by shoveling fried eggrolls, deep dish pizza, and a pizookie party platter into your mouth! Sounds like a good plan!
sinfully delicious y'all!
Sooooo thankful for these awesome ladies!

Fast forward to today... one week after my first appointment. I had been anxiously awaiting this day, like a kid before Christmas morning! Somehow the anticipation and proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel" seemed to change my mood considerably the whole week - it's amazing what a little hope can do!
Sure enough, my thyroid was barely functioning (it is constantly being attacked by antibodies) and was not converting my T4 hormone to T3 (I realize this means nothing to most of you - sorry!), also we found out that I have ZERO estrogen, untraceable amounts of progesterone, and very little testosterone, as well as low Vit D and DHA levels (I know there was another letter in that acronym, but I can't remember what it was - I think it was an R??). It's bad enough to deal with the Hashimoto's symptoms by themselves, but coupled with the issues of a 90 year old woman's body too, let's just say, I was/am a HOT MESS. But, the good doc is hookin' me up! I start my switch from synthroid to armour TODAY, and should feel the effects of it in as little as a week - Hallelujah! The compounding pharmacy should have my estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone meds by tomorrow, and I also need to pick up some Vit D and a new multi-vitamin with DHA when I get the other meds. All in all, I should be a new woman by the end of the month. OMG - I still can't believe it - I have never been more relieved and excited before IN MY LIFE. I'm excited for what this will mean for my marriage, for my family, for my self-confidence, gosh everything. I honestly don't even know what it's like not to feel like a prisoner in my own body. Thank you Jesus for bringing us to Austin, for leading me to this doctor, and for the amazing wisdom, knowledge and advancements in science that allow for me to live a life free of these debilitating symptoms! I just feel like I am in such a positive place right now - finally! Jason and I are so thrilled and excited for where the Lord is leading us and the people He is putting in our lives.
Now, if only I could find a sitter for this weekend so the hubs and I can go out and celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary :)
Love this man so much!
So, I kinda feel like today is the first day of the rest of my life, and I am LOVIN' it! I will let you all know how this all shapes out! I hope you all have a fantastic week!