Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Life isn't about surviving the storm; but how you dance in the rain.

The testing is over, for now. The answers, are none. The upper GI showed no signs of Crohn's (huge sigh of relief). But honestly, where do I go from here? And what is causing me to swell and inconstantly be in pain? Most days I say nothing, because who really wants to hear my complaints every day. But if I'm being straight up, I hurt every day. I can't remember a day where I felt great.

So is it food allergies?

Is it bum ovaries?

Is it IBS?

I've spent that last 2 weeks really focusing on what I ingest. And I must say, cutting gluten and dairy out has had a positive affect. The days I don't consume those two things, my stomach is flat, nothing hurts (for the most part). Knowing it takes quite awhile to get these things out of your system, I know it's going to take a lot more time. But how long?

This past weekend, I spent at the Cape celebrating the upcoming nuptials of two of the best people I know. Normally, when forced into a group of people I don't know, I nervously eat my way through the event.

Confession: I am an over eater/anxiety eater/social over eater.

(There, it's finally out.)

Hubs and I have been having recent discussions on food. Mostly because I finally came to terms with the fact that I self sooth, with food. Therefore, I've been making a conscious effort to be aware of when I'm eating because I'm hungry, or eating to comfort myself. And I must say, I'm quite proud of my strength this past weekend. Being thrown into a house of 17 lovely ladies, and only knowing the bride, usually would send me reeling. But....I focused on me. I said to myself "Celia, be yourself. If people like you, great. If they don't, it will affect you no differently." And it didn't. I kept reminding myself to eat only when I was hungry, and be open to chat and mingle.

The benefit of being myself: I met some truly wonderful gals that I thoroughly look forward to seeing at the wedding, and hopefully beyond. Because let's face it ladies, our female connections are how we deal with things.

A friend recently sent me this great article on how men and women differ in how they deal with life's issues. I've included it below because it was exactly what I've come to realize recently.

So to all you new friends out there, the following is for you. Whether we've spoken or you follow along to my daily rambles, I hope in someway that I've been either a support or delivered words of comfort.

In an evening class at Stanford, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that  one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.   
 Women connect with each other differently and  provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.   
 Women share feelings whereas  men often form relationships around activities . They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.   
 Women do it all of the time.. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.   
 There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true. In fact, he said that  failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as  dangerous to our physical health as smoking !   
 So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo… let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends.. Evidently it’s very good for our health.   
 Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and feeling very loved.   
 Life isn't about surviving the storm; but how you dance in the rain. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Never Ending Testing

Has it really been over two weeks since I've posted?! Where have I been......yikes.

Well let's see, where did we leave off.......

Oh yes, blood work. After receiving 3 phone calls letting me know that everything was fine, yes I said 3, we met with Dr. C on Tuesday for a regrouping of minds, so to say. Chris and I had decided we wanted to meet with him after our trip to figure out what we were going to do. Assuming we would get thrown a million different things, the appointment went much different than we had expected.

We went through the blood work first. No sign of Lupus (phew), no sign of inflammation in my body (not sure I believe that one), estrogen was a little high as well as progesterone. Progesterone was fine to be high, better than low. The estrogen however was slightly alarming, so I will be going in for an ultrasound on Monday to check for an ovarian cyst. Just to be safe.

Then we looked at my charting. Things have been a little off, but all in all starting to improve. Dr. C also mentioned (for all my Creighton charters out there) that the best day to get pregnant is Peak day. The 2nd best: Peak-1, then Peak-2, then Peak+1. Learn something new every day. I will say this month, we were right on track, however we missed Peak day. (There's always next month.......getting tired of saying that.)

A couple things happened that made me realize just how caring this man actually is. At one point he dropped his shoulders and kindly said "I feel like I'm failing you. When I see your name on the schedule, I cringe. Because that means you're not pregnant. It's been a year, after a year I feel like a failure." Then he sat there sulking a bit. Then pulled out a chart for us. In NaPro, Dr. Hilgers (the founder) says that the highest chance of conceiving with NaPro is in the first year. However, there is still a great leap in the second year as well. So as much as Dr. C feels like he's failed, he knows to wait it out a little longer. It's just his own sorrow, says it keeps him humble.

He also stated that we are welcome to get a second opinion. We're lucky enough to have another NaPro doctor a couple towns away. Dr. C simply stated that he may be able to catch something that we may have missed. Better to have another mind to brainstorm with. He also said we can always go back to the surgeon and have him take another look (which in my mind is out of the question. I don't feel like it will help.)

So now what?

Well, not to get too personal, but I have been having significant pain and swelling in my intestines. Dr. C has done some exams and was concerned. So after my ultrasound and more rounds of bloodwork, I may be going in for a Barium. Where you drink yucky things and swallow a camera. Then you go in to have xrays done depending on the location of the camera in hopes to get a good picture of my insides and check the connection between the small and large intestines. He also suggested it could be an issue with my colon. We didn't go into too much depth, but we plan to start with the pictures.

The strangest thing to happen: Dr. C said I'm interesting. "That's not something you want to hear from your doctor" he said. Apparently he's slightly baffled as to why we aren't pregnant yet. So in the meantime, more tests, more trying. Regrouping yet again after this and next week's tests.

This is never ending......