Notice of Changes

You will notice that some of my albums are "empty" on my Facebook page and that some pages and pictures are missing on here and on Natural and Free. Don't worry - they won't stay that way. :) In light of some recent events, I've had to watermark my photos and designed images. Until that is done and I get a chance to upload them, my FREE Fibro Banners and Badges and Inspirational Designs {By Me} pages will be down, and the albums under the same (or almost the same) names on my Facebook page will be empty, and pictures will be deleted and watermarked at various times for as long as it takes to get that done. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. Thank you for understanding! In the mean time, if there is an image you would like that you saw or have an idea for a new one, feel free to email me or leave me a comment, and I'll do what I can to get one to you. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Health Update: Thursday In Review

I meant to post this on Friday, but didn't get the chance, so I'm doing it today.  For those of you who have been waiting for the full story, thank you for your patience! :)

Ok, so Thursday...What a day!  I'll walk you through it and give you my health update in the process.

My middle kid's big toenail, 15 months after he smashed said toe with a bench.
At 8:45am, my middle kid had to be at the podiatrist to get his toe looked at.  It's been 15 months (yes, that's MONTHS) since he smashed his toe with a bench, and the nail still hasn't reattached correctly.  We were afraid that he would have to get the nail removed and the nail bed destroyed, but the doctor was happy with how it looks, so we wait.  Apparently, it can take YEARS for toenails to fully reattach after injury.  Joy.  As long as it's not snagging on things or getting infected, we just have to wait and keep it maintained.  We'll see how it goes.  Please pray that it doesn't infect and that it will reattach sooner than later.  Thanks!

At 9:40am, this same child had to go to another doctor (yes, my husband went from one appointment to another one - the locations are about 15 to 20 minutes apart, and I let him know about the second appointment that we made THAT MORNING around 9:15am while he was still in the first location) because he had an odd looking rash on his face that we were afraid it could have been ringworm or impetigo.  Turns out that it was just a pressure rash that ended up basically disappearing by the time he got home so we dodged a bullet there, BUT this same child was missing a vaccination that they didn't have when he went to his last well child, so he got a vaccination before he came home.  Poor kid.  He was a trooper, though, and did just great.

By the time my hubby and son got home, it was nearly 10:30am.  We needed to go clean the missionary apartment at our church because we didn't know when I'd be done with my neurologist appointment, and Thursday was the last night of our tent meetings that we would need to get to after my appointment, so we decided an hour and a half would have to be enough time, and it was.  We worked quickly, but we got'er done! :)

We got back from cleaning at just before noon, got the kids loaded up to go to Grandpa and Grandma's, and took off.  We got them all settled there, and then headed off to my neurologist appointment that was an hour away.

Possible triggers for my mysterious, invisible condition.
We made it to my neurologist appointment on time (1:40pm), and we even had time to grab some lunch on the way.  I was feeling very grateful that we'd gotten so much done and gotten to where we needed to go on time so far. :) 

Anyway, both my EEG and MRV were "within normal", which is what I expected, honestly.  Since I have not been getting worse (though I do have bad times, and have actually had improvement in a lot of ways), and because I've found that diet at least plays into it in part and that increasing my thyroid meds seemed to help reduce my amount of episodes, she told me that she is leaning towards a "migraine variant" that is being complicated by my Fibromyalgia, diet and thyroid/hormones.  I'm not sure I'm 100% convinced of this because I've tried treating my episodes the same way I treat my head migraines and it doesn't work, so...time will tell.  At least I have a game plan now.

I was sent home with a list of common triggers, and I'm to see if avoiding the things on this list makes a difference or not.  Now, I already avoid some things (like alcohol - I don't drink - and artificial sweeteners), but I'm to see if avoiding the things I don't already avoid make a difference.  I will avoid them one at a time for at least a week each and go from there.  

I'm also supposed to get my potassium levels checked (and do a Celiac panel if I haven't already had one done) to see if anything is off there.  If all looks good, and I continue to do ok, then I may not be going back to the neurologist.  If I have another really bad episode or get worse or new symptoms, then I go back. 

I'll keep you all posted, and I appreciate your prayers as we work on figuring this all out.  Thanks! :)

I don't know if you can see the metal fray on the edges, but it's there.  This tire was flat as a pancake and shredding.  It tore up hubby's hands pretty good.
On our way home at about 3pm, our front, driver's side tire decided to go flat.  We pulled over as far as we could without going into a ditch to change it.  We had major traffic going back and forth (mainly Mini Coopers - there was some kind of convention or something going on, me thinks, as we saw over 30 of them while hubby changed the tire), and we were in gravel.

Things were going well until hubby got the new tire on (but not bolted), and he had to jack up the car a little further...and the car started to roll backwards!  He'd forgotten to chock the tire!  Thankfully we were able to stop the car and make makeshift chocks with a large flashlight on one side and the old tire pictured above on the other.  It must've been quite the sight for those passing by!

After we got that all done, hubby had to dig into the gravel with a flat bar to get the jack under the car properly.  That was successful, the chocks held, and we got the car jacked back up to proper height.

Now, when the car rolled backwards, the new tire had gotten caught under the car.  He was able to get that out, it wasn't damaged, and he was able to get it on the car (after digging more into the gravel with the flat bar again), and we were able to get back on our way.

The new tire was a little flat, but not so much that we couldn't drive on it, which is a good thing because we couldn't get air into it until after we got back to our hometown. 

Anyway, we ended up getting home after 4:30pm, and had about an hour and a half to eat, get ready for tent meeting, and get to church.  We were grateful that my folks had the kids (and had agreed to keep them and take them to tent meeting after we'd let them know about our tire issue) and that we'd cleaned the missionary apartment already or we'd been in trouble!

Oh, and did I mention that some time while we'd been gone we'd lost power?  Yah.  It was on by the time we got home, but we knew it'd been out because the clocks were flashing and some things were off that we'd left on.  This made us extra glad that we'd taken the kiddos to the grandparents vs. having them come to our house.

All in all, Thursday was a crazy day!  I didn't find out anything new regarding my mystery health issue, but we do have a direction to head in and try, though.  We also had an amazing tent meeting, and if you'd like to watch some videos from it, you can find them here.

I appreciate all of your prayers, and I will continue to update you as I find out more.  Your support and prayers have meant the world to me!  If there is anything I can pray with you about or help you research, please feel free to email me or comment below, and I'll do what I can to help. :)


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Monthly Milestones 2016 {7}

Today is the seventh Monthly Milestones of 2016.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:
Me as of today, July 2, 2016, at 234 lbs.  Sorry for the odd smile.  I misjudged when hubby was snapping the photo. :D

  1. My weight is finally going back down!  I lost 1 1/2 pounds overall this month! :D  To say that I am excited about that would be an understatement.  I did not get to do the "no carbs" diet that I planned, but I did greatly reduce the carbs of all sorts (not just grains, but all sugar sources like juice, sugar, etc., though I did allow for some in moderation, whole fruit especially) as well as upping the amount of protein I get, and that did make a difference.  I also realized over the month of June that my body does NOT tolerate some things, and most of that is processed foods and soy in all forms.  I am finding I can barely tolerate a serving a day of soy containing or processed items, sometimes not even a serving a week it tolerated.  My pain is more, my weakness is more, my IBS symptoms are worse, my focus is worse, etc. when I have those things.  The foods with the most natural ingredients possible (i.e. nothing made in a lab) are best tolerated by me.  I'm going to work more on cutting out the processed/soy containing foods and eating more good fats and proteins this month, and we'll see how that goes. :)
        
  2. I've been able to be a lot more active!  I have made it a point to be active.  I've hung clothes out on the line vs. dried them in the dryer to help with this whenever possible.  I've gone on walks at least once a day when it wasn't stormy or raining.  I've made a "housework" schedule to help me from being too idle.  I've also been working on some creative writing to keep myself from being bored so that I don't eat everything in sight out of boredom.  For me, weight loss is not linked to exercise, but exercise and busyness does help keep my energy up and keeps me from binge eating, so it's a good thing. :)  I'm hoping to keep up the walking and such as much as possible.
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still happening.  As I mentioned in #1, I'm going to work on my diet even more in July.  Cutting out my multivitamin seems to have made a big difference for me.  My water retention issue is better as long as I remember to drink a lot of water.  I'm going to talk with my neurologist and/or my doctor about the water retention when I see them, and see what they recommend as sometimes even drinking a lot of water isn't enough. 

    I'm also having issues with sleep.  I am either finding that I can't get to sleep, I wake up super early and can't fall back asleep or both.  It's not been real fun.  It doesn't appear to be linked to being too hot or too cold or to diet that I can pinpoint.  I'll talk with the doctors about that, too, and see what they think.
      
  4. I will be getting my results from my testing soon.  I find out the results from my testing in a few weeks, and then we see where we go from there.  I'm not sure how I feel about it all, honestly.  I'm a bit scared in some ways.  Part of me doesn't want to know, but more of me wants to know.  Knowing what to do next will be a good thing.  If everything comes back "within normal", I'm not sure how much further I will pursue this at this time as far as testing goes.  We'll have a lot to discuss, that's for sure!
        
  5. Thank you for all your prayers, and we would appreciate your continued prayers!  We appreciate all the prayers and support as we've gone through so much this last year, especially. It's been a real blessing!

    We still haven't cemented our schooling decision for next year 100%, so we'd appreciate your prayers in regards to that.  We'd still like to homeschool the boys, but we're holding off on the final decision on that until after I see the neurologist.  This is a great matter of prayer for us.  We want our kids to be where God wants them, and if that's not at home, then we will do what His will is in that regard.  Thank you so much!

    We also have some unspoken prayer requests that I will share later as I have liberty.  Thanks for praying for those, too. :)  We are certain that God knows - we just want His leading, timing and direction!
     
  6.  Blog updates have stalled, though posting has increased! So far, I've been able to make at least monthly changes to this blog and Natural and Free.  Sometimes, I have even been able to make some minor changes, so that's a plus.  I am not sure what all I'll get to over July as it is one of our busiest months, but we'll see. :)

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)