Sunday, January 10, 2016

Scared and confused

I have putting some focus on the psychological aspects of my journey lately, but things like what happened over the weekend make me doubt myself a lot.  I have been having chest congestion for a month, but no cough.  I know you cannot get antibiotics for chest stuff unless it's really bad like pneumonia, so I figured I'd try some OTC medicines for sinus and chest.  About once a year I get either a sinus infection or bronchitis, but honestly, l feel like my sinuses are always stuffy.  Anyway, I figured a month was long enough to wait for chest stuff and it's not getting better-some wheezing and tightness as times, so I went to the walk-in to see if I could get an antibiotic for the sinus infection, knowing it would be beneficial to my lungs and ear (which gets really stuffy and gives me vertigo).  My blood pressure was higher than its ever been.  I freaked out when I saw it at 144/102 because my norm is 120-130/80.  Sometimes even lower.  The nurse didn't make a big deal about it, she checked what it was at my last visit (November 12th) 120/86.  I let that stew in my mind as she listened to my lungs and looked in my ears.  She seemed in a rush, and quickly dismissed me with a prescription for an antibiotic.  I couldn't stop thinking about my blood pressure.  I took my blood pressure again at home and it was still really elevated.  I googled whether this could possibly be a side effect of the sinus infection and there was a lot of information that shows that it can be a cause.  Today I took it again and it is still just as high.  I googled info about the antibiotic I am on (doxycycline) and one of the side effects is that it can elevate blood pressure.  I should've been comforted by that but I think it made me panic more.  I wanted to hide this from my husband out of embarrassment and not wanting him to judge me,but I told him.  It definitely freaks me out.  There were a couple times today and in the previous weeks, that I felt a couple twangs of pain in my chest, but I dismissed it as something else.  But I think I am going to call my Dr tomorrow and see if I should come in.  I'm actually starting to feel better from the infection/lungs in fact I finally feel like I can take big, deep breaths again and it is such a relief!  But I'm worried about my heart.
 It's in these moments of reacting emotionally to my fears that I really beat myself up.  And I immediately started planning to get back on South Beach Diet.  Another diet. So I can yo-yo again?  I don't know what the answer is.  I guess I have some things to try and figure out for myself.  I will take my blood pressure again in the morning, without caffeine in my system, to see where I'm at, if it's still high I'll call my dr.  I was supposed to have a stress test and echocardiogram last year and had to cancel, but I think I might request to reschedule those given my recent issues.  I hate how much anxiety I get about my health and I hate how it's not enough, on its own, to make me change permanently.  I am digging my own grave and filling it with chocolates.  
I may go back on South Beach for a couple weeks to break my sugar cravings, but I won't look at it as a lifetime restriction.  I have to mesh a few different things together in order for it to work.  My last semester of college starts in a few short weeks, I'd like to have a handle on some of this before then.  I hate the feeling of starting something unprepared, which is sort of what I'm thinking of doing, but I have to start making healthier choices at some point.  I am sick of being worried about my health, knowing I have control over so much of it.  Then again, I've always known that but it hasn't convinced me to stick to anything permanently yet.  I am going to admit that I'm confused and starting back on a tried and effective path seems comforting and right at this time.  I can keep trying to figure the rest out as I go.  

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Sugar Plums

I have been on a wonderful, peaceful break for a week.  No alarm clock, no work, no school for me or the kids.  I originally had big plans for getting a lot of things done for our move at the end of March, but it turns out, that is a little over-ambitious as many of the apartment complexes we've called have said to call back in a month or so.  So it has turned into a bit of house cleaning/ relaxing/reading thing instead.  I'm ok with that.  My holiday season is always extra stressful because I don't technically celebrate Christmas but we do go to my in-laws' celebrations, there is always awkwardness around gift-giving because we don't participate.  Add to it that my mother's and my birthdays are in the week following Christmas and as an optician it is always the busiest time of year as people rush to use up their flex spending by the end of the year...I am usually looking forward to January more than anyone I know.  
I actually really enjoy New Year's Eve a lot, it brings back really happy memories of great times with friends.  I used to make the same "lose weight" resolution for years until I realized it was pointless.  Stating a wish on any day of the year is just that.  And while I believe in "try, try again" philosophy, I think I was wishing the wrong thing.
The thing is, I don't know what the right thing is, not all the way, so it leaves me grappling a bit, dangling between concepts.  Or maybe I'm just in denial and rebelling against any kind of commitment at all.  
After reading the Josie Spinardi book, I felt really at peace with the concept, but I didn't commit to it wholeheartedly, so I picked up another book from the library, this one by Deepak Chopra, the famous endocrinologist.  It seemed to have a similar idea of breaking the spell food has over us, but already into the first chapter or two, it was littered with rules.  Yuck!  I found one more book called Stop Eating Your Heart Out that I've been reading slowly.  The first exercise is to write your "food history", the story of the role food has played in my life, and when I first realized I was using it as more than physical nourishment.  I do not tell a short story so it is already quite the document, but it is helping me figure out a few things.  This is the work I feel I need to do right now because I feel like I haven't had a breakthrough yet, I'm stil eating on autopilot most of the time.  It's great to say that I am going to stop torturing myself with diets, but then I have to do the rest of the work.  And I haven't.  I've been hiding food, eating way past "satisfied" and using it to fill some gap I haven't defined yet.  I am gaining weight and feeling so unhealthy, I am aware something needs to change.  But saying I want to lose weight sounds hollow.  I want to care about myself, and prove it by treating myself how I would treat a loved one.  I want to revisit my connection to that which guides me on a much deeper level. I detach, withdraw, numb myself because sometimes it all feels like too much work, but honestly, it's in that space when I truly feel peaceful.  
So that is my goal, to be more kind to myself, to continue healing from within.  I could do the whole January 1st diet, but that whole thing is so overplayed.  And all it does is make me feel like a total failure when I can't continue restriction long-term.  And then I binge.  Cycle complete. Rinse and repeat.  Not this time.  Not anymore.  I will find a different path if I have to cut it myself.  No more torture and self-hatred.  No more equating my size, weight, shape, age or height with my self-worth.  I wouldn't let anyone treat my kids that way or my parents or my husband, and from now on I will stop allowing myself to treat me that way as well.  It's the best gift I've ever conceived of giving myself, and it sure will taste sweet!