Remove My Skin!

Gahhhhh!

Months ago, I saw a homeopath. I stopped going when he revealed himself to be a Trump zealot. Like, would not shut up about what nice guy Trump “actually” is.

“I’ve met him and…” blah blah blah, he bragged. There it is. Cult of celebrity and hollow name-dropping. I imagine he attended some big event that Our National Shame lent his corrupt brand to.

“I’m sure he’s lovely,” I snarked back. “I’m sure he respects women and people of color, and everything he says to the contrary is all in good fun.”

HE WOULD NOT STOP.

“Okay! Can we get back to my health now?”

Orange-faced people aside, this homeopath was of the opinion that orange-haired people don’t metabolize sulfur. While I’ve never been successful at any diet, I did quit coffee, which is among the worst sulfur offenders. Well, Thursday, it was rainy and cold, and nothing sounded better than jammies and java. I went back on the bean.

Two days later, my skin started crawling! I cannot stop scratching!!! I’m in HELL!

I think I can say that I’ve successfully experienced elimination testing. I AM DYING! My eyeballs hurt. The insides of my ears itch! I can feel every single hair! (I had another bout of trichotillomania and tore out chunks of eyelash. Just last week, I was remarking how long my lashes were. I couldn’t recall the last time I pulled at them. Presumably, when I last drank coffee.)

Tear my flesh from my bones! It itches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Finally!

Once again, I’ve dropped 4 lbs. in one week. Hopefully, it doesn’t take another 8 weeks to see appreciable change. I’m interested in steady momentum. Maybe that will be reflected in my body fat percentage, which is, ahem, 36.7%.

I recall noting the number at my New Year’s weigh-in. I couldn’t remember whether it was 34 or 37-point-something, but we’ll assume it was 37 and moving in the right direction. I certainly don’t put any limits on the fat I eat, but I am trying to be watchful of over-indulgent grazing. My genome gave me a metabolism type that’s somewhat counter-intuitive as to body shape and weight-loss, indicating that fat restriction can lead to increased waist circumference. 23andme actually advised me not to opt for low-fat products. Weeeee! Good fats were advised, of course, a la Mediterranean Diet, but knowing me as you do – Skinny Was My Superpower/ I Do What I Want – well, it’s just not food if there isn’t as much butter as potato.

*****

Yesterday was so frustrating I cried in yoga. In public. Like, fought (failed) to hold back tears, several times. It’s that constant nagging anxiety, “Am I gaining strength and flexibility or overdoing it?” I felt like I was just copping out in poses. I felt like a faker. I came home to the headache Ibuprofen can’t touch and seizing joint and muscle pain so high I couldn’t sleep. I’ve never not been able to escape through sleep, let alone rest to restore and recover. Tender points were more like screaming spots. Even my skin hurt!

I did nothing all day but complain. My poor roommate. He never gets impatient with me. I am going to try to keep it to myself a bit, though. I recognize in all the complaining not just the fear and anger of pain, but a battle with Imposter Syndrome. “I’m not faking this! I’m not just being lazy!” I have a tenacious lazy streak, too, so there’s a constant internal struggle that I’ll work out aloud on any hapless friend nearby.

He’s heard enough. He knows. He feels for me. He’s a great roommate.

A strange series of events occurred recently. My general practitioner has been wonderful. This would have been 10 years together, and she has been a remarkable companion with whom to monitor my health. Until recently. She dismisses Fibromyalgia. She’ll acknowledge it as a thing but won’t offer any advice beyond, “We really don’t know what it is and there’s no proven treatment.” The fact that conventional methods are undesirable to me has kept me loyal to her, but I’ve known for awhile that the road diverged.

I got a letter in the mail about a month ago that her office had closed. I called the clinic taking over and was informed only that they’d expanded into the space and would try to help as many patients as possible from the old practice. But where was my doctor? I Googled her. No new info. Honestly, I just wanted to send her a Thank You note. Not being able to do even that left me feeling abandoned, betrayed almost. How can you ditch people without any notice? With no guidance to other options or how they can get their records, at the very least?

I know it’s for the best. I’m looking forward to creating a new relationship for the long-term with someone who takes my pain seriously.

The second timely thing happened yesterday. The Utah Senate approved State Bill 73, allowing for medical use of cannabis oil! I can’t believe it. The last time this insufferably red state did anything I couldn’t believe was when they approved Marriage Equality. However, even Mormons have gay friends, family, children, co-workers. Even religious people can see that we’re all just folk: black, white, good, bad, gay, straight, who cares? Everyone can, if they choose to, realize at last, “Wow, this person is entitled to anything I am,” even if they disagree with who or how they are. But – gasp! – DRUGS, never.

(And, trust me, the Mormon Church tried to block the bill.* Blocked, instead, will be the pain of thousands. Well done, Utah!)

Cannabis oil is low in THC, so there’s less psychedelic effect, and high in cannabidiol, which binds to receptors all over our bodies and calms them down (or something science-y). And it’s just a freaking plant!

I think I’m going to find relief!

* If any Church uses its influence and money to further a political agenda, as the Mormons did lobbying for Prop 8 in California, IT SHOULD NOT BE TAX EXEMPT.
tax

Blogiversary the Fourth

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I confess I expected a more immediate response to yoga than what I’m experiencing. I’m still in PAIN. I remind myself that I’ve made positive changes to aid my healing and better my prognosis. Secretly, I fear that this is only going to keep getting worse. It’s pretty bad.

I’m grateful it’s almost exclusively on my left. I’m right-handed. Life would be a lot harder if this insane discomfort interrupted function of my dominant side. I’ve wondered why it should be so marked a difference on one side of my body, and the only thing I can think is that the car that hit me (hard) in 2009 struck me on the left. I flew 20 feet off my bike and landed on my left, as well.

The injuries were minor, but here I am. I’m not the only person to develop Fibromyalgia after an accident. It’s also common for sufferers to come from violence and abuse. ?

It sucks. I hate Fibro. But my life is good.

I love my home. I hit the roommate jackpot. I like my job. I love drumming. I’m reading book after book, with a cat on my lap. Sixteen sun-drenched plants are bursting at the seams, in Winter! I’m excited for festivals and road trips this Summer and Fall. I’m planning on Oktoberfest in Belgium and Germany.

(I don’t have kids to put in braces, college, or therapy. I do what I want!)

(I’m terrified for such a long flight, twice. Last year, I flew to the Gulf and then to NYC, back to back, a total of 3 weeks travel. I was in SO MUCH PAIN in-flight. I consider that trip the marker of my new relationship with my body. I’ve never fully recovered. ‘Til then, pain was sporadic, not nearly as high on the scale, and could pretty well be counted on to go away between flares. Now I start every day assessing what hurts and wondering if today will be a bad one. For me, Fibro worsens in the afternoon. I’m glad. It would be hard to stay my upbeat self if I woke with the discomfort I go to bed with.)

I’m utterly stuck at 155 lbs., but I can see a difference in muscle tone. I think I’ll start paying attention to body fat percentage. I need some numerical satisfaction!

I’ve quit Diet Pepsi and cigarettes. I don’t drink as much. (I can’t anymore. A Fibro hangover is like a 2-day, whole-body migraine.) (And I’m bitter!) I’m thinking about quitting coffee… but then I might as well be Mormon, and that depresses me.

I think I’m middle-aged. Weird.
HappyBlogiversary

Week One

155 lbs! Apparently, uterine lining is heavy. I don’t expect my result to be quite so satisfying next week. But! I finally made it to yoga this morning (It only took a week), so that should help. (I signed up for a trial membership – unlimited for 30 days.)

It was sure easy to dismiss my alarm all week. 6 o’clock is awfully early for a girl like me. Now that there’s money involved, I will attend no less than 3 classes per week. I don’t waste $$$.

I came home and took Before pics. When I get back down to my normal weight, I might post them with Afters. Might.

Oh. I smoked 4 cigarettes Wednesday.

Hey, break a resolution, begin one. It’s about balance, really.

Unbearable Pain

A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were going to attend the Arts Festival together. He had a wake later that evening for a friend and neighbor, so we were just going to spend a couple of hours enjoying the exhibits, performances, food, and music.

Instead, we got chatting and drinking with the neighbor who’d lost her boyfriend to suicide. His best friend stopped by and shared a few drinks and memories with us, and I felt like I really came to know this person. The girl brought out a book of his poetry, some really good stuff, profound and wicked. He had such a turn of phrase! I said, more than once, that I felt like I’d met him. They painted such a clear image of his particular brand of hard, sardonic living. I had a sense of his voice, his presence: Unmistakable, messy, original, intelligent.

Mostly, I regretted that this woman, whom I’d come to really enjoy and hoped to further a friendship with, had to be the one to find him. I let her know that I wanted to see her again. She was such a bright, interesting, and vivacious girl.

“I don’t mean to insert myself in your grief,” I told her, “but I so enjoy your company. I’d love to hang out again, whatever that looks like. If you need to scream and rage, I’m not afraid of that. If you just want to take a stroll and get out of your thoughts, I’m in.”

She agreed, but you know how that it.

“Whatever you do, just don’t isolate,” I asked her. “And thank you for sharing him with me. I feel like I’ve met him. I’m so sorry for his pain, and yours.”

We skipped the Arts Festival, drinking instead on the court until they left for the wake and I went home with a DVD from this gal. I’ve had it for 2 weeks and wanted to reassure her that I hadn’t forgotten. I messaged my buddy today that I’d love to get together again and pass the time, and I’d bring that movie.

He was sorry to tell me that she’d joined her fiance, the same way.

I can’t believe how I feel. I feel like the wind’s been knocked out of me. I didn’t know him, and I didn’t know her, really, just spent a few hours. But it hurts my heart.

Today, I wish to remind us all to tend very carefully to ourselves. Mental illness is real. It hurts so much, and one is never out of danger. I spent the bulk of my 20s occupied by suicidal ideation, outcries, and 2 dangerous attempts. I think, having gotten to the other side of it, I’d come to believe that it’s a young person’s problem. No. We die at any age, of any illness, and we must care for who we are, as we are. Wow. I’m just really, really sad. I ache for them. I’ve been telling these 2 strangers for the last several hours that I’m glad they’re in that beautiful place of only love, together, relieved of sorrow, and able to continue learning without the burdens and heaviness of Earth life. But I’m just so sad.

To think how much someone has to hurt to do that. I’m sad for unbearable pain.

Life is so precious and fleeting. Be kind to yourself and others.

****

Before I met this woman I’d never heard the term, “in my cups,” when referring to drinking, especially of the drowning variety. It so amused and delighted me, and painted such an amiable, tragic picture of the delicious, deceptive nature of alcoholic seduction, I felt as though I could hear this character’s voice. He was very much a character, a writer and storyteller, too, who performed his stories and even regular conversation, as I do.

I’m currently reading a fiction novel. Well, since this man and woman took their lives, twice the main character in this book has referred to getting “in her cups.” I found it curious, at first, nothing more. Just that phenomenon when you’re introduced to a word or concept for the first time and then find it everywhere. But then I about fell over when I remembered that this main character’s brother was an alcoholic who killed himself. THEN… the brother who died, I realized, had the SAME NAME as this man who committed suicide less than a month ago! So I’m absolutely flipping out when I realized that the main character’s name is the same as the woman’s! I mean, come on! That’s too much!

I feel connected to them. I’m not sure what to make of such massive compounding coincidence. There’s nothing I could have done. I didn’t even know them.

Maybe it’s just them confirming that they are there, and they are safe, and out of pain.
Maybe it’s nothing. (Of course, you know I can’t think that.)
Maybe it’s just gob-smacking WOW.

I’m glad I didn’t die by suicide. I recommit myself to that now, even though it feels unnecessary to publicly declare it. I feel like these strangers are reminding me what a gift life is and to be vigilant about our health and the choices we make. I invite all who suffer in that way to make a similar vow not to die by your own hand. Perhaps start an “other options” list or a log of things to love and live for, so that when you invariably fall back into the pain, as we do, you’ll remember that it will pass. Because it does. Do be gentle. Life is hard, and painful, and precious, and beautiful.

And FUN! And so totally worth it! I love being alive! choose happy

Choose happy. It is a choice. Choose it again and again, every time. When you fail, choose it as soon as you’re back on track and able. If you can’t choose happy in the moment, be patient and know that the time will come that you’ll be glad you trusted yourself and your beautiful determination and strength, and your RIGHT to be joyful, and got yourself to the other side of suffering one more to time to choose happy again.

Careful What You Wish For

I literally prayed, “You can lay me down for a week after we close, but don’t let me get sick during the run.” I woke up Sunday morning practically immobilized. I felt like I was getting sick several times, and I told my angels again, “Not ’til the show closes!” I was amazed that I didn’t get sick. (I get everything that comes around. I’m sick in bed for days at least twice a year.) We had a girl with walking pneumonia in the cast, two girls with bronchitis that led to sinus infection, and the old woman at my work had laryngitis. I never got sick! ‘Til I said I would.

I don’t care. I closed that baby, and it was awesome!

Image

“Her name is LaRue… Hedy LaRue.”favorite dress

Where Did You Get Hair That Color?

I feel marginally less secure about my “typical risk” markers for inherited conditions and general health when I understand that I have only typical odds for red hair, and I got that in flames. I had believed I got the gene for red hair but, in fact, there isn’t one. Two variants increase odds, and I don’t have them. I’m purely typical, yet I’m red red red.

I inherited lower than average odds of freckling, too, and still I speckle.

http://refer.23andme.com/a/clk/4FPnC7

I love 23andme.com!