I’ve just come back from a week vacation. When possible, I do try to give myself a week in February to do nothing but the things I *want* to do. In this case, I spent a day getting taxes organized, but the other 6 days were pretty much mine to do with what I pleased, so I planned a little mini-break with Sweetie, and I planned to spend a few days in Campbell River helping my friend Ellie move. You may remember Ellie from this podcast episode.
Speaking of the podcast, I had a *great* conversation with a new animal friend of mine! Hamilton the pot belly pig!
I’ll add a photo of him to his post later on today. I just love his grunting. Pigs are awesome. The Hamilton Interview will come out on Tuesday, with part 2 coming out a week from Tuesday. I know you’re going to love this one!
Sweetie and I had a little mini-break, where we stayed overnight in a hotel and then watched “Rogue One” in an actual movie theatre! When you live in a tiny town, you can go years without seeing a movie in a theatre. Man is it ever a fun experience when you haven’t seen one in a while! That’s a big difference right there between my life now, and my life ten years ago when I was living in Toronto.
One thing I had really been looking forward to is helping my friend Ellie move.
Well, as it happened, there was a big snow storm on our way home from watching Rogue One. We have to drive through a mountain pass to get home, and since we watched the later show, we reached the foot of the mountain at midnight. In a snow storm. We opted to stay a second night in Port Alberni.
I was supposed to go visit Ellie the following day, but this was just going to be too much driving. It may not look like Vancouver Island is a big place, but it takes four hours in good conditions to drive from my home to Nanaimo, and an additional two hours to get to Victoria (south) or to Campbell River (north) which is where Ellie used to live.
In case you’re curious, it takes 8 hours to drive from Victoria to Port McNeil, even with the speed limit being 120 km / hr through most of it.
Anyway, I am a driver who needs a break every few hours, so driving from Port Alberni, to Ucluelet, then back to Campbell River – way too much in a day.
And the next day, Sweetie fell down the stairs and broke her foot. So the way I see it, things have worked out to conspire to keep me home for my vacation and help Sweetie through the first few days of her injury. She’s coping really well now, but for a while there she was in a lot of pain and pretty much stuck in bed. She’s not weight-bearing on that foot yet, but she’s definitely feeling better.
Now I can hear her crutching around the house, sometimes cursing a bit under her breath, or exasperatedly scolding Mikey for laying down directly in front of her again. He will not move if she pokes him with her crutch, he just rolls over. Mikey just wants to be with her, and doesn’t really understand the concept of being “in the way”.
I’m also feeling quite a bit better pelvic-pain wise. I’m experimenting with this product: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00EEEGEGM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and it really seems to be helping. I haven’t needed the pyridium (a pain medication directed at the bladder) for a couple of months now. *I am not endorsing or recommending any products for medical conditions* I am just sharing my story here. The bottom line is, when you have a chronic condition, especially if you suspect is has a complex cause, you may need to build a team of people to help you figure out what things work and what things don’t work. Ideally we will find ourselves in front of that magic person who has all of the answers, but more often we need to educate ourselves and make our own decisions based on our knowledge and experience of our own body, and the input from trusted health care professionals.
Do you remember all of my “the weight of it” posts? This has been quite an ongoing story. Kudos to Andrea (I think it was you, over a year ago?) who suggested I may have a hormone imbalance. I’ve been working along that theory, and I now suspect I might have endometriosis, which would explain a LOT, including much of my weight gain despite being on a diet prescribed by a nutritionist. Stress > adrenal fatigue > insulin resistance > weight gain > estrogen increase > weight gain > estrogen increase > flaring of pelvic pain > stress & pain > more adrenal fatigue and around it all goes. The killer is the cravings I’ve had for crap food are crazy intense now, so I will not pretend I’ve been eating perfectly well this whole time. I haven’t been doing terribly, but there have been potato chips. That’s all I’m sayin’!
I do want to take this moment to count my very many blessings, as I have dear people in my life who are supporting me with so much love and understanding, and I have access to a variety of health care professionals who will eventually help me figure all of this out.
The great news is, not only do I have a supplement that seems to have gotten me off of pain meds, but this very supplement is often helpful in correcting an estrogen-dominant state in the body. I’m not quoting medical studies here, I’m reading personal blogs of people with parallel issues and how they have managed or reversed their symptoms. “Estrogen dominant” is getting to be a bit of a buzz word, but it’s also interesting that it’s a phrase the naturopathic doctor used when reading the very same rest results which the family physician had pronounced “normal”. I *know* that something is going on, hormone-wise, so I’m going to go with the doctor who has a theory on that front, and whose first line of treatment is *not* surgery or prescribing birth control pills – both of these are things I’m expecting from the pelvic pain specialist.
This is what you do when you’re waiting five months for your next specialist appointment. Anyway, if I do have Endo, this next specialist in pelvic pain is exactly the doctor to be in front of, but meanwhile, I’m just going to make the dietary changes that are helpful in managing endo and hormonal imbalance. These changes are also in line with the starting changes recommended by my naturopathic doctor, who I haven’t seen yet but have spoken to over the phone. We are still waiting for my urologist to forward the reports to the ND’s office before I actually go down to see her, but as a naturopathic doctor, she specializes in – and this is her quote – “healthy menstruating females”. In fact she refers to her patients as “MY healthy menstruating females” which was strange but oddly comforting at the same time! Her whole thing is utilizing naturpathic and integrated practices to facilitate hormone balance and fertility.
This is quite the journey I have been on. Meanwhile, the progress I’m making with the supplements and the early diet changes have enabled me to go for beach walks again! That’s a big plus when you live in such a beautiful place as Tofino, British Columbia!
I’ve gotten back in touch with my lovely nutritionist from last year, who is off on maternity leave at the moment but is happy to help me figure out a six-week endo diet, which will again keep me within a gradual weight loss category of calorie intake. Personally, I can’t really make a lasting diet change unless I have a six week meal plan, including snacks, and recipes provided. I just can’t do that on my own. I’ve tried. But once I’ve gotten through six weeks, I am in a much better place to make better food choices again. I’m super-grateful for the help. It will just help me fully implement the changes the naturopathic doctor recommended a while ago…
And here’s the extra-big challenge for me. I think I’m going to give up coffee.
That is huge for me. But coffee, as much as I enjoy it, is bad for the hormones, *especially* if you have an issue like mine.
I’m going to start experimenting with matcha green tea. If I can make a matcha green tea latte that I like, I think I will be able to give up the coffee forever.
We shall see, my friends.
Keep your eyes peeled for that Hamilton the Pig interview, coming Tuesday!!!
I will share with you, my observed phases of moving:
Part 1. Packing.
1. “All my stuff is precious” – starts a month in advance of moving. Stuff is wrapped individually, placed lovingly in a box, labelled exhaustively. Some items are zen-ishly purged. Many of us believe the entire packing process will go like this.
2. “Anxiety” – practicality meets social responsibility as you attempt to give away and donate things you will not want or need in the new home.
3. “Time Crunch” – starts one to two weeks before move date. Stuff is more quickly packed, layered between sheets, towels and other textiles believing “it’ll probably be fine”. Boxes labelled with the room in which the stuff belongs.
4. “How do I keep finding things to pack?” Decision fatigue kicks in. You have become incapable of deciding whether or not you will need this thing in the new home, so you throw it into a box labelled “random crap” thinking it’s okay if you have just one box of random crap. By the time the truck arrives, you have 10 boxes labelled “random crap”.
5. “It’s go time”. You have run out of boxes. Anything left unpacked goes into black garbage bags. It may get broken or thrown out, but you don’t even care.
Part 2. Unpacking.
1. “Optimism and Resolutions.” Look at all the space we have! We will have so much room! What a great opportunity to get completely organized as I put things away! New life! This will be great!
2. Where the heck is the can opener? *buys new can opener*
3. “Ominous foreshadowing.” Why are the kitchen cupboards full, but the boxes labelled “kitchen” only half-unpacked?
4. “I can fix this.” *buys organizational items*
5. “Why did I pack this!?” The discovery of carefully packed items from “all my stuff is precious” phase, but which appear valueless in light of the new home. The stunning realization that your pre-moving purge got rid of only half the stuff you should have purged.
6. “The Over-Purge”. The closets and cupboards are full. The new storage solutions are full. You decide to randomly stuff the remaining items into closets and cupboards making them over-full, or throw out items as you unpack them.
7. “Apathy”. With no enthusiasm to unpack the remaining 2 – 6 boxes, they are relegated to the corner of a room, or a basement / storage space for a year.
8. One year later: “There’s the can opener.”