Monday, July 22, 2013

Responding to a few comments!

First of all - a HUGE THANK YOU to all those reading my blog!  I initially started this to chronicle my journey - my sister inadvertently gave me the idea when she told me I should journal every day about my symptoms so I could go back to see my progress - especially since progress can be so sloooooowwwww during TSW!  I was going to start a personal journal (the pen and paper type), but after reading other people's blogs and REALLY looking forward to their posts, I decided to blog about this TSW thing to bring information and maybe encouragement to others going through the same thing.  I really liked Louise's blog - she blogged nearly daily for over a year!  I would go back in her posts to say the 3rd or 4th month marks to see what she was going through at that point while I was in the thick of it.  We are all going through this differently - but will have many similar symptoms and presentations.  So it was helpful to see where she was at a certain point.  In this I would read how she was having a bad day or a good day - these helped me to realize that all my ups and downs during this is NORMAL!   And sooooo many of us feel anything but normal - so knowing someone was going through similar things is a lifesaver during some of the darkest days! 

Anyway - today I received these 2 comments:

Lisa wrote:

HI Tracy!
hang in there. After the spreading comes the healing.
your blogging almost daily and exercising at the same time is so crazy! you are heroooo.

Miss Kitty wrote:

Blimey, I can't believe you're doing so much (including exercise!) with such severe symptoms! I just sat around a lot eating ready meals... I officially pronounce you hardcore. Fact. xxx

You ladies are the best!!! So yes, I am blogging almost every day - first I have the time given I am not working that much!  Second, I want to give others a guide to this whole TSW thing!  I know we all have different symptoms and times and presentations, but knowing someone else went through hell will help someone else going through hell to get through one more day.  I did not go to the forum for over a month because of my severe depression - but I did read blogs!  I didn't comment either - just lurked around.  But those blogs helped me keep my head above water on the really really bad days!  I cried at least 4-5 times each week - sometimes crying multiple times in a day.  Months 2-4 were beyond awful!  Month 5 was worse physically but significantly better emotionally! 

As for the exercise - well I know how important it is to keep the body moving - especially for the lymph system.  But it was my heart that made me start exercising.  I still cannot tolerate the outdoors, so I had to get something to do inside - and something that could be low intensity or high intensity.  About a month ago I noticed my heart rate was high at rest - it was beating through my chest!  It was about 94-95 per minute.  My typical resting heart rate before TSW was 60-64 when out of shape and 48-50 when in shape.  I also have always had low blood pressure  (100's/60's).  So with a high heart rate I went to the store and tested my blood pressure - 140's/80's.  I was a bit concerned.  I do know that the adrenals help regulate the blood pressure and heart rate.  When cutting the cortisol creams so abruptly, the adrenals take time to work right.  So there is bound to be a re-bounding elevation in heart rate and blood pressure for most of us TSW people.  Just because I knew this was normal for what I was going through, I didn't like it.  I also did not like all the chest pressure I was having for the past few months.  I of course could chalk this up to my increasing anxiety, but I also knew my body and my heart were severely out of shape given I did nothing for 4 months.  This week I noticed some amazing things - and I am attributing these directly to the exercise.  First my anxiety is WAY down.  I have not had chest pressure in over a week.  My resting heart rate right now is 82.  I did not check my blood pressure since last week, but I will check it tomorrow and I am thinking it may be down a bit.  Also for about 2-4 hours after exercising, my skin feels really good - little itch, redness and swelling are markedly down, and little to no oozing. 

So Lisa and Miss Kitty - exercise is really important!  And trust me when I say it is hard to get my big butt off the couch and get moving - but music helps!  Also while I'm in the middle of exercising, my kids constantly tell me how great I am doing and give me lots of thumbs up!  Now I am hooked on moving 5-6 times per week given how well my heart has responded!  I want my resting heart rate back down to the 50's.  :)

So I do sit around a lot still!  But as for the food - would LOVE to eat ready to eat meals!  Especially with 3 kids!   But over the last 5-6 years I have done extensive research and attended conferences on proper eating - and I will just say that the FDA and the food pyramid are wrong!  So knowing what I know about processed food and how food is grown in this day and age, I can honestly say that I cannot go back to that way of eating - maybe I personally could if I had to - but I cannot and will not allow that for my kids.  I have many health issues - small and minor, but still there - from all the processed foods I grew up on.  I have seen significant changes in my kids and other kids I know when the diet is changed to an all natural, organic one.  People make huge errors even with the "natural" diets - they buy organic whole wheat bread and think it's good for them.  It's better than the white bread, but still bad for the body.  So there is just too much I now know that pushes me to eat as natural as possible.  Do we still eat pizza from time to time?  YEP!  We have our cheat days.  But they are the exception.  We even eat ice cream!  But I make it home made from raw milk and raw cream and raw sugar.  I even make my own vanilla extract.  But before going through TSW, I had 5-6 years of making these changes - so they are no longer difficult or seem like a lot of work as it is now just normal for us as a family. 

As for being a hero or hardcore - well ladies, thank you, but you are way toooo kind!  :)  I have always pushed myself to obtain my dreams and goals.  I wanted a job when I was 15 - but the babysitting jobs were not enough for me.  On my 16th birthday I walked to the store (only a mile away) and filled out an application and told them I wanted a job.  I got it and it helped build in me more and more determination and strength.  I often worked 2-3 jobs while going to college.  Everyone in my family were hard workers - from my parents to my grandparents to aunts and uncles.  So I had a good foundation for hard work.  It was normal in our family.  So going through TSW is very hard, but I still push through it to do as much as I can for my family - I want to instill that hard work attitude in my children.  Before TSW I was working full time as a nurse, homeschooling my 3 children, helping to renovate the house we are living in, cooking natural meals, and keeping the household running smoothly.  But some things suffered - like I was out of shape because I could find no time to exercise.  We still are not unpacked after living here for a year - granted we plan to move again soon, but again there is no time for me to be going through all the stuff still packed.  I used to organize all the kids clothes - but now I leave it up to them so their closets and drawers are messy - but at least the clothes are clean!  We also take our laundry to a laundry service - again time is severely limited in our busy lives, so many things have had to be put aside or serviced out.  Hubby spent so much time remodeling the house that we had to hire out a lawn service to mow our 2 acres here. 

Anyway - point is I just do what I can when I can.  But I was blessed with a foundation in hard work and persevering through hard times.  There was no room in life to feel sorry for oneself.  I apologize all the time to my husband for crying about my TSW.  He keeps telling me I have every reason to cry, but it is so ingrained in me that one should just not complain.  But this TSW has taught me to slow down.  It has taught me that it is OK to focus on myself at times - because if I don't take care of me, who will be there to take care of my kids and hubby and anyone else in my life?  It has taught me that life is hard but God is always there right besides us.  It has taught me that there are so many others worse off than myself - but it is still OK to cry about what I am going through. 

Hang in there fellow warriors!  Do only what you can!  Give yourself a break and realize that this is a very difficult thing to deal with and go through.   I will keep posting as much as I can - even if it's about stupid or mundane things! Sometimes we just need to know others are getting through each day so we can get through ours!  You are all in my prayers! 

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