I am Strong (and highly resilient)

I was talking with a client and friend the last couple days and she and I easily agreed that the last two weeks have been a test of sanity (or just a plain old shit show) for both of us. I’m thinking it’s in the energy right now for many of us.

Have you had a rough two weeks? How have you coped? What have you learned?

Even though things have been crazy and awful and just a huge test, I feel blessed because I’m learning more about myself, and learning more about the need for self care.

In the last two weeks I’ve experienced:

September 16, 17 & 18th: A new, great full time job that did a 180 after 3 days and turned out to be a nightmare.

September 18th after work: I slipped and fell at a local grocery store. Reported it to the grocery store. Started stiffening up (fibromyalgia/CFS) and my body was processing it like I had been in a car accident. I had trouble sleeping because of the pain.

September 19th: I went into work in the morning but had to go to the ER about 1.5 hours in. The Assistant Manager said they probably wouldn’t let me go to the ER and to talk to my GM (even though I told them of my slip and fall accident). I couldn’t find him, so I told someone and left.

I went from work straight to the ER.

I was evaluated, got an NSAID shot, lidocaine patches, and directions for care. I was told to follow up in 1 week with my PCP.

September 20th: I went to therapy, told her of the fall and we talked things out. I was sooo pissed about the fall, the job not working out (I want full time work and financial stability SO bad).

September 21st: Worked from home doing my other job.

September 22nd: Went to my dads on my day off to hang out. Was in a ton of pain after a short time, so I left and went home.

September 23rd: Got a text from the dentist that I was due for a cleaning. I was a nervous wreck but called and was able to get in same day. Had my annual x-rays done and found out I have had tiny cavities forming for over a year, but they didn’t need to be drilled yet because they hadn’t formed enough.

Now they do “conservative dentistry” where they give you a prescription for a really high-dose fluoride toothpaste and if you use it as directed the teeth and cavities can re-mineralize, stopping the cavity from getting worse. (grateful I didn’t need drilling) Got my cleaning done, went to Walgreens for my $30 prescription toothpaste and went home.

September 25th: I went to therapy (sooner than norm because she had a conference.) We talked about a lot. My pure-O (OCD) is a bitch. I learned some new thought reframing exercises to do this week. – So apparently, I have had OCD (pure-o form) for decades undiagnosed. I just figured everyone had thoughts like I did and just fended them off like I did. But come to find out, they aren’t of the norm and the stress they cause and the fighting I have to do (and have been doing) is exhausting. I have been doing EMDR for the last handful of months with my therapist in addition to regular talk therapy and some exposure therapy (desensitization). Well, because I have been making great progress, I was ready to do something new 2 weeks ago. My therapist gave me homework and had me write down all my OCD intrusive thoughts and just write and write and write. I did. It was a little insane to write them all down and honestly, we talked about how I was worried I would be hospitalized if anyone read these. But where I have a severe anxiety disorder, OCD, agoraphobia with panic, and mild depression – we determined I wouldn’t do as well in a hospital or retreat – and we put that fear to rest to quell the OCD thoughts of me worrying I would be hospitalized. I mean, these thoughts and everything have been going on in varying severity for decades, I am used to them. So, I wrote and wrote. And I brought my notebook to this appt, she asked if she could read them, I said yes. I said, “there is a lot of repetition in there” (I wasn’t anticipating it…) and she read through and said, “I anticipated there would be”.

So we then went through the notebook and she saw a pattern we needed to address which is the OCD mind never let me rest about my weight gain (from the high fat diet – more on that soon) and losing weight and food, and my horrible relationship with food. (My mother and grandmother on my mothers’ side, did refer to me as fat, as “filling in” and also commented on pictures I was in as a child and teenager about how my face looked in pictures. They wanted me to put my face and chin up when photographed so I would look less fat and not have a double chin thing appear because I put my head and chin down too far.)

I was advised from there a new thing to try and that is to put ahead of these thoughts: “My mind is telling me ….”. Because it isn’t ME telling me these things, it is the anxiety and OCD. My mind is a bitch. This is just one example of this. It is incessant on so many things. So, I wrote “My mind is telling me …” on my arm with kids tattoo markers from Michaels craft store. And every time I had that thought come up, I would be reminded to refrain it with “My mind is telling me…”

In addition to journaling, writing things on my arm, going to see her, doing EMDR with her (which I can’t do while injured like I am – we have mostly been talking since the slip and fall), listening to binaural music as directed, and more I came upon a hypnosis track that I found helped me in December when I wanted to lose weight. It worked. Until I stopped listening to it. Then I fell off the path and had trouble keeping consistent in my efforts.

Well come to find out that track (which I started listening to a day or two prior to my therapy session) has bilateral music and is a bilateral track. It pans back and forth from one ear to the other (with headphones on). This EMDR based, bilateral (and also binaural if you select that one) helps keep me on my weight loss and self-care efforts because it is the most therapeutic for helping the OCD mind that I have. I didn’t notice it until recently, but I find it amazing. The mind is amazing (and a bit of a bitch).

Oddly enough, when you get readings from me, it is like I go into another mental state. My mind is calm and quiet. I focus on you, your energy and connecting to guides. OCD is no where to be found. I get the reading done and then go back to my regular state of being. I think it is interesting how I can tap into different parts of myself to do things like readings. Some may say that because I have OCD and other anxiety-based problems, that I wouldn’t be able to read others. However, I know from experience that I just set aside my normal brain and mind and go into a different state of mind to do these readings, to connect to the self, guides and higher being. It is really interesting. I am learning so much from myself, and from EMDR and therapy as a whole.

September 26th: I went to my GP and followed up on the slip and fall. Pain is getting a bit better, but it is taking its sweet time improving and flares up a LOT from time to time. I was told not to lift anything for 10 days, to keep moving so I don’t stiffen, keep taking NSAIDS, and they got me more lidocaine patches. They told me to follow up in 10 days and if the pain is still there, I would need physical therapy. I was also offered muscle relaxers but given the medication I am already on; I didn’t want them. I would just be sitting there drooling on myself if I took them. While there I also got my follow-up pneumonia shot and my flu shot. I hate being told I can’t do something (like lift stuff). I really don’t like having to get help from others – like carrying groceries in, etc. It bothers me.

September 27th: [BEWARE – THIS PART HAS GROSS STUFF DESCRIBED IN IT] I went to my GYN to talk about re-adding Femara into my day and come to find out, I was due for a PAP. During this appt I was validated in my thoughts and recent research that fat and a high fat diet are bad for endometriosis and those of us with estrogen problems. Which is why I gained weight so fast and why it is hard to lose it. My exam showed I had endometriosis spreading now to my cervix and while in there she scratched it (a cervical ectropion) meaning, I have been bleeding since it was scratched. And because the endometriosis has been flaring up a lot the last two months, I am now scheduled for a pelvic internal ultrasound mid-October.

I was advised a few years ago to eat more fat, add more fat into my diet, and eat a high fat diet – all to lose weight. At the time, I was about 185 pounds (5’ 8”). I wanted to get down to my norm of about 164. My PCP at the time advised this, so I did it. I started gaining upwards of 3-5 pounds overnight. OVERNIGHT! You might be thinking – well fat is highly caloric (I know it is) – BUT I was tracking every calorie at a deficit to LOSE weight, but instead I was putting it on for no reason. My weight went up and up and up. Still she advised the same, told me to also eat more protein and cut carbs. I tried and I even talked to an ayurvedic MD too and she advised similar. So, from around early-2016 to late-2018 my weight creeped higher and higher. In December of 2018 is when I decided to listen to the hypnosis track and make an effort to lose weight. In December I was tipping the scale at 221 pounds. Depressing, and my highest weight ever. I lost about 7 pounds but fell off my consistency a few weeks post-stopping my hypnosis tracks. I have at least maintained around 213.5-215.5 the last 7 months. But I am back at it, with femara in my blood and eating a LOW FAT, high fiber, high protein diet. Plus, hypnosis tracks every day. Fingers crossed it works. I already feel a bit lighter. I hate fat – like oils and stuff. They are so heavy and being Vata/Kapha dominant with a slightly strong Pitta mind in the background – fat is not my friend. Plus, my digestion sucks so processing fat isn’t the easiest.

In case you are wondering, I fired this PCP in October 2018. I told myself – if she advises me again, to eat more fat, add fat and eat high fat – I am getting a new doctor. She told me the same, again about the fat. I got a new PCP.

Additionally – for those interested in endometriosis. Endometriosis is a reproductive disease where the endometrium lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus wherever it wants. The problem is it causes pain, extra bleeding, and grows. It is highly responsive to chemicals (dioxins), and extremely responsive to stress. Endometriosis is estrogen dependent – estrogen fuels and feeds the endometriosis. Having been formally training in research, data analysis, writing research papers, etc. I did research while in college and found that Femara (letrazole), an aromatase inhibitor, has the ability to starve the endometriosis of estrogen. Femara is an estrogen blocker. Taken with something like Aygestin (progestin) or similar, can also help further. Aygestin can help stop the periods, and quell the endometriosis or make it more manageable to a degree. The progestin (it is my understanding, which could be incorrect) offsets the estrogen in the body. Endometriosis needs estrogen, so we are offsetting with progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone). So together, you have a great combo. Problem is, Femara can cause bone density problems like osteoporosis, but the Aygestin can counter some of those effects. Plus, making sure to take calcium, vitamins and vitamin D can help too.

Eating high fat fuels the estrogen. Estrogen then gets stored in the fat and the cycle continues, grows and worsens. It is like the perfect storm for endometriosis to eat a high fat diet.

Same day and bleeding:

I had 2 interviews to go to that day. One at 2:30pm and another at 4:30pm. I am still actively seeking work and if I am not dying, I will go. So, I did.

The first interview was somewhat promising when she was telling me about the position, her needs, and whatnot. Then it came time for me to tell her about myself, my experience, how I can help her, etc. And throughout our 30 or so minute interview, every time I spoke, she stared at me with big wide eyes, not blinking, and with a big scary grin smile on her face, while nodding incessantly. I couldn’t even look her in the eyes or at her face directly for more than a second at a time because she was creeping me out. I thought I could get past it and considered working for her (she offered me a part time gig), but she creeped me out. I can’t.

Second interview was for a retail chain as a backend admin part time. I showed up, we hunted for a manager to interview me. They didn’t know I was coming even though HR is the one that emailed me when to go in for my interview appt. They told me they were in the middle of hiring someone for the job I was interviewing for… but they interviewed me for less than 5 minutes because if that person didn’t end up taking it, they would offer it to me. Why was I brought in for an interview for a company that had already filled the position? I don’t know.

Still seeking work.

Anyway, got home, was a little peeved about the second interview and talked over the first interview with my fiance.

I was in so much pain this day from the fall and stuff I decided to take Advil 3 times that day and refrain from most activity.

I am supposed to be taking Advil in more potency and every 6 hours to treat the slip and fall. However, I don’t want Advil to eat away at my stomach so I take 600mg twice per day. However this day, I took it 3 times instead of twice.

And… somewhere between Friday and Saturday one of my vaccine sites decided to become an inflamed welt on my arm that was red and warm to the touch. (I was told it could happen and to ice it, so I have been icing it.)

Lastly, I have been feeling like I am coming down with something, so I have been using Zicam to remedy that off and on.

So, between working at a job full time for 3 days; going to the store and slipping and falling on a fruit I didn’t see on the floor; going to work the next morning only to end up in severe pain from the fall, with headaches, neck pain, nausea and losing the feeling in my arm; being told by them they probably wouldn’t let me leave; I left anyway; I went immediately to the ER, contemplated the job; was evaluated, given a shot and patch plus instructions for care. Quit the job. Went to therapy to rant about the fall and how inconsiderate and likely illegal my bosses were at my job (that also did a 180 in my duties). Taking Advil continuously, putting on a lidocaine patch every night. Going to the dentist and freaking out. Finding out I had cavities. Got my prescription toothpaste (which my insurance wouldn’t cover but is $30 per bottle). Brushing my teeth with this fancy toothpaste as directed (it has specific instructions on how much, how long, how frequent and what to do after I brush). In horrible pain from this stupid slip and fall accident. I challenged the agoraphobia and went to Trader Joe’s – which was successful. Went to therapy. Had a follow up appt for the fall. Was advised what to do, not to do, (no lifting anything for 10 days), and maybe need PT later, got my vaccinations. Went to the GYN, got endometriosis news, had my cervix scratched, bleeding (still happening btw), and found out my former GP had me eating the wrong foods for years (peeved). Went to 2 interviews, one featuring someone who freaked me out, and the other, I don’t even know why they called me in. All while doing regular stuff, readings, working from home for my other job, doing therapy homework stuff, EMDR, Zicam and more.

I am pooped. That is my last 2 weeks.

By the end of week 1, my therapist and I determined I had a tumultuous horrid week. By the end of week 2, I was in a WTF kind of tumultuous place. Still kind of am.

To top it all off, I found out Wix, who I use for email marketing, was selectively sending emails to my clients based on previous email opens. These are active subscribers, not those who are unsubscribed. I had no idea they were weeding through my client list and not emailing everyone. That just was the cherry on the top … After everything. I am just baffled for words. They were emailing 70 people, when I have over 200. Ugh!

Hopefully the weeks ahead are better than the last 2 weeks have been.

What were my lessons and blessings from all of this?

  • I did about 26 hours of work at the full-time job, giving me a bit more money to work with this month.
  • The 3 hours I spent in the ER afforded me time to contemplate my job and how it was taking a 180, plus, how inconsiderate and likely illegal they were being.
  • Therapy was and always is productive.
  • The dentist found cavities but I didn’t need drilling. The cavities are small and they do different methods of cavity prevention now. So long as I use the prescription toothpaste as directed, I shouldn’t need to be drilled. (A blessing!)
  • I overcame some agoraphobia and went to Trader Joe’s
  • My follow up for the slip and fall was okay. I was given more patches, told not to lift anything for 10 days, and got my vaccinations out of the way. I might need PT.
  • Went to the GYN, got my PAP out of the way. Got Femara and diet advice, and am being monitored for more endometriosis misery and have been bleeding but at least I know the endo is spreading and we are doing some things now to remedy it.
  • 2 interviews that were WTF oriented but I guess got me out of the house.
  • And, all of the effects of the fall, the new dental routine, the routine of medicine, NSAIDS, patches, and movement restrictions, are all forcing me to do more self-care.

All in all, everything has a silver lining.

What has your last 2 weeks been like?

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