Monday, 15 June 2015

Still Fighting Strong

After quite a long hiatus I decided to pick up my posts again. I've been thinking about it and I'm not sure what purpose this blog serves me anymore. I don't know how much personal info I want to put onto the internet anymore and I have found myself feeling a lot more private these days. Perhaps my life has changed and I have more intimate parts that I don't want to share with the world because I value them more. I started blogging when I was 25 as a way to vent my fears and frustrations that come with going through a quarterlife crisis. Eventually I worked through some if those crisis points and so my blog evolved into more of a medical blog in which I discussed medical issues I dealt with but that got quite depressing and I'm not as obsessed with my health as some people are and i lose interest when I complain too much so I can just imagine someone trying to follow this blog would get bored stiff. Also I only end up blogging when something is wrong which is probably why only now have I thought about this blog again as my health as taken a bit of a dip lately and I've been home sick.

Since January, my partner and I have been trying to cut out all starches - bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, flour etc and were doing really well on it but then winter came and it's so hard to eat salad when it's freezing cold out. Add to that a particularly fussy eater that is my partner and you're limited as to what you can make. With me being the only food preparer in the house it gets a little overwhelming being having to decide what we're going to eat every day trying to keep it interesting and being limited in terms of ingredients. We also unsuccessfully tried to reduce our sugar intake but that didn't work well at first. We're here on work visas and have to re-apply every year and my partner had to do his full medical this time round. It turns out his blood pressure was through the roof but he had just come in from working an extremely physical job. The doctor asked him to come back and get his blood pressure done again. The reading came down considerably but he was still considered as having high blood pressure.

It was at this stage we decided that we had to limit our sodium intake and sugar as this helps reduce blood pressure naturally. His blood pressure has been coming down steadily which is good motivation to stick to the diet and has opened our eyes as to how much sat and sugar is added to so-called "healthy" foods. In the process this has restricted our food even more and has become a point of frustration so we've gone back to starches. It's just a matter of convenience. We both work full days and with it being winter, the sun only rises at 8am and sets at 5pm so it's dark when we are at home and it's hard to get inspired and creative when you're hungry and tired. I know it sounds like excuses but I don't need to explain myself to anyone. That's just what's happened.

With all this going on, my partner has lost about 15kgs and me? I've put on 2kgs! It's so frustrating! We have been eating the same foods and I've been having less than he does as he's working a physical job all day whereas I sit at a desk. The only distinctive difference in us is the exercise factor. That's when I decided I needed to bite the bullet and join a gym again and run my ass off. I've done it in the past. Before I travelled, before my surgeries, before I quit smoking. I was slightly lighter than I am now and lost about 20 kgs. I felt great. I had more energy. I felt strong and powerful.  I think I was put off by the idea. The whole of last year I didn't work and money was a scarce commodity. Despite that, I paid to go to a gym. I joined a women only gym. I won't name names but it was a circuit set up where you had to move along every few minutes and you could go round as many times as you like but with these ladies only gyms I generally find and with this one in particular there were a lot of older women who need to get SOME exercise but not there for any substantial weight loss or uber fitness. It wasn't the right environment for me. It put me off the idea of gym as it didn't help with any weight change and I didn't feel better or fitter for it.

I started working finally and started walking home every day. Shortly after we started cutting out starches and with my partner on board finally I was sure I was going to finally start losing weight. I pushed myself every day walking around 45 minutes and doing about 4kms. I was proud of myself as I'd reduced my walking time from around 50 minutes to about 40mins when I really pushed myself. It still didn't help me trim down and I decided to get my thyroid checked out. There's a whole long story to that too. I used to take T3 as well as my T4 but New Zealand doesn't have T3 as a medication option so I had to take T4 only. I had blood tests and my results came back as the dreaded "normal" but I knew all was not right. I spoke to my endocrinologist back home and gave him my results and asked me to stick to the diet for a couple months longer and see if the tablets affected my metabolism. He said a too-high dose can also have a bad impact on my weight. I'm due for more blood tests. I've also been on the depo provera shot for about 2 years but I'm seriously considering being done with it altogether. I don't feel well after I've had a shot and I think it's adding to my weight woes. Also I feel like I need to give my body a break.

All that said and done I'm home sick now. Last Sunday we gave in and had KFC. I felt sick afterward. I thought it was the guilt of it all playing up physically but at the same time I gave in to it because I was tired and didn't have the energy to cook. As the evening went on I lashed out at my partner - we had an argument about food. I went to go lie down. By this stage I was feeling ill and started to get a generalised pain in my stomach. I stayed of work the next day. I felt a little silly about staying off for a stomach ache but it was really bad. I thought maybe it was gas or maybe I was constipated but all things seemed to pass through fine. so that wasn't the issue. The pain started getting more sharp in my side. On Tuesday, I went to the doctor. Because I'm not a resident, I am not funded so in order to save me some money on unnecessary tests y doctor who thought it might be my spleen put me on tablets to reduce my stomach acid. He thought perhaps I had an inflamed spleen and that it could be caused by an ulcer or irritation in my stomach.

The doctor gave me a blood form and said if the pain didn't subside in two days to go get my bloods done. I was feeling little better and went to work on Wednesday. Bad idea. Thursday after feeling worse again, I went for the blood test. Friday the results came back that there was no infection and no inflammation detected. Crap. The pain wasn't getting any better and I was getting concerned now so I went back to the doctor on Saturday. My doctor is away now so I went to someone else. He thinks I have kidney stones. They took a pee sample from me and I'm supposed to get the results today but nobody has yet called me back. I don't know if it is kidney stones or not but it is a more plausible cause of my pain and ill-health. I've also been given strong pain killers for the pain finally and so am feeling somewhat "high" and don't feel like I would be very good at work right now and not safe to drive myself. I also am concerned about getting a pain attack while at work where I normally go lie down to relieve some of the pain. Anyway, I hope it IS kidney stones. I think if my results came back as a no, I will cry again. I'm tired of being in pain and tired of all the uncertainty and unknown. At least if it's kidney stones, it's definitive and it'll be a matter of waiting for the stones to pass and I will have some relief. I will know there is an end point to the pain.

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