So How Was Your Weekend?…the difficult questions for an invisible illness sufferer

So if you are blessed enough (like I am) to be at the stage of illness/treatment where you can hold down a job, I am sure you have heard this question on a regular basis…”How was your weekend?”
It’s a tough one to answer especially to coworkers who see you “functioning” somewhat normally, but don’t quite grasp that in order to do this at work it means you don’t have weekends.
Evenings and weekends are about recouping, resting, vegging. At least most of the time. That makes it very hard to explain to people that you really didn’t do anything, and this weekend was just like the weekend before, and the weekend before that, not much happened. It’s hard because, well, “you look fine” right? 😉

So I am just, just, poking my head back out of a pretty significant slump that has lasted for the last two months. Something I have learned from when I last had a period of time when I felt better, is not to use up all your energy. You see a couple months before my slump (I’m owning it!), I had a period of about two months where I felt better than I had in years, I did some stuff, I saw some people, I helped some people, and it was all good. Now I don’t think overtaxing myself was what caused my crash, but I don’t think it helped any either. So we live we learn right?

So this time as I am feeling a little more human again I am thinking of letting my body use most of my extra energy (I call it extra, normal people call it normal). Now I do want to see some friends again, and be able to do a few things, but I am going to be very careful.
I have been slowly coming out of my bad fatigue over the last two weeks, but last week was REALLY tough on my body with some nasty bladder/kidney symptoms and pain. I had gone to the doctor and I’m clear of any UTI or stones, the thought is that I was having a major detox. Thankfully those symptoms are ebbing away, and I am looking forward to (hopefully, fingers crossed, knock on wood, salt over shoulder…) some better days ahead.
So tomorrow I will face the inevitable question “How was your weekend?”
Answer: I actually got out to see a movie with a friend! Woot woot!

How do you feel when others ask you about your week/weekend? Does it depress you? Do the flood gates open? Or is it just no big deal?

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I don’t want attention

What is your default when you don’t feel well? Some people want attention, some people want to be comforted, some people want to pretend that they are better than they really are. Me? I usually just want to be left alone.
No offense to the dear people I love so much in my life, but it is really hard when you don’t feel well, you look gross and have limited energy to be around others.
For me I think there are two things that being ill long-term has fed in the way of insecurities; although I am a lot better than I used to be, but I still struggle with a negative body image. So when I put on a lot of weight and/or a lot of water weight (gee thanks GI issues and chronic edema) I feel really gross about myself and I don’t want anyone to see me. Also I am an introvert. INFJ/INTJ so it is easy for me to regress into my “cocoon.”

Okay for everyone out there that thinks being introverted means I don’t like people or am antisocial that’s not true! It means that I greatly value time with a few people vs a hoard, or one on one. There is nothing so wonderful as having a great conversation with one friend or a couple of good friends.
but when you don’t feel good, and or don’t look good, putting out social energy is tough.
So in these last several weeks with this little health setback I have been thinking that I have been isolating again. So I’m just putting those thoughts out there for today. Is this true for any other sickies out there?

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Have your Psychiatrist Shake Hands With Your Gastroenterologist…huh?

This article is a very interesting read about the connection between your digestive health and psychiatric disorders. Are they all related? Well no of course not, but it is interesting. After all, those reading this with autoimmune disorders that involve gut troubles know when you are having trouble, um, you know….moving, your head gets really foggy and you can’t think straight and every other symptom you have is greatly exacerbated.
Link to ABC News Gut To Brain Article

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The Battle Rages On….Fatigue, Ice Cream and Viruses!

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I have had a really rough 4-6 weeks of fatigue and poor willpower…
Fatigue goes along with Lyme anyway, but besides that I think I have had a few nutritional deficiencies sneaking up on me, plus my immune system has been battling whatever viruses are going around, this all adds up to extra fatigue. So what that partially means for me is food cravings combined with weakened will power, that lead to diet cheats that make me feel worse, ugh!
So what happens in those terribly weak “I can’t carry on” moments is that I am tired, so I want to eat for energy, which usually doesn’t do me much good. Also I tell myself “darn it you deserve it!”, or “normal people can eat this stuff and you are getting better, so you have a right to!” or “I know I felt horrible when I ate that last time, but that was a while ago, maybe you are better now” or “I don’t care how I feel tomorrow I have a right to enjoy that right now!”. Many other conversations and excuses go on in my head. The problem is when I am of sound mind and not feeling weak and horrible I can combat food cravings with knowledge and logic, but when the brains is fuzzy and the body is tired that ice cream just seems so logical….

Today, right now this moment I am still battling ongoing fatigue and I feel a cold coming on with snifflies, chills and sore throat, and I want ice cream!!!

Now what I am asking from everyone reading this is to be my logical mind for me right now, because I have not been to Cold Stone Creamery in years, and they have this marshmallow ice cream right now….

But I am trying to reduce my inflammation, starve any candida, lose those last 20 pounds, not make myself sick for weeks after messing up…….but MARSHMALLOW ice cream! I don’t want to set myself up for failure and swell way up, and gain any weight, and (MARSHMALLOW ice cream!!!!).

Any of you deal with this tug of war????

I Eat Good!

My chocolate cravings lately have been crazy! Admittedly it has caused a few slip ups…. 😦
But I just finished an amazing Chocolate Mint Milk Shake, delicious to the point of tasting like the full sugar nasty version, but it was totally diet friendly ( sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten & grain-free )

1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 very full tablespoons full fat canned coconut milk
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 drops peppermint essential oil ( don’t use any more than that, this stuff is powerful!)
1/4 tap guar gum
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
Approximately 2 1/2 cups frozen cubed zucchini (or whatever is needed to thicken)
2 droppers liquid stevia
5 packets truvia
Stick it all in your powerful blender ( go Vitamix!)
Enjoy

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So What DO You Eat?….revisited

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So it has been a while since I posted any food from my uber strict diet. I am again prompted to post because I have been getting those questions again…”what DO you eat?”

For any newbies I am gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free, starch-free, …no processed foods or anything artificial.
So for tonight I am eating
Zucchini Coconut Flour bread (yum!)
With chimichurri, egg, and gingered carrots