Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Much Needed Update!

So...  It's been a while since I last posted.  What's funny about that is that one of the last things I posted was a resolution to try to write and post more authentic stuff.  But I think the truth is that I just got bored of writing, and it was starting to feel like work rather than something I did because I enjoyed it.  I'm funny that way; I have many hobbies, because after a while the one I'm doing begins to bore me and I move on to something else.  I'm currently making earrings.  Last week I was sketching.  And next week I'm going to be quilting.  Who knows what August will bring.

I felt like I should write something though, because 2014 has brought a lot of change to our household as far as food goes.  I guess I'll start from the beginning, and hope I don't put you to sleep!

In November of 2013, I decided I should allow myself to make cookies.  Lots and lots of cookies.  For friends and family!  I'd make a batch of cookies every week and freeze them so I would have lots of cookies to give away at Christmas time.  I made everything.  I think I ended up making maybe 10 kinds of cookies, and had at least two gross of cookies in my freezer. 

Except I couldn't just make the cookies and put them away.  I started to eat them, secretly.  Every time I'd make cookies, I'd eat cookies.  And sometimes I'd sneak some out of the freezer.  I figured I had more than enough for all my friends and family, and I didn't think one or two cookies would hurt. 

Well, I'm here to tell you that two months of one or two cookies lead to 10 pounds of weight gain.  I was pretty upset at myself.  I swore that, come the new year, I'd get right back on the low carb wagon and lose that weight lickety-split. 

The only problem with this theory was that, shortly into January, Chad and I embarked on a pretty epic remodeling project.  I get overly excited about stuff, and started wanting to do everything and right now. It started as a project to fix the texture that was peeling off our 100 year old plaster walls, but quickly turned into repainting the whole downstairs and replacing the carpet while we're at it.  Like a fool, I ordered to have the carpet put in three weeks from when we started this thing, which means we had three weeks to scrape, retexture, and paint most of our downstairs.  Since Chad has to work, that meant that the majority of the work fell on me.  It was an intense three weeks. 

We managed to just pull it off in time.  I told Chad that the only thing keeping me going at the end was sugar, caffeine, and pain pills.  I was beat up pretty badly.  And two days after the new carpet was installed, I found out exactly how badly I'd hurt myself.

I started to develop a really curious problem.  When I sat down after being up and moving around for a while, the right side of my face would hurt.  At first it was mild and could be remedied by getting back up and  moving around some more.  The next day, the pain was worse and I had to get up and do really vigorous exercise to make the pain go away.  That night, when I had to lay down to go to sleep, was torture.  Eventually the pain went away, though, and I finally got to sleep. 

The next day was the worst day of my life.  The pain was endless.  If I moved around, the pain was bad, but if I sat down, it felt like my face was being stabbed by red hot knives.  The pain went down to my jaw and neck and ran up to my ear and eye.  I cried uncontrollably.  I had my mom take me to the urgent care place; unfortunately, I totally stumped everyone there.  The doctor finally told me that the only thing she could think it was was a condition where the nerve in the face is damaged and there's nothing that can be done for it.  I asked her if she could at least give me a strong pain medication, because ibuprofen and Tylenol weren't doing anything for me.  She sent me off with a prescription for a strong antibiotic and hydrocodone.  I hated taking both of them, but I was desperate. 

I kept crying and telling Chad that I just couldn't live like this.  I was terrified that the problem was what the doctor thought it was, though I really doubted it.  She told me to make an appointment with my regular doctor, but I decided to get into my dentist instead on the suspicion that it had something to do with my teeth.  At this point, I had realized that the pain was being caused by changes in temperature, and that's why sitting down after moving around made it hurt.  It's also why, at this point, I couldn't eat anything at all.  The hydrocodone seemed to help a little bit, but it took about an hour to kick in.

The next day, I started to feel a little tiny bit better, though I was still in a lot of pain, crying, and generally miserable.  I couldn't move without bringing on a wave of pain.  I knew I had to eat, but I couldn't eat anything cold or warm or anything I had to chew.  I ended up having Chad blend up room temperature soup so I could suck it through a straw, plus I drank room temperature milk.  I was just glad I could get something in my stomach.

The visit to the dentist was extremely interesting.  She took some x-rays and examined my mouth.  She said my teeth looked fine, though the gums were swollen.  The x-rays revealed something really curious.  I had a huge pocket of fluid right above one of my top molars (at this point it had even gone down a little).  There was nothing wrong with the tooth at all.  She asked me if I had sinusitis, but I wasn't having any issues with my sinuses.  She thought it was probably brought on by the flu or a bad cold and told me to just rest and continue taking the antibiotics the doctor had given me. 

It took me about a week to fully recover from the pain, and another week to start feeling normal again.  It actually took me a month or more to get my strength back.  And unfortunately, the infection had slightly damaged the sight in my right eye so now it's a little near sighted, and occasionally the difference between the vision in my two eyes makes me feel disoriented.  I got some glasses to help with the problem, but I'll never have my perfect vision back.

After that incidence, I was pretty sick with myself.  I knew the infection was caused by the sugar, caffeine, pain pills, and excessive amounts of hard physical work.  How could I have done that to myself?  I knew sugar was toxic, but I shoveled it in anyway because it gave me quick energy when I had nothing left to give.  I decided to go completely sugar and wheat free, for real.  No cheating.  No treats.  Just good low carb food.  I decided to give myself a reward if I made it to 30 days of being sugar and wheat free; I let myself buy $60 worth of spring bulbs to be planted in the fall.  I figured going back to being low carb, sugar free, wheat free would help me to drop those 10 pounds I'd gained, too.

And I made it to 30 days.  Then 60 days.  But the weight wasn't doing anything.  I may have even gained a couple of pounds.  I felt better, but not as good as I felt when I first switched to low carb.  I was feeling really desperate to move the scale and make myself feel better, to the point where I was starting to experiment with low carb calorie counting.  I tried to cut my calories back to 1600 a day, but that made me feel even worse.  At that point, Chad gently reminded me that it's probably not healthy to cut back on my intake if I'm trying to support a baby (which we're still trying to conceive). 

I think we'll stop this post there since it's already pretty long.  The rest of the story is much happier, and even though I can't say for sure that it ends well because life doesn't have neat little endings the way movies do, I can say that Chad and I are doing much better and feeling wonderful.  So then, see you next time!

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