Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hey, Everybody...

It's been a while.  Sorry.  I've just become one of those bloggers, haven't I?  I wanted to update everyone on my health hassles, since several of you have kindly emailed checking on me (thanks!). 

I went to get the blood tests that my doctor wanted quite some time ago, BUT- I never got to go back into the office to hear the results until just recently because I got the flu.  No, wait...  I didn't really get the flu.  I got The Flu.  We seriously think it could have been H1N1, but I never went in to get tested so we'll never know for sure.  Our doctor's office didn't want me to come in with the flu (go figure) and said I'd have to go to the emergency room if we suspected H1N1, so I kept thinking I'd ride it out at home as long as I could until it really felt like an emergency. I certainly felt sick enough for it to be H1N1, but eventually it started getting better.  I've honestly never had the flu so long or so bad in my life.  I'll spare you the disgusting details, of course, but it was bad.  Really.Really.Bad.  And... Just.So.Gross.  Really.  I was wishing I'd just die already and be done with it.  Really.  Bad. 

So...  Once I was well enough, I went to the doctor (haha... funny) and found out that I do in fact have hypothyroidism (that's underactive) and diabetes. I also have slightly high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I've been put on two new meds and the doc said I should begin feeling much better.  Her exact words were, "No wonder you've been feeling so sick."  Ha.  Yeah.  No wonder.  She said my thyroid levels were almost twice what they're supposed to be and that would account for the symptoms I've been experiencing.  Even my ridiculously intense and embarrassing sweating could be due to one of my "conditions" (I forget which one causes the sweating.  There was an awful lot of information to take in at the time).  And here I thought I was just a fat, sweaty pig.  For now my diabetes will be managed with one of the new meds and diet changes.  She's giving me a couple months to get my diet under control and then I have to go back for more blood work. 

Shortly after getting back in to see the doctor, I had a relapse of The Flu and I'm just now feeling better.  I've been in self-imposed exile for what feels like an eternity, trying to keep my kids from catching this horrid crap.  I feel like I've barely seen anyone for weeks.  I was just telling Darrell today that it's really, really hard not to kiss your babies.  I have to constantly stop myself from kissing those gorgeous, fat, little faces.  So far, so good though- no one else seems to be catching it. 

The good news about the health problems is that the doctor said I should notice weight is just falling off (at least at first, then I'll have to work at it).  She thinks the thyroid problem has been keeping me this heavy.  The bad news is that I still have to make radical changes in the types of foods I eat.  Here's the thing...  I never eat a healthy meal on purpose.  No, I'm not joking.

I don't know the first thing about eating or cooking healthy.  These are the guidelines the doctor gave me: I'm supposed to get rid of everything white- meaning no more foods containing processed white flour or white sugar.  I'm supposed to cut unhealthy fats and carbs.  My whole life is one big unhealthy lump of fat and carbs.  No joke.  I'm supposed to eat lots of whole grains and lots of veggies.  I can still have some fresh fruits, but more vegetables. 

The only veggies I really eat are baked potatoes slathered in butter and sour cream, corn on the cob with butter and salt, or salad covered in fatty bleu cheese dressing and tons of cheese, so you can see I have a real problem on my hands.  Even fruit is a problem for me- strawberries are covered in chocolate or dipped in sugar, apples are wrapped in caramel.  I'm like a spoiled kid at a carnival, trapped in a big, fat adult's body.  It's time for the kid to get a time-out and the adult to take charge.

I want to get better.  For my kids' sakes.  I want to change.  Finally, it's not a matter of vanity and wanting to get into a smaller size jeans.  I want to feel good and be healty and I want healthy kids. 

So...  how do I do that?

I've ordered a few books from Amazon about eating for adrenal health and managing diabetes through diet, and talked to the kids (and their father) and told them that the whole family is going to start making some healthier choices so we'll see how it goes.

The healthy changes are going to start the day after tomorrow though, because my hub and beautiful babies are taking me out to lunch for my birthday (They have already baked me a cake, decorated the house with balloons, and there is a huge gift- wrapped in Tinkerbell paper- waiting for me on the table.  Yes, I know...  I've got it good.).

Yes, my birthday.  I'll be 43 flippin' years old tomorrow.  And I'm giving myself a gift this year.  The gift is in the form of a goal that I actually plan to meet.  My goal is that I'm going to be healthier by forty-four.  In one year (mark my words) my weight will be down (maybe not as far down as I'd like, but down), and I will have reversed my diabetes to the point of not needing the medication.  I will have learned to incorporate healthy foods into our daily life and be feeding my family healthier meals.  So there you have it.  It's down in black and white, so I have to do it.  And I'm giving up diet soda...  Maybe.  But not today.  Let's play it by ear on that one.

As always, your comments and advice are appreciated.  If I have healthy eaters out there, give me suggestions.  And recipes!  Healthy, but good-tasting meal ideas for the family would be awesome!  The only thing I probably won't try cooking is seafood.  We are not a family of fish/seafood eaters.  If God had wanted me to eat fish, he wouldn't have made it taste so fishy.

And lastly- while I've been sick, I've totally lost touch with all my favorite blogs... again.  I miss you guys.  Hope all is well!  It's going to take me forever to get caught up so drop me a comment letting me know you're okay!


Jim Purdy said...

You asked for suggestions, so here goes:

Don't just blindly follow anybody's suggestions ... not bloggers, not the many diet doctors with books on Amazon, and not even your own doctor. Everybody's different, and what works for somebody/everybody else may not work for you.

You need to start somewhere, and your own doctor's advice is a reasonable place to start, but you may have to change the advice and/or the doctor if it doesn't work. Trust your body to tell you what is right for you. Be really aggressive with diet changes, and try to get off meds.

For me and many other people, a low-carb diet works best. On a low-carb diet, lots of things change:
BAD = carbs, grains, fruits
GOOD = fats (except trans-fats), and especially salmon. Look for wild salmon, not farmed. Canned wild salmon could be a good choice.

Just my suggestions ... but see what works for you. Best wishes.

Laura L. said...

Hi. I'm so glad to hear you've had a check-up. I'm so sorry to hear about the health issues. The good news is that you are already on the road to better health. That's wonderful!

The weight will indeed come off when you do the No White Carbs thing. I've been trying to do this same type thing for a couple of months now. For the most part, you'll be only eating stuff from the fridge/freezer, unless it's whole grain things like brown rice, oatmeal, unsweetened hot cereals, canned veggies, unsweet applesauce.

Consider keeping precooked chicken in the freezer (fajita meat is good). It's quick for salads or along with fresh veggies at lunch.
Once you're off most of the sugary stuff, breads, chips, tortillas, etc. you won't crave them quite as much. The fruits, veggies, eggs and oatmeal and popcorn will sound so much better to you. :)
Try not to get overwhelmed, although it must seem like an awful lot of info to take in at the moment.
I know you want your family to also eat healthier, but try to focus mostly on you at the moment. You deserve to get YOU healthy and feeling better.

I too was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a couple of years ago. I read recently that a large number of women will have thyroid issues as we age. LADIES, HAVE YOUR THYROID CHECKED every couple of years. If it's hyper or hypo, it can really throw a lot of body systems off. It's a simple blood test.

You're going to do well and feel so much better. One day at a time.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so glad your doctor was able to figure out what's going on. That alone has to make you feel a little better.

I understand where you're coming from with the diet changes. I've always been big on whole grain/fiber type stuff, but I also really like chocolate and Stacey's pita chips. And I'm not a creative cook. But I have found it's very easy to buy pre-cut romaine lettuce in the bags, toss it with some light ceasar dressing and a little bit of parm cheese and voila, a side salad that goes with most everything I cook. It's a change from the microwaved veggies anyway.


Tracy said...

Happy birthday!! I've been going to weight watchers. They have been teaching me how to eat healthy. It might be something that may help you.

Tami said...

Happy Birthday!!! So glad your doctor figured out what was going on and that now you're on the road to good health. Sorry I don't have any amazing food tips for you. I'm pretty much in the same boat you are...I am a real picky eater (thankfully my kids aren't and I'm a mean mom who makes them eat relatively healthy things). I need to make the same changes you are, so I'll be reading the comments with interest! :)

Nancy said...

Happy Birthday! And I too am glad you got some answers and have reason to believe you'll start to feel better.

I just try to think about what I CAN eat and do, and not about what I can't. It just feels more positive that way. And Laura is right, after a while you don't miss the things you used to love, quite amazingly actually.

I'm in the same boat with you. I'm 100 pounds overweight and miserable, but making changes because I want to see as many days with my children as I can. I could give a rat's a** what I look like, but I do care what it looks like to my kids when I choose unhealthy food over them. Pretty sobering.

One positive outcome has been that my daughter is now eating more healthy too, and we race for the carrots and fight over who gets how much spinach and broccoli. Now that's a FIRST in our household :) They definately take notice.

Thanks for sharing your new adventure with us, I'll be pulling for you!

Christina Hubbard said...

Hope you have a Happy Birthday!

I know you can do this! My Dad was diagnosed with diabetes and given 6 months to get it under control or he would have to go on meds. He did it...and if he could do it ANYONE can!! I will be praying.

**We finally received a referral of a beautiful (now) 5 month old baby boy in Sept. We switched to the Ethiopia program from the Vietnam program right before you all switched. We are hoping to have him home the beginning of the year. It has been a long almost 3 years for us...but I have so enjoyed following your blog and your journey to your little one.

LaLa said...

So glad you got a diagnosis...and that there are things you can do to make yourself feel better. I hope you are able to make enough changes that you won't have to do a lot of meds : )

Take care of yourself!!

Elaine said...

Happy birthday! I agree with Jim, you need to experiment a bit. And I don't mean with hot fudge sundaes and Taco Bell, or whatever. But different things do work for different people. As far as books, I would suggest reading (corny as it is) Marilu Henner's total health makeover. That book made a huge difference in the way I understand food and eating (which isn't to say I do a great job now, but I do much better than I did before reading that book). Also, I have her cookbook and would be happy to pass it on to you if you want it. She uses a lot of soy (which I can't eat) but you can replace it with actual dairy (which I also can't eat), so the book is basically worthless to me. Another good one is Potatoes Not Prozac. I don't remember the author. You can get it cheap on half.com, just make sure you get the newest printing of it, because apparentl she's added to and changed some things since I read it back in 2000. But? She advocates that you eat baked potatoes! So that has to be good, right?

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!!! I'm so glad to hear from you! All of that makes so much sense now with your symptoms. My mom has rec'd a similar diagnoses. I don't have any advice, but I will tell you that since my mom started her diabetes meds she has finally lost weight - doing the same things she was before but finally getting results. Good for you for figuring it out and setting goals!!!

But enjoy your cake today!

Anonymous said...

Hey Happy Birthday! I miss your blogging, but I'm glad you're feeling better and know the cause of your ick.
I know what you mean about the cooking. I don't really like to cook, but a couple simple things I do is 1)use only whole grain (bread, pasta) EXCEPT our rice. Sorry, I gotta' have white Jasmine rice and I just don't think billions of tiny Asian people are killing themselves by eating it!:)2)I try to cut out butter and oil at all times. We have non-stick cookware, so it works pretty well. 3)I find fat-free dressing that actually tastes good to me. It took some experimenting, but they're out there. 4)We eat boneless, skinless chicken breasts (and fish) during the week, M-Th. On weekends, we splurge on meat if we want, but not for every meal or anything. So, this isn't going to get you into a size two, but it's a place to start if you're looking for one!

Heidi said...

First--happy birthday. And good luck with healthy eating. I was a lot healthier of a eater before I had a child. Now I eat McDonalds in the car on the way to work and candy for dinner at my desk. But if you're willing to give it a try, so will I. I just had an apple for breakfast.

As for news, we got a referral for our daughter from China so Sam will have a sister soon\

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

Can I just say how glad I am that you went to the doctor!? You must feel so much better just KNOWING why you were feeling so badly. Not that the things you have are good in any way, but at least now you know and you can come up with a plan. Good luck to you on that. I would be completely lost.

Michelle said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! To Christina H. and Heidi on your referrals! You've both been waiting so long and I'm over the moon for both of you. Best wishes to you both!

Patty said...

Wow----do we have a lot in common!!!! I will be turning 43 in a about a month and I was also diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year. I would highly recommend asking for visits with a diabetes specialist/nutritionist. I see one in Wichita and she is excellent....I highly recommend her. She helped me make slow and gradual changes to my diet and even though I'm not perfect, I do eat much better than I used too and my blood sugar levels have been great for the past several months. I would be glad to be your support buddy if you need one. Just let me know. I'm a member of the InternationalAdopt state group (which I think you still belong too?). Just give me a holler. I know it's rough in the beginning, but hang in there....it will get better!!! You will feel so much better in the next few weeks and months ahead.