Friday, October 2, 2015

What a night

Wednesday I met with my nutritionist for the first time.  She is awesome and she has a lot of experience helping people with anxiety and PMS (and many other conditions ) change their eating habits to relieve their symptoms.  We will meet every 2-3 weeks and go over her goals for me and what I have been eating and how I have been feeling.  My goals for the next two weeks are to go 100% gluten free and to control my blood sugar by eating breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and dinner.  If I eat fruit or a (gluten free) carb I need to "anchor" it with a healthy fat like avocado, coconut products, nuts or seeds.  So if I want an apple I need to have almond butter with it so that my blood sugar doesn't spike.  She also wants me to add more of these healthy fats to each meal.  Meeting with her helped me a lot and made me feel like I was doing something productive to feel better.

I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before so I had been a tiny bit anxious all day.  When we picked the kids up from daycare I was feeling really anxious.  For some reason the needs of the kids and the loudness/craziness has been triggering my anxiety.  It doesn't happen all the time but it happens.  So after dinner we decided to go for a walk because being out in the fresh air almost always helps to calm my anxiety.

We got home from the walk and I was feeling better, when out of nowhere I started having really sharp pains in my lower abdomen.  I thought maybe I needed to go to the bathroom but that wasn't the case.  I sat on the bathroom floor trying not to get sick and told Steve to call his mom (she has a long career in nursing).  When she got to our house I was feeling very faint, the pain was getting much worse and I was starting to hyperventilate.  She said we should probably get to the ER in case it was my appendix or another kidney stone.

I put on the bravest/most normal face that I could and said goodnight to the kids and off to the ER we went.  The ER doc was convinced it was my appendix but after a cat scan they told me I had an ovarian cyst that had burst and that I have three other cysts on my left ovary.

The upside to all of this is that I was able to keep my anxiety under control and besides being very sore I was fairly calm all day yesterday.

Here's hoping this weekend is a relaxing one.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Anxiety Part II

Yesterday was the first day in 2 weeks that I actually felt like myself.  I was so grateful to be able to drop my kids off at daycare, go to work, pick my kids up, make dinner, actually eat dinner and play as a family until bedtime.

It's amazing the little things that are taken for granted when we feel fine.

The mornings are still my hardest time of the day.  I wake up with a terrible jittery, anxious feeling and getting the kids fed and off to daycare is a struggle.  There is a lot of inner dialogue that goes something like this, "everything is fine, you can do this, take a deep breath, etc."

Things I'm doing to help with my anxiety:
-  Taking Zoloft 25mg daily and Ativan .5mg as needed
-  I haven't had any coffee or alcohol in 2 weeks
-  I go to spinning 2-3 times a week and I take a lot of walks, being outside helps a lot
-  I listen to guided meditation before bed and it usually puts me to sleep
-  If I start to feel overwhelmed around the kids, I remove myself and go somewhere quiet
-  I've been writing in a journal before bed
-  I use my essential oils all the time
-  Acupuncture and chiropractic
-  Therapy
-  I am meeting a nutritionist tomorrow that was recommended by my functional medicine doctor

I don't know how today will go but for now I am thankful that yesterday was a good day.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


I've always been an anxious person.  I can remember having anxiety attacks as early as middle school- although at the time I didn't know what they were.  As I got older I had them less frequently but they did happen from time to time during stressful situations like when my mom was sick or any time I've traveled.

Through all of those years I had never been on a daily medication or antidepressant for anxiety.  I had a prescription for Ativan to use as needed.  And I only took it when I was having a panic attack. 

I didn't have much anxiety after the initial hormone craziness when Emily was born.  I managed to stay pretty calm but I did have issues if I didn't sleep well.

Then I had Gavin and shit hit the fan so to speak.  I had PPD from his birth and surgery.  I was put on three different medications- 1 for sleep, 1 for anxiety and 1 for depression.  I had a horrific month of trying to get my body used to being on these drugs and I spent most of my days in bed, away from my kids feeling like a totally different person.

After about 6 months I was weaned off of the sleep medication and that went well.  Then I started using less of my anti-anxiety medication and everything was good.  I stayed on my antidepressant for over a year and then felt like I didn't need it anymore.  I talked to my doctor and we started the weaning process.  I've been off the antidepressant since March and I feel fine....most of the time.

My biggest issue- and this has been an issue since having kids- is PMS.  I'm talking the worst PMS I have ever had.  It starts after I ovulate and continues until I get my period and then poof I'm back to normal.

During this two week period I don't recognize myself.  I have zero patience, I am irritable, angry, just the biggest bitch- and I can't control it.  I yell at Steve & the kids for the smallest things.  I don't sleep well and I get anxious very easily, especially at night. 

Ten days ago I had a panic attack when I woke up on Sunday.  It was during PMS time and I didn't sleep well so I didn't think much of it.  I got myself through it with a phone call to my sister, a phone call to my aunt, a walk and a nap with the kids.  After the nap I felt pretty much back to normal.  Then it happened again the next day and every day since then.  It is awful & so debilitating.  I can't do anything.  I can't go to work and I can't take care of my kids.  Mornings are by far my worst time and by afternoon I can usually start being around the kids and doing things around the house.

Last Sunday it was so bad that I called the doctor that originally prescribed my antidepressant and I had his answering service page him.  He called me in a prescription for a different anti-depressant and I've been taking it since.  But the antidepressant isn't a "quick fix" at all.  It makes me tired, nauseous, irritable and I have a dull headache all day every day.

I met with a functional medicine doctor this week and I am hoping that she can find the root cause of my anxiety and PMS issues because I have a strong feeling that they are related.  After spending two hours with me asking questions and doing an exam, she feels there could be a number of hormone/dietary/supplement deficiencies that could be contributing to my problems.  She has ordered a lot of tests and she's checking for a multitude of things.  I've also started therapy and I've been to acupuncture a couple of times.

I just have such a huge feeling of guilt that this is happening.  I feel guilty that my kids schedule has changed and they can't stay home with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel guilty that my husband is taking on the extra stress of everything I do on top of his own work and school. I feel guilty that we are spending extra money on doctors and tests.  There is just so much guilt.

I've gone back and forth about posting this but I've decided I need to get it out and get it off my chest.    And maybe one of you out there has been through the same thing and has a suggestion that will help me.

Friday, April 10, 2015

it's only been 7 months.

Holy sh&t my last post was October 1st. 

I thought about jumping on and writing so many times but never actually got around to it. 

So if anyone out there is still reading- this is what has happened since October 1st. 

A ton, of course.  I'll give you the highlights.

Emily's 3rd birthday.  Oh my lord my little girl is 3 going on 30.  We did a pink and gold theme for her party and we took her to a fall festival where she got to ride a horse.  She was in heaven.  3 year old Emily is sweet, smart, cautious, and loves "mothering" Gavin (aka: telling him what to do). 

they loved the horses!

not the best family picture

Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We celebrated at home and both holidays were wonderful.  We did Elf on the Shelf for the first time (don't hate) and I freaking love those elves. Mainly because they got Emily to start potty training- I am not above bribery at all. 

Gavin's 2nd birthday.  G-buddy's birthday was a farm theme and he loved it!  Tractors, barns, and animals are his favorite. He is rowdy, wild, funny- and he loves to laugh. He is so different from his sister.  Emily is mama's girl and he is daddy's boy all the way.  He doesn't talk as much as his sister but he sure does know how to tell you what he wants.

Gavin with his Grandpas

My sister, Niki, had a baby! My newest niece, Charlotte, was born in February.  I made it to Illinois to be with my sister after delivery and it was the best time.  It's her first baby and she is a natural! 

Welcome to the world Charlie!

We went to Florida.  At the end of February we flew to Florida to visit my dad & his wife during their vacation.  We had so much fun staying on the beach and the kids never wanted to leave the pool.  While we were there we celebrated my 36th birthday (why does that sound so old??).  It was a nice break from the crazy Pennsylvania winter.

We went to Illinois/Iowa.  Last weekend we went to the Quad Cities to visit my family for Easter and to celebrate my dad's birthday.  Since the whole family was together we decided to get family pictures taken.  Such a good time!

Emily is in love with her cousin Knox

"I'm holding my cousins!!"

my wonderful family

It's been a good 7 months!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

toddlers are hard

Most people post "the good stuff" on instagram and facebook, right? I know I do- mainly so my family in Illinois can see what E & G are up to without witnessing the reality of toddler insanity that is every day life around here.  And it goes without saying, that I post what I do because I'm proud of my kids and I think they are pretty freaking cute.  But on an average day- my life looks nothing like it does on IG or FB.

Take yesterday for example, I was having a totally shit day with both kids screaming, Gavin refusing to eat, and Emily crying about basically everything in her life.....and I thought to myself, I can't handle this.  And if I'm totally honest, most days I feel like a below average mom because my kids are crying/fighting/not listening/not eating/not napping/not potty training/younameit and I'm losing my temper with them and I'm yelling (which helps nothing) and sending my husband texts that say, "you should probably come home before I lose it".

But during these crazy days, there is usually a moment with Emily or Gavin or both where I stop and think- "well, you must be doing something right because that was awesome". 

Yesterday, that moment happened when Emily and I were lying on her bed and she was pretending to read to me.  No book in sight, just flipping pages of an imaginary book and when she got to the 'end' of the book- she spelled the word 'please'.  I looked at her in shock and said, "did you just spell please??"  She just smiled.  I grabbed my phone and asked her to spell it again and she did!

We read Penguin Says Please to her every night and the last page has the word please in capital letters and she always points to the letters and then says- "please has 2 E's!". She basically knows the book by heart but how in the heck does she know how to spell??  Proud mom moment for sure, even if I have no idea how it happened.

So in between bribing Gavin to eat 2 bites of mac and cheese with Baby Einstein (on the living room floor)...

and Emily crying because her sock was on wrong...

there was a bright spot that let me know I'm doing ok at this mom thing.

(and yes, we were in our pajamas all day)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lately- September Edition

Well whaddya know, I'm here for my monthly blog post.  Hopefully some of you are still out there reading...

What's been going on over here?  I'll give you bullet points to keep it somewhat quick.

  • My little brother and my sister-in-law had their first baby!!  His name is Knox and he's the cutest damn thing I have ever seen.   

Emily is obsessed with him and she asks to facetime with "Mox" daily.

  • We celebrated Steve's birthday!  It was the big 3-5 so we left the kids with grandma and grandpa and went to the big city for a Pirates game.  We ran into one of Steve's baseball teammates from college and spent most of the game chatting and laughing.  We had a great night (had a few too many cocktails) and we saw Lynyrd Skynyrd play- SO cool. 

Sunday we tried to recuperate and had dinner and cake with Steve's parents.

  • Cold/pink eye/flu season is here and I hate it.  Gavin got hit first and it was bad.  We had to take him to Children's because he was having trouble breathing.  Since Gavin was born with a diaphragmatic hernia, he doesn't have the lung strength that a normal toddler has.  So when he gets a cold, it usually includes a trip to Children's for a chest x-ray, steroids and lots of worry.  He spent a week at home with me and had breathing treatments every 4 hours.  He's a tough little guy so he bounced back pretty quickly.  Of course, the week he went back to daycare both he and Emily came home with pink eye.  Joy. 

  • We are adding a four season room and deck to the back of our house and I cannot wait!!  I think/hope they are starting some demo work today and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that at least the room portion is done by Emily's birthday. 

  • Emily is acting like a teenager lately.  And she's funny, like- really funny.  She still has no interest in potty training (stubborn) and we need to ditch the paci soon- I am dreading that one (give me all your tips).  She's all about mothering Gavin lately which is the total opposite of their relationship so far.  It's super cute but I'm not sure Gavin is a fan.

  • Gavin is finally starting to say a few words.  I was beginning to wonder if he would ever talk!  He is a daddy's boy all the way- so much so that if I try to get him out of bed when he wakes up he throws himself down crying and says, "no, no, no- daddy!!".  It's an understatement to say that this breaks my heart.  He's also learning how to run and I could watch this all day long.  There is nothing better than a wobbly toddler is there?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I'm usual

Well it's been almost a month since I came here to write.  What is it about summer that gets me so far behind?  Oh yes- the sun, the kids, and Big Brother (who do you want to win??).

We just got back from our annual vacation to Lake Erie and let me tell ya- if you aren't vacationing with grandparents, you're doing it wrong.

We all have so much fun on this trip and I think I can safely say it's win-win for everyone.  The kids get to hang out with their grandparents (who they might love more than us) and Steve and I get to have some alone time while still having fun on the beach with the kids. 

Ever since Steve was 2 years old, he and his parents have gone to a private community in Vermilion Ohio on Lake Erie.  There is a great park for kids, a beautiful beach and some really amazing houses.  Last year was my first year on this trip and I fell in LOVE.  It's the most peaceful place I have ever been and it is now my dream to own a house here.

Emily is a beach girl for sure- she loved playing in the sand, walking in the water and helping me find lake glass.  She was not however, a fan of wearing a life jacket- so no boating or swimming in the lake for her.

Gavin was not a fan of the beach at first.  He didn't like the sand or the wind coming off the water.  Once the wind calmed down, he did start to warm up to the beach life.  He would throw rock after rock into the lake and he loved having water poured on his head.  But his favorite part of vacation was playing at the park and daily bike rides with Grandpa- oh and chasing sea gulls.

Steve and I had a couple of dates, which is always good.  

The kids played so well together (better than the norm) and we all had ice cream just about every day (I'm now on a diet).

There is just nothing better than a relaxing week away with your family, is there?


Now it's back to the real world - happy Tuesday!