Friday, October 16, 2015

1 month out

A little over a month ago is when my anxiety roller coaster started.  Things are getting better but I still have days that are not so great.  Yesterday I felt really good; I was in a great mood and no anxiety at all.  Today I feel sort of blah, tired and I had a bit of anxiety this morning.  So it's up and down for sure at this point.  But- I'm moving in the right direction.

This is what I have done so far:

-  I quit caffeine and alcohol 100%.  This has been hard because I'm so tired and I wish I could just have one cup of coffee!

-  I am eating 100% gluten free and most of the time I am trying to eat whole foods, not processed foods. I met with my dietician today and the next step is gluten and dairy free.  I am not excited about this at all because- cheese, yogurt and butter. 

-  I'm journaling before bed.  This is mostly a list of what I am grateful for and what I still need (ie: patience, support, not to feel guilty, etc.)

-  The kids are going to daycare pretty much full-time right now.  On Monday I will keep them home to see how I handle it.  I'm going to slowly ease back into keeping them home with me two days a week.

-  Spending more time outdoors, going for walks, sitting in the yard, trying to enjoy nature.  This always calms me down.

I did get some of my blood work back and it showed an elevated TSH level, a very low glucose level and a couple of other items out of range.  I'm waiting to hear what my functional medicine doc has to say about the results.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Freedom Farms

This weekend we went to a local fall festival at Freedom Farms.  The weather was perfect, the kids were so excited and I felt like my "normal self".  It was a day to be remembered that's for sure.

The pony rides were probably their favorite part of the day.  They each rode twice and we had to practically drag them away from the area when their turn was up.  They were in love!

Then we took a hayrack ride up to the pumpkin patch and picked pumpkins.  Gavin loved riding behind the tractor and we even got to see some cows (his favorite animal).
Next up was face painting.  Emily chose a butterfly and Gavin got a cow.

It felt great to be back in the swing of things and feeling like myself again. 
I hope you all had a great weekend too!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Emily & Gavin Lately

I figure I've posted enough about myself lately and I miss writing about the kiddos so here's an update.


She's going to be 4 in a little over 2 weeks and I can't handle it.  She loves learning anything and everything and is always asking questions. "How do you spell this momma?  What does this word start with? What's 4+5?"  All day.  She can write her letters and spell all of our names.  She's working on learning to write her numbers and she's pretty good!  She loves music and dancing so much. She can hear a song one or two times and learns the words very quickly.  Her favorite things right now are rocks and jewelry.  We collected lake glass on our vacation this summer and she has quite the collection of glass and rocks that she sorts through and plays with all the time.  I also went through my old jewelry box and gave her a bunch of my old jewelry and she is obsessed.  Her sleep is fantastic- she goes to bed around 8:00 every night and after a couple of songs and naming our favorite things from the day I usually don't hear another peep out of her.  She wakes up around 6:45 or so every morning.  We went through a little phase where she was waking up crying at 4am daily and I got her one of those "alarm clocks" that turns green when it's ok to get up and that stopped that problem the next day.  Her relationship with Gavin is pretty funny.  She loves her little brother so much but she gets annoyed with him from time to time.  She does try to help him do things and she takes good care of him at daycare, which makes my heart swell.


Gavin is 2.5 now and he is so funny and is always laughing about something silly. The past few weeks he has started a difficult phase.  The whining about everything, crying and throwing himself down if he doesn't get his way phase.  It's hard.  I think it happens because he is frustrated.  He wants so badly to do everything that Emily can do and when he can't he gets very upset.  He also doesn't talk very clearly so we have a hard time understanding what he's trying to say sometimes.  He has started sort of stuttering at the beginning of sentences and I remember Emily going through this too.  It's like their little brains are moving faster than their mouths can get the words out.  He is all boy as far as being physical.  He loves wresting around and climbing all over his dad and jumping off anything and everything.  He is much more daring than Emily which gives me a heart attack daily. He loves our animals and walks around the house calling for them during the day "Where are you Sadie? Where are you Pete?"  His favorite things right now are animals, trucks and trying to do anything that Emily is doing.  He follows that girl around and does exactly what she does all day long.  His sleep is not great.  He fights going to bed for over an hour and he wakes up at 6am on most days.

Mostly, I'm just so thankful that I have these two little ones in my life. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The stone is finally gone!

Thank God, the stone is gone.

We went to the hospital at 7:30am yesterday for my second surgery.  I got checked in, got my IV and talked to the nurse anesthetist.  He told me I would be under general anesthesia and the urologist would use a laser to break the stone and then remove it.  If everything looked ok he would also remove the stent and I would be good to go.  Then the urologist came in, told me the same thing and said he would see me in 4 weeks for a check up.

So off to surgery I went, it was quick and before I knew it I was waking up in recovery.  About 2 hours later I was able to go home.  I was sore but not nearly as sore as I had been the past few days. The doctor had given Steve these pictures when he went to update him.  Crazy that something so small can wreak such havoc.

When we got home, the kids were across the street with Grandma and they came over for a few minutes to say hi and bring me flowers they picked.  They are just the cutest.  They have been handling this so well and I am thankful for that.

All of this seems like a weird practical joke and I'm ready for some calm in my life.  Or at least no trips to the ER in the near future.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Another trip to the ER

Yesterday I was starting to feel better pain wise from my ovarian cyst rupture.  My anxiety has been under control and I've been feeling better all around.  We went to our friend's son's birthday party and we all had a great time. The kids has their faces painted for the first time and they were so excited!

After the party the kids really wanted to see Grandma and Grandpa so we dropped them off and went home to relax a bit.  After about a half hour I started to have sharp pain in my lower right back.  The pain was gradually getting worse and I told Steve we might have to go back to the ER.  In my mind I was thinking, "are you f*cking kidding me??".  We called Steve's parents and told them what was going on and within 10 minutes the pain went from bearable to unbearable- I might throw up- get in the car and drive fast.  I think I screamed at Steve to go faster the whole 30 minutes to the hospital.

They got me to a room pretty quickly and gave me pain meds thankyoulord.  Then we waited for another CT scan and talked to the ER doctor (same guy who saw me on Wednesday- crazy).  My CT scan showed a 6mm kidney stone backing up my kidney flow and causing quite a bit of swelling.  The doctor did not know why it didn't show up on the scan from Wednesday and he also said that my kidney looked normal on the scan from Wednesday.  So he consulted with the urologist on call and they decided I would be going to surgery at 8pm to see if he could get the stone out.

Long story short, he wasn't able to get the stone out so a stent was placed and I go back in tomorrow to have the stone broken up with a laser.

Lord I need a break.

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!