video: hypo diaries, pt.3 | it’s not all in my head (and that’s a good thing)

The meds are working and I’m starting to feel better. Even I can’t believe the difference a week made 🙂

An update on my new treatment and more.

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life: hypo diaries, pt. 2

Despite getting a less than satisfactory PCOS diagnosis, I was convinced the origin behind my recent cascade of symptoms lay elsewhere, and I was right! When in doubt, always trust your gut, I say. Too often, I’ve had to fight for the correct diagnosis and too often I’ve come away with less than satisfying results because the process is long, appointments are hard to come by, and co-pays start to add up. I have a yearly check-up with my endocrinologist (who was the only doctor willing to treat me when I fell into the gap between child and adult at age 15), and I was revved up for a fight despite a relatively good history. Luckily, no fight was needed. I told him how I was feeling (exhausted and ready to nap from the moment I wake up, unable to concentrate, unable to lose weight, bloated all the time, and more); he took one look at my numbers and confirmed what I long suspected: my TSH levels fell off the wagon. My symptoms all point to an underactive thyroid. My PCOS symptoms likely stem from this, rather than a hormonal or insulin imbalance (yeah, TSH is a hormone but you know what I mean).

Am I happy? No, but it is nice to have my suspicions confirmed and my feelings justified. I’m currently on a slightly higher dose of Synthroid, and will be running additional tests to gain more insight. It’s not a process I look forward to, but at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. My efforts won’t be entirely wasted if my thyroid actually gets the hormones it needs to function properly.

This also means I’m going to document my “journey” (gah, I hate that word). If there’s one thing I can talk about it’s being hypo. It affects every aspect of my life, from my physical to my mental health, daily actions and relationships. If your thyroid isn’t working, nothing works.

I’m working with a new camera. Please excuse learning pains.

 

video: hypothyroidism and WTF is up with my health

I filmed this video two months ago (wow! my hair has grown), but I was reluctant to post it at first. When all the other life drama hit, I decided to shelve it for a few weeks. Now that I’m embarking on a whole new health journey/experiment, I think the time is ripe to share my story.

I’ve written about my issues with weight, but I’ve never truly shared my story. This video barely covers the surface, but I like to think that this is my form of advocacy. If in doubt, keep searching for a second/third/fourth opinion. Health above all.

life: work. time. pcos.

Hello. Long time. Yeah, that happened. All schedules out the window; my head is awhirl with deadlines and documents, and no space for all the rest. Still working on promotion, still gathering evidence and examples. My NaNo project is on a slow roll, but progressing in between all the rest. Meanwhile, my home is a mess and my financial fast is not so fast. With all that’s happening, side goals have taken a step back.

In other news, I most likely have some form of PCOS, but my appointment was rescheduled just as I was driving to the office… so the official diagnosis will have to wait. I suspected. I have several of the symptoms, and my weight has been settling in odd places (odd for me). I want a diagnosis, but I don’t want to take hormones or metformin (for reasons I won’t go into, but it involves dependence, band-aid fixes, and other health issues that won’t jive with the treatment). I’m researching all I can, tracking my fertility (no babies! I want nothing to do with that!), and looking into medical research on supplements and other types of nutritional support (library with med school database access = librarian on the hunt!). Just received my latest order from Vitacost and a book from amazon, so it’s a sort of PCOS-inspired haul.

And my book arrived too! #pcosdiet #pcos #research

A post shared by Gricel (@emperatrixx) on

I’m going to try this, look into other books for ideas, and rely on the Whole30/paleo as the basis for my eating habits. I seem to do well on a paleo-inspired diet, though I’ve not been the best at maintaining a strict protocol in recent months.

It may remain quiet around here, but feel free to follow on the insta if you want to check in or say hi 🙂

life: kicking and re-starting habits

November has been a long, long month. Actually, the last three months have felt longer than usual, and not in a good way. Things have been off-kilter and I’m only just getting back to a semi-normal state. In an effort to make some changes, I’m going to start focusing on two things that have nothing to do with writing.

  1. I’m going to kick my semi-regular Starbucks habit. I go through cycles with this one. It starts, the seasons shift and I let it go, but my trouble tends to be the fall season, when I go a little latte crazy. I need to stop, for my wallet and my waist.
  2. I’m going to start running again. It’s been over a year since my last regular running session and I miss it. I was never competitive or into long distances. I just enjoy the thrill of running. My knees will ache and my lungs will burn, but a little goes a long way and I want to give my self another chance.

There’s so much more I want to change, but baby steps.

What are some of your goals for December and beyond?

as the sun peeks through the clouds…

It’s been a quiet month. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and meditating, keeping up with my daily journaling, and trying to be more mindful in my everyday living. It’s also been cold! Not frozen tundra cold, but pretty cold for a warm and sunny Miami girl. I always find it a little harder to find the drive to get out and go when it’s cold. I just want to shut down and bundle up. Partly, because my body is already colder than normal, so any drop in the temperature signals the shivers; partly, because the gloomy, gray skies give me the doldrums. However, I’ve made a real effort to stick with my plans for the month. I made my deadline for the draft reading :). I’ve only missed 4 of the now 28 days of yoga. And I’ve managed to find the energy to sort through the things I left at my mom’s place when I first moved out (KonMari to the rescue!). I’m finding new ways to incorporate writing into my day, that will help me continue to push forward with the next draft while allowing me to continue to look after my physical well-being (i.e. step away from the computer and get down with yoga). It’s all coming along.

For now, I’m going to give myself a mini break and read, read, read for pleasure while I prepare my notes for the next 6 rounds of revision (I’ve broken it down, and 6 is the magic number of categories based on my notes).

Ta!   

welcome fall… though the heat is still on

on writing

It’s September! And with it comes the pressing need to get things done before the dark days arrive. Making slow and steady progress with my new writing schedule. I started tracking my word counts sometime in mid-July and have found myself looking forward to writing on the weekends, rather than rushing home to squeeze in a few mediocre pages between dinner, washing up, and bedtime. Since I started tracking, I’ve (re)written a total of 17427 words (the draft now stands at a little over 70k words). There are two and a half more chapters to get through, though I’ve worked past the toughest sections, so the rest should be more manageable. This is the third draft (second major rewrite); I’m going to let it rest a bit and work on some scenes that I need to refine before I try to recruit CPs.

I’ve learned a lot about how I write while working on this draft. Despite all the advice out there, I do believe that we each come to writing in our own way. For me, this means finding what works best for my health and well-being. I’m a fast writer, but if my mind’s not in it, there’s no amount of self-flagellation that will get me to write something worth reading. While there’s something to be said for writing everyday to establish a flow, that method hasn’t worked for me in the last year and a half. I need blocks of time in which to write. I can do that well enough on weekends, but my schedule just doesn’t allow for it on most weekdays anymore (part of the trade-off I made when taking a job with a longer commute but more opportunities for professional growth). Come November, I’ll fast draft (I will NaNo this year); for now, I take the long road.

on reading

A lot of books were read in July. I swept through my bookshelf and got rid of about two bag’s worth of books that I will never read, am just not interested in anymore, or tried a few chapters and didn’t like the style. Among these, were three Georgette Heyers that failed to capture my interest. Given my genre preferences, I really wanted to like Heyer, but after two attempts, I just had to give up. Can’t like them all. I did, however, fall for the new Poldark series, which led me right to the books. So there we are.

on life

New semester, new students, new job roles, lots of stuff to oversee and get done.

I’m on day 20 of a 30 yoga challenge (missed a few days, but I’m back on track now), and trying to get back into my old walking/running habit. My energy has improved somewhat, but there are days when everything just aches and I just want to sleep all day; doing yoga really helps, particularly after sitting at my desk for hours. I haven’t seen any major changes since I started the FitGirls challenge back in April, but I’m definitely more toned and flexible now that I’m concentrating on yoga rather than circuit training.

My hair has also reached a new milestone and is now just grazing the base of my neck… still dull and awful though. I’m seriously considering giving up on this experiment and trimming it back to my usual bob in lieu of a pixie. Ugh, I’m in a style rut and I hate it. I’m going to try a henna dye this weekend to darken it up.

april showers revive the muse and the spirit

I’ve been making steady progress on the writing projects and the fitness efforts :). My current process is not as ambitious as it was, but it fits my lifestyle without making me panic at every turn. I wouldn’t call myself an A-type, but I definitely tend to self-reproach when given the chance. I’m presently plodding along at a chapter a week. I can get a solid 30 minutes to an hour of writing done on most week nights. It’s not much, but any progress is good progress. Weekends are catch-up, wrap-up, and plan days. At this rate, the draft should be done by June.

My new fitness routine is also helping. I fell into a slump sometime last fall, and it seriously took a toll on my energy. I won’t go into detail, but I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease as a teen and there are days when it feels nearly impossible to do more than I’m already required to do to be a functioning member of society. Exercise helps, as does eating right. When I let go, my body lets go… and that’s really bad. One of my library friends is on a mission to heal me, but that’s a really long story. Exercise = energy. Energy = writing. Can’t have one without the other.

In other news, I finished my manuscript edits for the academic tome and submitted one of my pending reviews. Next project involves editing a co-authored chapter to be submitted to a library publication. Wish me luck!

in which I take a break

One of my students berated me yesterday when I told him I hadn’t been taking my lunch break lately… actually, it’s been a long time since I’ve managed to take my entire lunch hour on a daily basis, but that’s a long story. He told me I should enjoy my break, eat healthy, and drink hot drinks to stay fit and young. He says this is the Chinese way. So today I decided to take his advice and take my break in its entirety. And enjoy it. And drink hot drinks (though this is not a new addition to my routine as I regularly drink tea through the day). In fact, I decided to head off campus all together and go on a jaunt to the local health food mart for the full healthy, refreshing break experience. And it was good. Simple as that, I had a nice break away from everyone that might call me back to my desk, and I even got to try something new when I bought myself a bottle of Synergy’s Cosmic Cranberry Kombucha (which tastes like champagne to me and was quite a pleasant surprise). I believe I will continue to follow the Chinese way, if in a somewhat unplanned manner.