Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Terrible, No Good, Horrible, Dizzies

It started in 2012, coming and going over time. The ringing in my right ear, the "froggy" feeling in my head and the worst part... vertigo.

Since then I have been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. For the most part it has been manageable. I just need to be careful not to tip my head a certain way, be sure I sit with my good ear towards the people I want to hear, and try to drink as much water as possible. But since the beginning of 2018 things took a turn. My vertigo attacks started getting frighteningly intense. The best way I can describe an attack is the feeling of someone grabbing the back of your swivel chair and spinning you around with no warning. Once an attack starts, the room flies, I break out in a cold sweat, my heart pounds, I get horribly nauseous and my fingers/toes start to tingle. The first time I had an attack like that I thought I was having a heart attack, the ER doctor assured me it was just an Meniere's attack. From that day on I would not leave the house without my Meclizine. I thought i had it under control, but then I started having these attacks two to three times a week. I never knew when I would have one, during a meeting at work, while relaxing in my craft room, during dinner out with my hubs, or waking up in the middle of the night spinning. It was getting terrible. 

My Aunt Susan, who also deals with Meniere's, suggested I see Dr. Franklin at the Topeka Ear Nose and Throat Clinic. I was hesitant because I have been #StFrancisStrong for so long, but I finally gave in because I really, really needed the help. Dr Frankin evaluated my condition and quickly suggested I go for a steroid injection in my ear. A STEROID INJECTION IN MY EAR! WHAT?! I was terrified! But he walked me through it and helped me stay calm. It felt weird, but not nearly as painful as I thought it would be. I started noticing an improvement right away. Still a bit froggy but better. The week after I had two vertigo attacks but they were not nearly as bad as previous attacks. I went back a week later and had another injection, so far no attacks. I still feel froggy and the constant threat of spinning if I tilt my head the wrong way, but it's better. I will return Thursday for another injection, hoping that this will be the last one needed for a good long while.

I know this is just part of my life now, I am so thankful there is something out there to give me a meausre control back in my life. Before these injections I was always afraid of a dizzy hitting. And once a dizzy did come, I was wiped out for the rest of the day. While the vertigo has improved, the ringing in my right ear and hearing loss I've developed is permanent. The hearing in that ear will get weaker and weaker as they ears go by. But thankfully my left ear is mostly unaffected by my condition so far. So if I see you out in the world, please be patient as I will likely say "what" a LOT. I will also lean my left ear towards you like a dork. I'll get this all figured out so please just bear with me. There may be a hearing aid in my future, but for now I'm just focused on getting the vertigo under control.

I sometimes joke, but I like the idea getting a mute button tattoo by my ear. I really think it might help when I'm out in public. What do you think?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Satisfied Heart

For the last several years, if not for the last couple of decades, or perhaps my entire life, I have struggled to find my place in the world. What I have wanted seemed to be what so many people get automatically. I wanted a family, friends, a home of my own, a career, a child and a partner. What I have learned along the way is that you don't just get these things automatically, you aren't just handed them. You really have to work at it. Also, no one's life is as simple and easy as it may appear. Everyone struggles, everyone fights battles and everyone is working at it in some way shape or form. Tonight I am sitting here thinking about how very fortunate I am and how very grateful I am for all that I have. Because my heart and my life is very full.  I might be a little superstitious because proclaiming this makes me fear that the ceiling will come crashing down. Hopefully that is not the case, but if it is, I will enjoy this moment right here, right now.

I've noticed it more and more lately, I am changing and I think it is for the better. Little things like thumbing past my more melancholy CD's and choosing more upbeat music to sing along to in the car. Or big things like learning that I am loosing hearing in my right ear and reacting with the thought "Well, my left ear is fine, things could be a lot worse". Every day I hit obstacles and road blocks that might have sent me down a spiral of  stress and despair before. Now I see the issues, think through them and roll on. Plus I am happier, I am just really happier. Of course I have bad days, we all do, but I am very satisfied with my life. Not because I am filthy rich and living the high life, far from it. But because my life is full of love, family, friends and more. What more could I ever ask for? I do not yearn for change, I simply enjoy each day in hopes that the next day will be just as full.

I do not have any major weight loss to report. I've been maintaining but not dropping lately. I just wanted to tell you, dear reader, that life is so very sweet. Take a minute and really look at your life and celebrate what is most precious to you, it makes things so much better when they get rough.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Goals and What-Not

Well, the last week of January was a bit of a struggle but the first week of February went much better. I haven't been a complete rock star but I've been doing pretty good. Friday I stepped on the scale and saw that I am finally under 280, down to 279 to be exact. That's 25lbs lost!!! That means I've hit my first weight loss goal of 2016!  Woo Hoo! To celebrate I would like to play a round of what weighs 25lbs?!
Gilda  is an approximately 3 to 4 year old terrier mix that weighs about 25  pounds. She is good on a leash, friendly, playful, alert and eager to  please. She is small enough to still be a lap dog and well behaved at  home. Her southern foster mom...:
Gilda is an adorable terrier mix who weighs in at 25lbs!
'Andre the Giant Cat:' The owner of a Colorado pet store and cat sanctuary says cat adoptions have 'skyrocketed' thanks to a 25-pound feline called 'Andre the Giant Cat'
This is Andre the Giant Cat and he weighs an impressive 25lbs!

This huge pillow is 5 feet long and weighs 25lbs!

So I'm feeling pretty good about hitting that first goal but that means I have to keep on working because I still have a long way to go.  My next goal is not a weight goal but a size goal.  I want to fit into this....

I purchased this beautiful shirt at The Merchant while visiting the amazing Lisa Boyd. This top is perfect, lovely shade of red, art nouveau flowers and the cut is just fantastic.  I tried it on when I got home and my belly is just too big for it. So My next goal is to get to where I can wear this lovely top without constrictions.  We will see how it goes!

Monday, February 1, 2016


One thing that I really love about keeping this blog is that it helps me to see the patterns I seem to have in dieting. I start to do well, see some results, get comfortable and then I slip back into bad habits. Since the beginning of this year I have done very well, until last week. Last week I struggled and lost daily. Each time I told myself that I would get back with it "tomorrow". And each tomorrow turned out to be a failure as well.  Now, I'm not full-on super sized meal deal failing, but I am slipping a little bit each day. I have started having sodas again which I had completely eliminated. I find myself justifying late night snacks. And I am allowing myself to buy things like three cookies. When I buy the cookies I intend to eat one a day as a snack. But without fail I eat all three in one day. I have to be stronger if I want to get past this stage of teetering and push into a solid healthier lifestyle. The Wunder Hubs has been doing fantastically and seems to be shrinking daily. I know men loose weight faster than women generally but I also know he has been a lot better about watching what he puts in his body.  I need to be like him. I also need to get back on the treadmill, I haven't for weeks and I feel it.  So far today has been a good day, I am way under my calorie count and I plan on staying that way. We will see how it goes.

Today's theme song is Missy Elliott's Lose Control 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Long Overdue Update

It's been a while since I have shared and a lot has changed. Let me fill you in on what is new.

Find this and many other fabulous designs at One Little Bird Studio
After years of looking and a lifetime of dreaming, the hubs and I have bought our first house. It is a beautiful little house here in Topeka with plenty of room for the boy to play and the dogs to run. We officially became home owners last May and after a month of taking down wallpaper, refinishing floors and painting we moved in at the beginning of June. We are mostly settled in now, though we still have a list of projects to complete around the house and a few wayward boxes waiting to be unpacked. But we are home and we absolutely love it. After living here for seven months now I still find myself pausing and just thinking about how much I absolutely love this house. Getting here was not easy, we looked at so many houses and we went through some disappointments during the search for our new home. In hindsight now it is easy to see that all of those disappointments happened so we could end up here. Today I am grateful, going through it I was so bummed. I always think I have life figured out and then another lesson comes along and reminds me that I still have no idea what I am doing. :)

Behold, our Booty Dog
 Our family has grown by one big, black dog. Ophelia came to live with us when she was just three months old. We named her Ophelia because of her big sad eyes and our love of books. At the time, she was a little fluffy puppy that had an extra amount of fluff on her rear end which earned her the nickname "Booty Dog". Now the most effective way to call her is to shout "Booty Booty Booty!", she will come running every time.

I have a new job!
This past November I started working for St. Francis Health and I absolutely LOVE IT. Everyone I have met there is so great. And my boss is simply fantastic to work for. The project load can be challenging at times but that is part of what makes it so satisfying. Being challenged means I am growing and learning as a professional and that is exactly what I want to do. We have been patients of St. Francis for years, From the hub's stay in the PCU, his cardiac event and my hysterectomy have all been with St. Francis. Now I get to be a part of the team that takes care of patients and makes sure that your visit to St. Francis is a good one. I am just over the moon.  

Another outstanding thing about working at the hospital is that there are some side effects that are changing my life in a positive way. Working healthcare makes you really think about your own physical health. Plus the long halls and various objectives means I am up and walking quite a bit during my day, more so than I have in years. As you can imagine, these factors have contributed to a fantastic change in my lifestyle...

Awwwww Yeahhhhh!!!
For the first time in three years I am starting to see real results! When I started at St. Francis in November I weighed in at 304 pounds. Yes, the horrible 300 mark was not only hit it was surpassed. In November I had serious back pain, a knee that was constantly swollen and sore, foot pain and I was winded if I exerted myself at all. Nearly three months later I am down 20 pounds, my aches and pains have all improved and while I still get winded when trying to keep up with my colleges in the hallways, I am able to go a lot longer and a lot faster than before. It's not a major loss to report BUT it is a HUGE step in the right direction. Hubs has gotten on board too and has been dropping weight and thinning out quite a bit. He is fantastic about fixing us healthy meals at home so we are not constantly loading up on junk food. One thing that has been motivating him is the PBS special In Defense of Food which is a very good watch and I highly recommend you check it out. 

Check out In Defense of Food
So I can now say that 20 pounds of Bertha have been removed. Here's to continued Bertha removal. It feels so good to be getting back to progress. Knowing now how very hard it is to get back on track once I slip I am going to do my very best to stick with it this time. I may have some days that are not as good as others, but I can't have weeks that are consistently bad. I have to make the effort to make this a permanent lifestyle change. Right now it is nice to have some good news to report. It feels great. 

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

DO IT!!!

I spend a lot of time on the internet. I mean a LOT of time. You may call it an obsession and trust me you wouldn't be the first.  But I would like to argue that I am studying internet culture, staying on top of trends and making sure that the content I am putting out there for my clients is as relevant and entertaining as possible.  Anyways, I have seen a recent increase in Vines featuring Shia LeBeouf giving a very strange motivational speech.  Please see the original video below.  

While it may be difficult to take advice from a screaming man with a rather impressive rat tail, he has a point.  Don't dream of success, get out there and make it happen.  It seems so difficult.  We can all come up with reasons why we can't do something.  In fact, I am a pro at coming up with reasons why I cannot get my diet and exercise plan back on track.  But the plain and beautiful truth is that if I just do it I will be successful.  I have to be hard on myself.  No more making excuses, no more setting dates to start, if I want to make this happen I just have to DO IT!

OK Shia LeBeouf, you weird and passionate man.  You screamed at me and it made me think.  Thank you.  

Now, for some of those crazy Vines that we all love

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Hello Friends, Family, and Random People on the Internet.

I have not posted in quite a while so let me give you an update on my situation.  I have hit the 300 pound mark.  I am so not pleased with myself, in fact, I am very miserable.  I keep telling myself that once we get moved into our house I will diet, exercise, and be an all around better person.  Will it work? I have no idea, but I hope it will.

I just received a text from our Realtor/favorite stand-up comedian Vicki Trembly stating that after a year of trying to buy a home, we have finally made it over the last hurdle.  Monday we sign the papers and the house is ours.  I am very cautiously excited.  But this is the farthest we have ever made it in the process so I am hopeful that it is happening this time.

So now I have to face reality.  I have to get serious about weight loss, exercise, and I think more importantly my depression.  I have been in denial about my depression for so long, I'm a tank, I can deal with anything that comes my way.  That's how I've always coped.  Just muscle through it and pretty soon you just wont think about it any more.  But that's not the case, I end up getting to the point I can relax and then all I want to do is talk about the bad things that have happened.  The only trouble is I don't trust anyone to handle what I have to say so I end up just keeping it to my self or trying to talk to the hubs but I end up overwhelming him.   So I just push through.

OK, here it goes.  I am depressed.

Goddess of Depression. By Victor Nazarenko
I am depressed because my childhood was horribly unfair.  I am depressed because I have lost family after family.  I am depressed because my first child died.  I am depressed because I have struggled with infertility.  I am depressed because I come from nothing.  I am depressed because I can't talk to my best friend.  I am depressed because I cannot get control over my weight.  I am depressed because someone very important to me thinks I used her.  I am depressed because life is unfair.  I am depressed because I feel I will never be valuable.

I can keep going but you get the idea.  It's funny, I find it easier to tell the world that I weigh an embarrassing amount than to tell the world I am depressed.  This is hard.  I want to delete this post.  I might but I haven't made up my mind yet.  What will everyone think? Will I lose friends?  Will it affect my career?  I try so hard to appear 'normal' when I am so far from it. 

What started this line of thinking is an event that happened Monday night.  Someone close to me tried to take their own life.  This someone (not sharing their name because I want to respect their privacy), decided that they had nothing left worth living for, Their depression became so intense that they were blinded to all of the opportunity that is before them and they couldn't see how many people love them so very much.  This person is currently hospitalized and is working through their demons.  If you would have asked me a week ago if I thought this person would ever try to take their own life I would have answered "never".   They have always been there for all of us, always been so strong.   The thought of them giving up on life is devastating.  I got to see them last night, and they are working on getting through this and finding a good way to deal with their depression.  When I saw them I cried, I cried hard, I cannot imagine this world with out them.

So here is what I plan to do.  I plan to take one day at a time.  I will not let the ghosts of the past or the uncertainty of the future overwhelm me.  I will move into our home and I will do my best to get healthy.  But I will not fixate on failing.  I will celebrate successes and I will make it through this. Just like the person mentioned above will make it through the war they are fighting with depression.  I too will be victorious.  Because I cannot fail.  I cannot let my son down, I cannot leave my husband on his own, I love my family too much to let them feel that kind of loss.

Also, I care enough about myself to try.

Thank you for continuing to visit my blog.  And please don't worry about me.  That is not why I am sharing this, I think mostly I want others to know that they are not alone in depression.  There are so many people who struggle with it daily.  And before you ask, yes, I am getting help.  I've been in and out of therapy since I was eight years old.  I have been taught multiple coping exercises and I know how to handle the anxiety that comes with all of this.  I will be OK.

If you have not seen the above video it is "Elastic Heart" by Sia.  It's a beautiful expression of what the struggle is like to deal with  childhood trauma.

If you have read this and you find yourself struggling with the same feelings, please, PLEASE get help.  There are so many options out there to assist you as you work though that dark cloud that hangs over your head.  The most important thing I can tell you is this,  everything will be OK, you just have to hang on.