This was a question I asked my primary care provider over five years ago. The question came about after she asked me if I was depressed, and I told her no. Why did she ask? Because one of the meds in my history was for depression. When I explained that no, it was for headaches, she just nodded. Then, when I asked if that meant I was secretly depressed, she said no; the medication was contraindicated for headaches.
If you’ve been following the news, you know the wildfires are very intense there, and the air quality is terrible. The one closest to me–the Bobcat Fire–caused smoke bad enough that several friends of mine in a neighboring city were put under an evacuation warning last Wednesday night, and my job closed the campus last Thursday. Because I am an idiot (no, really this time), even after getting the alert that my job (which is down the street from my house) was closed because of extremely poor air quality, I still attempted to go to the pool. I wound up lasting all of ten minutes before I started coughing because, you know, the smoke was so bad. Oh, and Thursday night, my city was also put under an evacuation warning, though it was for the northern part of the city closer to the mountains.
On Thursday night, I finally packed my evacuation bag.
On Friday morning, I could smell the smoke in my apartment, so immediately ordered an air purifier on Amazon to be delivered the next day (they were sold out locally).
By Friday afternoon, I had booked a plane ticket for Sunday to Tennessee with plans to stay there for two weeks and then to drive to Florida and stay for two to three more weeks. My return flight is currently booked for five weeks from now.
Regular readers of the blog know that I have a medical condition that requires a lot of food restrictions. I can’t eat a lot of things that are considered staples, and the transition has not been easy for me. Most of the foods I depended on for my meals are now off limits–foods like beans and cauliflower, for example.
I also hate to cook.
This has been an interesting combination. For one thing, I had built up a list of go-to recipes. And that worked pretty well until I couldn’t eat most of the foods in my recipes anymore. Because I don’t like cooking, it’s hard for me to imagine different ways of making any of these dishes.
When left to my own devices, I have three things on my plate: meat, vegetables, and rice. I can eat any kind of meat, basically, and a limited amount of vegetables. However, I’m usually just eating salmon, spinach, and rice.
Whew, there is a lot to cover from the past two weeks, so let’s just dive in.
1. First of all, my brilliant daughter got accepted to not one, but two study abroad programs: one for the summer and one for next school year. The summer one is at a Buddhist monastery in China and completely funded through scholarships. The second is at a university in Japan, so she has started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs. Please click over, read her story, donate if you’re so moved, and/or share her page with others. Everything helps!
My daughter is also posting all of her pre-study abroad prep on Instagram and plans to keep it up while she’s abroad, so if you’re interested in that, please follow her there (@starless_knight39) as well. At some point, she’s going to start a vlog about all her adventures as well. I mean, the girl is on the move and living all of her dreams. I’m so proud of her.
As part of the IBS Audio 100 program that I’m doing, the author asks that you rate your symptoms before starting, at the 27-day mark, and then again at the 100-day mark. After I completed the first 27 days, I decided that I should probably actually track my symptoms every day since I was mostly going by how I felt that week (which was fine), but I didn’t really have an overall sense of what I was feeling. There are a couple of apps specifically for IBS, but the one I chose is Cara because it’s pretty comprehensive.
Right, so, I have been tracking my symptoms and food for 38 days now, and here’s what I have discovered:
I am always stressed out
I always have a headache
My stomach always hurts/is bloated
The last one wasn’t that big of a surprise since that’s why I’m using the app in the first place. No, the big surprises for me were the first two. First of all, how am I stressed out EVERY DAY even right now when I’m on vacation? Second, I thought my headaches were under better control than that.
MON. Dec. 10 – A Day (or Weekend) in the Life. What did you do on Saturday, December 8th … or that weekend – December 8-9. Let’s take a peek into each others lives as as we chronicle what we all did on that day (or during the weekend).
It’ll be weekend for me!
3:30 a.m. – Wake up because I fell asleep at 6:45 p.m. after getting home from the gym. Eat food, futz around online (which includes trying to figure out why a book I know I rated on Goodreads doesn’t have a rating and why another book is showing up as having been read twice when I only read it once).
4:31 a.m. – Heat up some tea, read a little bit
5 a.m. – Have a lie down so I can get up at a reasonable hour and face the actual day
7:22 a.m. – Wake up for realsies, meditate, fool around on Facebook
8 a.m. – Get out of bed, shower, eat, etc.
9:45 a.m. – Head to my support group, run errands, eat some food, futz around online (this will happen a lot)
It’s time for #AMonthofFaves! YAY! Many thanks to Tanya Patrice, Kim, Andi, and Tamara for hosting yet again.
#AMonthofFaves [The 2018 Favorites Edition]– e.g. to eat, drink, wear, smell, see, do, enjoy, best purchases, most used gift received, most used purchases, favorite concert, outdoor activity, place visited, most squee worthy moment of the year.
So, it’s been several months since I’ve done this (JUNE???), so let’s see if I remember how.
Okay, so I mentioned previously that work had been stressful for most of October (hahaha understatement), so I spent most of November recovering from that and realizing that, once again, I was a mess. I had gained weight again, I had new/worsening symptoms for my IBS, and I (re)discovered just how much debt I’m in. (And the latter two happened at the end of the month.)
Anyway, I was lamenting to my mom about my weight gain and how I don’t understand how it keeps happening because I know I need to manage my weight better to help control my IBS, and I know what to do, and I know how to do it, yet I am always surprised that when I don’t track my food or I make it to the gym less often, I gain weight and then have to start all over again. I mean, you honestly would think I have learned by now.
And my mom said simply, “Because it’s not your default to take care of yourself in that way.”