Month: January 2011

PCOS vol II

So here’s an update on my condition.  Its actually quite exciting. On Thursday I finally went to a different endocrinologist named Dr. Falahati.  Due to my injury I had early in the month I had  to reschedule the appointment twice.  This gave me lots of time to think and pray about the visit in hopes I would gain knowledge in regards to my PCOS and its treatment.

My hopes were fully realized in an awesome doctor experience- quite the contrast to the crazy doctor.  Dr. Falahati listened to my life-story and symptoms.  As I said in my last PCOS post it was amazing how many of the symptoms I am experiencing.  Without getting too personal it was as if there was a PCOS checklist and I could check off every item. He then explained his over 10 year experience with PCOS patients and their treatment.  I guess it can vary from a woman with a full beard to marathon runners who find out they have PCOS when trying to have children.  Thankfully I am somewhere in-between.

The interesting thing (and I will try to explain this adequately) is he said the problem with PCOS patient’s isn’t actually the cysts- the cysts are a symptom of, not the cause, of the condition.  He also said when women do have cysts they are microscopic and can’t be seen in an ultra sound and cause little to no pain.

Dr.  Falahati said the main problem with PCOS patients is they are insulin resistant.  This is different then being high in insulin.  I asked him why my blood sugar levels are never high and he said the insulin resistance does cause elevated insulin but it does not always cause high blood sugar levels.  Who knew right?  He also said my body doesn’t absorb sugars the way it is supposed to, digesting food quickly- particularly high sugar, high fat foods.  The muscles in particular in PCOS patients are terrible in absorbing and burning off sugars.  This is why I experience so much pain and fatigue while exercising- even after doing it regularly for months and months.  (I thought it was just because my body was resisting getting in shape- little did I know my muscles were actually resisting!)

In order to conquer the insulin resistance he quadrupled my metformin prescription, lowered my spironolactone, and has changed my exercise routine.  He recommends doing 2/3rds cardio and 1/3 weights.  I have already spoken with my trainer and she agrees- she was actually as excited as me. I love her!  Once the insulin is more regulated I may be able to move to 50/50 weights/cardio.

The doctor also wants me to focus even more on eating foods low on the glycemic index.  That means ultra strict on white flours, pastas, white rice, sugar, etc.  I was already working on this, but I am definitely kicking it up another notch.

The doctor took a ton of blood work and we will meet again in 3 months to discuss the results and how my new diet/exercise/medicine is going.  Another thing Dr. Falahati said is usually PCOS starts at puberty and makes it tough to lose weight from that point on.  I felt so validated by this statement.  I always knew there was something wrong with my body but to have a doctor say it meant a lot to me.  I got in the car and cried.  All those days of frustration for 20 years and I’m finally getting answers.

I have almost no memories of being skinny.  Everything is heavy.  I have a feeling that with Dr.  Falahati’s treatments and my continued hard work perhaps I will create new memories- a new me?  Its almost hard to believe.  Almost too overwhelming.  Makes me want to cry.  The old me was great, and I will always love her but to think of new potential is exciting!  The doctor also said that to have lost any weight with these conditions is commendable.  This made me feel much better about the 35-40 lbs I lost last year.

Its hard to explain why this makes me so emotional but it feels like I’m giving a big hug to my 10 year old self- over weight, confused, different with no answers but to be spunky and creative.  Now I have answers!  There will be much more to come and I will keep the updates flying.  The only thing I regret is taking over 20 years to figure this out but oh well!  Better late then never!

Back to Being Hard-Core

In a few minutes I will be heading to the gym to meet with my trainer.  Monday I did my first full, intense work out since my accident. I was nervous that it would be too difficult for me or that I would push myself too hard; however, to my great relief I did pretty well.  I got 25 minutes of exercise on the elliptical and did a full weight routine twice!

The more I learn about my body, the more I realize how stubborn it is.  I took 2 weeks off with my injury (and I was still dieting during this time) and I gained 5 lbs!  Now I know that if I am not hard-core I will stop losing and start gaining.  It’s just the way my body is! I honestly envy those that can tacitly exercise, here and there, a little each week, and stay in shape.  I just can’t do it and expect to not gain.

I’m so grateful I have an awesome trainer who pushes me and helps me to know how far to take things with this injury.  I have complete confidence and respect for her and I feel like she is a blessing from God in my life. I could not do this on my own- I wouldn’t know how to do this on my own.

It makes me wonder- why does this have to be so difficult?  What is it about this particular trial that Heavenly Father wants me to experience? What am I supposed to learn?  I honestly don’t know all the answers to these questions, but I’ve picked  up a few moments of inspiration along the way- I think life is best lived hard-core.  What I mean is that a lazy life is not good for much. Human nature is weak (particularly my human nature) and sometimes life has to be difficult or we won’t learn anything. How easy is it to forget prayer, forget scripture study, forget God?  It is the struggles that make us turn to Him and become fiercely devoted to Him.

It’s like Elder Holland says “salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?” (Missionary Work and the Atonement Ensign, Mar 2001)

I can’t say it any better than that.  How can I expect it to not be hard-core when it was definitely infinitely more hard-core for Christ?  For whatever reason this is the trial that will help me to be ‘perfected in Christ’ (Colossians 1:28).  I know I can do it! I know my Lord is cheering me on and has a purpose for every ache and pain.  As the scripture says “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Mathew 19:26)

Now I’m off to exercise!  Wish me luck and thank you for the encouragement and prayers.  I have felt their power permeate my life, helping me heal quickly. God bless you all!

 

A little joke to lighten the mood 🙂

 

 

The Big 30

Well I don’t have long to post but suffice it to say I am now officially 30 years old.  Shocking, astonishing, amazing but true.  I remember an interview I saw of a 103 year old woman.

When the reporter asked her “How does it feel to be 103?”

she said “Well, as you age you don’t really feel older.”

“What do you mean?” said the reporter

“Well, inside, my brain wonders about the same things it used to wonder about, it loves the same things it used to love, and it longs for many of the same things it used to long for.”

When I think of myself at 10, 15,20, or 25  I see many changes in my intellect, career knowledge, accomplishments, testimony and with many other areas of my life.  However, my heart, the core of who I am,  hasn’t changed much in those 30 years.  I still love a good book. (The books dearest to my heart are those I have loved for years- read again and again.They are like old friends.) I still love to laugh with my girlfriend’s over a stupid sitcom or reality show.  After all these years the Simpsons still makes me laugh (22 years and counting).  I still love to cook and explore new recipes. I still love a delicious meal ended with a lemon meringue pie  with tons of real lemon juice (anything citrus I love!)!

I still love to talk and to listen.  I still treasure the  kindred spirits in my life.  I still love a great play (or even a lousy one put on with gusto!).  I still love an entertaining movie or concert.  I still have passion for great music. I am still taking voice lessons after all these years and the music from Les Miserables still makes me cry.  I still enjoy politics and feel a grand sense of passion for my country.   I still love to pull together outfits and find cute jewelry.  I still hate camping and sleeping outdoors.  I still am not an animal or bird lover.  I still love a good, or even greasy,  piece of pizza.  I still get cranky when I’m tired or hungry, and I still don’t enjoy exercising (but now I do it anyway!).   I still love to travel especially New York City and any beach anywhere especially Hawaii.

The list could go on and on.-

There are many things in my life that I am proud of- that I feel are a part of my eternal plan and that I’ve worked very hard to achieve. However, of all my accomplishments, I am proudest  of the hard work I’ve put in to cultivating relationships and building friendships.  I love my friends and family more then I can adequately put into words. I will do anything for them and (as I’ve seen with my injury) I believe they would do anything for me.

This is not a great poem but it expresses how I feel today (so perhaps it is better than I am giving it credit for)

Moment in Time
by Cynthia Kepp

We talked,
We walked,
for a Moment in Time.

You passed through my life that day and left your mark.
You may never pass my way again,
Or you may stay for a lifetime.

No matter what,
I want to say thank you for the impression you made
that will stay with me for eternity.

I enjoyed the walk,
I enjoyed the talk.
I am blessed for that moment in time.

The first time I saw you I knew you would affect my life,
though your role I did not know.
I asked myself, “Why is he alone?
Why does he sit so quiet?
Is he sad?
Is he glad to be alone?
Is he alone?
Is he lonely? ”
There is so much I want to know.

I asked myself, “Why him?
When so many people pass through my life each day,
why him? “

What attracts me to you?
What makes me want to know more?
I want to know.

Even if my questions are never answered,
There is one thing I want you to know.
I have been blessed by the effect you had on me in that
Moment in Time.

 

Thanks for all the moments.   Thanks for all the walks, talks and especially the love.  I love you all.  I love My Lord, and I LOVE MY LIFE!

This song is appropriate given the day.

Ken Burns

I’m beginning to think this is a television blog; but, I suppose that should be expected as I was always the biggest TV fan in my family.  Neither of my parents have any interested in a single show on television. There were many years of my childhood we went without television (we had a TV for occasional movies but no cable or rabbit ears) and in general I am in full support of such measures. Children are far too reliant on media for their creative development and the temptation to watch can be the source of unneeded conflict in homes.   That said, I still grew up with a love for television?  Weird hah?

Anyway, I have been literally stuck in my house for the last three days because the Grabber employees are  using my car.  This has forced me into three days of  inside work (my friend Jill took me to meet with my trainer today and I did a full work out!  Wahoo! It was so hard but I did it!).  With 1099s coming due at the end of the month I have been particularly working on dry data entry accounting.  This does not require much thought- merely looking at receipts, spreadsheets, statements and then transferring the information onto Quickbooks.  One of my favorite things to do to help enliven such tedious work is to watch documentaries.  It is a good genre because I can phase out for a long time or just listen to the narration and be fine.  There is no intricate plot to follow that would require my full attention (for instance, Inception would be a terrible thing to watch while doing accounting).

One of my favorite documentary film makers is Ken Burns.  He makes documentaries for PBS that center around the American story.  The only series of his I have not seen are the entries on Jazz and Baseball.  Recently I have been moved to tears by his amazing series on the Civil War. It is overwhelming to think of the great sacrifice which was made for all Americans to be free.  I have not only cried but learned so much and I’m only half-way through.  For instance, did you know that General McClellan of the Union army stumbled upon a scroll with General Lee’s battle plans but he was too afraid to use the information? He could have ended the war years early but he failed to be bold. Interesting. I also learned about the Battle of Fort Wagner where in South Carolina one of the first black regiments fought bravely.  That’s just two of the wonderful things I learned from watching The Civil War.

Last year I enjoyed his latest series National Parks: America’s Best Idea centering of course around the national parks.  Even for a non-nature enthusiast like me, the cinematography was amazing, the history interesting but most importantly the stories of sacrifice demonstrated by those who cherished the parks was inspiring.  Some made it their life’s ambition to preserve the land they loved. Anyone who has a noble life’s ambition and carries it out I admire.

The previous year I was in awe at his series about World War II called The War.   I thought I was pretty well versed on WWII but I was constantly amazed at what I learned- especially about the Pacific theater.  For some reason the European conflict is more covered in the schools.  Why is that? I had no idea how brutal the Japanese were to our servicemen and how long it took us to get a real victory- over 3 years.  The stories of the Bataan Death March were gut-wrenching and poignant.  Some of The War is tough to watch and fairly graphic but it is a must watch for any American.

I’ve seen many other films by Ken Burns (including his small movie about the Shakers which is fascinating).  Each time he finds away to connect the viewer with ordinary American’s living through the American Experience whether it be the Civil War, WWII or visiting a national park.  He creates voices as clear as any in a fictional film and turns stale brown photos into people we care about.  The voice work he gets are always spot on and the music inspirational. The films by Ken Burns are works of art and I love them.  They are one of the few television programs I feel should be watched by every American.

As a side note- all of the films mentioned, including the Shakers piece, are available as a netflix free stream if you have that service.

Another Update

this is pretty much how I feel. (Hopefully not how I look but I am turning 30 this Sunday!)

 

So this is another quick update…My life has been nuts lately.  Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything comes at you full throttle all at once?  That is this week for me (and its only Tuesday.  Oh my!)

Technically the problems started last Friday night. Literally minutes after taking my meds I got a call from a distraught tenant (not at one of my Dad’s homes). Mildly panicking she said the basement was flooding.  Aside from the obvious problems, there was a cacophony of other nightmares

1. It was a blocked sewer pipe! (met with the plumber today.  He did a scope.  There is a rock in pipe just about where the sewer meets the city line. Estimate 5 to $7,000 grand for the repair!).  All the carpet and padding in the infected area had to be removed (he was lucky the sheet rock didn’t have to come down.  That’s what happened to  my aunt and uncle last year.  They had to gut their entire basement!).

2. I had just taken my pills including a muscle relaxant so I couldn’t drive or help in any way but over the phone.

3.  The land lord of this particular house was on vacation in Florida and in a movie theater when it first happened!

4. The tenant had like 25 people in the house for a family wedding the next day.  It was madness.

Thank goodness for Bruce Grist who went over immediately, called Action Plumbing and Heating and All Pro Cleaners, and he saved the day!

In addition to this problem with the plumbing, (all my great woes are caused by plumbing or sprinklers at the houses) I had committed months ago to begin working 40 hours a week for Grabber, beginning this week, including driving up to Syracuse, UT twice to work on check runs. Yesterday I worked for the whole day there and my back was throbbing in pain at the end of the day.  It was almost more then I could bare. I was so hoping to be able to exercise at my full, normal level but all I could do was get through it.  Thank goodness for my father and mother for their listening ears when I was teary-eyed.

I went to the doctor today (my regular doctor) for a check up and to get some guidance on treatment.  I was hoping he’d tell me whether  it would be better, given my injury, to see a physical therapist, massage therapist or a chiropractor?  I also needed some new meds (which I am determined to only take at night).  Unfortunately, all he could tell me was  “Sure, that’d be good”.  Oh well- that’s medicine for you!  At least he wasn’t mean and judgmental like the infamous crazy doctor. I’m going to get a massage tomorrow morning by my friend Jill and looking forward to it!

Today was also a bit stressful because I had to get an estimate on the new carpet, meet with the plumber, go to the doctors, finally go to a voice lesson (been almost a month!), get the car washed, go to the bank and post office, and finally- went to the Alpine house and the long-term tenant had moved ALL of our possessions out of the house.  I thought he was just moving a few boxes!  Not so much!  I feel bad because this is one more thing my Dad is going to have to deal with when he visits.  (He is so amazing.  I am in awe of his work ethic, positivity and strength).  I think it was more a miscommunication then anything else but now that its done we have to move on and work with the tenant.  (at least I didn’t have to move the stuff.  That is one thing I couldn’t have done this week!).

Anyway, as you can see I’ve been spread pretty thin over the last week and a half.  Thanks to Emily for providing the one blip of enjoyment with a pre-birthday celebration at Zupas and Hale Theater on Saturday.  Thanks also to Megan for always being willing to listen to me moan and groan when my life is hard (and thanks to anyone else who listens to me, but she’s the only one who does it faithfully with 3 little girls grabbing at the phone!).  I appreciate it so much.  I also was able to teach relief society on Sunday and despite being in pain, I think it was one of my best lessons (maybe because of the pain- after all, it was a lesson on sacrifice!).  I’m excited about my new ward and looking forward to the friends I will make.

How did this post turn out so long? I was just going to write that my back and ribs are still hurting but then all this came out.  I did have a very important and long set of conversations with the landlords I work with (Michelle, Brian and my Dad) about lightening my load in the next few weeks and months. Taking on 40 hours for Grabber means I have to let go of some of the work at the rentals.  Over the last few years I’ve learned that I’m a great salesperson but not great under pressure or stress (some people this brings out their best, but not me).  I also seem to have a threshold for work and no matter how much I love the job, if I work too much, it makes me crazy.  I just am not one of those people that can do 10, 12 hour days, every day, for weeks at a time.  It literally leads to a breakdown without fail!

The decision to simplify my life is difficult because it means admitting I can’t do it all.  At one time I thought the rentals were my new career but now my path is leading me in another direction. Funny how that happens?  The important thing is I still get to work from home and control my schedule.  I look forward to having a life that is more structured and where work isn’t so invasive.  I can’t think of the last time I’ve had a true weekend off unless you count the weekend after my fall (and technically I was on the job when I fell, so doesn’t count!).  Anyway, its going to be an interesting road and I’m a bit anxious to see how everything turns out; however, I know my Heavenly Father has His hand in my life.  He will make sure it’s all for the best.  (Even if I get discouraged, I know that He will help me to get back on my feet exercise-wise as well.  The doctor says it could take 6 weeks until I’m back to 100%.  We will see!)

In the meantime, I am taking each day as they come and doing the best I can.  Thankfully, I am surrounded by amazing people including every last one of the people I work with.  They are patient with me and genuinely love me. How many people can say that about their colleagues?

To healing and finding balance in my life! By the way did I mention I turn 30 this Sunday and I’m still figuring these things out about my life? I thought I’d have this all down by now. Oh well!

Sherlock

As I’ve been recuperating I’ve naturally watched a little more television then usual.  One of the recent treats I’ve enjoyed is the new take on Sherlock Holmes from Masterpiece Mystery (used to be Masterpiece Theater, now it is divided into categories like Masterpiece Mystery and Masterpiece Classics).  Anyway, the new series Sherlock takes the classic team of Holmes and  Watson and puts it in a modern setting.  Normally I am a purist when it comes to the classics but something about this series works.  They capture the feel and tone of the old stories in spite of the changes. The acting is good, the cinematography great and the crimes are tricky enough for Holmes without being over-the-top. Nobody in the cast is recognizable but they all do a good job in recreating their characters (the man who plays Holmes is particularly good because he is a jerk but yet you still like him.) I’m not the only one enjoying this new series.  Check out the reviews.

In contrast, I hated the 2009 version of Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson.  What made the difference in the two interpretations?  Why do I accept a modern interpretation more than one set in the Victorian era?  It’s a tough question but  it comes down to tone, faithfulness to Conan Doyle’s characters, cinematography and the cases presented.  In the movie Holmes and Watson are thrust into a case involving a cult with alien abductions, explosions, and grave robbers.

Plus, they turn Holmes into a playboy when he’s supposed to be socially awkward- a genius (something the new series totally gets).  Holmes is not an action hero and the movie turns him into a boxing, explosion jumping, shooting enemies, chasing bad-guys type character .  (like a Victorian Jack Bauer). For it to be a true depiction, Holmes should win based on sheer brain power not on his manly good looks or his ability to jump between buildings.  They also give Holmes a pointless girlfriend (Rachel McAdams who is actually only in about 10 minutes of the movie). It was a waste of talent and a disappointing addition to the oft told mystery franchise (It’s even been done by Disney in the Great Mouse Detective- a moderately successful animated film.  Mostly enjoyable because of the voice of Vincent Price as the evil Ratigan).

It’s interesting how a classic story can be interpreted in new and surprising ways.  Sometimes it works- other times, not so much.  If any of you get a chance, check out the new series Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery.  Also the old PBS series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett is traditional but very good- a Wagner family favorite. (also available on Netflix streaming)

What are some unique interpretations of classic stories you like?  Some that didn’t work for you? I just realized this is my 200th post.  Pretty good?

Something Funny

Goodness knows with the tragedies in Tucson and the smaller difficulties in each of our lives we could all use a good laugh.  I laughed pretty hard when I read this and hopefully you will too.  It’s amazing how 2 people  (particularly a man and a woman) can be on the same planet physically but be on entirely different ones mentally! See below:

doesn't it seem like men and women often see things through such different glasses?

The assignment from the teacher-

Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth.  The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.”

“The following was actually turned in by two English students, Rebecca and Gary.”

Rebecca

At first, Laurie couldn’t decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

Gary

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. “A.S. Harris to Geostation 17,” he said into his transgalactic communicator. “Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far…” But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship’s cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

Rebecca

He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. “Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel,” Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth — when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. “Why must one lose one’s innocence to become a woman?” she pondered wistfully.

Gary

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu’udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Uniilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu’udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. “We can’t allow this! I’m going to veto that treaty! Let’s blow ’em out of the sky