He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

June 3, 2013

Scared Straight

I guess one good thing about learning about my thrombophilia test results the other day is that it caused me to re-assess my health, and to realize that this is an ongoing battle that isn't just about trying to have a baby -- it's about prolonging my life and the quality thereof.

I was really motivated back during Project Over Repair, focused entirely on getting ready for the next pregnancy; then when we were honest with ourselves about it being a really bad time to try to start a family, I relaxed all of my efforts to get healthier. I stopped working out for the most part, and although I still tried to stick to the Zone diet the majority of the time, my attempts were half-hearted. Really, I just wanted to eat comfort foods and take advantage of what I hoped would be my last opportunity in life (before getting back on the trying wagon, which would hopefully end in motherhood) to be as lazy as I wanted to be. I told myself that if I could keep from gaining any of my weight back, then I was doing all right. I thought that since I lost the weight, the insulin resistance would no longer be an issue, even though I still had about 10 to 15 more pounds to lose.

I guess I might have slipped back into a mild depression, too. There were times when it was more than mild -- during winter months I get a pretty bad case of SAD, and then we were dealing with a terminally ill pet, and then the death of said pet -- and those times made me think that in the more mild times I was doing okay. But without the baby goal to drive me, I didn't really see the point in working hard to take good care of myself. Even though I knew it would make me feel better, I just couldn't get started. I made a few half-hearted attempts at working out again earlier this year, when the weather turned to spring, but then spring became unusually cold and wet and I used that as an excuse to give up.

But since talking with my doctor last week, and doing a lot of consulting with Dr. Internet, I have come to realize that these things don't just affect my fertility. They affect my chances of living a long and active life. For my own sake, and for my husband's sake, regardless of whether or not we ever have a child, I have GOT to take the best care of myself that I possibly can, and I have to start making that a high priority.

Just for fun, let's recap all the things that are wrong with me, shall we? Yes, let's:

ADHD (Inattentive)
Hypothyroid disease
Sleep apnea
Chronic insomnia
Insulin resistance
Thrombophilia disorder
SAD and occasional mild depression
Raging PMS, which exacerbates all of the above and makes it impossible to focus and do my work.

And that's leaving out the wrist tendonitis, chronic allergies, my life-long weight problem, sinus and tension headaches, and other things I have reason to suspect might be wrong but haven't been officially diagnosed (I was also diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago, but even though I didn't have an easy childhood, I think that might have been a misdiagnosis, since my symptoms were likely caused by several of the things listed above, most of which are interlinked with each other). The important thing to note is that the PCOS and IR increase my risk of heart disease, cancer and full-blown Type 2 Diabetes, and the thrombophilia gives me a higher-than-average chance of having an embolism or stroke. Joy.

So for now I'm scared straight. I started to make some small changes on Saturday. I committed myself to a daily workout, which I started Saturday and have kept up through today. I gave up coffee in favor of tea, although I haven't made up my mind yet whether I'm giving it up for good or just taking a break to get used to lower amounts of caffeine. At any rate, I was drinking too much of the stuff and something needed to be done. I also committed to sticking to the Zone diet as faithfully as I can at least 90% of the time (I will still permit myself the occasional cheat night -- a girl's gotta have SOME fun).

I also started drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal, because it turns out that old wive's tale about it helping you lose weight is backed up by science! An Arizona State University study found that the acetic acid in vinegar is about as effective at controlling blood sugar as the diabetic drug Metformin. You can read more about the study here and here. At any rate, I don't know if it's just a placebo affect, but in the three days that I've been taking vinegar before each meal I've felt a lot more energetic. On Saturday I actually felt great, despite only getting four to five hours of sleep the night before thanks to insomnia. I've also felt more satisfied after each meal, and less prone to cravings in general.

In the future I'd like to ramp up the Zone diet and start hitting up some farmer's market's for quality produce, switch to organic, and start taking Omega-3 and various other vitamin and herb supplements again, but we need to figure out how to fit all that stuff in the budget first. For now, I'm just going to focus on forming better habits and making time to care for myself before all of this motivational fear for my life wears off.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...