Sick Day!

My poor pupkin, Tea (5), is sick. She came down with a cold just two days after she had hip surgery (to remove hardware previously placed) on February 14th. Well, here we are on Day 12 and she’s STILL coughing. She’s no longer running a fever but she’s just miserable. She started having pretty severe cheek pain yesterday, and today it is persistent. To the point of it bringing her to tears and I’m suspecting a sinus infection. She has an appointment in a couple of hours. She’s also upset that I wont let her go to school. Eyeroll.

This morning has been a doozie! It started with an hour of phone calls to doctor’s offices & insurance then hurriedly running downtown for Teagan’s orthopedic post-op checkup, to finding out somehow ALL of my music got deleted off of my phone and then making the appointment with her pediatrician for a sick visit. I’d like this Monday to just stop being a Monday for a second, to let us breathe a little!

I was supposed to go visit a friend today and I was supposed to check the kids out early from school for Zoey’s allergy shots today and I was supposed to wash towels today. I was supposed to scrub the bathrooms today and I was supposed to clean out the fridge today. Supposed to, the typical Monday.

Fat coffee

Today was day 5 of 18 hour fasts. I’m so happy I was able to be consistent! I’ll take tonight and tomorrow night off from strict fasting and hop right back on Sunday night. I have SO much energy when I’m fasting.

So, I had places to be today around the time that I would normally eat and break my fast. I made myself a fatty coffee to break my fast and get me through a few more hours until I could eat actual food. Oh man, it was SO good and creamy!

In my mug I put 1 tsp decaf Nescafé instant coffee, 1 scoop Collagen Peptides, 1 Tablespoon of salted butter, 1 pump of SF Macadamia Nut Syrup & 1 pump of SF White Chocolate Syrup. I poured hot water over this and whipped it up with my handheld battery operated milk frother. Once everything was really emulsified, I drizzled in a tablespoon of heavy cream & then frothed that up. TIP: If you hold the frother tip near the surface of your drink, it’ll make the top layer super foamy and delicious!

This coffee got me through the next 4 hours! I never once felt hungry. It gave me the energy I needed for the rest of the afternoon. I am trying to incorporate the collagen into my daily diet but I may make a fat coffee a new regular thing.

Chronic illness

It wasn’t until very recently that I became comfortable enough to admit I have a chronic illness. I’ve always thought my own problems pale in comparison to what other people are going through, so I needed to just sit down and shut up. But, to my very recent knowledge, guess what? My pain matters just as much as your pain does! Hm.. who would have thought?!?

So, when I was just 17 years old I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease. I had a few episodes of extreme, sudden pain that left me almost unable to walk or move that sent me to the ER, they’d give me muscle relaxers and send me home. The muscle relaxers did absolutely nothing. My Mother finally took me to a Bone & Joint specialist, where I had an MRI done and learned I had DDD in my L3, L4 and L5 discs. I started physical therapy and a daily regimen of prescription anti-inflammatory medication. I had ONE epidural done, for long term pain relief, and it was a horrible experience. I never went back.

I’ve been living with this pain for most of my life. Actually, more than half of my life now. I’m fine until…I’m not. Things are great until…they’re not. I can have a good month until it flares and then everything comes crashing down on me. The pain is so horrible and jolting, that I’ll often yelp without even realizing it. There have been times that my husband has to help hold my body up as I shuffle my feet (because I cannot life my feet during a flare) to the bathroom.

I’ve tried physical therapy, chiropractic care, epidural, cortisone injections, anti-inflammatories. Usually these things work, but it’s only ever temporary. Too much activity will 100% guarantee a flare and a few days of hell to follow. I can’t let it stop me, but it’s always in the back of my mind. Even as we walk through the Zoo as a family, the thoughts in my head are always flashing WARNING! WARNING! Tomorrow is going to be awful! It doesn’t stop me from enjoying the moment but I won’t lie and tell you that it doesn’t bother me. It is utterly depressing to know this is something that I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life, something that will ultimately get worse as I get older, something that will be completely debilitating at some point.

I’ve never let myself fully grieve the loss of “normal.” Why? Because I have been obese my entire life and I figured I did this to myself. I was the one who was overweight and that’s why my spine is in such terrible shape, so why do I have the right to be sad, mad or feel shortchanged? Just sit down and shut up, Candace. I would NEVER think these thoughts about someone whom I love. No one deserves to be in pain, whether they’re doing things to try to fix it or if they’ve given up entirely. So why did I always let those terrible, mean thoughts into my own head?

Chronic illness is such a hard, confusing thing to go through. The guilt I have for the stress it puts on my husband or my children, the guilt about the financial burden of medical care, the guilt of missing out or unable to do certain things with the family, the guilt of I Should Be Enjoying The Moment But All I’m Thinking About Is The Pain Flare To Come.

This is all to say: I’m in a flare right now. I think it started from sitting in a pretty uncomfortable chair for a few hours at a get-together last night. I barely slept last night and I’ve been in terrible pain all day. Throwing Aleve and Ibuprofen down the hatch today, trying to get through this the best I can.

Thanks for listening, Internet. ❤️

Keto

So, over the last two years I have been doing the Ketogenic diet. I don’t even think of it as a “special diet” anymore because it’s the only way I will eat for the rest of my life.

It all started when I had pre-op lab work done before my knee surgery in April 2017. My fasting blood glucose was 308! I was sick to my stomach when I heard this. My doctor ordered an A1C test, which showed me at a 10.9. Meaning, my average blood sugar had been about 300. Horrible. Basically “slow motion suicide.” I immediately started the Ketogenic diet because I was scared and I knew they wouldn’t perform my surgery if my blood glucose was higher than 250.

Fast forward 1 year and 10 months and here I am, 140 pounds less, a maintained A1C of 4.5 (average blood glucose 83) and feeling SO much better. I’m smaller than I’ve been since probably middle school. Weight was never the goal or focus, it was always blood glucose and health. Those were my biggest motivations because I needed to be alive for my family. I couldn’t let myself get sick, my health decline and risk not being here for my girls and my husband.

I’m doing great. Keto is so easy to maintain for me. I have moments of weakness but I haven’t ever given in, in two whole years! I am so damn proud of that. I deserve to be proud of that. It wasn’t easy getting here but I am so, so happy to be here.

So, anyway, here I am. Eating lots of food we have always been told are bad for us. Lots of meat and healthy fats. Saturated fat, even! And my cholesterol (LDL, HDL, Triglycerides, ratio) is amazing, my blood pressure is amazing and my blood sugar is even better than my husband’s!

I’ll probably talk about Keto a lot, so I just wanted to give a little intro into why / when / etc.

listen here, people

you can try to request a password reset all you want, you aren’t getting my account! seriously though, i get a password reset request atleast twice a day. come on guys. i got to the username ‘candy’ first, so it’s mine!

so much time has passed since i’ve used this thing. life has been crazy. awesome, but crazy.