29 July 2015

Are you aware?

Well, it's been a while. I'd like to say nothing happened but my life, as always, has been nothing but one drama-filled adventure after another.

Like the one time this guy told his parents we were dating. We were not (still not) and then repeatedly confessed his undying love to me.. That was an adventure.

Or the time I had to break up with that guy, who I was basically engaged to, despite having never gone on a date with him. Also fun.

Becoming a spy.  Getting a super boring desk job where I do nothing remotely spy-like.... ;)

Creating a spy play list with songs like "Every breath you take" Really, we learned that any stalker song can double as a spy song.

Deciding to build a bookcase out of a pallet.

Deciding that I do not know how to build things out of a pallet.

Solo road trip to UTAH for my Ashlie's wedding! This is both good and bad. SOOO good for her, but bad because now I have to share her with CJ. But he's a worthy competitor.

Having a Nephew born.

Oh. I got braces. Yes. 26 years old with braces. Complete with a lisp. Yes sirree. I am a babe. Hopefully my pocket protector will arrive in time for my math class.

Couple trips to the ER. (Bigeminy with a syncopal episode. That was fun.)

learning to cook - without burning things down.

I bought a car.

So as you can see, I am super exciting... And by that, I mean my life is crazy.

In other news, I learned today that the month of August is a month full of awarenesses (thankfully, we do not have to be as aware in August as we do in April. Seriously. I don't have the energy to be THAT aware. But anyway, I digress.) Here are some things to be aware of in August

  • Children's Eye Health and Safety Month
Keep those kids' eyes safe, make them wear goggles everywhere!
  • National Breastfeeding Month
Well - that takes a lot of planning - to only be able to breastfeed one month, your kid has to be the right age, right temperment, not dead from lack of breastfeeding before... That sounds like too much math. Maybe all year round could benefit
  • National Immunization Awareness Month
Seriously people, immunizations are good. They are why people don't really die from things like Small Pox and Polio. Just saying. 
  • Psoriasis Awareness Month
I need to be more aware of this.... I don't know what it is
  • World Breastfeeding Week (first week of August)
Poor children, first only a month, now they only get a week of breastfeeding... drink up kids!
  • National Health Center Week (second full week of August)
Thank you modern medicine and modern technology that allows us to have health care centers and the health care to put inside them!

I just found out about another awareness, one that actually hits pretty close to home. Gastroparesis awareness month. One year ago, my symptoms began. I was unable to keep any food down, I was tired and miserable and weight was melting off of a me like ice cream in h....ades. Yes, in Hades. My liver was giving up, my intestines were swelling. Since then, so much has happened. I've learned some important things. When you have Gastroparesis, calories don't count!
Now, that said, I have not been responsible with my health and I eat whatever I want and puke it up. What does it matter, I've lost 50 lbs in less than a year, why should I worry about this meal I'll inevitably throw up? Because ladies and gentlemen, that's basically bulimia. Which I do not have. So. I am on track to actually eat well. And by eat well, I mean drink well. Because I'm on a liquid diet! Lucky me. 

I have had to have my teeth repaired. 
I have had cardiac involvement (two trips to the ER with multiple PVCs and Bigeminy and a potassium level of 2)

But I have also been abundantly blessed - I have been able to work when I haven't been able to keep food down in over a year. I've been able to get out of bed when my whole body just wants to sleep. I've done well in school when it's hard to concentrate. I've been able to keep liquids down. I have been blessed with support and love and have worked hard to always remain worthy of that. 

Last week I found out that I am a candidate for surgical interventions. A Gastric Pacemaker or a feeding tube. Both options are intimidating and overwhelming. And I question the competence of my doctor. So in the next several weeks, I should be having a second, third, 15th opinions until I'm sure the doctor knows what he's talking about and has treated me appropriately. 

I've also stalked blogs and articles and studies to learn what's worked and what hasn't. (gluten-free is the most popular. It's a good thing I can't keep anything down, because if I could, my diet would probably be all gluten all the time.) 

I've learned a lot about people and about myself during the last year. I am a social eater. If I am by myself, I can stick to my liquid diet and do fine. But the moment someone offers me something to eat, I crumble... It's sad. I blame my love for food, but really, I have no self control. I also learned that it's easier to eat than to explain when I don't eat that I am in fact, not bulimic, but that my stomach has become lazy and refuses to cooperate. So I just eat. 

I learned that I would make a TERRIBLE personal trainer. I tell everyone, everywhere that they can eat anything they want because calories don't count. (Sunday calories, wedding calories, holiday calories, etc.) Then they sass me because calories for me never count, and that I'm basically the devil for trying to convince them to do that great evil of eating the spaghetti and meatballs. (Or the pizza sub at Subway. It's a secret menu item. Do it. You won't regret it. Unless you hate pizza. Then you might.)

People usually have one of three responses when they find out about my lazy-tummy condition. 1. "Wow. your life sucks. I would if I couldn't eat food anymore. How do you live?" Easy, because my alternative is death. And death is worse for your health than gastroparesis. And I have kind of grown attached to the whole living thing. 

2. "Woah! I am a dirtbag! I was complaining that I was hungry and you haven't eaten in a year! I shall never mention food, mention anything that may remind you of a smell of food. I shall not fart in your presence if said gas smells anything like pre-digested food. I will NEVER eat in front of you again! Also, can I bring you water so you don't have to go down into the kitchen where someone else may have food because that's where all the food is kept safe?" It'll be okay. You're not a dirt bag. I eat at least a meal a week, but I haven't been able to keep a meal down for a year. You are more than welcome to mention food, the smells of food, the tastes thereof. But so help you if you fart near me. I will be mortally offended! (not really.) I don't care if you eat in front of me, as long as you chew with your mouth closed and don't slurp, smack, pick your teeth or otherwise act like you were raised by wolves. 

3. "This calls for one thing. I will chew, and partially digest, then spit it into your mouth! You can call me Mama bird!" :') that's love!

If I could make the world aware of a few things this August it would be to vaccinate your children because I really don't want your kid to give me small pox. And to remember that those who have GP are still humans. We haven't been shipped off to 'Nam. It takes some adjusting. But really, it's going to be okay! Oh, and ensure is disgusting, so please stop suggesting that as a viable calorie replacement. I'll choose puking with a side of cardiac strain over ensure. Easy. 

So on Friday I start phase one of my researched Gastroparesis diet - clear liquids. I know that sounds like loads of fun. But really. I'm not even allowed to juice yet. Just gatorade, sprite (except my lovely braces prohibit soft drinks) and bouillon. I would have started tomorrow but when it came time to go shopping for the things I needed, I opted instead to have one last night of junk-stuff and puke. I had Panda Express. Orange chicken and chow mein, if you're wondering. And finished it off with a bowl of ice cream that was truly bigger than my head. (That's the other thing... no dairy. No fiber. no carbs. No high fats. My diet stinks.) I enjoyed it so much the first time, I decided to enjoy it for a second round. And you know what, I'm cool with it. 
Mark my words, humans and friends. One day I will be able to eat anything and everything I want. - I will go to a buffet in the morning and sit and eat until closing. I will get fat. And I will love every second of my fat-hood. 

Until then, I'm going to continue multiplying all of my calories by zero. 

Tomorrow I meet with the Cardiologist for an echo. Let's see what kind of drama we can pull up there!