Christmas break and I’m feeling good

In the past two days, my heart rate has dipped into the seventies three times (that I’ve noticed). I haven’t seen this in months. Now, to be fair, there are several reasons this may be happening. I’m pretty checked out with regard to school, looking at my email about once a week. I’m also not at home seeing the millions of things that need done.

I’ve also stayed very true to my diet of no dairy, wheat, or sweet potatoes. I’m also taking my supplements dutifully including cod liver oil- gross. I should just start eating more fish.

I’m still not running; although, I did pack my gear just in case.

Starting to work with my Naturalpath

Yesterday I had an appointment at Practical Health Solutions in Ft. Collins. I’ve heard and listened to both sides of the issue with holistic and/or natural medicine, so while hopeful, I didn’t enter the appointment as a “true believer”.

The first thing I liked though, was that the appointment was two hours long. It felt like I was really forming a relationship with a healer who listened to all of my symptoms (related or not) and tried to work out the puzzle pieces with me.

We discussed my options as to why my body has reacted in this way (forming an autoimmune disorder), but what she was most interested in was that I’ve had recurring stomach problems that haven’t been diagnosed since I was fifteen.

A quick history, for those who don’t know. I started having gallstone (or something) attacks at fifteen, and by the time I was seventeen, I had my gallbladder removed. When this happened, my trigger foods changed, but my attacks remained the same. Instead of fried foods, my triggers became raw vegetables, bananas, woody fruit, eggs, codeine, sweet drinks, etc.

Clearly my body has been struggling with something for a while. Could this be related to my current problem? Maybe, but I’d love to find out.

I’m now on a regime of several supplements and a dairy free, gluten free, sweet potato free diet. I have a tincture to help me sleep, one to slow down my heart rate…I have cod liver oil and apple cider vinegar to drink. I have probiotics. Whether or not this helps me go into remission with GD, if I can help my stomach, I’m game.

The Joys of Winter Running

There are a lot of aspects to this season that people look forward to. Holiday parties, warming oneself by a fireplace, lots of Christmas cookies…there’s a lot to love. I love winter running. Okay, it did start as a way to make up for the goodie gorging that I was doing, but since I can’t run this season, I just want to share my favorite things about it.

1) Watching the sunrise:
I love to start in the dark cold air and only eventually be able to see the snowflakes that are landing on my face. When there’s a bright night sky, I can even navigate without a headlamp because the snow is so bright. The world seems peaceful and quiet.

2) Slipping on ice…but recovering:
Having a boring run? Not on icy roads! After looking around to make sure no one saw me, I usually feel like a adrenaline rushed superhero for not falling.

3) Winter running gear:
I look good in running tights…nough said.

4) Carrying less water:
I’m not so dehydrated so I rarely take things for even my longer runs.

5) Knowing that I can:
I love running in the winter time because I can run in the winter time. I ran during cold, early mornings and through thick snow because I was thankful to be able to run. Next winter, I hope to be running even more just to show my gratitude and appreciation for being able to.

My Symptoms and Diagnosis

So, I may be changing the direction of this blog once again. First it was an exercise journal, then my travel blog…now I’m going to be recording my experience with Graves’ Disease and hopefully exercise and treatment as well.

So first things first, what’s Graves’ Disease? GD is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the thyroid, commonly resulting in hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid). Untreated, this disease can frequently cause an eye condition where the eyes bulge out, and left untreated can result in damage to organs (apparently).

My symptoms have included a high heart rate, feeling very hot and sweaty, lack of breath and endurance, weakness, and an inability to focus – which is why I’m not blogging instead of grading.

My next steps, I’m visiting with a naturalpathic and holistic doctor in Ft. Collins. I’m hoping that I can decrease some of my worse symptoms with diet, meditation, and supplements. I do understand that this may not work and that I may have to continue with pharmaceutical treatment. But, I’m managing my symptoms, and I want to know for sure that I have to use medication and possible radioactive treatment before I journey that path.

Gordon Lightfoot Concert

For my dad’s birthday, I bought us two tickets to Gordon Lightfoot in Denver a couple of weekends ago. I’ve wanted to go to one of his concerts for years, and it was incredibly meaningful to me that I got to do it with Dad.

One of favorite childhood memories is sitting in the middle of the front seat in Dad’s pickup. He was driving, and Josh was by the other window. I most have been pretty young because I recall staring pretty much straight into the radio knobs. We were fishing – I don’t know if we were coming or going, but Dad must have had a Gordon Lightfoot cassette tape. We all jammed out to Old Dan’s Records.

Whatta Week

It is not my intention to ever use this space as a whole platform for whining. I have seen my fair share of negative fb posts. With that said, I’ve had a week.

It started late Sunday night when I fell down my stairs. I landed on my big toe, which may sound funny but really wasn’t. I was sure I broke it, so Justin and I went to the ER for xrays. Luckily it wasn’t broken – just badly sprained. I’ve been limping for a week and can expect at least another week of pain.

Since I took Monday off of work, I came in Tuesday to discover a snake’s nest of drama. Two of my co-workers have raised hell with the deans concerning me. Their complaints are unfounded and my chairs and dean have my back, but it still felt like betrayal. I’m allowing myself to smolder until Monday; then it’s time to move on.

But nothing bad has happened yet today. I’m enjoying the Greeley Octoberfest, and I think my weekend is picking up.

The Semester’s Going Fast

It’s hard to believe that we are a quarter of the way through the semester. Classes are running smoothly, and this morning there is even frost on the ground. I’m staying true, so far, to my mission of not grading on the weekends. So I have fun plans for this weekend. This morning my friend Chris and I will bike ride to Windsor and back. Then there’s a BBQ in the evening with more friends. Sunday afternoon I’m joining my first hash. This is a running group.