Monday, May 7, 2012

Health and happiness - lacking both

I can't remember the last time I posted, but I know I didn't say much. I've been quiet because it seems like all I do is whine and complain about my life.

I've continued to eat poorly and not exercise. The result is continuing weight gain. My last weigh in on Friday was 202 pounds. I feel and look like hell.

Then there are the hives that are occurring more frequently. I had a hive breakout Thursday night, Friday morning and Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday night. No hives on Sunday. Then this morning was the worst one yet, with big, red welts from my knees up to my breasts, and both arms.

I went to the gym this morning when the hives started and were only a few splotches on my stomach. This whole hive thing started when I started slacking with my workouts and eating a lot of processed foods. My workout was good today, but the hives got worse during my my hour at the gym. By the time I was done with my workout I felt like my entire upper body was on fire, and I was an itchy mess.

The hives also started exactly one week after I was made my sister's permanent guardian on February 28. This means I'm responsible for her for the rest of her life. She's 73 and in spite of having a major stroke, she's in perfect health. Even her blood pressure, without blood pressure medicine, is normal. She'll probably live several more years. I have mixed feelings about this. I love her to pieces, but I know she's not happy, trapped in a body that doesn't work on one side, and unable to communicate through speech or written word. Her life isn't easy.

Strangely, when I take a shower the hives calm down and disappear in about thirty minutes. I thought maybe I was allergic to our laundry detergent. I switched to a no dye, no perfume, made for sensitive skin laundry detergent a few weeks ago. It hasn't made any difference.

The funny thing about not having hives on Sunday is that I spent several hours with my sister. She was having a screaming, crying fit when I arrived because of an incident that happened at the home with another resident at lunch. An old man fell, couldn't get up, and the caregiver had to call the paramedics to help him. He wasn't hurt, and was resting in his room when I arrived.

My sister was furious with the caregiver for not helping the old man when he was on the floor, but he weighs about 220, and is a big guy. He refused to try to help himself and he was wailing his arms, hitting anyone that came near him. Then my poor sister, paralyzed on one side, in a wheelchair, tried to help him, and another resident screamed at her to stop because she could get hurt. My sister was extremely upset about this incident. I arrived about an hour after it happened and my sister wanted to make sure I knew about it. I didn't get the information from my sister because she's impossible to understand, but I got it from another resident that tells me everything that goes on at the home.

The caregiver came in and tried to calm my sister down, but it made it worse. My sister screamed at her, crying the whole time. This was very stressful, yet I didn't break out in hives. I never break out in hives when I'm with my sister.

My sister finally calmed down and let me do her hair and makeup so we could go to the movies. We saw The Avengers in 3D, and it was really good. I think she like it. She always seems to enjoy going on outings. She put her one 3D glasses on and when I looked at her I realized they were on upside down, which was pretty funny.

I still haven't seen my regular doctor about the hives, but I don't know what she can do for me anyway. The doctor I saw six weeks ago prescribed a heartburn medicine, Zantac, because he said it sometimes had the side effect of preventing hives. I've never had heartburn and it certainly didn't help the hive situation. After I gave the doctor a two-minute overview of my life, he was positive the hives were stress induced. He told me I needed to learn how to relax. I wish it was that easy to not worry about stuff and just take each day as it comes. Unfortunately, I haven't figured that out yet.

I thought about taking an anti-anxiety drug, but after I read about the common side effects, there's no way in hell I'm taking that stuff. I'm not much for taking drugs anyway, and these anti-anxiety drugs sound downright scary. I know a few people that take anti-anxiety drugs, two of my nieces and a good friend, and although they seem relaxed about things and rarely get upset or worried, it's changed them in other, undesirable ways. I'm sure someone reading this will tell me they take anti-anxiety meds and they're fine, and I'm sure that's true for a lot of people. I'm just not willing to add another thing to my life the might cause me harm. I've done enough of that already.

So, I need a plan. I need to lose weight, get healthy and hopefully, stop the hive outbreaks. 

1. Cut out ALL processed foods, count calories.

I didn't realize how easily I'd fallen into the processed food trap. SmartOnes, Lean Cuisines, when I'm trying to eat healthy. Then I eat junk when I just don't care what I eat (which is often!).  Portion control? That hasn't even been on my radar.

2. Exercise

I have to workout almost every day. I feel better, I eat better, I work harder at trying to keep my weight under control, and exercise is good for me, mentally and physically. I can't believe how easily I went from a minimum of five days a week to one or maybe two days a week of exercise. That's just insane. It's back to my routine of "exercise isn't optional, it's a requirement".

3. Yoga

I have nine more sessions of yoga left on my prepaid card. I went once and although I really liked it, it made me nauseous. It was that stupid "put your legs in the air and pretend your riding a bicycle. That exercise always make me want to throw up. Next time I'll just skip that one and relax instead.

Well, I guess that's enough words for today. I'm making up for lost time. I'm taking the day off from work. I have some legal stuff to take care of for my sister. It's a gorgeous day and since my weekend was spent either working on paperwork for my sister (12 hours on Saturday, and 4 hours on Sunday) or time with my sister, I need a little me time. Perhaps a yoga class is in my future today.

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