A Battle with my Body

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I’m having a bit of a hard time lately. With both my body and my mind. I am so incredibly frustrated that I’m not sure where to even begin.

I’ve gained a bit of weight over the last couple of years from a lack of exercise due to both my Autonomic Neuropathy and Depression. So I stepped up my game a bit and got more active and restricted calories. While it seems to have helped my mood a bit, the weight is staying.

It’s frustrating because of some limitations my wayward heart has set. Lately I’ve just been doing small bits of exercise and walks with my pupper, but without being able to do any cardio, or anything that makes me exert myself.. I’m at a standstill.

At the same exact time, I’m frustrated with myself for hating on my body. Out of the last decade plus change, this is the healthiest I’ve been. Sure, I may be a bit overweight, but my Crohns Disease is behaving, migraines are pretty much gone, and my IST hasn’t knocked my ass into the ER for Adenosine in years. So it’s like.. well.. I’m angry at myself for being angry at myself for not being perfect? It’s a weird circle-jerk of self-loathing at a time where my only real problem is some extra pounds.

I don’t have much of a point to writing this beyond getting the thoughts onto “paper” and out of my head. I’m just frustrated.

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Slow down there heart.

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I am exhausted, even though I slept a bit last night and had a nap it feels like I ran a marathon. My muscles in my shoulders and neck are tight, my chest hurts, and I have a lingering headache that thuds along with my heartbeat.

Why? My heart decided to take off running for no damned reason last night and continued through this morning. So instead of resting with a nice low heart rate, I was at 160bpm just sitting down.

It’s honestly frustrating and simply tiring. By this morning, standing up made me dizzy and nauseated. I am sick of it. However, I also know that my heart is a lot better than it used to be. I know I have more good days than bad, yet it still gets me down.

Either way, I have spent the entire day taking it easy. I’m starting to feel more like myself almost 24 hours later. Hopefully the entire weekend won’t be lost.

Headaches and Headache Balm

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Most of you know I’m pretty science based. Hell, when you have a chronic illness, you kind of have to be with all of the treatments you have to endure. I’m the first one to throat punch a person who tells me to stop my meds and eat some raw foods to cure my Crohns, or take a walk instead of take my antidepressants. I don’t particularly believe in god, though I tend to swing more towards agnostic rather than militant atheist these days. (Fuck organized religion though!)

However, over the last year or so, I’ve surprised myself by being a bit.. holistic? I’m not even sure that’s the right word I’m looking for. I started using essential oils to treat my anxiety and headaches among other things.

It all started back when my heart started acting up. (Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, although as time goes by, it seems closer to POTS, but I don’t have the funds to see a different EP for a second opinion.) I had always been a very anxiety-ridden person, and having a racing heart that occasionally needed to be medically stopped, shot my anxiety through the roof. So a friend of mine gave me some essential oils to try for my new-much-more-hard-core panic attacks. They seemed to work.

So I started investigating different kinds of oils and what people use them for. Now, I’m not one to say “Oh, try ingesting 3 drops of this oil, twice a day and you’ll be cured of this ailment!!”, because that’s crap, and we all know it, but I do think that certain scents are calming, and certain herbs have been proven to work as anti-inflammatory (and disproved – I’m looking at you Turmeric.) Over the past year, I started diffusing certain scents that help me calm myself down when I’m overly stressed or anxious, or help me (or my daughter) sleep when a bout of insomnia strikes.

I’ve also started using Headache Balm (which is essentially peppermint and beeswax) which delivers a cooling sensation when applied to the neck and temples. Combine that with breathing and some Excedrin, I can battle my way through a tension headache or migraine without having to use my injections or head into the ER for IV medication.

Last night/today was a prime example. I went out to have drinks with a friend of mine, but a couple hours after leaving the house, I got that twinge in my head that signaled a migraine coming on. I borrowed some of her headache balm and called my boyfriend for a ride. I came home and was able to get some sleep with more balm and a lot of Tylenol.

Woke up this morning, and it was still there. It was miserable. Jon massaged my head with balm and I took a Zofran to battle the nausea that came with it. I also used some oils to keep my anxiety down (which I always get once I get nauseated or am faced with using my very expensive medicine that I can’t afford). By mid-day, it was finally subsiding, with no real damage beyond time lost, so I came home to nap.

Now, I’m enjoying my Saturday night, curled up in my bed (with a a bit of a Crohns flare, been bothering me for a few weeks) and my diffuser going to help me stay relaxed.

The way I figure it, is if the balm and oils has a placebo effect, than great! I’m all for placebo effects! If they don’t work! Then my house smells great and I’m moisturized! I’m not delusional enough to think that some ginger oil is going to cure my crohns, but I do think that some lavender oil helps me sleep, and some lime and geranium picks me up. No matter what, patchouli has always helped me stay grounded. So why not give it a try?