04 July, 2017

First Steps: Thrive

I'm not going to lie, I'm a pretty big skeptic sometimes, especially when it comes to health products. I know there's not a magic pill or a magic shake to create a "perfect body." That's impossible. I grew up seeing so many people try so many fad diets and pills and whatnot with the claim being quick weight loss and happiness. I'm not into that.

What I am into, is living my best life, and some days, it's really freaking hard.

I work at a lunch and catering company right now, and although it's not a hard job, it's physically and mentally (and emotionally) exhausting for me. I'm wrecked by the end of the day. Even though our hours of operation span a mere 3 hours, I can't help but want to go home and go straight to sleep.

In walks an angel of light and happiness, Giannine. She's a regular customer at the store, and is constantly a beacon of energy and kindness and clarity. She introduced me to something called Thrive, and after talking to me about it for two or three months, I've finally had a chance to try it.

So, what is Thrive? Is it a placebo? Is it a pyramid scheme? Is it the real deal? I don't know yet. According to the Le-Vel Thrive website, Thrive is a premium lifestyle plan to help individuals experience and reach peak physical & mental levels. It promises to aid in weight management, cognitive performance, digestive & immune support, healthy joint function, lean muscle support, age-defying & antioxidant support, as well as calm general discomfort (x). Thrive promotes delivering higher levels of energy throughout the day without the crash of usual caffeine intakes like coffee (a big deal for me!). 

Well, I'm going to try it. I've seen the outcome on others, and you know what? I want to give it a try for myself. Maybe this has the vitamins I need. Maybe it's cutting back on my caffeine intake to focus on other aspects of my health. If Thrive can be the first step in helping me get my life back under control, I'm going to try it. 

What am I hoping to get out of this exactly? Well, I don't know. I want to feel better all around. Specifically, I guess I'm hoping for increased energy levels, stability in my mood, a digestive aid, and muscle toning with the energy to complete daily workouts. Maybe even more. All I know is, I'm excited to see how my body reacts to this. I'm excited to hopefully be feeling my best, and maybe begin to look my best!

I want to be honest, I really don't know what I expect. I don't know if this is going to work for me. I am trying not to be negative, but I want to be honest in my skepticism. I don't want to be that person who only talks about health products I'm using, but if this delivers goodness into my life, I am going to share it! I'm going to be honest about my journey. I am going to share my journey. I've had a really rough time with my health lately, and I'm tired of feeling tired. I'm tired of wanting to give up. 

Here I go! This Independence day is my first day of Thrive. Independence for America, and hopefully independence for me. 

22 May, 2017

Miss Diagnosis

God. It's like I can't win.

I was diagnosed with endometriosis a year ago. I was put on a regimen of birth control to hopefully ease the pain, and make my periods lighter, as I was losing an incredible amount of blood each month (and being anaemic, well, it wasn't good). All the medicine did was regulate my periods (bless -- they were so sporadic), but there was little to no aid in the pain department.

I started seeing a new OB/GYN, and was put on a different birth control. The amount of hormones going through my body with all of my other medicine was causing a lot of problems health-wise. The new birth control had a smaller dose of hormones, but my pain gradually increased. On my first visit, we found no signs of ovarian cysts or any other cause of pain, so my diagnosis for endometriosis was thought to be spot-on.

A few months later, after trying the new birth control, my pain became so unbearable I couldn't live a normal life. I would miss work, miss days of meals, and barely make it out of bed during the worst days of my cycle. I went back to my OB and had a vaginal ultrasound. The doctor found a large cyst growing on my right ovary, and a surgery was quickly scheduled to remove it. A surgery to fully diagnose my endometriosis, called a laparoscopy, was also ordered, to knock out two birds with one stone.

The day of the surgery finally came, and everything went smoothly. The cyst (which wound up being half the size of my uterus!!!!) was benign, and removed without a problem. The catch? There was no trace of endometriosis. Which, is great, yes, but finding out that my diagnosis had been wrong the entire time? Honestly horrible. It's great to not have endo, but now I'm back to square one in the diagnosis process.

I am now a little over a month post-surgery, and my first full period (I had one during recovery too, which, let me tell you, was NOT FUN) was HORRENDOUS. Awful pain, so much blood, sporadic bleeding. I kind of expected it to be slightly abnormal, as my body is learning how to cycle without that cyst inhabiting my lower regions, but DAMN, did this last cycle suck. At my post-op, I scheduled an appointment to get an IUD at the recommendation of my surgeon. We were hoping that the focus of hormones on only the affected region would help my body process everything, and hopefully reduce my pain and flow.

So today, I went into my appointment, both nervous and excited. I've heard so many great things about IUDs! I was excited for the excellent contraceptive, as well as the focus of hormones on only one part of my body. I took the medicine prescribed to me as directed, and off I went to the OB/GYN.

I was ushered into the ultrasound room. The medicine was making me feel a little crampy, understandably, as it was meant to soften the cervix. As I laid back on the table, I got ready for the understandable cramps accompanied with the insertion. Little did I know, it would be so much worse.

My doctor did everything she could, but my body rejected every attempt to clear a path into my uterus. She tried four or five different times, and my uterus pushed back. I have never been in so much pain. My body was convulsing so severely, and the doctors all knew they had to stop. I was given pain medication and asked if I wanted to try again, and I said yes. So we tried again...to no avail. Pain pain pain. Worse than, God, I can't even think of words to explain just how much pain I was in. My uterus was not having it. I'm not having it. I couldn't stop crying, both from the pain and the disappointment. I wanted the IUD to work for me so badly. Maybe it will in the future, but for now, the pill is all there is.

There's no winning with this body. We don't know where the pain is coming from. We don't know a cure. We don't know a diagnosis. We simply don't know. And boy, is that terrifying. I'm tired of being in pain. I'm tired of putting my life on hold. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I'm disappointed. I'm a mess. I am fighting for my life back, and nothing seems to move me forward.

So here I am, back in the waiting game. Just sitting here, hoping and praying for answers. Hoping and praying for relief. I know I'm not the only one suffering. I hope and pray for a cure for each and every person dealing with this unknown origin of pain.