Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy, yet annoyed :-/

Good news first - I've reached one of my goals for this year!! I've lost 25 pounds!!! Yeee-haw! I joined Weight Watchers in October and have totally changed the way that I eat and even think about food. I also exercise. Which brings me to my annoyance.

Stupid headaches = stumbling block. I've been unable to exercise all week because I've had pretty bad headaches. :-( BOO!!! It's SO annoying! I want to be just like everyone else, and do things just like anyone else can, but physical things are just one hurdle that I'm having a difficult time jumping over.

I remember when I felt really dumb and I'd wonder if I was going to be dumb forever. I was no genius before, but I wasn't an idiot either. But after surgery, I was just some sort of empty blob. But I think it's safe to say that I've proven to myself that I'm NOT just an empty blob. I'm in RN school, about to graduate, and I'm managed to keep my grades competitive with "the smart kids" throughout this entire program.

But this... well, this is different. I'll have a week of 3 pretty good workouts, and then 'BOOM' - I'm out for the count. It's SO aggravating! Meanwhile, my husband takes evening 6 mile runs like it's nothing. NOTHING! I can't even walk down the hallway without holding on to the walls... GRRR!

But how awful is this. Here I am complaining and it could be SO much worse. And I know that. I know that I'm fortunate. I know that there are so many people out there that have it worse than me. I know I once had it worse. But yet, knowing those things doesn't make this suck any less.

Lord, help me to have a grateful heart and forgive me for moments like today that I don't feel grateful. Help me to remember all the glorious things that You have done for me and let me be able to share my testimony with others. Don't let these silly roadblocks allow me to get discouraged. I fully believe that with You, I am more than a conqueror. And thank You that I have been able to lose weight and I have been able to excercise as much as I have been. Amen. :-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gratefully Hurting

This morning, I laid in my bed, missing church, covers pulled over my head, tears (of pain) rolling down my cheeks, head stabilized by a mound of pillows, facing "the headache". The desire to be overcome with self-pity was dangerously close to overtaking me and to ignore those feelings, I kept willing myself to fall asleep. Unfortunately, the pain was too great and so I just laid there feeling awful. The house was silent. My husband and kids had left for church - the place where I wanted to be. And just before I caved in to the feelings of self-pity, I summoned up the inner Paul and Silas in me. LOL - I started thanking God.

Because of the headache, I couldn't say anything out loud, but as I laid there, in my head I started remembering where I could be... should be, even. And I just started praising God. I started remembering 3 1/2 years ago now when that surgeon came in my room and told us to prepare for long-term arrangements for my care, because chances were that after surgery I would face brain damage - maybe even extensive. Doctors said that I may not take care of myself again. Could you imagine? Being a 24 year old woman, not being able to wash your own hair? Brush your own teeth? And yet, nearly 4 years later, the ONLY problem I have is fighting a dumb ol' headache. Other than that, I'm fine! No brain damage! I mean, I'm in nursing school about to graduate with an R.N., I'm training for a 5K (so that means that I can at least walk) LOL, and I have NEVER had to live in a nursing home! HOORAY!! :-D

And then I had to start praising God that it's me dealing with this and not my kids. How fortunate and blessed am I to have such healthy, smart, beautiful children!! My children have never had to be hospitalized and they don't have any idea what the inside of an ambulance looks like or the inside of an MRI machine. My husband is also healthy! God has blessed him with health so that he is able to work for us and provide. What would we do if he was plagued with this? We'd be homeless! How blessed we are!! Of all of us, God knew exactly who to let deal with the health stuff. He's blessed me with an incredibly strong husband to lean on in my dark days; a husband that doesn't even have to be asked to take care of the kids, meals, or household chores when I'm sick; a husband that silently gets my medicine and brings me food in bed. Last night, in the middle of the night, I nudged him and said, "Babe, 'the headache' is here." He shot out of bed and got my medicine and water just like that! I wouldn't even do that! LOL - Oh, God I thank You! I could be suffering with this all alone.

These may not be the plans that I have for myself, but God's plans are perfect. And His grace is fufficient. I'm not giving up on complete healing, but in the meantime, I'm just thankful for what He has already done for me. And if He chooses not to take away my headaches, He's done MORE than enough for me already. And I'm grateful. :-)

Random Update

1. As it is March, I realize it seems rather late to be stating New Year's Resolutions, so these will just be goals for this year. And these goals actually seem like goals that I'll finish this year. Goal #1 is that I will have an RN this year. Goal #2 is that I will have lost > 25 pounds this year. And goal #3 is that I will have run a 5 K this year. WOOHOO! LOL

So I've been writing about my journey in nursing school, and I'm in the middle of my next to last semester now! I graduate in July so I can FINALLY see a small light at the end of the tunnel. :-) Hooray!

The weight loss thing sort of happened by accident. I've been so desperate to get my headaches under control and I HATE the pain medicates so badly. My goal is to be off all pain meds completely, so I started reading up on foods that trigger headaches. Sadly enough, it was foods that I loved. You know, chocolate, tea, coffee, tomatoes, fatty greasy stuff, etc. Also there is a link to exercise and headache improvement (hence the running the 5K).

So I joined Weight Watchers with my mom and I have absolutely LOVED it! Since October I have lost 22 pounds and it's been so easy. I have completely changed the way that I eat, and while I am not off of pain meds, I do take pain meds a lot less frequently. My blood pressure has decreased and I've dropped 4 pants sizes! Another plus, I think the pain meds had caused some bowel problems, but eating healthy has totally (and I mean totally) taken care of that! It's been great!

Exercising hasn't been very easy. My brain tumor affected the part of my brain that controls my breathing, and the cells that are left in my brain are still in that same part of my brain. I don't know if it's just a mental thing or what, but I am having the hardest time with my breathing. The furthest I've run so far is 7 minutes and then suddenly my breathing gets crazy and I feel panicked. But I'm not going to give up. By the end of this year, I am determined to run a 5K with my husband. Also, I'm not so sure about excercing helping with headaches. A lot of days, after a good workout, I get home and end up needing a pain pill. :-( But maybe once the workouts get a little easier???

In other news, I had reported a new onset of these crazy awful headaches occuring like I'd been rammed in the eye with an ice pick. They are called cluster headaches and are unrelated to the tumor. They typically occur in women my age and appear to be seasonal. As if I needed more headaches! LOL - Oh well, the more the merrier!

My neurologist did some more medication adjustments on my last visit, but literally tells me that the only thing that he thinks will help me is graduating from nursing school and taking a break from the stress of school. LOL - I find that funny for some reason! :-) At least SOMEONE understands how stressful it is. (-; But if my head's made it through over a year of this, it can take 5 more months.