November 25, 2019

A Sick Week (and a fun 10-year old memory)

(I wrote this post on Friday, and only had a tiny bit to go--adding the photos--but lost the motivation to finish. So I'm only posting this now.)

Thank you for all the kind comments on my utility room makeover! Writing that post, including the step-by-step photos, was fun. It makes me wish I'd thought to take step-by-step photos for the whole house. Even if they are boring to others, I find it so cool to see how each little step adds up to something big.

It's kind of like when I was losing weight and took photos for every 10 pounds I lost. I'm so glad I did that! I hated the first photo, after losing 10 pounds, and I even cried when I saw it. I had counted every Weight Watchers Point and I was so confident that I looked a million times better. Then I saw the photo and was extremely discouraged. I wanted to quit.

I'm so thankful that I didn't quit, obviously! It's always cool to see before and after photos of weight loss, but I love to see the progression of small achievements adding up.

I do have a ton of photos from the boys' bedrooms that I didn't share (I sort of glossed over their room makeovers when I wrote about them) so may do another post that is specific to their bedrooms.

Anyway, this week has been kind of miserable. I felt like I was getting sick, but then I wasn't sure, and then I felt it again... I actually wished I'd just get sick already to get it over with! I had a sore throat for a few days, but I couldn't tell whether it was from anxiety (when I get a lump in my throat) or if I was getting sick.

I actually went to the doctor last Saturday and felt fine then. I had a tetanus shot and a flu shot while I was there, and the following day I started to feel the sore throat. So I also wondered if the flu shot gave me mild symptoms. But then Jerry and Eli felt it, too, and they were coughing and blowing their noses (meanwhile, I still just had a sore throat).

And, finally, I woke up with congested sinuses and a throat that felt like I was swallowing razorblades. My eyes were really watery and my nose and throat felt super dry. I skipped my run on Monday, thinking, I'd run Tue/Thu/Sat this week. Then I skipped Tuesday. Again, no big rush.

Wednesday and Thursday weren't any better. So, it's now Friday and I haven't run yet this week. But I insist on getting in all three days this week, so today, Saturday, Sunday it is! I have come too far over the past seven weeks (running three times per week) to quit the streak now. My weeks are Monday through Sunday, so it's not too late. (ETA: Since I'm only now posting this, on Monday, I will spoil by saying that I did, in fact, run on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, despite the sore throat. Will recap that tomorrow.)

Jerry surprised me with a custom Tervis mug, and I've been drinking lots of tea with honey to soothe my throat. I am usually aware when he's planning something, but I had no idea that he actually went through photos, picked out his favorites, and had this made:

Custom Tervis mug from Jerry

When he gets up for work every morning, he sets out a mug, a green tea bag, honey, and a packet of True Lemon. And he fills the electric kettle with water, so that when I wake up, I just push the button to boil the water and make my tea. (I love that he does this.)

Now, I'm feeling mostly better but my throat is still a little sore, I have post nasal drip, and now I can't hear out of my left ear. I think that's the worst part about being sick for me. My hearing gets muffled, no matter how many decongestants I take, and the muffled hearing lasts for what feels like forever!

Jerry was off work Wednesday and Thursday, so we actually had "sick days" together. Despite the misery of feeling sick, it was fun to lie around on the couch and catch up on our favorite TV shows together while the kids were in school. We watch all of the Chicago shows--Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med--and we had three of each to watch!

I also finished up a few small projects I was working on. I'll post those tomorrow, because I haven't taken photos of them yet. Nothing major--I guess they would be crafts, rather than projects.

Today, Jerry has an a follow-up appointment with the gastroenterologist. He had an endoscopy done a few weeks ago, and the doctor did a biopsy for H. Pylori. We were hoping that's what it was, because you just treat it with antibiotics. The biopsy ended up being negative, so we still don't know what's going on. (I wrote about the details on this post.)

I really hope we get some answers today! Jerry is miserable and wants to just know what's going on. I've read everything I can think of online about his symptoms and I can't even come up with a guess other than GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease). However, his symptoms don't quite fit that, either, and he hasn't responded at all to taking Prilosec.

Where is Dr. House when you need him?!

Jerry and I have been talking about how much we want to get back to eating healthier and to drop some weight. I'm glad that I haven't gained anything over the past year, but I am not comfortable at this weight. Aside from the weight, I just want to feel healthier. Even if it's only in my head.

After running this week, I'm feeling pretty discouraged. I did two outdoor runs (and one treadmill), and they did not go well. I'll write a recap tomorrow (again, I haven't taken screenshots of the data or anything, so I'm totally unprepared to write anything right now! haha).

I'm hoping the bad runs were just because I was sick, so maybe my heart rate was high from that. To really see if I'm making progress, I need a solid four weeks or so of data without changing the variables--nearly impossible.

It's funny, last night (as I was procrastinating getting in my final run for the week), I was scrolling through Facebook. And look what popped up on my memories from 10 years ago!

Facebook status about dreading Couch to 5K

I had attempted to do the Couch to 5K program, but I HATED doing intervals (which is why I was never successful at that program). It's funny (or not really) but it was the first day of week four that I actually quit the Couch to 5K plan. So, this Facebook post was a precursor to quitting the plan during the very workout I was dreading.

I gave up on exercise altogether until I started walking in February to train to walk the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon (13.1 miles). At that point, I had lost 60 pounds. After the race, I decided to start running, and I did my own plan (it wasn't really a "plan" at the time, but I later wrote up a plan based on what I did). It didn't involve intervals, and I didn't dread it nearly as much as I did Couch to 5K.

After I was able to run three miles, I started following Hal Higdon's Novice 10K training plan. I ran all summer long, and I can still remember my route (it was always the same) as well as the music that was on my iPod shuffle.

Now I feel nostalgic for that summer when I hear those songs or run that route. I didn't love the actual running, but I loved that I could do it! I could actually run three miles at a time without stopping--something I never imagined was even possible for me.

Now, I feel like I'm back at that beginner status. If I was to run my fastest for three miles, I'm pretty sure I'd be slower now than I was then! But I really want to give this MAF heart rate training a good try, so I'm going to stick it out. After these three months are over, I'll reassess and probably add a fourth day per week--speed work. Intervals, of all things! ;)  I actually like intervals now much more than I did back then.

Well, let's hope I actually write a post tomorrow! I was feeling so unmotivated this week while being sick. The kids don't have school Thursday or Friday, so we get a long weekend :)


  1. I have been reading your blog for years...I feel like I know you! I also have two boys of similar age. I wanted to chime in about the Gastro symptoms as my son has had some issues this year. My son is 15 and had his wisdom teeth out in January. He got a mild infection after that he just couldn't get rid of. I kept taking him back to the oral surgeon and over the course of about 5 months he did 3 rounds of antibiotics and several antibiotic rinses. He finally had to go back under and get everything cleaned out. As that was finally clearing up (it had been 5 months) he seemed to get what I thought was a little virus- I remember it because he wasn't feeling well for a jazz concert he was in. Nothing too horrible though...but he just never started feeling better. His appetite decreased, and he started having nausea. I took him to the pediatrician and they suggested probiotics (which I had already started) due to the possibility of his stomach issues from all the antibiotics he took. He just continued to decline. He was referred to a GI. Started on prilosec, then added zantac and zofran. Over several months no improvement. He went from 185ish to 145ish in 4-5 months! He also had tons of testing (fecal and blood) and an endoscopy and colonoscopy and all they saw was some gastritis. His symptoms were nausea and vomiting in the morning and zero appetite. He also had rapid heart rate sometimes and showed some physical symptoms of anxiety. His pediatrician wanted to refer him to stanford to an eating disorder clinic. I was all for looking at anxiety but in my heart I just knew it was not the root cause...not for him. At a follow up with his GI he asked if there was anything he could take to stimulate appetite. We were seeing a very very slight improvement in his symptoms but not much progress. She said it takes 3 months to treat gastritis and he was past that mark. I was a mess. So when he asked for the appetite stimulate she prescribed an antihistamine of all things! Cyproheptadine. It started working the next day! I couldn't believe it. It has been a total game changer. It's like my son is totally back to normal after 6 months of hell. I too had researched everything I could online and was so frustrated and scared. What I've concluded was that the enzymes or receptors in his gut that were supposed to be taking care of excess histamine were damaged and so he was getting a build up and it was affecting his gut and his brain? (anxiety symptoms). I don't know if this will be helpful to you or not but I wanted to share. I work with nurses and other pediatric specialists and we actually work with infants and toddlers with feeding issues (I'm a speech pathologist) and none of us have ever heard of this being prescribed. I think the GI was even surprised how well it worked for my son. I am sending good thoughts your way!

    1. Thank you for sharing that--I'm so glad that your son is healthy again! Mother's intuition is a powerful feeling. I don't know if you read the story about when Noah had that enormous splinter in his foot, but I KNEW something was wrong, and it took a visit to urgent care and three emergency rooms to finally get someone to listen to me and do an ultrasound on his foot. He could have lost his foot!

      That's very interesting that the antihistamine did the trick for your son. Jerry hasn't lost any weight, despite throwing up so much, and he doesn't have nausea. That's what's so weird about it! He just randomly has to throw up. The next step is a gastric emptying test (he'll have to eat certain foods and have x-rays periodically throughout four hours to see if he's digesting food properly). The doctor said that the worst case scenario is that he'll have to take medication indefinitely. I hope we get some answers soon!

    2. After reading about the medication, it had off-use indications for several things and vomiting was one of them. I love that it's a med without many side effects. Be careful not to fall down the google hole...I had diagnosed my son with at least 5 different things. One thing I noticed with GI issues and diet was that there was zero consensus on anything! Everyone kept pushing probiotics for my son but it just made him worse...apparently probiotics and things like yogurt are like adding fuel to the fire for histamine issues. Everyone is so different and respond differently to things. Trying to think about diet was the hardest part! Good luck!


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