Tuesday, April 23, 2013

That Really Chaps My Hide.

This is a vent.

I hate it when vegans or vegetarians tell you that being a vegetarian is the only way to be or eat. Or, that if you think at all, or care at all, you would be like them. That thinking people wouldn't be able to kill animals for food and how cruel they are to eat animals. I even read some quote somewhere that said "I think, therefore I am vegan". Does that mean then, that since I am not vegan that I don't think? I am thoughtless and cruel? The people who think their way is the only way really chaps my hide. They are not thinking about other people and maybe they have different needs.

The particular thing about the veganism bothers me the most right now. First, because I used to be a vegetarian. When I was 16 I had a teacher who really meant a lot to me. She was smart and funny, and most of all, nice. She showed me pamphlets from PETA and ate lunch with me. I was a vegetarian for 4 years. I believed that eating animals was cruel and wrong. I didn't want to support the animal killing business in any way so I didn't eat animal products. Eventually, I got tired of feeling weak and sick and slowly added meat back into my diet. I didn't realize it then, but the vegan diet was killing me, starving me of nutrition. I didn't eat a lot of meat. What I did eat was mostly chicken or burger with lots of veggies.

About 2 years ago, I realized why eating vegan hadn't worked for me, and why eating small amounts of meat wasn't working for me either. I had been testing borderline anemic for years. I was low on lots of vitamins, my bad cholesterol and triglycerides way high, and I had lots of chronic pain and inflammation. My children and I all tested positive for Fructose Intolerance, or Fructose Malabsoprtion Syndrome. Fructose and fructans are found in every food except plain meat. I was not absorbing vitamins or nutrients out of most of the food I was eating. I was not absorbing all the stuff I needed to make energy or the happiness chemical that wards off depression. I was not absorbing enough vitamin B6, Iron, or anything else really. I was told that my safe food was meat, spinach, mushrooms, and certain citrus fruits. If I add anything else or eat anything else then it is just for fun because it won't really give me any nutrition. A vegan diet would slowly starve me to death.  My children would slowly starve to death. My now 6 year old spent a year looking like a starving Ethiopian child from those send money commercials even though she ate a ton of food all the time. She ate tons of fruit and veggies and hardly any meat. Once we quit feeding her fruits and veggies and made her meals mostly meat she bounced back, regained her muscle and had better behavior.

Since I have changed my diet to be more meat heavy, I have had more energy, more happiness, less fatigue, less pain, less stiffness, and less brain fog. I still have issues from the Ehlers-Danlos, but it is much easier to manage.

Most of this hide chapping comes from my facebook feed. I could probably just turn them off but I actually have other stuff I need to communicate with them about. Unfortunately, I have several friends that feel this way even though they know my family, my children, suffer from this intolerance. It hurts my feelings and angers me. Obviously, because I am writing this post. But, what bothers me most? Why do I let this upset me? Because it is inferring that they are better than me? That I am somehow wrong for choosing to eat meat?   That eating meat is selfish? Maybe it is because I am not feeling accepted for my choices. Or respected. I didn't make that choice lightly. I still feel guilty eating meat if I stop to think about it, especially since I can't afford humanely slaughtered animals. I still refuse to eat veal. They are treated so horribly. I won't eat lamb either. They are usually slaughtered when they are still yearlings. We stick to the main ones. Chicken, beef, and pork. I try to imagine that they lived a stress free life and died painlessly. I know it is not true, but I can't do anything about it. I can't afford better stuff and I can't afford to not eat meat.

We eat meat because we have to. We actually do have to eat it. We don't have the choice of being vegan or vegetarian. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fibro Flare, EDS fatigue, or Post Partum Depression?

I really hurt right now. I hate to admit it. I don't like to let anyone know when I am hurting. I will use blanket statements like "I am just tired today" or "I will feel better tomorrow". And most times that is true. But then I get spells like the one I am in know, where it has been more than a week, and I start to feel like a liar. The I start telling myself that I am lying to myself about getting better, I will never get better, I am cursed, etc. And then I get depressed. And then I will have more pain, and the cycle cycles on. An ever down spiral dragging into the pit of my own hell. It is so hard to break out of it.

But I had been. For a couple of years now. I felt like I was in charge of my life, like I was doing what I needed to do. I didn't have loads of energy but I was getting stuff done around the house, keeping up with it, managing the schedule. I love the feeling of not getting behind. I was doing awesome. It was so good that I felt like I was lying about being disabled.

And then..... 2 or 3 weeks ago I started falling behind. I just didn't have the energy to do that last task of the day. I thought it was because the baby was teething. He wasn't sleeping at night and it was draining on me. Then parts starting hurting much worse than they had before. And I thought maybe it was because of the hormones. They change around 6 mo postpartum, when you are breastfeeding. He was 7 months, maybe the hormones caught up to me. That would explain the hip pain and the sliding out feeling. A couple of days ago I realized that I was sad all the time too. Was this caused by the pain, the hormones, or the not doing anything?

I hate this, feeling like this. It is moments like these that make me remember just how disabled I am. I sit here thinking, hoping, that maybe one day I could be normal. Make the pain go away. I know that won't happen though. There is no cure. And so I have spiraled even further down into that thinking that takes you nowhere,

It is time for a change!
I have to jolt myself out of this thinking, this circular thinking. I need to go back to the gym. If only so that I can spend an hour by myself in the pool or at a yoga class. Sitting still and doing nothing will only make things worse. And I refuse to get that bad again.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lost Baby.

   Most people don't like to talk about losing a baby. It is raw and fierce. And most people don't understand. Then there are all types of lost babies (like categorizing them means anything to a mom who has lost a baby). There are babies who are born and die before a year. Ones who are stillborn. Late term losses. Early losses. Miscarriages. Mine was an ectopic pregnancy. 8 weeks.

It was a total surprise that I had gotten pregnant. I was not trying. My relationship was not serious. But I knew right away that I wanted the baby. I was 4 weeks when I found out. The day I missed my period. The week the heart is forming. By 5 weeks the heart has started beating. There was new life. My baby. By the 6th week I knew something was wrong. One side of my abdomen was bigger. It was puffed out. It was supposed to be in the middle but it was to one side. I went to the doctor and they drew blood. The hormone count was right but they sent me in for a vaginal ultrasound. They were a little worried too. The ultrasound showed nothing. I mean, nothing. There was nothing in my uterus and they couldn't see anything in my tubes. They said that it was hard to see it that soon and that if it was in my tubes that it would be too small to see, etc. Looking back this makes me mad. They sent me back for 3 more of those intrusive painful intra vaginal ultrasounds. Each one, they said the same thing. They didn't offer any kind of treatment, just to wait and see.

I was 8 weeks along. Trying to sleep. 3 am. I am woken up out of my half sleep by incredible pain. My whole belly was on fire. I tried waking up my then boyfriend. I told him something was wrong. That I hurt. He told me I was imagining it and to go back to sleep. I was crying but he rolled over and went back to sleep. I stumbled downstairs to the bathroom. Crying. I made it to the bathroom before I started violently vomiting. I was half passing out from the pain and half violently retching. I was crying and moaning. It was blindingly painful. My room mate heard me and came to see what was wrong. I told her that I needed her to watch my 3 yr old and I was going to go to the hospital.

I picked myself up. Put on my shoes. Grabbed my keys and got into my little 5 speed 2 door. And then I drove myself 30 miles to the nearest hospital. To the astonishment of the hospital staff. They admitted me instantly. They did a quick look but I don't remember if it was an ultrasound or what. The one thing I remember is that they said they had to do emergency surgery, my ectopic pregnancy had burst, and then I told them to call my mom. The next thing I remember is waking up in a recovery room. All the meds they gave me, I still remembered what had happened and that there was no more baby. All my housemates and family came to see me, even my then boyfriend. But everything was hollow. I tried making jokes about the meds making me trip, but all I could think about was how hollow and empty I felt. The nurse came in and asked me some questions. She was flabbergasted that I had drove myself, 30 miles, shifting a manual. She said 5 more minutes and I would have been dead. DEAD.

I quit thinking about the baby after that. Or so I told myself. I stayed in bed recovering for a couple of weeks and then went on with my life. I waited 7 more years to try again. I found a nice man and settled down. I started thinking about how I wanted another baby. My son was 10 and I might not have another chance to have one more. I only had one fallopian tube left and I wasn't sure how hard it would be to get pregnant. When I finally did get pregnant I was scared that it might be ectopic again. I wasn't afraid because I might die. I was afraid because I might lose another baby. Then it hit me how much it had affected me. How much it still hurt. How mad I was that I couldn't have that baby. I went on to have 2 more after that. 4 children in total.

And every single one of them reminds me of the one I should have had. At 8 weeks, he or she, would have had a heartbeat. A brain forming, circulatory system started. Every successful pregnancy, I would read along to those "where are you now" pregnancy things. Imagining. Missing. Begging the Universe to give that baby back to me. Knowing that isn't how it works. Birthing, nursing, watching baby grow. I would sit and think about my missing baby. Trying to imagine what he would look like, act like, sound like, smell like. Sometimes I would cry.

I recently decided to get my remaining tube tied. Actually, I decided to get it cut off and thrown away like the other side. It feels right. The 2 sides match now. It makes it feel a little more normal even though I am the only one who knows and nobody can see it. I had 4 lovely kids plus a bonus step daughter that I get to be a full time mom too. I have enough kids. I cant keep having babies trying to fill that hole left behind. I am disabled. I just cant take care of anymore. It was the right decision. Today was my last post op check. Checked out fine. I told the doctor that I should have asked to keep it, to see it. She said they take pictures for documentation but that it was left in my hospital file. I always regretted not being able to keep my baby, to bury. The hospital doesn't think of it as a baby at 8 weeks. They "disposed" of it probably. I wasn't in any frame of mind to ask for it or even think about it.

It is only now that I regret not having been able to keep it and bury it. I realize that it wouldn't have looked like a baby and I might not have wanted to see it. But I do wonder sometimes if it would have felt better being able to bury it. On my way home from the appointment I wondered if they had taken a pic of the baby. Would it have been in my file? Then I get a clear vision in my mind of what it would look like. Or what I think it would have looked like. It is so clear though. I start crying. I am thankful my 2 kids with me are sleeping. I silently weep all the way home. Missing my baby again.

He would be 13. I say he because I have a strong feeling it would have been. I don't know for sure. They were never any tests done because it was clear what happened. There is a gap in my kids where he should be. There should be my 17.5 yr old and then a 13 year old. They should have grown up together. They should have had each other. It has been 14 years and I still cry about it like it was yesterday.

I hold my only other living son. My 7 mo old. And I wonder. Is reincarnation real? Could the baby have come back to me? Ever? In any of these children? Would I ever know? Why does it hurt so bad?

I don't talk about it much. When I have, I usually hear stuff along the lines of being glad it was so early, or it was too early to be a baby. I hate hearing how it is easier than losing a born baby or late term baby. It doesn't feel easier. It was the only baby I ever lost. I have nothing to compare it too. I have lost family members, grandparents, a best friend, but only one child. The only thing I can compare it to is the actual having of my live children. My loss is real.