Magnet Magic and Paleo

By mid October of 2012, I’d given up.

I was feeling a little better physically by switching to a strict Paleo diet.  That change alone has done wonders for my weight, my strength and the chronic “brain fog”.

I stopped using iodized table salt and started using Sea or Himalayan salt only. You would be shocked how sodium might be contributing to your aggressive anger and excessive bloating/water retention.

I can’t eat out anymore and grocery trips take twice as long because I read every label before it goes in my basket!  I wrote about my experience with salt  in another post….

I was drinking green tea with fresh lime juice every morning before I did anything else to begin detoxing my liver and neutralize the acid in my body.

But I still had no “good” weeks anymore.  The fear of PMDD caused a form of PTSD and the stress of that combination forced my adrenal glands to fail.

When I could find the energy, I’d  try to do an easy workout that caused me to crash for days.  When I say crash…I mean I slept for 20 hours at a time each day with my teens having to bring water and snacks to recover.

If I did start to feel better… luteal phase would begin and depression would pull me into it’s black, cold, merciless grip.

I lived in fear of PMDD.  I lived in fear of depression and lived in fear this might be the month I have the courage to end the curse of PMDD and take my life.

The cycle was vicious and endless.

….until God heard my cry and sent an angel, from across the ocean, into my life.

Please, if you have PMDD do not take lightly what I am going to suggest.  It’s going to sound simple and too good to be true.  But why not?  Why can’t the solution be simple?

I am connected to beautifully strong, tormented women all over the world in Facebook forums for those fighting the daily battle of PMDD.

I read the stories of others to keep from feeling so alone, especially those sleepless nights when my husband was deployed.  I kept seeing posts about the “Lady Care Magnet”.  I grew curious, but after years of trial and error including being cut open to check for endometriosis , I was a little skeptical….  No, I was a lot skeptical.

But God was leading me into a cross roads.  One sleepless night, I saw a generous offer from a woman from the UK.  

She was sending out Lady Care Magnets to women all over the world.

She was using her tithe to buy and ship them.  It took me a few days to ask her to mail me one…in the end though, I decided I had absolutely nothing to lose.

The Lady Care Magnet is designed for women going through menopause, but Julie’s theory was: If it regulates hormones from menopause, why wouldn’t it regulate hormones for women with severe PMDD?

My plan was to set up an appointment for a  complete hysterectomy as soon as possible and I refused to put another anti depressant or birth control pill in my body, so why not just give the magnet a shot?

I’ve been wearing the magnet non-stop for three cycles now.

And for the first time in 3 years I didn’t sink into the darkness.

PMDD has crippled me and destroyed relationships since I was a teen, but it was not a  monthly occurrence  until 2009.  Prior to that, it would hit really hard about every three or four months.

Now, it was coming every month and each month worse than one before.

The first cycle in October was almost euphoric.  I was still exhausted from adrenal fatigue, but I wasn’t depressed.  I didn’t know what to do with all the extra hours in my day.

I stayed away from the PMDD group.  I stopped blogging and sharing, because I couldn’t believe what I was experiencing and I certainly wasn’t going to share and give anyone false hope if it was a coincidence.

Since sadness didn’t overtake me in October, I had a few extra weeks to really focus on food and what I was putting in my body.

When depression takes over, it’s impossible to really care so eating properly becomes hit and miss.

For the first time, I could follow through with a little exercise and eliminate sugar, flour and all processed foods.

By the luteal phase in November, I was able to finish a P90X routine.  I wasn’t craving sweets.  I didn’t need a nap to get through the day anymore.

Depression didn’t hit again….

By December, I started to make plans to work again.  All muscles pain was gone.  Exhaustion was gone.  I could workout for over an hour.  (Sometimes, I crashed because my adrenals were still healing, but nothing like before)

Depression still did not come.

I’ve had a total of three days since November where I’ve felt paralyzingly unsocial, anxious, scared, insecure….all the normal feelings I used to face every month for weeks.

My observation:

I believe the magnet has lifted my paranoia and depression.

In turn, I was able to be consistent in my need to eliminate the wrong foods and add healthy alternatives.

The food, exercise and lack of stress from the PMDD is causing my adrenals to heal for the first time in years.

The result is a miracle.

I can still feel the symptoms deep inside of me and if I take the magnet off too long, they creep back in very quickly.  The magnet just seems to hold everything back and draws the shades back to let a little light in….

It’s the combination of the magnet, exercise and food choices, not one or the other.

I cannot thank God enough  for sending Julie Anne right when I lost my last strand of hope and allowed the restoration of my marriage, motherhood and my life.

For those of you who haven’t had success using the magnet, you might have additional issues the magnet cannot reach.

Food choices and exercise might need to be considered as well.

The combination might just be the answer you are looking for….Don’t give up until you’ve tried both solutions at the same time!

(Also, I learned the magnet cannot be used with progesterone cream or birth control.  It will conflict with any other hormone regulation or correction.)

God bless each of you as you are searching for your own answers.

***Update on 1/7/2013:  I forgot to mention…sometimes, when I wear the magnet during my “good” weeks, it will swing my hormones too far and I am super sleepy.  I take it off on those days and the tiredness lifts within minutes.  You just have to pay close attention to your body!

FamilyPicture

One of the first times my smile was not forced through PMDD. So grateful….

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“Laura, How Are You Doing?”

I started to answer in a post from a sweet friend and decided I needed a little extra journal therapy tonight….

Gordita, I honestly don’t know.  I feel like I’m in a war.  I feel like the enemy is gaining ground.  I’ve not given up the fight, but as I win one battle, I begin to realize there are more just around the corner.

Some I win and some I lose.  I have a strong disposition, so laying down my life is not an option, but I am bruised.  I am weary and I want desperately to walk away from it all.

The battle pursues me…
It taunts me and goads me until I rise up and fight back.

I try not to want a normal life. I try desperately to accept I have no days of freedom. I have better and worse days, but I rarely have good days.  It appears I have ADD as well as PMDD and turns out ADD is no joke. 

It is difficult to not want to give up.

And yet, I wake up each day and try.  Why should my life just be about trying though? Why should it be about being an example?

Why shouldn’t my life be about living?  About laughter?  Why shouldn’t my life be about being a mom?

It should be about Christmas and making love. It should be about learning to cook and garden. My life should be about running a marathon and becoming a photographer that others aspire to be.

But that’s not my life. My life is vitamins and long naps.

My life is research and chocolate.

My life is “I’m so sorry” and “I can’t”.

My life is sleepless nights and guilt.

I long to look in the mirror and not see bags and dark circles. I long to see even a hint of who I used to be before my age and hormones decided to say “You’ve had enough for this lifetime. I own your energy, your love, your heart and your mind from this day forward”

* * * * *
After all the ranting about the ridiculousness of the situation, there is actually a flip side.

I know there is a purpose. I don’t appreciate the burden even a little. I don’t feel “blessed” and I am not thankful most of the time that God has chosen this thorn in my flesh.

But… (And I’ve always been told that when you say “but”, everything before it is wiped away, void) Maybe it is.

But:

I have a husband who loves me unconditionally.

I have two children who are learning hard lessons in this life. They will grow into amazing adults because we are letting God heal them along the way. We are teaching them how to adjust to lifes hardships early. They will be the people you want around when you are hurting because their forgiveness and compassion run deep.

I have grace from God because of my weakness. He does indeed become strong, because I have no choice but to let Him take over. Most of the time I’m just a limp fish, but when I do let Him…it’s glorious and He shines brighter in our lives than the sun. He picks up the pieces when I let Him and He holds me when I let go of my stubbornness.

I am not going to lie and say I’m grateful. I’m still not grateful.
I’m pretty resentful. And yet….He is faithful.

I want to be free one day. I may not be free until I leave this body though. And I am not thrilled about it.
I may be trapped for 40 more years in this cycle for the rest of my life.

I have this truth through it all though:

I can’t give up because I feel the love of Christ pushing past all the pain telling me there is a purpose for my life.

It is not beautiful to me now, but His specialty is beauty from ashes.

And I’m counting on it.

Added the next morning:

I posted what was on my mind last night, but I didn’t finish… not really.
The part I left out are the changes happening and the glimpse of hope for the future.
There is a sliver of hope and I didn’t write about that.
In the last two months, I was given a magnet that is helping during the luteal phase which allowed the ADD to be discovered.
The vitamins are starting to help me focus and have a little more energy.
Cutting out breads and sugar has given me a bit more stability.
Sometimes it’s hard to have hope when we are facing physical issues that seem bigger than life.
Please forgive me for leaving out the most important piece of the crazy puzzle.

Hope. ♥

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

ROCK STAR

I’m watching Rock of Ages, with Tom Cruise.  Not my favorite movie, but I was thinking, if I had a manager that shielded my worst days from the world.  I could be a doggone rock star in life too.

Not to brag, but:  “I’m kind of a big deal” as my husband says about himself all the time. 🙂

I am a fun, clever, wonderful person…for real.

The abuse  in my childhood/teen years either makes you or breaks you.

It made me who I am today.  That and God.   I know I am a good person somewhere in here.  I know she is there because I see her in the reflection of the eyes of my family and friends sometimes.

I just can’t find her with PMDD most of the time.

I say most of the time, because after years of PMDD, PTSD and adrenal fatigue are also part of my daily life.  This causes the symptoms to run into one another throughout the month.

Last month, I had one of those really good months where I almost forgot I had PMDD and thought it was all in my head.  I saw their reflections and it was magical.

Until then, the last time I felt good was November 2010.   And yes, I remember the month and year of last time I felt energetic and excited about life.  It was so out of the ordinary,  I remember where I was and what I was doing.  I was trying to start a photography business and become a real estate agent and leap over tall buildings with a single bound from all the energy.  It was probably “normal” energy people experience, but I have so little most of the time it felt over the top to me!

Of course December 2010 crept in like thief and started to drain me like a leech drains blood, just like it is now.

Right now, depression is hovering over me.  It is starting to change my breathing pattern.  It’s starting to cloud my mind.  It’s creeping into my muscles and bones.  Depression is not only mental pain.  It’s physical.

It zaps all my energy and carries it away to a place I have yet to find.  It’s hidden, locked away somewhere.

I search for my faith.  I search for God’s face to shine on me.  It doesn’t during these times.  He is hiding out with my joy somewhere.

Christ said, HE is my joy….really? I can’t tell during these times.

I do salvage my faith somehow each month, knowing it is the depression and He is still with me, but oh how I wish I could feel Him. 

 _______________________________________________________________________________________

THE SNIPER

And then there is the sadness. I won’t use the word depression, because it is overused and most people think they already know what it is.

I think sadness is almost more paralyzing than the anger that follows PMDD .  No.  Not harder….  It’s more personal.

Love, joy, hate, anger, happiness, jealousy….None of those feelings exist.  Nothing exists.  Just the blanket of  sadness.

When anger is surging through my body, I am at least alive and I somehow want to stay alive.  The anger is like puppet master who attaches itself to me to control my mouth, my brain, my words.

Sadness is different.  It’s quiet and starts to burrow it’s way down into the pit of my heart.  Once it has latched on to my insides, it is almost impossible to shake for days and days.

In those days, it is better to sleep than to be awake.

Awake will inevitably lead to the fight with death.  Death seduces me and tempts me with the promise of the heaviness being over.

Sad seems such a non-threatening word doesn’t it?  It doesn’t have all the flare of rage or jealously.  It doesn’t boast emotion like joy or anger.  It just sits quietly in my intestines, in my bones, in my head and in my heart waiting to take me out like a sniper in war.

Sadness is war.  Inside.  It is a battle with a stealth enemy no one sees.  I am almost unaware until it whispers:  “You can’t do this anymore“.  “The pain is too much“.  “You will feel better when this life is over“.

BUT WAIT!!!!!  My daughter.  My son.  My husband.  They will miss me.  “So.”  They will be hurt! “But you are hurt“.  I know….

They will be better off without you“.  “Your husband needs a better wife that enjoys life.”  “Your kids might be hurt at first, but they will understand”  No they won’t.  They will be effected for the rest of their lives.

But so will you.   And you hurt them more than you help them, you know that”  I know….

It’s not true.  But it feels like truth in the sadness.

The fight is exhausting. I am weary after 40 years of fighting it and somewhere in the back of my mind, the sniper sits quietly in camouflage waiting to take the last deadly shot, with a slight grin on his face.

But not this time.  Not today.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

BROKEN DREAMS

I am in tears as I write this.  I canceled a photo shoot for the last time today.  I will not stick my head out to the real world again until I am symptom free for at least three months in a row.  I am not sure yet how that will happen (diet, supplements, surgery, etc), but I have to trust there will be a soft landing month after month before I risk disappointing anyone again.

The pain of canceling anything is more than I can bare and it make the depression worse.

I NEED to create…I NEED to live my dream.  It is killing me slowly to have my dreams taken from me.

The following link gives you a glimpse into the passion and joy I have for photography.  Not to show you my work, but to gives you a visual of my potential without PMDD and hopefully you will see my joy there and why the pain of not having it is so deep. (Most of these were taken before I taught myself the importance of lighting, for all you photography buffs)

Front Porch Photography

Night and Day

I will not write posts daily.  I can’t .

Today is a really good day though.  My body is almost free from the last round of  poison the doctor prescribed and about a day away from my luteal phase.

I am in this small window of hope, joy, butterflies, cotton candy and puppies.

In the next few days, my faith will die.  My joy will be buried beneath the weight of darkness.  Puppies will become rabid dogs and cotton candy will be a rotted potato forgotten in the pantry.

I used to believe days like today might just be here for good.

Oh, the plans I would make on days like today!!

  • Why, yes!  I’ll volunteer to coordinate that.
  • Yes!  I’d love to meet you next week and we’ll probably be best friends.
  • Sure!  I’ll start another new business!
  • Homeschool?  No problem.
  • Teach Sunday School full of 5 year olds?  Pshhh.
  • Run a daycare?  Of course.
  • I accept!
  • Cook a month of meals?  Yep.
  • Exercise?  All day long, thanks.
  • Super mom.  Just sayin’

A week later:

  • No!  Don’t answer the phone.  I can’t talk right now.
  • What?  It’s time for that again?
  • I’m sorry…I have to cancel.
  • How did I spend that much?
  • I’m sorry, I need to step down from that position.
  • I quit.
  • You might need to go back to school….
  • What’s for dinner?  Cereal.
  • P90X?  Whatever.
  • Schizo mom? *sigh*

Every two weeks.  

I will not make the plans I used to make.  I will not make promises I know I can’t keep.

I will however love my children.  I will remind them today that we can still laugh.  My kids have the most amazing sense of humor…

I will remember today to thank God for being able to see all that I have not yet become.

I will learn to enjoy the days like today and rest in them.

And I will believe that there is a reason for the path God has given me.  I will still pray He take the thorn out of my side…but only if it is His will.

And if he chooses to leave it, in my darkness, as I forget today and forget the laughter….

I will think back in the recesses of my mind and remember He is suffering with me and He is somehow teaching me how to love as He loves.

This last year has been especially hard. I had “Faith” tattooed on my wrist to remember I do, indeed, believe in God when the time comes and darkness takes over.