One Million Steps: Weeks 2 and 3

Yesterday, Dan picked up my new Levothyroxine dosage. My primary doctor has switched me from 88 mcg to 100 mcg, and because I have to be monitored at this new dosage, the prescription is for 30 days instead of the usual 90 days. I was pleasantly surprised that my 30-day, 100 mcg prescription is one of Meijer’s freebies, but I’m scratching my head over why the 90-day, 88 mcg prescription cost me $17 and some change every time I refilled.
 
You know what? Just whatever. It’s free now. Big breath in.
 
And exhale.
 
Tomorrow morning we’re meeting my parents in Indianapolis to do some more work at the Condo from Hellâ„¢. I am beyond grateful for their help, but also stressing about the 3 hours round trip I’ll be on the road. I get dizzy and overwhelmed with stimuli just riding 20 minutes to the doctor’s office. (I usually end up staring at my lap and trying to zone out, while Dan asks if I’m mad about something. I’m not, I’m just trying to cope.)
 
But tomorrow there will not only be travel but physical exertion and flooring and appliance shopping to contend with. No biggie except that I’m having a couple of moderately bad pain days and I still deal with some pretty irrational anxiety after those six months on Cymbalta.
 
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive the doctor who put me on that crap.  I will try again one day, but for now thinking about it just makes me angry cry.
 
But I know it’s not good to focus just on the stuff I can’t do. So here are my numbers for the past two weeks. My reminder that I’m still capable of working toward goals
 
one million steps week 3Week 2
Y-T-D Steps: 37,506
Steps Remaining: 962,494
 
Y-T-D Chair Hours: 7.1
Hours Remaining: 175.9
 


Week 3

Y-T-D Steps: 54,471
Steps Remaining: 945,529
 
Y-T-D Chair Hours: 11.1
Hours Remaining: 171.9

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Crock Pot Bourbon Chicken

Crock Pot Bourbon Chicken

Dinner was a team effort last tonight. Basically, Dan did all the hard work, and I measured some stuff and turned the Crock Pot on low. (A word of advice: if you find someone willing to skin and de-bone chicken, keep him. Or her. Or whatever.)

We both decided that this recipe needed something. Bell peppers. Water chestnuts. A little more heat. But if you’d like to give it a go, you can start here.

Crock Pot Bourbon Chicken
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 20 min
500 calories
24 g
287 g
18 g
53 g
5 g
314 g
1133 g
18 g
0 g
11 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
314g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 500
Calories from Fat 160
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
27%
Saturated Fat 5g
24%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 287mg
96%
Sodium 1133mg
47%
Total Carbohydrates 24g
8%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 18g
Protein 53g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
9%
Calcium
5%
Iron
17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 5 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  2. 2-3 tablespoons corn starch
  3. Sauce
  4. 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  7. 2 tablespoons honey
  8. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  9. 1/4 cup ketchup
  10. 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  11. 1/2 cup water
  12. 1/4 cup Bourbon
  13. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  14. 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  15. Green onions to garnish
Instructions
  1. Mix all sauce ingredients and pour over chicken thighs.
  2. Place chicken in slow cooker and pour sauce over top. Cook on low approximately 6 hours.
  3. Remove chicken and pull apart with fork.
  4. Strain sauce and pour into a small pan over medium heat.
  5. Combine 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch with an equal amount of water. Whisk slurry into sauce and stir until thickened.
  6. Pour back over chicken and stir.
  7. Serve with rice and garnish with green onion.
beta
calories
500
fat
18g
protein
53g
carbs
24g
more
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Sick People for Bernie Sanders

bernie-sanders-portrait-01Yesterday was eventful for me, at least in terms of medical goings on. First, it appears that Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo finally has a generic available. Even though this is good news, I’m actively working at not being pissed off about how I found out.

That is, the price of an already expensive drug doubled for me from one refill to the next. And instead of being informed by my insurer why the brand name that was covered last month suddenly wasn’t covered this month, I had to go digging for answers.

In case I haven’t already established this, navigating the health insurance industry is not good for my health. So, I’m going to be voting for Bernie Sanders. And if you happen to be someone who thinks I want something for free because I want Medicare for All, fuck you.

  1. I pay my current insurer thousands annually; and if I don’t hit my ($7,500 PER PERSON!) deductible, my insurer contributes basically nothing to my care. Oh, sure they “negotiate better rates for me” and cover a few preventative expenses because the ACA forced them too, but… Tell me who’s getting something for nothing.
  2. I’m not asking for free shit. I’m asking for MY government to reprioritize how they spend the substantial amount of income they take (and have been taking from me since I started my first real job at the age of 18). I want health care for everyone in the US, especially for me, especially for my friends and family, especially for the poor. But even for all the capitalism-is-my-religion assholes out there.

Sorry for the political digression, but it’s been weighing heavily on my mind lately—particularly since the pursuit of health that has nearly bankrupted me is also the only thing preserving my ability to work. 

The other notable event is that I heard back from my doctor’s office regarding my test results.

Not surprisingly, she commented on my slightly raised triglycerides and cholesterol. I’m being a good little patient and doubling down on my mission to eat better, but seriously? That blood was taken from me on December 30. I’m a Christmas-celebrating Midwesterner. I’d be shocked if my results weren’t a little worse than last time.

Second, as previously noted, my vitamin D is very low. She told me to take a supplement. Already on it.

Lastly, she has upped my dosage of replacement thyroid hormone, because the test results finally showed that I am out of range. I asked for an adjustment a while back based on my symptoms but was denied because the blood work didn’t corroborate my story. It sucks that as a patient with hypothyroidism you have to endure crappy symptoms until the labs come back with a magic number.

C’est la vie.

Photo

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Our House

I understand that when some people look at our very modest house with outdated appliances and worn flooring, they don’t see much. But for me, it’s not a starter home. It’s not just “the best we can afford for right now.”  I mean, yeah, there are things we plan to change eventually, but…it’s my dream home. I absolutely love it here. 

So the other night when I had a crazy dream about us moving, it’s no wonder I woke up feeling distressed.

It wasn’t apparent why we were moving. It’s not like in an earlier part of my dream I had taken a new job or something. And neither of us really wanted to move. But as we were inspecting the new house (oddly covered in tiger lilies the way some houses are covered in ivy) we both tried to talk the place up, convince each other moving into it would be a good thing.

“Look, it has a second full bathroom.”

“Yeah, and this porch is nice.”

But before the dream ended, I was in tears. Dan asked me what was wrong, and I explained to him that the kitchen counter didn’t have a little sitting cubby cut out of it for me to watch him cook.

Like this.

20160112_163303

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Food Shaming, Malnutrition, and My Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

fitspo-food-shaming-disciplineNo word from the doc’s office so far regarding all of my annual blood test results, so I sent a message through the patient portal, specifically regarding my TSH results. I’m not really in a hurry for feedback, but I want to make sure I remain a blip on her radar.

Today I’ve been looking over the results of the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel she ordered. All but three of the items on the list are within range; they are BUN, AST, and ALB. They’re all below the lab’s reported range, but not low enough to scare me. In my digging, I’ve learned that low results for these tests can be caused by things like over-hydration and malnutrition.

Well, the doctor told me to drink a lot of water before the test (so I did), and I already know I’m vitamin D deficient again. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover other insufficiencies or deficiencies.

In getting a holistic picture of my health, I do wonder if I’m trending toward malnourished. I mean sometimes a vitamin D issue is just a vitamin D issue, and sometimes it’s an indicator that nothing’s being absorbed properly during digestion. 

Truthfully, sometimes I have digestion problems so severe I live on Gatorade. All of that comes and goes, though, if you’ll pardon the pun. And I don’t know what to do with those on-again, off-again symptoms. I mean, are they really symptoms or just reactions? Does my body just really not want me to eat acorn squash again?

Also, there’s this whole food shaming thing going on everywhere I turn. When the doctor asks me if I’m eating a healthy range of foods and getting in exercise to the best of my ability, my first reaction is to feel ashamed because I should do better. But am I really doing that bad? When I look over my food diary on MyFitnessPal, I don’t think I deserve my maladies. But when I look at the onslaught of “guilt-free” recipes I’m supposed to be making and my social media streams are flooded with articles about the top 10 things I should never, ever eat again so help me God….

All I have left to say is that it’s not the gorram food that’s making me feel guilty.

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