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So there are a LOT of giveaways and very few posts or updates. It’s because my life sucks in many ways, and writing about it just doesn’t seem to fit what I want for this blog, but life is life, so I will share. My health has been quite tenuous lately, as has my weight and psychological well-being. I have been extremely depressed, anxious and unable to blog or even leave the house some days. I hate this person. It is not who I was or am or want to be, but it is my current reality. To illustrate some of the struggle, I have included pictures of my physical changes over the past 8 years. Most of them have occurred in the last 3 years. I started extremely underweight, even emaciated, but that has been fixed, and now I am two wardrobes bigger, and hurting for winter clothes. It is hard to adjust to changes in your body this quickly, without something like pregnancy, and I never could understand how people got fat, or were fat. I could eat anything and still look like I was starving. It was because I had a medical condition and was starving. My blood work still shows chemical and vitamin imbalances that we are working to overcome.

This is a picture of me right after our son was born. I weighed  under 130, within days of his birth, and I gained very little during my pregnancy.

 

IMGA0116_0084

 

This picture was taken right after all my major medical issues began. I had just been diagnosed with pituitary failure and placed on steroids, which caused me to gain a healthy 20 lbs. I was in shape and feeling good. I still had residual neurological issues, but for the most part, I was able to be active and resume “normal life”

 

IMG_0781

 

The picture below was taken shortly after I had brain surgery. I avoided the gruesome surgical pics, but you can see in my face the results of many high-dose steroid episodes. I had gained up to my highest 180 lbs and nothing fits, or even feels right. At this point my body is so swollen from the steroids that I have developed stretch marks that go all the way down my to my knees and part way up my back. My stomach is distended, and I feel like my skin is so stretched it could burst. Needless to say, it was very unpleasant.

 

Image

IMG_2322

The picture above is of this summer. My weight gain has stabilized to around 160-170lbs. I am learning to be comfortable in my skin, and I am mostly functional in the sense that I can walk around, and go places. There have been times when even that was impossible. I have spent time bedridden, wheelchair bound and close to death. 2011-2013 are years where my health has gone from scary to terrifying to unbearable to okay to good. Last month I slipped a disc in my lower back and couldn’t feel or put a lot of weight on my left leg. I probably have problems with my cervical discs as well, as my arms often lose feeling. I see a pain specialist, but so far nothing helps.

So to the point. I have two rare brain disorders and many medical issues. I am gluten intolerant, have a failed pituitary gland, have asthma and slipped discs plus degenerative signs in all my joints. I have had a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis and other problems, and I am in constant, sometimes unbearable pain. The brain issues cause depression, and I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I have frequent panic attacks, and I am sometimes so depressed it literally feels like I cannot move. My anxiety has hospitalized me, my disorders have mistakenly placed me in mental institutions as my thyroid failed with my pituitary failure and no one noticed because it is extremely rare.  My medical issues have nearly bankrupted our family, and we are in collections for medical bills that I don’t know if we can ever pay. It is hard enough to just afford food and medicine.

This week I decided the pain killers weren’t working and the side effects were worse than the drugs, so I stopped  taking them. There are withdrawal consequences as I am dependent on pain killers at this point, and I will suffer a lot before I have cleared them from my system. There just has to be a better way, and I will find it. My depression and anxiety got better without the medication, so I know they were contributing to the major panic attacks I’ve been having for the past several weeks.

After a few weeks of not taking the stronger drugs, the pain became so unbearable I had to spend two days in the hospital. I am now on Depakote for migraines, psychosis and pain. It helps. I am calmer, and in less pain. I sleep better, and I am less volatile, most of the time. I was told to avoid morphine at all costs due to my reaction to it, and my doctors are desperately searching for reasons for the pain, ways to control it, and ways to control the depression that is partially driven by my pituitary failure. I was rediagnosed with fibromyalgia and undiagnosed of Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed with chronic migraines and tests confirmed that my L5, C4, C5, and C6 vertebrae are bulging and if they become inflamed I fall or cannot feel my arms and hands. Plus I get to be in a ton of pain. Since I have a natural inflammatory condition and pain condition, this seems to show that I will always struggle with pain.

Mostly I am so lonely. My son and husband leave for school early and come home late. I get precious little time with them, and because I have a child with special needs, much of that time is filled with therapy and working through his tantrums and struggles. Then my husband passes out every night around 8:30  or 9 because he is exhausted doing the Mom and Dad thing, and taking primary care of our son, since I cannot. He had bronchitis all last week and is just starting to recover. So I enter online contests. I read. I am not a t.v. watcher, but I have to find something to watch. I clean, I read magazines. I would cook and do crafts, but often my body does not allow me to even get out of bed. When I can I exercise because that is the only treatment that doctors agree on.

If you’ve made it to this point in the post, I will share with you my point and my goals. I don’t want to be the person in the picture above. For now I am, but I want to be a Health Coach, a Personal Trainer, and a Zumba Instructor. I want to be the person that people can look at and see how to turn their lives around. I want to write that book of overcoming the impossible. I need help. I need cheerleaders and people to hold me accountable. Will you do that for me? Will you join me on this journey and allow me to take all my blogs in whatever direction life has for me. I will still have giveaways, and fun stuff, but underneath will be health and wellness, and struggles and pain. Join me, share where you struggle. I will be starting a new e-mail that will go out once a week that will have tips, highlights, and crafts and fun. Somehow I will get through this depression that is crippling me. Somehow I will overcome the anxiety that makes me scared to write or leave my home. Somehow I will deal with rare neurological disorders that have taken my life, and my ability to have more children, or to work. It is not a journey I know I can endure, but if you support me I will try, and I will be your cheerleaders too.

 

Here are my goals:

I want to be as medication free as possible. There are some I will take all my life, but others are optional.

I want to become a certified personal trainer and teach Zumba and Yoga or Pilates.

I want my weight to drop to 150-160 at the highest.

I want to become independent and debt free.

I have many more, but this is as good a place as any to start.

 

The government shutdown delayed the ruling from my judge on my disability case, which is quite annoying. Before I become anyone’s personal trainer, I need to get in shape myself. I am a licensed Health Coach, and I need to use what I know to become healthy and manage my pain naturally. This is a journey I never wanted to take. It sucks big time. My son is autistic, ADHD, dyslexic and has a mood disorder. My husband has his own health issues. We are not a healthy, happy family. I don’t plan holidays, we just manage to celebrate them. I regularly borrow money with no idea how I’m going to repay it. I am the family member that others either feel sorry for or avoid. I literally hate my life. I love my son and husband, but I would do a lot to get out of my medical issues and our financial distress. I welcome all ideas and commentary. I have a pretty tough skin online. You really can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. Join me, and pray for me, or send positive vibes or whatever you believe in. I need them. If you need them, I will do what I can for you.

 

Thanks,

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ImageThe picture to the left was taken shortly after I had brain surgery. I avoided the gruesome surgical pics, but you can see in my face the results of many high-dose steroid episodes. I had gained up to my highest 180lbs and nothing fits, or even feels right. At this point my body is so swollen from the steroids that I have developed stretch marks that go all the way down my to my knees and part way up my back. My stomach is distended, and I feel like my skin is so stretched it could burst. Needless to say, it was very unpleasant.

Image

 

 

 

The picture to the right is of this summer. My weight gain has stabilized to around 160-170lbs. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and I am mostly functional in the sense that I can walk around, and go places. There have been times when even that was impossible. I have spent time bedridden, wheelchair bound and close to death. 2011-2013 are years where my health has gone from scary to terrifying to unbearable to okay to good. Last month I slipped a disc in my lower back and couldn’t feel or put a lot of weight on my left leg. I probably have problems with my cervical discs as well, as my arms often lose feeling. I see a pain specialist, but so far nothing helps.

So to the point. I have two rare brain disorders and many medical issues. I am gluten intolerant, have a failed pituitary gland, have asthma and slipped discs plus degenerative signs in all my joints. I have had a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis and other problems, and I am in constant, sometimes unbearable pain. The brain issues cause depression, and I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I have frequent panic attacks, and I am sometimes so depressed it literally feels like I cannot move. My anxiety has hospitalized me, my disorders have mistakenly placed me in mental institutions as my thyroid failed with my pituitary failure and no one noticed because it is extremely rare. I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and that is still a possibility. My medical issues have nearly bankrupted our family, and we are in collections for medical bills that I don’t know if we can ever pay. It is hard enough to just afford food and medicine.

This week I decided the pain killers weren’t working and the side effects were worse than the drugs, so I stopped  taking them. There are withdrawal consequences as I am dependent on pain killers at this point, and I will suffer a lot before I have cleared them from my system. There just has to be a better way, and I will find it. My depression and anxiety got better without the medication, so I know they were contributing to the major panic attacks I’ve been having for the past several weeks.

 

Here are my goals:

I want to be as medication free as possible. There are some I will take all my life, but others are optional.

I want to become a certified personal trainer and teach Zumba and Yoga or Pilates.

I want my weight to drop to 150-160 at the highest.

I want to become independent and debt free.

 

The government shutdown delayed the ruling from my judge on my disability case, which is quite annoying. Before I become anyone’s personal trainer, I need to get in shape myself. I am a licensed Health Coach, and I need to use what I know to become healthy and manage my pain naturally. This is a journey I never wanted to take. It sucks big time. My son is autistic, ADHD, dyslexic and has a mood disorder. My husband has his own health issues. We are not a healthy, happy family. I don’t plan holidays, we just manage to celebrate them. I regularly borrow money with no idea how I’m going to repay it. I am the family member that others either feel sorry for or avoid. I literally hate my life. I love my son and husband, but I would do a lot to get out of my medical issues and our financial distress. Sometimes I need an experience to tell me what life would be like if I didn’t exist because I wish I didn’t. I also often dwell on suicide. I am morally against it, I know it would majorly damage my family, but sometimes the pain and illness is so bad, I would do anything to make it stop. Being depressed and not thinking straight doesn’t help either. So far, I am still here, still trying and still coping. We’ll see how long that lasts. Tomorrow may be a very different rant. I may hate life and wish I were dead, but that is the purpose of this blog. I need a place to rant, to vent, and to share my feelings. For those of you who stumble onto it, I hope it helps, if not, it isn’t the blog for you.

 

 

 

 

ImageThe picture to the left was taken shortly after I had brain surgery. I avoided the gruesome surgical pics, but you can see in my face the results of many high-dose steroid episodes. I had gained up to my highest 180lbs and nothing fits, or even feels right. At this point my body is so swollen from the steroids that I have developed stretch marks that go all the way down my to my knees and part way up my back. My stomach is distended, and I feel like my skin is so stretched it could burst. Needless to say, it was very unpleasant.

Image

 

 

 

The picture to the right is of this summer. My weight gain has stabilized to around 160-170lbs. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and I am mostly functional in the sense that I can walk around, and go places. There have been times when even that was impossible. I have spent time bedridden, wheelchair bound and close to death. 2011-2013 are years where my health has gone from scary to terrifying to unbearable to okay to good. Last month I slipped a disc in my lower back and couldn’t feel or put a lot of weight on my left leg. I probably have problems with my cervical discs as well, as my arms often lose feeling. I see a pain specialist, but so far nothing helps.

So to the point. I have two rare brain disorders and many medical issues. I am gluten intolerant, have a failed pituitary gland, have asthma and slipped discs plus degenerative signs in all my joints. I have had a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis and other problems, and I am in constant, sometimes unbearable pain. The brain issues cause depression, and I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I have frequent panic attacks, and I am sometimes so depressed it literally feels like I cannot move. My anxiety has hospitalized me, my disorders have mistakenly placed me in mental institutions as my thyroid failed with my pituitary failure and no one noticed because it is extremely rare. I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and that is still a possibility. My medical issues have nearly bankrupted our family, and we are in collections for medical bills that I don’t know if we can ever pay. It is hard enough to just afford food and medicine.

This week I decided the pain killers weren’t working and the side effects were worse than the drugs, so I stopped  taking them. There are withdrawal consequences as I am dependent on pain killers at this point, and I will suffer a lot before I have cleared them from my system. There just has to be a better way, and I will find it. My depression and anxiety got better without the medication, so I know they were contributing to the major panic attacks I’ve been having for the past several weeks.

 

Here are my goals:

I want to be as medication free as possible. There are some I will take all my life, but others are optional.

I want to become a certified personal trainer and teach Zumba and Yoga or Pilates.

I want my weight to drop to 150-160 at the highest.

I want to become independent and debt free.

 

The government shutdown delayed the ruling from my judge on my disability case, which is quite annoying. Before I become anyone’s personal trainer, I need to get in shape myself. I am a licensed Health Coach, and I need to use what I know to become healthy and manage my pain naturally. This is a journey I never wanted to take. It sucks big time. My son is autistic, ADHD, dyslexic and has a mood disorder. My husband has his own health issues. We are not a healthy, happy family. I don’t plan holidays, we just manage to celebrate them. I regularly borrow money with no idea how I’m going to repay it. I am the family member that others either feel sorry for or avoid. I literally hate my life. I love my son and husband, but I would do a lot to get out of my medical issues and our financial distress. Sometimes I need an experience to tell me what life would be like if I didn’t exist because I wish I didn’t. I also often dwell on suicide. I am morally against it, I know it would majorly damage my family, but sometimes the pain and illness is so bad, I would do anything to make it stop. Being depressed and not thinking straight doesn’t help either. So far, I am still here, still trying and still coping. We’ll see how long that lasts. Tomorrow may be a very different rant. I may hate life and wish I were dead, but that is the purpose of this blog. I need a place to rant, to vent, and to share my feelings. For those of you who stumble onto it, I hope it helps, if not, it isn’t the blog for you.

 

 

20 thoughts on “Life Keeps on Rolling

  1. Georgia Beckman says:

    I will go on this journey with you & hold you up in prayer along the way. I come from a long line of depression sufferers. My last bout lasted for 5 years. For 5 straight years I did not get more than 45-90 mins of sleep, ever, period. A year ago I decided to toss all my medications. 🙂 You know, I think we all do that, lol. I am still unmedicated & have been on a relatively even keel for a year now, even with the normal ups & downs of every day life & a few stressful situations. Even if you can’t exercise yet, maybe you can be a cheerleader for those of us who can & SHOULD exercise. Alas, I also have that anxiety thing going on & mostly don’t like to go outside my home. But I keep thinking, if I would just go out & walk around the block, eventually it will become normal……….and therefore easy. Let’s do this together!

    1. aliejudd12 says:

      Georgia,
      You are awesome, and I am learning a great new coaching technique called Tiny Habits. They have a website where you can try it for free and they have coaches to help you. I am going to try it. I would love to partner with you in getting out that door and keeping on keeping on. I am also trying essential oils with some success. It is still new, and I need to find the combinations that work for me, but they are amazingly helpful. I would love to share more information with you if you are ever interested.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i’m so sorry you have gone through so much, I can relate though. Keep your head up and keep going. God bless you 🙂

    1. kimberly bhatti says:

      i’m so sorry you have gone through so much, I can relate though. Keep your head up and keep going. God bless you 🙂

  3. Adriane says:

    So sorry to hear what you’ve gone through. I can certainly empathize. I have a medical condition that has thrown my weight from 125 to 175, then down, then up again … and I also had the prednisone swelling for a year. Looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy 😛 It can be very hard to adjust to such rapid changes, and like you said – to feel comfortable in your own skin. It’s odd to look in the mirror and see a stranger. BUT the up side is I have really learned what is important – love and family, doing the best with what we have, and aiming for grace even when we miss the target.
    Wishing you peace and love this holiday season – and a bright new year.

    1. aliejudd12 says:

      Thanks for the support Adriane, it’s always nice to know I’m not alone!

  4. lisa says:

    I am so sorry that you’re going through all that. I too have some health issues and dropped down to 105 pounds. Where I’m at now. Holiday time can be depressing. Trust me again, I know. Also, people that don’t understand chronic pain can be very judgemental and turn their backs on you. All I can say is that I can relate and hope things get better all around.

    1. aliejudd12 says:

      Lisa,

      If you ever need a friend, I’ll be around. 🙂 I understand too, and it has made me a better person. Thanks for the support!

  5. Jenn Oldaker says:

    Wow…. I know we all have our struggles and sometimes get dealt very unfair hands 🙁 I sure hope that 2014 helps you to find answers and some solutions to all that you have on your plate right now 🙂

  6. Jasmine P says:

    Wow, you have a lot of burdens to bear! Keep carrying on! 🙂

  7. Brooke Durfey says:

    7 months ago I lost my son at birth, I am only 26. A few months before that I lost my job and the first month of the new year I lost my grandma so I can tuly understand how you feel about life. I admire that you have goals for your life and that you have something to push towards. If it wasn’t for my positive attitude and goals I would be a lot worse than I am today. Keep going and doing what you’re doing…baby steps is all you need. Good luck!!

    1. aliejudd12 says:

      Brooke,

      I just read this, and I am more sorry than I can express. I am lucky compared to you in many ways. If you need support or help, let me know. I have a great network of blogger friends who love helping each other and others out. My personal e-mail is aliejudd@gmail.com. I mean it. Let me know what I can do to help you, even if you just want to vent. I’ll listen.

  8. Mary Mosier says:

    Life is hard, don’t care who you are, or what is going on. 99% of getting through it is attitude 😀

  9. Jeri Accardo says:

    The first part of changing my life was figuring out what I didn’t like, and what I could change. Sounds like you are on the right path. Good Luck to you and keep taking that next “right” step!

  10. SD Murray says:

    Kudos to you for recognizing what you want and putting it out there! Take one small step each day and you’ll always be moving toward your goal.

  11. md Kennedy says:

    Boy have you been through a roller coaster! My biggest challenge this coming year is nothing compared to yours: dealing with the “Big M!”

  12. rebeccabasset says:

    Thank you for this Post, I also am on a Pain Management System, and I know what withdrawal feels like. I wish and pray that things will get better for you. I have recently been thinking that I am going to end up as that “Crazy Dog (Cat) Lady”, luckily my Kid’s are Grown, but they had to put up with a lot when they were growing up. So I appreciate the honesty and the courage you’ve given in writing this.

  13. Veronica Lee says:

    Good Luck with your goals! Way to go!! You are such an inspiration!

  14. Maryann D. says:

    I will definitely pray for a better 2014 for you and health and the happiness that you so deserve.

  15. Ronalee says:

    I commend you on writing this post. I can’t imagine the strength that it took you to not only write it, but to post it.
    Best of luck to you on your journey of goals. I will be cheering for you as I try to lose the 20 pounds that have gained over the past year. Looking forward to your next update.

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