2018-02-18 Sunday Status Update – Ugly, Uglier, and Ugliest

Oh how I have missed you, my sweet, beautiful elliptical machine. I know I’ve been gone for a few days but I promise you there were no other machines involved.. just people, work, wine, and a successful visit to the Red Cross (not in that order of course).

The stat at the top of my Sunday lineup is my hemoglobin. 12.9 and over the threshold of the 12.4 required for donating blood. That was yesterday and now I can put that on the back of the shelf along with my iron supplements. At least for about 6 or 7 weeks.

(Ugly – The return of the daily headache)
Noteworthy in the supplement department is the fact that I ran out of Curcumin (a turmeric extract) which I’ve been taking daily for several months now. I’ve been on my soapbox on this topic several times so I won’t repeat myself. However, the supply ran out and as the consulate analyst and experimenter I decided to take the opportunity to see what effect not talking it would have.

I’m not kidding.. a couple days and my daily headaches returned. It could be other variables like hormones, too much or not enough caffeine, not enough sleep, alcohol, stress, but it is too much of a coincidence to dismiss. A few days of that and turning back to Tylenol and ibuprofen had me running my fingeres to that “one click” feature in Amazon to replenish my supply. I’m day 3 back on it and despite drinking too much wine last night, I woke up headache free. Huzzah. I’m a believer.

The quickest jump from that is to take inventory on my other analytics.

Steps are back up this week.. 20K average per day but jazzercise class counts are still down because of other commitments.

(Uglier – The human garbage disposal)
Healthy eating was literally not on the table this week. I over indulged in just about everything I fancy and I’m going to go ahead and blame the deprivation caused by that Whole 30. Cookies, chocolate, fried appetizers, cheeseburger and fries and onion rings dipped in ranch dressing, fried rice, fried potatoes, and bread. All that was in addition to my new found, high calorie, favorite breakfast. Eggs, guacamole, salsa, potatoes, with or without bacon. Oh and did I mention the alcohol? 🍷 🍸 🍹

I’m in need of a serous course correction… on that AND sleep. I had an average of 5 hours and 50 minutes a night. That’s terrible. I guess making bad decisions was a theme for the week. My time in on my studies was shit too.

I should be spending 20 hours a week minimum on writing, revisions, and reading and I bet I only spent 4 at the most. I currently have no way to gather official stats on that. I could record it like I have to for my job I guess. But manual time cards? Ewwww!

I worked 22 hours which is right around that sweet spot and I have no excuses for not reading more for school. I guess I spent too much time texting with my new crush. Can I really have spent that much time texting? Not possible.

Oh yeah.. relationship status. Still single. Surprise, surprise. I cancelled my meet-up with Simon Tuesday and met him Thursday instead and it felt very much like meeting with someone you just have no desire to talk to. I was nice and the conversation was very much one-sided as I expected. I followed up later that day with a book of an email I felt compelled to write so I could say (almost) everthing I’m too chicken shit to say in person.

I didn’t say “hey, I don’t want to be friends”.. but my hope is that a person who is as perceptive as he says he is, could read between the lines. I honestly didn’t care if he responded, but I underestimated his instincts to counter my observations in an attempt to maintain his superiority. Ooops. There I go again saying something not nice.

He wrote back quite a bit and his disappointment in me and what I wrote came through loud and clear. There were a few things I could not let go, so I did reply back standing my ground on two main points. I picked my battles and I will not back down on either of them.

One was about my daughter and just don’t even try to fuck with me about my teenage daughter and our relationship and my parenting. Just don’t. The second was about his inability to define our relationship and not owning up to the fact that he used it to release himself from any responsibility to another persons feelings.. MY feelings. That’s total crap and he needs to know it. I sent that back last night and as of right now have not yet received any response back. Perhaps I will have the last word on it. I really hope so, but we shall see.

(Ugliest – Negative Self Image)
Related to my status on all fronts.. I’m just feeling generally not great about the way I look right now. I’m feeling sort of unwell and tired and bloated and frumpy. I’m definitely in need of some positive reassurance. Valentines day alone doesn’t help. Seeing couples holding hands everywhere doesn’t help. Don’t get me started on the affect of media, social or otherwise. I just want to turn it all off. Add to that the fact that I’ve gained some weight recently and don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror. OK, I’m a thin person by nature, but that just means that any fluctuation at all and my clothes start to become too tight and uncomfortable. I suppose the binging on food this week did not help and the fact that I’m still thinking about loading up on ice cream before this day is through is also not going to be good. What is a girl to do? (first world rhetorical question).

I need to put some hours into the schoolwork today and snap out of my funk. I just have to.
Time to Be Like Lee Nails, and Press On,
~Miss SugarCookie


2018-02-08 When Plan A Doesn’t Work

Yesterday nothing seemed to go as panned. Serious bummer.

It started when I went to my appointment at the Masonic center to donate blood. I’ve got the whole thing down to a science. That blood drive is every 2 months so it is perfect for the 60 day rule. I book my appointment using the app. A week before the appointment I start amping up my iron. The day of I do my rapid pass before I go.. and BAM, I’m in and out in like 40 minutes. Easy.

My hemoglobin was 12.4 which is too low by a tenth of a point so I had to walk away without donating. Stupid iron deficiency. It was probably because it’s like cycle day 3 or 4. I’m in purge mode so my RBCs are going to be low anyhow.

The clinical intake person treated me like it was my fault, which was super irritating. I go through great lengths just to have enough iron in my system to be above that 12.4 cutoff. I eat all the right things and take iron supplements and also match with vitamin C to get maximum absorption. I’ve researched this and I know what the fuck I’m doing.

So when she says “aww.. if you just woulda eaten some raisins this morning you’d have made it”. I wanted to punch her in the face. She goes on to say “and we really needed your blood too.”

No shit? There’s a need for blood? When is there not a need for blood??! I get emails once a week the supply is low. It’s either low or critically low and when I’m donating the very most they allow based on their rules, I don’t need some person pointing a finger at me like it’s my fault. Rotten.

Now my 2 month schedule is messed up because I’m going to try again at the library in a week or so. I ended up going to target to get groceries instead. Whatev.

From that point on, nothing else really went as planned either. Work was meh and I felt excluded but like I said, they don’t really need me so I just have to roll with it. I should be thankful because then I have more time to do other things, but instead I just sat online waiting for something to come my way.

I was also supposed to have a first date last night. Someone I met on Bumble. I was waiting around to hear from that dude too and didn’t go to Jazzercise or eat dinner or anything I would have normally done. I guess he was working late. This I completely understand because I’ve been in that spot, but after that, I had dinner late-ish and then was super unmotivated to do anything else. Whatev.

That lack of motivation has followed me to today and I feel like I just don’t give a shit about anything.

I ate my first chocolate in 31 days last night. Then I ate an entire chocolate bar and then I felt sick. This morning I weighed myself. After suffering deprivation for 30 days on that stupid program I lost ZERO pounds. Whatev!

Losing weight was never one of my goals but seriously??! If there has ever been a case made for the theory that not everything works for everyone, this is it.

For me I’m sure it has something to do with portions and my indulgence in RX bars… and possibly snacking too late in the day close to bed. Easy enough to test. Just don’t want to.

It’s slim pickings at the gym this AM. None of the usual suspects are here except the good looking personal trainers and their shiny wedding bands on their ring fingers.

There’s no man in black yet, no bird girl, and no creeping retired dude checking me out from across the room. No hot guys to motivate me to kick the resistance up on this machine. Whatev.

I still have a handful of unopened “open when” cards from Z from Mother’s day last year. One was “open when Plan A doesn’t work”. I decided to open it. It was a sympathetic message saying she was sorry the plan didn’t work out and went on to say that the good news is that there are 25 more plans to try.

“… Plan B, C ,D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z”

That girl is a total gem! 💎 She’s the bomb really. I’m a lucky mom. 😊

So today Plan B it is. I’m gonna try and find some motivation and get some things accomplished. I suppose that starts now.

Turn that Whatev into Vetahw!

~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-09 Isn’t it Ironic

Today I went to the Red Cross blood drive just down the street. I have a long history of attempting to donate blood which is really great for several different reasons.

First and most obviously, you are doing something good and helping people and that gives me a nice feeling. They say that every time you donate blood, you are potentially helping up to three people who need it. The Red Cross is always saying that supplies are low, but right now they are in dire need and my in-box is getting bombarded with requests. My selflessness ends there however.

It’s really also kind of a free health screening. They check your temp and blood pressure and hemoglobin. I think they test you blood for several icky things which would normally cost money at a clinic or lab.

The third reason would be a slight departure from my normal routine which is kind of nice. I used to schedule around lunchtime and it takes a little time so it was an extra few moments of something different to just sit back and relax. That sound strange, but that is how I feel about it. And nobody is ever going to question my long lunch if they know that is my intent. What kind of a person would harp on someone for doing something good like that? Not many.

So today I went to donate and was rejected, for the second time in one week. I was rejected due to my hemoglobin being low which is iron in the blood. You can’t donate if you are a female and your count is less than 12.5. Today mine was 12.1 so I was turned away. I think it was last Thursday or Friday when I tried at the library and it was 11.5. This is why I say I have a long history of “attempting” to donate. My iron is often low.

For several years I took a supplement every day. I first started doing that not because I was not able to donate, but because I had seen my PCP and my blood work showed like 9. something and he suggested it. That’s not low enough to be a serious concern but he stated it could be a contributing factor to why I was so fatigued all the time. So I started taking some every day. My levels came up but I don’t think the fatigue ever really went away. I think my body just naturally has low hemoglobin.

Durning those years, I was always right around the threshold. Sometimes I would make it and sometimes I would be turned away. My grandfather donated regularly and I wanted to follow in his footsteps in giving back in some way. I never did a ton of research into why my iron would be low or what I could do to boost it naturally, I just accepted that the pill was sort of working and that was good enough.

It did, however, yield another unpleasant side effect that I did not even realize until this year. I would have really heavy periods with lots of blood clots. I came to this conclusion because someone suggested I stop taking the iron and see what affect that had on my system. Magically, after about a month or so, my period returned to normal. So that was it, I was done with that supplement for sure. Except it meant that I also had to give up donating. Damn.

I began researching natural ways of increasing the iron in your diet in the hopes that eating foods rich in iron would have a positive impact on my numbers, yet keep those nasty once-a-month episodes from being too terrible. What I found is that some things I like to eat already are high on the list of foods rich in iron. Hamburger number one, spinach and leafy greens and broccoli, dark chocolate, molasses, whole wheat bread ,quinoa, apricots and strawberries and raisons are among the top. Beans too, but gross, I don’t eat beans.

So I made sure I have something every day. I love cheeseburgers so that’s like a top win. It might even be part of the reason I like red meat so much. My body is craving what it is lacking. People say it does that, and seeks out what it wants. Perhaps there is some truth to that. However, the science of increasing iron in your system does not stop there. One has to consider absorption. With my levels still being too low last week, I began looking into this as well.

I had done a quick search at one point and found out that calcium inhibits the uptake of iron into the system and that vitamin C actually increases it. So the easy take away from that is stay away from dairy when you are having an iron meal and also pair it with something like orange juice. When I was taking the supplements, I always took it with orange juice anyway, so now that I am making my own juice, that works out perfectly.

To make matters a little more complex, though, just eating spinach may not have been doing me any good. Apparently there is another thing in spinach, called an Oxilate which prohibits the intake of iron. So spinach becomes a net zero for trying to increase the iron. Same thing with the strawberries and whole wheat (though that is because of phytates and not oxalates – oh my).

I’ve been doing more and more digging into this and have several sites that confirm that absorption is just as important as what you are eating that contains iron. In fact, about a quarter of the things on the list of foods high in iron were also on the list of foods to avoid if you want to absorb more iron. How ironic (pun intended). Iron from animals such as beef and fish are more easily absorbed that that from plant sources.. but there is apparently no perfect pairing to maximize the benefit.

Anyway, after I was turned away today from donating, I was so angry. I don’t want to give up because I am not a quitter, nor am I willing to let go of the benefits I get from donating. I have a feeling that my body is the way it is naturally, and that my iron will always be slightly low and I intend to continue to try and sort this out. I just find it so ironic that this one tiny thing that I want to do is something I can’t do and it feels so outside of my control. Grrrr.

I’ve made another appointment to try again Sunday. So between now and then, I guess it’s all cheeseburgers and orange juice for me. I guess if there is a silver lining, that would be it. 😉

Isn’t it Ironic.. Don’t you think?
A little too Ironic..
Yeah I really do think.
~Miss SugarCookie

P.S. Thanks Alanis for the Complimentary Close