On Meniere’s

Ménière’s disease /mnˈjɛərz/,[1] also called endolymphatic hydrops, is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. The hearing loss comes and goes for some time, alternating between ears, then becomes permanent with no return to normal function. It is named after the French physician Prosper Ménière, who, in an article published in 1861, first reported that vertigo was caused by inner ear disorders.[2] The condition affects people differently; it can range in intensity from being a mild annoyance to a lifelong condition.[3]
-From Wikipedia

I had an idea to do a 24 hour stream at some point during the summer for charity. I wanted to do it for something that most people aren’t aware of, is chronic and doesn’t have a cure. Meniere’s disease fit the bill and it’s something that I suffer from. Unfortunately it looks like there are no legitimate charities, patient support, or research organizations that focus on this disease.

It’s an exclusionary diagnosis. This means that people who are classified under this disease don’t have all the same symptoms, don’t have all the same triggers, and ultimately end up making drastic lifestyle changes to manage symptoms or simply get through the day. I’m lucky that my episode ended on a relatively good note. I deeply wish that there was some way for me to help others who are soldiering on.

Lately on the subreddit there’s not been a lot of chatter but something that’s been getting a lot of activity is a post about physician assisted suicide. Unless you’ve suffered through prolonged bedrest or similar situations you don’t really understand how helpless and useless you feel. Imagine feeling a little dizzy when you go to bed and then the next morning you can’t get up. Can’t see straight. Can’t even move without the world tumbling around you. Puking until there is nothing and then puking more. Learning to eat while lying down because you don’t want to scare your husband by not trying to eat. Feeling like a failure to your child because you miss them walking for the first time and your milk dries up because your body doesn’t have enough fluids anymore. I won’t lie and say I didn’t think about suicide. If my initial episode had gone on for a few more weeks it might have been a viable option for me.

I’ve always been a naturally depressive person and have always had a certain amount of anxiety. I think post-meniere’s it has kicked up to 11. Every outing is a potential trigger. Every time I physically pick up my children it goes through my head as a potential disaster. I wonder now if my Dad had meniere’s (there’s not been a clear link genetically) but I remember him holding on to the walls in the hallway of our home to walk to his bedroom and my mom complaining about the hand prints. I guess I don’t have anyone else to blame for the multitude of hand prints on my walls, I can certainly see the ones that have saved me from falling throughout the day. Of which there are many.

Some other symptoms are ephasia (a loss of words), congnitive issues, and (of course) hearing loss. All of which add to the overall stress and anxiety levels along with an absolute lack of control.

So why the heck isn’t anyone aware of meniere’s or other vestibular diseases? Why isn’t there a meniere’s day? A ribbon color? A charity to rally behind?

Low Carb Lows

Before and after pictures would be pretty pointless at this point. I didn’t anticipate a lot of what’s happened this month. I certainly thought I would’ve lost more than 11lbs/5kg, considering I didn’t cheat at all for the first two weeks. Then we were travelling and we tried very hard but I’m sure we went over a few times. This Saturday when we went to the movies we had to cheat; we go to the movie theater maybe once per year so popcorn was mandatory. Then there’s the matter of insanity that has been my hormones. Out of the past ~5 weeks I’ve been on my period for 3. I had no idea this was common and somewhat “expected” when you’re on keto. That’s okay, I can deal with the extra hassle of it all. But that also means I plateaued for 3 weeks. Which has done glorious things for my own motivation and desire to keep it up. As I’m sure you could understand. Combine that with the meal planning, shopping, cooking, and portion controlling every single meal we’ve eaten for the past month…

Some metrics:WL

  • Neck 3″ loss
  • Underbust 3″ loss
  • Waist 2″ loss
  • Hips 2″ loss
  • Overall loss 11.8lb
  • Average Loss/week 2.9lb
  • Projected date for reaching goal weight: 12/5/14

Drinking the Sugar Free, Low Carb Koolaid

I’m going to be talking about dieting, probably a lot because I still miss cake and ice cream a lot. Oh and soda. And fruit juice…. a lot. I’d typically drink a glass or two before the show just to lubricate me enough to be relaxed and funny. You can definitely hear a difference on this week’s show (you can also hear me chugging water a few times). Back to what I was saying before I was derailed by wine. If you don’t like the idea of high fat, medium protein, low carb diets then just leave. Haters gonna hate but I won’t tolerate! (Is that a thing, did I just copy that? Eh, it’s kinda close to that brony saying, oh well I still like MLP:FiM)

So we started a ketogenic diet on Tuesday (6/24). The first day we were like “fuck, bread.” The second day we were sleepy. The third day we were anxious. Today, we’re bored.

I’ll break it down a little bit. Right now we’re eating 72% of our calories from fat. Not fake fat. Real, pure fats.

source: http://lentilbreakdown.blogspot.com/ who completely understands my love of butter

source: http://lentilbreakdown.blogspot.com/ who completely understands my love of butter

Awww yisssssss. Butter. Basically fats and carbohydrates are proportional. You gotta eat. You lower your carbs, you’ve got to eat more fats to feel full. The difference is when I eat fats my head is in less of a fog. Carbohydrates make my sleepy. I love that full, half-coma semi-high feeling; I really do. But feeling like I can finally think and being less stressed about life in general because I’m not running myself to the edge of the cliff is way better.

I killed myself for 2 weeks on a 1400 calorie diet recently. I cheated for 1 day and gained 3 lbs. I day of cheating made me gain back everything I had lost after 2 measured, depression inducing weeks. I’d pretty much resigned myself to just being fat. Fuck it. It’s not worth it and if I feel healthy, that’s going to have to be good enough. Thing is, I didn’t feel healthy. Yes, I could still play with the kids, walk, and function. But I wasn’t really happy about how big I was or how tired I was all the time.

My friends had been on keto, I didn’t really see a big change. Then his brother showed up, we hadn’t seen him for a few months and he had been on keto as well. Yikes. Lots of weight loss. And he wasn’t exactly suffering in the food department. Alright, fuck it. Let’s research.

So I did. A lot. I didn’t really understand what it was really saying. I’ll attribute that to the fact that I have little to no medical background and hardly any chemistry left from high school. But I had seen results. I read reddit, I read atkins forums, I read anything and everything even tweets from people who hadn’t even been on the diet but had heard great things. I finally found a few meal plans that seemed right and that’s what we went on. I spent a metric crapton of money on groceries (more than I usually do for a whole month) mainly because carbs are cheap. They’re subsidized by the government for Christ’s sake. Of course I knew there was going to be an initial investment for sweeteners and fats and stuff like that, that was to be expected but I really didn’t think they’d be so much more expensive than the other stuff.

You can spend $14.95 on Amazon to get 48 oz of Crisco All Vegetable Shortening. You could also spend $29.76 to get the same amount of Coconut Oil (I did the per ounce price because the nearest size was 54oz). That’s just the oil!

We’ve eaten a lot of food. There have been a few moments when we were hungry. So we ate pepperoni. It’s 0 carbs, it’s chewy and flavorful. We were still wanting all the stuff that’s still in the house for the kids but we haven’t slipped up just yet. Except for when Ben stuffed a hard candy in his mouth without thinking and then spit it out. I’m going to say that was like 2g of carbs 😛

The vertigo has been bad in the mornings, but I’m blaming that on the coffee with heavy whipping cream and all the extra salt. Caffeine has always been a trigger for me. The vertigo wasn’t too bad for the past few months because I’d been drinking tea pretty exclusively.

I miss you little guy. You're still my best friend!

I miss you little guy. You’re still my best friend! (Ignore the dirty dishes, it’s an old picture)

I may end switching out to tea once I can find out if the tea I like has carbs (because there is fruit in it, but I’m not eating it).

In the meanwhile, I’m losing inches. Without losing a whole lot of pounds at the moment, Aunt Irma is in town so it’s be expected. I’ve lots 2 inches on my waist, 4 on my underbust, 1 on my hips and 1.5 on my neck. I’m definitely fitting into older clothes better, though I’m still not down by a dress size. We’re not sleepy during the day and we’re getting more quality rest. This is awesome.

P.S. I have a near gallon of fresh fruit sangria in my fridge that is REALLY mad at me. Seeking a good home? It’s been soaking since last Saturday.

Real Estate Search Day 1100ish

We’ve now been house hunting for more than 3 years.

I could go on a pernicious and vile rant about how house flippers are on par with major corporations in terms of evil done to communities and low income families.

Frankly, I’m just tired of it. If it’s got 4 walls and isn’t falling down I’m ready to see the house.

This is what giving up looks like.

Spring ReGardening of 2014

We had a garden last spring (apparently it was so forgettable I didn’t even blog about it). A garden that produced a grand total of 2 edible tomatoes. They were far from being full-sized but I ate them anyways. This year we’re going even smaller thanks to reduced space and the underlying thought that if it fails at least it wasn’t a huge investment.

We’ve got 2 tomato plants instead of 6. Both are Roma variety. 3 Lettuce heads, which I think were Paris or something like a romaine. I don’t remember anymore. We’re also trying something a little different and planted 2 Bush Baby zucchini plants. They’re supposed to be more bush-like than vine-y so we used a teepee rather than a big lattice for it to climb around. WP_20140328_14_36_54_Pro

We refilled our sectioned herb pot and ended up with an extra cilantro in the green pot. Also shown: Honeybun with their outdoor picnic bench, umbrella, and my laundry washboard.


When I was taking pictures I nearly forgot about our orange bell pepper plant. We had tried for jalapenos last year and only got 1 bud to fruit completely. It was abnormally bright red and wrinkled while still on the plant so I opted to toss it after a while.

That’s the entirety of our garden this year. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep it in mind. The wet days we’ve been having seem to be taking care of that for me this week but I will definitely have to step it up once the hot weather moves in next month.

This Week Is a Week

Had a really crappy week. There was a lot of this… WP_001273

Which meant cranky kids and a not so nice environment. I seam ripped all of the bad stitching in Kiddo’s quilt and I’ve started straight-line quilting in “the ditch” ((Most of the stitches are TOTALLY not in the ditch)). I’m not too far in but I wanted to share my lovely quilting clips… WP_001275 Finally a use for hangers that have been removed from their heads 🙂

That time a Verge article made me cry…

A year ago (Holy crap, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long) Paul Miller left the internet, The Verge paid him to write about his offline life experience after having his life be so entrenched in the tech world. Yes, I realize I’m blogging about a blogger who blogged–sue me. He came back to the internet on the 1st. Within the article there was a video documentary sort of interview thing. That’s where I got this quote from him:

I’m kind of depressive, for me that means that just sometimes it kind of hurts to be alive, it’s just like-it’s just AH, you know, it sucks that you gotta kind of do each day and keep doing the next day and, it’s just, moments hurt sequentially and when I’m bombarded, you know, with information and stimulation and I can always fill that need every time. I feel like I’m getting bored and I’m not happy so I can go and do something really quickly to kind of fill that need. I think I can confuse the issue and confuse the subject and kind of not quite understand the way I was feeling was deeper than just ‘I’m bored right now.’ It had something to do with ‘I’m deeply stressed that life goes on.’

It was something that absolutely rang true when I was watching the video that I had to transcribe it and put it somewhere safe. I don’t know that my blog is a safe place but I needed to share it.

I also teared up when his niece thought he just didn’t want to Skype with her for a year. So sad how kids take things so personally but generally never talk about it.

Finish Up Friday – April 19

I have a lot to cover this week and I thought it would be best to just do one big post.

Finished Honeybun’s quilt first. I mixed hand quilting, freemotion, and tying to get this one together. Instead of a separate binding I went ahead and just rolled the backing around and straight stitched it. I was eager for her to be able to use, play and cuddle it so I rushed it a bit. WP_001164 (1)

I’m also nearing the end or am forced to since the baby shower is on Saturday but I’m trying so hard to get this quilt done that I’m thinking of skipping sleep tonight. It’s a very simple quilt based on the Ragged Squares tutorial by Amanda Jean. I’ve done it for my last shower quilt as well and it feels like it came together a lot nicer this time around. Might have also had a lot to do with a new machine and a LOT more experience with sewing than I had more than a year ago. I’m still not super happy with the freemotion quilting I did on it but it’s better than nothing.WP_001165 (1)WP_001166 (1) - Copy (yes it still needs thread trimming and all the rest of that stuff)

Really hoping to sit down and seam rip Kiddo’s quilt, I know that’s been on my todo list for a few months now but with doing the podcast, raising kids, keeping house, and all the rest it’s been pretty impossible to not neglect something in order to work on something else. I saw a some e-card thing with a man on the phone saying, “So-and-so is quilting today so you might want to bring paper plates, food, and a table to eat if you’re coming over.” That’s what basically happened last weekend when I was at my machine for the majority of time. Funny stuff.