Thursday, July 14, 2016

That's Not Just the Creatine, I Sometimes Punch Walls

There's a poster on the wall of my gym that asks the question, "What is your why?"
    I'm a book nerd. I don't visualize myself as someone with a perfect physique who models figure. My "Why" is my daughter.
    I knew there was something wrong with me before I had a baby. If I knew what I know now, I wouldn't have even had a baby. But having a baby is what saved me.
    Before procreating, I usually visited the Emergency Room about every three to four months. For years I carried my Emergency Room visits under a cloud of shame. I was ashamed that I was somehow an unhealthy burden to loved ones and medical personnel who were always baffled by my condition. I was often accused of being a drug seeker--even though the first thing they would do was take my blood.

I've noticed, or shall I say my husband noticed, that when I'm taking my creatine I'm a bit aggressive. Because I'm kind of on my own when it comes to treating my disorder, while the enzymes I take are listed as prescribed on my medical chart, I make up my own dosage. In addition to a healthy diet and exercise regime, I take Co-Q10, L-Carnitine, and creatine. Creatine is that powder that body builders use.
    My disease, Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome, is currently being studied. Scientists have linked this syndrome with dysfunctional mitochondria. The enzymes I take are all associated with the ATP energy cycle. The mitochondria are the nucleus of every cell in the body but the red blood cells. Therefore, I take these enzymes to increase the effectiveness of my mitochondria. So far I've had a lot of success with my system. I went from being a frequent visitor of the Emergency Room to only going there once in the last three years. I'm not cured, but my life is waaayyyy better.
    Before I became pregnant, I knew that morning sickness would probably be pretty epic for me. My obstetrician told me once that I had the worst Hyperemisis Gravidarum he'd ever seen. He'd already been in obstetrics 30 years before meeting me. Go big or go home, I guess. If you're wondering what hyperemis gravidarum is, Princess Kate made it famous with her first pregnancy.
    My visits to the emergency room increased exponentially the first months of pregnancy. They were so frequent they finally had to put in a PICC line to keep me hydrated.
    Although my visits increased, I was no longer treated like a drug seeker. I was no longer some baffling non-treatable patient. I was now a pregnant woman with a known condition, be it a particularly severe case. Go big or go home.
  Not only did having a baby change the way I was treated during my frequent visits, it changed how I treated myself and in many ways caused me to finally get a diagnoses.
    When my daughter was 6-months-old I came down with an episode. The idea of caring for an infant while vomiting six times per hour for at least a day, was something that I simply couldn't handle. Thankfully I had some dis-solvable zofran on hand that worked this time. I was safe, for now. A few hours later I examined for the first time what may have triggered this episode. I hadn't been exposed to the stomach flu, all I had eaten was homemade butternut squash soup I made from scratch. I couldn't be allergic to onions, butter, or squash. I ate those things all the time. The only thing different about my diet was the homemade biscuits I made with the soup. Could it be wheat that was causing this?
    I took out wheat and after one day stomach pain I didn't even know I had abated. A week later all my adult acne disappeared. A weak later my joint pain went away. I finally understood that I had some sort of condition, I wasn't just prone to the stomach flu. Years later and finally a diagnoses from a gastroenterologist, I'm no longer a frequent visitor and for the first time I'm finding joy in life. All of this wasn't because of me. This all happened because of my daughter.
    Not only is she my hero, she is my "Why." I put her on this Earth and she saved MY life. But, it's not supposed to be this way. She's supposed to be my step into the future, not my saving grace.
    Now age five, my daughter tells everyone how her mommy goes to the gym to get strong. She regularly asks if she can work out with me and get strong too. In her mind she sees a mommy dedicated to self improvement. Something I've heard is good for kids. She used to be my buddy in the Emergency Room (no one to watch her on short notice). She was always amazed by my blood draws and how you could make balloons with latex gloves. She has yet to put my gym life and my emergency room life together.
    I'm at peace with my body being compromised. I understand that my body is simply not as good nor strong as a normal person's body. I'm not a peace with how I put someone here, and didn't realize this before I did that. My greatest fear is that I put someone here that will soon be abandoned because stupid me didn't realize I wasn't healthy enough to have kids. I often wonder if and when she'll realize my epic workouts are to keep me out of the Emergency Room.

When my daughter says she wants to become strong like me and work out, I want to punch a freakin' wall. Instead of punching though, I concentrate. Concentrate on staying so I can be there in case she's the one who needs saving. Maybe it is the creatine talking when I take it post workout. Users say that side effects include increased anger. More likely though, it's the gnawing fear that I won't be here when she really needs me. Every day I'm getting stronger. It's doubtful though I'll ever get strong enough to actually make a hole when punching walls. And that's OK. As long as I'm here.

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