Bah Humbug

I’ve grown to hate this time of year. It’s always incredibly stressful for me, and it usually starts in mid November and doesnt end until after New Years. Since I moved to the same town as my mother, into a nice sized home with some space to entertain, I’ve been expected to host all the holiday meals. And in years past, it wasn’t so bad. Everyone would help cook a couple of dishes, and so it was a manageable duty. But this year, I was already responsible for the entiree Thanksgiving meal, and now I am in charge of the entire Christmas meal as well.

Last year, I got a “break” of sorts. I was working at the hospital and I was night shift, so I was in no position to host anything. Would you believe both holidays went ignored because I wasn’t handling it? Yup. No one cooked anything or went anywhere.

This tells me something. The holidays are only important enough to celebrate if they are not in charge of it all. I feel taken advantage of and as if it is now expected of me, regardless of how I feel about it. So what have I been googling tonight? “How to avoid hosting the holidays.” I refuse to do it next year. I will be in my 4th semester of grad school, and intend to use it as an excuse. Someone else can step up, or not. I dont care.

And to make matters worse, my husband decides tonight, Christmas Eve, to invite a friend and his girlfriend over for dinner tomorrow. I abhor these people. Especially the girlfriend. And I will tell you why. Two Christmases ago, they came for dessert and coffee. I have a cat who gets very anxious around company and typically hides. But she also used to being fed at night (so we can sleep peacefully until morning without cries of hunger), and so she came out of hiding to eat. “Girlfriend” wanted to love on my kitty, but my angel wasn’t having any of it, and warned her with a few growls that she didnt appreciate being cornered. I told the girlfriend to be careful, she doesnt like strangers and she doesn’t like being touched. But did she listen? No. So my angel swiped at her. And what did “girlfriend” do? She lashed out at the cat with her foot, motioning to kick her.

And THAT is how she came to be on my shit list. So I am dealing with a husband who doesnt understand why I hate these people so much, and why I dont want them in my house for extended periods of time. Plus I have my own ungrateful family I have to feed and quite frankly, I am over all of it.

If anyone can come up with a practical solution to get me out of hosting the holidays permanently, I’d be forever grateful. I cant use the school excuse forever.

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Catching up…

So, lots of things have happened since my last entry. August 1, at approximately 7:45am, I came home from my last shift at the hospital, and a few weeks after that, I began my journey as a grad student working toward my MSN FNP degree, all mentioned previously.

Now, it’s the end of my first semester, and I earned A’s in all 4 of my classes. I know each coming semester will grow increasingly challenging, but I feel I am starting off on the right foot. Also boosting my confidence is the fact that my Ethics professor asked to take 3 of my essays to use for future students as “examples of excellence.” What a compliment!

I’m enjoying my downtime, which comes to an end January 6. I’ve been Christmas shopping, doing some pleasure reading, taking long soaks in the tub… one of which ended with an all too curious kitty attempting to sniff the draining bathwater and fell into the tub! The mess was worth the hilarity.

But I’ve also been working more on eating right, and I’ve added fasting to my regimen as well. The results have been amazing. I’m following a ketogenic diet, which is high fat, moderate protein, and low carb. I have been tracking my food, and I eat no more than 20 net grams of carbs daily, 50-70g of protein, and I eat fat until I am satiated. I am following the protocol set forth by a Toronto nephrologist, Dr. Jason Fung. Dr. Fung has successfully treated obese people, and has reversed Type 2 Diabetes in his patients. No longer is T2D a progressive disease. His approach is simple and logical, and I encourage anyone curious about ketogenic eating to look up is podcasts, youtube video lectures, or his books. It’s an approach that I intend to bring to my patients, and am considering writing my dissertation on the topic, when the time comes.

As I mentioned, and as Dr. Fung encourages, I have incorporated fasting into my diet. I began with intermittent fasting (IF) on a 16/8 schedule. I would stop eating at 6p at night, and not eat again til 10a the next morning. Then I pushed to an 18/6, then 20/4 eating schedule. I even toyed with a few 24 hour fasts as I felt more comfortable. Currently, I am on my first week of alternate day fasting. I eat one day, fast the next, eat the following day and fast the next. So far, I’m liking this the best. It frees me up from thinking about food more often, my grocery budget is as low as it’s ever been, and I’m dropping weight and feeling better than ever.

I did make a very stupid mistake recently, and that was to go off my progesterone. I figured I was losing weight, and my diet was completely anti-inflammatory now, so why would I need progesterone? I completely forgot that releasing fat means I would be releasing the estrogen stored in those fat cells, and that it would add to my pain levels. And add to them it did.

I was off my progesterone no more than 3 weeks, but my pain levels sky rocketed. I’m back on them now, about a week, and things are already improving. Not great, but it’s getting better.

I’ve done so much healing since my initial diagnosis of Lyme disease. I still can’t believe how far I’ve come. I keep up with blogs of other Lymies, to remind me why I’m pursuing my education. It pains me when I see so many still suffering, not being able to find effective treatment, and wondering what my future place will be in this fight.

I have a busy holiday season ahead. I will be meeting with friends from nursing school, and friends I used to be able to call co-workers. I’m grateful I’m still remembered among them, and get to spend time with them. They have each added so much to my life. Then it will be family for Christmas, and more friends to celebrate the end of the year.

I will be back to the grind soon enough, but for now, I feel full… happy… blessed.