Uhm, Hai?

So yah, its been a while.

For the last few months of 2015, I was in a weird place. On one hand, things were really awesome on the theatre end of things.  Tommy was getting ready to move into the theatre.  Catch Me was cast and started rehearsals. I agreed to prop a proper play called She Kills Monsters about D&D that I am very excited about. I get to make some rad things and the play, itself, pretty much depicts me and my life when I was 22 or 23 years old.  We also decided on the 2016-2017 season for FRC.  It was pretty stellar couple of months on that front.

On the other hand, the remainder of 2015 had me in a really not-so-awesome place. I don’t really discuss mental health or depression or anything like that.  Not here and not really with anyone in my life. I just don’t. Its too private and too in-my-head. It’s too… well, my shit and not anyone else’s.   So I’m not going to change that particular behaviour now. All I will say is that there was a lot of really dark and ugly stuff in my head for the month of December and into the early part of January.  Now, most folks probably wouldn’t have noticed because I am a fucking amazing actress, a great faker, and stunning liar when it comes to putting on a happy face when I am actually in a seemingly endless pit of emotional despair. Still, as usual, I pulled (mostly) through.  I am too stubborn to be swallowed up by it for too long. Fact.

Now we are in a fairly shiny-and-new year, things are better. I am still out of work, but I have returned to school.   I am doing some academic upgrading through SAIT with a longer goal of returning to do a really-real program once I have improved some of my grades.  It’s a crazy awesome thing that happened on a whim at the end of December.  I just thought “Fuck it, why not?” and submitted my application.   Like I said, its crazy, but it is awesome! I am only two weeks into the semester and so far, so good.  I am taking English (which I love), Chemistry (which I think I love) and Math (which I am trying love).  I am learning things everyday and I could not be happier about it.  Learning is the BEST.  And honestly? It’s probably the main thing that yanked me out of my portable hole of angst.  So, its cool.

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FODMAP… huh?

Yesterday, I had my very first appointment with a registered dietician, RH.  First, she’s fantastic. She’s very down to earth.  She doesn’t bullshit and she curses like a sailor just like I do. I appreciate that. We had a great discussion about what I eat (which is crap on top of crap), my upcoming learn-to-run program, how to address my Subway addiction, and how to examine the digestive issues that have been plaguing me.  At this point, we are pretty sure that I have IBS.  So, there’s a little bit of TMI for you on this fine Tuesday afternoon. 😉

Starting July 27th (thankfully AFTER DD’s bachelorette), I am going on an exclusion diet, FODMAP*, for four weeks. While it is a gluten-free diet, it mostly address the fructose in my diet – which is a major contributor to malabsorption which is one of the primary culprits for IBS.  RH has provided me with a list of foods that I can eat and a list of foods that I need to stay away from for the four weeks.  After which time, we will start to reintroduce food back into my diet.

Overall, there are more foods that I CAN eat than I can’t, so I am not overly concerned at this point.  But if I can stay away from Subway for a month, it will be a feat!

RH will be monitoring my progress through MyFitnessPal (which will be less about calorie counting – that’s always been a problem for me – and more about macronutrients) so I will have some support while I am doing this.

I am looking forward to it because I am so tired of feeling like crap all of the time.  Its just another step into improving my quality of life.  Next, I should probably address that insomnia thing…

*My plan is similiar but slightly different to this one.

Move It!

When I WAS Active...It is a gross understatement to say that I am not that active.  Once I quit playing roller derby (about two and 1/2 years ago), I basically stopped any real form of exercise.  And let’s face it, anyone who knows me knows that I am not a girl who embraced physical activity to begin with – even when I was skating three times a week.

Well, that isn’t entirely true.  I like the idea of physical activity and once I am actually doing it, I tend to enjoy it a lot.  Hell, I used to LOVE hot laps. Like love-LOVE.  I wasn’t very good at them, but I loved them just the same.  I also kinda dug tabatas.  There was also a brief time a million years ago (or yah know, like 10 years ago), that I was a “runner” (stop laughing).  It’s true! SMc and I ran on a pretty consistent basis (at least three days a week). I ran in three 5Ks and an 8K.  But then SMc moved to Vancouver and both of us promptly stopped running.  Without having another person to keep us motivated, this wasn’t a surprise to either of us.

So that’s the rub.  My problem lies in just getting me off my ass and doing any type of exercise. It’s a psychological barrier that I have never really had the fortitude to overcome easily. Now that isn’t to say it isn’t possible, I did play derby for about three years – so it is possible. But it takes a lot of internal negotiation to get me to move my shit.

To that end, in an effort to negotiate with myself and because I know my derby days are far behind me, I have signed up for a Learn-to-Run clinic through the Running Room that starts on July 27th. SMc and I took one way back when, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to do it again. Especially since I am 10 years older and well, there is considerably more of me to move around.

Now, I do have some apprehensions about it. I am doing it on my own so I will have to be a self-motivator. I am older and heavier which likely won’t be check marks in my corner and I am starting to feel the wear and tear on my body (knees and ankles mostly) so I don’t know how that will impact me. But yet, I go into it positive, but trepidatiously.

The fact is I feel like garbage, my ability to manage stress is fucking dumb (like FUCKING dumb), I sleep like shit, and maybe moving my hulking mass a bit more and a bit more often will help.  It certainly can’t hurt.

If nothing else, it means I get to buy more shoes and maybe look like this someday…..

YouTube Note: Yes, yes, there was far toooooo much Tom Cruise in that above clip. 😉 But the dude does run alot in his flicks. So I will give him that. See, AvD, I can be complimentary!  😉

The Devil’s Mark

But perhaps you know it better by its common name… a cold sore. Those insidious little bastards that can absolutely demolish person’s self esteem with a teeny, tiny little tingle.

In medical jargon, cold sores are actually called herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) and should not be confused with its close sibling, herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) which is the type that you get on your junk from bumping uglies.   They are related, but not the same.  A lot of ill-informed people do not realize that they are different.  For example, typically, someone with HSV-1 will not pass along the virus sexually unless they are using their mouth to do some…stuff on their sexual partner’s…stuff (including just regular old smooching) while they are in the middle of an outbreak.  But if they aren’t in the middle of an outbreak, they can do all the stuff-on-stuff that they want without passing it onto their partner.   HSV-2, however, is generally only transmitted sexually, I believe. Now, that doesn’t make HSV-1 “better” than HSV-2, they are just different and having either isn’t a picnic. While only 20% of sexually active adults are diagnosed with HSV-2,  90% of the population has been exposed to and carries the HSV-1 virus, but apparently only about 20% ever experience an outbreak.

I am, unfortunately, one of those who fall within in that 20% that experienced HSV-1 outbreaks. I don’t have HSV-2 so the rest of this post is solely devoted to HSV-1 shenanigans.

I am currently in the middle of an outbreak (hence this post).  And I have been cursed with mark of the devil for as long as I can remember which leads me to believe that it was passed along to me by a parent or someone else when I was a kid.  Generally, I have about one, maybe two, outbreaks a year which isn’t bad considering I have known people who have been hexed at least once every couple of months.  And my outbreaks only occur either right after I have had a cold or if I am really stressed out and/or run down because I haven’t been sleeping or eating properly.  I suspect my current outbreak is due to the latter.

On an intellectual and medical level, dealing with the virus and an outbreak is pretty easy. It has five standard stages and is usually gone within a week to ten days.    There can be a little pain, but nothing too traumatizing.

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