When is a sin really a sin?

I seem to be stuck in blabbermouth mode the past week or two. I’m incredibly vocal, engaged and talking almost non-stop about everything and nothing. I’ve been commenting 300% more on blog posts than I have in months, and you know what? I kinda dig it. It takes up a lot of energy so I’m being very careful not to expend energy on things I don’t have the energy reserves for, because the last thing I want is social blog burnout.

So what I want to talk about today is the matter of ‘sinning’. Not in a religious fashion as I’m not religious and don’t believe in that kind of sin, but primarily the food kind of sinning.

Stay with me, I will drift off topic here a little but I promise I’ll get there. I’ve had the very pleasant experience of having extremely light periods for the past year or so thanks to my chosen method of birth control, the arm implant. The last time I bought any feminine hygiene products was almost 8 or 9 months ago, but today I ran out. I’m very particular about my products and my preferred brand is from a drugstore just across the border in Germany.

As I often do, I checked my bike tires, pumped some air into them and hopped on the saddle for a nice bike ride into Germany to the drugstore! I got everything I needed, I felt fine and had no signs of a hypo, so I wasn’t worried about the ride back. (By the time I could be showing any symptoms I’d be home already.) It was lunch time and I knew I’d have to eat once I got back. There happens to be a McDonalds straight across from the drugstore, so I went over and ordered a chili chicken burger and a small diet coke. I figured that would be a little more carbs than I should have, but still totally acceptable.

Unfortunately it rang up at just a little over €3, I had no cash on me and only my debit card, and they don’t let you pay by debit on amounts under €5. Damnit. I ended up upgrading my coke to a medium and taking another burger to bump the total up just over the minimum amount.

Here is where the sin part comes in: this meal ended up being well over twice the amount of carbs and calories I should have in a meal. I also biked my big ass off to get there and get back home, which was 40 minutes of exercise right there. My glucose value was at 6.0 before my meal. Could I have made the choice to cancel the order and eat something at home? Sure! I could also have saved the second burger for later (however unappetizing it may end up being). But I didn’t. I made the choice to treat myself and enjoy every single bite of both burgers when I got home, and I didn’t feel bad about it one bit.

Life is too short to be perfectly in  control all the time. I like food a lot, and on most days I am excellent at being responsible about what I eat, exercising despite my physical disabilities, and I’m meticulous about my diabetes and the numbers. What good is a long, healthy life when I can’t have a second burger just because, every now and then? I hadn’t had a fast food burger since I moved in Feb/March, one extra burger in half a year won’t kill me.

It’s easy to fall into the “you’re never allowed to have ___ ever” trap. It’s easy to feel guilt about ‘sinning’. Maybe it’s time we cut ourselves some slack and stop regarding these kind of things as sins, and start seeing them as human and alright. It’s not like we’re shoveling fifteen burgers and five extra large sugary cokes down our throats every single day. (Obviously, everyone is different and your health is the most important – if something affects you very negatively then please do continue to be responsible about treating yourself. My message is simply not to cling too tightly if there’s a possibility to be relaxed about it without damaging your health!)

I’ve really enjoyed writing about these topics and I’m hopeful they’re having positive effects on people. 🙂 I’ve been doing my best not to let my health, finances and mental state get the best of me, to stay optimistic and well. All of you followers who interact with me by reading, liking and commenting on my posts are wonderful people with warm hearts and kind souls. Just knowing you’re out there and listening makes me feel tremendously warm and fulfilled.

I also want to take this opportunity to let you know about some updates on the blog! I recently updated my “Who Am I?” page with some additional information on my diabetes, which some of you may have already seen. I’m still working on planning and recording my Podcasts, so if you have questions or topic suggestions, you can always email me suggestions at somedaftthoughts@gmail.com. I also updated a button in my widget to stay up to date with Ko-fi.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

These donations are exclusively used for groceries (I am on disability with a fixed income, which can strain my small budget) and to fund the materials and shipping costs of Knitted Knockers to people in need worldwide. 🙂

I will spend the rest of my day knitting my Ten Stitch Blanket because the weather has turned dreadful over the past 2 hours, and I will let you know what my doctor has to say about my daycurves tomorrow!

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Your voice matters.

Especially when it concerns your life. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been busy with therapy to get my life back on the tracks. I used to be the kind of person who just took what was said without questioning it. I refuse to be that person any longer.

The result is quite simply that my life is better.

When I was hospitalized after 3 years of agonizing back pains, I was dismissed with the message “It’s probably a herniated disc, no need to make a scan, send her home asap.” No. I insisted on an MRI. I insisted on knowing what the fuck was wrong with me, why I couldn’t sit, stand or walk anymore. I insisted on recovering to the point where I could walk up and down stairs again because I didn’t have the luxury of an elevator or someone to take care of a 26 year old woman who lives by herself around the clock. When they finally put me in the machine and saw just how bad it was, I got a “Oh, well, this is a pretty bad hernia, no wonder you’re in so much pain!”

I was told I needed to go into a daytime program, where I would spend my entire day in group therapy five days a week. I considered this, I felt uncomfortable with it because it didn’t make me feel heard, and I refused. In no unclear terms, I let my psychologist know “This is not for me. I just need someone to sit down and talk to me. I need someone to help me figure out where this is coming from. I need someone to help me get through the specific issues that make my life unlivable.”

Two years later I’m doing better than I ever have before, I understand what the source of my mental health problems is and knowing helps me maintain better control over my life.

I was told that my birth control method of choice (the implant in the arm) was ‘unfavored by many women’ and that I should consider other alternatives by my doctor. I said “No, I don’t want something put in my womb; I know just as many women who struggle with problems caused by this method, I can’t tolerate the pill, and I’m doing this for a better hormone balance. I’ve researched it, I know the risks, and I made my choice: this is for me.

Well over a year later, I’ve never felt better. My moodswings have diminished drastically. I may still have periods, but they’re so light I can wear panty liners instead of full on pads or tampons. Yes, it took almost 6 months for my body to adjust to a rhythm. I knew this before I started and I allowed it time (unlike the women my doctor mentioned, who had it removed in less than 3 months – not enough time for your body to adjust to a change in hormones, folks!).

I’m a smart cookie. I do my research, I know my situation, I know my body, and I know my gut instinct. I’m not perfect, but I’m good. So are many, many, many other people out there. If you feel something is wrong and the person you reach out to is dismissing you, stand up for yourself. Stick to your guns. Get the tests you needed. They may be professionals, but they make mistakes as well. They’re just giving their best guesses and send you home, assuming it’s never as bad as it sounds. And they can be horribly wrong. If your gut tells you something different, if your own research points in a different direction, go with it. Get another doctor. Get another professional. Get the tests you think you need.

You are the boss of your own existence. There is a lot we don’t control in life, but these things we can. And we should.

Just a little crash

The past week has been insanely busy for me. I didn’t have a single day where I could sit back and relax, something needed to be done constantly. I’m seeking legal help from an attorney to deal with false utility charges from my landlord, I’ve had group therapy, I’ve had doctors appointments and my birthday was last Friday.

With all this, I realized how impossible it is for me to function like a normal person and it’s depressing. I’m so exhausted beyond belief and my head is all over the place, going from feeling extremely content to extremely depressed and anxious for no particular reason. All because I had what for most people is a pretty normal week with a full time job on top. How do you all manage it? I can’t fathom having another week like this after the weekend is over.

On the upside, I got new shoes. I still have to take corset pictures but I haven’t had the time or energy to put them on. They’re still on my to-do list, I promise.

My shallow breath

I’m well on the road to a solid recovery. Mostly off my meds and picking up my life again piece by piece, I think things are looking good despite the circumstances I’m in. That’s probably why I freaked out a lot last night.

Browsing sites on my computer, I was minding my own business in the sickeningly humid aftermath of 36 degrees Celsius weather. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my chest as I breathed in and jolted. I wrote it off as a muscle cramp, but then it hurt to breathe in. Every breath was painful, so I breathed more shallow. And then I got dizzy and felt like I suffocated. I did my best to stay calm but it was hard.

An hour passed and there was no improvement. At this point I couldn’t stay calm anymore and called nightcare (a doctors office that deals with issues outside of clinic hours that can’t wait until the next day or after the weekend, but it’s not an ER). After talking to the lady on the phone, she wanted me to come in.

At 2 am I drove down the deserted highway to the office. I was the only one there. The doctor, a nice older lady, examined me. My bloodpressure was a little high (likely the stress), but my heart, lungs and oxygen levels were alright. The area above and on my left breast was tender, in the very place where the sharp pains shot through with breathing in.

The doctor explained to me that nothing was wrong with me other than Tietze syndrome, a benign inflammation of the costal cartilages. It has symptoms similar to a heart attack but it’s nothing as serious as that. I told her of the medication I still have at home from my hernia, and she adviced me to take my diclofenac with a stomach protector. It would pass on its own, but I had to call back in if it got worse.

I spent several more hours at the computer until the painkillers worked. Knowing now that I would be okay and my medication hadn’t triggered this event, I was able to sleep after all.