Tag Archives: Health

Bell Let’s Talk Day: Mental Health Awareness

For the last eight years on January 31st, Bell Let’s Talk Day has opened up the conversation of mental health. It was an initiative to remove the stigma around mental illness.

In my culture and community, mental illness is still a taboo. We don’t openly speak about depression or mental health issues; you’d be quickly labeled as mental or retarded (for a lack of better word). Which is why the Bell Let’s Talk Day is so important for me.

It’s no secret that I’ve battle with depression and mental instability over the years. Anyone that’s read my blog or knows me personally knows what I’ve gone through and how I’ve struggled to overcome my depression. So for me a day to openly admit and discuss how mental illness affects my life is a day I can’t take for granted.

Mental illness is not a bad thing. Each one of us faces some sort of mental illness throughout our lives. It is now time we speak about it openly and stop hiding behind the masks that everything is okay and that if we speak about our mental struggles people will label or judge us.

Today, let’s check in with our loved ones and open up the conversation for mental health. Every text, tweet or social media conversation with hashtag #BellLetsTalk 5 cents will be donated towards mental health initiatives. Open up the conversation and do your part to make sure you and your loved ones have the support they need when they are struggling.

~Tamana

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An App & Reality Check Are Helping Me Reach My Goals


I was home on sick leave for nearly five months. I was dealing with an array of symptoms that eventually led to depression and the depression led to over eating. I knew I had gained weight but when I finally decided to get on the scale and check how much, I was left shocked and horribly depressed. I gained 17 lbs. in five months, sitting at home with minimal exercise. 17 frickin pounds!! I was already over weight to begin with but 17 extra pounds to deal with was not something I was looking forward to.

That was a reality check for me. How did I let myself go this far? Why didn’t I check before and get off my ass and start moving around? How the heck was I going to get rid of this extra weight and get healthy again?

I looked high and low for quick weight loss remedies and diets. But nothing was working. I wasn’t losing any weight and the fad diets were making me feel sluggish and drained; which led to even more depression. 

A friend mentioned downloading a health app and using that to help me lose weight. Really? An app to help me lose weight! How was that going to help? I questioned her recommendation and ended the conversation. 

Later however, I decided to go into the App Store and check out some apps. I’d heard a lot about FitBit, so decided to check it out. I downloaded the Fitbit App to see what all the commotion was about. For those of you who don’t know what Fitbit is, it’s a little bracelet that can track your physical activity and sleep patterns. I didn’t purchase the bracelet because it’s not in my budget to do so. Especially right now, since money is extremely tight. However, I decided to download the app on my iPhone. I constantly have my phone on me, so figure it will track my steps as much as possible. 

The app is easy to use and can be set up to your personal goals. Of course, my goal is to lose weight. So, I’ve indicated that on my app. I’ve also indicated how much weight I would like to lose. So, the app calculates how many calories I should be eating daily and how much water I need to consume to hit my target. It also gives me a date for when I will achieve my weight loss goal if I continue to follow the apps recommendations. My target weight loss date is August 2017. I’m trying to lose 93 lbs. 

At first, the daily calorie count was hard to maintain and I almost never was under or at the recommended calories I should be eating. However, with the help of putting in my daily calories, I come very close each day to not going over the recommended amount. I’ve also increased my water intake to nearly double what the app suggests. The app allows me to search for foods in the calorie chart, so that I can easily find how many calories a food has in it before I consume it. The more I walk, the higher calories I can consume that day. 

I downloaded the app on June 15th. Since then, I have lost 19 lbs. I follow the apps calorie recommendations Monday to Friday and eat as healthy as I can on those days. But allow myself to eat junk food or carbohydrates on the weekends. All in moderation, though. I’ve increase my water intake by 100% from the recommended amount on the app. So, now I’m up to four litres of water a day. I try to get in at least 5000-8000 steps each day and am trying to work my way up to at least 10000 steps daily. My calorie intake has been reduced to 1200 calories a day. 

And I don’t feel bloated, sluggish or crappy any more. My legs don’t hurt as much and I’m sleeping much better. The depression has seemed to fade away significantly because I’ve realized I’m working myself back to a better me and although the results don’t show on my body yet, I feel better as myself again. 
Dev says I look like I’ve lost weight. I don’t see it, though. But the fact that he’s noticed how hard I’ve been working and sees some of the results, makes me feel like I’m on the right track.

Fad diets only worked for a while. But this lifestyle change is showing me that it’s not all that hard to lose weight if you choose the right path and have the determination and the help from a little app!

Is This My Permanent Normal?

You’ve all probably read my previous blog posts about not feeling well and dealing with vertigo. I’m still feeling the same but with some new symptoms. It’s like one thing goes away and another appears. My physician put me on a pill for migraines, so the migraines have gone away. But the dizziness persists. Along with that, my legs go numb almost every day. They hurt and I constantly feel like I’m getting my period due to the cramps.

I lay in bed all day Saturday and began thinking if this was the new normal that my life has become. I can’t stand for extended periods without feeling like my legs are going to fall off. Moving around makes my head spin and cause my eyes to blur and feel tired. The feeling of feeling unwell has me and my physician baffled because the tests he does come back normal. Somewhere inside me, I’ve stopped believing that he even cares anymore. He tells me most of this is probably caused by my depression. So it’s all in my head because I have depression. 

But I told him my mood is better. I don’t feel depressed these days. His excuse is that depression never goes away, even though I’m not feeling it right this minute. 

So is all this illness in my head? Am I so psychologically tainted that I’ve caused myself to feel all these things? 

I read all these stories about people going through similar stuff for years and their doctors kept telling them it was depression or another mild illness but years later they get diagnosed with a life-changing illness or cancer. Is that going to happen to me as well?

I wonder, if I’m reading too much into this and whether I should stop and just focus on getting better. 

At the end of this month my employment insurance benefits will run out. I have a big decision to make before the month ends; am I going back to work or staying home? How will I survive without an income? If I go back, what if I feel sick and can’t work or perform the way I used to? What if I faint the way I nearly did the last time I left work? What if I feel better all together and all of this goes away? Will my life return to the normalcy that I was used to before all this vertigo and pain started or will the current feeling be the normalcy I’ll have to get used to?

I don’t know what is going to happen at the end of this month or what my decision will be. For now, I’ve decided to go see another doctor and explain everything that has happened to me over the past few months and see what he suggests. Maybe it’s time for a second opinion. I need to know what’s wrong with me before I can decide what I’m going to do with my career. 

Still Not Feeling Like Myself

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything relatively useful. I haven’t felt like myself in a long while now. What was assumed was vertigo resulted in not being vertigo. My test results came back normal. The MRI, the blood work, everything was normal. So, why do I still feel dizzy every single day? Why am I getting the worst headaches of my life still and why do I wake up feeling as if someone has knocked the wind right out of me? 

My doctor thinks the symptoms I described are related to migraine. He’s put me on migraine relief pills for a month and hopes they’ll help resolve whatever issues I’m having. I’ve been taking the pills now for two weeks and don’t see much difference in my symptoms. But after speaking to him earlier this week, he’s asked me to continue taking them and see how I feel in another week or so. 

I haven’t been to work in nearly three months and now I’m not sure I want to return after being off so long. I feel like it would be so awkward going back and dealing with all the questions from colleagues on what happened to me and where I’ve been. But on the flip side, I’m so bored out of my head being at home and am eagerly waiting to get better, so that I can’t get back to my work life. 

I enjoy working. I enjoy the crazy deadlines and hectic schedules. I enjoy out and about and focused. These days, my mind is so blurred. I’m miserable being home all day without being able to go out and about without someone being with me. I was never the dependent type. I’ve always enjoyed my independence and free-will to do what I wanted, when I wanted. But with this illness, all of that has changed. If I need to go somewhere, I either have to beg my neighbor to come with me or wait for my husband to get home from work. I don’t enjoy being a burden on people, even if they’re loved ones. 

Some rare days like Monday, I wake up feeling normal and the world doesn’t spin around me. So, I try to take advantage of the sensation of normalcy and get as much done as I can, like cooking or house work. But then other days, like yesterday, I waste the whole day in bed sleeping or tossing and turning because the night before I was so dizzy that I couldn’t keep my eyes closed for more than a few seconds at a time without being feeling like I was going to throw up. 

And if all of this wasn’t enough, the guilt of being on employment insurance and barely making ends meet causes me more anxiety. D is going to India later this month for his cousins wedding and I’m so sick thinking about how I’m going to provide for Ni while he’s away for three weeks. My mother has offered to come stay with us and help out but the financial part of it makes me sick to my stomach. 

I’m hoping these symptoms go away soon. I want my life back. I want to be independent again and provide for my family as I was before all this started. Everyday I rise hoping that I’m not feeling the way I was the day before and can finally ask my doctor to release me and let me go back to work. I just want my life to return to normal. 

Waiting On Results

As you all know, I’ve been battling with vertigo over the past couple of months. I’ve done numerous medical tests and will finally get all the results on Monday. I’m a bit nervous as to what the results will be. One part of me hopes there’s nothing serious but the other part of me hopes that something was found in my tests and can be fixed. I just hate going through a bunch of tests just to find out that there was nothing in my blood/X-ray or whatever. 

The last time I got sick with fever and pain over two years ago, all the tests came back normal and my family doctor ended up telling me that my illness was a result of my depression. Basically, in not so many words, he said it was all in my head and physically there was nothing wrong with me. 

Could that possibly be true? I was severely depressed at the time. Could I have been so depressed that my mind made me sick? What if that were the same this time? But I’m not depressed these days. Of course I have an off day here and there, but I’m not (thank goodness) depressed like I was six months ago or a year ago. 

I hope it’s not all in my head. Because I don’t know how to stop or cure it. Vertigo is not a nice thing to have and if my own mind is playing games with me and causing this vertigo, then how will I stop it? I hope my test results come back with some indication of something being wrong so that the ENT Specialist can help me resolve whatever’s wrong with my body. 

Will check back in on Monday after my doctor’s appointment and let you guys know how it went. Until then, have a great weekend and stay healthy!

One Day At A Time

Yesterday was a good day. Matter of fact, it was a magnificent day; I felt like my normal self for the first time in nearly two months. So we had dinner at a friend’s place. She constantly offered me wine but I declined. Then she thought I was pregnant and not wanting to drink. After much convincing, she finally backed off. 

I haven’t told many people about my vertigo. It’s not something people commonly know about and quite frankly, with how I feel these days, I don’t have the energy to explain what’s going on with me. Most days I can’t express to myself what I’m feeling or going through; to explain it to other people would just be too exhausting.

Speaking of exhaustion, I am exhausted right now. But my feeling of normalcy didn’t last very long yesterday and I’ve had a terrible day of dizziness and nausea to pay for how great I felt yesterday. I’ve thrown up twice tonight because the room won’t stop spinning. I had my MRI this evening; which was so overwhelming and scary and possibly the result of me feeling extra yucky this evening. 

I’ve got my inner ear test tomorrow morning and then a follow up in March with my specialist to discuss all the results from the fours tests they’ve done. I’m really hoping they find something, so they can cure me and get me back to my normal self. I hope it doesn’t turn into a “we don’t know what’s causing your dizziness” type of situation because not knowing why you’re sick is one of the worst things to ever deal with. 

I’m going to try and get some shut eye for now. I wanted to write a quick post to let you know how I’m doing and right now I’m just taking it one day at a time. I hope you’re all well and healthy. I’ll have another update soon once I hear back from the doctor on my results. Xoxo

My Life Is On Stand Still Mode

  I’ve been home with vertigo for over 15 days and just when I feel like I might be getting over it, I wake up with another headache and the room spins. I feel like my life has just stopped. I can barely do anything around the house. I can’t travel to go to work and if I have to go to the doctors, I have to have someone with me so that I don’t fall or crash the car. Plus, driving when you’re dizzy is very unsafe. So, my neighbor has been nice enough to drive my car and take me where I need to go, especially when I just can’t even think about being in front of the wheel by myself. 

I haven’t had enough concentration to write much either. Every time I think of writing, my head’s either spinning or hurting, or I’m so exhausted that I can’t be bothered. Vertigo is a terrible thing to have!

I went for a balance test a few days ago; which made me feel worst. They try to recreate the dizziness by placing goggles over your eyes and blowing cold then warm air into your ears. I was so nauseous and dizzy after that appointment, that it took me nearly two days to get over the experience and sensation in my ears. 

I’m waiting for two more tests, an MRI and inner ear test before I can find out what’s causing this dizziness. I just hope they find something soon, so that they can guide me to fix it and I can go back to work and return to my life. 

So that’s where my life is right now; stuck in this spinning sensation and waiting for more tests to be done. If I’m MIA for a while, I hope you’ll understand why.