Monday, September 12, 2011

battle of the buldge, or is it?

jiggle it just a little bit

note: this is not my stomach, although, i can make mine do this

it's been 4 years since i had my last child.   after he was born, the migraines started.  within 5 months i was 127lbs.  for my 5 foot 3" frame, that is quite small.  and i loved it.with the migraines, came anxiety and panic attacks.  out of nowhere.  i had no idea what was going on.  i also noticed skin tags and my skin was an odd shade of greenish gray.  that's the only way i can explain the color.  my hair was falling out and eventually just looked thin and lacked shine and luster. so, i started tanning and cut my hair in a cute short style.  you couldn't tell my hair was thinning and my skin tone was "for a year i kept the weight off.  i've always had a weight issue.  it runs in my family along with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  [thankfully i do not have those issues].  early 2009 i had gained a little bit of weight, which was fine because i had actually gotten too small [who would have ever thought i'd be saying that].

actually, about 15lbs but like i said i had gotten too small around 117lbs and looked sick [and i was but didn't know it at the time]
 later that year, in november, our family was hit with a tragedy that we not only never expected, but it is something that i am choosing to not blog about.  just know that it was a hard time in my life and i went into a deep and dark depression.  for three months i can honestly say i do not know how i survived.  the only logical explanation is that god literally was willing me to.  i can't think of what i did during that time.  i can't recall conversations.  nothing.  i only remember christmas day because i talked to my sister and we went to ohio because tony wouldn't let me not celebrate christmas.  he knew i didn't feel like it.  but, he also knew i needed to be around extended family.  and he was right.

depression caused me to choose food.  i chose food when i was sad.  food when i was mad.  food when i was angry.  food all the time.  chocolate was my comfort and cookies were my reward.  [i read that in the book made to crave and it made perfect sense]. 

2009 passed and 2010 came.  alyssa's tumor grew and here we go in the hospital.  more weight gain.  only about 10lbs.  still not so bad.  i decide i've had it.  i become a vegetarian for health reasons.  mainly for alyssa.  tumors grow [so i read] or feed on sugar...i lose 20lbs.  cool.later that year in july i go on a missions trip.  this is the best experience ever!  i am renewed!  i am refreshed!   i will never go home.  well, i do.  but i don't want to. lima is amazing!    i contract a bacterial infection in my intestines.  from getting the shower    water in my mouth. great.


i didn't get sick until i came home.  phew.  that would have been bad with a long plane ride and going through customs and all that, plus the drive from atlanta back to alabama, but, within hours of walking through my front door, i'm throwing up and having the most painful stomach cramps.  the next 3 months are like this.  i am dizzy, nauseated, sore stomach, diarrhea, throwing up, light headed...and guess what? instead of losing body changes all the food i eat [even soup] into sugar instead of energy.  i couldn't understand it.  until i did.

so, after many many many trips to the er [to the point that i have my own room -- literally when i check in they say hey erika, your room is available, go on back, we'll be with you in a bit, go ahead and get as comfortable as you can.  grab a blanket, you know where they are.] !!!???!!! i know. sad.  it did take 3 weeks to get my diagnosis because they needed a poo sample and  well i was peeing out of my boo boo [sorry tmi] so, they made me drink an ensure and pepto [the entire bottle - uck] and the doc and i sat for an hour and had a talk about god.  he hooked me up to morphine.  until it only lasts for 20 minutes =(  and the pain returns.  [that's when you know you are in trouble...even morphine won't take the pain away] then i poo'd and they came back and said "well, we know what you have!" "good news is, it's just a bacterial infection and not a parasite.  the bad news is, it should have gotten out of your system by now" [by this time it was going on a month] so, i was given antibiotics, something for dizziness, stomach pain, nausea and a regular pain killer.  it took 3 weeks for the stomach pain to go away completely and about 4 months for the dizziness to go away.  the doctor told me that if i was still in pain the following week to return.  although the knots in my stomach did finally go away, the dizziness took quite a bit to fade.

after my missions trip experience i came home having fallen in love with the childrenthere.  if would have been able to, i would have taken a baby home with me.

after being sick for so long i had to get off of all my medication [including birth control] and basically start from scratch.  and since i had the baby itch again, i didn't get back on birth control.  seeing as that was a good idea i also remained off of my meds so that it wouldn't interfere with my pregnancy.  i am very fertile and i did not want to pass any medication to my child.  so, we started trying. 

month by month i got negative pregnancy tests.


two months.  negative.  four months.  six.  this is not normal.  god?  is a fourth child too much to ask for?  during this time, i started noticing subtle changes in my body... so, i wrote them down:

have joint pain. i sweat because i get so hot. i sweat so

 bad that i soak my clothes. literally it looks like i have 

sat in water. even in an air conditioned room.

i am nauseated all.of.the.time. i am constantly

over heating. i can't wear makeup [and i don't even care 


 this point] because it literally just runs off my face. i

have the worst acne right now [again, i could care less]

the hair on my arms has gotten very thick [i shave,

so at first i didn't notice it] i started noticing hair on 


toes and top of my feet. my hair on my head is falling 


i have skin tags [one reason i went to the doctor, and

so glad that i did, i went to get them removed and she

started asking me more detailed questions and we put 


 puzzle together] i am so sleepy it's ridiculous YET i 


sleep until i'm to the point i'm exhausted my body 


gives up and allows me to go to bed. i'm an emotional

 wreck. i can be happy one minute and crying the next

[now it makes sense that at one point i was diagnosed

 with bi-polar disorder but i wouldn't accept that

 diagnosis because i just

 knew i wasn't -- and i'm not] i started noticing hair on 


 face [more than just the "peach fuzz"] also started

noticing skin pigment changes on my face. i crave sugar

 and carbs. usually chocolate and bread.  i have

debilitating migraines.  panic, anxiety, insomnia, cramps 


bad that it hurts to even breath [each month it's

worse on one side more than the other]

it's a year later.  i am 56lbs heavier.  i am not pregnant

and i have all of the above symptoms that have

come up.  doctor after doctor tell me i'm

depressed.  ok.  maybe.  who wouldn't be after gaining

that much weight?  and, have you read the symptoms?

hello.  i am hot. all. of. the. time.  literally.

even in the air conditioning!

i swear i'm going through menopause and i'm only 31!

i go on a missions trip only to come back sicker than 


i lose a family member WAY too soon.

who wouldn't be depressed.

only, i KNOW i'm not.

so, i decide.  i'm going to my doctor and i'm going to 


her listen to me.  i'm NOT leaving until she HEARS

me.  i will cry if i have to.  it won't be hard.

i mean, i'm in pain.  i hurt.  i feel like i'm 80 years

old.  i can't clean my house like i normally do.

i will have bursts of energy for a day or two

only to sleep for a week straight.  then be up

for a month.  something is off.



i make the appointment.

first we talk about my cramping.

she listens.

then we talk about my skin tags.

she listens.

she notices my acne.

she notices my skin tone.

she notices my pigment change on my face.

she asks me a few questions.

i tell her about getting off the pill and noticing that is

really when my symptoms started.

she listens.

she weighs me.

she checks my blood pressure.

she asks me a few more questions.

she explains a few things and tells me i need

to go to my ob/gyn.

for the time being she prescribed me a good

pain killer.

ok, i feel pretty good because she did tell me what she

thought was going on [i know i haven't told you yet

but it's coming don't worry] i pick up my

pain meds and happen to run into a friend that

i hadn't seen in a while.  we chat for a few minutes

and she asks how things are going.  i tell her a little 


what is going on and she pretty much nails it on the 


just by looking at me she can tell what i have.  by the 


on my jawline.  i'm pretty much shocked at this point.

i end up seeing my ob/gyn the following wednesday.  


not actually him, but his colleague.  i get blood work 


as well.  i bring my list to him and he looks it over.

we discuss everything in depth.  i'm not a "normal"

case.  the fact that i have children is basically

why i wasn't diagnosed earlier in life.

i have been on birth control since i was 13 because of

severe pelvic/ovarian pain.  so, my syndrome

was kept "at bay".  when we were ready

to start trying, i would get off of the pill

and we'd get pregnant right away.  then when baby was

6 weeks old, i'd get back on the pill.  it wasn't

until gunnar was born that i got migraines and was 


for them and anxiety as well as panic [not knowing

it was a sign of my syndrome]  and when

we were ttc #4 it really started to show it's head.

friends, i have poly cystic ovarian syndrome.

it is not a syndrome that can be cured.

it is a syndrome that makes it very hard to lose weight.

it is a syndrome that if not treated, will literally

make you miserable.

there are medicines that are used to lessen the 


i, for one, do not want to use a pharmaceutical.  i would

rather use a natural whole food source supplement.  i 


been introduced to one.  god works in mysterious

ways.  not only have i learned of this oh so

fabulous supplement, and was able to taste it

[can we say yummmmmmmmy??]

i was able to read and hear [meaning i met ladies

who had real life stories to share]

testimonies of what it has done for them!  ladies

my age and older and even younger [men too!]

who have lost weight, [score!] had symptoms

disappeared [oh can you imagine??!] to the point

that they feel so good they can't even remember

the last time they felt THIS good!  why am i just NOW

hearing about this?  you know why?  i honestly

believe god allowed me to go through this so that i 


use my blog and be able to share my story with other

women who NEED to hear it.  i really do.

so, i pray that i can help just one person better their

health.  maybe they can share this with

their mother.

their sister.

best friend.












if i can simply help just one person change their life 


the better, i will be very happy.  i am looking

forward to getting my ViSalus Nummy Nummy Shakes

very soon.  living life the visalus way is going to be 


life good.  pain free.  that, to me, is worth everything!

what's it worth to you?

pass it on!  make someone happy!


  1. I really hope this new stuff starts working for you, hun! Living with pain in no fun at all! Love bunches!!!

  2. i hope other people find help with it as well! even if they do not have pain, over all health and well being is worth giving it a try! and i mean, who doesn't want to lose a bit of weight ;) yay!

  3. Erika,
    What a path you took, what a journey to find out what you are dealing with. I'm sorry that you had to suffer so much along the way! But I'm so happy for you that you have been diagnosed and found something that helps your symptoms. Yea for you!!! You will bless many women with this info and I applaud you for putting it out there so other women can find it!

  4. erin! i am so glad you read it! you know, it has been quite a journey and now that we finally know i am so grateful that i found out now instead of years later. i truly feel god allowed this to happen [and ironically - or maybe not so - i found out right when i start blogging] i'm able to share something this AMAZING that is going to help my symptoms so drastically with women all over the world?! i say he knew what he was doing with me! =) sneaky sneaky! he can be such a comedian our god can't he? i will say, i'm glad he did use me though, because he KNEW i wouldn't keep it to myself! i couldn't sit back and NOT share this. i just can't. it's too good to sit back and hog all the goodness! i'd be selfish to do that! it's not making me money. it's not making me rich. it's making me feel good. it's making people around me feel good. they are losing weight that they have held onto for YEARS. they are vibrant. they are looking younger. their hair is getting thicker. and all they are doing is drinking a yummy shake. it is healing them at a cellular level. it's natural. it goes to show you that what you put in your body, really does make a difference and your body will thank you. literally. you don't have to be sick to benefit from it. you can be healthy already. but, you will feel even better once you add it to your already healthy lifestyle. i only drank 5 shakes because i had a sample pack. in those 5 days i can say i saw a difference. i slept better. i had energy. i didn't notice it until i didn't drink them for two days and i was back to being tired. =( so, i am stalking my mail waiting for them to get here. i can't wait to start again. i will be writing a weekly ViSalus log. sharing is going to be a passion of mine. it's going to be a real thing. my pain will be gone. i truly believe it. this 32 year old will feel her age again. no. i will feel young again. good bye granny hello nanny! lol

  5. what you described going through after you had you little one is exactly what happened to me after i had my youngest. after i got back on the pill, the migraines, anxiety and panic attacks started. i immediately got off the pill. the symptoms subsided some...the migraines continued though unfortunately. my mom and my sister have i'm assuming i do as well. :( thanks for the info!

  6. rachel! i hate that you are experiencing this too!!! too many of us are being mis diagnosed and it needs to stop! seriously more doctors HAVE GOT to do research on pcos! you, your sister and your mom have all GOT to get on ViSalus! i can't tell tell you how many people have reached out to me in these last few days alone to share their stories about pcos and how vi has changed their lives! please please please go to my site [again, i'm not selling it, i'm simply a customer, but as a customer they give you a website so that you can share with ppl and you are immediatly connected with other vi users so you have support!] i'm telling you WE won't regret it! i'm [not so] patiently waiting for my box to arrive!!!! keep me posted!!! the migraines will go away too!!! [oh can you imagine???]

  7. Oh my how frustrating. I am so glad you know what it is and that you are getting help. Good luck with the new treatment.

  8. I have had so many migraines lately that I was scared of a tumor in my brain. I feel like reading your blog was some of my life. The wieght up and down. I can loose wieght EASY on the pill. But the headaches are so bad they don't want me to take them. It is a long similiar story. I have been looking for a way to get the wieght off of me so God has answered my prayer possibly through this post! Thanks!

  9. thomasina! i can't tell you how God has truly healed me through ViSalus!!! i am a NEW person!!! my migraines are GONE. my energy is RESTORED. i have NO joint pain and ALL of my PCOS symptoms have literally become a thing of the past!!!!! pleaase please please start the 90 day challenge! i am a testiment to the truth that ViSalus WILL renew you as it has me!!!! i can't wait to see how it transforms you from the inside out as it has's incredible....hugs my friend!!!!!