March 2019 in Review

I really struggled this March. The beginning of the month was great, but around mid-month, my health problems reached a crisis point and my mental health took a nosedive. It’s difficult to keep your spirits up when you’re practically on bedrest and you never know when the next mast cell attack will come, or when you see doctors that tell you that your problems aren’t really problems and you should just learn to live with them, or when you have to take a dozen medications each day. Thankfully, I did manage to find some decent care in the long run, but that’s still ongoing, and I’m not out of the woods mentally or physically yet.

Books
I basically stopped reading in mid-February. For a time, I enjoyed half-listening to some old favorite rereads, then even that lost its charm. I haven’t really wanted to read anything for quite some time. It’s the biggest slump I remember being in since spring 2011! I might do a little post of mini-reviews for books I sort-of read (ie skim-read) in March. We’ll see. But I haven’t fully read a book since Feb, so my March total is zero.

Movies
I’ve now finished everything on my movie backlist. Watched at home this month: The Hate U Give, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ralph Breaks the Internet. The Hate U Give was amazing and by far my favorite. I also got a free movie ticket to Alamo Drafthouse for my birthday, which had to be used this month, and my original plan was to see a movie that was coming out on the 22nd…only then it’s been delayed until August, so I took Laurence to see Captain Marvel. I’m not really a superhero person, so I was surprised at how much I liked the movie. Had to be the cat and 90s nostalgia.

Health
Sigh. So here’s a recap of an insane month, in bullets:

  • Hives went away early in March since I’d cut out both probiotics and yogurt. After two weeks, I tried adding back yogurt, but had another massive attack after a few days. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to fully get the hives under control again since then. My current allergist gave me an emergency kit that includes a couple steroid pills as a defense against the major hive outbreaks (mast cell activation) because apparently those don’t fully go away without intervention for about 120 days. However, I’m still on a pharmacy’s worth of various antihistamines and anti-inflammatories, plus their side effects. Ugh.
  • Early in the month, I increased my carbs to over 50% of my diet for the first time in seven years. I’m going to talk about this in more detail in a post of its own. For now, let’s just say that 95% of the results of the increase have been good, and I’m still getting used to eating this way after keeping them low for so long.
  • Again early in the month, after increasing carbs, I started doing high intensity exercise and major strength training again. I felt great, but all that had to stop after the mid-month massive hive outbreak. In fact, I basically wasn’t supposed to exercise at all for the rest of March, to keep the body-wide inflammation from worsening. Altogether, I only exercised on 17 days for a total of 13 hours (12 yoga, 26 miles), which is really low for me, especially since almost all of that was in the first half of the month.
  • On the 21st, I finally found a decent allergist who spent a long time with me, asking questions about my whole history of allergy symptoms, hives, inflammation, eczema, etc. She set up my emergency kit discussed above, and ordered a ton of blood tests (28 tests! Nine vials of blood!!). If this is related to an allergy or disease or histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome, she’ll find it. And I can’t say how good it felt to finally have someone LISTEN to me.
  • I gained weight this month – 4 lbs. I’m not too fussed with it, to be honest. Most of that (3 lbs) was a result of increased carbs, as my muscles replenished much-needed glycogen stores. (Did you know that when you decrease your carbs and lose a rush of weight, it’s glycogen that you’re losing? I didn’t.) The rest was because I was basically on semi-bedrest for the second half of March. Can’t do much about that. And since my inches stayed the same (glycogen doesn’t take up any space!), I’m good.

Highlights of March
I always find it more important to note highlights during sad months. Here’s what I’ve got for March:

    • my birthday celebrations generally: a lunch date with friends/family, a girls’ day out, my buzzard party, and dinner out with the family
    • starting to run again!
    • Laurence’s birthday, plus his Buccaneers party
    • Morrigan’s Summa Cum Laude ceremony, where each of the Summa students got to honor a teacher or person who has helped them reach this point (Morrigan with his honoree –> )
    • checking out a new-in-town coffeehouse with Stephanie, and meeting another writer in the process
    • helping my friend Natalie’s family move
    • our orchid fully bloomed! We managed to keep it alive for over a year, yay!
    • evenings outside sitting around our firepit
    • Siclovia! (Despite the stress of forgetting my phone, and Jason’s phone being dead, so we couldn’t use his app to get a Lyft back home, and had to talk to a park ranger, who let us charge J’s phone in his SUV until we had enough charge to order a ride…)
    • I finally got to see the KonMari tidying show!! Loved it!!

Quarterly Goals Wrap-up
I’ve actually decided to scrap my original goals for this year, as they were more like a to-do list than goals. I’ve posted my revised 2019 goals on a dedicated page. Since I only created these new goals in the last week, I don’t currently have a progress update.

Coming up in April
Hopefully progress in my health, real answers, and a lot less helplessness. Our family has gotten past all the main birthday/gift-giving parts of the year until July, so also hopefully a better outlook on our budget! In a wider view, April always marks a new season for San Antonio. It will be a month of Easter, Fiesta, Battle of the Flowers, and a transition to summer heat (which honestly seems to have come early this year, as we’ve already been hitting the 80s since early March).

About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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5 Responses to March 2019 in Review

  1. So glad you’ve started to run again! I am really wanting to get back there, though I jogged a bit last week and almost died. Ha!
    Good luck finding resolutions to the health difficulties. I hope the allergist comes back with some answers for you!

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      I need to get back to it. The past few weeks have been so draining that I haven’t been able to go on slow walks, much less run! I’m really looking forward to NOT having all this inflammation again.

      Like

  2. curlygeek04 says:

    I’m sorry about your health issues, that sounds really rough. I’m glad to hear you loved The Hate U Give, the book was fantastic but I haven’t seen the movie yet. I just know I’ll cry a lot. I totally agree with your assessment of Captain Marvel. You might like the animated Spiderman film that’s out right now, it’s really good!

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      My family and I saw Spiderverse on New Years Day, it was awesome! Spiderman is the one exception for me in terms of superhero movies. I’m not sure why but I really like spiderman. movies. My husband suggests that perhaps I’m not a superhero BOOK person but I might actually like superhero MOVIES if I give them a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Sunday Coffee – Downton Abbey | The Zen Leaf

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