I may just be the sickest healthy person you know…

“You eat so well!”

“You crush it in the gym!”

“You’re young and look so healthy though!”

All comments that have been said to me — and yet, here I am, about to turn 27 and feeling like an 80 year old whose life has been ripped away from her far too soon with every new medical discovery and diagnosis I receive.

Yesterday, I had my second appointment with Dr. Nicole. If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll remember her to be my new functional doctor. Since my first visit with her, I’ve finished my round of Xifaxan prescribed by my no-longer gastro for the SIBO (and no, I’m not feeling magically better as I had wished) and have also completed more bloodwork – something pretty routine to me by this point.

At my appointment yesterday, we went over the new bloodwork Dr. Nicole had requested, and boy, it was quite the overwhelming experience. I’ll be honest, my happy-go-lucky, can-do attitude broke a little yesterday.

Dr. Nicole, is great – let’s not get that confused. She sat with me and talked through all the findings, and summarized everything into her plan of action very clearly. She answered all my questions, and is just a great human overall. But the information she shared was less than appealing, and although knowledge is power, yesterday, knowledge just felt like a ton of bricks.

Picture this: A movie moment — cue the dramatic and triumphant music (you know the one), a track-star about to win the race, smiling ear to ear, he makes his way toward the finish line in slow motion. The end is in sight, the gold so close he can taste it, and out of nowhere, he starts to trip and his smile fades slowly. Zoom into his ankles turning this way and that way, his knees knocking, now back up to his face that has now gone from a look of victory to full-on defeat before cutting back to real time with the winner-to-be face-planted on the track with a furry of feet trampling him to take his place for first, second and third as he just lays there, defeated.

That is how I felt after my appointment yesterday. When I had the SIBO diagnosis, I felt like I was on my way to victory – FINALLY! Something to blame all my problems on, and medication to potentially fix it! However, the antibiotics haven’t left me feeling any better (deep-down I knew that 2 weeks wouldn’t truly make a difference). But today, I found out that in addition to the SIBO, I have candida, and have also been living with 3 chronic viruses in my system. THREE.

Epstein Barr Virus (two strands of it, actually), some other mono-causing virus, and herpes (no, not that kind). And before you ask, NO I AM NOT CONTAGIOUS.

Am I totally shocked? I mean, not really. Yes in the sense that these viruses are still in my system, but I had mono in college my sophomore year (2012), and since then, have struggled a lot with my health.

In addition to the viruses, I also found a few different things were off with my autoimmune response, candida, some vitamin levels, thyroid levels, etc.

Basically, I’m the sickest healthy person you know. What I mean by that is I do everything right. I do my best to eat well, I exercise regularly, and just generally take good care of myself, and it’s not enough. And isn’t that frustrating? It is. I really can’t even put into words at the moment just how draining it feels.

Dr. Nicole has a protocol for me which I’ll chat about in a different post, but for now all I’ll say is this: it’s a lot of supplements that of course insurance won’t cover, so of course I’m starting to stress about money. But stress isn’t good. How do I not stress? NOW I’M STRESSED ABOUT STRESSING. (Do you see how for a type A personality, this can be a black hole?)

Anyway, the short of it is this: start the supplement protocol, complete the stool test (which cost me $500 – yikes), follow a candida diet, and follow-up in 5 weeks when the aforementioned test results are in.

I know this post was a little more negatively toned than what I typically convey, but I’m having a moment. I feel like I am wasting the prime years of my life just trying to heal myself. At 27, I should be going out and enjoying life and spending my money on fun experiences and meeting new people — not worrying about spending my money on supplements and how much sugar and carbs I’m eating and if I’m doing everything to lower my viral load and kill yeast and bacteria… UGH. Somedays I just feel like an old shell, and it’s hard, because that is NOT me. I used to be, and want to be, a very full person. But it’s hard some days, and that’s just the truth of it.

With my birthday approaching in 2 weeks (May 11th if ya wanna set a calendar reminder!), I feel so conflicted. I know I’ll want to celebrate, but I’ll feel guilty knowing it won’t be good for my body – but am I supposed to just not celebrate? WHERE IS THE FUN IN THAT?!

Life isn’t fair, but I’m trying to remember that there is a lesson in all that we experience. What is meant for you will find you when it’s right for you.

Look out for my next post on my protocol and a few more deep-dive details (if you’re following me for specific health interests!), but until next time…

xx

happily Haleigh

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#slayingSIBO // general update

SO.

Here I am, 3 days after finishing my two-week round of Xifaxan, and I feel… the same.

In fact, I might feel worse? Because along with not finding relief, that ROUGH round of antibiotics left me with some fun side effects: breakouts, weird rashes, swelling in my limbs, worsened joint pain… super fun times, my friends!

Thankfully, I have another appointment with Dr. Nicole on Monday. The plan is to chat about anything she found in my bloodwork, and discuss about next steps (remember that super fun test I talked about previously? Yeah, that’s probably gonna go down LOL).

In the meantime, I have also secured an MRI for my chronic lower back pain and emailed a doctor about my toe pain (I was set to actually have a toe surgery in January, but getting a new job threw a wrench in that!). Not only is my original, right toe still hurting, but now my left one has started bothering me. OOF.

Today in Chicago, it is snowing. Yes, in April. And honestly, while I’m not THRILLED about it, it’s given me the perfect excuse to take this Saturday and truly do nothing. As I’m typing this, I’m laying in bed in the middle of the afternoon with no plans for the rest of the evening, and it’s glorious. I did start my day off nicely though – woke up for a workout where I met a new friend, grabbed a coffee, went to my first therapy session, and wandered Whole Foods just because (does anyone else do this?! Didn’t even buy anything – I just love it!)

Tomorrow, I’ll be attending a restorative yoga session – yoga, something that doctors have told me time and time again to partake in for stress management, and something I usually blow off. However, in the spirit of working on my mental health, I’m going to try. Again.

So anyway, this post was really not substantial because truly, there has not been much change. More to come, and I’ll keep you all posted, but until then, I hope your life is beautiful and your days are wonderful.

xx

happily Haleigh

#slayingSIBO Update

..there are a few things I just HAVE to update you on. Some good things, and some “you’re never going to believe this” things.

Since my doctor appointment upset last week, I’ve been pretty quiet. Partly because I was feeling very lost again, very frustrated and overwhelmed, and partly because life has been HEEECTIC this past week!

But there are a few things I just HAVE to update you on. Some good things, and some “you’re never going to believe this” things.

Let’s start with the Good Things:

A New Doc:

Of course, after being severely disappointed in the gastro and her bandaid approach, I sought out a new functional doctor (you’ll remember, I had seen one before in 2017, but he’s out in the suburbs and it’s super inconvenient to drive out there).

My criteria is that a functional doctor needs to take insurance though, which adds a layer of complexity because that option is few and far between.

BUT, I found one that seemed promising, and I somehow snuck in an appointment with her on Tuesday this past week.

I was honestly stressed to go to the appointment. In my mind, she was just ANOTHER DOCTOR who I needed to spill my guts to, praying that she’d be my last stop on the road – that process is honestly emotionally exhausting.

But I am happy to report that while I’ve only had my first consultation with her, I feel SO optimistic about her! She sat with me for over an hour, just listening to me, asking me probing questions about my medical and life history, and I honestly just felt so cared for. I am so hopeful that she will be my ride-or-die through all this, and that maybe she’ll be the one to help me find relief and true health again.

She asked to see all previous test results and blood work, so I’ve spent the past week compiling and sending all of that to her.

Next step is getting more bloodwork on Monday (anything she wants to see updated or tests she thinks are missing), and then she reeaaallly feels like what I need to do is a….drumroll for TMI approaching…. stool test. Yep. A poop test. Apparently you can test for all sorts of bacteria, pathogens, parasites, etc that way. The only kicker is that the one she orders isn’t typically covered by insurance… and it’s quite pricey. I’m in the process of checking with my insurance myself to see if they’d possibly cover it, so fingers crossed!

For any Chicago friends, her name is Dr. Nicole Maholy out of Aligned Modern Health – Streeterville.

Mindset:

This week, I took a little break from scouring the internet for SIBO information. I could feel myself getting a little wrapped up in it all, so I’m just chilling. I’m on the antibiotics, so I’m just letting them do their thing (more on that later), and I’m trusting that Dr. Nicole will be reviewing my previous labs to decipher a killer plan of action for when I see her next (April 29th).

Saying that, taking a step back allowed me to use my brain power for other things – a few podcasts that I enjoy that I had putting on the back burner, for instance. Podcasts are amazing – you have access to knowledge and new ideas for FREE. #blessed.

Anyway, because I was able to recommit some mind space this week, I’ve felt a little better mentally. I was going to include more on that in this post, but I actually began to ramble and think it deserves its own thought space, so you can read more about a mental mind-shift I’ve had this week HERE 🙂

Now for the “You’re Not Gonna Believe This”:

Really. You won’t. My gastro gave me the wrong dosage on my prescription. And I was the one to notice and point it out!

While I was gathering all my results to send to Dr. Nicole on Wednesday, I was reviewing my SIBO results and outcome. I took a look at the prescription information, and was like “Well…. that’s awkward because that’s NOT what I picked up from CVS on Saturday…”

So, of course, I had been taking the WRONG dosage of Xifaxan for 5 days… GOODNESS GRACIOUS. I immediately contacted the doctor to fill them in and was hit with a “Oh, thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please stop your current prescription and start the new one we ordered for you. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

INCONVENIENCE? How about malpractice?! I literally could not believe it. I also got into a slight argument with them because I was worried I’d have to pay for the new prescription, and I was getting a “shrugged shoulders” response from them. Luckily for me [and the doctor], the pharmacy didn’t charge me.

It was just the icing on the cake with this doctor. Never. Again. Will. I. See. Her.

Anywhooo, now that I’ve been on the CORRECT dosage of Xifaxan for 3 days, let me tell ya, this medication is NO JOKE. The first two days were a little rough – abdominal pain and bloating, nausea, headaches, dizziness, swelling in my legs and arms… fun stuff.

Yesterday I woke up SLIIIIGHTLY less bloated, and for me that was promising. By end of the day though, it was same old same old. UGH. I’m still trying to stay positive. I’ll be on this medication for 2 weeks total, so it’s a bit of a long ride. I’m hoping to see improvement at least by week one…

General Updates:

Anywho, that’s about it on the SIBO front for right now. I’m riding out this medicine, and waiting to really get started with my new doctor. I picked up a few supplements yesterday to help with digestion and just general detoxification. I’ve been holding out on bringing too many supplements back in because I truly don’t know what I’m dealing with. It’s so easy to get supplement crazy by just reading things on the internet, but honestly, throwing a million things in your body probably isn’t all that helpful, even if everything is “healthy”. Not to mention it DRAINS your bank account!! (Been there!)

But yesterday I picked up the following:

  • Liver Detox tincture – In some of my recent tests, I actually noticed my liver levels were high. None of the doctors seemed concerned, but it makes sense that since my body is stressed, my liver can’t keep up. So, trying to give it a little extra love and support.
  • Natural Vitality Calm – Okay honestly, I finally caved and bought this. I have no idea if it’s actually worth the hype, but a lot of people swear by it, and I’m supposed be managing my stress, so here we are!
  • Aloe Vera Juice Inner Fillet (Preservative Free) – I had tried Aloe Vera Juice before for digestive benefits, and honestly couldn’t remember if it had helped or not, so here we are again lol. I’ll keep you all posted!
  • Not a supplement but… CELERY. Yup. As of this morning, I’m back on the celery juice game. Honestly, I started this WAYYY before the craze happened, and saw some benefits, but had a hard time keeping up with it. But, in my current state, I may just need to suck it up and be more diligent about it! Today is day 1, so maybe I’ll check in a few weeks down the road and report any benefits!

There are still some supplements I’m curious about in terms of how they could help me and my SIBO case. I’ll have to continue to do more research and ask Dr. Nicole her thoughts… but here’s what I’m looking into:

  • CBD (let me know if you have any great brand suggestions!)
  • Antimicrobials
  • Adaptogens – I’m curious how someone with adrenal fatigue can leverage these
  • Pro-kinetics

More on supplements later…

Well, I just scrolled to the top of this post and realized how long it is so I’m just going to cut it off here because truly, if you’re still reading, I’m amazed. Go get yourself a cookie. Speaking of cookies, I’ll be baking these today for the first time as part of an attempt to cook or bake one new thing a week. I’ll do a little review later this week!

Happy Sunday, folks!

xx

happily Haleigh

On to the next… #slayingSIBO

As hopeful as I was, I should have known the appointment would be frustrating, leading me to the search of yet another doctor.

Well, it’s Friday, and thus, I had my follow-up appointment with my GI doctor about my SIBO results.

As hopeful as I was, I should have known the appointment would be frustrating, leading me to the search of yet another doctor.

So here’s The Skinny:

I walk into my appointment, expecting to see my doctor. Instead some tall, slightly dopey looking man walks in and introduces himself as a resident, and then proceeds to ask me about how I’ve been feeling. I’ve never interacted with this man, so I have to go through my entire medical history… AGAIN.

Talk about frustrating. While speaking with him, I shared that at one point since my last appointment, I had stopped taking Miralax for one day, and due to that, was dealing with constipation again. In fact I was dealing with it when I took the breath test. Looking back, I should have just left this tidbit out.

Anyway, I asked all my questions I came prepared with:

  • Antibiotics:
    • Q: Is it best to dose Xifaxin with Neomycin since I read it was most effective for Methane dominance?
    • A: I haven’t heard of that, but I’ll ask the doctor.
  • Diet:
    • Q: Should I start a lowfodmap diet while taking antibiotics or after?
    • A: No definitive answer.
  • Prokinetics:
    • Q: I read that these may be useful in cases of constipation – should we consider this?
    • A: Mmm, probably not, we can talk about that later.

He asked me a series of questions regarding my stress levels, diet, etc. then went to talk to the doctor.

My doctor comes in and tells me that they no longer know if I have SIBO. WHAT.

She says that since I was dealing with constipation during my breath test, it could have been a false positive. She then said she’d like to just continue treating my constipation with Miralax, saying it’s fine because they give it to pregnant women all the time.

I straight up looked at her and asked “So, you’re not prescribing me the antibiotic?” She looked a little flustered and asked “Well, the thing to note is if you feel bloated even when you’re not constipated…” and to that I said….

YES. Look, I have been dealing with this for 2 years. I’m uncomfortable when I wake up, and worse when I go to bed. No matter what I eat, what I do.

She answers “Okay, then we’ll give it to you!” *insert eyeroll*

I then asked: “What does follow up look like? Do we need to retest to ensure it’s gone”

Response: “No, no protocol – we just treat the symptoms.”

I had so many problems with this appointment:

  1. The fact that they sent a resident in first really bothered me.
  2. The fact that the doctor was so changeable really bothered me.
  3. The fact that they were fine with saying I should just take Miralax the rest of my life really bothered me. This means my body isn’t working right!!
  4. She told me I was not a person at risk for SIBO, when honestly she never took into account all of my other health issues that most DEFINITELY have put me at risk for this.

This was such a typical Western Medicine approach. I was hoping for so much more because the doctor seemed so proactive in getting me the test in the first place, but the follow-through is lacking.

I was very emotional this morning, but I’m trying to take the positive out of it and no that this experience served its purpose, and now it’s just time to move on. I got the antibiotic out of it, and I’ll start there, but now it’s time to find a functional doctor in Chicago (who accepts insurance) who can help me with the rest of the process.

Another bump in the road, but what’s new!

Stay positive people!

xo

happily Haleigh

My SIBO Resource Shortlist: #slayingSIBO

Here you will find a running list of resources I find extremely helpful in understanding and slaying SIBO! I’ll keep this updated as I stumble upon anything new!

Doctors You Should Know:

  • Dr. Will Cole
  • Allison Siebecker

Websites and Blogs:

www.siboinfo.com

www.feedmephoebe.com/

www.chriskresser.com

www.bellalindemann.com

Podcasts:

Instagram:

The following are a few accounts of people who either post about SIBO in depth, or who are experiencing it first hand!

  • @phoebelapine
  • @katie_roeser
  • @lilsipper
  • @kirstenswalesnaturopath
  • @shylahmay
  • @gratitude_project
  • @graves_disease_sibo_warrior
  • @jordynliftlove
  • @vince_pitstick

Hashtags:

  • #SIBO
  • #SIBOdiet
  • #slayingSIBO 😉
  • #lowfodmap

Reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/SIBO/

Facebook Groups:

Pinterest:

Informational Documents:

http://www.nutritionaltherapyconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SIBO-Overview-Allison-Siebecker.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1s5TnR4B7uKAfaFa5B1PCRR5lpUFH9jkF7uAXESdtsRrirP5l3xHLI4A8

Slaying SIBO:

Answers. I finally have some answers. I finally have evidence that some of the extreme, debilitating, social-life stealing, soul-sucking symptoms I’ve been experiencing for the past two years are not in my head, but can indeed be backed up by scientific proof and number-defining results.

It’s freeing, in a sense, but the diagnosis itself is anything but, because the diagnosis of SIBO means I have a long road of healing ahead of me.

On finally being diagnosed, living with SIBO, the road ahead, and how it all makes sense.

Answers. I finally have some answers. I finally have evidence that some of the extreme, debilitating, social-life stealing, soul-sucking symptoms I’ve been experiencing for the past two years are not in my head, but can indeed be backed up by scientific proof and number-defining results.

It’s freeing, in a sense, but the diagnosis itself is anything but, because the diagnosis of SIBO means I have a long road of healing ahead of me.

SIBO – Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (sexy, I know, right?)

In a nutshell, SIBO is when there is too much bacteria in the small intestine. There are a myriad of reasons why this can happen (will get to this in another post later this week), but basically, those little buggers are NOT supposed to be there!

Where are they supposed to be? Well, the bacteria is supposed to live happily in your large intestine, but they’ve found their way to the wrong home!

Why is SIBO a big problem?

Well, SIBO is an issue because it causes a lot of symptoms and creates a cycle of poor digestion, leading to issues throughout your entire body (remember, the gut-brain connection is a real thing).

With the bacteria in your small intestine, they start eating the food you eat too early in the digestion process, and the food ferments in your small intestine, creating gas that affects your digestion – primarily affecting the motility of your digestive system. This can result in anything from the runs, being backed up, or a mixture of both (yep, we’re getting real here, people!). This becomes a perpetual cycle that is very hard to break.

I should have known it was SIBO a while ago (and honestly, I did):

If you’re close to me, you’ll know I’ve been dealing with a lot of health issues for a while (2+ years).

Some of the symptoms I’ve been dealing with:

  • Daily bloating (even upon waking)
  • Abdominal pains and cramps (sometimes debilitating to the point I have to just lay in bed)
  • Chronic constipation
  • General digestive issues (regardless of what foods I eat – y’all know I’m a healthy gal!)
  • Missing period since March 2017 (around the same time my extreme digestive issues started)
  • Joint pain
  • Frequent injuries
  • General inflammation
  • Water retention/swelling
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Hormonal imbalances (reproductive hormones as well as neurotransmitters)
  • Bad skin – skin rashes, peeling skin on face along with acne
  • Hair loss
  • General lack of zest for life
  • Resulting anxiety, loss of confidence, sadness, etc

ALL of these symptoms make sense – if your digestion is chronically damaged, your whole body is sick! It’s stressed! It’s trying so hard to function how it should, but it just can’t keep up.

While I’ve been experiencing these, I have been to SO many doctors (and have spent so much money!) Normal doctors, naturopaths, endocrinologists, OBGYNs, etc. They could all tell me that “yes, you have hormonal imbalances”, “yes, you have no period but you don’t have PCOS”, “yes, your cortisol levels are extremely low”, “yes, you have food intolerances (that you’ve never had before)” — but until this point we haven’t known why.

I tried gaining weight to get my period back, I did elimination diets to cut out food intolerances (I’ve been GF/DF apart from the one off occasion these past 2 years), I took supplements – nothing has helped.

IN FACT… I’ve probably been making it worse this WHOLE. TIME.

Why do I say that? Well, let’s think about our current health-crazed, wellness-seeking world we live in. We live in a world with instant access to information, which don’t get me wrong, can be GREAT. However, this instant access allows for the ability for people to share information at lightning speed, whether they are qualified to share or not, and fads quickly take hold.

Think probiotics, prebiotics, fermented food – all things that have been extremely hyped up in the last few years. “WE NEED MORE GUT BACTERIA! Gut issues? PROBIOTICS! KEFFIR! KIMCHI! KOMBUCHA!”

But the thing is… someone with SIBO should NOT be feeding his/her body with MORE bacteria!! THAT IS NOT HEALTHY FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL!

But of course, without answers until now, I fell prey to trying all the probiotics, prebiotics and fermented things on the market, praying they would be the solution to my issues — I was really just fueling the fire. GOSH DARN IT!

So how did I finally find out I have SIBO?

This year I started a new job, and it has been such a blessing. My insurance through my new company is stellar, and I know I am so, so lucky. Because of this, I finally was able to see a gastroenterologist.

In my first visit with her, she felt my abdomen and noted that I did indeed have a lot of gas (like yeah, lady, I KNOW THAT’S WHY I’M HERE LOL!). She did initial blood work and an abdominal x-ray. Blood work came back normal – i.e. no gluten allergy or anything major like that. The x-ray showed that I was extremely backed up (again, knew this).

She prescribed me the cleanse that you take prior to a colonoscopy to help clear me out, and if I still didn’t feel well after this, I was to try the elimination diet again to see if it was any of the food I was eating, and then I would have a follow-up with her in April.

I completed the cleanse on a Sunday – HOLY MOLY, DON’T DO THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE TO. This was like, 3-4 days of misery for me. The cramping and discomfort eventually passed, but I was to continue taking Miralax daily. That week I felt much better, until I just didn’t again. Basically, I noticed if I skip one day of Miralax, it puts me into a tailspin again. Because of this, I reached out to her and explained the cleanse hadn’t helped and I was still miserable, and she just decided to order the SIBO test for me right away. (WAY TO BE PROACTIVE, SIS, LOVE IT.)

The Test:

The test itself was simple. The prep was a little annoying, but honestly not horrible.

The purpose of the test is to test your hydrogen and methane levels in your small intestine. To get to the point, high levels of either of these gases indicates SIBO.

The day before, you are only allowed to eat plain protein, white rice, white bread, and plain coffee – SO FUN. Then, you fast for 12 hours prior to the start of your test.

The test is 3 hours long, consisting of blowing into balloons every 15 minutes after drinking a solution of lactulose.

I’ll chat more about the specifics of the test in a later post.

My Results:

I had done some reading on SIBO prior to my testing (remember, I said I had suspected this a while ago), and from what I had read, I expected my methane levels to be elevated.

Sure enough, my results were posted the day after the test, and I am in fact methane dominant. My resting state measured at 58ppm and maxed out at 98ppm (for reference, anything over 10ppm is considered to be evidence of SIBO).

SO NO WONDER I HAVE BEEN IN MISERY!! IT’S NOT IN MY HEAD! – That’s the relieving part. The daunting part is taking this on…

Treatment:

I’ll chat more in detail about this in a later post, but generally, treatment is not simple. There is not a magic pill to fix this. This is largely because SIBO is not a primary condition, but is secondary, meaning it is caused my something else — something you have to figure out (aka MORE tests). In general, you’re looking at multiple rounds of antibiotics, supplements and diet/lifestyle changes, and praying for no relapses.

So, I mentioned I should have known it was SIBO – why do I think I have developed this? I have a few theories for me personally:

  • I had either an extreme case of the flu, or more likely, food poisoning (#1 cause of SIBO), in February 2017 – right before all of my extreme symptoms started
  • I’ve taken NSAIDs all my life for chronic headaches – NSAIDs are notoriously damaging to the gut lining
  • I had mono in college
  • I was plagued with strep throat every 3 months in college until I got my tonsils out in 2014 – so a lot of antibiotics in my life time
  • I already have an autoimmune condition – Sjogren’s.
  • BASICALLY I AM A BREEDING GROUND FOR THIS NONSENSE.

So, what’s next?

Well, I have my follow-up appointment with my doctor on April 5th. Until then, I’ll be doing my own research to come prepared for self-advocacy.

I have already started curating resources and completing my own research, and I’ll be updating this blog with my findings so that I can help others experiencing this! You can follow my journey on here, as well as my social media platforms, and I’ll be utilizing the hashtag: #slayingsibo

I want to hit this head on, and I’m willing to do just about anything to #slaysibo.

xo

happily Haleigh

It’s been a minute!

Just a little update on what’s going on in the world of Haleigh!

(or 4 months, same thing)

Hey everyone!

Isn’t it kinda weird that we start off posts with salutations, as though we expect people to be reading these updates? I highly doubt many of you read these, but to those of you out there, hello, again 🙂

Well, I realized that I hadn’t posted since 2018 (oops, you all know I’m bad at this), so I thought it was HIGH TIME I wrote a little update on life!

Actually, quite a bit has happened since I last posted, so let’s break it down into some handy-dandy bullets:

  • Fitness update: I stopped adhering to a strict bulk. Ugh I know, I was so committed. Feel free to yell at me, but with my health issues, it was hard to keep up with. I have found that I am just not able/don’t want to go to the gym quite as often as necessary to stick to a proper bulk, and right now, I’m committed more to trying to listen to my body than a program.
    • In terms of fitness programs though, I’m going to start Meggan Grubb’s Peach Plan next week – has anyone else tried this?!
  • Health update: Still dealing with the SAME OLD ANNOYING ISSUES OMG HOW.
    • Endocrinologist – I started working with one, and we checked my pituitary for any tumors. We found a 2mm one, but she doesn’t seem to think that’s causing my hormonal imbalances (although, I still think this could be a possibility – anyone with any experience here?) Now she is sending me for ovarian and uterus ultrasounds since I haven’t had a period in 2 years.
    • Gastroenterologist – I started working with one of these – she basically told me I’m super backed up (duh, and sorry for the TMI), and I had to go through this super cleanse that they put you through before a colonoscopy. It was hell. AND it didn’t really even help. She’s having me take Miralax everyday, but I still have issues. This morning, I went in for a hydrogren breath test to test for SIBO – to be continued here…
    • General health issues I’m still dealing with:
      • No period
      • Hair loss (has stalled, so I’m hoping this was seasonal and hair starts growing back soon)
      • Acne
      • Weird, peeling skin on my face
      • Joint pain
      • Fatigue
      • Gastro issues
      • FUN FUN FUN
  • Career update: I STARTED A NEW JOB! In January, I started a new job at amazing consulting company in downtown Chicago. Honestly, this job has been a God-send. I struggled so much in finding a job with a company that I valued and respected, and a role that I somewhat enjoyed but also paid the bills (city living is expensive, ya know?). But this year, I found it! Everyone here has been so great, and I no longer dread going to the office everyday. It’s a great starting point, and I feel less stressed in my work life – MAJOR win.
  • Other life updates:
    • I’m still single
    • All my friends are getting married or having babies
    • I am enjoying new co-worker friends
    • I am BEYOND excited for Chicago summer
    • I’m trying to get back into practicing piano again
    • I’m so ready for my favorite show The Bold Type to come back like I cannot wait.
    • I’m looking forward to more life changes later this year!

Alrighty, that was short and sweet, but sometimes, in a world where we’re all “connected” on social media but don’t actually speak, it’s nice to write things out, in case you care to know anything about my life.

I sincerely hope you are doing well, and if you aren’t and you’re reading this, I want you to know that I am always willing to listen to any word vomit you may have. Let’s chat.

xo

Haleigh