The Life and Adventures of Raquel

Sometimes I think  my life would make a good Youtube show. Not a full TV show, or even a Netflix show, with its instantly bingeable seasons. Just some short episodes  like the old radio soap operas, but without the break-ups, and more of a dramedy.

Take last weekend. As part of a one car household, I order a lot of essentials delivered to the house, so that I don’t often have to get the car to go pick one thing, and only have to make grocery store trips once every week or two. Often, I order my thyroid medication shipped to the house.

So, last Friday I take my last thyroid pill in the bottle and check the tracking number. It’s scheduled to be delivered Saturday. This isn’t really optimal, because our mail won’t be delivered until mid-morning, and circadian rhythms interacting with thyroid meds mean that taking the pill the same time of day is a big deal. (Think about that next time you say that daylight savings time isn’t a big deal because you can just go to bed an hour earlier…)

The complication is that I’m out of refills on my thyroid meds, and so even if I tried to put in a new refill to pick up at the store that evening, there’s no way the doctor’s office would respond to the refill request before they closed down for the weekend anyway. (Believe me, I’ve tried before. If you have to send in a refill request on a Friday for an urgent refill you’re in trouble.) Getting my thyroid pill just a few hours late on Saturday is acceptable.

Saturday morning I wake up and check the tracking number. (cue dramatic music) The package was delayed. It reads that my package was in town and then left again, for no discernible reason.  Monday is now the soonest I can get my thyroid medication. (Remember, I still have no refills, and the doctor’s office is now closed for the weekend.)

I muddle through my day, feeling only slightly zombieish, which means my overall health is doing a lot better than a few years ago, when I missed a thyroid pill and felt like death warmed over. I take essential oils. I fix some decaf coffee and add every thyroid boosting substance I  have in the house, starting with coconut oil.

Now, this is where we pick up one of those slow sub-plot threads that’s been building for many episodes. On this Saturday, I walk down to the library, despite feeling slightly zombieish, because I have my first ever inter-library loan waiting for me.

I’ve put books on hold from other libraries in the system many times, but this book came from outside the local system, and required a librarian to fill in a paper card for me instead of me just clicking a button on the website. The rules are unclear to me, and I’m not sure how long they’ll hold an inter-library loan before sending it back, and it doesn’t even show up in my account as a hold when I check the website. I can’t risk it being sent back and having to go through that whole paper system again. (I do occasionally act my generation… “What do you mean I can’t do this on a website? And what is this paper stuff you speak of?”)

At the library, when the clerk hands me the book without a receipt (okay, I guess I do like paper sometimes) OR a comment about when it’s due back (I normally get both when I check out a book), my T3 lacking brain isn’t sure how to handle the situation. I take the book, walk off a few steps and have a sudden fear that I’m not actually supposed to leave yet, and stop and stare at the front of the book as though examining it for information for a good ten seconds before I slowly risk actually walking off with it. No one tries to stop me, so apparently inter-library loans are just weird like that.

As I walk up the driveway holding my not-actually-stolen library book I notice the corner of a package sticking up out of the mailbox by our front door. Huh. That looks a lot like the packaging my thyroid meds get mailed in. I walk up to the mailbox. The return address matches the one on the tracking number and the package definitely feels like it contains my thyroid meds.

The package does, in fact, contain my thyroid meds.

Tracking numbers are often helpful and occasionally the stupidest things ever.

So, it turns out that providentially I didn’t have to go an entire weekend without sufficient supply of vital energy supplying hormones, and that the timing of my first inter-library loan was surprisingly important to my timely discovery of  said hormones being available in my mail box. (Did I mention that tracking numbers are occasionally stupid?) Basically, my life would make a good YouTube show  because God writes better plots than I do.

Plot Twist

 

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The Perfect Desk

I have wanted a desk for several years now. I had a desk when I was teenager, and used it for very important tasks like writing journal entries, but I didn’t have the opportunity to use a desk to it’s full potential at the time. (I guess that depends on how you look at it though–my largest desk drawer was full of Agatha Christie novels.)

In the apartment all of my ‘desk stuff’ like the expandable file folder and bills to be paid got stored on one shelf of a bookshelf, and it all inevitably jumbled not that long after every time I organized it. Now that we have a house, we have room for Colton and I to have side by side desks in the dining room.

As I began browsing used furniture I quickly discovered that I have expensive taste in desks. My favorites were always the roll top desks, with the appeal of being able to stop in the middle of paying bills or balancing the checkbook, but instantly hide the mess. Since the roll tops generally sold for around $300, I started trying to convince myself that I should stick with looking for the true non-negotiables, like drawers for storing all my desk stuff inside of.

I started checking Craigslist frequently, and talking myself down to a reasonable desk, until one day I saw that roll top desk had just been posted for $50. It had only been posted a few hours before, and I promptly claimed the first chance to go inspect it. (After checking with Colton if he thought it was worth driving 30 minutes to look at the desk. He said no desk was worth driving to P—- for, but then gave his serious answer that it looked like a good deal.)

I began conferring with the seller about the details of coming to see it. Was it very heavy? Oh, yes, it was so very heavy, and they didn’t actually live where the desk was, so we had to come look at it during the day, and her husband had just had surgery so he wouldn’t be able to help with the lifting. Since Colton doesn’t have a lot of spare time off this  year, I fell back on the plan of drafting nephews to carry the desk… until I got an e-mail that someone had agreed to buy the desk without having seen it.

My desk…

A few days later I heard that the buyer never completed arrangements to come pick up the desk, so I was back to having first chance to come look at it. Yay!

I drafted one nephew to come along, having remembered in the meantime that the other nephew I had intended to draft now has gainful employment which keeps him too busy during daytime hours to come move desks for me. (That pesky getting-older-and-getting-jobs thing…) Then I mildly agonized for a while about whether the heaviness of the desk was exaggerated and whether between me and my nephew Peter and my sister Merrianna if we would be able to load the desk into the car.

The first part of the adventure happened when we discovered that my phone (the only smart phone in the car, and our only source of directions to the location of the desk) was about to die and we didn’t have a charger. Peter copied down the directions into the sketchbook he’d brought along and then Merrianna continued navigating from the almost dead phone. I missed a turn (it was the shortest ‘100 yards’ in the  history of directions, is all I have to say), and began following the rerouted directions when the phone died.

Peter and Merrianna had much conferring about the remembered parts of directions compared to what was written on the sketchbook, and we somehow arrived at our destination with a deal of confusion, but without ever actually having to turn around.

This is when part 2 of our adventure started. We were greeted by a very sweet lady, with whom I’d been communicating, and her brother (not her husband, and presumably, not having just had surgery). I checked the desk, and despite a bit of sticking in the roll top part of the desk, quickly decided that I would take the desk.

The sellers, however, were very concerned about whether the large desk would fit inside our mini-van. They carefully measured many dimensions of both the desk and the inside of the mini-van, and then carefully re-measured when they couldn’t remember the original measurements.

I had been pretty sure from the beginning that the desk would fit, and the measurements sounded like a good match even without remembering the exact numbers in every case. In addition to this, I had picked up one end of the desk as I examined it.

It wasn’t that heavy at all.

We could have easily just picked up the desk, walked it out the mini-van to see if it would fit, and taken it back inside if it didn’t.

Instead, I just tried to direct events in the direction of more action and less measuring. “Yep, that looks like it should fit… Uh huh… Hmm… Okay, let’s give it a try… Yes, on its back… It really seems like that should work… I think we should go ahead and try it.”

Peter and the brother carried the desk to the mini-van while Merrianna and I watched and the very sweet lady gave me tips for what kind of furniture polish to buy if my desk happened to get accidentally scratched on the way home. (I didn’t tell her that I would probably never even notice if the desk got scratched up…)

The desk fit perfectly into the back of the mini-van, with the minor inconvenience of having to be lifted over the metal U-hooks that protrude from the sides of the back hatch. Merrianna and I even got to assist briefly by holding corners of the desk as it was flipped on its back.

We climbed back into the car, slightly exhausted from the social effort of buying a desk from such nice people, and Peter began to reverse the directions so that we could escape the tiny neighborhood in which we were cornered. Despite the fact that the desk turned out to not be heavy at all, it turned out the Peter was essential to the escapade, as he was the keeper of the directions (and the owner of pencil and paper).

And that is the story of how I am sitting and typing this blog post at a lovely, ever so slightly scratched roll top desk (which only sticks a little when you try to put down the roll top lid).

Moving In

It’s been almost two months since I wrote about moving out of our apartment, and it seemed time for an update about the moving in half of the process. It seems that getting sick after we move is a tradition, so I came down with a bad cold shortly after we moved, which slowed down the latter part of the unpacking. It is now, however, nearly done.

Instead of having to cook all our meals in the Instant Pot we have a stove. It has two ovens, and plays far too many musical chimes including an alarm if you leave the oven door open for too long. But two ovens, and not an Instant Pot, so over all, I’m quite happy with it.

Instead of having to work around temporary kitchen storage, we now have a kitchen island which greatly improves the amount of counter space available.

Instead of having to go to the laundromat, I can now do laundry in any weather without having to leave the house and bundle up against the cold. The washer and dryer also play unusually (and unnecessarily) long musical chimes when they’re done, but I can live with that, seeing as how I now have the freedom to do any amount of laundry at any time.

Instead of having bare windows and feeling that our television watching habits were needlessly public, we now have curtains on all our windows. The curtain saga is long and involved, and some of the curtains could still use upgrading (along with one Frankenstein’s curtain rod that I cobbled together when some of the proper pieces went missing) but having curtains is a major upgrade in itself, and greatly improves the hominess of the house.

Instead of a stack of boxes in the closet, we now have new bookshelves to replace the ones that broke in the move, and the closet is shifting over into being useful for normal storage.

Instead of having to root through a plastic tub every time I needed to pay a bill or file a receipt I now have a desk! The desk just got set up today, so I’m especially excited about this one. I’ve wanted a desk for the past few years, and never really had a good place to put one in the apartment, so now I can finally hide all of my paperwork in an organized manner.

I can’t say that all the decorating is done, but I have hung up all of the important wall art (mostly involving dragons), and found a temporary place for the wedding monkeys while I continue to experiment with various set ups. We have more blank walls in the house than we did in the apartment, so I have temporarily put up some pictures we didn’t have a place for before, and will have to decide which ones should be upgraded.

There is a strange shortage of closets in this house, so storage requires some creativity, except in the bathroom where there seems to be an unreasonably large amount of storage (at least for people who don’t use the large assortment of face, hair, eye and nail creams that may be considered standard to others).

I really can’t say at what point in the process the  new house started to feel like home, though it must not have taken too long. I can say that it’s starting to go beyond just feeling like ‘this is the place where we live’ to also making me think ‘I like living here’.

A Plexus Experiment, Part 5

Read my previous update here.

I’ve now been using Plexus products for about 4 months, and I had a few odds and ends of life that I wanted to update about. Since several different kinds of things have gone on in my life and community since my last post I’m not going to try to give a full overview, just mention a few notable topics. (And I really am going to try to post some normal life updates on my blog too, at least, if life stops being quite so crazy.)

 

Being Busy and Fatigue: I’ve had some really tired days in the past month, but they were related to doing a lot more than I used to be able to do. I’ve been able to push through some very busy days and weeks. I’ve had to crash (sometimes hard) afterward, but my recovery time was also noticeably shorter than it would normally be after such intense activity levels. Today I’m still feeling in recovery mode, but I’m managing to tackle errands and laundry in the same day, which I didn’t used to be able to do even on a good day. It’s amazing how quickly Plexus is changing my definitions of good days and tired days!

 

Weight: My weight has been fluctuating more than is normal for me in the past week or so, but I have now lost at least five pounds since starting Plexus, and I think it’s a bit more.  I need to take some measurements, but just judging by how my clothes are fitting, the fat loss continues to be more dramatic than the actual loss by the scale. (I’ve had a couple people start to notice that I’ve lost weight, and they say that normally happens after ten pounds of weight loss.)

I was just starting to exercise again, partly to see if it boosted the weight loss, but that was when life got really crazy busy, and I couldn’t spare the energy. Hopefully I can restart some light exercise this week and see what happens.

 

Plexus X-Factor Multivitamins: I decided to test out the Plexus multi-vitamins, but since I started taking them right about when one of my busy weeks hit, it’s hard to compare and figure out if they made me feel any different. I’m currently experimenting by switching back to my old multivitamin. I’ll let you know the results of my full vitamin experiment when it’s finished.

 

Plexus Ease: I’m so thankful I decided to try Plexus Ease! I routinely get hormone headaches as a side effect of some of my fertility medications, and they usually come at time of the month when I’m really trying to avoid ibuprofen. The Plexus Ease doesn’t completely take away the headaches, but it does lessen them enough to make it a lot easier for me to ignore them. I’m loving having a product that I can take on the spur of the moment to make my life a little more comfortable, without having to weigh the pros and cons of the side effects from OTC medications. (Full disclosure: I did have some massive pain that was either very sore muscles from helping in a move, or hormonal pain from missing major medications because of pharmacy issues, or likely a combination of the two. Plexus Ease didn’t even touch that pain, I resorted to ibuprofen in the middle of the night so I could sleep. So, I’d say, it’s good at what it does, but that’s not everything.)

 

I’m so excited about the changes I’m seeing as I continue to take Plexus. I’m staying caught up on my household chores more consistently, and interruptions to my routine are now just minor inconveniences instead of hurdles that throw off my whole week. Yay Plexus!

 

If you’re interested in ordering Plexus, click here. Contact me for more information on pricing structure and ordering options.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

A Plexus Experiment, Part 4

Read my previous update here.

I’ve now been taking Plexus for about three months. I haven’t been updating on the results as often, because the longer I’m on Plexus the less dramatic the changes are. In fact, a big part of my adjustment to being on Plexus at this point is figuring out what Plexus DOESN’T change, so that I can start to set new expectations of normal.

 

1. Being an Introvert

Better health may help me to do a better job at pushing through when I need to, but Plexus products will never change the fact that eventually social interaction builds up mental stress for me, and that I need down time to clear my mind between social interactions. This means, unfortunately, I still can’t schedule social events for every night of the week without serious repercussions.

2. Medication Side Effects

Again, better underlying health can help generally here, and improved health might even eventually help me to eliminate some of my prescriptions, but for now, certain medication side effects are inevitable, and when I’m on certain medications, I will have nausea and sleepiness.

3. Hormones

Because of the medications I’m on, this is closely tied to the previous point. Better general health can eliminate some of the worst ‘side effects’ of fluctuating hormones, but I firmly believe that we’re meant to cycle our activities based on different points in our cycling hormones. There are certain times in a woman’s life that are more suited to quiet reflection than to mountain climbing, despite what some obnoxious commercials might try to have you believe.

4. Lyme Bacteria and Toxins

This is one that I DO hope changes eventually, but for the moment I have to accept that I have Lyme bacteria living in my body, and likely have bad reactions to being around mold. This means that as my health improves, I still have to take some changes slowly and carefully, or I’ll overload my detoxification systems with all the bacteria and toxins that are being cleared from my system.

 

What all of this means for right now is that I’ve seen an improvement in my base energy levels on Plexus, but I do still have fluctuations in energy and some bad days. Most noticeable to me are the days that I start out feeling tired, but manage to tackle a decent chunk of my to-do list anyway. This means that the definition of a tired day is starting to change from ‘death warmed over’ to ‘not quite peak condition’. I do still have the occasional day where it’s hard to get anything done (mostly due to medication side effects), but they are farther between.

I had to temporarily stop taking the ProBio5 as it seemed to trigger either a Lyme flare up or a candida detox reaction, and I’m now starting it back up, but taking it only every other day to try to mitigate the intensity of the detox reaction.

I have lost about three pounds since starting Plexus, which is a small amount, but a big change, since my body has previously freaked out and acted like I’m starving to death any time I managed to lose any weight. In this case, the weight loss has been very low stress and low effort, and it’s possible I could even lose weight a little faster if I were putting more effort into it. Also, I’ve noticed a change in how my clothes are fitting, so I suspect that actual fat loss is a bit higher than the scale indicates.

I will continue to update occasionally if I notice changes in how I’m reacting to the Plexus products, or see significantly more progress. Also, I will likely do a couple of posts explaining a bit more about the basics of the products and ordering options, since I’ve had several people asking questions, and it would be convenient to have be able to direct them to written explanations. Before I do that, though, I’m also going to try to get back in the habit of writing blog post about my general life more often, especially as better base energy levels are just starting to translate into sticking more closely to my routines and to-do lists. 🙂

If you’re interested in ordering Plexus, click here. Contact me for more information on pricing structure and ordering options.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

 

 

A Plexus Experiment, Part 3

Since last week I’ve finished my round of hormone medications and started getting some energy back. I always have mixed feelings about getting my energy back, because it means my hormone levels have dropped and I’m NOT pregnant. On the other hand, if I’m going to be NOT pregnant anyway, it’s nice to at least have my energy back, instead of also continuing to feel bleah.

As my hormone levels have settled back down toward normal, I’ve had a few days of being not very hungry, as I often do about this time of the month. The difference is that normally my blood sugar will drop and I’ll have to eat, or I’ll at least need a little chocolate for an energy boost, or something. This time around I’ve been fine with simply eating a lot less food, which is a huge sign to me that my metabolism and blood sugar are starting to function more normally.

In related news, I’ve lost 1 1/2 pounds in the last three days. I have no idea if it’s going to stay off, or will come back as soon as my appetite goes back to normal.

I think I’ve had one really good high energy day in the past week or so, but the more amazing thing to me is having frequent moderate energy days. Even some days where I thought, meh, I don’t feel that great, I was still able to do my basic chores without a problem, and even do do some decluttering after I got some extra rest. And when I did feel bad enough to just need to rest for an afternoon, I didn’t feel like I was behind on a ton of stuff that should be getting done right then.

I’m finishing up the big ‘declutter our whole apartment’ project that I started back in January, and right now I’m waiting on a photo album and prints that I ordered to complete my photo sorting project. I decided to wait on sorting through memory box type stuff until after I finish the photos, which leaves me looking around wondering what project I should be working on.

The dishes are done. Laundry is as caught up as it’s supposed to be at this point in the week. I COULD vacuum or clean the bathroom, but they’ve been done recently enough that I really don’t have to.

Believe me, I’m not anywhere near getting bored, but as far as I can tell, I’m completely caught up on everything that I’m supposed to have done right now, and that never happens. I’m starting to feel like there’s a chance that this new level of energy will continue consistently. I’m starting to wonder what I could do that I haven’t even considered putting on a to do list, because for so long I’ve had to assume that I wouldn’t have energy.

I think this Plexus experiment has been a distinct success.

If you’re interested in ordering Plexus, click here. Contact me for more information on pricing structure and ordering options.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

A Plexus Experiment, Part 2

I wrote my first post about this Plexus experiment after a little less than a week on the Plexus Slim. It’s now been a little more than a week since that post, so I wanted to make a few notes in order to keep tracking the experiment properly.

The difficulty with trying to track the experiment properly, however, is that I can’t keep all the other variables in my life consistent: I have hormone medications that I only take at certain times of the month. Last month the combination of medications that I’m on made me completely miserable and barely functional for over a week while I was on them, but also got my hormone levels to where they needed to be for the first time in a while, so I decided I could live with a little misery for now if they were at least being effective.

On this month’s round of medications I’m feeling tired and draggy and slightly miserable, but much more functional than last month. I’m tentatively chalking that up as another win for the Plexus, but I’ll have to at least wait and see if my hormones are good again this month before I give Plexus credit for making me feel (slightly) better.

I lost back the three pounds that I gained in my first few days on Plexus, but my wait is continuing to fluctuate somewhat. (I can’t imagine that has anything to do with those hormone medications, can you?)

One interesting thing I noticed after taking the Plexus Slim for the little while is that I stopped wanting sugar in my morning coffee. (I often have decaf coffee or brewed cocoa in the mornings–with my normal fatigue, caffeine actually backfires more often than not.) Now, I use natural-ish sweeteners like turbinado sugar, and I don’t have a lot of sugar cravings, so when sugar sounds good to me I usually figure there’s a reason and go with it. I think that reason is normally that my body is looking for quick and easy energy because my metabolism needs a quick boost. The couple of weeks before I started the Plexus, sugar in my coffee had been sounding pretty good in the mornings. So, while it could be the blood sugar balancing effect that was causing sugar to stop sounding good, I suspect it had more to do with the metabolism boost so that I didn’t need the quick energy so much anymore.

I did add in the BioCleanse to my routine, after I’d been on the Slim long enough to get some idea of how well that was working for me. Some people say the BioCleanse gives them an energy boost and some people say it makes them sleepy, so I started off taking it in the early afternoon. I figured I’d either get more done, or take a nap, and either way would be good. 🙂 BioCleanse was the product I was perhaps most skeptical about, just because the ingredients are so simple, and mostly things I’d already been including in my vitamin routine. To my surprise, it does seem to give me a gentle energy boost right about the point in the afternoon where I’d normally be slowing down. It could just be placebo effect, of course, but sometimes even a placebo effect is helpful.

I started to also add in the ProBio5 (a probiotic), but stopped because I didn’t want to risk adding detox symptoms to my medication side effects.

So, I guess the summary is that the Plexus still seems to be helping, but due to unusual circumstances it’s still hard to tell exactly how much it’s helping. The real test to me will be how quickly my energy comes back after I’m off this round of medications, and how long it sticks around after that. I have had good energy weeks before, but to have more than one strung together in a row would be very unusual.

Read Part 3 of my plexus experiment here.

If you’re interested in ordering Plexus, click here. Contact me for more information on pricing structure and ordering options.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.