Category Archives: Self Care

Pain Pt. 2

Ironically, as I type this, I’m feeling pain that has nothing to do with my autoimmune issues. My left big toe h•u•r•t•s! Who knew that one toe could disrupt life so much? This is where I have been allllllllllllll week.

Ice, heat, ice, heat, repeat… doggo snuggles help, too

Anyway, the podiatrist said my joints are inflamed so we’re doing a little acute treatment and hopefully healing will come quickly. Say a little prayer for me because momma doesn’t need to add anything else to her body issue list! For the freakin’ love hahahahaha!

Regarding regular pain management, this is something that has taken me years to figure out and I still have to tinker with it. Autoimmune diseases are as unique to each individual as each individual is unique.

If you’re thinking, “wait, what autoimmune issues and why is she jumping into pain management because of one bum toe?” go ahead and hop over here to read part one of this post.

Now that we’re all caught up… here’s a quick run down of what I do daily to manage my* symptoms from Hashimoto’s, Addison’s, and Fibromyalgia.

First and foremost, is being mindful regarding rest, stress, and energy output. I am determined to live a full and inspired life and refuse to allow my autoimmune diagnoses to be my identity, but for that to be true, I have to plan, think things through (hard for my impulsive nature), and make accommodations. As an example, this momma is going to be at 👏 every 👏 single 👏 one of her kids events, but after an all-weekend basketball tournament, I need to keep my calendar clear the following Monday to give my body a chance to recuperate. Things like that.

I also hear that a healthy diet and exercise is helpful for those with autoimmune issues. Heck, I hear it’s good for everyone! I have not tried that yet… ha, jk… I have tried but I’m not the most disciplined at this. Now that I’m living this journey more out loud, maybe I’ll be inspired to be a better example. Maybe.**

I have a great team of physicians that support me living my best life. My boo, Linda, at Wiseman Family Practice oversees my care in consultation with my endocrinologist and rheumatologist. Below are the medicines and supplements we have determined work best for me each day. It’s taken a long time to get this mix right and it’ll likely have to be tweaked and changed over time, as well. Autoimmune isn’t one and done. Every day is a new day with new challenges, but right now this is my daily dose.

Morning meds…

Don’t let that handful scare you, only two are prescription. Each morning I take Synthroid to support my thyroid function (ha, like I have any function! but this helps my body pretend it does) and Cymbalta as a pain receptor blocker (bonus, it’s also an anti-depressant!) I also take an over-the-counter Allegra to help stop my overactive histamine production, a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin C, and zinc. Recently the biggest game changer for me has been upping my vitamin D. It’s given me an extra boost of energy! And this being the dumpster fire that is 2020, we’re alllllllllll drained and can use a boost, amirite??!

In the evening I only have one prescription…

Nighttime poppin’…

And it’s my favorite prescription! At only 4.5mg, Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) helps reduce my pain experience and fights against inflammation. It’s a compound drug, meaning you’re not going to find it at Walgreen’s or CVS, it’s just not mass produced like that. I have a local compounding pharmacy make it for me. It’s not currently covered by insurance, but it’s worth the extra $$$ for me, and hubby agrees. He’s seen what I’m like when I don’t take it. 😉 I also pop a magnesium before bed, one Estroven (ugh menopause), and then depending on the day and how I’m feeling, I may add a couple Tylenol or Alieve and one or two Benadryl. The thing with having a compromised immune system is that once one issue is diagnosed, it’s not uncommon to discover others. The latest we are investigating is dermatomyositis ‘cuz this girl is super itchy all the dang time. I’m just a party, y’all. 🥳

With all of the above, plus the loving support of family and friends, a lot of Diet Dr. Pepper, and even more Jesus, I’m here, happy, and living a joyful life.

Whatever you’re facing in this life, I pray you are able to look for the joy.

Peace & hugs,
Kelli

*what works for me may not work for you, please consult your physician before taking or changing any meds or supplements

**probably not

Texas Wine Country

Even with masks and sanitizer and shields and distance… I was recently able to do the most normal, non-essential, but very essential, thing I’ve done in seven months. 

Four of my dear girlfriends and I got away to the Texas Hill Country over Labor Day weekend and visited several local wineries on that Sunday. Le sigh, it was wonderful. 

Main St. in Fredericksburg, Texas, with my friends Brandi, Jenny, Lisa, and Amy

When you think about Texas, your mind may first go to BBQ and beer. We like those, too. But search the web for the best wine regions in the US and Central Texas will pop up on every list. The Texas Hill Country wine region spans 9 million acres, making it the second-largest wine region in the nation. You read that right. So we had a lot of vineyards from which to choose.

We started at Grape Creek Vineyards, one of the area’s first. It’s gorgeous with its Tuscan decor and rolling hills of full of beautiful vines. Even on a busy holiday weekend, we were able to get into a tasting with only about a 10 minute wait. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and we had a lovely time. To me, Grape Creek is exactly what comes to mind when you think of a traditional winery experience. 

Wine tasting underway at Grape Creek Vineyards
Grape Creek Vinesand my girls ♡

Next up was my personal favorite, Barons Creek Vineyard. I loved the more modern European aesthetic and the open-air interior courtyard. The day we visited we enjoyed a live band, plus they had large patio games set up for a more festive feel. There was also plenty of outdoor seating available, even though they were quite busy. But the best part of all? They have villas you can stay in on-property, and they are stunning. I’m already planning a little anniversary getaway for me and the hubs next year!

You can see the villas behind us. They are the cutest!
Barrons Creek has a stunning courtyard area

We ended the day at one of the newest wineries in the area, Bingham Family Vineyards. In fact, they’d only been doing tastings for three weeks! Maybe because of the newness, or maybe just due to an emphasis on details, I felt this is where the most attention was given to our group by staff. The vineyard has also partnered with Yee Haw Ranch to provide a wonderful shopping experience for guests. I would highly recommend a tasting here for the friendly experience. 

We were seated at a roomy table for the tasting at Bingham Family Vineyard
Yee Haw Ranch and Bingham Family Vineyards share one property

If you’re thinking “wait a minute, she hasn’t talked about the actual wine yet!” you’re very perceptive. And that is because I can’t, ha! Full disclosure, I don’t actually care for wine. However that makes me a wonderful friend to have because I will gladly be your designated driver on a day-long winery tour! Also, all the money I save on wine tastings I get to spend in gift shops, and that’s my kind of high! 🙂 But I will tell you that my friends enjoyed all of the wines tasted throughout the day and purchased several bottles to take home of the Bingham wines.

Shirt and bag both purchased at the Yee Haw Ranch! Ballcap, on table, from Barons Creek.

So if you find yourself in Central Texas, I encourage you to take time to visit the Texas Hill Country and the many wonderful wineries and cellars it has to offer.

If you can do it with your girlfriends, even better. Thank you, beautiful friends, for bringing joy and light into my life. And thank you Chad, my love, for encouraging me to go. It was a good day.

Peace & hugs,
Kelli

P.S. All accessories worn in pictures are from the Sanctuary Project and you can get 15% off their entire site using code KELLIH15