Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m so happy that many of you have followed me these past 4 years through ups and downs. I am thankful for my family and close friends. I am thankful for my second chance at a long healthy life thanks to bariatric surgery from my surgeon, Dr. Z. I’m also thankful for my other doctors and their assistance in helping me overcome so many other health issues. I sit here today completely healthy, except for my migraines and fibromyalgia which for the most part are under control themselves. My sleep apnea and type II diabetes are long gone. I used to take 7 different psychiatric medications to survive, today I take half a mood pill a day and nothing else but vitamins. I’m thankful that I will be trying soon to start a family of my own. I’m thankful for another year.
I feel terrible that it has taken me this long to update you on my life. Things have been busy and in a good way. Today as I stepped on the scale I finally saw the weight I was before my big January 2014 hospitalization that required 5 months of steroid medication. I re-gained 70 pounds due to the medication. Today I officially lost all of it! It took me 7 months to reach my goal! I had my 5 year follow up with my surgeon a few weeks ago. He was so proud that I have maintained loss all these years. I’m down 138 pounds total. My goal is to get another 12 pounds off by the end of the year which would bring me to 150 pounds lost. I am overjoyed by all of this because it means I can finally start a family. We begin trying in January after I am off all my medications. Here’s a current side by side of my face. Stay tuned for a full body one soon.
Much more has been going on. In August I finally began my own business. I have talked about it for years and never moved forward with it. Well I finally did. I am doing consulting and am now a First Aid/CPR/AED instuctor. Last month I was lucky enough to sign a partnership agreement with the American Red Cross to teach courses for them. I hope to start teaching in the new year, right now it is the slow season and all the courses have been filled with instructors. Because of all this I have been able to quit my underpaid, underemployed job. If you would like to check out my company website visit www.jdickeyhealthconsultant.com.
I promise to keep you updated the best I can. I’m a little better about it on social media. You can follow me on Instagram under the username @journeyofjessd and on Facebook under the page The Journey Of Jessica D.
This might be one of my favorite NatraCure products that I’ve gotten to review so far.
Today I’ll be sharing with you the NatraCure Arthritis Mitts.The mitts are great for immediate pain relief and instant warming. After 30 days of continued use, you should see benefits of improved grip, strength, and dexterity. The arthritis mitts are designed to be used while your hands are at rest, so it’s a great time to just sit back and relax for at least 5-10 minutes if not longer. Wear them whwn you are watching your favorite TV show and get a full 30 minute treatment in! The NatraCure Mitts also give you a wonderful hydrating and moisturizing feeling which is great for your winter dry hands.
To warm your mitts up for use, heat them in the microwave, the amazing SmartGel lining will feel warm and smooth against your skin. The lining is similar to paraffin wax, it will completely enclose your hand for the maximum therapeutic benefit. The mitts include a heat indicator on the mitt so watch that you don’t overheat them. Follow the enclosed directions and you should be fine.
I’ve enjoyed using them so far on my sore hands and look forward to using them with winter coming up.
With winter coming up, these mitts help warm you up and ease your pain. Order yours today for $49.99.
The great folks at NatraCure sent me another wonderful product to review. This time I got to try out their cold therapy socks which are designed to provide fast relief for sore, aching, or hot feet. The socks come with 2 freezable, full-foot-length gel packs that sit below each foot. Two additional smaller size gel packs can either go over your toes or behind your heels on each foor. If you are someone who suffers from tired, aching, hot, or swollen feet that these socks will be a godsend. I have very sensitive feet so I couldn’t keep them on for more that 10 or 15 minutes but was still able to enjoy the numerous benefits these socks provide. I even used them on my hands as cold mittens for my sore and achy knuckles and if you prefer heat on your hand they have arthritis mittens that I will be reviewing next.
The socks priced at $20.99 come in two different sizes:
I have the small/medium size and they fit my 9.5 size feet very well. Another excellent feature is that you can reuse the socks over and over and you can throw the socks in the washing machine minus the gel packs of course.
If this sounds like a product that would improve your life, order yourself a pair. If you are not satisfied with your Cold Therapy Socks you can return them within 60 days for a full refund of the purchase price.
This week is BEDA’S weight stigma awareness week. I’m sharing the weekly agenda with you, many wonderful chats, blog posts and more available through the week. On Thursday, one of my blog posts will be shared. I’ll remind you then and watch for an upcoming update post.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I choose to post today because the help of family, friends, doctors, therapists, and nurses that I’ve met along my journey are the reason I am still here today to share with you.
I’ve been in and out of the hospital five times over the last ten years. I have what my psychiatrist considers remission and relapsing severe depression. So some years I’ve been rock bottom and others I have been great and function just fine. My depression started when I was about 17 after the rape I had experienced with an intimate partner. My way of coping with it instead of medication was food. I commonly used that as my coping method, even with medication, which eventually led to me weighing over 400s when I was 27 and right before I started on my journey to lose weight. My first hospitalization was in 2004, I honestly can’t tell you 11 years last what even triggered it. All I remember is that I felt like I had hit rock bottom and that life wasn’t worth living anymore. Suicidal ideation was strong. I knew when I started to feel that way I needed help. All five of my hospitalization were because of suicidal ideation. Most of the five times that I went I already had a plan thought up and had never attempted and I didn’t want to get there so I either had my husband (boyfriend at the time) or my parents take me. I once spent an entire week on the psych ward. My last visit to the psych ward was only last September and once again for the same thing suicidal ideation. The stress of last year’s horrific hospitalization, steroid medication, and relapsing depression brought me to the edge again. I am happy to say a year later I am the best mentally that I can been in 16 years. I credit a lot to my therapist of five years and my psychiatrist that I met last year after my hospitalization. But not everyone has been as lucky as I am.
The statistics in relation to depression and suicide are troubling. Depression is the most common diagnosis associated with suicide. The lifetime risk of suicide among patients with untreateddepression ranges from 2.2% to 15%. and about 15% of patients with treated depression eventually die by suicide. Depression is present in at least 50 percent of all suicides. Lastly 2% to 9 % of people that have been diagnosed with depression in their lifetime will go on to complete suicide. Those rates are too high and very scary especially to someone with depression. Until we can get past the stigma of mental illness and suicide those rates will barely go down.
Those with suicidal thoughts are urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The great folks at NatraCure sent me the FlexiKold Gel Cold Pack to review and I’ve been in love with this cold pack since the day it hit my mailbox. Their website is wonderful, you can search by condition or the area of the body you are wanting to treat, and it gives you the options best suited to your ailment. I was given the standard size and it’s the biggest cold pack I’ve used, measuring in at 10.5″x 14.5.” They have an even bigger size for areas such as your back, but the standard size also does an excellent job for your back. They even sell a pack designed just for your neck area, I think that one will be on my Christmas list.
The NatraCure Flexikold Neck Cold pack. Cost: $21.10
As someone with a chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia, having a nice sturdy, flexible cold pack around is a blessing. It even was helpful during one of my migraines. I was able to cover my whole head with the cold pack and it helped bring some much needed relief.
The cold pack is designed to be washable, reusable, and it is double sealed to prevent leaking. There is nothing worse than a leaking gel pack, trust me, I’ve been there. The FlexiKold also remained cold for quite awhile thanks to a proprietary gel inside the pack that stays colder for longer versus the competing products that use inferior bentonite formulations. Unlike some gel pack the gel remains flexible even when frozen.
If you are someone who suffers from chronic pain or have an injury to treat such as muscle pain, bruises, inflammation, or swelling, then this should be your cold pack of choice. A standard size is $19.99 and well worth the price. They even offer 60 day money back guarantee, so what do you have to lose to try this awesome product? I think if you purchase one it will be a staple in your pain management routine. I can see this cold pack lasting for many, many years. I’m so happy to have come across this product and have been icing all week.
The standard size FlexiKold gel pack by NatraCure. Cost $19.99.
After last year’s health scare and the regaining of 70 pounds, I felt like a failure and ready to give up. I had worked so hard over 4 years to lose 138 pounds and in the span of 6 or so months I had regained half of it back. Severe depression, steroid medication, binge eating disorder, and fibromyalgia were over taking my life and I was feeling like I would never return to a normal life. This past year I was so unhappy with my regain that I knew I needed to do something. Thanks to a binge eating disorder treatment program and an endocrinologist I am down 36 pounds since April and down 104 pounds from my heaviest. My next goal is losing 34 more pounds and then I will be back to my weight that I was before my 2 week hospitalization last year. It actually seems achievable and it goes to show you that you should never give up. For those of you who might be struggling, keep going. Anything is achievable, I know you can do it.
I’ve been doing my PiYo workout from Beachbody for almost five weeks now. I’m really enjoying it even though some moves are hard for me but I can do moves now that I couldn’t do in the beginning. You’ll remember from my blog post that I last posted from over a month that my endocrinologist wanted me to be down 18 more pounds by the end of July. I’m happy to report that as of today I only have 6 pounds left with a little over a week to go. I hope I can get there! My total pounds lost now since April is 28! 4 more pounds and will have lost half of what I gained back last year do to the year from hell, almost dying, 5 months of steroids to reverse the kidney failure from the Topamax reaction, and a brief relapse into depression.
This year has been so much better, probably one of the better ones in my adult life and there aren’t much of those sadly. I conquered my binge eating disorder which I had been suffering from for 12 years. I received a diagnosis and underwent effective intensive outpaitent therapy. I have not binge ate since February right before I began my 6 week treatment. I am back in remission with my depression.
I feel bad that I don’t update my blog more often. After 4 years of writing it is hard to think of much to write other than an update about me, I’m mentally still stuck in the bariatric mindset for this blog sometimes even though I have long since parted ways with that community, I plan to change that. I am going to try to open up more about my life especially the late teens/young adult years. Those were the worst years of my life and I have so much to get out. I’ve rarely talked about them other than my rape by a teenage boyfriend. But even then I don’t feel like I’ve gotten all those emotions out. It’s been 14 years since that occurred, I’ve long since forgiven him in my mind. But it’s impossible to forget. I’ve get into that more. This blog is meant to be about my life and maybe my life experiences will help a struggling person. I may only be 32 years old but I’ve been though a lot, more than some people experience in whole life.