Breathe

Man I cannot wait to be able to breathe again! Well that wish will come true this week as I undergo another sinus surgery. This will be my 4th (yes FOURTH!) sinus surgery in the past 10 years.

So a little background here, I really did not have health issues growing up. I would get a bad cough once a year and sometimes wheezed, but my doctor said I didn’t have asthma. Fast forward to my senior year of high school… my allergies were the worst they’d ever been and I was having to bring rolls of toilet paper to school & stuffing tissue up my nose. This is when it all started! That summer I went to France for my senior trip and I starting having asthma attacks throughout the trip. I even had to take some puffs on another guys inhaler to breathe. That summer I still didn’t get a diagnosis, the doctor just said it was allergies. Mind you I used to also get bronchitis in high school maybe once a year. So we just thought it was chronic bronchitis. So now we go into my freshman year of college. I’m still having all of these problems and finally see another doctor because my doctor was out that day…and guess what?!?! He was like um yea you have asthma! What?!? I was thankful that I finally got diagnosed so I could finally get an inhaler! So that next year I got the flu,but recovered pretty quick. That next spring/summer is when the allergies came back and I was back to sticking tissue up my nose and carrying benedryl everywhere I went. My mom finally got me an appointment for an allergy and asthma doctor and I got allergy testing done. When we got my results they were like well…it shows you’re not allergic to anything so we are going to send you to an ENT.

Now, this is where my sinus journey begins…I start going to an ENT and get put on antibiotics and steroids. This helps a little bit, but the CT scan shows a lot of my sinus cavities are filled. The Dr. decided I needed to go through sinus surgery to clear it all out. So for surgery I had to quit taking aspirin and NSAIDs. Now let me tell you, as a dancer for 15+ years and multiple car wrecks, plus migraines I used to pop ibuprofen like candy back in the day. So before surgery all I could take was Tylenol! So I have my first surgery and it really helps! I can breathe and smell again! It’s amazing! Fast forward to a month later… I am on my period and cramping so bad (mind you I also have PCOS and endometriosis 🙃) so I go ahead and take a midol. I start to notice my stomach flaring up and I get pretty wheezy, but I’m in class and have to grin through and bear it. I take my inhaler but still feel weird. I still haven’t taken ibuprofen or aspirin since my surgery so I’m like what is this? I looked at the label and midol has aspirin in it…so I’m like hmmm. When I go to a follow up appointment with my ENT, I tell him about this and he’s goes – I think I know what this is. He says I have Samter’s Triad Syndrome. That includes having:

•asthma ✅

•sinus inflammation with polyps ✅

•allergy to aspirin and NSAIDS ⁉️

So I have all of the symptoms so he says to not take any aspirin or NSAIDS anymore. I’m okay with that I’ll just take Tylenol. With Samnter’s Triad it usually doesn’t develop until adulthood, so this would explain why I could take ibuprofen before. I had built up an immunity to it so when I detoxed before surgery it depleted that immunity. A few months later I had an extreme migraine and my friend gave me some Excedrin…my dumbass didn’t realize it has aspirin in it so I took it before I had to drive from Stillwater to Okc. That was a bad idea…I started wheezing while driving and I took benedryl but to no avail. I was going to an OBGYN appointment and walked in and couldn’t talk because I couldn’t breath. They didn’t have an inhaler or anything so my mom had to take me to the ER down the street. So that was an experience. I have not taken any aspirin or NSAIDS since then (2012)!

Okay so a few years later (2015) my sinus issues are getting bad again. I keep going to urgent care to get antibiotics and steroids because I don’t have a primary doctor. The doctors kept telling me this is not good for me to do. So in 2016 I started a new job and got my insurance that I have now. So I finally went and saw an ENT again. They said I needed surgery again…so I had it October 2016. During this time it was really hard for me mentally. My grandpa has just been diagnosed with lung cancer and so he was having a surgery the same day as me. I can’t even imagine what my mom was going through. So I have surgery and then he dies a month later. I probably did not keep up with my after care after surgery therefore, the surgery was unfortunately no good. I went for a follow up appointment that January and he said I needed another surgery ASAP. I was scared to tell my mom, I was embarrassed and disappointed. I finally told her and she said it was okay and she’d help me through it. So I got my 3rd surgery Jan 2017. I kept up with my aftercare and finally got an all clear! So back to my life being able to breathe and smell! My allergies were pretty good the next few years so I was pretty confident this would be my last! Fast forward Dec 2019…. Christmas Day I got a fever and started feeling sick. I ended up getting a sinus infection that spread to my gums. My back tooth actually became infected so I had to go to the dentist and get special stuff out into my gum to heal it. A month later I feel like I’m getting another sinus infection but the pain is mainly in the right side of my face. I have to go to sleep laying my face on a heating pad-that’s how bad it is. So I go get antibiotics and steroids for that. It helped while I was still on the antibiotics/steroids but as soon as I got off the sinuses got bad again. I kept telling my doctor, but she just gave me nasacort. When my nose wasn’t too stuffed I could take the nasacort and it helped a little bit. But how am I supposed to take it if I can’t breathe in through my nose?? 🙃 well I just sit and suffer I guess haha. So throughout the past year my asthma keeps getting worse as well as my sinuses. My doctor gives me a higher dose of my steroid inhaler to help and it somewhat helps. I am up to having one to three asthma attacks at night and waking up coughing. It totally sucks, I keep saying I need to make another ENT appointment but I just keep pushing it out.

So here we are in April 2021 and I finally make an ENT appointment. I go in, he sees some polyps up my nose but had me go get a CT scan to see if I need surgery again. So I get the CT and go back to the ENT and he looks at my CT scan and goes well you’re going to need surgery! He said all of my sinus cavities are filled with probably fungus and polyps. Going back to my sphenoid sinus near my brain, maxillary, ethmoid, and frontal sinus cavities. So just all over. It is pretty urgent to get surgery ASAP so they schedule me for April 29th. So here we go into my fourth sinus surgery!

The past two weeks my sinuses are so clogged up and I can barely breathe (mostly have to breathe through my mouth which is annoying). I just cannot wait to be revived and be able to do ujjayi breathing in yoga again! Also I am hoping this will help my asthma. 🤞🤞

Enjoy some pics from my last surgeries! As well as me lately 😂

August 2011
August 2011
October 2016
October 2016
January 2017

What’s goin on?

Wow it has been 2 months since my last post?! How can that be? I guess life gets in the way sometimes and there’s barely any time to sit and reflect. The past 2 months I have done a 6 week bootcamp challenge, as well as 6 weeks of barbell. I’ll post more details below! I have also put money down on two BIG things! It’s been crazy! 😜 I think one of my last posts I was talking about my fertility journey, but here’s the news-I’m not pregnant, unfortunately. Oh well gives me more time to travel & do things before coming a mom! Although I have been depressed about it and seeing all these pregnancy announcements, I know my day will come at the perfect time. #positivevibes

Back to my bootcamp challenge. So I signed up for this challenge to try and get back on track from gaining 30+ lbs this past year (thanks hormones & covid). All was well the first 2 weeks, but then a big snowstorm hit, and work got even busier and I was just stressed focusing on other things. I could not focus on working out every day and eating healthier (I.e. no fast food). I still worked out and went to boot camp, but I feel like I missed a lot of barbell classes (weightlifting). My weight then became stagnant. I was still loosing inches though so I guess I was building muscle from the workouts I did do! We got a week added on because of the snowstorm and so after the 7 weeks I ended up loosing maybe 2 lbs and 9.5 inches. Not as much as I was expecting and I still can’t fit into my pre-pandemic jeans. Due to some financial constraints, I decided to leave my bootcamp family and start working out a cheaper gym that’s only $10/month as well as some yoga classes here & there. The past few weeks after the challenge I went balls to the wall eating out all the time and not tracking any food. This helped my stress tremendously and I felt free. My butt and thighs thought otherwise in my jeans so this week I had to make a change! I ended up signing up for weight watchers so I can be more cognizant of what I eat and it’s only $21/month!

Okay let’s back track to my fertility journey. After January I was really hoping I would be pregnant. Then February came and I had missed my period! I kept testing and waiting and everything came back negative. I even when to the doctor and got a blood test that was also negative. It super bummed me out. So my husband and I discussed it and decided to stop tracking everything and actively trying for a few months. We also do not want a Christmas baby so that aligns with our scheduling 😂 but if we were to get pregnant now and it was a December baby, I mean we’ll take whatever we can get! Well after my missed February period I stopped tracking my temperature and ovulation. I was still stressed out from some other things and I got super obsessive tracking my food. So much that I would try and stay under my calories and not really get any food to fuel my body-just constantly worrying about how much protein I was getting. This did a number on my mental health and my past eating disorders tried to come in and take over. But then on the weekends when I was with Steve I would binge and binge and binge. I was back to disordered eating and I was stressed and depressed. You don’t wanna be in that mindset trying to get pregnant either! So I knew I needed to try and relax and stop tracking everything. And what do you know a day after I stopped worrying and tracking I got my period! It had been over 60 days! But now I am feeling a lot better and with the weight watchers I don’t track my calories I’m just more conscious of what foods are better for me and which are zero points. Also I’m realizing how some of my favorite healthy snacks are not as healthy as I thought 🙃

I have started working out with my oldest friend since she moved back to Oklahoma! It has been a blast after hardly getting to see her the past 5 years! Now I get to see her multiple times a week and it feels like old times! With spring’s arrival I feel like things are moving in the right direction and I’m excited for what’s to come! 🌸🌺🍄🌱☀️

2 lbs & 9.5 inches down

How to make a delicious VEGAN earl grey tea and lavender cake 🎂 💜

So my husband and mother in law are vegan and so we had the grooms cake at our wedding be vegan! The flavor was earl grey tea & lavender, and boy when I tell you it was yummy 😋 haha we only had a small cake so it ran out FAST! So even after the wedding I had people telling me how much they loved the cake and where I got it. Well, I got it from the Round House Bakery in Perkins Oklahoma ( a little bit of a drive for a small 30 piece cake, but SOOOOO worth it). I knew my mother in law loved it so I tried to recreate it for her surprise 55th birthday. Trying to find a recipe for lavender and early grey cake with both of those and without lemon or blueberries was hard! I do not like lemon in my sweets and I don’t like blueberries so I had to pick and choose from different recipes to get my own! I also didn’t decide to do a layered cake til halfway through, so I had to make a whole other batch while my first pan was baking. Also this recipe calls for vinegar for the “egg replacement”, but you can also use a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons water whisked in a bowl and refrigerated for 10-15 minutes. I have found that flax eggs are great for vegan cookies, but the vinegar is better for cakes.

My Vegan Earl Grey and Lavender Cake with Lavender Frosting (it ain’t pretty but it’ll do 😂)

VEGAN EARLY GREY AND LAVENDER CAKE

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (200g) White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1cup (240ml) Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or sub canola oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp White Vinegar (or sub Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • 4 tsp Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 2 tsp dried lavender

1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Add milk and early grey tea leaves into a blender. I cut open my tea bags and measured it out until I got 4 tsp. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to infuse the flavor.

3. Blend the milk and earl grey mixture until the tea is in small pieces.

4. Add all dry ingredients to a bow and mix. I added in some dried lavender that I had pulsed in the blender to make it finer like a powder.

5. Add all wet ingredients and whisk.

6. Grease your pan first! Add batter to pan.

7. Cook for 30-50 minutes depending on the depth of your cake pan. I used a small round pan and did 35-40 minutes.

8. Once it has baked and you can put a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean, let it sit and cool. Then add your frosting! I made a lavender frosting to mine!

Note: it you want to make this a layered cake just double the recipe and separate into 2 pans (I didn’t decide to do 2 layers until halfway through and my pans were different sizes 😂 so make sure they are the same size). If you want 3 layers, then triple the recipe and divide into 3 pans and so on and so forth! I also doubled the frosting recipe below to put a layer between the two cake layers.

Also: make sure your sugar is vegan. I guess some are not, but most of the sugar I find is! So just double check!

LAVENDER FROSTING

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
  • 2 tablespoons organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar sifted

For the frosting you will need to:

1. Take the dried culinary lavender and sugar into a blender or food processor and blend them together. Pulse until a fine powder is formed.

2. Put softened vegan butter and vanilla in your mixer and beat until light and fluffy.

3 Add in the lavender sugar mix and gradually add in the powdered sugar. You want it to be thick so it doesn’t slide off the cake (like mine did) so you should keep adding powdered sugar if it is too liquidy.

4. OPTIONAL-you can add in food coloring like purple and pink to get a lavender color. I used the pastel Easter egg food coloring to get the color I wanted! Check the labels to make sure the food coloring is vegan (some brands aren’t).

https://www.theroundhousebakery.com/

The groom cake at the wedding by the Round House Bakery 🍰 https://www.theroundhousebakery.com/

Slow Burn 🔥

It’s a slow burrrerernnn! I love Kacey musgraves even though I really don’t like country music. But some of her songs are some of my favorites! Aka High Horse, Rainbow, Slow Burn… and list goes on. Any who, back to my post. The reason I named this one Slow Burn is because I have been trying to get back into yoga recently and I took a class called slow burn. It is not as intense as hot yoga or power yoga. But it definitely burns! It was not as fast paced as power yoga but just as difficult. And it wasn’t as slow as yin yoga. It was like the perfect flow. I also took class when I was really sore from the hot yoga class the day before so I couldn’t do as many chaturangas as the class called for due to my shoulder. That’s another thing, I was doing tons of yoga back in 2017, but then the cost was a little too high for me to keep going. After I stopped going as much I gained weight. After a few months I started going to a bootcamp gym and that’s where my bad shoulder starting acting up (I hurt my shoulder in Pom during high school because we had to use wrist waits during practice to make our moves sharper). My shoulder has been pretty much crappy since 2018 so I was scared to do yoga in case it made my shoulder worse. Back in summer 2020 I started weight lifting and that helped my shoulder build up some muscles so I could do more at the gym (just not lift too heavy). Well back in December my gym closed it’s doors, but they still had their other gym open in Moore. I wasn’t about to drive 20 minutes from my house to a 30 minute workout and drive the 20 minutes back home. The gym that closed was like 8 minutes from my house. Also their Moore gym was a lot smaller and with Covid I did not want to be that close to people even with a mask on. But good news is they built a bigger gym in Moore that’s right off the highway (still 20 min from my house, but easy to get there). So I am going back to bootcamp Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays and continuing yoga Tuesday, Thursday and maybe Saturday or Sunday. I honestly need to loose the 30 pounds I’ve gained since March! Okay where was I going with this post? I kind of went off on a tangent haha. Oh yea back to the slow burn yoga class, I liked a lot of the music she used and I remembered a few and ended up making a playlist right after class. I also added in some songs from the hot yoga class I had had the day before. I signed up for a year membership of virtual classes with this yoga place so when I do that you can’t really hear the music being played in class, so I needed a new playlist for that. I already have a relaxing playlist that can be used to yoga, shavasana, meditating, sleeping, or taking a bubble bath. I’m going to link the two playlists below! The slow burn is more for the quicker paced yoga (but also a slow burn class) and the relax playlist is more for a relaxing flow or just to relax in general! Hope you like!

SLOW BURN 🔥

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4r8pNj6B3DFkojXKOOKcrd?si=6f7H7ftgSp62aYZUWmnSEQ

RELAX

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1v3GLDXbhrOdK2RA2k1igI?si=hJSnoCYuRY2H7x2m9ZPN1Q

Disclaimer* it’s a good idea to not listen to the relax playlist while driving in case you fall asleep! 😴🥱

If ginny weasley was a slytherin

Oh queso. I recently got bright orange hair so I have been channeling my inner red head. I also love Harry Potter. I am definitely a Slytherin and so is my husband, but growing up he reminded me of Harry Potter and I reminded him of Hermione Granger. We definitely bonded over Harry Potter back in middle school and we both still love it so much. So this is kind of how I came about this post “if Ginny Weasley was a Slytherin” ya know since she had red hair, but was in Gryffindor. If she were a Slytherin I feel like she would be more feisty, but still have a crush on Harry. Her whole family of redheads were all in Gryffindor, so if she was indeed a Slytherin…she would be kind of a rebel and have that bad girl vibe. So to channel that into my actual life I went and bought two green & black plaid skirts. Boy they are sexy as hell, but I CANNOT wear them in public hahaha. Oh well I can play dress up right? To also help me express this Ginny from a different reality I created a playlist.

I have always created various playlists and burnt CDs when those were a thing haha. My friends always loved the ‘mix tapes’ I made in CDs and they always said I knew of all of the music and had good music taste. I feel like that has to do with my 15+ years of dancing. So many songs I danced to and so many songs I heard at dance competitions. Look at my playlist below!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0v9M0oE7RxK0JVSEmJ5O0G?si=2dS2q0MrQne0dasniEWOEQ

Ready for the World

Okay so one thing about me is I like music. I used to be obsessed with the song ‘Oh Sheila’ and ‘Love you down’ by Ready for the World. Now I was born in ‘91 but I’ve always loved 80s music…every kind! EXCEPT do not play ‘Africa’ by Toto around me or I will get angry. Any way, where am I going with this? Oh yea, the point of this post I titled ‘Ready for the World’. I’m trying to start writing down my thoughts and experiences through my fertile journey. I have been with my husband 8 years, but only married for 1. We have both wanted kids since day one but wanted to be financially and mentally ready for kids so they’d have a good life. Well that time has finally come! I am pretty mentally stable even though I have bipolar II disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. I also am now 6 years into my career and feel like I could provide a life for my kids like my parents did for me. So we decided I would stop taking birth control in October 2020 and start ‘trying to conceive’ (TTC for short). I have started tracking my basal body temperature (BBT) and taking ovulation LH tests every afternoon. I have also tried to eat better more nutrient rich food. I have been eating Vegan since October so I am also taking multivitamins and prenatal vitamins to get those other nutrients I would get from meat, eggs, and dairy. I started making fertility shakes which is basically berries, coconut milk, spinach, plant protein powder, maca, hemp seed hearts, and ground flaxseed! I’ll share my recipe below! It’s yummy 😋 Today, I’m on day 12 of my cycle so I’m supposed to ovulate around day 15. That means it’s time for a fun weekend if you know what I mean haha. The next two weeks as I wait to see if I’m in fact pregnant will be so hard! I’m starting to look into things to get my mind off it. I’m going to go back to bootcamp to help me on the health journey so I can have a healthy pregnancy when I actually do get pregnant. Last month I was for sure I was pregnant and then that dreaded day came when I started the morning after I bought some pregnancy tests. I was so annoyed and frustrated. I know I may have difficulty getting pregnant due to my endometriosis and PCOS(poly cystic ovarian syndrome). But I thought maybe I wouldn’t have any issues and I’d get pregnant right away! A girl can dream, right? Either way if it takes awhile I will be ready to bring a child into this world.

FERTILITY SMOOTHIE

1. Add a big handful of your greens! Could be spinach (my favorite since you can’t really taste it), kale, or chard.

2. Add about 3/4 cup of berries (fresh or frozen). Try to use berries like black berries, blueberries,raspberries, cherries, and strawberries. Try to avoid adding sugary fruits like bananas and mangos. (I’ll add another yummy green smoothie one of these days that have all the island fruits!)

3. Add 1 cup of your milk or water. I prefer unsweetened coconut milk or oat milk. You can also use unsweetened almond milk, but try to avoid soy milk and dairy cow milk since you are supposed to avoid soy and dairy when TTC. You can also just use water or coconut water/ice, but I like mine more creamy.

4. Add 1 or 2 scoops of protein powder. This can be vanilla or unflavored, but I like the vanilla pea protein for taste! I avoid whey at all costs because it is dairy and upsets my stomach. I use plant protein/pea protein because it’s easier on my stomach and has many health benefits!

5. Add your fat and/or fiber! I use 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed (make sure it is ground because whole flaxseed do not absorb in your body to give you the nutrients), hemp hearts, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.

6. Add 1 tablespoon of maca powder. Maca is a superfood for fertility! It is also an aphrodisiac. It also helps with stamina and libido. A few fertility benefits are improved sperm count, hormone balance, and erectile disfunction. All of things help with what you need to make a baby naturally, so do with that information what you will! 😉

7. Blend everything up & serve! Both women & men can drink this to help your fertility and chances of getting pregnant! And plus it’s yummy!!

Allow me to re-introduce myself

My name is HOV! H-to the O-V… okay okay that’s totally like 12 years old but whatever! Here I am. This is my first post. I am shy and awkward so this is something way new to me. I can type out long, lengthy(ok that’s just saying the same thing haha), informative emails and texts in my everyday life….but I can’t talk to people AT ALL. My name is Audrey and I have always be told I am weird, odd, & crazy my whole life. I used to hate my name… Audrey… no one else really had it and the only celebrities were Audrey Hepburn and Faith Hill (her first name is Audrey and her birthday is the same as mine 😜). I used to hate being called weird too. To me it seemed rude when I was a young, sensitive little girl…but now I’m just like hell ya I’m weird! But I’m not really like weird weird if you know what I mean. I’m still like cool and also nerdy and goofy. I’m just an odd cat. Lol get it. I started to grow to like my name because some people called me Aud and I was like ‘hey that’s funny, I am ODD’. Haha I am such a dork but whatevs you either love me or hate me! Or ya just don’t know me 🙃 okay I feel like I’m being annoying. You just wanna know the basics, right?

I am a 29 year old woman. I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and I still live there. I am married to my husband since 2020(pre-COVID) and we’ve been together since 2013! We have know each other since 6th grade…we were 11 and now we’re 29. Holy shit that’s I long time! (Sorry forgot to mention sometimes I curse like a sailor…I blame it on my husband…I didn’t used to be this way haha). I am a civil engineer who works in and manages construction. I don’t really know if that’s my calling, but I was a nerd and liked calculus & science in high school and college. My parents were both engineers so it runs in the family. I’m not the greatest in grammar or spelling, because you know I liked the math more haha. I also throw in hahas and lols all the time because.. ANXIETY. You know how it goes. Also about me-I have various health issues including bipolar disorder 2, anxiety/panic disorder, PTSD, chronic sinusitis, asthma, sumner triad syndrome(I’m allergic to aspirin/NSAIDS), endometriosis, &PCOS. I think that’s it haha. So my life is always interesting and I’m usually in pain in someway!

Join me on my journeys through this odd life. I will share stories of my experiences with my health, give advice like I do all of my family & friends, and also about my adventures to come.