Another Business Conference Under My Belt

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Coconut Milk Honey Pumpkin Custard

One of my favorite recipes for this time of year… click here for the recipe to my Coconut Milk Honey Pumpkin Custard.

Sorry I have been missing in action.  It has been incredibly busy at my job and it has been very stressful.  It used to be that I was  responsible for billing, accounts receivables and collections.  But several years ago our board was pressuring our CEO to begin using an electronic accounting system, and I was the only one that was qualified to do such a thing. My boss was scheduled to retire in 2009 when she turned 70, and so someone was going to have to be able to take over the accounting.  I was elected. I took the job. Except my boss has never retired, and she may not retire.  She continues to do the books manually, while I am doing them electronically.  This creates extra work, and I wish something could be done to lessen my load.

Actually everything was going along pretty well until last year when one of our vendors, the state of Arizona mandated that all agencies use their new online billing system.  Before this change, I could complete the billing by the 10th of each month.  Now it is taking me the entire month.  It is so laborious and time consuming.  And I have a very hard time with being so far behind. It feels very stressful to me because I am constantly trying to catch up and I cannot seem to make any headway.  It feels like I am shoveling a driveway in the middle of a terrible blizzard, and no matter how fast I shovel, the snow keeps falling down all around me.

I am literally almost to the point where I would like to find a new job because I don't know if I can put up with the amount of stress.  On the other hand, my employer has been extremely accommodating regarding my health issues.  Since the Jalapeno Incident last year I have been setting my own hours.  I used to get to work at 6am and now I am usually there by 9am. It is quite a change.

Anyway, I didn't start this post to tell you that, I started it to tell you how the conference went.  This conference is a teaching conference for the accounting software that we use at my job.  The classes begin at 7am, there is a lunch break from noon to 1pm and the classes go on until 5pm.  It is kind of intense because the whole day long I am focused on what they are teaching so that I will learn all I can for the next upgrade to the product.  The first night there is a reception with snacks and lots of alcohol is available.  The last conference was two years ago, and in reading over it I realized that they used most of the same foods, except this time I was still avoiding many fructose and fructan foods, so it significantly decreased my options. Of course since I am not able to eat organics all the time, I don't worry about that, or I'm sure there would have been NOTHING that I could have eaten.

So that first night there was not one thing I could have to eat.  I couldn't have the quesadillas, and not even the carrot sticks, celery sticks, peas in the pod, sunflower seeds or anything else.  Thankfully I had eaten two hard boiled egg yolks before we arrived.  After the reception was over I drove to a grocery store and bought food as I was staying in a hotel with a full kitchen which was located just one mile away from the convention hotel.

The suites hotel was more expensive than the hotel where the conference was being held… I suppose that was due to the special conference rates.  I considered briefly just staying at the conference hotel.

That first night for dinner I bought a roasted chicken, black olives, Claussen pickles and a few raspberries. Breakfast was a hamburger with mushrooms on lettuce.

At the conference, the only thing I could eat at the breakfast buffet was the whipped butter.  😉  There was melon, but I've not introduced melon yet. At lunch there was chicken breast which looked to have been grilled, but it tasted like it was baked.  There were thin slices of rare beef, and I had hoped the salad would be plain with dressing on the side, but it was already saturated with some kind of dressing, carrots and little pieces of Parmesan cheese.  I picked out a few little pieces of lettuce that looked like they were not coated with dressing and accidentally got a bite of Parmesan.

About an hour later they broke out the snacks.  Popcorn, candy of all kinds, chocolate covered ice cream bars, jelly beans, soda… everyone was grabbing something. I was truly okay with this.  On the leptin reset I'm supposed to eat three meals a day, no snacks, and I have grown accustomed to that schedule and some days I don't even eat lunch.

Dinner was good on Thursday evening, although the server's attitude made me feel defective.  I was standing in front of the salmon, which was under a bright orange light.  They had signs to indicate what the dishes were, but the salmon looked like it had a layer of cheese on it, I couldn't tell. I was looking at it, trying to decide and the server says, “Go ahead and get some, it won't bite you.”  I said, “I can't have dairy and it looks like it has cheese on it. Do you know if it does?”  He said it had a Dijon mustard sauce and it probably did have dairy.  Just the way he said it made me feel like “Oh, one of those weirdo people.”  So I passed on the salmon and asked him for a slice of the turkey breast. He was going to cut me a slice of plain meat but I asked if I could have some of the side that had the skin.  And he also was cutting pieces of beef so I had him give me a slice of that.  There were also baby vegetables, and I forgot that I'm not eating carrots and ate 3 or 4 baby carrots. There was whipped butter!

About an hour later a thundercloud started to move pretty close to the area where we were eating.  There was also a large body of water about 20 feet from our tables.  When I took my children swimming all those years in the summer, if a storm was moving in the pool was closed because they didn't want anyone to be struck by lightning.  I decided to go into the hotel because I felt like it was not safe out there.  About an hour later my roommate (the same one who stayed with me last year) came inside and found me.  I was pretty tired by that time and feeling kind of down.  At that time I did not realize what was wrong with me. I thought it may have been the carrots, but the next day I finally figured out what had happened.

Going to the conference, dealing with people, concentrating so much, the stress of having to eat with people and not being able to eat everything is stressful. A different kind of stress than what I am accustomed to dealing with.  I totally didn't consider that I might need an extra dose of hydrocortisone to support my adrenals more fully.  I was pretty down on Thursday night, and my roommate and I had an uncomfortable conversation.  I lean more toward alternative care and diet but it appears she is more comfortable with conventional doctors.  I felt bummed out because it felt weird, like she didn't approve.  And I am one of those people who need everyone's approval. I try not to be that way, and I know it is a character flaw, but sometimes I can't help it. I was feeling so low that I wished I could just leave the hotel right away and drive home. I felt homesick and tired and didn't want to go to classes the next day.

Since I got to bed late I decided I was not setting my alarm for Friday morning.  I knew that was one reason why I was not doing well because several nights in a row I had not gotten enough sleep and that is always hard on me and not just me, for anyone with adrenal fatigue it is a problem and causes energy deficits the next day.  I got up Friday and my roommate seemed upset. Of course I thought it was because of me, and that was extremely uncomfortable.  But I later learned it was more likely because of one of her clients that was giving her grief.

For breakfast on Friday morning I had three egg yolks from boiled eggs, bacon, tomato slices and some raspberries.  I did pretty good energy wise.  Lunch there was a better selection for me, sliced rare beef with plain lettuce and tomatoes, and chicken breast. So I was able to make a salad for myself.

I also talked to a lady at lunch about MTHFR and the connection between the mutation and Down Syndrome.  It was pleasant to speak with her as she also leans more towards naturopathic type doctors.

My usual dose for hydrocortisone is 8am, noon, 4pm and bed time.  Around 3:25 I began to feel very disheartened and discouraged and depressed.  It finally occurred to me that perhaps I needed to give myself a larger dose of hydrocortisone, so I decided to dose early with an extra amount.  It is suggested to do that, but I had forgotten.  After all, if my adrenals were functioning normal, they would give me extra cortisol if I were in a stressful situation.  After that dose I felt much better.  I am really glad because before that I was not sure how I was going to get through the rest of the day without major depression.  I coped well for the remaining of the day and my roommate and I went out to dinner as she wanted to treat me for letting her stay with me at the hotel.  She is our consultant for the accounting software and she is an invaluable help to us so I didn't want to offend her by being depressed.  It is hard because I look just fine. I've lost weight and I am for the most part happy, in a good mood with a good energy level.  Until I have to cope with extra stress, and then I'm a basket case.

I got home close to 9pm and my husband was home and he was talking to me and I was just so tired. My eyes kept closing and I kept drifting off to sleep.  I finally got to sleep around midnight and woke at 8am this morning.  I had breakfast but was so tired that I went back to bed and ended up sleeping from 11am to 2pm. That is very unusual for me nowadays, but I guess I needed to recuperate from the stress of attending the conference.

If there is a conference next year, and I am still at my job, and I'm allowed to go, I think I will stay at the main hotel.  As when my husband and I went to Washington, DC, I bought too much food this time.  I would rather not do that again, so this is a list of what I think I would bring with me if I had to do it all over again.

Dinner first night: Roasted chicken from the grocery store, olives, pickles

Breakfast next morning: Bacon that I had cooked previously at home and refrigerated, with boiled eggs

Breakfast on the last morning: Some kind of sliced deli meat, maybe roast beef with tomato slices and lettuce

I think the main hotel has refrigerators in the rooms.  I wanted to go swimming but I just can't bring myself to immerse myself in the chlorine, knowing how difficult it is on the liver to detoxify the body.

Oh, and it rained the first morning. That was awesome.  I also had asked for a room on the top floor and that was cool to be able to see out the windows. That was one thing that was soothing to me that second night when I was so bummed out to be able to look out into the sky and see the lightning and clouds.

I will probably continue to take it easy this weekend and try to recuperate for going to work on Tuesday.

How are you doing on your GAPS journey?

 

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