Category Archives: taking care of yourself

Carb Counting

email from Marsha Koenig

We have been making a lot of changes in how we eat over the last year or so.

It started with wanting to lose the lard. We chose Nutrisystem and had some success, but got tired of them dropping our favorite choices and so wanted to try to continue on our own, eating more real food.  We are trying to cut out sugar as much as possible, mainly due to my husband’s Type II diabetes, but also just for general health improvement. We are also eating a LOT less starch, pasta, bread, etc. We are trying to eat more raw veggies and fruit, plus nuts.

For the past several months, I’ve been trying to eat Keto based low carb meals. We vacillate on how well we do. My husband is cooperating, but eats too much fruit, cookies, and other stuff,  and doesn’t really care about trying to get into ketosis, since he’s basically the weight he should be now. I’M the one who still needs to lose the lard, going for another 30 lbs or so.

The thing I used in the past with success is MyFitnessPal.com.

When I started doing keto, things got a bit confused for me. If I stay at the 20 grams a day level for carbs, the program says I’m not eating enough calories. I’m not really sure what to do about that. I can probably just continue to use it, record my eating to make sure I’m at the 20 carbs level each day and ignore the message. I would like to find a carb counting program that is more tailored to keto, if possible.

I have a great source of recipes, not counting the good sites online, and that is Simply Keto by Suzanne Ryan. I’m re-reading the background material again, trying to get and stay motivated. The recipes are delicious. They’re not a whole lot of work and don’t require a bunch of ingredients that are difficult to find. I have truly never found a recipe book which has recipe after recipe we like.

Tonight I’ll make her ‘Sausage,Cheese and Egg Bake”

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Filed under DIET!, Healthy Eating, taking care of yourself

Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-17-2019

Cindy Basnett Thurman

Yesterday was a productive, good day. We

  • got and installed a new battery on our truck
  • got and installed a new hose length between the main water  line in the well house and the main line to the front yard irrigation system
  • finished cleaning out the veggie garden raised bed boxes
  • gathered tomatoes
  • did a session of yoga
  • bowled and enjoyed ice cream with good friends in the evening

Today I’m feeling really lazy – ready for a break.

I’m going to do my yoga for the day this afternoon and play in my art room. I’m going to enjoy more of my book and maybe fall asleep in my chair.

I hope that you recognize your need for a break to rejuvenate, too.

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Relaaaaxing Jaw, Relaaaaaaxing Face…

RantNOW

I just gave myself a gold star for today. I just finished yoga practice # 3 for the week (#9 since I started my renewed practice after sloughing off for several months.) Things ARE getting a bit easier. My husband and son are both being quite supportive of my efforts which makes it nicer. My BODY, though, is the one I’m really listening to. I’m feeling it start to GIVE after I breathe into the various stretches. It still is uncomfortable when I first get into each stretch but then eases off more and more quickly.  I’m feeling looser and relaxed when my practice is over. I’m sleeping better. :0)

Pinterest

“Yoga is 99% Practice & 1% theory.” ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

 

DoYouYoga

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” ~ B.K.S. Lyengar

starcasm.net via Pinterest

“In truth, Yoga doesn’t take time – it gives time.” ~ Ganga White

 

Bamboo Garden Yoga

“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.” ~ Unknown

Whenever I practice, although I’m doing my own thing right now, I remember Cat Kabira from my “Gentle Yoga” DVD saying, “Relaaaaaaaaxing Jaw……. Relaaaaaaaxing Face…..”

AHHHHHH!

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Filed under exercise, taking care of yourself

Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-10-2019

 

 

I’ve told you that my priority has shifted from ONLY trying to grind through my endless to-do list to making SURE I have some fun each day and getting exercise.  This is the latest therapy to come from my art room.  I wish you could see the sparkly nature of it. The leaves are done with clear glitter glue, but on the blue tee the paint turns a really nice, sparkly green.

I will earn my second gold star for the week, doing a nice long session of ‘old lady’ yoga stretching this afternoon. Since I sloughed off for so long, I have essentially started over, (starting again last week) but I AM beginning to feel a bit looser. I’m particularly feeling it in my mid-section (!) when I walk.  My husband sits in his recliner reading as I practice my stretches. We both laugh at my ‘Rice Krispies body’ – with all the audible snap, crackling and popping as I change positions.

I am MUCH happier since I decided that life is too short to only do fun things ONLY when the list has been accomplished.  Now I’m accomplishing a reasonable number of things, but also feeling better health-wise and happier in my heart.

I have told you that our son is here, having traveled to be with us from Thailand where he lives and works. He is helping us find our new normal since my husband’s stroke in July.  Even with the health scare, it’s a joyful time when he is here. I love our talks, his wonderful sense of humor, and his gold-medal-winning hugs that fill my heart to overflowing.

Mother Nature is still teasing us with HINTS of the coming fall, allowing us to enjoy having the doors open in the mornings to catch a wonderful breeze and then joyfully frying us like eggs in the afternoon with heat indices of around 100 degrees F.  My raised bed, square foot garden is breathing its last, even with our irrigation system. It’s just too hot for them. It’s too hot to start fall plants, as well, (it’s at least a gazillion degrees in our greenhouse) so we wait for relief. My husband wants me to try to grow strawberries next spring, so I’ll start reading everything I can find on that.

I  hope that YOUR Tuesday brings you something that makes you smile.

 

 

 

 

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So Do It

Kurt Vonnegut via Cathy Ruggiero

In the last post I was telling you about a change in perspective about how we feel about Mondays.  I have also changed my perspective on day-to-day priorities.

I always have a to-do list that is frequently longer than my arm. There are lots of things I feel that I should do in any given day. Some are ‘have-to’s,’ but most of them are just ‘should’s.’

For years I have tried to get as many of the things on the list done as I could and THEN given myself permission to go up and play in my art room, or do exercise. Most of the time, the art room, exercise, and/or playing in my garden or flowers got lost in the shuffle.

Since my husband had a stoke in July (he’s better and better every day), things got to the point where I felt guilty if I didn’t rush in the bathroom. Yes, it was that bad. Our son came home, gave us perspective, space, compassion, understanding, strength, wisdom, and lots and lots of hugs. This has been priceless.

Since he isn’t in a hurry to go back home, I have had a chance to rethink what I need to do now that the initial scare is over so that I can handle whatever comes next. My big change in priorities is to get REAL about what really needs to be done from the list. I ask myself, what is the worst that will happen if I don’t do this today? If I can handle the answer, it’s priority number is lessened. I have decided that I need to do everything in my power to be strong enough for both of us – particularly when our son needs to leave. So now time in my art room, time for a session of yoga, time to play in my garden or my flowers are things near the top of the list.

This morning I went up to my art room and finished painting my latest tee shirt. (I’ll post a pic when it’s dry.)  I have just finished my first yoga session of the week, giving myself a gold star on my desk calendar. :0)

I still have plenty of time to tackle the ‘have-to’s’ for the day, but I’m feeling more at peace because of the time in the art room, and healthier and looser because of the yoga session. If I’m as strong as I can be, I can handle whatever else comes our way better.

taolife.com

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, exercise, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself

Yoging

Amazon

On Tuesday of this week I renewed my yoga practice after sloughing off for a number of months. Excuses abound, but I KNEW it had been doing me a lot of good. I felt the progress, the loosening of my muscles, the relaxation. Tuesday I finally decided that I needed to take better care of myself and that started with practicing yoga daily. My husband’s question every day now is, “Are you going to yoge?”

Since I’m a bit age-challenged (I’m 72) and basically enjoy mostly sedentary pastimes, I really have to MAKE myself exercise even though I’ve proven that I actually feel better having done it.  As a former student, then teacher – I learned the motivation of the Gold Star. It STILL works for me. I can be really tired from working in the yard and I look at my desk calendar, seeing 5 stars for the week – lacking the 6th – and I go practice my yoga to be able to add the star. Stupid – Silly – but I figure whatever works….

SO – Since I ‘yoged’ Tuesday through Sunday this first week of renewed practice, it’s a 6 STAR WEEK!  :0)

 

DoYouYoga

“It’s not about being good at something. It’s about being good to yourself.” ~ unknown

I’m basically starting over, having sloughed for such a long time, but I am already seeing a bit of progress. I can again touch my toes. I do have to bend over and really breathe into it, but

g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y lower with each long breath so that eventually my fingertips touch the mat.  It takes me almost a full minute of lying on my back for muscles to stop clenching, but I am relaxing a bit more quickly each day. I am still a wonderful model for the old Rice Krispies advertisements – snap, crackling, and popping my way into each new pose, but I AM able to get into them. The worst is sitting with my legs spread out to either side and then trying to bend forward. My “Gentle Yoga” instructor, Cat Kabira, bends forward and lays her forehead on the mat. Yeah. Right. I bend forward and the insides of each leg start screaming immediately. I am taking Cat at her word, that stretching as far as you can into the pose and breathing into it will bring rewards, whether you can touch your forehead on the mat or not….

 

India TV

“Inhale the future, exhale the past.” – unknown

The big thing I’m noticing is that the stretching in all directions and forcing myself to relax – eventually – makes me feel better. It used to be that I would stretch and some muscle or other would cramp. That is not happening now! This is a benefit of the practice before, but I’ll take it. I still hurt when I stretch, but NO cramping! Hooray!

 

YouTube

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~ unknown

I’ll have to admit that I’m interrupted in my practice more by my own laughing than anything else. My husband never fails to remark at all the popping sounds my poor old body makes. I simply look at him, then can’t hold it in any longer and start to laugh. I tell him that he can make fun when HE is there beside me trying to do it, too. That usually results in his going back to reading on the tablet. :0)

 

Pinterest

“The pose begins when you want to leave it.” ~ unknown

As we age, balance becomes a problem. We tend to start shuffling our feet a bit or walking more tentatively, rather than striding as we used to. I have found that the yoga practice results in my feeling more steady, feeling my muscles work as I walk or stand.

 

Facebook

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” ~ unknown

I may always be creaky, but I’m really going to try to keep this going. I need to be as strong, flexible, and reasonably balanced as I can going forward. These ‘old lady stretches’ are really helpful – assuming that I actually continue to get down on the floor and DO them.

 

Pinterest

“Just breathe.” ~ unknown

NEXT week will be a 7 gold star week!

 

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Filed under aging, Attitude, Challenges, exercise, taking care of yourself

Thoughts on a Sunday

Jayanand Govindaraj via Robert J. Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Hello!

I’m getting a late start on blog posts today because our Internet keeps going on the fritz.

My main thoughts today were to play ‘fruit-basket-upset’ with my priorities for the day.

We got groceries this morning, and I put a roast in the crock pot for tonight.

THEN, when the Internet wasn’t cooperating, I went up to my art room – a thing that got lost in the shuffle yesterday – and started painting another tee!

NEXT, I’ll get my yoga practice in for the day, and

THEN I’ll tackle the weed whacking and clean up after my husband mows later.

Anything ELSE that gets accomplished will be gravy.

 

I hope that YOU are having a great Sunday, too.

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Filed under exercise, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Therapy

Bruderhof Communities

Playing in my art room is therapy for me. An escape from anything that is bothering me. A way to work out feelings. A joy in experimentation.

We converted a third bedroom into my art room several years ago. I helped my husband put up extra shelves all the way across one wall. We got extra stand-alone shelves and a drafting table advertised in the newspaper. We put up a few more shelves on another wall. I converted the closet into a supplies area. We put up another large table that is as long as one wall.  There is a ceiling fan from which I hung a cute mobile of merry-go-round horses.

Years ago my husband and son got together to give me a present of a lot of my favorite songs on CDs. I have a player up there, so I can fill the room with glorious music – some of which I danced to as a teenager a hundred years or so ago – and lose myself in the world of music and paint.

The only limitations is my imagination and my ability to make my visions come out on whatever I’m trying to paint. Lately I’ve been having ideas for tees on which I have spots that won’t come out in the wash. Since I’m a slob, I seem to have a never-ending supply of tees that can use a face lift.

Yesterday I finished another.

 

Lately I am trying to do things each day that make me stronger.  I’m getting back into exercising, monitoring what I eat more carefully, working in my flowers when the weather isn’t lethal, playing in my art room, spending time with our son, walking outside several times a day, and reading.

The result of all this is hopefully a stronger, happier, calmer me. I don’t have to be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but being able to handle whatever comes as well as possible would be good.  I am in DAY 4 today. So far, so good!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, Attitude, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, fun in my art room, Giving New Life to Old Tops, Health Alert, Lewis Art, playing in my art room, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Thoughts on a Wednesday

2 STAR art

Right now I feel about 110 years old thanks to the fact that I HAVEN’T been doing my yoga as I should have for far too long. Yesterday I finally decided to get started again. My poor body could really tell that it had been awhile, creaking, groaning, snap-crackle-popping as I did each new stretch. I felt better afterward, but stiffened up again overnight since I used muscles I haven’t bothered with.

I have a haircut this afternoon, but THEN I will do another good session of yoga stretching out each and every part slowly – breathing into each stretch and holding it. I really am promising myself I will do this every day. I had made good progress before, FINALLY able to touch my fingertips on the floor while bending over from the waist, for example. I’m pretty much starting from scratch right now, but I have proved to myself that I feel better, move more easily, and have improved balance when I practice yoga regularly. And this old broad has started again! REALLY!

I also felt my spirits lifting even as I walked upstairs to my art room yesterday. I turned on one of my CDs and shed years as I listened to old favorites. I started painting another tee, giving it some new life. I’m looking forward to getting up there again this afternoon. I’m promising myself to do THIS as much as possible, too, as I can handle whatever better after giving myself permission to play a bit. :0)

So far, Hurricane Dorian has missed some of my good friends in Florida, and for that I’m truly grateful. I have several other friends I’m monitoring as the storm moves up the East Coast, hoping that they, too, won’t suffer from this awful storm. It has hurt too many good people already.

I hope that your day brings YOU joy, too!

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Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane

Pixabay

I can’t tell you how long it has been since I did a session of yoga. I will be generous to myself and say a couple of months, but it’s probably longer. I have given other things priority over yoga practice, even though I KNOW I need it. I have lots of excuses, but I finally decided that today was the day.

I have just finished a session, and I have to tell you that I feel better than I did.

I do “Gentle Yoga” – sometimes using a set of DVDs by this name put out by sixtyandme.com with instructor Cat Kabira.  This is a group of yoga stretches and poses for people who are NOT yoga people – people who are a bit age-challenged like I am (I’m 72) who have likely have health or injury issues, or, who, like me, are generally stiff, sore, and too sedentary for their own good. I call it “Yoga for Old Broads” and I love it. The instructor is very forgiving, non-judgmental, NOT super-perky so you have the urge to squeeze her neck. She stresses to just do what you can do. If you stretch in the way she is telling you, even though you can’t fold yourself into a pretzel, you are doing good for yourself. The stretching in that direction, holding the pose and BREATHING into it will finally result in your body GIVING a bit, stretching out, relaxing.

Today I just did some of the poses on my own. I wanted to take my time, do what occurred to me to do, holding the poses as long as I could. BOY! My body was telling me that I had been neglecting it!  Everything was difficult today. I really worked slowly, easing into things, breathing a lot, trying to relax. I could really tell that I need to do this every day as I was doing before other things took precedence around here. Everything I have is stiff and sore. Even lying on my back hurt for a minute or so!  I snapped, crackled, and popped as I stretched each part of me out, one area at a time.  I spent half an hour today and feel better now for it.

I will try to make time for this every day now. I have AGAIN learned that my health and ability to move and relax is super important – maybe now more than ever.

If you haven’t tried “Gentle Yoga” I highly recommend it.

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Working on Creativity

2 STAR art

I am doing two things for myself this afternoon –

THING ONE – I’m going to do a long, slow session of old lady yoga this afternoon, stretching every part I have as much as possible.

THING TWO – I’m going to start painting another stained tee that needs new life due to my slobbiness.

I hope that you have a nice afternoon planned.

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Living Fully

Victoria Erickson – Wild Woman Sisterhood – via Tetiana Shevchuk – LinkedIn

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Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, taking care of yourself, Think Life Differently

Thoughts on a Sunday

Wildlife Lovers via Sherry Dellaria McGrath

Good morning!

First, I feel guilty that our weather is pretty nice today. My thoughts are full of the people in the path of Hurricane Dorian. I am hoping that the hurricane will take a sharp turn and just give  people a lot of rain and maybe some wind and THAT’S ALL. Fingers crossed.

Second, I’m reading as much as I can find about strokes. We were extremely lucky with my husband’s. It affected his speech and his walking, but both are improving by leaps and bounds. I learned that changes in personality and behavior are common. He is experiencing hair-trigger anger, lashing out suddenly. Most of the things I’m reading say that these changes are usually temporary and fade with time. Our son is home, helping us all keep much calmer in dealing with this.

Third, I’m happy to be finished with August and beginning a brand new, hopefully cooler month. Fall has always been my favorite season. I love being able to throw on MORE clothes, rather than being too hot. I love fireplaces, hot cocoa, the rich colors all around.  I love cleaning up the yard because things STAY done a lot longer. :0)  I love sitting outside in the evening with a hot cup of coffee, enjoying the weather, watching birds, and more. Ahhh!

Fourth, our son had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt. He decided that our goldfish are playing basketball in their aquarium.

He described in elaborate detail how the fish were sucking up one of the pieces of gravel, then swimming over to the bathtub with the piece of gravel and then spitting it into the bathtub. When I laughed at the idea, he puffed up, trying to imitate the goldfish – but actually looking a bit like a chicken – acting out the playing of the basketball game. I laughed and laughed.  This is one of the MANY reasons I am thankful he came home to help us through the health challenge. He brings compassion, love, calmness, strength, and an absolutely fabulous sense of humor.

So happy Sunday, happy September!

I wish you a day filled with good things.

 

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Ahhhhh!

Getty Images

I used to think that massage was an indulgence.

For 8 years I did the medical transcription and bookkeeping for a busy 8 general surgeons office in Fort Smith. I routinely worked overtime, trying to keep up, sometimes working 10 and 12 hour days. I gradually got to the point that I was so messed up that I was unable to pull my shirt over my head at night. I finally saw a doctor and he recommended several things to help me, one of which was massage. Happily, there was an exercise place very near the medical clinic, so I started going every day after work, and once a week I got a massage. Gradually, I regained my health.

I stopped getting a massage because I told myself I was better, and it was really expensive getting a massage weekly. I had stopped working at the clinic and didn’t want to drive to Fort Smith (45 minutes each way).

I don’t remember how I met Lynn Moody, my miracle working massage therapist here in Greenwood, but I am thankful every day that I did. I now get a massage once a month, and I cannot say enough about how much I get from it. When you find a good massage therapist, you can fully relax, knowing you’re in good, caring hands. You can talk or not talk. I use this time to catch up with Lynn, since I consider her a good friend, as well as a miracle worker. I leave feeling relaxed and able to tackle whatever happens in a much better frame of mind.

A good massage therapist finds all the places that you didn’t even realize were tied in a knot. She listens and focuses on areas you do know about. I definitely need my massage once a month, but I don’t get like a pretzel anymore, so sore I can’t raise my arms, for example.

If you have erroneously considered massage therapy a ‘luxury,’ an ‘indulgence,’ putting it in the category of ‘things-you-can-do-without,’ I hope that you will reconsider.

It is now one of the main things I do to take care of myself –  part of my healthcare. It would be one of the LAST things I would stop doing if I really had to start cutting things due to money difficulties.

If you are in the Fort Smith/Greenwood/Hackett area in Arkansas, thank your lucky stars and call Lynn Moody.  320 South Coker Street, Greenwood AR. 479-629-7601.

If you live elsewhere, ask your friends if they know a good one and get started.  Your body will thank you.

Love Being a Massage Therapist

 

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A Nice Wednesday

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Jeff Jett posts these wonderful photos on LinkedIn. He is an avid supporter of wildlife and wants to do what he can to help preserve wild animals and their habitats. I don’t know who took this fabulous photo, but it’s one of the nicest I’ve ever seen.  Great way to start the day, isn’t it?

The high temperature for the day here in Greenwood, Arkansas is forecast to be only 88 and no rain. (Fort Smith, about 9 miles from us, just had the most rain EVER for August, and the month isn’t over! The usual rainfall for the month is 2.59 inches. This month we’ve already had 11.13 inches. Needless to say, this much rain has caused many problems, and is one of the times where it is GOOD to live on top of a ridge line. (We won’t dwell on our getting our electronics fried in June due to being on top of this same ridge line.) We are hoping that the temperatures will continue to ease and that we can again enjoy being outside.

Our son is still with us, after my husband’s health scare. Thank goodness he can work from anywhere, so he is able to keep up with things he needs to do while helping us create the ‘new normal’ around here. One of the things we’re trying to do is walk around our yard after we feed our animals in the evenings. So far, our results are a bit iffy (The first night my husband opted to mow the lawn with the riding mower while our son and I walked. Last night we made it around the yard once, with my husband stopping to pull weeds or fix things every few steps.) We will continue our efforts – the goal being to get him moving, doing at least a bit of exercise each day, and hopefully enjoying the weather while we’re doing it.

While creating a ‘new normal,’ I’m redoubling my efforts to get myself as healthy as I can – and staying that way – so that I can handle whatever challenges the future brings.  I’ve become lax on my exercising (this time using the excuse of my husband’s health challenge), so I’m going to start with a session of yoga today. I will try to do SOMETHING exercise-wise daily, plus try to get my husband to walk in the evenings.  I’ll also try to do something for myself each day – whether it’s playing in my art room, like I did yesterday, painting a tee –

 

 

working outside in my flowers or veggies, enjoying a good book, or – like tomorrow – having my once per month massage.  I’ll continue my efforts to lose the lard.

I hope you’re having a beautiful Wednesday.

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Fighting Through the System

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Now that we’ve gotten some answers and a plan for my husband’s recent stroke, I’m having to dive into the pool again, trying to get reasonable help, rather than putting up with the runaround.

Our primary doctor and the neurosurgeon said he needs to be seen by a neurologist for circulation questions in his legs and numbness on the bottom of both feet. (He is a Type II diabetic.)  I finally got a call this morning from a neurologist’s office, giving us an appointment. I was simply speechless when she gave us an appointment for the first opening – almost the end of FEBRUARY!  Our son’s reaction was, “you’re kidding, right?” My husband’s reaction was, “I’ll be dead by then.”

We have access to a portal where we can contact the nurse of our primary. I consider this a miracle because the nurse is a true gem. She usually gets back to me by the end of the day I leave the message. She has worked tirelessly for us since my husband’s stroke, trying to help us get us the care he needed. I am hoping that we can get a referral to another neurologist who can see my husband in a more reasonable amount of time.  We are supposed to be getting tested (I think an arteriogram of his legs) very soon.

The reason I’m writing this is to again stress that each of us has to be our own health advocate. 

WE are the ones who care the most, and have the most to gain – or lose – by our attitude and effort. We need to keep pushing wherever we can to fight our way through whatever system is in place to get what we need.

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Filed under Family, Health Alert, taking care of yourself

Relief

Credit – Gardiner Family Chiropractic

We had two more doctor appointments today and finally have answers.

Last month my husband had a stroke. His speech and mobility were affected. He is stronger every day, getting better and better. Our son came back from Thailand to help us deal with this. Getting answers as to what my husband needed to prevent another have been quite an ordeal.

The short answer is that what we have been doing for the last two weeks – baby aspirin and Plavix – should be all that is needed. Neurocranial surgery is not needed. No invasive procedures are needed. We have some issues remaining that require referrals to other specialists, but the big worry is now fading away. We can concentrate on the day to day and get to our new normal now.

Lessons learned:

  • Stay at the ER until you have talked to the ER doctor – no matter what. The fast referrals will come from the ER doc. If you leave, you are at the back of any line for any appointment, procedure, test, etc.
  • Be the squeaky wheel. You can be polite, but keep the procedure going. Call or write the people who can make things happen. If they say someone will call, don’t depend on that. You are in charge of your healthcare. You are the one who can keep the focus on the problem, actually GET seen, GET answers, GET help.
  • Don’t try to deal with life-changing things alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, neighbors, relatives.
  • Be ready when someone else needs YOUR help – help in whatever way you can. It is ALL good.
  • Try your best to stay calm and do the best you can where you are, with the tools you have. It’s all you can do.
  • BREATHE

We are lucky. We can do this.  Such relief!

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CHILLIN’

That Guy Steve

The second load of laundry is in, the groceries are put away. We’re going to devote ourselves to CHILLIN’ today.

Hope YOUR day is wonderful, too.

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Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, Family, taking care of yourself

Happy Saturday

Brightside

We are enjoying a nice, quiet Saturday.  Our most stressful thing today has been trying to program our thermostats upstairs and downstairs. :0)  We THINK we have it done now.

We don’t have anywhere we have to be, so we can do a clean-up of details. I’m going to try to do a quick session or two of weeding flower planters and pruning roses, plus checking on the garden. I’ll keep the sessions short and drink lots of water in-between.

It’s good to be able to enjoy the calm today. Our son is with us. All is good.

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Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, Family, taking care of yourself

Prepare

About Signs

Having a health scare is just that -scary.  Trying to get help for it is a character-building exercise at a time you’re under great stress. Once the initial hurdles have been jumped over, another of life’s realities rears its ugly head – you have to take charge, doing whatever is necessary to get the help needed.

Yesterday was a case in point. I have almost no tongue left because of biting it so many times while I was on the phone making my way through the bureaucratic maze, trying to get tests scheduled and appointments made.

I had been told we would receive calls regarding where and when we should show up for tests and referrals to various specialists. I was given a card with a phone number to call in case that didn’t happen. I was to use it if I didn’t hear anything in a week.

When I called the number on the card, I found that the ‘referral department’ doesn’t actually handle referrals – they give you phone numbers to call – one of which was the ‘scheduling department.’ It turned out that the scheduling department didn’t actually schedule the tests, they ‘authorized’ them. I received another number to call to actually schedule the tests.  The finally scheduled group of added tests will help the specialists figure out what is needed and who should do it.

You get the picture.

It’s bad enough to go through the health scare. The problem is compounded when you finally realize that even though you HAVE TO go through the maze – endure the system – in order to get help, you are your own best advocate. You have to steadily, persistently, keep pushing until you actually get the needed tests scheduled, the actual appointments scheduled to see the specialists, get the results of those, the plan of attack to fix the original problem, the guidance on how to best care for the person who is sick and isn’t in a position to deal with this.

We are thankful. Our son – who lives and works in Thailand – wanted to come to help. He did and is here. He is keeping us calmer, more able to slog through the mazes, phone trees, delays, frustration, attitudes, and emotions, actually injecting some much-needed humor, as well as calm strength.

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Nice, Quiet Sunday

Brightside

We’re enjoying a quiet day here.  Days like this have been few and far between lately, so we’re concentrating on being very thankful.  We’ve been out, errands have been run, no big plans for the day. Mother Nature is trying to boil us in oil outside, with a heat index this afternoon of 110-115 degrees F., so we’re content to enjoy our cool home and maybe even catch a nap this afternoon.

I’m going to try to make some time to play in my art room today. I have a couple of ideas rattling around that I’d like to try. I’ll play my MP3 player, shut out the world, and enjoy! Ahhhh.

Happy Sunday to you, too! :0)

 

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Goal

Shlreline Primitives via Carol Auclair Daly

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A Son’s Love

 

Our son is giving me some lessons on how to get the most out of my iPhone.  I have access to a tutorial, but I never seem to give it first priority. Last night we sat down together and he showed me about six different things I didn’t know I COULD do –

  • I have moved the icons I use most to the first page where I can find them more easily.
  • I have learned to pull down from the top of my phone to access search.
  • I have now used Google Maps to enable the GPS function.
  • I can swipe from the bottom up to access airplane mode and other useful things
  • I learned to use the button on the side of the phone to switch my phone from ring to silence, and back again, rather than going about it in a totally more bumbling, laborious way.

We’re going to continue my lessons, and I have to say I am feeling empowered!

Besides my phone lessons, I’m getting my hugs bucket filled. I’m laughing so much my stomach hurts at times. He makes me feel calm and better able to deal with a health issue our family is facing. My husband and I are SO lucky to have a wonderful, caring son. We treasure every minute with him.

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Humor as a Stress Reliever

Sometimes we aren’t sure which way to jump, which path to take, what is in our future.

One of the many things my dad taught me was to stand back and try to see the humor in any situation. He had a bad accident, falling off a horse when he was three, leaving him with a shortened left arm with an almost useless hand. He learned to use humor to keep kids from bullying him. He would make them laugh so hard they forgot his ‘disability’ and took him into their group. He used jokes and sarcasm to make his views known. An example of this was he would say, “Nice skirt” to me – when he actually thought it was too short and I needed to change my clothes. Whenever he was in a group, you would soon hear laughing. He passed his ability to see humor in most situations on to me. Just before he died, he scrawled on a napkin, “Remember me laughing.” Though it took me awhile, I do. What a strong, smart man he was!

I have used his lessons many times over the years. I can never win an argument, for example, because I can either easily see the other person’s point of view, or I ‘see’ us having a ‘discussion,’ see the humor in the situation – or the fact that what we are ‘discussing’ has little priority in what is important in life, and the tension dissolves.

Many times life throws us curves that challenge us on seeing the humor.

We’re in the middle of one right now, and things have been difficult. Our son is now home with us, helping with the situation. He brings CALM, caring, good sense, a healthy sense of the ridiculous, love, and lots of hugs. He has had us laughing several times already and he’s only been home a day.

I found this on the net this morning, and it made me smirk. A good reminder to keep my head on straight and be extremely glad my two guys are together. Together we will figure out in which direction we should go.

 

I Need Real Help

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Encouragement

The Cincinnati Zoo Blog

Mainly my plateau continues.

I can be upset about that, or I can compare myself now and about a year ago. I choose to spotlight the good things, of which there are many –

  • I weigh 43 pounds less
  • There are 48.2 inches less of me
  • I feel healthier and my doctor is pleased at the positive changes in my numbers on each visit
  • I have shed 3 sizes in jeans and top sizes
  • I have almost entirely eliminated added salt
  • I have eliminated all sugar
  • I ate my first baked potato in over a year when we had a guest to dinner last night
  • We almost never eat rice anymore
  • We eat lots more veggies.
  • I am exercising more (unless life gets in the way)
  • I am trying new recipes that my husband loves from the Simply Keto Book by Suzanne Ryan.

My goal remains the same –

 

taolife.com

I hope that in another year I can look back and be able to say the same thing – with higher lard loss and inches loss – and minus the plateau…

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Senior-hood Reminder

AboutKidsHealth

I worked out in the yard yesterday evening, cutting down what we call, “Weed Trees.”

These were too close around our burn barrel, so I wanted to clear the area.

The first step was cutting down the ‘trees’ and throwing them into a pile away from the barrel.  I did that, but got really hot and tired. When I started to come in, I noticed I had teeny, tiny burrs all over me. I tried to brush them off while out in the yard. Now I know where our elderly dog, Molly gets them. They don’t come off easily.

I spent another half hour pulling the burrs off my shirt, jeans, and finally, shoes.

In the night I had two bad Charley-horses. I haven’t had one of these since I was pregnant – a hundred years or so ago. They were so bad I thought I would have to wake up my husband, but thankfully, I could let him sleep.

This morning I was limping. My husband massaged my calf and I put on muscle relaxant stuff. I’m already walking better.

I  will take it easier today, and will do some yoga stretches later today.

I HATE being rudely reminded of my senior-hood.

 

 

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Take Time

sayingimges.com

I rewarded myself for prevailing over my technology challenge this morning by spending some time in my art room. I’ve spent part of three afternoons up there and it really does my heart good. When I’m playing up there with my favorite music playing, all the stuff that is bothering me goes away. My heart and mind rest and I can simply enjoy playing in the paint trying to make the images rattling around in my head come out on the piece I’m working on.

The last three days I’ve been making a new set of note cards. I finished them today. They are drying.

Tomorrow I’ll take pictures, share them with you, and then list them on my new Etsy site, ArtworthyNoteCards.

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We’ve Been Spiralized (if you’ll pardon the expression)

HungryGoddess.com

 

 

I’m probably the last person on the planet to spiralize a veggie. I’ve made cauli-rice and I’ve cooked spaghetti squash, but just spiralized my first yellow squash last night.

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, told me that she had done it recently and she thought it was very good. Somehow, in my mind I was waiting to ‘process’ some and freeze it just to eat in place of spaghetti or noodles.

I used my spiralizer (above) for the very first time and it worked like a charm. I sauteed the squash in some olive oil, added some seasoned salt and pepper, and some garlic powder. It only took a few minutes to cook. My husband doesn’t like to ‘fight’ with spaghetti or anything like that, so I cut the ‘squash spaghetti’ into bite-sized pieces and served.   I put some on my husband’s plate, along with nice roast beef slices, and asked him to try it.

To my surprise, he said, “This is okay. What is it?” Around our house, this amounts to a judgment of ‘we can eat this again.’ (Not ‘YUMMY!” but it’ll work.) I can now look forward to serving this under recipes that call for spaghetti, angel hair pasta, or even noodles.

As far as our new ‘son’ (we’re hosting a 16-year-old soccer-player from Italy for the next school year, starting in August), I’ll ask him to try it. If he likes it, we’ll all try it with spaghetti and meat balls or a stir-fry. If he doesn’t, it won’t be a big deal to make some actual spaghetti for him.

Tonight I’m trying zucchini!

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Decision: Miracle or Euthanasia?

iStock by Getty Images

As Lynn Moody – my wonderful massage therapist – and I walked up to her spa location, I asked her if there were any upper age limit on who could get a massage. She laughed when I told her that I felt at least 180 years old this morning and that everything I had hurt. I asked her to either perform a miracle or euthanize me –

My husband and I have had a labor-intensive week or so, with my  spreading 16 large bags of cedar blend mulch on the ground under the raised bed planter boxes in my square foot garden after several sessions of weeding; our hauling bricks, laying bricks and then shoveling potting soil into the finished planter, our doing yard work, etc.

Adding insult to injury, one of our cats tried to jump in my lap while I was sitting at the computer yesterday, missed, and grabbed my hand with her claws on the way down. When I FINALLY was able to detach her claws, her back claws stuck into my leg. Both my hand and my leg are slightly swollen. For some mysterious reason, my right ear lobe has also been swollen – though I can’t blame THAT on the cat, AND I had a crick in my neck.  I was actually moaning a bit trying to get onto the massage table…

Happily, Lynn not only found the really sore spots I knew about, but also the ones I hadn’t realized hurt! At the end of my hour-long massage, I sighed in relief. She had, indeed, performed a miracle.

I’ve been drinking lots of water since I came home, trying to increase the chances of my relief lasting as long as possible. If I can get a good night’s sleep tonight, I will be a happy camper tomorrow.

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Dentist

Daily Mail

 

We just got back from a dental appointment for my husband. He was flossing a week or so ago and a cap came off one of his teeth.  We went in and the dentist found that the part of the tooth the cap was on came out with the cap, so he would have to have an implant.

We had the remainder of the tooth pulled and the prep for the implant done today. We go back in 5 months, when the area is fully healed, for the post and the tooth replacement.  My husband is doing fine. I gave him Tylenol for the discomfort he is having, and he is on antibiotics and two other meds for the procedure. He is resting now, under strict orders NOT to forget and chew any ice!

We are SO glad we have such a great dentist – Wes Moore, DDS in Fort Smith.

 

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Getting the Lard Off Progress To Date

The short answer – I’m down 43 pounds and 47.7 inches. 

Longer answer –

We decided to stop Nutrisystem, figuring that we have learned the lessons they have provided, and now it’s up to us to use them. We had gotten to the point where we were pretty much doing our own thing anyway, and are basically eating poultry or fish, lots of raw veggies and salads, fruit, and nuts.

I’m gathering some nice recipes for the chicken and fish. I’m working at this slowly because particularly at this time of the year, we’re doing a lot outside and I’m too pooped at the end of the day to start a new recipe. We eat a lot of what we call, “Main Meal Salads,” (basically chef salads) for dinner.

One surprising thing was that I’m having to work out a new dosage of thyroid replacement medicine since I’ve lost the weight. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was radiated, so I have none. My life now depends on replacing what my body can’t supply anymore.) Finding the right dosage is a bit like growing nerves – slow, gradual, and painful. Having too much or too little thyroid hormone results in basically the same symptoms – and all of them are extremely annoying. So you try a dosage for 6 weeks, get another blood test, change the dosage, try again. The symptoms remain until your brain is happy with the dosage. No shortcuts. We THINK we have the correct dosage now – at least most of the symptoms have decreased at this level.

My exercise efforts are hit and miss despite my best intentions. I’m working in my raised bed, square foot garden, plus weed whacking in the yard, weeding flower beds, etc. By the time I do several sessions of that in a day, I’m too lazy to try to exercise. I have finally learned the big lesson that being active is NOT the same as doing established exercises. The movement is good, but you’re not working the same muscles in the same way as you do when you exercise.

So, I’m feeling guilty a lot, but my priority right now is working outside when I can. When I get things to the stage where I’m basically maintaining my plants, I’ll do better on the exercise – PROMISE. (Okay, I know you’ve heard THAT before…. :0) )

I’m hopeful that when I report again at the end of May, I will have reached 50 lbs off and whatever inches I can manage. Here’s to a better job of getting the lard off!

taolife.com

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