Category Archives: Health & Fitness

TMI Notice: Bowel Health… Just Do It

Captain’s Log.

Stardate 08.10.20 Monday

My gastroenterologist provided me with a prescription of vile tasting laxative that I’m supposed to start drinking around 6pm and then have the second dose at 10pm. Welcome to the first day of my “relaxing weekend” otherwise known as Monday.

This isn’t my first ‘scope rodeo. This will be the 3rd or 4th colonoscopy and my first endoscopy. I took some “gentle” OTC laxatives Sunday at work about 3pm and then again about 8pm to get the ball rolling because sometimes with the meds I take, it takes a while for the bowels to warm up. About 9pm the ball was oh so slowly on its way. Then I woke up this morning to the subtle rumbling in my bowels. Progress?

Not yet.

**********

1137 hours.

So…I’m moving the RX stuff up a bit. Instead of taking the meds at the prescribed time, I’m going to take them at 2pm and 6pm. I know from previous experience how “clean” that 5 feet of bowel needs to be. The RX laxatives are meant to speed up this process to warp 9. Scotty may be giving her all she’s got, but lemme just say, I haven’t even hit light speed yet. Heck, I haven’t even left the loading docks or the tarmac.

**********

First bottle of Plenvu prep with 2 things of water – one of which has some Miralax in it, David’s tea and Dr. Pepper. The tea makes the best chaser.

1815 hours.

I’ve finished the prep. Blech. I’ve consumed at least 120oz of water and other clear fluids and I’m still drinking in hopes to flush the waste from my system.

Nothing yet.

Nada. Zero. Zilcharoo…

Jehovah Rapha, Heavenly Father… please have mercy on your humble servant and let this night pass quickly. I think I made a funny, Lord. Pass. Get it? Lol. Abba, I hope you got a chuckle out of it. Amen.

**********

1930 hours.

I can no longer tolerate sitting. The abdominal pain, bloating and cramping are pretty horrific. I can stand, walk around or lay down and try to get the liquids dispersed. Sitting anywhere (let alone on the throne) is darned near impossible. I’m waiting for “something” to happen. Sigh… 2 more glasses of water.

**********

At least this time in the loo has given me more time to read my Bible and despite the possible outcomes, I have faith everything will be ok. (Jeremiah 29:11)

This has also given me some alone time to work on a @joycemeyer @enjoyingeverydaylife Bible study on fear. It’s an excellent 10 day study that is taking me longer to do. I’m actually studying fears and how to overcome them from a Biblical perspective. It’s been good to me.

**********

2030 hours.

I’ve yet to have a bowel movement. I’m so bloated from liquids I think I’m going to have to beach myself. I really AM the Walrus. Koo koo ka choo.

**********

2247 hours.

Oh what new level of hell is this??? I have been painfully bloated for hours and just in the past half hour biohazards have finally started the evacuation of my body. It’s almost like a scene out of “Alien” minus Sigourney Weaver.

**********

2357 hours.

My legs are numb and asleep and I’ve been in the bathroom for over an hour. I don’t know which is worse, being bloated and having cramps or the non-stop volcanic activity shooting out of my nether-region at Mach 5.

**********

**********

Captain’s Log

Stardate 08.11.20 Tuesday

0017 hours.

It’s raining.

I hear it through the open bathroom window that I can only hope is sucking out this wretched stench. Hopefully the bowels will be cleaned out by my 0845 procedure time. But the stench…. gads. I should have remembered to add Vick’s to my “bathroom bag.”

The “bathroom bag” has my iPad, smaller Bible w/highlighters, a notebook of sorts, Carmex, Flushable wipes, an extra water bottle, a pair of clean undies and a couple of “doggie poop bags” in case things go amuck. Get it? Amuck? And I also have a pillow so I can lay my head against the wall if needed. This stuff I packed up because I didn’t know which bathroom I might be stuck in for a while.

**********

0141 hours.

Just. Make. It. Stop.

I’m exhausted, dehydrated, slightly hungry, yet extremely nauseous, and Mt. Vesuvius still insists on spewing forth with no end in sight. (Fortunately it appears those in Pompeii met their demise a lot quicker than this prep is going.) However, the moment I think I might be able to leave the bathroom for a few minutes, my fluffy assets gravitate to the commode as more foulness rushes forth.

**********

0156 hours.

Just when I think I might be able to leave the 5X5 cell (not including the shower), the poop returneth. I’m exhausted.

**********

0247 hours.

I’ve snuck out of the loo and I’m going to try to sleep.

**********

0422 hours.

Shit. (Literally.)

The second wave of what feels like Montezuma’s Revenge hath cometh über unexpectedly. There I was sound asleep.

Not great sleep, but it was sleep.

Then boom!

All over the place.

Thank God Almighty for “padding” which caught most of the onslaught of excrement as I quickly, yet gingerly, made for the repository of all things bowel related.

Funeral services will be held for a pair of panties later today; the shorts I had on are in critical condition in ICU.

**********

0502 hours.

I’ve resumed my post in the master bathroom and I’m chugging water like it’s the end of the universe. Obviously my bowels are far from “clear.”

Eff.

**********

0602 hours.

I know before too long I’ll once again be in residency in Dante’s 7th level of hell. All I want out of life at this moment is to stop pooping and to be rehydrated.

I have to be there at 0845 and things still aren’t “clear.”

Not even close.

I tell you this though…

I started this whole prep thing earlier than the directions stated.

Sunday at 1800 hours to be exact. It was a full 24 hours prior to the “big event.”

No food.

Liquid diet.

The instructions called for everything to begin at 1800 hours Monday.

If I had done that there wouldn’t be a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the procedure done and right now it’s still iffy at best.

I’m. So. Tired.

But here I sit guzzling more water and listening to my stomach make sounds that are just wrong.

**********

0813 hours.

Called the doc as things STILL aren’t as cleaned out as they should be.

Not even close.

Seriously.

Not even joking.

The nurse advised me to take 1/2 of the Miralax I had left and another 8oz of water as quickly as possible.

I chugged both down.

Yay me?

**********

0907 hours.

Another foul smelling bowel movement.

I refuse to surrender.

I’m NOT doing this again.

Ever.

**********

0932 hours.

Nurse calls and I’ve been able to dump some more waste into the city’s sewer system. I was told to be there at 1030.

Praying for at least one more massive bowel movement. I just don’t think things are as clean as they can be.

Next colonoscopy I’m going for the 5 day Miralax/Dulcolax combination. This RX stuff is for the birds.

**********

1025 hours.

Kyle is hauling ass across town to get me to the center for the procedures. I still don’t think my bowel is clean enough. I’m pretty freaking sure it will be an indescribable mess. I don’t know. We’ll see I suppose. Ok. I won’t see, but I’ll find out after I wake up.

My stomach is gurgling and I can only pray for the best at this point.

**********

Just modeling the latest in hospital gowns. This one is actually made from a thick material and not half bad.

1502 hours.

Remember the adage never say never. F. M. L.

I now have to repeat the colonoscopy- this time with additional meds (Linzess) and a gallon of GoLytely.

Seriously – a repeat performance.

Remember… I started this whole procedure a day earlier than was told to. “Just in case…” Yeah. No.

Apparently I now have to start SIX days prior to the next one – to be done in two weeks.

The news from the endoscopy is pretty much what I expected. Not great news by any shot, but I have an answer.

This prep all totaled: 9 Dulcolax, 3/4 bottle of Miralax, all of the freaking RX Plenvu and liquids… and they could only get the scope halfway up the outer corridor.

I’m tired. I’m defeated. I’m 7 pounds lighter.

I will live to fight again.

Side note: It’s now Wednesday. I have a migraine and in bed. I’m still passing enough gas that I’m probably a bit dangerous around an open flame. I can’t freaking wait to do this whole thing over in 2 weeks.

Birthdays, Weighty Discussions and New Life

Yesterday was my youngest’s 25th Birthday. It took me 6 months to find the exact gift I wanted for her, but I found it. The “wait” was worth it.

The perfect present for youngest…

Inside the middle magnifying lens are the words “I love you” in 100 different languages.

In other news I have basically spent the last 3.5 days in bed. It started off as a migraine flare which kindly activated the occipital neuralgia and THEN I got a very interesting surprise yesterday morning. My body woke me up for an inexplicable reason about 230am and after tossing, turning, I gave up and read for a bit. And since I was still up at the crack of dawn – Gigi the Incorrigible came and begged for needed bladder relief.

I was stumbling around like a drunk. I got the dogs out and back in, took care of my own bladder needs and went back to bed. About 639 I realized with the dizziness or vertigo, there was no way to work. The slightest movement made me feel very, very weird. Like… really…and it’s been this way most of the day. Dr. A told me to quit taking a new med, but I don’t know if that’s it or not. I’m definitely talking to Dr. MS on Monday to discuss RX and I may have to call the neuro here I’m not a fan of to get a grip on this mess.

On the plus side, the smoothie concoctions I’ve been making in the morning have dramatically helped the IBS. I feel “better” after drinking one and need to check out all the vitamins and nutrition in them that I’m throwing in my body. I’m hoping nothing is actually triggering a Neuralgia/Migraine attack.

On the down side, the smoothies (I hope) don’t have that many calories (or maybe I’m lying to myself.) But I’m at my heaviest weight EVER. I know part of this is a huge lack of activity (hello migraines and neuralgia), but the meds I’m taking literally ALL cause weight gain. I can’t lose a pound to save my life. It’s time to f#^* with my medicines and start over. Detox sounds like so much fun. Not. And because I’m a huge glutton for punishment, I’m starting a new “lifestyle” plan on Monday.

I hope the rest of your weekend is uneventful.

~Celeste~

Holy Gerbil Turds, Batman…!

I assumed today’s migraine was brought to you by eating products containing MSG for the last two days. I was wrong.

Sort of.

I’m pretty sure the #MSG in products I consumed last night did not help in the slightest with this migraine and neuralgia problem going on today.

Enter the real culprit stage west.

I did not know it was supposed to #rain today. There was not an inkling in any universe where I would have dreamed that I would have a #thunderstorm building right on top of our house. We do. It’s a squall line. (And fabulously justifies the #pain I’ve been in all day.)

Yesterday or the day before ( I cannot remember) The air was thick and heavy and you could see thunderstorms trying to blow through the lid which was strong and/or thick enough to keep any type of rain from happening.

So… As it was supposed to be 108° today, I did not check to see if there was any chance of rain. I mean, this is the #Texas Panhandle and we rarely get this kind of rain when it’s that hot. (Note to self: check the forecast even if it’s gonna be 108° outside.) As the majority of my migraines and neuralgia issues stem from swift changes in barometric pressure and temperature, I should’ve realize this this morning and checked. I didn’t. I feel like a dork.

Anyhooo… I got out of bed to eat some “lightly fried chicken” and French fries Kyle made so I can take my evening #meds. Dang!!!! That man made a delicious dish I could literally eat every day. It was perfection and better even than Chick Fil A (who also unfortunately uses MSG in their chicken.) I can’t wait for Jessica to try it, but she’s passed out in the other room after working a 16 hour shift – another story all together.

Anyway, I know I’m a human barometer and I really should have checked when I let Gigi out to do her thing at the butt-crack of dawn. I’ll do that in the future. Meanwhile I’m laying down in a darkened room listening to the “Pop for Reading” playlist as well as the rain, hail and thunder provided by my Abba.

God is good all the time…

~Celeste~

Heatwave, Health and Puppy Breath

(Thankful for voice recorders that make this post possible.)

All of these things shouldn’t go together, but they do. I should be at work right now – a productive member of society and contributing my fair share to society. I’m actually at home in bed with a migraine and occipital neuralgia attack that is disconcerting and disabling. Therefore I’m not contributing and I’m not being productive. I am thankful; however, and here’s why:

It’s not even noon. The high today is supposed to be around 108°. I’m at home and we do have air-conditioning which I’m eternally thankful for. If I was at work I would have commercial air-conditioning that literally has me taking a jacket to work in the middle of summer. I would really hate to think of what the electric bill looks like just for our building. Heck, I am also looking forward to our upcoming home electric bill with this heatwave. (Not really, but I’m attempting to stay positive.)

Because it is so hot outside the grandchildren are stuck inside playing. However, when one has a migraine with photo/sound sensitivity, it’s a little frustrating when you’re trying to rest. I am grateful that I’m not trying to write this post from the bathroom floor where I spend most of my time when the pain strikes swiftly and suddenly. I got medicine in me just in the nick of time this morning. I am grateful, but still feel like ramming my head into a wall repeatedly.

If nothing else Rory the Conniving has the right idea.

The whole heat wave reminds me of Robin Williams’ movie Good Morning Vietnam.”

  • Lt. Steven Hauk : First of all, don’t make fun of the weather here, and don’t say the weather is the same all the time here. Because it’s not. In fact, it’s two degrees colder today than yesterday.

  • Adrian Cronauer : Two degrees colder, me without my muff.

And as an aside: I miss Robin Williams. He was one of the rare comedic geniuses and few will ever rise to his level in my estimation.

Gigi the Incorrigible also has the right idea today. (But if she lays across my legs much longer, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to walk from the Migraine Cave to the bathroom.) My right leg is mostly asleep and my left is starting to catch up. But I don’t want to move because she’s happily dreaming and…snoring.

One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of puppy breath. She’s no longer a puppy, but for one brief yawn this morning I caught a whiff of the scent. This leads me to two conclusions.

  1. I’m “brushing” her teeth often enough.
  2. She got into something she shouldn’t have.

I’m not sure which.

Anyway, I thought I’d check in and say hi before attempting another nap to soothe the pain which radiates from the right side of my head all the way down my right arm. Calling the doctor on Monday. (Yay.)

May you have an extremely wonderful day…

~Celeste~

Icing the Iron Horse

“For the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. When you look around, wouldn’t you consider it a privilege to associate yourself with such fine looking men as are standing in uniform in this ballpark today? That I may have been given a bad break, but I have an awful lot to live for. Thank you.”

~Lou Gehrig~

Photo Credit: Willie Zhang via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Willie Zhang via Compfight cc

Lou Gehrig was a gentle soul with a wicked sense of humor and was also a humble man. He was taken too young by a disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As Lou died pre-“me,” I never had the opportunity to meet the baseball legend. However my father did when he was with the Yankees during Spring Training in 1936 and 1937.

Pops was a pretty good player, but never actually played a game as a first baseman. The problem? Lou Gehrig, the “Iron Horse” himself.  Gehrig played 2,130 consecutive games – games where he was ejected (after receiving credit because he was already up to bat), injured (including being knocked unconscious), and ill.  But dad was in training with Lou (and Joe DiMaggio, Kemp Wicker, Frank Crosetti, Bill Dickie, Red Rolfe and other great Yanks) for two seasons before transferring to the minors.

Lou Gehrig impacted dad’s life quietly. He wanted to emulate the legend in many ways and Pops told me how Lou and Joe helped change his life not only on the diamond, but on the train rides to St. Petersburg, FL. Pops was a smoker on and off during his life. Trying to be “cool” like some of the other ball players, he was lighting a cigarette up on the train. Lou leaned over to my dad and instead of reading him the riot act, he softly explained to him, “If you keep that up, you’ll lose your wind.”

Dad kept in contact with Gehrig after leaving the Yankee organization and there is a letter tucked safely away written in 1938 or early 1939 (I can’t remember) to pops explaining Lou’s illness and that Eleanor, his wife, was taking care of him.

75 years after his death, Lou Gehrig seems to be finding himself in the spotlight again, not for his baseball prowess, but for the disease that took his life.  I’ve been watching the ice bucket challenges on social media to raise money and awareness for ALS. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or just plain Gehrig’s disease.  ALS is a neurodegenerative ailment that is as debilitating as they come to the human body and someone with ALS does NOT have a good quality of life.  Gehrig died when he was just 37 years old. You don’t have to do the challenge to help a really worthy cause. To make a donation today:  http://www.alsa.org/

If you want a weekend in, check out a movie called “Pride of the Yankees” starring Gary Cooper as Gehrig as well as real members of the Yankee organization: Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig and Bill Dickey. This was my father’s all-time favorite movie – most likely because of the representation of Lou’s character. To find out more about my father’s friend, Lou Gehrig: http://www.lougehrig.com/about/bio.html

Neither dad nor Lou are here today to witness the ice bucket challenge. I personally think both are probably sitting in a dugout in Heaven looking down and wondering what we’re all doing. However, I just know that as silly as dad would think the concept is, he’d agree it’s a brilliant piece of marketing in bringing awareness and funding to ALS research.

If I Cry… Just Lend a Shoulder & Some Tissue

“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Return of the King” 

Well, it has been a while since I have written. Congested into the past six months has been a turbulence and turmoil I had not quite anticipated. Had there been a glimmer of the mayhem to come, I might have been better suited to deal with the pandemonium. Alas, I never caught a glimpse of it. Thus, the delay in writing.  My most humble apologies. 

Toward the end of December I spoke of the pending move. Yoda was transferred to the Metroplex and so it began. I could go into all the gory details, but seriously, there isn’t enough time and carpal tunnel would kick in long before I’m done. But here’s the gist: 

We sold the house, which wasn’t even on the market, in about a month open to close. The buyer’s lender insisted the close date be moved up two weeks. Because of the freakin’ weather, we were having the outside painted and the little house reroofed almost simultaneously. The paint wasn’t even dry on the final inspection. And that doesn’t even include the other little repairs that were made during that time. 

What Yoda didn’t bring to DFW was thrown into storage during the sale of the house. The remainder of the items was thrown in literally at 8:51pm the day before we closed on the house. The storage unit locked down at 9:00pm. I have a feeling I’ll never figure out all the things that were thrown out, given to charity or are tossed in boxes here and there. (And as a side note – paying rent on storage just irks me. I want a house again. Obviously I’m feeling a bit materialistic. Maybe I need to get over that.) 

So the kids moved into an apartment – the lease was signed a few days before closing on the house. Begging, borrowing and stealing came to mind when it came to the pet deposits as two of the dogs are there and one is in the Metro.  Seriously… why are pet deposits so blooming high? 

Meanwhile my sister-in-law/sister of my heart entered the hospital over 350 miles from her home because she had to undergo a more rigid cancer treatment – diagnosed in November with leukemia.  My mom-in-law for the most part moved with her to Dallas and moved into her hospital room and helped her so much as my SIL was so weak and miserable. I mean nursing staff can only do so much, eh? This started mid-March. 

Birthdays and holidays came and went and I still hadn’t heard back from the job I applied for.  You heard that right. I applied for one. It’s a specialized field and the hiring process is incredibly long. So long that I didn’t go down for an interview etc for a while. However, after all this, that and the other they must have thought I could do the job because I started the second week in June. Normally, this is cause to celebrate; however, I LOVED my old job. I had planned to retire from it. This obviously didn’t happen. So while I’m mourning my old job, I move down on Sunday and start work three days later Wednesday 6-11-14. 

Obviously God had his reasons for the timing of the madness.

My Yoda, dearest Yoda… He was a half-match for a bone marrow transplant. In the entire registry, he and his brother were the only ones. The transplant took place just days before he helped me move.  The process made him feel “blah” to say the least. But he has the biggest heart and I’m richly blessed. 

But my SIL didn’t improve much after the transplant. Apparently you have to bide your time and wait for the cells to kick in. Meanwhile, my MIL still stayed with her and cared for her. She only left the hospital for maybe a total of 2-3 weeks between mid March and June. Wow. She’s such an amazing woman. 

Saturday the 14th we went to see her in the hospital after going to church. Darling SIL didn’t look so hot. I mean, sporting a hospital gown theoretically could be a sexy look. On cancer patients, not so much. However, her bald head was beautiful and her smile still so sweet. But you could tell something wasn’t quite right. She was rather “out of it” and slept most of the time we were there. 

The long story short is the excrement hit the proverbial fan. I don’t remember how many calls and text messages flew back and forth over the next week, but too many to count. There were prayers lifted for my SIL all around the world. But she lost her fight to that ugly disease called cancer on Monday, June 23rd. Now the texts and calls fly because of funeral arrangements and all I can think about is that I just want to pick up the phone and hear her voice. I want to get her advice on some things and I can’t do that. I feel bloody selfish. I feel bloody miserable.  

Tomorrow I leave for “home” again – a quick trip. My new supervisor allowed me the day off if I work next Friday (which I was supposed to have off), but I’m not allowed to use vacation days, sick leave etc for the first six months of employment. And a SIL doesn’t apparently qualify for any kind of bereavement leave. I don’t know that I understand, but there’s no arguing the point.

I feel like a stranger in a strange land. I am in a pretty dark place right now and I have a feeling it’s going to be a bit before I’m feeling “normal” again – whatever that is.  I believe I will feel better after my SIL is laid to rest and we all gather to celebrate her life.  For now, all I can do is rely on my Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, to carry me when I’m weak and lift my heart from the darkness to the light. 

May this letter from my new home find you in a better place than I am emotionally at this time. Always…. C

Moving Reflections

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~Walt Disney~ 


A week ago today, Yoda and I set forth on a new journey to Dallas, Texas.  We packed up our belongings… Wait. Let me rephrase that. We packed up most of our belongings – enough to get the apartment in Dallas stocked and ready for Darling to live. The movers came, loaded everything we had ready to go and we travelled the 350+ miles to our new city. 

The next morning (Thursday) we frantically took possession of the keys to our new place. At that time, quasi-misery sunk in. I feeling heartsick and anxious because we were signing paperwork mere minutes before the moving van was to arrive AND I was, at that time, showing the first symptoms of influenza.  Within a couple of hours, the moving van had departed and we were already unpacking boxes. 

Now… I think it really needs to be noted that when someone is moving into a new place there is a specific item that cannot be forgotten and needs to be unpacked first. 
Toilet paper. 
I can honestly say I went out to eat lunch primarily because I needed to use the facilities more than I needed sustinance. My word how I just wanted to pee.  It felt like releasing Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. My bladder stood and applauded. Then I had to go and drink like two or three glasses of tea thereby doing a “lather, rinse and repeat” type of moment.  Just for the record, La Hacineda on Highway 121 has a nice ladies restroom. 

While we were there for the initial move, I wasn’t in much of a condition to drive. I didn’t even care if I drove.  In hindsight this may be a problem.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to get lost at some point, but thankfully I have a GPS and GoogleMaps.  I figure when the time comes, I’ll just blow through a tank or two of gas learning the area and figure it out from there. I bring this up because we had to go shopping and Yoda needed to learn his way around.  Not only did we need the aforementioned toilet paper, but we also needed food, as we didn’t bring much from the house. We also needed silly things that people take for granted such as shower curtains and that type of thing. However, I think as Darling was learning his way around, we drove down the same street like 50 times. At this moment, I can’t even remember the NAME of the stupid street. 

For the next couple of days we unpacked pretty much the entire apartment and as we did, the flu got worse. Yoda, the tape-dispensing Jedi Master, is also a master of the box-cutter.  (Though I’m not too shabby with the blade.) He tore down almost every last box he’d so painstakingly put together, just so we could bring them back home and load up some more stuff – “my” stuff to be exact. I’m really hoping to find a job soon and be back with Yoda before I know it. 

We were supposed to come back Saturday, but I felt so miserable we came back Sunday. I don’t know that made any difference other than I got some more sleep. But Yoda Darling was a good sport and drove the entire way while I was doped up on Nyquil. As an aside: We also had kicked in the two month trial on SiriusXM satellite radio. It made more a much more enjoyable trip down and back. I’m STILL going through all the channels and have yet to find my favorites, but it’s really nice to have options. This will make the commute times in Dallas so much easier.  

What channels do you listen to? Why? 
(Need suggestions here.)


Monday I went to the doctor. I indeed have the flu and a sinus infection. I’m not a fan of this. I got a shot in the butt and two prescriptions; however, no Tamiflu for me. It was past the 24-48 hour window. The reality: I should have just found a clinic in Dallas. Hindsight I suppose. I knew what it was, but toughed it out. Now I’m still a sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-headed, feverish (still!) and need to rest mess. Thank God for Nyquil (though why they reformulated it I will never know.)

Anywhoo… just catching up on a few things. I’ll see you on the flip side.

All That & A Bag O’ Chips

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” 

― Julia Child


Every time I turn around there is some new “fad diet” or some commercial hyping a new piece of wonder-equipment.  I hear friends talking about Herbalife, Weight Watchers, Atkins, The Paleo Diet, The South Beach Diet or whatever is the name of the anti-fat game this week. (All trademarked etc.)  And I’m not bad-mouthing them though I’m sure it will seem this way. I know millions of folks have lost weight with them and I’m happy for them and I hope those people can keep it off. However, with some of these, I cannot see why I have to pay money to buy products to lose weight when God has given me natural, pure and healthy foods to eat. It’s the junk that kills. 
I have fallen prey to more than a few fad diets in my 40+ years. (The worst of which I don’t want to discuss, but cost me my gallbladder.) But about a year and a half ago it got real. It took me hitting the 200 pound mark to suck it up and face reality.  It took me hitting a size 22 to do so. Am I proud of those facts? No. It has taken me a year to admit it in a public forum.  Am I where I want to be? Not yet. But I’m getting there. I’m down over 40 pounds and 4 dress sizes and counting. Yay! Call me a happy camper. 
 I’ve been keeping it simple and I’m just calling it the Common Sense Lifestyle Change. 
First, let’s talk about FOOD! (Because we all like food.)

* Most of the foods I buy are organic or generally have ingredients I can pronounce.  I take my additives very seriously and try not to buy anything with hormones or anything that would gross me out if I were to watch how it was made. Very rarely do I buy things that aren’t “simple.” I’m probably about 85% vegetarian about now. I just can’t seem to give up my steak and seafood. Yum. However, I have tried being a raw vegan for a bit and I actually am probably closer to vegan than vegetarian… but for the love of seafood, steak… oh, and Texas BBQ. Mmmmmm. 


One of the main reasons for this is I have to be very careful of nitrates and preservatives in food because of the migraines they trigger. Makes me not so happy.  There are a lot of things in food that affect a lot of people differently. If you have health issues, you might have a food allergy or intolerance. It’s something to at least consider. 


* I generally measure out the foods I’m going to eat.  – Portion control. –  Once you are used to eating a pint of ice cream at a time (which I have done), you have to retrain your brain to understand what a “true” serving size really is.  That’s one of the reasons people are obese.  Learn what constitutes a portion and it gets much easier from there.

EXAMPLE: A chip-bender to the bottom of a 9-ounce bag is 1,260 calories sans the dip. So stick to 1 serving, about 15 chips—that’s 140 calories—or pick up some 100-calorie snack packs and save 1,120 calories

* Learn to slow down when eating and understand what “FULL” really feels like. There’s no need to finish everything on your plate. The first few times I left food on my plate at a restaurant, I felt really, horribly guilty.  (Starving kids in China…?)  But at the same time, most restaurant portion sizes are enough for two people. WHY would I want to do that to myself?  The sad thing is that I did that to myself for a long time. 


* DO NOT EAT IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION. If you eat in front of the TV, studies show you consume almost 300 calories more than if you ate at the table. 


* Last but not least, I don’t deprive myself. If I want some creme brûlée or dessert once in a blue moon, I will enjoy some. But I’m not going to go Banzai bat crap crazy and I’m not going to feel guilty. I will eat right the rest of the time and make up for it. No starvation. No binge/purge. Just pure, clean eating. 
Now, I know that I’m going to turn off a lot of people when I say the next word, but bear with me. “Exercise.”   But I’m going to add something to it… if you haven’t exercised in a long time, you don’t have to go to extremes starting out,  join a gym, do DVD’s, workout on the Wii or anything like that.  Ready? Cool secrets here:

* If all you can do is walk up and down a hallway of your house do it.


* From the hallway move to the driveway or the front sidewalk or maybe to the end of the block. (You get the picture.)  I used to tell my dad at 90 years old when he was recovering from a fall, “Just take one more step dad. One more step will get you stronger. What will one more step get you?”  

* From steps, move to a strength move of stairs or a curb.  Step up and down. If you need to hold on to something, do it. 

Something fun for cardio and to get the muscles engaged: Dance like there is no one watching. For Heaven’s Sake, put on some great tunes and get moving. It doesn’t matter if all you can do is sit in a chair and tap your feet and clap your hands or raise your arms. It’s SOMETHING. 

     Side note: It’s been said TAPPING YOUR FEET THROUGH OUT THE DAY BURNS ABOUT 350 CALORIES A DAY!!!!! Seriously… those who fidget have got to have an edge on the rest of us. 

Some of my favorite tunes while cleaning house (WHICH ALSO BURNS CALORIES:)
* Aretha Franklin – Chain of Fools
* Michael Jackson – Beat It
* Beatles – Twist and Shout
* Cameo – Word Up

* Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
* Fun – Some Nights
* AC/DC – Back in Black
* Toby Mac – Burn For You
* 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite

Again, those are just a few of the tunes I’ll throw on and then dance around like a loon. It’s all about getting your body moving. When you have some upbeat music on, vacuuming and dusting or moping the floor (or what have you) is not only a little more enjoyable, but goes faster and becomes a better calorie burn. 

Like I said… I’ve dropped over 40 pounds so far just using these little tips. You’ve probably heard it before, but I’m the proof that it works.  

There’s no need for anything other than eating right and moving your bod. 

“Diet food is for lazy people.” 
― Ice-T

Waiting to Exhale

I tried yoga once but took off for the mall halfway through class, as I had a sudden craving for a soft pretzel and world peace. 

~Terri Guillemets



In the past few weeks, I have been under a stress load that mechanical engineers would have a hard time finding a logical answer to the equation of “how is it  possible to hold that kind of load.” 

Life changing news has come about which I’m not at liberty to share at this time, I’m 100 pages into my first full-length novel and self-doubt and worry is running amok, my mother’s health is troublesome, my daughters are starting to take test runs from the nest and other things are going on between home and work that have me wondering if I’m made of elastic and what the ultimate breaking point is.  I think my stress load can be equated to the load per unit area or the force (F) applied per cross-sectional area (A) perpendicular to the force as shown in the equation below:
 
Now, the best part of this whole thing is I just probably sounded really smart here and I have to thank Engineersedge.com for their insight for the formula above. I could honestly try to figure it all out, but the left side of my brain, the analytic side, has a very hard time with math and physics. I’m a right-brained person overall and if I think about it at length, it gets complicated and I’d probably short circuit. I try not to think about it.  Darned analytics. Now I’m thinking about it. 

So back to yoga. 

It’s something not-so-new I’m working on. I’m seriously trying to decompress and work on some kind of Zen state I really want to achieve. I seriously doubt I will achieve that calm that surpasses my understanding; however, if I can reach a point where I can focus on the breath and the body and shut the world out for however long, I will have achieved something. Eh?

Now… back to downward dog… Which to tell you my mental state always makes me think, “Bad dog, good dog,” while I’m waiting to exhale… I gotta work on that. 

Why Yes… It IS in My Head

“And then a throb hits you on the left side of the head so hard that your head bobs to the right…There’s no way that came from inside your head, you think. That’s no metaphysical crisis. 
God just punched you in the face.” 

There are approximately 13 million Americans who suffer from a painful neurological condition called migraines;  it’s more than 10% of the population or 1 in 4 households.

I am one of those Americans.

It’s believed that migraine headaches tend to run in families and there’s a 70% chance that a child of a parent with migraines will develop them at some point in their lifetime. Wow.  I can’t say that knowing that years ago would have made any difference (as my mother has them.)  It doesn’t change the fact I have them.  I can’t say that I would have even been “prepared” for them. 

What can prepare someone for a monstrous pressure in the base of their cranium / brain stem which steadily becomes the feeling of a ball peen hammer hitting you upside the head repeatedly while at the same time crushing your skull in a vice? This of course (for me) is accompanied by other symptoms I don’t feel the urge to discuss at this time. TMI. 

The sad thing is… many people think folks with migraines don’t have a serious problem, they’re faking it, it’s “just a headache”… Gads… I could go on and on.  Consider this.  Migraine attacks can cause strokes, comas, aneurysms or death.  Each and every time someone with chronic migraines HAS a migraine we actually wonder HOW BAD it’s going to be. I’ve ended up at the doctor’s office / hospital getting injections to knock my ass out because it was that bad. 

“ We once saw a documentary on migraines. One of the men interviewed used to fall on his knees and bang his head against the floor, over and over during attacks. This diverted the pain from deep inside his brain, where he couldn’t reach it, to a pain outside that he had control over.” 
I wish I could describe that pain, deep inside the brain.  I’ve said on more than one occasion to my husband and friends that it would hurt less to run my head through a concrete wall.  It’s true. 

But did you know there are migraines where there is NO pain? A couple of friends of mine at work have these silent migraines. They don’t have the headache, but they have other symptoms. They are just as debilitating. 

There are 10 or more different types of migraine and many people have a combination migraine that sets in – which is what makes diagnosis and treatment so hard.  I have a tri-graine: Abdominal, Basilar and Transformed / generally without aura.  In a good month, I will only have a few. In a bad month, I have had 25-31 days worth of headache-hell. And months stack up. Fortunately, I’ve been running on the low end of this for a few months. I’m grateful. For a while there, it was f-ugly.

I’m on day two of this particular migraine attack – triggered by nitrates and yet another weather system that moved in. (I swear I could be a meteorologist.)  I read a blog post the other day where a woman was on her 112th day. My God. 112 days of wanting to ram your head into a wall or beat it against the floor because the external pain is controllable. I so get it. I feel ya sister. 

“His headache was still sitting over his right eye as if it had been nailed there.” 

I have run the gambit on prescription drugs – lemme tell you, some of that stuff is like taking candy. Just doesn’t work worth a darn. And the kicker is… REBOUND migraines / headaches. For the love of all that is pure and holy in this world. You think you got it licked and it comes back meaner and badder than the original.  Tylenol 3 and the “cets” do that to me… Lorcet / Percocet / Darvocet… etc. That’s a big no-no. I’ve been through everything from Imitrex to Maxalt and Treximet (which is the only thing that works for me right now. Dare I say, “THANK YOU, TREXIMET.”)  I also take daily preventative drugs that work okay, but still doesn’t solve the problem. Of course, I’m assuming the problem can be solved.  I don’t know that is the case. But I can hope. 

I’m searching for options. I’m looking at acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies, nape piercings, and other alternative therapies with no decisions having been made yet. I’m tired of the drugs. I’m tired of the migraines. I’m tired of being sick and tired of being sick and  tired and all anyone seems to want to push are pills. 

However, with that said… I really am tired (migraines tend to do that) and I need to get some rest. I’ll let you know how things go at a later date and what decisions I’ve made.  I have a feeling it’s all going to be a process of trial and error that will fall under my blanket of “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” 

Cheerio and ta-ta for now.

Source: MedlinePlus