Symptom Diary? Food Diary??


Given the downward turn my health has taken, I guess it’s time to brush off the old, dusty practice of keeping symptom & food diaries.  On the good side, it makes me feel like I’m taking charge of my health & trying to manage the things within my control. Keeping track of things helps me identify triggers and patterns; those are things I can do something about.

On the less entertaining side, it pisses me off that I have to watch & micro-manage every aspect of my life in order to feel somewhat “normal”.  I already feel like I’m having to dumb-down my life to manage my energy crisis.  I also busted my ass to finish a master’s degree that I can’t do a whole lot with on a part-time basis….. RANT!

Anyway, I will manage what I can & begrudgingly accept what I cannot.  Consider the symptom & food diaries dusted off and in use……..

 

 

 

Time Marches On


Since my last check-in I have:

1. Put my home on the market

2. Moved in with my sweetie of 10+ years (what took me so long??)

3. Faced some difficult health truths

4. Become a grandmother for the second time–welcome Jaxin!!

5. Realized that working full-time is not an option for me–a part-time option is on the horizon

6. Fallen into the depths of menopause

7. Braced myself for turning 50 in January but have NOT come to terms with what is happening to my body.

Time marches on…..

My Next Right Thing


For oh-so-many years I have been compelled to buy local, support small businesses, down size and spend time doing what I felt was important.  Sometimes I have been more successful at it than others and sometimes I have lost my way entirely–having to travel full-circle to remember who I was & who I wanted to grow to be.

Well, today I joined a local farmers coop.  I have wanted to for years but was totally unaware that we had one in the area.   Not only do we have one–we HAVE HAD for almost 10 years!  Wondering where MY head has really been…..  Anyway…

After work today I stopped in and looked around, comparing prices with our local supermarkets & the sites I have been ordering from.  I was surprised at how competitive the prices are and happy with the variety of things they have. ….So I signed on,  picked up a load of local, organic  goodies and feel great about seizing the opportunity.  What have you guys done that made you feel you’ve done something good for yourself and made a difference in your community?

Putting On The Brakes….


I’ve felt it creeping up for a couple weeks……. More fatigue, less energy, aching, nausea, no appetite &

Taking it easy….

headaches…. So I’ve been backing off things and taking it easier, hoping to avert a miserable exacerbation.  The joint pain & southern discomfort started yesterday, while I was (of all things) leading a meeting.  No, I did NOT have to run from the room, thank goodness.

Today I’m resting, taking my medications on my “head it off at the pass” schedule (like a good girl) and looking forward to a few days of Ensure & other liquids…..  Listening to my body helps me stay on top of the curve–most times, at least.  For now, I’m remaining hopeful & proactive!

From: PICK YOUR BRAIN


Shared from PICK YOUR BRAIN’s page.  Nothing helps us be more successful than a well designed plan combined with an open mind.  Read on…..

FIVE WAYS TO LIVE A DRAMA FREE LIFE:

Drama sucks.

Not “dramas” as in movies, TV shows, plays, etc that are serious in tone, but rather “drama” as in the petty ridiculous conflicts that get blown way out of proportion for no reason at all.

Urban Dictionary has my favorite definition of this kind of drama: “making a big deal over something unnecessarily.”

We’d like to believe that petty social drama ends the day we leave high school, but sadly, this is not the case. No matter how old they are, people can still find ways of adding unnecessary conflict to their relationships, be they at work, at home, or with friends.

This is truly a shame, because drama increases stress, ruins relationships, and eats away at that one precious commodity none of us can afford to waste: time.

If you want to stress less, have better relationships, and make the most of the limited time you have on earth, I would highly suggest you eliminate as much of the drama from your life as you can.  Here are 5 things you can do to live “drama free”:

 

Make No Assumptions

Assumptions are where drama starts. Somebody does something that bothers you, and then you run off and start making assumptions about why they did it.

What you observe someone doing is fact. If that bother you, then you need to deal with it. The moment you start making assumptions about their reasons, motives, or inner dialog is the moment you move out of the realm of rational thought and into the world of unnecessary stress.

You have no way of truly knowing what a person is thinking or why they do the things they do. Catch yourself when you start making those assumptions; if you want to live drama free, let those assumptions go and simply resolve to deal with the observable behavior.

Don’t Believe the Grapevine

Problems tend to increase exponentially with each additional person who is added to the communication chain. If I hear you say something, I can be pretty sure of what I heard. If Sandy tells me that John told Jane that Steve heard Sheila say something, chances are that the story you are hearing bears little resemblance to the actual truth.

Each additional person alters the story to some degree. They may remember things differently. They may add in emotion of verbiage that wasn’t there before. They may just be flat out wrong.

If you hear something through the grapevine, it might be worth investigating. But if you work yourself up into a lather based on third, fourth, and fifth party communication, then you are just feeding the drama monster.

Don’t get sucked into this. Skip the grapevine and go straight for the horse’s mouth. It will save time and cut the drama factor way down…

Be Direct

Drama is simply a byproduct of people’s inability to communicate like logical, rational adults. This is why it is so prevalent in highs school. This is also why it should be 100% unacceptable in the adult world.

If you have a problem with someone, talk to them about it. If you believe that someone has a problem with you, talk to them about it. Direct conversations nip drama in the bud. This is not to say that direct conversations make all problems go away, but they will help you cut through the nonsense and deal with the real issue.

Relationship challenges begin and are compounded by passive aggressive behavior and indirect communication. If you want to cut out the drama, be willing to have those “crucial conversations.”

Be the Bigger Person

Fighting fire with fire is good if you are trying to control a raging wilderness inferno. It’s not so good if you are trying to eliminate needless petty conflicts from your life.

When you find yourself the victim of some small offense, your first instinct may be to respond in kind. While this may feel good for a moment, it usually just escalates the situation and makes everything worse. If you truly want to live drama free, then you need to be willing to be the bigger person and let things go.

You don’t need to get in the last word, you don’t need to “one up” the other person, and you certainly don’t need to make them pay for wronging you. Just let it go, and watch the drama flow away.

Avoid Drama Queens

After you have made sure that you are not creating the drama yourself, the best way to keep your life drama free is to eliminate the drama queens (or kings!) from your life.

This is easy when you meet new people or are dealing with someone you aren’t very close to. Once you realize they are “drama prone,” minimize (or if you can, eliminate) the interactions you have with them.

With people you are close to, have a long history with, or are related to, or who are genuinely good people who’s one major flaw is their tendency to make a big deal over nothing, you don’t have to cut them out of your life altogether. Just acknowledge that quality about them and, when they start acting up, don’t get sucked into their “drama vortex.”

We are functions of our environment. To live drama free, get as many drama creators out of your life as possible.

You may never be able to eliminate all the drama from your life, but with just a little bit of focus and discipline you can certainly minimize how much you have in your life. It’s well worth doing – the less drama you have in your life, the room you have for fun, joy and great relationships!

***
Avish Parashar is the Motivational Smart Ass. As a speaker and on his blog, Avish makes people laugh while sharing with them simple ideas to make their lives easier and more successful. To read more of his ridiculous rantings on self improvement, watch videos of him in action, and download the free “How to Think Quick” MP3, visit his Motivational Humor Blog at http://www.MotivationalSmartAss.com

Rights & Choices


Can you tell me what’s wrong with this very popular picture traveling around on Facebook?  On the surface, it sounds like a very live-and-let-live approach to life.  Think it through though…

First, not all of these things should be lumped together as “rights”.  Given the spectrum of the list, it’s like comparing apples, horse shoes & Volkswagens.  Also, factor in the reality that a large subset of society routinely chooses the  easy, fun & hedonistic option over the smart considerate  one, no matter WHAT the better option is ~OR~ the impact on others.

Gay marriages, guns , abortions & sex fall into a different area than smoking, alcohol & drugs & they shouldn’t be lumped together.

Regarding rights, I definitely have the right to NOT be subjected to second-hand smoke–one person’s right ends when it negatively impacts the right of another.  Alcohol is fine, in moderation & in an appropriate manner & setting.  With that being said, I have the right to drive without getting hit by a drunk driver, or go to the mall without being accosted by a drunk.  Regarding drugs:  I have the right to NOT be jacked by someone tweaked out on meth.  I also have the right to NOT have my home broken into by some drug-seeking individual whose concept of rights & boundaries have been blurred by addiction or substances.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down???

Simple Living Pledge


I found the simple living pledge at Kanelstrand: Simple Living for Human Beings  and think it’s a fantastic idea!  I’m mired in a house full of unnecessary stuff and it’s choking the life & spirit right out of me.  Honestly,  I had started a post titled Drowning in Success, which was based on my accumulation o’ crap.  No I’m not a hoarder but it’s not for lack of desire….  Here’s the information on the simple living pledge.  Check out the link above to take the pledge yourself!

What is Simple Living?
  • Identifying what is most important for you and eliminating everything else.
  • Freeing up time for doing what inspires you and being with the people you love.
  • Decluttering your mind, your everyday life and your virtual life.
  • Single-tasking and learning to diminish stress.
  • Striving to live frugally by wanting less and buying only what is necessary.
  • Slowing down and being actively present in the moment.
  • Living a healthy life, including cleaning your home and your body, eating, exercising and thinking.
  • Striving to be green and sustainable as much as your surroundings allow.
  • Enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
  • Simplifying your goals, tasks and expectations.
What is the Simple Living Pledge?
This is a solemn and personal promise to live a simple life in a complicated world. Simple living is the conscious act of cleaning your mind and surroundings of clutter and filling the space with the things that you value. After spending years entangled in stress, multitasking and clutter, 3 years ago my family started a conscious simplifying process in all aspects of life and now I am the first to sign the Simple Living Pledge.
Why take the pledge?
By taking the pledge you are making a conscious decision to keep your sanity in a modern life, where everyone is screaming the opposite. It has long been known that after you make up your mind, the next step to fulfilling a wish is to write it down. Signing your name and pasting the badge on your blog/website is what will serve as a reminder to slow down, relax and look for the simple truths in life even when you are tempted to forget and get back to normal. Let simple be your new normal!
Who can take the pledge?

Anyone – regardless of age, nationality or language. You don’t need to have a blog or website to sign the pledge. The only thing you need is willingness to live a better, simpler life.

Harboring a Spirit of Withoutfulness


When I was a little kid, I knew people who were always “without”.  The parents spent much of their time talking about what they did NOT have & what they could NOT do & how much money they did NOT earn/have.    In turn, the children trudged around, wallowing in withoutfulness as well.  If a well-meaning individual suggested something helpful such as “get a different job, retrain, save more, spend less, down-size” they were subjected to a sticky web of poor-me excuses as to why none of those things are possible for them and they are just pitiful victims.  Sure enough, you could feel your life force being sucked out your ear from 20 feet away…..  Holy shit Batman!  Had they put HALF the effort into “doing” that they put into NOT “doing”, they would be unstoppable forces!

My parents called it “poor mouthing”;  all I know is they (like drama magnets) sucked the life out of the universe.  All the while, I watched my parents creatively “doing”.  Not bragging about doing, or making an event out of doing…… Simply doing.  We always had plenty—OK, a more apt description would be “We always felt like we had “plenty”.  As an adult, I can look back and see we had lots of tight spots.  However, my Dad could’ve (sort of) fixed the Space Shuttle with two coat hangers and a roll of duct tape, and we shared a spirit of good fortune.  We didn’t have bad luck, we simply had creative challenges–even though it was never described that way.  Our roof leaked.  A LOT.   How great was it that we had buckets to put under it and were healthy enough to keep them emptied!  Yep, that’s the can-DO spirit!  This is NOT sarcasm:  It’s about playing the hand we’re dealt, wearing a smile.

When my kids were little, I was on public aid–welfare, food stamps, medical card, free school lunches, heating assistance–everything.  However, it was important to me that I not instill a sense of “less than” or withoutfulness in their minds and hearts.  Sometimes I had to bite my tongue, because life was tough & I sometimes felt pretty damned without–but I couldn’t stand teaching my kids that “woe is me”  is the way to be.  Sooo, I would smile and tell them “We’re budgeting for something else.  That’s why we can’t get new shoes right now.”  After all, it was the truth.  Every week, before grocery shopping, I made sure I had four extra quarters in my pocket.  Just before it was time to pay the cashier, I gave each child two quarters to get something from the gumball/toy machine at the front of the store.  They never saw me counting out food stamps.  Back in the day food stamps came in books and had to be torn out and counted, one by one.  I didn’t want to stir up a realization in their minds of what we did NOT have.

I have always been able to hone in on this spirit of withoutfulness, and while it’s a negative emotion/concept, it’s more than simple negativity.  It’s something much more destructive if it isn’t remedied.  Are any of you old enough to remember Bad Luck Schleprock from the Flintstones?  Well Wowzy, Wowzy, Woo, Woo…. That sense of NOT ENOUGHEDNESS follows these people throughout life, weighing them down like itchy, wet wool blankets draped around their souls.   You know what I’m talking about—You’ve been waited-on by THAT insurance agent, THAT clerk or THAT customer service rep…..Really, the problem isn’t a lack of resources–is it a lack of SPIRIT?  Or could it be a  lack of  CREATIVITY or a lack of GRATITUDE?   Questions for the day:

Are you making excuses instead of DOING?

Are you wearing a dank, itchy, heavy shroud of withoutfulness?

Can YOU modify your perspective today to begin throwing it OFF??

Drama Magnets


I have learned many things in my quest to take better care of myself.  In the beginning, I focused entirely on physical things:  Eating well, resting, medication scheduling.  After I had a system in place for those (not perfect, mind you), I started noticing other areas of my life needed some attention.

A number of people on the periphery of my life seemed to generate constant chaos.  Luckily, I

had limited interaction with them, but sometimes I had to enter their orbit.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  After spending an hour with them, it feels like my  life force has been drained out my ear ~or~  I can actually see them sucking all of the light & life out of the free world.  Yes, THOSE folks.

When I run across individuals with that ‘unique skill set’, I quietly observe to determine what actually sets the vortex spinning.  On rare occasions,  the drama arises from outside sources and mows them down like a lawn mower.  Those folks have my genuine sympathy.

Others stir & muddy the waters themselves and blame everyone around them–and they do it over and over and over and….. You get the picture…..  Everything offends them, everything is an issue to be contested, everyone is against them, the glass is TOTALLY empty.  Forever arguing, fighting blaming, complaining…The old wise folks in my life have a term for them:  Shit stirers.  Not P.C. at all, but aptly stated.  I label them ‘toxic’.

I have learned to avoid these people.  I don’t have to agree with them, or counsel them, and I’m definitely NOT responsible for fixing them.  They thrive by sucking others in and I won’t be fuel for the drama.  On occasion, I’m asked why I avoid certain individuals.  At first, I was uncomfortable discussing my observations, but over time, have become quite effective at telling the kind truth.

Moral of the story?  It’s absolutely appropriate to avoid people who suck the life out of you.  Don’t feel guilty.

Weighing In-You KNEW I Would Have An Opinion


Over the last few years there has been much discussion regarding whether certain OTC medications (those used in producing methamphetamine) should be made available by prescription only.   This is not meant to be a debate on the topic nor will I list sources or data; those reasons will likely be the basis for a long, future post.  For now, this is a brief opinion/summary based on my observations as a medical professional working with addicts and as a parent of two recovering addicts.

The most persistent argument I’ve heard for keeping the medications available OTC, in my opinion, is lacking in substance.  It goes something like this:  A poor mother without insurance should NOT have to pay for an office visit she can’t afford in order to get needed medication.  That’s the biggest argument I hear.  The second most frequent argument deals with our “freedom” as Americans.  Whatever.  I watch people die from freedom, so in my opinion it is highly over-rated in situations such as this.  ALLOWING FREEDOM WITHOUT REQUIRING ADEQUATE EDUCATION IS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION.  Don’t believe me?  Watch the news…

These medications are NOT life giving drugs–period.  I have NEVER, EVER administered one of them in a crisis situation and I work in acute situations regularly.  At best, they provide symptom relief, which is available OTC in other non-meth-producing combinations anyway.  Our present system does allow for tracking of purchases and the buyer must show I.D.  However, many “smurfs” (individuals who buy these medications containing a specific ingredient for meth cooks) exceed the purchase limit without consequence.  I’m not sure how it happens, but it does.  Is it because the system is over-burdened?

They often cross state lines to make additional purchases and the communication between states is quite limited.  VERY sneaky……..  We will NOT get on top of the methamphetamine epidemic as long as we make the ingredients and opportunity readily available.

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