Archive for the Health Nuts Category

Snow Snow and More Snow

Posted by Jen in Daily-Dallies, Health Nuts |

So, guess what kind of weather we’re having right now?
Yep…it’s the snowy kind.  According to, we’re supposed be getting about 20 inches by Friday.  My daughter already found out that she has off tomorrow and this isn’t even the worst part of the storm yet – we’re supposed to get almost a foot of snow on just Thursday alone.  I have a feeling that no one will be going anywhere until the weekend.  That’s fine by me.  As long as I know my family is home safe and sound, I have no problem with snowstorms.  They give me a chance to snuggle with my blankets and pillows and tea and books and laptop and watch the snow fall outside the two large windows in my room.  I love that.  :)

So, things have been good here.  I’ve been going to physical therapy for the past few weeks to take care of the neck and back pain I have. Wish I knew how it all started – I still want to blame the mono I had last year.  I feel like I never really recovered completely from the mono.  In any case, the PT is helping a little…I’m definitely not getting any of those tension headaches anymore.  Thank goodness.

Sadly, I have bit of a new problem now.  I have been trying to get back into some kind of exercise routine again – good for stress, good for the heart, etc.  Well, I think I went a little too crazy with the stomach crunches the other night and I ended up pulling some kind of muscle in my abdomen.  At least, I think that is what happened.  All I know is that I started feeling some kind of weird pain slightly below my ribs and toward the center of my stomach area.  Over the next few days, the weird pain began to feel more like a ripping, burning, OUCH kind of pain.  Sometimes when I bend over, it actually feels like something it hitting up against my lower rib.  I think it’s strained or swollen or both.

Either that or it’s that tumor I’ve always been afraid of getting.  "It’s not a tumor," said Arnold.

In any case, I now have to put ice packs on my stomach for the abdominal muscle swelling and heating pads on my back for the back pain I have.  LOL  Seriously.  I am a little broken.  I’m heading to the doctor on Monday just to make sure it’s only a sprain.  This sure puts a damper on my exercise plans.   Oh well!  The exercise machines will be waiting for me until I get better.  In the meantime, I’ll just stick with some yoga and my strength training.  I always liked arm and shoulder exercises better than those darned crunches anyway.  It stinks a little when we start getting old. (Psst…this is where someone posts a comment to assure me that 30-ish isn’t old.)  :)   I sure don’t feel old most of the time, but when my body starts falling apart after a few stomach crunches, I definitely start to wonder!

Welcome To The New Year!

Posted by Jen in Health Nuts, Parenting |
one comment »

Yep – I’m back…for today, at least.

It has been a BUSY couple of months – the holidays always take up so much time, but things are slowing down a bit.  Or rather, I am learning to slow down a bit.  I have been doing so much reading about mindfulness and meditation and living in the moment…it sounds hokey, I guess, but it has made such a difference in my life.  I never realized how much time I actually spent thinking about the future or reviewing the past…and how much that actually affected my daily mood.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”

I have learned so much that I actually don’t know where to start, but one of my biggest changes is to no longer be bothered when someone “innocently inconveniences” me.  This includes the slow driver in front of me, the new checkout girl who is taking too long, the guy who connects me to the wrong number when I call for technical support, etc.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I threw a hissy fit when that happened, but it would definitely cause some irritation and I was tired of feeling irritated.  Acceptance and peacefulness sure feels a lot better and definitely feels a lot more natural to me.  I used to be such a tolerant person,  but found that I have become impatient and ill-at-ease over the past few years.  It was definitely time for a different outlook.  :)

So, everything else is going fairly well in my life. Here’s the quick summary:

1 – I have my temporary job starting in 2 weeks.  The money from that should pay for at least one of my college courses.  I’ll only have 2 more classes to go after that.

2 – I started physical therapy last week for my neck and back.  They haven’t been feeling right since the mono last year.  I had some x-rays done and they showed a compression fracture in the middle of my back. I actually have no idea where that came from actually…the middle back only started hurting about a month ago.  I fell on my stairs about 4 years ago, so maybe it finally started hurting now?  I don’t know.  I also have muscle spasms in my neck and some osteoarthritis in my lower back and neck.  Ack!  I feel old.

3 – Meghan was taken to a natural homeopath last week.  She was still struggling with severe, but intermittent stomach pains.  It was determined that she is dealing with systemic yeast (Candida) overgrowth.  Normally the body can keep the yeast levels under control, but Meg was on birth control last year for a few months for her ovarian cyst and then she was put on 3 rounds of antibiotics for her sinus infection this fall.  That pretty much killed all the good bacteria in her system.  She also eats a lot of simple carbs and sugars, which is what the yeast feeds on.

So, how is it being treated?

Well, she’s been put on a yeast-free/sugar-free diet for the next 6 weeks.  Sugar-free also includes artificial sweeteners.  The only sweetener she can have is Stevia or xylitol.  I haven’t tried the xylitol, but Stevia can be a little bitter.  She’s having a rough time getting used to it.  Unfortunately for her I am quite a lousy cook and haven’t had a lot of luck making her meals for her.  My veggie soup came out way too salty.  My french toast tasted like cardboard and my spaghetti squash meal was gooey and gross.  :-(

At the rate we’re going, she’s going to starve before these 6 weeks are finally over.  LOL

Feng Shui, H1N1, V

Posted by Jen in Books, Movies & TV, Friends & Family, Health Nuts |

Hmm – I just saw the message that WordPress has updated to the next version.  I’m a little leery about doing the upgrade right now.  The last time I did that, I had to go through all my posts and delete a bunch of odd little characters which were randomly inserted throughout my blog.

So, I have taken a break from my marathon of blog posting.  I knew that would happen.  I’m still tweaking my schedule a bit here and I haven’t been quite as diligent about sticking to the schedule I actually make for myself each day.  It’s a work in progress…always.  :)

So, my brother, Chris, is out in California now.  He just started his new job yesterday.  He’s loving the weather and actually found a few old high school friends nearby so that made the transition a little easier.  So far, the jury is still out as to how he is going to like this new job.  His boss is a bit of a micromanager.  Christopher has been his own boss for the past year of so and to suddenly have someone looking over his shoulder again can be a little rough.  Our family tends to be the “I can do this all by myself” kind of workers (for better or for worse!) so I am really hoping that it doesn’t cause too much stress for him.

It’s been quiet here without him, definitely.  He is missed.  :(

On a positive note, I think we have finally decided what to do with his apartment downstairs.  We are going to turn the living/kitchen area into a library/rec room. We have books stored in various bookshelves and drawers and closets all over the house and we thought it might be nice to have them in one central location.  I’m going to be in charge of “Feng Shui-ing” the room to make it cozy for reading and relaxing.  My brother did not appreciate Feng Shui.  At all.  I’m actually not sure if what I do is actual Feng Shui, but it’s all about removing the clutter and filling the room with happy, positive things.  Nice lighting, comfy chairs, lots of pillows, etc.   His bedroom and bathroom will just get a good cleaning so that it can be used as a guest room.  (For all those guests we NEVER have…lol.  It’s good to be prepared, though.)

Meghan stayed home from school today with her fever and sore throat.  The nurse called twice last week to get me to pick her up from school, but Meghan really wanted to try and stick it out, so I let her stay.  She only had a 99 fever both of those days with a bit of a scratchy throat.  Yesterday, though, we finally gave in and I picked her up early and took her home.  The truth is, the school is becoming filled with sick kids and even though her illness seems to be pretty mild, I don’t want her catching anything worse.  In a few weeks the school will be getting a shipment of the H1N1 vaccine and I signed her up for it.  I’ve decided not to take the chance of her getting that flu.  I had a friend who just recovered from it and she said it was the toughest battle of her life….and she is not a sick person usually.  I did request the vaccine version that is Thimerosal-free, but I’m not sure if that’s even available from her school.  We’ll have to just wait and see.

So, the new V is on tonight.  I hope it’s good.  I have the old mini-series on DVD and I watch it about once a year.  It’s a little cheesy and dated, but I still love it.  I’m a sucker for a good “us vs them” storyline.

H1N1 – I Don’t Like You

Posted by Jen in Health Nuts, In the News |
one comment »

News Link: Study: H1N1 vaccine too late to help most – Washington Times.  That sounds so dismal!

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I can be overly fearful of illness – this is kind of a new fear for me which was probably triggered by my 5-month mono battle earlier this year.  I know that sounds silly – the darned “kissing disease” put the fear of illness into me – but it seriously knocked me for a loop.  Not to mention all the little medical battles Meghan has had to deal with recently.  Ack!  In any case, this darned H1N1 virus is freaking me out a little bit.  I seriously try to read all the sources and reports about it- just to get all sides of the story, but…I don’t know.  I really don’t like this one.

I was completely against getting Meghan vaccinated, but I think I might actually go ahead with it.  My reasons for not getting it are mainly due to my concerns about how safe the vaccine actually is.  I think that as long as I can get a version that comes without Thimerosal (the mercury-containing preservative in vaccines) I think I’ll just have to be okay with getting it for her.  As for whether I’m going to get it…I’m on the fence about it.  I don’t have any underlying medical conditions (aside from the panic disorder, which doesn’t really count.)  A panic/anxiety disorder just makes you think you have underlying medical conditions.  LOL

My main concern is passing it on to family members.  I have a dad gets a lot of respiratory infections, a mom who has diabetes and two young nieces who visit here all the time.  I’m not sure their mom is going to get them vaccinated, due to vaccine/autism fear (my one niece already has a form of autism) and I would hate to infect them.

Well, I have a few more weeks to think about it, I guess.  I’ll keep taking my vitamins, getting enough sleep and sticking to my healthy diet.  As for the rest of my time, I am trying to enjoy this mini-vacation I have been having.   The past few weeks have been spent signing up for a bunch of scholarships and doing a little bit of job-hunting.  A part-time job would really be nice right about now.   I won’t really start worrying about my finances and my unfinished college degree until December.  If things don’t change by then, expect to see some frantic posts about how my life is swirling in a dark abyss of poverty and despair.  :)   Just kidding – I’m sure it won’t get that bad.  Life has such a funny way of working itself out when we least expect it – at least that has always been the case for me.  I’ll just keep my eyes open  and wait to see what happens next.

Well, have a happy Tuesday, everyone!  It’s supposed to beautiful out today…I love autumn!

Not Feeling My Best

Posted by Jen in Anxiety & Me, Friends & Family, Health Nuts |

Hmmm.  It’s been a strange day.  I had such a terrible time sleeping last night.  I think I went to bed at 11, finally fell asleep at 3 (frustrating!), woke up around 4-ish, woke up around 5-ish and then woke up to get Meghan to school at 6.  So, I started the morning off tired, obviously.

That was fine.  I’ve been tired before.  Meggie wasn’t feeling well, though – she’s been having such severe stomach pains for the past few months.  They’ve been intermittent, but chronic.  We are still in the process of trying to determine what it is, but my initial guess is IBS.  So, I ended up driving her to school.  An hour later I came home and decided to get as much work done as I could before I eventually crashed.

At 10:30AM or so, I had reached the point where I could barely keep my eyes open.  So, I decided to try a little cat nap.  Well, as I went to lie down I realized I was feeling dizzy.  Not only that, but my hands were shaking…really really shaking.  My heart was racing a bit and I just felt ODD.  My first thought, of course, was that this was a panic attack.   (For those who have known me, I have had some rather epic battles with this anxiety disorder of mine.  I have baffled many doctors with the severity and rareness of my symptoms, but those symptoms have been pretty darned silent for the past few months.)

The second possibility for my sudden symptoms was a drop in blood sugar.  Mild anxiety and low blood sugar feel very similar.  I’m not diabetic or anything, but my body is very sensitive to sugar levels and sugar crashes.  I purposely eat a low-glycemic diet for that reason, but it’s always possible that the sugar levels can go a little wonky from time to time, I’m sure.

So, I grabbed a bunch of grapes, drank a little bit of juice, and waited 10 minutes.  Wow.  It was bad.  My face was going numb, everything was cold…yes, this was beginning to feel more like anxiety.  So, I took a Xanax.  I am a pill-phobic, so taking a Xanax is always my last resort.  That completely knocked me out, of course, but…I don’t know.  The symptoms have subsided, yet I am sitting here now at 5PM and I feel weak, a little trembly, a little dizzy…something’s off.  I will be devastated if I am going to have to take up arms against the Panic Monster again.  He’s a tricky little thing.  (LOL – yes, I occasionally imagine my panic disorder as a creature.  He has warts and an evil laugh and likes to find new sneaky ways to scare the living daylights out of me.)

I just came off of another nightmarish battle with my anxiety during the months of March to about July or so.  I know I don’t have any blog posts about that time period, but I do have a bunch of drafts which I really should clean up and finally post.  Before that time, my panic disorder had been dormant for nearly 4 or 5 years, I think.  I ended up contracting mono last February and that just seemed to trigger the panic again.

*sigh*  Well, I am going to take it really easy tonight.  Just camp out in bed with the laptop, watch a little TV and head to bed very very early.  The longer I’m awake, the more my mind will start to run away with worry that these symptoms are a sign of my impending doom.  8-O

On a less medical note, I have been doing a ton of brainstorming lately for a bunch of different web sites I want to build up.  I need to open again and do a major overhaul on the database.  I know a lot more today than I did when I designed it a few years ago, so I hope I might be able to draw a lot more traffic there.  My little brother, Christopher, is on the verge of partnering with his old boss to begin a web parking company and he is one heck of a web designer, so I am going to bounce some ideas off of him and get a little ‘professional’ input.  It makes me a laugh a little bit sometimes…I still see him as my “baby brother” and it’s strange to think of him as a professional!

Bye Blogger

Posted by Jen in Blogging, Nutrition and Exercise |
one comment »

This was a tough decision, but I decided it was time to move my other blog (the one that was dedicated to last year’s weight loss journey) from Blogger to my private web host here.  I figured out how to host multiple WP blogs from one installation and I want to take advantage of that.
I hate leaving Blogger.  I’m a sucker for Google and its fun interconnected network of goodies, but…well, WordPress just has so much more available to me.  I was going to merge it with this site, but I really want to keep all the intensive dieting/nutrition/exercise stuff in one place.  I still want to use Blogger for something…I just don’t know what yet.

So far I have all the entries imported, but need to rework them a little and try to make sense of all the categories and tags I threw onto all the posts.  I stink at tagging.  Seriously.  I overtag and overcategorize.  They need to teach a class on that.
I also want to tweak the template and decide upon all the fun plugins I want to add.  (That’s my favorite part!)

In any case, the other site should be up and running again in a week or so and then everyone can pop over there and read all about my final journey to lose weight.  Yes.  Final.  I have lost the weight and I think I have finally – FINALLY – found the right mix of healthy habits to keep me at this weight forever.