Tuesday, September 08, 2009
A few years ago I belonged to another on-line community and now and then I would write a blog about safety for women. Just little things women should do to stay safe in the world. It was before I retired and I got most of my safety tips from inmates I interviewed in the county jail, which was part of my job at the time. I just took their tale of the crime and worked it backwards to see how the victim could have prevented it.
This comes to mind now because a friend of mine called me yesterday and told me her wallet had been stolen at the grocery store. Of course it contained her Drivers’ License, her Social Security card, credit cards, $150 in cash and her checkbook! We women keep our lives in our handbags.
You can only feel sorrow for someone in her situation, knowing the worry she’ll have while she sorts out all she must do to protect herself, now that someone has all her pertinent information.
At the same time, I also feel such frustration at her carelessness! She had decided not to carry her rather large handbag to the store, so she only took her wallet. Do women ever have a pocket in which they can place a wallet that holds all those things? Nope. So what did she do with it while she was in the store? She left it in her cart!!
A year ago we were shopping together in a nice department store and she was at the counter writing a check for her purchase, when something about four feet away on the long counter caught her eye. She left her purse, her checkbook open, and walked down the counter to look at the object. I told her then that anyone could grab her belongings in half a second and that she should never, NEVER, let go of her purse or anything else that belonged to her in a public place! You can only wonder how many times she did that with no ill results. Not yesterday. Yesterday all the ill results caught up with her.
To make matters worse, the thief had Sunday and Labor Day, when the banks were closed, to have fun with her checkbook. She’s going to the bank today to close that account. Of course, she’ll have to change the 3 monthly direct deposits that go into that account, as well as all the automatic debits coming out of that account that pay her bills each month.
How many times have you noticed women doing just what she did? I saw a woman lay a hundred dollar bill on top of her handbag when she was at the counter waiting for the clerk to ring up her bill. She left the counter to look a something else with a dozen people milling around a very busy store. Anyone of them could have pocketed her money in a flash.
And don’t you see women at the store all the time, with their handbags in the grocery cart which they leave parked in the middle of the aisle while they walk up and down picking up items?
You need a purse with a handle and that handle needs to be in your hand, over your arm or over your shoulder. Your purse always needs to be closed - not gaping open where it’s too easy for someone to remove an item without you even noticing. Wearing a fanny pack with your valuables in it is also a good idea and probably the safest.
When you are in a restaurant, don’t leave your purse sitting on the chair or bench while you go to the ladies room. Hand it to someone who is with you and ask them to HOLD it, or take it with you and keep your hands on it the entire time.
Another mistake women often make is in getting in the car, leaving their purse in their cart or sitting on top of the car while they put their purchases in the car. Also, LOCK YOUR CAR DOOR before you even get in the car! How often do you hear that someone was abducted and raped when someone got in the car with them in a parking lot. Why wasn’t their door locked as they were getting in the car? Keep your car doors locked ALL THE TIME!
The sad truth is we have to be AWARE all the time, take precautions all the time, and assume all the time that someone is lurking who can do us harm. Use your head and stay focused when you are out in public! Thieves certainly do.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Thank you all who inquired about my MRI last Friday..
I did indeed take the relaxation drug beforehand and zoned out during the MRI even though I could still hear the loud noise that thing makes. Joe brought me home and parked me in my recliner where I slept for three hours!
I awoke about 3:30 pm, had dinner with Joe, went to bed early and slept for eight hours of solid sleep. Now that's more sleeping in one day than I EVER get, lol.
Saturday was a good day for me. I did have some weakness in my right leg while walking around the grocery store, but less PAIN for the entire day. Until about 9 pm when it all returned with a vengeance. It was hard for me to get into bed. I awoke about 2:30 and put an ice pack on my body. (What a lovely, comfy thing to sleep with, hmmm?) Yesterday was the worst day I've had in a while. All the PAIN back with a vengeance.
My appointment with the Orthopedic doctor is September 17 and I'll get the results of the MRI then, as well as the opportunity to ask a million questions. I don't really think I have a bone or joint problem. I think I have a muscle problem that stems from my back. Bones and joints are covered with muscles and ligaments, so I'm hoping this doctor can help or guide me to someone who can.
I'm definitely going to ask about physical therapy.
I need to know how to exercise in PAIN. When is it ok and when is it not. I hesitate to push through PAIN when I am not sure that I'm not going to do more damage.
I do know that I can't go on not moving.
I'm going to do my best to work on all the muscles I can that don't scream out in PAIN.
I'm going to do my best to get in the pool three times a week, even though dressing, getting there, undressing, getting home, showering, dressing again, etc. etc. takes 3 hours out of my day and wears me out.
I have the Wharton book on active-isolated stretching and I'm going to try to do extensive stretching every day. PAIN or no PAIN.
You can see that, in my life, PAIN is a four-letter word.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
I've seen a few members lately posting about ever-present hunger. I thought I'd post a few ways I can feel full while staying within a reasonable calorie limit.
LOW CALORIE SOUP
This is my own version of an old Weight Watchers recipe where you use "free" veggies (very low calorie) to make soup you can eat anytime.
I use a half of a head of cabbage, a couple of ripe tomatoes and an onion, all cut up into small to medium pieces. Put in a large pot with a can of chicken broth (low fat like Swanson's) and all the water you need to cover the veggies. Add whatever seasonings you like - garlic, salt, pepper, etc.
Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are soft. Allow to cool some and then take about 1/2 to 3/4 of the veggies out and put them in your blender. Puree until the chunks are gone. You may have to do this twice if it won't all fit in one batch. Add it back to the remainder in the pot and stir together.
The pureed veggies mix in and give the soup a rich, creamy texture without adding any milk, cream, or butter! The chunks of veggies make it feel like real solid food. Eat this when you are hungry. There's very few calories in it. Also, drink a cup of it before lunch and dinner and it will slow down your eating, making you feel full more quickly.
OVEN ROASTED VEGGIES
Cut up your favorite veggies - broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, etc. Put them in a large zip lock bag and coat them with a little olive oil. OR you can just put them out in one layer on a large cookie sheet and spray them with a kitchen spritzer filled with olive oil.
The end result is you have low calorie veggies coated with some olive oil, spread out in one layer on a cookie sheet. Set the oven at about 375 - 400 deg. and roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want them.
You can put them in zip lock bags in portion sizes and use them to fill out your meals with more bulk and fiber that is tasty. It's great to add them to a frozen dinner to make it more like a real meal without adding many calories.
The trick is to plan your meal around a "core" food you like - meat and potatoes, maybe - and add calorie free or very low calorie foods to it to give you more bulk and a more satisfied feeling when you're eating.
Sometimes we really crave more "hand-to-mouth" action when we reduce our calories. Just like smokers miss that when they give up smoking. Eating unprocessed food always gives you more of that so you get the satisfaction without the calories.
We just have to remember what it feels like when we BINGE. Do you ever feel GOOD after you do that? Usually you feel pretty rotten. Eating well makes you feel better and your body will thank you for it!
Anyone want to add YOUR tips and tricks to get full without overeating?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I had a massage yesterday with a really proficient muscle specialist.
He used massage and trigger points to release the muscles in my right leg and in my back that connected to that area. He worked on me for an hour. A lot of it was painful, but I'm used to painful massage from all the deep tissue therapy I've had. I joke that I pay people to hurt me!
He gave me some advice on exercise - swimming is the only real way I should move my legs repetitively, because I get the movement of the muscle without any weight or strain.
He also suggested I use a rope looped around the bottom of my foot to pull my leg up and down, again to get movement without exerting and exhausting the muscles too much.
So I'm going to try to swim more and do some stretches. He told me the latest theory in stretching is not to hold the stretch for more than two seconds. I found verification for this in various places online, including "The Wharton Stretch Book" at amazon.com.
Still scheduled for an MRI but have no expectations there. Over the years I've had all sorts of tests, xrays, cat scans and an MRI 4 yrs ago, showing nothing.
The problem is in my muscles, which spasm and contort my body out of alignment. Strong enough to make one leg shorter at times, or to hold my back in an iron grip so I can't even reach the radio in my car. Something in my back/nerves causes this, as far as anyone can tell me. Sitting too much is a problem, standing too much is a problem, walking too much is a problem.
Orthopedics is the closest thing to a muscle specialist and I have a referral for that doctor after my MRI.
Meanwhile, I just do what has helped me in the past, not a cure, just a management of pain and restriction. In time, I ususally get some results. The pain is not excruciating any more, just annoying and frustrating. I don't limp every time I take a step, but about 50% of the time.
That is some improvement over a week ago. Counting my blessings. Maybe that is what has helped me lose 2 of the 5 lbs. I gained over the past month and a half.
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