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2010 - A Year of Promise

Friday, January 01, 2010

Well, I just figured out how many days I exercised in 2009 and it's 253, which my husband says is good but I'm not satisfied with it so I want to exercise a minimum of 300 days in 2010. Of course, I'm not off to a good start because my back is achy today and I'm wearing my heating pad but if I feel better later, we may go for a walk.

2010 is going to be an exciting year for me with a few trips planned. The first trip is in February (Feb. 5th to 12th) to Jamaica with my Dad. We will be staying at the Rosehall Beach Resort. Here's a link to it:


And, then I'm going to be celebrating my 50th birthday in May so I'm planning a trip to Ste. Anne's Country Inn & Spa in Grafton, Ontario with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt-in-law. Here's a link to it:


My mum took me here once and we had a great time except for the spa treatments I received (massage & facial) because they hurt but the food was good and I loved the hot tubs, sauna and pool so I'm looking forward to going again.

I'm thinking we could book one of their cabins. I specifically want to book the Sentosa because it comes with its own personal hot tub but we'll see:


And, then it's my sister-in-law's 25th wedding anniversary so we have to plan something for that and it's my Dad's 80th birthday in September so we're planning on going to a resort in the Kawartha's for that.

I just hope that Jake (hubby) isn't laid off again this year so that we can afford all of this. Although, I've said that I could pay for my spa myself, if necessary.

Anyway, that's my exciting year. I just hope that I feel better this year than last year and that everything goes smoothly!

Happy New Year!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 1/1/2010 8:58PM

    Good goals and lovely times ahead for 2010!

Sending wishes for the happiest, healthiest year YET! :-)


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JHADZHIA 1/1/2010 1:09PM

    Wow, sounds like lots of fun!
Its sound like you need to find one of those full torso heating pads that you can sleep all night on. When I feel particularly achy, this low heat, safe heating pad has helped me wake up feeling better than I when I went to sleep. The muscle spasms I was having in my foot, for example, are gone now. It was a Christmas gift my sister gave me, and its been the best gift I have ever received! Its made by Sunbeam and she got it at WalMart. Many is the time I have gone to bed feeling cold and achy and waking up feeling better. Tip: I always turn it on under the covers 15 minutes before I go to bed to warm everything up!
I hope you have a great New Year!

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Stressed Out? Try These Powerhouse Foods to Get Back on an Even Keel

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This article was published on ASAP (American Society of Administrative Professionals) website and I thought it was worth sharing:

These days, everyone is under an increasing amount of stress. People who have jobs may be worried about losing them. People who have lost jobs are stressed about finding new ones. This type of constant anxiety can lead to headaches, stomach problems, irritability, fatigue and frequent, hard-to-shake colds, to name just a few physical responses.

Believe it or not, one easy way reduce the symptoms of stress is to eat better. A well-balanced diet can actually help reduce tension, boost the immune system and improve health and wellbeing. Add some of the "stress-buster" foods below to your diet, and see if your stress levels don't drop—and your peace of mind increase.

Carbohydrate-rich foods
Carbohydrates trigger the release of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, which relaxes the body. Complex carbohydrates that can have a calming effect include rice, beans, pasta, potatoes, breads and lentils. Each of these foods soothe without bringing us down as sugar does. (Eating foods high in sugar, a simple carbohydrate, can initially be calming. However, sugar enters and leaves the bloodstream so rapidly that all-too-soon causes us to "crash.")

High-fiber foods
Fiber-rich foods have the potential to increase serotonin levels. Plus they are digested slowly, which can help control blood sugar, improve digestion and clear up constipation. Excellent sources of fiber include whole grains like bulger wheat, quinoa, oats and brown rice, along with fruits and vegetables.

Fresh fruits and vegetables
Green, yellow and orange vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system and replenish stressed-out bodies. Dark green vegetables like broccoli and kale are full of antioxidants, substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Many vegetables also contain potassium, which can calm the nerves.

One of the healthiest foods around, blueberries are high in vitamin C, which has been shown to give the body added reserves to help it deal with high levels of stress.

Low fat or skim milk
Milk is high in protein, which keeps blood sugar stabilized and contains tryptophan, which is essential for the synthesis of calming serotonin. This is why a glass of milk before bed really can help you sleep better.

Because even mild dehydration can stress the body, causing headaches, muscle weakness and lightheadedness, it is essential to drink enough water throughout the day. Drink a glass of water with each meal and between meals, and drink more before, during and after exercise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GNUATTITUDE 3/2/2010 8:24PM

    Great reminder! Thanks for posting.

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MOLLIEMAC 12/17/2009 8:31PM

    Thanks Joanna- we all need this info at this time of the year....MJ BTW- blueberries are a daily item in our house, doesn't hurt that they grow most everywhere in NS and we can buy huge bags of frozen ones year round....MJ

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My Rheumy is a Funny Man...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

...but very honest with me (I think).

So, last time I went to my rheumy in September, I think, I told him I was really tired all the time and he said that was because my hemoglobin was low, which could be caused by the disease (rheumatoid arthritis) or it could be caused by my medications or it could be caused by a combination of both.

So, I know that my sisters suffer from low iron, which causes fatigue so they take iron pills for it. So I suggested that if I did this, it might help and he completely dismissed it because he said that the conditions I was living with wouldn't react to an increase in iron so there was no point in even trying.

But, I figured it couldn't hurt so I started taking iron pills AND Vitamin B12 and lo and behold, I actually started feeling more lively during the day.

So, I told him about it at my appointment yesterday and he implied that it was his idea and he was glad it worked! LOL!

I also told him that I had stopped taking my Sulfasalazine since it was causing my arms to be itchy all the time but since I stopped it entirely about a month ago, my right ankle was painful a lot of the time and I wondered if he would prescribe Imuran for me, another DMARD? But, he said that although the medication pamphlet he gave me showed very few adverse side effects, he knew from experience with other patients that after about 5 years on it, a lot of them developed skin cancer so he didn't prescribe it anymore. So that's good that he's honest about that, right?

I then asked him to prescribe me Percocet for those days when nothing else works and I'm in serious pain. It doesn't happen often but it has happened. I know it's an opiate. And, I know it can be addictive. But, I also know that I wouldn't abuse it; I would only take it if absolutely necessary! But, he warned me about the possibility for abuse and then told me that sometimes patients accidentally OD on it because one doesn't do the trick. He also was concerned that someone might break into my house to steal them because he said "on the street", 50 of them are worth $2500! But, in the end, he wrote me a prescription for 20 of them and I'm to take them only when abolutely necessary and to only take them as directed and to ensure that I don't broadcast that I have them to prevent someone breaking in to steal them. (I'm sure this blog doesn't count since none of you actually know where I live - LOL!)

In the meantime, he told me to book my next Rituxan infusions, which I have booked for December 30th and January 14th. The first one is when we're closed for the Christmas holidays anyway so I don't have to waste another vacation day on it. However, I have to waste a vacation day for the second one because I'll be back at work then. BLAH!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEESNOW 12/12/2009 11:08AM

    I read your post about the low iron and picked up some iron and B12 this morning to try.
Thanks for the tip!

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1888MICHELLE 12/10/2009 8:51AM

    Yikes! Glad that he's open to discussing things with you. Some are soooo arrogant that you just want to smack them. Hope the shots will give you some relief.

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JHADZHIA 12/8/2009 5:58PM

    I suffered from a very severe bout of iron deficiency anemia once. It was brought on by extreme stress. That is when I learned my condition could cause this as well. I was so low that only one in 4 oxygen were carrying hemoglobin which is why I couldn't stay awake and kept falling asleep. My Dr. was surprised I wasn't haven't breathing difficulties. So she put me on high doses of iron, which gave me severe diarrhea. Eventually, I went back to normal, but now try to avoid stressful situations. At least your Dr. will prescribe something serious for pain. I am just told nothing will work for the pain I have as well as the addiction song and dance. The worries about someone stealing it, that is new lol.
I hope you feel better, maybe you need a vacation to Hawaii too!

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A Gardener's Christmas Wish List

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I got this out of this week's paper and thought I would share:

We may be forced into hibernation, but we gardeners, optimists all, never cease to dream of the spring that’s just a mere season away. So with Christmas gift-giving time just around the corner, I’ve put together a list of a few things to help us think spring in the winter

1. Anything green and blooming. Maybe an amaryllis, azalea, Christmas cactus or poinsettia.

2. Bulbs for forcing later on.

3. A good gardening book or two or three. Maybe something by Des Kennedy, who always makes me laugh out loud.

4. A seed starter kit and seeds to keep those hands in the dirt.

5. An exotic orchid that will bloom for months and make you happy just by looking at it.

6. Potted herbs for the windowsill to bring fragrance to the kitchen and flavour to your cooking.

7. Tools of the trade such as good quality garden gloves, pruners or cultivators.

8. A basket filled with homemade preserves, jellies and relishes.

9. A photo album or notebook to record all those great garden moments and bits of wisdom gleaned over the last year.

10. Gifts that keep on giving such as a membership to the Royal Botanical Garden and local horticultural society or a subscription to a gardening magazine.

11. Tickets to an outing at the Niagara Parks greenhouses and butterfly conservatory.

12. A gift certificate for a local garden centre that becomes an excuse for a wonderful outing on some dull, dreary mid-winter day.

Growing Green is prepared by Mount Hamilton Horticultural Society and appears biweekly. This week’s column was written by Helen MacPherson, one of the society's directors. She also serves as their Outreach Chair.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYROYALTY 11/22/2009 11:12AM

    wonderful gift idea for my loved ones (with maybe a few there for myself!) thanks!

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JESSIE_130 11/22/2009 11:10AM

    All wonderful ideas! Thanks.

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THERESEMB1 11/22/2009 10:56AM

    How ALIVE and FULL OF LOVE I truly enjoyed this blog. thank you for sharing. namaste

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MOLLIEMAC 11/22/2009 10:46AM

    Yes- great ideas! I would add a chance to curl up with both a good seed catalogue and the Lee Valley gardening catalogue...MJ

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Folic Acid - How Much is Too Much

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I saw this article in today's paper and thought it would be worthwhile sharing for those of us who take folic acid to help prevent nauseousness from our meds.

by Carly Weeks
The Canadian Press

(Nov 19, 2009)
More questions are being raised about the safety of folic acid supplementation after new research has found links between the B vitamin and increased cancer risk.

Researchers in Norway found that heart-disease patients treated with a combination of folic acid and vitamin B12 had an increased risk of cancer and death compared to patients who didn't receive the vitamins as treatment.

Unlike Canada and the United States, Norway doesn't require folic acid to be added to food.

The market for vitamin supplements also is relatively small and study participants were discouraged from taking them -- giving researchers a unique ability to assess the effect folic acid could have in high doses.

The study, appearing yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, fuels fears that mandatory fortification of the food supply with folic acid could yield unintended consequences.

"Folic acid fortification and supplementation may not necessarily be as safe as previously assumed," said Marta Ebbing, the study's lead author and a physician at Haukeland University Hospital.

The issue has come under debate as a growing number of studies have suggested high amounts of folic acid can potentially speed up the progression of cancer in genetically predisposed individuals.

The debate is complicated by the fact that folic acid, when taken by expectant mothers, significantly reduces the risk of children being born with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

Researchers caution that much more work needs to be done to understand the potential risks and whether any changes in public health policy are needed.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a vitamin found in greens and other fruits and vegetables.

After more than six years of follow-up, researchers found that 10 per cent of those who received folic acid had been diagnosed with cancer, compared to 8.4 per cent of the group that didn't take any B vitamin.

Most of the increased cancer risk was attributed to higher rates of lung cancer. Researchers found that 56 people who took folic acid were diagnosed with lung cancer, compared to 36 people in the group that didn't receive that vitamin.

Although the amounts of folic acid added to food aren't high, some researchers worry Canadians who take multivitamins or supplements containing folic acid may be getting too much.

"We are concerned about folic acid supplementation actually promoting existing cancer," said Young-In Kim, professor of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. "(But) we need to be careful because fortification did wonderful things."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 11/19/2009 1:26PM

    I just read something about that in health news. My doctor is always pushing me to take folic acid by itself in a supplement form, but I refuse because its already in my multivitamin. I don't have to worry about the kid thing, never want or will have any.
Thanks for sharing this article!

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