Sunday, March 28, 2010
A few days ago, I mentioned in a blog how my doctor talked to me about getting more protein in my diet. I got several wonderful suggestions from my friends here adn I am doing better with that. I don't think I mentioned that my GP is conserned about a lot of my major vitamins and minerals and I will get a report on that after a fasting blood work-up on Wednesday. He has already put me back on 4000 units of vitamin D a day because I have never had a higher amount than "19" when they tested and that is not so good--and he figures that with the winter, I probably haven't gotten enough sunshine to make a difference in that number. He is also very worried about my vitamin b12 and iron...I think he has some reason to be concerned and I suspect that someone here will have a suggestion or two for me on that topic.
Anyway, back to the protein issue...I did a search engine check on protein laden snack items and I was surprised to a) not find a lot of information that wasn't somebody selling some supplement and b) when I found articles, most only had 3 or 4 suggestions. I did find an article that can be found at: "Shape Fit" and they made some lists of suggestions. The site for the entire article is:
This author divided her snack lists into two parts--vegetable and animal protein sources. Those lists are as follows:
1oz soy cheese
1oz unsalted nuts (22 almonds or 10 walnuts)
2T all natural peanut or almond butter. Be careful because the nut spreads can lend a lot of calories in fat. A healthier product would be to purchase a non- hydrogenated nut spread where the oil is separated and sitting at the top of the jar.
½ c legumes (chickpeas, kidney, cannelloni, etc)
8oz non-fat or 1% low fat milk
1oz low fat cheeses (less that 5 grams of fat per ounce) such as part- skim milk
mozzarella (string cheese), Laughing Cow cheese, fat free American, soy cheese, Jarlsberg Lite cheese , 50% reduced cheddar cheese.
½ c nonfat or 1% cottage cheese
2T nonfat cream cheese
One container of low fat or nonfat yogurt
One egg or ½ c egg whites
1-2 oz of sliced deli meats like turkey, chicken, ham, and lean roast beef
Whey protein powder (available in health food stores in health specialty stores)
Another quick option is to eat a sports bar for a snack. Check the food panel to make sure it contains a significant amount of protein and is high in fiber.
My point is that just as research that I have read (in at least one article that can be found here at SP), sites like this one with active member communities have members that provide quality information that can be relied upon. Look at this example and then check out my previous blog. It is easy to see this for yourself.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Hi and Howdy and Hello too...
I've had a complicated couple of days--fell asleep in the middle of a blog last night and I decided that if it put me to sleep writing it, it probably wasn't much worth reading, lol. I was busy all day yesterday--I rode along with my two oldest sons on a little "daytrip" as we took Mitchell to catch a train to spend a couple of days with his friends in Chicago. When we returned, it was time to pick Miles up from his college and we did a bit of grocery shopping. (I stocked up on fruit and protein foods, yummy choices around here for a few days anyway. We go through a lot of groceries with ten people.) Miles cooked dinner on the grill--I got a good deal on ground chuck and the burgers were excellent. We went to the fitness center after that. I am not sure I like exercising so late--my body was pretty rough by the time I got home nad got ready for bed. I need to get used to it though, working full time will not give me other choices, given whent he pool is available.
Today is Matthew's 28th birthday--he is my oldest son and that is giving me a lot to think about. My life has changed in so many ways since he was born and I have so much to be thankful for. Matthew has CP which took a while for the diagnosis to be made and many frustrating moments on my part. He had a multitude of tests and misdiagnoses until we got to the bottom of his issues. He also has Asperger's Syndrome (a high level form of autism) and that wasn't diagnosed until he was an adult. School wasn't always kind to Matthew, but I stuck by his side and fought a lot of battles on his behalf. He is a wonderful young man with 2 jobs and an apartment that he stays in at least one of two nights a week. He is very patient and kind, determined and trustworthy, innocent and reliable. Considering the things life has given him, he has turned out to be a son any mother could be proud of.
I have had a tough morning in more ways than I expected. After a morning of doctors and related things, I cmae home and cried for a bit. My body is in some bizarre state that I just don't understand. I did a lot of walking and the back x-rays are horrid when you have a back like mine and that may explain the major pain--but the fatigue and weepiness are a puzzle. I guess I should start at the beginning.
My back doc ordered x-rays before I even saw him. That hard table was lousy--and the pictures they needed with me on my left side hurt more than the ones flat on my back. I haven't noticed that much discomfort in my hip ever. I had my list of questions for him, but I was unprepared for the tears that came to my eyes and I choked up trying to talk to him. I guess that was all he needed to see--he ordered lab work and a bone scan that I am waiting for the schedule on. He wants to make sure that I don't have a bone infection or a compression fracture, amongst other things. He also called my physical therapist and she came up to chat with him before I was able to hobble away. I went from their office to the hospital for my lab work. We made a ten minute stop at Target so I could buy a special birthday card for Matthew and a couple of "silly" fun type gifts. I went from there to my regular appointment with my GP. Actually my kind of "new" GP. The doctor I have been seeing relocated to Maine and I am seeing the other doctor in the office. He has taken care of me on many occasions--he was the doctor who admitted me when I had the infection in my spine and we "reminisced" about how sick I was then. It wasn't a fun time, that's for sure. Anyway, it was a complet exam in every sense--my blood pressure was perfect and my weight made him happy too. He noticed me wiggling--I think I do it all of the time because of my back pain. He chased down the lab work that was done this morning and ordered my fasting stuff for Wednesday before work. He also had them give me a DPT--I've slipped by a long time without one of those, lol. He needs me back on my vitamin D supplements, but I am still pretty much med-free except for pain management.
So, at this point in time, I don't know if there is something new going on or my back is flaring at a foul level. My GP is concerned about how intense my fibromyalgia is and wondered if my rheumy should consider Lyrica. (side effect is weight gain and I don't need or want that) It was a busy time--but I don't understand why I felt so weepy after it was done. I cried for a bit after I got home, but it feels like the tip of the iceberg here. It's hard to say, maybe this is about the end of spring break, lol.
Anyway, I need to go to the pool now because we are going to celebrate Matthew's birthday with a dinner of his choosing and his birthday party tonight. I love family fun--I have given my teenagers a 9:00 curfew because I think everyone should be here unless they are working (or out of town). I know that my time for having my family all together is not going to last a lot longer and I cherish every single moment with my kids as they turn into adults. We have fun together and work hard together, with each of them bringing their own special gifts to the group.
Happy Birthday Matthew--I love you so much.
I am blessed and I recognize it regularly. I wish that I could share all of my gifts with all of you as well, so you could feel the same.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I made it to the pool this afternoon with my youngest son. We got there as the park program was leaving and I had lenty of time for my workout--and time to spare for the sauna for a few minutes to get myself warmed back up. I met a lady at the pool--she had these webbed finger pool gloves and I wanted to know where she got them from (online of course.) I was using paddles to do my arm and shoulder exercises when I was at PT and now I don't have a tool for adding that resistance. Those gloves would do the job, so I am going to see what I can find. Maybe I can find some water wings for my ankles as well.
Anyway, this lady was chatty and showed me where to find the available pool equipment I might want to try. She offered to help me out the next time we are there at the same time. She also told me which life guards that I should ask for exercise ideas--some of them teach some of the classes at the fitness center and will certainly lend me a hand. I don't really need a lot of extra or new things right now, but it is good to have resources for when I am ready. She was very kind and helpful and I am glad that we talked. I am betting that she might be interested in SP as well, she was talking about losing weight and not bulking up. That will be another conversation on another day.
We had the last of the Lenten studies tonight at church. Next week is Holy Week already and that hardly seems possible. The time since Ash Wednesday has flown by. I hung out at the church while the choir practiced for their big musical program on Palm Sunday. (I have 3 kids who sing in the choir.) I had some General Mills boxtops to leave for the inner city school we do mission work with. I also received some diaper samples in the mail and I took them to church as well. We collect diapers at Christmas time as part of our "Diapers for Baby Jesus" program. We do a lot of outreach for people in need and often there are people without any resources who have babies and toddlers. We collect diapers that someone repackages in smaller sets to give to people so their babies aren't miserable when they are having hard times. There are so many things that come up when a family is in need and most of us don't have any reason to know what it is like. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have diapers for my infant. (I used cloth diapers for my two oldest children, but those are also expensive and you have to have a way to do laundry if you are using them.)
I worked on my afghan and got a preview of the music that will be performed on Palm Sunday. We also will have some music from the African group who we are letting to use our church. They are making some of the food from their native country for our congregation this week. We will get to spend time with them as well. It should be interesting and fun. Our church has a web site and a facebook page that you can check out. There are some videos of some of our special summer music programs on the page as well--the Dixieland music program and the Bix weekend Jazz service. They are wonderful programs--motivating and fun. Anyway, the website is:
http://www.churchofpeaceucc.org/ Please feel free to stop by and check it out. (I know that the more clicks that the church gets helps to get it looked at even more. That is a nice way to advertise the outreach programs that we do, which in turn can help our membership grow, which can help us to do even more.)
It was a wonderful day. I am glad to end it here on SP before I go to sleep for the night. Sweet dreams one and all!!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
It is shirt sleeve weather!! I am not sure there has been another person who has wanted this for as long as I have. After the first of many heavy snows with frigid temperatures in December, I was ready for spring. The beauty of this is that I am so happy with the weather now. I won't say it was worth the wait, because the cold caused me so much discomfort that nothing was good about that in my mind. In any case, I loved today--it was gorgeous in every sense of the word.
I thought the pool was a little colder than it has been. (My doctor told me that I should expect to be cold for the rest of my life...I was hoping that he was exaggerating a bit.) The thing with cold is that it hurts my arthritic joints and it seems to make the hardware in my body keep me cold as well. My back has been on a rage for almost a month now and even though the workouts in the pool are good for me, the cold feeling gets in way down deep. I did use the dry sauna again for ten minutes before I took my shower. I turned the water temp as hot as it goes and never had to turn it down--and that isn't because it wasn't reasonable, it is because I was too cold. Maybe I will have to retire to one of those nice warm climates at some point in my life.
I had a bit of a scare and I am trying to take it in stride. One of our administrators sent me an email thanking me for taking my time for that meeting at work a couple of weeks ago. He also told me thathe had talked to people and there would be help for me to pack and move my belongings...when we get ready to go to the new facility. OOPS...I have thought for a very long time that I was being relocated for the 2010-11 school year. I am not excited about working in the new building and I am really want to work in a different climate with different people. I expect it, so I sent him a response and included that I had the understanding that I would be in a different location. His answer today was that he understood I was going to the new school, but he would check on that and let me know for sure. Oh my, I cannot do another year in the type of climate that I have been working in. I just cannot do that and if that is the plan, I looked at my husband and told him that I would be retiring at the end of next school year. I'll be 55 with 25 years and that is allowable. I am not sure and I am not going to think much more on the topic until I hear for sure that I am expected to go to the new school.
I am wondering if the "things" in my house are having some electronic ailment. My hot air popcorn popper has quit working. that is on the coattails of the microwave doing the same thing and the vacuum cleaner just before that. We have been having some issues with the tires on the car as well. I wonder if it is my kids being rough with some things--not likely given the items that aren't acting right--or if we have had a visit from gremlins, lol. I found a couple of replacements on eBay and we got a microwave off of Craigslist, so things are okay. With the exception of the tires (which seems to be because of a problem with how Suzuki made the rims) none of these things were urgent, just annoying. I can remember a day when this kind of stuff might have caused a lot of mayhem for me. We went through some hard times as I got started in my career and as our children were babies and toddlers. It is nice to be at a comfortable place where money isn't the overriding reason for every choice we make. I have come to realize it is health--certainly mine. That brings me back to why I am here and believe so much in SP. SP has empowered me in a new way to be able to help myself. That is quite a gift and there is no price tag to measure it. It is unbelieveable there is no fee as well.
I am happy with myself. I have some possible tough decsions coming, but I feel good about the choices I can make if needed. I believe in myself and that is a good thing.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
With my doctor appointments in the afternoon, I had to wait to go to the pool until this evening and I think it is harder to go that late. I read an article today that suggested doing exercise earlier in the day, but my arthritis has me far too stiff for that. Our pool has an open swom time from 7-9 during the week, but that just isn't practical for a mother who has a job. In any case, I got my exercise in and am glad that I went. I took about ten minutes in the sauna, just to warm up--I have only done that once before. It did help warm me up, but I think other people use it in the nude. I am not comfortable enough with public undress yet--if ever, lol. I knocked my swim bag off of my walker and onto my leg in the front of my calf area and it left a significant knot and a big bruise, the size of a nice peice of fruit. I have ice on it to bring the swelling down and take the soreness out and that isn't helping the chill I'm feeling.
I have made several new spark friends the past couple of days and that has been fun. Some have been on my teams and some have found me. I love being able to talk to others and lend a hand or an idea to help them out. I will miss having as much time to come to SP when I return to work half days next week because I will miss all of the good friends that I have here. I feel sad for some of my SP friends who are having a tough time right now and if you are one of them reading this, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so blessed with a group of friends from all around SP who look after me and encourage me and keep me going. I love giving the feelings that are sent to me to others as well. This site is so positive and friendly that I wish everyone could have these feelings of success, motivation, support, and welcome that are so abundant.
My doctor visit was quite positive. I am going to stay at half days for another month and then have a reevaluation with him. He encouraged me to keep up with the activities that I have been doing. He also made some suggestions for my diet--more protein is the big one. I am going to do my best to do that, my limited walking and getting around limits the time I spend in the kitchen and I don't like to ask everyone else to do things for me, but I am just going to have to change that attitude. I've been worried about my hair--the post-op, post anesthesia damage should be past, but my hair continues to fall out and it isn't looking good. I think I need to get a really short cut to help it heal some and improving my diet should help as well.
It's been a good day--beautiful outside with more of the same predicted. I have another doctor appointment tomorrow, and a list of things to accomplish. I am getting so much out of spring break that it will be hard to get back on schedule next week. Like I told the gentleman who brought me a wheelchair at the hospital today (where my doctor's office is located), "Thank you, but I can do this." I can and I will.
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