Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I am physically trashed today. I used my walker and went to our high school for the big district meeting recognizing staff for years of service, retirees, and last quarter motivation. Then, we went back to our own buildings for "team building." I took my wheel chair and my walker--I am so slow when I walk that it isn't efficient enough for work. I did walk most of the day though and left exhausted. On the way home, I needed to get some groceries--ooh, really yummy, juicy grape tomatoes (finally) and I gave in and used a motorized cart there. I did go to the pool this afternoona nd I also took a nap to make up for a long, restless night.
i'm keeping it short tonight--need to get some extra sleep. Take care my friends!
Monday, March 29, 2010
It has been a good day to end spring break with. It didn't start out quite right because I woke up at 3:30 with some terrible pain in my back. It was in its usual place, but it radiated up towards my mid back underneath my shoulders. That is a new place for pain and new sensations as well. I fell back to sleep some time after 5, but interrupted sleep is not quality sleep.
Church today more than made up for it. The Palm Sunday processional was moving. We had a short sermon that emphasized that the important part of Palm Sunday and Holy Week is "what happened next." I thought about that a lot and that is true with everything--SP and work and parenting. We had music from the African Pentacostal Group who are having worship services in our church in their home language--they provided a meal for us as well and I'll talk more about that in a bit.
The choir did a Cantata that really moved me--it brought tears to my eyes a few times. (Part of that is because three of my kids sing in the shoir, but part was the message.) They sang 7 songs with narrations of Jesus' journey during Holy Week. One of the narrators told the story from the Gospels and the other one talked about Jesus with a human response as He traveled that journey. The music was awesome--not only did our organist play, but she included several members who paly a variety of brass and percussion instruments. The final song was "come Walk With Me" and it was so motivating and moving.
The meal was interesting. I decided to pass because of my current needs when I eat in both quantities and food choices, but my children shared the meal. There was only one food that was clearly recognizable to me--plain white rice. Other foods included a cabbage dish, two different bean dishes, a yellow "sticky" rice dish, a spinach and peas dish, and a meat dish that I understood was goat. I am not sure where you find such an item, but the kids seemed to enjoy the food for the most part. I am proud of them for trying new items and being prt of this social event to bring our two Christian groups together. These immigrants are a small group--about 35 people, and it was no small thing for them to prepare ethnic foods for the 150-200 people from our congreagation who were in attendance. It was a wonderful experience.
I took a short nap when we got home, had some lunch, and then went to the pool, even though today, I wanted to stay at home and baby my back instead. I was fine once aI got to the pool, but it seemed awfully cold to me today. I got in my exercises and ten minutes in the steam room before showering and coming home. I've been using heat on my back for the rest of the evening and thinking a lot about tomorrow--our first day of the final quarter and the meeting day we have when we come back to work. I cannot decide if I am going to have to use my wheel chair or if I can try to walk with my walker. I am so slow and it is big labor for me to wqalk, but now that I am walking, I want to stay that way. I just cannot spend a lot of time trying to walk around, my schedule is pretty tight. I'll figure it out before we have children on Tuesday. We also have a Good Friday holiday.
My children have their spring break this week, so I plan to come home from work and pick up any of them who want to come to the fitness center with me each day (but Tuesday because I have a doctor's appointment.) I also am still waiting to hear from my back doctor's staff to find out when my bone scan will be. I assume it will be some time this week. I need to find out what is going on with me physically, so I can have a plan to get better. I did some research on Vitamin D deficiencies and it can really hurt bone and joint health as well as aggrevate fibromyalgia. It can cause fatigue and an overall lack of energy. I deal with this constantly and I hope that we get this issue fixed. I also need to find out if my iron and Vitamin B12 levels are appropriate. I was pretty anemic when I had surgery in October and it took 2 units of blood to bring me up to a low hematocrit. As much as these tests are annoying and time-consuming, they may unlock the answers I need to feeling better.
Have a wonderful week. If I am not around as much as I have been, forgive me--but my time for being online will definitely change. I care about each of you and will do what is reasonable for a working mother of eight.
Focus on your goals during this tempting Holy Week with so many chocolate bunnies, jellybeans, and marshmallow eggs around!! Sending gentle hugs to all!!
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!!
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