Tuesday, February 12, 2013
This past week my new thing was to try rhubarb. Bob made some strawberry-rhubarb jam. It was okay, but not my favorite. I'll have it again. I'm glad I tried it.
There are many other fruits I like better with black raspberries remaining my favorite.
My new thing to try this next week is to find a brand new place to walk. When using the same place all the time can become a little boring. That and I get to know the people in the neighborhood and they want me to stop and talk. I hate being rude, so sometimes I do, other times, I wave. If Bob is with me, he'll stop and talk and I'll go ahead and get him on the way back. I'm going to try to find a place where I can take the dogs, too. I walk the two little ones and Bob takes the bigger two.
Tomorrow starts the Lenten Season for us with Ash Wednesday. I'm not sure if we'll go to Mass or not. At our ages, we don't have to do so. But this is a time for reflection and denial of some of the extremes in our lives. I think this is one of the reasons I was so shocked with the Pope's announcement that he is retiring at the end of this month. I should think he would have waited until this most holy of seasons was over with Easter Sunday. I couldn't believe what I was reading that he was stepping down to begin with and then really shocked over when.
I know this is short, but I want to keep it that way this once.
Everyone enjoy their week. My best thoughts for all my Buddies.
Peace Love Hope
My Hawk friend who visits me often. He'll also leave me feathers every so often.
He used to walk around the house on the sidewalk, but he hasn't done that in a very long time.
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Another page from my doctor gives more tips. They call this sleep hygiene like getting into a routine for a better night's sleep much like you get into a routine for mouth/teeth and bathing routine. So here are my version of the 16 tips towards sleep hygiene.
1. Don't go to bed unless you are sleepy.
Find something relaxing to do instead. This will help your body and mind relax to make getting to sleep easier.
2. If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, get up, leave the room, and find something relaxing to do.
3. Begin rituals that help you relax each night before bedtime.
This could include a warm bath, light snack, some reading, browsing your favorite magazine.
4. Get up at the same time every morning.
This includes weekends and holidays, too.
5. Get a regular night's sleep as often as you can.
Hopefully this will be everyday.
6. Avoid taking naps if you can.
If you do need one, try to make it a power nap lasting 20-30 minutes, and never after 3PM.
7. Keep a regular schedule.
Try to stick to a schedule for meals, taking your meds, and chores.
8. Don't read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone,, or play cards in bed.
9. Do not have any caffeine after dinner.
10. Do not have a beer, glass of wine, or any alcohol within 6 hours of your bedtime.
11. Do not have a cigarette or any form of nicotine before bedtime.
12. Do not go to bed hungry, but do not eat a large meal near bedtime either.
13. Avoid andy tough exercise within 6 hours of bedtime.
Exercise on a regular basis, but do it earlier in the day.
14. Avoid sleeping pills, or use them cautiously.
15. Try to get rid of or deal with things that make you worry.
Your bed is a place to rest, not worry.
16. Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and slightly cooler.
This should remind you of a cave.
I hope these will help you have a better night's sleep and more often. If you stop and think about them, most are common sense!
Be sure to enjoy your day and keep safe and warm from the clean up from the storm.
Peace Love Hope
Friday, February 08, 2013
Does this sound like you? You're a little late getting up in the morning throwing your routine out of whack. You don't have time for a healthy breakfast and since you forgot to make your lunch last night, you also don't have a healthy lunch to take to work. It all puts you in a bad mood. You have to work at it, but try to keep things as positive as you can. Instead of the negative, see what you can do to fix things. For one, take a piece of fruit with you for breakfast on the way. Pull together a quick lunch of another piece of fruit , perhaps a few veggies, and a 100 calorie snack pack to make a lunch. Try to keep that smile going, too, whether or not you want to or feel like it. Smile to those you meet in the parking lot or bus stop. Give a smile and nod to those you see in the hallway. Be sure to compliment one of your co-workers. It doesn't hurt to tell someone they look nice or you like their hair or outfit. It might perk them up from having a bad day, too. And it will certainly make you feel better. Even when you talk to clients or customers on the phone smile and it will be in your voice.
Take a few minutes when you aren't really busy at work to straighten your work area. Keeping it clean and tidy will always be a positive thing. If you have the time and it's been awhile, dust, too. Have you tried keep a can of lysol in your desk or locker? Use it to clean your desk surface. Not only does that help clean, but it's also a healthy thing as it kills a lot of the germs that have deposited themselves on the surface. When I worked in the salon, I would use lysol to clean my station and the client chair after each service. It really made me feel good to know I was doing my best to keep my clients safe. It also helped me keep up with everything making less work for me at the end of the cleanup.
If you don't go out to work, this works at home, too. Keeping your computer area nice and clean and healthy will keep you upbeat. It feels much nicer to use the computer in a clean and tidy area. It also leaves you some more time when cleaning the house.
If you are tired at the end of the day, try to keep that smile and good feeling going. Give your spouse a kiss or hug or maybe even both. Ask your kids how they did at school and praise at least one thing that they accomplished. To keep yourself from starting the next day the same way, be sure to pack your lunch for the next day. If you need any prep work for breakfast, do it while making supper or your lunch.
All and all, you will find everything go much easier for you. Positive people attract other positive people. They also help bring others in a better mood so they can keep positive themselves. Each of us is beautiful in our own special way. When you are positive, your beauty shines through your eyes, shows on your face, and lets everyone know you are confident and happy with yourself no matter your size.
Have a wonderful day or night. If you are in the path of the storm, stay safe.
Peace Love Hope
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
What a week! I'm really glad it's over!! First of all I want to tell you about my something new I tried. It was belly dancing!! I really am enjoying this dvd for beginners. Rather than trying to do the entire thing through, I am doing it like I learned my majorette routines in high school. I am taking it by sections and learning a certain amount of moves at a time until I have them memorized. That way it isn't so difficult with each new move. I have 5 memorized already: two with the hip action, two leg movements, and one for the arms. If I get nothing else from the DVD, I'll have this down and can do a bit with it. I learned it slow, then sped up as I went through the week. My new thing for this week is, I'm going to be trying Rhubarb. I have never had it before. Bob promises me I'll love it. I'm anxious to give it a try. I have no idea how he'll fix it, but he knows sugar is out of the question, so we'll just have to wait and see.
Last Wednesday I saw my psychiatrist in Gainesville (about 70 miles NW of here by the time we reach his office). Things went fairly well. He gave me two sheets on how to get sleep. I added the first one and I'll do the second on another blog. He kept me on the three meds I've be talking as they have worked very well for me, helping to keep the bipolar/ PTSD in line. I only have depression once in awhile now and the highs rarely. I'd say I get the depression perhaps 3-4 times a year and it lasts a day or perhaps two. The highs I get 1-2 times a year and it lasts about 1-2 days, too. The great thing about it, the highs aren't nearly as bad as before and mostly consist of the difficulty with sleeping. When I was younger I would go 3 -4 days without sleep and drive around all night, then work the next day. Those occurred at least every other month and sometimes every month. I also loved to spend money when on a high. So these meds really have things under control.
Friday I went to have the nurse in my chemo treatment room take blood for my lab tests. Since I have a port, the hospital won't do it in their lab as they have no RN's that are qualified to use a port. Afterwards we took the blood work to the hospital. Thank goodness it is right across the street from the cancer center. This trip is 30 miles one way.
Yesterday I went to my ENT for my 6 month check up from the tonsil cancer. That requires having my nose numbed and a tube with a camera inserted to see into my throat. He said everything looks terrific. He mention all the weight I've lost and asked me how much. When I told him 150 lbs, his eyes went wide opened!! He started asking about if I still had my feeding tube. I told him it was taken out a month after treatments ended. I also told him I stared in 2010 to lose it. I also mentioned I think the sugar burning my throat had a lot to do with. He asked about salt. I said if I have something like cottage cheese or the low fat sour cream or yogurt, I'm ok with it. He complimented me on losing it slowly and said I'd have a better chance of keeping it off and asked how I did it. I told him about Spark and consisting of healthier food choices, added exercise, and positive thinking with a set of cheerleaders supporting me along in the community. He said whatever it was I should keep on, but not to lose anymore. I responded with my same ol' I'm maintaining. I know Spark consists more of what I have written here, it's also tracking and being accountable, giving non-food treats for meeting goals, and learning healthy ways for life, and thinking with positive attitude and not beating myself up if I slip up. I simply didn't want to go into it too deeply as he was very busy.
Today I was to see my chemo oncologist. Bob forgot the check book at home and would you believe he refused to see me unless I paid my co-pay up front?!?!? I couldn't believe it. We would have brought the dern check to them tomorrow, but no, that wasn't good enough. Now I have to wait a month before I can see him. That means blood work once more, too. If you are keeping track, we drove 340 miles in the week for doctor appointments, and didn't even get to see the one today. I wish I could get my breast cancer script from another doctor. We are going to ask my radiation doctor if he can write one. It is something I need to have after breast cancer for 5 - 10 years and it has been 2 years.
So this has been my week that was. Good news all around except for today and only because of a forgotten check book. Tomorrow I get my hair cut, so that should mark the beginning of a wonderful week.
Love and hugs to all who support me, all my Buds. Love you all.
Peace Love and Hope,
I love carnival and Mardi Gras. I made the wreath!
Saturday, February 02, 2013
When i went to the doctor last week, one of the things he added to my meds was to aid in sleep. i hate taking those kinds of pills unless absolutely necessary. By then I'm usually so tired I do sleep! But one of the problems with being bipolar is when in a "high" you can go days without sleep. If you've been around Spark long enough and checked out a lot of the articles, you'll know we all need our 6-8 hours of sleep to be healthy. My doctor also gave me a sheet of some of the causes for insomnia. To me, that seems negative, so I've changed the wording to give tips for getting better sleep if at all possible.
1. Going to bed at the same time each night, including weekends
2. Avoid daytime napping or limit it to 30 minutes or less with none after 3:00PM
3. Avoid a bad sleeping environment of too much noise or light
4. if you don't fall asleep right away, rather than sped time in bed while awake, leave the bedroom and try reading a little or listen to some soft easy music.
5. Be sure to get enough exercise
6. Don't use the television, computer, or smartphone in bed.
7. Use your bedroom for sleeping and/or sex only.
8. Try a warm bath, reading, or the soft easy music within an hour before bedtime.
The use of some medications and drugs may also affect sleep. Here is a list of possible contributors:
1. Alcohol or other drugs
2. Heavy smoking
3. Too much caffeine, especially late in the day
4. Getting used to certain types of sleep medications
5. Some cold medications and diet pills
6. Other medicines, herbs, or supplements prescribed by a health care provider or bought on your own
Physical, social, and mental health issues are something else that can affect sleep patterns, including:
1. Anxiety disorders
2. Bipolar disorder
3. Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disease
4. Feeling sad or depressed. Often, insomnia is the symptom that causes people with depression to seek medical help.
5. Physical pain or discomfort
6. Stress, whether it is short-term or long-term. For some people, the stress caused by the insomnia makes it even harder to fall asleep. Work on reducing as much of that stress as is possible.
There are several things that can work against you that you cannot control. Some of these are:
1. working night shifts
2. breathing problems that cause you to sleep sitting up
3. working many hours a day ie 10 or 12 hour at a time shifts
4. A high stress job
If any of these four affect you, try your best to work with them rather than against them, especially getting as much stress as possible out of your life or try to leave that stress at work and not bring it home with you. Even with long hours or backward shifts, set your sleep time and stick with it. if you have to sleep during the day, darken your room with heavy curtains.
I hope some of these can help you if like me, you can fall asleep but then wake up after an hour or two and can't go back to sleep until just before time to get up. Not only does lack of sleep distract from your beautiful faces with those nasty dark circles, but it also interferes with your health and weight loss program.
For all my Buds, have a super Sunday and try to stay warm - or cool - depending on your location in the world.
Peace Love Hope
I saw some beautiful sunflowers blooming the other day. I hope the freezes didn't get them.
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