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Organ Recital

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Back in the day when the television show "ER" first came out, I was talking to my father and he asked me in all seriousness:
"Have you watched that new show err yet"?

Now I've always had a love/hate relationship with that show. The acting was great and the personal stories were interesting, but the nurse in me just used to cringe at some of the unreality that the show portrayed. An ER physician doing a c-section in the ER? Hardly! AND the frequency that RARE conditions used to turn up and be diagnosed by the all knowing residents. Uh-huh!

Well lately I feel like a walking "err" patient. I got through the asthma flare-up, survived the severe allergic reactions to TWO antibiotics. I seemed to breeze through sinus surgery. Only to find new symptoms...

The weird swelling in my left ankle actually started last November. No foot pain or injury. No calf pain - but one of the drs. that I worked for had me get a doppler ultrasound to make sure that there wasn't a blood clot. There wasn't. To add to the weirdness, my sister has the same thing but we always thought that was because her left ankle was ran over by a bus when she was a teenager (don't ask...) Around the time the swelling started, my right hip and knee began hurting. I was running so I looked up sports injuries and diagnosed myself with ITB - ileotibal band syndrome - sort of like tendonitis in the tendons that run from the hip to the knee. Maybe my gait was off and THAT was making the ankle swell.
So I backed off from the running and got on with life.

Fast forward to three weeks ago....

I woke up one morning with excruciating pain behind my right eye. It felt like someone was trying to push it out of the socket with a hot fork. The inner corner of the eyelid seemed a little swollen, but the eye itself seemed fine. It definitely was coming from behind the eye. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen that I had on hand for when the hip barked too loudly, and the pain eased up. Maybe some sort of strange migraine I thought. I had the day off so I made an appointment to see the family dr. to discuss the eye and while there I'd corner her about the ankle and the hip and knee.
She encouraged me to see my optometrist to get the pressure in my eye checked and rule out rapid onset glaucoma although she said that is usually so painful and sensitive to light that those folks can't usually open their eyes and they have acute disruption in vision when they do. My vision was fine. She was mildly concerned about the ankle. She thought that I should see a vascular surgeon to rule out and venous insufficiency and/or groin masses or tumors.
Physical therapy for the correctly diagnosed ITB syndrome.
I got right in to the optometrist who dilated the eye and could find nothing obvious. She said if the pain persisted, that I should call the family dr. and have her order an MRI of the brain and eye socket.
Five days later I was still gulping the Ibuprofen to keep the pain at bay so I called for the MRI.
Now if you've ever had an MRI of the brain you will know where of I speak when I say it is miserable. An hour keeping your head frozen straight in a claustrophobic tunnel while you listen to LOUD jackhammer sounds. Before the last 15 minutes they come in and inject dye into your vein. Upon hearing that I burst into tears and sobbed how an allergic reaction to oral medication almost killed me and I couldn't take a venous injection without my husband with me. The very nice tech explained calmly that they needed to make sure that I didn't have a tumor or bulging aneurysm...
She promised to inject very slowly and she was true to her word. I was praying so hard I hardly heard her say that she was done. Not just done with the injection, but done with the MRI. I hadn't even noticed the last 15 minutes of jack hammer noises. Of course no report until the next day.

Well the next day I opened my eyes to the pain as usual which had the pattern of always being worse upon waking. I always assumed that the Ibuprofen had just worn off.
But this morning was different. This morning I had the pain AND everything was double. Nauseatingly doubled and trying to look up was an exercise in futility.
CRAP!! I felt panicky and knew that I needed to get to a bona fide ophthalmologist asap. Except for my load of patients scheduled that day...

My husband came walking back from the bathroom and asked how my eye was. In my attempt to temper the panic I tried a little levity. Looking at two of him standing there in his/their nakedness I smiled and replied, "Well you don't even know it but you just fulfilled a fantasy"...

He popped a cork when he heard about my double vision and even more so when I told him that I planned to drive into work so I could personally reschedule my patients and I'd go to the ophthalmologist as soon as they could get me in. I'd get my MRI results too. He said that he would call in to work but I figured out that if I patched my right eye I could see OK out of the left. I hadn't been wearing my contacts and I had been living almost a week with the pain. What was one more morning?
Driving was a little more complicated than I expected - not being able to check my right side blind spot with the right eye patched, but I got there and asked one of the drs. to get my MRI report. He lit a fire under the radiologist to read it quickly and he called and got me into an ophthalmologist BEFORE he chewed my butt for coming into work. My patients rescheduled without my assistance.

"Hmm..." The eye doctor murmured as he looked deep into my eye close enough to make me wish that I had a breath mint. "Very interesting -- I haven't seen a case like this in years"!
By now, I knew that my brain was normal without tumors or aneurysms on the brink of rupture. But there was severe inflammatory changes and swelling.
"Trochleitis". He spelled it out for the nurse. He patiently explained that it is a little muscular ring -- pulley-- that the muscles that move the eye up and down was inflamed and swollen, dragging the mobility of the eye. I could only slightly move the eye, thus the double vision when they eyes didn't track together. The treatment would be steroids. Sometimes long term, depending on the response. The side effects are sleeplessness, increased appetite, and irritability.

Yeah, yeah I know the drill. I've been a tired, hungry bitch before...

Thankfully, a week later the steroids are working. I worried a little when he said that if it didn't respond, the eye muscle could irreparably weaken, but the double vision is all but gone. The eye is moving better now and the pain is slight when the Ibuprofen wears off. I am sleeping well, have lost a pound, and I THINK I'm cheerful. Who wouldn't be? It could have been a lot more serious. I'll be on anti-inflammatory medication for a while but that's ok.

I saw the vascular surgeon and had an extensive ultrasound of the veins from the groin down the entire leg. No clots present.
"Hmm" she replied as she studied my now swollen lower leg...
A condition where the lymph cells are interrupted or damaged and they don't drain appropriately so fluid can accumulate in a limb. Sometimes the whole limb swells to huge proportions. It is more common in people who have had cancer surgeries or radiation to the lymph area. It can rarely be a hereditary condition due to some kind of gene mutation. She says that might be the case since my sister has it too. It could be that we have both had abdominal surgeries and if genetically our left groin nodes are already altered that might have prompted the symptoms later in life. Fortunately so far it's mild. It can progress if not treated. I have to be cautious not to get infection in the lower leg or foot because it might not heal well. No wonder that blister on my left foot from those cute but tight shoes that I bought, won't heal up.
I am now wearing compression hose that give me an aerobic workout just putting them on. I really only need them on the left, but particular as I am, if I can't make a fashion statement, I at least have to match. I can take the hose off in the evening and try to elevate the leg as much as possible. Don't sit or stand too long. Keep running. With the hose on if possible. Exercise is probably what has kept the symptoms in check thus far.
Massage can help. Now you're talking...

Physical therapy for -- oh yeah that pesky hip pain that persists like the literal thorn in the side despite the steroids and enough Ibuprofen to eat the lining of my stomach right out -- starts Thursday!

Geez! This hypochondriac gig is tiresome! I'm ready for a break. In the meantime I'm doing everything the drs. say to do and taking vitamins including extra C & D and fish oils capsules.

I called my 96 year old dad to try and explain why I haven't been to see him for a while at the Veteran's Home where he resides. He doesn't really remember anyway, but I feel bad. Real cheerful like he replied "That's ok, Kaye (my sister) you just get better"! Then he tells me:

"By the way, I watched the best gospel music on the 'bet' channel"....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VETMED 6/14/2010 11:22PM

  I will tell you what my dear old Dad told me- ALWAYS GET THE EXTENDED WARRANTY ON THE IMPORTANT STUFF! While I envy the two husband view, it is downright scary to drive with it! Maybe it is time to take a summer vacation for a few days until you get the parts in working order. Close the drapes and rest at home or get your sweetie and vacate- you need it, heck, I need it after hearing about your recent Dr trips!

Praying for you, your Sweetie, Sis and Dad. Keep in there punching! It HAS to get better!

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DAYHIKER 6/10/2010 9:04AM

    I'm glad to know you are finally on the mend! You do get the oddest things! Probably so you can entertain us with your witty blog posts! emoticon I hope and pray that you'll be in the pink very soon, Joanne! emoticon

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MBREWTON35 6/9/2010 11:07PM

    Girl, you are just a hot mess sometimes! Grandpa probably naturaly assumed it was mother if there was a whole mess of symptoms! Lol! Atleast he will think she called him. Glad to hear about the pound lost! Get better!

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CARRAND 6/9/2010 10:01PM

    You didn't even mention the pneumonia.

But it's my right leg that swells, and not the left! It can't be hereditary.

I never had the eye pain though, thank goodness. That sounds really miserable - much worse than the ophthalmic migraines I get.

I'm so glad you shared. You have such a good sense of humor, it makes the rest of us feel better. Hang in there. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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MILLISMA 6/9/2010 6:38PM

    You're amazing! I love your sense of humor and with all you've been through. Glad your eye is better and that things are looking up. I've been wearing compression hose for a number of years and had to laugh when you mentioned putting them on the first time. I thought I needed another shower but that would have meant taking them OFF again - no way. I'm use to it now and wear them when I walk. When it's humid, that's a real challenge - by the time I get home to jump in the shower, I have to peel them off. This would make a good comedy routine! emoticon

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LOSINGITALL4ME 6/9/2010 3:10PM

    I hope you get feeling better real fast. You have been through the wringer.

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THEQUEENBEE333 6/9/2010 2:21PM

    Wow - hang in there - take care of you - and here's to less problems for you in the future :-)

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/9/2010 12:09PM

    OMG, you sure beat any story on ER! I am glad it wasn't a clot but you really did pull a rare diagnosis.

Glad you still retained your sense of humor, will say a prayer for your speedy healthy return


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BUGLET- 6/9/2010 9:34AM

    May God bless you and help you through this hard time. I am so thankful for the good health that God has given me and I realize that each time I hear how others are suffering. Double blessings on you!

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SHERLYN-WILL 6/9/2010 9:00AM

    Boy you have been through it now... I am so glad you have lost your weight.. can you imagine all of this with the weight on... and most of it they would blame on your weight... and not find the real reason... although I am sure extra weight WOULD aggravate it!

I will pray for you!
You have a great attitude.. and I love your humor!
I bet your husband appreciates those 2 things in you marriage!
Thanks for sharing!

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BESTSUSIEYET 6/9/2010 8:47AM

    OH MY!! I'm thankful that you are OK (in the long run) but what a ride you are on! I'm praying for full healing and for patience and good spirits through the process! Glad you shared - and Hooray for Losing 1 pound!! emoticon

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LAURIE5658 6/9/2010 8:41AM

    Joanne, aging can be an adventure, huh? Good grief, you are falling apart my friend however it sounds like you are now picking up the pieces and the dr's are duct taping you back together. What a year its been and hopefully, you will be 125% again soon! Be well!

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MDEAL72 6/9/2010 8:32AM

    What a time you've had! I'm sure that being a nurse has helped you cope with all of this a little better, but I'm sure you've been extremely frustrated all the same. I'm glad things seem to be on the mend for you!

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DDOORN 6/9/2010 7:29AM

    Whew! What a tortuous TREK you've been through...!

Been there, done that, re: worrying so about clients when I've needed to take care of #1...! You are so fortunate to have a DH who is looking after you and your docs have done admirably without any misdiagnoses or other screw ups which often delay proper treatment!

Keeping you in my prayers for a quiet, restful summer ahead filled with SPARK! :-)


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WISLNDR 6/9/2010 5:43AM

    You're just getting your tune-up for summer! I'm glad everything's back in order!

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    I am so impressed with the way you have managed to stay positive in a horrible situation. Hope it all resolves rapidly now you've got a diagnosis (or two!) and with any luck proper treatment.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I always say nurses make the worst patients because once we get out of our areas of expertise we know just enough to be dangerous-lol. What a terrifying situation! I am so glad it was something (relatively) simple to fix. Take care of YOU...we nurses are not so good at that, son I thought I better remind you.


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    Joanne, I'm glad to hear the MRI was normal. Now that you have a diagnosis for all your ailments, they can be treated so that you will start feeling better. Hope you are completely well again soon!

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DASEEMAN 6/9/2010 1:16AM

    Wow Joanne! When it rains it pours, doesn't it. Sounds like you are handling everything admirably! Hope all gets better soon!


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LADYFOLDER 6/9/2010 12:27AM

    Joanne, sometimes I feel like I'm the car that breaks down just after the warrenty expired. Age has it's challenges!

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/9/2010 12:21AM

    Oh my! I'm so sorry to hear you've been through all this. And still with your sense of humor shining through. I hope it all vanishes soon and life returns to normal for you. Whatever normal is... (smiling) Take care and feel better soon. Big hug.

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SUZAN3 6/8/2010 11:58PM

    You really have had a run of bad luck, and I hope it is over now. You're right to remember things could have been more serious. My run of bad luck is not anywhere as varied as yours, but I have had a number of unexplained falls that resulted in an MRI (results normal). I'm now taking a balance class at the local Y in hopes that will help with the falls. I really liked your father's attitude; he seems to be living in the moment and I think all of us would be better off if we did more of that.

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How a healthy lifestyle is like a marriage...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I can remember 34+ years ago standing at the back of the church sanctuary on my father's arm looking down the aisle at my husband to be and thinking for a brief instant -- do you know what the hell you are doing?? But the thought was fleeting and I walked down the aisle and said my I do's without regretting it.

How did I know that our love was true and I wanted to commit to this man for the rest of my life?

Without a doubt it was the first time that I visited his apartment and we had made popcorn. I tipped the bowl a little and spilled a few kernels on the floor. He quickly PRODUCED A BROOM AND SAID "MAN! I JUST WASHED THIS FLOOR"!
Despite my youth and raging lust hormones, wisely I recognized that there was more to life than making out, and that any man that owned a broom and a mop AND knew how to use them, was a viable candidate for my lifetime mate!
I haven't been disappointed all these years. To this day, he pulls his share of the housework.
BUT -- I can remember the first time we argued about anything after we were married. No, I can't recall what it was about, but I can remember that I was mortified. The only thing we even remotely argued about before getting married was jokingly who loved who the most!
My parents rarely argued, but my husband's parents were divorced and couldn't stand to be in the same room together. At our wedding instead of asking friends of the bride or friends of the groom in order to be seated on one side of the pews or the other , the ushers asked friends of Veta or friends of Russ?
Not really but you might as well have - there are NO pictures of his parents with us together.
So our frames of reference for marital arguments were skewed. My parents had a long, happy marriage with rare arguments. His parents had bitter arguments for years and ended up divorced and loathing each other. We had to learn that disagreements were a normal part of a healthy marriage. You have them, resolve them, and move on. Despite them, you can still love and be committed to your spouse.
Plus, like those of us who have been married for many years have learned - those petty spats get less and less over the years. They aren't worth the energy!

So what's the point of telling you all this?

Well it hit me this weekend that committing to a healthy lifestyle was a lot like committing to a marriage.

I've blogged before about my long history of yo-yo "dieting". I'd start off with great enthusiasm, much like I started my marriage wildly in love. I'd go great guns following whatever diet I happened to be following at the moment, UNTIL I "cheated" that first time. Just like I thought that an argument in marriage meant that you were headed to divorce, I thought that slipping up once and over eating or eating the wrong thing was like a nail in the diet divorce coffin. Isn't that why they call it cheating?
Unforgivable. Divorce the diet. Just another excuse to give up and gain the weight back...

I just had a wonderful weekend at a hotel/casino/spa with my dear husband. Of course they had good restaurants - including a HUGE buffet with the usual prime rib and a dessert bar longer than my house. I did well with my selections for the most part, but didn't obsess since it was a special occasion.
Plus I worked out for 45 minutes in the state of the art gym that the hotel provided for guests, so I don't think that the scale will be too punishing.

34 years ago I made a commitment to my husband and I've never regretted it. We have our occasional arguments but they just clear the air and never last and I never stop loving him.

5 years ago I made a commitment to myself to lose 70 pounds and I've never regretted it. I have my occasional caloric indulgence, but it's NOT cheating - it just "clears the air" and it never lasts, and I never stop loving how I feel when I eat healthy and exercise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVER-HOPEFUL 6/19/2010 1:31AM

    thanks i think this is a great blog and a new prospective on how to see diets or should i say lifestyle changes.thanks.

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DASEEMAN 6/7/2010 6:25PM

    Thank you Joanne, I needed this blog! It's called commitment!My husband and are looking at 20 years this August and there have definitely been ups and downs, just like my healthy lifestyle (a work in progress).

What a great comparison you have made between marriage and a healthy lifestyle!


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VIVIANJ5 5/30/2010 12:16PM

    This is priceless! What a wonderful way to look at long-term commitment, both marriage and a healthy lifestyle. I agree about the lessening of arguments as time goes on (almost 23 years for me and hubby!), and I've never once entertained the idea of divorce: I love this man too much to let disagreements get in the way.

What a change to look at a healthy body the same way! I "can't" divorce my body, so why not treat it well? Thank you so much for the insight; this has helped me immensely!

Take care!

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CHANGEDIN09 5/30/2010 8:28AM

    This post was the best.THANK YOU for it. It is so true. Hope youre feeling better. Congrats on 34 yrs. Hubby and I have 25 coming up and I hope my kids will one day experience love like ours. Thanks for the laughs.

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THEQUEENBEE333 5/27/2010 12:42PM

    Thanks for sharing! Lots of food for thought! Enjoy the rest of your week and the holiday weekend!

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ZELLAZM 5/23/2010 6:01PM

    Good insight! Perseverance and integrity - two things that are not too common these days. And you can't really have one without the other. Had to smile at "divorce the diet."


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KRITTERKEEPERS 5/23/2010 11:26AM

    We all have our choices to make. Success in all ventures comes from making a decision and commitment.

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TRIGRAMPS 5/20/2010 5:47PM

    Good analogy. We need more grace in our lives, both giving & getting!

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JIMDAB 5/20/2010 5:16PM

    Great comparison, Joanne! Commitment is commitment, regardless of today's weather. Another great blog!

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MBREWTON35 5/18/2010 11:52PM

    My love/hate dramatic and overly passionate relationship with food has lasted longer than any of my love/hate dramatic and overly passionate relationships with men! My two vices! I was married to Will for seven years because he showed up at my job with a Super Nacho after I said it was over. I'm am beginning to settle down and find a happy medium with both relationships! Food and Men, never giving up on either!

Good analogy!

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LIGHTHOUSE23 5/18/2010 11:47PM

    emoticon For sharing such a wonderful blog. Congrats on the 34 years of marriage. Hope you have many, many more.

I, too am committed to my husband and my new lifestyle. And should an occasional tiff and/ or calorie splurge occur, I pledge to be remain happy and guilt free! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/18/2010 11:51:03 PM

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DENRNAJ 5/18/2010 7:19AM

    What a beautiful way to describe a lasting relationship.
I need to "work" on my relationship with SP!
Thank you for the interesting blog

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MONARCHCT 5/17/2010 9:29PM

    Well said.

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BESTSUSIEYET 5/17/2010 9:25PM

    You got it right, Joanne! I chose to eat red velvet cake and a couple cookies this weekend -- church work day, and then the congregational dinner the next day -- but overall, I made good choices and don't feel badly about the things I indulged in. Life includes a few splurges!! Hooray for your 34 years -- we will celebrate 40 in December!!

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CHAIMANN 5/17/2010 9:21PM

    Nice analogy. You're so smart!
Divorcing your diet - that's exactly what happens, isn't it?

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/17/2010 7:57PM

    You are too much! (in a good way, of course) Always enjoy your blogs. Big hug.

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CARRAND 5/17/2010 7:40PM

    I always said the first 15 years of marriage are hard, but after that it gets easier. I've been married 38 years. You just have to hang in there over the rough spots. My husband does quite a bit of cooking and housework, too. Most young women don't recognize how important that is.

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SHOSHANADP 5/17/2010 5:52PM

    Great blog post. I must admit that I don't pull my weight around the house in terms of housework. My husband cooks, cleans and does laundry (although not mine unless it is one or two items because otherwise I would feel too guilty). Just like a marriage takes a lot of hard work, so does living a healthy lifestyle. Sounds like you are doing great on both fronts.

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SHEILA8383 5/17/2010 11:48AM

    Wonderful blog. I liked how you compared your commitment to increased health to marriage. Thaks you for sharing!

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HAPPYSOUL91 5/17/2010 10:11AM

    Great blog, really liked what you said "committing to a healthy lifestyle was a lot like committing to a marriage."

My marriage #1 lasted 20 years and my current one is in it's 19th year. I want my life style to last to the end of my life.

thx again for posting

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VIBRANTVIC 5/17/2010 10:04AM

    Wonderful blog as usual! Thanks for a great way to start the week!

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TLTHOMPSON69 5/17/2010 9:25AM

    Sweet! I love your blogs! I guess with my history of a relationship, it doesn't quite fit the bill (long story)! It sounds like you have it made in both worlds, Joanne.

Maybe I'll gain the courage to have an affair with SparkPeople... and blog about it one day!

Thanks again, Joanne for your wonderful writing!


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CHANGE4FIT 5/17/2010 8:55AM

    Thank you, what a wonderful way to frame the journey. I needed that this Monday morning.

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JUSTLYLE 5/17/2010 8:43AM

    Great blog Joanne and congrats on the 34 years with the guy with the broom. I agree with you as you get older each year just gets easier. Too bad we can't get this through to more couples. I try explain to all who listen, a marriage is not to be treated like a used car and trade it off for another "used" one.

Skeeter emoticon

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TRINITY4001 5/17/2010 8:42AM

    Great analogy! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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JUSTLYLE 5/17/2010 8:41AM

    I just lost everything I wrote, hope I can remember.
Great blog Joanne and congrats on the 34 years with the guy with the broom. Glad you had a great weekend.
I too agree every year gets easier, too bad we can't get that message through to many couples. My advice to any who will listen that marriage is not like trading off a car because of some flaw and getting another "used" one with just MORE .
Thanks again for your great blog.

Skeeter emoticon

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MDEAL72 5/17/2010 8:36AM

    Awesome blog! I love the way you think!

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DDOORN 5/17/2010 6:29AM

    Beautiful analogy!

Sounds like you had SUCH a terrific time!


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ANNE-ELIZ 5/17/2010 1:05AM

    This was a wonderful post and right on the money.

I'd like to respond in more details but it's way past time for me to get some rest...

Need to tell you, though!

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A Reasonable Facsimile

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I’ve always said that my husband was a man ahead of his time. When I met him 35 years ago, he was wearing those short sleeved knit golf shirts with the little crown on the pocket that he got out of the “old men’s” section of the Sears catalog . This was long before Izod put a little alligator on the same pocket and
set the whole world crazy! I remember thinking that once the ring was securely on my finger, I’d change his wardrobe.
Long before organic became a buzz word, he refused to eat or drink artificial ANYTHING! I grew up on products like Tang. Remember that sickeningly sweet, artificially flavored, artificially colored faux orange drink? We didn’t have a lot of soda, but when we did it was full of cyclamates - you know the one the FDA pulled after mice started getting cancer and their babies were born with five limbs? My mother was diabetic so when we did get any soda pop it was pretty much that or nothing. I’ve never drank anything that wasn’t “diet”.
Not the husband.
Does that mean he ‘s always been a healthy eater? Noooo…
Not hardly. It just means NO FAKE GREASE for him! He loves Little Debbie because she is pure --
Yeah. Pure sugar. Plenty of sweet but no innocence!
So I figured out early on in my “dieting” days that our meals were going to be a real challenge. AND that changing my husband's diet was going to be about as easy as changing his wardrobe...
I didn’t want to be fixing two dinners. I didn’t want tempting “real” snacks in the house.
What was I going to do? Like all things in marriage -- communicate and compromise. I told him that I needed his support and, as I blogged before, he did agree to try. Just one request:
“No fake crap!”.
I readily agreed and then -- served him a Bocca Burger…
The ensuing gagging, hawking, and coughing performance was Oscar worthy, let me tell you.
When he asked what the heck THAT was I insisted:
“It is a REAL all vegetable soy protein patty and I like it!” Well, at least the first part was true…

The truth is that I, myself, love nothing more than a greasy burger dripping with cheese, hot crispy fries, and an ice cold beer.
My waistline, however, decidedly DOES NOT. Not to mention my arteries.
I tried limiting such indulgences to only when eating out, but found the calorie overload just too depressing to see in black and white when I tracked it.
So what to do? Forever give up foods I love like burgers, pizza, spaghetti? After all, over time I have learned to enjoy many new healthier foods.
But what about my husband? Watch him eat a juicy burger dripping with cheese while I spear my fork in fat free dressing while eating my garden salad without croutons?
I would try to make “lite” versions at home, but what about my husbands no fake crap rule? Therein lay my challenge.
Could I make tasty, lighter versions of some of our favorites and “sneak” them past my husband’s taste buds?
You bet!
Take a look at a few of the items:

It tracked like this side by side with a similar restaurant version:
Hamburger made with 3 oz. extra lean ground beef - 199 calories
Kraft Free American cheese - 1 slice - 31 calories
Village hearth Light Italian bun - 80 calories
Dill pickles and onions - 10 calories
Lays Kettle Cooked Reduced Fat potato chips - 140 calories
Crunchy cole slaw made with olive oil and cider vinegar - 43 calories
Michelob ULTRA beer - 95 calories
Total: 598 calories
Compare that to an Applebees cheeseburger, cole slaw, and potato chips
WITHOUT beer - 1282 calories
Needless to say it passed my husband's taste test - despite me sneaking in a few
less than "real" ingredients. I told him that I call it my "reasonable facsimile" meal.
That meal is still a calorie indulgence for me but, for the occasional yearning, it satisfies without totally breaking the calorie bank.

The other day I debuted a new lower cut shirt that I had bought and when paired with one of my Victoria's Secret floatation device bras - I changed my normal flat chested appearance to one with a little more oomph!
I gushed to my husband, "What do you think? Do I look like I have LADIES now??"

He grinned a sly grin and said "I'd call 'em a reasonable facsimile"...

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TLTHOMPSON69 5/11/2010 10:56AM

    Sweet!! I love your blogs!


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SWEESIN 5/10/2010 12:52PM

    I like you have learned to make facsimile recipes. I take favorite recipes and reduce fat, etc. Being lactose intolerant, I cannot have cheese darn it . My son told me to bring him some soy cheese and he would fix me a real pizza at the restaurant he works for. I like your husband gagged on the Bocca burger. I have found 100% ground white chicken or ground turkey breast a less fatty substitute for hamburger meat.

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KATERYN 5/10/2010 9:26AM

    Loved it! I like using the food/recipe tracker to figure out calories and how to reduce them without reducing flavor also!

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DASEEMAN 5/9/2010 2:53PM

    As usual you blog has made me smile and actually giggle!

I guess I'm lucky, my husband will eat anything I put in front of him as long as I don't feed him chicken on the bone.

Keep the blogs coming! You are a great writer!


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ZELLAZM 5/9/2010 5:58AM

    Made me smile today --- and I remember Tang, lol!

Happy day,

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DANCEMORE 5/7/2010 1:38AM

    really enjoyed this emoticon

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GRAMMAELLEN 5/6/2010 5:07PM

    What a fantastic blog! I loved it. The husband issue can be challenging. I encountered the same reaction to the Boca products. By now, my DH eats what I cook. And I don't feel the need to fill him in on the details. He knows I slip in an awful lot of vegi's, and sometimes he has to look pretty hard for the meat. But he's a good trooper. I can only influence what he eats around me, but I think he is benefiting from SP as well. He just doesn't know it. Thanks for such a fun blog! Ellen emoticon

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CARRAND 5/5/2010 7:54PM

    Great blog. I love the images. You know my husband doesn't mind "fake" food at all. He had a Lunchable and a Hostess cupcake for dinner. Not much is faker than a Lunchable. I made myself an omelet with real cheese, 2 gluten free-waffles, and a pear. We both got the dinner we wanted. I always do the lean ground beef, but I have to have real cheese, and I'd rather have no chips at all than eat the reduced fat variety. So I've pretty much given up chips and fries both. I really don't miss them. Keep on blogging!

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JIMDAB 5/5/2010 5:20PM

    Another great blog, they just keep coming!
Try giving dh some "real" tvp in the form of Morningstar riblets and see if he can still pull off the gag :)

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SHOSHANADP 5/5/2010 2:57PM

    Sounds like both of you have great senses of humor. I did have to laugh at the bra/breasts comment. I have known your sister and niece for so long, and have gone shopping with them quite a few times that I know the breast refrain by heart. emoticon

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VIBRANTVIC 5/5/2010 2:19PM

    You are such a great writer! We have had the same problem, coupled with four children (two now in their teens) I found the best book, its the "Eat this not That, cookbook, I picked it up @ Sams Club a couple of months ago and LOVE it!! I rarely rave about a cook book, but this one I do. It shows you the restaurant version of a dish and then, how you can make it at home for significant less calories and money. Everybody wins!! emoticon

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JESSA2 5/5/2010 2:02PM

    LMAO! Love It!!!! Hope all else is well! emoticon

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MBREWTON35 5/5/2010 1:28PM

    Lol! I also live with mister "me want dead animal on plate when I come home!" I have snuck in some things like whole wheat pasta and "reduced fat" (HA!) alfredo sauce with minimal wining. On some of his favorites (like my enchiladas), I cook just two with the carb balance wraps and fat free cheese and I stopped making a double batch so NO LEFTOVERS! I actually quit making double batches on lots of things, aside from what he took in his lunch the next day, I sat at home and finished all the left overs! Another great blog!!

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HAPPYSOUL91 5/5/2010 1:03PM

    I sure love your sense of humor and got a great visual of yourself spitting, coughing and just plain wondering what the heck he was eating.

Please keep it up, I get a lot out your blogs

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G-MAMICK 5/5/2010 10:11AM

    Ah Joanne, you never fail to make me chuckle. My ladies were just girls until after menopause, and then, boom! Makes me look top-heavy. About 4 years ago I read that book by Kevin Trudeau, about additives in foods and did an entire sweep of my pantry, got rid of anything artificial, all white sugar, white flour, etc. and went natural. I felt so healthy, so well. However, as we tend to do, I slipped back a wee bit, allowed white sugar and flour in the house again since I bake now and then for pot-lucks, etc., but still try to make my own stuff from scratch. I find I can actually taste the salt and additives in prepared food now. I always used to use onion soup mix in my turkey stuffing, then quit for years. But at Easter I was in a hurry and used it, instead of sauteeing my onions, etc. The taste to me was pure chemical. Thankfully nobody else noticed.

Keep up the blogs, Jo. You are a naturally funny lady, and so honest.

Glad you are feeling better after your surgery.

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JUSTLYLE 5/5/2010 8:47AM

    Sure glad I read this to the end. I'm going to suggest some of this to my GLBH. LOL

Skeeter emoticon emoticon

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KITTYF54 5/5/2010 8:31AM

    I've been all over the map when it comes to natural, low fat, vegetarian, etc. I'm on "natural" for life from now on. I've learned to late the cost of eating the fake food, and cooking with plastic and microwaves, etc. I'm was drawn to natural all my life but thought I "couldn't afford it". Now I'm learning all that stuff and wishing I'd stuck to my Late hippy tendencies way back then.

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BIGDAD1211 5/5/2010 8:26AM

    Your husband is so funny! Thanks for the post! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MDEAL72 5/5/2010 8:08AM

    What a great read! My hubby is much like yours...he can't stand "fake" crap, so I have also been challenged in finding ways to make just ONE meal for the family so that I can eat the same as them and not ruin my own efforts. It's been challenging, but fun to try and come up with new ways of making old standards...and my family has, surprisingly, been loving what I've come up with. :)

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    I must say I'm rather with your husband on this one. I'm happy to eat vegetarian, but NOT "fake meat". I eat small quantities of meat, padded out with veggies. If I go for a vegetarian option, I'll choose something that doesn't pretend to have meat in it - a vegetable lasagne, or a spicy couscous; curries, risottos, salads, hotpots... Soya never really does it for me!

Love the "ladies"! Mine took 2 children before they grew bigger than an A cup. Unfortunately, I've got the "orange in a string bag" design, so they just dangle bra-less. With a bra they now respectably fill a D. My darling mother was small - just an A all her life - but beautifully self-supporting and perky till the day she died aged 76. Takes all kinds!

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IMDENISE 5/5/2010 1:41AM

    Joanne, you and your husband crack me up!
What a day to read this. Today, I indulged in a Red Robin burger, 949 cals and fries, 390 cals. UGH!

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LADYFOLDER 5/5/2010 12:28AM

    Hi, Joanne
Your hubby does sound like a real sweetie!
And, from someone who has always since they started growing dealt with overly abundant "girls", just be glad to be able to find clothing that fits so much easier. I graduated from high school with a C cup, and within 5 years had a D. And now that I have DDDs, its hard most of the time to find a fitted top that I'm not falling out of. But I am grateful that I don't have my step-grandmother's HH cup. She had to make he own bras all the time.
Thanks for the giggle.
p.s.: I'm so glad to see you're feeling better.

Comment edited on: 5/5/2010 1:27:38 AM

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You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Didn't Joni Mitchell sing that once? Well I had a front row seat to that lecture this week, only I'm willing to bet Joni wasn't chirping about sinus surgery...

I have spent this weekend eating naughty, naughty, naughty and today it finally hit me why. emoticon

My nausea and dizziness are gone, but while in the throes I naturally ate less. Making up for lost time?
It dawned on me when the hubby brought home a pretty bouquet of emoticon which I'll grant you don't usually have a BIG fragrance but...

With my nose full of disolvable packing, I still can't smell a thing. AND when you can't smell, you can't taste much. Real salty. Real sweet. Everything else is like munching on cardboard.

I've been eating more of the two things I can taste and LOT'S of them to "feel" like I've eaten something.

Reminded me of all the times I used to inhale my food. I still have to remind myself to SLOW DOWN emoticon at the dinner table.

If we don't take time to savor the flavors, we'll just keep eating more and more.

Like the time my sister tried weeping softly in the next room after a silly argument with her husband early in their marriage. He called out through the wall "If you want those tears to be more effective, you're going to have to turn them up a little"! Realizing the futility of the effort, she gave it up.
Back in the day, I'd have been the sister that would have sprang back through that door and manipulatively sobbed LOUDER right next to his ear...

However, like 34 years of marriage, 5 years of eating healthy has taught me a few things and recognizing the futility of eating more to try and compensate, made me give up the effort.

It isn't just the feeling of saity that stops us from eating. It's that sensual enjoyment that you get from the taste, texture, and colors of our food. I think I've gained a whole new appreciation for emoticon emoticon and emoticon emoticon

Any packing still left in my nose by next Thursday will be taken out by the doctor (lovely thought!)

Until then I have made out menus for every bite I put in my mouth next week. Every bite has been pre-tracked and I will be eating healthy, healthy, healthy - right off the tracker. I may not taste much and certainly won't smell it but thankfully it is temporary. Like an astronaut floating in space eating dehydrated goo...

But when I get my tastebuds back in full swing, I'm going to concentrate on new textures and flavors. Try some new spices. Slow down and savor each and every bite!

'Cause you really don't what you've got till it's gone...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTHOUSE23 4/22/2010 11:16PM

    Interesting blog. Thanks for sharing it. I certainly hope you are feeling better, soon. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRAMMAELLEN 4/20/2010 7:02PM

    Very, very true! I notice that I love STRONG flavors. Like hot peppers, and strong (so you can taste it) coffee. My husband likes to drink coffee all day, and even though only the first cup is caffeinated, makes it very weak. I like one robust cup, then water the rest of the day. I like wild salmon, and pheasant, and deer. I like farm eggs, with the very yellow yolk. I think that was part of how I became so overweight. I wanted flavor, and if I was eating bland food, I think I ate more to try to satisfy that craving for stimulation to my taste buds. Learning to cook with lots of herbs and spices helped, and I love to cook. Now I make sure I cook almost all of the time. It was easier and quicker not to, but not very satisfying. Now I control not only the flavor, but the content of what I eat, for more flavor and fewer calories. emoticon

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THEQUEENBEE333 4/20/2010 1:32PM

    Thanks for sharing. Have a great week!

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MBREWTON35 4/20/2010 11:53AM

    Good insight as always! Glad you are using your tracker and I hope your sinuses are back to normal soon!

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ZELLAZM 4/20/2010 11:11AM

    Yep, Big Yellow Taxi. "Paved paradise, put up a parking lot..."

All the best for your recovery! Thanks for the reminder to appreciate our food and to "smell the roses." I can recommend highly recommend cinnamon on anything :)


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MDEAL72 4/20/2010 8:38AM

    Awesome blog and a great reminder...you are right on!

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LITTLEBIRCH 4/19/2010 8:55PM

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

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CARRAND 4/19/2010 8:42PM

    Interesting blog. It's true that more than half of taste is smell. When people can't smell food, don't onions taste just like apples? I'm glad you will be getting your sense of smell back soon. It will make food more enjoyable and that will help you eat moderate portions. I love food that has different textures, like crunchy slaw on fish tacos. (My new favorite food.) Congratulations on planning your meals ahead of time. You'll be back on track soon.

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BESTSUSIEYET 4/19/2010 6:49PM

    Oh, that doesn't sound like fun! I know what you mean, though, about needing to taste & smell in order to enjoy food -- and you're right -- we do eat until we've Enjoyed it!! God bless you as you heal! And may He bless all those pre-planned meals, too! Good for you!

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ANUT4DISNEY 4/19/2010 2:51PM

    Hope you are feeling better soon.


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HAPPYSOUL91 4/19/2010 12:10PM

    This was an eye opening blog, thanks for posting. Sure has helped me figure out why I keep eating....looking for the salt, spicy or whatever and the food I pick is usually bland.

Great blog


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BRIARROSE30 4/19/2010 11:54AM

    Great blog! I think I inhale food, but I'm working on it. This blog is helpful!

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DASEEMAN 4/19/2010 10:43AM

    Joanne, I love reading your blogs. You always leave me with something to think about and work toward.

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SALLYSEAGULL1 4/19/2010 9:23AM

    Thanks. I enjoyed reading this because I recognised many things I need to get under control . Hope you are feeling good soon.

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SLENDERCLAIRE 4/19/2010 7:48AM

    I cringed reading this - but hope you manage to stay on track for now.

When you get your sense of smell back, you can really go to town - new flavours and experiences. Have fun!

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DDOORN 4/19/2010 6:38AM

    Good for you to take your appreciation of your missing sense of taste and turn that into something which you can focus on during your recovery...re-discover the delight that the taste buds can bring...! :-)


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MILLISMA 4/18/2010 10:29PM

    Thanks for bringing this up. Never stopped to think that when you can't taste you seem to do a lot of "useless" eating.

Great idea to have everything tracked. You are doing such a great job. Keep it up.

It will be nice when you can smell and taste again!

Mary Anne

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KITTYF54 4/18/2010 9:47PM

    Good points. thanks. I recently went out and bought five or six salt free spice mixes. I've been eating the same things for a year now because of my diabetes and I was so bored that I couldn't get off the carbs and back on my diet. I finally realized I needed to add FLAVOR!! and Mrs Dashes or and other salt free blends are a godsend. Thank the Lord I thought of it or I could still be binging.

Hope you get your sense of taste back soon. it stinks when you can't smell. LOL what a sentence.

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CHAIMANN 4/18/2010 9:45PM

    I wouldn't have thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. Good for you, figuring it out and taking steps to deal with it.

Hope you're feeling better soon!


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Spark Points -- how I spent my surgery "vacation"!

Friday, April 16, 2010

So I've laid around now for three days enduring all the discomforts that surgery of any kind can bring -- feeling weak, dizzy, nauseated. I didn't know what to expect after sinus surgery but have discovered that it isn't the breeze that I thought it would be. Imagine having THE supreme sinus headache and all the accompanying agony. Watery eyes, stuffed head. Throw in the extreme dry mouth from mouth breathing and the stiff neck from sleeping on the recommended two big pillows. Don't bend over, don't sneeze, don't blow...
Yousa! That's a lot of whining!
Thankfully, I figured out that getting off the narcotic pain meds helped with the dizziness, weakness, and nausea. Not that I'm against pain meds. They helped me sleep pain free all day, day one, but plain Tylenol is working just fine now.
I actually turned the TV on today and found that I haven't missed much by not watching daily.

I've been reading and thinking. Lots of thinking...

One of the things I've been thinking about is spark points. I know, right? Of all the things I could lay around and think about -- why on earth spark points?
You see I never have paid much attention to the whole spark point thing. I've read blogs from friends that basically said they didn't have any thing to say, however they wanted the points for blogging. I was mildly amused and didn't mind reading them, but still couldn't see the point.
The little rebel in me -- the one that came out when I got a tattoo at age 50 -- said "I do what I feel like doing, when I feel like doing it and I could care less whether I get points or not"!
It's that same little rebel that whispers in my ear that one doughnut hole won't impact my healthy eating that much...
When my good spark friend, JIMDAB, posted a similar blog, I paid a little more attention. He's a pretty rational guy who usually writes a lot of common sense.

Thanks, JIMDAB, for setting my wheels in motion:

Spark points mean that you are participating. Every article that you read, blog that you comment on, recipe that you try only contributes to your success. When I have found myself searching lately for where I might be lacking in my weight loss efforts (notice I said weight loss and not maintaining...), this is one area where I'm lacking. Not taking the time to track calories. Not keeping in touch with my teams in a daily huddle, not journeling. I can blame it on a lot of things. I'm just as busy as the rest of the world. Between work and working out it seems as though I don't have time for anything else.
Well let me tell you, seven pounds snuck on me somehow and I'm willing to bet it was by finding the time to put something in my mouth. Especially something that wasn't thought out.

Spark points serve another purpose. They make us feel successful. We all know that eating right and exercising just for one day isn't going to make a huge impact on the scale the next morning. Because we don't get that instant reward, it's tempting to say why bother? I'm just as impatient as the rest of humanity. I want to see my efforts paying off sooner. What better way then seeing those spark points go up? If my points are going up, it's because I'm spending my time in a pursuit that only furthers my efforts to acheiving my health and fitness goals. You won't lose weight watching TV -- until we get Spark TV, huh?
One of my worst health habits used to be eating in front of the TV set. I only eat at the table now. I even staggered out to the dining table the day after surgery and ate my pudding.
I always laugh and say I can't eat and type at the same time so I don't eat at the computer. After ruining my beloved Mac by spilling tea on it, I won't be drinking anything but bottled water over it either!
Voracious reader that I am, I went looking for articles about sinus surgery and low and behold, found some great information right here on SP AND --
I got points for reading it!
Wow!! Points for doing something I would have done elsewhere on the web for nothing! I'm liking this!! I'm going to go to my points page today and look for every way I can rack up those points and know that the benefits will be more than just a trophy on my page!

Now if you could just get points for emptying the dishwasher!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DENRNAJ 5/4/2010 8:50AM

    Yikes- sinus surgery, I cannot imagine. I used to feel silly about being point motivated. Not anymore- I agree, it's a tool to keep the motivation going, hey, whatever works!
I hope that you're feeling much better.

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BESTSUSIEYET 4/19/2010 6:59PM

    I'm a firm believer in Spark Points -- I must admit that when I look at someone's Spark Page, esp. if they're blogging about not seeing any results, I look to see how many Spark Points they've got. Very few? Makes me wonder if he/she is just 'talking & wishing' about building healthy habits. I admit, maybe he/she is DOING right things, just not logging them in (been guilt of that at times myself). I find that the longer I've been on SP, the less I worry about points (it takes more & more to earn a new trophy) -- but I like the new Awards for getting 500 points/month! I do think each of us needs to find what works for us -- but sometimes we don't know until we try. We might THINK that "points" for "virtual goodies" are meaningless -- until we start earning and feeling like we are making progress! Also, I can't give many "goodies" unless I've got lots of points -- and I do like being able to brighten someone's day with a goodie! I always feel good to get one, too!

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LADYFOLDER 4/18/2010 3:08PM

You do do a lot to motivate others, with the comments you are constantly making on others blogs. Frequently, I will find myself clicking on the blogs you have commented on (from your friend feed) just to be lifted by what you say to others.
Deliberately racking up the points as much as you can is just an additional way to enhance the Spark Experience for you.
I hope I didn't overwhelm you with the tips for getting points in the SparkMail I sent.
Have a great recovery! Get Well Soon!

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MBREWTON35 4/18/2010 10:13AM

    I give DH "points" for loading the dish washer! He's always trying to earn a "goodie", ok, that was a little naughty for Spark People! I am glad that you are up and about and blogging! I don't pay any attention to the points either, but maybe I should, because I'm also not loosing weight!

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ANNE-ELIZ 4/18/2010 12:04AM

    Hope you're feeling MUCH better soon!

I do enjoy your posts.

I didn't pay much attention to the points at all until recently, for many of the same "reasons" you cited. While there are still some that I don't seem to gravitate toward, I'm trying out some aspects of the site that I might otherwise have missed.

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LOSINGITALL4ME 4/17/2010 8:24PM

    Great blog and you got your points for it!

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CHANGEDIN09 4/17/2010 6:36PM

    HMMM I need to start caring about the spark points again. I had kind of gotten away from it. BUt, I am in the same boat as you. I lost a lot, but I have more to go and I have been VERY slack lately and not as into it. Gotta get back on track. Thanks for the help!

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KITTYF54 4/17/2010 12:47PM

    I give myself points for emptying the diswasher every day. LOL not SPARK points, but hey the relieve of being able to have a cleared table is worth peace points. LOL

I really appreciated your post today. I'm having a real problem caring about my health. I've spent my whole life pleasing the present child as it were, and now I'm supposed to change my whole mind set and tell myself no, I can't have that, it's not good for me. I DON'T want to GROW UP!!! LOL

Daseman Deb, my HUBBY gets the points for me having a dishwasher. LOL He bought it for me while I was waiting for surgery a couple years ago and he PUT IT IN HIMSELF last year. that makes him my hero and I thank God for that dishwasher just about every time I use it.

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ZELLAZM 4/17/2010 9:35AM

    Love your insights, and your Spark friend's, on the points. Just one little comment - you CAN get points for emptying the dishwasher if you add it to your "Tracking Other Goals" list.
Thought you'd want to know! emoticon
Blessings for a happy weekend,

P.S. Hope you recuperate well from your surgery!

Comment edited on: 4/17/2010 9:36:02 AM

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TRINITY4001 4/16/2010 9:02PM

    So sorry to hear about your surgery, but I will be interested in hearing how you think it helps etc. Meanwhile, I sure hope recovery goes well for you! emoticon emoticon

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CARRAND 4/16/2010 8:23PM

    I love the Spark points. I go down the points page and try to get as many points as possible. I don't blog unless I have something to say, however. Looking for points gets me started with the huddles and articles and all. I can't wait to come visit. We can sit next to each other and have a points competition.

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SHOSHANADP 4/16/2010 7:25PM

    You got a tattoo at 50? How was this not among the family stories that I have heard from Beth? emoticon

The points were the thing that motivated me at the beginning. At some points, I have gone back to the points motivation. I'll set a points goal and try to match it (like trying to move to the next trophy by the end of December, which I did). It got me to the gym, because I needed my cardio and strength training points! My view is, what ever is keeping you going is a good thing.

I hope that you are feeling better soon.

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/16/2010 5:29PM

    Hope you're feeling much better asap, Joann. Your blog made me smile; when I first joined SP, I said that I thought the points were silly and meaningless. But they do help provide positive reinforcement in shaping new behaviors. Again, wishing you a speedy recovery.

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HAPPYSOUL91 4/16/2010 4:34PM

    I like the points, it keeps me motivated and the competitive nature in me, kicks in.....competitive with myself.

Glad some of the pains are going away, you are on the road to recovery.

Forgot to add my point total: 22,057 emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/16/2010 4:36:03 PM

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    Glad you are starting to feel better. I had never blogged before joining SparkPeople and was totally intimidated at the thought of doing so. Who on earth would possibly interested in anything I wanted to write about? If it had not been for the Spark Points assigned to posting a blog, and your encouragement early on, emoticon I probably would not have started blogging. Your encouraging words got me out of the starting gate. Although I am still not a prolific blogger, I am getting more comfortable with the process.

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DASEEMAN 4/16/2010 1:58PM

    Hope you are feeling better!

Emptying the dishwasher. You get points for having one. Some people still do those suckers by hand! Yuck!!! No, not me!

I have several things I do each day to earn points and I have found it gets me on the website everyday because I want those streaks to continue. Plus, I love the trivia game. It tells me how smart, or not so much, I am.


Rack up those points woman!!!!

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MILLISMA 4/16/2010 1:50PM

    Glad you're feeling better and love your blog. When I had first joined, I never realized that you got so many points for all the things you did on sp. And, yes, there is a lot of information on here. I try to learn something new each day. Do you think you now have the points bug????

Have a great day and keep these wonderful blogs coming!

Mary Anne emoticon

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LAURIE5658 4/16/2010 1:43PM

    And to think that because of this blog, you receive 3 points for writing it and I get 1 point for commenting on it. Its a win-win for all! LOL LOL

I sincerely hope that your healing goes fast and uneventful!

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DAYHIKER 4/16/2010 1:35PM

    Maybe you could wear a heart rate monitor while emptying the dishwasher??? emoticon

Glad you are feeling better and getting back into the swing of things, Joanne. Good blog as usual. I like SparkPoints--they encourage me to stop and read things and to at least check in most days with my teams. Blogging lately not so much. It's been too nice outside!!

Speaking of outside...I'm outta here! emoticon

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