Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Oh, where to begin?
My health has continued to improve on my new vegan lifestyle. I have been eating well, exercising, and have continued to lose weight. It has slowed down quite a bit, but that is to be expected as I near my goal weight.
My husband and I were blessed with our first grandchild in August, then in October we were blessed with twin grandsons! So, we went from no grandchildren to three almost at once. What a wonderful addidtion to our lives!
My mother-in-law had to go into an assisted living facility, so we have adopted her rat terrier, Hobo. I wasn't sure I was ready to have another dog after losing our beloved Scarlet, but he has wiggled his way into our hearts and he is a good fit for our family.
My dear husband has joined me on my get healthy plan, and has lost 50 pounds. I am so proud of him, and we are feeling younger every day. Unfortunately, he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and will be undergoing surgery in February. We are doing our best to stay in the moment and not worry about what the future may bring, and it has brought us closer together.
We just got back from Mexico, and had one of those vacations where anything that could go wrong, did. DH fell while taking a picture, injured his foot, broke the camera, and ended up hobbling around the rest of the trip. I came down with a horrible illness.. still not sure if I had Dengue fever or H1N1, but whatever it was, I survived. We also missed out flight home, a hazard of this day and age of paperless, ticketless travel. But all in all, we laughed off our misfortunes and mistakes, and took each day as the blessing it was.
I will do my best to get some new pictures added to my blog and log in with some more frequent updates.
All the best to my spark friends and family. Happy Holidays to you all!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I have been through a lot of changes since my last blog update. I am happy to report that my health is much better, and I am feeling a little stronger each day. Due to all the health issues I have been struggling with, I have completely changed my lifestyle. I was having gallbladder issues, and also was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, and was really going downhill. I was so sick from the gallbladder attacks, and nothing seemed to help... then on top of that the joint pain and inflammation from the arthritis just really put me on the sidelines for quite a while. I have been doing lots of research on inflammation and gallbladder issues, and decided to completely change my diet. This may sound radical to some, and practical to others, but it is really working for me. I have given up any and all meat, including chicken and fish, dairy, eggs, basically, if it comes from an animal, I no longer eat it. I also gave up caffeine, alcohol, butter or oil of any kind, and various other things. Within 6 weeks of eating this way, I have lost 11 pounds, and feel better than I have in several months. I am up to walking for an hour, hills and all, and sometimes go for a second walk in the evening. I am practicing yoga again, riding my bike, and feel like I have my old self back.. (actually, I feel much better than my old self!). Oh yeah, in case you are wondering what DO I eat? Quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, barley, etc.. (whole grains), and veggies, veggies, veggies (organic and local) right now mostly out of my own garden, and fruit. (and yes, I am getting enough protein mom ;-). I am completely satisfied, and don't miss any of the stuff I used to eat. I am doing this solely for my health and well-being, and it somehow makes it much easier than just being on a "diet". I have had enough of those to last a lifetime, and was really discouraged by the up and down numbers on the scale, and feeling like a failure. I used to think I was trying to lose weight for my health, but until something happened to me, I really didn't "get it". I know that I may have another flare up of arthritis in the future, but I am doing everything in my power to get as healthy as possible, and want to hold off on taking any dangerous drugs for as long as I am able.
Thank you, all my dear SparkFriends, for supporting me. I so appreciate all your get well wishes! I am sorry for not being around very much these past several months, but I am going to be checking in more often from now on :-)
Friday, June 19, 2009
I have been debating with myself.. should I or shouldn't I put my health info in my blog? At the risk of sounding like my grandma's bridge club, lol... Here goes.
Since last summer I have been dealing with bouts of severe abdominal pain after meals. I have been to several doctors, had numerous tests, and the culprit is my gall bladder. However, I don't have gallstones, so they are hesitant to take it out. I also am dealing with severe gastritis (irritation of the stomach lining) and acid reflux. I have one more test on my gall bladder in late July, and then I will know if they are going to remove it or not.
I was going along okay with all that, and staying active, trying to eat better, etc.
Then, in March, I started having joint pain for no apparent reason and have been feeling like I've been run over by a truck these past few months. I also had this really itchy rash on my elbow, so they tested for several other conditions that can have gastric/rash/joint pain symptoms... like Crohn's disease, celiac disease, colitis, etc. So far, I don't have any of those, and it still looks like my gall bladder is the culprit of my stomach woes...
Long story short (I hope!).. Turns out the rash on my elbow is Psoriasis, and my first bout with it was about 12 years ago. Back then, the doctor just told me to put hydrocortisone on it, and after several months it finally went away. Now, it's back, and along with it, the joint pain. After several more rounds with the doctors, and tons of blood work, (last time they took 10 vials.. eek!), They are leaning towards a diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis.
It not only affects the joints, but also ligaments, tendons, and fascia.
Anyway, I'm not blogging this to complain, but wanted to give a little background and also let all my dear Sparkfriends know where I've been all this time!
I am taking this one step at a time, trying to keep my spirits up, and trying to exercise a little each day. I am having joint and tendon pain that keeps me up at night, and I even have inflammation in my eyes.. So, being on the computer, watching TV, driving, and reading are all painful to do for very long.
I feel like I went from a healthy, 41 year old adventurer who could stand to lose a few pounds, to double that age, could stand to lose a few more pounds, with a condition that I have associated in my mind with being elderly.
I have been meditating, and trying to do some gentle yoga stretches, and walking . I still go to the park, but don't go through the ravines anymore, and only go around once, so I am only walking for 30 minutes or so. I'm trying to build on it slowly, and know that this too shall pass. Everything changes... everything.. the good and the bad.
My spirits are up for the most part, even though my body is down, I try to stay positive. Even though I haven't been online, I still think of my gratitude and awakening team. Every morning before I get out of bed, I list to myself all that I am grateful for, just like I would post it if I were online :-)
Thanks dear spark friends, for all your support and well wishes. I will try to check in more often.
I wish joy and sunshine to you all, and hope you are having a happy summer!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I am already tired of whining.. I can hear sighs of relief all over Spark land :-)
This one will be short, there really is no point in rehashing all the negativity, and since this really is February, and I am in a different place, I would like to get back to being positive :-)
New Year's Eve... too much food, drink, stress
My 41st birthday.. huge fight with DH, visiting family, too much food.. stress!
My DH's birthday.. more dining out and dessert, still resenting DH for fight on my birthday.. stress
Family "winter birthday" celebration.. too much food, dessert, stress
Family medical issues with DH's parents, aging, illness, and the worry that they may not be able to care for themselves much longer.
Family issues with some of our kids losing their jobs, losing college funding, having addiction issues.
That about wraps up January.. I am up 8 more pounds.. I have been stuffing down my emotions with food.
February gets more sane, I promise!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
After all the stress of travel and Thanksgiving, we decided to go to the beach for a week. My bag still wasn't unpacked from my trip, I just threw it in the closet (so unlike me!). We arrived and it was a beautiful day. I was thinking okay, I can do this.. I can relax, walk on the beach and everything will start to come back.. the peace, the stillness, the feeling of well-being. The next morning, we woke up to SNOW.. on the Oregon coast! I know it happens sometimes, but it was surprising. Of course it was beautiful, and we were really excited to get out on the beach and walk in all that beauty. We ventured forth, and it was so cold, and there was ice on the beach, and the walk didn't last long!
The next day there was even more snow, and we ended up staying in the house for a couple of days. We watched the weather reports, and tried to go home on the best day possible, but what usually takes about 90 minutes took 5 hours! We made it home safely, and were happy to be home safe and sound.
Unfortunately, not long after we got home, the snow started falling.. it was beautiful and fun the first couple of days. As it started piling up, we got a little more nervous.. I know this blog sounds ridiculous for someone who lives where it snows all the time, but in Portland, Oregon, it doesn't happen all that often, so we are faced not only with terrible road conditions, and not enough snowplows and equipment to take care of the metro area, but also have to contend with folks out on the road who aren't able to drive in it. I grew up in an area where it snowed every winter, but it was bad even for me. We ended up stuck in the house for over a week, and had to move into the guest room due to several heavy tree limbs on the roof, and the rest of the large pine tree leaning precariously over the house right over the master bedroom. We lost power several times, several of our trees broke, and the roof of our storage shed collapsed, but we came through relatively unscathed compared to some.
Needless to say, we were unable to go Christmas shopping... (I felt guilty for taking a trip and not getting it done in November)
We ended up postponing Christmas and getting together with family at a later date. It actually ended up working out great, because we got to hit the after Christmas sales :-)
One bright spot in the month was our son and daughter-in-law announced that they are expecting, so we were very happy! They had a miscarriage previously, so we were cautiously wating to make sure everything was okay.
So that about wraps up December.. more travel, more unhealthy meals, more stress, and less exercise. After six weeks of this, I am up about 7 pounds, and starting to feel very negative and hopeless. I feel like I am on train tracks that only go one way, and I can't get off.
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