JEANINNEWCASTLE's SparkPeople Blog JEANINNEWCASTLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community An Open Letter about Chronic Illness Chronic illness is more than just a problem I have. In some ways it is now part of my identity. It defines every single moment of my day. I am never in no pain at all - or very very rarely - like perhaps one or two days a year - if I'm lucky. Most of my "no pain days" are really "it's receded enough to the background that it is more like static" days. Every single decision I make takes into account my chronic illness. For one thing, most things take me a lot longer than other people. S... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 02:37:49 EST Checking In 1. With the exception of today, my rest day, I have hit my step goal every single day this week. Much of the time I have smashed my step goal. <BR> <BR> 2. I am trying some recipes from some Paleo blogs. Right now I'm liking the PaleOMG site. I have a carne asada recipe marinating in the crockpot liner in the refrigerator. Tomorrow morning I will start the crockpot and let it cook for 8 hours on low. <BR> <BR> 3. I've revamped our school schedule to a new block schedule that we wil... Mon, 16 Nov 2015 01:19:21 EST Missing in Action Hello! I have been missing in action for a while from the community side of Sparkpeople. Thank you so much to the people who have checked on me and expressed concern. <BR> <BR> What's going on: <BR> <BR> 1. Busy, busy, busy! Really, this is it in a nutshell. Something had to give and while I've logged in to SP everyday, that has been my only involvement with SP in the past month. <BR> <BR> 2. I have been walking more lately. When I can. <BR> <BR> 3. Still eating Paleo(ish). Sti... Fri, 6 Nov 2015 10:53:38 EST What Went - Thursday 1. Today was a slog. School was a slog. Chores were a slog. Even keeping my eating clean was a slog. I was achy and that contributed to it. <BR> <BR> 2. breakfast - apples, peanut butter, eggs (aka the usual) <BR> <BR> lunch - salad with kale mix, turkey, carrots, onion, poppyseed dressing <BR> <BR> snack - grapes and cheese <BR> <BR> dinner - chicken stir-fry from a teriyaki place. I asked for no rice and they gave me extra veggies. <BR> <BR> 3. walked at the Y. People keep ask... Fri, 16 Oct 2015 02:32:29 EST What Went - Wednesday What a day! <BR> <BR> 1. Dh was rushing around getting ready to head out the door on a missions trip. He did not just tip over his coffee as it was perking, somehow it went flying so there was coffee dripping off the cabinets and the counters and all in the one drawer of linen that was open and all over the floor. Fortunately we just went to Costco so I have a huge thing of paper towels and I used a lot of them. The floor had to be mopped three times to get up all the sticky grit. All... Thu, 15 Oct 2015 02:58:08 EST What Went - Tuesday Oh - I am so tired. I am like a zombie tonight! <BR> <BR> This afternoon around 1 pm, Neko (cat) started to yowl like I've never heard him yowl before. At first I thought perhaps he was having angst because he saw my dh packing to go out of town. But no, he was crouched in a corner and wouldn't move but just cried and cried. We picked him up and put him on the couch and he cried some more. If we touched his back he would cry and even try to bite us (but he didn't). After about a half a... Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:37:50 EST What Went - Monday 1. Now that school has started, I feel stretched to my limit. But I'm doing it. Well, I'm not exactly getting the housework and laundry done like I'd like to but other than that. . . . <BR> <BR> 2. Yesterday was a tough day health wise. I started out not feeling too well. I felt like I was fighting exhaustion and either illness or allergies. But I had to push through yesterday anyway. We had a missionary family visiting and I had to step up to the plate to welcome them. They were a ... Tue, 13 Oct 2015 02:36:35 EST What Went - Saturday 1. I have finished 99.9% of the Great Filing Extravaganza. It took me a couple of weekends. I shredded old files and thinned the ones that I need to keep to just those papers that were absolutely necessary. I sorted out the teetering pile of unfiled papers, put them into piles and then filed them all away. <BR> <BR> 2. I can't quite decide if I'm getting sick or if it is more of the mysterious throat swelling. I'm leaning toward allergic throat swelling but time will tell. <BR> <BR>... Sun, 11 Oct 2015 01:48:45 EST What Went - Friday 1. I talked to my 90 year old mom today. She loves art and is taking a watercolor class. She was thrilled that at a show of their paintings someone wanted to buy one of hers. (She wasn't there to ask though so it wasn't sold.) <BR> <BR> 2. I am eating good food. I am not hungry. But I am ashamed at how much I've craved grains and chocolate. <BR> <BR> 3. Breakfast - eggs, cut up apple with peanut butter <BR> <BR> Lunch - the exact same salad as yesterday so if you want to see a ... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 21:05:20 EST What Went - Thursday Today was a challenging day. It started with a blocked toilet overflowing. <em>40</em> My laundry was overflowing too with dirty clothes that I just haven't kept up with. And I have my kid's cold. But . . . I fixed the toilet, cleaned the bathroom thoroughly, and have put away two loads of clean laundry and washed two more. And my cold is just a small one at this point. <BR> <BR> Breakfast - eggs, cut up apple with peanut butter <BR> <BR> Lunch - Kale mix salad with shredded ... Thu, 8 Oct 2015 21:35:08 EST What Went - Wednesday I knew it would come sooner or later. Ds18 and dd13 have colds. I am wearing a mask when I can around them. The last time I got sick was last January. I was on antibiotics for 7 months straight for secondary infections. I had similar the year before. I really really do not want to do this again. <BR> <BR> Food was on target but not what was planned on the mealplan. I am tired, I'm fighting a swollen throat (again) and I think have a mild case of the cold already. I'm hoping that is... Wed, 7 Oct 2015 22:21:39 EST What Went - Tuesday I'm recording my meals here at least for awhile. <BR> <BR> Breakfast - <BR> <BR> eggs, cut up apple with peanut butter <BR> <BR> Lunch - <BR> <BR> If you read my blog yesterday, my lunch will look very familiar. The soup is the same vegetable soup I had yesterday for lunch and the chicken stir-fry is a small portion of what I had for dinner. And the pineapple too was from dinner. I like that this diet plan recognizes that real people do have leftovers and don't want to cook every s... Tue, 6 Oct 2015 22:10:26 EST What Went - Monday I gained 35 pounds since joining Sparkpeople. This is in addition to all the weight that led me here to begin with. It isn't Sparkpeople's fault. It isn't my fault either. My body is becoming more and more diabetic and it took some time to realize that the advice I was getting from doctors and websites weren't right for me. I've toyed with a Zone diet in the past and liked it but found it difficult to give up all grains. But it's got to happen. <BR> <BR> Breakfast (before I got on t... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 22:14:11 EST What Went - Thursday I haven't been posting a lot of blogs because there really isn't all that much interesting to say. I'm super busy with teaching and being a wife and mom. Everyday I fight to eat right, get some exercise, and get enough sleep. I'm discouraged because I am doing the best I can at those and it's not enough. Fri, 2 Oct 2015 01:52:37 EST What Went - Monday 1. Today was a topsy-turvy day. I needed to do what I thought would be quick errands which ended up taking all day. I guess we just can't always tell how long things will take. <BR> <BR> 2. Dd is sad that we are done watching 1900 House. She wants to watch more of the PBS shows like it. <BR> <BR> 3. Ds has his job interview tomorrow. He's been working hard tonight on his application. <BR> <BR> 4. I have a 9 year old e-mail buddy. I am getting a kick out of her Today I taught her t... Tue, 29 Sep 2015 02:26:02 EST What Went - Friday 1. I felt better today. Today was a "stay at home and get things done" day and I actually did get some things done. <BR> <BR> 2. I am learning Spanish with dd13. I was teaching her Japanese but she broke my heart by asking if she could do Spanish instead. Sob! (It's ok - I'm enjoying the old Espanol.) <BR> In addition to a textbook/DVD program, we're doing an app called DuoLingo. DuoLingo is actually better than the textbook. But they don't have Japanese as an option. . . <BR> <BR>... Fri, 25 Sep 2015 22:20:07 EST What Went - Thursday 1. Today was a stay at home, get things done day. I was so tired and achy today from being out so much lately. <BR> <BR> 2. Lunch. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After lunch I stole a couple of pretzels from my dd who had a bag. Big mistake. I have no room for carb errors. My sugar went up to 164 two hours post-prandial. <BR> <BR> 3. Snack. <BR> <BR> Didn't take a picture but I had yogurt with my choc... Fri, 25 Sep 2015 00:37:29 EST What Went - Wednesday 1. Today was my last mammoth day this week (I hope). First, I took dd13 to her doctor's appointment. Traffic was surprisingly good so we made it there with a few minutes to spare. Her asthma meds have been adjusted so she should be more comfortable as she continues to train for a half marathon. Then we headed out for the big city where we were going to meet a friend of mine from seminary days for lunch. The local news had painted a dire picture of traffic but again, it wasn't so bad. ... Wed, 23 Sep 2015 22:44:38 EST What Went - Tuesday 1. We packed our lunches for the fair today. This was mine. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 2. We had a really good time at the fair. Our school district gives out free tickets so admission was free. Of course I did have to pay for gas to get there and for parking (though we found parking for $5 for the day which was half the price of the official parking fee.) They had a Native American focus this year in... Wed, 23 Sep 2015 02:30:14 EST What Went - Tuesday 1. We packed our lunches for the fair today. This was mine. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 2. We had a really good time at the fair. Our school district gives out free tickets so admission was free. Of course I did have to pay for gas to get there and for parking (though we found parking for $5 for the day which was half the price of the official parking fee.) They had a Native American focus this year in... Wed, 23 Sep 2015 02:30:07 EST What Went - Monday 1. Busy week. Today we had a half day of school. Then there were lots of errands. I was supposed to drive into the big city for shots and new antigen but I lost track of time and so I put it off until Wednesday. Fortunately all of that is walk in so it isn't like I missed an appointment or anything. Tomorrow we have a field trip to the state fair. The next day is a big medical day with a break to have lunch with a friend. Thursday we get back to full swing on school. <BR> <BR> 2. We... Tue, 22 Sep 2015 02:40:27 EST What Went - Sunday 1. Throat still swells randomly. Don't know what makes it get worse and what makes it get somewhat better. Don't know why it got better for a couple of months either when as far as I can tell, everything is the same in my life including meds. <BR> <BR> 2. I have school planned for the week. And I washed all of dh's work clothes and have them ready for the week. I'm working on paying bills now (well as soon as I finish this blog.) <BR> <BR> 3. Nothing all that amazing or fun to report... Mon, 21 Sep 2015 00:15:14 EST What Went - Saturday 1. I felt anxious for a good portion of the day. This is not normal for me and I think it is connected to my throat swelling. I suppose that having your airway restricted can do that to a person. <BR> <BR> 2. I tried to manage my eating better today. So in one sense you could say that I had day 2 of my better eating streak. But it wasn't close to perfect. I tried to have a sandwich at lunch and that backfired on the bloodsugars. I made chicken noodle soup for dinner. That was tast... Sun, 20 Sep 2015 02:26:49 EST What Went - Friday 1. My throat has swollen up again. I'm having trouble swallowing. Still on the meds the doctors gave for their last guess on what is causing this. <BR> <BR> 2. I've gained more and more weight in the last year. Today I used current technology to help myself out. I texted a friend at afternoon snack, told her what I ate (a 190 calorie cheese and crackers snack) and told her that I wasn't going to eat again until 5:30. And I didn't. At dinner, I texted her and told her that what I re... Sat, 19 Sep 2015 01:24:55 EST What Went - Thursday 1. After my James Brown (I feel good) day yesterday, today was a bit of a let down. I could feel my nerves and muscles firing this morning, threatening to make everything clamp up again. Fortunately, despite being extremely tired, I haven't gone into an actual flare again. <BR> <BR> 2. I made a really good pork fried rice for dinner. <BR> <BR> 3. Rusty "Stew" (no bunnies were harmed in the taking of this photo) <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 18 Sep 2015 02:29:22 EST What Went - Wednesday 1. I feel good(er). Do not send out the grammar police. I'm channeling my inner James Brown. ;) I did not go to the chiropractor today. Except for an occasional shooting pain when I forget and have bad posture, my shoulder, back and ribs are much better. <BR> <BR> 2. I met my step goal today. It's so much better when the pain is under control. <BR> <BR> 3. A bored bunny is a naughty bunny. We need to find new ways to entertain this very smart rabbit who looks at his old toys and... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 22:50:25 EST What Went - Tuesday 1. My back, shoulder and ribs are still in a lot of pain, though better than it was. The prescription pain relievers take the edge off but they mess with my tummy. I'm thinking I'll go back to the chiropractor again. <BR> <BR> 2. I got Libby's other front paw trimmed and clipped. She is so much easier to groom than Rocky is. :) <BR> <BR> 3. If you had been listening in at our house today: "Mom, you can't speak Spanish with a Japanese accent." "Sure, I can. I already speak French w... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 02:07:59 EST What Went - Monday 1. Had an "emergency" chiropractic visit today. During the middle of the night I had to get up and pop my shoulder back. It wasn't completely out but it was still plenty owie. This morning I knew that my ribs were out but I couldn't manage to put them back into place. But the chiropractor came to my rescue. My ribs are so sore now. <BR> <BR> 2. I had a Zone breakfast and lunch. Snack and dinner, while not super bad, were not Zone and did have more carbs in them than was ideal. <B... Tue, 15 Sep 2015 01:24:09 EST What Went - Sunday 1. Still in my flare. Putting one foot in front of the other. I was thinking today that I wanted someone to follow me around, cheering me on in even the little things like emptying the dishwasher that seem so big to me today. But then I realized that that would get old really quickly. ;) And I absolutely detest when people nag at me to do even good things. It makes me definitely want to dig my heels in like a mule. What actually works best for me in real life is talking to someone on ... Sun, 13 Sep 2015 18:49:49 EST What Went - Saturday A busy week and a very busy Friday night tipped me over into sheer exhaustion. I've spent most of it in my armchair. I have to recover by tomorrow morning because tomorrow is another very busy day starting with getting my dd to a morning 5K. Sun, 13 Sep 2015 01:56:09 EST What Went - Friday 1. Today was a fibro day. My wrists and ankles were especially painful this time. I kind of wanted to curl up in my armchair all day but I didn't. Instead I got out there and did what I need to do as a wife, mom and teacher. <BR> <BR> 2. Tonight, dh, ds and I went to a Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits fame) concert. It was an outdoor concert where you found a spot on the grass. I spent part of the the day looking for and buying low stadium chairs. I knew that I would not have been abl... Sat, 12 Sep 2015 02:32:05 EST What Went - Thursday 1. The day started inauspiciously. I woke up at 6:30 with the sinking realization that I had no bread for dh's breakfast or packed lunch. So I thought - I'll give him frozen waffles (toasted of course!). Oh no, out of those. Nevermind, I'll make oatmeal. Wait. . . out of almond milk and he's a bit picky about wanting milk on it. Hmmm. Hashbrowns? I had some in the freezer but they were so old that when I got them out of the freezer they were a frozen block of ice and probably freez... Fri, 11 Sep 2015 01:58:54 EST What Went - Wednesday 1. Yesterday was dd's dental exam and cleaning. Today was mine. I have no cavities. I tried to get the kids to see that this meant that they owed me ice cream but they didn't see it that way. <BR> <BR> 2. School went well. <BR> <BR> 3. In my non-school related life I found things a bit challenging. By noon I was trembling uncontrollably. I thought it was stress but then I realized that I hadn't taken my morning meds. I took them and within 30 minutes the trembling stopped. I won... Thu, 10 Sep 2015 02:00:09 EST What Went - Tuesday 1. Day 2 of school. Today we had to work around dd's dental appointment but still went fairly well. She has no cavities so that's good! I have my dental exam and cleaning tomorrow so we'll have to work around that. Such is life, right? <BR> <BR> 2. Today we got to use the pickling lime that I went all over creation to find. We made limewater. Then we set up the apparatus that we needed for transfering carbon dioxide into the limewater so we could see how they react. After a bit of d... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 02:29:37 EST What Went - Monday 1. My meds did help last night with the muscle cramping. <BR> <BR> 2. I had the loveliest morning. Ds and dh had labor day off from work so I did not have to get up and hit the day running in order to get them out the door. I ended up waking up around the usual time but was able to sit, read my e-mail etc. and wake up gradually. Then I had a nice breakfast. After that, I leashed Rocky up and we went out for a 45 minute walk. So pleasant. And a really nice start to my step goal for th... Tue, 8 Sep 2015 00:38:13 EST What Went - Sunday 1. My muscles are cramping big time - all over. It is very painful. As soon as my kids go to bed and I can get away with it, I'm taking my meds. One esp. helps with this sort of thing. <BR> <BR> 2. I am all ready for school to start tomorrow. Yes, on Labor day. We have a long tradition of starting school on Labor Day. <BR> <BR> Mon, 7 Sep 2015 01:59:08 EST What Went - Saturday 1. When I went to write this blog I saw that I had titled yesterday's blog - What Went - Saturday. I must have been confused. I fixed it. <BR> <BR> 2. This morning I did what I've been wanting to do for a long time. I had a walk right after breakfast. Rocky and I walked downtown (all two streets of downtown) and then around in a big loop. I am going to have to use my inhaler regularly, I think. I'm having more trouble with chest/lung pain when I'm out. <BR> <BR> 3. Proof of walk:... Sat, 5 Sep 2015 21:56:47 EST What Went - Friday 1. I'm tired. Today has been a busy day. <BR> We all worked together and decluttered and deep cleaned the main bathroom. We even got the towel rack put back up. I also got one bag of stuff thrown out from our schoolroom which is very much a work in progress. <BR> <BR> 2. Dd has a friend over for a sleepover tonight. I fed them pizza. <BR> <BR> 3. I'm working on chemistry planning. I don't know how much more I'll get done tonight though because I am brain dead. Fri, 4 Sep 2015 22:19:16 EST What Went - Thursday 1. Rocky's paw was fine this morning. He was funny though. He would come to me but I noticed that he would sit with that paw tucked under him so that I couldn't get to it! <BR> <BR> 2. Today was our Happy-Not-Back-To-School field trip. We drove an hour northeast to an aquatic center. It was very nice with a "lazy river", a long swirly water slide and an area with basketball nets. They also had a wave pool which is used for indoor surfing but that cost extra and I didn't know to pay fo... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 01:00:08 EST What Went - Wednesday 1. Today was another day that was on the stressful side but I'm not fretting about it. Such is life. And hey, I survived! <BR> <BR> 2. Months ago, I went to a oil change place for an oil change. Right afterward I noticed oil leaking in my driveway. It wasn't too much though so I waited until the next oil change when I told them to make sure to check for a leak. They said that they did and there was no leak. Then I had to have my brakes fixed at Midas. Midas did a great job on the ... Thu, 3 Sep 2015 02:12:34 EST What Went - Tuesday 1. We have a chalkboard in the hallway. We've had it for a number of years but this year we are starting to see it's true potential. <BR> <BR> I have across the top: Welcome to __________ (where I enter the day - today would be Tuesday) <BR> <BR> Under that I have five categories: <BR> <BR> Human Care; Pet Care; House and Garden care; Brain Care and Spiritual Care. <BR> <BR> Human care is where we each record our step count for the day. It is also where I put doctor's appointments... Tue, 1 Sep 2015 23:07:45 EST What Went - Monday 1. Went to the ENT today. He said that I am swollen but there is no sign of infection. Woo hoo! He wants to see me still in a month. I think it is funny that my doctors who in years past would have told me to see them in six months or a year after clearing me, are now telling me that they want to see me in a month. No one wants to bet on me staying on this way though of course we want me to stay this way. The ENT says that now would actually be a good time for sinus surgery but I would... Tue, 1 Sep 2015 01:15:02 EST What Went - Sunday 1. My eye is feeling much better today. <BR> <BR> 2. I figured out that in order to do a minimum of 6000 steps a day, that I need to do 500 every hour over 12 hours if I spread it out all day. Of course I don't spread it out all day most days if I go for a walk since I can get a good chunk of steps right there. But it's good to know. <BR> <BR> 3. I put the garbage out at the curb. Later tonight dh came home to say that the garbage can had tipped over and garbage was in the street. As... Sun, 30 Aug 2015 23:56:03 EST What Went - Saturday 1. You know how yesterday I said that I had pink eye? The consensus now is that I somehow hit and scratched myself during the night. I have a small but distinct shiner. <BR> <BR> #evertheklutz <BR> <BR> 2. I actually googled today and found that there really are retreats for tired mothers. I can't afford them though and I would find more work waiting for me when I got home than when I left. <BR> <BR> 3. I walked this evening with my dd13. Sometimes my legs just feel like trunks... Sun, 30 Aug 2015 01:39:34 EST What Went - Friday 1. I have pink eye. <BR> <BR> 2. I don't know if it is related but I am really really tired today. Today has been a take-it-one-step-at-a-time day. I have gotten some stuff done but I've ssat around a lot too. <BR> <BR> 3. I got Rocky's paw #3 done. One more to go. <BR> <BR> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:33:36 EST What Went - Thursday 1. Today was a big errand day - optometrist, 3 bookstores, chiropractor, shoe store, grocery store. I was also supposed to go to the bank but I forgot. I guess that will be on tomorrow's list. <BR> <BR> 2. 3 bookstores and none of them had the two books I especially wanted. It appears that one book is only sold through the publisher's website. I could have ordered the other book but didn't want to wait since I wanted it as a gift. I got some other books instead. <BR> <BR> 3. My feet... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:25:27 EST What Went - Wednesday 1. I just realized today that I'm happy in a content sort of way. For the first time in a very very long time (ie. two decades) I'm not dealing with daily pain of any significance. If I get enough sleep (and unfortunately that can be a big if) then I have enough energy - not tons or anything but enough. The doctor said to me in amazement today "You're doing ok right now". Yep, that's how I feel about it too! Dd had to ruin things by telling him that I always get sick in October, Novemb... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:54:07 EST What Went - Tuesday 1. Real life is boring compared to camp. I mean really, it is so much more fun to put togehter 20 catapult kits compared to sending in prescription forms for insurance! <BR> <BR> 2. Dh and I took a walk tonight. Even with the walk I didn't get anywhere near my step goal. It's those stupid insurance forms and other work like that! <BR> <BR> 3. Dd is bored since we got home from camp. I did have her do some yardwork and she helped me to trim one of Rocky's paws. We're doing one paw a ... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 02:32:17 EST What Went - Monday 1. I went for my fasting blood draw this morning. I must have been a shriveled dried up turnip because even the very experienced phlebotomist (I've had her before) couldn't get any blood out of me. Then she did a move I've never seen before. She got blood from the front of my arm, instead of the inside where you usually can see the veins. I don't know how she knew where to poke but I was just glad that she hit "red gold". <BR> <BR> 2. I have been up since around 6 am. I am still so ... Mon, 24 Aug 2015 22:42:31 EST What Went - Sunday 1. I am beyond exhausted. I am supposed to pay bills this weekend but I think I'm going to have to do it tomorrow because I am hardly functioning at this point. <BR> <BR> 2. Rusty is so happy to be home. He is jumping straight up in the air and is binkying. (A bunny hop of joy.) <BR> <BR> 3. I got the kids to help me to do a "post mortem" on camp. I will type it up and send it to the camp director. They had some really good comments on what went well and had some good suggestions on... Mon, 24 Aug 2015 00:17:29 EST