MUSIC2HISEARS's SparkPeople Blog MUSIC2HISEARS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Finally...Tomorrow is the Day Finally, tomorrow is finally upon us and my procedure comes bright and early in the morning. I'm in a tremendous amount of pain today, and sitting and laying down are the only two positions that give me any relief today. The pain medication just makes me sleepy, and does nothing for the pain. <BR> <BR> But tomorrow morning, I'll be having an epidural nerve block on the L4 disc. This is injection #3. The first lasted 1 month. The second 3 months. I'm hoping and praying that this one lasts lo... Wed, 3 May 2017 15:12:17 EST Not a happy camper Well, just days away from my procedure, and my boss and HR have forced me to go on medical leave until after my procedure and I am no longer needing to be on this medication. To be honest, on one hand, I don't blame them. On the other, they did create the monster. They forced my hand in demanding that I be there, despite it all. I was following orders. I kept warning them. They didn't heed my warnings, so I showed up "drunk" from being heavily medicated from non-narcotic nerve pain medication... Tue, 2 May 2017 00:33:50 EST I'm getting closer I'm getting closer to being able to get healthy again. I've got everything I need to do it, but first, I have to have an epidural nerve block to start off with. You see, I have a herniated disc in my lower back that was aggravated when I fell back on October 1st. This is my THIRD injection. I'm not thrilled about having a bunch of injections over and over again, because they just seem to keep prolonging the inevitable, especially with a situation like mine where the disc isn't healing at all.... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:17:42 EST Frustrated with the Pharmaceutical Industry Well, the doctors have been lovingly playing around with my medications, and recently changed me to a medication that works for what it is supposed to do, but is notorious for dramatic weight gain. In fact, I've gained 20 lbs in 1 month so far. And boy, am I not happy!!!! The thing of it is, it combats depression and anxiety. It really does a great job of doing that, but on the same note, it brings me down about my self-esteem when it comes to how much I weigh. In other is a double... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 17:54:19 EST Whoa!!!!!! Hold on there!!!!!!!! I know I've been struggling with sleep, been asking for prayers for it, and even gone as far as going to the stress center about it. Well, they adjusted my medications on Friday, and now all I want to do IS sleep!!! It's awful!!! I feel awful!!! I just want a happy medium!!!! Like between 6 to 8 hours each night, feeling refreshed when I wake up, and actually having a normal day. I see my doctor on Monday, who is on vacation this week. Tomorrow I see a counselor at the hospital's stress cente... Tue, 4 Apr 2017 21:14:03 EST "Essential"ly Getting Sleep Finally In my search for sleep, I think the solution has finally been found. While I have been working on adjusting my medications with my doctor, I accidentally came across another solution that actually helped out tremendously, too. <BR> <BR> You see, I wear a CPAP mask at night, much to my dismay. I had been rubbing a little drop of peppermint essential oil on the inside of my CPAP mask before putting it on at night to help me breath better. I keep a few bottles of different essential oils in my ... Sat, 1 Apr 2017 22:58:18 EST Searching for that Healthy Relationship What is a healthy relationship with carbohydrates? I feel like I keep missing the mark when it comes to that relationship. I have a book from the American Diabetes Association and have been working with a dietitian who I just happen to be related to, but I am still absolutely confused. <BR> <BR> It seems/feels like the healthier I want to get, the more expensive it gets. Regular pasta is pennies on the dollar, while black bean pasta costs over $7, upward of $8 sometimes $9, depending on whe... Sat, 1 Apr 2017 04:45:30 EST Unplugged I had one of the most beautiful and wonderful experiences in the world: a period of being unplugged. I did have my cell phone; however, I was without WiFi, so I used my phone very little for surfing the web or using apps, like SP. I left my laptop and iPad at home, as I traveled (partially for business and partially for a retreat) and let me just say that it was a rewarding experience to be disconnected from the world at large. I didn't have phone calls, as my phone was on silent and tucked a... Sun, 26 Mar 2017 11:57:03 EST Crank It Up: Old School Yesterday felt like spring all day long. It was a warm, sunny day. Perfect for doing a little bit of spring cleaning. It had been since before the beginning of September that I had been able to do much of anything really physical, so it felt really great to get outside and get the yard cleaned up (finally). There were a lot of limbs down in the yard, even though I have just one tree, and I cleaned up all of my flower pots that had toppled over and littered the yard. I was afraid my neighbors ... Mon, 6 Mar 2017 07:21:09 EST Who Do You Listen To? I feel like I've been in a tug of war contest about who is right and who is wrong in this whole mindset of what is the proper way to eat for a healthy lifestyle? A month ago, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy diagnosis anyone wants to receive, but definitely one that would give most a wake-up call to start getting healthy. Instead of putting me on pills, my doctor prescribed diet and exercise for three months to bring down my numbers. Sounded good enough to m... Sun, 5 Mar 2017 09:56:02 EST Thinking on change Have you ever found yourself along life's journey and suddenly come to a point where you have to make a choice of what direction you need to take? Yeah, that's where I am right now. It's not an easy choice to make, and I don't know how to explain it to people when they ask me what it is that I want to do right now. Because honest, I really don't know myself. <BR> <BR> I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and why I wanted to do it. But now that I am there. I n... Sat, 4 Mar 2017 19:53:24 EST Healing and Clearing It is interesting that despite my injuries, I'm still in a purging mood. Oh, don't worry, I'm not lifting and pitching heavy items. Just shuffling and pitching paper, and a lot of it. I have an old filing cabinet that I purchased 17 years ago, shortly after graduating from college at the age of 31 (don't do the math). It has been through quite a few moves, so the top drawer has been mashed in, and doesn't go in and out very easily anymore, and isn't as pretty as it once was. Plus it is ricket... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:34:46 EST Thoughts: My Financial Issues I've been listening to the Steps from 180Xchange at my church. (They have them online and is similar to a 12 step program like AA, but not limited to one addiction). My shopping issues may go back to my mom. My mom is an enabler. Every time I turn around, she's saying "let's go shopping" at places like Menards, Ollie's, or Walmart. At places like Ollie's I'm learning NOT to buy, but books there are my achilles heel, because they are so deeply discounted (hence the cookbooks I need to figure o... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 03:37:13 EST Where I am Today - Measurements Back around this time in December, I took my measurements and weighed in at 259. Today, I weigh in at 245. Here are my measurements as they compared to then: <BR> Then Now <BR> ==== ==== <BR> Bust: 49" 49" <BR> Chest: 42" 41" <BR> Waist 43" 41.5" <BR> Tummy: 47" 51" (she had 52" the week before) <BR> Hips: 50" 51" (she had 52" the week before) <BR> Bicep: 15" ... Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:22:51 EST A Sunny Drive to the Stress Center It might be strange that someone would drive to the stress center for help with the sun roof open on an unusually pretty day, but I did. No, I'm not suicidal. I don't want to harm or hurt anyone or myself. I simply want sleep. Yes, sleep. You see, it has been over six weeks since I've last had a good night's sleep, and my mental and emotional states are just now starting to show cracks. Even physical cracks, in that I wound up having to down some Emergen-C and Mucinex today to ward off a cold... Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:17:14 EST A Good Day All Around Today is a gorgeous day out! It is in the mid to upper 60's here in central Indiana, which is totally NOT the normal here in mid-February. But I'm not going to complain. Not one bit! And it was a nice day for a drive to another town about 45 minutes away for my first Onion Camp. Today's class was an introduction in what constitutes the good, the bad, and the ugly of carbohydrates. Yes, I've taken the class before, but it was good to go through it once again. We also went over things like how ... Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:51:25 EST Slowly Adding Weight Today was a good day in PT, because today we added weights to the mix. This is a good sign that I am progressing as I should. My lower back is doing tons better than it should. I'm still having upper back/shoulder pain, which is bothersome, but we're working on it. The good news is that we are starting to add weights to the mix, because the pain is now more tolerable. It is to the point that I possibly could live with it if I had to. I don't want to, but if I had to, I would. <BR> <BR> So, t... Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:56:28 EST Update ToThis Morning's Blog Well, my friend and I talked it out. She still isn't thrilled with my choice of plan by my physician or the program I've chosen (which happen to be identical, except that the doctor allows me to have a glass of milk and a banana, which I'm doing). The one thing we've agreed on is that lifestyle choices are a matter of trial and error, and not every program or plan is going to work for each individual person. We are all made uniquely different, so our dietary needs are uniquely different to ou... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:35:06 EST Getting a Little Hot Under the Collar I've taken on the task of clean eating. I had done it before learning of the diagnosis of being diabetic on Friday, because I knew that I had to do something to get healthy. I knew, because my weight and health were spiraling out of control. <BR> <BR> But tonight, I got chewed out by one of my dearest and closest friends for restricting my carb intake, because all people on Facebook heard was that I was on a "diet" that included a "carb detox". Well, what they didn't hear on Facebook was th... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:59:01 EST It's Official! Well, it's official! I am now started off on the Onion Camp with The Onion Factory ( <link> </link> ). I went to orientation today, got weighed in, measured, and all that jazz. I'm to start the food plan this week, then classes start a week from today. I'm STOKED! I know this program works, because it worked for me before. She's also aware of my back injury and wants me to ease into it, so that I am. I'm planning on nothing but cardio at the gym and the weight/resistance tr... Sat, 11 Feb 2017 15:15:30 EST Perfect Timing Yesterday morning I went in bright and early to get my blood work done at the doctor's office, and was shocked to get the results already today. It turns out that I have high cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels. The last two don't surprise me, as I've been pre-diabetic, or metabolic syndrome X, for a year now. <BR> <BR> But instead of prescribing more and more medication, they have just prescribed me to implement more exercise and a better diet into my daily routine. Interest... Fri, 10 Feb 2017 13:31:00 EST The Pounds Are Relative My mom weighs 225 and wears a size 24 and a 3X. I weigh 253 and wear a size 22 and a 2X. She's 5'5" and I'm 5'7". When I am 225, I wear between a size 18 and a size 16 (1X). I'd hate to see what she would be wearing at my size. But I digress. When I was 200 lbs, I wore a size 14 and was between a L and XL. I felt fabulous! I got lots of compliments. No one was wiser about what the scale read. Just me and my personal trainer, who was impressed by how my body was responding physically in measur... Thu, 9 Feb 2017 12:09:51 EST Could This Be the Answer Yesterday, I saw a new psychiatrist, as my old one left the practice I go to for both psychiatric and counseling help. Since June, I had been working with my old psychiatrist to find a new mood stabilizer that didn't have a side effect of extreme weight gain like Abilify does. <BR> <BR> I tried Geodon. I lost weight, but had a nasty side effect that caused extreme muscle and joint pain to the point I could not stop moving or else the pain was too intense to bear. <BR> <BR> Then I was put ... Thu, 9 Feb 2017 03:01:22 EST Weary Thoughts at 3 am 2 am has been a frequently visited waking hour for me this past few weeks. Luckily, I was able to get in 10 hours of sleep the night before, but I'm back to the old cycle of it all again. I do see my psychiatric nurse practitioner later this morning, and hope and pray that she has answers to what is going on. <BR> <BR> However, there is more going on. 10 years ago, I woke up to a very sore and swollen ankle. I had not had anything traumatic happen to it, so it was a mystery. When I went to ... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 02:46:30 EST Day 2 of Recovery Well, I made it through my first full day of keeping track of my spending. The new comer's packet they gave me had a small notebook in it for us to keep track of every last cent we spend. Luckily, I've only had to put two somewhat small amounts in it for today. But I still need to go to the grocery store, so trying to figure out if I itemize or just total it. So, I'm learning. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I h... Tue, 7 Feb 2017 17:33:02 EST Day 1 of Recovery Well, I did it. I went to Debtors Anonymous. The first step in the recovery process is always admitting you have an addiction. The second is taking action, and that is what I did today. I don't know what each day will transpire, but I can choose to make the right choices each day, one day at a time. And if I screw up one day, I screw up one day. I can then move on. Plain and simple. It is a new day for me, and I'm ready to succeed. Mon, 6 Feb 2017 19:28:14 EST Taking Steps Toward Recovery In my last blog, I admitted to being a shopaholic. Since then, I've been reading, researching, searching, reviewing, and recalculating everything. I've utilized a free offer from Kindle to be able to read a bunch of the books on the subject for free. Some are useless and others are inspiring. I've also been researching groups here in my area: celebrate recovery, 180xchange, debtors anonymous, and other recovery options. I may go to more than one. We will see. <BR> <BR> The big thing I did wa... Sun, 5 Feb 2017 03:01:03 EST I Did It I struggle with bipolar disorder, and I've come to the realization that I'm in a manic phase right now. And not the fun kind, but the kind that can have grave repercussions. This morning, I have been researching debtors anonymous and shopaholics anonymous. I sent an email with a plea for help to shopaholics anonymous, and have saved the meeting information for debtors anonymous. I'm drowning. I think my lack of sleep may be one of the factors, too. It is a major symptom of mania, and with tha... Sat, 4 Feb 2017 05:17:28 EST Mental Illness, Peace, and Chaos These past few weeks have been strange, especially going on medical leave on Thursday last week due to a muscle strain. Or at least right now, that is the only answer I have, or have been given. Yesterday, they were able to loosen it up enough to be worked on and manipulated. I am now allowed to begin adding cardio to my routine. Light cardio, but cardio nonetheless. I'm also now adding in resistance training to warm up the muscle. Not a lot, just enough to get it to where it can be manipulat... Fri, 3 Feb 2017 03:36:37 EST Random Thoughts at 2am I've been getting up at 2am for awhile now, and usually falling back to sleep at 4am. I've decided to use the time as a chance to reflect without much of the distraction. Even my pups know that it isn't really time to get up yet, but they are lying next to me on the couch. <BR> <BR> A funny, I knew I was buying new furniture, but thought I'd have something immediately after I pay for it, so I put my current love seat and couch up for sale. Well, it sold and will be gone on the 10th. Unfortu... Thu, 2 Feb 2017 02:47:25 EST Muscle Injuries and How to Prevent Them I've been struggling a lot these past 18 months with muscle injuries. It all started way back in September 2015 when I injured my abdominal muscles on a long bike ride. It took over two months of tests, colonoscopies, and imaging before it was determined to be simply a muscle injury that was easily remedied with a steroid injection in the abdominal muscle wall. I walked out of the doctor's office that morning completely pain free. <BR> <BR> Then after my office moved, and I did a lot of walk... Wed, 1 Feb 2017 02:39:01 EST And We Have a Winner: Blue Apron Yes, I still have one meal left to cook from my Home Chef box, but tonight's meal sealed the deal with Blue Apron. You see, first...most of the meals with Blue Apron take about 35 minutes to prepare. Tonight's meal (and tomorrow's) both have estimates of up to an hour. Despite selecting Low Carb, tonight's meal and tomorrow's meal were anything but low carb. <BR> <BR> Tonight's meal was a Parisian Bristro Steak. I like steak. I don't mind cooking steak. But this meal was time consuming to m... Sun, 29 Jan 2017 19:23:14 EST Finally!!!! Since injuring my shoulder blade/back, I've been very hesitant to do any type of exercise; however, since I started wearing pain patches, I've also been able to move around more and get more done. Now don't get me wrong, I still hurt like crazy. But it is no longer stopping me. I went for a 45 minute walk (slow pace) yesterday, then another 35 today. It seems that it is only when I sit at my desk that the pain starts to hit immediately. That is why I'm on leave right now. I couldn't sit in th... Sun, 29 Jan 2017 00:29:30 EST Now for Home Chef Well, my Home Chef order came in a day early, which turned out really well. You see, I ran out of time to make the 3rd meal from Blue Apron and all of the ingredients had gone bad. That was one thing the recipe cards didn't tell you, but Home Chef's does: you have 5 days to prepare the foods before they go bad. Note to self, don't do that again. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now, after receiving and opening the Blue... Fri, 27 Jan 2017 05:07:00 EST The Good/Bad Day So, have you ever had a "good" and "bad" day all in one? That's the only way I can explain today. It was good in that I was able to get through the MRI without freaking out in the machine. It was good that I got to spend time with a newer good friend. It was good that I was able to get all of the paperwork submitted to be on medical leave. And good that I stayed within my calorie range. Oh...and good because my Home Chef order came in today. <BR> <BR> It was bad because when I went to make t... Thu, 26 Jan 2017 21:48:58 EST Update to this morning's blog Ok, I'm getting ready to leave doctor's office. I'm to have an MRI, but she's thinking this is due to a nerve impingement causing nerve pain. I also get to have physical therapy, which doesn't surprise me. I'm also to call my GI doctor to make sure she can't think of anything since stomach issues can magnify through that area. Just trying to rule everything out first. Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:24:51 EST Waiting For Life to Be Kind Again I know that if you've read my blog regularly, you'd know that the past 18 months have been hard. Especially those since this past April when we learned that my grandpa was dying of cancer. Life spiraled out of control at that point with one thing right after the other. I had made the New Year resolution to do everything I can to make 2017 great. I even chose the word Renewal as my word of the year. I've always been told that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. I knew I should... Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:01:35 EST Coincidence? I think not! But it really is cool! I have been a huge fan of a place in Anderson, Indiana called The Onion Factory <link> </link> . In fact, I've mentioned it a lot in my blog posts over the past two years. Unfortunately, I haven't been super active with it since I injured myself back in October 2015, because I wasn't allowed to exercise at all until they figured out what was wrong (which was December by the time they figured it out). <BR> <BR> Well, after going from 185 to 259 (I'm now at 251) since Octob... Sun, 22 Jan 2017 22:29:10 EST The Pibil Style Pork from Blue Apron Tonight's meal did not disappoint after last night's seared chicken thigh. It was an extremely easy recipe to follow, and I didn't feel like it took as long as yesterday's meal did. Here are some photos from the meal: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=" Sun, 22 Jan 2017 19:00:33 EST Review of Blue Apron's Seared Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Kale Okay, so in my last blog, I told you how I had just received my first Blue Apron box with three meals (2 servings each). Well, today I made my first meal from the box. It was the Seared Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Kale. The recipe card gives you everything you need to know, except nutrition information (which I later found with what they called "knick knacks"). <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The first part of t... Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:58:46 EST Meal Plan Delivery Service: Blue Apron Well, about a week ago I started asking people what they thought about the meal plan delivery services like Blue Apron or Home Chef. I've toyed with the idea of using them before, but never stepped up to try them. Well, a friend of mine sent me an electronic coupon for one free week's worth of food (valued at $59). Who doesn't want to skip free, right? <BR> <BR> Well, the box came today with my three dishes (I ordered the 2 serving line since it is just me), and I opened it up to take a peak... Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:47:54 EST A Phoenix Rising The phoenix. A mythological creature who rises in a brilliant flame from it's own ashes. That is how I feel right now. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> For quite some time now, I've been struggling and flailing all over the place. Especially when it came to my health, finances, and career. Each time I thought I had a good grasp on what to do next, or had a good handle of each situation, they seemed to tumble and ... Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:28:41 EST I've Made a Decision I was switched to a drug called Latuda back at the end of July after years of being on a combination of Lamictal and Abilify for severe bipolar disorder 1. The Abilify did the job at staving off massive mood swings, but it was horrendous at extreme weight gain. I did lose 50 lbs while taking it just 2 years ago, but it was difficult, and when I stopped dieting and exercising, the weight piled on like gangbusters. <BR> <BR> I was taken off of Abilify at my request and put on one called Geodo... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:59:21 EST I Need Your Help: Medications that require food I have a struggle that maybe some of you might have a good solution to solve. I am on a life-saving medication that I have to eat a minimum of 350 calories before eating. Those calories must come from at least one bread/simple carb and a fat. So far, PB&J sandwiches have been my source of solace taking this med, but it isn't exactly helping. I've tried so many alternatives that have left me hanging over a toilet at 1am so many nights. Oh, and I have to take it before I go to bed, which makes ... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:09:42 EST VIDEO BLOG: The Commitment <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Here's the commitment video I just made and posted to the world to see. I hope to make one each month until I make my goal. Sat, 14 Jan 2017 20:49:37 EST Day 1: The Journey Begins Today is Day 1 of the 2017 Winter 5% Challenge and I am once again a Teddy Bear. I love the Teddy Bear team, because they are one of the most encouraging, supportive, determined, and wily bunch of bears in this life's journey! The first week's "Living The Good Live (LTGL)" is drinking 8 glasses of water per day. No cokes or diet cokes or whatever the flavor of the day is. But simply refreshing water. A couple of years ago I received a personal water bottle that was also an infuser. It had a f... Sat, 14 Jan 2017 05:49:08 EST A Moment of Raw Emotion Gaining weight isn't exactly on everyone's to-do list. In fact, it rarely is. So, while speaking with my grandmother last night, I let it all out about my frustrations, anger, and hurt that I have let myself get to this point. I have no one to blame, but myself for allowing my body to go the direction it has. No one forced those bites into my mouth. No one, but by my own will. <BR> <BR> So, it takes anger to make change. It takes frustration to make a plan. It takes hurt to set the path stra... Fri, 13 Jan 2017 07:18:44 EST Down, but not out of the game When I went into 2017, I knew that there would be challenges and roadblocks along the way, which is why I chose the word renewal. It isn't about being brand spanking new again, it was about renewing my spirit and my life to return to a better lifestyle or way of life. <BR> <BR> I also knew that going into my procedure on Monday, that the possibility of complications was always there, so it didn't surprise me that I had a spinal fluid leakage in my injection spot. But I'm not letting that get... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:57:46 EST Down for the count: Need prayer I'm down for the count, but resting as easily as I can right now (which is very hard to do). My procedure went very well yesterday morning, but this morning I woke up with a horrible headache and a stabbing pain where the injection site is. I called the doctor's office when they opened. I apparently have spinal fluid leakage causing this mess. So, the doctor called in medication for me, told me to drink lots of caffeinated liquids, and to lie flat on my back unless it was to eat, drink, or go... Tue, 10 Jan 2017 17:39:46 EST So far, so good First, I want to thank everyone who had been praying for my nerve block this morning. So far, so goo, it was a major success. I haven't had a need to take anything for pain since 5 am this morning. I have had a little bit of a muscle spasm whenever I am in the kitchen standing still, but after I start moving again, stretching, and then relaxing, it stops hurting. I've also experienced a slight discomfort as I start regaining feeling in my left leg and foot, which is actually tolerable and doe... Mon, 9 Jan 2017 14:40:03 EST