Archive for the ‘Health and Wellness’ Category

About 2 weeks ago, I fell.  Well, technically, I didn’t fall.  I slipped on some stairs and caught myself by the armpits on the rail.  I thought I was fine, and went on about my business.  The next day, I was sore, but not enough to really complain about it.  The Boy came to work with me that day, and it was raining.  I picked him up to carry him to the car so we wouldn’t get wet, and when I did, I heard cracking in my rib cage.  From that point on, I was in immense pain.  After picking Brian up from work, I made him take me to urgent care. 

The urgent care doctor sent me for X-rays.  When I returned, she did a physical examination of my ribs.  It was during this exam that she pressed on the wrong spot.  I simultaneously swung to hit her (thankfully, I missed!) and fell to the floor in pain.  She looked at the X-rays, determined that my ribs were not broken, but that I had damaged the cartilage and possibly bruised my ribs.  She gave me vicodin and sent me on my way.

Because vicodin renders me useless, I could only take it at bedtime.  I tried to take it easy, but continued to go to work, because, after all, I have a desk job.  I thought nothing of it.  Well, about a week after my urgent care visit, I had to leave work in tears because it hurt so bad.  I emailed my primary care physician (don’t you love technology?), and he wanted to see me.  I couldn’t get an appointment until this past Friday.  When he did the exam, it was still very painful.  He said that the urgent care doctor should have put me on bedrest, basically, and because she didn’t, my ribs are getting worse instead of better.  Oh, and I still have a nasty cold, that I’ve had for 6 weeks.  He put me on an anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxer, an antibiotic, and a cough syrup with codeine.  In other words, he’s trying to knock me out.  He is also making me take a week off of work, and wants me lying down for at least 4 hours a day….um…I have 2 kids….how is this possible???

As if this is not enough, we have to move in 3 weeks.  The apartment complex we live in is doing renovations, and the unit we are in is not renovated so they gave us some choices.  We could end our lease on March 31st, we could continue our lease in our current unit until December 31st, or we could move now to a unit that has already been renovated.  We chose to move…of course, we decided this before the whole ordeal with my ribs happened, so, yeah.  Now I have to sit in my apartment, all hopped up on all kinds of drugs, and do nothing…meanwhile, I have to pack, the house is being torn apart by the kids, and I can’t do a thing.  It’s incredibly frustrating. 

So, since I have all of this free time, I’ve decided that I’m just going to write.  I can’t really sit at a desk, so I’ll be using my laptop to get started on a few projects.  Here are some things I have in the works:

– I have been accepted to do some freelance work.  It’s not anything exciting, but once I get some stuff up, I’ll let you know.  Then, if you would be so kind as to go read my articles, and click on some of the ads, that would be GREAT, since that’s how I get paid.

–  I have decided that I want to write a book.  More on that to come, as soon as I get my ideas straight in my head.

–  I will continue to write on this blog.  Be warned, though, I will be on meds, so the posts might not make much sense.  Just Kidding.  I won’t write while intoxicated….that would be bad.

So, those are my plans for this week of rest, because I’m far too Type A to just rest. I have to put my rest to work!


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A while back, I wrote about why I hate Thursdays, and in that article, I mentioned that I also hate February. Here is why.

In February, 2005, I was in the throws of Post-Partum Depression. The Boy was born in January, and spent 10 days in the NICU with pneumonia. Brian and my Mom had to go take an Infant CPR class (I was already certified, so I didn’t need the class). This was right around Valentine’s Day. On his way home from the class, Brian had to pull over to barf. Thus started a nasty round of the stomach flu. The Girl got it later that day, and I got it several days later. Did I mention that I have an intense fear of vomit, that was only amplified by the depression? Yeah, there was that.

Jump to February 13, 2006. I picked the kids up from my mom’s, and The Girl has a huge black eye. Mom tells me she fell and hit her face on the wooden foot of the couch. Fine. The next day (note: Valentine’s Day…again) I again pick the kids up. I notice The Girl has a weird rash. I lift up her shirt, and it’s everywhere. I decide we need to go to the hospital RIGHT NOW. So we go. We are there for hours upon hours. The Girl was wearing an undershirt that had lace hearts on it. When one of the many doctors lifts her shirt to examine the rash, the rash has actually taken the form of the heart! He touches her skin, and it leaves more of the rash. This is not a rash, folks, it’s essentially a giant bruise! The formal name is petechiae, and it sucks. They try to tell me she has Leukemia, which of course is devastating. Turns out, it’s not Leukemia (WHEW!), but it is serious. She had a blood disorder called Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP. Basically, her platelet level was dangerously low, and she could have bled to death. They transfer us by ambulance to another hospital, where she is admitted. For several months, we have to take her to the Oncology Unit at Detroit Children’s Hospital to have her levels checked. She had to wear a bike helmet for a few weeks. Finally, it turned out to be the acute version of the disease, and we were out of the woods by her birthday in June, but those were the worst months of my life.

February, 2006 and 2007. I don’t remember specifics, but I know that the kids got sick a LOT in those months. Mostly colds and asthma issues. Oh yeah, and more stomach flu.  It was during these years that I decided that I would no longer participate in February.  We started calling it JanuMarch, and I wouldn’t leave the house for the entire month unless absolutely necessary.

February, 2008. Brian was working the auto show circuit, and wasn’t home for…wait for it….Valentine’s Day.  Are you sensing a theme here?  I am.  Anyway, My mom called me at work to tell me that The Boy was barfing.  A lot.  So, I spent Valentine’s Day at my mom’s house being barfed upon by my son.  And I still have that pesky fear of vomit, so I was all hopped up on Xanax as well.  I remember that I missed half of LOST because I had to change my clothes.  I was pissed.

However, I think that February 2008 was a turning point for me.  On February 29th (Leap Year, Yay!), I flew out to LA and got a job offer.  We moved out here a month later.  And, because January has been so full of illness (we have all had a nasty cold or flu bug that’s going around…and The Boy spent a night barfing), I’m convinced that February will be great!  I’m not going to let this month get the best of me this year!  I will participate!  I won’t hide!  And no one is allowed to get sick!

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Um…..yeah…..I had a bad week.  I don’t want to talk about it.  I’m pretty sure Trick-or-Treating doesn’t count….although I did walk uphill.  I started physical therapy this week, and my knees hurt.  I’m using that as my excuse…

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The dog is hiding...wish I could too sometimes.


I’m stressed out today.  I don’t know why.  Well, that’s not true…I do know why.  I think that the upcoming election, along with the country’s economic issues, on top of Brian not being able to find a full-time job are just starting to really really wear on my nerves.  I know that I’m doing everything in my power to help fix the situation, but things like the election and the economy are just out of my hands.  I mean, I mailed in my vote for the election yesterday.  I’m trying to help Brian by sending him job leads that I come across.  And we are being careful with the money that we do have coming in (for example, we are getting new, cheaper internet service next week and cutting our cable all together…gasp!). 

But then, life happens, and despite our best efforts, we can’t control it.  For example, I’ve been having trouble with my knees, and now I have to go to physical therapy every week for the next 4 weeks, for a grand total of $75 out of my pocket.  Not a huge amount to be sure, but not what I want to spend it on, either.  And then there is my car.  The check engine light is on, so we aren’t driving it much for now, until we can afford to find out what’s wrong with it.  It’s just frustrating.  Oh yeah, and the dog had a boil on his butt earlier this week.  Didn’t cost any money, but it was stressful.

So why am I throwing all of this on the internet so that everyone can see it?  It’s an effort to purge the stress.  I just feel like if I get all of this out, I’ll feel better.  And you know what?  I think it may have worked.  So, thanks.

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Photo by beautifulcataya

I may be a convert. I have always shopped at your typical grocery store, like Albertsons or Kroger. I’ve never been one to buy organic foods, not for any reason other than it’s just too expensive. But, my friend at work eats all organic food (well, mostly organic) and has been telling me about all of the health benefits and stuff. She also told me about the prices at Trader Joe’s, which she said are nearly comparable to the normal grocery store. So I decided to see for myself.

I went to Trader Joe’s on my way home from work today. My first find was eggs. At Albertsons, eggs go for about $2.39 or so per dozen for your average hormone infused eggs. I got hormone/preservative free eggs at Trader Joe’s for $1.49 per dozen. Not organic, but better than what I had been buying. The next find was organic garbonzo beans (I’m going to attempt to make hummus) for 99 cents a can…same price as non-organic at any other store. I found a honey bear for $2.69, about 2/3 of what it is at the store across the street from me. Lastly, I found ground beef for less than at Albertsons, and I bought all natural mac n cheese in an attempt to fool the kids into healthier fare.

Now, the only thing I bought that was organic was the beans, but I feel better knowing that at least I’m buying things that are at least a little bit better for my family. I’ll probably keep shopping there, though not as often as the store across the street…there are just some things that we eat that I did not see there and it’s all the way across town. But, for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed grocery shopping! That says a lot.

Update:  The kids LOVED the mac n cheese!  Yay!

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I did better this week.  Still haven’t made it up to 3 pilates sessions in a week, but this week was WAY better than last week.  So here it is:

Sunday:  Day of Rest…or something…

Monday:  Walked the Girl to School

Tuesday:  Day off

Wednesday:  Ab work out,  I think…..

Thursday: Pilates, and moved furniture in my office for about an hour.

Friday:  Walked the Girl to School and Pilates

Saturday:  Cleaned house like nobody’s business…that counts, right?

While it seemed like a good week, I honestly am too tired to remember much of it.   We had the kids’ Halloween party today, and I’m beat.  The kids had a great time, I havd a great time, and it gets easier every year, which is great.  Of course, I ate like a pig (no offense to the pigs out there), so I have to do even more exercise next week…sigh…

PS – Flikr was not cooperating, so no pics today.

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Yes.  This spider is 'playing dead' on my kitchen floor inside a clear glass cup... odd behavior?  Me thinks it so.

Mood lighting:
My reflection stares back at me in the now nearly opaque sliding glass door overlooking one of many carports and in the distance the slightly distinguishable silhouette of the mountains. Our movies are done. Our trip onto entertainment island at an end. I set out on the perilous late night dog walk to avoid another unfortunate wake up call of Shawna screaming, “The dog P!$$&) in the bed!” As I approach that inevitable area where carpet meets linoleum I see something. In my peripheral vision, just above and beyond clear sight I see a motion of blackness.

Quick stepping:

Realizing I was not asleep so this moving blackness could not possibly be the shadows I dream of in nightmares, I gather in a better look. It was a spider. Nay… not just a spider, THEspider.  That spider from stories.  From news stories long forgotten or urban legends still maintaining a feeble existence on some college campuses, since being relocated from real universities but not yet desperate enough for community colleges.  Yes, THE SPIDER.  The big one.  The BLACK WIDOW.  I’ll be honest.  I harbor a bit of arachnophobia.  I have managed to suppress it to a point through my sheer zoological curiosity.  I am a virtual cat in that area.  But, I was immediately aware that this particular spider demanded too much respect for my feeble attempts at calmness.  I may have slightly freaked, although mostly on the inside to save face in front of Shawna.  As we thought it through and decided it may be a large black widow, I decided the Internet can shed light on the subject.  Did we have to move?  Does she now own our home through some strange black widow common law of real estate?  Did you get the cat reference from above yet?  I hope you did.  We found that most exterminators ask that it not be squished, but rather kept safely for the exterminator to address.  I put it in a glass cup and then transferred both spider and cup into a large ziplock bag.  I would have used a small one, and just the spider, but let’s face it, we don’t need PETA knocking on our door in the morning, am I right?  A small clear house with a view, protected from would be predators with the miracle of plastic, I can’t imagine upsetting even the most avid animal lover.

Aftermath and research and development:

Now, in our research we found that these spiders are said to be either and inch, or 2cm… Europeans… odd lot.  But, I am here to tell you, she doesn’t live by the standards of others.  She marches to the beat of her own eight-legged drummer boy.  Her abdomen is easily as big around as a standard-sized marble.  Front to back, at least and inch, and two sets of back legs an inch long each.  I don’t exaggerate these measurements, I have no need to.  I am inquisitive.  I examined and scrutinized her.  When I moved the glass, she played dead.  You read me.  (re-read that in the past tense of to read… there.  That’s better.)  You read correctly.  She flipped on her back both revealing her hourglass frame, and trying to lure me into her web of destruction.  When I moved the glass away, she miraculously regained consciousness and was VERY alert.  I have looked into it and it turns out, so far at least, I have found nothing on this behavior in black widow spiders… what IS she?

Sentence fragments are cool.  That wasn’t one:

Well, there you have it.  This “spider” issue has now become more “real” to me than even the earthquake we narrowly avoided sever dizziness from on the 29th of July in southern California.  After that, I had a talk with the kids, and we collectively made our plans of action, etc.  After Ms. Widow however, I took my German spelunking flashlight and searched in every crevice in our kitchen and bedroom.  I almost went through the kids room as well, but settled for shutting windows to avoid the obvious reunion that was hastily planned in our neighborhood.  I then stripped our bed and re-made it searching for the… well, the other super spiders laying in wait to ambush us for the disappearance of what may be the largest black widow on the planet.  I swear when I caught her, she looked straight at me, flipped that hourglass and pointed in my face followed by the motion of slitting a throat.  I doubt she could get out, but I have hired a body guard.  At any rate, I continued searching:  beneath dressers, end tables, the bed, inside various boxes and in general all around the house.  nearly 2 full hours after the ordeal we drifted off to slightly interrupted sleep. 

She still sits, alive, outside our door in the hall for neighbors to peer at in curiosity.  Until Monday… until Monday… until… Mon… day.

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photo by fringehog

Brian took The Girl to the orthopedic doctor this morning. She’s fine. Her elbow is not fractured. Whew! We just have to do some exercises with her to help her strengthen it. And the really good news is that it’s still impossible for her to lick her own elbow.

On a different note, I’ve been thinking lately about the health of my kids, and myself. I realized that we eat a lot of crap. I mean, The Girl eats bologna for lunch almost every day! I give them fruit snacks, hot dogs, mac-n-cheese out of the box, anything quick and easy. Is that so bad? I get to thinking about this stuff every now and then, and I start feeling guilty. I mean, on that show Jon and Kate Plus 8, they eat all organic foods! And they have 8 kids! And I wonder why I don’t do that. And then I remember…it’s because I hate to cook. And, I grew up on koolaid, pepsi, and fluffernutter sandwiches, and I turned out ok. My kids are healthy, they usually will choose grapes over junk food, neither of them like pop (that’s Michigan for soda), and they have never been big candy eaters . In fact, I just threw out a bunch of Easter candy that we all forgot about! So, do I wish we ate healthier? Of course I do. Am I going to feel guilty for giving my kids mac-n-cheese? Nope.

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Well, Brian took The Girl back to the doctor today to see why her elbow is still bothering her.  This doctor (our regular doctor) seems to think that it might have been fractured!  So, tomorrow Brian has to take her to an orthopedic speciallist.  Awesome.  I’m so ticked off about it right now…I mean, how could the first doctor not have known that it was fractured???  Now this poor little 6 year old has to be banned from recess for the next 2 or 3 weeks, and I am so worried that her elbow will now be messed up for life.  I feel so bad!

Other than that, it’s been a long boring day.  I had a training at work today, and I have to sit through the other half tomorrow.  The highlight of my day was that I got free breakfast and free lunch.  🙂  My motto, when it comes to work related meetings is:  “If you feed them, they will come.”  Works every time!  🙂

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photo by ErinsWorld

Since moving to CA, I have gained weight. Not a lot of weight, but enough that my clothes don’t fit right, and I just don’t feel well because of it. I went to the doctor recently, and he seems to think that it is stress related, or lack of sleep. I’m not disagreeing with him, necessarily, but I also don’t think that is the whole problem. I think the biggest reason is that I’m not exercising as much as I had been last year. I went for about 14 or 15 months where I did pilates or some other exercise at least 3 or 4 times a week. Thanks to our cable company in MI, I had tons of On Demand options. We don’t have that here, so that is one issue. The other issue is that I am just not motivated.

That’s where this post comes in. I have decided that I need to lose some weight, or at least firm up what is here. For the last month, I have been walking The Girl to school as much as possible, which is about a mile and a half walk, the last stretch of which is straight up hill. That’s a good start, but I need to get back to the pilates. So, I have set a goal for myself that I will do pilates at least 3 times a week, I will continue to walk to the school. I also have a 7 minute abs workout that I like to do, but I am making that optional for myself…mainly because I might be too sore from the pilates at first. I will post my progress weekly on this blog, starting today.

I am also trying to eat better, but I will not bore you with the specifics of that. That being said, if you have any healthy recipes to pass along, I’ll be glad to try them…if they do not involve too much actual real cooking, because that is not really my strength.

So, without further ado, Here is my update for the week of September 28 – October 4:

I walked The Girl to school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
I did Pilates on Friday

Not a terrible week…but I hope that next week will be better.  Wish me luck!

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