Posted in Health, Me

In Which I Practice Self-Care

There’s a sort of movement going on right now about self-care–bubble baths, glasses of wine, “Me time” etc. f you want to practice it, you go right ahead. But I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about the actual caring of myself–my body, my pain, my self-worth, even my darn teeth.

See, as all of you know, 2017 was, let’s just say a bit of a whirlwind. And there were certain things that HAD TO BE DEALT WITH. LIKE RIGHT NOW.

And I wasn’t one of them.

Oh yes, I absolutely blame myself. My husband is not going to nag me to go to the dentist. Or ask about my nutritional choices. He would view those things as my responsibility–rightly so–and leave them up to me.

But hey, it’s 2018! And I’m in pain. ALL THE TIME. And my teeth haven’t been looked at in…um….well over 18 months. And I stopped taking the medicine I need to take. And I’m eating crap and sugar way too much. And if you look up “sedentary” in the dictionary, well, there’s my picture!

So on the 31st I meet with my new dentist. Feb 1st I see a dietician. I started eating better (or at least paying attention to my choices!) yesterday and mostly recorded those choices in My Fitness Pal (app). I also, because of those good choices, took my meds (which HATE high fat choices and make me pay very quickly). I see my endocrinologist Feb 21st and a nurse practitioner in my new doctor’s office this Friday where I will talk about my back and my chest. My back is the everyday of my life pain thing. My chest….

Here’s the self-worth/happy with myself part. I’m 5′ 1.5″. I weight…well, a lot more than I should, but I’m not rotund. I’m also a 38G. Yes, a G. Such a great letter of the alphabet, but describes a part of my body that I’ve been very unhappy with for many, many, MANY years. I’d like to find out if insurance would cover a breast reduction surgery. If they would, then it’s going to become a conversation between Jim and me. If they won’t, well, I guess we’re stuck because that’s something like $12,000 and that’s not something we have just laying around. I guess I go to counseling to make myself happy with my body?

And oh, how difficult it is to preach “love your body” to my daughters while I’m so dissatisfied with mine!

So there you have it. Me. Aching, overweight, unhealthy me. We’ll see what 2018 holds!

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Posted in Health, Jim

Rolling With the Punches

I don’t think we’ve had a year where Christmas with each side of the family happened when it was supposed to in years. This year is no different.

Jim complained early this week that something was in his eyeball, causing vision issues. He called the eye doctor, but only got the answering service and didn’t get a call back. He didn’t complain, so I didn’t give it much thought. Yesterday he complained again and I called the office. When I explained the problem–and that it wasn’t acting like a floater–they said “come in now”. He did.

Awhile later, he texted me that he had a torn retina.

WHAT??!?!?!?!

Retinas are terrifying around here. I have a blind teenager, a partially blind/partially visually impaired teenager, and a very near sighted teenager because of retinas. So yeah, retina damage utterly freaks me out. And this is a guy who’s job it is to stare at a computer all day. So yeah. Terrifying.

The ophthalmologist (it took me years to spell that word correctly every time!) called the office that Ethan goes to, which has two retina specialists. They said they would stay for him, because this is a Big Deal.

I met him there, they got him in, examined and took pictures and video and yuck. They INSERTED A NEEDLE INTO HIS EYEBALL with a gas bubble into it and injected it. The hope is the bubble will push the retina back down and then they will laser it today. In the meantime, he first had to spend an hour with his face facing down to the ground and then the next two days (aka today and tomorrow) with his head at a 45 degree angle so the gas bubble will be in the correct spot (cuz it wants to float to the top and the tear is at 1:00.)

We have a follow up appointment at 10am (aka 45 minutes from now) where the doctor will hopefully see that the gas bubble has done its job and he will then laser the retina as well. Then I think we go again on Sunday.

This has somewhat played havoc with weekend plans. The kids’ friends are still coming over tomorrow, but NYE over my sister’s? Nope. Continuing work on the house? On pause. Forced rest for my husband on the couch with a lot of “saved on the DVR and eventually I’ll watch it” stuff to watch? Yes!

He has already noticed an improvement in his sight–he could read “Deer Park” on the water bottle that he was unable to read earlier, so I’m hopeful about today’s appointment. We’ll see!

Posted in Health

Spending vs Investing

I am a saver by nature. Really. I dislike spending money and will pinch pennies just for the fun of it.

That said, I invested $80 on a pair of sandals this month. $80. ON SANDALS.

And I deliberately say invested because that’s what it ended up being, and it’s paying off in daily dividends of NO PAIN.

I have plantar fasciitis (Plant Are Fash E I tis). That’s a fancy term for a lot of tendon tightness in my calf, heel and foot and a lot of pain with walking.

Every. Single. Day.

I’ve been trying to be more intentional with stretching and hey, I probably should go and see a doctor about this (I’ve put myself on the back burner for months and months and…well, you get the idea. We’ve been busy!)

A few weeks ago I had lunch with my sister and noticed that my cheap slip on sandals were starting to wear through. She, who also has interesting feet, showed me the Aetrex sandals she got on sale. When I got home I googled them and they were $109.

People, I just couldn’t do it.

The next day, though, I googled “best sandals for plantar fasciitis” and found a great list. Teva Tirra came up. Amazon had them on sale. I decided, with free shipping and returns, that I would give them a whirl.

Oh. My. GOODNESS!

I am no longer in pain in my feet! For DAYS, so I know it’s not just in my head! It’s amazing!

I’m still working on stretching, but for the interim, if you happen to have plantar fasciitis, please, please, INVEST in good stuff to wear on your feet!

Posted in Health, Kids

Anxiety

I wrote that title with a certain anxiousness, not to be silly. That word has wormed and weaseled and made its way into our home, our lives, our days and our nights and our schedule.

It’s not something I am well-acquainted with. At all. And yet, I am learning.

Laura has general anxiety, which is currently being treated with both counseling (2x/week) and meds. The meds made an amazing difference. For the most part, she is even-keeled again and even the storm a few weeks back didn’t reduce her to worrying that the house was going to fall down and we were going to die. And I say that without a trace of mockery. That was where her brain went. All. The. Time.

Catie does NOT have general anxiety. She does, however, get panic attacks. Last night was another one, which is what prompted this post. She just started counseling and has her first medication meeting later this month with a psychiatrist. Her medicine journey will be different from Laura’s–she can take pills (something Laura can’t do), she’s younger (so we have to be a little more careful about side effects) and she’s doesn’t have the general anxiety. I’m curious as to what he’s going to try first.

When my kids were tiny and in the NICU and I was utterly powerless to do anything for them other than pray and cry, it was a very helpless feeling. As a parent one wants to HELP and FIX and MAKE IT BETTER! Last night, watching Catie shake and try to use breathing to calm herself down and being utterly unable to do anything for her other than be there with it, again, there is that helpless feeling. We have “rescue meds” in the house for if and when Laura would need them. Catie took one last night. I know, I know, but you know what, you would have done the same thing. She finally slept. I went to bed around midnight with her permission, there to pray and hope for the meds to kick in. When she wakes up this morning I’ll ask about what happened after I left.

I can only hope and pray that Catie’s doctor quickly finds the right meds and dose and that she is able to learn how to cope with the attacks. And maybe even not get them anymore. And that Laura’s meds continue to do their job.

Posted in Health

The First Flu

Somehow, through 21+ years of marriage, my husband and I have managed to never get the flu.

That record has now been broken, and broken but good. Everyone but Ethan has it now and it is SO NOT FUN.

The kids’ progress check ends of Thursday (all their schoolwork is due then), so I’ve requested an extension for them. I can’t sit up at the computer for long and certainly don’t expect them to, either.

So my one word of advice for everyone:

WASH. YOUR. HANDS!!!

Posted in Health, Me

Something Other Than the Kitchen

I did something I don’t typically do today and went to see an actual doctor. Other than my annual OB-Gyn, annual ophthalmology, and annual/semi-annual endocrinology, I don’t see the “regular” doctor much. I just don’t get sick that often. And I’m not sick now.

But I’m also not sleeping.

Other than the changing of the seasons, where 4x/year I typically have a night or two of restlessness, sleep hasn’t been much of an issue for me once the kids got past the getting-up-in-the-night stage. Insomnia is just not something I’ve struggled with. Two nights I tossed and turned. Two nights I did Benedryl (which worked the first night and didn’t the 2nd), two nights I woke up, rolled over and went back to sleep and last night I finally got up at 1 and took one of Bennett’s melatonin pills. It worked, but I’m DRAGGING today.

So yeah, I went to my GP’s office. She wants me to get my thyroid checked (good idea!) and hormone levels checked (good idea too!) and take a melatonin before bed every night for 2 weeks. Not sure if I’m supposed to stop it after that, or what, but I’m willing to try it.

Because, at least for me, sleep is NOT optional.

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Health, Kids, School, Sick

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday

 

Last week’s #1 topic was my sickness. If you are grossed out by grossness, don’t read this week’s #1.

1. So last Friday I posted that I was on Day 14 of being sick. I hadn’t gone to the doctors, not because I’m anti-doctor, but because it really just felt like an annoyingly long virus that I needed to last through. Saturday morning, though, I got up and took a shower. I felt worse–like my health was going downhill instead of up. I blew my nose and it was BRIGHT (like the 7 Quick Takes label bright) yellow. YUCK. I went to walk-in hours at my doctors and lo and behold! I had a sinus infection! WooHoo! Z-pack to the rescue! (I’m allergic to penicillin).

2. Within 48 hours of starting the Z-pack I felt like a different person. My voice was back, instead of sounding like someone who had smoked for 75 years. I wasn’t coughing all day every day. My energy was back. I would say that today, Day 21, that I’m at 95%. I’m still needing to keep tissue boxes handy, but I cleaned and vacuumed the living room yesterday AND started washing the couch cushion upholstery that got chicken broth spilled on it on Day TWO of this whole fiasco.

3. I’m not one to talk about products (no one is paying me for it!), but I wanted to gush a little bit this morning about a new hair care product we just stumbled upon. I got a free sample in the mail yesterday of Cantu Coconut Curling Cream. It’s AMAZING. Our daily issue is Laura’s hair. She got my curls and Jim’s crazy-thick hair. This has been the bane of our mornings for YEARS. We’ve been working with a stylist with a good cut, growing it out to try and pull some of the curl down (so far that’s not working!) and trying product after product. Before we found this, gel seemed to be the best answer, except it left her hair sticky or crunchy, neither of which is good. This morning she showered and toweled dry her hair. I put the conditioner in and blew it dry a little on low (because she was leaving the house and it’s 10 degrees out!). Her hair looks, feels and smells AMAZING. I’m already trying to find it online (WalMart carries it, but not in our local store). If you have thick and curly hair, I HIGHLY recommend this!

4. I ventured out after our snowstorm to Bella Med Spa for my consult and first laser hair treatment. After talking with the technician, I opted not to do my upper lip. There wasn’t enough dark hair to see a good return for the money. The technician said some people think it feels like tweezing (no big deal) and others feel like it’s needles being stuck into the follicles. I unfortunately fell into the latter category. She rubbed an ice cube on a part of my chin and then immediately lasered it. OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH. And that was on a low setting! I smelled a burning hair smell (lovely) and managed to just grit my teeth and bear it. After 2 hours there was no pain or itching and the spot just felt like my chin again. It’s worth it to me, in the end, for no daily plucking.  I go again March 7th.

5. The above-mentioned snowstorm netted our area about 8-10 inches and two snow days. We are now up to four snow days and I’m guessing they are going to start taking days from their spring vacation. Which is already short. Another reason to like cyber school. No snow days!

6. Jim and I were talking yesterday about weather in general, and how the weather channel tries to hoop everything into a bigger deal than it really is. Naming a winter storm, for heavens sake! I’m 45 and still can remember days out at the bus stop waiting in single digit weather. Or in the snow. Sure it was freezing (literally!), but it was winter and you dealt with it. Now it’s a polar vortex and Winter Storm Janus and we must FREAK OUT ABOUT IT. Oh brother!

7. I emailed Catie’s every day teacher and her gifted teacher, asking them if they would fill out teacher recommendations for the application process for the gifted program of PALCS. I haven’t heard back yet from her regular teacher, because she’s out sick. Her gifted teacher’s response was as follows (direct quote):

“Thank you for thinking of me with your request.  Unfortunately I will not be able to help you.  I am not a proponent of charter schools and can not support one.  I wish Catie the best of luck as she continues her schooling and will be happy to help you in the future if it doesn’t require that I aid a charter school.”

Wow. Just…..Wow. I instead emailed her teacher from last year and she was quick to respond that she was thrilled to give Cate the recommendation she needed.