Monthly Archives: April 2011

SISTER & HOT YOGA TIME

 My sister asked if I would join her for hot vinyasa one night after work and of course I jumped at the chance to practice with her. Anytime I get the chance to practice with someone I know it is such a great feeling and honestly it has happened twice. She joined me for Bikram and I joined her for hot yoga. The class was so much fun and she did great.

It was warmer than usual since there was a natural humidity in the air that night and many people came out after work to join in the fun at the yoga studio. Of course there is always plenty of room for everyone and although our mats were close on one was in jeopardy of touch anyone else. Also in hot vinyasa you stay on your mat the entire time whereas, Bikram there are some poses that you are stepping over your mat and run the risk of stepping on someone’s mat when it is too full. Not a problem here, the energy was good, the heat was good and the class was just what I needed.

My sister is young and naturally flexible but she looked so good doing her poses and really looked like she knew what she was doing. She is only home for a few more weeks than off to school yet again and I’ll miss her terribly but while she is here perhaps she will invite me to join her again in hot vinyasa. I love spending that time with her even though we don’t talk we just share energy and it is such a great feeling.

SWELLING IS COMING DOWN

 The swelling is coming down and on the perfect day. I have another weight training session with my trainer this morning and all week I was thinking that another routine with a full body band routine would be good but with the swelling decreasing I can probably do a weight routine or maybe a mixture of band and weights would be good to really give me a variety of exercises to do in a week or a month. I’m still working on my shoulders, elbows, wrists and hand grip but on the in between days it is really good to have the full body work out.

I’m finding that I’m doing a lot less cardio and really working on my yoga and weight training. It feels good on days I feel good and although I’m sore a lot of the week it is a good sore. The trainer is making sure I’m not doing too much and the Bikram is helping to stretch me out. The cardio is still good for my heart and lungs and I need to fit it in every day as well but I’m not doing multiple hours of cardio a day anymore and actually finding that I have extra time to do other things like read, spend time with my husband and now even a little bit of yard work when the weather permits.

TRYING FISH OIL AGAIN

 A few years back my doctor prescribed me Omicor which is fish oil that has all the fish contents but none of the toxins. I was taking 1000 mg a day but my insurance declared that I didn’t have a cholesterol problem and back then fish oil helping Raynaud’s was a theory. The insurance company decided that they were not going to cover that prescription and as a prescribed supplement it was too expensive for me to pay for on my own.

I also didn’t have the severe Raynaud’s that I have developed over time so I didn’t mind not taking the fish oil. I was successful with procardia and later on Niacin. The problem now is that 60mg of procardia, 2000mg of Niacin and Bikram yoga at 105 degrees is not working for my Raynaud’s. My fingers are very sore and I’m starting to develop the ulcers that my doctor has warned me about. Once you get the ulcers your tissue can be damaged and very painful. I don’t want to be someone that has to have her finger tips amputated due to damaged tissue. I rather enjoy keeping all my fingers and toes.

I have returned to trying fish oil again. I bought an over the counter fish oil that has the toxin removed but Omega’s added. There is controversy around having a toxin free fish oil vs. the whole fish toxins and all left in the capsule. I really want the benefits of the fish oil but not the toxin. I have been taking 2 1200mg each in the morning and 2 more at night. I can’t honestly say that I’m feeling the benefits of taking all this medication for my Raynaud’s. I’m also afraid that even though I’m filling up on procardia, niacin, and fish oil the fact that I’m still dealing with Raynaud’s every day and all day long that there is something else going on. Perhaps I have already damaged the tissue around certain fingers and therefore no blood can get to them. I’m not due to see the doctor again until July and not sure if I should let it ride or call him.

My real hope is that once the warm weather gets here and is here daily that I can get some relief. However, we all know that as soon as the hot weather comes the air conditioning goes on. I’m not one that enjoys A/C and quite frankly if I never had to deal with A/C I would be fine. I have found that just walking into a store or worse sitting at work causes me to flare purple even if the temperature outside is a comfortable 80 degrees. At least in my house and my car I do not deal with A/C and get to enjoy nothing but fresh air.

However, if the warm weather doesn’t help and I don’t know that I can wait until July to address this situation. I might be fingerless by then if I’m not careful. I had a woman approach me and say I have what you have, but I don’t know what it is and I haven’t talk to anyone about it. I asked her if she has ever mentioned it to her doctor and she replied no. I know for myself that I walk into my doctor’s office and just like any public area it is always cold enough to send me into Raynaud’s flare so he always sees it. I asked her if she had a mild case and only got it in the winter time. She did confirm that it was a winter situation only and that made more sense to me.

What I find interesting is that you know your body does something that not a lot of people’s bodies do and it is different than the norm but you are too afraid to bring it up for fear of what you might learn. I’m always afraid I’m going to hear some bad news when things don’t feel right but my philosophy is at least if I know about it I can do something about it. This is the reason I don’t want to wait until July to tackle my own Raynaud’s issue but I also don’t want to go running into his office every time something little changes. My body goes through lots of little changes and it is the big changes I really worry about.

GLUTEN-FREE DIET

 I have actually been pretty laxidasical with my gluten-free diet recently. I was really strict for a while and then would add some here and there without causing any harm. As time went on I was adding a little bit almost every day. The last 2 weeks or so I declared to my husband that I wasn’t going to eat gluten-free anymore. He actually thought that was a really bad idea and made mention of it to me once and quickly. He doesn’t harp on me and knows at the end of the day I’m going to do what I want to anyways but felt in this case he needed to say something to me first.

After 2 weeks of declaring myself no longer gluten-free I feel awful. I have been so sluggish and fighting high levels of fatigue as well as waking up with a MCTD sore throat daily. I know it is MCTD related because it doesn’t stick around all day and I don’t have any other weird sickness symptoms. I have also complained of swollen hands and feeling like I’m off kilter. On Sunday after our Easter brunch, my husband very nicely said I think you should declare yourself gluten free again and see if you don’t start to feel better.

Anytime you swear something out of your diet it just tends to make you want it at some point. Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle and I can have gluten from time to time when I really want it but daily or weekly is just too much. This was basically confirmed for me at my physical therapy session on Monday. This is the place that said if I take on the gluten free diet my life will be better and they were right for a long time. However, I needed to explain to my physical therapist that I don’t want to live a strict gluten free life all the time. She basically just looked at me said how do you feel right now.

OK, right now I feel awful and I want to feel better plain and simple. My compromise to myself is that I’m going back to gluten free strict except for once a month I want the option to indulge and just having that option guilt free is probably going to be enough for me to not even worry about it or think about it. When I’m feeling well and life is treating me good I don’t even give 2 thoughts about food I’m not eating. It is actually when I don’t feel well that I think I need toast, pizza and yummy gluten ridden treats.

If I just took a moment to really think about this thoroughly I don’t buy regular pasta even when I’m eating gluten because I love the quinoa pasta so much. It has such a great flavor with a hardier taste then just your standard every day pasta. Unless I’m stopping by the bakery for fresh bread my gluten free bread I make at home is better than any I buy in a grocery store. It takes some time to make it versus just walking into the bakery and smelling all the wonderful smells and picking out my flat bread or sour dough bread. I really can get over the need for breads though with some time and diligence.

Finally, the issues of sweet treats, there are so many gluten free options that are home-made and right near where I work and my home. If I really need a treat I just need to call them and have them whip up something gluten free and incredibly yummy. This would be so much better for me than just eating yuck out of the grocery store anyways. In fact, the ice cream shop near my home is opening up the first weekend in May. If really need a sweet treat there is nothing better than home-made ice cream and 70% of their flavors are gluten free anyways. I just have to stay away from any cookies or cakes in the ice cream and believe me they have so many flavors I can eat that I never have the urge for Oreos in my ice cream.

After writing this blog I realized that I was making way too much out of being gluten-free and I wasn’t thinking about this rationally until right now. I have so much I can eat and the things I can’t, I shouldn’t anyways. I need to re-think my status on being gluten free and just realize when I really want it I should have it but only once a month and if I truly feel better being off the gluten what is the harm in that in the long run.

Time will tell for me now because I need it back out of my system so I need to be strict for about 4-6 weeks, see how I feel and assess my choices from there. If my swelling is gone and my fatigue is gone and I’m feeling better I would be crazy to believe gluten is not an issue for me.

TWO MILESTONES

 April is a very busy time for our families as it seems we have a lot of birthdays to celebrate and this year we are celebrating 2 huge ones. Yes the twins turning 14 was big, I’m not sure anyone including us and especially their parents were ready for 14. However, I’m really having a hard time with the fact that my mother just turned 60. Her birthday was on Monday and even though she truly doesn’t look over 50 she just turned 60. With her being 60 this means I’m right around the corner for 40.

She is doing everything she wants to do and loving her life so much so I don’t worry about losing her like she worried when her mom turned 60 but it is a reminder that life is moving with or without us. I’m in this game of life and loving it but sometimes I really wish it would slow down and I could re-enjoy some of the things I rushed through.

We are having her party next weekend and toasting my mother and all the wonderful things she has done and stands for is really a privilege for me. I have so many things to say about her and intend to get it all out. This will not be a time to rush but a time to sit and enjoy and celebrate a wonderful woman that has done so much for everyone around her.

The other big birthday this month is that my grandfather just turned 90 years old and he is still very happy and vibrant. He resides in Lincoln Nebraska; therefore, there was a party for him there. He had over a 100 people attended his party. I don’t know 100 people never mind that would come to a party for me. It says a lot about a person when so many people will join a celebration in their honor.

Unfortunately because my siblings and I live in Maine we did not attend but of course, my mother did since it is her father. She was amazed by the amount of love there and the fact that so many people did attend from far away. He was very happy to see everyone and sat right by the door to make sure he greeted everyone that came in to see him.

I have mentioned before that I have good genes in my family. My grandfather is 90 on my mother’s side and my grandmother is 97 on my father’s side. I hope a little of both of their genes rub off on me. Not that I believe that I will have a party with a 100 at 90 or 97 but I do think that living a life of honesty, kindness, generosity, and reaching out to others who need help makes for good karma. That karma will hopefully come back to me when I’m their age and need a little assistance myself.

HOW TIME FLIES

 My husband has niece and nephew twins that just celebrated their 14t birthday on Saturday. We are very close to this part of my husband’s family and since he is not only their uncle but Godfather these are kids that he has watched grow up and has a certain pride for them. It is hard to believe they just turned 14. Next comes high school and driving, not to mention college hunting and life experiencing.

When my husband and I met they were 5 years old with huge imaginations stuck in tiny little bodies but asked tons and tons of questions. My husband would tell them stories, just random stories he made up on the fly and they would be willing to sit with him for as long as his story took. I had never seen anything so cute in all my life. I knew the minute I saw him with those kids that he would be the father of my children. As life takes it turns and laughs in the face of our planning it didn’t turn out that way but I really enjoy watching him with them even now at age 14.

His youngest brother has a 3 year old and my husband and I are this little guy’s Godparents. I must say he enjoys this auntie because I always have fun stuff for him but he loves his uncle. They were also at the party on Saturday and this little guy could not get enough of my husband’s attention. I’m envious and in love every time I see this interaction. It almost makes me wonder what will happen when my nephew gets to be this age and will he gravitate to my husband. In the end he probably will because truth be told I could sit and listen to my husband’s random, made up stories for hours also. If the time comes that auntie is not the fun one anymore but the uncle is it will be OK by me. Kids at any age are so fun and drawn to people that interest them. Needless to say my husband is truly an interesting guy full of love.

On the flip side of him having a big family his nieces and nephews are having their own kids making him a Great Uncle. Time goes by quickly and once you blink years are beyond us.

HAPPY EASTER

 Easter came very late this year and since I don’t understand the religious part of it perhaps this is normal. Last year it landed on April 3rd and I only remember this because the weather was in the 70’s and we were golfing after brunch last year. This year it is the last week in April and unfortunately only 40 degrees. This is not stopping me from wearing my new dress and opened toe sandals.

I’m sure I’ll freeze and probably be purple most of brunch but my family is use to it and who really at the restaurant is going to be looking at my feet! After brunch I’ll change into comfy clothes mostly so I can get down on the floor with my nephew and play with all his new Easter toys he got. I bought him stuff and I know for sure my mother did so he’ll have lots to play with.

I think I have already mentioned that when he comes to my house I don’t have all the store bought toys at my house yet so we have to come up with our own toys. The laundry basket is an excellent toy. He can climb up in it and hold himself up. I can maneuver him around the room in it which he loves. I put him in it and carry him anywhere he wants to go. He doesn’t know where he wants to go or can go at this age but there will come a point when he will tell me what he wants.

We take out wooden spoons and stainless steel mixing bowls to play with. They make a sound he likes and really what kid doesn’t like banging on things? He gets a lot of joy out of our home-made toys, maybe even more so than the store bought ones but I wouldn’t be a good auntie if I didn’t buy him something’s from time to time. I love buying him books and although he is eating the soft cover ones and 2 page ones again there will come a time when he will love all books and I’ll be the perfect person to just sit and read with him for as long as his attention span will last.

Hope you all have a fabulous day with your family or friends and enjoy this day just the way you want to.