Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Over - Play That Horn (#NHBPM Day 30)

Yippee!  It's Over! 

The 30 blogs in 30 days challenge was really hard for me.  Writing so many blogs was quite challenging.  Sure, I had a hard time keeping up with blogging each day but the harder part for me was coming up with so many things to say.  I don't think I am that much of an interesting person or have that much of an interesting life.  It helped that we were given topics to write about but some of the topics were just plain weird.  I mean really hard to write about.  Some nights it took more than one and one-half hours to write my piece because I had to think about it and write some, delete it and then write some more.  I would look at the topic the night before so I could think about it all day.

Some of the posts I just didn't do what the assignment suggested because I just couldn't do it.  "Title of my own book."  "The future of online activism."  "My Personal Brand."  "Elevator blog." Come on!  What would be the title of my book?  The Life of a Lady with 2 Crazy Dogs.  Luckily my niece was born in the middle of this task and that gave me other things to write about.   The easiest three blog assignments were "Three Truths and a Lie", "The Fear of Hitting Publish" and this one.  Today I am supposed to be writing three things I love about myself or that I am great at.  Okay, here goes:
  1. I am really good at my job.  I have a stringent ethical line which makes me really good at being an HR consultant.
  2. I have patience.  When we adopted Lucky anyone else would have given her back in a week.  I have enormous patience to deal with things when I know the other person/animal/etc. has no ability to control it.  I have less patience when the person/animal/etc. does stupid things.  Example: holding and talking on a cellphone while trying to park a car in a parking lot.  Just drives me crazy! There are so many examples of stupidity that I could fill a blog!
  3. I can see the good side in things, the humor in things (okay maybe the sarcastic humor but still humor), and the the bright side in things.  I used to be more of a glass half empty person and then I got sick. Now I try very hard to be more of a glass is full kind of person.  Yes, my foot hurts but I have a foot.  Yes, my eye is swollen but I can still see out of it and it doesn't hurt as much as my foot!!  Ha ha!
There you go the last assignment is complete.  I don't know what this means for my blog.  I thought I would be able to keep this up without much effort and that didn't happen.  I think I will try to keep up writing every day but without the assignments and see if I can keep it up.  I find it easier when I just write from my head. Although I am not sure the posts are as interesting...

So tell me, was this exercise interesting for you as a reader?  Did you find the topics interesting?  Did you find out more about me? about anything?  Did you enjoy it at all?  What was your favorite blog topic in the last 30 days?  Should I continue with the same types of topics occasionally?  Let me hear from you.  I am interested in your feedback.  Thanks for your comments in the last 30 days.  They certainly kept me going.  Thanks!!

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Greeting card post! (#NHBPM Day 29)

I am having the weirdest things happening.  I have a severe pain in my right foot.  I had my dermatologist look at it and she thinks I injured a bone on the bottom of my foot.  It is incredibly painful with each step.  It has been going on for more than a week.  Then today my left eye is having some weird pain and is a bit swollen.  I know I have Sjogren's so maybe that is what is going on but it feels weird and it kinda hurts.  The question is Am I going to fall apart?  Just bit by bit, will my parts just fall off?  I am sure tomorrow things will feel better.

Today I am supposed to write a greeting card post! If I were going to write a greeting card for someone who is newly diagnosed, it would say on the front:

Arthritis is not just all aches and pains!

and inside it would say:

It's lots of pills, heating pads, funny gloves, sensible shoes and silly questions from loved ones.  
I am here for you when you need a friend!

Okay,  I will not be changing careers any time soon!  I think I will stick with my day job. Card writing is tough stuff.  I won't tell you how long it took me to come up with those three lines.

What would your card say? 

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Say WHAT?! (#NHBPM Day 28)

I am still not feeling well.  I have a slight fever and don't feel like myself.  Let's hope it is nothing serious!  Gotta internet shop today, right?!  Ha ha  or is it Ho Ho Ho.

 I used to work for a person who thought she was very empathetic.  You know the type.  In her opinion she was very caring and giving but in reality, she wasn't.  In fact if she read this, she wouldn't think I was writing about her ("You probably think this song is about you, You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you Don't you? Don't you?" You were singing it, I know you were!)  When she hired me I told her that I had RA but I told her I didn't want anyone to know about it and I was not comfortable speaking about it at work.  I would need time off to visit doctors appointments but that she would never have to worry about me making up the time or ever slacking off because of my illness.  In my four years working for her, we never spoke about it at any length except when I was ill she asked if I was okay. 

Then all of a sudden one day, out of the blue she decided to have a conversation about RA. One thing I have not mentioned is that she was a nurse in a previous life.  Prior to becoming a president of a company, she was a nurse for many years.  She has some medical training and some would think, some compassion.

As we were talking she asked me questions about RA.  I look at all questions as a time to educate people who may not know anything about RA and it's effects.  Then I heard it.  The comment that made my eyes bug open:  I know you say you have RA but you don't look sick.  Aren't you lucky?  This coming from a supposed educated medical professional.  It just shows you that even medical professionals can be ignorant about RA.  Much of my pain is not evident from the outside.  I do not yet have crooked fingers or other telltale signs of RA.  Not to mention that many of the signs of RA are not always seen on the outside.  I explained to her that not everyone had crooked fingers and that everyone had different symptoms.  I also was put on medication early which should slow down the progression.

I have heard others say to me, you don't look sick, and it didn't bother me so much.  But that time, I guess I expected something else. 

What is your Say WHAT moment?  What did they say that made your head snap back or your eyes roll back?

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Supposed to be Quote Unquote (#NHBPM Day 27)

Today I am still not feeling well. In fact as soon as I write this I am going to bed.

Today I am supposed to be writing about Quote Unquote. I am supposed to grab a quote from this site (type in any word – see what comes up!) and use that quote to set your writing.  Yeah, that would be nice if I felt better and had that much initiative on day 27 of a 30 day blog challenge.  Okay, I am a bit burned out on the challenge today and I don't feel well.  So this is going to be my post.  It isn't cheery or exciting or hip or interesting.  It is just the truth.  Write more tomorrow!

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I still remember… (#NHBPM Day 26)

I still remember when I could eat food without taking medication 30 minutes beforehand.  I know it has not been that long ago but it seems like forever.  I can remember when I could just eat food whenever I wanted.  No medicine.  No preparation.  No planning to take medicine 1/2 hour before eating.  I could just eat food, go to restaurants and order food, and eat lunch without waiting 30 minutes while I am starving.  I wish I could go back...

Today was an interesting day.  I still feel pretty crappy.  My feet and hands still hurt but I didn't let this deter me because today was the first sunny weekend day in weeks.  I was determined to finish the backyard.  I went out and cut down the rest of the vines and the backyard looks great!  Unfortunately while we were outside, the little dog tore apart the pillow on her bed.  I was shocked because normally she loves to be outside with me but today she wanted to be inside.  I was also shocked because she was given that pillow back months ago and has shown no interest in chewing on it.  Today she chewed the pillow open and pulled out the billowy insides.  She also ate some of it.  She came outside and vomited but I didn't see what she vomited and didn't know she had tore open the pillow at that time.  After I found the pillow, she vomited again and this time we saw the "stuffing".  I rushed her to the emergency room.  They did x-rays and she has some of the stuffing in her stomach and intestines.  This is concerning but they want to take a conservative approach and try giving her Metamucil and baby food for a few days and see if she passes it.  If not we will have to think about surgery.  So that is what I did with the second half of my day.  Second time in one week...

This dog is a gold mine!

What do you remember?

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Never Have I Ever (#NHBPM Day 25)

Today has not been a good health day.  I have massive joint pain in some crazy joints.  The joints by the balls in my feet, my hips, my knuckles and my wrists.  ugh...  Nothing to do but stay off my feet.  So no Black Friday Shopping for me!  Okay you caught me, I did some internet shopping for myself.

Photo by Salvatore Vuono
Today's assignment is to write about something I have never done but want to.  The list of things I have never done but want to is long.  I want to learn how to ride a motorcycle, go on a zipline through a forest, go parasailing, go the Galapagos, take a cruise to Alaska, travel to see my friend in Australia, see the pyramids, go to Africa and go on a safari, and drive across the USA again on the northern route.  It seems a lot of my list is travel.  Since I have gotten sick the thought of travel gets more and more out of reach.  I know I can do it but it gets harder and more difficult.  The last time I traveled with my Enbrel I had a problem keeping it cold because we were in a really hot climate.  I almost ruined $700 worth of medicine by letting it get too hot.  It gets to be a pain that I have to bring extra medicine in the bottles on vacation and I have to bring it on the plane with me.  That takes half my carry on bag!  And most of the medicine I will never use but have to bring "just in case". 

There are roadblocks keeping me from doing all these activities.   I worry that we would make plans to go on a big trip and then I would have a day like today.  I literally can't walk without massive pain.  I guess I could get a wheelchair at the airport and that would help.  I can only drive so many hours in one day so driving across country would be a long trip.  Last time I drove across country, I drove all day for 8-10 hours.  I can't do that anymore.  I could drive eight hours one day but not day after day.  It would have to be a much more leisurely trip.  I worry about taking a cruise because I have heard of so many people getting ill on those ships.  I would be so unhappy if I got sick on a cruise and not be able to contact my doctor. 

So, I guess for now I will dream of doing these activities and hope that some day soon I will be able to do them.  I will keep my fingers crossed that that day will come soon.  Meanwhile I will concentrate on the activities I can do.  Walking my dogs (okay, not today!), scrapbooking, taking pictures, reading, watching movies, cooking, finding good recipes, and blogging!  Those activities are keeping me busy.

What have you never done but want to?  Is it bungee jumping?  Hang gliding?  Flying a plane?  Write and tell me.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Mascot! (#NHBPM Day 24)

Happy Thanksgiving!!  We had a lovely time with our friends.  We had three men over to eat great food and have interesting conversation.  Brenda made Cornish hens and I had a super great acorn squash with wild rice stuffing.  Yum!  I made mashed potatoes for the first time solo.  They turned out great!  I also made my famous stuffing and green beans.  One of the guys brought two pies.  I can't wait to eat left overs tomorrow.

Our scheduled topic is to give myself or my condition a mascot.  (Boy, I can't wait until some of these weird topics are over!)  I chose to give my condition a mascot.  I thought about making my mascot a cute little car with a big smile or a cutie animal or a smiley face.  But none of these spoke to me.  I needed something with a story.

Photo from Edkins Family Index page
My mascot is Ra.  Ra is the patron of the sun, heaven, kingship, power, light.  The meaning of Ra's name is uncertain, but it is thought if not a word for 'sun' it may be a variant of or linked to 'creative'.  In artwork Ra primarily is depicted as a man wearing a pharaoh's crown (a sign of his leadership of the deities) and the wadjet sun disk above his head. Often he had a falcon's head crowned with a sun disk or a man with a falcon's head.

From The Edkins Family Index Page "Ra was the greatest of the gods and he kept his power in his secret name, which only he knew. He had started to grow old, and sometimes he dribbled. Isis collected some of his saliva and made it into a snake. She hid the snake where Ra would walk. When Ra trod on it, it bit him, and Ra screamed in pain. All the gods gathered round, but none could heal him. Isis said "If you tell me your secret name, this will give me enough magic power to heal you." Ra didn't want to do this, but eventually the pain was so bad that he had to. Isis healed him, and ever since then she has the magic powers that Ra had."

I chose this as my mascot because Ra reminds me of the warm pain I feel in my hands and feet in the morning when I have a flare.  The story above speaks about Ra stepping on a snake and feeling the pain in his feet.  He is in pain and all the gods could not heal him.  Isis had the magic potion to heal him but only if he gave up his magic powers.  This reminds me of my story: I have pain in my joints, the doctors try but can not heal me.  The pharmaceutical companies can heal me with their magic potions but the insurance companies stand in the way. I have to give up my magic powers (i.e. all my money!)  See how we have the same story??  I have a real kinship for Ra.  Not to mention Ra and RA get it?  There you go, my mascot.  A falcon with a sun disk on it's head.

What would be your mascot?

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Health Activist Choice (#NHBPM Day 23)

Today's post is Health Activist Choice. We can write about whatever we want!  So I have decided to write about what I am thankful for.  Seems appropriate considering tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for:
  • my family
  • my friends
  • my pets who love me unconditionally
  • my health (you may think this sounds weird but I am thankful my health situation is not worse.  It can always get worse...)
  • my work.  I love working for myself even if it means I will not get financially rich!
Tomorrow we are having what we call "orphan's Thanksgiving".  That is when our friends who have nowhere else to go and no family in the area come to our house to celebrate.  We have three folks coming to celebrate.  It should be fun.  The neighbors on our block have a tradition where we come out at 2 pm to toast each other.  We gather in the street with a glass of wine or whatever and toast to what we are thankful for.  Then, of course, we watch FOOTBALL!

We are serving Cornish hens and I am having a stuffed acorn squash with all the regular sides.  I am hungry just thinking about it.  I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.  Write in and tell me what you are thankful for.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Be Present (#NHBPM Day 22)

 Today we are supposed to Be Present.  I am supposed to write about something peaceful with imagery.  Well, if you know me, you know that I am not a very peaceful with imagery kinda person.  I don't really think of unicorns and rainbows.  Okay, maybe I can conjure up a beach in Kauai with palm trees blowing in the breeze but that is the best I can do. 

Instead I want to talk about a real problem.  Big box stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day.  I don't know about you but I am annoyed that these big box stores are opening earlier and earlier each year.  Pretty soon Black Friday will start on Wednesday!  Not only do the commercials annoy me (although that lady on the Target commercial does crack me up), it annoys me that the stores have to keep "one upping" each other.  Target is opening at midnight so then Walmart is going to open at 10 pm and at some Best Buy locations they are playing a movie for waiting customers at 8 pm. 

Walmart circular ad
The most important thing that the big box store executives don't seem to consider is that real people have to work in those stores.  Those executives are warm and cozy sitting by the fire with their families watching football and eating turkey while the real minimum wage people have to show up to work one hour before the store opens up.  Which means they have to leave their homes sometimes one hour before that. So to get to work at Walmart at 10 pm, they have to leave their homes around 8 pm.  We all know that mass transit doesn't run on a regular schedule on holidays so the trip will be horrendous!  Not to mention that 2/3 of workers at places like Walmart and Target are women.  Most of these women traditionally have cooked all day to put a Thanksgiving feast on the table for their families.  Sometime during the day, they need to take a nap so they can stay up all night working! 

Well, I think it is time this craziness stops!  Do we all need a cheap Cuisinart so bad that we can't wait until 8 am on Friday?  Can't the latest video game still be 1/2 price at 9 am on Friday?  Can't the American worker spend Thanksgiving Day with family?  Many of these families work multiple jobs and don't spend much time with extended family.  Many times holidays are the only time spent time together with family. 

There are petitions going around on Facebook and other places to stop this insanity and let the American worker at Big Box stores spend Thanksgiving with family.  I mean, after all, isn't that what Thanksgiving has become all about?  Not about getting the best deal on a Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect.  What do you think?  Family or Best Deals?  (Remember you can't take it with you.)

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ekphrasis post (#NHBPM Day 21)

Today's post is an Ekphrasis (writing about another art form).   Don't worry, I had to look it up too.  We were supposed to find a Flickr Image that inspired me in some way and write about it for 15 minutes with out stopping or editing.  So here is my disclaimer: I have not edited this blog prior to publishing!  So I can't be held responsible for bad typing, horrible grammar, or run on sentences.  For that you can blame my public school education and my 9th grade English teacher who was a drunk and would pass out on her desk.

Flickr photo by xomiele
So I chose this photo of a twenty dollar bill with an occupy wall street stamp on it.  I am sure I would see one of these bills around but I don't have much cash on me these days.  I chose occupy wall street because it is in the news every day where I live and it is such an interesting time for our country.  Whether you agree with Occupy or not, it is an interesting concept: the 99%.  That people feel they are kept out of making decisions that affect (or is effect?  There is that public school education again) them.  Whether they really are being kept out or not, really makes no difference if they feel they are.

Every day you hear about people losing their retirements, losing their homes, losing their jobs, just like the newscasters are reading off a shopping list; like it doesn't mean anything.  Like real people aren't being affected.  The unemployment rate has risen again, they say.  Like that doesn't mean dad won't be able to afford a Thanksgiving turkey this year or be able to pay the rent, mortgage, heat, cable bill. 

Meanwhile more jobs go overseas because their labor will work cheaper and longer hours.  I recently bought a dresser from a company that only sells furniture made in America.  Not that I think everything can be made in America but if it can be made in America why in the heck are we having it made somewhere else?  I know because it is cheaper but is anyone getting the clue that cheaper and made from another country means higher unemployment in America?

Okay back to the Occupy photo.  I picked it because where I live there are many encampments and there have been times when the police have stepped over the line.  I believe that all Americans should be able to non-violently protest without being beaten by the police, stopped by the police, or pepper sprayed by the police.  If the protestors are being unlawful, fine arrest them, most protestors know what they are getting into if they choose to lock arms and sit in the street.  In most cases they have decided in advance to get arrested and have planned for it.  But pulling hair, pepper spraying, hitting on the head with a bully club and shooting smoke canisters directly at protesters is crossing a line.  We see this in other countries and condemn them for hurting their own people.  How can it be happening in my own backyard?

So, that is why I chose the Occupy photo.  People want to be heard.  Just like in the 60's and the 70's.  When people don't feel they are being heard, they act out.  I just wanted to say I hear you! 

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

LOL Post (#NHBPM Day 20)

Today we are writing about something that makes us laugh.  I tried really hard to think of one thing that makes me laugh but I couldn't think of one thing that I could write a whole post about.  There are many things that make me laugh: the show Mike & Molly cracks me up, watching my dog Lucky try to pee when the grass is wet and she doesn't want to put her bottom near the wet grass, the Target commercial for Black Friday with that crazy lady working out, Two and Half Men (the old ones with Charlie Sheen) episodes especially with Berta, most Pixar/Dreamworks/Warner Bros./Disney animated movies, and my partner's laugh. 

It is important to have moments that make you laugh, especially those deep, belly laughs.  I believe laughter is the best medicine.  What makes you laugh?

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Best of" Post (#NHBPM Day 19)

Today we are to take one of our archived posts and repost it with comments.  I have chosen to repost Cone of Shame from Sunday, October 23, 2011. It was when my dog Lucky had a spot on her leg and had to wear the cone of shame.  Poor thing had such a hard time.  She fell going UP the stairs and then refused to climb the stairs for the rest of the 13 days she had the cone on.  I had to carry her up all day long!

The Cone of Shame

My poor little dog Lucky had to go to the veterinarian yesterday because she has been licking a spot on her leg.  She licks and licks her "elbow" and won't stop.  Since she has aggression issues, I can't sort of make her stop by any other means than by letting her up on the couch and letting her cuddle (which she isn't supposed to do.)  She isn't supposed to get up on the couch because then she thinks it is Her Couch and growls at our other dog Happi if she comes near it.

Anyway, I have gotten off point.  Poor little Lucky went to vet early Saturday morning and she was already miserable because I can't feed her before going in the car unless I want to see her breakfast all over the seat about four blocks later.  Little Lucky gets carsick.  So she got no breakfast and had to go in the car.  (It is funny, she loves to go in the car; just hates when it moves.  Explain that to me.)  We drove to the vets with her doing this funny little whine/cry at about the half way point. 

Lucky Cone of Shame by Adrienne
When we got there of course she was a perfect angel.  The doctor did things to her that if I did them she would have take a snap at me!  Turns out she has a little bug bite or something that is just annoying her and she keeps licking it.  We have to get her to stop and that requires antibiotics and The Cone of Shame.  She is not happy about the cone.

I brought her home and she just stood in the middle of the kitchen with the cone on.  She didn't move.  It was like she thought the cone would disappear the way it appeared if she just stood there long enough.  Well, it has not.  We went on a walk and she walked five steps then stopped, five steps then stopped.  It took us 40 minutes to go around the block.  She wanted me to carry her but I held strong.  She has to figure this out on her own.  Then she woke up at 2:30 am to cry because she could not get comfortable.  That went on for 30 minutes.  Finally I took her upstairs to put her in her cage and she fought to not be put in.  My heart melted.  I told her she could go back downstairs but no crying.  She ran downstairs (as fast as you can with a cone around your neck!) and got in her bed and that was the end of the crying.  A little tough love.

This morning she climbed the stairs herself and went outside herself.  I was very proud of her.  She seems to have given in to the fact that she will be wearing this for a while.  (really only a few days)  But she seems to have a new attitude about it this morning.

It got me thinking about when I had a flare like last week.  I know I want to cry and curl up in a ball (and wish someone would carry me around and up and down the stairs!) But I know with each flare I make it through, I do feel proud that I made it through yet another battle.  It is not fun to wear a cone or be in a wheelchair or have a foot brace and it sucks to have to give into using assistance devices but when I felt better and did not not have to use them, I felt like I had conquered something.  I know that someday I may have to use some assistance devices all the time but that day is not today.

Today I had to take Lucky to the vet yet again.  This week she accidentally got into a cup of nut, raisin, M&M mix.  She didn't even chew the stuff, just swallowed it whole.  A day later she began having peanuts in her poop.  Then on Friday morning she vomited up some almonds.  Since I thought she might have more almonds in her system, I took her to get an x-ray and some blood work (for the raisins).  She spent the whole day at the vets.  Everything came out fine but they think she has gastroenteritis.  Poor dog has the worst luck.  We should have named her UnLucky! 

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Comment As A Blog Post (#NHBPM Day 18)

Today our challenge is to pick someone else's post and write a comment to them.  I decided to choose a blog called Feelin' Swell: My Life with RA.  The current post is titled Blog Guilt.  I found this blog post to be very interesting and something I have been struggling with myself.  "Squirrel" is a woman from Scotland who wrote that she had blog guilt because she had not written in her blog in a long time.  She has probably written three times in six months.  Not because she was feeling poorly but because she was feeling GREAT!  How wonderful!  Feeling great is the point.

I understand what you are writing about.  There are days when I sit down and feel like I have nothing to write.  Nothing has happened that day or I can't think of anything interesting to say.  There are also days when I feel great and I don't want to go on and on about how great I feel.  It is sort of like survivors guilt.  When others are feeling so poorly, I don't want to go on about how wonderful I feel.  Just like you wrote in your blog post.

On the flip side, when I feel crappy, I don't want to go on and on about how awful I feel because that is not who I am.  I don't like to complain, even though I know my audience (especially) knows it is not complaining.  I just don't like to dwell on the negative.  I say "I don't feel well" and move on and figure out a way to feel better.  But there are days I just can't feel better but I do my best. 

You wrote that when you were diagnosed you were unable to find upbeat stories of people with RA and you vowed that you would continue to write in your blog even if you were feeling better.  When you started feeling better you weren't sure anyone wanted to hear about how great you were feeling.  I think you should continue to write about how great you are feeling.  Other people with RA need to hear those good stories.  Not everyone is in constant pain and has operations all the time and takes a mound of pills and shots.  Some folks go into remission or take one medication and feel better.  That is great!  You are lucky!  I think it is important to find positive stories of the lives of RA patients.  I know I have highs and lows with this disease.  I think the 30 blogs in 30 days has taught me a very good lesson.  It taught me how many things I can write about that are positive and upbeat and still interesting.    It is so important to hear all sides of RA and Crohn's.  Squirrel keep posting when you can.  I am interested in hearing where life takes you.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:    

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let It Be (#NHBPM Day 17)

Our challenge today is to "Let it Be" and write about something that bothers me or weighs on me.  Well this is going to be a challenge for me.  Trying to think of something that weighs on me or bothers me that is interesting enough to write about.  There are so many things that interest me: the Occupy Movement, cost of healthcare, the fact that my Ipod Nano has been recalled, Regis Philbin leaving LIVE! tomorrow, Penn State's situation, the Citadel's situation, Herman Cain and all these sexual harassment claims, and why some company shaped tofu into the shape of a turkey-breast and called it Tofurky.  

I think I have chosen Tofurky to write about.  Now I started eating the actual brand Tofurky very recently.  I have been a vegetarian for about 30 years.  I have been eating tofu the whole time mostly in Chinese stir fry and that sort of stuff.  It is only in the last 13 years that I have been more adventurous and started cooking tofu various ways at home.  Sesame encrusted tofu, tofu scramble, tofu Parmesan, and other excited tofu recipes.  I thought the idea of Tofurky was disgusting. 

A few months ago Brenda and I went to a Katy Perry concert and there were some vegans handing out pamphlets outside the venue.  One of the pamphlets had vegan food options and one was the Tofurky brand.  It turns out that Tofurky sells lunch "meat" made out of tofu.  We decided to try some of the vegan options on the pamphlet and we loved the Tofurky lunch "meat".  So, I have become a Tofurky brand convert. But...

I still can't bring myself to buy a turkey-breast shaped blob of tofu.  Tofurky is "seitan and soy based and was created to have a texture similar to that of meat products; the vegetable-based turkey-like flavorings are intended to make it comparable to traditional Thanksgiving fare. In order to make the product as similar to flesh as they intended, its creators designed the roast so that it tears off at a forty-five degree angle with the grain" from Wikipedia.  Tofurky has a whole line of holiday meals: Tofurky Roast, Tofurky Feast, and Tofurky Giblet and Gravy. 

Maybe I will try it like I tried the Tofurky lunch "meat" some day in the future.  But this will be hard.  I don't like things that are fake and shaped like the real thing.  I think this Thanksgiving, like other Thanksgivings, I will stick to making a stuffed acorn squash, stuffing (or dressing), vegetables, mashed potatoes, salad and some other vegetable.  No Tofurky in our house!

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Little Engine Post (#NHBPM Day 16)

The Little Engine that Could
I have been asked to write a list post with 10-15 lines that each start with "I think I can..."  Then I have been asked to write 5 lines that start with "I know I can..."  So here goes my attempt.
  1. I think I can be better about taking my medicine every day.
  2. I think I can exercise more often and lose some of this weight.
  3. I think I can finish this 30 blogs in 30 days project.  Whew...
  4. I think I can read this months book club book selection in time for book club.
  5. I think I can continue my current scrapbooking project and start and finish the next two in a timely manner.
  6. I think I can get through the holidays in one piece with no RA flares, Crohn's attacks or the flu.
  7. I think I can keep dreaming of vacations to far away places, in far away lands, in far away galaxies.
  8. I think I can do more projects around the house rather than hire someone to do them.  It is satisfying to do them myself when I can.
  9. I think I can get the hot tub up and running so we can hot tub this winter.
  10. I think I can raise money and walk in this year's Arthritis Walk.  Anyone want to join me??
  1. I know I can be a great Arthritis Ambassador and go to Washington, D.C. in April for the lobbying gathering.
  2. I know I can laugh, laugh, laugh.
  3. I know I can continue to love and walk my dogs.
  4. I know I can continue to cook and eat healthy.  I am getting better at the cooking part.
  5. I know I can keep this sense of humor through it all.
Can you think of a list of "I think I can..." or  "I know I can..." ?  Will you share??

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This One's For You Baby (#NHBPM Day 15)

I am supposed to pick a song and dedicate it to my condition.  I thought a long time about this one.  I wanted to find a song that is upbeat, that I want to listen to all the time, that I can dance to and that has lyrics that say what I want them to say.  So I chose Michael Franti & Spearhead's The Sound of Sunshine.  It is an upbeat, dance-able song that makes me so happy to listen to.  How can you not jump up and dance, tap your foot or "car dance" to this song?  It makes me want to take the top down on my car on a sunny day and crank up the music on the freeway.

The lyrics:
  • "Here I am Just waitin' for the storm to pass me by.  And that's the sound of sunshine Comin' down. "  To me a RA flare is the storm and I am waiting for it to pass me by.  The sunshine is the time after the flare. 
  • "Some days you lose, you win, and the water's as high as the times roll in So I jump back into where I learned to swim"  Some days are good, some are bad, and I have to keep going and keeping on.  
  • "Try to keep my head above it the best I can"  Means I am trying to keep it all together the best way I know how during the bad times.
I have embedded a video of the song for you to listen to from Youtube.

The lyrics to The Sound of Sunshine in the song really speak to me:

The Sound of Sunshine
One, two, three, uh huh
Yo, yo

I wake up in the mornin' at 6 'o clock
You say there may be rain but the sun is hot
I wish I had some time just to kill today
And I wish I had a dime for every bill I got to pay
Some days you lose, you win, and the water's as high as the times roll in
So I jump back into where I learned to swim
Try to keep my head above it the best I can
That's why

Here I am
Just waitin' for the storm to pass me by
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down (down, down, down)
Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh

One, two, three, uh huh
I saw my friend Bobby he said "What's up man?"
You got little work or 20 to lend
I opened up my hand he said "I'm glad to see"
They could take away my job but not my friends you see

And here I am
Just waitin' for the storm to pass me by (pass me by)
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down

Yo, yo, here we go

I wanna go where the summer never ends
With my guitar on the beach there with all my friends
The sun so hot and the waves in motion
And everything smells like suntan lotion
The ocean, and the girls so sweet
So kick off your shoes and relax your feet
You say that miracles are never ceasin'
And every single song needs a little releasin'
The stereo bumpin' til the sun goes down
And I only wanna hear that sound

That's the sound of sunshine (of sunshine)
Comin' down
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down (comin' down, down, down)

And I say
You're the one I wanna be with (yo, yo)
When the sun goes down (uh huh)
You're the one I wanna be with (I really wanna be with)
When the sun goes down, sing
You're the one I wanna be with
When the sun goes down
You're the one I wanna be with
When the sun goes...

That's the sound (that's the sound) of sunshine (of sunshine)
Comin' down (uh huh, uh huh)
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down
Eh, eh, eh
When the sun goes down, when the sun goes down
Eh, eh, eh, eh (when the sun goes down)

So what song speaks to you?  Why? 

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

If It’s Not Broke, Don’t Fix It (#NHBPM Day 14)

Today I am supposed to write about something else but it is not interesting so I am writing last Friday's topic: If it's not broke, don't fix it.  This topic is about health care; what works and what doesn't.

Here in our town we have something similar to universal health care.  There is a city-wide health care plan that employers or local people can pay into.  If a small employer can not afford a group plan, they can pay for their employees to be part of the city-wide health care plan.  People who live in the town can pay to be a part of the plan also.  This way people can go to urgent care facilities rather than emergency rooms, they can see doctors if they are ill and can get preventive care such as flu shots.  It helps us all by not having so many people getting so ill that they end up in the emergency room where they can't afford to pay for it.

There is also a special tax added to all restaurant bills that help to pay for all restaurant employees to be on the city-wide health care plan.  It works out for everyone because sick employees are not coming to work and spreading the flu to more people.  Restaurant employees do not get paid if they don't come to work so this helps them stay healthy and keeps the illness from spreading.

There are also mandatory paid sick days for all employees.  This also helps keep illness from spreading.  If ill people stay home, the illness doesn't spread.  Ill employees won't stay home if they have to work to make money to live and eat or feed their kids.  If they have a few days of paid sick leave they can stay home and get better without worrying about missing a days pay.

The simple steps above help to keep illnesses from spreading.  This helps anyone with an autoimmune disease.  I am highly susceptible to catching these illnesses.  If people stay home when they have fevers and coughs, the rest of us would be less likely to catch the flu.  A flu that puts someone in bed for a few days, could put me in bed for weeks.  

The city-wide health plan and paid sick days are working in my town.  What is working in your town?

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:    

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Open A Book (#NHBPM Day 13)

Today the instruction is to open a book and point to a passage and write about that passage for 10 minutes and post without editing.  I chose the book Coffee Will Make You Black.  I opened the book to page 102 and pointed to the passage "I sat alone in the kitchen with a glass of milk and a handful of Oreo cookies, thinking about what happened."

I have not read this book so I don't  know what this passage is in reference to.  The person obviously likes Oreo cookies so we have something in common.  Who doesn't like to sit and eat Oreo cookies?  I especially like (or should I say lust after) the Double Stuff Oreo cookies.  I am so bad that I take two Oreo cookies and open them up and eat one chocolate disk and put the two double stuff insides together and eat a quadruple stuff Oreo cookie.  I am not a dunker.  I don't drink milk so dunking is out of the question.

The person is sitting and thinking.  What is she thinking about?  What happened?  Is he thinking about his day with some Oreos?  Are they lovers who broke up?  What do I think about with Oreos?  I eat Oreos while I watch TV.  Mostly while I watch Biggest Loser.  I can't help but eat Oreos while I watch the Biggest Loser, the show makes me hungry.  I want to exercise, like they keep encouraging me during the breaks, but I can't.  I just want to eat!  Kinda sick.  All these overweight people and all I want to do is eat cookies.

I guess in the end I will sit alone eating Oreo Double Stuff cookies.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Teach A Class (#NHBPM Day 12)

Today I am supposed to teach a class about something that I know about.  First I think, what am I good at?  What can I teach a class on?  Then I thought, I can teach about scrapbooking.  It is not exactly thrilling but it is something I am currently engaged in so it seems timely.

The Steps To Scrapbooking

1. The first step is to decide what you are going to make your scrapbook about.  Is it about the birth of a child?  Your vacation?  Family reunion?  Puppy dog?  Whatever it is that is the theme you will purchase the items to decorate your scrapbook.  In the example to the right, my theme was a trip to Florida and Disney World.
2.  The second step is to decide on the photos you will be using in the scrapbook. If you don't have them printed, get them printed.  You can also edit the photos if they are not exactly perfect.  If you want to crop or resize the photo.  View this video from to learn about photo editing.  I prefer matte print but glossy is good too.  The larger scrapbooks hold three 4x6 photos on each page.  Once you have an idea of the photos you will be using you can move onto the fun part.
3.  Going to the art store!  This is the part that is fun and can cost you a lot of money if you aren't careful.  First choose an album.  The most popular size is the 12x12.  There are also smaller sizes but the 12x12 is the most common.  Albums come in all colors and styles so choose an album that coordinates with your theme.
4.  Now you are going to choose the background paper.  You can choose single pages or you can buy booklets that have up to 180 sheets.  The benefit to buying the booklets is that they a) are cheaper and b) will give you more choices and extra pages for other projects.
5.  This is the time to choose the embellishments to use in scrapbook.  The embellishments are what make the scrapbook a scrapbook and not just a photo album.  I call them the do-dads.  They are the words and sparkles and swirls and flowers and stars and all that stuff that you see in a scrapbook.  If your theme is family reunion at the shore then your do-dads will be words that say "family", "shore", "vacation", etc.  It might also have sayings such as "family reunion" and "reunion memories".  You will also look for sticker do-dads such as little flip flops, beach towels, beach balls, boats, picnic items, barbecue stuff, etc.  Whatever activities your family reunion at the beach participated in.  As you can see in the example above, I went to a fair and the do-dads I got were farm items since we saw all sorts of farm animals including a pig race.  There are also borders and frames.  Be careful: each of these embellishments are not very expensive but once you choose a bunch of them and get up to the sales counter, you may find that your bill will be much higher than expected.  Those $1.99 items add up quick.
6.  Once you have chosen all your items, you need to make sure you have the correct adhesive to adhere your photos and embellishments that don't come already with sticker backing.  There are also stamps, pens, cut outs and the list goes on.  I would start out slow and simple at first.
7.  Now you are ready to get started!  Find a flat place to lay all the items out so you can plan.  You will see that other than the first and last page, each page has two pages when the book is opened.  I enjoy using the same background paper on both pages to have continuity.  I lay the whole book out page by page with background, photos, and embellishments. See the example to the right.  This way you can get a good idea of what the whole book will look like and how you want it to read.
8.  Each page needs a focal point, reason, or theme.  Please view this video from to teach you about focal points.
9.  Once you have figured out where the photos will be placed, you can decide if you want borders.  If you have "fancy" scissors, you can use them to cut regular colored paper or you can buy pre-cut borders to put around your photos to give them the look of a frame. View this video from to learn about borders. As you can see from the example to the left, I use paper to frame the photos.
10.  Now you just have to put it all together.  This is where you get to be creative.  View this video from to see some page ideas.

So now you know how to scrapbook.  Go have some fun!  Keep your memories in a creative way.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baby, Baby, Baby (#NHBPM Day 11)

I am supposed to be writing about what works well in my community BUT my brother and his wife had a baby this morning and that is WAY more fun to write about!  Yes, I have become an aunt again.  You know what they say, always an aunt...  or is that always a bridesmaid?  Anyway, little Reese entered this world at (pregnant pause for full effect) 11:11 am on 11/11/11.  Can you believe it?  She is an adorable little six pound baby girl.

I am so happy to report everyone is healthy and made it through with flying colors.  The family is texting and emailing.  Anyway, this is my post for today.  New baby news!  Yay!

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Makes Me Happy (#NHBPM Day 10)

Happi sunning herself by adrienne
What makes me happy?  My pets make me happy.  Watching my dogs run around our backyard makes me smile.  Happi has three legs and nothing slows her down.  She runs around as fast as she can.  She loves to hunt birds, the neighbor's cat and mice in the backyard. I know you won't believe it but she smiles all the time.  Happi loves to chase Lucky round and round in the backyard.  It is only time until one of them falls into the pond.

Lucky is so excited all the time and everything seems so new to her.  Her tail wags so much that her whole back end shakes and wiggles.  Sometimes she does this Cirque du Soleil move that cracks me up.  It makes you laugh just looking at her.

Backyard (aka Indy 500 track for the dogs) by adrienne
Sometimes I like to go outside and watch the fish swimming in the pond.  A few months ago we got some new baby fish and now they are about 3-4 inches long.  It is exciting to see them grow.  They are so cute swimming around in the pond. The babies growing make me smile.

Sunny singing by adrienne
Listening to my bird Sunshine (Sunny) singing in his cage makes me happy.  He likes to say "pretty bird".  I love to hear him whistle and sing during the day.  He also climbs around his cage and when he wants attention, he climbs upside down on the ceiling of his cage.

That is one of the great things about animals, they are happy all the time.  They just want to have a great time and be there for you.  When I am down or just want a laugh, all I need to do is look at my babies.  They never let me down.  What makes me happy?  My babies just being themselves.

What makes you happy?  Share with us the things that make you happy.

I told you I would spill the beans about which things were the truths and what was the lie.
a) I have a tattoo of a butterfly and a rose.
b) I used to cross stitch but have not been able to lately.
c) I never took the LSATs.  I took the GMATs and did horribly.  I never wanted to go to law school but people said I should be a lawyer.  This is the lie.
d) I was the photo editor of my college newspaper and that story was true.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My TV Show Not My Personal Brand (#NHBPM Day 9)

Today I am supposed to write about My Personal Brand. But I am not going to.  I can't think of anything I would rather not do.  I don't think I have a personal brand.  So I am going to write about My TV Show.

Imagine my blog turned into a TV show!  The main star would be adrienne.  She would live in a city with her two wacky dogs and her partner.  She has her own business with all these clients with all these problems.  adrienne would try to solve them.   

And oh yeah, she would have RA.  She is an advocate for RA.

Boy, what a boring show!  The pilot would suck so bad that it would be cancelled in the first week.  You never know how boring your life is until you try to write it as a sitcom.  No wonder Jerry Seinfeld and George Castanza had such a hard time...

How would you describe your own life as a TV Show?  Let's hope it is more interesting than mine. 

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Three Truths And One Lie (#NHBPM Day 8)

I am supposed to write three truths and one lie and it is up to you to tell me which is which.  This is really hard because I am such an open book.  Once you talk about your poop, what is there left to keep secret?  Good luck!

A. I have a tattoo of a rose and butterfly.  My old partner and I got these matching tattoos in a place most people can't see.   Ugh, now I wish I could alter it somehow so it was different.  I would get another one but I worry that it could make me sick with infection.  Oh, and when I had appendicitis the surgeon cut into me on the left side so he wouldn't cut open my tattoo.  Wasn't that nice?

B.  I would have said I scrapbooking but I already gave that one away!  I used to do cross stitch.  I made many little cross stitch ornaments and a picture that I hand up during the Christmas holidays.  I still have a pattern that I keep and hope that some day I will work on of Lady and the Tramp.

C.  I always secretly wanted to go to law school.  I studied for the LSATs but never took the test, therefore I never applied to law school.  I guess I worried I didn't study hard enough, who knows, I was young and stupid.  I have been told by many people over the years I should have gone to law school because I love to argue and can see both sides to an argument. Instead I ended up getting my Master's in Nonprofit Management years later. I guess it all worked out for the best.

D.  I was the photo editor of my college newspaper for one year.  I got the position because the current photo editor took me on assignment and had me photograph the coin thingy on a washing machine.  He then claimed the published photo  was his.  He got caught (it was a really good photo!) and I was given his job.  Not exactly how one wants a job but, hey, you take 'em where you get 'em.

Okay, now you tell me which one is the lie.  I bet even my family won't be able to tell you!  Take a guess...  See if you can figure it out.  I will reveal later this week.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Monday, November 7, 2011

Case Of The Mondays (#NHBPM Day 7)

This blog post is really hard for me.  The topic today is to write about something that gets me down, burns me out or makes me sad.  I guess one thing that is hard is when I have a Crohn's attack for an extended time.  Last spring I had an attack that lasted for 2 months.  It just wears me out.  The multiple trips to the bathroom each day.  And they are not quick trips to the bathroom either!  Luckily my dogs come in to visit me because they miss me.  Then there is the fatigue from the constant bathroom visits and horrible eating.  I just want to curl up on the couch.  The food situation is crazy!  I can only eat a few things.  Here is a list: baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, white rice, french fries, tater tots, toast, and sorbet.  Sounds delicious but day in and day out it gets boring.  How many days can rice seem interesting and nutritious?

The best way to keep a Crohn's attack from happening is to stick to the diet plan and eat what I know will keep me healthy.  Also to take my medicine.  I try, I really do!  But sometimes I want to go out to eat and have PF Changs.  It is my downfall.  Yummy fried tofu in a delicious sauce.  I am drooling just thinking about it.  So if I stick to my food plan and take my meds, I will stay healthy and not too many trips to the bathroom.  Yay!  That is the best blog I can write on this subject.  This was really hard!

What gets you down?  What burns you out?  What makes you sad?  Tell me about it and tell me how you turn it around. 

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:   

Sunday, November 6, 2011

If I Could Do Anything As A Health Activist… (#NHBPM Day 6)

If I could do anything as a health activist and money was not an issue, I would cut back the hours I spend with my company and spend my time working toward a cure for RA/Crohn's.  I know that is a lofty goal but hey, if I can't dream big here on my blog, where can I dream?  So, I am rich and I don't have to work.  I would get more involved with fundraising for RA/Crohn's.  Because one thing I know is that it is easier to fundraise in a big way when you have money!  I would also have access to people who make a difference.  I would be able to talk to the politicians who make the decisions.

Darn, now I have to bring it back to reality.  I liked being rich.  I was so relaxed not having to worry about my health insurance for just a few minutes.  Sigh...  Okay, what can I commit to in one year?  I will continue to be an Arthritis Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation.  I find the time commitment to be reasonable and I find the work satisfying.  I hope to attend the Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC this spring.  I will try to fundraise and participate in the Arthritis Walk this year.  Maybe I can get some folks to walk with me.  Anyway, those are my thoughts about what I would do as a Health Activist.

What would you do if you could do anything as a health activist?  What if money was no object?

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

5 Things That Changed My Life (#NHBPM Day 5)

This is really hard. To think of five things that significantly changed my life.  Okay, I am going to make this list without thinking too much.  Five things, right now.  Go!
  1. Becoming a vegetarian.  It was the best decision for my health.  I know there are a few people in my family that will argue with me about this and would force feed me chicken given the opportunity.  I know if I went into a coma there would be chicken soup slipped into my feeding tube if my partner didn't stop it!   I have been a vegetarian for almost thirty years and I know I am healthier than most folks.
  2. Moving to the West Coast.  I knew that moving away from where I grew up and striking it out on my own was what I needed to do.  I needed a fresh start and a place where I could become a new person.
  3. Deciding to go back to school and getting my Master's degree.  I never thought I was very smart and didn't do very well in school.  One of my siblings was a straight A student and I was decidedly NOT.  It was difficult to follow him through school.  It was affirming to get an advanced degree. 
  4. Being diagnosed with RA and Crohn's and all the other autoimmune diseases I have.  Now, at this point you would think I would say this was a bad thing but then you would be wrong.  I think the diagnosis was the best thing that happened to me.  Prior to my diagnosis I was a workaholic who was very stressed out all the time and never took a minute to contemplate anything.  I had lost myself.  After my diagnosis I started my own business, quit my crazy job with my crazy boss (a story for another time!), started taking care of myself through better food and emotional health.  I also moved out of a toxic apartment and moved into a house.  Sure RA has it's down side but it just makes me see the good side.  I can't imagine having RA and Crohn's in that tiny little apartment with all the noisy neighbors...
  5. Starting my own business has been a life saver.  I don't have to be at work at a certain time every day.  If I don't feel well, I can sleep in.  I can work in the middle of the night if I have to.  I can work around my doctor's appointments and don't have explain to a boss that I have, yet again, another doctor's appointment to go to.  Or explain that even though I don't look sick, yes I am sick.
There you go.  The five things that changed my life.  Of course meeting my partner changed my life and adopting my pups changed my life too but you all have heard about that.  So what 5 things changed your life?  Is it getting married?  Having children?  Climbing Mount Everest?  Meeting Johnny Depp?  Going to Disney World?  Come on and tell me!

By the by, I started a scrapbooking project today.  I really love to scrapbook but I rarely have time to do it.  I was going to work in the backyard but it started raining so I thought I would work on my project instead.  I make scrapbooks of vacations, family reunions, and one of my dog.  This one is of the recent family reunion.  If you have not scrapbooked, it is a huge project.  First you have to pick out the scrapbook, then the do-dads that you are going to use in the scrapbook, and then print the photos you are going to use.  Once all of the prep is done, it is time to lay it all out with the background paper.  Then it is time to layout the photos, do-dads and background paper and when it looks good, adhere everything.  I have finished a few pages so far.  It looks good.  If the rain continues tomorrow I may finish it.  I love to see them when they are complete.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:  

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Fear of Hitting "Publish" (#NHBPM Day 4)

The topic today is "What happens when you press "publish"?  I know that the minute I press publish, I have a momentary panic.  I have a fear that I have sent a blog post to a bunch of people (some I know and some I don't) that doesn't have the correct photo or the words spelled correctly!  I preview the post many times before I press publish.

I worry will they like it?  Will it be funny?  Will it be informative? Am I whining?  Will it be too gross?  Will they get sick of hearing about my dogs?  Am I complaining too much?  Am I upbeat?

I probably spend too much time rereading and editing.  Sometimes I hit publish and then I find a mistake and go back and edit it.  I very rarely hit publish in a relaxed state.  I guess this is my desire for perfection.  My Type-A personality.

I do have to say that I am really happy writing this blog.  I have not regretted it for one minute.  No matter what, I will continue to write about my dogs!

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blogging for 30 Days (#NHBPM Day 3)

I have joined a group called Wego Health and they have a challenge for it's members to blog 30 posts in 30 days on health issues.  So I am taking that challenge!  They have given us a list of topics in case we get writers block.

I am also starting a new idea.  Since friends and family want to know how I am doing and I don't always want to write about it, I thought I would start using a emoticons to say if it is a
Good day

 Bad day

Just an okay day

The first two posts for 11/1 and 11/2 were to write the Title of My Future Book and My TV Show.  Skipping past those for right now, I am going right to 11/3 Write a Letter to My 18 Year Self.

The things I would tell my 18 year old self would be:
  • things will get better
  • life will get on track, just have patience
  • do the things you want to now (because you will get RA and you might not be able to them later on!)
  • you will move far away
  •  college will end but not in four years
  • believe it or not you will go to graduate school 
  • you will get married, divorced and find a partner (there's a twist you probably didn't see coming)
  • there will be these things called Ipods, Iphones, Ipads (funny sounding, I know)
  • everyone will stop using LPs, then CDs and then MP3s
  • Schools will stop teaching cursive writing, stop having gym, art and music classes
  • you will own that red convertible
 What would you tell your 18 year old self?  Share your story.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Funny Side Of Crohn's (#NHBPM Day 2)

Today I saw my gastroenterologist.  There is a sentence I really didn't think I would ever say or at least wouldn't say until I was in my 80s.  I am really lucky that I get visit my gastroenterologist about every three months.  Talking about bowel movements and gas, what fun!  Today we discussed what my stool looked like.  She asked the question like she was asking me how my vacation was.  It took me a bit off guard.  I actually stuttered when I answered.  What do you say?  Solid, watery, regular....  

For a person with Crohn's what is regular?  I am lucky if I only have to poop (I prefer the term poop.  I use it for my dogs and for myself.) three times a day.  One lovely side effect of Crohn's is having to poop many times a day.  Some days it is more and some days less.  

Sometimes my poop is really messy and sometimes it is not.  I always keep those wet wipes handy.  Last time I was at the doctor's office I asked about having a sore tush (another one of my fav terms) and she prescribed Desitin.  You know for babies who have a rash on their tushies.  Now I am in my mid-life and I am using Desitin on my tush.  I guess it is true, we grow old and at a certain point, we start to go backward and become a baby again.  I guess I am on my way.

Oh, I haven't talked about food and Crohn's.  Here is a fun topic.  If I cook my own food I am usually fine but if we eat out at a restaurant, oh no.  Sometimes the rich food at restaurants goes right through me.  It is helpful if I make it home first!  One time we ate out and then decided to go to a bar.  I was at the bar for less than one hour when I had an OH NO moment.  I certainly was not going into a bar bathroom to have a Crohn's attack.  Crohn's attacks are really the type of thing you want to have in your home bathroom.  So I caught a taxi home and just made it to a bathroom just in time.  Phew!

My doctor said I don't have to be scoped (colonoscopy and/or endoscopy) and I don't have to go back for six months!  Yeah!  As much as I enjoy being cleaned out with a bottle washer, I think there should be a limit on how often one person can get scoped, like every 10 years.  Ha ha.  Okay every 5 years.