Friday, May 17, 2013
It's hard. I need to talk about one thing and life is going forward while my hands are tied. Last weekend, Tim and Jenn moved into their new home. It is beautiful, but life isn't lived in Leave it to Beverland. It is never as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside. Mollie is doing so brilliantly, but she is not. She has issues that she needs to work out before they consume her best years. That is a statement that can be applied generally to all my children and their spouses. I feel like I sit back silently watching, knowing the problem, but unable to get anyone else to recognize it. I sometimes wish that I could whisper "Grasshopper", and some kernel of wisdom that would rectify the situation. But I am not God, or even very wise. That wisdom alludes me. It hides in the fog of my emotion. And even if it did not, no one listens anyway. They are trapped in the fog of their emotions.
That is sort of what happened yesterday . We held our annual health fair at work. We usually start the planning for it in the fall. Because of a change of leadership, we didn't get started until mid April, and the real leader hasn't really even moved into the state yet. We should have face planted. We didn't. Because the quality of our vendor's we sustained our dignity. Well almost...there were very few glitches to our plan, and overall they were minor.
There was one major glitch. It could have been avoided, It was the fault of one very headstrong employee. She decided to start assigning prizes before the fair officially ended. She wouldn't listen to me when I told her to wait. I had to get other people to tell her to stop. Then instead of abandoning her efforts, she tried to reconcile them. It didn't work and resulted in chaos that she didn't stay around to witness, much less deal with. The committee has learned from the experience, and it will be unlikely to happen next year. I saw the train wreck happening, and my wisdom was ignored. Grasshopper wasn't listening. I really needed to have a success that I could be proud of. I worked very hard to try to make that happen. Despite my efforts, it didn't. Well, there will be more chances.
I learned at the fair that I'm legally blind in my left eye. Not surprising, but bothersome to hear. Bothersome because , well just because. There are so many reasons, it is overwhelming. But it was received with the news that I possibly have glaucoma. This is not good. There is an old cliche that says getting old is not for wimps. The problem with a cliche is that it is usually true.
Today was a sad Friday. Two of my friends are leaving the company, another is going to a different building. That makes seven since the beginning of the year. I have this fear that soon l'm going to look up and not know a single soul. It's kind of like finishing a good book. You like the characters and then they are gone. The book is closed and there is no more story to share.
Tomorrow I have promised Beverly to help her create a booklet and handout for the women's luncheon. It will need to be done on a Mac, so that should be fun. What I really want to do is sleep in. Seems like a selfish goal. Maybe it is. Beverly seems to want me to be a better friend than I really am. I've always wanted a friend like her, but I sabotage the effort. I think I don't feel worthy of her.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
I had a great time wait Tim, Jack, Mollie and Jenn yesterday. We were working on getting them into their new home, but it was good to be together. I really miss being around them on a regular basis. Today, I spent the first part of the day at church, and Sam was very encouraging to the mothers, especially the young ones. Since the I have been on the internet. It was a really nice weekend, but now I'm getting in too the "oh no! Tomorrow is Monday" mode. Mollie told me yesterday that she gets excited when she gets to go to her internship job. She likes it that much. I'm super happy for her. I'm glad she was able to find that so early in life. I wish I had. I think that I was busy listening to other people telling me what I should do that I never asked myself what I wanted to do. That was a big mistake. I wish I could get back to that point, but I really think that it is too late now.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Today I have been crawling around in the blood sugar . It wasn't low enough for me to claim the dungeon. But it never rose into the 80's either. Can't really explain why. Just no a good blood sugar day. Tonight for equally no reason that I can tell you, it is now 107, the good range for a diabetic. Yesterday Diane called to tell me that Dr. N wanted me to have a chemical stress test. On the voice mail she said that if I had any questions to call. I called back to tell her that I did have a few questions, and asked her to call me back. She didn't. She said the secretary would call me to arrange an appointment. She didn't. Probably a good thing since Diane and I hadn't talked with Diane yet. I called back today and asked Diane to give me a call. She didn't. The secretary didn't call either. Ibid. I'm beginning to be afraid that his is going to be second verse is the same as the first with the experience with Dr. W last year. It doesn't help that I really just don't want to pursue this. Frankly, it has been overwhelmingly shown to me by a mainstream medical doctor that the diet they will try to put me on will never lower my cholesterol levels. I know and I have proof from blood work that the Atkin's like diet that I now eat is the diet that normalizes my blood chemistry. I can't swear that it is the same for everyone. It works for me. Tonight my sister came into my bedroom to show me that she is in need of medical attention. I have decided as of late to leave her to her own devices. She refuses to go on welfare and get the Medicaid that she so desperately needs, even though it would lighten my load. If she won't do it for me, maybe she will do it for herself. And if she won't, she made the choice. I will not take responsibility if she won't be responsible for herself. This is tough love, but I am done. I fight like a cat being dunked in water for my health. She. Needs to fight her own fight. Me trying to do it for her is not working. She isn't been willing to make lifestyle changes, like not smoking after two months of abstinence, or eating healthy. She needs a come to Jesus moment that the Spirit leads. I can't be there. So as far as my Healthy Lifestyle scorecard...I eat right for me. My activity level could use some work. I sleep well with my CPAP, even if it is occasionally not enough. My prayer life is healthy and I have a strong network of friends. But my stress levels are pretty high right now. I can't really say why other than saying that I have been asked not to share it. And then there are the things above. I think that if you can get to 50/50 of healthy/unhealthy you are doing well.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I left Dr. N's office last month very much relieved to find out that I was going to get by without having to have stenting or anything major. I just need to do what I'm already doing, keeping my cholesterol and blood sugars in control. I'm having to work a bit on the blood pressure thing, But that that's okay. I was happy that I got out of there with a "Check back in a year." diagnosis. Not so...Diane called today. Dr. N is back from vacation and looked over my chart. He wants me to have a chemical stress test. I am a little reluctant, to tell you the truth. This thing has already mushroomed from scleorizing some troublesome veins, to I have peripheral vascular disease. Actually I already did, but hardening of the arteries is a lot more serious than Reynaud's phenomonom. I don't want to be a pain about it, after all it is a non invasive test. But I have heard that your coronary arteries have to be significantly blocked for a stress test to be relevant. And that most heart attacks (around 70%) are caused by blood clots in arteries that are much less clogged. So I wonder if the test is even relevant. If an artery isn't blocked enough to show up on the test, and I'm already doing what I need to do, do I need to be tested and treated? Do we need to know? I say this assuming that arteries in one area that are minorly clogged will be likewise clogged in other areas. Diane left a voice mail, so I called back to tell her that I do have some questions and her voice mail told me that she'd call back by the end of the day today. She's probably going to call when I'm in the car with Andrew. I would so much rather talk about this away from my friends and co-workers. So on it goes. I would really like to jump off this merry-go-round.
There isn't much to say here, you hear it all the time. People in happy marriages, people with strong social networks are generally healthier than people who are not surrounded by people they enjoy. Hermits are generally sickly. That goes for all sickness, both physical and mental. We are social beings. We are meant to live in fellowship. Everyone knows this. Every test and study shows this, but saying why is very hard. It just is obvious. If you want a healthy lifestyle you must live around people whom you care about and who care about you. All of human society tells us this.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
I hope I don't loose you here. I am a woman of faith, and that also makes me a woman of prayer. I can't tell you why exactly, but even science tells us that our spirit has to be healthy for our body to be. You can't be healthy with a broken spirit. The only way to have a healthy body is to have a healthy psychological life which is to to pray, or meditate if you'd rather. To me prayer is simply a conversation with God. I don't have a deep voice and rambling words. Just regular words that I try to keep respectful. Sometimes it is just chatter, "Wow God. That moon is beautiful tonight." Sometimes it is more profound, "You know God, I'm really jealous of the birds when they fly. If they aren't happy where they are, they can just fly somewhere else. They don't have to find a job, and an apartment. Just fly off to a different tree. And then just the ability to fly. Yeah, I'm really jealous of birds." I think that is my inner hippie talking. Then there are the times where the conversation is very serious, "Cancer! Really God, cancer? How am I supposed to deal with this?" And sometimes the conversation is worship, "You are so wonderful. I can't even imagine the scope of who You are." These conversation are what my prayer life is like. There are plenty of request prayers, "God, that baby is tired. Could You move his parents to quit scolding him and take him home for a nap?" I have seriously prayed that on more than a dozen occasions...even about my own grandsons. But the conversations vary. I meditate too. Sometimes I just focus in on something and allow the Spirit take it where He leads. I am told that these things keep your spirit healthy and this is important to your overall health. It often surprises me that when I am going into a deep depression that I quit the conversation, but reach out for the books of Job, Psalms and Proverbs. Especially Psalms. Here I am. From a Christian perspective I can explain to you that we need God in our lives. Without Him, there really is no health to our spirit. Our spirit is basically stillborn. It is He who breathes life into our spirit through His sacrifice on the cross. I need prayer. It doesn't separate itself from my physical life. If I am out of control in prayer, the physical isn't doing well either. I am glad that science sees the need for communion, though many scientists do not believe they still understand the correlation between the body and the spirit. You need a healthy spirit to have a healthy body.
Monday, April 29, 2013
This is the thing that trips me up...I don't enjoy getting sweaty in a gym. I'd just rather not. I joined the gym I did because they have an indoor pool. I assumed they would also have pool exercise classes. Not true. The water aerobics instructor quit just shy of a week from when I joined. They claim that there isn't enough interest to hire another one. They mostly rent the pool out to swim teams from the local high schools. That makes the pool mostly unavailable to me during any time I might be willing to don a suit and use it. Yes, I have complained, but they are making money by ignoring me. I think that I am not alone in this problem. Many people join gyms or buy equipment with the intent of exercising only to find the reality that they don't use it. My answer for this would be to declare the time between 2:00 and 2:30 as recess, and let us all go out and play. I don't find a good game of volley ball, or kick the can as being undignified. Not only that it would improve department morale and increase productivity. Just think of what a boon it would be to creativity. This is getting a little silly. It is just that everyone knows that daily exercise is good for you. Most people don't do it because all the play has been taken out of it. We liked it when we were kids, but riding a stationary bike just doesn't have the appeal that riding a bike down the hill or roller skating with your friends had when we were young.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Good night, sleep tight. That was the closing of every day of my childhood. I'd drift off into sleep only to be roused slightly by the playing of taps. In the morning I'd awake to the music of reveille and the chanting of soldiers as they marched by the apartment where I lived. It was a constant. We were expected to get eight hours of sleep at night and a half hour nap after lunch. That was what the Army deemed suitable for children. We were expected to well disciplined as our our parents were. Good luck with that. I'm just saying that we were children. My teenage years hit when I was almost 13, and very far away from the Army life that I'd lived in for the first 9 years of my life. Sleeping at night was the last thing on my mind. Much better to sleep until the afternoon, or take a 3 hour after school nap. Then there was the college years when I decided that I could sleep when I was dead. There was just too much going on to miss a minute of it. Pregnancy and parenthood brought about a profound appreciation of a full nights sleep. But my sleep apnea began developing and by the time the children were sleeping through the night, sadly I was not. One afternoon I fell asleep while driving my car on a highway. If the big rig hadn't blown his horn and awakened me, I would have driven under his rig. I knew that I needed to do something. I went online to see if I could request a prescription refill with my EP and saw a sleep survey. I took it and failed the test miserably. I was asked to make an appointment with the sleep study center. I did. The sleep study was halted in the middle and went straight into the titration study. I was stopping breathing 89 times an hour. My blood oxygen levels were at 66%. My cardiologist asked me. how was it possible that I was still alive. I left with an order for a cpap machine. It has changed my life! If you don't sleep well, you can't be healthy. Period! Restful sleep is essential for life. When I was stopping breathing so many times a night I was robbing my heart and brain of the oxygen that it need to survive. It affected every cell in my body. The cpap machine was such an instant fix, in the last 4 years, I have not even considered sleeping without it. This is my soap box. I, along with their spouse have bullied about ten people into having a sleep study. So far 100% of them and their spouses have benefited from cpap therapy. It isn't sexy, but it is a whole lot sexier than keeping your bed mate awake while you snore and gasp for breath during the night. And you both have a lot more energy for more interesting things if you are well rested. I'm just saying that quality sleep is essential for health. You can't circumvent this one. Go to bed. Good night, sleep tight. Sleep well.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
A healthy lifestyle is simple. It isn't easy, but it is simple. Eat right, sleep well, exercise daily, pray and enjoy your friends and family. Five things, that's all it is. The catch that makes it not easy is defining what those five things are.
Consider eating right. What is a healthy diet? Depends on who you talk to. The government has been telling us what that is at least my whole life. The problem is, they keep changing their minds. The AMA and doctors will repeat pretty much whatever the FDA tells them this week. Nutritionist and dieticians follow right behind them. The diet industry has many people selling what they consider to be how everyone should eat. Considering that it is a billion dollar industry, it is safe to say that they have a financial incentive to do so. Friends and neighbors are quick to proselytize the ideas they have learned from the diet industry. The internet is a One World Almanac/Mother Hearts News of these diets.
Basically people learn their idea of what a healthy diet is in childhood. For most it starts out as whatever their parents fed them. Some people modify that idea as they go through their life. This isn't my "blame your parents" theme. Remember, the official FDA approved diet has changed radically over time. I can remember seeing "A healthful snack" printed on a Goo goo cluster wrapper. That can't be claimed on the wrapper of that product anymore.
In a typical day as a child I would have cereal with whole milk and fortified orange drink, like Sunny Delight for breakfast. Lunch would consist of a luncheon meat and cheese on white bread with mayo, an apple and a bag of chips. My enforced drink would be a half pint of milk. Afternoon snack would be grahram crackers spread with peanut butter and another half pint of that dreaded milk. For dinner I would have a meat dish like meatloaf or salmon croquettes with some sort of potato dish and maybe gravy and a vegetable. The vegetable would more likely than not be a starch, like corn or sweet peas. The meal was rounded out with a bread, most likely biscuits and I was allowed to have water to drink. If I had eaten enough of my dinner I could have a bed time snack that was usually ice cream. Crisco and lard were used to fry food. And a lot of foods had fried components. Seafood and fish was always breaded. I didn't know that whole grain existed,as far as I knew, all bread, pasta and rice were white.
My parents weren't negligent by any means. Everyone I knew ate this way. Many people still do. My diet changed slowly and over my lifetime. It has gone from highly processed to whole grain to now what is almost no grain, very low carbohydrate unprocessed foods. It is what feels healthy for me. Or has been backed up by blood work that show that it controls my cholesterol and glucose levels. But you don't have to look far to find medical professionals who will argue that it is unhealthy and raises your risk of heart disease. I actually had that conversation with Diane, Dr. N's NP. She stopped when I showed her my blood work from a month before, and a copy of my diet. She would recommend to me a diet where 50-60% of calories came from simple carbohydrates an d was deficient in protein.
My point is that it is simple to say eat right, but everyone seems to have a different idea of what that is. Because I have had the blood work to show me how to eat, I know what seems to work for me. My body doesn't deal with carbohydrates well. I need to avoid them. I have a friend with kidney disease that my diet would probably kill. It is not a healthy diet for her. Eating right is different for different people.
A healthy lifestyle is simple when it is easily defined, but that it isn't well defined makes it difficult.