Friday, December 11, 2015

My Favorite At Home PT Tools

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I get a lot of emails asking me what helps ease my chronic abdominal pain. Prescription medication never eliminated my pain, only makes it more endurable. The single most effective thing, for me, has been myofascial release physical therapy. It can be difficult to find a PT who specializes in this area but it is so wonderful.

Each person is different so keep that in mind as I explain the things I do for myself!!!

Let me start by telling you my issue. My pain is in my upper left abdomen, almost to the top midsection of my ribcage. It varies from aching, stabbing, searing, etc. Well, 5 years of lying curled up in pain with heating pad took it's toll on me and really messed up my alignment. It caused my left hip to "upslip" from the crouched position I spent most days lying in. This upslip pushes my hip up and transfers the pain up into my left shoulder blade--a sharp pain. To fix this my PT has to put my pelvis back into alignment. To minimize and avoid my upslip I have tools that I use at home. The following are the most effective, for me. Will they work for you? I don't know. Each person is different and each body has it's own issues and responds differently. This is just information that may help someone else out there.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Building The Perfect Smoothie

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Remember when I shared with you that I was starting to make smoothies? I promised some recipes once I perfected them and those are coming. Before I share some of my favorite concoctions I thought I'd pass along a few tips I've learned.

Above is a visual "formula" for my smoothies. I've detailed each "layer" below. Basically, I mix and match what I have (or what is in season)to come up with the daily smoothie. I love this method because I can customize it by making it low-oxalate (which I've been trying to follow recently due to some recurring GI/pain issues).

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Precious

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Disaster Averted.

The other morning Mr.Surly called me with, as he said “good news and bad news.” Is it just me or do you hate when someone says this. Usually, I like to get the bad news first so I can end on a happy note.

However, it was so early in the morning and I am in the midst of a medication dosage reduction that I told him to choose the order. He gave me the good news first and the bad news second.

The bad news hit me like a ton of bricks: he’d lost his wedding ring. Now, I must mention to you that this ring is not just my husband’s but it was also my beloved Pap-Pap’s white gold wedding ring from 1941.

Growing up I was extremely close to my grandparents, my whole extended family, in fact. My grandparents passed away within a year of each other in the mid 2000’s. Before Pap-Pap suffered his second stroke, when I was in college, he called me into his bedroom. There he gave me 3 rings. Two were the 18 karat white gold wedding rings from 1941 when he married Grammy. (They later changed to 18k yellow gold wedding bands; in the 80’s, I believe.) The third ring was his mother’s engagement ring from 1916.

Are you still with me? Back to Pap-Pap’s wedding ring. That wedding ring is currently on my husband’s finger, or was. But I’ll get to that.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sleeping Beauty; A Sleep Study

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I have always wanted to have a sleep study done. I have been an insomniac for as long as I can remember and as I got older I developed restless leg syndrome (RLS), or as Mr.Surly affectionately calls it “jimmy legs.” Neither of this worried me nor warranted a sleep study.

However, after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (2010) a sleep study actually made sense. Was I getting enough REM sleep to combat my daily fatigue? Would increased sleep quality help me have more energy? Very valid questions in my opinion and my neurologist’s.

Going into the study I wasn’t sure what to expect. At The Clinic you are given many choices and options for the location. I chose a hotel and scheduled it the day before a follow up with my GI dr. The Clinic is 4 hours away so I was able to end my sleep study and go to my GI appt without 8 hours of driving in one day. Bonus.

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

I can’t be the only one

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I believe there must be other people out there who have experienced severe pain attacks. I have been suffering from them monthly for the past 5 years. It starts off as a burning in my abdomen that quickly spreads to my chest. Then BAM….instant pain coursing throughout my body. It feels like a vice is around my rib cage, squeezing all the air out of my lungs. In addition to that, I feel an elephant or bowling ball is on my chest. Also, it feels like someone is pouring hot oil all over from my hips to my pelvis. Intense pain between the shoulder blades. Stabbing, “fire poker” pain in my left, upper abdomen, behind my ribs. This “fire poker” pain feels like a sharp, searing pain, followed by a feeling of ripping out of my flesh; like someone is repeatedly stabbing me with a fire poker. It feels like a hamster is trying to scratch & crawl its way out from behind only my left rib cage. I break out into a sweat, yet my teeth are chattering and I’m freezing cold (I have been told that this feeling of being cold despite sweating is my body going into shock). I lay in a fetal position crying, wrapped in a blanket, trying to gain control of my breathing. I lie there, in intense, debilitating pain, until the attack ceases; anywhere form 30-60 minutes. Once the pain becomes tolerable I’m weak, spent, exhausted. All I can do is drink water and curl up to sleep. I’m dazed, light headed, unsteady.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Must Have Winter Skin Products

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Since moving north our poor faces are not used to dry, freezing temps. Sure, it would get cold in The South but there was usually some humidity in the air to keep our skin from getting dry and chapped.

Mr.Surly and I have different skin types. My skin is dry (probably due to my multiple medications). His is oily but he suffers from eczema flares from time to time, on his arms especially.

I have certain products that have really helped our skin in winter months. My cheeks get dry and flakey. In addition to dry cheeks, Mr.Surly also gets severely dry on the sides of his mouth. He grows a beard for the winter for protection and warmth.

The following products have been live savers for our skin.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Vintage Cocktails Recap

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Hope you enjoyed this vintage list of Christmas cocktails! I loved learning about all these classic cocktails.

Now I know why old glasses are so small. Most of these drinks need to be doubled to fill a current glass.

Bottoms Up!

Vintage Cocktails Recap:
Day 1: Maple Leaf
Day 2: Thomas & Jeremiah
Day 3: French 75
Day 4: Old Fashioned
Day 5: Bee's Knees
Day 6: Manhattan
Day 7: Gimlet
Day 8: Ward 8
Day 9: Pink Lady
Day 10: Classic Daiquiri
Day 11: Whiskey Sour
Day 12: Tom Collins

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