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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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Go West

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Even though things have been quite on the blog behind the scenes my life has been quite chaotic. My husband accepted a job across the country and the past few weeks have been filled with packing, driving, moving, unpacking. It has been quite an adventure.

The packing up was okay. Not fun but not too stressful. We left the same day as our moving truck. We packed up our SUV with things we’d need immediately (clothing & toiletries mainly) and towed our second car behind. It took us four days to make the 2500 mile cross-country drive. Driving through the heartland plains States was boring and uneventful. To pass the time we listened to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast. Specifically, Blueprint for Armageddon, which is about WWI. It was fascinating and helped pass the time.

Things were fine, exhausting but fine, until the last day. We were making great time, due to arrive in our final city at a decent hour, when it happened. The car shook, sputtered. Clearly, something was not right. Now the week prior to our cross country drive we’d had the engine replaced. The SUV is a pet project of my husband’s. It has all kinds of customizations that he has spent years adding and upgrading.

Ok, back to the mountainous terrain. So we’re driving and winding our way through the foothills or mountains. Uphill, we pull over as our car dies; the transmission went out. According to roadside assistance the nearest town is 20 miles away. It’s a Saturday and this town is small, no auto shops open on the weekends. We had no choice but to have our SUV towed to a mechanic where they are currently rebuilding the transmission. That car is going to be basically brand new when we get it back. Mr.Surly called them Monday (2 days later) to let them know, ‘hey, that car with out-of-state plates parked in your lot is ours’. We followed the tow truck in the car we’d been towing. We rented a UHaul (because this town had no car rental place) loaded it with our stuff and continued the 5+ hours remaining in our trip.

At this point my husband is driving the UHaul truck and I’m driving the car we had been towing. Driving on the side of the mountain was nerve wracking on me and at this point I’m tired, in great need of coffee. We are still driving in the middle of nowhere, not a Starbucks to be had. No problem, I thought, because we had a thermos of Starbucks. During the cross-country trek we would stop and get coffee in the morning, fill up the thermos, which Mr.Surly would drink during the daily driving to keep going. Mr.Surly drinks his coffee black, I require milk. The plan was to stop at a gas station to purchase a small thing of milk so I could have some coffee. Easier said than done. We had to go to two gas stations to find milk. Well, to be fair, the first gas station did sell individual milk but it was all expired. WTF. Finally, we get milk, I fill my coffee travel mug with coffee and we continue the drive. I’m tired but hanging in there.

That is all about to change.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

FF Friday Vol VI

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It's friday. It's fall. Life has been crazy for me recently, I need a nice, easy post. Enjoy your weekend.

1. My favorite Dr.Seuss book is Fox in Sox.

2. My favorite play is Tartuffe by Molière. The rhyming translation to be specific. I read it in high school, loved it, and proceded to scour used bookstores for years before finding a copy. The whole play was written and subsequently translated in rhyme. Can you imagine?! That heightens my appreciation for it even more.

3. I got lost at Disney World when I was 5 years old. It was traumatic but Disney is on top of lost kids. I was whisked to the lost & found, info was entered into a computer, screens showed live views all over the park. As the employee and I walked out of the lost and found my dad and sister walked in.

4. I am a relentless planner and maker of lists.

5. I have a terrible habit of reading a book then not finishing the last chapter or two. Not sure why I do that. Only, if the story is really, really good I will finish it.

6. When I was young I wanted freckles SO BAD!! I remember reading the book Freckle Juice and making the “recipe” to drink that supposedly gave you freckles. My sister and I would make this and other freckle concoctions and check often to see it they worked. We often would point out freckles that miraculously popped up that only we could see. Many, many years later and, alas, I’m still freckle free.

7. Tulips are my favorite flower. I love, love, love them.

8. In HS I was in Honors Spanish only because I could read & write it. In class, our teacher spoke only Spanish, and I had no idea what was she was saying. I only passed because our exams were written. The funny thing is I even tested out of Spanish in college. And I can’t speak nor understand the language.

9. I detest snow and cold. Never was a big fan of playing in the snow. If I never saw snow again that would be fine with me.

10. I have sensitive skin and I’m severely allergic to down & wool.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Random Musings

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Just finished the audiobook "The Sicilian" by Mario Puzo. Very disappointing. It started off being about the Michael Corleone then divulged into other random characters. I thought the book would be about Michael's time in Sicily. Oh how wrong I was. The only reason I finished listening to it is because I bought it on audible. Definitely not worth the money imo. I love the book "The Godfather" and read it every year. My much loved paperback copy of the book has pages falling out. I'm so disappointed by the Sicilian.

Have you read the snuggie texts? If not do yourself a favor and read them now. Hilarious! I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face.  I sent the link to Mr.Surly and he burst out laughing at work. Seriously, go read the post. There is a part two here that’s funny but not as much as part one.  Bwahahaha.

I need new show ideas from Netflix. We just finished watching The Killing. Just meh. I can’t wait for the next season of Luther to hit the US. Also, Peaky Blinders. Hmmm, not sure how I feel about this show yet. I like the wardrobes and the more episodes I watch the more I like it. But I’m not crazy about it. It’s not like I can’t wait for evenings when Mr.Surly and I can put it on. It’s more like what should we watch; we can’t decide so we just continue watching. Luther was so much better! And Downton Abbey this fall! Sad it's the last season.

This summer has been weird. The weather is just…off (for lack of a better word). It rains a lot which, as I have been told, is unusual for this area. Some days it’s ungodly humid and the next day, not so much. There is no breeze to speak of (though Mr.Surly says because we are in a valley breezes are few and far between). A cloudless day is unheard of; it's always hazy. It’s bizarre. I have never liked the weather up north and this makes me like the area even less. I miss the South and it’s sunny days where a cloudy day was rare.

Smoothie Tyme. Oh my, have you seen Julian Edelman’s YouTube channel? Even if you’re not a Patriots fan, I think you’ll still appreciate his videos. I love the Smoothie Tyme II: The Best Friend Smoothie. Their faces when they are blending gets me every tyme. Hahaha.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Simple Summer Makeup

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For me summer is all about simplicity; wearing as few products as possible and making sure the products I do wear hold up in the summer humidity. The following products are tried-and-true favorites of mine.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Green Granny Smoothie

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Let’s cheers to summer with a smoothie.

Finally, a recipe! I haven’t posted a recipe in FOREVER. I hope this scrumptious smoothie makes up for it. This is the first smoothie recipe I promised you that I have tweaked to (my standard) of perfection via my juicing journal.

The past few months I have shifted towards a more liquid-based diet. This is due to my gastroparesis and GI issues/pain. Liquids are MUCH easier for me to digest. For those of you who are lucky enough to not have a GI disorder, this is still a really tasty and healthy meal/snack.

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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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