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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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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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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Friday, May 15, 2015

FF Vol V

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1. I have been quiet on the blog recently as I have been decreasing my medications and the withdrawal have been severe. Jaw clenching, migraines, nausea—horrible, horrible, symptoms. Most of my time has been spent in a dark room, sipping water and ginger ale, nibbling saltines.

2. I have, with the help of doctors & my psychologist, come to accept the fact that I will probably never find the cause of my illness. From here on out it’s about maintenance & living the best quality of life I can. Also, not beating myself up for sick days; accepting that there are times I need to just rest and be okay with that. This is hard for someone who is driven and feels like sheer will and determination can overcome anything. It’s also hard to accept I will probably never have an answer to the cause of my pain. But I’m learning techniques to help aid me to live a better quality of life. For that I am grateful.

3. Saw X-Men: Days of Future Past on HBO. Oh.Em.Gee. So good! So glad they brought back Bryan Singer to direct. There were limited “action” scenes and an entertaining plot. I feel like some of these movies are mostly about blowing things up and fighting with a limited plot.

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