Yahoo….I’m down one size and moving towards my goal

august happenings

Everyone sets goals for themselves around this time of year of all the things they want to achieve the following year. I’m no exception. My goal is a simple one: HEALTHY LIVING which includes dropping a few more pounds. It’s been over six weeks since my last McDonald’s McDouble hamburger and a senior citizen soda for a whopping sum of $1.76 (US) for the both! According to my daughter Lisa Marie, who usually paid, I’m a cheep date. Over the last six months I’ve weened myself off of any and all fast food joints. As a result I’ve dropped one pants size and am actually close to dropping another! Amazing what my eating habits did to my body inside and outside. Who would have thought a small hamburger every now and then, a glass of soda once or twice a week, a few cookies or other snacks would pack such a wallop. But over time it did wallop me into a size and body I didn’t want. On the other hand who would think that changing a few things — for example, switching soda for water or ice tea and NOT saving room for dessert — would reap the benefits it has in such a short time. I’m really jazzed about this and, frankly dears, the results are spurring me on for more, more, more!!

The other day we went to a lovely Christmas party at one of Ms. Ruth’s church friend’s home. The food was yummy, trust me, I could have had seconds but my tummy wasn’t use to that much food anymore. So, I guess you could say my tummy stopped my tummy (and thighs & cheeks) from growing … Ha! Simple little changes and I’m wondering where my brain was thirty years ago when I should have made this kind of change for optimum health. Surely, had I done the switch back then I’d never have felt a need to do the switch later in life. And, just maybe my skin wouldn’t be so droopy (not the least bit laughing — or no LOL added to this sentence) around the middle.

So, my dear readers, a word of caution: take care of your health now so you aren’t forced to take care of it later. I don’t even miss those several brownies anymore which is a very good thing!

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Echocardiogram

Echocardiography has become routinely used in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart diseases.

Heart disease is a disease that presents itself to every member of my family; my maternal and paternal grandmothers, my birth mother, all three of my brothers, countless cousins, and all but one of my many aunts, not withstanding other issues, were taken from us by this disease. When I presented one tiny symptom my doctor was right on it! But, I have to think that I am blessed to be waging war against this disease.

Why am I blessed? Frankly, I am blessed because during the last half of the twentieth century and the first two decades of the twenty-first century great progress had been made as far as prevention and treatment of heart disease. This means, I stand a greater chance of living a long healthy life than most of my la famille predecessors.  My maternal and paternal grandmother’s who passed away during the eighth decade of the twentieth century (1980’s for you dummies) who were, at the time of their deaths respectfully 94.10 and 95.2 years of age didn’t exactly succumb from their heart disease early in life. But, no fooling around here, it was heart disease that took ’em!  

Today I had my second echo done. My first was one month shy of two years ago. This was a follow-up ordered by my primary physician to ‘chart the disease’ I am (apparently) to succumb to at some future date.  But, will I given what we now know about this disease?  I know I have an issue — labored breath after more than moderate exertion to being more tired than I have been in the past when vacuuming/sweeping the floors, that sort of thing —  and that issue means I take some medications to lower my BP and Cholesterol although both my BP/Cholesterol is not considered high by any means; but I am not given to being ”stupid” about such things so I happily agreed to take what my doctor prescribed.  have the usual age-related leaky valves (as in two) that need monitoring and the reason for the second Echo.  Still, I am blessed . . . not everyone is this lucky to have such good health care taking preventive measures to keep them healthy!

Apikal4D

3D echocardiogram of a heart viewed from the apex

(from Wikipedia) 3D echocardiography (also known as 4D echocardiography when the picture is moving) is now possible, using a matrix array ultrasound probe and an appropriate processing system. This enables detailed anatomical assessment of cardiac pathology, particularly valvular defects,[3] and cardiomyopathies.[4] The ability to slice the virtual heart in infinite planes in an anatomically appropriate manner and to reconstruct three-dimensional images of anatomic structures make 3D echocardiography unique for the understanding of the congenitally malformed heart.[5] Real Time 3-Dimensional echocardiography can be used to guide the location of bioptomes during right ventricular endomyocardial biopsies, placement of catheter delivered valvular devices, and in many other intraoperative assessments.[6] The3D Echo Box developed by the European Association of Echocardiography offers a complete review of Three Dimensional Echocardiography.

For more information on Heart Disease check out: www.webmd.com/heartdisease — or —  www.theheartfoundation.org/heartdisease

 

 

antidepressants

It doesn’t take long to find an advertisement for antidepressants, all you have to do is turn on the television or surf the web and within a few minutes there they are, pleading for us to pop a pill to cure our ills.  Sad? Frustrated? Imbalanced? No problem Mate! Pop a pill to cure your brain’s receptor imbalance and within a few days you’ll be transported to a field of daisies and soft gentle breezes.

To this I say hogwash!

That’s right: hogwash. And for good reason too. You see, I am the gal with the diagnosis of major clinical depression and I know first hand all about depression. For myself, I chose to take the harder road to recovery than to simply pop a pill once a day. I worked (hard) on myself, my mind, my body, and even my spiritual soul to find a better solution to cure my depression. This is not for everyone, and I understand that it is not for everyone, so I am not advocating that you flush your antidepressants down the toilet but if you feel you must take them, adding a different approach in how you think about the ‘issues’ that cause you to be depressed might be worth consideration.

So, if you are feeling frustrated because your life isn’t as peachy as you thought it would be after you did all that was implied and all that was expected — (you got that degree; you bought that car/house; you had that child, you adopted the darling stray cat!) — and still you are frustrated and unfulfilled then perhaps you are expecting too much out of life.  Perhaps you are an ungrateful Tweedledum living on a ranch somewhere in Texas calling yourself a Ewing.

I have experienced  frustration, sadness and lack of fulfillment over my lifetime. I have also experienced true clinical depression but I can tell you that I never, as in never-ever found that the depression born out of frustration, loss or lack of fulfillment was anything other than self-imposed lack of gratefulness! It’s another story when my brain function goes haywire. In those instances I know what to do. I immediately lay off the ice-cream; refined sugars of any kind, actually. I also pop a pill! The challenge is knowing the difference. It is my opinion that too often antidepressants are ordered for non-clinical depression when this should be written on the prescription pad: “Dear Client, take as ordered: a teaspoon of  gratitude three-time daily, plus in the morning — take two to three hours of hard work in the garden/yard soaking up the sun; in the afternoon — take thirty minutes to two hours of wall washing or other range-of-motion activity; in the evening — take one hot bath/shower then early to bed for eight hours sleep. Take all with a tall glass of water for good hydration and nutritious well-balanced meals throughout the day ; do not skip any dose for optimum relief of symptoms from being an ungrateful Tweedledee-dim patient.

Replacing the frustration/sad estate of affairs/feeling of worthlessness (i.e. feeling unfulfilled) by focusing more on what is right than what is wrong and by doing other things than focusing on ‘the pain’ or ‘the disappointment’ get you, if nothing else, a great looking yard!

NAPW

 

NAPW is an organization which I have belonged to for years and over those years is has been of great benefit – professionally & personally – to me. I did not join the Dayton chapter, after moving into the Dayton area two years ago because of retirement — Networking for Women didn’t seem to fit my profile any longer. But, if you are interested I can think of nothing more fun and/or beneficial for those that this organization does fit. I’m having a second look at my choice here . . . those cookies look pretty amazing . . . because retirement in-and-of-itself shouldn’t limit me in any way, should it?

 

Sandy Arevalo member, Chicago Chapter NAPW is a professional baker and created these custom cookies. See more of her delicious creations at http://www.fireflyconfections.com

so this is the real reason….

issue solved! … (only need to gain a few inches)

I’ve always known I would be fat when I was old. Why did I know this? Because my high school Latin teacher told my boyfriend Bob I would be, thus advising him to never marry me. That’s right. He said: “don’t marry her because she’ll be fat” — apparently this statement was based upon my arms. I mean how they were formed, something to do with the upper arm.  He was totally wrong! I did not get ‘fat’ until a misdiagnosis of Lupus (I wrote about this situation earlier this year) which, due to the prescribed medication did pack the weight on. But, know what? I love my grandma plump self. Anyway, what is fat? Fat is but the cushion around my fanny that allows for proper bounce if/when I fall on my keester.

A POEM: A DAY IN MAY

excerpt from a poem: A DAY IN MAY

The room tilted — scream
I was only thirty-three
Nearly sure it was a dream;
I thought: how can this be?

I have children — two to raise

I shouldn’t be here listening to this!
Stop, you are trying to erase my days
and you are making my eyes mist, I tell you mist!

Years later I often think of this day;

It was so long ago but never far
from memory — that cool day in May.
The day I heard the word — cancer. . .

(excerpt from a collection of poems written by Mary Louise Wehunt)