Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Almost on vacation

I am on vacation in 2 days and I am looking forward to it. Just busy crazy as!
I trained twice with my trainer. The first work out was so tough...push ups and pull ups off the barbell rack...ouch! I felt it for three days!

I found out Monday that I have "patella femoral syndrome" or "Runner's knee". My left knee had been gradually bothering me more and more. My doc examined my knee, heard some popping and sent me for an x-ray. Now I have to start physical therapy.

My trainer worked my legs yesterday and it was good...we avoided bending and worked on quads and hams. BUT shortly after the workout my muscle above the knee went numb and tingly. SO the trainer wants to hold off to when I get back from vacation and to let my doc know about it.

Great! Just when I was getting in the groove. No worries...I won't let it set me back.

Until then....I'll be on a Mexican beach sipping margaritas....but I will be bringing my workout stuff with me. My ass is not on vacation!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Things on the Horizon

A package was delivered by the mailman's the Dish's new meds. He'll start LDN tonight! The only side effect that he may encounter the first week is vivid dreams or nightmares. Today may be the start of good things for him. I'm tweaking his diet just a bit. The doctor recommends the SWANK diet which is an MS diet. Basically a diet low in saturated fat and red meat...high in veggies, fruit, lean protein and whole grains and good fats...olive oil, nuts, etc. I'm really hoping that the doctor can convince him to start getting some exercise. Because he has such a physical job, he's too tired to workout when he gets home BUT that doesn't mean he doesn't need it. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I know I can get him to at least take a bike ride with me!

This morning I interviewed a personal trainer! I've NEVER trained with a trainer before. I intended to interview a few trainers but I really liked her and she has such similar health views as me such as nutrition, weight training and yoga. PLUS she is funny and we were already laughing and joking around BUT she knew how to get us back on focus too!

I, of course, went back and forth in my head as to whether I should even spend money on this as with the way the economy is going, I feel the need to be frugal. But then I thought, this is an investment in myself. I NEED to lose more weight and I am stuck. I'm only going to train with her twice a week for a month and then assess it from there...both financially and how I progress.

I've been doing the fitness thing for so long by myself and the trainer was very impressed by how much I know, what I eat, how I workout, etc. I just need some fine tuning and to kick it up a BIG notch. I'm sure I have not pushed myself to the limits. Sure, I made great progress with lifting weights and I workout to a good sweat and feel like I've done something. But to really push it...I really don't know how to do that. So what better way than to try out a trainer? At the very least, I want her to check out my form...why lift if I'm not doing it correctly? She is also going to make cardio fun! huh? Plyometrics, kick boxing, circuits...oh my!

I start this Thursday!

Other good news, with the Recovery package, I am being swarmed with consulting requests! Wow! That's a good thing...I'm going to need the work to afford the training. Seriously, I feel very blessed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Underground Medicine

My hubby, the Dish, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in May 1999. I remember the month because it was a few weeks before our wedding. The Dish was having really bad vertigo and other symptoms like twitching, numbness and tingling in his fingers and legs for about a week. After a few trips to the doctor, an MRI confirmed that he had spots (plaque) on his brain. The neurologist came in the exam room and coldly said, "you have MS, start taking this injection once a week and just live your life." While I'm sure there is no easy way for any doctor to deliver bad news, I found it cold. We were both in shock with visions of wheelchairs in our heads. He told me that if I wanted to back out of the wedding, he would understand. I punched him in the arm.

The medication, Avonex, is a weekly injection that is supposed to slow down the progression of the MS. It seemed easy enough but side effects are horrible. It's like having the flu...shakes, muscle aches, fatigue...just feeling like shit. And he would feel like shit for three days a week. He would take it in Friday night so he wouldn't miss work and suffer all weekend. The symptoms were supposed to get better over time but they barely did. It sucked. We (I) fired three neurologist just because they were big jerks and were closed-minded on exploring complementary treatments like nutrition and acupuncture. I finally found one willing to listen...even though the Dish still had to take the Avonex. The Dish had a few relapses...steroid treatments and more meds.

Fast forward to 2004 when we moved to the suburbs and one day my husband forgot to refill his medication and sort of forgot to refill it for 4 years....he just stopped taking it. He actually felt better and not one relapse. It had been a while since he had a physical so I found a primary doctor for him and he got check-up. His new doctor urged him to connect with a neurologist because of the MS so we found one and the first thing the doc asked was why the Dish was not on any meds for the MS. He had another MRI which showed a few new spots which is a panic that it's getting worse. So they put him back on the Avonex and he returned to suffering on the weekends.

Anyone who knows me, knows my interest and fascination with integrative medicine...holistic, natural, name it. I do believe that the body had the ability to heal itself if given the chance and some assistance. I have little trust in modern medicine...some, not all. There are some great medical advanced today BUT we still have more cancer and heart disease and auto immune disease in this country than in any other nation.

While perusing through Dr. Mercola's website, I can across this article about LDN or low dose naltrexone therapy. I also went to and was fascinated by this treatment for MS, HIV, cancer and other autoimmune diseases. It seemed too good to be true. I actually just bookmarked the page and went on with life as usual.

Then one weekend I noticed that the Dish was having a bad weekend with the shot and he looked so miserable and then I remembered the LDN and started reading everything I could...websites, message boards of people with MS, Lyme and other illnesses doing very well on LDN and very little side effects.

And wouldn't you know, there is a doctor in my area that works with MS patients with LDN! We had our first appointment with him today and what a great doctor. Some people might be taken aback by his comical nature and the fact that his dog roams around the office but we didn't. This doctor was human, he cared, he listened, he understood and he asked that we trust him and trust LDN. He actually hugged us when we left.

As explained on the website, when you take LDN at bedtime -- which blocks your opioid receptors for a few hours in the middle of the night -- it is believed to up-regulate vital elements of your immune system by increasing your body’s production of metenkephalin and endorphins (your natural opioids), hence improving immune function.

The doctor says it might not work for everyone but most of his MS patients are doing well with no symptoms, no relapses and improved energy, mobility and health. (I'll talk about why more doctors are NOT jumping to this therapy at another post)

We will get the prescription by mail through a compounding pharmacy and he will start it right more Avonex. He'll see this new doctor in a month for a follow-up. From all that I've read, I am excited for him and for us. I think it will be good.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Truth is Scary

I'm starting to avoid watching the news. It's just too depressing. We all know how messed up everything is out there. Job losses, home losses, folks with no health care and no place to live...people willing to work but there are no jobs.

My family and I are doing okay for now but it's hard to relax and it's hard not to worry when you see what's happening to other folks. At least once a week I hear of a murder/suicide where money troubles is mentioned as a possible motive. To lose your life or take another is senseless yet I understand the immense pressure one can feel when you are about to lose everything. The worry, the fear, the sleepless nights and the desperation. And what happens when you have done everything right and you still can't find your way out of the situation?

I reached a point one time. My husband had been unemployed for over 10 months and we were almost through our savings. I was working but my client had not paid me and her company shut down owing me over $20,000. I was wrecked with worry and trying to find other work and find a way to keep what we had. After a while I was just too exhausted to fight. I came to a point where I was okay if we had to sell our home and move to an apartment and completely downsize our life. At least I had that option.

What if you don't have that option? You can't sell your home in this market and if you do it will sit on the market for a long time and you might even get less than you owe. I was watching on TV on how many Americans are becoming homeless. Big families with no home, no savings, no jobs and no place to go. Some are on the streets and sleeping in shelters. Others have set up tent cities. It's so scary and it's going to get worse before it gets better.

It's a big mess that our new president inherited. I wish there was some way for those in charge who got us here to pay for their mistakes. The corrupt are to blame...the big banks, the politicians...the greedy. And a big serving of karma is coming. I'm not saying that we Americans have done the best job with saving and living within our means but many people got rich on the now suffering of others.

I do have faith and I do believe that our country can recover. So many things must change but in the mean time we have to do better for those who need it the most. They need a bailout not some rich corporate thug.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Vacation is all I ever wanted....

I'm getting ready to book a vacation! Both of my sons have spring break together at the end of March and I thought it would be a good time to take a vacation. We wanted to go to Puerto Rico to visit my father-in-law but the airfare is so expensive and even with the cheaper fares (under $400), it's about a 8 - 10 hour trip with at least one stop and layover. With two young boys, I don't think so.

We got a super deal from a friend in the travel industry for, air, hotel and all-inclusive...all meals and drinks for a super price. I was trying to avoid places where we would be subjected to college spring-breakers. No offense...I hope they all have a wonderful time but I have also witnessed less than decent behavior that I do not wish to subject my family to. So we are going to Huatulco...a quiet, eco-friendly beach resort town south of Acapulco. I've always wanted to go there! We leave in less than four weeks!

Of course, the next four weeks is saturated with work obligations. I just met with a new client this morning and I have a HUGE grant due in two weeks! It's a government grant which are beasts to prepare. The writing is the easy's all of the the budgets, addendums and certifications you have to attach with it. It can make you crazy. I have a love-dread affection for my work in this arena. While I love the challenge of tackling a detailed proposal..some of the content can cause pure anxiety. BUT this is the nature of this field and I am good at what I do. The best part is that after two weeks, it's done, I get paid and I get a break.....this time a vacation!

Right now I am going to sit down and write a work plan for the project. I do much better with a plan. Included in the plan is also my family and personal stuff that will also demand my attention and last but not least, getting in those workouts and my nutrition.

Not only will I need that for my health, sanity and well being...I have to look hot for vacation! LOL!