Tag Archives: Health

September 2020- What a Month so Far

Good afternoon, all. Jillian here. This will be short as I am still not feeling up to par. Sorry I haven’t been around to comment on all the posts. I promise to read them as soon as I can focus my brain for more than 10 minutes at a time.

We went down to Maitland, Fl (a suburb of Orlando) to visit the son and daughter-in-law near the end of August. They bought a mid-century house there and basically gutted it to renovate. They’ve been diligently working on it since April. The old screened in porch was rotting in places and there was a big masonry grill/fireplace out there as well. My husband volunteered to help tear down the fire thing and also to replace the wood on the porch before they got a new pool enclosure.

We didn’t go anywhere once we got there, but did stop got gas and other needs on the almost 7 hour drive. We were super careful and took Lysol wipes with us. One of the places we stopped for gas, I went in and got some peanut butter crackers. When we came out, I turned to my husband and said, “If I get Covid, it will be because of this place.” I laughed.

That was on Thursday., the 21st of August. All was well until Saturday, August 29 when i felt a bit weak. By Monday, the 31st, I was so sick I could barely hold my eyes open. When I could, I frantically googled Covid symptoms. I didn’t really seem to have any- other than feeling like I had the flu. Being the paranoid person I am, I finally broke down and had the test. It came back as “No Covid Deteccted” so I was very relieved. I still feel a bit weak and blah, but I am better than I was even three days ago, so I hope to keep improving until I feel 100% again. I also won’t be making jokes about Covid-prone places…..and staying close to home.

Stay healthy, friends.

April Stress…Aren’t We All Stressed?

Jillian here. Happy?!? April. I’m sure we’re all worried about our loved ones and trying to keep ourselves safe and healthy. I know a lot of people are tired of being on lock down, but sadly, that isn’t me. I wish I could be home, but my profession is considered essential. If anything, my life is more hectic now than it was before- and add in the worries about elderly parents and friends- I’ve found myself in panic mode more than once. I have to  make an effort to breathe slow and settle down. I have a bad worry habit and it’s hard to let go and let God. I hate being a control freak, but I am and when things are out of my ability to control, I fret and sometimes say things I shouldn’t. Perhaps we all do that.

I feel tired all the way to my bones.  Not sick, but just weary.

We lost my dad’s younger brother (76) in mid-March- he had COPD and was cleaning his house with bleach and was found unresponsive in his bathroom and passed away four hours later. He will be very missed. My family is super close and we have a hole now where he was. My dad and he talked all the time and it’s been hard on Dad.

A dear friend lost her mother (78) – who I adored- she was a sweet, sweet lady full of love and laughter- she also had COPD. Neither have been counted as Co-vid deaths, but it’s odd that they both had respiratory issues and passed away in March- no autopsies for either. No funerals. My cousins got to see their dad but my friend didn’t get to see her mom. It’s incredibly sad.

Three out of the four people who work at my office live at my house so we’re def. isolating and staying away from others. We aren’t seeing any live appointments and documents are being left outside for us to bring in. The new normal?  Hopefully, not forever.

Now that I’ve depressed everyone, Here’s a picture of my sweet grandson, Benjamin, to make you smile. He is my heart.

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Meditation and Willpower

Any who keeps an eye on this blog knows it’s been hard for me to lose weight. I climb on the ladder, off the ladder. I’ve struggled to stick to any significant lifestyle changes long-term, which means, I think, that I need to get inside my own head, either to figure out why I struggle or to shore up my sagging willpower.

So I’m about to try a new thing (for me) to try to focus myself more. Meditation. By the way, every time I type meditation, it comes out medication. Is that a Freudian slip? Lol. So, anyhow, I’ve been doing some reading about a couple of meditation (yep, had to correct the typing again!) techniques. One is called Five Good Minutes by Jeffrey Brantley, MD and Wendy Millstine. It’s a morning practice of attention (breathing mindfully), intention (decide on your needs/intent for this meditation), and acting wholeheartedly (embrace that intent completely).

The other one is a 4 part meditation technique I got from mindbodygreen.com where you spend five or so minutes on each of four different meditations.

  • Gratitude – focus on the blessings in your life.
  • Dedication – Pay it forward by focusing on someone you know who is struggling, visualizing good intentions for them.
  • Affirmation – Choose a quality you would like to strengthen in yourself and plug it into    this sentence:  “I am                               .” Like, I  am healthy, or I am filled with willpower. Recite the sentence over and over again.
  • Repetition – Repeat that one chosen quality from the last medication. Just one word.  Over and over again.

These are the two I’m thinking of trying, although the morning one probably won’t be very often. My mornings start out helping Mom. By the time I’m done with that, I’m so focused on my day, I dive right in. But doing the 20 minute one, say just before starting dinner, might be helpful, since it seems to be from about 4pm onward that I lose all willpower.

So here’s my question. Do you meditate? Do you have any particular meditations that are helpful to you? I’m looking for hints and tips to help sustain this practice and keep it going.

Thanks! I hope everyone who celebrates Independence Day July 4th had a safe and happy one, filled with family, friends, and laughter!

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Sorry, I’m late!

Jillian here.  I spent the weekend pretty much in bed sick with a stupid spring cold of some sort. Mostly achy and sore throat but enough to make me too weak to drive or do much. I even skipped work … Continue reading

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To Wait or Weight

Over the years, I’ve tried to lose weight in various ways. I’ve dieted, Weight-Watched, Boot-camped, dieted some more, even did a 60 mile, 3-Day walk for charity that took 6 months of training to prepare for. Nothing has worked. Well, … Continue reading

Improvisation? by Valerie J. Patterson

I had planned on writing about our recent trip to the Outer Banks, but I found myself out of time and, well, out of energy.  Plus something very odd happened today.

I was seated at my desk getting ready for the close of day when all of a sudden, I felt this odd sensation in my nose.  Next thing I knew, there was a puddle of blood on my hands and on my desk.  I yanked a handful of tissues from the box and promptly soaked them with blood.  I barely had time to reach for another handful of tissues before it was spilling onto my sweater.

I swiveled and reached for the trashcan, pulling it nearer as I continued to soak wads of tissue one after the other.  My boss came to see why I was making odd noises and sprung into action.  She and another co-worker were flying around the office.  One retrieved a bottle of soda from the refrigerator while the other was soaking some paper towels in cold water.  Before I knew it, the bottle of frigid soda was being held to the back of my neck while the cold paper towels were being held to my nose and another hand was tightly pinching the bridge of my nose.

For a solid 10 minutes, blood flowed from my nose like someone had opened a spigot.  Half an hour later, it finally had clotted and only a trickle remained.  It’s been a long, long time since I last had a nose bleed, but I have never had one of this magnitude.  I am most amazed at knowing the lovely ladies I work with are geniuses at improvising in an emergency situation.  In the absence of ice, grab the coldest thing from the fridge and apply it to the back of the neck as that constricts the vessels and slows the bleeding.  Applying cold compresses to the nose and pinching the bridge aid in slowing the bleeding while the body works on clotting it.

As I said, I have never seen so much blood from a nose bleed before, but I am both grateful and thankful for the fast-acting, intelligent women I work with!

Until next time, I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday if you celebrate.  If you don’t celebrate, I hope you have a very blessed Thursday!!

July- Hoping for a Fun Month

My little corner of the world

My little corner of the world

Jillian here. May and June have not been my friends but now as we move into July, I am hopeful that things are going to get better and I will be on the road to adventure and fun. I fell on June 16 in the parking lot of a restaurant and broke my left foot and my right arm so the second half of June was full of pain and inactivity for me.

It goes to show you, as the poet Robert Burns wrote in his poem, “To a Mouse” and as John Steinbeck stole for the title to his book, “Of Mice and Men”, “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.”

BURNS: 

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

I had these grand plans to get in better shape for a trip to France in August- walking, getting my stamina up, etc and that is all down the tubes now since I have this craziness going on. BUT I am choosing to look on the brighter side and telling myself how much worse it could have been and that I am at least going to be all right. I will recover the full use of my arm and I will walk again with no pain and no cast. AND I hope to do it all before August!  LOL!

The fourth of July is in two days and I hope if you are American and celebrate this holiday that you have a wonderful time. For those of you in the Motherland, we fought for our freedom but it sure seems like we still love your country a lot- at least I know I do.

One of my ancestors was at Valley Forge with George Washington so if you ever think I may be a rebel in the making, guess what? I come by it honestly. I also have two ancestors who were Lord Mayor of London so I come by my love of all things British honestly as well.  I am lucky to have learned so much about my family history. I love, love that.

Have a great early part of the month and I hope to report good news on my next OTBF day- no more Debbie Downer posts from me, right? LOL

Sleep Interruptus by Valerie J. Patterson

Mr. Sandman and I–apparently–are not currently on speaking terms.  I’m not all too certain when our relationship turned or–for that matter–why it turned, but, alas, it has.

Mr. Sandman was, at one time, my very dear friend.  Now, it appears he has found a new hobby, a new friend, or has simply decided to go shopping, on vacation, or is watching TV or reading a book and is no longer interested in whether or not I get a deep, full, revitalizing slumber.  He didn’t leave me abruptly so that I would notice his departure immediately.  No, in fact, he slowly backed out of our relationship until one night–in the wee hours of the morning–I was left wondering what had happened to our once stellar relationship.

To the best of my recollection, it all began one fateful night in May when I awoke somewhere between two and three with dizzying thoughts of the day ahead’s full calendar.  I figuratively ran through what was sitting on my desk, which really was a manageable amount of work, then tucked my arm under my pillow, settled back down, and fell back into a restless, tossing-and-turning sleep that did me no good.

From there, it just progressed into being robbed of more and more sleep each night until I finally reached the point I’m at right now–Sleep Interruptus!

It’s maddening, really.  I get to listen to my hubby sleeping soundly.  I get to listen to the traffic I normally never hear.  There’s the occasional cat fight, bump in the night, and let’s not forget counting the time between when the central air kicks off and kicks back on again.  Oh, and I get to plan out the coming day like nobody’s business.

I’ve got remedies for Sleep Interruptus like reciting the 50 states in alphabetical order frontwards and backwards.  Running through the alphabet and reciting only girls names that end in “LY” or boys names that actually contain two names in one like Ed-Ward and Wil-Liam.  Oh, I can get creative!  Mostly, I’ve turned to saying my prayers again or counting my blessings.

I’m fairly certain Mr. Sandman has begun to come around and his attorney is talking to my attorney about mending our relationship instead of divorcing from it entirely and finally.  I’m really looking forward to rekindling the romance with sleep!

So how about you?  What remedies do you have for giving Sleep Interruptus the heave-ho?

Until next time, may Mr. Sandman come calling each and every night, and may your dreams be sweet and light.

Natural is Best

It’s lovely when someone pays you an unexpected compliment, as happened to me this week. It came from my phlebotomist when I went for my monthly blood test. I’d was made up ready to drive straight after to Reading to help celebrate my mother’s 87th birthday by taking her out to lunch along with my two sisters. The phlebotomist commented how nice my hair looked, asking if I’d had it lightened recently as it really suited me. I was thrilled someone had noticed, more so that the treatment I was giving it was working. She asked me what I used and was surprised when I told her it was nothing more than pure lemon juice.

I’m a natural blonde but over the years have turned to a mousy brown, latterly with grey highlights. Up until two years ago I regularly dyed it at home with a branded lightener, but when my hair suddenly became very brittle and matted, as if stuck with glue, my hairdresser explained the colourant was causing serious, permanent damage, and recommended I stopping using it immediately. Which I did. It took over a year and frequent cuts to grow out the damage, with fingers crossed all the while new hair growth would be normal. Thankfully, it was but the colour was dull, making me look and feel much older than my huh-humm years. I was at a loss to know what to use until we eventually get some decent sun here, which always lightens my hair naturally.

I remembered that years ago, long before we had all these fancy shampoos, conditioners and treatments, we used natural remedies for our hair:  lemons to lighten, egg yolk for protein and strength, vinegar to help shine and treat dandruff, and beer to condition. I simply rub the strained juice of half a fresh lemon juice into my hair and leave it for about 15 minutes before washing as normal. Not only is my hair slowly lightening, it’s in great condition and feels lovely to touch.

Back to mother. When we went to collect her, she was bemoaning that she really did not want to go out for lunch, saying she felt a mess because she couldn’t wash her hair that morning as she was out of shampoo. I reminded her she could always use washing up liquid, as we used to years ago whenever we ran out, or even a drop of shower gel as a last resort. Her hair looked perfectly fine as it was, we told her. She said she’d been tempted to use the old-fashioned, dry shampoo remedy: talcum powder, except she was out of that too.

Nowadays, we don’t know half of what chemicals we are putting onto and into our bodies, and I am sure a lot of the allergies, skin complaints and breathing problems we have are caused by these. Years ago, many such allergies were unheard of, yet now we are bombarded with witches brews, the air about us constantly pumped with chemical cocktails; goodness knows what they are doing to us.

It is refreshing to know that the old remedies still work. For the first time in years I’m happy with my hair, and hopefully before long, the mousiness will have reverted to at least match the ever growing population of grey, turning me into a proper silver surfer.

Sorry for Being MIA

Have been super stressed since the last time I posted here. My mother had a stroke and my son was here visiting from the UK and my cat is sick (I’m afraid she’s dying) and I’m just feeling a tad like pulling out my hair. I enjoyed what little time I got with my son but it felt rushed and hectic what with all that’s happening with my mom. My dad is taking good care of her but he’s not taking care of himself in the meantime. I’m trying to make sure they eat right (since dad is diabetic and mom usually is the one to make him to do the right thing with his diet). And, Oh yeah, there’s that day job thing, too.

The future daughter in law hurt my feelings a few times while they were here but I’m hoping it’s just because I feel ultra sensitive right now. I’ve prayed since my sons were born that they’d each choose someone I could love (or even like) as a daughter in law. I forgot to reverse that prayer and hope that she would like me. Alas.

Anyway, I seem to be Debbie Downer lately, so just ignore the woman behind the curtain!