Eat Better, Feel Better

Eat better, feel better

I was all excited to buy “Georgia peaches” now that I live down here, but look. These aren’t actually from Georgia. 🙁 Apparently, peach season is over already. I missed it!

This week I have two cardiology appointments. The one yesterday was fairly easy, and all went smoothly. John David, my faithful sidekick, tagged along for that one. I think he fully entertained the cardiac floor of the hospital. My favorite part was the bit he did with the crayons. See, I brought a brand new box of 24 crayons along. New crayons interest people more than old ones.

eat better, feel better

My sidekick…..He’s not distracting at all…But he can entertain a cardiology office like no other.

JD enjoyed the crayons very much, but I’m not sure that he actually did any coloring. The door to my appointment room had a large gap between it and the floor. John David found it delightfully fun to roll each of his crayons, one-by-one, under the door and out into the hallway. I stopped him at first, but then I was trying to give the doctor my full attention, so when he eventually resumed his game, I didn’t even notice really.

When I finally opened the door and fetched all the crayons, there were nurses giggling in the hallway. When I got onto the elevator, the elderly gentleman behind us said, “Well, we all know you had a good time at the doctor’s office,” to little John David. John David was wearing his Lightning McQueen back-pack, and he looked ridiculously adorable. He just looked up at all the people who kept talking to him with his little straight, serious face. This is definitely not the toddler you have to worry about running off with strangers.

I asked the man, “Oh, did you see the crayons rolling out into the hallway?”
“Oh, yeah,” the gentleman replied with a smile. “Is this your first?”
“Oh, no, my fourth.”
“What! Gracious! You don’t look old enough to have four! But then you don’t act like he’s your first. First time parents are, you know, different, more anxious and restrictive.”
Haaaa!!! Yep, true, and we’ve all been there.

 

So the heart problem lives on. I see my electrophysiologist today. It’s all sort of embarrassing when all of my health problems start coming out. Maybe I’ll just keep my mouth shut today about all the other non-heart symptoms that I have. I’m glad I didn’t yesterday though because that doc actually understood my hip problem and referred me to a local orthopedic surgeon, but don’t worry, I’m not hoping to have surgery.

What I actually want to tell you all is what a difference eating better has made for me. You know that whole, “You are what you eat?” slogan?? Well, it’s true. I hate it, but it’s true. The last few days, I’ve just re-embraced the fact that I need LOTS of sleep, and I can’t handle wheat, and I feel like a living human again, instead of a dying one, like I felt the last week.

eat better, feel better

Out for a walk with my work-out partner, JD

See, moving to the South from California was exciting and also bad, or really just I was the one that was bad. I wanted to eat buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, and pie, pie pie!!!! I decided to pretend like I don’t have a problem with gluten for a while.

Until it caught up with me, and I was back in the hurt locker. So now I’m back to behaving, and I feel better. Eat better. Feel better.

I’ve been getting in more exercise too. I felt too poorly to do much of it last week. Who knew? Food, sleep, and exercise: three things I never realized would be so important for the rest of my life.

That’s why I’m such a fan of Justin Cox’s Kettle Bell Burn program. (You can check it out here.) He teaches the importance of a balanced diet, 8 hours of sleep per night, staying hydrated, 20 mins. of exercise per day, and taking vitamins.

I recently noticed that his current promotion is a free 5-day course on nutrition, so I just wanted to call your attention to that and urge you to sign up.

His regular exercise program is only $30/month, and it’s awesome, but if you’re still on the fence, the free 5-day course is a good starting place.

eat better, feel better

What, your gym doesn’t have a china cabinet?

When it comes to exercise, arm day is my favorite. I always actually do the whole work-out on arm day. You have to understand. I was never an athlete. I don’t even feel ashamed when I quit. I’m like, “Eh, this is heavy, or I’m out of breath. Time for a nice little rest.” No shame.

Case in point: Yesterday Caleb came into the kitchen asking Joshua to play ball with him. Joshua refused. Joshua was in the kitchen snacking. (Peas. Joshua eats whole cans of peas for a snack. We are baffled and pleased).

So I volunteered. Caleb kind of looked unsure, “Sigh. Okay, but I mean Mom can’t really catch or throw, but….Just so you know, Mom, there ARE bugs out here, and it is hot. I’ll get you a glove.”

(I complain about sweat, gnats, and bugs on the regular.)

9. Wow. It took my children only 9 years to surpass me in athletic skills. Nice. 

Now don’t be mad at Caleb. He was very sweet to me out there. He has played with me before, so he knows that half of my pitches will go over his head or five feet away from him, and I can’t throw very far. And I don’t really care. Sports are not my thing.

eat better, feel better

My sons say that P.E. is their favorite class. Can you imagine??? Well, I certainly can’t. I even found a way in high school to not have to take any P.E. at all. 🙂

Nutrition and exercise suddenly became so important to me after it actually turned my illness around. I was the queen of having two granola bars and a Coke for lunch, so this epiphany that if you want to feel good, you have to eat good was a truly rude awakening. (Yes, I know that’s bad grammar, but it’s catchy, you see. Eat good, feel good……Eat well, feel well doesn’t have the same ring to me, but we could also use that.)

I want you all to feel better too.

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Let me know if you decide to give kbburn.com a try, so we can cheer each other on.

Eat better. Feel better.

 

 

 

Life After Home School and the Move

life after home school

 

Life after home school

Tomorrow is Daniel’s very first day of kindergarten. To me he still looks like this:

How can I send this sweet Bama boy to kindergarten??

But, believe it or not, the Dan Man is 5, and he is extremely excited about going to school with his brothers. They will all be at the same school together. I had planned it differently, but at the last minute Daniel was awarded a scholarship, so that worked out beautifully.

It’s hard to even focus on how much is happening. Our heads are still spinning. In June, we trekked across the U.S. of A. In July, we hurriedly unpacked. (So now I need to go back and re-organize everything.) Then we headed off to one vacation after another. We did Disney. We saw friends. We went to Destin. We visited family.

I feel as though all along, our life keeps improving more and more. Happy things keep happening to us, and I’ve been so much in recovery from the dismal beginning of 2016 that it’s taken me awhile for this new thing to set in to my head.

I’m not stressed anymore! Wait. I don’t have to make lesson plans? Nope.

I don’t have to do any teacher training? Nope.

I don’t have to even feed everyone lunch? Nope.

I can be at my parents’ house in two hours? Yep!

The big boys are already in school, and they LIKE it??  Yes!!!

They actually like their new school a LOT!!!

I keep thinking about those Christian song lyrics, “He set my feet upon a rock.” Of course, that is also in the Bible, but it’s so much easier to pop in my head when it’s set to music. In my head that’s me. I was sinking in my misery, and I have been lifted and set upon a rock. Amen. Amen. Amen.

I think we’re on the verge of loving it here. I made my schedule for tomorrow, and it doesn’t sound hard! I didn’t even have to color-code it!! 

Praise the Lord, y’all! I have found relief!!! Now we just need to make a friend or two, and we’ll be all set.

We aren’t off to a great start on the makin’ friends bit. First off, we’ve lived here over a month and we’ve been out of town for most of that.

Secondly, we have a son whose Southern accent impersonation is down right hilarious. I only hope the locals will think so, instead of feeling like they’re being made fun of. I haven’t heard him do it in public though, so we should be good. (Ask Joshua to talk Southern next time you see it. You will laugh!!)

Then there was the doctor’s office incident. Alan took all four boys to the doc on a Saturday by himself. (I was out of town again.) We just needed to get school and sports forms filled out. Moving is such a pain when it comes to health care!!! (That’s another reason our company should let us live places a little longer.)

Well, they were all there for HOURS, but everyone was well behaved, thankfully. But right at the end, the doctors refused to sign the sports forms for ALL the boys! Can you believe that!!??  And it was because of my heart problem! Ugh.  Way to go, Me!

Alan tried to convince them that the boys do not have it, and even I am fine. I could play sports even. (Not well, but I could do it.) He failed to convince Doc #1, so he asked to get a second opinion from one of the other docs there that day.

Doc #2 also denied us. We all have to go to a cardiologist before they will be cleared to play sports. Doctors totally freak out about the v-tach thing, but I’m telling you mine is benign. It’s monomorphic, non-sustained. I’m good.

So today we’re sitting in Sunday School, and Alan whispers, “That doctor that wouldn’t sign the boys’ sports physicals is right over there.” Yep. Doc #1 is in our Sunday School class.

No way.

Yes way.

We chatted with him after class. He didn’t budge any on the issue, but hopefully we are all on good terms. I’m sure he’s a very good doctor. It was just a little embarrassing.

Oh, yeah, that’s us. We’re just making friends all over the place.

life after home school

Won’t you be our friend??

I am seriously, for real, truly going to take a “1st day of Kindergarten” picture for Dan tomorrow. And a “3rd day” pic for J and C! I don’t know why I’ve had so much trouble remembering.

Have your kids/grandkids started back to school yet? Share with me in the comments!

The Move, My California Health Crisis, and The Grocery Store Scuffle

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Alan and Mom. Mom was such a huge help the week of my procedure. Thanks, Mom!!

The Move

Yesterday I started cleaning out the kitchen cabinets and drawers. No, I’m not packing myself. Alan’s job hires people to do that, so why would I?

What I’m doing is trying to eliminate all things that I do not want or use so that I don’t have to unpack them in a few weeks. We have way too much junk.

Junk. Just junk.

How do we all accumulate so much of it?

Is it the result of retail therapy gone overboard?

The inability to let go? I don’t know. But somehow every two years, we haul off truck loads and truckloads of our old stuff to Goodwill and the dump.

Occasionally, we sell a thing or two. I got $25 for an Ergo baby carrier…

Bye-bye, Ergo, we had a love/hate relationship anyway.

I sold a Mickey Mouse Cake Pan for $5. Because let’s face it. I bought it 2 years ago and never used it. I’m obviously too intimidated by the directions and the hand cramping to actually decorate a Mickey Mouse cake.

My hand hurts now, just thinking about squeezing out all those icing stars.

So yeah, we’re moving. We still don’t actually have a house to move INTO yet, but we hand over the keys to this one on June 25th.

Do you know what the funny part is? The funny part is that my California Health Crisis earned me a plane ticket with JD, so I don’t even have to participate in pack and load week or the cross-country road trip. I leave on the 20th.

……Oh. my. goodness. Daniel is watching Teletubbies. I thought we killed those obnoxious things off years ago. How? How are they suddenly back here, back into our lives????

“Daniel, please, please, don’t watch this show. I can’t take it. It’s too dumb.”

“Yeah,” Daniel agreed. Now we’re watching an alphabet video. It’s not too bad.

What was I saying? OH YEAH! Our moving plan. I ended up getting the super-sweet side of the stick, thanks to my psoriatic arthritis issues.

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Mom and Me at Point Lobos. We’ve established that Pt. Lobos is what I will miss most about California, right?

The Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is basically pronounced sorry-attic arthritis. In my head, I also call it sorry ass arthritis because that’s what it makes me feel like.

It’s back, and it’s ugly, and I’ve just stopped playing around about it. My big toe swelled, but I’ve figured out a way to walk without using it, and then I bumped it just a tiny bit on JD’s potty stool, and now it’s swollen, bruised, and bloody.

The ligament that connects my knees to my hips is inflamed all the way up, on both sides, and my left thumb is permanently bending slower than all of my other fingers. The shoulder tendonitis is back too. But at least the plantar fasciitis finally went away. So, there’s that.

The Heart

I asked my cardiologist about what anti-inflammatory meds I could take. I need them right now, for this flare-up and the up-coming travel.

He was obviously not too concerned. He said, “As long as you don’t take cocaine or meth, I’m good.”

As you can see, my cardiologists are super worried. Not.

I had my last appointment the other day. Dr. G is my super-soft-spoken but very personable electrophysiologist, a.k.a. a highly educated heart doc that specializes in electrical problems of the heart, arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia.

He was actually kind and sympathetic about my Linq monitor. Wait. A kind and sympathetic doctor? What is this new thing?? I’ve just had bad doctor luck these past two years, so this was a nice change.

He’s funny too. I asked if anything had shown up on my Linq monitor. He explained that he has the parameters on the thing set so that the v-tach won’t register unless it’s over 195 bpm or at least 16 beats in a row.

“Ha! I don’t think it’s ever that bad,” I said.

“Well, I set it that way because that’s the point at which we would need to do something about it.” he explained.

Sure.

“Can I put off going to a cardiologist for a while because I’ve got so much to do with this move… I feel like I’ve been to the cardiologist enough for one year anyway…”

“Yes, of course, you have a lot going on. Take care of that, and then you can get a new cardiologist. UNLESS you have symptoms.”

“I have a lot of symptoms lately, but none long enough to set off the monitor (16 beats), so what do I know?”

“Well, that’s because you got a plate full of s***.”

Haaa!!!  Ain’t that the truth.

I’m always surrounded by children or other stay-at-home moms or home school moms, so I don’t hear a lot of conversational swear words. So now when I do hear them, it’s really hard not to giggle. Yeah, I probably did snicker.

Oh, well. Dr. G says he’s not worried about my v-tach. My heart is structurally fine.  His actual words were, “You’re not going to die suddenly in your sleep or anything.”

Ha! So there’s my good news of the day, folks. I’m not going to die suddenly in my sleep, at least not this year. It sounds like a joke, but that DOES happen to v-tach sufferers when there is heart disease present or with an inherited condition, like Brugada. However, when those things aren’t present, and the v-tach is short, like mine, it is considered benign.

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JD was seriously THIS small when we moved in!! 2 years ago!!

I have a good sense of closure from this California Health Crisis chapter: the pain, the fevers, and the heart thing…Most of it was all from psoriatic arthritis, which mostly goes away if I don’t eat wheat or get too stressed. So there you go. I’m learning how to better take care of myself.

And the funny part…

So did you catch the part about Alan? Did you read that right? They wrote me out of the cross-country move and the pack week. SOOOO..  Alan will be overseeing the pack out and the cross-country move by himself, along with our three oldest children. That’s right. Alan is  doing a week-long road trip with Joshua, Caleb, and Daniel.

I know. Poor Alan. What kind of a wife am I? Well, I’ve done all the other pack and moves, thank you, most of them by myself. But yes, I usually shipped off the kids.

I’ve asked him repeatedly to send another kid on the plane with me, to lighten his load. But Alan says it will be fun.

I’ll give you a minute to laugh…

It won’t be dull, anyway. You gotta give him that. A friend of ours suggested that we should strap a Go-pro on Alan for this trip. It would surely make for a funny video.

Nah, what am I saying? Our kids are perfect angels, and so are we.

In fact, today I gave Cherielle a ride home from church, and Alan had all four boys with him because we’re trying to keep the van CLEAN, in order to sell it.

Alan decided to take all the boys with him to the grocery store.

While he was there, there was quite a spectacle. A certain five-year-old boy took a gold “good behavior” reward coin from his big, eight-year-old brother.

“Hey, give that back!” the eight-year-old demanded.

But the little guy only clutched the good-behavior coin even tighter. Oh, the irony..

So the two ended up WRESTLING IN THE FLOOR of the check-out line over this coin. The oldest boy, a ten-year-old, was dismayed and embarrassed at his younger brothers’ behavior, so he started punching the middle one in the back saying, “Cut it out! Get up! Cut it out!”

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my little wrestlers with Aunt Janet and Nonna

Don’t worry. They were quickly apprehended, and upon their return home, appropriate consequences were measured out. I’m sure those weren’t our little angels, scrapping it out over a Sunday School coin in the floor of the grocery store….Nah….

I’m just thankful I was not at the grocery store. I was at home putting the frozen pizzas in the stove.

Just another day in paradise, y’all. Have a great week!

 

 

 

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