July 31, 2010

Contagious Emotions!

I don't remember the last time I ate a doughnut but I love this graphic!  LOL  Jelly doughnuts used to be my favorite many, many years ago in this little bakery in Revere, MA!

I guess, like everyone else, I get excited about accomplishing something important.  I didn't realize how my enthusiastic emotions were so contagious!
Check'in mail
I received numerous emails from friends stating that they were also concerned about their health and bad blood work results and appreciated that I shared my story with them and I felt the same vice versa.   I swear, I think I have half of South Florida drinking Green Tea!  I have two friends that wrote to me to tell me that they also joined Silver Sneakers. Kudos!

My enthusiasm obviously communicated good karma to many which pleased me a great deal. I strongly believe that my instructor at my gym motivates me tremendously. I did try two other gyms previous to the one I attend now and did not enjoy their Silver Sneakers classes. This instructor drew me in like a magnet which makes me look forward to my gym classes. She is also funny and entertaining which makes the workout not a grueling task.  Well, don't get me wrong, it's hard work for sure.  The last ten minutes of the hour class, I start looking at the clock because my body is telling me I'm getting very tired and was pushed hard!

When I discussed my experience with others, it somehow effortlessly attracted the support of others into my life and joining me in my Silver Sneakers Classes and also eating healthy.  And, the Green Tea factor was a major influence on my last lab report for sure!  Don't forget to count those carbs!  My Nurse Practioner said, if you want to drop 15 pounds.........stop drinking wine!  I love my wine but I stopped drinking it and replaced it with Green Tea.  I even put my Green Tea in a wine glass!  LOL  I personally like drinking it luke warm.  If you must drink wine, at least drink red wine and limit it to only one glass per night!  Yeah, I know.........we wino's want more but you have to love yourself more and be a good patient.  And, give up the cigs!

Even my smallest accomplishments made me continue to move forward during the past seven months of medical issues. Out of fear, with super high liver counts, I seized every opportunity available to me, the gym, the Vegan Diet book (the doctor told me to buy called "Eat to Live"), help from my friends, help from my blogger friends, Gastro Specialists, etc. I was the model patient and did exactly as I was told even though my Primary doctor is a total jerk with bad manners! The Nurse practioner knows far more and has a much better personality.

I think I may have found a new Primary Doctor only one town away from where I live that was referred to me and a woman doctor at that.  I've never been to a woman doctor before. I have to seize the opportunity to obtain better healthcare that I deserve. My Insurance Company advised me to interview this new doctor I have in mind to see if I would like switching over. We all deserve better healthcare but you have to play a role and do your homework in order to get it. Don't ever just accept what is given to you.

Get healthy my friends.  Take your lab results seriously and be in charge of your own health.  Not all doctors are created equal!
Don't Step on it..It makes you cry!

July 24, 2010

I'll be happy when?????????

Postponing, Excuses, are you ready to give it up yet?

I hear people say:         
I’ll be happy when I lose 25 pounds, I’ll be happy when I get a new job or new car, I’ll be happy when I fall in love again, I'll be happy when I can finally quit smoking, I'll be happy when I get out of debt, I'll be happy when I stop drinking, etc. And, they do nothing about it but say, I'll be happy when???????

Why put off your health until Monday when you say you will start your new diet or start eating healthy. Or say you will stop smoking after the holidays....Stop postponing........well, stop making the excuses! We are all guilty of those excuses including myself. The real enjoyment in life is the journey – I believe we all have lost the importance of enjoying the present moment and being healthy. Gosh, it took me to turn 65 and run into medical issues to give me a wake up call. Thank you to the caring people that have experienced their issues with me and how they conquered their liver count blood tests results to get back to normal.

I learned to stop postponing things in my life and you should stop too! I plan on enjoying my life, right here, right now! I was thrilled when I conquered and stopped smoking almost four years ago and now I’m focused on the liver and weight issue. I’m working real hard at it in order to get my blood tests back to normal. I want to be healthy. Wish I knew half of this stuff when I was in my 40s-50s. We all ate poorly and some still do………they all have excuses as to why they should stop smoking, they say they know people who have died that never smoked a day in their life…..gosh…….more excuses! I know, I had those same excuses for 47 years that I smoked cigarettes.

I recently received a wonderful email from a Blogger friend that gave me a wake up call after my post regarding "Going Vegan".  I was so upset and concerned about my blood work and confused with the medical care I was receiving that I was a mess with worry! Thank you dear Special Blogger, you know who you are!  And, I'm pleased to announce that my last blood work and appointment with the Gastro doctor yesterday showed a great improvement on my liver enzime!  Whooooooohooooooooo! 

I also drank tons of green tea and gave up the wine and took contol over the carbs!  Now, time to concentrate on reducing the cholesterol.  It went down but not low enough.  Also, a big thank you to a family member regarding "Green Tea".  I was off of all meds and all over the counter meds too for 7 long months so the doctor could find the culprit that was spiking the liver.  So far, they think the culprit was the weight.  I also need to thank my dear friend who is a Nurse Practioner.  She puts all these doctors to shame!

With the right knowledge, you can conquer all! High technology is wonderful and Blogging and sharing thoughts and your life with total strangers is amazing with the knowledge you can obtain in return along with some serious researching on your own! You have to get involved with your own life and body and not just rely on what your doctor is saying, you know…….that doctor that rushes you out the door and is great on just writing out another script!

Remember to always ask the doctor for a copy of your blood work results and a copy of any tests that were performed. I’ve been doing this for quite some time. Ask some of your friends if they even know what their Cholesterol count is or their Liver count. They will tell you, “I don’t know”………they will say “the doctor said everything is fine” or they will say “the doctor said to lose weight”. And they have no clue what is going on in their own body and who should care more than you?

I have a hard time clearing my mind of the distracting thoughts. I've learned to discipline myself when necessary in order to reach my goals I've set for myself like keeping up with my exercise routine. Years ago, I hated going to the gym, now I look forward to it. I’ve lost 15 pounds so far and I need to lose a bit more to be in the right range for my height.  Yep, I did gain weight when I stopped smoking like most people do but don't let that discourage you to stop.  The toxins in tobacco is brutal and dangerous to your health.

I realized that at any age, in any condition, whatever the circumstance, you can bring to life the highest vision that is within you. I learned this from the 80 year olds that I have in my Silver Sneakers Class. Boy, they are such a strong group. They also have amazing personalities!

Yes, I know that I can. And this is the day for me to begin to help myself when my doctor is not doing his job to provide me with better care. With most of these doctors, it is an assembly line and $$$. With me, it is my life! Don’t get me wrong, there are some great, caring doctors out there, I just got stuck with an awful Primary Care doctor which I’m working on replacing.

Hugs, Rose

July 17, 2010

Have you planned for your retirement?

Have you planned for your retirement?  It doesn’t matter your age. You have to be prepared and plan well in advance now that many people retire earlier and live longer. It seems likely that the majority of the population will spend much of their adult life in retirement while remaining physically and mentally active for a good deal of this time. Yet some people approach this major period of their lives with no idea of how they are going to manage financially or with what activities they will fill their new free time. And, don’t leave your 401Ks with your former employers! I just heard that on TV the other day. Not that I have a 401K but I did once and lost it all at the end!

Financial planning for your retirement is essential. I sure wish I did this in my twenties! Of course, with the roller coaster rides of the stock market……..there were the beautiful highs and then the depressing lows. The economy is not stable.  Also, raising children, there is never enough money for their needs whether necessity or pleasure.

Growing old with your spouse, friends, relatives and neighbors are one of the best recipes for a happy old age. Think about this before moving to another area when you retire. I know now, I would have never moved from my roots.

You might find it difficult to make new friends and fit into a new community, as you become less active. I’m blessed with wonderful friends but I have become less active for sure, I guess that comes with the territory of widowhood and not being a couple anymore.

You have to help preserve good health into retirement, you should follow an active lifestyle like walking, climbing stairs rather than using the elevator…..but I sure wish I had an elevator today…….Ugh. The days of going grocery shopping and carrying all those heavy bags up and down the stairs can be exhausting and painful for my sore back!

It’s not unusual nowadays for 70-80 year olds to go out jogging or to play tennis or at the Silver Sneakers class at the gym which I absolutely love and I’m 65 and when I started this class, I couldn’t keep up with them! LOL

So, start preparing for retirement regardless of your age! Pay yourself first and put that savings away as time goes by so fast and it gets scary with the cost of living rising and the cost of medical expenses that are so high. I know only too well how tempting it is when payday rolls around and you march straight to the Mall and shop away.

Now, how many pairs of shoes do I actually need? I don’t even want to tell you the count. LOL But, I sure do love my shoes and handbags. Now, it is sneakers and gym clothes! Goodbye are the days of glam and glitter! I miss those days!

It is hard to make that dollar stretch on a social security check so start saving now!  It is important to remember that Medicare will not cover all your needs.  When you are younger, these thoughts don't enter your mind..........so take some advice and start saving now!

July 10, 2010

My progress on the Vegan Diet with a twist!

Ever since that Medicare Card came in the mail, my second home is the doctor's office!  What happened?

At first, yes it is very difficult to stop eating meat and dairy and no alcohol.

We are addicted to cheese, dairy and meats. When I was first told to do this Vegan diet by my doctor, I looked at it as a serious problem to deal with. I went through a phase of wanting and craving and then it's over. How long that goes on depends on the people around you and your lifestyle.

Eventually you start to feel better and better, and have more energy than you've ever felt. Foods don't weigh you down anymore. Everything digests as it should. You start losing fat and gaining muscle tone.

As time passes, cheese and meat starts to look like lard! I've learned to make a very good vegetable pizza without any cheese.....not even the Vegan cheeses........I don't like them at all. I also don't like the Tofu which people use to make fake looking chicken and meat dishes........Ugh.

I was told that I could have a piece of fish once in a while. Fish was never one of my favorite foods....I miss a veal cutlet and my meatballs in my Sunday gravy.  I only ate steak once every two weeks or so. Kansas City Steaks sells an American Heart Association steak that is only 4 oz. and less grams of fat than the veggie burgers....go figure.

I do have to ask my doctor if I can go back on my muli-vitamin, as he took me off all meds including over the counter meds and supplements to try and find the culprit that is messing with my lab work. So far, no luck and going on 7 months of this process and elimination..ugh...so frustrating.

The Gastro Specialist that I was sent to told me I could go on a low fat diet, so I was excited and stopped at the Market on the way home and bought a boneless, skinless chicken breast to introduce back into regular food. Well, I had a super stomach ache that night..........I was warned that my tummy may not like the animal fats again and that this would happen.

Tilapia was a bit easier on my stomach. Whew.......wish my doctor could resolve this issue soon. I also added three more days to my exercise routine.

Eating off the land is a lot easier, as you don't have to read labels as there are none on fruits and fresh vegetables!

So, I think I'm more of a Vegetarian now than a true Vegan!  You would think it would be cheaper to just eat fruits and vegetables but it is not.  As, most of these fruits and veggies should be organic to make sure you are not getting pesticides in your body.

I still look forward to my Silver Sneakers Classes three days a week and I have added some walking on the other days to hopefully lose more weight and tackle this blood work issues that are giving me great concern.

I have a sister-in-law that a few years back went through the same high liver enzymes and she started to drink lots of green tea and she now has normal results on her lab tests.  So, of course, you know I went out to buy two huge boxes of Green Tea!  And, ordered Green Tea Kcups for my Keurig brewer!

I'm certainly trying!  I've shed a few pounds, so that is great but I need to lose more.   I think I need a drink! LOL

Hugs, Rose