Category Archives: Food

In sickness and in health…

You know, I try really hard to be as healthy as I can. I can’t undo the damage MS has already done to my nerves, but I can do the best with what I’ve got left and the body I’ve got now. I stopped eating meat back in November. It’s gone well, so I gave up dairy last week. Right after I cheated a few days eating meat. And then I got sick with some nasty chest congestion. Ugh. The cheating was certainly not worth it.

Then today, I’m having coffee with a friend and BAM! I started having an attack of vertigo. It was so weird, y’all, I mean I have experienced dizziness but this was so much more. I mean, everything around me seemed to be literally turning. And it lasted for a good two minutes before it calmed down. The problem was that the feeling never really went entirely away, even long after my friend had left. I texted another friend to see if what I was experiencing was normal, and if I should go the urgent care or something. I was still feeling super dizzy and I was having some numbness in my left arm. But as I was texting with her I realized that yes, I probably should go. So I called my husband to come get me. My knight in shining armor dropped everything and came as quick as he could. In the meantime my friend came over to check on me and keep an eye on my kids while my husband and I were at the urgent care.

Thankfully, all my vitals and an EKG were normal. The doctor explained that it was most likely inflammation from my recent chest cold that got transferred and consequently trapped in my ear drum, and that it should clear up if I just give it time. In the meantime he gave me an anti-nausea medication to take in case the dizziness is really bothering me or making me feel unsafe. The medicine has helped tremendously.

I was just so ecstatic that I wasn’t having a heart attack and that I didn’t end up in the hospital because I have a family reunion to go to this weekend that I am SUPER STOKED about. Because I have an amazing family full of aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins-plus whom I never get to see anymore. I was so afraid that my stupid health issues were going to ruin that, so I’m just happy. Happy, happy, happy.

I did tell my husband – who knows how hard I try to be low maintenance, and loves me despite my utter failure at it – that I’m ready to get back to the “in health” part of our marriage vows. Seriously.

Might as well call it the May Update…

Last month I published ONE blog post, and as it’s already the 10th of May, I guess I’m off to another slow start. Lest you think my silence is a bad sign, I’m poking my head out to let you know all is well. To prove it, I will now proceed with semi-coherent ranting about what I’ve been up to. What fun, yes??

So last Friday we ran another 5k race, my son and I. He absolutely killed his time from the year before, but since he had not really been training for it his recovery was pretty rough. He’s feeling better now, but the weekend he was in rare form, complaining of sore legs, not wanting to move around. I hadn’t done a lot of training either, and my finish time reflected that, but my legs felt okay after so I’m not sorry. I stayed on my feet the entire time and that’s my one true goal when I run, so I’m happy. My daughter ran the one mile race that’s not timed, and her goal was to finish, and girl, did she finish. She cramped up a little towards the end, but she was determined to not give up, and we are super proud of her for that. Both my kids are serious fighters.

I’ve been filling my weeks judiciously with shopping trips with friends, playing fetch with the dog, and going to various doctor appointments. I saw a dermatologist (Did I blog about that? I seem to remember) and discovered I do not have acne, but rosacea. Which was still possibly triggered by my round of steroids, but treated much differently. I’m also seeing my primary doctor soon in regards to what I’m calling “significant” joint pain in my right hip and knee. I suspect it’s just my osteoarthritis acting up and hoping it’s nothing more serious. We shall see.

I decided back in November to stop eating meat. It’s going fairly well, and I do feel better. I still eat some fish and some beef (the ground beef we buy from a local farmer) but only when other options aren’t readily available. I don’t have a great explanation for the change, other than the fact that I really, really love vegetables and grains and I’m disgusted by what I’ve read about the way meat is processed in this country. So my appetite for foods I used to love is pretty much gone. Like last night, I made chili dogs for the family and I totally thought I was going to eat one too. But then I just couldn’t do it. So I made myself a spinach salad, and it was delicious.

Also, somewhere between November and April I realized I had gotten a little too uptight about food, and it was spilling out onto my family members. I’m not sure how to correct that really, but I’m trying to loosen up. Geesh, that’s the story of my life, trying to loosen up. I’ll get there, eventually. Won’t I?

My son is turning 10 in one week, and he is beyond excited. I remember turning 10… double digits was a big deal. He is just as excited, and we will be throwing him a party right here at the house. I’m a little nervous about the dog, and the noise, but I think we’ll get through it. Just praying for good weather so they can all play outside for most of it. My only major responsibility for this party is making a cheesecake, which I can do days in advance and I love that. Piling too many responsibilities into one day doesn’t work very well for me, so I love when I can spread things out throughout the week.

We have an MS Walk coming up here in May, and I’m excited for that as well. I haven’t participated in one since just after I was diagnosed 7 years ago. I had decided this was a good year to get back on that wagon and pull my friends and family together to show me some support. Selfish? Maybe, but I’m not sorry. This girl is learning to step out a little and ask for the things she wants. And I want a gang of people I love walking with me on a beautiful morning in May.

I think that’s enough rambling for now, don’t you think? I pray you all have a blessed Wednesday and are able to soak in some sunshine!

Thunder bolts of lightning

Get this, I woke up with a pulled muscle in my neck, and it has me in such pain. I mean, searing, sharp, throbbing pains. I’m in such flippin’ agony I’ve been whining about it on Facebook all morning. If it was just one muscle, I could deal, but this thing is connected to all these other muscles, so every time I move something – an arm, a leg, whatever – I don’t know if it’s going to be okay or if it’s going to shoot fiery bolts of lightning up through my neck. It’s a crap shoot.

I slept on a heating pad for most of the morning and then managed to fix myself some lunch – baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon YUM – and now I’m chillin’ on the couch with a cup of coffee. Coffee on the right, because apparently I can’t reach from the left or the pain kills me, and then the coffee spills. We can’t have any of that happening, now can we?

I went upstairs to get something and by the time I got to the top of the steps, I forgot why I was up there, so I distracted myself with laundry until it came back to me. Managed to rotate some loads, with slow and careful movements of course, and sure enough, it came to me! Drugs, I went up for the drugs. Because I can’t really deal with this pain. I normally boast a high pain tolerance, mainly because surgery and needles don’t scare me, but when it gets in the way of getting things done, that pisses me off. So I took some Aleve, and hopefully that eases a little of the pressure. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to have the kids unload the dishwasher and take out the trash tonight.

Ok, I’m sorry, but that’s all I have for now. I’ve been a little neglectful of the blog so I really just wrote this to give you something, so as not to get out of the habit of writing. More will come. It always does.

Pre-Thanksgiving Prep

So Thanksgiving is almost here. We host, so that means we have a certain level of preparing that needs to be done. I keep it at a low level though, cuz I fail miserably at hosting if it try too hard.  We roast the turkey, we make the mashed potatoes, the corn, the stuffing, and everybody else brings the rest. I don’t decorate, though I do have a fall themed tablecloth I hope to remember to bring out for the occasion. I don’t even clean the house beyond what I do normally. Anything to minimize my stress and anxiety is worth it if it means everyone has a good time and we can enjoy each other’s company. Planning ahead helps me to both budget my energy and to make sure everything is ready. And if it’s not, I have to decide that’s okay too. Half the battle is changing my perspective. My family all knows this about me, thankfully, so that takes the pressure off. They see what needs to be done and fill in the cracks accordingly.

One thing I am striving for today though, is to clean out the fridge to make room for the turkey day leftovers. Which means I am working on using up our every day leftovers. In other words, I’m eating whatever I can. It’s a slight departure from my daily smoothies but my gut doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, yay! This morning I had scrambled eggs with red onion, red bell pepper, and feta. It was scrumptious, and I was able to rid the fridge of four containers. Still have lots of cleaning out to do but that was a fun way to get it started. Well not as much fun as it was tasty, I guess. You know what I mean, right?

I have a sick kid home with me today so I’ve taken plenty of breaks to tend to her needs, but overall it’s been a relaxing yet productive day so far. The best kind, if you ask me!

Everybody does it

I drink a lot of smoothies. Just about every day, a smoothie packed with bananas, berries, yogurt, and spinach. Sometimes I’ll mix it up and add a little juice or milk, or vanilla for flavor. But always the banana, berries, and spinach. Because fiber, y’all. I need it. We all do, of course, cuz it’s an important nutrient, but I seem to be of the brand of human who needs a little help in the elimination department. Oh sorry, I didn’t warn you this post might be TMI for some. But seriously, folks, why does no one ever talk about this? Is it really that sensitive a subject? It’s not for lack of commonality, I assure you. I think it’s just because it’s icky. But I’m not afraid of self-disclosure (clearly, I have a blog for crying out loud) and I’m not afraid to share that I have trouble.

In fact, I’ve always had trouble, so I can’t really blame it on MS – although MS can certainly compound the issue. No, I remember as a young girl having to drink mineral oil and being given enemas. I still vividly remember drawing a picture of my poop once so I could show it to my mom, I was so proud. (You realize what we’re talking about now, right?) She doesn’t remember this, but I do. I don’t know if I should be hurt by that or thankful she didn’t save the picture!

So, back up to the smoothies. It’s really just been the easiest way for me to consume enough fiber. Berries are packed with it, as is spinach, which is virtually tasteless when you grind it up in the blender. Not that I mind spinach, I love it, just not with my fruit so much. My doctor recommends I consume 30 grams of fiber every day and OH MY GOSH, that’s a lot of fiber. So it’s been a struggle, but most days I hit the goal. And it has been helping, but not always enough, so once a day or so I go for a glass of your good ole prune juice. Yech. It’s the most unpleasant beverage I’ve ever consumed, but if you water it down it’s not so bad. It certainly beats mineral oil.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention the best part of this development. In recent weeks I was having a lot more balance problems than usual, and I was starting to use my cane on a pretty regular basis. It had not occurred to me that one issue could be related to the other, but when I started getting “regular”, my balance issues almost disappeared. I’m walking so well now! Now I know I could attribute this improvement to other things like exercise or the change in the weather, but the improvement was so sudden, like within the following day, that I have to give it credit. And the fact that my balance has remained well as I’ve been on this increased fiber – and resulting regularity – just confirms it for me.

I have so much more on my mind regarding food I want to share with you, but I’ve got a lot on my plate this week so it will have to wait for another day. Eat your fruits & veggies, people!!

**If you caught my puns, I applaud you. I love puns 🙂

Chicken what?

Did I mention a new restaurant opened near our house? It’s this Lebanese restaurant and they serve the best everything, but especially the chicken shawarma. I ate there Monday and Tuesday and then just finished off my leftovers today and ohmagersh I could eat this every day EVERY DAY. It’s so yummy and my tummy is happy, but since it was just a small portion (leftovers) I’m wanting more. If it were earlier in the day I would ride my trike and go get some, but it’s already after 3:00 so I guess I have to suffer until next time. 

I will survive, of course. 

Now off to shower cuz I just ran 3 miles outside and I’m kinda stinky. 5k race Saturday, wish me luck!

The Trike

My husband’s employer loaned us a trike for me to try, and perhaps keep if I like. I guess they had purchased it for a single purpose and no longer needed it, so lucky me! It definitely makes riding feel a lot safer for me.

So Monday the kids did not have school (something about Columbus) so we decided to ride bikes up to the store to get donuts and hot cocoa. All was going well until I hit a rough patch of pavement, throwing the trike off course, and eventually me with it. It felt like slow motion but was really only a matter of seconds. I found myself pinned to the edge of the road, this enormous tricycle and basket on top of me. The kids looked back and immediately ran to help me. Thank goodness for them, really. I don’t know what I would have done if I had been alone. It was a pretty scary fall, and I shredded my elbow, so I was bleeding quite a bit for the rest of the trip. Thankfully we were able to snag some band-aids from the donut shop. 

The rest of the trip was lovely, with the donuts and cocoa, and then some shopping, and then lunch at a new restaurant that had just opened that day. Best chicken shawarma ever!

But then today. Have you ever been in a car accident, and you hurt worse the following day? It’s a ridiculously delayed reaction from the impact. That’s what’s going on here. I underestimated the impact of that fall. My entire upper body is in excruciating pain and I am finding myself to be the biggest wuss about it! I am such a big whiner baby right now, and so I’m just gonna try to sleep. Last night I kept rolling over on my elbow and it would wake me up and that was just annoying, so hopefully it leaves me alone tonight and let’s me sleep. 

I am always telling you all to be thankful for the day and enjoy every moment so now I’ve gotta remind myself to take that advice. Come on now Mindy, it’s just a little aches and pains, be thankful you’re alive. You could’ve been run over by a car, after all! Get some rest now people… get some rest.