Category Archives: General Health

Just Call Me Duncan

I don’t mean this fictional Scottish stud …  Duncan MacLeod







Duncan Keith … or this very real hockey stud.







I mean this complete anti-stud …  Duncan yoyo






Yep. I’m a yo-yo.

I’ve allowed life circumstances – houseguests, finances, family, pet health, job stresses and relationship issues – to knock me off my game. As a result, Project 40 has become Project 45. Sigh.

You’ve been there with me, though, right? We lose 10, we gain 15. We beat ourselves up about it and gain two more. A couple of weeks ago, my sister told me that my niece could use a little pep talk. She was down on herself about having regained seven of the pounds that she’d lost. I had to confess to my sister that I wasn’t the one to give a pep talk since I’d had small bag of Chips Ahoy and four Butterfinger cups for breakfast. (I truly wish that were an exaggeration. It’s not.) I have eaten anything and everything in sight for the past few weeks.

As I’ve told you before, I’m emotional, binge eater. I’m also a compulsive eater. I can’t stand for there to be a half-finished bag or carton of something. I feel genuinely compelled to finish it…and I have the waist to prove it. I’ve had a temporary roommate who is thin and can eat anything he likes. He also can eat just a few of something and stop. I can do neither as is evidenced by the empty chocolate Donnette bag (okay, bags) in my trash can.

LoseIt! (the tracking program I use) measures a week from Monday to Sunday. I’m not waiting until Monday to get back on track – I started this morning. Yesterday, I prepared my veggies for the week and threw out all of the Frankenfoods that my roomie has enjoyed. (Sorry, Kent! You’re going to have to keep that stuff in your car or something.)

A woman, I will never be Duncan MacLeod or Duncan Keith; however, I’m taking control again so that someday soon, I will be this Duncan…

wonderwoman yoyo


Perchance to Dream

Hamlet may have been talking about suicide there; but, rest assured dear friends that the croupy Goddess is just talking about catching some quality Zzzzzs!

Working nights, I’ve shared with you the difficulties that come with sleeping during the day. The only time I’ve ever slept as well during the day as I do at night is when I lived in a basement apartment in Tuscaloosa, AL. No windows, no light, no noise – my bedroom was a cacoon! That was then. This is now.

Now, I live in a much nicer place, but my bedroom has windows and light and sound which are not so great for daytime sleeping. Enter the Bucky sleep mask (pictured above). This thing was a gift from my precious aunt Judy who knew that I both needed and wanted one when I didn’t even know they existed! Other sleep masks I had tried pulled too tightly across my eyelids, making me uncomfortable and unable to sleep. They also pushed on my nose making it stuff up. No bueno. This mask has a padded ridge across my cheekbones and nose, keeping it at just the right tension across both my eyes and nose. I’ve gotten so that I wear it even if I sleep at night. The mask keeps my face all nice and toasty! This plus a white noise app on my phone makes for much better sleep.

Except when I’m trying to hack up a lung.

Over the past several days, I’ve sleep in increments of less an an hour. I dozed off only to be awakened by a strangling fit of coughing. Oh, for the love of Mike! However, as my meds started working, I began to sleep a little longer and a little longer. Yesterday, I actually slept for about five uninterrupted hours. What luxury! And it reminded me of a Ted Talk given by Arianna Huffington that I watched recently. Having run on a serious sleep deficit until she literally passed out on her desk, causing herself some pretty painful injuries she is now a strong advocate of sleep as a way to restore oneself and as a way to tap into one’s creative potential.

As a culture, we Americans are always on the go, doing more, cramming more into our days, sleeping less and, frankly, getting kind of cranky. Resting is something I’ve long thought other cultures do much better than we do. European stores and businesses close and, guess what? The world goes on. Consumers learn to plan better if they know that they aren’t going to be able to run down to Globus on Sunday night to grab a few items. They plan their shopping and get the items when the store is open on Saturday or they just go without. Either way, cataclysm is a no-show. As a tourist in Venice years ago, I was frustrated when shops closed for the after lunch siesta. But, guess what? I adjusted. I slowed down to their pace and enjoyed being in the city without having to be busy seeing it all the time.

In health, sleep is just something I have to do so that I can get my other things done. In this illness, I’ve learned to appreciate it a little more for its restorative effects.

In fact, I think I’m going to go appreciate those effects a little more right now…………

The Growing Cold

“She can’t breathe, John!”

I remembering hearing my mother say that to my father as I sat coughing, watching television one night. (No doubt we were watching Gunsmoke or something.) Anyway, I remember her sounding alarmed and me thinking that it was just a cold. Well, my dad picked me up and took me, wearing my flannel nightgown covered in Pirouette-style clowns, to the hospital where I was admitted with pneumonia. The doctor tried comforting me by telling me that he was building me a playhouse. (What fun!) I told him that it wasn’t a playhouse, that it was an oxygen tent. Who was he trying to kid? I watched Medical Center and I told him so. I was between three and four years old.

(The whole experience was humiliating! They made me sleep in a baby bed, for crying out loud! AND, big girl that I was, they made me wear diapers. Ugh!)

My next experience with the illness was about eight years ago when, while splitting firewood (something I well and truly suck at) I began to cough up blood. On account of I’m so smart and junk, I knowed right off something was wrong. (Okay, I didn’t. I totally called my dad to see what he thought. You can guess what he thought.) This time I wasn’t admitted to the hospital, but spent the next week recovering on my sofa snuggling with Trey. I highly recommend big, black dog snuggles to cure what ails you.

As breathing became a greater and greater challenge last week, I began to wonder if I was up for round three with it. So, I dragged myself to a doc in the box on Saturday who diagnosed acute bronchitis and infected ears. Ugly, but not pneumonia. So, I’ve got my steroids, my antibiotics, my inhaler, my sorbet (better than sherbet, methinks), my Powerade Zero, cough drops, and vegetarian soups. I’ve got books to read; but, sadly, no coloring books to color. Maybe when I feel a little better I’ll go on a hunt for those.

As I recall, they were a pretty good curative, too…not as good as a sweet, black Labrador, but, then, few things are.

Spring Cold (Aw) Snap!

Lesley Gore said that it was her party and she could cry if she wanted to. Her Dotyness says that this is my blog and I’ll whine if I want to.

And I want to.

Box-of-Paper-Facial-Tissues-with-Pile-of-Used-Tissues-190I have a spring cold. My nose hurts, my sinuses are exploding, my eyes burn, my ears hurt, my lungs stick together when I cough, my lips are chapped, I sound like an off-key seal, and I spent half the night in the restroom since I’m getting to the age where sneezing with an even marginally full bladder is a game of Russian roulette. I’m miserable. And I’m being a great, big, giant baby about it.

After working all night, I stopped on the way home for some sick food – soup, sherbet, crackers, that sort of thing. Sherbet isn’t on the Whole Foods Plant Based menu, but I made an executive call after listening to myself whine all night long. On the menu or not, orange sherbet went into the buggy. Now, I’ve never been a big fan of chicken noodle soup – except when I’m sick. Then, that’s pretty much all I want. But, there’s not really a vegetarian version of it. Cruising the soup aisle for inspiration, I found that there were very few vegetarian soup options at all. Even many of the vegetable soups had either a chicken or beef stock base. I was SO not in the mood to discover this. I ended up with some green pea soup and some tomato soup, neither of which was what I really wanted; but they’ll do in a pinch. They’re warm and comforting, which is what I was after anyway.

When I finish my soup, I’ll change into my sweats and pink, fuzzy robe, eat a little sherbet, then put my annoying self to bed. As I continue to eat nutritionally dense foods, my hope is that these colds become fewer and further between.

Years between works for me.