Health Update – 12-2-16

2 Dec

Happy December friends! Thanks for stopping by SGL today, I’m so glad you’re here! Once a month, I review how I’ve been feeling – how the treatment for my Lyme Disease is going, and all the other fun things I’ve got going on.

fightinglymemigraines

November was a month of contradictions. For the majority of it, I felt really beyond awful. But when I felt good – I felt really good! There wasn’t much in between for me. I had some ‘fun’ new symptoms start/kick it up a notch and my migraines tended to last an average of 55 hours. Yep. 55 HOURS. If that’s not fun, I don’t know what fun is. Stores are still places of pure torture wrapped in spikes and crocodiles.

For a quick report from my migraine app – Migraine Buddy –  88% happened on weekdays, 12% weekends. Average pain level was 7.6 , high was 9 and low 6. My top Auras were fatigue/achiness and muscle stiffness. My top 3 triggers were neck pain, interrupted sleep, pre cycle. Top 3 symptoms were neck pain, fatigue and throbbing pain. Frequent start positions were temples, eyes, jaw and neck. Reliefs that seem to work consistently are : clonidine, oils, belladonna/pulsatilla and heat pad.

Overall Health: Much the same as October, ROUGH. Like I said, fun fun symptoms to keep me guessing. Lights and sounds started hurting bad again. Constant calf cramping (literally 24/7) along with severe random cramps no matter what I am doing. A harsh cough a few times a week (you know that deep, painful cough you get when you’re sick? yeah. that.) Daily fatigue/achiness.  Ringing in ears off and on.  Some nausea when I move. I lost a few pounds, only to promptly gain them back.

Due to the calf cramps, sleeping has been difficult. For a few weeks, I wrapped up in my cozy electric blanket most every night – it was the only way to ease the pain so I could sleep. I’ve started soaking my feet more often, hoping the epsom salts helps.

Treatment: I have backed off the garlic pills, to just one a day and have added back in the Xiao Chai Hu Tang. I started with one pill a day and have gone up to 2 a day this week to see how I do. Otherwise, I am on everything my doctor put me on last time I was there.

Migraines:  So, on one hand I feel they are getting better. On the other – 55 hours. I’ll take what I can get but aren’t they supposed to get shorter too????

Digestion and TMJ :  digestion has been touch and go – what with feeling so poorly it was hard to cook (read: pasta and french fries) and juicing pretty consistently…. I definitely digest better when I stay away from breads/pastas/etc, and drink at least 3 glasses of juice a day. (juice being kale, cucumber, celery, carrots, lemon, ginger and apple). My jaw hasn’t been good. often it’s been an indicator that pain/migraine was on its way.

Sleep: My app says I’ve been getting about 7 hours a night but I certainly don’t feel like it! I am still waking up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom, and sometimes can’t go back to sleep the last time. I’ve been taking a lot of long naps lately – but still am exhausted by late evening.

Memory: this might actually be improving – or at least it stopped its downward spiral. Being in Bend for a week with family and friends, I noticed I wasn’t saying ‘um’ as much, or searching for the correct word. Granted, I still did it but I was able to carry on a coherent conversation and that wasn’t the case a few months ago.

Daily Vitamins/Supplements:

Clonidine – averaging 2 a day (although many, many days these past few weeks I’ve needed 3, and sometimes 4 to get through them. ugh)

Pulsatilla and Belladonna – I’d run out of one in time to replace it before I went on vacation and then promptly ran out of the other. oy.

1 each of B complex, B2, Calcium, D3, Fish oil, Copper, Garlic (trying 2 every other day of garlic)

2 each of Magnesium, Olive Leaf Extract, Vitamin E

3 Evening Primrose Oil

6 EHB

on Days 15-28, 1 each of Horse Chestnut Extract and Chaste Tree Berry

1/2 tsp Silver nano ( 2x a day)

1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water in the mornings

 

That’s all I can think of. I am feeling like this Lyme Disease is kicking my butt right now, so it’s probably good timing that I’m going in to my dr. tomorrow morning to get some motivation and encouragement (yep, she’s that awesome) along with some acupuncture. I don’t know if some of this is herxing or what, but I’m done.

*on a purely fun side note, I won nanowrimo!!! i’ll tell you more what that means next week! *

~Laura

Feel free to check out my other health updates here on my Chronic Pain page!

Book Review – Nov 2016

29 Nov

Hello readers! I hope you’ve had a wonderful month! It has flown by and now it’s time again for a review of what I’ve read this month!

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Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson – After being kidnapped by a cunning pirate, David Balfour must travel through the harsh and dangerous Scottish Highlands to get back home and reclaim his inheritance.

~I am really enjoying this book so far! I just had no idea what to expect but the way Stevenson describes the different adventures poor David goes through draws you in completely.

All the Shining Young Men book 3 of The Price of Liberty by Gilbert Morris -Chase Rinehart and Jesse Boone join up when World War II starts and hard-nosed reporter, Maria Vitrano  follows them. Each has different reasons for joining in the fight, but will that matter in the end?

~Somehow this has fallen by the wayside while I’ve been writing like crazy, and reading Kidnapped, of course! But I’ve really liked the main characters – Chase, Jesse and Maria -are all very different  and what with Maria being a reporter, and my main character (in the novel i’m writing) wanting to be one as well, it’s been fun to be able to take notes on how that world is portrayed.

 

Inside the Victorian Home: A portrait of Domestic life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders – From room to room, this book follows the daily life of a middle-class home. Flanders pulls from diaries and other sources to describe a time so very different from our own.

~I think this just might be worth adding to my collection! I’ve got several chapters marked for easy access and have loved the pictures they have throughout. The details are coming in handy for making a rough diagram of a house, and where they’d entertain and a bunch of other things that I need to know!

Blink : The power of thinking without thinking by Malcolm Gladwell – This is a book about how we can know something without knowing how we know, in the blink of an eye

~ You can read my full review here! Suffice it to say, it was an interesting book that was well worth the read.

On my to-read list are:

Liberty’s Dawn: A People’s history of the Industrial Revolution by Emma Griffin

Lyme Disease:Why it’s spreading, how it makes you sick and what to do about it by Alan G. Barbour, M.D.

 

I know these are seriously short synopsis’ and I apologize! Bear with me and I’ll try and give you better descriptions next month. Don’t forget to check out The Ultimate Book List that grows every month!

~Laura

Writing Short- Refusal

22 Nov

Hello lovely readers! I’m here at my parents on vacation AND am still trying to write sufficiently enough for nanowrimo! But before the real craziness begins, I wanted to share a writing prompt that I did the other day, when my brain refused to work on my novel. (yes, that’s a normal problem for us writers!!)

writingshortrefusal

“I want the part of you that you refuse to give”

I don’t understand why you’ve held back from me, after all this time and all we’ve been through, you hold yourself apart, as if that side of you isn’t there. you laugh and you live and yet, behind your eyes, i see that it’s all an echo. Deep within, there is a part of you that you’ve hidden.  But you can never forget it, and I know it’s there. I try to draw you out; show you that you can trust me with that part of you; but you refuse to see. you refuse to let it out. Will i be able to live with the part that you’re willing to give? or will the knowledge that you’re holding something back – something that is so important to who you are, ruin what we have? 

OR

So long ago we met. So long ago we told each other the stories of our lives. I told you about my adventures and you told me yours. but when i added them up, yours were short. I brought them to you one day and asked you, what happened to those years, those years you left out of the telling? you turned away and said they didn’t matter- they didn’t happen. I didn’t press, but when you cried the whole night through, i held you close. Our lives are everything we dreamed of now, we’ve come so far from that ramshackle apartment but still, every year, you dissolve in tears. and i hold you close.  it’s coming once again, i can see it building in your eyes – the pain, disbelief, denial and despair. You turn from me, fleeing to your sanctuary. Every other time, I let you leave. but now, I ask you why? why every year do we go through this?  I need to understand.  

 

OR

fine. if you won’t give it to me – i’ll take it. 

 

~ I just couldn’t help myself, I had to keep writing until the words stopped! I really wanted one to turn out happy, but well, I think they got progressively worse (/creepy)!

Hope you have a fantastic day,

~Laura

Book Review – Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

18 Nov

I hope you’ll forgive me for reviewing this separately when I had it in October’s book review but I’ve finished it and just HAD to share more in-depth why I liked this book so much! 

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This is a book about how we can know something without knowing how we know, in the blink of an eye. It shows that those who are good at ‘thin-slicing’ – filtering a few facts from an overwhelming amount of variables-  can often be better decision makers than those that spend a lot of time gathering information and deliberating.

Here are a few snippets that i felt really summed up the point of the book, “This practice of inferring the motivations and intentions of others is classic thin-slicing. It is picking up on subtle, fleeting cues in order to read someone’s mind – and there is almost no other impulse so basic and so automatic and at which, most of the time, we so effortlessly excel.” page 195

When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come  from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves.” page 269

We all make snap judgments without realizing it –  but I had no idea how much they can affect our lives. Writing that, I guess it sounds silly. But it’s just like with our formed opinions that we know about, only these happen so fast and without our being aware.  Our snap judgments can be good, and they can be bad- so pay attention to them.

I am glad I was able to read this – it has made me pause and think about how I respond to things.  My OH is reading this for his marketing class this term (finally, a college book that i was excited about!) and he said the author’s got some TED talks! Once I’ve listened to them, I’ll link them up here.

All in all, I recommend this book as it’s one that makes you think (no pun intended there) about what you, well….think.

(I can tell I’m getting tired. I’m thinking in very uninspired language. Naptime perhaps?)

I want to read his first book, The Tipping Point, next!

~Laura

 

 

 

Halfway through Nanowrimo

15 Nov

How I have now started counting for my ‘nano words’ as I call them, is the formula I found on Camp Nano (link). One hour of editing equals 1,000 words. So, according to that, on Nano, I have a total of 21,118 words! I need to write 1,669 words a day to finish on time. My goal is actually 2,000 a day.

For the sake of everything, in my word docs total, I’ve edited/written 52,481. Which makes me feel a whole lot better. There were days when I was just BUSTING out the editing, yay for writing that didn’t need much filler or correction (at least this go-round) but now I’ve come to the parts that need quite a bit of filler. And then I decided that something bad needed to happen to my MC (main character), so that was a lot of debating, questioning, wondering and calling my mom to bounce ideas off her (thanks mom!). In other words, the going is a lot slower right now.

Oh, yeah, this has been going on in our house too:

 

Of course, there were 2 more kids (and their parents!!) here – we had such a fun, full house! Then, Abby got fixed last monday…that’s been ‘fun’. And then last weekend, our friends came and stayed with us. So much fun = so little writing getting done!

A friend of mine is doing Nano as well, and we’ve been messaging each other each day, talking writing and nonsense, and sending songs! i’m creating a playlist on youtube as we go, I’ll share it at the end of the month. But having her as a writing buddy has helped me SO much.

Are you doing Nano? 

~Laura

Book Review – The Silent Governess

8 Nov

Happy Tuesday!

One day, while wandering aimlessly through Barnes and Noble, I stumbled upon The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen. Intrigued, I pulled it from the shelf and started reading in one of the cozy chairs. I was quickly drawn in to the story and was so sad when my OH was ready to leave! I regretfully put it back on the shelf, and it only took me two years to get it from the library!

WHY IN THE WORLD DID I WAIT SO LONG? (groanofagonyandfrustrationatmyself)

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I think this book has made it to my top-10 list. It was that good.

Synopsis:

Olivia Keene flees home, believing she has committed a terrible crime. But when she accidentally overhears Lord Bradley’s secret – her flight is stopped and he has to decide what to do with her. Forcibly engaged at Brightwell Court as a nursery maid, Olivia is relieved to be well hidden but is also anxious at that fact. Lord Bradley is sure she’s hiding something, something other than his secret that if told, would destroy his entire life. But as he watches her, he is drawn more and more to the mysterious Miss Keene, despite the danger she represents.

 

I enjoyed this book on so many levels. Mystery. Romance. Friendship. Faith. When I had just about decided I knew what had happened/what would happen, Klassen threw in another twist and I’d invariably shout ‘what?’.

I feel like Klassen brings a more realistic-look at how life really was in her historical fiction.  Even as I was raging at how a maid was being treated, I couldn’t help but think how it’s probably pretty accurate. I appreciated that raw/harsh look at daily life that was balanced by the faith-filled words of Mr. Tugwell.

Because of the story line/ theme of the novel, I wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.

Another one of her novels that I love, is The Apothecary’s Daughter. Just in case, you know, you need to get two new novels to read!

What are you reading lately?

~Laura

 

*While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.*

The First Week of Nanowrimo – 2016

4 Nov

I sat down this morning to get to work on my novel, but of course, one has to check all the mandatory sites first – Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, when it  hit me – Today’s post hasn’t been written! In other words, this is going to be short and sweet.

timefornanowrimo2016

making some goat milk in the background, got the diffuser going, peppermint mocha and pain pills – yep it’s time to write!

I started Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month)  on the first of November. For a super short explanation, it’s when a bunch of writers (and wanna-be’s) dedicate themselves to writing 50,000 words in one month, ending up with a novel at the end of it.

This is my fourth year doing it- although I am doing it a bit differently. Since I finished my novel in September (yaaay!), I am using this year to help me edit the thing! For me this means – filling in holes, fixing plot issues, straight-up editing, etc. Which, makes doing a word count a little challenging.  So, I am doing a rough- track of the words I write and edit.

In week one,

Edited: 7,413

Wrote: 1,257

I’m feeling pretty good about those numbers since it’s really only been three days since Nano started! In total, I’ve edited over 2k words, when I started the beginning of October. So I’m doing a little happy dance before I get back to work.

I am going to be doing weekly updates this month, but don’t worry! I’ve got a few book reviews coming up as well!

Until next week,

Laura

Health Update – 10-31-2016

31 Oct

Note to self: Don’t ever run out of EHB. you’ll regret it.  also, take gelsimium frequently, that stuff is miraculous.

fightinglymemigraines

 

Overall Health:  This month was rough. The pain levels were either at a 7/above or were nonexistent. My new migraine tracking app, Migraine Buddy, says my migraines last an average of 20 hrs; pain starts mainly in temples and back of neck; triggers are too much activity, interrupted sleep and neck pain; main symptoms are fatigue, neck pain and throbbing pain and that the combo of clonidine, heat pad and sleep always help ease the pain. In other words, I’m enjoying the new app but it isn’t completely accurate on a few things. I have pushed myself and gotten out with the dogs more this month. I was also able to survive almost all of the celebrations of the High Holy Days this month without collapsing or leaving service early like I did/had to last year.

 

Treatment:  I have been on all the added supplements/vitamins for 3 weeks now. Aside from starting to smell like GARLIC all the time, there haven’t been any adverse reactions. I  did end up buying Garlitrin from Integrative Therapeutics, here’s a part of their description , ” Enteric-coated tablets reach the small intestine, so you get garlic where you need it, and avoid garlic breath.”. So far, my OH hasn’t said anything about how I smell like garlic, so I’m really hoping these do the trick, because I am supposed to be taking 4 of them a day!

 

Migraines: Severe. Like my app said, 20 hrs is the average. The most ‘exciting’ was the one that lasted 5 days. oh yeah. that’s how I like to spend my days. mmhmm. (NOT)

Digestion and TMJ:  Digestion has improved marginally. Jaw was doing better before this past week.

Sleep:  It’s improved since last month.  I still don’t feel like I’m sleeping well but I seem to be averaging 7/8 hrs a night – with waking up 2 or 3 times. Now if I could only be sleeping deeply enough to wake refreshed…naps aren’t daily but still frequent

Memory:  I haven’t noticed it worsening, honestly I tend to forget (haha) that it’s as bad as it is until I’m in conversation with someone and then it hits me.

Daily Vitamins:

Clonidine – probably averaging 2 a day

Pulsatilla and Belladonna – the more often I remember to take them, the better they work, shocking, I know

1 each of B complex, B2, Calcium, D3, Fish oil, Copper, Garlic (trying to up to 2 a day of garlic)

2 each of Magnesium, Olive Leaf Extract, Vitamin E

3 Evening Primrose Oil

6 EHB

on Days 15-28, 1 each of Horse Chestnut Extract and Chaste Tree Berry

1/2 tsp Silver nano ( 2x a day)

All that adds up to one very full weekly pill box, let me tell you! I recently found a website where I can buy what I need – and they don’t charge shipping! I’ve only ordered EHB and the Garlic from there but they seem to be legit and are very prompt in filling their orders!

Stick around and check out my other health updates!

9/23/16

8/23/16

Symptoms of my Lyme

7/27/16

Fighting Lyme and Migraines

The Big Health Update

 

Come back Friday to hear how my first week of Nanowrimo went!

~Laura

 

Book Review – October 2016

28 Oct

 

Hello readers! Thank you for coming by SGL! It means a lot that you’re here! Due to feeling pretty awful for most of this month, I haven’t read too much. I expect I won’t read much next month either as I’m planning on doing Nanowrimo – read ‘i’m planning on writing/editing my novel until I can’t stare at the computer screen anymore without burning my eyes out’ , that’s basically what it means, it’s going to be crazy but I’m hoping on getting a LOT of editing done!

 

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Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose –   This is the true story of a young woman, newly married, surviving the jungles of New Guinea and four years in a Japanese prison camp. Her triumphs and strengthening of faith despite everything.

~I’m not sure how to start my review of this book, the words keep swirling in my brain. It was a well-written book that I would recommend for sure. The nature of it keeps it from being a light read, instead it is one that will tear your heart out. At the same time it made me appreciate some of the things that we take for granted – showers for instance. It took me a month to read (thank goodness for being able to renew from the library!) 

The Color of the Star book 2 of The Price of Liberty by Gilbert Morris – Jordan Simms was raised by her rather eccentric aunt on the wrong side of town in Liberty, Georgia. No matter how sweet she is, that fact alone is enough to make her unsuitable for Billy Christmas, according to Billy’s parents. They have someone else in mind, a girl from a prominent, wealthy family. But Billy doesn’t want the life his parents have planned, so he joins the Marines and fights on the bloody battlefields of Guadalcanal. Halfway across the world, Jordan and Billy meet again, changing both their lives forever.

~I enjoyed Jordan’s story more than I did Billy’s, although I can’t quite say why that is. I liked how we stepped back in time, in Liberty , and ran across Ben from the first book, as a youngster, and met many other characters from the first book – getting to know them better. I’m hoping each book in the series does this!

Maire by Linda Windsor –  In Ireland in the fifth century the light of Christ was spreading – thanks in huge part to the druids who started seeking truth. During this time of change, two warriors stand against evil. Rowan of Emrys, a leader of his tribe and repentant warrior and Maire, warrior queen of Gleannmara. As these two leaders form an unlikely and unplanned bond, they face the evil druid, Morlach  who is determined to have Maire and Gleannmara and Rowan’s older brother who sold him into slavery as a boy.

~I thought I hadn’t read this book in such a long time and just found evidence that I read it in January of this year…so much for my memory. Ahem. Anyway, this is one of my FAVORITES. I love Rowan’s testimony in his daily actions; Maire’s struggle to understand her new husband and his faith; and the way Windsor weaves an engrossing story of light vs. dark. 

Currently Reading:

Blink – the Power of thinking without thinking by Malcolm Gladwell – This is a book about how we can know something without knowing how we know, in the blink of an eye. It shows that those who are good at ‘thin-slicing’ – filtering a few facts from an overwhelming amount of variables-  can often be better decision makers than those that spend a lot of time gathering information and deliberating.

~I was so excited when my OH bought this for a class of his, I’d been wanting to read it! I’m about halfway through it and the information is intriguing. I’m enjoying it!  

Roses for Mama by Janette Oke – After both their parents die, Angela and Thomas are left in charge of their younger siblings. Angela struggles as the responsibility gets harder, on how to raise them the way their mother would have wanted.

~I have grown up reading this book and I love it as much now as I did the first time I read it. Oke creates characters that become so real, and worlds that I always want to visit. I wanted a light story that I could focus on with a severe migraine and this fit the bill! 

 

What are you reading lately? 

~Laura

 

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

Abby Pond- 1 year later

25 Oct

You guys, I have seriously been WAITING for the end of this month so I could share a ridiculous amount of pictures of Abby with you.

We got the little fluff ball a year ago this week! I’d been wanting a puppy for several years – with Lady getting older I really wanted a playmate for her. Enter crazy, active and persistent Abby Pond. She’s got a completely different personality than Lady does, which took some getting used to! She will whine and pace and whine some more until she gets what she wants/needs, is obsessed with the ball and bone and anybody she meets. She’s learning that we mean business, bath time is not a time to drink out of the hose and car rides are the best.

Check out the post where I introduced her to you!ladygrowingup

 

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Okay, okay, I’ll stop. She’s just SO cute. And not a tiny little fluff ball anymore! She’s turned into 60 odd pounds of energy and shadowing my every move. Look at the happiness on that face. Seriously.

Come back later in the week for October’s monthly book review!

~Laura

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