Life... Health... Reviews...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What have you done for your heart?

February has almost come to an end, but I can't let the month pass without talking about Heart Awareness Month. One way that I recognize the cause is by wearing red because it's a lighthearted way to acknowledgement the month, but heart disease is anything but lighthearted. (I also wear my Red Dress pin!)

Though the emphasis has been put on men's hearts, we are starting to realize that a woman's heart health is equally at risk. It's especially scary to think of how the disease affects women and how it is often misdiagnosed. A woman's symptoms can include: Unusual pain in the chest, stomach or abdomen; nausea or dizziness; shortness of breath and breathing difficulties; unusual anxiety, loss of strength or fatigue;
heart palpitations, cold sweat or a pale appearance.

Symptoms most talked about are:
-Pressure, fullness or squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and then returns
-Pain that extends to the shoulders, neck or arms
-Chest discomfort accompanied by dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.

If you experience any of these symptoms you should see your physician or go to the doctor immediately because prompt treatment can increase your chance of survival.

There are ways to reduce your heart attack risk. Do your research like checking out the American Heart Association website to find out what applies to you. You are the best advocate for your heart health - and your overall health, for that matter - so do something for your heart.

What have you done for your heart health lately?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time to come clean

I have a secret. I guess it could be considered a secret addiction. It's something I've been hiding, but I think I'm going to come clean:

"Hi, my name is Petula and I'm a sugarholic."

You're laughing, aren't you?

It's something that's kind of snuck up on me. I mean, me - the health and weight loss journal person - has been getting sugar fixes throughout the day.

The addiction has grown from a small fix or two of dark chocolate during the day and maybe one large cup of coffee to a minimum of four large cups of coffee (16 ounces each, two caffeinated and two decaf) and possibly a cup of regular tea. Yup, a large cup.

I'll even have an extra slice of raisin bread with honey. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but the serving size is two and I normally have less than the serving size or no more than that. How do you think I've been losing weight? I've been obsessed with counting calories. Now, I'm obsessed with hoping that the extra sugar doesn't cause weight gain... and more GASP! fat.

Even with all of the worrying, I still can't stop.

It's getting so bad that when I rushed into CVS yesterday to grab some Blistex lip ointment I also came out with bubblegum, which I scored for 88 cents. I never buy gum unless it is to keep my breath fresh. (Another obsession albeit a very good one.) Bubblegum is only good for about 10 minutes nowadays so once the sugary flavor is gone then I spit it out. Well, only after some public attempts to blow bubbles and appear to be actually enjoying the gum.

I mean, what if people found out? I actually have two fixes while I am driving the children from school. Maybe two pieces of gum or a cup of coffee on the way. I don't know... Maybe I should call Dr. Phil. He sends addicts to great rehab centers so I am sure he'll have a plan for me.

Okay, I can't keep this up any longer. If you're reading this seriously then I think you should call Dr. Phil. I am just kidding around. Well, I have been eating too much sugar, but the silliness of this post has made it funny to me.

Wish me luck in cutting back. Oh, and don't tell Amber or my BFF (Hi, Frankie! BIG GRIN) 'cause I'll get in trouble.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good & bad quickies

Good news: The baby doesn't have strep throat.
Bad news: She's still naughty.

Good news: The two middle children are no longer contagious.
Bad news: They were fighting at 7:30 this morning.

Good news: I don't think I have strep throat.
Bad news: I have a sinus infection.

Good news: I covered another shoebox with construction paper.
Bad news: I accidentally spilled a large amount of Elmer's glue on the carpet and didn't notice it 'til 20 minutes later.


Monday, February 16, 2009

R u kidding me?

I seem to recall last Monday being a little hectic and tiring, and I started off the week trying to catch up. That's the reason why you haven't seen me around a lot. The kids and myself had a great weekend except when my son got sick on Saturday night. It started Friday night with coughing, but I didn't think much of it until he threw up on Saturday evening.

A fever has come and gone and come and gone (etc.!) ever since. I decided to take him to the pediatrician today (especially since his fever kept returning when the meds wore off) because I looked at tomorrow's schedule and saw a morning GI appointment for my teenager as well as her Calculus tutoring in the early afternoon.

I took Amber and Amareah with me. While there the doctor noticed his throat was red and all of his symptoms fit a strep throat diagnosis. Ut oh, I thought, but consoled myself that none of the kids have ever had strep throat. (Uh... well, maybe Amber has but I don't recall.) She had Amber and Amareah swabbed too.

The results: Andre and Amareah have strep throat - Amareah even has the red marks on her throat). Oh no! Amber was happy to know she was strep free and made plans to go out with her friends. (Lots of sympathy, huh? LOL)

The pediatrician said that although it's unlikely that Anna has it I should still bring her in. When? Yup, tomorrow. So I will be running and ripping to make it to appointments, take care of two sick children, get them fed and keep them warm and get everything done.

Can you say: Are you getting behind again? I don't even have to answer that, do I? Especially since I spent about two hours at the pediatrician's office this afternoon.

I guess no amount of sanitizing, hand washing and disinfectant spraying can always keep your kids from getting sick. Somehow Andre got the little bugger and generously passed it onto his sister. Hopefully just one sister. And, in case you are wondering: My throat hurts too. BIG SIGH! :(

Monday's Muse - order

Today, I clicked to to look up the word order. It
seems like that's all I've been trying to do lately. I got a good chuckle out of the fifth definition of order as a noun and the sentence that was used as an example:
a condition in which each thing is properly disposed
with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodical or harmonious arrangement: You must try to give order to your life.
I find that trying to work (blog, write, follow-up on emails, process paperwork, pay bills...) are all delayed or unfulfilled if the area surrounding me is without order. Well, for that matter, if any area in my home is without out. As I sit here, about three rooms and one closet away from my bedroom, I can picture the disorder that awaits me. The too small/too big/too-not-gonna wear clothes of my four children that need to be organized, passed down and/or given away.

I think I've spoke of this before, but I think it becomes even more important to me as I age. My mother once told me that her mother kept everything, but I would hesitate to call my grandmother a hoarder since that seems so negative. My mother, on the other hand, is a complete clean and organizational freak. (Oops, did I just call her a freak?)

I'll just have to apologize (but you better not tell her I said that!) and continue by explaining what I mean. I love the fact that our home was always clean and orderly when I was growing up. There was no clutter and nothing was ever out of place. Sometimes to an obsessive degree, but I can appreciate it.

What bothers me about it is that I believe she threw away stuff that to most people is important, i.e., the clothes that my paternal grandmother made for me when I was an infant. Everyone keeps mementos like that, right? I know it's important and something to cherish because the few things I have from my childhood hold special memories to me and my oldest daughter who I passed stuff down to.

Those things are even more important since that grandmother passed away in 2001. She was the last tie that I had to my father's family, which makes any of those possessions extra special.

Okay, back to what I was saying... I find maintaining order is like fuel to my muse. I have been putting construction paper on shoe boxes to hold crayons, markers and chalk that my children often have all over the place.

I still have to find a box large enough for the paint and paint supplies because right now everything is divided between two boxes and I don't like it like that.

I designated a clear storage box for my teenager's memories (like movie tickets, playbooks, etc.) that I often find laying on her desk, her dresser or in a random book.

I've even designated a box for magazines ready for recycling (now we can just pick up the box when it's full and dump it into the recycling thingy up the street) and a large storage container for arts, crafts, projects and scrapbooking supplies.

Now what I've done may not be all matchy-matchy or perfect like I would want it, but instead of waiting until I have money to buy all matching paper or perfectly matched storage boxes, I have been proactive in causing order. The very act of finding a home for all of these things is exciting and it lifts my spirits. I am hoping I can maintain this order so that I don't get behind on the things that are important like working and processing paperwork like bills. But, on the up side, I have found the key to not bogging my mind down and causing heaviness in my aura. Or cloudiness among my zen. Is it static in my brain? Oh no, I got it: Fuzziness of my muse.

That, my friends, is my muse for the moment. Wanna read my previous musey moments? Click
here and here for the Monday's Muse home.

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