Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cute videos from Vegas (Roxy's Diner)

Last week, at the start of a new treatment regime (intense antibiotics, among other things).  I took a trip with a friend.  I did well with the meds but was not as spunky as I've been for other recent travels (the week before that I flew out of state to see a lyme doctor). About a week and a half before that we took our family vacation (the sea lion photos a couple of posts ago).

Anyhow, these singers (at Roxy's Diner at the Stratosphere) were so great I had to film them.

Stand by me

Oh Darlin (duet)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tremendous timing! Serendipitous seal sighting on Kauai

As Katie and I came back to our beach and snorkeling spot, having treked to bathrooms on the developed portion of the beach, a monk seal was settling in on shore.  Katie stayed to watch and I ran up to the car for my camera.  I got back as other tourists were heading over to see, but not all that many gathered and virtually all kept a respectful distance.  The boys came and joined us for a bit, too.

A very nice girl asked if I could help her with her camera, which had firmly decided to remain on a timer setting no matter what she tried.  Our cameras were just similar enough that I was able to fix it for her and felt quite proud and knowledgeable for a moment.  We chatted about sea turtles and states we'd both lived in and she hollared helpfully at the folks who stepped right over the seal.  One in particular was a complete turd, stopping right next to the seal to glare at her with an intimidating and arrogant sneer.  Another looked at her and went right up to it to take pictures.   People stink but seals are neat and if we'd tried to find one we'd have failed, so the timing was great.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Attack of the fries

As for many chronic illness sufferers, there are plenty of foods I can't have.  Clinically speaking, CFS added dairy and casein intolerances to my life.  I've learned of other things to avoid through experience.

This makes eating anywhere a challenge, as you can ask all the questions you please; you never know which answers are right, or which questions you're forgetting to ask.

Fast food is pretty risky.  Not as bad as it probably was a few years ago, but pretty risky.  Some places, you can order quite a bit with certainty (Burger King is fairly good and I was blown away by how knowledgeable the staff at Arby's was).  But the same things (fries) aren't safe everywhere.

I remember reading early on in my dairy-intolerant life (less than two years long so far) about a McDonalds dairy conspiracy, whereby they insisted for years that there was no dairy in their fries.  It wasn't until enough ER visits among patients stacked up that someone decided to prove that there was dairy present in the fries. From what I recall, McDonalds admitted to the dairy after that.  What I may have projected into the story was that they stopped using it.

Tonight, after previously eating fries from McDonalds but not blaming my resulting nausea on them, I decided to ask when I ordered if there was dairy in them.

The teenager's voice in her answer was too funny (incredulous and baffled) to be offensive.  "Dairy?  In the FRIES?  Uh, no!"  After my, "OK, thanks.  Are you absolutely sure?"  her "Yes definitely," was not as solid as the first round.

When I pulled up to pay, I inquired about toys (boy toys and girl toys are not equal in my car when my kids get to actually have mcdonalds).  When the second teenager came back with her toy answer, she said, "Oh and also, there's dairy in our french fries."  She had to get a manager to get my money back, but I was very grateful that teenager number one had started asking around after taking my order until she found someone better informed.  My stomach thanks her, too.

They gave me five of my six dollars back (I kept my drink) and then also gave me the burger.  I just looked it up and found I can have that, but I'm a tad nauseous after the first few bites, so not sure what my body isn't liking.

All the same, this site was very helpful.  

I need to memorize a couple safe options from each fast food chain's menu, if for no other reason that eating safely in airports.

Friday, July 27, 2012

River Medicine: "There's a River with my name on it...."

I realized I need to post river pictures after reading the following in an article:

"There’s a river with my name on it…I don’t care if I have to stuff my I’ve-earned-this-ass into a bathing suit…the immediate relief on all things joint/muscle related is immeasurable!"

The article is Badass Gone Wild…uh…Camping on a blog called Lupus Interrupted.  This indicates to me that moms and sick people everywhere should do what she and I do at least once year, though my reprieve of this nature is 3 days and hers is ten.  

Ours is a group of moms on a float trip each July.  Our "Goddess" trip.  There really aren't words (though Kim puts it to verse each year).  So I'll put some picture up instead.  Enjoy, as these are enjoyable.  Can you even tell which women in these pictures are sick and which are not?  I didn't think so.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Travel medicine June 2012

My doctor hypothesized early in my illness that warm weather would help me if I felt good enough to travel.  My husband had his summer airline second job by then, so we tested it with a trip to Hawaii and though I spent a lot of time in the room resting, she was absolutely right.  My turtle trips started last year, and I slipped in a very brief one this year (a couple of weeks ago.  My friend Jenny, in some of my turtle pictures last year, happened to be on Oahu the same days as us.  This first photo is the kids waiting in the ocean while I talked with Greg about flight options for getting back.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Year of the Turtle 2012

I saw the emblem as the profile picture for Sea Turtle Oversight Protection on facebook today:

And I think 2012 is definitely the year of the turtle.  If I didn't start a turtle conservation page on this blog yet, I will.  And if I did, I'll update it.

Yesterday was a bit of a turtle day.  Christopher and I were at a local lake getting my last couple of lakes covered for our annual western Montana spring loon census, and there were no loons visible in the bright, bright, sun, but a painted turtle was sunning nearby and (surprisingly) chose to hang around (these duplicate some of the loon day photos in my Montana Momma blog).  

The S.T.O.P. post on facebook today that caught my attention was:

The Earth Oath. (say it & share it)
"To recognize in beings their capacity for love & their need for love. To befriend all Earth's creatures of the land, the sea and the air. To defend them against the ravages by humankind, & to inspire in humans, compassion for all."

Friday, April 13, 2012

3 days to my 'Bellaversary'

Bell's palsy people note the anniversary of their onsets.  Maybe more so when it doesn't go away.  Mine did, but I realized the other day that it's almost been 2 years.

Bell's palsy folks have a tight community.  Far more people look at the forums than post, but that is partly human nature and partly the adjustment period after onset.  That sense of community and the time people took to post what they'd experienced helped me through in ways not other information source good.  We take posts with a grain of salt knowing medical info and theories have to be verified before we adjust our medical care, but we learn through experience what works.

Each disease has a community now, with forums, blogs, advocacy groups, and in many cases actual resources available through major medical institutions.  But if people didn't take the time, none of it would be there.

Blogging can seem a bit silly to people who don't do it.  It can even be a bit risky, depending what types of peripheral issues your illness may bring (employment issues, disability issues, discrimination issues, etc).  But I'm so glad people do it.  My life as a sick person the past couple of years was so much better and easier for it (the term easy being very relative).

I've blogged much less about illness since returning to work.  I also paired back my disability blog a lot, mostly for fear of legal ramifications, but also for a smoother transition back.  My blogging didn't start during Bell's, as I couldn't have looked at a screen that long.  I started a good ways in to my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis.  But I'm glad I started.  It's a small role, but a way to build awareness and advocacy.

Social media is really something; I certainly didn't imagine it would play such an enormous role in my recovery (which I'll describe more tomorrow; for now it's time to work).

But the BEST resource for Bell's palsy was this forum: http://www.bellspalsy.net/forums.php

Monday, March 19, 2012

Freedom ~ Clark Little Photography

Flame ~ Clark Little ~ click here
I was searching for Clark Little while looking at photos on facebook (Amazing Earth via Like Animals); I couldn't remember his name, but I'd been wanting to remember so I could show my kids his photos.  I picked up a book in Waikiki in a shop and was mesmerized.  I never got around to looking at anything else in the shop.  What I recall reading that day was that his wife asked him to take a picture of a wave for their bedroom, which sparked his amazing art.

Tonight, picture by picture, I am finding solace and peace in these photos.  His turtle photos are amazing, but some of the wave shots are just amazing (I want to highlight a few of those favorites, too, but will probably save those for another night).  Since the turtles are spread out, I'm posting links to the turtle pictures I saw (I'm trying to keep the pictures big enough to see his watermarks), and its worth clicking on each because they are so much bigger and better in his gallery, plus his books contain even more.  I plan to order a print for my wall at some point, but have to figure out which one and where it'll go, plus catch up on bills for a while.

But you truly can't think of bills when you open his site, and a slide show starts that'll stop you breath....you REALLY need to give yourself at least a minute or two on his site.

Dancing Honu



15 Ways to Stop Obsessing ~ Article Link

When you are grounded in the moment, you’re not thinking of what bad things can happen to you in the future, or dwelling on the mistakes of your past."

"Obsessions are almost always rooted in our attachments. So if we can think of them as borrowed from God—that God alone is the owner of this thing about which we are obsessing--we tend to become less greedy and possessive with our gifts, material and otherwise. In this way, we are mere stewards of whatever God has graciously given us."

Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/Health/Emotional-Health/Bipolar/15-Ways-to-Stop-Obsessing.aspx?p=15#ixzz1pWrh3nmv 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beatles a capella covers (for this gray Montana day)

I was talking to other fire-wife-moms last night, and the grayness of Montana winters came up a couple of times from people realizing how little we recognize how much we are impacted by the gray of our winters.

Things like Seasonal Affective Disorder are talked about quite a bit in places like Alaska during winter, with college campus health centers even providing multi-station uv light consoles the way a public library would provide computers.  And in the Pacific Northwest, cities like Seattle are known for their depressingly rainy winters. But in Montana, we mostly talk about winter in fairly positive terms because so many of us spend our time outside when the snow falls.

When I lived in Alaska, my first winter was bliss; I even rode my bike to school through the winter and occasionally skied to campus.  My second winter, though, when I was pregnant and unable to do the same high impact (and somewhat high risk) physical activities, winter was another story altogether, I has much more empathy for the many friends up there (especially people born and raised there) significantly impacted by winter blues.

On the medical side of things, UV light and travel can be very helpful during winter.  But on a less-than-medical and less-than-long-term-solution-finding note, indoor fun is good where you can find it.

Which brings us back the Beatles.  I swiped these youtube shares from facebook.  Watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blog post you should read: Internet mistakes to avoid (WEGO Health)

New patients should read this, seasoned patients should add comments to it.....valuable points

Mistakes Patients Should Avoid When First Taking to the Web

"Yes, information is the very first step toward empowerment – but (and this is a significant but) – these searches and health info sites can easily overwhelm you. Before you know it you’re scaring yourself into thinking of the worst. You’re hearing about symptoms, outcomes, and other frightening things all at once. Instead of overwhelming yourself, pause, and consider asking someone you trust to look for you (or alongside you). And, instead of just looking for articles and hard facts – seek out patient communities. The narrative piece and community piece are going to give you solace and honesty along with the facts. Look for patient leaders and community members who can humanize the black and white and fill in where your care team may have left off."