Tag Archives: health

I Need Naps


This week I finally had the chance to do a decent grocery shop.  And I went with my girl, Carly.  We haven’t been shopping together in close to a year.

It seemed that I could never get the shopping quite right; Carly wanted “healthy” things.  Well, so do I but our versions of “healthy” are two different ideas.  I had to teach her about balance and budget.  Since she was complaining so much I made her come with me.

So there we were with a borrowed van at the store and a good wad of cash.  I needed prescriptions and headed to the pharmacy while sending her to the fruit and vegetable section.  While my prescriptions were getting filled we met up again and started cruising up and down the aisles. I don’t usually cruise but I had a list too.

We agreed on some things that didn’t have much to do with food.  The most challenging was a new razor.  Ours was gross already so we agreed to buy a new one.  I was checking out the ladies and Carly insisted we get a men’s razor style.  I wasn’t too sure about that until she found a weird shaped one.  She was reading the package and exclaimed “It has a battery!?”  That perked my interest and it was only $7 on sale, half price.  Carly said she didn’t think we should get it as we probably were too technically challenged to use it.  It had an attached trimmer for heaven’s sake.  That must explain the battery, right?

I ignored her and got the last 2.  She has no faith.

Then it was groceries…she read every label on every box or container of food and exclaiming in a horrified voice every time; “OMG the sodium! …the saturated fat!…the CARBS!” and would quickly put the item back on the shelf.  I would pick it back up again horrifiedand show her what we had to do to make a balanced meal.  She had to realize it was OKAY to have fat, sodium and carbs to a certain degree especially since my cart was full of fruit and veggies too.  We picked up whole grains as alternatives to what we would normally buy.  We also bought a little more organic fresh food as well.  It was all starting to come together.

I must say, shopping with her took twice as long (at least) and three times the cost.  I’m just lucky we  had the money for this trip.  I asked her if she saw how much it cost us and she said she did and was shocked at how much we have to pay to eat healthy.  I warned her that, on our normally very limited budget, this shopping trip would rarely be like this.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though…I did manage to sneak in my Cheez Whiz.  🙂

Boy, I had my exercise this week too.  I’ve been looking after my oldest granddaughter while my youngest granddaughter gets her eating habits in order.  I swear I’ve never been so tired.  It’s a really good tired though.  I go to bed before 11:00 (!!!) and get up for 8:00 am.  Amazing.  And she  has me running.  Running after her, ahead of her, beside her and with her.  In between we watch inane children shows that make me get ridiculous songs stuck in my head which have replaced the songs we played for my Dad while he was on his death-bed.  I don’t know which is worse.

We also nap.  Grandma needs her nap.IMG_0985

So a good week all around. Thank you to all who gave me their support the last couple of weeks.  I really appreciate it as it had to one of the worse times in my life.  I don’t feel as alone as I did.  I feel better being busy and productive.

Until next time….

Waiting


This has been a week of waiting that’s made me weary to my bones.  My daughter-in-law is due to have my grandson anytime now and she’s working right up to the bitter end.  Good for her.  The anticipation is killing me.  I’m the grandma in line to look after my granddaughter when the time comes.

My dad hasn’t been doing very well this week.  I’ve been going every day to spend time with him, just holding his hand and talking. He was so dehydrated that first day and I was told he wouldn’t eat or drink anything for days before that .  Well, the first day my younger sister and I got him to drink lots of ginger ale and 7-up and those cracked lips and tongue plumped right up in no time.  He wasn’t refusing anything except the food.  And every day after that when I arrived he would be in the same condition, just parched.  So now my sister and I are going to make sure he stays hydrated by one or both of us going in to see him every day.  He’s definitely not the same man he was; he’s skin and bones and quite aggressive at times but not to me thank goodness.  My kids have gone to see him too.

Apparently he wouldn’t have made it to the weekend if we didn’t do this.  Time will tell how he will do now.

I’m exhausted today after  I spent 8 hours there in the most uncomfortable chair you can imagine.  So this post is short and sweet.

Oh and for the third time in my life, I heard him say “I love you”.  🙂

A Few of My Favourite Things…


I’ve been thinking about positive thoughts and where they come from.  I really have to force myself, everyday, to think of myself in positive ways.  I thought I would try to come up with a list of my favourite things, not necessarily about me but maybe it will tell the world and me what I like and love.  So, in no particular order…

  1. Blue.  I love the colour blue for so many reasons.  I sometimes gasp at a new shade that makes me wish for the tropics or paint a picture.  Neither of which I’ll be getting to do soon.  The best blues are cobalt and music.
  2. My daughter’s smile.  It lights up the whole room.  It’s a rare thing to be seen since she became a teen.  Her brother and I spied on her while shecarly was working the drive thru at her work and oh, she smiled at everyone!  We both were astounded by the transformation.  I love her more every day than I did the day before.
  3. When she laughs it’s like bells
  4. My son’s energy.  Oh man he makes me tired!  Always smiling is that guy.  Very social which is the opposite of me.  He’s always talking and getting a deal going and has high ambitions.  I am immensely proud of him.  He is definitely one of my favourite things.  I love him dearly.
  5. My Mom’s paintings she left behind.  I just love them because she 000_0131never really knew her talent until she was in her 40’s, 50’s and she still painted until she died.  She had a passion.
  6. I love when people aren’t afraid to tell me what they think.  Sometimes I’m afraid of it, thinking it might be bad but it rarely comes out that way.
  7. I love colour and beauty and movement.  I love the ballet.
  8. I love the symphony.  The music sends me somewhere else.  I fell in love with the symphony at the same time I fell in love with the ballet.
  9. I love the kindness of others.  So many people have shown me how good they can be.  I’m truly lucky to know them and I’m a better person because of them.
  10. I love cats.  So cute, especially my Lucky who is, thank goodness, stilllucky2 with us.
  11. I like dogs too but not as much as cats. 🙂
  12. I love chocolate.
  13. I love lilacs and the wonderful aroma they leave in the air during Springtime.  I don’t think we’ll be having Spring this year.
  14. Spring and Summer
  15. My favourite flower would forget-me-nots.  I think.  If I was to make a bouquet it would be made up of many different kinds.  Orchids are always an option.
  16. I love long car rides.
  17. I love going out for supper.
  18. I love new clothes.
  19. And Shoes
  20. Reading and reading
  21. I love watching movies where I get totally lost.  I really don’t have a favourite movie, there are too many.  It always depends on the mood of the movie; for action movies I love the Terminator series; for love stories my favourite has to be The Notebook.  Whatever it is it has to be good.
  22. I like that I haven’t cried in weeks and weeks.
  23. I like Dr. G.  He saved my life along with Dr. H who died way too soon.  He found me Dr. G before he had to go though.
  24. I love my father’s face when he wakes up and sees me and the joyIMG_0292 that’s there, even though he doesn’t know its me.  He knows its someone he loves and who loves him.
  25. I love my grandchild.  She’s adorable.  I love when she holds out her arms for me even if her mom is holding her.  I love when she makes me feel special like at Easter when I was giving her strawberries and she said, in her 19 month voice, Mo Gamma.
  26. I love my younger sister and her family.  And all their dogs.  And all their cats.  Those kids have been brought up right and I stole a lot of things to use to bring up mine.
  27. Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences.  I was just at my daughter’s yesterday and finally got to see her amazing photographs.  She has a passion.  All her teachers said the same thing.  She does excellent work and it’s a pleasure having her in class.  They are all sure she will go on to do great things.  She didn’t want to go because she couldn’t see the point as her report card was excellent but I made her.  I felt it was important for her to hear the praises and make plans and goals.  She was very proud of herself and could see me bursting with it as well.
  28. I like when I make good decisions.
  29. I love to laugh and laugh until I cry or a little bit of pee comes out.  Well maybe not that but you know what I mean.
  30. I love how I’ve been able to get along for more than 3 years without a car.  Maybe it’s 4.  I don’t know but it doesn’t matter much anymore.  The only time I’ll miss it is during the summer because I won’t be able to get to the beach when I want to go.
  31. THE BEACH!  OMG I love the beach so much.  I love how it smells and the sounds and love looking at the water.  In my teens, I used to have a secretdsc024061.jpg place in the cliffs where I could be alone, write in my journal and watch the water while burying my feet in hot, smooth, white sand.  I can still feel the sun on my face and arms. The spot is gone now as everything has eroded away.  My memories of it though always fill me with comfort.  No one could find me.
  32. Driving.  I know I said I didn’t miss having a car but I really like driving.  I used to drive a lot in the summers, especially, to get to my ex’s cabin, sometimes just for the day and it would be a 4 hour drive then.  2 hours each way. Oh you know what I mean.
  33. I love the show Friends and the Joeyisms.
  34. Days of Our Lives and Dr. Phil and Ellen are my friends during the day.
  35. Wine.  Yeah.
  36. Writing of course. That’s my passion.
  37. Sleeping
  38. Eating
  39. Loving
  40. No more fear

I think that should do it.  Its been very interesting making this list.  Thanks for being interested enough to read it.  I’m sure there are lots more and I’m sorry if I left out anyone. I’ll leave you with a video someone sent me today on Facebook that has become one of my favourites.

http://youtu.be/V7OGY1Jxp3o

Later

PS:  The pictures on this page belong to me and I do not give permission for anyone to copy them without my consent.  Thank you.

Sleep Stories


Hey, how are you?  I’m doing fine this week.  I feel so much better.  My mind is pretty clear, I have plans for my life and my daughter’s report card was great.  Oh and my almost 20 month old granddaughter went pee in the potty for the first time pottytoday!  The only problem I’m having is sleeping.  Too much.  I could sleep all day and have done it a couple of times.

Oh the dreams I have at night (or early morning).  I think I don’t want to wake up because I don’t want to leave the dreams I’m in.  They’re so vivid now, so real.  Sometimes I’m not sure if something happened while sleeping or awake.  I’ve woken myself up yelling for my son to “come back here!!” like he was 2 years old.  The colours and patterns and stories make me want to sleep forever.

Most of them are really great dreams.  I told Dr. G about one that seemed almost precognitive.  I dreamt about my dream house and there were many new rooms in it.  Some of them had very narrow hallways that curved to the right before you enter the room.  Well, at my first appointment with the Intake Worker at the Canadian Mental Health Association, she led me to a door and immediately I had a strong sense of deja vu.  Sure enough, after entering, the wall curved to the right forming a narrow hallway and then we entered the open space of the office.

Weird.

I dream a lot of guilt dreams.  I hate those dreams.

I dreamt of apples last night.  Hundreds of them.  I filled my basket with them and I could smell them too.  I think it had to do with visiting with my son and daughter-in-law and smelling sample after sample of the products she’s selling for Scensie.  Apparently they use the same wax used on apples at the grocery stores.  No wonder.  None of my favourites scents I picked smelled like apples though.  Hmm.  Maybe I have scurvy?

dreamI asked Dr. G about my increase and intensity of my dreaming at our last appointment.  He told me that people who have bipolar have a very active mind so when we go to sleep the brain just keeps going.  When I told him about how much I was actually sleeping he brought up that nasty word…

NARCOLEPSY

NOOOOOO!!

Back in 2006 (?) I was diagnosed with the dreaded narcolepsy.  I had all the symptoms including falling asleep at inappropriate times, like during one on one conversations, going through stop signs with no memory of doing it until I “woke up”.  Forget driving on the highway.  I would get my 8 hours sleep no problem and more sometimes but the symptoms got worse and it was taking forever to get into the sleep clinic for an assessment.  narcolepsyMy GP had no choice but to diagnose me with that bad word until I could get to the clinic.  This meant suspending my driver’s license for a year!  A YEAR!

I called the clinic every week, looking for cancellations.  I was sooooo tired it was unbelievable.  I was on amphetamines that drove my body crazy with the shakes and the frustration of having eyes that wanted to close and dream but were wide open and dried out like 2 sand-filled apricots.  I couldn’t sleep at night.  I was awake all the time.  I was going on manic mode constantly.

I missed my dreams.

Finally they moved up my appointment.  Probably realizing my desperation and learning of my newly officially diagnosed bipolar disorder did the trick.  And it would make me stop phoning them.

Hi Sara!  It’s Marie again!
Hi Marie.  Oh I’m so sorry there’s nothing this week.  How are you doing my dear?

I was to go to the appointment after being awake for several hours and on no medication.  I got a ride there and looked forward to resolving this and 4 hours of sleep.  It was all so fascinating.  I love things to do with the brain and how it works.

I was hooked up to many, many electrodes and wires to monitors, wearing a paper gown.  While they were hooking me up, the techs had to keep prodding me to wake up.  I kept falling asleep while sitting there in spite of all the activity around me.

It was a great sleep.  I dreamed and dreamed.

When I was done the doctor asked to see me.  He had just one question for me.  He wondered if I started dreaming as soon as I go to sleep.  I assured him I did and I knew what I dreamt and everything.  He laughed and said I was in a dream state before the tech even left the room and my eyes had just closed.  He was astounded as that’s pretty rare.  He told me he would have the results for me in a week.

I saw him again and he played me a video of me sleeping where I snored obnoxiously or, as my friend Corrie says, unholy.  I was very embarrassed.  He said I did not have narcolepsy, that is to say I had the symptoms of it but they were being caused by sleep apnea.  I was to be fitted for an appliance for my mouth to keep my airway open while I slept.  That didn’t work out very well so I was switched to a CPAP machine which I had to wait for from Manitoba Health.

Oh soo attractive!  ha ha

Oh soo attractive! ha ha

In the meantime I still couldn’t drive and I was so tired I was finding it harder to work.   The call came that my CPAP was waiting for me after only 2 weeks.  It was the happiest day of my sleeping life.

Now I sleep with my CPAP every night.  Dr. G really doesn’t believe I have narcolepsy, thank goodness.  I think he was just throwing it out there to scare me.  I’m going to see a dietician to address some of this so hopefully things will be better in the sleep department.

Ciao for now!

A Good Week…


Well, this was a good week.  I’ve discovered a few more things about myself, some of which I have to face and get a handle on.  Most though, were good or,  at least, good enough.

I finally started walking outside as the weather has been cooperating and the ground has dried up nicely.  I think this is the main reason for my good moods.  shoesExercise is so important for one with bi polar as it helps to even out everything.  I found myself becoming bored at home for, really, the first time in over a year.  Thinking about my future brings a dose of reality.  Dr. G and I are talking more and more about finding work.  I keep imagining myself in a tiny bachelor apartment after Carly turns 18 (1 more year!).

She and I have been talking about her post secondary schooling.  She is eligible for so many scholarships and bursaries as well as student loans.  Hopefully she’ll be able to stay living with me when she goes to school but she’s not so sure what she wants to do yet.  Take a year off, move out with a friend or stay home and go to school.  So many decisions she has to make and it’s so great to have so many choices.

Now for a change of subject…I’ve always known I have an addictive personality.  I don’t mean people get addicted to me although, hmm.  Nah, that’s not what I smoking-PAmean.  It’s like when I used to smoke like a chimney until I quit in 1987.  I quit while I was pregnant with my boy too but started again right away.  Wow, I smoked a lot, more than 2 packs a day sometimes.  I loved everything about it and, as I said in other posts, I still dream I smoke almost every night.  Booze was a problem too at different times in my life. I pretty much stay away from it now.  I smoked weed in the latter part of high school and as a young adult until I was pregnant with my son in 1985 then never touched it again.  It was hard to quit so if people try to tell you there are no withdrawal symptoms from marijuana, they’re lying to you.

My ongoing battle has been with food since I turned about 20.  Food is always there.  One needs food to survive.  It’s starting to get bad again mostly because I live next to a 7-11 and they have everything that’s not so good for me.  I’m making super-bad decisions when it comes to food.  Chocolate is my weakness and diet Pepsi.  Chips for supper sometimes.  They’re cheap and filling.  The nights with chips are the nights my daughter eats at work so I don’t feel so guilty.  I never figured I was an emotional eater because when things are bad I just can’t eat.  It’s when things arefood pyramid going well I eat more and badly.  I guess that would qualify as emotional too.  I need strength to get through this.  I don’t want to gain weight after losing so much.  Dr. G is thinking it might be the new medication I’m taking at night to help me fall asleep.  Although I’m on a really low dose one of the side affects is weight gain.  I’ll be watching.

My mom’s cooking was pretty basic and good most of the time but sometimes kind of dangerous as she wasn’t too careful with health standards; leaving pots of soup or stews on the stove for days and serving them to us; meat left on the counter for way too long and some stuff just tasted bad you know? We all got the “Grand Beach Flu” at the same time and it was usually after her “Grand Beach Stew”.  I love her dearly but not the bugs that were in the flour that went into the gravy or the stuffing or the cakes or whatever.  I survived though and I’m sure it was why I was so skinny until I moved out.

I did so well with money this week.  It helped that the government sent out our quarterly GST refund so there was more money to work with.  I actually had food in the pantry and the fridge and still had money in my wallet by the time Child Tax Credit came in.  What a great feeling buying a bus pass and veggies and fruit for my girl who looks in the fridge and says, “Wow”.

My plan is to walk every day for at least 1/2 hour and increase it.  I need to invest in a good pair of runners as Carly and I are sharing mine right now (!).  I know.

She needs them for work and I need them for volunteering so one of us is using them all the time.  Hopefully at the end of the month I can get another pair for her.  My shoes are actually too big for her.  She’s a size smaller than me.

Shoes I should be getting...

Shoes I should be getting…

So the plan is to walk, eat better and get new shoes.  Those are pretty good goals for a week…

Shoes I want...

Shoes I want…

 

Where Some Things Came From…


Ipain the ass always thought the teacher who influenced me most in my life was my junior high math teacher, Mr. Burns.  I had to learn algebra and I didn’t even know my times tables so I was a real pain in the ass.  He was so patient and kind and always offered to help me outside of class. I know between the two of us there were mountains of frustration. He was definitely a good influence and helped me enough to know algebra for at least the 5 minutes at a time I needed to pass his classes.  That’s how long it stayed with me after I left there too.  High school math was just a lost cause.  We don’t talk about that at all.

timestablesMr. Burns’ left arm was deformed and totally useless and I remember it would just hang there or he would simply toss it or swing aside if it got in his way. The other kids used to make fun of him at first until they could see he had heard it all before and could care less what was said about him.  He had a tough skin that one did.  He was smart and didn’t talk down to the kids.  Then there was nothing but respect from everyone.  It was my first time respecting a teacher too.  He was a really good teacher but I still don’t know my times tables.

The teacher who did influence me and my life the most was Harry (Hersh) Zetner who was first my anthropology teacher and then my English teacher in high school.  At that time I really didn’t know anything about the world, certainly nothing like what Mr. Zetner taught me.  Mr. Zetner was Jewish and lost a great deal of his family in the Holocaust.  I never knew there was racism and hatred in the world like that until his classes.  Or anything so horrible as the Holocaust. It was unbelievable but I believed it.  My eyes were opened so wide I could never close them again. The books we read, the films we saw never left me. I think there was only one or two  Jewish girls that I knew of in my classes and in my friend circle but I never knew they were until Mr. Zetner called upon one of them to talk about some of her family history.  I was fascinated with her after that. It would never have occurred to me that anyone was different from anyone else I guess.

My parents would be into the stereotypes of different races and cultures and I don’t even want to write down what those were here. They, of course, learned it from their parents and so on.   I was truly fortunate that it didn’t rub off on me which is so surprising. I found myself, as an adult, correcting them quite often about labeling people and trying to get them to see people as individuals.  They always looked so surprised there could be any other way to look at things.  How the heck did I turn out this way? Don’t get me wrong.  My parents were kind and tolerant people and very simple folk is the only way to describe them.

Oh and I never seem to stop learning about the indignities genders, many races, and cultures face.  It’s trying to understand the “why” of it all.

Anyway,  Mr. Zetner died in 2002 and I re-read his obituary today.  I found out more about the man then I knew before and I never doubted he would do more wonderful things after I left the school.  After he became ill and could no longer teach, he spent his time going to schools talking to children and teens about the Holocaust and how it could easily happen again.  I think he opened a lot of other eyes.  We need more people like him.

He was a truly sincere and hard-working teacher that taught me a lot about life and its cruelties but also that there are good souls out there leading the rest of the world to a better way of thinking.  I learned there can always be another way. He is one reason why I’m so interested in how the mind works and where people came from and where do we go from here.  And just, again…why?

I admire him because he took something he had a passion for and knowledge of and made it his life’s work to educate the world as much as possible.  He wanted to end the stigma.  This is what I want to do about mental illness.  I think it might be something for me to look at in the future and I very well think I could do it.

I have an appointment, finally, with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s intake worker, after 6 months of being on their waiting list.  They are going to get me more organized and help me get back to work.  Or maybe speaking too?  I don’t know but it’s on my list.

Peace and love.  Please.

 

 

I’ve Got the Glow


I’m sitting here during another astounding hot flash of epic proportions thinking nothing could ever beat the last one.  I keep getting fooled by my own body insisting on betraying me every day and anywhere.  Oh my god, even the inside of my ears are “glowing” this time.

HotFlashBrain_121212-617x416I’ve been pretty good at not getting caught during one of these tropical-hikes-up- a-smoldering-volcano as I rarely leave the apartment.  On Monday at my volunteer job I thought I was going to make it through without one. The end of my shift arrived and the volunteer manager wanted to chat.  Part way through the conversation I could feel the tell-tale signs; the slow building of heat filling first my face and hair then, before it could get any worse, I excused myself to escape to what I hoped was the cooler hospital hallway.  What a sight I must have been…ripping off my vest which announces my volunteer status and holding back on ripping anything else off although I did unbutton the first 2 buttons of my blouse.  Sweat was dripping from my face, my nose and my hair when the volunteer manager came out to the hallway to tell me something else I needed to know.   She took one look at me frantically fanning my face with my hands (uselessly I might add) and I apologized for my body’s betrayal (she’s young yet, she’s going to get hers soon enough) and tried to listen although I could feel the creeping of moisture on my arms and legs. The back of my blouse became quite damp. She looked away in embarrassment and I believe she was somewhat frightened.  My face was so hot.  Unbelievable.

I wish I could explain this phenomenon to someone who never had one.  Maybe if you ever blushed you would get a sense of it.  Heat rising up from your chest to your face and neck, heartbeat speeding up.  But it’s more than that.  MORE I say!  MORE moisture.  MORE heat.  MORE madness.  MORE of just waiting for it to be over.menopause

I really thought it was getting better.  I figured just a few short weeks ago what a piece of cake this menopause thing and hot flashes are turning out to be.  I’ve been going though menopause for the last year and was pre-menopausal for at least 2 years before that. So hot flashes are not unfamiliar to me. I thought they were getting less and less.  HA!  Just more intense now and more often.  I’m opening and closing the windows more and more (thank goodness it warmed up enough outside so I can finally get them open!) and I have a fan on me all night.  That will do just fine.

I sure could have done without that first appearance of a hot flash though.  It probably won’t be the last.

The things I get to look forward too.  Blech.