Part of my heart weeps September is upon me summer is dying, fruits are done Most blooms are finished a few brightly remain The shade is cool, but the warmth is there still, in the sun, but gentler Now I must start to wear more clothes cover my tanned skin and watch the nights draw in Today, though, I celebrate the sun This day, not yet Fall
The first of Advent has significance for me, it marks a time of contemplation. The view from my window right now is amazing. The sunlight is glowing beneath a dark cloud, and below the glow is the castle on the island and the peninsular which flashes lights at night, and the chain ferry is visible. Then the greenish hue of the harbour itself…
So I thought I would talk about New Year resolutions, before you start to think about making any. The problem with a resolution on it’s own, is that you set yourself up to fail.
If you are someone who believes in making them, and I am not, think back to how many succeeded. Probably not many. This is because they need to anchored in a behaviour.
If you read my post on losing weight, you will know it is easiest when it is achieved through a change of behaviour. For me, then, a resolution will only succeed in the same way. You may decide to give up smoking, or to write and send more birthday cards. Simply deciding is usually not enough.
If you want to write more birthday cards, it’s a good idea to buy a calendar or diary and write in the birthdays. There are even birthday diary stationary sets that help you.
Giving up smoking, on the other hand, can be the hardest thing to do. It’s much easier to give up with someone else. Or to start walking briskly and notice how quickly your lungs clear and you can walk further without getting out of breath. The first four days are the hardest, and after twelve weeks your lungs will be as if you had never smoked.
If you are giving up smoking, you will need to find something to do with your hands. A stress ball, or a piece of wood to whittle etc. It is often the physical ritual around smoking that is hardest to give up.
More commonly, we make decisions in a time of crisis. When my parents and then my sister died, I found great comfort in sympathy cards. Now I always keep a card in the house. These are the sorts of things that make us better people, kinder, more authentic.
From our wounds we can emerge softer and sweeter. It means we remain vulnerable to be hurt, but that is far better than being bitter and angry.
First, I want to stress that no one has to conform to a certain size or image. Forget what certain advertising tells you, or what you think men/women want. Be who you are. We are all designed differently. We need to celebrate diversity in body size, shape, and height.
That said and stressed, if you can take an inch or more of your flesh between your thumb and forefinger on your tummy or thigh, you probably need to lose some weight. The best way to do this is to put away scales, throw out calorie counters, and change your eating habits.
Choose a change that will suit you. It might be
Cutting out beige food. You can decide to stop eating cake, pastry, biscuits/cookies, pies and puddings. This will instantly remove a lot of unnecessary carbohydrates.
Cooking less food. If you have less food on your plate, and no leftovers to pick on from the fridge, you will lose weight.
Stop eating processed and precooked food. If you stop using cake mixes, microwave dinners and other processed foods, you cut out a lot of sugars.
A healthy diet of fresh vegetables, fruit and less meat will provide you with all the nourishment you need. We do not need to be swallowing vitamin tablets. Our diet should give us sufficient.
Some good things to add to your food intake are hemp oil, ginger, turmeric, liquorice, and local honey. Hemp oil is good for every system in your body. It will help you maintain and improve your circulation, sleep, joints, all your internal organs, breathing, and digestion.
Ginger and turmeric are both anti-inflammatory and decongestants. So is liquorice and honey is an antibiotic.
Fresh lemon juice everyday has an enzyme which protects against colds, flu, and other viral infections like mouth ulcers.
By doing away with the scales, you protect yourself from feelings of failure, unrealistic goals, and wanting to give up. Just knowing you are eating more healthily will make you feel good, even as you begin to notice feeling great physically.
Brisk walks, cycling, swimming etc are good to add to your change in lifestyle if you are not already doing so. We all need at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. Start where you are now and build it up. Exercise is good for your mental health too. I know people who go for an hours bike ride before their family wakes up. They feel and look good, whatever their build or size.
When we make changes that are behaviour related, we are far more likely to succeed than if our goal is a number or weight. You will feel your clothes loosening, you will notice that you feel good.
The first fat that your body loses is that which surrounds your heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. This is the most important fat to lose. You will not notice the loss of this, but your body will.
Fat gained by alcohol can be harder to lose. Especially if you don’t reduce your alcohol consumption. A glass of wine can be the equivalent of a jam donut, a burger, a plate of desert. Alcohol related fat often sits around the neck and face, as well as the stomach. Especially in men. I can often tell if a person drinks a lot, just by their appearance.
I have talked about alcohol in a previous blog and will probably discuss it again, so I’m not going into detail here.
Never shame a person about their weight. There are medical conditions that cause weight gain. Never make an issue of weight with your children, just teach them a healthy life habit. If you have an overweight child, talk with them and make their journey to health a joint one.
I hope people find this helpful. There are so many ‘diets; out there and some lead to malnourishment and most lead to failure. A change in behaviour is for life, so you cannot fail.
The title of this post harks back to the beginning of my blog when I decided to share my journey with a new diagnosis, on top of the one I already had. I have used it today because I am dealing with symptoms. (I used to blog once every 4-6 weeks, because I found the honesty so hard. It took me three years to engage with other bloggers, and write more frequently. And to share some overviews of topics on which I have knowledge.
Recently, I shared the real reason someone’s father won’t speak to them. I didn’t want to give away that I had been told. This person said he didn’t fully agree, but that I had given the something to think about. Later, they had the cheek to tell me they don’t think I am a psychologist.
I am still suffering pain and muscular spasms due to the onslaught of a young girl whose sense of self-importance is higher than it should be. I think she thought it was ok to do so because I wouldn’t see her again. This is never an excuse to be rude or intimidating . You don’t know what battles a person is facing. Or the nature of any disease they may have.
As far as I have researched, my disease acts on my sympathetic nervous system. This is what causes one to blush, hiccup, and react to noises that cause flight or fight, releases breast milk, and tells one what their baby needs. Sometimes the sympathetic nervous system can cause an M.I during sleep – a friend of mine had two.
So, all that adrenalin that flooded my system on Sunday evening is still affecting my sympathetic nervous system. My left arm and leg, and the left of my back, have been spasming. It is intensely painful. The good news is that I slept well last night, so was better able to cope with it. I have notified my doctor but have the means to cope with it medicinally.
I am now considerably better, after taking medicine. I did not want to take it earlier in case I got very drowsy and slept at the wrong time.
Ideally, I would have been given morphine. That would have been a great solution but with costly events to me personally. I would have had to be taken to the Emergency Department, which causes my disease to worsen, and the journey home would be difficult.
I heard this morning that research on Motor Neurone disease has progressed. There has been no research on the disease I have. I have it in it’s worst strain, the strain that only Ashkenazy Jews get. Other caucasions get it in a localised area, black men get it in their calves and black women never get it. I don’t know about other races.
I don’t feel angry at the girl who intimidated me. I have feelings toward the company she works for. Fortunately, I have changed the help I get at home. It gives me more freedom, independence and saves a lot of money.
It is now over a year since Mr Ebsworth appeared in my bedroom at 3 am. He molested me once I got him downstairs, although I was offended I did not clock it as sexual assault until later. It seems so long ago, I was so vulnerable after two bereavements. It also seems recent as I still get harassment from the person with whom he shares an address.
Sounds affect our lives whether we realise it or not. We may not notice or attribute the effect of sound, until we have a problem.
We notice sounds that give us a flight or fright reaction, for example, the breaking of a plate or glass, the screaming of a child, a siren. These all cause a flooding of adrenalin which enables us to respond.
Other sounds may pollute our environment or space with less noticeable effects but they all affect us on some way.
We all tend to agree that the sound of waves at the shore is peaceful and soothing. Even if classical music is not our taste, there few pieces that make our heart rates increase, or give us headaches. We tend to like birdsong, flowing streams, the wind among trees, lullabies, and, generally, human voices.
When my daughter was born, I made a low, hum sort of sound whenever I picked her up, fed her, bathed her etc. It was a sound that she associated with love and safety. When she began to cry, I would make this sound and her crying would stop almost immediately. I used this sound whenever she was upset all through her life. A few years ago, I asked her what it made her feel. She said a warm sensation, a feeling of comfort. That had been my intention when she was born.
There are sounds we hear everyday that damage our bodies. We are matter. That means that our bodies vibrate, as all matter vibrates. Sound is caused by the vibration of matter too. Drills, tractors, sirens, traffic, alarms, smoke alarms all affect us on a regular basis. If we work in a noisy environment, those sounds may be destroying cells in our body without us realising it. Some work places provide ear mufflers, but those don’t protect passers-by.
So, for me, high pitched sounds, like my neighbour’s wind chimes, dentist drills, and anything whiney is destructive. Partly because I have PTSD from having open brain surgeries. (PTSD and sound is a whole other subject.) I also know that pneumatic drills, and some synthesised music is detrimental to me.
If you get headaches, unaccountable irritability, run down, or any other symptoms that affect your life, make a note of sounds you hear regularly or around that time, and then see how you can avoid them by changing the route you walk, or changing a place you regularly drink coffee, or changing your job.
You can find an app. for your phone named Healing Sounds, or Ocean Waves. These repair damage to our bodies. Better still is plenty of walks in woods, by the sea, or a river or streams.
Yesterday afternoon I went to post an important letter and my lungs felt like lead. They haven’t felt like that since I had pneumonia a long time ago. But I felt alert and interested in life, whereas with pneumonia one is listless and passive.
I got home and phoned my medical practice. They had the duty doctor phone me and he made a home visit. This meant that if I needed to be admitted to hospital, I could go straight to a ward rather than through the ED.
My doctor (I have known him since my daughter was four as our children attended the same schools) recorded my tachycardia, respiratory rate etc and then gave me a double nebulizer. It worked well, and I was no longer gasping in between words. To be on the safe side, he prescribed more antibiotics and more steroids. This concerns me but I need to trust and know I am in safe hands. This doctor has won my trust, which says a lot. The last doctor I trusted retired early about 18 months before my Dad died. I was angry at him, and it was a bereavement.
It took me until after 4am to sleep because of the trembling and stimulus to my nervous system. I’m told that salbutamol does not cross into the brain, but boy, it does make me high. I usually resort to drinking some alcohol to bring me ‘down’ so that sleep can come.
My friend fetched my prescription for steroids, the antibiotics had been delivered earlier by the pharmacy as I need some in the house at all times. I slept late and rested with my friend in the garden with a cup of tea, chatting. This afternoon, friends came and we did gardening, though I mostly supervised. I now have some solar lights for evenings, decorative ones, and a water feature that gives that relaxing sound of water running…
I am tired, but so grateful for a good day without wheezing or gasping. I am learning not to be so spontaneous about gardening, a little at a time and stop. Weeds can be beautiful too.
I am sunburnt, stingingly burnt. Medication has already changed my hair, and now it is changing my skin. I am learning a new me. A frailer, but still pushing on, grateful for the help and love of my friends. Being delighted with what I see everyday.
Mostly, I am learning to ask others to spare me exerting unnecessary energy. It’s a hard lesson.