Sunday, January 13, 2013

Favorite Things

Okay, it's been a long long time since I talked about "favorite things" that I've been using, finding and that may perhaps make your life better too. 

Here are a few that have been a big help to me lately:

Electric Heating Pad  - until my recent surgery, I'd nearly forgotten how an electric heating pad can naturally relieve pain and provide comfort.  Some people still prefer the old fashioned hot water bottle, but I'd be afraid it would grow cold too quickly.  With the electric version, I just keep it on "low" setting and it automatically turns off after several hours. 

Toastmaster 1.7 Liter Cordless Kettle.   I bought this at Tuesday Morning for only $19.95 recently and what a bargain that gizmo is!   Instead of boiling water for tea, I fill the kettle with water, then push down on the brewing pedal and it brews up a piping pot of water in no time.  Keeps the water warm for a while, and then automatically turns off.  It's great for boiling water for tea, soup, oatmeal, hot chocolate, instant coffee and even pasta.  The primary thing we've been using it for is hot tea, but it is a wonderful new addition to our kitchen and we are all raving about how handy and indispensible it has become.  So if you don't have one, find your nearest Tuesday Morning store and get one.  Makes a wonderful inexpensive gift to yourself or others.

Malva Shampoo and Conditioner.  I bought this at an Avena spa store.  It's a type of shampoo that brightens gray hair and brings down the brassiness of colored hair.  It's been a wonderful help to me in growing out my auburn dyed hair into the natural gray that its becoming.  This shampoo does not add color or highlights to the hair, but rather brings out the silver and makes it look  glamorous and less drab.  It also makes gray hair look less "yellow" if it is prone to that. 

Blender Bottle - I'm pretty sure you can get these most anywhere - but it is a plastic 20 oz plastic container with a metal blender ball inside that helps shake up a morning smoothie so you can just mix it up early in the morning and then shake it to mix throughly when you get to work.  My current favorite morning green smoothie is:  1 cup almond milk; frozen berrries (usually frozen blueberries, strawberries etc); 1 or 2 kale or spinach leaves; 1 small to medium banana for natural sweetness; and 1 heaping tablespoon of NutriBiotic Rice Protein in Vanilla (purchased from Amazon).  Total calories: nearly 250 but it keeps you full for hours and gives you lots of nutrients.  It sounds gross, but you really cannot taste the spinach/kale in there because the fruit masks the taste but it is a great way to bring in extra nutrients that still tastes great and satisfying.   I just blend the above ingredients in a regular blender, then pour it into the blender bottle and take it to work for breakfast on the go. 

Vision Board - Cut out photos from magazines that illustrate a quality or goal you'd like to accomplish in your life.  Collect the photos, words, phrases and printed images and representations of your life goals, then paste them onto a foam posterboard.  It's more dynamic and visual than just writing out a list of resolutions.  After making your board, hang it on a wall where you will see it every day.  Then spend a few minutes a day transferring those images from the poster board into a visual picture in your mind's eye.  Close your eyes and imagine what your success will look like, feel the emotions of how satisfied you will feel once you reach the goal.  Someday soon, the visions you pasted up on that foam board will become reality.        

Monday, January 07, 2013

Finally On the Road to Recovery

A while back, I posted information about my ongoing health challenge with my female problems.  I had one surgery right around Thanksgiving and then had continuing problems with my fibroids that unfortunately weren't totally resolved with the first surgery.  So I took a big leap, at the advice of my physician, and had a total abdominal hysterectomy right after Christmas.  There are other hysterectomy methods that are much less involved and less recovery time, but unfortunately since I have been avoiding having this surgery for over ten years, my surgery had to be done this way.   In short, if you are a woman who is having issues similar to what I have had, they probably AREN'T going to magically go away and getting it all taken care of earlier rather than later is easier for all concerned.     

The surgery itself was harder than I expected and let me tell you, I have a high pain tolerance, but this one knocked me for a loop.  Right after it I woke up, I felt like a truck had run over me, then backed up and did it again!  My stomach area was pooched out like I was 7 months pregnant (they have a term for that called "swelly belly").  Right away, that first night, even while my IV was still in, the nurses had me sit up in a chair.  Then over the next few days, after the IV was removed, they urged me to drink water incessantly, walk down the hall with my husband holding onto my arm and do breathing exercises so my lungs would stay clear.  Being in the hospital, far from being restful was hard work.  But they are right in that approach, because it really does help you heal.    

I was in the hospital for 2 nights and then sent home to let my husband and mother take over.  They did a great job.   As we left, we were told that I shouldn't lift, reach, stretch or bend and should concentrate on drinking lots of water and resting.   The hardest thing was the ongoing soreness, pain and trouble getting up and down out of one position into another.  Also coughing.  Oh my gosh, that hurt like the dickens the first week. 

Now as I approach Week 2 of recovery, I can tell you I am feeling like a new person.  Yes, some pain and soreness remains as the incision site continues to heal, and I can't lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for the first 6 weeks, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  I can see how each day, I feel a bit better, and I'm free of all the medical things that were bothering me before.  Also, now that my female parts are no longer in danger of posing a future cancer threat, I can take hormones.  Yay!  I have a patch that has made me mentally and physically feel so much better.  Even the "swelly belly" is going down a BIT.  Now that is something I've been told won't totally resolve for a while, maybe even a few months, but once I get cleared to do real exercise again, I'm going to work on getting my mid-section in shape too. 

Ah!  I am healing and am determined to make 2013 a better year.