On the Road to Wellness


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dashHow sad is it that I know the date that I had my last donut? One of my attorneys brought in breakfast on that particular Friday. It was the Friday when all my health and wellness upheaval began. I had been to the Doctor that morning to try to find out why I felt unwell, why my ankles were swelling and why my blood pressure was 180/101 even though I was on two different blood pressure medications.

I came in to the office late, discouraged and scared, knowing that I wasn’t healthy and I needed to change things and that further tests were coming. Knowing that I am a fan of chocolate frosted, white cream filled donuts, my attorney friend made sure to leave one for me on my desk, even though I was late that day. Being scared (and yes, being a pig), I ate that donut. It was my last one. There will be no more. That was October 23, 2015.

On November 2nd, the cardiologist would mention the word “death” more than once when he told me I had to get my blood pressure down or I wouldn’t be around many more years. That was the day I began the combination of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and the Mediterranean diet (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, poultry or fish). I have lost seven pounds since then. It’s not coming off very fast, and some days it goes back up a pound, but I am trying.

I have not had any red meat since November 1st. I did decide that once per month, I will let my hubby take me out for a steak and salad dinner. I can have red meat once per month, and if I’m going to have it, I’m going to have it done well. I’m not wasting my once a month extravagance on a greasy burger or fast food.

med dietI am still struggling to add in more fruits and vegetables, and I’m doing better with it. It still does not come naturally to me and it probably never will. I was raised on meat and potatoes, and the fruit and vegetables were few and far between. The vegetables we had were overcooked mush so I never developed the habit of eating them. I think the only fruits we had were occasional apples, raisins, bananas or canned peaches.

I have not had any white bread, white pasta or white rice since November 2nd. Everything has been whole grain. My stomach has been slowly adjusting. Let’s just say that anti-gas medicine has been my friend. The food hasn’t been as much of a challenge as I thought it would be, and I feel better with the healthy food I am eating. The only difficult part has been making every meal myself. I can’t let anyone else make them anymore and that sucks.

I began walking this week since getting the “all-clear” from the cardiologist. My knees, shins and hip are not happy with me, either. I have purposely not overdone it. I take it slow, and I sit when I get tired. I know it’s only been three days and that my fat, flabby body will adjust and muscles will remember how to move. Right now it’s hard, and I hurt, but it will come around. I’ve done this before. I do love getting out every day. I decided not to walk today (because I was sore) and ended up going outside at lunchtime anyway because I enjoy the fresh air.

newbalanceMy blood pressure has come around wonderfully. My Doctor adjusted my medication doses and with the diet and exercise, I got a reading tonight of 120/74 with a pulse of 61. I’ve been consistently getting normal blood pressure readings and that’s wonderful. I see the cardiologist for a follow-up next week, and I’m hoping my weight might budge a pound more before then.

All in all, I do feel that I am on the road to wellness. I’m hoping that I can keep it going. The best incentive has been remembering how I felt when I “failed” the stress test. There’s nothing like terror to change the way you view the world. I don’t recommend it, but it seems to have finally woken me up to how badly I was treating my body.

Images courtesy of Pinterest

Donna Reads: The Nine Month Plan


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In The Nine Month Plan by Wendy Markham, Nina Chickalini has long dreamed of getting away. After her mother’s death years ago in childbirth, she put her dreams of seeing the world on hold to be mother to her younger siblings. She also works full shifts helping her father in the family pizza parlor. With her youngest brother about to graduate from high school and her other brother due to return from college and take his place in the family business, Nina finally thinks she will be free to pursue her plans. Nina has already raised a family and has no plans to marry or have a family of her own.

Nina’s best friend is her next door neighbor, Joey Materi. Nina and Joey have a great relationship. They laugh and joke like best friends often do. The interplay between the two characters made up some of the best parts in the book. Joey has been unlucky in love, and he feels more than ready to meet the girl of his dreams and settle down. He’s ready to be a father. Joey has been a good friend to the Chickalini family, bailing them out financially and more years before when Nina’s father had a heart attack and was unable to work. Nina feels indebted to Joey. When Joey jokingly suggests that Nina have a baby for him, Nina after consideration, agrees. Will Nina have the baby and leave, giving Joey the greatest gift of all, or will Nina have a change of heart?

I haven’t read a simple romance novel in quite some time. This story was cute, and I plowed through it in one day. I found it while home recuperating from a surgical procedure, and once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. I read several reviews where readers complained about the author’s use of present tense. That didn’t bother me at all. I was so wrapped up in the story itself I didn’t care what tense it was written in. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it. The author has written other stories about the Chickalini family, and I have already purchased those. If you want a simple romance that will make you smile, try this one. 

Lady of Leisure


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I’m not used to being a lady of leisure but I’ve been forced to be by my medical recovery period. I can’t drive or resume normal activities for three days so here I am.

Being forced to lay flat is boring and I’m glad that’s just for the first twenty-four hours. My butt is already numb. Most of the twenty-four has been spent sleeping. I’ve also written, read and watched TV. My house is messy, but I can’t bend over for the first forty-eight so I’ll have to ignore it. 

I’m not the best housekeeper but I hate to see things where they don’t belong. Maybe I can get them tomorrow. On Thursday I can do everything except drive and lift heavy things. Not that I’d want to do that at the moment anyway. 

I am sore today. That comes from having a healthy, strong young guy pushing down on your groin for more than 20 minutes. That sounds kinky, and it sounds like way more fun than it actually was! Nudge nudge wink wink. My stupid puncture wouldn’t clot. They said it was still oozing. Yeah, it did that here at home, too. I moved wrong (sat up without compressing the site). Scared the hell out of me to feel something running down the crease of my leg and realize it wasn’t sweat. It re-clotted, and that was enough to scare me into inactivity. 

I am not good at asking for help. I have to work on that. I’d rather do things myself. It gets done faster. When I ask for help and someone sighs out loud when I ask, that infuriates me. It was hard for me to ask in the first place. When the helper doesn’t gleefully jump to my aide, I get annoyed. Ask hubby. He said I handed him his face last night. Sorry, honey. I hope I never end up disabled and I’m sure he does, too!

I downloaded some books to read. I have homework to do. I have several chapters to read in my textbook. Maybe I’ll save those for when I need a nap. I’m sure they’ll put me to sleep! I have a small netbook I can use in bed so I can do some writing, too. I have plenty to keep me busy. It’s just the things I can’t do that call to me. 

I can’t do excessive stairs so the laundry will have to wait. I can’t bend so the cat boxes are on hold. I should be able to do them tomorrow. Let’s hope the cats agree with that plan.

The biggest hurdle for today is removing the dressing at noon. Not looking forward to that. The tape will stick and pull. I still have sticky spots on the other side of my tummy from the drape they used during the procedure. It adhered to my skin to keep it in place. My tummy keeps sticking together. I put my hand on it during the night, and my hand stuck to my tummy. After the dressing comes off, I get to shower. Good. I feel gross. I have blue soap residue all over both thighs. I just hope there’s no more bleeding when I clean up. 

It’s amazing what’s considered to be an outpatient, non-invasive procedure has such a restrictive recovery period. But then, I have to remember that the Doctor was INSIDE my heart just yesterday. Yes, okay, I’ll take it easy.  

Image courtesy of Pinterest 


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