Pet Spa for Fancy and My Diverticulitis Flare and How I Handle it

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So….took Mom to the eye doc yesterday in Hendersonville and she received her shot injection in her eye. We came home and George fixed an excellent filet mignon steak dinner. Mom was kinda sleepy after that and slept a lot in her recliner.

I was VERY tired and choose to lay down a bit before dinner and realized after taking my temp, that had a degree of fever. I often get that when I’m tired. I also have a round of diverticulitis or some kind of IBS thing going on as I began having pain and now pressure in my lower abdomen. So here we go again. I went to sleep pretty much immediately after dinner, vowing I was only going to have liquids today (Saturday). More on this later….stay tuned.

I felt better getting up at 6. Only I would NOT have gotten up at 6 and would have slept longer but we had to leave around 7 to get Fancy to her new groomer. We have all actually prayed that Fancy (and Mom) would like her new groomer. Sorry it is very much of a side view, but I tried to snap a pic real quick of the new place while helping everyone in/out of the car.

While Fancy was at the groomer’s we went to get Mom a sausage biscuit and also a jelly biscuit. I think George had mentioned we might do breakfast out the day before. I told them I was on liquids today so they opted to do drive-thru. Although George offered for Mom to have a sit down restaurant if she wanted it. George wasn’t hungry and just got coffee. I was just sipping my water after having 2 cups of coffee at home. I know Mom loves breakfast out and she reminded us that was her favorite meal of the day.

I know it’s inconvenient for me to not participate in “eating” with this tummy thing going on, so I told them they should eat what/when they want. I will just be along for the ride in the next day or two. I simply will have to excuse myself from eating like we have been. I told them we’ve been eating so much that I just can’t keep up. We have been overeating for days. Mom said “well no one was holding a gun to your head!” —–ummmm noooo eating is definitely my choice. And so shall not eating be my choice until I feel ready.

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We are ALL guilty of eating too much, too fast, too often. We love food and good cuisine. We celebrate life with food – always! We associate good food with good times. We are all fat, lol. We all need to lose weight. And I don’t mind speaking for all of us on that point! It’s true! And correct, no one was holding any of us at gun point at any time. We all choose to eat and eat too much. I’m just the only “lucky” one that has to deal with this condition as for now anyway. I hope they do not. But if they do, they will find themselves having a liquid day as well one day.

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The fact remains that my tummy is not in good condition right now. I don’t really know if the rest of my family knows how serious this kind of thing is, but people have died from it if it wasn’t taken seriously. I really have not been able to narrow down the exact threat of my own diverticulitis or whatever is going on with my colon or colon wall. But here is what I do know.

Whenever the gut gets into this condition it has been the result of some kind of “perfect storm” where usually these things have been the case:

  • Periods of over eating/several heavy meals in a row
  • Consuming a lot of bread in a short time period
  • Not enough hydration
  • A lot of sugar in short time period can throw things off
  • Consumption of fries or fried foods
  • A lot of sitting/not enough exercise
  • Period of stress/anxiety
  • Not enough rest/sleep
  • Not enough greens
  • Not enough fruits
  • Blood Pressure meds with Water Pill in them/dehydrating
  • Not eating enough fiber

How I deal with my flare ups:

I can usually feel the flare coming on – tightness in my belly, cramping, pain, sometimes constipation but not always, wanting to eat but not really being hungry, not having cravings for anything–“wanting something but not knowing what I want to eat” —are all MY OWN signs. But sometimes it is a complete surprise! Either way, I try to do the following. I’m not saying everyone should do this. I’m in a Facebook group of people with this condition and it seems like we all have different things that can trigger it and all have different things that work. Pretty much everyone has to do a couple of liquid diet days, followed by soft foods. If the pain is intense, bathroom trips are unsuccessful – then a call to the doc to be seen for antibiotics is necessary. I’ve learned I can usually pull myself out of it. I hope I can this time too.

  • Pray for God to heal me b/c HE is the great physician
  • Increase water intake and lots of it
  • Take Ibuprofen or something for anti-swelling/inflammation
  • Drink hot liquids such as coffee, tea
  • Drink chicken both or bone broth (I use one with collagen in it from my program and it is my preferred lunch on cleanse days or flare days)
  • Take probiotics
  • Sip a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Have a drink with Ginger in it
  • Take Vitamins: B, D, C at least – don’t skimp on these while you feel bad!
  • Keep a positive outlook and enjoy the day regardless of the changes in food intake, embrace the rejuvenation you feel by “not eating” as it clarifies the mind – you get positive benefits from a day of liquids.
  • Avoid drinking anything with bubbles (gas/bloating hurts)
  • Eat jello at night when everyone else eats dinner (George makes it for me – I love him for this!)
  • Usually no alcohol is preferred as it dehydrates you
  • Make sure not to take blood pressure meds with a water pill at night when you are not awake to hydrate – take it in the mornings so you can hydrate as you lose it. (Rolling my eyes here).
  • Collagen Elixir daily helps from the program that I do (soothes the skin so it’ll sooth the colon too)
  • Sometimes I alternate between cold and hot drinks
  • Exercise or walk a lot
  • Stay busy or focused on your to do list, do something fun, to keep your mind off the situation.
  • Enjoy any and all tummy growls and noises – that is usually a good sign 🙂

After a day or so (your body will let you know) you can eat soft things like Mac and Cheese, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, applesauce, white rice, maybe even yogurt. I keep microwaveable instant potatoes, Mac and Cheese, and rice both at work and at home for these flares.

I have to work my way back up to meats and solids when I feel my intestines are ready. My body usually lets me know when I’m ready and cravings for various foods will come back as my colon heals. This past week, I’ve let it go on though instead of switching to liquids already because I didn’t quite realize what was going on. I thought something I had eaten was just not agreeing with me. But after a couple of days and the increasing pressure, I began to see I had a flare up.

So I made some lemon, cucumber water for the day. The lemons are just about to go bad, but still hanging in there. This water is also what Katy and I called “detox water”. It’s very good for you. This did not have any pulp in it. I guess the way it pours from this container keeps it from coming through.

Wow, at Publix, my eyes took me to this drink. I really believe it was a God – led thing. This was excellent. I think it was about $2.49 or something like that. I wish I had bought 3 or 4 just for these occasions. It tasted like a Moscow Mule without the alcohol. lol. I pretended this was breakfast. It was just enough punch to make me feel like I’d had a meal.

In the afternoon I began to feel like I could eat some instant mashed potatoes. They are easily digestible and made me feel good. And although I had no makeup on today – here I am when we picked up Ms. Fancy from her trim. She “did good”. They sent her home with a Report Card, LOL. It said “she was perfect”. She got to play with other small dogs instead of being in a crate. She loved her spa day.

She was a happy girl coming out of the place and we took her too her Momma! And her Momma was happy. It was a lot more pricey than Mom’s – almost twice the price. It was $75 with tax and tip. But will work out fine as we’ll trim her every 6 weeks instead of the 4 Mom was doing. So yay! Everyone is happy.

And the video is done and I’ve exported it. About to upload it to YouTube. I’m hoping for a 7:00 a.m launch time in the morning. As long as the rest of the uploads go well and I get time for the thumbnail and all that.

So far a good day at home. Washing sheets for Mom’s bed and my own, including our quilt/blankets we use on top. Oh we went to the grocery if I didn’t mention that. I was fine being there and got some things I could eat/drink.

Church tomorrow, unless it’s raining real hard. Mom doesn’t want to go if the weather is bad. I’m kinda glad. I don’t like rowing in the rain either. Anyway, better go get this video uploaded and finish getting sheets back on Mom’s bed. Looking forward to jello tonight! It was going to be ribs. George said he’d wait a day or two for that. Not sure what he and Mom are having. I try not to think about it so I don’t miss out. lol lol lol

Ya’ll have a good day. Will try to post tomorrow along with link to the video!

A Different Kind of Change

Good morning! Not really a lot to hop on and tell in the last day or two. Yesterday was my annual wellness physical. I had discussed with the doc office regarding the safety of this visit. I was told they were not seeing sick patients. (This office has a walk in center adjacent to it, so perhaps the sick ones go there?) I didn’t ask and kinda didn’t want to even think about it. But the lady I talked with said she had MS and a pacemaker and was in the office every day. I said if you do that (working/risking her health) for us, then I’m coming in. She laughed. She said there were only 4 of us that would be in the building when I was there. It was more like 10 of us. But I think she meant patients.

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My appointment was at 6:20 a.m. It was only me and another person in the lobby. We both wore our masks. I used my own pen to check in. I was called. And weighed in. My weight was up. I would love to blame COVID – but truth be known it all began with George’s birthday extravaganza about a year ago. A turning back of sorts to many things I’d missed. And drinking fewer shakes, doing less cleanses, having diverticulitis issues, which further defined my eating categories to fewer items, my fight back from it and declaring to my body that I would eat pizza again, and pasta and bread – a daring of sorts for the gastronomic issues to take that away from me. And oh, my body is winning. It’s taken on the bread, the pasta, the mayo, the dips, the crackers. Oh too well.

My appetite was weird, I knew I’d be hungry but I couldn’t crave any particular food. I’m not sure how to explain it. I had no desire for anything really. So I began just eating all my favorites. I even wondered if I’d had COVID and had lost my sense of taste and smell and just didn’t realize it and viewed it more as a loss of appetite, but then that is not right either as I definitely eat. So I ate, and ate good food as all the lock down and post lock down occurred. We have had fattening casseroles and cookies after dinner. If the world was going crazy and we are going through an apocalypse, we might as well eat what we wanted. And drink what we wanted with fancy cocktails and appetizers and hor d’oeuvres. And seconds at dinner because it was there and it was good.

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It’s a wonder we aren’t whales. Maybe we are relative to some. So the scale tipped a bit over what I’d have liked. Ok a lot over what I’d have liked. So before I ever sat in the little office to wait for the doctor, my head was already reeling in thinking of the things that needed to change immediately. I do it after EVERY doc appointment. I create the list. What am I gonna do better? It’s like a New Year in July. What rules are you gonna set that you will slide off from two months from now? Rolls eyes. I know myself too well. But there’s something to say about trying. I was able to lose 30 lbs once. Yeah it was gained back. It has to be the “lifestyle” I’ve said before. And shakes every morning does not cut it for me. I like the shakes but not every morning. The cleanses helped though, but they became burdensome and dreaded over time. But they did help.

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Then come the questions. Why does dessert that tastes good have to be bad for you? Why do the things that are good for you not taste as good as dessert?

But what if we didnt have these annual wake up calls – a call to reckoning? What if you made it fun to eat right and exercise and fit in the size clothes you wanted to fit in. What would that feel like? It’s kind of a religious revival of sorts. A “coming to fess up party” and a change to get on the right path again. A repenting and turning about!

So yeah, it’s time to reign it in a bit and go in a different direction. I’m an hour away from finishing Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food”. In the book he says “eat like the French, eat like the Italians, eat a Mediterranean diet, eat like…..and he goes on and on listing other countries and then says “Just don’t eat like a westerner”. Ahhhh it’s so hard. But I just have to keep on trying. I have to go in the other direction. We can no longer go back to eating what the heck we want. I kinda got over the hamburger addition and pretty much the pasta addiction. I had to give up nuts though and gained crackers, and began adding back the bread. I like to have a munchy in b/w meals. But need to find a good snack to fit this hole in my morning and afternoon. I have since gone back to nuts this week but have had increased pain in my abdomen and some issues there. So backing off again in fear. Was it nuts or those sesame seeds on the side of my sushi, darn it? They sneak in seeds on you everywhere.

I have replaced the crunch with carrots for this next week. A few months ago though, my system could not even digest a carrot and it was recommended to eat all the things I was trying to avoid.

I just wish it was not constant turmoil over what to eat. And that is exactly why I gave up the turmoil saying I’m freaking over this. And Covid happened and we just ate what we wanted.

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I’m pouring my heart out here including my frustrations. But overall I’m not frustrated so much anymore. I’ve tried to accept it as part of life, much like this COVID snarfle (that’s my replacement word for the shidoodle I really want to call it) that we have going on right now.

It’s really just a desire to survive, live, not get a disease, have a heart attack or stroke and be able to enjoy grandchildren. And the only way to survive is to try and do better.

The nurse came in and took my BP – 20 points high. Oh dear. I feared the uppage of the BP meds, or a change in meds which scares the potittle out of me because it usually means issues with your heart, issues breathing, and fluids in places they ought not be. That was the last experiences with trying various BP meds.

But the doc came in himself and took it and it was 120 over 80. Oh yeah. Was it luck or a fluke? Bottom line, no change in meds. All good on the BP front. Bloodwork and urine samples given and those results come in later and will be the real tell all. Is cholesterol high, sugar high? Of course it will be. I’ve been consuming the classic Westerner’s diet, minus a few burgers and fries as I’m past that addiction. I’m not expecting improvement. How could one expect it?

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Do you want to know something? I never even looked at the numbers last time? I couldn’t bare it. I didn’t even peek at it. I was going through the eating issues and I knew it wouldn’t matter anyway, as I was having to eat whatever my body could digest at the time. And things just went sideways from there. Eating changes and diversions just end up causing other issues too it seemed. Remembering “don’t eat white foods” because your sugar is too high. Then having to go back to it b/c I had diverticulitis and nothing could be digested but mac and cheese and potatoes and rice….and broth. Doh! What to do? lol.

It’s a see saw of trial and error. But I have to get back on the see saw. I have to figure out how to level it out. I have to want to do this. I have to want to feel better. Have to want to wear a lower size. And oh I do. I have to image being smaller in my head so that I go toward that. So that I move in the right direction. And see the future and not just satisfy the moment.

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The good news is, I’ve learned to love some healthy things. So while I may sound negative and barking at the trying – after all there is that side of things, I do realize it can be fun to try and do the right things again. To find joy in the journey again. To realize how good you feel again. I can do this again. Maybe not in the exact same way, but in a way that is enjoyable and stickable. I may do a cleanse day and I may not. If it is a dread – I’d say that is dangerous because forcing myself to do a dreaded day only makes me never want to do that again. But when I enjoyed it, I longed for it again.

So. I think it is all about the mindset. I think that is the biggest tangle aside from what your body will allow and tolerate…..and digest. I mean for some reason, I can’t even tolerate ketchup anymore. It burns my esophagus. I can eat it on something like a burger if it is a small amount. Or if it’s mixed in something, but just to dip a fry in it burns my insides. So odd.

Anyway, yeah, the mindset. I will try again and I’ll have a good mindset about it. I’ll focus again. We’ll keep working at it. And try to make it fun. And I’ll share my experience.

And so…so far all is ok – no changes in meds. And I will review both this doc visits numbers and will also pull last times numbers as it will be in my records on line. I will look at the data and not let it alarm me. I will just knowingly try to do better. Research shows eating like most any other country will give less of a chance of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. So how broad is that?

Let’s explore our options out there? Let’s learn a cultural change of how we eat? And of how we think about eating. It has to be a different kind of change. Who’s with me?

That said, it’s the weekend now and we have some plans. I’ll see you either later in the weekend or on Monday morning. What you guys doing this weekend? Be safe. We will be too!

Figuring Things Out, Getting Things Done, or NOT

Good morning! A quick entry here as my alarm did not go off. Or I turned it off in my sleep. I kinda remember hitting my watch and wondering if I had turned it off completely. But I intended to blog this morning. So I shall!

The worst news of the day is that the diverticulitis is back. I began having twinges of pain in the lower left abdomen where my “diverticulae sac” is. (The pocket of the colon at the turn where things get stuck.) I am pretty sure it was tomato seeds. Since the whole stomach is not raw and upset, I know it’s not a colitis situation as it is only a certain section that is irritated. So likely something stuck. I had tomatoes also in my Mexican food the other night and had spaghetti twice. My guess is that there is a polyp or something that needs to be removed that is making things so difficult in there. I think it’s been five years – maybe 3 – since the last colonoscopy. But he’s (the doc) likely going to send me in for that. Our medical procedures are opening up now. However, I am first going to see if I can sneak through this one. I can’t live on antibiotics so if it gets worse, or I cannot pass, or I begin getting a fever (infection) – then I will call. It may get better on its own and heal if I do the liquids and soft foods and start over and we’ll see if I can buy some time during this pandemic. But the colonoscopy, polyp removal – or worst case scenario – surgery – some of it is inevitable. There is no sense in worrying about it. It is going to be what it is going to be. Hopefully it will turn out well.

I feel bad for George who has tried to eat with me and eat things that I have to eat. He’s a real trooper in that way. But he must be getting tired of this scenario that keeps happening. Back to the drawing board.

I got into all the vitamins this weekend and finally decided what I needed to take when. I decided to buy and AM and PM pack – so that some will be taken in the morning and some at lunch time with my meal. This is the one I picked out from Amazon. How cool is that. It’s nice as you take out the day and put in your purse if you don’t want the whole thing. This is perfect. I’ll probably be taking out the Saturday and Sunday ones as I won’t have my “work bag” with me when we are out running around. Hopefully the pills fit, lol. These are bigger than they look. I think they will hold 3 big vitamin E’s on each side (for example).

So, I did get a lot done yesterday. I was pretty happy. Although I did not do a lot of cleaning. It really didn’t need a lot of cleaning. Most things are in it’s space and we’ve not messed up too much. I did work on the laundry, hung the bulletin board, got the ironing done, nails and toes done, dog baths are done (even trimmed their front paws but not the back as they won’t be still). Bed sheets changed, pill box ordered, packages from the week opened and put up. Also checked out Zoom. It’s $14.99 for a month. So I did not upgrade to the paid version yet. But I had George get on and practice so I could see how it would work. Seems pretty easy. I also watched the online church in Graham Tx.

But the things I’m most excited about is that I watched a couple of YouTube videos on Movavi software and actually had the free version on my laptop which I’d forgotten about. I hopped on the laptop to do something else and that icon popped out and grabbed my attention.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on my windows laptop. I have it on the desk (table) on the other side of the office but may move it over to this long desk next to my iMac so I can still do PSP. Anyway it’s a lap top and moveable. But the important thing is that since that icon jumped out to me and I opened it up, it took me to their website and I could see the prices. It was reasonable. $79 for lifetime download for it. So that led me to watching the YouTubes just to see what it was like.

The videos showed the basics of starting and saving and several things in between. So I downloaded the software and gave George $100 bucks of my blow money which is all saved up as we’ve not been going anywhere (lol) – it was that much with tax and some extra fee that they had to protect your download. A fee they probably came up with instead of raising the price, lol.

So I got on the iMac and downloaded. It came in a package of downloads. It had a separate video recording program and some type of Media Player. So all that was a little bit confusing as each one had a key and I was trying to use the key for the wrong thing until I realized “oh I had three emails with different keys” on it. The other two came later after I had already grabbed the first one thinking it was for all three, lol. Geez.

So yeah, I bit the bullet and went with a much easier program to use. I actually made a little stupid video with a few clips just to try it really quickly. iMovie has more upgraded things to work with. Movavi is coming out with a newer version in June. But it looks like I already have the 2020 one – at least it says 2020 on it. So maybe I just got it early. iMovie has a better look to its transitions and titles and has a LOT of music to work with. Movavi’s tools were not as many but what good is iMovie if it corrupts my videos and doesn’t work.

So to appease my soul at having to give up a lot of really good sound effects and music with iMovie, I allowed myself to join Epidemic Sound (one month free) which is know to be THE BEST at being able to download songs (can search by mood, or music type, or emotion) for the video you need it for and with copyright protection when uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.

So….if I am going to pay a $15.99 per month fee for Epidemic sound, then I need to be making a lot of videos. lol I may not keep this around forever, but as I told George – “I found a new hobby”. It’s just something I would like to learn to do. I first want to be able to do our vacation videos. But at some point, I may just do some simple videos of our week to add to the blog. Much like blogging led to graphics, it’s also leading me to video now and want to integrate Vlogging into it, if I can and if it makes sense to do so and I can be artful and intent with it – and it is a useful thing. So we’ll see.

I also did the Magazine project which is for the past couple of years, I have folded magazine pages of things I want to go back and keep. Many were recipes, many were websites, some were products to check into. So I’ve torn them out, tossed the magazines, and separated out the recipes and the other is in a file “check out on the internet”. I will share with you as I look these things up. Some things were very interesting. Some were blogs. So I’ll share with you as I “make the magazines come to life” as I call it. lol

And I need to quit blogging and go get dressed, pack some liquids/lite foods for the day to give my colon a rest, and put makeup on and go to payroll related activities. Sadly the info I needed did not come Friday to begin starting on the unemployment taxes we have to pay for the many states we have employees in. There is no way it can all be done in two days along with everything else that has to be done once payroll is closed. So pretty good chance it’ll just have to be late. I’m only one person and also don’t know what will happen with this diverticulitis thing either. It’s a ticking time clock right now. But the phrase of the decade is: “It is what it is!” None of it really in my control so why worry about it.