Archives for: October 2009
I got my seasonal flu shot about a week ago. I didn’t blog about it immediately because I wanted to see if there were any ill effects. There were not. My arm was not particularly sore. I didn’t run any fever, no aches or pains. I felt perfectly normal. I did have a headache three days later, but I think it would be a stretch to blame that on the shot.
I got the shot because of my Mom. The rehab facility has signs posted everywhere warning visitors to stay away if they or anyone in their household has any flu-like symptoms. I do not want to risk exposing my Mom or any of the residents with flu.
On the day I got the shot I actually had an appointment for an annual physical. The day before there had been one news report after another about flu cases in our area. Doctors were interviewed on the radio who were seeing hundreds of flu patients a week. I woke up thinking, “Why am I going to sit in a waiting room with a bunch of flu germ carriers? Why put myself at that kind of risk?” I cancelled the doctor appointment and called a local pharmacy that gives flu shots. They said that they were almost out of seasonal vaccine and if I wanted a shot, I should come that very morning. So I switched my schedule and got the shot.
I am more wary about the H1N1 vaccine. The nasal spray is a live virus. I know I don’t want that. The shot is a dead (inactivated they call it) virus. Right now all H1N1 shots are reserved for high risk groups, so I couldn’t get one if I wanted it. I’ll wait and see what, if any, side effects turn up from the shot.
I heard one doctor interviewed on the news, who said that next year’s seasonal vaccine will include H1N1, but it will be a dead variety, and will be more thoroughly tested.
Whether you decide to get vaccinated for the flu or not, I strongly urge you to stay at home if you have any flu symptoms. There is nothing you have to do that is so important that it gives you the right to expose someone else. If people exercised common courtesy by keeping their germy hands off of shopping carts, and door knobs, it would go a long way toward slowing the progress of the disease. Stay home instead of going to a concert, movie, or even a church service. Get a friend to pick up children from school.
Sorry if I sound irritable, but I am tired of standing in line with people who are hacking and wheezing! I have hand sanitizer in my car, and my hands will probably be chapped all winter from the alcohol.
A few days of rest and self imposed isolation would not only protect others, but it would give the flu patient’s own body a chance to rest and recover more quickly.
No matter how good the BTD is, it cannot cancel out the normal aging process. I see this in myself as I struggle to maintain my muscle tone in my 50s. I see it even more dramatically as my 93 year old mother tries to regain movement in her right side after her stroke.
DD does a morning Bible Study from a book by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling. The author quotes scripture passages, and then paraphrases as if Jesus were talking in first person. I’m conservative about how people translate the Word of God, and am normally suspicious of personalized translations. But DD sends me excerpts that mean a lot to her, and I have to admit that Sarah has done an excellent job in her book.
DD sent me an excerpt this morning with a note that it had depressed her. That is because she is 20 years old, and thinks that she will always have the beautiful body she has now. I read the same passage and am greatly encouraged. Life on earth is a prelude to a far greater life in Heaven with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A life where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more aging.
I follow the BTD, NOT to live forever here on earth. Who would want to do that? I follow the BTD so that I can live the most energetic and productive life here that I can. But truly abundant life – that is still to come.
Here is the quote that depressed DD and energized me.
“I am your living God, far more abundantly alive than the most vivacious person you know. The human body is wonderfully crafted, but gravity and the evitable effects of aging weight it down. Even the most superb athlete cannot maintain his fitness over many decades. Lasting abundant life can be found in Me alone. Do not be anxious about the weakness of your body. Instead, view it as the prelude to My energy’s infusing into your being. As you identify more and more fully with Me, My Life becomes increasingly intertwined with yours. Though the process of again continues, inwardly you grow stronger with the passing years. Those who live close to Me develop an inner aliveness that makes them seem youthful in spite of their years. Let My Life shine through you, as you walk in the Light with Me.”
Last week I carried beef jerky with me wherever I went. Sometimes just knowing I had a beneficial in my purse was enough to get me over the momentary stress. Other times chewing on the tough jerky worked the stress out of me.
This week I bought some sliced roast beef at the deli. I was late getting home to cook lunch. I ate a slice of roast beef in the car. It was just what I asked for: beneficial, fast and filling.
Both of these foods are probably too salty to be 100% good for me. But I’m not stressed every day, and I’m confident the beef is better for me than some of my other choices.
Tonight I had a good visit with my Mom at the rehab facility. She can hold her glass now and take a drink. I feed her the meat and vegetable part of her meal. She has to help with the spoon to get her dessert. She is learning to make use of her left hand. We had such a good time looking at family pictures on my computer. As I left my Mom said, “I love you, Suzanne.” My name has never sounded so beautiful.
It was late when I got home, and I walked in the kitchen feeling frantically hungry. I ate two pieces of beef jerky and settled down inside. After that I could wait for dinner.
Right now I’m comfortably full and very happy.
I’ll admit it. Sometimes when I’m stressed, I feel like I’m starving. I not only want to eat, I want to feel full. I do not want salad, blueberries or broccoli. If anything those foods make me hungrier. What I really want is a half a pizza, a pint of ice cream, or a handful of cookies.
In my younger days, that is exactly what I ate. I remember with embarrassment what I consumed some nights when I was studying for exams. After I got into Health Food, I substituted whole grains for the junk food. Problems at work or home would send me scurrying for homemade rolls or whole wheat crackers. I’ve given up those comfort foods since I started the BTD.
I haven’t found a really satisfying substitute. Neutral grains give short term satisfaction. But while eating small servings of manna bread, oats, spelt or rice as a snack is not a problem, overeating them when I’m stressed, causes side effects. They are not a viable choice.
What comforts the best is trailmix. A bowl of walnuts, pecans, almonds, and dried fruit makes me feel good. So does a plate full of carrots and nutbutter. If the stress is quickly resolved, these are a good solution. But of all the beneficial foods, nuts and dried fruit put weight on me the fastest. So when the stress lasts several days or weeks, I need something that comforts without adding weight.
My Mom’s stroke and the economy are two long term stresses that I’m dealing with now. There are times at the end of the day when I feel desperately hungry. Sweet potatoes, brisket and turkey are good choices, but unless there are leftovers in the refrigerator, these take time to prepare. I catch myself eating a handful of nuts or dried mango while I’m cooking something better.
I’ve tried drinking green tea or fruit juice and club soda. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it just makes me hungrier. One of the best choices is a glass of juice with ¼ teaspoon l-glutamine powder.
A good comfort food would have to be beneficial, filling and fast. If you have something that works for you, I’d love to hear about it.
I was feeding my Mom her dinner in one of the common rooms and the television was on. I heard the word stroke, and started to pay attention. An ad was on, that listed risk factors for strokes: high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, and age. I looked at Mom and said, “Well, except for age, you didn’t have any of the risk factors. She grinned and shrugged her shoulders.
I have learned a little about stroke in the month since Mom’s event. First I went to the BTD Encyclopedia where I learned that there are two kinds of stroke - ischemic stroke when blood flow to the brain is impaired by the blockage like a blood clot and hemorrhagic stroke which is a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. The Encyclopedia says that Type As have a higher risk for ischemic and Type Os have a higher risk for hemorrhagic.
I did a little more research on the internet and learned that 80 – 85% of strokes are ischemic. Family history is also a factor. Neither of Mom's parents ever had a stroke, though one of her sisters did.
In the hospital, after Mom was identified as a stroke victim, they immediately put her on aspirin and a blood thinning shot. She is Type O, and I wondered if that had been the right thing to do. I have since learned from her doctor at the Rehab Facility, that her blood work indicated that her clotting factors were out of balance. He tested her several times a week until he got the right levels of medication. He has not put her on blood pressure or cholesterol medication, so evidently those readings are still normal, as they were before the stroke.
Mom is a Type O, but evidently she had an ischemic stroke anyway. It makes me wonder why.
I remember when Hall of Fame Blogger Sharon had a stroke in 2007. She also had minimum risk factors, and she followed the BTD a lot closer than my Mom did. In one of her final blogs, she also wondered why.