Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I think everyday I get asked the same questions, "how are you able to deal with everything you are going through and still find time to eat healthy and exercise?"

My answer: I just do and you can too! We have to make the choice. We can choose to eat healthy or we can choose to grab a double whopper and fries; we can choose to put our running shoes on and exercise or we can choose to stay in bed.  We make the choice. We may have influences that help us make our choice, but ultimately make the choice.

We all have different obstacles and are dealing with life's situations, and in order to make changes in our behavior, we need to know how to deal with the obstacles that are in our way of living a healthy lifestyle. 

Follow these tips to help you stay healthy and balances your lifestyle:

1. Become aware of your actions-when you realize what you are doing, you can change it.
2. Keep a record of what you want to change-If you write it down, you are more likely to change it.
3. Avoid situations that trigger bad habits-such as eating in front of the tv or sitting at the computer.
4. Write down your new routine-Change it until it works for you
5. Post reminders about healthy habits-post in places where you will notice them: refrigerator, on the table, in your car, mirror
6. Practice your routine, because practice makes PERMANENT!

"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." Christopher Reeves 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Exercising with Chronic Illness

Day 3:
Most of my friends and family know I am a morning person. I wake up energized and love the feeling that I can start over that day!  I usually wake up around 6am and if any later, my husband knows something is not right!

This morning I woke up ready to swim some laps! Exercise has always been a part of my life and I often treat it as a medication; without it, I feel ill!  In my own experience, I feel exercise is most essential for chronic pain, but it can also be very difficult when fighting the pain!  I have found that once I get moving and face the pain, my pain level decreases throughout the day.  I just bite my tongue and keep moving.  Luckily, I learned to swim at a young age and LOVE the water!  It is easier on my joints and helps me keep the weight off!

I always enjoy my time spent working out with friends. It also helps the time fly by, especially when you find yourself in deep conversation while riding bikes or kicking laps in the pool!
My friend Susan picked me up this morning to swim some laps. She is an AMAZING chef by the way, and can offer some great advice on cooking healthy meals and great cooking tips to help you organize yourself around the kitchen! You can check out her business @ http://www.mycuisinecoach.com/.

Some of you reading my blog may already face chronic pain or have a friend that is facing chronic pain. You might be overweight and attempting to exercise for the first time.  It is not an easy road to start, but it will be well worth the journey once completed! I encourage you or your friends to seek advice from a health care professional such as a physical therapist or exercise specialist (http://trimarni.blogspot.com/) for more information and tips regardimg exercise, and how it can help you and the pain you are facing!

"He who hesitates is lost" American Proverb/Author unknown

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sunshine, Water, Rest, Air, Exercise, and Diet

First day of Chemo went well. All of the nurses were extremely nice and every one of them left saying, "Is there anything else I can get you." The rest of the day my appetite and energy levels were amazing. I would probably contribute that to the dexamethasone (IV steroid) they gave me in addition to the chemo. They also gave me IV benadryl, which knocked me out for a few hours on the couch.

Last night Patrick cooked up a cashew curry coconut crusted chicken with green beans and red potatoes. I was very impressed! I forgot to take a picture, but it looked and tasted amazing! I guess as long as I buy the ingredients and provide a recipe, that boy could make anything!

Day 2: I had some trouble sleeping, mostly because my mind was else where and did not want to rest. My appetite is fair today, forcing myself to eat good foods is not a problem, since I love fruits and veggies and so far I have not had any change in taste buds and no nausea:). My energy level is fair. I plan to walk a mile or two with my son Liam and my dog B-man later today. 

"The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling."
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Personal Note...

I want to apologize to all of my (4 and then some) blog followers. I am not much of a writer, in fact, my husband often has to proof read my blogs, because my grammatical errors are atrocious. So please forgive me now, because I am not letting him proof read this before I post:). He is sleeping!

I woke up this morning (4:45am), feeling the need to share a more personal journey; my friend Marni has been telling me to share as a dietitian and friend, in order to relate to my patients and clients more. You can check out Marni's blog at http://trimarni.blogspot.com/. She is amazing and even though I am a registered dietitian has tought me so much about nutrition and exercise!

Today I start chemo, yep that is right, Chemotherapy, the stuff that makes you feel like $%^& and possibly makes your hair fall out.  First I need to inform everyone that I do not have cancer, but a rare form of lupus, lupus nephritis. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that may affect the skin, joints, kidneys, and other orders. In my case, lupus nephritis, the lupus attacks my kidneys.
 There are many forms of treatment for lupus, such as nonsteroidal anti-imflammatory drugs (ex: advil/motrin), antimalarial drugs, corticosteroids, and in rare, more serious cases, cytoxan treatments (chemotherapy). I like to think that God thought I was STRONG enough to handle the rare, more serious case of lupus! 

As a dietitian and health care professional, I thought it would be interesting to share my journey with lupus and what it is like to go through cytoxan chemotherapy treatments. AND seeing as I am a dietitian, I figure it would be wise to share with you all the foods I can and cannot eat and how the side affects play a role on my nutrition. I will also share about my exercise routine, the people I meet, the care I received, and how I am striving to be a great mom and wife, even when I am not feeling well!

Day 1-August 23, 2011:
I have my first treatment this morning at 8:30am. I did cytoxan chemo before, when I was 17. Because I was a pediatric (child), I was admitted inpatient and at the time (1997) the treatment recommendation was a much longer/drawn out process (once a month for 6 months and then once every 3 months for 3 years). Today I am an adult, and apparently somewhere along the way somebody said adults do not like to look at colorful painted walls with rainbows and fun farm animals, and white walls would be more appropriate. BORING!

My treatment this time will be done at an infusion site, which is often at a hematology/oncology clinic. The treatment takes a little over an hour.  I get my own recliner and , my own t.v., my own nurse, my own IV pole, and my own white wall to stare at! Also, in the attempt that I would be too tired to cook this week, (and because of my OCD behavior), I planned out meals (easy enough) for my husband to cook. He is a great cook and really knows how to make the kitchen look like a bomb went off:), but he always seems to make the kitchen look spotless when he is done. My husband is amazing! Our 5 year anniversary is this Friday!!  I will leave you with a cute story: One of our songs is Forever and Ever, Amen, by Randy Travis. There is a line in the song he sings to me: "They say time takes it's toll on a body, makes a young girl's brown hair turn gray. Well, honey I don't care, I ain't in love with your hair, and if it all fell out, well I'd love you anyway." AND he still loves me:).