Chronic Pain

A 51 year old female living and dealing with lumbar back pain and fibromyalgia. Sharing things I do for relief, reduce stress and control weight gain.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who needs Weight Watchers?

I recalled last night I had seen a segment on a health show about apps that are health related.  One in particular stood out in my mind. Fooducate.  I did a search last night and read reviews.  Looked like everything I needed to help me stay on track and calculate my intake of food.  I've only used today and already know I love it!  I believe it is just what I need to stay on track without WW's online.  Needless to say I'm glad I waited.

When you start up you put in your age, weight and height.  It then allows you to set goals for yourself.  Some things I like about this app is that it lets you scan bar codes just like WW's but it tells you any ingredients that are unfavorable.  It gives the product an A,B C score.  If your not happy with calories or point value it gives you the option for better alternative to that particular food you just scanned.  It also lets you just search a food if you don't have the barcode.  As you enter a food it gives you option to add to your grocery list or to your Health tracker.  The health tracker is keeping a tally of what you eat and drink, then totals calories you use and have left for the day.

I'm also pleased that it lets you enter your exercise like the WW app.  After you enter it gives credit to your points or your calories.  At lunch when I scanned the bar code for my turkey it rated a "C". Stated nitrates and high sodium.  When I checked the "better alternative" it listed the mesquite as a better option.  Rated a B-. Lower sodium than the oven roasted I had.  Funny thing is I usually get mesquite but they were out when I shopped last.   If you have to follow qluten free or allergy restriction you can personalize it to show these things when entering foods to make sure you avoid them. 

On a change of subject, I accidentally bought sunflower seeds instead of the regular wild bird seed I usually get.  As soon as the birds starting eating there was a mess all over the ground under the bird feeder.  Soon, tiny sunflowers started to grow.  I was amazed at how quickly this happened.  D was not about to mow around them.  I saved two and as they continue to sprout up until seed was gone he has been pulling them out.  They started growing quickly and in just a short amount of time below is what appeared.  I'd never seen a sunflower before it blooms.  I think it's so pretty.  

That's all I have for today folks. I could bore you to death with some more boring information but I'm keeping it short today.  I was so excited with my end of day results with this app that I just had to tell someone.  Thanks for listening!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Starting over

My plan has been to sign up with Weight Watchers again and get this weight off that I've put on since stopping last October.  I'm at the one year mark of when I started last year and I've gained over half back on of the 17 pounds I lost.  Time to do something so it's not all 17 to loose again.  I checked in on their site a few weeks ago to see if they were offering any specials and to just prepare myself for what it may cost to sign up.  I knew I wanted to wait until end of July to start fresh at the beginning of a month.  We also had a busy week end with out of town friends for the week end and a family gathering on Sunday.  I thought everything perfect to start now so I wouldn't be dieting when our friends were visiting.  

Yesterday morning I weighed in, measured and got on line to sign up.  The $1 sign up fee special I saw a few weeks ago was no longer being offered!  Wow, I was disappointed.  I'm wasn't so sure I wanted to pay 29.95 for possibly only a month of using the online tools. (thinking positive) The monthly fee is $18.95 so for just one month it would cost me 48.90.  I just couldn't bring myself to justify paying that much money.  I could try the "old plan".  I have all my books and the points card.  The new "points plus" is so much easier and better though.  The tools like the app for calculating points and the bar code scanner app to use in store (this gives you points when you scan product) makes everything so simple and easy.  On my own I will have to hand write a food journal.  On line it's so simple to enter in and it also rewards you with points for exercise. 

It's been as high as 142 occasionally
I decided to not give up so easily and called WW's to see if they would consider waving the sign up fee being I'm a former member.  The young man said no.  Then I asked about the $1 sign up special that I thought was for month of July.  That ended on Saturday he informed me.  Bummer, I missed by two days.  Really?  You can't help me out with this?  I was so saddened.  I asked for him to check with his supervisor, which he happily did.  The answer still, "no".  That survey they asked me to take at the end of call, they won't like my answers!  Maybe I should have shared with them that I promote them on my blog!

My friend was here visiting with me yesterday.  We talked about dieting and eating habits over our salad and I told her my WW story.  She suggested I just give it a try on my own for two weeks and if no results then go ahead and bite the bullet.  So that's my plan.  I made a list last night and did my shopping this morning.  As we talked about, one of the secrets to a successful diet is to be prepared.  Have the food you need on hand and the food you CAN"T do NOT have available.  I went to three different stores sale and coupon shopping.  So here I am taking a break before I even put everything away!  More than likely I'll stop and come back to finish this post later this evening.  Can't stand looking at the bags on the table.  I also want to get some pool time in this afternoon.  

If you are a coupon shopper you may not be aware some stores allow you to use a manufacture coupon along with their store coupon.  It requires a little work to look everything up and print out but in the end you really save.  Target and Walgreens are two that I frequently catch some really good deals.  Sometime free.

Target had their Smart One's frozen entrees on sale for $1.89/$2.50.  They also had a special with a purchase of 10 you get one free.  I had a manufacture coupon for $4.00 off of 10 and Target had a store coupon for $3.00 off of 10.  Between my coupons and the sale I really got a good deal.  Their Reach floss was on sale for .97 and I had a $1 coupon so I got that for free.  Coppertone sunscreen was $7.99 (same price as Wal Mart) and I had a Target coupon and manufacture coupon that totaled $3 together.  My total ticket without coupons was $40.00 and I paid $23.00.  I love getting deals!

At Walgreens they had Reach toothbrush on sale for $2.99.  With this purchase you get a $3 rewards coupon for your next purchase so its just like getting for free.  I also had a $2 coupon on a reach toothbrush so I ended up making money on this deal :-)
I won't bore you with the other deals but I'll mention my total should have been $12 and I paid $5.39.  If your interested in trying to save money sign up @ couponing 101 and they do all the work for you.  Two to three times a week you get emails about deals at different stores.  They do everything but cut out the coupons for you!

averages less than a $1 per item!

My last stop was Sam's and unfortunately they do not except coupons but your always saving there.  I've recently discovered that Wal Mart has store coupons like Target so someday soon I will spend sometime looking through them to see if I have any that I also have a manufacture coupon on.  The secret of really saving is not buying anything just because it's "cheap or free".  (Unless you plan to donate to charity or shelter)  That is definitely a good reason to go ahead and buy.  I do on occasion pick up something that is really cheap or free that I don't use, but have my kids in mind.  

It was a long week end but we really enjoyed our friends that spent the week end with us.  They live in Vicksburg, MS.  They came Friday afternoon and left Sunday @ noon.  Then around 2pm my brother, sister n law, 2 of their children, my mom, my daughter with her family and my son came.  We had a fun time outside enjoying the patio.  The kids...this includes my son in law, brother, nephew and son had fun in the pool.   It was so good to see my nephew.  He lives in FL and we rarely see him.  It was so worth how tired I was to entertain them for the afternoon.  

Upper left-D with his Ol Miss buddy

Mom, brother & nephew
The "kids" at play
I really took it easy yesterday.  I did a little laundry, cleaned the pool and passed the swiffer on my floors in the am.  As I mentioned earlier a good friend came to visit for lunch and we spent the afternoon just relaxing and chatting.  Just what I needed yesterday.  My husband asked later when we were in pool together what we did all afternoon.  Besides eating lunch, nothing I told him.  We just talked!  He just couldn't comprehend what in the world we talked about for 4.5 hours.  He just don't understand "girlfriends".   This particular friend and I sometime don't see each other for over a year sometime.  Only communicating my email and texts.  She only lives 25 minutes from me but life keeps us busy.   This summer however we made a point to get together.  She came here twice and I spent a day at her house visiting.  

We added a patio cover to the back of our house.  It's been so nice to sit outside early morning with my coffee and late evening as I am now and enjoy the sounds of the birds and fountains.  If you have back trouble.....listen up.  You need an anti gravity chair.  It makes sitting outside in a chair so much easier.  It takes all the pressure off of my lower back.  It's so worth the investment!  I'm watching a cardinal eat dinner.  The female, the male comes around with her at times.   I love outdoors <3.

Female cardinal
Mom, sister n law and D in "my" chair!
the patio at night
I hope to be back before then but if not I'll definitely be checking in next Tuesday to weight in.  Hopefully knowing I have to do that will help me along on my own without the online help. 

Filled with H.O.P.E.

Love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace.  Donald Gray Barnhouse

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I need a break!

From what you might ask?  From this flare up that started the day after the 4th of July.  That particular week end was terrible.  We had the threat of rain or rain everyday until the week end passed.   The barometric pressure highly determines my day.   My husband was off from Thursday until Monday and all of this time with him home I felt like doing absolutely nothing.
I scared him at one point when I let it get to me and went on one of my "feel sorry for me" binges.  Why me?  Why can't I feel normal just one day?  Please...just one.   I want to remember what it feels like.  I told him I couldn't take it any more and he completely took it wrong.  I meant I couldn't take pretending like I'm fine and I've learned to deal with it.  

I have learned to deal with it.  A long time ago.  I also learned that if you can't just let go and stop pretending sometime you'll go nuts.  If you go nuts your doctor will put you on medication.  In my case, increase my medication.  I had a mad fit, a good cry, 2 pain pills and crawled in bed and found something funny to watch.  I tried not to feel guilty about being in bed or lashing out.  By the time the program was over, I felt the "edge" reduced and not so sad and angry any longer.

Why haven't I written?  I really have no excuse.  Well, maybe the one I use last time about the program I'm watching.  Now on season 6 episode 9 and I'm going to really be sad when I'm done.  I have one season left after this one.  Ok, so back to not writing,  A dear friend text last week wondering and I quote, "Ok enough already! I keep checking your blog everyday for an update :-(  I apologized and filled her in that I was having a rough time and figured I'd just complain.  She said that was what she was thinking.  Either I was doing really good or really bad.  None the less knowing she was thinking about me helped.   Then there was the text at the end of the week asking, "Is my page not reloading or have you not posted since June 27th?"  Your page is reloading fine.  I have no real excuse.  I will get past this flare up.  Then I have the friend who checked in and said, "Go ahead and complain, we're listening:-)"

You see my readers, I have the best friends in the world.  They all still want to hear from me good or bad.  That is one of the many things that give me strength to keep fighting and not giving up and crawl in bed to quit the fight.  Trust me, I want to do it on many days.  Especially these last 4.

4th of July Good food and great friends

I remember last summer at the hottest point, humidity high with chances of rain all the time making it tough.  I told myself it was worse than winter.  In the winter I always say its worse in the summer.  I've been riding my bike and swimming.  That's about it.  It's been a couple of weeks or longer since I've had a good walk.  Your going to be hearing from me regularly again because after this week end I will start the Weight Watchers program over.  Yes readers that 17 pounds you cheered me through last year is BACK ON.  All but 6 of them.  I don't know what I'm waiting for?   I guess to hit the 17 mark back so it can be even harder.  
Any one want to join me?

Along with the added pain on top of the chronic "failed back surgery syndrome" my hives are determined to make me miserable.  I know, give it up.  They aren't going away.  I'm not giving up hope that the will some day.  I guess they like showing up to visit when my back is flared up.  This isn't the best pictures but it gives you an idea starting in block one in the am
and how it gets larger and larger as the day goes on.  I can feel them before they even expose themself.
last week


I'm getting tired and falling a sleep while trying to finish this.  I haven't slept the last few nights with some particular nasty hives, no relief from this back flare up and kkkkkkkkka cut on my pinky that is healing so slowkkkkkkkkkkkk. ( That's what you get when your drifting off and won't give up.  I started @ 11:00 and it's now 2 am.  I wake up and my finger has typed its self!)   I'll be back to finish tomorrow after my therapy session.

I'm back.  It's Tuesday afternoon and I should be able to stay awake to finish lol.  I've returned from seeing my therapist and stopping at a few stores so I need a rest.  I'm not getting up until I'm done here!

This week end we have some friends coming from out of town for the week end.  I'm trying to slowly each day get a few things done around here that I've put off because of the way I've been feeling.  The gentleman is a longtime college friend of my husbands.  They go way back and he has been coming to stay for the week end to visit long before I was in the picture.  I started in the guest room.  I have a habit of putting things in there until I "feel like"
taking care of them if I'm having a bad day.  I finally got a new bed set and found a topper for the current curtains that match new comforter.  I love when things like that work out.  

My nephew is in town visiting his dad, stepmom and siblings this week.  He lives out of state and its a rare occasion if we get to see him when he is here. (my immediate family)  He is 16 now and I'm not sure he was a teenager last time we saw him.  My sister in law asked about them all coming Sunday so he could see us and of course us see him.  I'm really excited about it.  I'm anxious about the busy week end and how I will feel by Monday.  I'll make it but know it will take some recouping after.  

The last time they came (fathers day)  we had such a great time.  It was so hot outside but we didn't let it stop us.  My husband grilled and he put up a tent topper to provide some shade.  As of yesterday we now have a patio cover AND a fan under there so it will be much cooler this visit.  

My regret is that my granddaughter can't be here.  My son met with her mom last week and Thursday he will see his daughter for the first time since Christmas day.  I'm so excited for him and A.  I hope it all goes well for all three of them.  He has taken so many steps forward and this one will surely encourage more of them.  It will take some time before her mom is ready for A to spend alone time with her daddy so it is not an option to have both here on Sunday to see my nephew and family.   I'd really like my son to be here.  Being with family is so good for him and my brother and his wife were there for him during some of his "bad" days.  They really enjoyed seeing him doing so great last time they were here.  As well as my mom.  Unfortunately if one comes the other can't.  Not the end of the world, I know.  Every thing takes time.  

It just always seems when A is here nothing is going on.  My daughter always does her best to get here with P so she can see some of her family here.  It's just fell like that recently that when family is here she isn't .  A hasn't seen my mom or my brothers family in a very long time.  I'd love for her to be able to participate in the fun we will have.  She loves the pool now and is very comfortable.   Next month is her birthday.  She's so excited about that.  I can't believe her and P both will soon be 4 years old.  I also can't believe I'll have another grandchild soon and P will be a "big brother".

very involved with "Daniel" 

girl loves to pose :-)

I know I already promised to write more.  I definitely will.  I have so much to share but don't want to bore all in one post.  Honestly I can't sit and type that long anyway.  I'm starting my diet back on Monday too.  You guys are my inspiration and knowing I have to post my weight up there every Monday holds me accountable.  Some may be short but I'll be back.

I hope all my pain friends who stay in touch with me are feeling some relief right now.   Your emails, posts and comments always encourage me to stay strong.  

Filled with H.O.P.E. (hold on pain ends)