I’m moving….My Blog that is.

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Picnic with Ants

 

I finally decided I just had to change the name of my blog.

The 365 Days to a Healthier Me was not what I had originally planned.  I wanted to start following a true health regime, eating better, exercising regularly….  But that’s just not happening.  Well, I do eat pretty well, but it’s pretty hard to exercise when I am so dizzy I can barely lift my head off the pillow.

 

I used to have a blog on Blogger called “Picnic with Ants”.   Last night my husband told me how much he liked that name.  And recently, I received a comment on that blog that truly touched my heart.  I decided to start a blog on WordPress that is called Picnic with Ants.

I hope you will continue to follow me at Picnic with Ants.

The name came because I try to think of my life as a grand Picnic with a few annoying ants who bite me in the butt now and again.  (It’s time to tame those ants!)

A new year, a new beginning.

Please join me at http://picnicwithants@wordpress.com

 

Happy New Year! Plans for 2011

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There are many things I want to accomplish during this coming year.

Of course, I want to get the Meniere’s under control.

I want to figure out what is going on with my gut and get that fixed, including taking off this weight I’ve gained.

I want to exercise more.  I love to work out in a pool.  I just ordered some of the equipment that we used when I had physical therapy in a pool so I could do the exercises on my own.  (a flotation belt so I can exercise in the deep end without sinking, webbed gloves for resistance, and weights for my ankles to help with aqua walking and toning.)

I also ordered a heart rate monitor so I can keep up with that when I’m working out other ways.  (my heart tends to beat a little too fast too soon, so I have to keep an eye on that.)

Stuart and I have decided that we want to start living more in line with our beliefs.  Stop buying so much stuff we don’t need.  Start buying things that are used instead of new.  Stop creating so much trash.  Start buying closer to home.

We are going to try very hard to not buy anything new in 2011.  I’m looking at it as a smaller goal, I plan to say – Nothing new in January, then if I can do that, then Nothing new for the next 2 months, and build up.  I’m afraid if I say, Nothing new for a whole year, I’m just dooming myself to failure.  (of course, this doesn’t include food, necessities like soap and stuff, and we’ve agreed if we need underwear it will be bought new.)  It also doesn’t include services we may need, or the raw materials I need for my art.  I am trying to create recycled art, but there are still some things you just have to buy.  (I’m hoping to find some of this on Craig’s list, or Free Cycle.)

I hate to admit that we did go on a spending spree at the end of the year in anticipation of this upcoming year.  I’ve been wanting a new vacuum cleaner for so long, and I wasn’t going to wait another year for it!

Buying nothing new is going to be hard.  But I think we can make a good go of it.

I also want to eat healthier.  I need to get my cholesterol down (well my triglycerides, the rest is fine).

As most of you know I’ve taken on the challenge to make at least one meal a week from S.O.L.E. (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) ingredients.  This has been a challenge during the winter months, there just isn’t that much local produce at this time of year.  But I’m enjoying the challenge.

Next, I’m taking on a challenge of going Vegan or at least Vegetarian for 21 days starting January 3rd.  I’ll take it one day at a time, but cutting out a substantial amount of saturated fat from my diet should lower my triglycerides.

I want to spend more time with my friends, and I want to make more friends who have the same interests I do.  It’s hard for me sometimes to go to parties and see how much is being wasted, and so many people don’t bother to recycle.  We are the only people in our group of friends who have a composter.  I also think it’s important to use cleaning products that are safe to the environment.  I feel like many of our friends do some things, but when it’s not convenient they don’t try.  I feel like we’ve fallen into that trap sometimes too.  For example, getting take-out.  What could be more wasteful?  At least when we eat at a restaurant they reuse the dishes and utensils.

We would rather spend our money on visiting friends and family.  Or giving to the charities we believe in.  We are tired of being wasteful.

In a nutshell what we have planned for the New Year is:

  • Get Healthier.
  • Stop being so wasteful.
  • Don’t buy anything new.
  • Make more time for our friends and family.

Are you making any resolutions or plans for the New Year?  I’d love to hear about them.

Happy New Year to one and all!

Hanging in There.

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So night before last I couldn’t sleep.  When I went back to bed at a little after 5am I realized that I wasn’t sleeping because I was hurting, I could not get comfortable.  My hip was hurting more than usual, my neck was hurting, I had a head ache….  I didn’t want to take a pain pill because sometimes they can make you a little dizzy, and we know I didn’t need that!  Finally, I decided to take half of a pain pill.  That did the trick.  I was able to go to sleep about 6am.

I slept from 6am until about 2:30pm.  Not bad.  I felt fine when I first woke up, until I tried to stand up and then the world just decided to kind of tilt a little.  I grabbed the wall and held on to the sink so I could get to the toilet.  Then my husband came in the bedroom and I had him help me back to bed and start the meds a flowing.  Again we over dosed me on Valium, and Phenergan.  I had diarrhea so we just kept putting in the suppositories.  I felt like I was going to start spewing any minute but we kept it down.

It was so sweet, my husband sat by me the whole time.  I do a little chant I learned in yoga to help calm me down, and he just chanted along with me.  Then he read to me for a little while, but I was having such a hard time hearing him, it started to make me feel bad.  So we chanted some more.  Finally, I felt like I could eat.  He brought me food up in bed, and I started feeling much better.  I actually made it to the couch around 6pm.

Today, I’ve been feeling a bit better.  I had one time today where I felt like I really needed to just take it very easy.  I took a Valium and Phenergan tablet and it calmed down.  I don’t feel great.  I still can’t hear, and the tinnitus is crazy, but at least I’m not spinning.

I must say though, that I am afraid I will start spinning at any moment.  I told my husband that I feel like I’m living in Hell.  Not just the actual time of the horrible vertigo, but the constantly feeling like it could happen any moment.  I realize there are a lot of things that are worse than this, but it just doesn’t make this any less horrible.

There are many things that I am grateful for, like:

 

Our Little Happy Family

 

 

  1. Having a wonderful husband who loves me and still thinks I’m sexy even through all of this.  (and my weight gain.)
  2. Days where I can get out of bed and off the couch and actually do something.
  3. Friends who have stuck by me through this.
  4. My dog, who still acts like there is nothing wrong with her, even though she has cancer.  She is really such a joy in my life.  She makes me laugh at least once a day, and makes me smile much more.
  5. My dog and cat will cuddling with me when I’m not feeling well, and even when I am if I want.
  6. That I can still read.  Watching TV is hard, especially when the closed captioning doesn’t work half the time, but I can still read.  Since Dec. 23rd, I’ve read 3 books, and I’m almost finished with number 4.
  7. Color.  I love color.  My favorite color is Yellow.  It just makes me happy.  The color of sun flowers, of buttercups, of the sun in a child’s finger painting…..I just love being able to enjoy color.
  8. This blog, the people who read it, and the people who have become my friend because of it.
  9. Hope.  I know it’s hard sometimes, but I always seem to be able to grab a hold of some hope, and pull myself out of the deepest despair.
  10. My doctors, without whom, I probably wouldn’t have much hope.

There are many more things I’m grateful for, but I just felt like I needed to acknowledge a few.

Tomorrow:  Plans for a New Year!

I can’t Sleep.

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It’s almost 5am and I’m not asleep yet.

Yes, I did take something.  Unfortunately, it did not work.

All of us who have Meniere’s know that sleep deprivation is not a good thing.  I’ve already been having signs that a big attack is probably on its way, and now I can’t sleep.  Dang it.

I was in bed for a while, and I thought I was nearly asleep once, but then I got the hiccups.  I get the hiccups a lot.  After, they finally subsided, I couldn’t fall asleep.  So finally, I just got up.

I guess I will go and try again.  If I can fall asleep, I hope I just sleep the day away tomorrow.  : )   Maybe I’ll feel better when I wake up.  *fingers crossed here*

I will go and try again.

Huh? What did you say?

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It snowed here on Dec. 26th!

I didn’t have an appropriate picture for this post, so I decided to just share a picture from our Snow Day.  It’s almost all gone now.

 

I so can not hear right now.  It is so aggravating to go from one week of being able to hear pretty darn good (at least out of one ear), and then the next week I can barely hear at all.

It also makes me very uneasy because I know that normally when I can’t hear I’m going to have a full blown Meniere’s attack some time soon.  I may be able to put it off for a while with medication and such, but it will probably happen within a week or so.  Then I will be able to hear again.  That just does not make sense to me.  Why can I hear so much better right after I have vertigo and puke my guts out?

(More stuff that is poopy graphic and you may not want to read.)  Well, the diarrhea is still going strong. 5 times so far.  Today about 2 hours after eating my lunch, I saw it all in the toilet.  My doctor once asked me how did I know it was what I just ate….well, let’s see…it is in the same form  as when it went in.  This time I had lettuce, I haven’t eaten lettuce in at least a week, it was very visible.  It’s also bright yellow.  It looks like it’s bile.  I looked up on line what yellow stools could mean.  On About.com it said that it often means you have GERD and are passing food through your system too fast.  Well, it does sound like I’m passing food through way too fast.  (can not understand how I’m gaining weight…but we’ll worry about that later.)  You know, my doctors haven’t even asked me what color it usually is.  They have asked if it’s black, or if I see blood, but that’s all.  It’s just so confusing.

It makes it harder to deal with a second illness when you have Meniere’s.  Numerous times I’ve had cancel appointments or tests that have been scheduled because I was having an attack, or I was recovering from one I just had.  (I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m pretty worthless the day after an attack.  I just have to sleep.)

So I didn’t get the Breath Tests done, I didn’t get the up CT scan done, I didn’t get the scope of the upper GI track done…..I do have the scope rescheduled for the 8th of January.  But, heck, I would probably have known what was wrong with my gut by now if I didn’t have Meniere’s to deal with too.

Stuart keeps saying, let’s concentrate on one thing at a time.  But that’s pretty hard when you are running to the bathroom all the time, and keep growing out of your clothes.

Hey, I got off the couch today.  We went had lunch at Pei Wei, to the grocery store, and went to one of the biggest Thrift Stores I know of.

The Durham Rescue Mission Bargain Center used to be a car dealership.  I love shopping there.  Today and I got 2 sweaters that are long.  I seem to have so many sweaters that show my middle when I move.  I think I must have bought them when waistlines where high, and now that they are lower my tops don’t seem to be long enough.  (however, I do not where low riders.  I would just have one big muffin top.  Don’t you think that’s just disgusting when you see that?)

I also bought 2 pretty plates to photograph my food on.  I only have white dishes, and I think my photographs are getting pretty boring.  I was looking for a pretty bowl to photograph things like soup in, all of my bowls are so deep it’s hard to get a good picture.  However, I have to admit, if I was being judged for plating my food, like they do on Iron Chef, I would lose miserably.  LOL  The truth is, I really should be able to set up better photographs, after all that was one of my specialties in college.  (I majored in Art with a specialization in painting and photography.  Look how much I use it now.  hahaha)

We also got the game CLUE.  I hope all the pieces are there.  Stuart found this thing on-line that tells you how to take 4 games, and make a whole bunch more.  The 4 games are Trivial Pursuit, CLUE, Scrabble, and Monopoly.  You use the different pieces on different boards and just mix it all up and make new games.  I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.  However, we have to get another Scrabble game, I don’t know what happened to mine.

We bought all of this for less than $10!  Isn’t that cool?

So that’s a day in the life of Wendy, I’m glad you could join me.

Another Day of Feeling Crappy

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I woke up yesterday and my hearing was down.  I thought, well, here we go again.

Today, has been a pretty bad day.

I got up, still can’t hear as well, felt off-balance; and as usual as soon as I woke up I was off to the bathroom, the diarrhea starting all ready.  (I must say though that for the past couple of days things have been better on that front.)  Not today.

I ate breakfast.  Decided I’d look work on some photos on Photoshop.  All of a sudden I had to RUN to the bathroom, and as you may have guessed, I didn’t quite make it.  I’m so grossed out by this.  What if I had been out in public?

Shortly after this I could feel a vertigo attack coming on.  I quickly took some Valium, and Phenergan.  I even decided to not wait and took a Phenergan suppository too.  I tried to stay calm, but this

is driving me crazy.  At least one attack per week, I just want it to end.  I asked Stuart to call Dr. Kaylie’s office and tell him that I am going to kill myself if they don’t do something soon.  Of course, Dr. Kaylie is out of the clinic this week.  I realize that everyone deserves some time off, but why does everyone seem to think that the world stops this time of year?  I am just so miserable, and all of my doctors are on vacation.  *sigh*  I’m sure they will take care of things as soon as they can as soon as they get back.  Yes, I could see the doctor on call, but that really wouldn’t do any good.  He wouldn’t be able to do a spinal tap, or set up surgery.  So I wait…

After a little while the vomiting still hadn’t started, but I was still feeling very bad.  We decided that I would get another suppository, and take another Valium.  I usually don’t take them so close together (it was about an hour and a half since I took the first round.)  But I’m glad I did.  Things really started calming down.  I even feel almost normal now.  Thank goodness.  I’m still a bit off-balance, but nothing I can’t handle.

I’m getting so tired of feeling sick and tired.

I can’t exercise.  I’ve gained so much weight since this diarrhea started.

Look at these two pictures.

Taken at Christmas Party 2010

Taken last year about this time.

Can you see how much weight I’ve gained?  Just look at my face.  I know it’s a little hard to tell in the top picture, but it’s the best one I have of me right now.  I must say, I’m kind of avoiding the camera.  I hate to even look in the mirror.  I gained the majority of this weight in 2 months, when the diarrhea first started.  30+ pounds.

I have enough to worry about without having to worry about this too.  It’s just so depressing.

Don’t worry, I haven’t given up.  I do believe something can be done, but I’m just tired of waiting for that something.

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken

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This is part of the meal I made for the Dark Days Challenge put out my the (not so) Urban Hennery to produce one meal a week during the winter made from primarily from S.O.L.E. (Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical) ingredients.
For the rest of the meal I made Baked Blue Sweet Potato Fries, and Stir Fried Collard Greens.  (you can find these recipes on my Gluten-Free Greenie Blog)
Roasted Chicken in a Slow Cooker

(this is my take on Shirley’s Crock Pot Rotisserie Style Chickenrecipe from A Year of Slow Cooking)
1 chicken (I used a local, all Natural Chicken) that will fit in your slow cooker easily.  Mine was about 3 lbs.
4-6 whole cloves of garlic
Seasoning of your choice.  (I used McCormick’s Montreal Chicken Seasoning this time.  I often use a Garlic Herb seasoning blend, but I’ve used a Jerk Seasoning blend and a lemon pepper seasoning with sliced lemons too.  It just depends on the flavor you want.)
Remove the Chicken from the wrapper, remove any giblets if there are any in the cavity, and rinse the bird inside and out.
Sprinkle the whole bird with your seasoning mixture.  You can even rub it in if you want.
Place the Chicken in your slow cooker breast side down.
Toss in a few peeled garlic cloves.
Cook for 4-5 hours on high, or about 8 hours on low.
It took my bird about 4 hours on high, cooked in a 3.5 quart oval cooker.
This is the easiest, and one of the tastiest ways I’ve found to cook a whole chicken.