Tag Archives: Health

Seven

 

Here are seven things I’m liking right now!

 

1. Not having TV

About a week and a half ago Edgar and I decided to cancel our cable television service. There was never anything good on anyway, and we figured the extra $20 a month could be better spent elsewhere. I already knew that most the time I had the TV on, it was for white noise, so I reasoned with myself, knowing that if I wanted white noise, I could turn on Pandora or a TV show on Netflix. It’s been a week and a half since we have watched traditional television, and we don’t miss it at all! It’s so nice not having to see or hear television commercials all the time! And as a bonus, we’re spending our time better now since we don’t have the TV as a time suck.

And just for an FYI, I am currently listening to some bluesy, classic rock and roll, and I love it!

2. Baby Johnson

After months of being told that they were having a GIRL, Justin and Aubrey were surprised with an 8 lb, 11 oz, 20” long baby BOY! Little Joshua William Johnson made his public debut a week ago today! I’m so happy for my dear friends!

I got him this onesie!!

 

3. Bread baking

I’ve been going crazy over here with bread baking. In the past week I have baked two different loaves of gluten free bread, and I have a gluten free sourdough starter in the process of growing, feasting, and fermenting on my counter right now.

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I’ve already decided it going into two different loaves—a gluten free sourdough from Get Off Gluten, and a soaked spelt sourdough recipe I’m adapting from this page. I have not been tested for Celiac disease yet, but to do so I need to be eating gluten to some extent. I don’t plan on getting testing until at earliest this summer so in the meantime I think I’m going to utilize soaked spelt and kamut recipes for my yeasted breads and remain gluten-free for everything else. I already know that I tolerate spelt and kamut better than regular wheat. Perhaps soaking (to reduce gut-irritating phytic acid) will help even further? We’ll see.

In addition to this, I’ve been stalking The Fresh Loaf a great deal. I love that place. It’s a big forum for amateur (or not???) bakers. They toss around terms like “autolyse” and “dough hydration” and I have to refer to a glossary when I read just about any post, but the learning experience excites me!

 

4. Birth Without Fear

 

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I was introduced to this blog through a fellow homeschool graduate over facebook. With half the people around me having babies and my unabashed interest in obstetrics and gynecology (a seed planted during my uterine didelphys diagnosis at age 12, no doubt), the concept of birth has been on the brain. It is fascinating to see how starkly different modern American obstetrical protocol is from traditional practices of childbirth worldwide. The average American hospital these days only knows two births—a medicated and “controlled” vaginal birth or a cesarean section, which is quickly becoming more the norm than not. Whatever happened to uncomplicated births? How did people handle breech births before c-sections became protocol? How did people manage labor before the epidural? I’m not against hospitals or medical intervention when necessary, but these questions intrigue me.

5. Honey

But not to eat!

For the past almost-year I have been washing my face with it! Honey is a natural antiseptic, and ayurvedic medicine suggests it is good for oily skin, so I decided to give it a whirl. And it works! My skin started clearing up when I quit washing my face with products containing salicylic acid, and when I made the switch to honey instead of commercial face wash, my skin got even better! If only I knew this as a preteen, then maybe I wouldn’t have spent so much money on junky creams and washes!

6. Pinterest

I have been on Pinterest since last summer, and since then my boards have become a mess of random pins. I have done quite a bit of re-organization in the past few weeks, though, and now I have some boards dedicated exclusively to baking, gluten free foods, and vegetarian recipes! Check them out! (Feel free to check out the rest of my boards as well! Winking smile )

 

7. Fertility Friend

T.M.I. ALERT!

While many use this program to help them get pregnant (or avoid pregnancy, using Fertility Awareness Method), I use it to track the progress of my PCOS management. Since I’m not taking pharmaceuticals to manage my hormone levels, I have to pay attention to my body’s signals and how they respond to lifestyle choices. I take my temps every morning at 7AM. I have a special alarm on my phone, a thermometer by my bed, and an app on my phone I use to log my temps before rolling over and going back to sleep. I later plug in my temps and any other symptoms I’m feeling (headache, cramps, irritability, climate of the netherworld, etc.) as well as things like what medication I took and if I exercised. Then, when it believes it has enough information, it calculates which day I probably ovulated (if I ovulated all!) and seeing the chart patterns over time helps indicate a specific hormonal imbalance that may need tending to.

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An abormally…normal…ish chart. This was last month—the shortest cycle I have EVER had, and the earliest day of ovulation I have ever observed (it’s normally observed around day 19 for me). Exercise (the 02 spot at the bottom) obviously managed my hormones levels to the point where my cortisol rose, my DHEA lowered, and my cycle didn’t last so frickin long. Of course, my scary low follicular phase temps might be a cause for thyroid concern despite my “normal” TSH blood test results. Another typical part of PCOS treatment I need to consider.

And in case you are wondering, no, we are not planning for children in the near future. We have some career and possible relocation decisions to make before then. Winking smile

Fight Like a Girl

This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the Lubbock Race for the Cure.

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I’ve said before that I don’t like running, but I do enjoy 5K races. And of all the 5Ks I’ve “run” (Okay… like.. 4), this one was easily my favorite.

The atmosphere of hundreds and thousands of people all gathering together in shades of pink, with smiles, with pride, with signs on their backs stating the name and/or relationship they have with the “1 in 8” they are running for…

“I’m running in celebration of the best grandma in the world!”

“I’m running in memory of my sister…”

 

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On Saturday we ran/jogged/walked/congregated for something bigger than burning calories. There wasn’t an attitude of athletic competition. It was about coming together for the greater good. It was about raising money for the cure as well as implementing those habits that help one heal. There were many survivors at the race. There were many who will face cancer themselves someday.

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I didn’t wear a sign because I didn’t see that particular table in the registration room (oops). But if I had, it would read, “I’m running in celebration of my super-mom, Linda Sanders!”

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of last year. Several months later, after a double mastectomy, she became a cancer survivor. She has since changed her life and her health for the better.

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My mom with part of her surgical team

She has also documented her cancer journey in a series of photographs, which she has presented to various audiences in hospitals and otherwise.

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As long as I’ve known my mom (hah!) she’s always been an adamant about patient advocacy. When she was diagnosed with cancer, she wasn’t given many options, but she wasn’t satisfied with what she was told. She did her research and found a doctor who would perform a different operation—one that wasn’t widely performed. She had to travel to San Antonio (roughly five hour drive) for her surgeries and doctors visits, but she got what she wanted. And she is now cancer free.

I may also say that I was running for myself.

Yesterday I was officially diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). While this endocrine disorder itself is not that dangerous, ignoring it (and the lifestyle habits that exacerbate it) could cause a snowball effect of other more serious health problems, such as infertility, diabetes, heart disease, and different cancers. I am blessed because my healthy habits over the past two years have reduced my symptoms to the point where I am a mild case. I visited my OBGYN for my annual checkup and presented my symptoms and they were brushed off as ‘nothing’. I wasn’t satisfied. I visited a holistic practitioner who strongly suggested that I may have PCOS (which I doubted—until I did my research and compared it with my own symptoms and medical history). I went back to my OBGYN insisting that I be screened for it. Turns out my holistic doctor was right!

I am not afraid of PCOS, cancer, diabetes, or any other malady of the body. There is no reason for me to feel anything less than empowered by it! My mom didn’t shrink and shrivel when she was diagnosed with cancer. She did something about it! She got rid of the bugger and has been doing what she can in order to prevent cancer from returning! She has been spreading awareness of both breast cancer itself and being your own health advocate. She effectively fights not only for herself but for her family, friends, and strangers she meets on Facebook. Winking smile

I now fight a similar fight. Maybe not as presently dangerous, but a threat nonetheless. In a way, I fight for stability. I fight for balance. I fight for awareness. Simply being aware of my PCOS helps me in the future. It helps me be more conscious of how food, exercise, and stress affect me. It helps me make others aware. PCOS affects about 10% of women of childbearing age and is the most common cause of subfertility/infertility in women in the United States. It is often a precursor to heart disease and diabetes, and if left ignored can also lead to endometriosis, uterine cancer, and to some extent (in the case of estrogen dominance, which occurs frequently with PCOS patients, including myself) breast cancer.

We fight for the future. That way we can show others that illness can be reversed, prevented, and controlled. We don’t have to be crippled by it. It cannot and should not get in the way of living a full, happy, and loving life.

 

Who do you fight for?

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