The content in this blog is based on my experiences and the guidance I have received from my Care Team determined by my individual and evolving needs. Before beginning, trying, or experimenting with anything mentioned in this blog, you

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Know Your Status!

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, in 2010 more than 960 people were living with HIV in the Hamilton County area. And there are more than a million people across the country battling the virus today.

"It's like knowing if you're pregnant or not. It's just something you need to know," says Mark Treadway.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, in 2010 more than 49 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the Hamilton County area. The same year, 10 people died as a result.

"The problem with HIV is identifying people with HIV, linking them into care and retaining them in care," says Dr. Jay Sizemore.

"That's why I volunteer at these things... it's not for me, it's for the people coming after me, and there are a lot of people out there. And 20% of the people out there don't even know they have it," says Mark Treadway.
Taken from News Channel 9's article about the Awareness event.

This article was so well written that I brought it directly to my blog.  While I normally discuss my current diagnosis, I feel that we can never do enough to promote Awareness, Testing, Education, and Prevention for HIV.   I am also friends with Mark Treadway and have been a patient of Dr Jay Sizemore's, both quoted in the article.   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The 4-1-1 on Supplements

I have to admit that I never really took any over the counter supplements until I started getting sick.  I have many healthy friends who take vitamins, mineral boosters, and various other supplements to help maintain their health.  I know even more chronically sick individuals who rely heavily on their supplements to have the best day possible.  This morning as I was checking my email, I ran across this Yahoo! Video and thought it was interesting. 

Or if you are unable to watch the video, you can read the article here.

Luckily, when I first started taking vitamins and supplements, I was going to a holistic doctor who helped me ease into this world of nutritional additives slowly.  I only take a few, but I have been taking them for a while now and definitely can see the difference they make. 

Here is my list:

  1. CoQ10 - helps give me energy during the day, also good for my heart.
  2. B-12 - helps give me energy long term.
  3. Magnesium Oxide - a prescription that helps with my asthma.  
  4. Centrum's ProNutrients Omega3 EPA/DHA (mini gels) - heart, eye, and brain health.  I take these because I rarely eat fish.
  5. Vitamin D - I am a major sunscreen user, every inch of exposed skin is protected from the harmful rays - but that also seals out much needed Vitamin D.  Your doctor can run a blood test to see if this would help with chronic pain and how much your body needs. 
What do you take?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Head over heels... literally

This morning started out to be a great day.  It was beautiful outside, I woke up early on my own, was feeling good, and thought I would be early for work.  I needed to make a quick stop at a Walgreens, and on my way out... This happened.  

Yes, I fell.  On the sidewalk.  At a public store.  In front of God and everyone.  Except for me, it wasn't my shoes to blame!  (In The Birdcage, the character that fell says that shoes make him fall down.)  At first my pride was hurt more than anything else, I scrambled to get back on my feet as quickly as possible.  But this really nice lady was trying to help me up and instead of grabbing me she yanked on my pants which slid then down my hips to flash the security camera.  

I got back on my feet, trying to save face and willing myself not to start crying.  Taking a quick mental stock, I confirmed that nothing fell off of me and I didn't see or feel any bleeding.  I limped to my car, in a hurry to get somewhere more private to catch my breath and Miss Jubilee wouldn't start.  Thankfully, I pulled myself together just in time for a truck of older gentlemen to pull in next to me.  They worked for about thirty minutes trying to jump me off, but had no success.  

Even with everything going on, I was thankful to be so blessed.  Yes I fell and embarrassed myself, but I wasn't badly hurt and it wasn't raining so I didn't get wet.  :)   Yes my car wouldn't start, but God sent those two very nice men to try and help me, which was reassuring.  Plus I was somewhere safe when it happened.  I was in a parking lot with video surveillance, the manager said my car could stay there for a while until I could get it fixed.  Thankfully, it was the starter and once Bubbey came and replaced it, Jubi started right up. :)

Towards the end of the evening, even though the painful consequences of my fall were starting to stiffen my joints and ache beyond my imagination, Mom reminded me that everything would be ok... and I felt her love as though she had just hugged me.  Rainbows have always been special for me, magical and made me smile... Mom shared my excitement at catching one of these beautiful weather miracles...  It never fails - when I need her the most, Mom seems to be there for me...  The rainbow that streaked the sky tonight was stunning, bold, and more colorful than anything I've seen in weeks.... 

I love you too Mom, I miss you so very much.

All in all, turned out to be a very good day..  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Budget Friendly Budget Secrets: Starring Michelle Phan!

Like so many others on YouTube, I am a faithful fan of Michelle Phan's videos.  I'm not one for wearing a lot of make-up and things, but I do enjoy her homemade skin care secrets.

For example, Michelle walks us through making an exfoliating scrub out of three things that can be found in anyone's kitchen.  This is definitely on my "to do" list!!

In this video, Michelle shows how to use an organic egg to give yourself a facial can tighten and boost your skin's appearance.  I haven't tried it yet, but I am considering it..  :)

Here Michelle walks the viewer through making homemade pore strips!

Here are the links to a few other low budget homemade tricks that she clues us in on: 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Snow White's Secret for Skin Care

Snow White is the very first movie I remember seeing in a movie theater, it has always held a special place in my heart.  Imagine my smile when I heard that my niece also enjoys this movie!  This part always makes me laugh, yet this time it reminded me how important it is to have healthy skin and a good skin care regime. 

Being a spoonie, like many others, I have to be aware of my energy levels and am often not feeling up to do most of the things I should.  But taking a hint from my sister, Jennifer, I have a small tote that contains my essential skin care items, I keep it within easy reach of my bed.  

My tote contains:
  • Equate Micro-Exfoliating Daily Cleansing Cloths,  they remove makeup, dirt, and anything else that may be lurking after the day.  I love these!  I truly feel that these cloths are a good substitute for those days I don't have the energy to properly wash my face before going to bed. 
  • Biore Triple Action Astringent and generic cotton facial pads (or cotton balls, depending on your preference).  I definitely make sure that I use astringent on my neck, around the back of my neck and in the front, because of how badly I have night sweats.  
  • Equate Complete Beauty Lotion with Vitamin E for Sensitive Skin that includes sunscreen.
  • A new item I have added to my tote is a container of Simple Vital Vitamin Night Cream.  It was a bit of a splurge ($9) but I'm eager to see how it does with helping my face and neck stay moisturized at night without the blemishes.  
  • I also keep my favorite body lotion by my bed and lather it on as often as possible!  

Yes I have other things for my skin, but those are when I have the luxury extra energy - stored in the shower so I can reach it easily.  But to be honest, this tote is for doing the minimum.  I wouldn't exactly say the minimum, because it beats doing nothing at all.  :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Now That We're All Booming...

This has got to be one of my favorite scenes from the Golden Girls.  For anyone who hasn't seen it, the Girls are babysitting for a friend and the baby refuses to go to sleep!  So Rose voices one of her many St. Olaf ideas on how to soothe the crying baby.... This is her plan in action. 

I have been having a lot of problems sleeping lately.  I'm not sure what is going on or how to even explain it... but I am confident that others who are either chronically sick or grieving can definitely relate.... Unfortunately, I don't have any tricks or tips on how to handle these sleepless nights....  I imagine being serenaded by the Golden Girls might not put me to sleep but I am confident it would make me smile... and maybe feel less alone during these isolating nights... 

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