Monthly Archives: July 2016

High Fiber Foods + Coumadin = A Delicate Balance

I am obese. I have been working on losing weight since 2014. I found a high fiber meal plan/lifestyle that I LOVE. I have been very successful at losing the weight on said meal plan, THEN comes deadly blood clot in October 2015!!!! *Que super dramatic music* So it’s been a bit of a struggle losing weight since October. I am going to be really honest because a lot of the foods that I got really accustomed to eating like spinach, kale, spring mixed salads ALLL are high Vitamin K foods that you have to really watch when you take Coumadin.

So let me explain a little bit about how they get rid of blood clots, so the body will naturally get rid of a blood clot by breaking it down. Sometimes doctors will try and break up a blood clot, but in my case they felt like trying to break up my massive blood clot would kill me, or cause me to stroke so they decided that giving me blood thinners and seeing if my body could naturally break up the clot would be the safest choice. So they put me on Coumadin which is rat poison. Yes, I am not kidding you, scientist found that by giving rats Coumadin it thinned their blood until they bled out, hence why you have to have regular blood checks to make sure your blood is not too thin!

Vitamin K and Coumadin are enemies (of sorts) because Vitamin K reverses the effects of Coumadin! Which is why you have to watch what foods you are eating that are high in Vitamin K to make sure you are not accidentally making your blood too thick again. For every patient depending on condition there are two basic ranges for INR (International Normalized Ratio) 2.0-3.0 or 2.5-3.5. Now some people might have a bit different based on their own medical needs but those are the two most common ranges.

So I get this massive blood clot and I’m told to stop eating Vitamin K foods until we can get my INR up, so I have to stop eating broccoli, spinach, kale, spring mix, brussel sprouts, greens (collard, turnip, mustard), and many other green foods that I had been packing my diet with! So I also know now that those foods thicken your blood naturally (just saying!) So how am I going to keep up my high fiber diet without eating those foods?

So there are LOTS of other sources of high fiber like beans, fruits, OTHER veggies! So I started looking at foods like sweet potatoes, beans (I eat a lot of beans now!), fruits (in moderation because of their higher sugar content), and because we are gluten free I eat quinoa. So it is still possible to eat a high fiber diet when you are on blood thinners, you just have to get a bit creative at times! I will also do things like add peppers to quinoa and beans (think rice and beans but quinoa has more fiber than rice!). Add some extra fiber to foods by adding in more vegetables to what you are making, adding in white beans to dishes a lot of times works because white beans will soak up the flavor of whatever you are cooking. I am really happy its summer again because there are lots of fresh foods at the local Farmer’s Markets! What’s better than going and helping out the local farmers?

So next time you are making your favorite dish think about ways you could add a bit more fiber to it, you might be surprised what you come up with!

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58 ounces of liquid…..

So if you have read about my pets you know that I own a cat. A very special rescue cat, but a cat….so let me back up for a moment to let you know that I am sleep deprived today (this will be important in a moment). I went to bed around 11pm, I was up briefly at 1:30am to hear about how wifey was having trouble sleeping, then I got up at 5:30am which has been the norm this week (more on the internal clock saga LATER). So back to Creme the cat…so Creme likes to chew on plastic she doesn’t eat the plastic just chew on it (which yes I know isn’t healthy and trust me when I tell you we have been trying to correct this behavior for years now), so she’s sitting beside me and there is a plastic bag also sitting on the loveseat and she is chewing on it. I tell her to stop, she stops temporarily, and then as soon as she thinks I’m not paying attention she tries again. So I think I will go feed her early, normally I don’t feed her until 7am, but since she is chewing on the plastic maybe this will encourage her to stop.

THIS WAS MY MISTAKE! Remember I am sleep deprived…I have not had my cup of coffee yet. I have had breakfast I have make it that far in the morning routine, the coffee is made, but I have not made it back into the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee. So I pour too much food into her bowl because I am sleep deprived and overshot how much to pour in the bowl, then walking out out I trip over her water bowl. So we have one of those self-water type of bowls for her that holds like 50oz of liquid..it flips over on its side (of course), I stumble like a drunk out of the bar at 2:30am. I try to regain my balance without dislocating something and/or breaking something, turn around slowly and put her water bowl upright again but not before 48oz of water has now poured on the floor. All I can think is how fast does that thing empty? I mean it was on the floor for like 30 seconds??!!! I know I’m slow but GEEZ!

So now I am getting a towel to clean up the water that I have no gloriously poured all over the floor. I am carefully cleaning that up, Creme of course is just looking at me like that was MY WATER how DARE YOU! Oh give it a rest cat! You prefer fresh water! I tried to give her my best teacher face to make her go away, but it didn’t work. So as I am cleaning it up I swear the water is multiplying, and growing and becoming a bigger puddle, so the first towel is now drenched, so I get a second towel and that towel is now drenched and I’m thinking if I don’t get it cleaned up with a 3rd towel I’m calling Mary Poppins! I mean it was just her water bowl and I’m pretty sure there shouldn’t be this much water from one little bowl!

I also think Creme was secretly laughing at me because of everything. I wouldn’t be surprised they say that cats take after their owners and wifey laughs at me all the time! So I FINALLY get all the water cleaned up after what feels like Noah’s flood! So then I know I need to get a cup of coffee to not pass go do not collect $200! So I get my cup, I start to pour the cup of coffee and I miss and pour it on my shirt….WOW! Did I mention that I am sleep deprived today? So I try again a little more carefully and I made it IN the cup this go round. So now I am working on drinking my coffee but I promise a nap is in my future!

HEAT

Heat + Asthma = sitting in the A/C wishing for better air quality outside…..so it’s summer and I’m usually good with summer until it gets to be the 90 degree days. 90 degree days is when my asthma goes STAY INSIDE!! So today is one of those days where my asthma is calling the shots. I am chilling inside goofing off with friends on the Internet trying to remember life before I was broken!

It’s hard to remember what it felt like before I was broken. I seriously don’t really remember that time, I think it might be like when parents don’t really remember what life was like before kids. You can reminisce but it’s not REALLY the same. I mean you tend to make it all rainbow and butterflies and think about how wonderful life was before children because you don’t think about anything bad. I mean why would you? You tend to think about your life without children when the children are drawing on the wall with marker covered in chocolate syrup and they need a diaper change. You don’t think about your life before kids when they are perfect! So thinking about life before I had SO MANY MEDICAL ISSUES is similar. However I find it hard to really remember what life was like because pain consumes me now. It’s hard to remember that I actually had a time in my life when I didn’t have pain running through the back of my head. When I didn’t have to think about every step I took, I didn’t have to think about is the handicap stall free in the bathroom? Will I be able to get those jeans on over my knee braces? How far can I physically walk before I need to sit and rest and will there be a chair/bench/resting spot? Which stores can I walk around in and which stores do I need a wheelchair for? Every outing I have a million pieces that I have thought about, and planned including do I need to bring my blood thinner with me? Am I going to be out late enough that I need to bring my blood thinner with me so I don’t miss a dose?

Most people my age do not have a mental check list when they want to leave the house I do out of necessity.  I have to make sure that I will have everything that I might need do to my disability. I did not think this would be my life at this age, but I know that I am meant for greatness.

 

Healing SLOOOWLY

So I’m getting ready for another surgery, and I was talking about the first spinal surgery yesterday with 2 doctors (they work together) and how I am healing REALLY sloooowly from the first surgery. The first surgery was in 2014, and then I had to have the surgery repeated in 2015 because it did not take in 2014. Now since then we have found out that I have an autoimmune disease so that slowed healing, but it should not have slowed it down by this long. We’re actually not sure if I’m totally done healing even YET! I just got new xrays of my back done this week and I’ll find out soon if I am fused finally. My guess from the way they are talking, I am NOT. Which means that it’s been almost a YEAR since the surgery in 2015, it’s been almost 2 years since the surgery in 2014 and I’m STILL not healed…something is definitely WRONG.

So the one doctor asked the other doctor about if I had been diagnosed with pseudo neuropathic joint disease and the doctor said they were waiting to look at the images. I would have had the images for them, BUT there was an issue putting the images on a disc and I didn’t get it in time for my appointment. So what I find interesting with this is that in 2015 they had to put hardware in my back to keep everything stable because things were not fusing properly, but after reading I think they might be on to something as if I need something else to add to my laundry list of ailments. I have been leaning again which is what is concerning the docs. Of course that is an old habit from before the first surgery and I am trying really hard not to do that, but old habits die HARD!

I will have the images to the doctor before the next appointment so they can look at them to see how the fusion is looking. I want to know myself to be honest. I’m ready for it to be DONE, but from what they are saying its sounding like its still not healed…(they had the report just not the images). So we shall SEEEEEEEEEE. I just keep on taking life one day at a time. I can tell there has been some shifting in my hips/low back which is what they are working on right now to try and get me to correct my posture again. The pain just gets so bad…who wants to stand up straight when it HURTS?

 

Service Dogs

So in case you had not heard this news. Virginia as of July 1, 2016 made it a class 4 misdemeanor to misrepresent a dog as a service dog or hearing dog with a fine of up to $250. I am happy about this change for everyone out there who currently lives in Virginia and has a service dog. I think this is a step in the right direction. Apparently this makes Virginia the 19th state to have an official law on the books that makes it a crime to misrepresent a dog as a service dog.

So why is this important? Well in my opinion there are a couple reasons a) if a fake dog attacks a another dog the owners have to prove that the dogs are service dogs and were legitimately supposed to be there. So I think this will help deter some people. While a store cannot ask the person if they are disabled because that is against the law they can ask if their animal is a service animal. Also in these cases charges can be pressed because it is now a misdemeanor.

I love service animals but I also understand the amount of WORK it takes to train a service animal and constant training it takes. I really am in awe of how much these animals can tune out in the stores, restaurants, schools etc! I have worked with and met a lot of people through the years with service animals and I know how much they love their animals and I also know how fake animals ruin the reputation of their good name. Service animals have gone through a LOT of training to get acclimated to being in the public, to being in busy stores, on buses, restaurants, etc. When you have someone who comes in with a fake animal without all the training who does not know how to behave store owners get annoyed.

I have worked retail before I got hurt and we would have to ask people to leave with their animals because they were not service animals. We would have to clearly state that only service animals were allowed in the store, and people would get upset, but it really was for the health and safety of all. So I am happy for all the people who have service animals, I hope this helps them. I know this is a law that time will tell.

Not dry in time….maybe….

So it’s summer and it’s HOT! What happens when you are hot? YOU SWEAT! Oh yeah it’s basic biology people! So now I am wearing neoprene braces on both legs so they sweat even more, which means they need to be washed regularly, makes sense. So last night I washed said neoprene braces. This morning I have a medical appointment which is pretty par for the course with the upcoming surgery and THEY AREN’T DRY…..ummm oops? You see what else happens when its summer and HOT like really HOT is we get random thunderstorms at night. I did not calculate this into my drying time NEEDS of said braces….

So the braces are currently laying on a towel in front of a fan hoping they dry out before I have to put the hinges back in and wear them or else I am going to have to put on wet braces which will be kind of gross….the one brace was almost dry this morning when I checked it the other one is heavier and NOT SO MUCH….. yeah…..I just imagine wet bathing suit feeling but on my knees…

So we’ll see when it’s time to bounce out of here if they are dry or not and I have learned a valuable lesson! There is some wise quote out there about experience being the best teacher or something like that… I guess now I have the experience of when its really hot outside and there are thunderstorms and I have a morning medical appointment I might want to re-think washing my braces the night before. However knowing me and knowing my memory problems you probably will see a similar blog about this same problem sometime in the future and you will think didn’t she already do this once before? And go back and look and then laugh and think didn’t she have déjá vu? The answer is probably NO just to clear that up now.

I will say that walking around this morning sans braces is odd and a bit scary because I have gotten so used to having them on first thing in the morning that my legs have almost forgotten how to walk around for long periods of time without them, which is odd since at physical therapy I don’t wear the braces. However I am home so I guess my brain knows that they should be on, so I feel out of sorts. My knees definitely feel naked!

Rockette in training…

So I am having BAD leg spasms tonight and I FINALLY FIGURED IT OUT!!! God is training me to be a ROCKETTE! I am tall enough to be a Rockette. I need to lose weight, but we’re working on that, so all these leg spasms are just training my legs to kick REALLY FAST AND HIGH!

Now forget that I can’t stand for any length of time, I can’t sit for long periods of time, I have a laundry list of medical problems, etc. This is OBVIOUSLY THE ANSWER! Maybe I was a Rockette in a previous life! Maybe my legs are finally tired of living the boring life of chronic illness and they want to let their true passion SHINE! OKAY OKAY I can hear the laughter from here!

Tonight is painful, aggravating and I just needed a laugh, so I’m laughing, are you? I hope so! I had a long day, good day, but long day and now my leg is spasming, just the right one, the left seems to be fine..so it’s kicking when I am in certain positions which is OH SO MUCH FUN!!! At least sitting with the laptop in my lap doesn’t seem to bother it… *fingers crossed*

I sometimes think about what I could be doing right now if I had better health and the list really is endless usually it is in the education field somewhere working with children, but every once in awhile I get some crazy idea about being a Rockette or a Stand Up Comedian or some other job. There are lots of fun jobs out there healthy people can pick whatever they choose!