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Friday, September 2, 2011

Progress--slow but sure

First, may we observe a moment of silence to mourn the passing of my laptop. [insert prayers and good thoughts here.] Thank you. It makes me sick, because the HP was my Christmas gift in 2006 and birthday gift in 2007 from my husband, expressing his faith in my desire and drive to write. It has served me very well and I am grateful beyond belief. While there are a couple of good repair shops around the area, I daresay I can get a reconditioned one or a little net book for about what it would take to repair this bad boy. Only one file I didn't get transferred over from MS Works (which the laptop had) to MS Word (which the desktop has) and it is easily recreated from copious notes. It is on a flash drive in Works, if I ever find a way to "translate it" (save it in Word).

Which reminds me again to tell all of you: Be sure to back all your work up frequently and keep a copy in a secure location.
I'm quite serious about this, folks. The first time the laptop tanked, I would have lost a week's worth of work, so it was panic time. You can get thumb or flash drives very cheaply at Wally or Target. Keep one in your desk and one in a firebox or safety deposit box at your bank or credit union. Or even with a friend across town. Swap them out weekly or monthly. If you're old school, burn a CD and date it, that works. I also backed up the thousands of family pictures I've scanned in and all my digital music on flash drives. By the way, also in the safety deposit box at the credit union, I have car titles, insurance papers, my autographed Asimov, Heinlein and Bradbury books and a bunch of old coins and money.

Respect my paranoia, please.

Also, I have to step up my efforts in the job search, because the TV station my husband works at has been sold. The employees will all be "interviewing" for their jobs over the next two months and needless to say, after 27 years at the station, my husband is handling this as well as could be expected. I promise to redouble my efforts, while being the supportive wife, not panicking if I find the perfect job here and he decides he wants to move to Louisville or Indianapolis to get another job in his field.

So, while I've had this past year and a half to hone my writing skills, get my notes in the computer, finish one manuscript and get running starts on at least four others, I will have to go back to grabbing a few minutes here and there or more targeted editing time. Probably good for me, so I won't spend so much time checking email and Facebook or playing Jewel Quest III, right?

We will be fine, really. We haven't touched the "Oh sh@t fund" and we have several certificates of deposit carrying pitiful interest rates if our Worst Case Scenario happens. Chris jokes about keeping enough money for one way tickets to Hawaii--if you're going to be homeless, may as well be where it's warm. Or cashing in all the retirement money, taking it down to the boat and putting it on 34. Somehow, I don't think either option is very funny.

There's also the question of benefits, of course. And I know you're asking, "Julee, how is your wonky anti-yeast infection diet coming?" Why, thanks for asking. It's easier than I thought it would be. At Texas Roadhouse the other day, I had the grilled pork chops, green beans, carrots and broccoli and it was a great meal. At Los Bravos, I had the steak fajitas, with the rice and beans on the side for Chris to eat. It was a huge amount of food and there was only a momentary flash of lust for the fried ice cream.

My ENT doctor prescribed some anti-fungal/anti-yeast medicine without me even asking and said the diet was a great idea. I have lost some weight, because I can fit into my jeans again. I've been taking some pro biotic capsules and just went in for a fasting blood test for my physical next week. We shall see what we shall see. After another week, I get to add beans, sweet potatoes with butter only and peas back into my diet. Life IS good.

But, other than a couple of days having to stay close to a bathroom, we're feeling better, thank you very much. So, while there have been many changes in my life, I've been doing some good writing, I'm getting healthier and I've even done some beading and counted cross-stitch. We are grateful.

So, what sorts of craziness has been going on in your life? Aunt Julee always strives to be a good listener.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

An Even Bigger Adventure or Countdown to Thanksgiving

In 2003-2006, I was working for a state agency that required me to travel between a third and a half of my life. Dad died in 2001, we'd sold my parents' house in 2003 and Mom was in a nursing home, then passed in 2004. My husband had a seizure in 2004 and was told he couldn't drive for six months. And I got the crazy idea in my head I could get by on less than six hours of sleep a night.

Needless to say, my immune system was a wreck. My asthma started acting up, the allergy tests came back I was allergic to EVERYTHING (seriously!), I could not lose weight and my family doctor kept pumping me full of antibiotics, because I have a heart murmur and there was concern if I let my near-constant strep throat go untreated, it would damage the defective heart valve further.

So, yes, it sucked to be me. This continued on until 2011. I finished my eighth (that's 8 folks) round of antibiotics last week and I got fed up with it all. I'd asked my doctors about a systemic yeast infection several times before and both smiled, with the unspoken "Don't worry your pretty little head."

I did massive research and found said systemic yeast infection has the side effects of bloat/inability to lose weight, high blood pressure (taking a med for that), high cholesterol (taking a med for that) and inflammatory allergies, most specifically mold (took three allergy shots a week for seven years). Jeez, Louise, does that sound familiar? This correlated over multiple sites, not just the ones selling supplements and stuff.

TOMORROW, I am starting a "colon cleanse" specifically designed to get rid of that yeast infection. I will also be taking a pro-biotic to repopulate the good bacteria in my gut. I will also be starting a diet that is more strict than the South Beach Diet. This is the tough part.

I will be eating lots of salads, vegetables and lean meats. I will NOT be eating:

Breads, grains, cereals, corn, rice, pizza crust, pasta, etc. My husband took me to say goodbye to pasta last night at Olive Garden's "never ending pasta bowl" promotion. The nix to starches includes potatoes. *sigh* I also won't be eating:

Yeah, that includes the extra cheese I had them put on the pasta and the pizza buffet I ate at Old Chicago Friday, saying "goodbye." Now, they have several things I can still eat, as does Olive Garden, but I sure will miss it. I can, for whatever reason, still have butter.
Another thing I'm supposed to avoid is fruit. This is killer. I got one apple, one pear, a small container of watermelon and the smallest package of cherries at the store yesterday to savor today. For tomorrow, the sugar in the fruit would feed the nasty yeast in my gut. *sigh*

Another thing--what uses yeast to make it yummy, besides bread? That's right, kids, beer and wine. Now, my parents were alcoholics, so I rarely indulged, but better believe that I had a glass of wine at Olive Garden.

The hardest, most difficult, suckiest part of this whole thing is:

That's right. No CHOCOLATE, no refined sugar (Stevia is the only sweetener I'm allowed), no Hersey's Dark Chocolate with Almonds, no DeMet's Treasures Dark Chocolate with Carmel, no Mounds bars, no--I think I'm going to cry. :::pardon while I have a moment of mourning:::

I SWEAR I can do this, because you know what? I only have to do it for eight to ten weeks. I can eat lean meat, lots of salad (most dressings have vinegar and sugar, so I got some hummus and will flavor some mayonnaise). What's at the end of November, kiddies? That's right, Thanksgiving! Oh, the mashed potatoes, the pies, the dressing, the, well, everything! And I'll be feeling better, I'll have lost weight, I won't have to take three prescriptions a day, my allergies will be better (Fall is bad because of, you guessed it, leaf MOLD and pollen) and I'll be "cured" of my sugar cravings.

So, I promise not all of my postings will be about cravings or how my doctors will probably call me crazy, listening to hacks on the interwebs. I will challenge them to re-test me after this is done to see if it works. But, after all these years of doing it their way and trying to fire up my immune system, I'm going to try to soothe it down. This is also called an anti-inflammatory diet. It will help prevent stuff later on, like, well cancer.

Pray and think good thoughts for me, okay? I'm going to need help to not dream of chocolate for a while....