Sunday, May 25, 2014

Balancing Act

I just haven't been feeling this ol' blog lately.  I have an online private journal that seems much more beneficial right now.  I have a lot to say, it's just that I don't always want to say it in a public forum.  Sometimes it feels good to be able to write (and write and write) and know that no one is reading it but me!

I will probably not delete this blog, but my posts will probably be more sporadic.  I don't feel pressure to post like I used to, and that's a good thing.  Actually this post feels really forced; so who knows?  We'll see what happens.

A N Y W A Y...

We have half a day left of school until summer vacation.  I feel like we're already out, and I couldn't be happier.  Going for a few hours on Tuesday to pass out report cards will be a breeze.

Geno is back strong into running again.  He hasn't gotten his fast, fast pace back yet; but he's not that's good news.  The speed will come in time.

I love weekend mornings...long runs and home cooked breakfasts.

I also love spending time with our "fellas" as well.  I knew I was going to love Pope, but he has stolen my heart completely.  He is such a sweet boy.

And Beulah is our wild child.  She keeps things rockin' around our house...when she's not sneaking into the bed so I can't make it up in the mornings.

In other news, I received the Spring Vox Box from Influenster yesterday.  It included:

Kiss Everlasting French Nail Tips:  Sorry.  Ya'll know how I feel about fake nails.  Professionally done acrylics look great (at first) but destroy your real nails.  Never again...  I've never tried this kind, but I am not crafty at all, and I just don't see this happening.

The Soft Lips Cube:  This stuff is thick, yet light.  It is very soothing on your lips, but doesn't feel overwhelming.  Geno and I joke that we can't use any type of chapstick or lip balm while we run--makes it feel difficult to breathe.  I thought I was the only one, until he mentioned it to me one day.

I'm in the sun and wind a lot, and this cube feels really good when I come in for the day.

Rimmel Scandal Eyes:  This is another one that I really love.  Rimmel is a less expensive brand sold at Wal-Mart and most other big retailers and drugstores.  I have bought all types of mascara in the past, both expensive and cheap, with about the same results.  This stuff is amazing.  No kidding.  You really can tell that it lengthens your lashes, and it isn't clumpy.  I also like the fact that it is not waterproof.  I like how waterproof mascara stays on during a sweaty run; but it is HELL trying to get it off later; even with make up removal wipes.  If I'm not gonna be sweating later, then Rimmel Scandal Eyes I will be wearing!  It really is that good!

Playtex Sport Tampons:  I won't go into too much about these, but I was pleasantly surprised to find these in the VoxBox.  I use this product already, and have for years.  Highly recommended.

Nivea Skin Firming Hydration:  I haven't had a chance to try this yet, but it is going straight into my race bag.  My favorite thing to do after a long race is to change clothes and refresh my skin with good lotion!

Happy Summer, Ya'll!

Friday, May 16, 2014

I've Been Quiet

Seems like I don't get around this ol' blog like I used to.  We've been busy with wrapping up the end of the school year.  I cannot believe we have a little over a week left until summer vacation.  I don't know where the time went!  

I wrapped up my Prednisone treatment last week, and still have a few days left to go on antibiotics.  I have a little heat in my right wrist, but nothing like it was before.  I hope that it continues to improve and that I don't have to be referred to an arthritis specialist.  I don't like going to the doctor, and I don't like taking medicine! I'm grateful for the help, just don't like the logistics.  :)

In other news, there was a pretty awesome article about Geno in our local newspaper.  I am so proud of him....makes me smile!  Here's the article: Geno Phillips Still Competing at Highest Level

With Geno's injuries behind us, we've gotten back to seriously training again.  We've also been pretty good about getting up at 5AM and getting a run (or spin) in before work.  It feels SO good to get up and get moving early in the morning--makes breakfast taste better too.  Lately, I've been taking more time to eat, and not just inhaling my food like I usually do.  Amazingly, taking time to eat and giving myself a chance to get "full," has helped me lose those few extra pounds that were nagging me....121 pounds to 112.5 -->feels good running without the extra weight.

That's about it...  Happy FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Now It All Makes Sense

I finally have some results for the pain that I have been experiencing over the past few months...and the random (strange) afflictions I've endured over the past several years.

Lyme Disease

Yesterday when I went to the doctor to go over my lab results, he told me that he is 99.9% sure that I have Lyme Disease.  Yes, I do have arthritis--but it is being caused by Lyme Disease.

According to MedLine Plus, the symptoms of Lyme Disease are:
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • General ill feeling
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Abnormal muscle movement
  • Joint swelling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Speech problems
  • Thinking (cognitive) problems

I have experienced the hi-lighted symptoms above off and on for years.  The muscle and joint pain finally got so bad a few weeks ago, that I went to the doctor.  

Yesterday after my diagnosis, I was probably the happiest person to have ever been diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  I was just ecstatic to be able to receive treatment and get back to normal life.

I remember the exact moment that I was bitten by a tick.  I was in my early teenage years.  My sister and I were at my Grandmother's house.  We were eating dinner, and I felt like something was stinging or biting my neck.  I reached back to touch it, and felt the tick.  My grandmother removed it, applied some alcohol, and I never thought about it again.  Until yesterday.

Today I started a steroid/antibiotic treatment that lasts about a month.  If it is truly Lyme Disease, then I should start feeling MUCH better within about a week.  I sure hope so.

This chronic pain has been difficult to deal with for SO long.  It got to the point where I didn't want to do simple things, because everything was so painful.  It was almost impossible to fold clothes, empty the dishwasher, type, write...and the neck stiffness....sometimes hard to drive!  The weirdest thing is the slurred speech.  Sometimes when I would be talking at work, my words would get jumbled and it was like I was thinking the words faster than I could get them out.  I would think to myself that I must be going crazy.

and poor Geno-->  I tried to be happy and upbeat all the time and not let on how much I was hurting--but I cannot tell you how many times I would tear up and ask, "What is wrong with me!!!!???"

One more thing--and I promise I will stop after that-- I always knew that my swollen knees had nothing to do with running.  I would stop running for weeks at a time with no improvement.  I always thought that running was against me, and I just wasn't meant to be a runner (no matter how much I wanted it).  I joked with Geno last night that once I get over this Lyme Disease, there is NO TELLING how FAST I will be able to run....  :)   

Excited to have answers...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Own Worst Enemy

Lately, I have been having a field day with food.  I tried to loosen the reigns and be a little less strict on myself, but I've let it get way out of hand.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are fine.  It's my baking habit that I need to squash...quickly!

M&M cookies are my downfall.  I make the dough, bake 3 good sized cookies apiece for Geno and myself, then freeze the remainder of the dough.  In the past, the dough would remain n the freezer for a week or so before we dove back into it.  But lately, we've been having cookies for several nights in a row.  They are so good, but they are so bad.

Last night, we went to a local Mexican restaurant.  I had two beef enchiladas with a side of rice and a side of refried beans.  I was totally full, but could not resist baking the last of that cookie dough.  My rationalization was to have the cookies and be "done" with them for awhile.  Needless to day, after that combination of food, I felt pretty gross--and disgusted with myself for giving in to that cookie dough!

I realize that it's okay to treat yourself every once in awhile, but I don't know when enough is enough.  Basically, I am mad at myself for being so counterproductive.  I exercise right--then blow it!

This is an age old battle for me...  Balance!  Balance!  Balance!

Starting this minute, I am going back to my old mantra and sticking with it:  "One smart choice at a time!"

Monday, April 28, 2014

I Can't Wait!

You would not know by looking at this picture, but I am constantly in some type of pain.  It is crazy.  I told ya'll about my trip to the doctor a few weeks ago.  I told him about all of my aches and pains.  I had made a list of every single one of them.  I was given a treatment of Prednisone to follow and had some bloodwork done. 

Last week, I received the results of the blood work in the mail.  It was determined that I have some form of arthritis.  I was pretty sure that was the case, but didn't know if it was just arthritis "on its own" or if it was being caused by a different issue.  I still don't know.

I go back to the doctor this Wednesday to discuss the results in full.  I really dislike going to the doctor, but in this case, I cannot wait.  I need answers.  I need help.  I am really tired of not being able to do simple tasks like open a door, write, and empty the dishwasher.  I feel like I am a 41 year old woman trapped in the body of a 95 year old.

Most of the pain is concentrated in my wrists, so I am still able to run--If not for that, I would be a mess!

Friday Night Barbecue at Porker's downtown.

I'm not the biggest barbecue fan, but I do get in the mood every once in awhile...
This was really good!

The latest picture of our baby boy...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Break Staycation

Spring Break has come and gone.  It was hard to get up this morning and realize that we were going to work...and not going downstairs to eat breakfast and leisurely watch the news with a cup of coffee.  

We had planned to got to Boston at the end of our Spring Break, but due to Geno's injury, that was not happening.  It was hard to read everyone's Facebook statuses and see all of the photos--but like we talked about, Boston will always be there.

We spent Spring Break running, cooking, eating, playing with the dogs, and having some accessories added to our vehicles.

My drink of choice:

A sleepy boy at the top of the stairs...

Too cute for words...

Chillin' on the porch with Delta

Kobe beef burger...SO good!

Homemade M&M Cookies:  Our Kryptonite!

A Labrador explosion after a day of playing in the sun

Lunch at Mean Mug Coffee House:  turkey, apples, grilled onions, and Brie on wheat


Puppy Kisses

I had a light bar and a bull bar added to my Jeep.  Along with the black rims, lift, and mud tires; I think it's finally "finished."  I love it!!!!

Saturday and Sunday were spent sodding the yard.  Because of the dogs, our weeds/grass was down to nothing...basically a mud pit.

Saturday, we "scraped" the yard, added topsoil, and then layed the Bermuda grass sod.

It was hard work, but it ended up looking really good....

Photos to come....

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Big Question Mark

For the past few years, I have suffered from random muscle and joint pain.  I say "random," because the pain will hit somewhere (like my wrist) for a few weeks.  It will be terrible.  I can hardly type, lift things, or even open a water bottle.  No amount of Ibuprofen or Alleve can take the pain away.  

After a few weeks, the pain will subside, but will pop up somewhere else, like my neck, or my foot, or my shoulder, or my elbow...

After years of dealing with this "roving" pain, I finally made an appointment with a general practitioner.  Last week when my neck got so stiff that I could barely get out of bed or even drive, I knew it was time to stop putting off a trip to the doctor's office.

I made a list of all of the joints and muscles that had been affected recently.  The doctor listened intently--and asked me a series of questions.  He said that I am suffering from severe arthritis--cause unknown.  It could be simply arthritis, OR it could be arthritis being caused by a larger issue--That's the scary part.

Anyway, I am awaiting the results of blood work, and should know something in the next two weeks.  Fingers crossed.  I'm trying not to worry too much; and I have some steroids to lessen the pain while I wait. Staying positive.

On a happier note--> Most schools in our area had Spring Break WEEKS ago...but we're approaching ours  right now!  If I can get through today, then it's a week off with Geno and the pups!

Pope's ready!

I'm Ready!!!!

Today, I'm just relaxed and ready for the weekend and a fun week ahead.

 Remembering to always put my best foot forward...