“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
A.A. Milne

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 2 after cortisone shot.

Yikes-they told me my blood sugar would be higher from the shot.  I am diabetic and it runs around 110 in the mornings on an empty stomach.  This morning it is 181.  I sure don't like that!  Knee is still very stiff from shot .  My hand are still sore but not as much.  Symptoms had already been subsiding for 3 days anyway.

Later in the day:  right now my face is flushed and I am having hot flashes with sweating--worse than I ever had during menopause. I have terrible nausea, and my indigestion (which I never get).  From what I've read these are side effects of the cortisone shot.  The jury is out on whether this shot was worth it.  The pain in my knee has subsided but these side effects are very unpleasant.


Update:  I decided not to make a new post. The date is April 21.  It's been almost 2 weeks since the shot.  The first four days after were not fun.  I had flu like symptoms for a full four days.  The upside is that for a full week I had no knee pain at all.  But then after 7 or 8 days it began to return and now hurts again.  I am still experiencing "sweats" or hot flashes from the shot.  I know this because I haven't had hot flashes in well over a year!  At this point, the shot did not work.  If the effects don't last several months, it didn't work.  You are only allowed one shot every 3 months.  I can now see why.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Take a journey with me--Rheumatoid Arthritis and pain

Four years ago, before this blog, I started to develop severe knee pain.  It came out of the blue and was so intense in my right knee, I could no longer walk without crutches.  I ended up having knee arthroscopic surgery.  The recovery from that was much slower than it was supposed to be and unfortunately the pain never really went away.  It lessened but it never left.

My orthopedist said I had slight tearing of the meniscus but mostly just osteoarthritis in my knee.  Now, I live in a small town and our options of doctors and surgeons are limited.  This doctor did not follow up with me.  He did prescribe Mobic but it made me terribly sick and he did not do anymore follow up.

I've never liked going to doctors.  And unfortunately when I have an unpleasant experience with one , it only heightens my displeasure with them.

Fast forward to the present time.  For anyone who has read past blogs, they will know that I have had an extremely stressful period in my life for the past 1 1/2 years.  I started noticing periods of "flare-ups" of pain in my knee.  On top of that, I began to have pain in other joints.  My hands especially would also hurt during painful knee flare ups. I would hurt for several weeks and then it would just disappear and not return for several months.  This has been happening on and off for over a year now.   

I have done some research on Rheumatoid Arthritis .  Here is some of what I have found:


"Rheumatoid arthritis can make your joints feel stiff and can leave you feeling generally unwell and tired. It is most common after the age of 40, but it can affect people of any age. It generally affects more women than men.Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Your immune system, which usually fights infection, attacks the lining of your joints, causing them to become inflamed. Over time your joints may become permanently damaged and stop working properly.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis usually come and go. Sometimes symptoms only cause mild discomfort, but other times they can be very painful, making it difficult to move around and do everyday tasks. When symptoms become worse, this is known as a flare-up. A flare-up is impossible topredict, making rheumatoid arthritis difficult to live with.At present there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. However, with early diagnosis and treatment symptoms can be eased and the progression of the condition can be slowed down.

SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis tend to develop gradually, with the first symptoms often being felt in small joints, such as your fingers and toes.
Flare-ups
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis often tend to come and go and you will experience what are known as ‘flare ups’. This means that from time to time, your condition will worsen and your symptoms will be more intense and severe. You can experience a flare-up at any time of the day or night. However, it is likely that your symptoms will be more painful in the morning, when you first wake up. Usually, your symptoms will begin to ease as the day progresses, as you start using and flexing your joints.
Once rheumatoid arthritis progresses, it can spread to other joints, such as your shoulders, elbows, hips and jaw. The condition tends to affect several joints at the same time, usually on both sides of your body. For example, it often affects both knees or both hands.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are outlined below.
  • Joint pain and swelling - this is usually worst in the morning and tends to improve as you move around.
  • Joint stiffness - again, this often improves once you start moving around.
  • Warmth and redness - the lining of the affected joint becomes inflamed, leaving the skin over the joint warm, red and swollen.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Generally feeling unwell.
  • Skin nodules - one in four people with rheumatoid arthritis develop lumps under their skin, known as rheumatoid nodules. These commonly occur on the skin over the elbows and forearms, and are usually painless
  • .Anemia - this is a condition where the blood is unable to carry enough oxygen, due to a low number of red blood cells. It often leaves you feeling tired and lethargic. Eight out of ten people with rheumatoid arthritis are anemic. Unlike osteoarthritis, which only affects the bones and joints, rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation in other parts of your body. The condition can also cause inflammation of your tear glands, salivary glands, the lining of your heart and lungs, and your blood vessels."
Information taken directly from the following website-- http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-zones/rheumatology/rheumatoid-arthritis/5001797.article

I do not have all the symptoms.  I may not have RA.  There is a blood test for RA but from what I've read it is not always definitive. I do have the majority of the symptoms--just no anemia that I know of.

One of my bff's suffers from a very similar disorder.  She suggested I journal and keep track of my symptoms.  I plan on doing just that here. Take the ride with me.  I will try to also continue to post other things.  However, for me, this is the easiest way to journal and a good way to get feedback from others.   Please feel free to comment and to share your own journey.  So here's today.Thanks all!!

Today--April 9, 2014

For the last 3 weeks, the pain in my knee has been unbearable.  So much so that on our planned vacation to Palm Springs, my husband had to push me around in a wheelchair at any event that involved walking.  I could not go more than a few feet without intense pain.

Also hurting were my hands.  They burned and were stiff to move.  Two days ago, the pain in both my hands and my knee started to ease.  Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the coming of the pain or the leaving.

I saw Dr. Meyers today--an orthopedic surgeon.  He did extensive x-rays and said that my knee was completely full of arthritis and that knee replacement was the only option left.  He also gave me a cortisone shot (which hurts like heck).  Hopefully this will ease the pain for awhile.  I'm to see him in a month but he said if this doesn't help it will be my decision when to have the knee replacement.  He does not do that and will refer me on to someone in  Salt Lake City, Utah.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe

Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe

How sweet it is -- pound cake from scratch in three simple steps! Busy times call for easy desserts, and this rich pound cake recipe hits the sweet spot. We've added vanilla to our recipe for an extra hint of flavor!
  • prep: 15 mins
    total time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • servings:
  • Ingredients

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Directions

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup (8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch) loaf pan; set aside.
  • Step 2

    Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined (do not overmix).
  • Step 3

    Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour (tent with aluminum foil if browning too quickly). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and turn upright to cool completely.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to make the Perfect Roast Beef in your Oven!

How to make the Perfect Roast Beef in the Oven

 

Ingredients

  • 1 3 to 4 pound roast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons black pepper, crushed or ground
  • Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

Instructions

To prepare the meat remove from the refrigerator 60 minutes before cooking. This will give the roast a chance to reach room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If the roast is very lean you may want to drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil or two over the roast. Drizzle Worcestershire Sauce over roast for a richer flavor. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the roast. Place the roast on a wire rack on a baking sheet or a glass pyrex dish. Bake the roast for approximately 25minutes for every pound of meat for a roast to be cooked to medium rare. Adjust accordingly for your preferred level of doneness. You should use a meat thermometer to determine when the roast is done.
Push the meat thermometer all of the way into the center of the roast. Pull the roast from the oven when the inside temperature of the roast is about 10 degrees less than your desired level of doneness. The temperature of the roast may rise while the roast is cooking. Let the roast rest for at least 15 minutes, tented in aluminum foil to keep warm, before carving to serve.
Rare : 120 - 130 degrees - bright purple red, tender, juicy
Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees - bright red, warm, tender very juicy
Medium: 135 -145 degrees - rich pink, slightly juicy
Medium well: 145 - 155 degrees - tan with slight pink, firm, slight juice
Well Done: 155 and above - tan to brown, very little juice, meat can become tough
So if you want a medium rare roast remove it from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 120, it will rest for 15 minutes. The internal temperature will rise while the meat is resting. It is always best to use a meat thermometer if you have one to ensure you cook the roast to your desired level of doneness.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to make your own dog food! Easier than you think!

Last year when my fur baby, Trixie, died of cancer, I started to look other options for feeding my remaining dogs.  Commercial dog foods are filled with preservatives, dyes, and fillers .  You can't tell me that those ingredients are good for our beloved pets.  For further information , watch this YouTube video.  While they are promoting their dog food (I am in no way endorsing this product or any other) the information is correct about commercially made dog food. 



video

I began to search the internet and YouTube for recipes to make my own dog food.  I tweaked the recipe to fit my lifestyle and my dog's needs.  So I'm sharing with you my own recipe.


Homemade Dog Food

1 large roaster crock pot
3 lbs ground meat, hamburger, turkey, chicken, or lamb (you decide or mix and match)
2 cups brown rice
8 oz green beans
8 oz carrots
8 oz peas

NO CORN OR WHITE RICE OR PASTAS WHITE POTATOES.  DOGS CANNOT DIGEST THIS WELL

You can add in fresh vegetables instead of frozen.  You can add apples to this also.  Do not add any seasonings at all. They are not good for dogs and this is what you are trying to avoid.

Add about 2/3 water to crockpot.




Then add all other ingredients.  Set on low and cook for about 5 -6 hours.  Mash with potato masher from time to time.  If it looks like it may burn, add more water.




After it is done, mash and stir well.  Let cool completely.  Divide into freezer bags.  This will last about 4 days in the refrigerator thawed and in the freezer for 3 - 6 months.  This batch will feed 2 30 lb dogs for about 5 - 7 days.  Tailor the amount you feed your dog to his activity level.  Here's a food chart to help calculate.  http://www.natureslogic.com/dogs-feeding-chart/

I feed my 45 lb Border Collie about 2 1/2 cups a day.  I feed my 25 lb mini Australian Shepherd about 1 1/2 cups a day.  I feed my Chihuahua about 2/3 cup a day. 

My dogs love this food and it has been working well for them. It costs me about $10 - $12 a week to feed them this--not really much more than commercial dog food.    I hope this helps those of you who love your fur babies find an alternative, healthy way of feeding them.  Happy feeding.


Friday, January 10, 2014

It's a New Year! Start it with some bread.

Wow.  Last year was a busy and trying one.  So much so that I have not been at this blog in months and months.  I want to change that and start working on it again. I love social media.  All of it.  It keeps us connected with the world around us.

I like Facebook but one of my pet peeves is when people share those wonderful recipes, you cannot post it onto Pinterest.  Facebook does not arrange things in any particular order except by time.  So even if you share a recipe, it is hard to find it ever again without looking through everything.

I love Pinterest.  You can arrange the great things and ideas you find onto boards and then have easy access to them.  I have tons of recipes.

I found a great one today on Facebook but once again, cannot pin it to Pinterest because it is not allowed.  So, I'm going to repost that recipe here for you.  And then pin it to Pinterest.  I haven't tried it yet but it looks and sounds yummy.  I would love to give credit to whomever shared it first, but I haven't the foggiest idea.  So I apologize if I stole someone's recipe.




Amish Cinnamon Bread

No kneading, you just mix it up and bake it!

Batter:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:
Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan). Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. or until toothpick tester come clean.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

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