Category Archives: Health

Pokemon Go – A Rant

My family plays Pokemon Go. We have, thus far, really enjoyed it – even if I can’t find a Ponyta to save my life (Husband and oldest child both have one and I really want a Rapidash!). Some people don’t care for it – think it’s silly, useless, or even lazy (since apparently no one should need a game to encourage them to be active). Fine for them and all but I call BS on the useless and the lazy. I am a writer – I live a fairly sedentary life because there are no sports I like to play (and the ones I do enjoy, I can’t find anyone to play with or I prefer the position that requires the least movement but relies on skill – goalie, catcher, etc) or hobbies I enjoy that are physical. I am trying to lose a great deal of weight at the moment and if I have a game that’s encouraging me to walk a mile and a half to two miles every day, how is that bad?  I have a son who would rather play games on his computer or write or watch anime than go play outside – he’s too much like me for his own good – but he’s willing to ride his bike five miles to try and hit pokestops (and catch something bragworthy). How is that a bad thing?

I’m not saying you have to play it or even understand it but don’t trash something that is getting kids (and parents) out and about – even possibly doing this as a family! My family doesn’t have a lot of shared interests – half of us are hermits and the other half are social butterfly extroverts – so having this one thing we can do together is freaking awesome. Yes, I require a game to force myself to exercise some place not inside my home. Short of dancing around like a lunatic to 80’s and 90’s punk and goth music when no one is home, it’s probably the most active I’ve been since we used to play paintball every weekend (eight years ago or so). I don’t run, I don’t care to go for walks (too quiet and boring) but apparently, I’m more than willing to walk 85 km (so far) to hatch a bunch of pretend eggs – even if I do end up with 10K eevees sometimes (10K Magmar totally makes up for that sort of).

As of this moment, my pride and joys are a 1229 Magmar that I hatched and an 898 Ninetails that I evolved (Kitsune!) and my son has a big Snorlax and a Wartortle and my husband also has a good Snorlax and the Dragonaire that he evolved. What do you have in your Pokedex?

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Filed under Geek, Health, Interesting

Progress

This is a non-writing related post for the most part. It does relate to writing in that I’m not getting as much done right now as I’d like but that will change with school coming back and my working to get this new routine down. I’ve blogged before over the years about my issues with my weight and, while I am trying to just be happy with my shape and myself, I am also trying really hard to get into a shape that isn’t this one.

I’m not looking for advice, just sharing my progress because I want to brag a little. I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made just using the myfitnesspal app and the Pokemon Go app. For me, being accountable for the calories (and getting on the stationary bike or going for a walk when I want to have cake not cutting out cake), is working incredibly well. As long as my final number is green I’m a happy girl. I know I’ll hit a plateau eventually but I’m trying to get this done before I hit the age where it becomes super difficult to take any weight off. When I went to my doctor, I was looking at a very daunting 80 pounds to lose.

I started 87 days ago (I know only because the app keeps track of this stuff for me) and, if my scale didn’t lie to me today, I’m down 26 pounds so far. It doesn’t hurt that we’re walking a mile and half every day (73km so far!) and that I’ve traded my regular chair for a stability ball but the biggest difference is just that I’m being smarter about my food choices – I don’t feel hungry or deprived at all. This is important as it keeps me going instead of frying myself up some beignets. The best part is that I’m not doing anything unusual – honestly, with the Pokemon Go app, I’m not doing anything I wouldn’t be doing anyway — gotta hatch those eggs, after all.

I’m not noticing any differences, nothing seems like it’s fitting differently or anything yet. But, if I keep going at the rate I’m going right now, I’ll be at my personal goal sometime in March (allowing some off time around christmas because I am an excellent baker). We’ll see. There will be no before pictures but I am looking forward to updating my author pic at some point.

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Why So Negative?

I can’t help it, I prefer being positive to being negative. Yes, I’m often prepared for the worst, but that doesn’t mean I’m accepting or expecting the worst. Being prepared is just smart but I don’t see a purpose in expecting horrible things to happen. I’m not actually an optimist, I know the world isn’t sunshine and roses most of the time, but I don’t see the point in constant negativity. After a point it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, doesn’t it?

I suppose for me it’s probably more about my own lengthy relationship with depression than it is anything else. I’ve spent enough of my life clouded and shrouded that I just don’t see the point of doom and gloom and no-good-very-bad-everything all the time. I’ve made it my life’s mission to fake it until I make it and wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone else could too? Even at the bottom of a depressive arc, I can find joy – I’ve got two kids, a husband, dogs, a cat, lizards, and coffee – nothing can be all bad with all that around me day to day.

Sometimes, the negative gets to me and I just want to shake people and ask them what good it does to be so down in the mouth. I don’t mind attending the occasional pity party but when you’re throwing them every day, it’s a bit much and maybe the problem isn’t just the situation.

Everyone has their little black rain cloud days (10 points to your House if you’re now singing Winnie The Pooh). Everyone is a little bit Eeyore. But sometimes, a little Tigger is called for – do what makes you happy and BE HAPPY. For one moment out of every day, take a breath and look for the silver in that cloud. I’m not saying that everything has a silver lining – I’m not a fool – but don’t defeat yourself before you get started.

I was on the verge of having a little black rain cloud day today because it’s IEP season and I’m all tied up in knots but I sat down and went over the worst case scenario and remembered that even that isn’t all that bad. No one is going to yell at me or argue with me (pretty sure the one single cantankerous woman I’ve come across during my youngest boy’s educational team meetings is no longer in a position where I ever have to deal with her again). Everyone in that room wants the best for my kid. Said rain cloud got bounced and now I can get to work (more or less).

Right now, I’m coming out of what might be my longest dark stretch since maybe ever. The fact that I can stop and see it clearly tells me I’m coming out. I’m finding the world little brighter and I’m faking it a little less on the daily. That’s not to say I don’t have bad, jabberwocky sort of days but those are temporary (even if it’s hard to remember that when I’m staring into the maw). All the good things in my life, those are permanent.

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Annoyed

There’s a great deal I want to write about today but most of it is going to wait until tomorrow. Instead, I’m going to bitch about diets – not mine but my father’s diet. We went out to lunch at Eat N Park. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that my dad is a cardiac patient and as such, he follows a pretty strict diet because if he doesn’t, he ends up back in the hospital! Eat N Park has always had a nutritional pamphlet and that pamphlet is why he chose Eat N Park over Bob Evans (which has the massive kitchen guide)  or one of the little local diners (where you have to actually talk to the cook). It seems that Eat N Park has decided (according to the local manager) to discontinue the practice of having actual paper pamphlets on hand, instead, directing their customers to Google it or something about an App. I missed a large part of this conversation as my dad and stepmom got there first.

I’m a little put out by the fact that, when the MANAGER realized that there was a dietary issue with a customer who, for whatever reason, could not access the pdf nutritional information he did nothing. He did not get his own phone and access the information, he did not offer to look it up on a computer or ask the kitchen. Nope. His one and only response was that corporate discontinued that practice.

I don’t know if their allergy information is contained in the same way but if it is, that’s just asking for a reaction. I know it’s shocking in this day and age but not everyone relies solely on the internet for their information/communication. My dad’s phone isn’t always smart (often it has trouble connecting to the internet) and my stepmom has an old flip phone. It seems to me that a great number of people who need to be checking the salt content of a dish or sugars and carbs are exactly the kind of people who don’t necessarily have a smart phone with the ability to check nutritional information.

Seriously, what happens if the network goes down?

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Filed under Health, Life, Reviews

Progress and admiration

Even with all that’s going on in the land of my father’s health, I’ve managed to get a massive chunk of edits done. My massive may not be your definition of massive but situationally, I’m getting through basically a chapter a day and that’s enough for me. Things are slowly getting better on that front but I really wish we could fast forward the next however many weeks it’s going to take him to get back on his feet.

There aren’t enough hours in the day or, honestly, motivation, for me to do Nanowrimo this year and that makes me sad. The book I’m editing right now started its life as a nanowrimo novel. The novels that are already out there to be read started their lives as nano novels too. I do have books that weren’t started then but it’s just so nice to write when everyone else is writing.

Being pulled in so many directions lately has taught me a few things. First: I need to sell more books so my husband can quit his job because he is so so so much better at the household stuff than I am. Second: anyone who can meet deadlines, produce multiple books and series, take care of family and household stuff and also hold a day job is my idol. Sometimes I daydream about the sheer volume I could produce if I had a househusband… if you want to see what that volume would be, you should buy/share/review my books. We’ll consider it an experiment. How many books could Sarah write in a year if writing was her only job? It probably wouldn’t be a whole lot more than I already do if only because something shiny would catch my eye and I’d get distracted but it is my favorite daydream any way.

Now to get started on my day. I’ve got a chapter to edit, a hospital and stepmom to call, and decorations to put away. I hate undecorating my house but it must be done. Later, if all goes well, I’m taking the kids over to say hello because I think my dad needs that a lot.

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Filed under Health, Life, WIP, Writing

Welp, this month has been interesting

Not fun, not good, but certainly not boring. I think I would enjoy a boring month.

The last few days I haven’t been around much at all. I did manage to do my Face Off recap today over at The Geek Girl Project but that is the extent of my productivity. I’ll likely manage a load of dishes and the cooking of dinner mostly because I have people who need to eat and a few things need washing in order for that to happen properly.

My dad is in the hospital. We aren’t sure what happened but he does seem to be on the mend, at least, if you compare today to yesterday. Yesterday, he couldn’t even open his eyes, only nod or shake his head. Today, he can talk, he knows who he is, who I am, when and where he is and all the pertinent information so that’s good. He’s not acting like himself which is less good and trying to pull all the monitors and the picc line out which is downright bad. It’s exhausting but I’m sure it’s even more so for my awesome stepmom. I get a break when I come home to deal with my kids and school work and sleep. She gets a break for the short time I can be there during the school day.

Hopefully tomorrow is another step in the right direction. Also, I’m hoping for a nice, quiet, uneventful November.

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No Bra Day

If I wore no bra out in public, three things would happen: 1 – I would feel incredibly self-conscious, 2 – I would feel incredibly uncomfortable, 3 – everyone would KNOW. Do you know what wouldn’t happen? Not one single person would think a damn thing about cancer of any kind.

I don’t do the whole wear pink thing because I really don’t like pink and the money doesn’t go where you think it does (Charity Navigator – Komen). Breast cancer is a terrible thing but we shouldn’t be sexualizing cancer. We should be focused on saving the people afflicted, not the parts of them that are. Who cares about the breasts if the women are dying? It isn’t the only cancer in the world. It’s not even the most devastating cancer – that would be lung cancer.

This month is hard for me especially because every single thing I hear is about breast cancer. It isn’t the only cancer that kills people. Yes go get your mamograms and do monthly self-checks. It matters, it’s important. Donate to organizations that are funding research or services for people with cancer. Remember that it isn’t just women who get breast cancer. Go to your dermatologist to get your spots checked. Go to your regular physician to check the rest of you. Cancer sucks but I’m so damned tired of the only cancer we talk about being breast cancer.

This year is worse than most, being a big anniversary year – 20 sounds so big but it doesn’t feel like it. I find myself a little more weepy than usual about the dumbest stuff. This year, I find myself getting angry at the pink because everyone cares about breast cancer and no one gives a dime to most other cancers. There isn’t a standard ribbon for malignant melanoma. There’s no awareness project, quilt, or 5k. What about lung cancer, prostrate cancer, colon cancer? This year I wish they’d chosen a different month of the year for their awareness and education crap. Any other month.

 

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PSA – Melanoma Or Get Thee to a Dermatologist

Melanoma runs deep in my family. It is how my mother died 20 years ago. We are absolutely proactive about it. Sunscreen is a MUST. Checking of all the moles is a must. I know what a “good” mole looks like vs a “bad” mole. I check myself and the kids pretty regularly. It is habit now.

Because this is the year for freaking out, a little after I found my little bump, I noticed that there was a mole on my oldest son’s arm that I did not like. Not one little bit. So I scheduled a dermatologist appointment for him too. Of course, a few days before his appointment, I hurt my foot and could drive so the husband had to take him. The doctor took the mole I was worried about and another one too.

It’s the waiting that makes it all unbearable. A week for a biopsy. The kid did better at waiting than me. I worry over it, obsess over it, and run through all the worst case scenarios in my head because that is what I’ve always done. Apart from letting me check his wounds and their healing process, he’s not said a word about it. He’s not acting worried or anything either. He hasn’t even asked me once about when we hear back on said biopsy. I called today (it’s always a good sign when you have to call them) and he’s all clear. They were just moles. And that is the biggest relief.

I know it’s family history that makes me nervous for him. I’ve been a basket case for every single one of the moles I’ve had removed (5). I really hoped I’d have longer to wait before he started getting pieces of himself taken off. I was 17 the first time I had a mole removed. He’s not quite 15 yet. And his looked scarier than mine. And now I’ve called and gotten the information I need – just moles, not precancer or melanomas. Boring old moles. I LOVE boring old moles.

Most people have some moles, freckles, or other marks. You should get them checked. A good baseline check by a dermatologist and learn the difference between moles you can ignore and moles you should worry about. Get yourself checked and keep track of your spots. You are never too young to start checking for these things. It’s a good habit to get into – like checking for lumps in your breast in the shower.

Know the difference.

Know the difference.

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