Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Weigh In weeks 12 + 13

Because I haven't posted lately, I'm posting for 2 weeks. Last week I gained 3 pounds, this week I lost 2. I'm 190 now, and that means I'm well in the "overweight" category. BMI of 28.9 is overweight, 19.9 is obese. I'm no longer obese!!!

I'm not at all upset about the gain. I've been seriously messed up with the UTIs and diverticulitis. All those antibiotics have ruined my appetite and I've not been eating enough veggies. I'm getting better, but even tonight I could only eat 1/2 my meat. I did eat all my veggies - local cucumbers and tomatoes. I've still got a lot of fluid that I'm retaining. That's gotta be 3-5 pounds easy!

Not sure what's up with the fluid retention, but I think it might be related to the UTI I had. Yep, another UTI, which is upsetting. Called my doc to ask for a follow-up culture, but was told unless I'm still having symptoms I don't need one!! Mind you, this is the second infection I've had in just about a month....AND I was on 2 antibiotics for the diverticulitis flare in between!! I'm a bit concerned, but if it doesn't come back when I stop the antibiotic I'll relax. So far no symptoms of the UTI returning. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Things are getting interesting around here!! The realtor came by last Tuesday night and we talked about what needs to be done to get the house on the market. Number 1? De clutter!! Number 2? replace the deck. Now the de clutter part isn't too bad....once I get my son to clean up his stuff, and pack away some "personal" things, that's not too much. But the deck? Well, that might be a problem. I need to have someone replace it with a smaller, less expensive deck....kinda like a small porch. Oh well....I guess I have some work to do!!

So far I've been able to pack up a few things. My son and I need to go up into the attic and make room for storage. That's tough too, since I live in NC and the roof gets pretty much full sunlight. I have to be careful of that goes up there, heat damage is a real possibility. No candles, that's for sure!

Haven't looked at any more houses yet, but have sound some really good sounding possibilities. I'm really torn in where I want to go. I'd like to stay here in Durham, or go west into Hillsborough, Mebane, etc....but being closer to work in Cary is a big consideration. So I'm also looking in Wake county...Garner, Fuquay Varina, Holly Springs. Who knows....I'll find something, I don't know where, but I know I'll find it.

I probably won't be posting much over the next few weeks or even months. I have to get this house sold so I can buy another one. I'm looking for smaller and less expensive. I also want a yard that can be fenced for the dogs and an area where I can put a veggie garden. I'd also like to be able to put flowers in, but veggies are the most important right now. I'd also like to have a few chickens, but that will depend on where I end up.

Let's see....what's out there in blog land??

Regina Wilshire has been doing an interesting challenge. She's been trying (successfully) to feed her family on $3 a day. Healthy, nutrient dense, lower carb food for less than $3 a day. Look for the tags , to read her posts.

Suzique over at No-no NOLA has been updating us on what's going on (or not going on) in New Orleans. I can't believe that city hasn't been put back to normal yet!!

From Dr Vernon, 2 excellent posts: ATKINS FOR DIABETES: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE BAD HABITS and PHISHMAN ASKS FOR THE WORLD AND GETS IT. I want to remind everyone, that Dr Vernon will answer personal questions and even give a telephone consult (free) with your doctor if you need it. Of course she can't treat you without examining you, but she will answer your questions by email, and sometimes in her column. Here's one I sent her that she decided to answer in the column.

One other article I'd also like to cite, although it's not from a blog. Over at they have a new moderator in the low carb group. She actually gets low carb and promotes it. She wrote an excellent post about Dr Atkins' death. Laura Dolson is her name, and she took over a group that had been run by a woman who had no idea what low carb was, and constantly promoted low fat and lower protein. I don't follow the forum very often, but have seen a dramatic improvement since Laura took over. I've also been directed to several well written articles that Ms Dolton has published.

Oh yea! I almost forgot! I got my blood work results back. See link in side panel if you're interested. Of course the doc says my cholesterol is too high, especially the LDL, but the total is much lower than it was last time I had it checked. (350+ vs 240) HDL is lower, and I;m sure that's due to my continued smoking (yea I know, I'm trying!).

Other things of interest: CRP well within the normal range, in fat low normal, even tho I had a raging UTI when the test was done. Ferritin was low, very low at 14, and there were changes in my blood count that indicate iron deficiency. Urine showed an infection, which didn't start showing symptoms until the next day. Vitamin E level was "within normal limits", but lower than most recommend. My level was 33, with the normal levels listed as 22-67, but I've read that it should be closer to 50-60.

I also found that the rheumatoid factor was elevated at 22 (should be below 20), my Antinuclear antibody (autoimmune marker) was positive (should be negative) and my sedimentation rate was 31, more than double the recommended 0-15. None of these by themselves indicate any one diagnosis, but the combination, in addition to the problems I'm having with my joints may indicate that I have rheumatoid arthritis.

OK...I think that's about it for now. I'm tired and have a lot to do still. Thanks for reading my blog. I love seeing the comments!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Thanks

For all those that have served
Soldiers during WWI

WWII Soldiers

And for those who are serving

US Soldiers in Iraq

For those that are injured

Wounded in Iraq

And for those who gave their lives

Arlington National Cemetary

Thank you!

Words cannot express how much I appreciate all you've done.

You put yourself in danger to protect and defend our country.

You are in my prayers.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

From Keith Olbermann, a new Special Comment.

From Keith Olbermann, a new Special Comment. See the video here.

The Entire Government Has Failed Us on Iraq
By Keith Olbermann
MSNBC Countdown

Wednesday 23 May 2007

For the president, and the majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party - there is only blame for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.

This is, in fact, a comment about… betrayal.

Few men or women elected in our history - whether executive or legislative, state or national - have been sent into office with a mandate more obvious, nor instructions more clear:

Get us out of Iraq.

Yet after six months of preparation and execution - half a year gathering the strands of public support; translating into action, the collective will of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who reject this War of Lies, the Democrats have managed only this:

* The Democratic leadership has surrendered to a president - if not the worst president, then easily the most selfish, in our history - who happily blackmails his own people, and uses his own military personnel as hostages to his asinine demand, that the Democrats "give the troops their money";

* The Democratic leadership has agreed to finance the deaths of Americans in a war that has only reduced the security of Americans;

* The Democratic leadership has given Mr. Bush all that he wanted, with the only caveat being, not merely meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government, but optional meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government.

* The Democratic leadership has, in sum, claimed a compromise with the Administration, in which the only things truly compromised, are the trust of the voters, the ethics of the Democrats, and the lives of our brave, and doomed, friends, and family, in Iraq.

You, the men and women elected with the simplest of directions - Stop The War - have traded your strength, your bargaining position, and the uniform support of those who elected you… for a handful of magic beans.

You may trot out every political cliché from the soft-soap, inside-the-beltway dictionary of boilerplate sound bites, about how this is the "beginning of the end" of Mr. Bush-s "carte blanche" in Iraq, about how this is a "first step."

Well, Senator Reid, the only end at its beginning... is our collective hope that you and your colleagues would do what is right, what is essential, what you were each elected and re-elected to do.

Because this "first step"… is a step right off a cliff.

And this President!

How shameful it would be to watch an adult... hold his breath, and threaten to continue to do so, until he turned blue.

But how horrifying it is… to watch a President hold his breath and threaten to continue to do so, until innocent and patriotic Americans in harm-s way, are bled white.

You lead this country, sir?

You claim to defend it?

And yet when faced with the prospect of someone calling you on your stubbornness - your stubbornness which has cost 3,431 Americans their lives and thousands more their limbs - you, Mr. Bush, imply that if the Democrats don-t give you the money and give it to you entirely on your terms, the troops in Iraq will be stranded, or forced to serve longer, or have to throw bullets at the enemy with their bare hands.

How transcendentally, how historically, pathetic.

Any other president from any other moment in the panorama of our history would have, at the outset of this tawdry game of political chicken, declared that no matter what the other political side did, he would insure personally - first, last and always - that the troops would not suffer.

A President, Mr. Bush, uses the carte blanche he has already, not to manipulate an overlap of arriving and departing Brigades into a ‘second surge,- but to say in unequivocal terms that if it takes every last dime of the monies already allocated, if it takes reneging on government contracts with Halliburton, he will make sure the troops are safe - even if the only safety to be found, is in getting them the hell out of there.

Well, any true President would have done that, Sir.

You instead, used our troops as political pawns, then blamed the Democrats when you did so.

Not that these Democrats, who had this country-s support and sympathy up until 48 hours ago, have not since earned all the blame they can carry home.

"We seem to be very near the bleak choice between war and shame," Winston Churchill wrote to Lord Moyne in the days after the British signed the Munich accords with Germany in 1938. "My feeling is that we shall choose shame, and then have war thrown in, a little later…"

That-s what this is for the Democrats, isn-t it?

Their "Neville Chamberlain moment" before the Second World War.

All that-s missing is the landing at the airport, with the blinkered leader waving a piece of paper which he naively thought would guarantee "peace in our time," but which his opponent would ignore with deceit.

The Democrats have merely streamlined the process.

Their piece of paper already says Mr. Bush can ignore it, with impugnity.

And where are the Democratic presidential hopefuls this evening?

See they not, that to which the Senate and House leadership has blinded itself?

Judging these candidates based on how they voted on the original Iraq authorization, or waiting for apologies for those votes, is ancient history now.

The Democratic nomination is likely to be decided... tomorrow.

The talk of practical politics, the buying into of the President-s dishonest construction "fund-the-troops-or-they-will-be-in-jeopardy," the promise of tougher action in September, is falling not on deaf ears, but rather falling on Americans who already told you what to do, and now perceive your ears as closed to practical politics.

Those who seek the Democratic nomination need to - for their own political futures and, with a thousand times more solemnity and importance, for the individual futures of our troops - denounce this betrayal, vote against it, and, if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi if they continue down this path of guilty, fatal acquiescence to the tragically misguided will of a monomaniacal president.

For, ultimately, at this hour, the entire government has failed us.

Mr. Reid, Mr. Hoyer, and the other Democrats... have failed us.

They negotiated away that which they did not own, but had only been entrusted by us to protect: our collective will as the citizens of this country, that this brazen War of Lies be ended as rapidly and safely as possible.

Mr. Bush and his government... have failed us.

They have behaved venomously and without dignity - of course.

That is all at which Mr. Bush is gifted.

We are the ones providing any element of surprise or shock here.

With the exception of Senator Dodd and Senator Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidates have (so far at least) failed us.

They must now speak, and make plain how they view what has been given away to Mr. Bush, and what is yet to be given away tomorrow, and in the thousand tomorrows to come.

Because for the next fourteen months, the Democratic nominating process - indeed the whole of our political discourse until further notice - has, with the stroke of a cursed pen, become about one thing, and one thing alone.

The electorate figured this out, six months ago.

The President and the Republicans have not - doubtless will not.

The Democrats will figure it out, during the Memorial Day recess, when they go home and many of those who elected them will politely suggest they stay there - and permanently.
Because, on the subject of Iraq...

The people have been ahead of the media....

Ahead of the government...

Ahead of the politicians...

For the last year, or two years, or maybe three.

Our politics... is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.

Mr. Bush has failed.

Mr. Warner has failed.

Mr. Reid has failed.


Who among us will stop this war - this War of Lies?

To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.

To all the others - presidents and majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party - there is only blame… for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weigh in week 11 did I miss this? I am "officially" no longer "obese", I'm just "overweight"!

And, I lost another 2 pounds, bringing me under 190!! Whoo Hoo!!!

Oh! And look! I have less than 30 pounds until my next (and possibly last) goal!!

I've been watching my weight closely with my diverticulitis flare and lack of appetite. Over the past 2 weeks I've been going up and down 2-3 pounds each day.

I guess I've just been to preoccupied with work and other things, but I really had no idea I'd left the "obese" category!! So now, for the first time in about 22 years I am considered "overweight" not "obese". If you've never struggled with this, you have no idea how I feel....but I think most of my readers know exactly how I feel!!

Went to see my new doc on Friday. Hopefully this guy will be my primary care doc. It's a guy I saw when I first arrived in NC and I liked him very much. I had to change docs after a year when my insurance plan changed. I've been calling this guy's office every few months for about a year, waiting for him to start accepting new patients.

The good:
Really seemed to listen to me.
Nodded his head and said "good" when I said I was following a low carb plan.
Didn't argue with me when I said I didn't believe in the cholesterol = heart disease theory.
Agreed to order some extra blood work, including ferretin, vit d, A1c. (also getting liver and kidney function tests done)
Didn't think I was a nutcase when I told him I had a glucose monitor that I was playing with and getting readings.

The not so good:
Of course wants to get my lipid levels and "maybe tweak things", depending on the results. (He looked shocked at my pre-Lipitor numbers and how strongly it affected me)
Concerned about my blood pressure, which was elevated, but seemed to accept that my readings at home were much lower.

So, more good than not. I'm curious what my cholesterol numbers are, but like I said to my doc, I will not go on any medications that is designed to lower cholesterol. I'm also curious what my A1c is. I just hope my week of higher carb doesn't change my numbers!!

The doc is also checking my blood for sed rate (inflammation marker), rheumatoid factor and ANA levels (anti-nuclear antibodies, and indicator of lupus and other auto-immune diseases) because of the joint problems I've been having. He also told me to keep monitoring it and to call him if I have an unusually bad flare or one that lasts longer than a day or two.

Blogs have been pretty quite lately, but I did want to send out a big GOOD JOB to Victoria!!! She's met her (unofficial) goal!!! She's been working really hard at this, so stop by her blog and give her a big congrats!

Also, Dr Mike has an interesting post on low carb and alcohol breath testing.

Articles in the news:
Avandia may increase your risk of heart disease and death from heart disease. Now, this is based on looking at all the studies done and lumping the data. I understand that this isn't the best way to do research, but it's an acceptable way that the drug companies use all the time. Of course the manufacturer, GSK, says there's nothing to worry about!

This is a little scarey!!! It seems some pacemakers are influenced by iPods!! Now, iPods were the only device tested, but there is evidence of interference when the iPod is held just a few inches from the pacemaker for just 10-15 min!!

OK....that's enough for now. I've got a few things to do before Heroes comes's the big season finale!! If you've not been watching this show, you're missing a good one!!! If they show reruns over the summer, check it out!! SciFi did a 20+ hr marathon last weekend, and I'm sure it won't be the last time they show it!

To all who read my blog and to those that post comments and encouragement. THANK YOU!!! It really means a lot when I read your comments. None of you know me, but I feel I have so many friends on here!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Weigh Day, Week 10

Late post, but this past Monday I lost a bit of weight.

Not a very accurate reading, however, since I've been sick and barely eating or moving!!

I posted previously about having a UTI, except it turned out it wasn't a UTI after all, but the start of a diverticulitis flare. Uggg....I hate them!! I know I have to have surgery to get this taken care of, but I'm just not there yet. The doctors I see are great, both my medical guy and the surgeon. My medical doc (GI specialist) is very concerned and wants me to have surgery. The surgeon says to let him know when. I, on the other hand, would like to get my weight down a bit lower before undergoing this least another 10 pounds. I'd also like to wait until closer to the end of the year.

So anyway, I was on 2 antibiotics this time, one for a week and the second for 2 weeks. They knocked the crap out of me!! But, I'm better now, and finally starting to feel back to normal. I've started my walking again and a little bit of weights. Low weights, very low.

During the diverticulitis flare I had to stop eating low carb for a bit....but still did pretty good. You see, since the bowel is inflammed, you have to keep from causing any further irritation, so you have to eat a low residue diet. Initially it's clear liquids, then full liquids, and then low residue.

Low residue means no whole grains, processed only. It also means only a few fruits and veggies, and all of them cooked. No seeds or nuts too. I could have all the meat and eggs I wanted, but who wants to eat meat when they're constantly nauseated? So....I had white bread and saltines and a little bit of fruits and veggies. I'm not considering this a cheat as I didn't have any candy or sweets, and was under doctor's orders to eat what I did. I stopped and went back to "normal" eating as soon as I could. I kept track of what I ate, and didn't go over 100g carbs each day, so I guess it wasn't that bad. No cravings either.....probably since I had some protein along with the crackers and bread.

So, I'm fine now, and I'm going to put the surgery out of my mind for now. Hopefully the next flare either will not happen, or not happen for several months. This flare was only about 5 months after the last....definitly getting closer together. And each time I worry about obstructing, but so far so good.

On another subject, I got flowers for Mother's Day!!! Twice!!!

My son brought me a bouquet of yellow flowers, which he very nicely trimmed and put in a vase for me. They're so pretty!! Mums, daisies and one of my favorites, carnations!

Flowers from my son

My daughter had an arrangement delivered to me at work!! First time I've ever received flowers at work! Her arrangement was all kinds of flowers, including my absoulte favorite, peony!

Flowers from my daughter

One week later....holding up nicely!

Close up of the yellow mums

Close up of the peony

Aren't they pretty?? I'm a very lucky mom!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Weigh In week 8

One pound gain this week!!

Last week I was sick, and for about 3 days I barely ate anything. I also barely moved....exercise wasn't even tought about. I had a UTI and it was nasty. Abdominal pain, back ache, the whole bit. But, thanks to modern medicine, I'm better! (Antibiotic twice a day for 10 days). I imagine the gain was due to my illness, but who knows.

I've actually been weighing myself daily for the past week, but Monday morning is my "official" weigh in day. I've been fluctuating up and down 1-3 pounds each day. At my lowest I was a pound lighter than Monday and at my heaviest, 2 pounds heavier. I'm glad I weighed on Monday, not my heaviest day!

I cannot believe it, but I have been on low carb, cheat free, for over 8 weeks now!!!

I started out originally on Atkins, but later changed to Protein Power.

I am following my plan as closely as possible, but I will admit I haven't been eating my veggies...well not as many as I should anyway. Right now money is tight, but I have almost 1/2 a freezer of meat. That's a 13 cu foot deep freeze!!

I've got beef and pork and chicken and shrimp and fish and chicken and all kinds of goodies. I also have a few leftovers. I do have some frozen veggies and I'm buying fresh, just not as much as I should.