Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Well, I bought some jumbo eggs a few weeks ago because the "large" were tiny. These jumbos looked like large to me. Well, when those ran out I asked my son to pick up another dozen and he again got the jumbo. Boy were those things big!!! I almost choked when I saw the size of the eggs!! Of course I was thrilled! I have 1 or 2 eggs with 1 slice bread when I eat them for breakfast. More egg, more yummy!
I have never, until this current dozen, seen a double yolk egg. I know they exist, but I have never seen one. Out of the 10 eggs I've cracked so far, 4 of them were double yolk!
The ones I cracked today I also broke one of the yolks, so those will go to the dogs. I was making poached/dropped eggs, and broken yolks aren't good. The one that's a single was a bit smaller than the others, but not by much!
A little bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Yummy!
My sister had her procedure done and is doing well. There was some question as to whether there was plaque or not. They knew she had scar tissue, but we weren't sure whether they suspected plaque or not. Well, after the procedure it was confirmed that it was scar tissue only. They only opened one artery, the one that was partially blocked. The other one was 100% blocked, but had good collateral circulation, and they were afraid they'd do more harm than good in attempting to open the artery.
I guess this supports my theory about good genes along with bad ones. My mom's side of the family has rampant diabetes. As far back as my great grandmother and her siblings, right through to my current generation, of which I am the youngest, almost all were diagnosed with diabetes. I even have a niece, the next generation, that has been diagnosed.
My sister definitely takes after mom's side of the family as far as body build is concerned. My brother takes after my dad's side, but is also diabetic, so has apparently inherited the "weak" pancreas. But, so far none, including my generation, have developed coronary artery disease. NONE.
One aunt had CHF (congestive heart failure) as a result of a viral infection when she was young. This aunt eventually died of CHF. But she'd never had a heart attack or stroke, and was well into her 80's by the time it got her.
What's the one thing they worry about most with diabetics? Yep, heart disease. So, there's no heart disease in my mom's family, despite most being diagnosed with diabetes, and most of those prior to age 50 (some under 40!).
Is it because they are well controlled???? I don't know, but I suspect not. My sister's latest A1c was 6.2 or 6.3. This means her average blood sugar was in excess of 135. That's average. She doesn't take her blood sugar readings very often, on the advice of her doc, but the ones she does record are usually 140-150. The last time we talked she had one that was over 180! (and of course had no idea what may have caused the spike!) She's also on 2 medications. One med she's at max dose, the second one she's very close to max.
I don't call that well controlled.
My brother is currently 55. He was diagnosed less than 10 yrs ago when they discovered he had severe peripheral neuropathy (PN). He is disabled from the damage. He presented to the doc when he started having trouble walking due to the PN. I have no idea what his numbers are, but he went on insulin immediately and is still taking it. He's thin, but has always eaten a very high carb diet, including frequent large portions of spaghetti.
I don't call that well controlled.
The rest of the family I don't really know about, at least as far as how well controlled they are, but some are overweight and some aren't. One cousin, a few years older than me, has been slim all her life, loves to exercise, and has been diagnosed for a few years. She's in her early 60's.
So....apparently my family has a "bad" gene related to pancreas function. I've long believed that we are each born with a pancreas that has a certain limit. Eventually we will hit that limit and diabetes will develop. If we abuse our bodies with high carbohydrate intake, we will hit that limit sooner. The limit for one person following a reasonably healthy lower carb diet (few or no sweets, portion control, limited processed foods) may be 50 or 60 years. For another it may be 90 or 100 or even higher!!! And for some, it may be as young as 8 or 10.
Whatever your genetic background, limiting carbohydrate intake will help prolong the "life" of your pancreas. If you have "good" genes, you may never develop diabetes, if you have "bad" genes, you may already have diabetes or be on the road to developing it.
I think my family, or at least my mom's side, has "bad" genes as related to pancreas function.
But, apparently we have "good" genes in the heart disease area! Since none of my grandparents, and none of my aunts and uncles, and none of my cousins have developed heart disease, despite a common diagnosis of diabetes, I'd say we inherited some pretty good heart health genes!
My dad's side I don't know as much about, but they too lived mostly into their 80s and 90s, none that I know of having heart disease or diabetes. There is high BP and hemorrhagic stoke on that side, as well as complications of alcohol abuse. Several died of cancer, including at least half of my dad's siblings.
I am 52 and have no evidence of heart disease. I have had several chest scans that showed no calcifications, and have no symptoms of heart disease, artery disease or high blood pressure. I don't have diabetes, but I am insulin resistant and have had symptoms of hypoglycemia.
I know I inherited at least some of the body type from my dad's side. I think a lot as I'm built more like the aunts on that side of the family. I'm actually shorter tho, so I guess I got a smidge of height from mom too. I'm 5'8", most of my aunts were 5'10 and above. My mom was fairly tall at 5'7", but she was the odd one in her family, where most of the men were under 5'8" tall!
I have the build from my dad's side. Larger frame, good size hips and shoulders. I also, I believe, get my bad back from dad's side. My stomach issues, I believe are from mom.
Who knows. Maybe some day we'll be able to have our blood tested and know exactly which disease we are at higher risk for. Until then all we can do is do our best to take care of the bodies we were given. In my case I know that limiting carbs, without eliminating them, is the thing I must do to keep my body healthy.
I'll watch my carbohydrate intake because I don't want to develop diabetes.
I'll watch that my BP doesn't get elevated and also that my cholesterol levels don't get too low because I don't want weakened arteries or high BP that may lead to stroke.
I'll watch my alcohol intake as I seem to be at a higher risk of alcoholism due to family history.
Barbaro has another setback. This is sad. They haven't given up yet, but poor Barbaro isn't doing well. He's had another procedure done in an attempt to save his leg and his life.
A Massachusetts couple think AirTran Airways
A Massachusetts couple think AirTran Airways went overboard by treating their crying 3-year-old daughter in much the same way.Of course the parents are outraged! The airline has not only reimbursed the parents, but also given them free flights!!! What about the other people on the plane? Were they compensated too?
Julie and Gerry Kulesza and daughter Elly were removed from the flight in Fort Myers, Fla., when the girl refused to take her seat before takeoff, airline officials said yesterday. But her parents said they just needed a little more time to calm her down.
The Kuleszas, of Worcester, Mass., planned to fly to Boston on Jan. 14 from Fort Myers, Fla., after a four-day visit with the girl's paternal grandparents. She was removed because "she was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn't get in her seat" during boarding, AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said.
Mama dog. This is a great story posted on Gather.com about an amazing dog!
I first met Mama Dog two days before Christmas 2005. She showed up at my friend Brenda's house, cold, starving, badly beaten, and very very pregnant. Brenda immediately went and bought a bale of hay, and made a nice warm place for her in the garage. Brenda is very good with animals, and she was determined to nurse Mama Dog back to health.....
Update on my son. Went to the doc again last week, still no definite answers. It appears that the fracture is still unstable, so the doc has ordered another MRI. Depending on what that shows will be the deciding factor in whether the doc recommends surgery or not.
Weigh in day is tomorrow. I think I'll do well. If I haven't lost, I doubt I've gained. We shall see!!!
As of last week:
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Another pound gone!!! Yippee!!!
I've been following plan all week, didn't have any falls or mis-steps. I am now very comfortable in my size 18 jeans. I'd love to buy a few more pairs, but I refuse to until I get down 1 more size.
Went back to the doctor's with Brian today. It was very busy and we ended up being there for about 3hrs. Once again they took XRays, and once again there's no sign of this stabilizing. He has to have another MRI to see if there's any spinal cord or nerve root damage going on.
Brian has weakness in both hands. One of the tests the doc does is to have him gram his fingers (2 fingers) and squeeze as hard as he can. Without a lot of effort the doc can remove his fingers from Brian's grip. The doc thinks the weakness might be one of the effects of the initial injury, but it's not getting any better. He stated that if anything, Brian should have some shoulder pain, but he doesn't. He's ordered another MRI to compare with the first and see if there is anything new or worse. He also stated that if he had seen the first MRI himself he would have said Brian needed surgery!!!
This is a bit disconcerting, as we were told in the ER that the "attending orthopedic" saw the MRI and declared everything fine....pristine is actually the word they used, "his spinal cord is pristine". Now we find that it was, in fact, the radiologist that read the films.
So....once again we wait. This time to see what, if anything, the MRI shows.
The President is giving his State of the Union speech right now. I'm half listening as I write this. To me it doesn't sound as much like a SOTU speech as it does a campaign speech!!! I'm going to bed soon and will listen to the commentary on MSNBC.
Some interesting news online lately!!!
The company I work for has a web-site for Case Managers. Canopy Central is a page that's available to all, and is where the user's log in browser is redirected to when they sign into our product (Canopy). One of the things we have on that page is news articles related to medicine. I have a bit of an influence here and have been able to get a few of these articles posted there. All I do is send an email to our Marketing Director (who happens to be the woman I car pool with) and she puts the articles I send on our Canopy Central page. (Actually a link with a short description of the article).
Here's some of what's on Canopy Central today:
Carbs may explain ethnic variations in cholesterol. Ethnic differences in levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol, may be due, at least in part, to diet, a new study from Canada suggests. 01/22/2007
This is an excellent article in that it, for once, takes other things into consideration when determining how cholesterol levels are related to heart disease. Surprise surprise, it looks like carbohydrate intake is the important factor!!!
U.S. Cancer Deaths Drop Again. Cancer Deaths Down Second Straight Year, Though Still No. 2 Killer 01/18/2007
The numbers are dropping and the cures are increasing. Always good news.
The Cure for Diabetes. What if the American Heart Association endorsed the trans-fat diet? Problem, right? 01/11/2007
This is a repost of the article about Dr Mary Vernon and how she treats diabetics.
This is another article I've sent to be put on our Canopy Central page:
An Old Cholesterol Remedy Is New Again.
An interesting article about using Niacin to improve blood lipid levels.
Let's see....anything else?
Oh yea!!! My latest order of ChocoPerfection dark arrived today!!
So, I'm going to stick with what I've been doing. Following my plan and taking my supplements and weighing myself once a week.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
In a large bowl mix:
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup Splenda (or any flavored SF syrup you like)
Blend until combined, maybe 15 or 20 seconds.
Then slowly add:
16 ounces cream cheese (2 packages, softened)
1 1/2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
1/4 cup Splenda,
1/4 cup melted butter.
For an 8-9" cake:
After mixing crust ingredients well, press the mixture into the bottom of a cake pan, or preferably a spring release pan. If using the spring release, be sure the crust covers the junction of the bottom and side of the pan to prevent leaks.
Pour the cream cheese mixture in and bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes. It will not look done when you take it out of the oven, but will firm up as it cools. Place a pan of water on a shelf under the cheesecake to help prevent the top from splitting.
I also make this in ramekins. Some I just use the cheesecake batter, others I add the crust. I prefer this as it is good for portion control. For ramekins, bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes. For these, I use a large roasting pan (or cookie sheet), put an inch of water in the bottom, then place the ramekins in the water.
I also use SweetPerfections in place of Splenda. It's expensive, but well worth it. No artificial taste and you're adding fiber! (SweetPerfections measures just like sugar, and tastes like confectioner's sugar)
I only make 11, as that's what fits on my cookie sheet.
I entered all the ingredients, including the SweetPerfection, in FitdayPC. These are the numbers:
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Whoo Hoo!!! Another 3 pounds down!!
Didn't post my weight last week, but had lost 5 pounds then. I'm doing a 20 pounds in 20 weeks goal here, then will set another goal.
Been sticking with my plan, doing good, feeling good!!! Stomach has been great, NO indigestion or nausea, and no belly pain. Arthritis isn't too bad either! A bit of neck discomfort, that's about it.
Got a call from my sister over the weekend, and a follow up call tonight. She's going to have to have her carotids stented, both her internal carotids are blocked, one 90% the other 100%, but blocked, not by plaque, but by scar tissue. The scar tissue is a result of radiation treatments she had about 20 yrs ago for cancer of the epiglottis (the flap that prevents food from going into the lungs).
This is good news and bad news.
The bad news is that, since it's scar tissue, it can recur. The doc is confident that the stent will work in keeping her carotids open, but did also say that the scar tissue can again build up and she may have problems again down the road.
But, the good news is that she doesn't have any evidence of plaque build up! That of course, means there's a very good chance that the rest of her arteries are also clear or mostly clear.
Of course, there's no guarantee, but her chances are better than if they found her carotids loaded with plaque, it wouldn't bode well for the rest of her vessels!!!
She's already on Lipitor, and I'm sure they'll keep her on it, but now they've also put her on Plavix to prevent clotting. Of course she'll have to stay on the plavix for life also.
She's having one more test done, then will be scheduled for the procedure next week.
So, to all my readers, please say a prayer, or think positive thoughts for her.
Long Term Goal:
Saturday, January 13, 2007
I read lots of articles about, amoung other things, health and politics. Today I'm going to post comments about some of the recent articles I've read.
Can Warm Weather Cause the Flu? Medical Experts Expose the Season's Most Popular Cold and Flu Myths
Short answer no. And to add to the article, being cold or chilled doesn't cause colds. It can lower your resisitance, but it doesn't cause it.
Disability community decries 'Ashley treatment'
This bothers me. This little girl, in the hopes that she won't become a big girl, is being given a controvercial treatment. They are giving her hormones to kill the growth plates in her bones, making it impossible for them to continue to grow. And they've also done surgery, a hysterectomy and removal of her breast buds. This second treatment is for 2 reasons, 1 to prevent breast cancer, which runs in her family and 2 to prevent her menses, which her mom says will "scare" her.
Women more likely to survive lung cancer
This is good for women, like me, who smoke or have smoked in the past.
House Democrats Pass Bill on Medicare Drug Prices
This is great news!!! This will allow the Medicare program to make deals with the manufacturers to get lower prices on medications. There are many elders that must decide between medication and foods, maybe this will help.
Danger in the Flesh Patients Infected With Flesh-Eating Bacteria Must Race the Clock to Save Life and Limb
I include this to simply remind people that not only is this infection still causing trouble....it's very serious and is likely to result in at minimum disfuguring surgery and can also easily kill. This is nothing to ignore!!! If you get an injury and you don't like the looks of the wound, SEE YOUR DOCTOR!!!
Doomsday clock to move closer to nuclear Armageddon
It's 7 minutes to midnight again!
Parents of rescued boys express joy, thanks
This is great. In looking for 1 missing child, they found a second.
Bush says critics must offer alternative
Sorry Mr President, you've already been given alternatives, and have rejected them....I guess because you're "the decider"
Everyone, please say a prayer for our brave young men and women who are continuing to put themselves at risk.
Icy weather hits nation's midsection
Abnormal weather seems to be getting worse. This is one subject that really concerns me!
Firefighters Place Wager On Pats Game
It's Boston FD vs San Diego FD. Hope the firefighters in San Diego are ready to pay up!
And, saving the best for last:
'You: On a Diet' -- Experts Speak Out. How Do Analysts Feel About Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen's Approach to Weight Loss?
Now there is some praise, and some that feel the book tells us nothing new. But this one is the best!
Dr. Richard Feinman Co-editor-in-chief Nutrition and Metabolism Brooklyn,Can we say sarcasm???
"Well, I guess that pretty much takes care of the obesity epidemic.
I suggest for their next book: 'You: In Iraq.'"
Now, I'd like to add some of the blog posts that are out there.
Dr Michael Eades: Just about any of his posts.
Dr Mary Dan Eades: Again, just about any of her posts. She posts some great recipes too!
Calianna's Low Carb Cottage: Just about any of her posts.
Dr Briffa: Read them all!
Jimmy Moore: Need I say more? Listen to his Podcasts too!
Carbohydrate Addict aka Lady Atkins: Excellent day by day blog of the trials and tribulations of living a low carb life and struggling to loose weight.
Suzique: Both of her blogs, No-No NOLA and Waisted in the wasteland.
The Food Doc: most posts deal with leaky gut, celiac, and food allergies.
Regina Wilshire: Pick a post, any post, you won't be disappointed!!
There are many more excellent blogs out there, and I read a bunch, but these are my favorites. Check them out, I'm sure you won't be sorry!
Well, that's it for today. I weigh in Monday morning, so I'll be posting my results then.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
I knew it was going to happen as soon as I saw the first post.
Jimmy Moore's was the first post, and since then I guess I've read another 8-10 posts. Last one was
Yep....I've been blog tagged!!!
OK....so here's the deal. I'm supposed to tell you 5 things about myself you wouldn't normally know, and then tag another 5 bloggers. I'm including links to each of the blogs I tag and I hope you visist their blogs!
So, here goes. 5 things you might not know about me.
1. I'm "the baby" of the family. Yep, the youngest of 4, I have 2 older brothers, and 1 older sister. My oldest brother, Tim (11 yrs older) and my sister, Maureen (13 yrs older) are actually half-siblings, but we were raised to not make this distinction. ( 1 sentence removed by author) I was pretty much the "belle of the ball" growing up, at least as far as my siblings is concerned. As far as I'm concerned, I was treated just like the others.
My brother Tim died as a result of an auto accident at the age of 24. I really didn't know him well as he was a "chronic runaway" and left home for good at the age of 16 (I was 5), after spening a couple of years in "reform school". (2 sentences removed by author) My sister Maureen still thinks of me as a little kid, and often gives me advice, including medical advice (see # 4 below).
Because of the big age difference we really were raised as 2 families, and after the age of 9 it was just me and (removed) at home. While Tim was pretty much absent, and Maureen was more of a mother, (rest of paragraph removed by author)
2. When I was a kid I was a member of a drum corps. Yep, The Amvet Brigadiers. I started late, most of the others had started out in the junior corps, but I started out in the senior corp. This was when I was in junior high, around 1968. I carried a rifle, but mostly stayed with the American flag line, as I really couldn't do all the twirls and throws the rest of the corps did. I was only in the corps for a year, and loved it, but felt like an outsider and gave it up. We had an excellent group and won several contests, but I was only in 1. I followed them for several years, as well as the junior corps, the Buccaneers and the Lancers. My niece was in the Buccaneers for a couple of years and I became one of the "adult" chaperones when I was in high school.
3. I have no middle name. When I was born my parents couldn't come up with a name that went with my first and last (see #5 below), so they didn't give me one. When I was little I was upset when I found out all my classmates and friends had middle names...or actually middle initials and my dad told me to use NMI, which stood for No Middle Initial. Well, I thought that was great, and used it for a while.
Funny, it wasn't until just 2 or 3 years ago that I actually saw this used in "the real world". My current employer uses it for the few people that have no middle name. (I now sometimes use M for Morrison, which is my maiden name, but mostly leave blank) Having no middle name is always questioned when I fill out forms, and I often get weird looks when I say I don't have a middle name.
4. I am a graduate of Framingham Union Hospital School of Nursing, and have a diploma in nursing, allowing me to be licensed and work as a Registered Nurse (RN). Yes, this is the Framingham of the famous Franingham Heart Study.
I am licensed in NC and MA, but currently work in the computer software industry. It is healthcare related, so I still use my education, but my license isn't required.
I graduated from high school in 1972, when the BS programs were just getting popular. My school was a hospital based program. We had several instructors that also taught at Framingham State College and other reputable schools, but they came to our campus and we didn't receive any "college credit" for out work (although many colleges did accept our courses when attempting to get a BS).
Our program was pretty intense, with long hours on both our class room and clinical work. Our program gave us all the "regular" college requirements of Pharmacology, Nutrition, Microbiology, etc and we had a heavy amount of clinical work as well. Each clinical rotation was preceded with an intense class to cover that area, followed by 2-4 days a week working with patients in the hospital. Our classes were from to on each day that they were held, and our clinical day went from to (30 min lunch for clinical days, 60 min for class days). The frequency was different depending on the year of the program, but a typical schedule was MWF 8-5 class and T-TH clinical from 7-3. We also didn't follow a regular college schedule, working for long stretches without a vacation break....and mostly only a week break. Freshman year we went from December 26 to May 8 without a break!
A friend and I calculated the number of hours we spent in class vs. a traditional college, and found that we only spent the equivalent of 4 weeks less in school. We did in 3 years what BS programs did in almost 4 AND we had at least 2-3 times the amount of clinical experience. It was intense, and hard, and a wonderful program. Upon graduation I found that I'd had an excellent education, having been exposed to more than the average BS grad.
5. My first name isn't Cindy, that's a nickname. And it's not Cynthia either....it's Alcinda, which is the Portuguese derivative for
There's actually a pretty neat story that goes along with my name. I was named by my dad, who named me after Alcinda Pereira MD, of the New Bedford (MA) VA Hospital, "the doctor that saved my life". Here's how she saved his life. Dad was in the Army Air Force during WW2 and stationed in the Pacific. Due to stress he began to drink and was unable to stop when he returned home. After sometime being back home, with his alcoholism getting worse, he checked himself into the
When my parents married they made an agreement that mom would name the first baby, and dad would name the second. My dad told my mom that if the second was a girl he was going to name it Alcinda, but she didn't take him seriously! This was back in 1948 and people just didn't give their kids such unusual names. (It's actually quite popular in
I went by Cindy most of my childhood, and even teachers usually called me Cindy. I alternated between loving my name and hating it. I was the only kid with an unusual name and got tired of spelling it, and repeating it, and getting junk mail that was obviously for males (I STILL get spam that's obviously for men!).
When I got older I realized how special my name was. I adored my dad, who died at the age of 69 from prostate cancer. He was a very special person to most that knew him, and he gave me a special name for a reason. (As I type this I'm getting teary)
I know use Alcinda for all business. At work that's what everyone calls me. In fact I had a "Cindy" coffee cup that a co-worker was shocked to learn was mine! My RN licenses are in Alcinda, so I've always singed my name with that, or AM, and that sometimes caused confusion. Friends call me both Cindy and Alcinda, depending on their preference.
I love my name. It makes me different. It also makes me know that I was thought to be special enough to be named after a person loved so much.
OK that's it. I'm sure I could come up with a few other things, but I'm only doing the 5 I "have" to do.
I must say thinking of some of these things brought back a lot of memories. A lot of pain and a lot of joy!
OK....so now I have to name 5 people?
Between people already tagged, and that I don't know too many bloggers, this is tough.
1. Emily, of The Furious Dieter blog
2. Sherrie, of the Pinch of blog
3. Dr Mary Dan Eades
4. Suzique, of the No-No NOLA and Waisted in the Wasteland blogs
5. Kate, of Kate's Wellness Blog
Monday, January 01, 2007
In her blog, Kate wrote:
I believe in a healthy cholesterol reading. I mean, I really think that 350-400 is too high.
And even then, I don’t think other factors should be ignored. In lowering a dangerously high level, I took steps to help myself in other ways, as well. So my body wouldn’t keep raising my cholesterol. The main thing I did was lose weight.
But this post is for those people who really do not have a “problem”
My sister-in-law went to the Dr. for a checkup and was told hers was 210.
She was put on Lipitor. She had no idea why, just did it because he’s her doctor and he knows best. Her insurance paid it so great. No problem there. But is this the answer to a problem that isn’t a problem at all? She was otherwise healthy.
Or so she thought.
To read the rest of the post, CLICK HERE.