Tag Archives: health

A-Z of Life – Gratitude

gratitudeGratitude – the quality of being thankful or to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Sometimes in this world the ability to be grateful seems to pass people by.

Rather than being grateful for what they have, they grumble about what they haven’t got.

And even more simple, they just plain forget manners and never say thank you when they receive something, be it someone holding the door open, giving them a present or something more significant like a job!

It’s not difficult to be grateful. I have found that if I start the day by being grateful for what I have then my day starts on an even more positive note and I am grateful for everything that comes into my life that day – good, bad or indifferent, there’s always a reason to be grateful for it.

Here are 10 things that I am always grateful for every day (my list is a lot longer, but I whittled it down to 10 generic things):

  1. I am grateful for my health
  2. I am grateful for my friends
  3. I am grateful for my family’s love and support
  4. I am grateful for the memories
  5. I am grateful for every opportunity thrown at me
  6. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned
  7. I am grateful for SC – he is a blessing in my life
  8. I am grateful for the happiness I find in life
  9. I am grateful for my gifts and talents
  10. I am grateful for today and the wonders that lie in wait for me.

So, what are you grateful for?

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Friday Poem – Bankers are just like everyone else, except richer

…ain’t that the truth ūüėČbankers

This is a poem I found, written by Ogden Nash (1902-1971).

A rant? Truth? Or maybe just a point hidden underneath all the ‘silliness’?

Bankers are just like everyone else, except richer!

This is a song to celebrate banks,
Because they are full of money and you go into them and all
you hear is clinks and clanks,
Or maybe a sound like the wind in the trees on the hills,
Which is the rustling of the thousand dollar bills.
Most bankers dwell in marble halls,
Which they get to dwell in because they encourage deposits
and discourage withdrawals,
And particularly because they all observe one rule which woe
betides the banker who fails to heed it,
Which is you must never lend any money to anybody unless
they don’t need it.
I know you, you cautious conservative banks!
If people are worried about their rent it is your duty to deny
them the loan of one nickel, yes, even one copper engraving
of the martyred son of the late Nancy Hanks;
Yes, if they request fifty dollars to pay for a baby you must
look at them like Tarzan looking at an uppity ape in the
jungle,
And tell them what do they think a bank is, anyhow, they had
better go get the money from their wife’s aunt or uncle.
But suppose people come in and they have a million and they
want another million to pile on top of it,
Why, you brim with the milk of human kindness and you
urge them to accept every drop of it,
And you lend them the million so then they have two million
and this gives them the idea that they would be better off
with four,
So they already have two million as security so you have no
hesitation in lending them two more,
And all the vice-presidents nod their heads in rhythm,
And the only question asked is do the borrowers want the
money sent or do they want to take it with them.
Because I think they deserve our appreciation and thanks,
the jackasses who go around saying that health and happi-
ness are everything and money isn’t essential,
Because as soon as they have to borrow some unimportant
money to maintain their health and happiness they starve
to death so they can’t go around any more sneering at good
old money, which is nothing short of providential.

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Going Under the Knife (Part 2)

…so, last Friday was the day.

Picked SC up from school and then he (along with my dad) dropped me at the hospital. I gave him a big hug and good night kiss (SC, not my dad), and assured him I would be home before he woke up in the morning.

Oh, how wrong could I have been?

I assumed, my surgery would be around 6pm, wake up about 8pm, recover from the anaesthetic and be up and out of the hospital by 11pm at the latest.

What I didn’t bargain on was the doctor before running late or indeed the effect of the general anaesthetic combined with morphine on me!

Thankfully, whilst I waited in my warm room, I had the television for company – otherwise I would have gone stir crazy. Nothing to do, no one to talk to, just 4 walls.

I met the anaesthetist, who told me what they would do, I kind of glossed over him mentioning the use of morphine, as I was more concerned with telling him to make sure I woke up! And then I met my gynaecological consultant who confirmed what she would be doing.

I was amazed at the number of times I was asked when I last ate, if I had any loose teeth, fillings, metal plates, etc. I know it’s just ensuring everything is dotted and crossed as it should be.

Anyway, I eventually walked down to theatre (not the kind I’m used to entering, even though I was sporting a rather, highly amusing pair of surgical knickers – they were fairly frilly) at 8:25pm.

I lay on the trolley and they inserted a drip in my arm. Now I’ve had general¬†anaesthetic 3 times in the past (tonsils, wisdom teeth and chest surgery), and each time I have felt the cold knock-out drug make it’s way up my left arm and have never got beyond 6 when counting back from 10. This time was the first, and I swear to God the last, time I have had a mask put over my face. It was oxygen and then the knock-out drops got mixed up in there and the last thing I remember was the anaesthetist saying “take a deep breath. Good night!”

Now, I can’t bear anything being put over my face or around my neck (I reckon I must have met a grisly end in a previous life), so being knocked out with a mask freaked me somewhat.

Still, next thing I knew, I was coming round in my room, with a nurse and the consultant at the bedside. I was drifting in and out of consciousness as the consultant was trying to tell me what she’d done – pretty much everything that had been on the list – 2 cameras shoved in at various points, destined to meet in the middle, removal of an ovarian cyst (which was nice and clear, so nothing to worry about), and removal of many polyps, then finally the endometrium removal. Joyous! I vaguely remember her trying to show me the photos as well.

At this point I was more concerned about getting back to SC, but the nurse phoned my mum who said at 11pm at night I might as well stay in the hospital.

I had some very jazzy leg pumps on – they are designed to keep blood pumping around your legs to stop you developing DVT – and they are hilarious. You feel tight squeezes up one leg, and then it releases, before it repeats the squeezing on the other leg. If you can’t get to sleep, the rhythmic quality of it would definitely help.

I was in and out of consciousness for ages, and the blood pressure was being monitored at regular intervals. At one point it must have dipped really low, as the nurse said I needed oxygen. I was alert enough to say not to put it over my face, so the oxygen mask was left to rest on my chest, until the blood pressure reached it normal fairly low level.

It was about 1am when the sickness started. I felt it, pressed the buzzer for the nurse who got to the door and I just said “sick!” and she dived for a ‘friend bowl’ which I pretty much kept hold of all night after that, and most of the next morning.

By about 3am I drifted right off to sleep and woke up, totally alert, about 6am.

Then the Kylie episode started!

I had to go to the bathroom, so the nurse helped me sit up. Oh boy! Was I spinning around? The room didn’t stop – then of course I started being ill again.

It pretty much took me 5 hours to sit upright, never mind getting up and walking.

And because they wouldn’t let me go home until I had managed to eat, and keep down, at least a slice of toast, I had to have an anti-sickness injection.

I eventually left around 2pm and spent the rest of weekend doing very little.

Still, it’s done. Hopefully, I won’t have to have anything else done and my hormones will get back to some kind of normality. I shall await the outcome at my follow-up appointment next week.

Maybe I should go and sit on a mountain-top for 6 months?

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2013 – A Year of Change

Apparently 2013 is a big year – the numbers when added up together make 6, which signifies change.

According to the lady who did my tarot cards a few months back, at any rate!

Whether you are a believer or sceptic of all things tarot/psychic/etc, I still believe things happen for a reason, whether you have a little tip-off or not!

She said that the next 8-10 weeks for me would be fairly traumatic.

Boy! She could not have got that more right if she had been sitting on my shoulder.

In a nutshell, let’s do a run down of my life in the last 12 weeks:

Thought I’d found ‘him’, but I hadn’t;

Didn’t know I was, until I wasn’t;

Didn’t like what I was doing, so I don’t any more.

It has been, to say the least, one hell of a ride!

And, to be brutally honest, not one that I would volunteer to go on again.

But I have emerged.

Battle-worn, scarred, but still very much alive and breathing.

I thought a couple of years ago I had reached rock bottom, but seems there was still a little way left for me to fall.

I am at the very bottom.

But I am still smiling and I am very much blessed in many ways.

I have SC.

I have my health.

I have my pride and self-respect.

I have a brain that still works.

I have the passion and drive to succeed.

I have so much to be thankful for.

I am free.

And, do you know what, since it is¬† a year for change, I don’t think I’m going to start climbing back up that mountain!

I’m going to build me a whole new one ūüėČ

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The A-Z of Life – Opinions

“My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever!”colin-firth111

“That is indeed a failing.”

Possibly one of the more memorable quotes from classic literature from Pride & Prejudice and, of course it means I get an excuse to put a picture of Colin Firth as the gorgeous Mr Darcy on the blog.

But seriously, is it indeed a failing, if your good opinion about something, or someone, is lost and you find it hard to change your mind back again, for want of a better expression?

Let’s take, brussel sprouts, for example. To be honest I actually love them – could quite happily eat a plate with nothing else – in fact I did just that one Christmas…

But obviously for many they are, quite clearly, the food of the devil, vile, little green balls that are like bullets and taste disgusting.

How many people who do not like brussel¬†sprouts, would try them and be honest enough to say, if they did, that they were not too bad – I know that’s going off into the realms of total fantasy, but for the purpose of this exercise is it a failing that they have a bad opinion about brussel sprouts, or is it a failing they may not try them, or is it not actually a failing at all, but merely a case of personal taste being different?

After all we are all different. We cannot all like the same things or indeed have the same opinions about topics like football, politics, who the most beautiful man/woman is in the world, etc.

But that’s things, and in my ‘opinion’ a totally different kettle of fish to people.

If someone betrays your confidence by blabbing your secrets, or the person who said they never wanted to hurt you did just that, or a person pretends to be all sweetness and light to you when all the time they are whispering behind your back is it a failing to not trust that person again?

I don’t trust people easily any more.

And I’m sad that I feel I can’t trust easily any more.

Does that mean I’m a bad person for being cautious about who I confide in after my confidences have been spread around for no more than malicious enjoyment?

Does that mean I’m a bad person for never wanting to trust a man again after all the times I’ve been lied to, let down, used and left heartbroken?

Is it indeed a failing in my psychological make-up that once someone has betrayed me, lost my trust or hurt my feelings that I find it hard to forget?

I can forgive, because that brings my own peace of mind – they know why they did what they did, I can’t change that (no matter how much sometimes I wish I could) – but by forgiving them for hurting me and ensuring another brick gets put up around me I can at least find peace within myself.

I wouldn’t say it was a failing though, because at the end of the day by being cautious about who I trust in the future I am protecting myself – it’s not a foolproof method, but at least I hope it will not make the sting too painful.

And when it comes to football, politics and other such contentious issues I can only quote another famous line from literature “I suggest you stick to two subjects – the weather and everyone’s health!”

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Fish Spa Treatment

It was interesting to say the least have my feet nibbled by a hundred or so little garra rufa fish!

Yes, I have partaken in the latest spa craze and I would highly recommend it.

Last year my local hairdresser turned it’s back corridor into a relaxing fishy haven with 4 tanks full of fish to nibble away the dead bits of skin, callouses, cuticles and anything else they find on your feet.

So when my dad – yes my dad – told me this had opened, I naturally thought I’d better give it a go. After all, I don’t like wearing shoes and have danced for years so my feet have a few hard edges to them, which pumice stone alone cannot touch.

And that is how one afternoon last year I drove down to the hairdressers to have an alternative pedicure.

After picking up a copy of Vogue (obviously, what else does one read when at the hairdressers – not that there’s much to read, just a lot of pictures of very expensive clothes which, quite frankly are far too bizarre to wear when you are popping down to the local supermarket!) I was led to the fish spa.

You don’t just take shoes and socks off and dunk the feet – oh no!

Clearly taking off of foot garments is a necessity, but then you have to wash you feet under a water shower, set at a certain temperature (bit hot for my liking and I love hot showers) – no soap just clean running hot water. Next you have to dry your feet, but not with a towel – you stick them under a foot level hand dryer, and thankfully not one where you have to rub your feet together for an age before a small amount of air puffs out to dry your feet, no, it’s more like one of those fab high-powered Dyson dryers.

Then you are given a pair of flip-flops made of ultra-eco-friendly polystyrene to put on and led to the tanks. Actually thinking about it, they look like flip-flop shaped prawn crackers!

You sit on the nice high cushioned seat, with your copy of Vogue, take the flip-flops off and swing your legs round to perch them on the edge of the tank.

Then come the instructions:

  1. Do not put your feet on the bottom of the tank – this seems fairly obvious because the object of the treatment is for the fish to nibble the hard bits, which are generally on the soles of your feet!
  2. Do not shake the fish off or move your feet too vigorously – danger of harming fish.

And that’s about it. Take a deep breath and when you are ready take the plunge!

It is the weirdest sensation I have ever experienced.

The instant you plunge your feet in the fish go for it. Initially it tickles but not in a horrid, unpleasant way more of a wriggly tickly way.

When you get used to the tickly sensation, for me, it turned into a tingle like the kind you get when you have pins and needles, but again it was not uncomfortable.

At this point my feet were rigid in the water and incredibly tense, but after a few minutes, no more than 5 my feet relaxed and gradually sunk lower into the water.

Half an hour later and one copy of Vogue perused it was time to take the feet out, dry off and put socks and shoes back on.

The result?

My feet were actually softer (and still were 2 days later), I admit I have very bad hard skin on my heels and balls of my feet, but even they felt slightly softer and the cuticles on my toenails were trimmed to perfection.

Was it relaxing?

Yes, after the initial getting used to it stage, I would say it was relaxing. After all there is something very therapeutic and calming about watching fish – even if they are feasting on your dead skin.

Did I do it again?

A resounding and emphatic YES! I did a further 3 treatments, then, unfortunately, the hairdressers changed hands and the new owner had the fish removed!

Shame, it was the most alternative pedicure I’ve ever had ūüėČ

If you get the chance to have a go – do it!

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Hopi Ear Candles

I am a big fan of¬†Hopi Ear Candle therapy – or thermal-auricular therapy I believe it’s called.

No idea where the technique originated, but it has nothing to do with a Native American indigenous tribe called Hopi.

Nevertheless, it is apparently a popular therapy, with many beauty salons/spas offering this alternative treatment.

Ear candling apparently has several positive benefits on a variety of conditions of the ear including: tinnitus, sinusitis, glue ear, hay fever & rhinitis, excessive ear wax, general hearing loss, colds, tension headaches, travel sickness and Menieres disease.

It does not claim to be a cure, and there is no scientific evidence to suggest the claims are true, but there have been reported claims that it has had a positive effect on the symptoms of the above.

So, after having had a tension headache for¬†a week or so, on and off, last October, I thought I’d give it a go. At worst I’m down the cost of the treatment and still have¬†a headache….

Aside from the fact the beautician kept me waiting for half an hour because she was waiting for a treatment room to become available that didn’t have a smoke alarm – all I could think was “Thank God I didn’t park in the NCP car park, my ticket would have run out and those traffic wardens are merciless, especially on a Friday!”

Eventually, I was taken into the treatment room and had to lie on my side. There was lovely calm music playing Рalthough it would have been calmer had the volume been slightly lower РI did have a headache after all! I was covered in a towel and towels were placed around my ear.

The beautician explained that she would place the candle after it had been lit – she explained that I may be able to hear crackling, but some people found the experience very relaxing.

So, here goes. Lit candle in ear!

Now, most of you probably think I’m completely nuts, but I am quite into alternative treatments and am pretty much game to try anything once, have had my feet nibbled by fish, very into reflexology (nothing like a foot massage) and have tried Reiki.

Anyway, I digress, then the crackling started. It wasn’t too bad at first¬†but then it got louder and louder, to the extent I thought I had a raging log fire going on in my ear. The theory is the burning candle produces a suction effect to draw out impurities from the ear. I must have had a load of impurities in mine then.

As the candle burns lower you do feel some heat on your head. I also actually experienced a pain in my head where my headache must have been, and weird or not, spooky, or just my imagination, that pain moved into my ear and went.

Candle removed, turn over and repeat on other side. The other side there was no pain, and less crackling.

After the treatment I was given an acupressure facial massage – just to release any remaining toxins from the facial area.

After I had sat up and drank a glass of water – you have to keep hydrated after this treatment – the beautician opened the candles.

All I can say is “YUK, YUK, YUK, WITH A CAPITAL YUK!”

Like everyone I clean my ears, or so I thought – but the amount of ear wax that was in the candle could have made its own candle. The first ear had the most which would account for the louder crackling sensation.

Generally, the rule of thumb if you do this is to go once a week for 3 weeks and then every couple of months, for maintenance.

Did it make¬†any difference though, is what you’re all asking?

Well, headache went, and I think the problem was mainly sinusy. As I feel that the airways¬†were much clearer than they were before, my hearing¬†was slightly sharper, and I didn’t have to clean any ear wax out for a while afterwards!!

Obviously, each to his own, and all that, and medical practitioners query the benefits and a lot of people are of the opinion that this alternative therapy is nothing more than a placebo effect. If you think it’s good for you, you’ll probably think it’s done you good, even if it hasn’t.

Maybe so, maybe not.

For me, all I can say is my headache went, my airways felt clearer. And since October I have had several sessions – am in need of one imminently, I’ve had a headache for a week again!

Like everything there are contra-indications, so make sure if you go you are forewarned what they are, and always go somewhere reputable.

But¬†yes, I’d recommend it, and yes, it was actually very relaxing ūüėČ

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