Friday, January 27, 2012

Stomach Flu

Image source unknown
Well it wasn't just stress that was doing me in on Wednesday. Turns out shortly after I wrote that post, I went to the restroom at work and promptly puked up every possible ounce of content in my stomach.  Or so I thought.  Because I went on to continue puking for the next 36 hours and suffer from a fever of 101 that finally started to break yesterday.  This stomach flu is no joke.  Last night I barely started to feel like I was on the mend and thought I could return to work this morning. So I had a bit of solid food, which I felt like I was going to be able to hold down.  Then I went to sleep in preparation for work because I had to return today.  I have a lot of deadlines on the 31st, and I needed to make sure things were still on track.  

So this morning I got up and promptly threw up.  Again.  And thought, "uh-oh."  But I was determined to at least make it in, check my email and messages and get some emails out.  I drank some tea...which promptly exited my body like the rest of its predecessors before it.  I don't have access to work communication outside of the office or believe me I would have totally been all over that option instead of fighting the inevitable.  Into the office for a little over an hour and back out again before 95% of my work colleagues even made it in to start their day.

Now I'm home.  Back in bed.  Trying to hold in some water and continue to get some rest and hoping that this virus makes it on its way out of me with the rest of it. And hopefully my train of thought will return as well and not be as choppy as this blog post has been.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wiggin' Out

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I used to be one of those people who handled stress well...or so I thought. I spent years internalizing it, pushing through and coming out on "top." I worked 12+ hour days, sometimes 100+ weeks. But I needed balance so I also went out with friends, drank it up and ate well. And by well I mean yummy fancy food, not necessarily healthy. While I recognized my body and mind becoming tired, I was able to maintain my stamina with the gallons of coffee I pumped in it - having switched over from my high school and college staples, Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola.  

And then the years in high school, college, my new career as well as the stresses of the death and the circumstances surrounding their deaths of a few of my closest family members hit me.   What started off as a walking pneumonia virus that appeared as a cold to my co-workers turned into a full fledged trigger for my chronic fatigue syndrome.  And I went down.  Hard.  For 9 months.  While I'm not going to go into the details of that period in this post, let's just say that I had to learn A LOT about my body, health, stress and life during that time.  I mean, what else did I have to do when I didn't have enough energy to make it out of bed?
Why am I bringing up all of this now?  Because I'm stressed.  And I don't have to be because I actually do have things under control in this very busy time.  And except for looking like I need a nap, I appear to be handling it all.  And I am. But knowing that I have it under control isn't helping me feel less stressed or less exhausted.  And I can't figure out why.  And I'm tired.

I promise I will return to my normal self soon (no this is not my normal self).  I'm just gonna need a nap first.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pretty Much...

It's That Time of Year

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It's that time of year when the weather does funny things.  Funny things like disguise winter as spring with warmer weather and then turn back into winter the very next day.  Now we've added rain to the mix (which the area so desperately needs so I'm totally not complaining about it) and we're really having fun.  Unfortunately, it seems that the fun is not necessarily shared by those friends, family, colleagues and strangers around me who have been sniffling, sneezing, coughing, hacking and every other variation of all of the above.  Most recently my mom has gotten sick with a really bad cold that's she's having a hard time kicking.

And me?  Well, for someone who would normally experience more than 1 cold/flu/overall yuckiness by now, I have escaped with a couple of sinus headaches.  And that's it.  No I have not submitted myself to a flu shot.  No, I haven't done anything extraordinary this season versus the last season to help me ward off the germs in my environment.  But I have done 3 things, which I have not previously done before...and it's this:

1.  Eat fruit, including some citrus, every day.  I don't think there's much explanation needed about this.  We're talking the intake of natural vitamins including vitamin C.  Of course, that's going to do nothing but help make you're immune system stronger.

2.  Regularly without fail take a daily multivitamin.  Again, no real explanation needed for this one right?  I mean, come on.  How many of us get all the nutritional value that we need daily from our diet alone.  Anyone?

3.  Taken at least 100 mg of pycnogenol every single day.  If at the end of the day I start to feel like a cold or something is coming on, I take another 100 mg before going to bed.  This one might need more explanation obviously as this is something that I had never heard of myself until my honey told me about it when I mentioned not feeling well.  His doctor had suggested it to him to keep him from easily catching viruses as he travels a lot for work.  Pycnogenol is a plant extract from the maritime pine tree and is apparently a highly powerful natural antioxidant.  You can find out more information here.  

And that's it.  So far so good.  I'm also crossing my fingers too that I make it through spring with the same success.

Obviously I'm not a doctor, and I'm not advocating or endorsing anything here.  Just sharing information of what extra I've been doing to keep myself from getting sick like everyone else.  Like me, choose to do with what you feel comfortable with at your own risk.

Is there anything you all are doing differently to ward off common illnesses everyone seems to get this time of year?  I'm totally interested in hearing about them!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The True Meaning of Sleeping Together

I saw this posted on the internet. I can't seem to find the original source as it seems everyone and their mother has posted some version of this on their blog or tumblr when I tried to Google the source. I can't reiterate this enough: this is not my original work. But I love it, and feel the same way.  Exactly.

Photo source:  unknown
“The True Meaning of Sleeping Together"

"Nothing dirty. Nothing Naughty. Just sleeping. It’s just sleeping with that someone and knowing that they’re in your arms and you’re in theirs. They want to feel close to you. They want to know they are the closest to your heart. They want to hear you breathe when you fall asleep as they sleep next to you. As you fall asleep, you want to cuddle with that someone and just the hold them close. It’s that moment where you don’t want to let go and that moment where you don’t want them to forget that this is a special moment.   ~Author unknown

Stuff I Love: The Melt

Because I am in a continuing need of comfort (this seems to be a common theme since the new year started - need to figure that one out), I headed to The Melt to grab some lunch.  For those of you outside the San Francisco Bay area, The Melt only serves various concoctions of grilled cheese and the soup to accompany it.  The menu is not long (I mean, come on), but the sandwiches and soups are tasty, and the restaurant is eco-friendly.  They even have this handy dandy online ordering system, but I'm digressing from why I'm writing this post, and you can look up all the rest of the stuff on the The Melt's website to learn more.

So like I was saying...I was in need of some comfort, so I headed to grab my favorite quick comfort foods.  A grilled cheese.  Now if you've read this blog at all, you might have come across a blog or two mentioning this.  You might also recall that I'm the type of girl that doesn't want anything else mucking up my grilled cheese.  Yes tomatoes, I'm referring to you.  And butter.  The bread must be buttered and grilled - not just grilled.  Otherwise, what's the point?

Anyway, I went to go grab a sandwich and instead of ordering online like I usually do, I ordered at the restaurant, and I'm glad I did.  I was in the mood for a grilled cheese with a kick, so I was walking in all prepared to order The Mission, which is spicy pepper jack cheese in sourdough.  But then I saw a sign at the register touting this 'Dirty Melt.'  Intrigued, I asked what it was.  It's sharp cheddar, diced jalapenos, tomatoes, bacon and crushed barbeque chips.  So I ordered it, minus the tomatoes (see previous paragraph).  And you know what?  It rocked my world. The jalapenos give it a nice kick without being too spicy - although my stomach seems to be indicating otherwise right about now.  The bacon gives it a nice flavor without being too overwhelming.  And those barbeque potato chips?  Well honestly, you might miss those in the sandwich altogether if there wasn't a kick of the barbeque chip flavor every other bite.
All in all...LOVED it!  I hope they keep this one on the menu.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Stuff I Love: Tulips

Picture found here

Have I mentioned that I love tulips yet? Because I do. I love them. They're my favorite flower.  Why?  They're simple, elegant, vibrant. They are one of the first signs of spring and summer.  Looking at them just makes me happy.  

And today, when I took yet another hit to my ego and my self esteem - funny how overhearing someone talk poorly of you can do that - I came across this picture of gorgeous and colorful tulips in full bloom, and it brought a smile to my face...which is helpful when you're trying to hold back tears all day.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Do Better

Like so many of the rest of you, I spent a lot of the last week of 2011 reflecting on the year and deciding how I want 2012 to go.  Then a funny thing happened.  I found myself in an emotional black hole...which led to me feeling like I was physically in a black hole.  I have no idea how I got there.  2011 wasn't disastrous.  If anything the year was really good to me.  REALLY good.  So how did I end up there?

Well it came down to this mantra:  When you know better, you do better.  While I apparently made so many good choices as was apparent with the good in the year I had, I didn't make a lot of great choices.  And I knew better.  

What happens when you consistently make not so good or just good choices when you know better?  The good that is happening in your life is not really sustainable.  Life will not let you live as you are in this moment forever.  Something always gives and you either rise or you sink.  

So instead of listing out specific resolutions for 2012 and onward, I just made a decision that is simple and all encompassing.

Do better.

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