Snaps ‘n’ Crackles #2 – Health & Wellbeing

June 9, 2015

It’s been a while since I did one of my snaps ‘n’ crackles catch up posts. Actually this is the first time LOL!  The first one I did was in February and was originally called Miscellaneous Crackles #1 but I’ve gone back and changed its name to Snaps ‘n’ Crackles #1.  I’ve decided I wanted to rename these posts to something a little more original to WOTM!  So ‘Snaps ‘n’ Crackles’ they will be!  They are posts where along with some ‘snaps’ I spill random thoughts and/or catch you up on what I’ve been up to (the ‘crackles’).

So let’s get started …

Health & Wellbeing

Supplements

I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts that I’ve had some health issues. I haven’t wanted to give any more detail to this point both because 1) I’m a private person and though I share a lot of myself and my thoughts here on the blog, I do like to exercise caution and mull over what I do share here, and 2) because I wasn’t entirely sure what I was dealing with. Now that I know more, I thought I’d fill you in a little!  Rather than bore you with all the detail, I’ll just throw around some words and that will hopefully be enough to give you an idea of what is going on.

Main Symptoms: racing heartbeat, fluid retention, ongoing & worsening female cyclic pain & discomfort, minor to moderate temperature, rapid weight gain (over last 6+ months), high blood pressure,  lethargy. I have an existing condition of Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid gland) that, given my symptoms, also needed to be checked.

Tests done: Blood test, pelvic ultrasound, ECG, Echocardiogram

Diagnosis/Results: minor heart murmur (nothing to worry about – heart is fine), enlarged uterus – most likely Adenomyosis, deficient in: Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Iron and Progesterone, insulin levels too high (puts me at risk of developing type 2 diabetes), thyroid results a little wonky, temperature was likely from a virus.

Treatment: Taking Iron and Vitamin D supplements, getting fortnightly injections of Vitamin B12, tweaking my hypothyroidism medication, on a very strict diet to lose some weight ASAP and will follow up with a revised eating plan and more structured regular exercise, am going to try a bio-identical progesterone cream (not started this yet), have a referral to a Gynaecologist if need be as the only real cure to Adenomyosis is a hysterectomy. Phew!

So there you go! I’m a tad perplexed as to how my insulin levels got too high but can only assume it all ties in with the weight gain which relates back to both the thyroid and Adenomyosis conditions. I eat very healthy foods and put a lot of thought and time into planning my meals. I’m not huge on exercise but do like regular long walks. Anyway, I’m feeling much better now. The virus has gone and I was lucky enough to escape getting a bad bug that my daughter and husband had recently – by sleeping 5 nights in a row on the lounge and spraying copious amounts of Glen 20 around the house! I’ve lost nearly 3kg so far! My energy levels have picked up! I’m due for my second B12 injection this Thursday. I’m going to wait and see how I feel after using the Progesterone cream for at least a few months before I decide whether I take the step of visiting the Gynaecologist.

As a kid and young lady I was always SO grateful I was born a girl because we get to have long hair and wear pretty clothes and make up and put nice things in our hair.  I have to admit that these days there are days that I envy the males of our species!!

Chelsea, Food Obsession and Dementia in Dogs

Dog

Our old girl ‘Chelsea’ (see her HERE), a 15.3 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is driving us all crazy with her food obsession. It’s so true that the aged can go back to childhood behaviours and needs. When Chelsea was a little puppy she was on three feeds a day which were gradually eased back to two feeds per day and then just one. As she has reached her ‘dementia years’ she has increased from needing one feed per day to two and now three.  It’s been difficult to try to ration her food across the day without her gaining weight. She is very determined when she is hungry!! She has taken to scratching on my son’s bedroom door demanding to be fed, to the point where she has taken the paint off.  In an effort to try and control her obsession for food, we engineered all sorts of elaborate set ups to stop her scratching paint off his door – all of them turning our house into an obstacle course!  One we tried was lying a dining chair in front of the door but she just scratched at that and eventually worked out how to move it aside.  We don’t bother with any of our obstacle courses anymore.  It was no use because she just wouldn’t give up and the continual scratching and eventual barking was driving us mad.  Now we divide what was her one feed for the day into three and feed that at breakfast, lunch and dinner times.  No need to worry about forgetting to feed her.  She lets us know when it is time and we feed her pretty fast if we don’t want any more paint taken off the door.  She is one clever dog!  Once she is fed and satisfied then she sleeps and snores (don’t start me on the snoring!) … until she is next hungry!

It’s hard but yet a privilege to watch our Chelsea age.  We never expected that she would live to this age.  She was once a very active (hyper even!) and energetic girl.  Nowadays, she displays lots of the typical signs of aging, like:

  • There’s a white film over both her eyes so we don’t think she sees too well!
  • She walks around and around and around in circles before lowering herself to lie down. Her legs are stiff and sore. Mostly we pick her up and lie her down ourselves because it is frustrating to watch her walking in circles for such long periods of time.
  • Sometimes she gets up and starts walking off and then just stops. She forgets what she was doing. I shout out suggestions to her “were you going to go outside for a wee?”, “perhaps you were on your way to get a drink of water?”.  It seems to work because eventually you see her brain engage again and off she shuffles to wherever she was going.
  • Often when she’s lying down on the tiles, she can’t get her back legs to work to help her get up. It doesn’t help that the tiles are slippery! One day I had been in the shower. I came out to find her lying in her own urine. She was trying to get up to go outside to the toilet but her legs wouldn’t work and ultimately her bladder couldn’t hold any longer.  There was an unscheduled bathing of a dog on that day!

Sometimes when she is sleeping she looks so still and I am scared that she has passed away. I look for movement of her chest and it always comes. One day I won’t be so lucky. She is a lot of work these days … but gee we love her.

My Birthday

Book

On May 31 it was my birthday … again! It seems like only days ago I turned 50 but it’s now been over a year. Why is it that time seems to speed up the older you get? I really wish time would slow down!  Just goes to show that we need to make the most of each and every day because time will stop for no-one!

On my birthday, I had breakfast at home with my family and then I picked up my sister and we headed over to my parents house where my youngest sister met us. Then Mum, myself and 2 sisters (just missing the 1 sister who lives in Sydney) went out for a girls lunch and came back later for coffee and cake with Dad. Then it was home to my lot for dinner!

I got some lovely gifts! One of my gifts was this book ‘My Delicious Life’ by Michelle Crawford which I’m thoroughly enjoying reading. It’s particularly enjoyable to read now that I’ve been to Tasmania and can visualize a lot of the places that she mentions. Oh I’m so envious of her country life.  I hope to one day live a little more rurally.  Here’s the synopsis for her book (you will see why I am so enjoying it!):

I dreamed of a rambling old farmhouse where I could grow my own food, learn how to bake cakes and make jam. I wanted to wear gumboots. Every day. Organising cocktail parties at the Sydney Opera House sounds perfectly glamorous, and for a while it was for Michelle Crawford. But once she became a mother, the yearning to find her own little slice of heaven in the country could no longer be ignored. For years she had daydreamed of a little farmhouse, with smoke curling out of the chimney, where she could slow down and grow her own food. Last but not least, she was hungry for a new adventure. An old farmhouse nestled in Tasmania’s lush Huon Valley offered the chance to make that dream come true – and adventure in spades, from her first disastrous attempt at planting a veggie garden to raising a bunch of chickens with attitude, learning to love her wood stove and foraging for treasure to make sloe gin, jam and bake cakes. Lots of cakes. Warm, down to earth and inspiring, and lushly illustrated with lip-smacking images and recipes, A Table in the Orchard is breathtaking proof of how seductive a taste of slow living in one of the most beautiful valleys in Tasmania might be.  Like Michelle, you might be tempted to make your own crumpets – or run away to the Apple Isle.

Michelle also blogs over at Hugo and Elsa, which is fabulous! She has one new follower in me!

Winter

crochet rug

I don’t know about you but I am loving the cold change we’re having here in Brisbane. It feels like winter – at last!  Well – a Brisbane winter anyway! 🙂

Here’s some things I love about winter:

  • Hot showers in the morning
  • Nana rugs on the lounge watching TV
  • Sleeping comfortably snuggled under a doona at night
  • Wearing clothes without sweating in them
  • Having my hair down (mostly too hot to in summer)
  • Reading a book in the sunshine
  • Gardening is so much more pleasant when not being cooked while you’re at it!
  • Soups!

Hospitals, General Anaesthetic and Wisdom Teeth

At 11am this morning my daughter checks in to hospital to go under a GA to have all four (4) of her wisdom teeth extracted.  As a mum, I can’t help but worry when any of my kids go under a GA for anything.  The wisdom teeth problem comes from my husband and his side of the family.  I never got wisdom teeth so never needed any extracted (neither did my parents or siblings!).  First Twin 2 had to have all four (4) extracted under a GA like his sister will be, then more recently Twin 1 needed two (2) extracted but that was able to be done in the local dental rooms and no GA required.  I’ll be glad when it is all over.  She’ll be sore for a while!  Meanwhile, we’ve stocked up on custard, jelly and I’ll be cooking up plenty of soups!

What about you – ever had an old dog with dementia?  Do you love winter like I do?  Maybe not if you live in a really cold place!  Any other Brisbanites out there enjoying our lovely winter?  Have you had wisdom teeth extracted?

Phew!  That was a long post.  If you made it to this point then well done and thank you! 🙂

Ciao for now,

Min-Signature

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

 

 

You Might Also Like

22 Comments

  • Reply PatrickC June 9, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Min,

    What a fantastic and diverse blog post. I will have to go and buy Michelle Crawfords book, it sounds fabulous. Books that “talk” about country life are always great reads and of course Tasmania is so beautiful, especially in winter time. This weekend I discovered a book called “The Shepherds Life” by James Rebanks. It is the journal of a Scottish shepherd whose family have been shepherds in that area for generations. I have a couple of other recommendations for you. The first is a book by Roger Deakin called “Notes from Walnut Tree Farm”. They are extracts from his diary notes of the last six years of his life detailing the goings on at his farm. George Elliots “Mill on the Floss” is another I recommend. Finally in this style of writing I would suggest Flora Thompsons “Lark Rise to Candleford. In a slightly different but still rambling style and originally published in 1908 and had been republished several times. Its called “The autobiography of a Supertramp” written by W.H. Davies. It is a totally engaging book about a man tramping through the American countryside another of similar style is the “Diary of a Welsh Swagman” by William Evans. It details his journeys around Australia from 1869 to 1894. I have gone back a bit at the moment to Victorian and Edwardian writing, my current bed side book is John Buchan’s “39 Steps”. Finally on reading I would recommend a wonderful magazine called “Australian Country Style”

    Winter down here in Geelong and the South West of Victoria is a wonderful time of the year. The air is cold and fresh in the morning and we have rain but it makes the sea wild and the beaches really special with the wind and the spray. Even Torquay, just a few minutes away is fantastic, but a drive down the Great Ocean Road, stopping at Bells Beach, Blue Johanna, London Bridge, 12 Apostles, Bay of Islands, Travel into the Otways at Lorne to Erskine Falls. Stop at Apollo Bay but for me the best place is the tiny seaside village of Port Fairy, 20 minutes or so out of Warrnambool. It is a beautiful little town on the Moyne River and the Southern Ocean. It gets cold but its magical. The town has many artists and some wonderful places to stay and restaurants to eat. One day I will fulfil my dream of buying a small cottage and open a little photographic studio and gallery. So for me I just love the winter. I enjoy going to bed to flannel sheets warmed by a hot water bottle with a great book and the ABC radio. Listening to the rain on the roof and the wind blowing.

    Well thanks for your sharing and allowing me to share a bit with you and your readers.

    Cheerio,

    PatrickC

    • Reply Min June 9, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Patrick – thanks so much for the book recommendations! They sound fabulous! I will be seeking those out for sure. I do envy you your climate as I think I am more suited to it than the climate we get here. I love our winters but our summers are just too harsh for me. I survive though – with my aircon and pool! It’s lovely that someone else shares my love of winter and cooler climates! Your dream of buying a small cottage and opening a little photographic studio and gallery sounds like a dream I would like to have if I dared to dream such things! I love the sound of rain on the roof and wind blowing too! 🙂

  • Reply Deborah June 9, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I’m glad you’ve gotten some answers health-wise Min. It’s frustrating not knowing. I still have a few things I need to get sorted buy I’m so ridiculously paranoid about my doctor thinking I’m a hypochondriac I keep deferring appts until my list is too long to get through them all. I also struggle with the idea of speaking to her about stuff I worry is self-inflicted (weight-wise etc).

    And poor Chelsea… 15 is getting on isn’t it. She’s lucky she has you to care for her. (And it’s never really occurred to me that dogs can suffer the same ailments as we humans!)

    PS. I’m loving the fact that winter has FINALLY arrived and I can rug up. I LOVE the cooler weather.

    Deb

    • Reply Min June 9, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks Deb. Yes the health issues have been very frustrating as so many doctors have led me down the garden path! One thing I’ve learnt is that you have to be persistant and if you don’t agree with what they say then move on. I’ve had many a doc appt with a long list of concerns or ailments. Hit them with it Deb! Yes 15 is old for a dog. It would be equivalent to around 105’ish in human years! YIPPEE – so glad to find another winter lover! 🙂 x

  • Reply Karin @ Calm to Conniption June 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    That is really interesting what you were saying about Chelsea’s eating. My Gypsy has been a bit whinny about food of late and maybe that is what is going on, she wants to eat more regularly. Poor old Chelsea and Gypsy but it will be so hard living without them.

    • Reply Min June 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Karin – if you do end up feeding your Gypsy more often – just make sure you still feel her the same amount divided up over the day – coz it adds to their health risks if they are overweight. The CKCS breed could so easily all be fatties as they LOVE their food!!

  • Reply Maxabella June 9, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Gosh Min, i hope your daughter goes okay. And well done to you for investigating your health so thoroughly. I hope this is the beginning of the recovery road for you. Keep us posted.

    I’m a huge Michelle Crawford fan. I think she is amazing – I have always admired ‘centred’ people and she is like a compass. x

    • Reply Min June 9, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks Bron – I hope my daughter is ok too. We weren’t allowed to stay with her as she’s over 18 (she’s 20). She was due for surgery at 2pm so she’s probably in there now. Gah – so hard not being with her!! Thanks for your comments on my investigating my health. It’s been going on for years. The doctors don’t always get it right you know. I have been led on many a wild goose chase and have had to go on my gut feelings and persistance to get where I am now. I hope I’m on the right path to feel much better and be healther real soon! Oh you know of Michelle Crawford!! How is it I have only just discovered her?! I must’ve been living under a rock! Nearly finished her book and have LOVED it! 🙂 x

  • Reply Michelle@myslowlivingadventure June 9, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    My Dad always says that getting old has knobs on it, and I think that can be true when it comes to the deterioration of our bodies and minds…dogs and humans alike! There are obviously some good things about aging!! I am right behind you in the birthday stakes Min, literally. I turned 48 on the 30th of May. We went to Darwin for a very long weekend which was awesome. I had to remind my husband on the 28th that he needed to organise a dinner out to celebrate. He never remembers. Used to drive me nuts, but doesn’t seem to bother me any more!

    • Reply Min June 9, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Haha – I like that and agree that ‘getting old has knobs on it’!! Your weekend in Darwin sounds wonderful! I went to the mountains for my 50th. I love the country and nature so I wanted to go where it makes me feel good. We went up to Montville and had a gorgeous little cottage overlooking a lake. Beautiful it was! Your husband sounds like mine … c’est la vie!! lol

  • Reply Deb @ inner compass designs June 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    So much going on Min. Biggest hugs. I hope everything starts settling down for everyone’s health and your daughter is ok today. Loving the weather here in Brisbane so much right now. So good to get warm under blankets and living in jeans makes me so happy! Xx

    • Reply Min June 10, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Thanks Deb! My daughter is doing good! Thank goodness for painkillers! Her face is very swollen. She says she looks like a chipmunk! 😉 Glad you’re enjoying the Brizzy winter. It’s gorgeous isn’t it! I love living in jeans too! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Veggie Mama June 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I love a random post! and happy birthday for last month. I treated myself to Michelle’s book too! so lovely – I am obsessed. And to answer your questions, – no I don’t like winter (especially down here in Melbourne!) and I recently had my wisdoms out. I wish I’d done it earlier.

    • Reply Min June 10, 2015 at 11:02 am

      What a lovely surprise to have you visit Stacey! Many thanks for the birthday wishes! Now that I know of Michelle – I’m obsessed too! I’m feeling a bit like a stalker reading back through her blog posts! She’s amazing! I can understand you not liking winter down in Melbourne but our Brizzie winter (as you’d know having been a Sunshine Coaster) is just glorious! Ouchy – you recently had your wisdoms out?? I hope you were looked after and spoiled rotten while you recovered! Thanks for visiting – I’m really hope I get to meet you at PB in August! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Hugzilla June 9, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I was very interested in the list of things you like about winter because I was just chatting about that with a friend today (Ok, replace “chatting” with “whining”). I’m just not built for cold climates. If I could literally hibernate, that would make me very happy!

    • Reply Min June 10, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Haha – most people are like you I think – preferring summer to winter. I think a lot of it depends on where you live! But also – it’s in our genetics. I’m hot blooded. I always have warm hands. My husband has cold hands! Brisbane winters are just gorgeous! 🙂

  • Reply EssentiallyJess June 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I do hope your health problems sort themselves out without too much trouble. And I think you’ve done well to have Chelsea that long. I hope she gives you a good little while yet.

    • Reply Min June 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Thank you Jess! I’m on the right road to better health now I think! 🙂 Fingers crossed with regards to Chelsea. We’re not sure what to expect. It’s a bit scary I must admit! x

  • Reply Denyse June 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Wow Min, glad I popped in…thats a lot of news in one blog post. By now, I hope, your daughter should be feeling somewhat better but from what I’ve heard the swelling takes a while to diminish. So sorry you haven’t been well and hope that you continue to make improvement. These days, speaking from personal experience, a hysterectomy can be life-enhancing. I had a traditional one way back and my DD had hers last year after suffering for years with many issues. She hasn’t looked back. Of course, surgery is a big deal but I wanted to offer you that bit of advice. Thanks for sharing…and again, thank you for being such a good supportive reader and commenter over at my blog! Denyse x

    • Reply Min June 14, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Denyse – thanks for visiting! My daughter has had a rough time of it. Her face swelled to enormous and she has bruising on both sides. She was unrecognisable. Right now (5 days after having it done) she is still swollen on both sides of her face but not as bad now. Her right side is more swollen and the bruising is still on both sides. She’s still very sore too – the poor thing! My health is improving. I’m hopeful that I’m on the right track now. I’m so glad to hear some positives about a hysterectomy – thank you! I’m waiting to see how I go with what I’m doing now before I decide to go down that path but hearing what you’ve said has eased my mind a lot! Look forward to visiting your blog again soon! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Sonia Life Love Hiccups June 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Oh Min I hope everything went well with your daughter and I am so glad you have finally got some answers to your health issues hun. Getting older.. it aint all roses is it 😉 xx

    • Reply Min June 17, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Thanks Sonia! My daughter is coming good now. She had a way tougher time than my son did when he had the same thing done a few years back. It’s over a week later and her face is still puffy and she is bruised and sore. She’s back going to work though and make-up disguises the bruising quite well. Yep this getting older thing ain’t always pretty! At least I’m losing weight and I’m feeling much better for it! 🙂 xo

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.