Monthly Archives: March 2012

Looking for Answers and Acceptance

Standard

As you know, I am constantly ON…I am determined to attempt to do my best to find a way to figure this heart shit out, find a way to decrease the problem and maybe even find a cure. NOW, please know that I am well aware I may never ever be able to do any of these things. And while I am searching for answers, I am also gaining acceptance that these blips may be with me forever. I am reading two great books right now that are helping in that acceptance – Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes and Stop Being Your Symptoms and Start Being Yourself by Dr. Aurthor Barsky and Dr. Emily Deans.

In the past week I have made some possible discoveries.

Last week was kind of a bad week but still better than in the past and I strongly believe that is due to the minerals and extra magnesium. I think the problems I was/am continuing to have is PACs and not PVCs (both were found on my testing). They DID feel different and seemed to only come on with exertion. I have read that PACs are more correlated with adrenaline. The PVCs however are more likely to come on during rest. I think the magnesium helped the PVCs but not the PACs. AND on the day my period arrived, the PACs (any blips at all really) disappeared. I haven’t had a single palpitation in over 3 days now. This seems to be the M.O. I suspect they will return once shortly after ovulation.

So it SEEMS that magnesium is helping the PVCs but not doing anything for these adrenaline surges which provoke the PACs, especially during exercise. These adrenaline surges happen the 10 days prior to my period and decrease (or stop) when period arrives.

So I know – without a doubt – that hormones are playing a huge role here. Also, these adrenaline surges during that time of month is also a factor – not sure how they might be related.

I talked to my nutirtionist last week and she had me keep record of my pH for the week. I am definitely on the alkaline side…but it seems pretty healthy in terms of numbers. I will see what she has to say.

She also gave me finanacial assistance forms for specialized testing. This lab tests adrenals, neurotransmitters and hormones. These are tests that Drs. will not do and insurance will not pay for. Without assistance, they would cost about 400 bucks. I just cannot pay that kind of money for something I don’t know is really credible. She says they have changed people lives (people she personally deals with on a regular basis) and I do trust her, but I just have little faith these days. I highly doubt I will qualify, but I sent them in anyway.

She also gave me the name and number of a D.O. physician in South Milwaukee who is open to some alternative care. He is covered by my insurance. But I just don’t know how much it will help. I think he will push me off on a cardiologist and/or a gyno…routes I have already traveled. Like I said, I have little faith these days. But I do have an appt. set…we’ll see.

I just want to feel better. I want to stop being so fearful. I want to stop focusing on myself. I think if I can get these skips under control and/or begin to REALLY accept them and get used to them…I can do those things.

Advertisements

My Heart Felt Hypothesis…Thoughts?

Standard
Okay…so I have been doing A LOT of reading, thinking and researching as usual. I will try not to make this too long.

My hypothesis – my heart is super sensitive and there is more than one thing that sets of my skips. I think Magnesium and Reflux have played the biggest roles in my skips. And here is why I think this…

So I was having occasional PVCs/PACs (what I call ‘skips’) for years. They would be worse before my period, but I had them throughout the month as well.

They started getting a little worse about a year ago. So I started taking apple cider vinegar. I wrote a post about it…but can’t seem to find it. I had heard good things and it couldn’t hurt. I had pretty decent results as they did decrease. But they didn’t go away. Especially those 10 days prior to my cycle.

A couple months ago I started this whole magnesium thing. Wrote about it HERE. I think it has been a pretty significant change. The skips are much less frequent and much lighter. They also are noticed more now with exercise/movement/eating than I noticed before. I used to notice them primarily during rest/relaxation.

I think I am noticing that because before I would get them at all different, seemingly random times. Now it is primarily happening just during those movement and after eating/drinking. In fact, I started feeling like a jigglely, jostling feeling in my upper tummy when I had my skips. And I do know they are skips by taking my pulse. But they felt/feel different. It sounds mental but, it felt like my heart was touching my stomach or something weird like that as I would take a step or bed over. And it always happens later in the day – after I have eaten (or sometimes when I have eaten NOTHING all day…which is also bad).

I have read that hiatal hernias (which cause the reflux) can cause acid to irritate the vagus nerve (even in ppl who do not feel reflux symptoms) causing PVCs. And I am really beginning to believe this is what I have.

ACV is known to help reflux, which is why I think it helped a bit. I also know I have been Mag deificient…that is very clear to me know. So that is why the mag has helped.

I had a bloody mary yesterday and my skips were pretty annoying. Not like they had been in past…but a couple an hour I would say. I realized that alcohol is HORRIBLE for reflux and perhaps this is why I react this way now when I drink.

I also realized that stomach gases/acids are WAYYYYY worse during PMS time. PMS hormones also deplete one of Magnesium. THIS is why this time of the month is so very difficult compared to the rest of the month.

So basically – there are two separate issues causing the same problem at around the same times.

As a side note – I took an acid reducer about 3 hours ago and haven’t noticed a single skip since. This doesn’t really mean much…but it is worth mentioning. I cannot tell you how happy, relieved, thrilled I will be if all I need to finally feel somewhat normal is Tums and some magnesium.

I honestly don’t really even want to discuss this with my Doc. I have had her for 20 years now and I think she sees me as a hypochondriac and doesnt really take me seriously. She is also old school (even tho she is young) and doesn’t believe in alternative/supplemental care too much. So, I think I am on my own with figuring this out and treating myself.

Thoughts?

Doing Some Updatin’ on the Site

Standard

Many posts today – I know. Trying to catch up with the Patch articles from the past. I will stop for now so not to completely over-do it in one day. Also, the more you click the link to the original article, the better it is for me. They judge one’s work primarily by how many clicks, shares and comments an article has. The more of those I get, the better chances I have of keeping this job. And it is getting iffy. I am down to only one piece a week now. Total bummer. But I guess it is all about budgeting. At least, that is what they tell me…maybe i just suck.

Also, I gave my website a little bit of a facelift. Was getting sick of that same ole design. I spent some time trying to make my own backgrounds and suck…but I have no experience with HTML and I was getting too frustrated. So, I went with one of WordPress’s free themes. I like it…so its all good 🙂 Hope you like it too.

As I look around I see so much that needs fixing and editing. But I get so damn lazy about it!!! Perhaps one day…

 

 

Give the Man Some Credit (Patch)

Standard

To read the original article and reader comments, please click HERE

I have heard a lot of President Obama grievances in the past year. Sure, the jabs from the right are to be expected. However, increasing complaints have been echoing through the liberal crowds as well. I think it’s kind of a bummer. Not just because I have been an eager Obama supporter prior to 2008, but because I honestly think many people have unrealistic expectations and will likely never be happy because of that.

Don’t get me wrong. Our President has disappointed me numerous times in the past couple years. Extending tax cuts for the rich, Race to the Top and his recent signing of NDAA are prime examples of that. But I have no delusions about political satisfaction. There is no way he can appease everyone in any given moment and the sad fact is, I won’t always be pleased.

I love my husband. I chose to marry him even though we sure don’t see eye to eye on everything. We somehow manage to compromise, sacrifice and work together despite our differences. Sometimes our views change or evolve to match one another. Other times we simply agree to disagree. And once in a while, we refuse to get off our pulpits and continue to try to change each other’s minds. And my God, if we did agree on everything – how sickening would that be?!

So, while I could have waited to meet someone who agrees with everything I think and say – I chose to spend my life with a man who sometimes makes me shake my head and roll my eyes. So, how can I expect that an elected official, whom I have not had a chance to groom, would do everything exactly the way I want? I can’t.

I also think that there is a large liberal population out there who may have forgotten all that President Obama has accomplished.

The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was pretty high on my hopeful to-do list and that can now be checked off.

I have been waiting for these horrible wars to come to an end. And while not soon enough, the gears are finally in motion.

The Affordable Care Act has been enacted to ensure the health of U.S. citizens and protect them from escalating insurance costs. While I feel these measures have not gone as far as they need to, it is a huge step towards a new much needed healthcare system.

The Lilly Ledbetter Act was passed to ensure fair pay for women, though I cannot believe this is even an issue in this day and age (sigh).

President Obama instituted student loan reform to help students pay back their federal loans.

While I did not agree with the Wall Street bailouts, I do believe that the auto bailouts salvaged thousands of jobs and was a success in the end.

The Recovery Act may not have saved every job, but I do believe it likely secured our country from an all out depression.

There is also the START Treaty between Russia and America which limits nuclear warheads.

And again, though I think it doesn’t quite go far enough, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is a wonderful step towards nutrition intervention in our schools.

I do not like to celebrate death in any circumstance; however, President Obama ordered the capture and kill of the world’s most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

Wall Street ReformThe Card ActVeteran’s Benefits ActHuman Rights Enforcement Act are just a few more of the many accomplishments made in the last 3 years. And our Commander in Chief is deserving of some credit for these accomplishments.

Some of us may think that Obama has compromised a little too much; that he tried too hard to placate both sides of the aisle while leaving behind some values held by his base. But honestly, with his hands tied by a do-nothing Congress, I believe he has achieved a lot in a short amount of time.

Let’s give credit where credit is due and hope that some measures will be expanded upon and more obstacles will be met in the next term.

 

Original story HERE

Trading Our Jobs and Values for What? (Patch)

Standard

To read the original article and reader comments, please click HERE

 

They say that self deprecation can sometimes be worn as a shield. That being said, I will fully admit that I can be economically ignorant. There. I said it first, so it will sting less when someone types it out later, right?

But it’s true. I hated Econ. I often dozed off and my brain just never seemed to work in that mathematical way. I like words, not numbers.  So, while I take this time to scribble my contemplations, please keep this disclaimer in mind.

In the past few years, my husband and I have been increasingly cognizant of the products we purchase and where they are made. I would love to say we only buy American – but we do not. We will usually take it into consideration when deciding on a purchase – just as we consider price, color, durability, reviews, etc.  And, there have been many times when we have chosen a product soley based on it being made in the USA.  But sometimes, the price difference does end up making our decision for us.

Typically, the American produced items do indeed cost more. From sneakers to bikes – finding American made choices that aren’t far more expensive is, most if the time, impossible.

Free Trade = (Almost) Free Labor

Of course it is cheaper to have products manufactured, assembled and produced overseas.  When a CEO has the ability to choose between employing a 13 year old at $1.75 an hour or a 23 year old at $10.75 an hour – usually, they’ll chose the cheaper route. Insurance is not an issue, workplace safety is not an issue and labor laws are not an issue. So let’s face it, the exploitation of foreign workers substantially increases the bottom line for companies who chose to this path.

We often hear conservatives rail against regulation. And while I agree that there are likely some laws and rules which need to be revised or even dumped, regulations are a part of what sets us above the countries who allow their citizens to be abused. So sure, American companies can turn a higher profit if they rid the playing field of child labor laws, safely regulations and the EPA. But at what cost? Is our economic reputation and status the only factor in whether the U.S. can claim superiority?

While I may be lacking when it comes to calculations and figures, I still have a fairly intact barometer of right and wrong. And making money at the cost of human degradation, suffering and exploitation is simply not worth it in my book.

So, I get why American made products cost more. Because they are made by people who make a living wage in tolerable conditions while protected by laws which ensure their safety.

Free Trade is Flawed

If China had to pay more to send their trinkets to American stores, the costs would no doubt be placed onto the consumers. And I get that making consumers pay more is usually NOT a good thing when trying to beef up an economy. But perhaps balancing out prices, tariffs and taxes would bring business back to the states and some real U.S. competition could take place, thus eventually lowering the costs. Simply put, perhaps if Chinese coffee cups cost the same as American coffee cups, more people would begin choosing the American products which would in turn create more American jobs.

Instead of trying to keep companies here by lowering our standards, why not encourage the rest of the world to heighten theirs? Instead of giving tax breaks to those who ship jobs away, couldn’t we give tax incentives to corporations who keep them here?

Free trade agreements have cost our country millions of jobs and have helped create an enormous trade deficit. While foreign workers are exploited, American workers are unemployed. It allows for the greediest to seek out the weakest labor pools in countries with little to no human rights.

Yes, consumers would pay more initially, but maybe we would have more to spend in the long run. I think repealing these trade agreements would not only bring back American jobs and boost our economy; but also, it is just the right thing to do.

I don’t know. Like I said, my brain is mathematically challenged. Just something I was thinking about…

A Resolution Suggestion (Patch)

Standard

To read the original article and reader comments, click HERE

 

Repuplicrats and Libtards
Nazi, Thug & Commie
Which title is yours?
Me? I’m just Mommie

Opinions are like A-holes
And your entitled to yours
But speak your words softly
Or you’ll hear slamming doors

In all the virtual dialogue
The distain is just so ripe
Always pushing and shoving
A verbal bomb in the pipe

Can’t we be nice?
Maybe try to get along?
Why such hostility?
Do we not equally belong?

The digs and the jabs
The name calling B.S.
The insults and daggers
A silly playground mess

We don’t have to be friends
We need not see eye to eye
But must we really wish
For our opponent to die?

We can speak our peace
And even shout our views
But our very own reactions
Are for us each to choose

This lib is no worse
Than your GOP mother
That Tea Party member
Is beneath no other

We have all been guilty
Of a comment-land scuffle
So maybe this deck just
Needs a really good shuffle

A New Year is upon us
Bringing us a fair chance
For progress and evolution
Hell, a whole new dance

Let us welcome 2012
With open minds and hearts
Let us find some acceptance
And see the sum of our parts

This socialist, liberal thug
Wishes you the very best
And I hope we can give all
The hate a much needed rest

Happy New Year.  Be safe and enjoy. See ya on the flip side.

A Vision for the New Year (Patch)

Standard

To read the original article and reader comments, please click HERE

 

2011 was a long, strange trip indeed. Many things changed, but curiously, most everything feels the same. My days seem pretty similar, my nights haven’t transformed. I have the same bills and debt and my bank account is almost identical. My look is indistinguishable from years past and I pretty much wear the same clothes. There isn’t this big metamorphosis to report. But there are pieces of my life which have been altered. Some of those permanent, others are forever changing.

This year I became far more political than I have ever been. I always made sure to vote in the past. I would write a letter to the editor or maybe a blog post about certain social or political issues but aside from that, I stayed out of the fray and never got very involved.

In February, that all changed. I was already upset about the 2010 fall elections that initially propped me out of my seemingly apathetic state. But when I began to learn more, the angrier I became and could no long sit quietly hoping for it all to just go away. And while I am still a sucky activist, I protested for the first time in my life and was engaged in the world around me.

This political inclusion has sadly affected my personal life. I have lost friends, and relationships with some family members have, at times, been rocky. The lack of apathy certainly had a cost.

Also, in February, my cat, Bob, died. He was my best friend and died much too soon due to kidney failure. Bob was a huge part of my life and I think the events in Madison also provided a much needed distraction from the heartbreak of losing him.

It wasn’t until September that I was ready to think about new furry additions to our family and we adopted 2 adult cats. They acclimated wonderfully and fit in beautifully. Grey and Lucy love their new home and we love them being here.

In April, I left a short lived job I despised and got this fantastic writing gig with Patch. It has been great, affording me the flexibility I need for my family and the creative release I often crave. And while it sometimes transports negativity into my life through that little, bright screen; it has given me the opportunity to become more introspective and really evaluate that which I deem important.

This year there was death and birth, loss and gain, tears and laughter. Just like most years past, it was filled with moments of rich experience and pure boredom. It oddly seems to balance out in the end, doesn’t it?

I never read The Secret nor do I know much about the Law of Attraction. But I read a blurb somewhere about vision boards and decided to make one in 2010. Sometimes I am astonished at what changes have occurred since then.

The main issues on my board were: weight loss, writing, quitting smoking, happiness, letting go of the past, financial independence and the happiness of my family. Since making that vision board, I have lost 30 pounds, started writing for Patch, quit smoking, have come to terms with past traumas and see continued improvements within my immediate family. I still cannot claim financial independence…but gesh, 6 out of 7 sure ain’t bad!

So, this New Year I will be creating a new vision board. Much of my focus will be the same – I still need to lose weight, I still want that Hawaiian vacation, I still want happy, healthy kids, I still long for self acceptance and confidence. But there will also be new goals in which to look forward – improved writing skills, expanded outlooks, acceptance of others, gaining true friendships and higher energy will all be some of which I seek in 2012.

All and all, it was a good year. And each year seems to go by more quickly than the last. I am not really sure how that happens, I think it has to do with wormholes and outer space but I’m not sure. All I know is that I am suddenly 37 and coming upon a brand new year…again. Wowzers.

What did your 2011 look like? And what would be on your 2012 vision board?

Christmas Presents and Other Broken Rules (Patch)

Standard

To read the original article and reader comments, click HERE

 

I made the mistake of polling my Facebook friends regarding the amount of money they spend on their kids for Christmas. As it turns out, I am a cheap tightwad of a mother. Lame. It appears I spend less than half of what many of my friends spend. Now I feel incredibly inferior. Thanks, Facebook.

Ever since I could picture myself raising children (actually, who am I fooling? I can barely picture itnow!) I knew my kids would not be spoiled – behaviorally or materially. I could never stand that bratty kid whom stompingly demanded everything on the shelf nor the parent who appeased each demand.

I’d say we’ve been pretty lucky so far. I mean, we have lived through our share of tantrums as a result of saying no to something. Usually it isn’t anything they want us to buy – but things they want to do and such. Aside from that, however, the girls are very aware of the concept of price/cost and don’t beg for things.

By the way, have I mentioned that aside from being cheap, I am also a total flip flopper?

If I were to judge my job performance as a mother by whether or not I stuck to everything I said, whether or not I always practiced what I preached or whether or not I went against my original declarations – I would get a big ole FAIL.

Before becoming a parent (step or biological), I had many ideas of what was right and wrong. I had already made decisions on issues I had never personally experienced. And I was so sure exactly how I would parent my children. And while some of the most common sense choices I have stuck by – there sure have been many to be thrown out the window.

I was certain my kids would not have video games at their disposal.  I saw the frustration they would create in adults, let alone children. And so many of them portray and glorify violence, crime and sex. I was able to keep a gaming system out of the house for my step daughter’s first 9 years and my daughter’s first 6 – but that rule has since been abandoned. They now each have a Nintendo DS System, our living room now filled with Wii paraphernalia and they also play games on their iPods. I am still very strict about what kinds of games are allowed, but they do play with these devices almost daily.

And that brings me to the ownership of electronics. I was thoroughly against them having TVs in their rooms, high tech expensive toys and anything else which I feel is extravagant or overly distracting. But aside from all the gadgets I have already mentioned, they do indeed have a TV in their room. I am sticking by my no cell phone decree, however. Really. I promise.  My daughter is 7 and I intend to keep her cell phone free until she can pay for it herself. Let’s see how long I can stand against that one.

You would think I would learn from my hypocrisies and realize I should never say never. But I don’t. I still say there is no way my child will wear clothing with words on the butt. I swear up and down that there will be no eyeliner in Middle School. And I vow not to allow sleepovers without a full home walk through. I feel very adamant about these commandments, but will I stick to my guns? I mean, I felt strongly about the other stuff too.

It isn’t that I constantly give into my kids. They really are not spoiled, nor do they get everything they want. Many times there is compromising with other parents involved. My husband doesn’t feel the way I do about some of these things. He is much more laid back about certain issues and stricter than I am about others. And sometimes circumstances just don’t allow for an opportunity to reasonably say no.

I have finished my Christmas shopping and I find myself debating whether I have purchased enough. My wallet says I have, my credit card statements say I have and my husband DEFINITELY says I have.

So while, they may be getting less than some of their classmates, I need to remember how lucky these kids truly are. I know there are so many who go through the season with nothing. So I suppose my worry shouldn’t be whether my kids will become spoiled…perhaps it is me who has become spoiled.  I don’t have to keep up with the other parents just as I don’t want my kids thinking they need to keep up with the other children.

I know I could have written about the true meaning of Christmas…or that being together is what really matters. I suppose I could have frilled it up for a heart tugging sensation. But I am a mere consumer and a self conscious mom. So, this is what you get.

With that said, have a delightful holiday (which ever one you celebrate, if you do) and a joyful, enlightening New Year. Now…back to wrapping…

Are You There, God? Its Me, Heather (Patch)

Standard

To read the original article and reader comments, please click HERE

 

The news was almost so ridiculous it could have been a parody. But the story about Lowe’s pulling its advertising from TLC’s All American Muslimwas, in fact, real as rain. And though The Daily Show always seems to make me smile in spite of such disappointments, this is really quite a tragic example of our lack of progression in America. I don’t think I really need to explain why I find this entire situation more than revolting.

I have been thinking a lot about religion in general. And the story above just made it more prevalent in my mind.

For me, religion and spirituality are very different. I consider myself a pretty spiritual person. I read about near-death experiences and the afterlife. I believe in the concept of our consciousness surviving death. I believe we have souls and so do animals. I feel there has to be more than this; a higher being or purpose. I call the higher being God/Heaven. I pray. I believe in miracles. And while I have all these “beliefs” and “feelings” I cannot say that I have pure faith.

I also have a lot of issues with religion. The most “religious” people I have met in my life have also been the most judgmental and hateful. I could never reconcile their words and behavior with what I thought their doctrine represented. I realize my world is small and that there are, indeed, highly devout people who do live by their true teachings.

I, personally, could never believe in a God who would punish a person for loving someone. I could never believe in a God who sends people to eternal damnation for simply being raised in the “wrong” religion. I could never believe in a God who disregards people for not only their choices but also for their natural instincts.

I was told by a very “Christian” woman that my marriage was not real because my wedding was officiated by a gay minister in a Unitarian Church.

Recently a God fearing man told my friend that he hopes she burns in hell simply for having a different belief system.

I have listened to members of the National Association of Evangelicals and extremist Jihad Muslims claim that anyone who does not believe in their teachings is banished to hell.

I once had a righteous Baptist (not sure of the sect) tell me that my dead grandmother was in hell because she was not baptized.

Seriously?! Is this the way to recruit and sell your scripture?  “Sign up or burn like the cretin you are!!”  Please. I could never support such hate and intolerance.

But with that being said, I do admire those who have true faith. I was not brought up with any religion. I was baptized Lutheran to appease my father’s side of the family. My mother was baptized Methodist. Neither religion was ever practiced.

I went to Sunday school for a short time because it was right down the street. But I was put off at a very early age when I would see almost an animosity for kids whom did not bring offerings with them. I know we forgot several times and were made to feel pretty inferior.

See, I have this terrible phobia of death. Not just a regular ole fear of the unknown. I mean I am up late at night worrying and imagining and obsessing. I know there are reasons for my anxieties. But I often wondered if some kind of faith would pacify that need for proof and answers. I really don’t know.

So, basically, I am a woman who certainly wants to believe in something but at the same time, I am conscientiously against what most organized religions tend to stand for and/or represent. Perhaps I can form my own religion.

In the meantime, I will stick with my absolute knowledge that you do not have to be religious to be good and valued. You do not need a book or alter to confirm your morality. Because morals and faith are not mutually exclusive and you most certainly can have one without the other.