Category Archives: Health

Shingles and . . .

not the kind that goes on a roof!!!

Shingles rash on the upper right thigh.

I’ve been out of touch for several weeks with a pain that is so hard to describe and had my entire family scared to death. On June 12th, Eddie took me to the emergency room with severe pain in my lower back with I had four three days that was getting worse no matter what I tried to relieve it. It was constant and more on my right side but extended to both sides of my lower back and down my right leg to my knee. It continued as spasms and took my breath away.

While in the emergency room everyone kept asking me what kind of pain it was and how severe while I sat on the bed with tears and gasping with every spasm. At that time, I only had a dime size place on the outside of the right thigh and didn’t bother to tell the doctor or nurse. Why? Because that week I had been thoroughly cleaning out all of my flower beds (can’t tell it now), washing the floor, wall and ceiling of my front porch, hauling plant trays in and out of the greenhouse to acclimate to the sun & wind before planting, and all of my normal household chores. I thought I had a pinched nerve in my back. I could not sleep or eat it was so painful and I lost 10 pounds during the episode (good thing but never like that again)! The emergency nurse started me on two painkillers and a pain patch, with no relief they gave me two more painkillers and this started the nausea. Try to imagine throwing up with back spasms! Still no relief and was sent to technician for a CT scan to rule out kidney stone, appendix issue and something else I can’t remember and everything was clear in the CT scan. I got back to my room where Eddie was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs!! I got morphine in my intravenous port and then the vomiting started and no one could figure out why (duh!!). I had to tell them the drugs were making the nausea worse! The doctor finally came in to witness what was happening and diagnosed me with a herniated disc and go home and use ice packs for fifteen minutes every hour and gave me oxycodone and muscle relaxers. He told me to see my PCP as soon as I could get an appointment, told him I already had that appointment on Monday. I came home and went straight to bed with Eddie making sure I had a bucket, blankets (I was freezing to death), ice packs but no meds for two days because I was throwing up so much!!!

My daughter took me to the PCP appointment on Monday and she told my nurse practitioner about everything that had happened up to that point and showed her my rash which had grown to quarter size and screaming red and more rash was coming all over the thigh. I was then diagnosed with shingles but she also wanted me to see an orthopedic doctor (this was another fiasco that made me feel like a leper) and get the results of the CT scan from the ER. She got me turned around and five weeks later I’m almost 100% and no pain for two weeks. The rash is almost gone during the worst part of the ailment I could not stand for anything to touch my upper leg. The leg still has tingling and strange numbness which I may have for some time.

In March of 2020 I was planning to get the shingles vaccine but postponed due to the scare of Covid-19. Believe me, as soon as the doctor says it’s okay, this old girl is getting that shingles vaccine. PLEASE if you’ve had chickenpox, make an appointment NOW to get the shingles vaccine!!! I had always heard shingles was very painful but never dreamed I would have such misery! Childbirth was a breeze compared to this virus!!


Have you noticed how expensive simple things in the grocery have gotten!
I love and have used Dove soap for years. My doctor had told me one time that it was the mildest soap on the market. I grew to love the Dove Bodywash too but too expensive to buy most of the time.  So after doing some searching on the internet and doing some experimenting, I now make my own bodywash.  Here’s how:

First I saved three of the last bottles of bodywash that I bought.

I usually make a double batch which takes six bars of Dove soap. Other brands may make a thicker batch or thinner batch.  The ratio of the mixture is three bars of soap to six cups of water.

I have an old vegetable grater that I use to grate the bars of soap. PLEASE, if you decide to make this, keep all of your utensils in a separate place from your kitchen. I can’t imagine eating soapy coleslaw or any other food!! YUCK!!!

When you are working on your last bar of soap, place a stainless steel pan on the stove with six cups of water and boil hard. I use tap water because we have a well that takes care of our water needs with no chlorine or any other chemicals. When you finish grating that last bar of soap, dump it in the boiling water, stir with a wooden spoon and then take the pot off the heat. Let it cool and stir occasionally while it is cooling! My house smells so good while I’m making this. I let it set in my laundry room because it’s really cool in there year round.






















When completely cool, I use a funnel to pour it into the saved body wash bottles and I store it under my bathroom sink.

I love the results and my skin is so soft without spending a fortune!  Try it!!



















































Cold & Flu Season

It’s that time of year again and flu season has hit my area hard. Everyone you talk to is getting a cold, sinus issues or the flu, even pneumonia.

I’ve heard it said in the past that if we could get a really cold winter it would kill a lot of the germs in the air.  I think this is an old wives tale.  This winter for us has been the coldest I’ve recorded since 2014 and yet so many people, young and old, have or had the flu.  My sister-in-law was quarantined to her apartment at the retirement home where she lives for two weeks and their meals were brought in by nurses.  The first week she had a cold and the next week everyone in the facility was quarantined due to the flu and pneumonia.  She is well now but anxious to get out of her apartment.


Last year I started using a cleaner in my house on all the doors, windows, the kitchen and bath that I think has helped us from getting anything along with the fact that we haven’t gone out in public much.  My cleaner is a version of Clorox Cleanup.   Here is what you will need:

1/2 cup of bleach

2 1/2 cups of water

Industrial strength spray bottle

Mix together in the spray bottle and use a clean cloth to wipe all the germs away.Houseables Spray Bottle Cleaner, Plastic, 24 Oz. Professional Sprayer, Adjustable Nozzle, Pack of 3

NOTE: You must have an industrial spray bottle because the bleach will deteriorate the pump sprayer in just a few uses. I bought three of the bottles because I also use them for other homemade cleaners I use on a daily basis. Here’s the link to the ones I purchased:


I hope everyone stays healthy and warm.  We’re having another cold snap with frigid air and only an inch of snow but by the weekend we’re told it’ll be in the 50* range again.

Weight loss and near tragedy

I’m thrilled to announce that my change in lifestyle (food habits and exercise) has helped me lose 11 pounds so far.  My clothes are really loose and I feel better physically already.  I have until Christmas to meet my goal of 20 pounds and I was thrilled until yesterday afternoon.  I went to work and kept busy during my eight hours and then decided to go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and pickup some other items.  I’m sure you have seen the horrid pictures some people have posted on Facebook about the people who wear clothes that are way too small and things are showing that shouldn’t be showing.  Well folks, I’m here to tell you it’s time to stop posting those pictures.  By the end of my day my jeans has become so loose that I thought I was going to drop them at any turn.  It’s hard to push a buggy while filling it with groceries and holding up your pants.   I left the store without completing my shopping for fear showing my fanny in public!!  I ABSOLUTELY  DID NOT want to be the next photo you see on FACEBOOK!!!  I was trying to hold off on buying new clothes until Christmas but after that ordeal it’s time to go shopping for the next size down in jeans which would be a 14  😉   I’m thrilled with the weight loss and  thought washing my existing jeans in really hot water might save me some money and maybe two sizes in jeans.  This near tragedy in Wal-Mart is just not worth the embarrassment!!  Keep me in your prayers and leave those cameras and phones turned off, PLEASE!!!  More updates as I reach my goal!!

Tired of my body and clothes!!

Relaxing on the dock in 2010

Relaxing on the dock in 2010

On August 26th, I contacted my PA and told her I needed to do something about my body weight and how I feel about myself!  She scheduled me an appointment that week and we talked a few minutes and she told me that my weight had not changed since 2010 and I was shocked it took me almost four years to see how bad it was in my mind!!  She checked me over and then she introduced me to a lovely lady by the name of Lori!!  Lori is now my weight coach and main cheerleader.  It’s fun to talk to her and her encouragement is priceless.  In the last six weeks my habits have changed drastically as far as my eating and exercise and I’ve lost nine pounds.   NO, NO PICTURES!!  EMBARASSING!

I now eat a good breakfast (none to speak of before except on weekends), yogurt, raw vegies, salad, cheese sticks for lunch and our normal supper but smaller servings and only one serving and the biggy NO SWEET TEA EVERY DAY AND NO EATING AFTER 7:00 P.M.!!!    I do treat myself to something sweet once a week but not cake and ice cream and definitely no chips/snacks while watching TV at night.  I’m keeping my hands busy with crocheting, recipes and my digital cookbook or housework 😦 !!

I started out walking 30 minutes a day which I wasn’t doing at all before and rarely got any exercise except for the weekends cleaning house and doing laundry!!  The first four weeks I walked everyday for 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on what was going on at work or home.  The last two weeks I’ve been rushing home to bowhunt which means walking into the house, pick up the bow and bag, hubby drive me to my stand and drop me off, set there until almost dark and hubby picks me up and we go home to supper.  It’s dark and can’t/won’t walk by myself!  Needless to say, instead of dropping two pounds a week, I’m only dropping one pound or none.

After meeting with Lori yesterday, I’ve decided to set my reminders on my work Outlook calendar to remind me twice a day to walk 15 minutes rain or shine and then do some other exercise once I’m home.  I was really disappointed yesterday when I went for my two-week weigh in and only lost two pounds so it’s time to get serious and make the changes and stick to it!!  What you must know first is I love to cook and I love to eat what I cook.  My hubby is an excellent cook and his feelings are hurt if I don’t eat.  He now knows though that to meet my goal of losing 30 pounds means eating smaller amounts and he has been giving me these cute looks if he sees me heading for those sweet things that I love to make and EAT!

I have my personal cheering team here at work and my family at home but could use your prayers and pep talks as I go for twenty pounds by Christmas!!  I would like to get back to this point 20 years ago.

Me in the late 80's.

Me in the late 80’s.

Annual Checkup

I went to my doctor yesterday for my annual checkup which came out quite well considering how bad I’ve felt all winter.  All of my lab work came back excellent except the good cholesterol which she said was low but thought that might be due to not be able to get out and do my normal chores and walking.  We decided the stairs at my office will suffice until I can but not to do so much that I might start wheezing again.  Dr. Cris was wonderful though as usual and we dealt with my congestion/bronchial issues at great length.  In January, she put me on an antibiotic and a albuterol inhaler for the breathing problems.  I was starting to feel better the last day of the antibiotics  but three days later I was right back where I started.  I continued to use the inhaler and Mucinex DM for two more weeks and I was no better and at night much worse.  I sent Dr. Cris an email and told her what was going on and that even though I had my flu shot I was afraid to come into their office because of the flu epidemic.  I reminded her that I had been fighting this junk since mid-September and was bound to my home and office almost all the time.  She was very concerned and put me on another inhaler called QVAR and we decided to see how that went until my annual checkup which was scheduled in two weeks.  The pharmacist that filled the QVAR told me not to use both of the inhalers and I didn’t.  Dr. Cris had a fit when I told her yesterday.  She sent me for a chest x-ray, told me to use both of the inhalers twice a day, continue the Mucinex DM and she also put me on 10 days worth of prednisone.  At the end of that 10 days I should be much improved if not completely well and if I’m not I’m supposed to send her another email and she is sending me to a lung specialist.  We haven’t got the results of the chest x-ray yet but maybe tomorrow.



I want to wish everyone a healthy, prosperous and happy 2013!!

I’m not sure where 2012 went but the goals I have for 2013 will keep me just as busy as in 2012.  Gardening, crafting, quilting, photography, family (most important) and our way of life guarantees I”ll stay busy.  I also hope to post a lot more than I did last year but feel pretty good about my blog.  I started it last year and I have 73 followers and 4,204 hits so far.  I’ve become friends with some pretty spectacular friends/bloggers across the United States and the world.  My goal was to promote farming and our way of life.  I sincerely believe that we all need to slow down and learn to take care of ourselves and our families.  The current situation with our government and the status of our economy should be a wakeup call to all that they need to be more dependent upon ourselves and learn to become dependent as soon as possible.  I don’t mean to bring a cloud over the day but I do want everyone to prepare for what may be in our futures.


Merry, merry Christmas!!

I want to wish everyone the most blessed and happy Christmas!  This has been a tough year for so many and I count my blessings everyday that I have my family, health and God in my life.  Let us all remember the reason for our season and pray for all those less fortunate and we are.  Pray for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Pray for the families of Newtown Connecticutt and for some peace in their lives.


Merry Christmas to all and I hope you all have a very blessed and happy 2013!!

Pinched nerve

Pain I won’t forget anytime soon is my reason for no recent posts.  For about four weeks now I’ve had a slight catch under my right shoulder-blade that quickly became excruciating pain.  I’ve been under a doctor’s care for two weeks now and the two weeks before that I was able to work but the pain kept getting worse.  I was finally in tears on the third week and unable to do anything with my right arm except sit on a heating pad and taking Aleve. That third week I worked on Monday but that afternoon went to urgent care.  My physician wasn’t in and the doctor I saw told me what I already knew which was that I had a pinched nerve and he prescribed a anti-inflamitory and to continue what I was doing.  I missed the next day of work and my wonderful and caring husband loaded me up the next day to see my regular PA.  She gave me a good going over and ordered x-rays and made me an appointment the next day to have a corti-steroid shot in my right arm/shoulder.   I went thinking it was going to be a miracle cure and boy was I wrong!!  This doctor laid me off for a week after giving me the shot, kept me on the pain meds, and heat and seven days later I’m better but must have physical therapy for 4-6 weeks 2-3 times a week and come back to see him in three weeks.  I have been about to go out of my mind with nothing I could do and having to sit in my recliner on a heating pad for 10 days.  No computer.  No lifting.   No pushing/pulling.  Quiet!!

Hopefully this physical therapy which starts tomorrow will get me back to where I’m supposed to be.  I’m been okayed to return to work and the therapy is at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon.  Keep me in your prayers!!

My baby brother

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare condition in which a baby is born without the ability to properly break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. Phenylketonuria (PKU) is inherited, which means it is passed down through families. Both parents must pass on the defective gene in order for a baby to have the condition. This is called an autosomal recessive trait. Babies with PKU are missing an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase, which is needed to break down an essential amino acid called phenylalanine. The substance is found in foods that contain protein. Without the enzyme, levels of phenylalanine and two closely-related substances build up in the body. These substances are harmful to the central nervous system and cause brain damage.

Now you may wonder why I would start a post with all this medical jargon. Almost five years ago, my youngest brother came to live with me when my Mom passed away. You see, he was born with PKU and my other siblings could not take him in and none of us wanted him put in an assisted living facility. He is very capable of taking care of himself in many ways but has to be reminded of when and sometime how to do things. If you sat in a room with him you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him.

He is 52 years old and healthy. He loves watching TV, riding in the mountains, talking about bear hunting and he is an avid Dale Earnhardt JR fan. His days are spent (mostly) in his room watching television, coloring and “writing” in his notebooks. On very warm days you’ll find him outside sitting on the porch watching for wildlife with the binoculars or riding his “big green tractor” (lawnmower without mowing deck) all over the farm. He has wonderful stories to tell me when I get home in the afternoon. Most of the stories have some added imagination.

The main reason he needs to be with us is because he can’t prepare meals for himself except for lunch (he has his everyday favorite peanut butter and apple butter sandwich). He has to be reminded to straighten his room and bathe. He makes his bed every morning and fixes his cup of coffee before retiring to the recliner to watch TVLand all day. When he first came to live with us, my husband had a small suite built onto the back of the house just for him. He has a sitting area and sleeping area and he calls it his apartment. He has a huge assortment of movie dvd’s and when he’s bored with TV he watches the movies. His exercise consists of going to the bathroom or going to the table to eat. He’s convinced himself that too much walking with cause his knee to go out which it has several times but only when he was working in the yard when Mom was alive.

There are several health issues we may face with him in the future but for now he is doing fine and refuses to see doctors of any kind. We are fortunate in the fact that he is healthy. He doesn’t require any special attention but does need to be checked on during the day and this has come to bear on my husbands shoulders since he’s home being the full time farmer and I have to work to have health insurance (enough about us).

This is just another fascinating facet of my life on the farm!