Missing the regular appointment

I regularly go to the chiropractor for adjustments, twice a month. I started about two or three years ago, and have felt great benefit from it. When I started doing it, I wasn’t sure that it was needed, but I was willing to give it a chance.

Last month, I received some proof that I have not only benefited from it, but I need to keep doing it.

Through a combination of circumstances that kept me off my routine, I did not get to either of my appointments in November. During the week after Thanksgiving, I really felt it. By that I mean that my neck muscles hurt because they were out of alignment. And I could feel the pain trying to creep down into my back. During this month of December, I have been back on schedule, with an extra appointment thrown in for good measure, and I have felt the difference. My neck bones don’t like to stay in place, it sometimes feels like, but being pushed back into place on a regular, consistent basis, keeps my muscles from getting pulled and pushed into unbalanced position. This saves me pain.

So, even though I don’t really like going as often as I do, I have clear evidence that it is a good thing, and I will keep doing it, no matter how wearisome it gets.

Challenge of singleness and health

There’s a challenge that comes with being single when you want to use more natural remedies. How do you manage the work of using an herbal remedy for occasional sickness when those remedies do not maintain their effectiveness long enough to be used? It’s a lot of work to create herbal medicines, work that can all too easily be wasted if there is no occasion to use them. One of the biggest pluses with the more conventional medicines is that they maintain their effectiveness for a good, long time. When you only catch a cold at most maybe once a year, that longterm effectiveness is a big bonus, and a significant barrier to the desirability of herbal remedies.

So, the question returns, how to manage this? At the moment, I don’t have a quick solution to offer. I am exploring the subject of herbal tinctures, since they seem to keep their effectiveness longer than other forms of herbal remedy, but it will take a while to figure out which herbs are the most versatile and therefore the most desirable. I have heard of elderberry, but only one remedy seems rather limiting. More research is indicated.

Of course, what this also shows is the limitations of being counter cultural. If herbal medicine were more an accepted part of our culture, and therefore more easily available, I would not have this limitation, because I would be able to go to someone for whom this is their vocation, and buy or barter for the medicine. There would be no question about which one to use, or its freshness or effectiveness.

One day, perhaps, that will be possible.

Vacation 2011

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The beach I grew up visiting (very close to our house), and now try to go back every year for a week.

It never stops being hard

I was just reading the blog of someone who is making a valiant attempt to stick to the new resolution of eating right and exercising regularly. More power to her! And something she said triggered a thought.

Just so everyone knows, whether you’ve been doing it for years or just started, it never stops being hard.

Now let me qualify that statement: it does get easier. At times, much easier, and even enjoyable. But easy? Let’s be serious! When I wake up at 4:30 am on a Tuesday to get that exercise in before going in to work that day — it’s not easy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hesitated when the alarm clock went off, thinking, “I don’t want to face the cold” or ” I’d really rather just sleep.” When there is a legitimate snow day reason for me not to go into the gym, I rather enjoy it. Though I do try to exercise at home on some of those days. Even in summer, it’s not exactly a thrill to get up that early, just so I can exercise before work.

But will I do it? Yes. Because the goal is worth the work. And I have worked out that if I make myself sit up and just start putting on the exercise clothes, not even bothering with the light, and everything is prepped and ready for me to head out the door, all I have to do is pick it up, then I just do it.

Sometimes I think that motto is the most valuable thing Nike offers us.

I don’t think “Will I go to today?” I do sometimes think, “I don’t want to go today.” And the official day off is thoroughly enjoyed. But that’s okay — I’m still going to do it.

A great deal of this also applies to the food thing, but I’m still working on that one.

Sudden urge to say something

I haven’t been writing much recently (obviously), because I haven’t had anything to say much. Not that things haven’t been happening, but I haven’t had an urge to let words out. But sometimes you read something, and suddenly the urge is there.

So, I read something that stimulated my thoughts: living without a refrigerator. I find this to be a fascinating idea, although I would be more inclined to work with a SMALL refrigerator.

However, I’m not sure how well it would work with a city lifestyle. Partly, of course, it is the convenience factor that Greenpa mentions. But it’s not just convenience, too. It’s cost, and, well, choices. What things do you think are important? If, for example, you have a young family, having that ready and quick source of milk may be very important to you, if you think that milk is good for the health of the young one.

But even more than that, the idea of shopping EVERY DAY to pick up those things that have to be refrigerated is abhorrent to me. I try to avoid going to the store too often — and gas costs just make that urge stronger. That urge is due to the desire to avoid spending money and a simple lack of time. Because of the lifestyle that exists in so many cities, where commutes are long, the actual time that would need to be spent going shopping every day is extreme.

Now, I do think that working with a small refrigerator is more possible than many might think, because the large refrigerator is a matter of convenience, and a reflection of the overly busy lifestyle that many have chosen. And while that is certainly their choice, I do not necessarily think it is a good one. But I would add that before small or no refrigeration in the home could be implemented by the majority of people safely and functionally, a lot of education needs to happen. Because people no longer KNOW what’s safe for food. Like the people who put oil in the refrigerator when it’s really not necessary, a lot of people are clueless about what is actually dangerous and what is just convenience and what is frugality in action.

I will interestedly reading more of the posts on that blog and other places to find out how less or no refrigeration in the home could work. And I am definitely looking for some way to get solar power into my home without breaking the budget or having to do all the work myself (just not an area that I feel the need to maintain myself, thanks very much).

thinking through a decision

I’ll get to what I’ve been doing on the craft front next post, where I’ll update us all, myself included, on what I’ve been doing, but I suddenly felt the urge to write out my reasons for a decision — buying a smartphone.

Why in the world do I want one? Well,

#1. I’m thinking it may be time to replace my pda. I have greatly enjoyed my Tungsten E, and I have no real desire to replace it, but I do find that the battery is showing signs of wear. Now that may actually mean that I need to replace the battery, so if that were the only reason for replacing the pda, I’d just replace the battery, but

#2. I’ve been thinking I need to reduce the amount of poundage on my shoulder. It’s getting to to the point that sometimes it hurts my back to carry my bag into work, and when it’s JUST my purse, carrying the weight for a long time does get to me. Now, partly that means I need to replace my bag with something that is less unbalanced and thus more carryable for long periods of time, and I certainly have that in mind, but reducing poundage is another consideration in that process, and I definitely want to do that if possible. If I get a smartphone, I can combine cell phone and pda into one lighter piece of equipment.

#3. I’ve been thinking of getting a newer phone, that’s on the same network as some of my family, so as to reduce costs, and if I get something newer with GPS capabilities for emergency situations, I will feel perfectly comfortable in getting rid of my landline phone, and therefore getting rid of that bill. Yes, the cell phone bill will increase, but that’s ok, since I hope it will remain below the combined price of landline and cell phone now.

Criteria to achieve if I really do this:
1. phone where I can transfer my current Palm info without having to re-enter it.

2. preferably Verizon network, which is where I can link to several family members, or AT&T, which is where I am now and allows me to talk to college friend regularly for free.

3. QWERTY keyboard

4. long battery life

5. Anything else I can think of?

Obviously, I have some homework to do.

Winter drain

No, I am not talking about plumbing. I am actually talking about how tiring the weather can be.

I have found that during the dark part of fall and winter, when as happens all too often I go to work before the sun rises and leave after the sun sets, my energy is drained by the end of the day. When I was younger it wasn’t so bad, but then a lot of things change as you get older, so I don’t know why I’m commenting on the obvious. But it’s just that it’s become clearer to me in recent years especially that I really need sunlight, and even with sunlight, the cold severely drains me of energy, enough so that I do much less in the winter than at any other time of year.

For example, the other day we had snow, which meant that getting to work and getting back took special effort, I didn’t go out for lunchtime, and I was extremely chilled by the time I got in the door. I had barely two hours before bedtime, and I could barely function enough to get supper, much less DO anything.

Now, I’m not saying I’m like that every night of winter — I went out the next night — but I am far more likely to feel it in winter than I ever would in summer. I was talking to a friend about it today at lunchtime, and she asked me if it was SAD, but truly, I think it’s just an example of what everyone suffers from during winter; the SAD people just take it to an extreme because they feel the lack of light so much more intensely. And other people feel it far less, but then there are people who like the cold, which I don’t. I like light and heat, and I’m cranky if I don’t get it. (This will actually be another benefit of telework, since I get more light at home.)

Actually, thinking of SAD always reminds of Northern Exposure, and the episode where Walt, I think it was, was diagnosed with SAD, and so Dr. Fleischmann prescribed a light full-spectrum light for him to wear on his cap, and he overdosed on it. I really liked that show, but that episode stuck with me a bit more than some of the others. The final scene of Walt coming to the doctor’s office to get his daily dose of “sunlight” was rather funny.

Ah, well, tomorrow I get to see the sun.

pain of head

I’ve come to realize over the last few years that I suffer from migraines. This is not a happy realization.

Over this past weekend, I started to feel head pain Saturday afternoon. Despite having prescription medication, as well as over the counter migraine pills, the most I could achieve was the pain backing off. It wasn’t until Monday night, when I actually dosed myself with the full amount of prescription medication and over the counter medication possible for a 24-hour period that the pain left me. And I can’t even be sure that that was what got rid of it, since the rain broke that evening, and my migraines are definitely related to weather patterns at times.

In a way, the most frustrating things about these migraines is not the pain itself, but the uncertainty of what causes them and how to heal them. I’m left wondering what to do, when to do it, and how. Do I take the medication? I don’t like any kind of drug dependency, even though I accept it somewhat (allergies would otherwise make my life miserable). Do I wait to take the medication? Sometimes leaping on the pain quickly stops it from getting bad, but I feel like I’m swatting a fly with a hammer if I do it too soon. Keeping records hasn’t gotten me anywhere yet. Instead I feel like I’m constantly guessing in limbo, stunned when I get one of the bad ones, amazed at how debilitating the pain is. I guess I’m just fortunate that I don’t get them too often.

Anyway, I’m not writing all this to complain, precisely. I just want to share the frustration of dealing with pain without knowing a solution. Either way, I’m glad I live in a time when there actually is a way to stop it from hurting.