10 Tips to Jump Start 5K Walk Training

I am participating in the upcoming Alliance for Lupus Research’s Walk with Us to Cure Lupus. I am really excited! I am also a little nervous. Am I ready to walk 5k (3.1 miles)? Is my body ready for it? Well, we lupies never know what each day will bring us as far as our illness goes, but we can prepare ourselves as best we can and hope that our bodies will cooperate on the day of the walk.

I have a team for the walk, and someone suggested we get t-shirts. So we are going all out! I am so grateful for the support I have received from my family and friends. I want to be able to do this walk for them, for me. I need to be in shape so that I successfully complete the walk and not end up a heap of heaving hurt.

Here are a few tips that have helped me to jump start my training regimen for that 5k walk. I hope they can help you. Continue reading

Meal Planning with Pepperplate App

My doctor gave me a bunch of sample menus for my RepairVite program (food elimination diet). My job this weekend is to plan out the first week’s menu and make the grocery list.  I am going to go through the sample menus and start marking the recipes/items that sound good and doable.  For instance, smoothies are definitely going to be on our list.  Deli meat (Applegate) snacks are also going to be on my list. I will use the recipes that I have for the first week, and then I will start pursuing my books and the net for other permissible recipes. Right now, I am obsessed with the snack options. I think I am so obsessed with snacks because I always get the munchies in between meals. And with this program, I am supposed to put something into my mouth before I get the munchies. My doc told my DH, if I am cranky because I am hungry,

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How to Manage Your Medication List (Free Download)

My calendar sure has changed ever since this lupus thing.  Well, it has changed in many ways, but today I realized how medically heavy my schedule has been. The past 8 weeks have been filled with medical appointments. Out of the 8 weeks, I have gotten 2 weeks of reprieve from doctors and/or lab appointments. Wow.

But thankfully, I really like my doctors and the lab technicians who suck, ahem…I mean draw, vials of blood from my veins.  I see these folks a lot.  My DH and I have also developed a pretty good system for planning my doctors appointments into the metro city around traffic. We get in and out in good time. Plus, we get to use the carpool lane. I am also grateful that the lab is rather close to my house–5 minutes away.

And I finally figured out a system for my blood draws about a month into the process. I can make appointments for the draws as opposed to waiting around as a walk-in, hello?! And I can do this online. Seriously, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before. I had only ever done walk-in for labs which means you will most likely have wait for quite awhile.  

Just about every time I see one of my doctors, my medications change. It can be hard to keep up. I also want to be sure all of my doctors are kept up to date with my latest medication changes. I learned from my last major flare that the doctors do not always communicate with one another. In order to avoid this, Continue reading

RepairVite Program: the craziness I said “yes” to

“This Program is not for the faint of heart or weak-willed. It’s definitely one of the hardest “diets” I’ve ever been on, but, in the end, it was the beginning of a transformation of my entire way of eating, how I look at food, and how I listen to and treat my body.”

I’ve been doing a bit of online research about this diet I am going to be on, and I ran across the above quote about the program I am about to start. The “hardest ‘diets’ I’ve ever been on” scared me a little bit.  But, you know what? The “not for the faint of heart or weak of willed” got me pumped. I may have an autoimmune disease that has the potential to attack any of my organs on any given day, but guess what? Continue reading

First Meeting with My Naturopathic Doctor & RepairVite

I asked my rheumie if diet could help my condition (i.e. lupus symptoms, quality of life, inflammation); I explained that I knew there wasn’t a cure for lupus. I was just wondering if diet could help. He said, no. He said no studies have been done to support this idea. I wasn’t surprised by his answer. He’s a very good doctor, a very good old-school doctor. However, my DH and I believe that what you put into your systems has a direct correlation to your health. We decided it was time to see a Naturopathic doctor–a state-licensed medical doctor who combines conventional medicine practices with an array of natural and holistic treatment approaches. Here is a recount of our first meeting.

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Team Cooking & Turkey, Zucchini, and Sweet Potato Lasagna

Photo Credit: HeWontKnowItsPaleo.com

Photo Credit: HeWontKnowItsPaleo.com

I got her call last week.”Hey, let’s get together. I haven’t see you in awhile. I had an idea. Let’s cook dinner together. You pick the recipe. I’ll bring the ingredients.” Someone pinch me. Seriously?! Uh, YES to that idea! My friend’s only request was that we make something that involved sweet potatoes. Easy.

So, two of my girlfriends came over, and we made dinner together. We chatted, chopped, and chomped. And I love having people around who I can have taste-test food and give me a second (or third) opinion. There’s something therapeutic about cooking for me. And it was like double therapy with my girlfriends there. We haven’t had a chance to really visit lately, and there is always so much to catch up on. You can get so much more done in a shorter amount of time (with little reminders from me of the task at hand). We all chipped in—someone slicing, someone measuring, someone mixing. My second g-friend made dessert ahead of time and brought it for us to enjoy (devour).

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How to Plan for Smoother Trips to the Emergency Room

I just used a piece of cardstock and a twist tie for my "throw-ins" list--easy peezy.

I just used a piece of cardstock and a twist tie for my “throw-ins” list–easy peezy.

I have been admitted to the hospital twice in the last 6 months. I really don’t plan to make a habit of it, but I want to be prepared just in case. The second time I was admitted, I was home with my Aunt. My DH (dear husband) was at work. I was really sick; all the signs were there. I knew I needed to go to the hospital. I called my DH from the bathroom—“Please. Come home. I’m sick. Yes. Hospital.” I was so sick that I couldn’t leave the bathroom for quite some time. I wasn’t sure if I could make it to the hospital. My Aunt was there for me. She was calm. She prepared to take me to the hospital. That was the plan anyway. She started gathering my things for the hospital. I was doubled over in pain instructing her as she packed my overnight bag. My DH zoomed home. We hadn’t left the house yet. I wanted him there with me. I wanted him with me at the hospital. He knows how to take care of me. He got home, checked on me, and then immediately started packing his overnight bag for the hospital as he called my doctor. I was bad. We both knew I was going to be admitted. Our “adventures” at the hospital are a whole other affair, but all three of us knew that we had wasted precious time packing our overnight bags.

Again, I don’t plan to go to the hospital again anytime soon, but all three of us have packed overnight bags. My DH and I are ready with bags for the hospital, and my Aunt has hers for staying at our home to care for our pooch when we are in the hospital. We have also committed to keeping our cars’ gas tanks filled with at least a quarter of a tank or more.

Below is a list of items that I think would be helpful to have pre-packed for those rushes to the ER. Continue reading

Surviving My First Lupus Crisis

IV Pole Xmas Tree

The hospital staff called my IV pole my “Christmas tree” because it was so heavily “decorated.” I named it “Murphy”.

My abdomen was as tight as a drum. I had severe bloating. I was huge! My abdomen was as round as my skin would let it stretch. I was suffering from a lupus attack–a major one. My intestines were inflamed to the bursting point. I didn’t realize how bad my situation was until much later. I kept getting bigger. I had a ton of bags hooked up to my IV tree. The first few days none of my doctors knew what was happening to me nor did they know how to treat me. The word surgery got tossed around, but it was clear that the doctors did not really want to go down that route. Shoot, neither did I.

I remember friends and family visiting me. However, I don’t remember the details of all of our conversations—just snippets here and there. I think it was the drugs and the pain they were masking. I dreaded the long nights at the hospital. The first couple of nights I would fall asleep and then feel like I was being suffocated. I’d wake up in a panic—fighting for breath. From then on, I was nervous about falling asleep. I was uncomfortable in the hospital bed, but I was grateful that I could be propped up in it. I feel like I was less likely to fall into my suffocation bouts while sitting up. Continue reading