I used to be a prisoner!

Hello and greetings from planet no baby house!

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Me as a cat. Me-OW baby!

So much has happened since you were last here.  Since Joy, AKA reader extraordinaire, wanted to know about my experience with sleeping on the floor that is where I shall begin.  I started my floor slumber trial back in April and frankly it didn’t last — but not for reasons you’d easily guess.  Most people can’t get comfortable.  I could.  I slept fine.  It was like times of the past … sleepovers as a kid.  I slept just over a week on the floor.

I embarked upon the floor sleeping before I received my weighted blanket.  Sleeping on the floor was cool and refreshing which helped my hot flashes and night sweats — I have since moved on to modern medicine for that problemo.  More on that later — one thing at a time Peeps!

Ah floor sleeping … just like the native American, the homeless, those who have passed out, much of Asia, indoor campers and the like.  It went down like this: I put my old puffy quilt down as my mattress, covered myself with a sheet and my favorite kitty suckle blanket (the one my little cat loves to make biscuits with and get drooly).  I put down 2 pillows: the normal one for my head and a little one for between my knees.

cat suckle blanket

Not my cat and not our blanket … but he sure is a cutie, isn’t he!

The problem entered when I started using the weighted blanket, and more critically when I discovered a very large black spider traipsing the floor. spider meow photo The weighted blanket became a problem because it’s 15 lbs. (not that I’m a super weakling or anything) and moving it from the bed to the floor back to the bed is a problem.  I couldn’t leave the blanket on the floor because of the spider issue and stepping on a weighted blanket is akin to walking on tiny Legos.  Ouch ouch and ouch ouch.  All I can say about spiders is thankfully those buggers don’t have wings!

The floor sleeping adventure began every night with either sleeping on the bed and then moving to the floor, or the reverse.  I would wake up in the middle of the night and switch places — usually during my first night sweat.  This required HEAVY blanket moving.  I gave this up and starting staying in bed with my weighted blanket.  (I adore you my little weighted blanket of love!) NOTHING will get you up faster out of your floor bed than said spider coming to crawl in beside you — unless you have a spider fetish or are unbearably lonely.  Yes, I do know that spiders can crawl unto mattress beds — LET’S NOT GO THERE!

I used to be a prisoner to my hormones … or lack of one in particular: Ms. Estrogen!

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Yes, it’s really me. Estrogen get me out of here!

After continued hot flashes and night sweats, I gave up ALL coffee and alcohol (wine to be exact).  I did this incredible stunt for 6 weeks  … kind of like Lent and I’m not even Catholic!  Giving up said liquids helped, but wasn’t perfect.

I met with a menopause doctor. Yes, really a menopause specialist who started me on an estradiol patch 0.01 mG I change weekly, along with nightly vaginal estrogen cream (yummy, yummy!)

 

 


While the vasomotor symptoms of menopause generally improve over time, vaginal symptoms usually worsen and do not improve without treatment. Women may attribute these changes to be a part of normal aging and may not be aware of safe and simple treatments.

Before menopause, estrogen stimulates the exfoliation of vaginal cells. As these cells exfoliate and die, they release large amounts of glycogen. This glycogen is hydrolyzed to glucose and lactobacillus converts the glucose to lactic acid, which helps maintain vaginal pH between 3.5 and 4.5. After menopause, with declining levels of estrogen, this pathway is less active, which may allow postmenopausal pH to increase to the range of 5.0–7.5.

Vaginal atrophy is a chronic condition resulting from a decline in estrogen in the urogenital tissues that affects up to 45% of postmenopausal women.

Source: Reviewing the options for local estrogen treatment of vaginal atrophy The International Journal of Women’s Health: March 2014.

I am now up to 0.05 mG estrogen transdermal patch and also using the vaginal cream 4-5 nights.  And I’m sleeping so soundly.  Sleep with estrogen is way better than Ambien, Benadryl, Sominex, any alcohol, melatonin, chamomile tea, Kava, passion flower, or anything else I’ve tried!

I need to send that menopause doc some flowers! tumblr_inline_nflqf7Wa6Z1qchwzp

As far as the hot flashes and night sweaties, nothing works better than estrogen.  I’ve tried Effexor, Gabapentin (neurontin), black cohosh, Kava, evening primose oil, living on a prayer, and wishful thinking — *NONE of these have been scientifically statistical to work for vasomotor symptoms (VMS).

*Disclaimer: if they work for you, woo hoo!  Count yourself lucky! But you may want to read more here: Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes The North American Menopause Society.

cat wishful thinking

Wishful thinking … feline style!


Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) associated with menopause can cause significant discomfort and decrease the quality of life for women in the peri-menopausal and post-menopausal stages of life. Hormone therapy (HT) is the mainstay of treatment for menopausal symptoms and is currently the only therapy proven effective for VMS. [my emphasis]

VMS are the most commonly experienced effects of the menopausal transition and include both hot flashes and night sweats. Long-term estrogen depletion can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis as well as cause vaginal and vulvar atrophy. … VMS affect an estimated 60% to 80% of post-menopausal women, but may be experienced by up to 90% of women during the peri-menopausal stage.

Source: Transdermal hormone therapy in postmenopausal women Drug Design, Development & Theory: February 2009.

I learned something else by going to the menopause specialist: estrogen replacement therapy may be a good osteoporosis treatment or preventative measure.  I had no idea!  I’m at high risk for osteoporosis.  Are YOU?

Uncontrollable Risk Factors:

  • Being over age 50 (almost there!)
  • Female sex (last I checked … husband hasn’t told me otherwise!)
  • Menopause (yep, I took the dead ovary test .. my FSH is high!)
  • Family history of osteoporosis (Thanks a lot MOM!)
  • Low body weight / being small or thin (I was thin until perimenopause and I started eating buckets of ice cream … OK pints — quality not quantity) 
  • Broken bones or height loss (I chipped a tooth when I was 9, does that count?)
  • Being white or of Asian or Latino heritage (I’m white and my first boyfriend was from Mexico!)

Controllable Risk Factors:

  • Not getting enough calcium and / or Vitamin D
  • Not eating enough fruits & veggies
  • Getting too much protein, sodium and caffeine  (But NOT coffee specifically) 
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Losing weight
  • Taking certain medications like steroids

If you’re approaching menopause, your body will likely alert you to the sudden drop in estrogen with physical signs (such as hot flashes) and psychological changes (including mood swings). The effect on your bones won’t be as obvious, but the loss of estrogen will certainly affect them [my emphasis]. If you have a high risk for osteoporosis and are approaching or have already reached menopause, estrogen replacement therapy may be a good osteoporosis treatment or preventative measure.

Source: Estrogen Replacement Therapy for Osteoporosis Endocrine Web: May 2017.

Osteoporosis Infographic Poster


 

 

 

A lot of non-hysterectomy stuff

… can happen in one month!

If anything, this blog proves that life does and will go on after a hysterectomy.

Dental stuff … have YOU ever had a tooth besides a wisdom tooth (AKA 3rd molar) pulled? I had to have a molar pulled 3 weeks ago.  Sad, sad is me.  Newsflash!  The tooth fairy no longer visits after you’re an adult.

I’m not happy about losing this tooth … this molar number 18 to be specific.  Here’s a previous post about dental pain. If you like to read about pain click that link. If you want to read MY favorite post of this entire blog click that link.  Honestly, the pain I experienced written about in that previous post makes my husband’s kidney stone look like nothing … either that, or I have a lower tolerance to pain!

joke gummy bear tooth

And what does the “Dentist of the Year” get? … A plaque!


One of my cats has allergy induced coughing.  Did you know that asthma in cats looks like puking?  It’s true.  I did not know. My cat makes this weird barking cough just like the cat in the video (see below).

My kitty is now doing well after being checked out by the vet, and doesn’t have severe asthma thankfully.  He’s responding well to Zyrtec, an over-the-counter antihistamine (normally for humans, off-label use in cats) I crush in his food at least every other day.  I also have an albuterol inhaler with a spacer to give him a rescue treatment for any of those coughing episodes.

asthma cat diagram

Cat having an asthma attack:

Check out FELINE ASTHMA. There’s another excellent example of a cat having an asthma attack in that blog post.

 

According to the Cornell University Feline Health Center, up to 5% of cats suffer from feline asthma. Feline asthma is caused by an allergic reaction to inhaled particles, called allergens. The immune system of a cat susceptible to allergens will trigger an inflammation of the airways, leading to breathing difficulties.

What are the symptoms of feline asthma? An asthmatic cat can have labored, open-mouthed, or rapid breathing, wheezing, coughing, and even vomiting. Cats with breathing issues will often sit in a crouched position, extending their head and neck forward while coughing or wheezing.

Facts About Feline Asthma / FACE Foundation


My husband had a kidney stone two weeks ago.  Whoa, can that man take a lot of pain!  And did you know that typically speaking, a stone under 5 mm usually doesn’t require surgery? His was 3 mm — I guess he’s an underachiever.  Oh, if only he could push out diamonds! His dad told him to drink beer to pass the stone.  He also recommended watermelon.  My husband opted for the beer.  Sure enough, the next day my husband drank two beers and voila, he gave birth to his stone!  Beer as medicine … who knew?

Beer kidney stones


 

Hello! It’s been almost 4 years … woo hoo!

Hello followers!  It’s been almost four years since I had my hysterectomy.  This is still a decision that has been life changing in a very positive way.  As a recap … [yawn] I had my uterus out (still have ovaries & tubes) through the laparoscopically assisted da Vinci robot.

Have I gained weight after my hysterectomy?  Yes, and I attribute that to my seafood see-food diet … you know, I see it I eat it (except for goaty goat cheese and lamb — those things are yucky).  I’m also almost 50 and haven’t exercised lately.  Now, if I was eating properly and hadn’t fallen in love with all the flavors of Talenti Gelato, and been hitting the gym, doing yoga and walking, and STILL gaining weight, then yeah, I probably would blame the hysterectomy along with my aging body.  But until then, I am the master of my own shape … I’m in shape … round’s a shape … and I’m round … so, I’m in shape, right?  OK, I’m sorta round.  I’m exaggerating to make you feel better.  Now go look up that Talenti Gelato — you’ll be hooked too! Mmmmmm!

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My latest favorite flavor!  Did you think this was an ad?  It’s not … just my personal promotion for a product I love.  No, no I’m not getting paid to “promote” this brand of gelato … but Talenti, if you’re out there I’ll take payment in your gelato without a problem!


What have I been up to you may ask?  Well, I moved last spring to a larger house — not because my body got bigger.   My husband wanted to work at home (really, he’s a stay-at-home cat daddy, and aren’t I jealous?!) and I needed to be closer to work.  I live in a city where it’s growing too damn fast for it’s britches … kind of like me and my underwear!  THAT’S when you know you’re gaining weight — your underwear is tight and not in that sexy, slinky way!  More gelato anyone?  Granny pannies anyone?

My cats are STILL pawesome — the two of them.  How are your cats?  Do tell.yin_and_yang_cats_by_khaliaart-d9vnti5

I have a new job on the horizon! WOO F*CKIN’ HOO!  Can we say that again?!  Lord almighty Aphrodite! I start in just over a month.  I’ve been at my current one for over a decade and feel like I’ve mastered everything (notice I did not say everyone) — not that I can’t learn new things, or that I know everything, or that things don’t change. new job joy cat I have an incredible opportunity to do more and be more with some pretty amazing new team members!  Nothing like a new job to breathe life into a person.  I’m thinking I finally did something right with my Karma, or someone got tired of playing with that voo doo doll of me (or they simply lost it and my torture is on hiatus).  Your guess is probably better than mine!

In comparison, getting a new job was scarier than recovering from my hysterectomy! My uterus gave lots of unsolicited pain, while my current job is almost bipolar in nature … just enough good stuff that kept me hanging on and weird, bad drama that has me learning unwanted lessons in sociology & psychology. Lately, happiness is like chasing rainbows with butterfingers. One thing I have learned is that I can stay at a job for a REALLY long time. I am LOYAL … or a masochist … or maybe, a loyal masochist — even better. This is a lot like my pre-hysterectomy days where I endured a lot of pain for years before finally deciding it was time to move on … move on to surgery.

Quitting your job and starting a new one is not a single act — this ordeal is a process … from what to say in the interview(s), to knowing when to tell your manager adios (that’s goodbye in Spanish — have to keep it translatable for the non-Spanish speakers out there!), from choosing the right words for the resignation letter because I’m outta here bitches simply isn’t professional even if it *might* be tempting and possibly honest, to not taking it personally when people have varied reactions when you tell them you’re leaving (AKA moving out of purgatory), to buying a new wardrobe and so on and so on.

One of the best articles I’ve read about what to expect from co-workers when they know you are leaving is from Payscale.com (see below, my comments in brackets).

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CO-WORKERS AFTER YOU ANNOUNCE THAT YOU’RE QUITTING (September 2015):

If you’ve recently announced that you’re leaving a job, even if you were anticipating some upheaval, your co-workers’ reactions to the news might surprise you.

  • The kind friend [all the people I really like]
  • The angry and resentful response [none so far, but there’s always hope!]
  • The abandoned [Two or three, I may have left one out]
  • The total change [One, but she went from nasty to nice — so it’s a good thing!]
  • Looking through you [One and a half so far …]

Full article HERE

I have experienced all of the above reactions except the angry and resentful response; Yikes, wouldn’t that be awkward and uncomfortable!  Mixed metaphorically speaking, I’m sure there are some thinking, Don’t let that horse you rode in on hit you on the way out of your league!  The co-workers with whom I feel comfortable around have all been supportive and congratulatory.  (All of YOU get yummy hugs.)  I haven’t gotten any awesome goodbye gifts yet … but everyone has over 30 days to save up and splurge!  Don’t worry, I don’t kid myself … I can’t imagine any quislings shelling out anything for me.  There may be one person who knits crochets something for me, and I’ll be sure to post a photo of it if she does. I might get a knife … in the back trending on that’s what everyone else who’s left has gotten. Save your tears … I got a raise with the new job! Can we say woo f*ckin’ hoo, again?  It’s a small raise, but should cover money for some gelato and kitty litter — the only things that really matter besides gasoline and wine.

The cliquish and frenemy team members have ranged from, You’re leaving me with all the people who suck (backhanded compliment, anyone?) to completely ignoring me like I didn’t exist (a cross between abandoned and looking through you — see above and below).  I have over a month with some really kind folks and … the others.  Wish me patience and luck.

So let’s talk about abandonment issues; or you can just read along and I’ll write. Are you still with me? I blog to cut down on any therapy costs I might accrue in life.  Why go to the doctor when you can do it yourself?  Unless you need a hysterectomy … don’t DIY!

… [W]ait until you come in contact with someone who has had their abandonment issues stirred up by the news of your departure. They might not just be cold and aloof [as the anger and resentment folks], they might be downright cruel. The idea is they want to abandon you before you can abandon them.

If they shove you away, they don’t have to face their feelings that you’ve left them high and dry. They might believe, falsely, that you should stay with the company and be just as committed as they are, maybe even more so. Know that this reaction isn’t really about you, it isn’t personal. It’s just how some people cope – it’s their way of protecting themselves from difficult feelings.

A race to abandonment?! What if I have abandonment issues and I’m the one being abandoned by those feeling abandoned?  I guess I have to step up (or away) and be the better person … taking the higher road less traveled, walking the walk like goody-two-shoes.  My take away from working with my current group is like herding cats with an iron fist.  And when you’re a cat person like me, sometimes it’s hard not thinking it’s a doggie dog world!  Can we round up just one more woo f*ckin’ hoo?!?


What else is new?  I don’t know.  Cats anyone?  Meow, meow!  Enjoy the slideshow.  These prints are courtesy of Jay Fleck, an amazing artist and illustrator.  More gorgeous art by Mr. Fleck can be found HERE!    click it   click it   click it!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(To see this slide show you need Java Script or to possibly view on your PC  — this doesn’t work on my cell phone. C’est la vie!)


Until then …I’ll continue to dig in at my job doing my best until that last bittersweet day!  I’m done with my touchy feely swan song today.  You can all go play with your cats now.

movingforward


 

Hot Flashes vs. Hell Flashes

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Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Really I am.

Once upon a time I had hot flashes intermittently throughout my late 30s to late 40s.  It took THREE attempts to get off the combination hormone Estrogen/Progesterone, but I did!  After the third and final attempt, I was hot flash free after just over six weeks.  This final time I stopped hormones my mindset was different.  I embraced the burning ember feeling in my face, the formation of beads of sweat with the burning up sensation at night with cold shivers to follow.  I felt the heat rise and fall, reassuring myself this was a normal process when adjusting to being not so hormone-augmented any longer, hoping this feeling was transient.  The bothersome perimenopausal symptoms slowly faded, with the hot flashes and facial flushing being the last to go.

After this reprieve I decided to have my thyroid tested.  My TSH level (thyroid stimulating hormone) was barely elevated above the normal range of high — I was (still am?) sub-clinically hypothyroid.  I had some hypothyroid symptoms so my general partitioner put me on a low dose of Levothyroxine — 25 mcG to be exact.

For better or for worse, hypothyroidism is largely not under our control, [my emphasis] says Dr. Daniel Einhorn, M.D., an endocrinologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla., who notes the disease is primarily genetic. Family history may be the greatest indicator of troubles ahead, but since so many people are undiagnosed, you could have a family history of thyroid disease and have no clue about it.

Full article

After four weeks of Levothyroxine I felt like I had more energy.  Then just about six weeks into this medication regime I started to have WEIRD hot flashes — more like HELL flashes — periods where it felt like ice was dripping down my neck covering my back and upper arms while simultaneously feeling an inner burn. Nighttime became its own hell.  I couldn’t sleep through the night because I was sweated profusely. I was hot and freezing at the same time.  How was this possible?  I thought maybe these symptoms were from drinking coffee in the daytime and wine at night.  Ha ha ha!  Cute  me and my hypotheses!  These symptoms were different than those related to coming off the hormones.

I thought these problems instead could be from the Levothyroxine. 

If your thyroid is out of control, all of your efforts to curb perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, hair loss, and achieve hormone happiness will be for naught [my emphasis]. What’s more, your symptoms might not be perimenopausal or menopausal at all. So talk to your perimenopause and menopause specialist about your symptoms and when you’re experiencing them. It’s a great first step in determining if your so-called menopausal symptoms are really symptoms of an underactive thyroid.

Ellen Dolgen


cartoon-thyroid

From The Awkward Yeti comic — Check it out!


I broke the scored thyroid tablet in half and tried taking a lower dose daily for four weeks … the chest pain and palpitations stopped with this decreased dose.  Oh, did I forget to mention I was having those too — the chest symptoms?  Oh, and the hyperacusis  … read below:

Individuals with hyperacusis have difficulty tolerating sounds which do not seem loud to others, such as the noise from running faucet water, riding in a car, walking on leaves, dishwasher, fan on the refrigerator, shuffling papers [husband’s voice, his breathing or even his heart beating … possibly the sound of any new hair growth on his beard as well]. Although all sounds may be perceived as too loud, high frequency sounds may be particularly troublesome [good thing I am not married to a canary!].

By this time I’d had enough experimenting on my body and said “F-you Levothyroxine!” and stopped it.

I am sub-clinically hypothyroid and many people aren’t even medicated at the TSH level I had!  (I don’t recommend anyone stop their medication without consulting a real life professional … just so you know!)

Subclinical hypothyroidism, also referred to as mild thyroid failure, is diagnosed when peripheral thyroid hormone levels are within the normal range, but thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is mildly elevated. It is common, occurring in 3-8% of the population, and carries a risk of progression to overt hypothyroidism of 2-5% per year. There is no absolute consensus on which patients to treat, although there are some clear recommendations.

It took another four weeks until the weird hellish symptoms went away. In the meantime I kept drinking coffee in the daytime and wine at night — you know, a healthy balance!  I’m no longer having hot flashes or night sweats.  Hallelujah!  I feel fine and am off any routine medication.  So happy.  Hormones are just plain weird and their effects REALLY linger.

I have concluded that hot flashes from Levothyroxine’s thyroid-hormone effects are much, much, much worse than any hormonal perimenopausal symptoms — a very interesting comparison and an experience I don’t wish to re-experience.  On an interesting note, the Levothyroxine lowered my cholesterol though!

How Does the Thyroid Cause Cholesterol Problems?

Your body needs thyroid hormones to make cholesterol and to get rid of the cholesterol it doesn’t need. When thyroid hormone levels are low (hypothyroidism), your body doesn’t break down and remove LDL cholesterol as efficiently as usual. LDL cholesterol can then build up in your blood.

Thyroid hormone levels don’t have to be very high to increase cholesterol. Even people with mildly low thyroid levels, called subclinical hypothyroidism, [that’s me!] can have higher than normal LDL cholesterol. A study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) found that high TSH levels alone can directly raise cholesterol levels, even if thyroid hormone levels aren’t high.

Full article

Why The Connection?

When thyroid hormone levels drop, the liver no longer functions properly and produces excess cholesterol, fatty acids and triglycerides. The liver, which metabolizes cholesterol, also has a key role in thyroid hormone metabolism. In addition, thyroid hormone serum level is very important for normal liver function. The liver in turn metabolizes the thyroid hormones and regulates their effects in the body. What’s more, thyroid dysfunctions are frequently associated with abnormal liver tests.

Another explanation for the thyroid-cholesterol connection is that hypothyroidism slows the body’s ability to process cholesterol. This processing lag occurs thanks to reduction in the number and activity of receptors for the bad LDL cholesterol. These receptors normally help metabolize LDL cholesterol. When the number of receptors decreases, LDL builds up in the bloodstream, increasing both LDL and total cholesterol levels.

Hypothyroidism also significantly changes the metabolism of steroids and other hormones that are made from cholesterol. For example, the hormone progesterone is made from pregnenolone, which in turn is derived from cholesterol. Likewise, vitamin D is produced through the action of ultraviolet irradiation on cholesterol in the skin. Hypothyroidism reduces the conversion of cholesterol into progesterone and vitamin D, contributing to total cholesterol load.

Full article

Let’s just say that stuff quoted above EXPLAINS A LOT!

had vitamin D deficiency.  I am now in the normal range (at least my Vitamin D is) after taking 10,000 units of vitamin D3 daily for three months.  I am eating oatmeal intermittently to help improve my cholesterol.  I simply can’t tolerate the thyroid medication.  I feel OK … but my ankles still have a slightly swollen butterfly appearance on the outer aspects.

Hormones are simply weird and mysterious.  Cats are also mysterious and often weird as well.

cat-catering


Carrots again! Woo hoo!

carrots-rainbow

Since that last post was so successful, it’s obvious you’d like a second helping of CARROTS!

Carrot salad … the making!

The photo mosaic above is my artistic creation of the carrot salad process.  I start off with a five pound bag of carrots!  This is the largest bag my grocery store sells and it will make three large batches of awesome carrot salad.

The photo (#5 down from the top) looks like some sort of cheesy casserole that isn’t … it’s actually the shredded carrots in a plastic container that will later be added to the compost bin outside.  If you have the chance to compost you should — so easy and it’s giving the earth back to the earth.  Wow, how tree-huggery am I now?!

If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

The food processor pictured is one by Hamilton Beach.  This is an AMAZING beast!  When I purchased this food processor online it was $35 (£28, €33, C$47, A$46, Mex$683,₪129, Ƀ0.03, etc.) four years ago; now it costs $45 — still a great deal in my opinion.  I’m not advertising for Hamilton Beach, but rather letting you know which work horse food processor I use.  So, so easy to use.  It comes with only one blade disc.

Don’t tell anyone, but I also use the same food processor to make the raw cat food!   Oh, so now you’re not going to eat my carrot salad after this little disclosure … hmmph, I’ll have you know the cat food is human grade AND I hand wash, then dishwasher wash (is that proper grammar?) the food processor parts. No one in our household has ever had a vomity-poopy diarrhea illness … cat hairballs do not count … and most importantly, not only are our two cats still living but thriving!


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Are you asleep yet?!  Holy cow, if you’re still reading this carrot-salad-making mind-numbing post you’re a trooper! Please keep reading … it gets more detailed … and more random.

Photo #9 from the top in the mosaic shows the ingredients from left to right which include dried parsley, ground black pepper, apple cider vinegar, SHREDDED CARROTS, salt, and light olive oil.  The finished carrot salad is the last photo.

If someone didn’t tell me I would think this was a weird cheese overload thing.  Mmmm … cheese … almost as good as bacon! And carrots are almost as good as … um, still thinking … never mind.

carrots-wine-choco-someecards

Cats are quite comforting though … less crunchy than carrots, but still very comforting … and comfortable depending how you sleep on them.


Cats are as good as not because we all know cats are naughty! (see example below)

cat-shaming-cheese

Cat shaming at its best … although I’m sure cats don’t carrot all!   This kitty is forced to say, “I got on the counter and helped myself to a block of cheese.”  Sounds like one independent normal cat to me!  And where’s the evidence of the cheese stealing?!  This cat was framed! Just look at that innocent face.


I have nothing more to say about carrots today.  I’m done. I have a lot more to say about cats and nothing about hysterectomy.  Go make that carrot salad and let me know how it turns out … Bon appétit!


The BEST cure for constipation

carrot-cat

Yep, you read that correctly … the best cure for constipation is revealed here.  No worries because I’m not selling anything!

For years I’ve had intermittent constipation.  After my hysterectomy I thought my constipation was cured … nope.  It was only a temporary reprieve that didn’t last.

Constipation is the most common digestive complaint in the United States, outnumbering all other chronic digestive conditions. ~ Epidemiology of constipation in the U. S., Sonnenberg A. Koch TR., 1989.

And I’d bet constipation is also a huge problem in Canada, England, Australia and other industrialized countries as well — probably all the countries where we have the luxury first world problem of overeating, while complaining, “Waaah, I’m so full!”

If you are from Haiti (or some other country plagued by starvation) (WARNING — the photos on that link are quite graphic … you’ve been warned!) my apologies as I’m not trying to belittle the gluttony vs. hunger problem.

1st-world-problems-too-full

By the way, eating bananas cause me constipation!  Along with rice and concrete.

Reasons I’ve decided to share this cure about constipation on the blog about hysterectomy:

  • Nearly every woman who has a hysterectomy has constipation sometime in the recovery process.
  • If you’ve had a surgery with anesthesia constipation is not your friend … but it’s not your enema either!
  • Constipation just plain sucks!

Who knew I would be sharing recipes here! My blog is really useful … someone should read it.

I think the French have been hiding this secret dish from us — us meaning the entire world.  I recently discovered shredded carrot salad from one of my very French friends.  I have two (or deux) French friends … both are from France but one sounds very French and looks very French … while the other one only educates me on wine with his accentless accent.

One evening the super French friend was telling me how he makes shredded carrot salad every week for he and his family of four.  I can’t say shredded carrot salad sounded yummy but I was drawn to the mystery of its purported popularity.  Apparently, this is a French thing.  Who knew?  I’ve never been to France and my accentless French friend has never revealed this French secret … I will have to discuss this with him when he’s back from his Caribbean sailing excursion.  And isn’t the word Caribbean odd?  Like I thought for sure it was spelled with two Rs.

carrots-pirates

It always struck me as odd The Pirates of the Caribbean DVD has a piracy warning.

On to that shredded carrot recipe that will fix your constipation … I’ve been making it for weeks now and my poops is great!  Is that TMI?!  How many times do I have to remind you that you’re on a hysterectomy blog and anything health and bodywise goes?  Don’t worry, I won’t be posting any photos of my great poops … you’ll just have to take my word.

Grated carrot salad is a favorite dish for French kids. They eat it regularly for school lunch, and it’s popular at home as well. Even adults enjoy it as a starter. As a testament to its popularity, you can even find grated carrot salad pre-packaged in supermarkets.

Carrots are one of the few vegetables that French people regularly eat raw. For some reason, they tend to prefer most of their vegetables cooked.

~ From another WordPress blog

My super French friend didn’t tell me about grated carrot salad to fix my constipation woes … it is only by eating it regularly I discovered this.  I’m not sure how we got on the topic of carrots, but the last time I spoke with him he told me how he makes homemade mayonnaise.  I’m not going there because it sounds like way too much work.

More about carrots …

[R]aw carrots contain unique fibers that bind toxins, particularly excess estrogen, in our intestines while not feeding unhealthy bacteria (similar to what a charcoal supplement would do.)

One study showed that daily consumption of a raw carrot at breakfast for 3 weeks reduced serum cholesterol by 11%, increased fecal bile acid and fat excretion by 50%, and modestly increased stool weight by 25%. This suggests a [positive] change in bacterial flora or metabolism. The changes in serum cholesterol, fecal bile acids, and fat persisted 3 weeks after stopping treatment.” – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition … The effect of raw carrot on serum lipids and colon function.

Additionally, Dr. Ray Peat found women reduced their problematic estrogen levels by the daily consumption of 1 medium size carrot. Less estrogen generally means less inflammation and liver stress, and better thyroid health [my emphasis].

~ From MamaNatural


There are many, many, many variations on this shredded carrot salad.  I keep it simple. The current recipe I like to make is:

Carottes Râpées* or Grated Carrot Salad

  • 8 large carrots (peeled and shredded … use a food processor or you’ll be shredding by hand for a long time!)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (I use light olive oil … I found the extra virgin greenish olive oil was waaaaay too strong tasting)
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey or juice of an orange (OPTIONAL — most of the time I leave this out)
  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (you can also use lemon juice, but I like the digestive health bennies of the ACV)
  • 1 bunch of chopped parsley (I usually use dried parsley and this works just fine, and you really can’t overdo the parsley)
  • Salt to taste (be careful not to oversalt … strangely you don’t need much salt)
  • Black pepper to taste

Mix everything together and then put it in your mouth!  Depending on how fast you eat this, you can probably keep the salad up to a week in the fridge.  Also, you can add a spoonful or two of these carrots to soups, mix it in salads or simply eat it straight up!  This carrot salad also goes well with plain yogurt and your digestive system will thank you.

*Do NOT pronounce this as “carrot rapes” … please, please don’t say it like that. People will look at you strangely and certainly won’t want any part of your salad. Say it like this: CLICK HERE.

I love, love, love this recipe … in fact I’m going to go eat some carrot salad now and will be right back!


Should you want to get all Frenchy fancy pants you can make the recipe like this video:


So, the secret is out … let me know if you try it and how your constipation improves.

Here are more tidbits. If you carrot all you will read them:

  • Carrots are a root vegetable that originated in Afghanistan. They were purple, red, white, and yellow, but never orange.
  • Carrots are related to parsley … and also the poisonous water hemlock!

parsley family
n.
A large family of aromatic herbs, the Apiaceae (or Umbelliferae), characterized by compound leaves and small flowers grouped in umbels, and including vegetables such as carrots, celery, dill, and parsley, spices such as anise, coriander, and cumin, and poisonous plants such as the water hemlocks.

  • A baby carrot isn’t exactly a baby. Baby carrots come from a large carrot that has been rolled over blades and thrown around in a metal cage to be rubbed down to a short, round-ended baby carrot.  WHAT A WASTE!
  • The Ancient Greeks called the carrot a philtron, which translates to “love charm.” They believed the carrot made both men and women more amorous.
  • People first grew carrots as medicine, not food, for a variety of ailments.
  • Cats can eat carrots.

Can cats have carrots? The answer: Yes! Though cats are obligate carnivores, and therefore do not require any fruits or vegetables to meet their nutritional needs, carrots are perfectly (and maybe even somewhat beneficial) safe for cats. Carrots are not at all toxic to cats, so there is nothing to be worried about if your cat has been munching on these beloved root vegetables.

  • Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon character Bugs Bunny, reportedly did not like carrots.

thats_all_folks__by_gbetim-d5aydtb

cat-bunny-ears-12-ml

You didn’t think I’d leave you high and dry without at least one more cat photo, did you?


Soon

Yep nothing.  You just stopped by to read nothing.  You could be doing other things but you decided to take a time out to read nothing about nothing.  Surely you have something better to do.  Surely.

shirley-leslie-nielson-humor

If you’re here for hysterectomy stuff you’re all out of luck.  The ghost of my uterus is out haunting the blogosphere … somewhere.  However, in the meantime I’ve finally come up with my new blog idea.  You’re not going to be surprised if you’ve been following closely.  My NEW blog is about … surprise … CATS!  Yeah, I’m sure you figured this out before I did.

I know, I know … how many times am I going to say this blog is dead and over with?

I’ve got the idea — CATS!.  I’ve got the blog name — you’ll have to wait for that.  Now I just have to create the blog!  Finally, I’m free from hysterectomy stuff … and so are you!  I will link my new blog as soon as I make it … or at least have some stuff on it.  Soon.  Soon.

SOON!

cat-soon

PS: I was going to write a post thanking the 200th follower.  Well, that day came and went and now I have over 200 followers!  Woo hoo!  Whoever you are, thank you.  Thank you for being that person.  Don’t expect much here, OK?!  I’m going away soon.  You can always dig though old posts.  WHO does that?!? I was going to write some awesome post about YOU and show off your site and all, but whatever.  I’m not now.  Don’t worry, I still appreciate you and you will remain anonymous.  I’ve got cattitude just so you know!  STAY TUNA-ED! 

cat-not-answering

“It’s MY cattitude showing!”


 

I wish …

wish-bone

I WISH …

I seem to be out of material so I think I’ll have another surgery so I can create another blog.

NOT!!! 



Heterogenous post-Hysterectomy Happenings.

Yep, you read it, I said it.

HETEROGENOUS  post-HYSTERECTOMY HAPPENINGS …

I have so much to say and it’s all discombobulated.  Furthermore I don’t care … and neither should you!  The problem is WHERE to begin.

Let’s start with my anniversary dinner and wine promises.  (I made some silly promise I would drink no wine or only one glass … something ridiculously stupid and unachievable on my anniversary like that.)  To sum it up, our anniversary was amazing.  This is my favorite holiday.  Some people like Christmas, others Thanksgiving, some Valentine’s … others Flag day (that was flag not fag).  Actually, there is no Fag Day but there is NCOD (National Coming Out Day)— just so you know.

We went to one of my favorite restaurants.  I wasn’t very creative; there are A LOT of restaurants from which to chose in my eat-out city but I chose our old stand by.

I chose the place because:

  • Healthy food choices
  • Excellent wine list
  • Close to home
  • Great Phenomenal kiss-your-@ss service
  • Free dessert with mention of any special occasion
  • It’s my go-to place with the hubby
  • It’s dimly lit (how romantic!)

I won’t recommend others to come here because if they go and tell me it was “meh” it will break my heart … possibly altering the friendship forever.  I’m not joking.

Here’s what we drunked & eated:

  • Grilled artichokes (appetizer) with aioli from the mother of goddess
  • One blue cheese-olive (4 olives) stuffed-martini each
  • Beet, walnut, goat cheese salad (and the goat wasn’t barnyardy!)
  • Italian wine (1.5 glasses each!)
  • Striped bass topped with spicy shrimp & sautéed spinach with Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Filet mignon (medium rare) & a crab cake with kale pepita salad
  • Petits Pots de Crème à l’Orange (on the house Baby!)  (see photo below)

Anniversary 8

I cannot even begin to explain how much I love this restaurant.

Every server we have each time is top f-cking notch!  I told myself I was going to have only one drink — a glass of wine to be exact but … it was our anniversary and this restaurant makes killer martinis to die for and wine that cannot not be experienced.  I caved and couldn’t resist!  I was only going to have one glass of wine, but our server pushed us to split another glass (he didn’t have to push very hard) … twist my arm baby.  It had to happen.  So, instead of one to two drinks, I had 2.5 special beverages over almost three hours time.  Yes, we were there for quite a while and I wasn’t driving home — the man who weighs more and makes more alcohol dyhydrogenase was!

Let’s just say when you don’t drink for quite some time, you become a lightweight again.  I felt the buzz … a little too much, but no regrets.  Especially worth THE WINE!

Centoneze Frappato anyone?

[Frappto’s] a grape variety that yields beautifully fresh, floral, lighter-style reds, even in the warm climate of Sicily. This is a truly seductive, floral example.

Centonze Frappato 2013 Sicily, Italy

13% alcohol. Succulent, supple, floral nose of red cherries and rose petals. On the palate this shows supple, sweet fruit with red cherries and plums. It’s quite light-bodied, but generously flavored, with a slightly grainy structure. Fresh, supple, pretty and delicious. 91/100.

Kitties and wine

Per Madeline Puckette, wine geekess extraordinaire: 

Ever notice the lack of consideration that dieting has for your wine habit?

How are you supposed to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle if it completely removes a wine lover’s reason to live? Not to worry, there has been overwhelming evidence pointing to wine as a healthy form of booze when consumed in moderation. Here’s how you can stay healthy and still enjoy wine.

The following 7 tips may help you enjoy a healthy diet that includes wine.

Know wine’s calories   [yeah, right]
Earn your glass   [sure]
Don’t drink before you eat   [why?]
Do drink dry red wine   [usually, of course]
Don’t drink too late   [OK, OK … I know, but what’s the definition of “too late?”]
Do spend more on wine   [at least a minimum of $10]
Drink wine away from home   [or at home if you don’t want to risk a DWI]

How did I stack up with her 7 tips?

  • I didn’t give one rat’s @ss about the calories.  Seriously.  I wanted Italian wine which reviewed well and that alone was my criteria.  Life’s too short to count calories.  Plus I’m not so hot at math … and neither are cats.
  • Earn your glass.  Hell yeah!  I’ve been married 8 years and it feels more like 20!  I probably earned at least a case of wine that night, but I know my limits (sometimes).
  • I drank while I ate … I ate the artichokes with the martini. AND the martini had olives!
  • I then drank RED wine with dinner.
  • Too late?  Nope, we had reservations at 6 pm like old people!
  • We spent enough on the wine.  Plenty …  but not breaking the bank kind of thing … that’s silly.  And no, no, no, no, no 2 buck upchuck for me.  Gross.
  • Yes, we drank away from home — it’s called eating out.

In total, I scored 6 out of 7 on Madeline’s list — that’s about 86% on the money; who said me and a calculator can’t do math!  (or maths for all you UK people reading this!)

cat math math cat

Math Cat says, “This math stuffs gets harder and harder, but the most difficult part is writing because I don’t have opposable thumbs.”

I celebrated like a queen!  We had a great time!  The next day I gained some weight, but told myself JUNE is a new month to start over with weight loss, eating healthy and getting fit … and then … MY STUPID TOENAIL. 😦

My Franken Toe

UGLY toe

Oh my … this is so ugly.  Go wash your brain now — preferably with a glass of Côtes du Rhône.

Believe it or not, this great toe looked worse one month ago!  This is the improved “healing” version.  I sound like a wimp, but whatevs folks … this mother-f-cking toe hurts!  Everything I do, my toe says, “Hey, feel me!  I hurt!  Ow!  I need attention.  Me!  Me!  Me!” I’m now limited with my physical activity related to this thing.

Wondering how I got this beauty?  I lifted a terra cotta pot at my dad’s house that was disintegrating while taking it to the trash and it fell into multiple, heavy shards directly onto my great toe — that’s not so great now.  F-cking A.  F-cking O.  It hurt so much.  It bled more than my heaviest period, I cried for two hours straight and iced it it down with holding pressure.  I had to ask my dad for the medication he had from 2014 from his knee surgery just to control the pain.  He complied and I felt a wee bit better.

I’m sorry for such an ugly picture when I know I should be posting a picture of a beautiful cat.  Here’s my lovely cat so you can clear your mind of that ugly toe.

Handsome Mr. T!

Handsome Teo

This is one of my REAL LIFE cats!  Can you believe how gorgeous he is?!  My friend Tunie calls this a “money shot”!  Ha!  He’s one bad@ss furbear!


Sooooooooo … my point is … I drank wine because I wanted to celebrate.  I can’t work out like I want (need) to because my toe has messed up everything (for a while) and my cats keep my happy and distracted.  I’m human.  I will continue to be healthy after my hysterectomy.  I promise.  I’m still eating healthy, but physical exercise is a challenge.  It’s amazing how much one toe can effect your life!

I look forward to going back to swimming, but the sign says:

No swimming

This says NOTHING about swimming with your cat.  Next time I go to the gym, I’ll bring my cats!  And that chick’s open wound on her arm is 10 times grosser than my toe.  Bleh!  How did she get that wound on her arm?  What a weird place.  F-ck splashing “unnecessarily” — I’ll splash as much as I want; I’m not 5 years old for Pete’s sake!  Swimming in your bling … hah, hah, hah!  Really people — yeah, I’ll break out my pearl necklace and diamond earrings.  Oh, maybe this is all about ocean swimming and attracting (or avoiding) sharks … cute info graphic anyway regardless of the body of water.  Do RED bathing suits really attract sharks?

Things don’t always turn out as expected … apparently the Italians have a saying for this:

Italian saying things dont always turn out as expected

I’m simply going to go with this.  I had fun.  I indulged a wee bit too much.  Two steps forward one-and-a-half steps back … but hey, life happens.  I’ll be back with more success.  Please, please I beg of you to wish some good juju healing for my stupid toe!

Juju cartoon

… to my toe please.  And thank you in advance.


 

My Proactive Thought for Today!

Since my last post MY PARANOID THOUGHT I have been thinking about ovarian cancer and my ever-increasing girth — the weight gain just in my mid-section.  My legs and arms are still thin — a body shape I like to call the “beetle body” — something I swear I’d never have (or want) … NOT to be confused with the 1988 movie Beetlejuice! 

beetle

Beetle body — skinny legs and plump “torso”.

My earrings and socks still fit without problems! Yay me — no obese earlobes!  While I spent a lot of time today thinking about “how fat I am” — a thought I never used to have. I also thought about this whole get-healthier-weight-loss process as a journey.  It took me a while to pack on this weight and now it’s going to take some time to take it off … too bad I can’t just drink it off!

My proactive thought is patience.

Yep, patience with myself and constant reminders of how I got here and how to get off the BMFT — Belly McFat Train!  Today I had a salad and it actually filled me up without the gluttony guilt.  I was “good” for at least one day.  Tomorrow is around the corner though …

How did I get into the stupor of eating and drinking whatever?

HOW did I get here?!  Because this is not me.  I haven’t lived in this place … this state of mind or stomach.  I have been eating and drinking to assuage stress, tension, tune out and eat everything I’ve never tried before.  It’s like an alien took over my body or I woke up one day experimenting on myself by seeing what the experience of gluttony was.  I can see why people like gluttony though!  Just look at Louis C.K.! (YouTube: Louis CK on “getting fat”).

chicken cartoon gluttony

More fun at Savage Chickens!

Yesterday I thought about wine and how somehow I’ve become Bacchus in female form. Where did I get to the point I thought numbing myself out with food and drink was OK? Is this a mid-life crisis? I don’t feel super depressed or worthless or anything … I don’t feel exactly inspired nor energetic either.  I used to go to yoga and do things … and then Netflix took over my brain.  I’m tired of movies now … seriously.  I cancelled my mail subscription, but the hubby still has streaming online because I’m not quite ready to break off completely yet!  (nor is he)

 

Cat Netflix movies?  Too good to be true?

cat-violent-thrillers Fake Netflix

Wait, wait, wait … if these cat flicks are real then I’ve definitely cancelled my subscription prematurely!  Oh folks … these are only faux feline films!  As the good searchologist I am (not to be confused with Scientologist which I am definitely NOT) these are not legit movies … yet.


BACCHUS!

God of the grape harvest, Bacchus is the liberator, whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care. He is the patron deity of agriculture and the theatre.

Bacchus Cat

Bacchus as a cat … a big one.  And yikes, what is that little boy to the right doing?  Peeing?  This is truly odd art even before the cat was added!

This truly explains a lot … I have become possessed by Bacchus!  Too bad I’m not Catholic or I could have an exorcism.  Oh well … I’ll have to figure things out as usual.  One of the reasons AKA blame-excuses I use with my enchantment of wine is due to the awesome blog Wine Folly!  I MUST tell you not to click on that hyperlink because if you have any liking or interest in wine you won’t make it back to read this post … you’ll be sucked into the awesome vortex of how wine is explained in understandable terms, then you will want some wine, then you will drink some wine and some more … then the double vision will start and alas I will have lost you.  So whatever you do DO NOT CHECK OUT WINE FOLLY!  Please don’t for the love of my blog!  Oh f-cm it … I can’t control what you do online!

I have LOTS of excuses why I don’t & won’t get healthy:

  • My right great toenail is split vertically so I have to wait for that to mend.  (There is a story behind this and I’m not going there … don’t worry, nothing kinky or weird.)
  • I’m still healing emotionally from the “friend” who stood me up for yoga — twice!
  • Yoga reminds me of being “rejected”.
  • I simply need to accept my peri-menopausal, post-hysterectomy body as is.
  • I’ve eaten healthy for so long in the past that I need to try the “other side”.
  • I’ll start working out and getting fit when the majority of people around me do.
  • I’ll get physically fit when I’m truly appreciated by people — ha ha ha ha — that’s the funniest one of all!   (and the MOST delusional)
unicorn delusional humor

Not an actual recent photo of me or my cat.  The unicorn, however, is real.

I’m OK without wine with dinner tonight.  No big deal. Somehow I think I’m European or something … but without all the walking and fresh organic eating … merely the French, Italian & Spanish wine drinking — enough to make someone European, isn’t it?

And now I have decided to give up coffee — not that I drink a lot by any means, but I notice the few times I have coffee I get screaming hunger pains several hours later.  Coffee abstinence will be easy and help me move in the right direction of decreasing my cravings of needing wanting to eat almost continuously! I can finally remove the food bag from around my neck!

horse feed bag morral

A horse’s feed bag — called a morral.  Your new vocabulary word!  Use it 5 times today in a sentence. Or better yet strap one on and eat away!

I dream of what I will eat as I drive home thinking if I should stop by this fancy grocery store or the other one or maybe get take-out … again.  My brain has somehow been highjacked by food obsession.  I SWEAR I have been overtaken by the Goddess equivalent of Bacchus.  I’m not implying I’m a Goddess but I’m not implying I’m not … yet!  There is always hope!

It has been however many days since I wrote my last post and I’ve LOST 6 lbs. (2.7 kG for the Euros out there, and 0.42 stones for all the Druids) due to eating healthy, taking the stairs whenever possible, not drinking any alcohol, eating much more fiber, avoiding added sugar and swigging loads of water.  I’ve always heard in the beginning of weight loss it’s usually mostly water weight that’s lost BUT if I’ve been consuming gobs of water, how could this loss only be water weight?

I got on the scale this morning, and woo hoo, the weight-loss train is coming to my house and picking me up!  Choo choo! Train eat humor

I high-fived the hubby and put on some pants where the buttons weren’t about to bust off. (click on the Louis CK YouTube link for more details on ill-fitting pants)

It’s a journey and I’m taking it!

All aboard!

PS: Just how does this post relate to hysterectomy?  Were any of you severely disappointed realizing this post wasn’t a bonafide hysterectomy post?  If so, please complain in the comments section.  Also, any and all cat comments will be appreciated.