Monday, June 17, 2019

nearing 50

I've had trigger finger on two fingers in the past.  It's a painful condition you can read about here, but I will just say, it's painful and can be pretty debilitating. 

What sucks completely is that I currently have one finger I can no longer bend at all on my left hand, and two fingers that are starting to trigger and are really painful each morning, and get only slightly better during the day.

In the past, I've gone to a hand surgeon, who gave me a steroid shot.  The trigger finger continued to be a problem, and so, both times I've had issues, I've gotten surgery.  Once on my pinky of my left hand, and the second time, on my thumb on my right hand. 

This time, however, I don't want to go that route, IF I can avoid it. I don't want to go through all that again, and more than anything, I want to address whatever the underlying problem is that's causing it. 

So, I've cut out diet soft drinks.  I have no idea if there is any relation to trigger finger and diet soft drinks, but I KNOW I need a reason to quit it regardless.  And to be honest, it's been hard. I've quit Diet Dr Pepper (and/or Diet Coke) before, but I haven't ever been able to kick it for good.

I've also been eating less gluten, more fruits and veggies, and just cleaning up my diet in general. 

I've been reading all sorts of books and listening to podcasts about inflammation (because I think, ultimately, that's the root cause of my trigger finger problem), and relatedly books about brain health and heart health.  And I'm convinced inflammation is actually the root of all evil.

I made an appointment to go see a functional medicine doctor tomorrow.  I don't mind making major shifts, but I'd like a professional opinion on it.  I found this doctor online, and then listened to him on a radio show.  He seemed to have a wealth of knowledge that I want!  As they say, "Knowledge is power."

I haven't been playing much guitar, or making jewelry because of my fingers having their problems. It's all so painful, it just isn't worth it. But I LOVE those things.  And I love my hands!  And my brain! And my heart!  And honestly, MY LIFE. 

I turn 50 one week from today. 50 IS NOT old.  But I'm feeling achy joints and my brain feels a little foggy pretty often.  I refuse to simply let that slide and chalk it up to getting older. I'm still young.  And I feel like I still have a whole lot of living left to do. 

So, my gift to myself this week is this doctor's appointment, which I realize sounds a little weird.  But I'm looking forward to it... To learning more, to making some changes and seeing how they impact my joint pain (and a few other things that are minor), and then getting back to doing the things I love. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Celebrating ONE YEAR

Today marks our one year anniversary for living in Colorado! We left Dallas on the 9th, drove about halfway to Amarillo.  And then, the next morning we finished our drive and made it to our house.  That was the most exciting drive into the neighborhood and I think back on that day often. 
June 10, 2018
I remember when we looked at our house, the first day it was on the market.  We had already looked at it online about 100 times so we sorta "knew" the house the minute we walked into it.  The views were (and are!) so breathtaking, that I could hardly believe we might live in a house like this.  SO different than Dallas, and so different than anything I had ever seen.  I had never even imagined anything like it.
Our house, they first day we arrived.
Fermin and I were both blown away with Roxborough Park the first time we ever saw it.  Fermin had played golf here one day when we were renting a house in Golden.  While he was off golfing, a friend texted me and suggested that Fermin and I go grab a drink or something just to check out the views at ArrowHead Golf Course.  No way!  Coincidentally, THAT was where Fermin was playing golf.  (I know! There ARE no coincidences.  It was all meant to be!)

He came home after golf telling me how crazy beautiful it was.  The next day, we took a drive and Fermin showed me Roxborough Park, where the Arrowhead Golf Course is.  It took a while for us to find our house, but the rest, as they say, was history from the minute we discovered this place!

Now we've been here for one round of all four seasons.  They're each distinct, and beautiful in their own way. We have beautiful hikes right out our door. We've seen bears, foxes, wild turkeys, deer, snakes and a mountain lion in our neighborhood- usually, on our street! And these rocks!!! I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such beauty every single day.

This is only the beginning. It's just YEAR ONE. There's still so much to discover.  I think moving here added years to our lives. Shaking things up, making a big change- especially such a great one like a move to Colorado- makes my life feel so much happier on a day to day basis. 

Not to put Dallas down, but I don't miss is at all.  I spent more years of my life there than I ever expected to.  I was more than ready to go.  My bags were packed before we even knew where we wanted to move.  I not only wanted, but I needed the change.  I'm so thankful that Fermin wanted it too.  (He wasn't as dramatic about it, but he also wanted the change!)

I could say, "I just wish we hadn't waited so long" because part of me thinks that way.  But the biggest part of me, the wisest part of me instead believes that things happen exactly when and how they're suppose to. 

We live in Colorado now.  And we LOVE it. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Dry Brushing WORKS

ahhh!  in just a weeks time of dry brushing daily, i can see a difference in my skin. 
this was my skin, prior to this week of dry brushing followed by coconut oil
it took very little effort and time, but after using the brush before I bathed or showered and then massaging on coconut oil afterwards, my skin is feeling and looking smoother and more hydrated.  this week was a good reminder that IT WORKS, and i feel like i'm in an easy routine with it that i can easily stick with.

i used up the remaining part of the coconut oil i had been using this winter, and now, lining up with spring, i get to switch back to my favorite, sesame oil! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Dry Brushing

When we first moved to Colorado, I was really good about "dry brushing" my skin and then moisturizing with oils- both were things I had learned when I was readying about Ayurvedic practices. I think because I was so good about doing that regularly, my skin didn't even seem to go through much of a transition as we moved from a very humid to an extremely dry climate.

But through this past Winter, I got a little out of the habit.  I still do it on occasion, but I don't do it daily like I used to. At  best, I do it weekly.

Now that the seasons are changing, it seems my skin is going through some kind of molting period like a snake! Obviously, it's a great time to get back into that good Ayurvedic habit I had developed.

So that's my THING OF THE WEEK for this week. 

Here's what dry brushing is and why it's important.
Dry brushing is done by using a brush on your skin to scrap off the dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin, before bathing or showering.  Not only does it promote detoxification, but it stimulates your lymphatic system.  Your skin needs to be able to "breathe", and daily brushing increases oxygen flow and circulation.  Not only is it good for the appearance of your skin, but as a huge bonus, it's getting rid of toxins. 

How to dry brush 
I use this brush.
I like the long handle for my back.  But sometimes that longer handle bugs me. So, I also have this no-handle brush.
Any natural bristle brush that you prefer will do.  I found both of mine on Amazon by doing a search for "brushes for dry brushing".

The main thing to remember is to use medium pressure (don't scrap it to the point of pain, but do it hard enough that it's actually doing it's job of removing dead skin cells), long strokes, and always move towards the heart. I start a the bottom of my body- feet, then legs, and keep moving up. My torso area isn't as fun as my limbs, because it's just more sensitive. So be more gentle on areas like that.

THEN, take a shower, or bathe. I do this at night, before my bath.

After drying off, massage on some sesame oil (although for the winter I've been using coconut oil- I read that was good to use during the colder season somewhere, but who knows if it's true.  I prefer the sesame and as soon as I finish my current bottle of coco, I'm switching back). Again, you can do a search on Amazon to find the sesame oils specifically for this... it's NOT the same kind you cook with!😉

And that's it.  It takes no more than 5 minutes a day.  It's good for your skin, and your lymphatic system.  So why the heck not?

I'm hoping my dry flaky skin will already be looking better in a week's time, and that I'll be back in the good routine of dry brushing on a daily basis.

Saturday, in the Park

...I think it was the 4th of July. Okay, it was actually Sunday, and definitely not the 4th of July, but I love that song by Chicago so I just went with it.

Anyway, while we were in Dallas this past weekend to see Dad and my brother, Lucy and Ricky got to have a fun field trip with their cousin Villy to the park.  It's a very secluded park/field and there was no one but us.  They had fun running around footloose and fancy free...

The best picture of all tho is the car ride back to my brothers house.  Now THAT is some kids that just had a great time together! ;)
Deville, Lucy and Ricky ❤️