Category Archives: Health

I Love It When They Call Me Big Mama

Things going on with my peepers. Not anything I haven’t seen before, but particularly noticeable and troublesome this go round. I see my doctor who sends me to the ophthalmologist who happens to be located in West Hell, I do what she says though.

The doctor tells me what I already know since I’ve had the condition several times over the years. However, instead of waiting on things to return to normal he decides to treat it more aggressively (my words) and prescribes a little white pill.

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This is prednisone and it is the devil.

I’ve been on it before for asthma and allergies but not for any period longer than two weeks and it always has been beneficial in short courses, bronchial inflammation, gone, eczema gone, etc.  I have experienced those benefits this time as well a few undesirable side effects like bruising easily, thinned skin  and unfortunately the SWOLE look I’m rocking that has nothing to do with pumping iron.  My weight, bless the LAWD, has been up and down the same 4 pounds as long as I’ve been on it, but my cheekbones? Where dey at? My stomach, already hefty, now putting all zipper, buttons and waistbands to the test.

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Now let’s be clear i’m not feeling sorry for myself, this is only a RANT.  I’m feeling better for sure, looking? Not so much and I do CARE.  Prednisone is a highly prescribed drug, used for a NUMBER of health conditions and for some it is good, it’s been good for me, it’s just the extra fluff that I can really do without.

What about you? Have you been prescribed something that didn’t have life threatening side effects, but perhaps impacted your performance, appearance or proved to be an obstacle in parts of you life?  Let me know in the  comments and the regular spots.

Until next time, see you at the gym, where maybe I’ll be back to my usual fluffy self.

Photos: MsThorns
Video: The Notorious B.I.G., Warner Bros
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Check In and Check Up

This is the 2nd week of January and I’m sure you’ve read, listened to and watched all things regarding health and fitness goals. You have set some goals for yourself and allow me to be the first or fifth person to say YAY YOU for setting those goals!!!! I’m wishing you much success and give you a gentle reminder that you’ve got to the put in the work.  While you’re working toward those goals though, I need to add just a few more things to your clean and healthy plate.  I mean you didn’t think that was all did you?

Ye olde broad is no stranger to the “doctor’s office.” I’ve been a regular since my arrival on planet earth 50 years ago.  However, some of you may not be.  In fact, some of you avoid the doctor’s office like the plague, or you consider doctors to be the plague. Whatever the case maybe, if you are insured/have means/have access get over yourself (jokingly) and don’t be afraid (seriously) to get some of the recommended screenings for your age and sex.  So what types of things are on the table?

WOMEN: we need to test ALL the things. If you want to stick around for a while, suck it up buttercup and get these recommended screenings:

Screening tests Ages 18–39 Ages 40–49 Ages 50–64 Ages 65 and older
Blood pressure test Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Bone mineral density test
(osteoporosis screening)
Discuss with your doctor or nurse if you are at risk of osteoporosis. Get this test at least once at age 65 or older.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about repeat testing.

Breast cancer screening
(mammogram)
Discuss with your doctor or nurse. Starting at age 50, get screened every 2 years. Get screened every 2 years through age 74.

Age 75 and older, ask your doctor or nurse if you need to be screened.

Cervical cancer screening
(Pap test)
Get a Pap test every 3 years if you are 21 or older and have a cervix.

If you are 30 or older, you can get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years.

Get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years if you have a cervix. Get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years if you have a cervix. Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to get a Pap test.
Chlamydia test Get tested for chlamydia yearly through age 24 if you are sexually active or pregnant.

Age 25 and older, get tested for chlamydia if you are at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant.

Get tested for chlamydia if you are sexually active and at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant. Get tested for chlamydia if you are sexually active and at increased risk. Get tested for chlamydia if you are sexually active and at increased risk.
Cholesterol test Starting at age 20, get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Colorectal cancer screening
(using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)
Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Get screened for colorectal cancer through age 75.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Diabetes screening Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.
Gonorrhea test Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant. Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant. Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk. Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk.
HIV test Get tested for HIV at least once.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse because you may need more frequent tests.

All pregnant women need to be tested for HIV.

Get tested for HIV at least once.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse because you may need more frequent tests.

All pregnant women need to be tested for HIV.

Get tested for HIV at least once.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse because you may need more frequent tests.

Get tested for HIV at least once if you are age 65 and have never been tested.

Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Syphilis test Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk or pregnant. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk or pregnant. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.

Source: womenshealth.gov

Again these are recommendations and your doctor may recommend more or fewer screenings.  When you do see your provider,  (and you will see one, right?) have a thorough and truthful discussion about your health and your family history.  They are doctors, you can tell them ALL OF IT, that’s what they are there for.

MEN: you are not all of the hook.  There’s a honey do list of screenings for you as well:

Screening tests Ages 18–39 Ages 40–49 Ages 50–64 Ages 65 and older
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening Get this one-time screening if you are age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked.
Blood pressure test Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Cholesterol test Starting at age 20 until age 35, get a cholesterol test if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Starting at age 35 and older, get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Colorectal cancer screening
(using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)
Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Get screened for colorectal cancer through age 75.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Diabetes screening Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.
HIV test Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.

Syphilis screening Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk. Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.
Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.

Source: womenshealth.gov

ERRRRBODY: Get a dental and an eye exam. Your healthcare provider can give you recommendations on how often and your insurance provider (if you are insured) will tell you how often you can go and what’s covered.

Now I likely should have prefaced this entire post with a recommendation for you to see your healthcare provider before starting any diet and/or exercise program, but you already know that, right?  That said, I challenge you to take a holistic approach to your health.  Treat yourself the best way possible by shooting for a healthy lifestyle that includes preventive medical care.

Until next time, see you at the doctor’s office where I will be getting prodded, poked and weighed, like the human I am.

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Photo: MsThorns

Note: For the uninsured, there are still options.  The board of health in your county/parish/township generally provides low and no-cost healthcare services as well as free clinics in larger metropolitan areas.  Local charitable/non-profit organizations are also resources for free community health events that provide a variety of medical and dental services and referrals.  

Lamenting Authority

I’d heard a few months ago what was about to go down. I thought to myself haven’t they been there before? I didn’t Google it, didn’t want to know, didn’t want to confirm, didn’t want to believe but alas, ’tis true. I went by the spot and saw for my own eyes, Sports Authority is going out of business. I’m undone.

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My love for the sporting goods store goes back over 30 years. My dad took me to our local spot, Dunham’s to buy my first pair of running shoes. I’ve been hooked ever since.

I’ve shopped specialty stores and even worked in one back in the late 80s but the all purpose sporting good store has always been best for me especially as my needs changed. I got hooked on Sports Authority  specifically because they:

  • Always had specials
  • Always had what I need
  • Weren’t so gigantic that you couldn’t get help
  • Staff was always cool
  • Locations were always convenient

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I tried that huge chain that starts with D and found success all of three times. When I was looking for the super thick Thorlos, Sports Authority had them. Different thicknesses of yoga mats? Sports Authority. Reasonably priced gym bags, yeah they have those in spades. Stuff I didn’t even need but thought was cool, SA sold it to me.

Many of been shut down already, those that are not closed as yet? I won’t be going by for the “Going Out of Business Sale“, it’s just too much to bear. I have no plans of trying a big box substitute. If I need to go into a store, I’ll get that fix the next time go home. Going forward though, looks like that Prime membership is really going to get a workout.

How about you? Is there a spot in your town that you use to frequent, park, court, gym, store etc that broke your heart when it closed? Come let us grieve together in the comments, or here or here.

Until next time, see you online where I’ll be checking out my virtual cart of stuff I can’t touch until it’s delivered.

Photos: MsThorns

Wrap It Up

Welcome to 2016, I hope that your year thus far is as happy as it was when the clock struck 12 on January 1. After the indulgences of the holidays and maybe a respite from your fitness program you’re probably rip roaring to go and take off what you might have put on during the the festivities. Perhaps you did stay on track, didn’t pig out and stuck to your fitness program, if so good for you send some of that energy my way. I happen to be in the former group, having enjoyed plenty of food and wine between Thanksgiving and TODAY quite frankly I am now I’m ready to get it together.  However, I know who I am and jumping right into the eat right thing isn’t happening so I’m getting started by getting ye olde body moving again. The thing is, it seems that this body requires quite a bit more assistance than it used to. So, ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce you to the Abominable Exercise Woman.

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Rocking the latest in hurting joint fashions Abominable Exercise Woman models elbow sleeves to prevent the recurrence of tennis elbow and to aid with proper alignment in all those pushups and chaturangas, a knee brace for the arthritic knee and wrist wraps to prevent trauma that can cause the recurrence of the scary sounding but mostly harmless, ganglion cyst.  The injuries, the impending big 50 and this perimenopause/hormonal poundage got a sista HURTIN! However, I shall press on.  Two weeks in and I have actually had some improvement in my back, it’s not nearly as stiff and achy in the morning as previously experienced, so I’ll wrap up if that’s going to reduce the aches and pains. Hopefully I can lose some of this fine attire as my fitness level increases.

Now as always I ask, what about you? What wraps, contraptions, potions and concoctions do you use in order to work out? Do you use them all the time or only when you’re hurting? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.  Until next time see you in the living room, where I’ll be all wrapped up, but moving somehow.
Photos: MsThorns
Video: The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Eat Clean for What?

I see you all you little clean eaters, with your meal prep, tasty recipes, and pretty smoothies, I LOVE IT. I’ve been inspired by it. I said to myself, olde broad get your diet together, one cannot live by popcorn and milk duds alone so I did it.

Prepping wasn’t hard I’ve always done that. I chop every Sunday for salads, cooked meals and juices for the week. So I continued to do so. Getting junk out of my cabinets and fridge was easy as well, I ate it ALL. I work hard for the money I ain’t ’bout to throw out some perfectly good Tostitos. Having polished that off I was on my way.

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Week 1 – my head was hurting, I was having junk withdrawal, and was  HOOONNNGGRRRYYY and evil without my snacks but I persevered.
Week 2 – I weighed in and was back to where I was at the start of the summer.
Week 3 – 2 more pounds. Shouldn’t this be faster? Oh yeah I’m old and my schedule was getting crazy so the workouts slowed down.
Weeks 4-5 I’m bored and tired of eating like this. I stop weighing in.
Week 6 – I turned 49 ate ALL the things and have been eating ever since.

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In that 6 weeks, the net loss was three pounds. Needless to say with that amount of sacrifice I was sorely disappointed. So much so that I haven’t tried again since. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Not a day during that time did I have digestive issues. I stopped rolling like a hot dog roller all night and slept well for the first time in foreverrrrrrr, and did not have a headache after that first week. Yet I titled this Eat Clean For What?

In spite of my perceived failure I was on to something. The focus on eating real food affected my quality of life in a positive way and that is very important as you get older. In fact eating whole unprocessed foods can:

  • Give you more energy
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Prevent cancer
  • Support mental health
    And…
  • Lose weight

Losing weight is really the cherry on top of that clean smoothie. I think those benefits plus those I’d experienced during my first attempt are well worth going for it again and I will, as soon as I finish this last bag of Lays.

So how about you? Are you a clean eater? How long have you been? What’s been your experience thus far? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, or Google+. Until next time see you at the store, in the produce aisle of course.
Camera 360
Photos: MsThorns

Giving Thanks

Shortly after the last post, my doctor released me into the wild and instead of going HAM as is my usual fashion, I took it slow. A couple of walks with some yoga.  Went back to the gym which was sorely missed to work on regaining my Queen of Treadmill title because its too freaking hot here to walk outside in the evening and I even hit the weights, machines of course and boy I got a lonnnnnnnnngggg way to go to get some strength back, even so I am THANKFUL.

I have explained to some and damn near shouted to others who don’t get it that a person who is use to moving can be in a bad way when they’re not.  Let me tell you I was SALTY as a mug during that time I was down. I was drinking all the haterade and was downright indignant watching folks running and biking and lifting and doing all things physical from the sideline.

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MsThorns

I was a sorry patient and a depressed one.  I knew sideline time wasn’t final, nevertheless it sucked.  During that sucky time, I learned that my ability to move should not be taken for granted. You think I would have learned it before but these time, well, was just different.

I count my blessings now.

I actually DO stop if I see bunnies and butterflies, I actually do listen for the sounds of birds and crickets, I actually do look at every flower and stay on the look out for Smokey and Yogi because it seems every summer there is some bear running around, usually in Sandy Springs but still I watch 🙂 I still work out my problems on the trail and EVERY time I have a little talk with Jesus because a lot of times, actually most times I need him to fix it.

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MsThorns

I’m thankful for this body I live in it and all of its perfect imperfections.  I’m thankful that it can move and that it serves me well in all that need and want to do. It’s the only one I’ve got and you best belief I want it to to keep moving.

What are you thankful for? What lessons have you learned on your journey.  Let me know in the comments and all the usual places.

Until next time, see you somewhere, I’ll be the one moving with a smile on my face.
 

Have ALL the Seats

Summer Summer Summertime means  freedom. We’re free from the bad weather and drudgery of trekking through snow and rain and days of gray skies to enjoy sunshine, blues skies and and all things green. Summer time is NEKKID time err at the least, much fewer clothes time and for health and fitness enthusiasts we are freed from the gym. Boot campers, runners, bikers,  tail chi and yoga practitioners all head outdoors to do things in fresh air instead of the feet and azz smell of the gym.  I especially looked forward to the summer of 2015 because I would NOT be training for Peachtree which means I could walk as much and as fast or slow as I want (yeah I’m still complying with the no running rule). I could stop and look at butterflies and squirrels and flowers and not worry about my time.  Yeah, this summer was going to be awesome, or so I thought.

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Thus far I’ve had to enjoy summer at a distance, you see ye olde broad’s body decided that it didn’t have the energy to do anything back in June because it has gone full tilt hormonal.  Things got bad enough that the doctor told me to have seat, i.e. refrain from any strenuous pursuits which resulted in my 195,675th hissyfit of the year. My dears, this is getting old.

She advised, I consented and am hopeful that the trip that necessitated this dreadful outfit will result in my health situation improving and permission to exercise.

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Getting old ain’t easy, getting old as a woman can provide some special challenges, but a good healthcare team, the good Lord, and of course yoga has made it bearable thus far. Hopefully soon I can join you kids outside again.

So what have you been doing this summer? Spending more time outside? Doing new and exciting things? Traveling?  Allow me to live vicariously through you and tell me about your summer in the comments.

Until next time, see you anywhere but the doctor’s office.
Photos: MsThorns
Video: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince on Vevo