Natural deodorant

LP582PPOctober is finally here, Fall is in full swing and the weather outlook promises fall storms, crisp mornings and house windows always open. October is Zombie preparedness month in Kansas, but it is also recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. I’ve cared for countless cancer patients, family members and friends and watched them suffer through chemo and pain. So, color me intrigued by the claims made by a lot of people that deodorant has cancer causing properties. In my non medical opinion, everything seems to cause cancer, but that’s just my opinion, and why not? It may, we just havn’t tested it all yet. But I step down from a small soap box and continue on point; Deodorant. 

From pastes to sprays to gels to solids, deodorant has separated us from the dark ages, and a world of pungent bodily odors since 1888 (thankyou Mental Floss). While eliminating bodily odors can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Rome, the first underarm product was designed to stop your odor and to stop you from sweating through your shirt sleeves. Over the years new developments came through, different forms of application were marketed and people began to smell better and their clothing armpits last longer. But at what cost? While there has not been a conclusive and rock solid medical study linking increased breast cancer risk to deodorant or antiperspirant use, an article on Cancer.gov’s website does raise a few eyebrows, and did give me a bit of an excuse to conduct my own smelly experiment. 

I have tried 3 different natural deodorants thus far. Crystal, Jasons and Native.

Last year, I started using Crystal deodorant as an attempt to be more cost effective and to lessen my potential risk of cancer. The Crystal product I decided to try is a small rock like structure formed into a tube. The company claims the product is, “Made from natural mineral salts, Crystal’s hypoallergenic deodorants do one simple thing that makes them better than the rest: they neutralize bacteria at their source to prevent body odor – even after strenuous activity. Hypoallergenic, Gentle on skin, Dries instantly, Never tested on animals.” All promising things here. While it does not contain any of the “cancer” causing ingredients, it also doesn’t stop you from sweating. This is probably why the natural store i purchased the Crystal from sells shirt pads right next to the deodorants. Luckily for me I don’t sweat too badly for most activities. I was pleasantly surprised that this product worked. But it does have it limitations to odor control. It must, and I repeat, MUST be applied to a clean, freshly showered body. Its not one of those, oo I smell after work, lets touch it up a bit and re apply type deodorants. It will not work, if you already smell. It does require you to get the crystal wet first, so running water is a must. This isn’t a product you would take on a week long nature hike or back woods camping trip where water resources are limited. But for everyday, post shower use, It does the trick. It even seems to work the next day, when you are home in your Pj’s and decided showering is pointless as you are going to clean the house and not go anywhere or change, but it does wear off after about 48 hours. (Yes, I have tested this aspect of the deodorant)

Jasons Natural Deoderant solid. I purchased the Purifying tea tree stick from Natural Grocers, hoping this would cover the days my Crystal failed, ie the dab some more on and go fresh. Sadly, this has to be the worst results I have encountered. I smelled an hour after applying to a clean showered underarm. I wasn’t stressed, I wasn’t exerting myself, I was simply grocery shopping that day, and I lifted my arm to get something from the top shelf and ICK I could smell myself. Hoping this was just a fluke I continued to use the stick for another week. After a week of smelling, sweating and being sticky, I tossed the deodorant, and informed a few friends who were thinking about trying it. 

Native Deodorant, the last in my short study is a recent purchase. I had first heard rave reviews from several co-workers and my last hospital. This peaked my interest, but after a quick internet search and a saddening and spit take worthing price, I put it on the back burner. Until recently that is. Between my Jason’s fiasco and trying Native, I had gone back to using my solid favorite Dove sensitive skin stick. It smells nice and kept me dry and odor free for work. But again, I’m wanting to find that natural deodorant that decreases my sweat when my crystal doesn’t cut it. So after Native launched their Pumpkin spice latte stick, I caved. After all, I love my pumpkin spice lotion, and how it makes me smell, why not have my armpits spread fall cheer? So, as stated in my last post Pumpkin spice is life, I purchased a $12 stick of deodorant. I was so happy when it arrived, but quickly disappointed in the smell. It didn’t have a strong perfume, it was more like a very very very light whiff of vanilla and coffee. Sadness aside I began trying the deodorant in hopes it will at least do what I need it to for $12. I began using it Last week and am still using it. Though I will caution you, as my co- worker cautioned me, there is a detox period where your armpits will leak sweat and smell for about 2 days with use. And it isn’t right away, it seems to start about 5 days into using it. My armpits began to smell, first my right then my left. They were sweating a thicker sweat that smelled like stress body odor, even though I was not stressed. Lucky for me, I was at home and not working when this started and besides my husband and dogs, no one was around to smell me. Once they seemed to “detox” their strong odor out, the Native deodorant has worked really well. I do get a little sticky when I begin to sweat from activity or sitting in a hot labor room for 3 hours, but I don’t notice armpit marks on my scrubs, and I don’t smell anything at all when I do the sniff test. Will I buy the PSL version again, No, not unless they promise to make it smell stronger. But I did buy a tea tree mint one and got a travel size of the coconut vanilla that do smell amazing and strong! The have a lavender rose that looks promising too. So I shall continue to use the PSL until it is gone, and then move onto the next fragrance before I try another product. Who knows, maybe Crystal and Native will be the only two I ever use again! 

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Vagisil isn’t just for Vaginas!

(None of this is to be taken as medical advice, please consult your doctor if you are wishing to try remedies of any kind. There may be adverse reactions between your medications or medical conditions that would prevent you from trying these safely. Vagisil is a registered trademark of the Combe company and does not reflect their views or opinions. These statements have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA. Try at your own risk without legal responsibility on my part.)

I really hope this title caught your attention, because what I am going to talk about today is more on bodily health not vaginal health. That’s right I said Vagina. As a Labor nurse I say vagina ALOT. It’s not a dirty word, it’s a medical term to identify a part of the female genitalia. With that being said, again, this isn’t a post about healthy vaginas, but more over on a product designed for them.

When most people think of Vagisil they think about a cream or ointment used for vaginial itch. While this is the main function of the Vagisil cream, I have learned from patients several different useful ways and places to use it.

Vagisil claims its cream is used to help with “Instant long-lasting relief from intense itch associated with; Antibiotics, Discharge, Imbalance in pH, Irritating Vaginal Conditions.” One of the key focuses for today is the pH balance and its help with Irritating Vaginal Conditions.  One of the uses was for Ingrown toenails. I was struck dumb when a patient told me this. A few questions ran across my brain  and a few came out my mouth; How on earth did you discover this? and How does this even work? Does it prevent or dissolve? Well the answer is simple and it lies in the ingredients of Vagisil; Benzocaine a numbing agent, Mineral oil a slickening agent and aloe vera a skin calming agent. The patient explained that when her son has an ingrown toenail, that could be fixed at home and didn’t require a doctor’s visit, she would take a cotton swab covered in vagisil and apply it to the ingrown portion of the nail, the skin and surrounding area. After about 2 minuets she would then be able to start working on her sons nail. Baffled I gave it a try on my own nail a few month later after I had kicked a ball while wearing flip flops. A piece had partially broken off and embedded into the surrounding tissue. While the removal of the nail piece was not painless, the lubrication aspect of the cream did help in the loosening of the nail from the tissue. Also, once the nail was out, the cooling and numbing effect of the cream did start to work and it made clean up a lot easier. Would I try it again? Yeah, doesn’t hurt to try again. (haha see what I did there, Puns!)

Another use described to me was a bit more grotesk for the weak, but it does have practical use. Odor control for skin and creases. This pregnant patient prided herself on never smelling like anything but roses. Unfortunately, the human body can produce quite the pungent odor with our daily activities. She states she used the Vagisil Satin product to help with odor before a doctors appointment. Being a bit on the larger side of life, while carrying a new life, she would complain about a yeasty smell from the folds of her tummy, behind her knees, under her breast and in her groin. No not from the Vagina, but her groin creases. All of these places collect sweat and bodily secretions that in even a short 4 hours can begin to smell. She would state how she dreaded having afternoon appointments during her work day because this meant she wouldn’t be as fresh for her appointment. While I insisted (and lied a bit) that odor doesn’t bother doctors and nurses, we are use to it, I listened to what she had to say. After all anything is better than someone using the hand sanitizer gel in the office to “freshen up” a bit. It burns, Its not good for your sensitive areas and we all secretly thank you while simultaneously laugh at you for your “alcohol shower”. Sorry, back to the Vagisil. The cream again claims to control odor that comes from your vagina and balance pH. It is gentle enough for sensitive mucus membranes like your groin, so it would be safe for your skin. I gave this a try, afterall the patient never smelled, so I had proof it worked already. After what felt like an 18 hour shift of hard labor with a patient, my breasts were sore, smelly and raw underneath from my bra and from all the odd positioned I had gotten myself into with my patient trying to get a baby out. I had plans to go out with family after work and had only brought a change of clothing and my bathroom bag. Lucky for me inside was my Vagisil satin container. I took a little and rubbed it on the underside of both breast and in my groin. Bam! I smelled so much better!! Not only was the gross sweat, wet skin smell gone, but the reddened and inflamed areas under my breasts were soothed and after about an hour, gone! Ha! it worked and I still use it to this day like this when things get a little raw both under my breasts, and on my thighs! Yes, thigh rubbing or chaffing is also soothed by this stuff. And it doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky/cakey feeling that powders and hydrocortisone creams leave.

Along the same lines as above, Vagisil cream treats belly button pain, odor and yeasty like infection. A gal I use to work with told me about this. She had undergone weight loss surgery and lost a lot! but this caused her belly to have skin folds and they would collect sweat. Particularly her belly button. It only takes about an hour of holding sweat and body heat for your belly button to start to smell and form a thick ooze that could kill. I know, because I am a larger person and an hour after mowing the lawn and my belly button hurts! I had always used peroxide to clean it out and then hydrocortisone cream to make it feel better, but this doesn’t always work, and it takes such a long time to heal. With my next inflamed belly button I tried her Vagisil trick, and using the Vagisil satin I had on hand, I cleaned the belly button with a mild soap and water then applied the Vagisil with a cotton swab to the whole belly button. Instantly the odor was gone, and my belly button felt cool and soothed. After about 2 hours the redness was gone, the smell was gone and I felt better. Of all the things I learned about Vagisil and its uses, this one is my go to!

So there you have it, a short list of other places vagisil can be used. I have in a pinch used it on a poison Ivy rash, and it helps, but its way to expensive to use on it all the time, when hydrocortisone cream is cheaper and does a better job. But for the things I mentioned above, Vagisil (or like medications) are the way to go!

Pumpkin Spice is Life

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#PSL doesn’t stand for Pumpkin Spice Latte in my world. It stands for Pumpkin Spice Life! Yes, that’s right, I am 100% white chick when it comes to flannel and fall spices, and while some of you “haters” feel the need to bash the newest additions to the line up of pumpkin spice products, I simply bid you a good day as I walk away sipping my Frape and sniffing my newly scented armpits. (we will come back to this one 😀 )

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So what does fall 2017 have to offer us in the world of Pumpkin spice? Quite a bit actually. I am not referring to the things that are just pumpkin flavored or pumpkin scented, I am referring to Pumpkin spice items.21740055_10154964197265886_330204104621917395_nColor me disappointed when I tried the Puffin brand pumpkin cereal, and discovered it tastes just like a raw can of pumpkin puree and not my wonderful mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and allspice.

First try of the season went to Werther’s Pumpkin spice chewy caramels, and I was not disappointed!! These mostly carmel 21730898_10154964197195886_3371018305921841549_ntasting chews offered a slight tingle of Fall spice on the back of the tastebuds after finishing the chew and breathing in.

 

Next I Tried the pumpkin Pie flavored Kit Kats. Yes, I know, the label doesn’t say pumpkin spice, but I tell you now, it is packed full with Fall flavor, but it still wasn’t my favorite. 21761688_10154964197040886_8381141504730463760_nIt was very perfume like and fakey tasting. Still, it was worth trying for the fun of it.

 

Belvita Pumpkin spice breakfast crackers(?) were next on my list. I had tried them back in 2016, but couldn’t remember if I honestly liked them. 21731094_10154964196985886_4110481064342841970_nSo, with this new box I decided I liked them enough to eat them for breakfast on a busy day at the hospital, but not enough to buy more than one box. They were crunchy, oat like crackers or cookies with a very mild smell of PS and taste of cinnamon.

21559077_10154971910900886_7608959997888683194_nSunbelt Pumpkin spice Granola bar- AMAZING I share this every time I can actually find them (starting last year). These Granola bars are soft and chewy and full of warm fall flavors. A perfect start to my day! Sadly I have only seen them at Kroger, and once the display was sold out, they have not brought them back. I hope to see them again soon!

Pillsbury Grands Pumpkin spice rolls. Lets just say, I tried them in 2016….and bought more again this year. These are just the right balance21731040_10154964197520886_633201399126111817_n of PS and sweet. The rolls are cinnamony and the frosting rich in Fall spice flavor. I can’t wait until Saturday when I bake my first batch!

 

Gevalia PUmpkin spice Latte Kcup- Needed sweetener. It was very bitter. Not a fan.

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Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frape- A seasonal Must! I get one (or seven) every year, 21272523_10154934047405886_8980346394693610134_nhowever I make mine a little extra and add the caramel wall drizzle. That is where they coat the inside of the cup with caramel sauce and then drizzle a little more on the whipped topping to finish.

21740403_10154964197385886_7991196589849402370_nPumpkin spice English muffins, Not overwhelmingly amazing, doesn’t just work with plain butter, and I am still trying to find a Jam to go on it. I might try maple syrup and butter, or a pumpkin butter spread. But for now, these remain low on my list.

International Delight Pumpkin Pie spice creamer- A must have for every cup of coffee, hot coco and Chai latte in the fall season. 21752349_10154964197610886_6290563860103309942_n

Bears Gourmet Honey roasted Pumpkin spice Peanuts. These are a fantastic little salty 21740457_10154964197700886_8501368883348843491_nsweet, fall snack. I had to watch myself as I was eating them by the handfuls! (FYI I found them at Big Lots only)

PS cookie butter dippers– The ruling is still out, I haven’t tried them yet. 21728273_10154964197855886_1166022291373529791_n

 

 

 

 

 

PS Voortman Bakery Wafer cookies with real pumpkin- Not to bad! Goes great with that Fall cup of coffee at 2pm. They are not very sweet and are better if served refrigerator cold. They were a huge hit at the church game night last week!21752156_10154964197960886_1099899410669197130_n

PS Cheerios- These are great in milk or just dry from the bag. Nice light fall flavor mixed with the oat flavor of Cheerios (no photo)

Pumpkin spice Oreo- Nope, this tasted like a candle, and I am glad I tried them at work, and didn’t buy them myself. (no photo)

Now onto my Non edible PS items!!!

Yankee Candle Spiced Pumpkin- Not a fan. WAAAAYYYY too much Vanilla, not enough spice.  (no photo)

The fall line up of candles at Bath and Body works 2017- Didn’t like a single one (sorry its not all pumpkin spice, but I couldn’t resist reviewing them) (no photo)

Hempz Pumpkin spice and Vanilla chai body moisturizer- LOVE IT! I love the Hempz lotions anyway, and this one makes my whole persona Fall saturated, and I LOVE it!

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Native Pumpkin Spice Latte Deodorant– Yep, I ordered one. It arrives next week. Several Coworkers use Native deodorant and love it! I have tried natural deodorants with only the Crystalz solid rock deodorant as one that I like or better put, one that worked. So I am a little worried about spending $12 on a stick of PS deodorant, but they do offer a 100% money back guarantee and free shipping, so Its worth a sniff and try at least, right? (no Photo)

Things left on my list to find and try: Bistro pumpkin spice salad lunch mix, Popsecret pumpkin spice popcorn, CVS pumpkin spice cough drops and peanut butter co PS peanut butter spread. So what have you tried this year? I am eager to hear about products I’ve yet to find or try!! Leave a message in the comment section below while you enjoy this photo of one of my kittens that was adopted out and named Jack ( the pumpkin king) enjoying his first Fall experience with me! 21740905_10154963104115886_3624756843366528435_o

 

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Arizona Sun

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With all my Fall obsessions, one thing I love alot more than PS, is Family time. Sadly with so many of us living in different states, and the cost of travel far more than my paycheck to paycheck life, it is hard to get to see family.

However, I was able to save a bit for my Husband and I to travel to Arizona to see my Paternal Grandparents and aunt! This was Brandon’s first Air flight, and he did really well. Our flight was fast, and wasn’t too crowded on the way down, unlike the way back to KC and turbulence was minimal.

It was also our first Uber experience from the Airport to my grandparents house. Our driver was funny and easy to talk with, we gave him a high rating 😀

While we were down in Phoenix, we visited with family for most of the trip as it was the sole purpose of the trip, but we also got out a few times to see a bit of the area. My Aunt took us to a local shopping mall.

We posed for pictures in front of a few Cacti, and we endured the 100+ degree heat of the desert sun for the few short seconds from the front door to the car.(whimps, I know)

But we also attended church at Northside church of Christ. This was a fun little treat, as it is the same name as our congregation at home! The brethren were very welcoming, the lesson was on point and biblically sound and the singing was just like home. Our trip there was a little frightening as we were not use to navigating the large city’s roads, but we made it there and back to Grandmas safe.

We loved our visit, but we also loved watching Kansas green come into view as we landed in KC. The differences between AZ and KC are amazing with the airplane views. We plan to go back and visit, but I think we both agree we don’t plan to live there.

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September’s Rant

September is such a wonderful month. All things Fall begin to hit shelves, coffee shops bring out their fall flavors and candles launch their fall fragrances. But one of the things I like most about September is, kids go back to school.

You may be a bit confused at the moment as, the main line in this blog, is the fact that I don’t yet have children and have been trying for a few years. But really, my excitement doesn’t stem from a mother wanting peace from her own children for a few hours a day, but simply from a person who enjoys shopping, or driving or really being anywhere without the flogging of teenage crowds and drivers.

Don’t misunderstand me, I like kids, and I like teenagers. I was once a helpful hand in our church youth group and I would not change those days for anything! However, I do not enjoy the constant presence of teenagers at the coffee shop, or the higher amounts of traffic in town. And most of all, I like that from 7am to 4pm at the hospitals, the kids are generally not there visiting.

Again, don’t get me wrong, I encourage you to visit your family member who is hospitalized if you are well behaved and not sick, but please, please realize that your 1st grader isn’t interested for long in the baby that just popped out of mom. Nor do they care that the floor is covered in mom blood and they are now carelessly stepping in it and tracking it all over the room that the hospital staff now has to spend more time cleaning.

It doesn’t just include younger kids in the hospital, teenagers bring their own set of chaos to the birthing room. Lets start with moms with teenagers; those teenagers don’t want to be here. They are bored and full of teenage angst. They pick fights with Dad, and cause Mom, who should be focusing on labor, to worry about where they ran off to, or how much time they have spent on their phones while in the delivery room. Its hectic, loud, and dysfunctional in most cases. Next lets think about the teenage mom with all 50 of her school friends coming to visit her and her new baby. The room is over crowded with people who just want a photo of them with your new baby. They don’t care that Mom just pushed for 4 hours and her bottom hurts, or that the baby needs to breast feed, but mom is too embarrassed to bring out the boob for the baby with the Cheer captain sitting adjacent to her in the room.

Lastly I would like to rant one tiny little detail about kids going back to school and staying out of the hospital visiting rooms….Kids are sick. Thats right, they are snot factories covered in bugs and germs that you just brought here to visit Grandma with cancer, or the new born baby of  Aunt Mae’s. We try so hard as nurses to keep everyone of our patients as healthy as possible, if not healthier. And having a sick 3rd grader coughing on baby boy A isn’t going to pan out well for the new Mom to be.

So to close my beginning of September rant; I love fall, I dislike teenage drivers, teenagers don’t want to be in the birthing room with Mom, don’t have 50 highschoolers in your birthing room in one day and lastly sick kiddos need to get well at home or have shortened and supervised visits with new babies.

Fueled by a Farmers Market

Farmers Markets can be found in many places and in various sizes across the USA, but not all are created equal. My husband and I have been to a few, and in different states. I like to go and look at the local culture as well as taste local foods. My husband goes, because I want him to experience these things as well. The vote is still out on if he enjoys going or not. Either way, he does seem to enjoy the food we cook based on the things we find at the market.

Being from Kansas, the things we can find at local markets are limited in their uniqueness, but if we travel to a more “hipster” location such as Lawrence, Ks as we did today, we can find a better diversity and not just field corn and tomatoes.

As we wandered around the market, and I ate my Orange blossom Creme brulee from Torched Goodness (one of my favorite food trucks ever!!)

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We contemplated what to have for dinner. Brandon had found a Salmon filet packaged in a pineapple sauce on a cedar plank at our local grocery store the week before, and he wanted to thaw that out and give it a try today. So it was up to me and the Lawrence farmers market to come up with a side that I would like, just incase I didn’t like salmon and needed to fill up on sides. Potatoes and corn are always a crowd pleaser and very filling, but I can make that from a grocery store and it will likely taste the same as home grown after I add all my cream, butter and salt to it. So in the light of eating healthier, we settled on a vegetable dish.

We wandered the market about 3 times around until we were set on an Idea. I had seen green beans at one booth, and my husband had spotted the booth with shiitake mushrooms, of course. So, garlic green beans with mushrooms, again? Fresh yes, but something I already make often, why? But then my husband remembered he saw a stand with something called, red yard long beans, or red noodle beans. We talked to the booth owner and she informed us they were like green beans, but they have more flavor and are a slightly different texture. We bought a bundle of beans, a bag of mushrooms and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and set off for home to make dinner in a few hours.

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After a nap, some internet surfing, some outside play and an hour with the new kittens, it was finally time to make dinner. While Brandon was tending to the grill, and grilling the salmon, I made the side dish.

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Baby kittens left to right: Saphira, Toothless and Mushu (our little dragons) 

 

I chopped the shiitake mushrooms and the rosemary while 4 tablespoons of olive oil heated on the stove in a pan. Once heated, I added 2 tablespoons of minced garlic clove to the pan, until browned. I removed the cooked garlic from the pan and placed it to the side and added the mushrooms with rosemary.

While they cooked on low, I cut the beans into nice sizes and added them to the pan with a TBS of water and the garlic.

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I placed a lid on the pan for 3 minutes to steam the beans.

After they were tender I tossed them in the pan and added salt and pepper to taste and then served them along side the salmon.

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The whole side dish was better than I expected. The mushrooms were nutty and earthy, while the beans were crisp and clean tasting. The texture was different than a regular green bean, they were more crunchy and they were oddly squeaky when chewed, but overall tasty and the texture wasn’t off putting.

After our healthy dinner, we treated ourselves to a small piece of pumpkin spice coffee cake that I had made Thursday night for bible study.

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I hope you are inspired to shop local and try something new! Once I can remember how I made the pumpkin spice coffee cake, I just might share it. I tend to make things with random handfuls of ingredients and then never write it down. Wish I would have with this one, It is so good!!

A spoon full of sugar, and an Immodium chaser: PCOS life and Metformin

Welcome to the the wonderful world of Metformin! This was going to be our infertility miracle drug, right? It was going to help me lose weight, balance out insulin and sugar in by body so my eggs could be whole and healthy and my hormones balanced.

Well, It may have helped me lose 40 lbs in a year, but I’m pretty sure my gut will be messed up for the rest of my life. That, and I am still not pregnant. I started Metformin August of 2015 by my OB/GYN. I was diagnosed after an ultrasound and some lab work with PCOS, or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. I wasn’t devastated, I knew many people with children who had PCOS, and I still see a lot of women give birth who have it as well. I knew Metformin wasn’t going to be a magical medication that would get me pregnant, but I knew it would help me lose weight. Little did I know that Metformin’s warning about GI symptoms would send my gut into turmoil! I started as instructed, taking 500mg daily and increasing over 4 weeks to my set dosage of 2000mg daily. I did well with the 500mg, and okay with the 1000mg, but anything above that and I will spend several hours on a throne of white.

I was sick, and devastated, but mostly sick. This magical medication was going to kill me!?!?!?! Well, that may be a little dramatic, but I sure felt like it was possible at 3 am as I sat there wishing I were sleeping as my insides poured out of me. After about 2 weeks of this non stop pain, unto which I created the “butt box”, I went to the only place I knew I could get helpful information; Dr. Google. I surfed for what felt like days, though it was likely hours, for answers about what I could do to stop this volcanic eruption my gut had become. While most sites and bloggs talk about the “minor GI upset” the medication caused, none of them talked about the real life problems. Like that I could never eat a salad again, or drink a little coffee with my cream and sugar.

If you have ever done any medical research into gastric bypass, you may have heard of a problem called Dumping syndrome. Well my friends Metformin will give you the fast non surgical route to dumping syndrome. What this means is every time you eat something sugary or greasy, your stomach and intestines will dump it or push it through so fast that you do not even have a chance to digest it. This leaves not only the, “oo look yesterday’s corn” aspect of going to the bathroom, but adds “oh, the salad I ate 1 hour ago”. So because my fellow internet writers are not as open about what comes out of them and why, I was doomed to find these things out on my own.

What not to eat, and what you can try.

Don’t ever think you can have iceberg lettuce in your salad ever again. Instead try baby spinach. For some unapparent reason, Iceberg lettuce will not digest, and it triggers at least 2 hours of gut stabbing pain that you can later identify on it’s way down to the sewers. (I am trying not to be too descriptive, but I also want to get my point across)

Don’t drink a soda. Diet doesn’t help here. Though most of the problem in dumping syndrome is sugar, the diet sodas sugar substitutes seem to cause the same problem. Instead, drink tons of lemon water and iced tea. You need to hydrate after all that pooping, and anything other than these two items seem to not agree.

Don’t eat anything fried. This one is rough, but its no joke. Metformin seems to cause anything with grease to slide right out. Instead, bake your favorite fried items, like baked “fried” chicken. And replace any oil with Olive oil. It seems to help.

Don’t eat deli meat. Something about the slimy processed meat bugs me anyway, but I have found it travels almost as fast as the lettuce and is just as recognizable as the corn.

There are a few other foods and what not to avoid, but I want to touch on a few bits of advice instead.

Make a butt box. You will thank me later. My box is a small snap on lid box the size of those 97 cent pencil boxes you had in school. Inside I have 3 Preparation H wipes. These are made with witch hazel and they are a lifesaver after you have pooped for the 5th time in an hour. Next I have a small tube of diaper rash cream. Yep, all that wiping and stomach acid will leave your tender parts, extra tender. Next, I have two meds in pill form. Imodium and Kaopectate. One will stop the liquid poops and the other will stop the nausea and sharp gut pains. Lastly, I have petroleum jelly based hemorrhoid cream. I don’t have a magical pattern into which I use these items. One will feel better one time, and another will the next time, but all are very worth it. I carry it in my work bag and I have one at home next to the toilet.

Carry a small notebook. This is used to log your intake and your output. If you start to have a really bad gut day, write down what you ate so you can figure out what caused the problem. Hard to believe, but not everything you eat is trying to kill you, and not everything affects everyone the same. I learned I can handle a 6oz Dr. Pepper as long as I have some zesta crackers and peanut butter right before. I don’t have any idea how this works, but it does. I also know I will avoid a carmel McCafe at all costs, not even a sip.

And my last bit of advice does not come from a medical professional, it comes from me, a person who takes the meds and lives the consequences; It is okay to skip a dose or two for special days. Now if you take this medication because you are a diabetic, you should not skip your meds, but if you are taking it to help you get pregnant only, its probably going to be okay with your doctor (just ask them). I found if I skipped my dose the night before my special day, and the morning dose that day, I would be fine. I would then start back up with the meds that were due that evening. The only time I didn’t take the meds that evening, is if I had any alcohol. This advice is for everyone, you think fried food makes your bottom burn, try having 3 oz of wine.

Again, none of this should be taken as medical advice, please talk to your doctor, they may have help or other ways for you. Mine put me on the extended release of metformin, and it made it to where I could predict when I would start to have bowel troubles that day and I could plan around them. I still skip my dose for days like thanksgiving and annual baking day, but otherwise I am managing okay with what I have learned. Sadly, I am not losing as much weight as quickly, but at least I am functioning again.

In a Rut

 

 

This weekend I had to work. Usually when I work the whole weekend I write in a notebook my blog for the week and then type it all up on Monday for publishing. But this weekend, I was uninspired, unmotivated and unimpressed with most things in life. I don’t have a good excuse for this, I just simply have that “Bla” feeling this week. I am tired, and burnt out on so many levels in so many ways. I just want to turn my mind off for a few days and thankfully I have the next couple of days off. Working 12 hour shifts is nice this way. You work a few days, sleep for half a day (hopefully) after and then have a few days before going back to work again.

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This artist knows what I mean

I selfishly want these days to be my own. I am so tired of always having something to do or somewhere to go or someone to take care of. Don’t get me wrong, I love my OB job, and I am excited for all the new babies I get to care for, but I also just want to sit on the couch at home, with all the lights off, Audiobook or TV going while I wrap myself into a blanket burrito. I don’t even want the company of my dogs. I feel guilty about this feeling, but really why should I? Why do we feel bad when we “check out” for a day?

We all need to take a break, sometimes its five seconds in the bathroom to just breathe, and sometimes we get a rare opportunity to just hole up in a dark corner of our houses for an hour or two, but we are guilted for a list of reasons by other. Oh you didn’t clean your house on your one day off? You didn’t run all your errands today, you waited to drag your family out on a saturday to the store? You want a night to yourself to watch what you want to watch? or to just lay in a hammock in the yard the one day this week it isn’t 100 degrees out?  Why do we all base our actions and daily activities on what others think? Well guess what, those who you think are judging you, also feel the same way. They too, want the day off. They too wish for a quiet moment, secretly, and too afraid to admit they feel guilty too.

Well, I am here to tell you don’t feel guilty, don’t care what others think, take your break. The last thing your family needs is an outburst of anger or depression because you were burnt out and only fumes remain. I’m not saying let your house go to shambles, and ignore your life duties. I am simply saying, If you did the dishes yesterday after dinner, and tonight you have a choice to let them soak while you go take a bath, or do dishes and go straight to bed; I’m telling you to go take that bath with the door closed and some candles and maybe a radio (far away from the tub because water and electricity don’t mix). The dishes will be there tomorrow night after dinner, and you will be a less stressed and more pleasant person to be around tomorrow.

So, Yes, I cleaned my house this AM, but I put a limit on it. I said I would do what I could until noon. Then stop, and take the afternoon to listen to a book while wrapped as a burrito in my freshly laundered blanket. And maybe, just maybe, I will let one of my dogs cuddle with me.

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The End…Of Summer

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I dislike Summer. I don’t like being hot, I can’t wear my hoodies and jeans because its over 100 out and so humid even my sweat has sweat. The day’s are long, and it makes it too late to stay up for a dark campfire and still get up at 5 am the next day. Kids are out of school, Teachers are out of school and the line at Hobby Lobby is so long and filled with tired faces and apathetic children that you just want to scream, GO HOME! but you don’t because that’s selfish and rude. So you sit there, sweating in shorts and a Tshirt and dread getting back into your oven on wheels. Really, What is there to like about Summer? But Fall, I could live in Fall for 9 months of the year and spring thunderstorm season for the last 3.

I know, July 23rd is hardly the last day of summer per most people and as my husband pointed out, as per the calendar. But for me, Fall starts August 1st. That’s right, I am “one of those people”.

fall cat

Fall is my favorite time of year! The smells of cinnamon, pumpkin spice and warm flannel make my heart explode with joy. I love the colors, the textures and the tastes Fall brings and I usually have a very hard time waiting for the calendar and weather to co-operate with what I want. Living in the central state of the U.S.A, fall doesn’t last long as far as the weather goes. August is still summer, and one of our hottest months, but it doesn’t stop me from turning my house into an Autumn paradise. Once September hits, the leaves are usually still green, the grass is tanned and dead from the 114 degree heat in August, and the stores are filled with the beginning Fall line of home goods and fashion, but it still wont feel like autumn until mid October. By then, November will be just around the corner and it turns winter around Thanksgiving. The bitter cold temps happen over night ant the colors are lost as the leaves die in the wink of an eye.

I know on paper, this sounds like a lot of time, but when you work, or do “Audulting”, you miss a lot of Fall’s simple pleasures. One day you go to work, wishing you could stop to gaze at the turning leaves and smell the autumn air, and three days later you are off  work and its snowing and everything nature around you is brown and dead. I am one of those people who want to travel to the North Eastern coast of the U.S.A just to watch the leaves turn, while wrapped in a flannel blanket, drinking spiced cider around an open campfire. I feel that deprived of Fall here! I could never imagine myself living somewhere like Florida, Arizona or even Texas for that matter where I imagine Fall is maybe a week long, if that.

fall drive

So, with things being the way they are, and I loving my life where it is geographically located at the moment, I have made Fall start August 1st. I wash and set out all the blankets, so they are ready for wrapping up in. I break out every “Fall scent” of candle, wax warmer and wall plug in I can find and make my house smell like that one isle in Hobby Lobby. Decorations slowly start finding their way out of storage bins and onto table tops, door ways and the front porch. Lastly, I brew a tall cup of Mystic Chi Tea, open a book and wrap myself up in blankets and alternate between sipping and reading.

fall

My husband, doesn’t share my enthusiasm for Fall. While he enjoy’s the campfire and warm blankets at night, he dislikes all the smells or tastes, particularly cinnamon and pumpkin. Imagine my dismay when, for the first year we were married, my sadness when he wouldn’t let me bring in cinnamon scented potpourri, or take me to starbucks for Pumpkin spice latte’s and pumpkin scones. During that first year, I made him pumpkin soup for dinner, his reaction was so awful is still tease him to this day. (he tried it, made a face, then placed the bowl on the floor for our late dog Lizzy, who also didn’t try it, leading him to proclaim that even the dog won’t eat it) In his defence, he wasn’t mean about it, just proving a point that pumpkin is meant to be loaded with tannerite and shot at or tossed across fields by trebuchets, instead of eaten. My childhood best friend wasn’t much help either, she is a Christmas nut.

So, alone in my quest to make all things autumn, I continued to decorate and “smell up the place”. That is until I met someone else who shared my insane love of fall. There are many a people out there who say they love fall, and those who may even decorate and dabble in fall things, but there are even fewer people out there who share an obsession with it that boarders a lifetime in a straight jacket, like my own obsession. But I met her! It was our first Fall working together in the same Family practice office. At the time, I had my own desk, and was allowed to decorate to my hearts content as long as it fell within the state and building fire code. I had recently found a new wax scent called maple buttercream, it smelled like a fall breakfast of cinnamon toast and pancakes. Of course I was in love and I felt the stinky medical office needed some Autumn love. So I placed it in my manager approved wax warmer and began to bask in the smells. As I am sure you guessed, not all of my co workers appreciate the smell Fall has to offer us, and were complaining all day. I would be asked to turn it off, or change the smell to a summery smell, after all its August! All day long, except for my new best friend, who loved it so much, she assisted me in making the office more festive. We broke out pumpkin shaped baskets that held tootsie rolls for patients, bought more wax smells that fit our Autumn tates and bought each other pumpkin spice latte’s and ate everything pumpkin flavored. I honestly believe I found my kindred spirit in her. We planned our halloween costumes and exchanged recipes and made sure to buy everything pumpkin spice that was on store shelves just to share with the other. We have created pinterest boards specifically for decoration ideas and future autumn needs. I am pretty sure I am in love with her, either that or I’m delusional from all the cinnamon candles we’ve burned.

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So Today, July 23rd, I began to find my Autumn, things, and I even hung up a decoration on the door, because, why does Fall have to start in August when you have a best friend who is willing to make it start in July with you?

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Infertility and Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat each provide us with an instant window into peoples lives with the simple swipe and click of our fingers. Sometimes this is a good thing. Grandparents get to watch grandchildren grow up and experience new things. Friends can offer comfort from miles away to someone who is having a bad day, month, year even life. We rejoice in the happy times, celebrate events and can even inform everyone we are safe during a disaster or terrorist attack. But what about all the day to day stuff that we over share? or the Opinion that we insert just to spark an argument or provoke wrath from someone we don’t know on a message board? We have all done this. We feel thousands of emotions and express less than 100 a day. We feel lonely or lost and we want others to know that we feel this way, in an effort to connect with someone even if its the sad emoji on Facebook.

In a book I recently finished and don’t encourage you to read as it wasn’t christian in nature with language and adult content, by Hollywood’s Amy Pollar, she wrote a chapter entitled, “My phone is trying to kill me”. She discusses how we are all so glued to your phones and instant knowledge of what our friends are saying and doing, what trouble celebrities are getting into and finding the goriest images on the news from a recent tragic event. We are so soaked up in instant gossip, we forget what is really going on. We share that grotesk image and forget that that bloodied body, belongs to a person who has family, who has a mother, and who will live (if they lived through the event) with that image being them. What a way to enforce PTSD?!?!

We are distracted from the important moments in life and our moods are changed in a second with each status we read. We are influential people. We are mentally programed to mimic others as a sense of sharing. Much like when you spend a month in a state/country with an accent, you, yourself can begin to use the same accent. Its a trick our minds use to help us empathize and even blend in. That is why, when you fill your life with nothing but negative facebook posts, you yourself begin to feel negative, and start looking at the not so bright side of things in life.

I am very guilty of this. I have found myself praying for a friend’s fertility treatments, crying with another friend who suffered a miscarriage, “Liked” several posts announcing they are expecting (one with twins!) and cooed over newborn photos of those who were recently born, and still I side with the bitter friends who also can’t seem to conceive. My attitude had been stuck in negative mode. Each time I was fronted with a new pregnancy announcement, I wanted to post my own thoughts and woes, I wanted to whine about it being my turn, and cry that it isn’t fair that someone has 5 kids and is pregnant again, can’t you share one with me? But I knew I was being sucked into negative thinking and so I would sit quietly, scrolling past posts and bottling it up.

One day, it just clicked for me though. I stopped being so focused on what I can’t do, and started focusing on who I am and what I am doing now. I am not really upset about my infertility, I am upset by the social shadow that is cast by public opinion on infertility. I want to Share my opinions and talk casually about fertility struggles without being told, “it will happen for you”, “in God’s time and in his way”, “just quit trying, it will work”, “Just adopt”, or my favorite one to dislike, “be lucky, kids are the worst”. I know all these things, I understand where you come from when you say them, But I just want to have a casual conversation with someone about my eggs not growing into a child while sipping on tea with out being judged or feeling guilty that I am talking about something that is as normal to me as driving to work.  I don’t want pitty, and so I don’t post about it on facebook.

People are going to continue to have babies around me. More so than I can control, because I am an OB nurse. I planned my life this way. Much to social media’s disgust, I don’t cry when a mother gives birth, because I have yet to experience it. I cry because I watch the faces of the Mom’s and Dad’s as they lock eyes and grasp their sticky wet infant in their arms. There is a brief second, filled with love, understanding and joy that passess between them, and I cry because I get to experience that with them. I get to be the nurse who they may or may not ever remember. I get to be me, and I get to be casual about it.

So, please, if you know someone who is going through infertility issues, don’t treat us like we are fragile. Don’t avoid conversations about babies, and please share your images of your babies and statuses about them crossing life milestones. Treat us like your friend, and ask us about our life plans and what we want to go do on Saturday. We may share a golden nugget of hope for the future with you, or we may cry bitterly on your shoulder because the lab work came back with unpromising news.