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…but Jenni’s ChronicBabe community has gotten me through some tough times over the years, so I’m thrilled to support this project! If you’d like to chip in, please read below:

hi friend! i hope you’re having a great day.

i hope you’re familiar with my passion project: chronicbabe.com. it grew out of my own experience of learning to craft an exceptional life in spite of illness. (it’s part of why i went into business for myself 13 years ago.)
this month, i’m running a kickstarter for my chronicbabe 101 book, a project that will put valuable lessons in the hands of thousands of folks. with 24 hours left, we are fully funded and made all our stretch goals, which means i will give a digital copy of the book to EVERY backer, regardless of their pledge amount – as low as $1. (a big portion of my audience is unable to work, so this is a big deal for them.) the book will be published in july.
 
here’s a quick link to the page – packed with details: http://kck.st/1MREwha (it ends friday, march 27 at 10:30am central time.)
 
in these final hours of the project, i’m hoping to create a big swell of support that ensures tons of people who could benefit get the chance to participate – and i could really use your help. i teach my chronicbabes to ask for help when they need it, so today i’m walking the talk once again: please consider spending five minutes in the next two days doing one of these things. it will make a meaningful impact:
– make a pledge to the project (even $1 helps!)
– post a link to the project on your facebook profile or page, with a sentence about why it’s important to you
– tweet a link to the project
– post a link to the project on your linkedin page
– email someone you think might be interested
– posting a link at a forum you frequent
– tell someone you know face-to-face (weird, i know!) about the project
 
thank you so much! your support means the world. and as always – if i can be of any assistance to you, please say the word.

Be AWAP (As Well As Possible) – Jenni

FINAL HOURS: Back my Kickstarter for a ChronicBabe book. It’s going to be a blast!
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Migraine Day

Well, today was almost a total loss. Woke with a migraine and went back to sleep for five hours. It’s the rainy season in my part of the world, and the afternoon thunderstorms have been fierce. Add in all-over body aches and I mostly puttered on the computer and read (with a little dishwashing and dusting thrown in). I did wake with both cats on the bed, and Pilot was thrilled to have a captive audience for 20 minutes of dedicated snuggling. I am still pretty wrung-out and slightly hungover from the migraine. Ick.

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…both for blogging and for other things!

Life has been a bit crazy lately, and since hubby and I are playing a new game most of my downtime has been exploring exotic lands and fighting strange creatures (fun *and* cathartic!). I did want to make an update, though, on my most recent doctor’s visit.

Good news: waist circumference is down

Eh news: I am still gaining and losing the same five pounds

Bad news: my cholesterol spiked *way* up

Not sure why, especially since it has been going down somewhat previously. Also, my blood pressure (which is usually on the low side of good) is creeping up, so I’m focusing on cholesterol and sodium to see if I can determine what changed. Last time my sodium was high my ankles swelled up. My left ankle has been a bit swollen, but I honestly thought that I was doing better than this. I am still off-and-on with Trendy Health Management Company, but unfortunately their tracking system isn’t customizable, so now I’m keeping a digital spreadsheet in addition to tracking on their website for effectively double the effort. I’m not super-pleased with this, and am dallying with the thought of letting my membership lapse (again). No decision made yet, though.

I do need to get into a regular schedule with the treadmill. I received the replacement part and installed it myself (yay me!) and it is now fully functioning again. Yesterday was a major grocery store haul and housework, but I plan to hop on the treadmill today and hopefully make that a regular thing again.

I had a funny encounter picking up a sandwich for lunch today- the woman at the register admired my medical bracelet and bemoaned the fact that she has friends with serious allergies who don’t wear one. I talked about the company I use (Medic Alert) and she liked the more fashionable look, so hopefully she can talk her friends into some “useful bling”.

Overall, my health has been fairly good. I was hit with my first serious migraine in a while last week and left work early when I started to see trails. Again, I’m not sure what the trigger was, other than a poor night’s sleep, stiff neck, and heavy air pressure from storms moving through (granted, some days all it takes is just one of those, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised…)

I have an appointment coming up with my endo in couple weeks and I’m hoping that everything is okay there… sort of. I’ve run into this before, when there is a general malaise or odd things are acting up and I don’t know why, and I kind of hope that I could blame it on my thyroid levels being off because that’s a clear explanation and an easy thing to adjust. Sadly/thankfully, that’s rarely the case.

I’m working on a separate post about recent advocate activities- I really need to work on documenting better. I kick myself for not being more involved, and then realise that I’ve actually been involved in three or four separate events in the past month. Go, me?

I also realised that I didn’t actually talk about motivation yet, have I? I’m trying to find a goal or reward for sticking with tracking until my next physical in a couple months, and I have been drooling over a camping hammock. I really miss camping, but sleeping on the ground is pretty much off my radar at this point, even with an inflatable mattress. I have heard really positive things about hammock camping from others with back or hip pain. I was thinking of gifting myself one for my birthday, but if I can keep up on my tracking until my next appointment (and see an improvement in cholesterol/weight), I might make that my reward. I always have a tough time finding a reward that I want enough to maintain motivation, but this might be it. (Plus, once I have it, maybe I can talk hubby into another camping trip!) Obviously. losing some weight will make the hammock more comfortable as well.

(This is another reason that I might ditch Trendy Health Management Company- I have a hard time finding other folks in the community with my interests, to say the least.)

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…and the second, since I didn’t post this yesterday.  ;}

The medical device rep came by the house and walked me through all the parts, care and use. I already had a pretty good idea between online research and that my sister was able to give me a tour when she was visiting (we have the exact same machine). One little detail I wasn’t prepared for, though- it’s a “for her” model, so, of course, it’s pink. He thought that I might like it. ‘Cause I’m a girl. Although he conceded that not all girl like pink. *sigh* I suspect they have more than they know what to do with so they’re not giving new folks on option. I’ll survive, but I am considering covering it with removable stickers, heh.

I am using the “nose pillow” mask. This is the least obstructive, so I can read with the mask on if I want. I also like it since is has the most minimal straps. The fuller nose version put pressure on the bridge of my nose, right where I broke it in my teens. Since my sinuses are one of my migraine triggers, I really didn’t need to risk aggravating that as well. Sadly, I have had a headache for 48 hours that is just barely under my migraine range. I really can’t tell if the two are related or not. I did increase the amount of humidity last night and that seems to have helped a little.

I am currently using the “extra small” nose pillow size. I have never been more aware of my deviated septum than when wearing the mask. There is definitely less air flow on the right side than on the left. I may move up to the small tonight and give that a try so that I don’t feel quite so constricted.

The first night I managed less than five and a half hours with the mask. The second night, it took me two hours to fall asleep (yay, insomnia!). They would prefer that I not take melatonin to help me get to sleep, but I really can’t afford to lie awake for hours on nights when I need to work. Thankfully, I was able to sleep in this morning, so I actually ended up wearing the mask for 9 hours even though I only slept about 7. Both mornings I took the mask off when I got up to take my early- morning meds. Once my schedule settles down, I expect to wear it 9:30 pm – 5:30 am most nights. There is a chance that once I have better quality sleep I won’t need as much, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. My minimum compliance requirement is four hours a night, and technically I can have a night or two without the mask, but I want to use this consistently for the best results.

So what else? I’m not doing a formal product review yet since I’m still learning the machine, but overall it’s very easy to use and the programming is straightforward. I might need a larger nightstand or to add a small table next to the bed so I’m not knocking things over and can read my alarm clock without the tube in the way. I will keep tweaking things while I learn the system better and become more comfortable with it- updates will follow.

I will say, despite very poor sleep the first night, I woke up feeling more rested than I had without the machine. Sadly, today my headache is overwhelming everything else. I have moved my allergy pill back to earlier in the day, which I hope with help the sinus headaches and keep things down to low roar.

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Had one of those days that didn’t at all turn out the way I expected. I started by waking up exhausted (no surprise there), but I got to work just fine and got a fair bit done. Unfortunately, our air conditioning unit had starting speaking in tongues on Friday.

(Now, for those in more northern climes, the lack of a/c in November may not seem to be much of an issue, and while Saturday was warm (mid-80s F), Sunday was cool with lovely breeze. That said, we did need to have it fixed before the three Cold days we have each winter when just throwing an extra blanket on the bed isn’t enough.)

Back to today.

We had been leaving messages with our usual appliance repair person but hadn’t gotten a call back and were beginning to wonder if he was gone visiting family for the holiday. I tried the actual a/c company and not only could they get someone that afternoon, but he called an hour and half earlier than I expected so I zipped out of work and got to the house just as he arrived. I have to say, that kind of responsiveness is pure luck, but I appreciate it.

I ate lunch while he worked, tried to keep the male cats out from underfoot (Navi was hiding, of course), and (since I can’t have someone visit my home without being terribly self-conscious about the current state of cleanliness, or lack thereof) I caught up on some housework. The final cost wasn’t too bad, it was a logical issue, and it was not something I could have fixed myself without a whole lot more knowledge about electrical systems than I possess, so I feel that the cost was justified. He was very nice and gave me some suggestions on how to prevent it from happening again (and that would probably also lower our energy costs).

By that time I only had three hours left in the work day, so I called out and went to do grocery shopping. I chose wisely. Between poor sleep, fierce allergies, stiffness from yardwork and heavy air pressure due to the afternoon front, I am not feeling well at all. I can tell that I am somewhat sick by looking at the items I bought at the grocery store and recognising just how random they are and the high percentage of comfort foods. *blush*

This is the time of year when I am finally resigned to Christmas items for sale everywhere and I start looking forward to the holidays. I bought stamps for my holiday cards and a few supplies for cooking seasonal goodies. I finished up a few crafting projects (left over from last December *cough cough*) and wrapped a few gifts that I already have on hand.  We’ve had some beautiful sunsets lately and it’s nice to see the ducks back on the pond again. The cool, gloomy weather is lovely for blankets and sweaters (albeit light ones) and the cats are extra cuddly and loaf-like, which I adore. There’s many family phonecalls this time of year, we have a family dinner to look forward to and a long weekend to relax, catch up, and relax some more.

There’s a lot to be thankful for.

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My family flew back home Monday and I miss them already! Unfortunately, between a busy work schedule, seasonal changes, and not sleeping well, on top of an unusual amount of driving for me and I’ve been kind of a wreck this week. I stayed home from work Tuesday which ate up the little sick time I had managed to accrue. I’ve been slogging through work the last day or two and am really looking forward to my three-day weekend to catch up on some sleep and housework. I also plan to hit the sports store and try out a couple of treadmills to determine which one I like best. (I will then mostly like order it online for less, heh.)

I am really enjoying the cooler weather, although my allergies are a bit haywire. Also, it is sadly not yet late enough in the season for biting insects and I ran out of bug wipes while travelling- so itchy! The fall time change is a relief though- it’s much closer to my natural sleep-cycle.

Anyway, just wanted to check in- it will take time to get back into posting regularly and re-build a buffer of articles, but I’m working on it!

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Well, I gave myself a nice, long hiatus from the blog but I think it’s time to dust off my writing chops and give everyone an update. I am making some minor-leading-up-to-hopefully-major changes and need to get back to tracking them (and how I feel about them).

First off, I have consolidated some of my vitamins and supplements, which is nice since it means fewer pills each day (although the ones I do take seem to just keep getting bigger!). I also started tapering off my anxiety medication today, which, of course, is a source of anxiety in and of itself. I am a little leery about tapering at a time when I’m making lots of changes which I am nervous about, even though I know that it’s better for me in the long run. I am considering starting to see a therapist regularly again, and if so it will be someone new, I think.

My weight is pretty much horrible. After breaking my foot (twice) I just didn’t get back into exercising regularly and tipped over the 250 mark. Aside from my clothes not fitting and feeling ungainly (not to mention stretch marks), it also started to affect my Thyroid levels. That really scared me- my thyroid is one of the few things that felt manageable, so it was a real motivator. I started trying to lose on my own and decided that wasn’t enough, so I joined <popular weight management plan>. I had success (and failure) with it in the past, but the new version seems to fit my needs better. In two weeks I’ve lost 4.2 pounds, with a total weight loss of 11 pounds in six weeks according to the doctor’s scale. A nice start! I know that the first few weeks are usually easy- it’s sticking to it long term when the weight loss slows down that is challenging,

Of course, hubby is behind me 100% and is hoping to ride my coattails to some weight-loss of his own. We also talked it over and agreed to get me a treadmill. The elliptical was aggravating my hips and knees and my doc was not keen on my using it. It means that we will have to finally clean up The Box Room to make space, but that’s something that we’ve been needing to do anyway. That reminds me, I really need to buy a lamp for that room, too. I am looking forward to  walking every day whatever the weather without bugs or humidity- it is finally cooling off here in Florida, but now it’s also getting dark earlier. Do you use a treadmill that you love? Please let me know! I’m looking for good ideas. After some debate I decided not to go with a manual because of my knees- I know it is a better workout and is easier to move, you can use it anywhere (and, of course, cheaper) but if it is too difficult it won’t be used.

Another motivator for weight loss and exercise is to deal with my (newly diagnosed) sleep apnea. I have a pretty severe case. Hubby has been warning me for a while, but a family member was diagnosed with moderate recently and it finally got me to schedule a sleep study. I go back for the next round soon to test out a mask. The sleep study itself wasn’t bad- the tech was a sweetheart and she is currently struggling to identify an autoimmune disease of her own (probably RA). It was like staying in a moderate nice hotel except you are hooked up to a dozen or so wires. I had really weird dreams (about the sleep study of course. Also- I do not recommend reading about werewolves before you fall asleep. Just saying.) Oh, and make sure that you REALLY wash the stuff out of your hair that they use to attach the sensors- that was a gross discovery after I was already halfway to work. I may take a day off next time- I was pretty zonked the next day (they had me up later at night and earlier in the morning than I usually sleep). The results were frighteningly clear, though, that it’s important that I take care of this. I like the idea of being more rested and alert. I think the hardest part is cutting out caffeine for the study- I gave myself a week and a half to slowly taper but still have been fighting headaches and migraines. I am keeping my intake low and may phase it out entirely.

So what else? My flu shot yesterday was a breeze- hardly any soreness, so I hope that it will be another smooth year. My allergy shots are now every other week (unless I get chomped pulling weeds in the yard- then I get a week off). I had an ergonomic evaluation at work and had to make a bunch of changes. I’m just waiting for them to install my keyboard tray, hopefully tomorrow. The split keyboard is taking some getting used to- having it at the proper height should help. I am trying to replicate all the adjustments at home as well so I’m more consistent, and bought myself the same keyboard and an adjustable office chair. I wish I had that of that sooner!

I think that’s more than enough for now. I’ve had some fun trips I may write about and my family will be in town for a few days and I’m really looking forward to seeing them. I hope that you are all as well as possible!

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