Posts tagged with: Health

Why is my eye twitching?

A phoropter in use.
Image via Wikipedia

Two weeks ago now my left eyelid began twitching. I was at work and suddenly it was like I was winking at my coworkers. Sorry, PB, I am not flirting with you, I just have a random facial tic today. And the next day, and a week later, and still, two weeks today, I am still twitching.

A friend told me that some extra potassium might help. So I had a few bananas. I don’t like bananas so it took some bravery to eat the darned thing. The eye? It continued to twitch.

Same friend told me that the twitch could be stress related. I can’t really get rid of stress, but even while in South Carolina, not doing anything responsible (well, okay, I was only somewhat responsible, but no where near stressed out!) and the eye? It continued to twitch.

Same friend gave me a third suggestion that it was probably because I wasn’t sleeping enough. Well, for the past three nights I’ve been able to get at least 10 hours of sleep … and that’s a lot of sleep for me. The eye? It has continued to twitch.

Nothing I do seems to make this eye stop twitching, so like the recent Charley horse, I began my Google searching to learn about what’s going on.

About.com explains that “a twitch sometimes develops during times of increased stress.” I don’t think that was my case. A twitch “has also been associated with high caffeine intake[s]” (which wasn’t me the days that it began (might have been since then, though)), “fatigue” (I have been dealing with excessive fatigue for over a year now, and so suddenly developing the twitch doesn’t fit this) “or excessive squinting” (which is definitely not me.

My favorite sentence of the twitch explanation? “An eyelid twitch is usually a sign that you need to take a break and relax.” Yeah, uh, okay. I did that. It didn’t work.

Solutions to this eye twitch include an antihistamine drop (which is a migraine trigger for me, so that’s out), a warm compress or an eyelid massage. I’m giving the twitch 24 more hours to vacate the building, and then I break out the eyelid massaging and warm compresses. The twitch is getting annoying!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

What is a Charley horse?

Gray's muscle pictures b...
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday while doing my lunges and my squats, my left quad suddenly seized up and I almost fell over. I had no idea what was happening, and so I jumped on Google to see “why is my leg killing me?” I have since come to the conclusion that I got a Charley horse in my left quad!

A Charley horse is essentially a leg cramp that can occur because of muscle fatigue, heavy exercising (apparently lunges and squats are heavy enough for me), dehydration, high weight, electrolyte imbalances and possible medications.

Ease the pain of a Charley horse by massaging the area, stretching the area or taking a hot bath to soak the pain away.

Prevent getting a Charley horse by staying hydrated, by stretching regularly to relax the muscles fibers and to train gradually rather than doing high intensity workouts right away.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five minutes at a time

Every Single Freakin Day
Image by Migraine Chick via Flickr

In July of 2006, my world was turned upside down with five words: “I’m thinking about leaving you.” He didn’t just think about it, the next day he solidified it and left me. He then promptly left on vacation with a friend of his, a vacation that I was supposed to go on.

I had been married for three years at that point. I had been with this guy for eight years. He was more than my husband, he was my best friend and suddenly he was gone. I didn’t know how I was going to breathe, let alone move on with my life. I had no choice, though.

For weeks I was the woman sitting at her desk silently crying. I would stare at the clock wondering when the day would be over just so that I could get into bed. Then I had a friend tell me to “take life five minutes at a time.” I took her suggestion literally at first, telling myself all day long things like “get through these next sixty seconds” and “you only have to live for the next one minute.” I would watch the clock and when I noticed that my single minutes were up, I’d remind myself; “only one minute more.” Eventually it would be the end of the work day and I’d go home to do the very same coping mechanism.

Pretty soon, I moved from making it through the next 60 seconds to making it through the next five minutes. Months later it turned into making it through the next hour. A year after he left I was working through making it through the day. Two and a half years later I can proudly say that I have made it through 82 million seconds, 1.4 million minues, 22K hours and over 134 weeks. I no longer count the minutes (unless work is driving me crazy) and I rarely think about more than “make it through today, that’s all you have to do!” but I know that the next time I need to, I will count to sixty, start over, and then continue for the next three weeks.

How do you cope? Are you a time watcher or do you hide from it? I’d love to hear about alternative coping mechanisms as I know I’ll face more emotional situations in the future.

Thank you to Ellen for the inspiration for this post. Ellen wrote a great piece about Migraine strategies for living where she encourages her readers to break their lives into 15-minute sections to get through their days.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

New Year’s Resolutions, X

4 365 Pantone Party
Image by *spud* via Flickr

81. Plant a tree (thanks Angie) – whether I have to plant it in a bucket or in a yard, I will plant a tree. Maybe a lime tree. That’d be cool, right?

82. Play a game of poker – I don’t really know how, so I should learn and then play.

83. Try a new beer – definitely not doing this in the month that I’m detoxing that liver of mine. Hah! I would like to find an IPA that I like, since I’ve never had one that I really enjoyed the taste of.

84. Visit a National Monument – could be doing this right now. (I’m in South Carolina this week!)

85. Wear a headband – I don’t have a huge head, but headbands hurt the area behind my ears. I’d like to find one that didn’t.

86. Buy and keep a houseplant alive – I don’t have a black thumb, but I’ve killed a jade plant or two in my lifetime.

87. Bleach my teeth – I used to be really good about this but have slacked off. It improves my confidence and makes me feel pretty so I should be better about it!

88. Visit with Michelle and the girls in Virginia when they’re there – ‘Chelle’s husband is in the Marines and will be in Virginia for some training and they’ll be visiting. They live in California right now and so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like to!

89. Get a kitty – this is mentally in the moving costs. Hopefully I can find a place that’ll let me get one!

90. Volunteer at least 100 hours – that’s only 2 hours a week and once I find a place I really ENJOY volunteering I think this will be easy!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Useful health websites, III

Healthy Snacks
Image by ChinchillaVilla via Flickr

My favorite site that I’ve stumbled upon since this new project at work has been Patients Like Me. This website has blown me away.

I can’t even go into everything that Patients Like Me offers because it’s so in depth! Create a profile to reach out and make new friends with your same condition. Even if you’ve not been officially diagnosed, you have an option of joining the groups of patients who are living with the same issues you are. Make lists of your symptoms, your treatment options, your lab test levels and even your weight. Update daily, weekly, or even monthly to begin seeing trends in your health.

One of my favorite parts of Patients Like Me is their “research” tab. Look at the available tools, the current studies, and even opportunities to jump into being a lab rat for your condition! Gab with other people on the forums and make connections you didn’t have beforehand.

I liken Patients Like Me to a MySpace for those living with chronic illnesses. It’s such a great way to reach out to others and make new friends who understand what you’re living with!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Useful health websites, II

Médecins Sans Frontières treating cases of Cholera
Image by Sokwanele – Zimbabwe via Flickr

I am an epidemiology nerd. I love reading about disease outbreaks and poisonings and reading studies about public health problems. Because of this nerdiness, when I found HealthMap, I was blown away. The Global Health Map creates a super-neat map that shows you disease outbreaks globally!

From this map, I was able to see that there has been adverse effects to the hepatitis vaccination in China, two cases of Polio in Karachi, yet another cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, a massive flu outbreak in England and botulism outbreak in Florida.

You can use the left hand menu to choose what diseases you want to concentrate on. Choose country specific alerts instead of disease specific if you’re more interested in looking at things that way. Either way, there’s probably at least one outbreak of something your state and you should go check it out! Think of me as you’re reading about your diseased-state!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Here we go again …

Western Honey ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I live with chronic pain.

My pain has had a flare up and I’ve been going to bed early and being so tired in the morning I hardly drag myself out of bed. In the rollercoaster of life with chronic pain, I am at the bottom. That means I can only go up, right?

More soon! I promise! I have GOOD entries on paper that I just don’t have the energy to get onto the laptop!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Are you long waisted, short waisted or just plain wasted?

Woman in swimsuit
Image via Wikipedia

Ever read style articles and see that something is recommended for a long-waisted woman or that “this dress fits a short waisted woman the best”? I have, and I’ve always been kinda concerned, what am I? I have learned why one-piece bathing suits never quite fit me right (and are ALWAYS wedgie-inducers!): I’m long waisted!

If you’re curious:

Measure yourself from the top of your head to your natural waist (the smallest part of your midsection).
Measure yourself from your natural waist to the floor.

If the first measurement (head to waist) is longer than the second measurement (waist to floor), you’re long waisted. If your waist-to-floor measurement is longer than your head-to-waist measurement, you’re short waisted.

Easy, huh?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Holiday destressing tips

Fitness advocate Richar...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The holidays are stressful for a lot of people. I have two gifts left to buy and am hoping that getting those two gifts won’t be a stressful process, so I’m not too freaked out. For those of you who are stressed right now. Calm down, finish reading this entry, do one thing (or more!) on the list and try to relax a bit!

1. Take a hot bath with some fantastic bubbles or a salt soak. One of my favorite products to use while in a hot bath is Aveeno Stress Relief Foaming Bath. The smell of lavender and ylang ylang is very nice when you’re stressed out. Another product I love to use is a 3-in-1 shampoo, cleansing gel and bubble bath that smells like vanilla birthday cake by philosophy. It smells so good you’ll want to eat it, but just soak yourself in it instead.

2. Go for a walk. Get outside, or even walk on a treadmill, but get up and move around. Exercise has been shown to be a definite stress reducer. Whether you decide to venture into the cold (remember your hat, you lose 7-55% of your body heat through your head!) or sweatin’ with Richard Simmons in your living room, just move around!

3. Smile! Laugh! Enjoy yourself! Laughing reduces endorphins that are critical in reducing stress. Need something funny to check out? My recommendations include: LOL Cats, LOL Celebs or XKCD.

4. Vent to someone you trust, or to strangers you’ve never met before. I keep a personal blog I share some pretty strange things on … and I’m sharing them to get them out of my head and into the world. I really don’t care too much what people think about my venting, and for me it’s an intense stress reliever.

5. Brew a cup of tea, or if you can stand it while you’re anxious, have a cup of good coffee. I don’t like to add to my heart rate when I’m stressed and so I go for one of the teas from Yogi Tea. My favorite tea right now from Yogi Teas is their Berry DeTox. Even though for me it’s only a mental detox, sometimes tea is powerful enough to just do that! If you want, Yogi Tea is willing to send you a free sample!

What do you like to do to destress?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

You can’t get pregnant if …

Combined oral contraceptives. Introduced in 19...
Image via Wikipedia

share your pregnancy myths with me for a chance to be featured in an upcoming WEGO Health birth control newsletter!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]