February 3rd – Shingles Vaccine

Looking back at previous blogs that I have posted, I came across this one regarding my run in with shingles.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2019/10/29/shingles-vaccine/

Since I wrote this we have had global debate and debacle over vaccines. I understand this, but still felt this post was worthy of update.

While you may be reluctant to get the vaccine for shingles (or anything else right now) I would like to share a bit more information on shingles.

1) Anyone who has had chicken pox, regardless of age, can get shingles. When I had shingles, and in the weeks after, I heard horror stories from people of all ages, who had experienced this horrid condition.

2) Shingles can erupt anywhere on one’s body. I had it on my face and scalp (particularly nasty as it can cause loss of sight, hearing, and permanent disfigurement). I heard of people experiencing outbreaks on their shoulder, back, waist, and thighs.

3) The first sign of shingles may not be a painful, itchy, crusty rash. Mine started with stabbing pain, seemingly deep in my sinuses. Next, there was redness and swelling and my eye was bloodshot. There was one small obvious blister on my forehead, which did not register with me due to everything else causing me misery and discomfort.

4) There is medical treatment available – but one must start treatment within 72 hours of initial signs of outbreak. I was fortunate that while I had no idea that I had shingles, I did go to my doctor on time and was able to receive effective treatment.

I wouldn’t wish shingles on anyone. I would still advise anyone 50 or over, who has had chicken pox, to get the shingles vaccine. If you choose not to, I hope this information helps you to identify the condition if you ever have a breakout and that you are able to get the treatment before you are faced with months of devastating pain and worse. I heard so many stories of people who went through hell with shingles. You really don’t want to become one of them.

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! 💞

November 23rd – Healthcare

I am off for another medical test today. I am grateful that throughout my life, I have for the most part been able to avoid medical procedures and surgeries, but time obviously catches up with all of us eventually. While I have healthcare on my mind, I decided this would be an opportune time to share some ‘words of wisdom’ on health, healthcare, and the medical profession.

“If your body’s not right, the rest of your day will go all wrong. Take care of yourself.” – V.L. Allineare

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s books.” Irish Proverb

“In minds crammed with thoughts, organs clogged with toxins, and bodies stiffened with neglect, there is just not space for anything else. ” – Alison Rose

“He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” Arabian Proverb

“Your mind needs exercise just as much as your body does, that’s why I think about jogging every day.” – Unknown

“The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine.” – William Osler

“Excuses don’t kill the fat, exercises do.” – Unknown

“Though the doctor’s treated him, let his blood, and gave him medications to drink, he nevertheless recovered.” – Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace

“We’d been assured it wouldn’t be painful, though she might experience ‘discomfort’, a term beloved by the medical profession that seems to be a synonym for agony that isn’t yours.” – Leon Shrivner This one I can relate to! When I was in the hospital a few years ago, I had drainage tubes in my back which were kept covered by a huge bandage, held in place by tape that I was obviously allergic to. Every time, the bandage was changed, the tape took off parts of my skin and much of my soul with it. One clever doctor decided the best way to remove it was to rip it off with one swift pull. I let out a shriek and clung to the ceiling in pain. The doctor looked at me, dazed and confused, and said “That didn’t hurt”. I assured him that it did indeed hurt. 🙄

That’s it for today, folks. Take care and have a great day!

October 28th – Muscle Cramps

This morning I went searching for information on muscle cramps and it led me to an interesting news story, here.

Most people suffer occasional, if not frequent muscle cramps. I have certainly had my share, so I am familiar with that excruciating “kill me now!” pain that they cause. Most of my muscle cramps affect my toes or my calf muscles. My previous boss would get cramps in his hands that looked brutally painful. My husband Dan generally experiences his worst cramps in his thigh muscles.

Last night, Dan’s right thigh muscle cramped. I heard him let out a moan/groan/scream cuss word. By the time I got to the kitchen, he was clutching the back of a chair. By his facial expression, I was convinced that he was suffering a heart attack. Quite possibly one that could turn fatal at any moment. Through clutched teeth, he mumbled that he had a cramp in his thigh.

Having no idea what I could do to help, without risking making the situation worse, I started to gently massage his thigh. The muscle felt like twisted steel rope. The pain went on, and on, and ON! I don’t know how long it lasted, but it seemed to go on for ages. Gradually the cramp eased to the point where Dan could move. He slowly and cautiously walked (shuffled) across the kitchen and livingroom until the pain ramped down to a dull ache.

This morning, I set out to determine what could be done to diminish the frequency, severity, and duration of muscle cramps before one of us lost a toe or a leg to one of these insidious events. I expected to read about the prevention of dehydration, or the need to take supplements such as magnesium or calcium. I did not know what, or if, I would find anything to ease a cramp that was already in progress.

Amazingly, I found a number of articles, from credible sources that suggested PICKLE JUICE as a quick and effective means for releasing a muscle cramps. While a number of theories have been tested as to how pickle juice alleviates muscle cramps, most research that I came across pointed to the same conclusion. If one is suffering from a severe muscle cramp, tossing back a couple of ounces of pickle juice triggers a reflex in the back of one’s throat that shuts down the misfiring of neurons in muscles throughout the body, effectively releasing the muscle cramp.

Apparently this is not news to a lot of athletes, who have been using pickle juice to ease muscle cramps for years – and who totally swear by it.

Personally, I have not tried it – yet! But the next time Dan gets a muscle cramps – I will be ready. Maybe I will tell him that it is vodka, just in case he is not into the whole pickle juice experiment. 😏

They are even Hungarian pickles! 👍

That is my news for today! If anyone has tried pickle juice as a muscle relaxant, I would love to hear about the results in the comment section below. 😊

Take care and have a great day! 💞

Surviving the Hard Times

These are hard times, dark days for many. There is our ongoing pandemic, political problems, economic and environmental issues, countless global issues – all above and beyond the inevitable struggles of our own personal, individual lives.

I am fortunate and grateful that I am in a good place right now – better than most and better than many places I have been. I may not share the pain of those who are struggling right now but I can and do empathize.

When one is going through a really difficult time one can easily feel abandoned, attacked, hopeless and helpless. Life can be draining and devastating – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is easy to feel like giving up.

Many years ago I experienced a life altering moment. My life in general was bad – really bad. I left the hospital where my father lay dying, to drive home to take care of my family. It was typically a two hour drive on a good day. This day was not a good day. My father was dying, my marriage was in shreds, my husband had become a raging miserable bastard, my kids needed me, my parents needed me, I needed to be at work – and I was driving home in a blizzard. I could barely see beyond the front of my car (which was a worn out little sedan with no heater). I was terrified, I was heartbroken, I was sobbing and my tears made it even more difficult to see the road ahead. The stretch of road I was on is a series of hills and valleys. This day, as the snow fell and the wind blew , the valleys filled with snow drifts which I had to step on the gas to power through. Every drift that I pushed through brought me to a stretch of sheer ice at the top of a hill. My hands were frozen and my arms were limp. When I reached the point of believing this trip was going to end very badly, I noticed a sign a few car lengths away from me. I thought, okay. I may not make it home but I can get that far. I did. Then I saw a utility post – and I made it that far. This went on and on and on, until I made it home. I was frozen, I was exhausted, I was stronger, and I had learned an important lesson on how to navigate through life’s hard times. (Which I, unfortunately, had to use a few times since!)

For anyone struggling right now, take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, and do whatever you can to to help yourself feel empowered – even it just for a day, an hour or a moment. Know that you can, and that you will, make it through this – as long as you keep moving forward.

Also, If you must walk through hell, walk through like you own place!

I hope you enjoy my own unofficial theme song from Rodney Atkins.