Grass Fed Beef and Its Benefits

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I have been researching the difference between grass fed beef versus grain fed beef and found a few sites here in my home state of Ohio who are not only raising the beef, with no hormones or grain feeding, and another web page that gives farms you can contact to get more information. I am glad to pass this information on because I know that many others are beginning to see the benefits and wanting to know more about it as well.

My interest began when I watched a show on PBS that detailed the business of corn fed meat and how corn has contributed to the overall obesity in this country. It was an eye opening show and it made me rethink what my priorities are. Basically, it comes down to money versus health.

I hope if you are interested, you will read more about it and research it as well. Here is the link of the show and the web pages I mentioned as well.

www.pbs.org/independentlens/kingcorn/film.html

http://www.eatwild.com/products/ohioresources.htm

http://www.grassfedfarms.blogspot.com/

Lupus and Disability

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Many people who are diagnosed with lupus are still working. Many others are not able to work anymore and have had to apply for disability. This can be both a blessing and a curse. The biggest question many ask is “When do I quit working?” and “Can I get disability if I have to quit working?”

Each lupus patient must make these decisions on their own. Alot depends on whether they are having major issues. For instance, I went on chemo and explained to my employer that it made me sick and weak. I was informed that they were going to work with me. Upon my taking a paid leave of absence because of the weakness and sickness that chemo brings, I was informed, via email no less, that I was terminated. I admit I was bitter and disillusioned but after working for 15 years with lupus, I finally had to realize that this was my wake up call that maybe I needed to retire and take care of me.

To be sure, this decision was not made lightly. My husband was on disability already for some major issues and I was the breadwinner of the family, and I carried insurance as well. To lose my job meant that unless I cobra’d the insurance, we lost our health insurance that we both so desperately needed. Now, I ask you, if you have ever had to cobra your insurance, how expensive was it? Sad to say, ours was too expensive so no insurance.

This road we traveled carried many twists and turns but in the end, I received my disability and got insured again. The road was rough… not an easy one. We lost our house, our cars and all of our savings while waiting to get the disability pay. I had to resort to the United Way for help getting my rx’s. Unless you have ever had to do this, you will not understand just how low you feel and humiliated. I ended up not taking a lot of my meds and actually got worse because of it.

I am not writing this to scare anyone. I am doing it to share so that others can survive the transition without all the drama we went through.

I was my own advocate in this process. No, I am not an attorney, but I did all the leg work myself and compiled it and gave it to SSA. My claim was denied three times and I had to appeal each time. Finally, I went before a judge and he granted my claim. I now consider myself “retired”. I did all of this by myself. In my previous emplyment I had worked for attorneys so I figured I could handle it myself and I did.

This is no easy thing to go through let me tell you. Your self esteem takes a beating from not working. I loved working, and the challenges of it all. I found myself at loose ends, not knowing what to do. However, I have now settled into a fairly decent routine for my days (the ones where I feel good). I do not have guilt for missing work because of my disease. (no job:not worrying about job).

I found out a lot about myself in this process too. I found that I am an intelligent woman. For example, while I was waiting out the process of disability, and on high doses of prednisone, I decided to “pretend” I wanted a little scrapbook store. So, I drafted a business plan, looked up merchandise and wholesale, called the wholesalers for catalogs with pricing, checked out storefronts, etc. You see, it kept my mind busy while my body was not doing so good. I kept my mind focused on something other than my disease. It really did help me get through the rough times.

Disability is no easy road even when you get it. For example, my husband and I receive an amount per month that almost equals what we used to bring home weekly. Our budget shrank, our bills piled up, and we both lost hope of ever seeing the other side. Slowly, we have crawled out from under it all to discover we have many things we can enjoy that do not cost a lot of money and energy.

Now we have insurance again so we can see our doctors without the fear of paying for it. Our prescriptions are covered now and it is another blessing. We have learned to slow down, enjoy life, and enjoy the somple things now. We both were so busy in trying to work and save and do all the things you are supposed to do, that we forgot how to relax. We camp, fish, go to races, play with the grands, garage sales, etc and enjoy doing things we had pushed to the back burner while we were working.

Life has changed for us in so many ways now. We have a smaller home now than the one we had before and we drive a car that we bought with cash. It is a 1994, but it is paid for and if it need repairs, it is still cheaper than the new ones we had. We downsized our possessions and literally threw out a lot of junk we had been carrying around for years.

We moved back to Ohio to help my mother-in-law with her house and did so willing. We get to spend more time with our grandchildren and extended family and friends. While we may not have a nest egg anymore, we are surviving and feel blessed. You see, when we stripped away all the material things we had been striving for, we saw that we were not enjoying them as much as the smaller, simpler things we have now.

As those who read this blog know, many days are not easy for me and as much as I wish I could go back to work I now accept that it will not happen unless I get into remission. This whole experience is like the serenity prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr. It says the following:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

It says it all. In conclusion, disability is a blessing in that when you get sick and cannot work anymore it is a safety net. The process is different for each person. How you deal with it will either make you angry or stronger (I prefer stronger). Instead of moaning about what we lost, we choose to look at what we have and find blessings in each and every day in many ways, big or small. Most importantly, we have our focus on God, who gives us life and knows what we really need to live…1 Timothy 6:7-10 says this:

 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out. 8 So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.

9 However, those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and ruin. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains

Nuff said…

busy day today

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Today was a very busy day indeed. My mother-in-law officially worked her last day yesterday in preparation for her move to Kentucky. Wal-Mart gave her a big cake, a beautiful bouquet of calalillies, a candle and a picture frame. She was surprised at the gifts for sure.

Today, our congregation gave her a farewell party. She has been in this congregation for some 49 years now so it was a pretty big deal! The food was outstanding, and lovingly made by so many of the congregation. There was a “jeopardy” type game with questions a bout my mother-in-law as well and a good time was had by all! Many of the friends brought gifts and cards. It was so precious to see how they will miss her when she moves.

Her move is truly a big one for her. You see, she has lived her whole life in our hometown. She has worked locally at several jobs but retired from them all now. She is 74. She was widowed in late 40’s. She grew up a few streets away from her current home so in essence, she only moved a few blocks in her lifetime. Now she is packing her belongings and moving 3 hours away to a brand new apartment that my sister and brother-in-law have built for her above their home. This is a big deal!

We have lived with her for some three years now so her leaving will be difficult for us as well. We now have her home and are making it ours. We are painting and bringing the house up to date. It is an adventure for us as well as her.

On to wolfie… I made it through this busy day and am sitting in the living room typing this and trying to keep my eyes open long enough to do it. I laughed so much my cheeks hurt. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many of Christ‘s followers who exhibit love in such an unselfish way. It is beautiful to see that love extended to those around them as well. She is leaving a very special congregation for sure, but she is moving to another one that will keep her busy and happy as well.

Life can take such sweet twists and turns and shake things up a bit but deep down, as long as we are able, we should always be Christ like in our love for others in both word and deed. While sitting here in pain, it is nonetheless heartwarming to feel that special bond with others who believe as you do. Her new congregation is wonderful too. I lived dwon there and was a member for a time (while we lived there). It is filled with many others who are genuine, trust worthy and God fearing. A blessing indeed for her. They were for me and I miss them so but I am also surrounded here with the same love in the congregation I attend. Blessings from God, His congregations are a source of love, knowledge, wisdom and truth. Blessings to you all!

An Apple A Day

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When I was a little girl, my mom used to say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. I know it is one of those wives tales and yet there is a ring of truth in it as well. If we eat good foods and not junk, we will be (for the most part) healthier than if we consumed junk foods all the time. I say this generally, not individually. Some people do all the right things, eating good foods, exercise daily, and avoid stress as much as able and yet they still get sick.

When we get sick, we tend to feel awful from head to toe. In this day and age, we trudge forward, and take our illnesses with us to work, school, the market and anyplace else we have to go. When the numbers of those ill reach enormous proportions, it should come as no surprise.

A generation ago, many people stayed home when they were ill. Of course, to balance this line of information it moves me to state that with all of oura new drugs and tests and such, we feel like we HAVE to trudge forward. We have the luxury of having all these medications that were not available not that long ago. A simple cold 60 years ago could mean death if it turned into pneumonia and worse. Some of the “cures” back then were barbaric by today’s standards.

There is a grain of truth in some of the old wives tales we heard growing up. My grandmother gave us a honey/whiskey/lemon concoction when we were ill with a cold or cough. Guess what? It worked. Once I had children of my own, I was reminded of this remedy when they were ill. In an effort to not harm my children, I asked my pediatrician about this homemade remedy and guess what he told me? He said that the honey/whiskey/lemon rememdy was actually very good and he said he doesn’t recommend it because some people have an aversion to the whiskey part of it. The funny thing is that most of the cough and cold syrups of the time had alcohol in them, but they were not aware of it. I confess that it did not hurt my kids, although my daughter used to go to the refridgerator at night and fake a cough so she could have her “medicine” long after her cough had gone.

One of my favorites was the farmers tale that says corn should be “knee high by the fourth of July“. I am not a farmer, nor do I know much about it, but I still find myself checking out the height of the corn around the fourth of July to see if the crops are well along like the tale says. Funny, most of them are so I guess that is where that one came from.

Here is one I hear most any day. It says that if you drop your food on the floor or ground, there is a five second rule and no germs will be on it if you get it before the five seconds elapse. The reality of this one is that the germs aare on there the second the food touches the ground. In five seconds, it is loaded with germs. This has been proven by a scientific study (yes, they study things like this).

Here is one that is actually dangerous. If you happen to get a burn, the wives tale said to put butter on it. My mother did this to me and my sisters. Her mother did it to her. In light of research and studies, though, it has been proven not only NOT to work, but can actually cause the burn to be worse than using nothing at all. Why people did not figure it out is unknown, but it has been passed down for years anyway.

When I was younger, another one I heard was that if you cracked your knuckles, you would get arthritis. Yet again, the research has proven that this one is false, but cracking your knuckles can cause pain and swelling and since it is not good for you, maybe in a convuluted way this kept people from the problems that can be associated with the practice.

I confess that there are many more out there, but the last one I will discuss is the one that says not to swallow your chewing gum because it will not digest and over time you will have a wad of gum in your stomach. I have heard seven years to digest. I looked this one up. On the web page link here, http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/tales17.html

It states that chewing gum is digested just like regular food and in the same amount of time as well.  I am thinking of calling my mother to tell her the truth. Maybe not.

So, some wives tales have a ring of truth to them while others can be harmful. I say that if in doubt, check it out. I did and was amazed to find out the truth to some of these and many others. Happy hunting for you who like wives tales!

 

Great new snack

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Ok, I admit it. I found this new snack and had to share it! If you like pineapple you will love this! Dole has come out with this new snack called “Real Fruit Bites”. It is delicious I tell you! It consists of pineapple and yogurt and whole grain oats and the best part is it is only 80 calories!

My mil tasted a sample at walmart and decided to buy it and bring it home. I tried it and loved it! I will try to find a coupon for it and buy it again. Anyhoo, just wanted to pass this along even though it is not lupus related.

Go Away Wolf!

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Hi everyone! I am amazed by how many people are actually reading my blog! It makes me realize that even when this blog is negative (like me on bad days), it is still able to reach out and touch someone else who may have similar issues. That is the very reason I started this blog and I am glad it is appreciated by the readers.

The title of this post is “Go away wolf!”. For you fellow lupies out there, you will understand what I am saying. For those who do not understand, I will explain. Lupus is another name for wolf. Actually, the definition for lupus is this:

 (Miriam-Webster dictionary

: any of several diseases characterized by skin lesions; especially : systemic lupus erythematosus

Origin of LUPUS

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, wolf

First Known Use: 14th century
 
As you can see, the origin of the word is latin and it means wolf.  So, I am telling the wolf (aka lupus) to go away!
 
This began because as I tried to get out of bed this morning, I was not able to. I gave up and went back to sleep, only to wake up later (like noonish) when my hubs told me to get up. I did, but slowly. I went about some business and then went back to bed again. There I rested until I had to get up again.
 
It is painful as well. My joints are throbbing in pain while my head was aching and my stomach was even in on it by being nauseous. Yup, a red alert day for sure! I think (well, duh) that I may have overdone it yesterday when I did the dishes, laundry and painted the bathroom and vanity. My fingers are hurting particularly badly and so I have been avoiding using them until now. I am going to put an ice pack on them in bed.
 
I am having a hard time pacing myself and this time it bit me in the butt. I am completely out of spoons and in dire need of more for tomorrow. It is my hope that I will be rested and able to function again tomorrow.  You would think that I would figure out NOT to overdo it since I do try to “listen” to my body. However, we are sooo trying to get this house whipped into shape and it is killing me while all the stuff in piled around me. Enter Superlupus Jennifer, aka me. When it gets overwhelming, I go overboard. I try to knock out all that I can in one day. It never fails that I get paid back for doing it too. One of these days, I will learn.
 
Now I am medicated and getting ready to go off to bed again, this time for the night. The insomnia seems to have left me for the time being and now I am in the other direction, sleeping full time. I wish for one “normal” day every once in a while. When I get one, they sneak in and then about half way through the day I realize I feel great. Maybe tomorrow, oh well, I digress…
 
I hope you all have a pain free day and are surrounded by those who are supportive! I am hoping for one for myself as well… selfish me…