Links for Friday – and all about those darn pharmaceutical companies

March 13, 2009 Categories: Books , Health , Kid Stuff , Movies | 1 Comment  

So, I got to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. Co-pay – after insurance – is 100 bucks. Ka-ching! I told the pharmacist to hold on to it and called my doctor. There’s no way I want to pay $100 a month for a medication I may need for several months – or even worse, that may not work – even if we had the money, which we don’t. Apparently, there are much cheaper alternatives, but apparently financial considerations are not something a neurologist has to worry about. Anyway, he called in a different script – this one for a bloood pressure med that also happens to work on rebound headaches and migraines – and the co-pay was $10. I can handle that. I took it last night for the first time and still woke up with a headache, but it will take a few days to work, I guess. (fingers crossed)

In other health-related news, round two of the plague has hit our house. We had a couple of almost-cough-free days, when Noah started coughing again, his eyes started watering, and he couldn’t breathe through his nose. Two days later, the other three have it, too. Which totally stinks, because we were supposed to have our annual St. Paddy’s Day Feast at Don and Michelle’s Saturday, but we’ll be staying home so as not to expose them to the plague right before they leave for Portland next weekend.

My weekend, therefore, will consist of loads of laundry, practicing Easter music, and hopefully, reading. What will you be doing this weekend? Will you celebrate St. Paddy’s Day on Tuesday?

~ Do you Twitter? I do. (You can follow me at If you’d like to find out if your favorite author is tweeting, check out this list.

~ Ever wanted to know how many were coming from St. Ives? Girl Detective‘s son did – and she’s found the answer so the rest of us don’t have to. It’s a cute post; don’t miss it.

~ I finished listening to Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber on audiobook – all 33 discs of it! Here’s my review.

~ The Outlander series also came up in this post about the books I’d like to see on film.

~ Dad and I went to see Push at the local theater Monday night. It was good.

~ I read, enjoyed, and reviewed Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler.

Neurologist appointment

March 10, 2009 Categories: Health | 9 Comments  

I don’t have a lot of time, but here’s a quick update for those of you who have been following my saga to get rid of daily headaches. The doctor said that I most likely have a combination of two different problems – since my neuro exam and CAT scan of my brain both were normal. I have always separated my headaches into two different types: migraines, and regular headaches. I’d have a migraine once every couple months, and a regular headache almost every day. He said that for people – like me – who are predisposed to headaches and have a hereditary history of headaches (my grandfather, dad, sisters, and now Natalie are all migraine sufferers), that they classify them into “bad” migraine days and “normal” migraine days. So my daily headache could just be less serious migraines.

The other complication is that I’ve been taking ibuprofen and/or tylenol on a daily basis for more than a year now, so I’m having rebound headaches. He said that anyone who takes ibuprofen or tylenol more often than twice a week is a candidate for rebounds – if they already have a predisposition for headaches, which I obviously do.

Anyway, the plan is to get me on a daily preventative medication so that I can stop taking the ibuprofen and tylenol. Hopefully this will get rid of the daily headaches, and then I can taper off of the preventative medication and only take a migraine medication when I have a migraine. I will start the new med tonight – it’s actually an anti-siezure medication that has been found to work on brain chemistry as a migraine and headache preventative.

If you’ve read to the end of this lengthy explanation, and are the praying type, I would appreciate prayers as I try this new medication. I have a rocky past with perscription drugs, with lots of drug allergies and bad reactions. I would appreciate prayers that I do not have a bad reaction to the new medication – and that it works. He said that there are about a dozen different medications that neuros prescribe for prevention of migraine, and it’s just trial-and-error to find what works for each individual. I’d like to avoid a lengthy trial-and-error period, if at all possible.

Well, I’m off to corrrect yesterday’s math and start in on today’s work with the kids. Thanks for listening – and caring! I love my readers. :)

Tests normal. So what’s wrong with me?

December 9, 2008 Categories: Health | 11 Comments  

Good news: No sleep apnea. No brain tumor or lesions or bleeds or anything like that.

Bad news: Still having daily headaches and dizziness.

So – back to the doctor I go.

Links for Friday

November 27, 2008 Categories: Books , Health , Holidays , Movies , Reviews , Writing | 1 Comment  

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We did. Since it was just us at Mom and Dad’s, it was relatively quiet. We ate until we were stuffed, visited, were glad we didn’t waste much time watching the Seahawks/Dallas game, played a game of Apples to Apples, and visited some more. It was a good day.

Nothing new on the health front. I slept with a pulse oximeter on my finger Monday night, to measure my oxygen levels as I sleep in order to test for sleep apnea. What with the holiday this week, I can’t imagine I’ll hear anything until next week. My doctor’s nurse must still be waiting for insurance approval for the CAT scan, cause I haven’t heard anything on that front. Emotionally, I’m doing pretty well, so thanks for all your prayers.

Tomorrow, we will put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house. Can you believe it’s that time already? We’re planning an at-home type of weekend, before we gear up for the big push of holiday season. Next weekend will be absolutely crazy, what with Natalie’s birthday party and a bunch of other stuff going on.

~ I’ve been doing some prep work for my taxes as a freelance writer, and came across this great comic.

~ The new trend in disgusting food is insect sushi.

~ Jo-Jo is giving away Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane.

~ Some of the books I’m thankful I found this year.

~ My review of A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King.

~ More great TV on DVD.

~ Mini-reviews of High School Musical 3: Senior Year and Get Smart.

Have a great weekend!

Health update

November 23, 2008 Categories: Health | 6 Comments  

Thank you all for your prayers and concern. I saw the doctor on Friday, but didn’t get any answers. My ears looked fine, so that doesn’t seem to be the explanation for the dizziness or the headaches. I’m also experiencing some other symptoms that my doctor called “soft neurological symptoms,” and has ordered two tests to determine the cause. One, I will be having a CAT scan on my brain sometime soon – as soon as the insurance company forks over approval. Two, I will be doing a sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea, as lack of oxygen while sleeping can sometimes cause the symptoms I’m having.

If you’re the praying sort, I would appreciate your prayers. Pray not only that the doctors are able to find an answer, and that it’s nothing serious, but that God would grant me peace while I wait. One of my biggest fears, in fact the thing that brought on my anxiety problems during a health scare a couple years ago, is dying and leaving my children. I don’t fear death itself, but I fear leaving my children before they are grown. I’m trying not to completely freak out – and the doctor was kind enough to give me a refill on anxiety meds that I have taken in the past. So far, I haven’t had to take any except at night, when the “what-if” thoughts keep me from sleeping.

I’ll post a further update as soon as I know anything else.

Links – and a poem – for Good Friday

March 20, 2008 Categories: Faith , Funnies , Health , Poetry , Writing | 6 Comments  

When Katy at Fallible announced that she now had an agent to help guide her literary career, I was so very happy for her. I also started reading her agent’s blog. She gives great writing advice (like this), and she’s also hosting The Yo-Dawg-Show-Me-What-You-Got Double Decker CHALLENGE. There are two parts to the competition: submit the first line of a novel – a first line that will make her want to keep reading; second, after she chooses the winning first line, submit the first 300 words to go with the winning first line. If you’re a writer, the prize is something all unpublished writers pine after, so please click over and check out all the details. The deadline for the first phase is Saturday at midnight her time, so don’t wait.

Now, onto a totally different and completely unrelated topic: colonoscopies. Yes, I know, not what you expect from my blog. However, I read this funny and important column by Dave Barry about hist first colonoscopy – and why, after avoiding it for 10 years, he finally had it done.

OK. You turned 50. You know you’re supposed to get a colonoscopy. But you haven’t. Here are your reasons:

1. You’ve been busy.

2. You don’t have a history of cancer in your family.

3. You haven’t noticed any problems.

4. You don’t want a doctor to stick a tube 17,000 feet up your butt.

Let’s examine these reasons one at a time. No, wait, let’s not. Because you and I both know that the only real reason is No. 4. This is natural. The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply involved in what is technically known as your ”behindular zone” gives you the creeping willies.

Now that I’ve shown you how humorous even this topic can be, click over and read the column. And, if you’re over fifty and have yet to be screened (yes, Dad, I mean you), make an appointment.

And, since it’s Good Friday, I leave you with this:

I read of Christ crucified,
the only begotten Son
sacrificed to flesh and time
and all our woe. He died
and rose, but who does not tremble
for His pain, His loneliness,
and the darkness of the sixth hour?
Unless we grieve like Mary
at His grave, giving Him up
as lost, no Easter morning comes.

~from The Way of Pain, by Wendell Berry


January 14, 2008 Categories: Health | 5 Comments  

Is it possible to catch two strains of the flu during the same flu season? Cause two weeks ago I had the extremely sore throat, achy body, head-in-a-vice headache, mild fever kind. And now, I have the chest congestion, nasty cough, body aches so bad you want to cry like a baby, head-in-a-vice headache, mild fever kind. Or could this just be round two of the same flu? I don’t know, but I do know that I am very sick of being sick, and I sure hope this is short-lived. Ugh.

Review of Enzymes and Your Health

November 5, 2007 Categories: Books , Health , Reviews | 1 Comment  

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I have taken digestive enzymes off and on for the past 10 years. More off than on, I have to admit. I’m sure I’ve never taken them for a long enough time to get the full health benefits. After reading Enzymes and Your Health by Dr. Howard W. Fisher, I’m determined to start taking them again – and keep taking them.

Dr. Fisher starts his book with a chapter that gives a very detailed, yet concise, description of the digestion process. He also includes an explanation of enzymes’ role in digestion.

He then goes on to explain exactly what enzymes are, and why a person needs to supplement their body’s own enzymes.

“One of the problems that we continuously face is that not only does our current food supply contain diminished amounts of enzymes, but we have traded off enzyme content for processing and increased shelf life.” –p. 8.

“Past the age of thirty-years-old there is a decrease in the amount of digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas, stomach and small intestine. Furthermore, shipping, food processing and preservatives all deplete the enzyme content of foods…

…How many of us eat raw food diets? According to Gabriel Cousens, M.D., poor mineral content in the soil, pesticides and fertilizers have decreased the enzyme content of raw foods to the point that supplemental enzymes are necessary always!” –p. 22.

Dr. Fisher also explains why an insufficiency of digestive enzymes results in problems in other systems of the body that are seemingly unrelated to digestion. The list of conditions that have been proven to benefit from enzyme supplementation is surprising: fatigue, yeast overgrowth, headaches, heartburn, food allergies, decreased immunity, and many more.

I was especially interested in learning how enzyme deficiency can lead to overeating and obesity, two areas in which I have struggled for years.

“If the body is deficient in enzymes there is the predisposition to eat more in order to get the necessary nutrition. This leads to a vicious cycle, since no matter how much food is ingested the inability to break it down will result in potential malnutrition and the neurologically directed desire to eat more. Continuously compounding this cycle can lead to obesity.” –p. 49.

Dr. Fisher has included many charts and tables that illustrate the role of each enzyme and how they relate to each system of the body. He also cites many studies that collaborate his findings.

He has convinced me about how essential enzyme supplementation is to overall health. I encourage you to read the book and be convinced as well.

In the interest of full disclosure, my husband works for the company that is selling this book, and we do receive a small commission on any books bought from the above link. That said, I do believe everything I wrote in the book review. I am continuing to take enzymes, and I will post any health changes I see as a result.