Q1 2017 Review

These first three months of 2017 did not go anything like I had planned. I signed up for many online courses and had tonnes of ebooks to read and review.

I’ve been in a major depressive episode with anxiety and overwhelm since mid-January. I realized what was going on mid-February and started trying to climb out. Things were improving. I had an eye appointment and learned I needed new glasses and should get bifocals. My optometrist was willing to hold off on the bifocals for another year since I couldn’t afford bifocals but I still had enough of a prescription change to require new glasses anyway. (I picked up my new glasses last week.) 

I learned about a craft/small business market to be held quarterly in town and obtained the registration forms planning to register for all four. I planned to register after returning from my oncology appointment the next week. 

While in the city the morning of my appt my sister called. Her eldest, my 23 yo nephew had died. That was Feb.21. CancerCare was great and expidited my appointment getting me in right away. My mother and I hit the highway immediately for the five hour drive home.

The autopsy on my nephew was inconclusive and we haven’t heard back on the lab test results. We still don’t know what happened to Mike. He just didn’t wake up that morning.

Needless to say I slid back into my depression with grief added to the mix. I’ve done little business-wise since mid-January until recently. I can’t concentrate but I can still crochet my old standby washcloth! I posted to my blog twice. All my pre-scheduled posts have been used. I didn’t register for the markets yet. I knew I wasn’t emotionally ready for the March 11th one but I still plan to register for the remaining ones.

I’m slowly trying to get to a new normal and get back on track with my business but I gave myself this month to recovery and self-care and what business I can do easily.

I can concentrate better now but any attempts to read nonfiction fail. I have the attention span of my five year old nephew! I have been able to read fiction so watch for reviews in the next few weeks. I’m slowly starting to knit more than just washcloths. I can still access some of those courses and still plan of starting and completing them. But, I’m still recovering and plan on a slow start to Q2.

How is it January 20th Already?

2017 has arrived and I’m already behind on my posts. I want to do at least one per week. I’ll work on that going forward.

So far, January has been a painful month. I’ve been having a lot of lower back and hip pain. I’m still learning the current limit of my arthritis in my left shoulder. I keep forgetting and moving it past it’s limits causing extra pain. We’ve had strange highs and lows in temperature which is causing a fibro flare. As a result the month is flying by. I had an appointment booked with a rheumatologist for January 10 in a city 3 hours away but we had a snowstorm going through the region that day. The road conditions were so bad we turned around three communities over and came back. I called and left a voice mail cancelling due to the weather.

I have not made any concrete business or life plans for 2017. I have however done a few things towards the future. I know my North Star of the year is truth-I want to be more me this year and bring more of me into the business. My quarter one (January-March) goal is consistency and my 2017 goal is sustainability.

I’m adding book reviews to the mix of blog topics and I want to read more this year. I’ve joined NetGalley and LibraryThing to access books authors and publishers want reviewed. I’ve also joined the InstaFreebie newsletter. They coordinate free book giveaways and provide a platform for authors to give their books away. I also joined Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 reading challenge.

To grow my designing and knitting skills I joined Aroha Knits 5 shawls in 5 days challenge. You make five mini shawls learning the different shapes of shawls and how to achieve them.

I had sales in the shop over Christmas. They were in person sales but sales nonetheless. I’m working on a new design and on a commission knit.

To grow my business skills and plan 2017, I’m working through Tara Swiger’s new book Map Your Business. I’m also taking her and Joeli of JoeliCreates Elevate Your Instagram challenge and their Elevate Your Business course later this month.

Since starting to obtain books to review I have become part of three authors’ launch teams (one for a series, one for a book, and the other for all her books) and applied to join another’s. Watch for more on those in the near future!

Review: TMed Pharma Medical Foods

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. 

The TMed Pharma review consisted of taking three medical foods daily for three months – Sentra AM® (for management of fatigue and cognitive disorders), Sentra PM® (for management of sleep disorders) and Theramine® ( for management of pain disorders and inflammatory conditions). Two capsules each of Sentra AM® and Theramine® in the morning and two capsules each of Sentra PM® and another two of Theramine® at bedtime is the recommended dosage.

I have carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical disc degeneration disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia so these seemed great products for me to trial. But I will admit adding eight capsules a day to the multitude of medications and supplements I already take daily was daunting. This was also my first time trying medical foods so I was unsure of what to expect.

I signed on for this review shortly before going on a ten day vacation. I received my first package of the medical foods while I was away and started the trial two days after returning. 

The eighteen hour drive home (plus fuel stops, rest stops, meal breaks and an overnight stay in a motel) as well as the changes of humidity levels, temperatures and a time zone precipitated a fibromyalgia flare. I was in a lot of pain, exhausted and unsure this was a good time to start a new regimen for review purposes. However, I definitely recommend road trips with others with chronic issues. They are much more understanding of our health issues and needs.

I quickly discovered it was a great time to begin using these products. Within a few doses my pain levels lowered and within a week the flare ended. My pain levels stabilized, my sleeping patterns improved and I started to feel better. I was even lucky enough that my pain levels stabilized at a lower level than pre-flare!

My only problem with the regimen was I frequently had heartburn after the morning doses. I think it was a combination of the medical foods and what I typically eat for breakfast on weekdays. I believe this to be the case as when I had other foods for breakfast the heartburn lessened. A few Tums Smoothies® quickly resolved the heartburn most days.

Overall, my use of these three medical foods was positive and I would be happy to continue their use except for the fact that a new medication for my newly diagnosed anxiety and depression exacerbates the heartburn. The heartburn increased to the point I seriously considered ending my trial early but decided I could continue on for the remaining week. I would definitely recommend these products to others suffering from cognitive disorders, fatigue, inflammatory conditions, pain disorders, and sleep disorders.

In the week or so since completing the protocol I have already had my pain levels increase, discovered my new medication is still causing heartburn, disrupting my sleep and I have started my annual Autumn into Winter Fibromyalgia Flare.

More information on Sentra AM®, Sentra PM® and Theramine® can be found on the TMed Pharma website, http://www.tmedpharma.com . The company also has a medical team on staff available to answer concerns and questions.

A Healthier Life Update 02/06/2016

I hope to continue these A Healthier Me post monthly.

My  fibromyalgia is still flaring from the change from winter to spring. The temperatures keep rising and falling yet the rainstorms of spring have begun. We’ve also had snow repeatedly and hail occasionally. My body does not like temperature and barometric changes anymore. As a result my pain and fatigue levels are high. And summer will be upon us soon!

www.bridgwatercrafts.com
The crabapple tree in bloom!

I am still meeting monthly with the various members of the Diabetes Program. My dietician was off sick the day of my May appointment so I saw their other dietician. She gave me some good tips considered she was squeezing my dietician’s patiients in between her own. One of her suggestions was making my own tortilla chips by purchasing pre-made tortillas from the grocery store, seasoning then baking. They are lower calorie than store bought tortilla chips. I’ve made some since but haven’t eaten them yet as we are finishing off the bought ones first.

Although I haven’t been able to do all the exercises their Kinesiologist planned I have been able to do cardio almost daily. I’m up to 40 minutes on my stationary bike. I’ve even biked a few times despite walking 20-40 minutes to appointments. It’s become a habit to bike daily.

Slowly my health is changing for the better. I would rather make small steady changes than drastic large changes. I want my changes to be lifelong not short-term quick changes. I tallied up the numbers yesterday. Since February, I have lost 15.25 cm/6″ total off my bust, waist, and hips! Since April 1, I have lost 3.4 kg/7.5 lbs! My blood glucose levels have started coming down. It’s encouraging to see results!

Now I’m working on adding stretches and strengthening exercises to my routine and reducing my carbohydrate intake. The trick, I’m learning is to make the changes slowly enough that my fibromyalgia does not continue flaring but regularly enough to become habits.

If you want to read the previous posts on this theme they are linked below:

May
March
February

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