darkemeralds: Vape pen with a blue mouthpiece, cannabis cartridge attached, emitting curls of vapor (Cannabis)
I find that vaping is harder on my lungs than I'm comfortable with, so, having toked up a whole half gram of cannabis concentrate, I'm looking for alternatives.

I suspect that my uptake wasn't good (I coughed it all out instantly!) and that I might not have gotten adequate doses, because after that first miraculous end of toothache misery, I couldn't replicate the pain-relief results. Once the offending tooth was extracted and the local wore off, I was in misery and no number of hits on the vape pen had the slightest impact.

But I can't keep relying on ibuprofen, and I am not resorting to opioids. I have arthritis, it's a problem, and joint-replacement surgery isn't really on the table.

So, next stop: sublingual CBD tincture.

Also, actually doing the exercises I went to physical therapy to learn. And maybe not sitting so much.
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
It seems I've joined the juicing brigade. Both of my sisters swear to the health benefits of daily fresh juice drinking, and Macy's had a zillion juice-making machines on display--presumably because it's this year's big holiday gift idea. So today I took the plunge.

It's big )
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
Both of my sisters are into the smoothie for breakfast thing--grinding up a bunch of otherwise not-well-liked vegetables with some fruit and nuts and rice milk and drinking it down to start the day with a big nutrient boost. So I decided to try it today.

I went to the farmer's market and got some stuff.

a cutting board with a carrot, a beet, some hazelnuts, some blackberries, some chopped kale and a knife

A beet (including greens), hazelnuts, fish oil, kale, coconut milk, half a peach, blackberries...I left out the carrot and added some honey. Whrr-whrr-whrr went the blender. Whir some more. Add more coconut milk. More high speed whirring.

A tall glass containing a thick, brownish smoothie, with a green straw stuck in it

The result tasted considerably better than it looked--somewhat sweet and acidic, a bit "green"--and I can overlook the ugly color caused mostly by blackberries. But I honestly don't think I could choke one of these down daily, especially not first thing in the morning. It's lumpy and thick, which prevents the guzzling that would make it at least go by quickly. It was kind of a chore.

Do people really do this every day? In the absence of an expensive blender, how?
darkemeralds: Hellfire and tormented faces with caption Yay Hell (Yay)
About an hour ago I looked in the restroom mirror and realized that I couldn't see part of my face.

Being me, I thought, "Wow, I'm disappearing! It's a metaphor!" But, also being me, I tried to figure out what was going on by covering one eye at a time. The effect, a kind of shimmery arc in the upper-left field of vision, was stronger in the left eye than the right.

I went outside into the sunshine. The effect got stronger, but otherwise I felt fine.

I came back in and googled "eyesight aura" whereupon Wikipedia obliged me with this artist's conception of the pre-migraine phenomenon known as "scintillating scotoma" that's pretty much exactly what I was experiencing:

animated gif showing a small Asian shrine building with a shimmering arc in the upper left region of the image representing a migraine aura

I called my sister, who's had migraines all her life and has sometimes mentioned this mysterious aura. She asked if I've been under any unusual stress in the past several days. "Well, yeah," I said, thinking of the massive neuro-chemical cascade of last weekend, which, being me, I did not share with family members.

While we spoke I began to feel vaguely headachey, a bit numb in the tongue, ever so slightly dizzy. Now the visual aura effect is gone and my head's starting to go at it hammer and tongs.

So yeah, this doesn't suck at all. Grrr.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
My doctor and I are looking over the results of a recent set of blood tests. Since my tests a year ago I've given up most red meat, cut way back on dairy, gone vegetable-crazy, lost four or five more pounds, and added several walks a week to my exercise regimen, which already includes daily cycling.

The lipid numbers we hoped would go down have remained stubbornly in the red zone.

Before I can get all freaked out and start making a new list of dietary improvements, Doctor John says, "Your diet is damn near perfect, and you exercise way more than the majority of my patients. I do not want you planning more changes to your diet. I don't think further weight loss will budge these numbers either. At this point, I think we're looking at something genetic."

He thinks out loud about this for a while, then kind of slaps his forehead and says, "Oh! I know what we need to do!"

darkemeralds: Photo of espresso with caption "Straight Up" (Espresso)
A few weeks ago, discouraged with steady but super slow weight loss, I decided to hit the accelerator and re-commit to losing another 30 pounds.

Then along came Intermittent Fasting.

Sixteen hours a day )
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
The fact that there are still memes makes me kind of happy. [personal profile] oursin was doing the "Things I'm Grateful For/Happy About Beginning With the Letter _" meme. She gave me the letter H.

Read more... )


Feb. 7th, 2012 07:24 pm
darkemeralds: A falcon taking flight from a falconer's arm (Freedom)
[personal profile] ranunculus recently posted about the beneficial effects a therapeutic dose of vitamin B12 has had on her overall well-being.

Many of the symptoms of B12 deficiency match those of hormone depletion--notably "brain fog"--and hormone replacement has already given me back my brain. I have no reason to think I'm clinically deficient in B12.

But the body's ability to absorb B12 from food diminishes steadily after 40 or so, and you can become completely depleted before the deficiency will show up in blood tests, so adding B12 to my regimen seemed a reasonable precaution.

Damn, Skippy. )

It's weird to think that all the vicissitudes of my younger years could have been relieved with some vitamins and hormones, and that all that damn talk therapy was probably pretty useless, but you know what? I'm getting used to the notion.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I have a mouthful of wonderful teeth, many of them bought and paid for, the result of having been born and raised in places with incredibly soft, mineral-free water, and in times when Hershey Ruled The Earth.

So number 13, which is in the upper left about five spots back from front and center, was long ago filled, then crowned, then root-canaled, gum-surgeried, and re-crowned.

One day a few months ago I bit down on an almond and damned if there wasn't a bit of shell in there, and there was this sickening cracking feeling...

...well, the upshot is that no further heroic intervention is possible on a root-canaled and crowned Number 13 molar with a cracked root. Which is what I've got in there, thanks to that almond.

So it's implant time. I fear this also means re-mortgage time--I'm having no luck finding anything resembling a cost estimate (except for Mexican resort dentists, which I do NOT rule out). My insurance won't cover most of it, from what I hear.

Has anyone around here had dental implants in recent times? Any idea what kind of physical and financial suffering I'm looking at?
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Hormones. Can't live without 'em, but look at this: getting 'em back reawakens the bitch within.
Here's an interesting conundrum... )


Sep. 20th, 2011 11:35 am
darkemeralds: Screencap from Where The Hell Is Matt (joy)
One spring day in 1982, I was lying on the grass in the sun at Portland State University with the intention of giving myself over to half an hour's meditation, when I discovered that I couldn't hold still.

Restless Leg Syndrome )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Chart)
My public sector place of employment, while sometimes stodgy and always low-budget, does offer me excellent health benefits, an increasingly solid-gold rarity in American life. I don't use the medical insurance, and generally wind up paying for my own non-Western healing things on the rare occasions when I need them.

But I turned 55 in December, and I read What Technology Wants, and I've come around to a view that maybe high-tech medicine has its good points, so when my employer offered a free basic health screening I said what the hell. Might as well get some numbers.

So I did. )

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