Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fido's first breakfast out

              Meet Foxy

Foxy's first experience was overwhelmingly exciting. Needless to say. Was so excited that breakfast ended up not staying down very long. 

We went to Tin Shed in Portland Oregon.

Check out there menu here:

The breakfast goes to the top of fte list for sure. Incredible as well and fantastic customer service. 

Coffee is self serve and they have a dogs eat free night on Tuesday. If you buy a bandana for your pup and come back with them wearing it you get a discount on their food. Pretty stylish if I say so myself!

The best part after a big breakfast is you pup is pretty tired out or at least mine was but we will remember she was very busy with all the excitement of people, kids and food. 

Bring Fido Road trip to Napa Valley

Do you debate on weather to bring your dog on vacation or not? Most often then not my little pooch gets put in the doggie hotel. She can sometimes be quite wild. Recently I started remembering that I only have so many years with her. I am determined to enjoy the rest of it as well as have her enjoy it too. Fido = Mans best friend! 

Her favorite part of a road trip is the air conditioning! 

And yes with all parts of life she loves to be in the drivers seat.

Uh oh! Tired already?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Learning the ropes of arthritis and prolonging surgery

So after a couple years of dealing with pain and trying to diagnose what is happening in my body I have recently found out that I have basically degeneration on my right hip which is most likely the cause of the excruciating back pain I have dealt with for the past year. If you got into details it would include moderate osteoarthritis, synovial herniation, femoral head neck offset, labral tear and a cyst in my right hip. I have been told by a surgeon recently that the only thing that will take my pain away is a hip replacement. Seeing that I am only 32 years old they are not in a hurry to do that because the longer I can hold off the less surgeries I will have to have. Hips only last for so long which means there is a good possibility of having to have a revision to the hip. Each revision I believe takes away more bone and puts you at greater risk for complications. 

Even though I didn't think I was going to be having to learn about arthritis at 32 that is reality. I need to learn how to reduce inflammation. What I should and shouldn't be doing to manage my condition. Even though the journey has been challenging giving up has never been an option for me. 

What is osteoarthritis?

According to the mayo clinic: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the world. Often called wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time.

This morning I went to the gym. First time in a long time. Had a great massage yesterday and I felt renewed. I have read that one of the best exercise for hips is cycling and the pool. One of the worst things you can do for arthritis I believe is stop moving. Today I tryed 20mins on the recumbent bike. Some push-ups. Started with full push-ups which I noticed was straining my lower back probably due to a weak core muscles do for now I brought it down to my knees which took a lot of ease off my back. I tryed some quad, calf and hamstring stretching as well as stretching my arms up in the air and behind me to get my back a little. The hip plays a hug part in movement which means I need to move about this progression slowly and mindfully. So far so good! 

Best Smoothie Ever!

Yesterday I started to think about how my smoothies were not turning out like the smoothies at a smoothie place. I decided to look up how to make a smoothie. 

I ran across this website:

I am well known for just winging things and not really paying attention. Sometimes that turns out ok other times it means the consistency is lacking. 

This morning I tryed to pay a little more attention to what I put into my Ninja Bender. 

Started with my base which is the liquid of the smoothie. See I am using my smoothie vocabulary now. Today I used 1 cup coconut milk. 

Next I added my filler which thickens your smoothie, helps make you fuller and more fullfilled and can make it very creamy depending on the ingredients otherwise you would end up with a slushy. Today I added 1/2 avocado and some Greek yogurt. I didn't measure it but it may have been at least 1/2 cup.

Next I added the fruits and veggies. A few spinach leaves, 1/2 bananna and some applesauce maybe 1/2 cup or so. Last but not least I added about 7 ice cubs. Oh and not to forget I threw in some frozen dark cherries.

Finishing touch was one of the best smoothies I have made for myself. With a thumbs up! :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It's not over till it's over

For the last year my life has been completely changed by a low back injury. After losing a lot of weight a few years ago and then becoming completely obsessed with fitness and nutrition I thought this was my new life. I dove in to becoming a competitive athlete. But one day that dream was swept out from underneath me.

Instead of long hours in the gym it turned into long hours in bed. Going from one specialist to the next my response was the same. This is your new life. You will never be an athlete again and there is nothing we can do for you. Wow, I still remember hearing those words. Yesterday I was the fittest I had ever been and the next day I could barely move and that was going to be my life.

Now a year later with moments of giving up I continue to fight and push through. Finding relief from treatments that most people don't believe in such as prolotherapy.  I keep trying to find a way because giving up isn't an option. At first my weight wasn't a problem. I lost 15 lbs of muscle and was the skinniest I have ever been. But that doesn't last forever. Yesterday knowing I have gained some weight I stepped on the scale. Weighing 154.3lb puts me 10-20 lbs above my ideal body weight right now.

I have been fighting trying to find an exercise that doesn't hurt. Lately I have given up a little thinking that this is it. There isn't anything I can do. But I know it's not true. Trying to pick myself back up again I have been dialing in my diet while currently receiving vitamin B12 and dextrose injections in my back for something called subcutaneous perineural injections. This morning with a recommendation from my new naturopathic doctor I tried a workout called Barre.  I did a 9 min upper body workout. No weights and barely moving I found my muscles burning.

So far so good. The biggest part of it all is changing your thoughts on what you believe fitness looks like. Fitness for me right now is 9 min. Nothing wrong with that. Even if it was 1 min that is better then giving up. Do what you can with what you have and remember it's not over till it's over!!

"Rise and rise again until lambs become lions."

-  Robin Hood

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My college scholarship essay and Acceptance into the University of Washington

As I just got my acceptance letter to the University of Washington Tacoma Campus Bachelor in Nursing Program. It is time to apply for scholarships.

Here is my story...

Ever since graduating nursing school I have known I wanted to pursue a more advanced degree, because when I do something I want to do it to the best of my ability which requires continuing to increase my knowledge to better care for others. 

During the last 9 years working as a nurse, I have traveled around gaining vast amounts of knowledge in different specialties and experience in some of the top facilities in the country. This has helped me to see the good and bad of healthcare, what is going right, and what we can improve upon. 

While in nursing school I experienced my first anxiety attack. As I entered the profession with high hopes of advancing my degree I quickly found myself overwhelmed in a very demanding field. Through the years I was at times barely able to hold my head above water and certainty not in any condition to be able to think about going back to school. I was drowning and just trying to survive.

A couple years ago I knew I had no choice but to change my life. I lost over 60lbs, I found a job in a specialty with better hours that allowed me to take care of myself, and I learned how to manage my stress. Today I am a completely different person and through my transformation I learned taking care of myself helped me to take better care of patients. My aspirations are to help other nurses do the same. To play a part in making things better in today’s ever changing fast paced world. 

This past year, I have had the experience of being a patient myself. After injuring my back last summer, I was told I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life and that there was nothing that could be done for me. My experience as a patient was devastating and I couldn't believe what it was like. Being a go getter, I don’t take no for an answer. If there isn't a way, I keep searching until I find one. During this search for relief, I found myself almost out of a job and in the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced in my life. Today I am working and more successful then I have ever been, while only experiencing minor discomfort. I not only know what its like to be a nurse and in complete burnout, but I know what its like to be a devastated patient with no hope at all. I want to use this experience to really make a difference, to really improve quality patient care, and to improve self care among healthcare workers.

Since my back injury, the amount of hours I have been able to work are very limited, forcing me to make tremendous cut backs. Financially this has been a challenge and financial hardship since my salary is greatly relied upon in my household. I have learned to do what I can with what I have and to my surprise things always turn out ok in the end. With my husband starting school in the fall, and medical bills that have accumulated during my back injury, I know my education will be a financial challenge for sure, but a very important step in my career. 

This year I was elected to be the chair of the Clinical Practice Council at Multicare Health System. It is a great honor to have such an important part in a shared governance system to allow nurses to take part in decision making. My goals this year are to assist my organization in a complete restructuring of the shared governance model and redesign of the internal nursing website. In November I will be completing a yoga teacher training program, which helps me to continue moving forward in my own life transformation and health, as well as giving me the skills to assist others in theirs. I use my physical education training to volunteer to teach classes at the hospitals to assist other healthcare workers to care for themselves as well. If we are not the example of health why will the patients feel inclined or motivated to be healthy either?  I have just been accepted to start the RN-BSN program at University of Washington and after that I will be applying for a Masters in Nursing Leadership. A great leader shows the vision and brings out the best in the ones that follow. This is what I aspire to do.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The climb is the reward

As I continue to climb this mountain called life I continue to discover how incredible it is. Right in front of our very eyes is something absolutely amazing. I continue to discover my own self and find true happiness in me and complete acceptance. As we continue to climb, we reach, we slip and we reach again. That's what it's about. And it's not about reaching the top it's definitely about the journey and about never giving up. 

"Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment."

-  John O'Donohue