Not completely Quilt related

So, Yes, today’s blog is not totally quilt related, yet it is quilt related.

For a couple of years or maybe even longer, kind of loosing track of when this all began, my health has been slowly going slightly down hill. Nothing major, don’t panic! I began noticing that the weight I had lost was coming back on with a vengeance! Thinking back, this started over 3 years ago. I had that little feeling, that little voice in the back of my head that said, “you better start paying attention to me or I am going to give you a big wake up call!” I did not listen, I just kept going and doing as I always did.

I know that most of you who read my random blog posts and know me personally have noticed that I complain about the aches and pains of growing old. I’m not happy with what happens to ones body once you hit 50! I’m 4 years into this over 50 bit.  Here are my aches and pains, just in case you have not heard or heck, maybe you are starting to feel them too. And yes, these aches and pains affect my love of quilting!

Arthritis: hands, ankles, hips

Menopause: just UGH!

Hashimotos (thyroid): my body is apparently attacking my thyroid, yet my endocrinologist continues to tell me my thyroid is functioning normal. I do have a large goiter that is currently hidden in my neck. If I loose the weight you will be able to see it. I have had to have 2 needle biopsies to make certain it is not cancerous and to have it drained. The goiter can grow or fill up with this unknown substance. When it becomes uncomfortable for me (affects my swallowing) I must go in and my doctor drains it with 5 to 6 needles. Again UGH! And yes, it hurts!!

On top of the 3 listed above a few things have changed that are related to family. Out of 5 children only 1 lives at home. The two oldest moved out and one of them moved out of Michigan. I get it, but none the less it is so sad when they grow up and act like you raised them to be: ADULTS. I said nothing negative to them, I encouraged and supported both of them! I did want them to feel independence. Another child moved out, and one married (and they moved out of state). 4 out 5 gone, almost empty nesters. Yes, we helped all of them to their new homes/lives.

Next came the new plans husband decided we were going to do: downsize. We no longer needed the 4500+ sq. ft. home. He was right, but I was not ready. That plan was put in place last year, Thanksgiving of 2017. Wow! It has been a year. We began our search for a new home in the Carolinas. That was fun and exciting. We live in Michigan…long long drive to the Carolinas. We have family there so we wanted to be near them and escape Michigan winter. No, my husband has not retired, but soon. Trying to plan ahead. Plus, we wanted our own place to stay when we travel down to South Carolina.

The Carolina home idea did not work out. We needed to find a home here in Michigan first, South Carolina second. I began searching for homes here in Michigan: January 2018 the search began. I searched till April. I found our new home. Meanwhile we had to prepare the big house for the market. Till this day it is still on the market. We have moved out of the big house and into our new home. I love the new home! But moving ourselves was awful! And the updating that we did to our old home was a lot of work that I personally was not prepared for.

Back to my ailments.

Having arthritis affects my quilting. I was working on my longarm machine stitching custom designs and I was starting to hurt more and more. After 3 hours I had to stop working. I felt that pain in my hands, elbow and shoulder for 3 days.  I tried to working on the longarm the next day…no way did my body allow that! I was in pain! oh my, this is not good. I had to have the longarm machine moved in my sewing room. After the guys moved my machine, I forgot to have them level it. I could not use my longarm till it was level. As of 2 days ago, it is level…phew! Hopefully I can get back to longarm machine today.

Arthritis affects quilting whether you are piecing, quilting, cutting (and currently typing and my finger tips are telling me to stop) The pain in my hands is pretty bad. Yes, I have medication…I am currently waiting on it to arrive in the mail.

I made the mistake, because I was working on a project with deadline, of having my sewing machine, cutting mat and iron station all together. I set it all up in a U so I could not waste time. BIG BIG Mistake. Once I finally got up out of my chair I could not believe how much pain I was in! Don’t do this! Set your sewing room/area up so that you have to get up to cut, get up to iron. Walk across the room! Stretch! Get out of that chair!

Living in a 2 story house with a basement (3 levels) can be challenging when one has arthritis. I stay down stairs in my sewing room pretty much all day so I do NOT have to walk UP stairs. This is going to change.

I’m finding that walking is painful. My ankles, knees and hips are hurting…not fun people, not fun!

If I have to sit in my truck for more than 5 minutes driving to just the grocery store, I’m in pain when I try to get out of my truck! It hurts to walk. I have to take tiny steps to get my joints to loosen up. I’m not liking this at all.

Menopause: not funny, hot flashes….enough actually I have had these wonderful personal summers for about 4 years now. I will have months where the hot flashes hit me fast and hard! Then I will go for about 6 weeks of nothing…kind of makes me think I’ve beat the system. Then it rears its ugly face in the middle of the night. Wakes me up with the feeling of a thousand needles in my neck and my back is on fire..yay…..oh guess what is back… with it as best as you can.

What am I doing about all that ails me?

I took control on Monday, November 12, 2018

What did I do?

I took gluten out of my diet and began exercising.

Have I noticed a change? Yes, in my ankles and hips. It is easier to walk and my gut feels better. Am I going to stay gluten free forever? No, I like pizza and pasta. LOL  I will allow myself to have pizza and pasta on occasion. I know there are gluten free recipes and restaurants have gluten free options.

It is day 5 of my gluten free diet. It is a slight challenge to figure out what to eat for every meal.  It is called vegetables, lol…I’m working on it.

Last night for dinner I did not know what to cook. I found 3 T-bone steaks in the freezer…hmmm I thought…should I thaw these out for dinner? Absolutely! What else can I make with them? Well, I had 3 sweet potatoes that needed to be used.

I peeled and sliced the sweet potatoes, melted some butter and added a little bit of salt, sugar and cinnamon. Placed the sliced sweet potatoes in a casserole dish. Poured the mixture on top, covered with tinfoil and baked for 1 hour.  Honestly, I would have been happy with just the sweet potatoes. They were delicious! If you don’t know, sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest vegetables for your body. Especially if you are woman in menopause. First they are high in vitamins A & C, potassium, fewer calories, and the list goes on!

We had T-bone steak and sweet potatoes for dinner. A salad would have been nice too, but I had eaten salad every day since Monday. I needed a break from salad. Next time I decide to have sweet potatoes for a meal, I will not peel them! There are nutrients in the skin.

I am hoping that with my diet changes that I can get back to feeling normal. I have lost 3 lbs since Monday. I checked yesterday, I am not going to check each day. I will wait several days before I check again.

Next food to take out of my diet: Salt. I don’t generally salt most of what I eat. I do use salt when I am cooking, but I never over salt. I don’t like a lot of salt. Salt is also a contributor to my swollen fingers. Sugar is too…baby steps

Am I the only one with these aches and pains? If you are also feeling these, what are you doing to help your body heal?

Nancy McNally


10 thoughts on “Not completely Quilt related

  1. No, you are not the only one. My arthritis started in my late 40s. It was complicated with fibromyalgia. I tried so many treatments, but nothing really worked it just continued t spread and now is throughout my body. I became disabled and have been unable to go back the last 8 years. There are days I cannot get out of bed. In the last 8 years, I have had 3 lumbar fusions, 2 hip replacements, 2 cervical fusions, thumb surgery and just had a complete tear of my right rotator cuff repaired. My left shoulder also has a tear. My SI joints get injections or radio frequency every 3 to 6 months. Sometimes it is impossible to walk.

    We also downsized this past year. It was a challenge. I love to quilt and knit. Unfortunately I do not get t work on my projects as much as I like. More vigorous activity is out. I do find that aqua therapy helps a lot. Get to a pool a couple times a week. Water eliminates gravity and you can exercise more than way.

    I have been thinking about a glucose free diet also. But, like you, I love bread and pasta. Not a lover of veggies. I try, but have not made a hard choice yet.

    Stay strong.

    1. Oh, I salt a little. It’s all the salt that is added to processed food. I’m going to take that out of my diet. 💕💕

  2. I hope these changes are bringing you some relief. I have been following the Clean 20 diet for about 9 weeks now. Mainly no added sugars or processed foods. I also use the MyfitnessPal free app. it is great for keeping track of what I eat and super easy to use. You can scan labels or just search for foods, I even have created meals I use often so they are one click to enter. I also focused on lower sodium. I am down 25lbs. in those 9 weeks. That is with no exercise, due to fatigue from chemo. I am not even craving sweets any more. It will also help my osteoarthritis in my knees. I just keep reminding myself, I am worth the effort, and this will help me in my Cancer fight. Take time for yourself, it is important. love you Nancy!

  3. I’ve had all of this except Hashimotos. I still do. They gave me meds, mostly pain killers which in the beginning were great , I finally had energy and slept all night YAY! And I was on a really low dose. It will all good until the overdose hysteria started. Three months ago, my doctors PA forced me to sign this idiotic paper that I felt was abusive to people who are NOT addicts! And after I left I decided I was done. I stopped every pill I was on. I’m going to take vitamin D still because I make none. I’m going to try eating differently and exercise with a coach if I can find one here! This is one of the reasons I bought a computer with my longarm, I was afraid of either making myself worse or getting to a point where I couldn’t do it at all. I’m now doing more freehand, and going back and forth between the two. I also have fits now when I drive for any length of time . I went to Chicago this year and MQX in Springfield Il and woo it was tough, Missouri was a trip too. I stop a lot and shake it off but I’m grumpy that I have to do that! So keep doing what works, there’s a bunch of us out here! 💗

  4. Nancy I took myself off all meds because of the side effects and I tell you it’s been no fun Nut I’m starting to feel normal again. I did a lot of searching and found a article about a leafe called Morgina I found this stuff in a tee. I now drink two cups a day. My pain from arthritis I’d all but gone and the fibromyalgia isn’t as bad. Husband is drinking it also the swelling in his hands is gone, the pain is a lot less also. I will not be with out it ever.

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