Itch Cream with Essential Oils

Mosquitos are in season! Thrilling.

I’ve made an itch cream with a carrier lotion from DoTerra plus lemon, lavender, on guard (a DoTerra blend), and spearmint. I only used spearmint because I couldn’t find peppermint.

I didn’t really measure drops and stuff. I just squirted a generous amount of lotion into one of my Pampered Chef glass prep bowls* and put around 3 drops of each oil in there. I mixed with my little finger and then applied the lotion as needed.

It smells really great and stopped the itch within minutes. I love when simple stuff works.

*I like those glass prep bowls because they have a cap. I also have several of them. So, using one for this isn’t a big whoop.

— I do not sell DoTerra or Pampered Chef products. My friends do.

Carpal Tunnel

I suspect I might have carpal tunnel syndrome, but it’s odd because I have way more elbow pain than I do pain in my wrist or hand. I’ll probably be seeing an orthopedist soon.

I have found some stretches that work really well for carpal tunnel (and they are good stretches for anyone to do syndrome or not).

  1. Spider Push-ups
  2. The Shake
  3. The CTS stretch

This is a great article with animated images showing each stretch. I’ve also read about ulnar nerve entrapment. There’s some at-home ways to go about feeling better there too.

  1. Keep arm straight while sleeping (with towel or backwards elbow brace).
  2. Nerve gliding exercises.

Here’s to at-home physical therapy!

Plank Challenge

I want to try this…

Day 1 – 20 seconds
Day 2 – 20 seconds
Day 3 – 30 seconds
Day 4 – 30 seconds
Day 5 – 40 seconds
Day 6 – Rest
Day 7 – 45 seconds
Day 8 – 45 seconds
Day 9 – 60 seconds
Day 10 – 60 seconds
Day 11 – 60 seconds
Day 12 – 90 seconds
Day 13 – Rest
Day 14 – 90 seconds
Day 15 – 90 seconds
Day 16 – 120 seconds
Day 17 – 120 seconds
Day 18 – 150 seconds
Day 19 – Rest
Day 20 – 150 seconds
Day 21 – 150 seconds
Day 22 – 180 seconds
Day 23 – 180 seconds
Day 24 – 210 seconds
Day 25 – Rest
Day 26 – 210 seconds
Day 27 – 240 seconds
Day 28 – Until failure

— from http://www.buzzhe.ro/en/try-the-28-day-planking-challenge/

Acceptance and Improvement are Not Mutually Exclusive

I’m trying to strike the balance of loving my body the way it is and being just disgusted enough to want to change. I tend towards disgusted too much. There’s hopelessness in that side of the spectrum, and I keep finding myself in those trenches.

I want to be ok with my admittedly lumpy body, but I keep hearing the lie that I can’t be happy where I am and lose weight.

It is a lie.

My brain knows it. I can love the body I’m in and work to make it better at the same time. I just don’t know how yet.

Guess I’ll keep going and trying!

Bye Weight Watchers

After running with SparkPeople (SP) for a week along with Weight Watchers (WW), I’ve decided to quit Weight Watchers and join the YMCA instead.

I’m still tracking my food and making healthier decisions – I’ve learned a lot on the WW program over the years! I just feel like, for me, in this season, I will get more bang for my buck having an air-conditioned area to walk in. Summer heat is on its way! Plus, I’ll have an opportunity to add strength training.

This is a good thing.

The best thing is that my husband is going to join me! 🙂

Trial and Error

There are a great number of ailments that are pretty straightforward: broken arm, sinus infection, pink eye, etc. You have xyz, you treat it with abc (unless that doesn’t work for you and then there’s nmo to try). Done.

The list of less-defined ailments is much longer. Even when they can call what’s bugging you something – say fibromyalgia – they don’t exactly know what to do with you. Research suggests this or that or the other thing will work, but really it’s kind of an experimental, individual thing. You just have to try it and see what happens.

After a year and half of this trial and error, it is easy to get discouraged. Especially since most of it is in error. I’ll keep trying. What’s the alternative? Get less and less functional over time? I do not think so.

I like my current doctor. He’s very honest, straightforward, and smart about things. He’s a thinker/puzzler too. That helps in weird, undefined diagnosis – is fibromyalgia really even a thing?! It is. I know it is. Of course it is. It hurts. A lot. In many places. All the time.

This line of thought sets off a train of movie quotes in my head…

“[Pain] lets you know you’re not dead yet!” G.I. Jane

“I’m not dead yet!” Monty Python and the Holy Grail 
(Did you say in the right voice? hehe)

“Just keep swimming!” Finding Nemo

Getting Fit

Plan A

I had a gym membership, and I had one week there when I went regularly and worked out regularly. One day I did cardio, the next strength, then a yoga class, and then more cardio. I didn’t have the kids with me, and I was able to get my workouts done. I really did enjoy it.

Normally, I have the kids with me. With 3 kids, the odds of one of them misbehaving and having me come get them is – apparently – astronomically high. This interrupted work-out is especially likely with a strong-willed and determined to be anywhere but there kid in the ranks.

Therefore, I don’t normally get to the gym to workout, and I don’t actually get to work out when I do!

Plan B

I have a Wii system and a “game” called Wii Fit. It makes rude noises (“Oh!”) when you step on the balance board, and it makes my cute little Mii character entirely too fat. Even my daughter pointed out that they’ve got it wrong. “You’re belly isn’t that big, Mom.”

Despite these drawbacks, it does have a few fun workout stuff going on. It’s easy to set goals. My goal is 30 “fit minutes” each session. I do yoga poses, some strength training and, even speed walk in a path around the house. My favorite thus far is yoga and the step exercises.

That’s what I’m trying this time. My inability to do a push-up and the Wii trainer telling me that I’m a little bit shaky will not deter me.

I really do want to get in better shape… round and squishy is cute, but it’s not all that.