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Steroids…Weight Gain…Weight Watchers…


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Dearest Readers:

Have you ever gotten so ill that your doctor prescribed steroids? Years ago, my doctor prescribed Prednisone to me. After taking it, I noticed my cognitive abilities were affected. I could not sleep. During the day, I was wired, and while driving, I drove off the road! Fortunately, no one was nearby!

I shared these side effects with my doctor, telling him I would refuse any prescriptions for Prednisone. What I should’ve told him was I will not take steroids! After my steroid consumption in June, I will let him know the side effects and I will not take ANY STEROIDS again! I mentioned to him how I struggled to communicate a simple sentence while taking Prednisone! Since I am a writer, my cognitive abilities must be sharp! For the life of me now, I cannot recall what the name of the drug was, although I do remember it started with a D. I took this drug faithfully, anticipating I would be better within a few days. I finished the medication and was still so weak, so ill, and coughing so hard, so I phoned my doctor. He refilled the same prescription.

Two weeks later, I was still sick, but getting better. My breathing meter said I was stronger, in the green area of the meter, and I was feeling better, with one exception.

I wanted to eat anything and everything within my home. I actually felt as if I would eat the kitchen cabinets IF they were flavored and edible. During one day, I went to the pantry, finding Ritz crackers. I took a sleeve of the crackers out, eating them in one sitting. Eating like this is NOT something I do. I joined Weight Watchers years ago. Before getting so sick, I had two pounds to lose to hit my first goal. Not the official goal at Weight Watchers to become lifetime, but my official first goal since it would be the number I weighed when I graduated from high school.

What is wrong with me? I am so hungry and I cannot stop this ridiculous eating! 

I phoned my husband. “Ice Cream. Ice Cream. I want ice cream.”

That evening, he brought ice cream home. I was eating everything I should not eat, and I was not tracking anything.

I glanced at my calendar, recognizing I had missed three Weight Watchers meetings. When I returned, I gained almost five pounds. At first, I blamed the gain on the steroids. Believe me when I say they have a serious side effect. Constant hunger and weight gain!

I was furious with myself. I cannot blame the steroid for making me gain weight, after all, I am the one who controls what goes into my mouth. Meanwhile, I’m still eating. Finally I realized I had to get control.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, http://www.mayoclinic.org/steroids/ART-20045692?pg=2, oral steroids, commonly referred to as Corticosteroids, some of the side effects are:

  • Elevated pressure in the eyes (glaucoma)
  • Fluid retention, causing swelling in your lower legs
  • High blood pressure
  • Problems with mood, memory, behavior and other psychological effects
  • Weight gain, with fat deposits in your abdomen, face and the back of your neck

My eyes were affected with blurred vision. I did not notice fluid retention in my legs, but I certainly gained weight and I was furious with myself. My blood pressure increased, along with my blood sugars. On several mornings, my blood sugar was over 200.

I was definitely moody. Snapping at my husband over the least little thing, and when the phone rang when I recognized it was another telemarketer telling me I had won another cruise…Would I like to attend a seminar about hearing issues, time shares, how to invest retirement funds, blah…blah…blah. Well, let’s just say I used a bit of colorful language telling them to stop calling this number! I started blocking almost every phone number, including two of my best friends. Fortunately, I’ve learned how to correct these errors. It certainly is quieter in my home now, without the constantly ringing telephone. Maybe we should cancel our landline!

Yep. You guessed it. Steroids were making me a B-I-T-C-H! Funny, the phone isn’t ringing much now! Thank goodness!

August 7 was exactly seven weeks since I took the last of the steroid prescription. When I see my doctor in October, I will tell him I cannot take steroids OF ANY KIND now. For me, it isn’t worth the risk. I find it interesting that medical professionals will tell us when we need to lose weight; nevertheless, when we become ill with an acute illness such as acute bronchial asthma, the professionals will prescribe steroids. The side effect of steroids is weight gain, only I’ve never had this side effect until June when I was so weak and ill.

How I pray I will remain well for a bit. I find it a bit funny that I was scheduled for ‘clinical testing’ to see if my asthma would respond to new medications. When I went for the clinical testing, my breathing was ‘too healthy’ to be considered for the clinical testing.

Suppose I’ll be happy now that I am able to breathe so much better and I can walk and exercise again! Thank you, God!

What did I learn after taking steroids? Simple. I learned that my body cannot accept them or allow them to be taken orally. For me, the side effect of weight gain and being such an arrogant maniac just isn’t worth the risk. I like myself when I am the real me…Not the B-I-T-C-H I become, thanks to steroids. Once, while in California, I saw a bumper sticker on a car. I loved it, wrote it down and practice it. It revealed:

I’m a Bitch.

B = Beautiful

I = Intelligent

T = Talented

C = Charming

H = Honest — in all honesty – the H = horny, but I changed that! There’s no need to advertise when hormones kick in!

Yeah. I suppose I could say I’m a Bitch…but a Nice One!

 

 

 

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In Memory of Precious Shasta Daisy Shampagne, Our Adorable Maltese


Dearest Readers:

Only moments ago, when I awoke, I rushed to check on our precious, weakened little girl, our adorable Maltese, Shasta Daisy Shampagne. Today, when I touched her to whisper love words and good morning to her, she did not respond. I uncovered her from the blankets keeping her warm. Only this time, she did not move her head. Carefully, I lifted her into my arms, discovering her spirit and fight were gone. Over the night, Shasta left us, crossing Rainbow Bridge. I cannot stop crying.

If you read my blog regularly, you will remember little Shasta and her battle to survive while having seizures. We spoke with the vet about the seizures. He felt she was much too weak to survive any treatments. We were told to make her comfortable and to help her work thru the seizures. “She will let you know when she’s ready,” he said. Christmas Day was a rough day for Shasta. She suffered three long seizures. Her head rolled back. She gasped for breath and her tongue turned as blue as the sky at dark. We cradled her in our arms. I sang to her. With each seizure, she used all of the strength she could find, just to survive.

“Dear God,” I prayed. “Please don’t let her die on Christmas Day.” She survived, sleeping comfortably next to Phil. When she walked around, her walk was more of a weakened, confusing crawl, her body turned to the right. Her tongue hung out, but later, she was back to almost normal. She drank water, and she ate every bite of her food, wanting more. She wasn’t ready to go.

Phil and I discussed her situation. We agreed it was time. We decided we would call the vet, the day after Christmas to find out what he would suggest. We anticipated it would be to ‘let her go.’ The day after Christmas, she appeared better. We didn’t make the call. Carefully, we watched Shasta, counting her intake and her body functions. She drank water. She pottied. She kissed us. She loved us. She played with our boys, so it appeared that for now, Shasta was back. Remembering our vets words, “She’ll let you know when she’s ready,” we cared for Shasta, carrying her outside to potty and bringing her back inside to rest. After Christmas, she walked around the back yard, and she snapped at our newest family member, Toby, another rambunctious Maltese. After Christmas Day, no seizures.

We rescued Shasta from a shelter in July, 2005. She was about two or three years old and had been left at a shelter in Florida. She was tiny, as white as snow, fluffy, with only one minor problem. She had a crooked neck. Her face always appeared to be cocked to one side. When I met her, her face was cocked to the left, but she was just adorable. I drove to Jacksonville to adopt her. Full of spunk when I met her, she jumped into my arms, as if to say, “Hey there. I’m your new girl!” Phil fell in love with her the moment he met her. We massaged her neck and she appeared to enjoy our touch and she moved her neck a bit straighter.

Our vet checked her over, telling us to massage her neck. “It might help her straighten a bit.” She did not have any difficulty with her spine and he thought she was born with a slight disability; however, for Shasta, the crooked neck only added to her charm. It never stopped her! Over the years, she loved to walk. She was the little princess on the right. Shakespeare walked next to her, and to the left, Prince Marmaduke Shamus guided us as we walked for 2.5 miles. Last year, when Shasta started having the seizures, I stopped walking her. She wasn’t strong enough anymore. Slowly, I watched Shasta fading away from us, and although at times I thought about letting her go, Phil and I agreed we were not ready, nor was Shasta.

Today, Shasta has crossed Rainbow Bridge. She was ready, so she left us. I pray that Shamus was waiting for her and that they are playing together again, or maybe they are walking together. I will miss Little Miss Shasta Daisy Shampagne, but I am thankful that now, she will not suffer any more seizures. Now, she can run and play, eat and rest, while knowing she was loved by Phil and I and our children. Rest in peace, Little Miss. Mommy and Daddy love you and miss you terribly.

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Happy Thanksgiving


The turkey is ready, awaiting the time to brine and prepare for a Thanksgiving feast. The menu is planned with delicious roast turkey, dressing, fresh cranberry sauce, potatoes, cornbread dressing — or perhaps, oyster dressing. Whatever you as the cook prefer, along with your guests.

Thursday, November 24, 2011 is the day of Thanksgiving for the United States of America. Since 2001, America has learned to appreciate and give thanks during a time of war. Many of our family members will be away from us, and I am certain it is difficult. If that is the scenario in your family, please be thankful for SKYPE, e-mail, cell phones and the ability to surf the Internet to speak with your loved one. Never is it easy to miss a loved one during this special time of Thanks, but many of us are still missing those we have lost, due to death.

As a writer, I would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  May you spend time enjoying your loved ones. May your turkey and all of the trimmings help you to appreciate the life we have, along with our freedom. If you are a soldier, away from home, reading this, I say a special Thank You to all of you.

Our family will spend Thanksgiving with dear friends, and our precious adopted rescue animals. Let us all be thankful for the life we have, the friends and family we share, and for the gift of celebration with our family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy all of the festivities and please remember to say a prayer to God for all that He has given to us, this day — and every day. Have a great Turkey Day!!!