Saturday, May 25, 2019

Hairy Thoughts and Deeds

Since deciding to retire, I've under gone a few minor changes. One intentional, the other unplanned, but shouldn't (to be honest) have been unexpected.

Like many folks, I spend too much time thinking about my hair. (Our crowning glory?) I could blame it on that popular pixie cut (I had until high school) that my Mom had read in a magazine was the only way to tame my wavy hair. Or, more likely, I could blame it on my lack of fortitude to stick to something for more than a short period of time.

Longer hair, the care and feeding of, is something a person needs to expend time and effort to learn how to do. Also, deciding to embrace and grow out curly or wavy hair, means you have to let go of that 'each hair in its place' mentality. That's a positive for me, but learning to (mostly) 'leave it alone', can create an internal struggle, between hair and hands.

My current hair care and schedule:
  1. Wash every 3-4 days. 
  2. Use one product in shower after shampoo & conditioner
  3. I use a diffuser (no brush or comb) for about 6 minutes to get the air drying started.
  4. Wear satin sleep cap to bed
  5. After showering on a 'no hair wash day', hang head upside down, gently use fingers to comb and shake through strands of hair. If needed I may work in a small diluted amount of product into my hair on no wash days, but tbh I prefer a softer feel and look.
My current product choice is from Ouidad's Vitalcurl line, but I'm open to suggestions.

The other minor change happened while I was trying to balance pain relief with a sensitive stomach (yet again). I thought I'd conquered the right way to take Naproxen, but then one day my stomach had had enough.

My brain didn't hang onto the details, but over a period of weeks my stomach began to hurt during meals and then I completely lost my appetite. Losing your appetite has always sounded like a minor thing, when reading an article, but once you experience it you know it's not minor at all. Every forkful (even dessert!!) took another concentrated effort to get that food in my mouth. Now, looking back over the last year, I feel like the 'event' reset my appetite. What else can I attribute my sudden ability to eat correct portions for my body weight? Eating half as much as I used to, is not the problem I can remember from the last time I lost weight.

I did my best to eat a bite here and there, but the weight began to fall off my body--nearly 50 lbs. Recounting the experience, reminds me of the old joke about whether you want the good news or bad news first. If there was good news, it was losing that weight. To me, the weight represented pregnancy and grief. Not things to be done with, but to embrace, honor and accept. The bad news, obviously, was I now had to use acetaminophen to control the constant hip pain. Thankfully, I was sent to a neuro muscular physical therapist. He gave me insight and exercises to strengthen my gluteus minimus--a common problem as we age and change. I look forward to conquering a proper squat.

There were hairy moments, but I reached out for help. Even though I didn't get the pain injection I was after, I may have ended up with something better--a little more knowledge about my body and some tools to help. Huh! I guess that covers the hair status as well!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Fun With My Microbiome

I've been fascinated with microbes, ever since I first read about their many roles--roles that are still waiting to be discovered. As a result, I peeled fewer vegetables, was okay with a little organic dirt, and ate as little processed food as I could. All things, I believe, that contribute to a healthier me.

Recently, I began to notice that wounds weren't healing as quickly as they used to. When you sleep with pups, their dreams can cause human scratches. Then *I* scratched an itch in my half sleep state. Rather a nasty gouge, it was. Aha! An opportunity to experiment with wound care!

The nasty gouge appeared approximately 2 weeks ago on my lower arm. I began to search for articles regarding wounds and by happenstance stumbled upon a health article written about using a pumice stone, all over, in the shower. I had no idea! Did you?

What I've learned so far:

  • Read entire article before beginning
  • Make sure you own one of the smoother stones
  • I've noticed a difference already

What I've learned regarding my own wound care:

  • There's is no substitute for a good regular cleansing of wounds
  • I saw improvement in healing, when I washed the area thoroughly 3x a day
  • The stone helps remove old tissue surrounding wound
If you want to give it a try, but are concerned about hurting your skin--start on your rear. You'll enjoy a smoother end, tomorrow.