I Bought a Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager

This is not a sponsored post or ad. I bought this myself with my own money.

This has to be one of my most inspired purchases. I did not know what I was missing.

Image from Amazon.ca

I have tense neck and shoulder muscles. When I am sitting, my shoulders start curling up and tensing. When I lie down during the day, it is usually because I am feeling dizzy which makes me more tense. Even if I’m not dizzy, many times I have my phone or tablet in my hands playing games, watching videos, reading or seeing how well we’re treating each other on social media.

I try to relax, sit straight instead of slouching and stretching. But, it’s not enough and I still get and stay tense.

I do have a massager that does work well enough, sometimes. But, it is a handheld percussion massager and when massaging the muscles close to the base of my head, the vibrations affect my ears and make me dizzy.

Image from Amazon.ca

Stretching only helps so much. Especially as a person with a disability, I know I am sitting and lying down more than what people normally do when they are at home.

Then I bought my new massager.

I started smiling within 10 seconds of putting it on my shoulders.

Maybe it was 5 seconds.

Each arm sits in what I can best describe as a sling and is what helps keep the massager in its place or helps you move it around on your back. And it is actually more comfortable than it looks.

There are two sets of nodes that give that kneading feeling. They look like balls that have been cut in half. There are two sets and each set has two larger and two smaller nodes. You can turn on the infra red heating but the heat generated feels more like a person putting their hand on you, not heating pad heat strength.

They also knead clockwise and counter-clockwise knead. It switches back and forth every 90 to 120 seconds. You do have the option to shut it off. The massager does has a timer that automatically shuts it off at 15 minutes.

I have only used this on my back which is where I tend to need it. My friend also used it on his legs and found it really helped.

All in all, I think this is a great purchase. I’ve had it a few days now and have used it every day. This is definitely going to be one of my best ever purchases.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Blessing

Happy-St-Patrick-Day-Pics-93-3

Image via IrishSeaweeds.com

May Love and Laughter Light Your Days

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

It’s My Illness Anniversary This Month!



Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash

This is always a strange time of the year for me. February is when I originally got sick and started this journey. It was a really bad flu season that winter and everyone assumed I would get better.

Surprise!

Little did I know what was in store for me.

So it’s been a reflective few days for me. How do you reconcile almost 20 lost years of your life due to a disability?

I thought about where I was, where I thought I was going, my plans, my dreams.

Then I thought of where I am now. I’m going to be 60 in three years. Just that sentence gives me pause. Because I can’t help but think of what I was doing when I was 36. Where I thought I’d be going, my plans, my dreams.

Even typing my age of when I first got sick caused a bit of tightness in my throat. I was so young then. You don’t think of 36 as being young but when you look back from from the persective of being close to 60, your 30s seem young.

Now, I think of other problems with my health. Heart disease and stroke affected both my parents. I’m now on medication for my blood pressure and to keep my heart from racing. This may very well have happened to me at some point, but when your physical abilities and activities dwindle, I can’t help but wonder how much later these would have happened to me.

To be honest, I’m not sure what I really want to say. I’m just typing thoughts out as they occur. I’m not sad like I’ve been in years gone by. It’s certainly not a happy anniversary. No one thinks this will happen to them, it happens to other people. Bad things always happen to other people. Except they don’t.

There are a lot of other people out there, a lot who are dealing with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

It’s been more of a reflective state of mind this year. Thinking about something that won’t change. Something that can’t be fixed. Something that has affected my day-to-day life for almost two decades.

Maybe, ultimately, what I’m saying is that you are not alone. If you are reading this blog and you are new to the disabled and chronic illness community, know that you are not alone.

And don’t be dismissive of what you are thinking and feeling or let others be dismissive of what you are thinking and feeling. Whether you are very emotional at all the changes in your life or like I am at the moment, more reflective. Or anything and everything in between.

Moments change. That is the constant of life. Change. We just have to learn how to best deal with it. Sometimes we’re being great at it, other times it is overwhelming. Be kind to yourself. Talk to others. Seek help, if necessary. But, always remember.

You are not alone.

Time to Dust Things Off Around Here

(photo by me using Adobe Spark Post)

Hi everyone. Long time, no post. Hope you are all well or as well as possible.

Because I usually scheduled the posts, I haven’t done any since the winter of 2016. I had reached a point where I didn’t feel like I had anything to say. I didn’t post about it but 2015 was an up and down year health-wise. My heart rate decided to be a speed demon with no reason given other than it happens to some and tests didn’t show anything other than I was out of shape.

I was put on medication to put it back to it’s normal rate and I just concentrated on getting my stamina back up to a normal-for-me level. Again, something that is an up and down process when you have a disability. Add to that that I am more disposed to being an introvert so I introverted.

But lately, I’ve been getting the blogging itch. And then I read this post by Jenny Lawson about blogging and starting or restarting your blog if you consider yourself an old-school blogger.

So, here I am, not sure what I’ll say or how often I will say it, but watch this space.

Self-Love Sunday: Stay Hydrated

 

Let me be a lesson to you my internet friends.

Stay hydrated.

I was feeling crappy today and thought it had to do with a combination of things. The cold that has gone around the house so many times that you would think it has to have evolved into some sort of intelligent being by now so that it can be charged rent. We had our, hopefully, last winter storm. The temperatures are going up and down which causes sinus pain and headaches. Allergy season is upon us. It’s been a mish-mash of reasons why I felt crappy.

Until I looked at the water jug on my desk and realized how little water I drank today.

According to the Dieticians of Canada, it is a myth that you have to drink 8 cups of water per day. We get fluids from other sources as well such as milk, soup, coffee, tea and juice. Our bodies loses water from breathing, sweating and getting rid of body wastes.

Here are some quick facts about fluids and hydration and you can visit the Dieticians of Canada web site for more information.

How Fluids Help the Body

  • controls your body temperature
  • aids digestion
  • carries nutrients around your body
  • cushions organs and joints
  • gets rid of waste
  • keeps your bowels regular

Signs and Symptoms of Mild Dehydration

  • thirst
  • dry lips and mouth
  • flushed skin
  • tiredness
  • irritability
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • low blood pressure
  • increase in heart rate
  • dark, strong smelling urine

Signs and Symptoms of Severe Dehydration

  • blue lips
  • blotchy skin
  • confusion
  • lack of energy
  • cold hands and feet
  • rapid breathing
  • high fever
  • unconsciousness

Tips to Stay Hydrated

  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up each morning or before you go to bed.
  • Keep a fresh glass of water by your desk or on hand where you work.
  • Carry a container of water with you throughout the day.
  • Drink a glass of water before eating your meals.
  • Make sure you have a drink with each meal such as a glass of low fat milk, soy beverage or water.
  • Don’t ignore thirst. Drink water or another healthy drink when you feel thirsty.

And fluids are not the only way to stay hydrated. Some fruits and vegetables are considered high water content foods because there is a large amount of water in proportion to their weight. The University of Kentucky created a graph that shows a list of fruits and vegetables that are high in water content. Some of the fruit and vegetables include grapefruit, strawberries, eggplants and tomatoes.

Hope you find these tips helpful because the hot and humid weather will be here soon enough and we’ll be trying to find creative ways to stay hydrated.

 

 

Self-Love Sunday: Recognizing Emotional Abuse

Most days on the self-love journey, it really is all about you. But, you do have to look at those around you and take a critical look at how they and their actions affect your health and well-being.

Originally, I was going to do a post based on this article from Elephant Journal called I Don’t Have Time to Babysit Your Dysfunctions.

But, as I read and reread the article, I realized the person doing the “talking” in the article is describing what sounded like an emotionally abusive relationship.

If what you read in the Elephant Journal article has you thinking you or someone you know may be emotionally abused, please give the person some of the following information.

**  Please remember, it can dangerous for the person in an abusive relationship to receive information on their computer or phone, a print out or a pamphlet that the abuser can find. Make sure the abused has phone numbers to hotlines that they can call when they want or need to talk to someone.

HelpingGuide.org has information about different types of abuse along with links to websites and toll-free numbers you can call and talk to someone. They also share the following as a description for emotional abuse.

The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship, or that without your abusive partner you have nothing.

Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.

You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. The scars of emotional abuse are very real, though, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so.

Do you know some of the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship? Here are 21 signs according to PsychCentral.

  1. Humiliating or embarrassing you.
  2. Constant put-downs.
  3. Hypercriticism.
  4. Refusing to communicate.
  5. Ignoring or excluding you.
  6. Extramarital affairs.
  7. Provocative behavior with opposite sex.
  8. Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice.
  9. Unreasonable jealousy.
  10. Extreme moodiness.
  11. Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you.
  12. Saying “I love you but…”
  13. Saying things like “If you don’t _____, I will_____.”
  14. Domination and control.
  15. Withdrawal of affection.
  16. Guilt trips.
  17. Making everything your fault.
  18. Isolating you from friends and family.
  19. Using money to control.
  20. Constant calling or texting when you are not with him/her.
  21. Threatening to commit suicide if you leave.

 

There are many more resources that are available if you or someone you know may be in an abusive relationship. Bandbacktogether.com not only has much of the above information but also has information on planning and leaving an abuser, if there are children and pets and what to do after you leave.

Again, safety is imperative for those being abused. Check out this information on a computer outside the home if necessary or pass along the information verbally and be supportive of the person being abused.