Start Writing Your Own Prescriptions (RX)

Daily RX pad

Photo by: voraorn

Just admit it…

Your sick and tired of feeling “sick and tired”.

One cry away from being “all cried out”.

Taking pills for “this” or “that”…Distressed by the number of pills you’re forced to take, or resentful because there’s not a pill to treat your condition.

What if you possessed control over the prescriptions you’re being administered?

I get it… the physicians in control… in possession of a magical prescription (RX) notepad that grants access to a rainbow of drugs that can treat MANY symptoms you’re battling.

While this is true… maybe it’s best we’re not granted full access to this magical prescription pad. We might soon find ourselves with another problem – ADDICTION!

Alright, let’s agree to leave legal-drug-pushing to the professionals, but…

Have you considered writing out your own “Daily RX”?

Call me crazy, but I’m going to bet on someone… YOU!

I’m going to bet that YOU can safely write yourself out a daily RX that strengthens your inner-spirit.

Inner-spirit?

I’m not going to get woo-woo or preachy on you, however, I’m going to challenge you to develop a plan to combat the dark emotions that accompany chronic illness…

A plan that helps you withstand: Anger… fear… stress… worry…

A daily RX, you prescribe, focused on enhancing your quality of life.

Unless your physician is Patch Adams, you won’t be prescribed the following RX list:

  •  Watch a funny YouTube clip.
  • Make your bed.
  • Take a shower and brush your teeth .
  • Open your windows to let in some fresh air
  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Write for 15 minutes on any topic of your choosing
  • Send an email off to someone you admire
  • Read something uplifting for 15 minutes

 

Seems silly, right?

Who’s sillier?:

Person A: Chooses not to wear a life jacket while kayaking.

Person B: Chooses to be properly fitted for a life jacket that may save his/her life in case the kayak capsizes.

Uplifting, daily RX lists, are your properly fitted life jacket! An important part of your safety equipment that keeps you from drowning into the emotional, dark, murky waters of chronic illness.

I’m hopeful with regular use, you may start to see the positive side effects!

Dont sabotage, just start!

My list often contains 3-4 daily prescriptions. (If you’re hesitant, start experimenting with just one daily RX!) There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do this.

Daily RX list written of whiteboard

I use a whiteboard, but i’m considering purchasing my own RX pad!

Are you open to sharing what you’ll consider adding to your daily RX? If so, comment below.

Much love,
Marissa

PS: If you suffer from anger… fear… stress… worry… etc. on a daily basis, please consult with your physician! Hugs, and know your’re not alone! There’s help out there.

 

12-12-12 The Lesson: Positive Change

Change scares MOST of us. WHY?

BECAUSE THERE IS A POSSIBILITY WE MAY FEEL…

  • Uncomfortable
  • Scared
  • Out of control
  • Judged

 

When I got sick, I subscribed to two schools of thought…

1.) I have no control over this illness. It has me. I CAN’T change my situation.
2.) My choices are limited, BUT there are plenty of areas of my life I STILL HAVE control over (what I put in my mouth, my at·ti·tude, my personal values and beliefs). I started focusing on what I could control! I realize access to choices means there is a chance I CAN change my situation.

 A POWERFUL SHIFT happened when I moved from I CAN’T to I CAN!

 When I was in the I CAN’T camp, I felt…

  • Uncomfortable
  • Scared
  • Out of control
  • Judged

 

Now enrolled in the I CAN camp, I feel…

  • Uncomfortable
  • Scared
  • Out of control
  • Judged

WHAT?

How can this be? I know what your thinking. “Marissa, what are you talking about? You are still in the same place! Nothing has changed for you.”

Does that mean I am not broke, not sick, or not realistic about my situation? NO.

Let’s face it, I am bordering “JUST ANOTHER STATISTIC “ status. There is a HUGE chance I may not be able to reinvent myself and support myself financially or enjoy a career I am passionate about because of these new limitations.

THE DIFFERENCE IS…

I BELIEVE that I have enough variables in my life that I can control where CHANGE may positively alter my current predicament.

This month’s 12-12-12 lesson has reaffirmed that belief.

Peachy shared with us a lesson that is both critical and relevant.

“Be the change that you wish to see.”

I’m trying to be the change that I wish to see. I wish there was a change in regards to arthritis. I wish there was a change and a cure for arthritis. I wish there was more people who actually understood about this disease and where people didn’t feel isolated and alone and felt freely to talk about it and not feel like people are going to discriminate against them, and make them feel alone. I’m trying to be the positive change in which I hope people who have arthritis can see.

Peachy listed VERY SPECIFIC areas in her life where she doesn’t have much control over. BUT she is grabbing onto the variables in her life that she has control over and that she BELIEVES she can actively change.

She is positively changing the world around her by being the best version of herself.

Here is a link to this month’s 12-12-12 podcast interview with Peachy.

Peachy! You are a blessing and THANK YOU for reaffirming the power of positive change!

Much love,
Marissa

P.S. Bust out one of your devices or go old school on me and use paper and pencil. Jot down one area of your life you have control over mentally or physically.

Example: Are you judgmental? Do you see someone walking down the street and you are quick to judge them? “Oh my, what was she thinking wearing that? Oh no she didn’t!”

Well guess what? That is an area of your life you have control over! Whatever you decide, let that be your start to positive growth. You will soon find there are many areas where positive change is possible.  You will start to experience personal growth AND THAT will instill a belief that positive change is possible for you.  It might hurt. You will most likely resist. You may fail. And that is when you know you are on your way to producing positive change. You got this!

Sometimes You Find Yourself Freestyling Life

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My life is anything but a well executed, thought out, lyric. I consider my life raw and often times messy. Chronic illness has found a way to complicate, yet simplify my life. Every Friday I partake in Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). The therapy has a tendency to kill me softly. On the day of VRT, my physical therapist asks that I not partake in any visual stimulus, so I often find myself, lying in bed, listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

During VRT, we work on posture, coordination, vision, and core strengthening, therefore, Saturday I wake up feeling as if a truck hit me. Come Sunday, I began show traces of my familiar disequilibrium self. I don’t get out very often, so by the time sunday rolls around I am stir-crazy. I have found that long durations behind four walls can be madding; therefore, positive distraction is critical.

Babe and I were clicking through the channels and landed on VH1’s show, T.I. & Tiny. Tip’s son, Domani, was given a chance to write a song and perform it within two days. My mind began racing. Throughout the years, I have hinted at babe that I can write rhymes. I have gotten some interesting glances throughout the years. So, this Sunday, during the show, I asked babe to participate in the creation of an off-the-cuff hip hop rhyme. It’s important to note, I am low budget, and don’t have any equipment, so the sound quality is not important. This was a sporadic attempt at positively distracting myself.

Disclaimer:

Do I think I can rap or freestyle? No.

Do I think I will have a career in music? No.

Do I think I am little crazy sharing my personal antics on my blog? Yes

Did I secretly want to be Queen Latifah and MC Lyte growing up? Yes.

Kicking off the challenge: I embarked on what I am calling, Creative Sunday.

Challenge: Given a random theme, locate a beat, write lyrics, record the song, play babe the track. Here, is the 5 step breakdown.

 Babe provides me the theme. “Do the right thing”.

 I look for a beat. Where the heck do I find beats? I ended up on YouTube. Took me about 20 minuets to locate an instrumental.

*First break came after locating the beat.

 I start writing the rhyme. It took about 30 minutes including breaks.

*Forced to take about 2 breaks during this process.

Record the track. This was a fun process. I didn’t have a great sense of what I was doing, but it didn’t stop me. It’s important to note, I had a grin on my face the entire time.

* Several long breaks were taken during this process. (Being forced to take breaks while in fun moments can lead to frustration. I am learning to anticipate breaks in any venture I partake in which now minimizes the frustration. I am now starting to see breaks as part of the process.)

Play track the babe.

I was so nervous to play babe the track! Why was I so nervous? The track was never going to be heard by anyone, so who cares. This was just supposed to be a fun distraction. I guess everyone fears rejection on some level. As I was playing babe the track, various reactions formed on his face. Guess he didn’t know what to expect. He reacted like a proud parent, and it was just the reaction I needed. He was very supportive and suggested I share it on the blog. I figured, what the heck. The purpose of creative sundays is to show the importance of having fun regardless of limitations and participating in random moments that bring unexpected joy!

Happy Listening. And cheers to creative Sundays!

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Download: Do The Right Thing 2.0

Much love,
Marissa

Instrumental credit: M-Phazes – All 4 Hip Hop ( Instrumental )

Copyright Disclaimer: I am considering this venture an educational process. I learned a ton. There will be no sale or distribution. I am just a chronically disabled gal keeping positively distracted.

Lyrics: Do the right thing

This rhyme was birthed from a random moment. Shout out to babe
Tonight, slither up to the mic, rattle snake
Believe in the promise of a sealed hand shake
Let me take you back, to that dark cold place
Morality swallowed up between time and space
No time to contemplate or call on home grow faith
The spirit of the moment shook you like a earthquake

Time to be alone, this moment not home grown
Flashlights in the car, your mind about to be blown
Handcuffed, spread out on car, your locked down
Silence deafening when it’s the only sound.

It’s never easy to simply do the right thing
Remember what happened to radio raheem
In a choke hold facing 5-10
Leaving another generation of fatherless men
Seems senseless a life without a beginning or end.

(vocal)
Its never easy
it’s never easy

it’s never easy
never easy

never easy
never easy
never easy

Switch back to the second you change your fate
Filled with rage and anger you could hardly see straight
It took years to build up this ignorant rage
Living life through the bars of a rattled cage

Jury assembled of 12 angry white men
Save money on this trail we know where it’s headin
Cinematic drama played out in black in white
American justice don’t go out without a fight

You jump up, they scream, it’s a prosecutors dream
Max sentence handed down to the legal defense team
Walked out the courtroom your family cries
Choices and consequences laid to your demise
Sitting in a cell means time to mend
Future generations will be lead to stronger men
Time will be served left rattled and unnerved
Courage rebuilds when you hit that right nerve

(Vocal)
Its never easy
never easy
Its never easy
never easy

It’s never easy
never easy

Listen carefully as I will leave you with this
There is a thin line between sorrow and bliss
Next time you think of loosing the moral code
Think back on what you’ve already been told
Patience is virtue leading to the promise land
Shortcuts deter you from that master plan
You are birthed from the father of everything
Your purpose will be revealed when you do the right thing!

Video Blog: 12 Months, 12 Journey’s, 12 Lessons

httpv://youtu.be/lEHbTVUfqyM

Lesson:  Vanity vs The Message:

Wow, this is raw. No makeup or hair done!:) This was supposed to be a dry run, however, I felt being honest and raw was more important than my look, so I will run with it. This is an addition to previous blog post, Reflection, Nomination, Idea, Execution.

If you want to be part of the 12 months, 12 journey’s, 12 lessons, please contact me!

p.s. I know I don’t live in snow country, however, I dress like I do! Loving my winter scarf.

Much love,
Marissa

Perception vs Reality (Audio)

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Update: It’s important to live your truth. Members of my family are seeing the joy I am experiencing attempting the vegan lifestyle. They have been willing to try the food and are starting to become open to the idea. Cheers to moving forward and living your truth!

“Transition is the process of letting go of the way things used to be and then taking hold of the way they subsequently become.” ~ William Bridges

* Thank you Marilyn for exposing me to this quote!

Much love,
Marissa

PETA’s 2011 Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 Contest. My vote goes to

My Vote for PETA’s  2011 Sexiest Vegetarian over 50 Contest, goes to Marilyn Peterson. Marilyn is the author of the highly reviewed book Vegan Bite By Bite.

The cover of the book Vegan Bite by Bite

I will be using Marilyn’s book as I transition to a healthy plant-based diet. My vote goes to Marilyn because she is not only a beautiful person on the outside, she is beautiful on the inside. Marilyn has sent me words of encouragement and is guiding me toward a healthy lifestyle. She has devoted her life to making sure there is an accessible blueprint on how to transition to a plant-based diet. That makes Marilyn the sexiest person I know over 50!

*You can learn more about Marilyn by checking out her website:  Veganbitebybite
*You can also purchase Marilyn’s book: Amazon.com
*Please join me in voting Marilyn Peterson PETA’s Prime’s 2011 sexiest vegetarian over 50: PETA website

Much love,
Marissa

In Need Of A Good Habit, Or Two! (Update)

Man with hand on head standing at a sign with three arrows points 3 different directionsImage: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

30 days ago I set out to add three achievable healthy habits into my life. My 30 days are up and I have learned a great deal about myself.

 

Health Habit #1: Drink nothing but water for 30’s days.

Goal achieved: Yes

Challenges:  First few days I was in panic mode. It became clear that I was consuming very little water in my diet. I soon became parched. I wasn’t consciously transitioning to drinking water only. If I couldn’t drink soda, ice tea, or juice, I didn’t feel like drinking at all.  After the first week I began to feel really dehydrated and my quench for water kicked in. After the transition I became addicted to water.

 

Health Habit #2: No pastries, candies and ice cream for the next 30 days.

Goal achieved: Yes

Challenges: This was a much harder challenge then I had anticipated. Pre-challenge, I consumed a sweet daily. The first week I found  a lack of  sweets causing irritability.  I was not pressured by outside factors when it came to drinking water only. Yet, often bombarded by pressure to consume sweets, I almost caved in. The temptation throughout has been shocking. However, I feel this last week, the temptation has tapered off. People are expecting me to say no, therefore they are no longer suggesting.

 

Healthy Habit #3: Spend 20 minutes each day, for the next 30 days, sketching

Goal achieved: No

Challenges:  I have failed this healthy habit miserably.  With my condition this is not an area that I have much control over. There are days where the imbalance and dizziness is so strong and I can’t imagine staying still and sketching.

 

What I learned:

There are still aspects of my life that I can control. What I put into my body ultimately is my choice. This has been a true revelation for me. It has inspired a new passion within me to take on a healthier life style. I may not have the same control over my life as I did pre-disability, however,  I will work to make sure to appreciate and foster the aspects of my life I still have control over!

Much love,
Marissa

 

In Need Of A Good Habit, Or Two!

I went from energetic and ambitious to lifeless and unmotivated. Living each day constantly imbalanced, in fear of the next vertigo spell, was driving me insane. Participating in daily healthy habits to having no schedule or plan was becoming detrimental. I would wander the house like a zombie, each passing day uncounted. Every non action, I was slipping further into depression. Leaving behind daily healthy habits, laid ground work for complacency and fear. I was grieving the loss of my active lifestyle.

Pre-disability healthy habits:

* Active in the gym
* On a healthy weight loss plan
* Weekly trips to the grocery store
* Participated in a full time job
* Enjoyed sporting and musical events
* Date nights with fiance

These last few months have been deeply introspective. I am pulling out of the dark shadows, finding ways to participate once again. I am learning how to create healthy habits under new life constraints.

Current healthy habits:

* Daily Journal
* Keeping up with the blog
* Listening to audio books/reading books

With each positive habit implemented, I feel myself regenerating. For the next 30 days, I challenge myself to partake in daily healthy habits.

30 day healthy habit challenge:

* Drink nothing but water for 30 days
* No pastries, candies, and ice cream for the next 30 days
* Spend 20 minutes each day, for the next 30 days, sketching

These habits, although simplistic, have a purpose. I believe setting healthy, attainable goals, is the best way to keep myself motivated and mentally fit! To keep myself accountable, I am listing my goals on 43things.com, and posting the goals on the blog sidebar. Cheers to once again forming good habits!

Much love,
Marissa

Walking With The Aid Of Trekking Poles

I have been encouraged by medical practitioners and family members to get out and walk. I realize the tremendous health and psychological benefits attained from walking. However, what happens when your vestibular (balance) system makes walking a challenge? A compromised balance system leads to imbalance, stumbling, disorientation, muscle weakness, etc.

Taking my first steps:
After the first vertigo spell the ER doctor encouraged me to start walking as soon as possible. My first attempt at walking after the spell was clumsy, weak and unsteady. The walk around the block felt like a mile, I held onto a family member for dear life.

How I felt emotionally:
It was a terrifying experience. Once anxiety and fear set in, it became difficult convincing myself to take a stroll.

Months and years go by:
Over time I found myself resistant to walking long distances and my overall health began to suffer. There had to be a safe way for me to walk around the block! I then set out determined to find the ideal walking apparatus.

Searching the internet:
I looked into canes, crutches, walkers, rolling walkers, rollators, etc. Beside not being ascetically pleasing, they were not practical for walking down the sidewalk in my neighborhood. I needed something sturdy that allowed for equal distribution of my weight, and freedom to move my arms and legs.

My million dollar idea:
I thought I had a million dollar idea on my hands. I could cut the tops off two canes and replace the tops with sturdy handle bars!  With my million dollar idea in mind, I set out for another internet search. With each Google search result return, I quickly realized my millions were slipping away. According to Wikipedia, the idea of a trekking poles (sticks) has been around since the early 1900’s.

“Trekking poles (also known as hiking poles, hiking sticks or walking poles) are a common hiking accessory used to assist walkers with their rhythm and provide stability on rough terrain.”

Trekking poles to the rescue:
My family was open to the idea of trekking poles but no one had never seen or used them. I was blessed at Christmas receiving a pair of trekking poles from my fiance. I have been using the poles for 8 months and they have been a blessing.

 

Different views of trekking polesExcuse the quality of photos ( working with a free cell phone cam:) )

 

Benefits:

* Stability and balance
* Cork handles ( when my hands sweat it is not an issue, the cork handles are slip-resistant)
*Adjustable length ( I am short and having adjustable settings is essential)
* Wrist straps ( I place my hands within the straps and there is additional support around my wrist)
* Rubber pole tip ( The pair I am currently using has rubber walking tips. If you remove the rubber tip a metal tip is exposed.  I have used the metal tip walking on dirt and rough terrain. )

Final Thoughts:
If there is a will there is a way! There are days when the imbalance and dizziness get the best of me. However, with these trekking poles I can participate in a safe walk. For other dizzy suffers I suggest being prepared for interesting comments made from folks when walking with your sticks. We are used to living with a hidden disability and these sticks definitely bring attention. Here are some interesting comments made when I am walking the neighborhood:

” are you training for the Olympics?” ( I am 5′ nothing and 25 lbs overweight)
” are you practicing skiing? ” ( I have never skied in my life)
” what is that?” ( One mom hit her kid after he yelled this out!)

I really need to start thinking of some creative comebacks. I am learning not to take comments to heart. At first I was rather annoyed, but once again, people are curious. As long as I am walking and getting out of the house I am happy! I am looking forward to trying Nordic walking sticks seeing how they compare. Hope this information is helpful! Don’t be afraid to get out there!

Much love,
Marissa

 

Adding Audio To The Blog

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Hope you enjoy this new audio platform I  am introducing to the blog:

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Linking it up!

Chiropractor Extraordinaire:

Gordon Grannis, D.C.

 

Books mentioned:

Painless Writing by Jeffrey Strausser

Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott

 

Much Love,
Marissa