Do I Have Scoliosis?

I have had serious back pain for probably the last decade of my life.  Sometimes my back locks up when I bend over and boy it is painful.  Mostly I can’t walk too far before the pain kicks my ass into submission and I have to sit or lay down.  I can walk to the grocery store from the house because it is only 3 blocks from the house, my back is in pain by the time I come home but it’s not excruciating.  I cannot go for a walk for exercise though.  Before I got a new (used) bicycle wheel, I was trying to walk for exercise and that caused the most horrible pain I have ever felt in my 43 years on this planet, and that is not hyperbole either.

Last month I had some x-rays of my back taken and a week ago my doctor told me that according to the x-rays, my back was curving, and he shaped his hand like a parenthesis (.  I misunderstood when he mentioned something about slouching, so naturally I thought my back was arching outward because I do tend to slouch a lot, but then I went to see him again yesterday and I asked him about the x-rays again and he wrote down on a piece of paper exactly what he means.  This is a normal spine |.  This is my spine (.  He drew it on a piece of paper so I could see exactly what he meant.

That makes sense to me, and that explains a lot why my back is in pain in the middle of my spine.  I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in my lower spine a few years ago and so I was assuming that it was going up which was why I was in so much pain in the middle of my spine which is why I asked my doctor for help.  Who knew that it was some new problem.

So I use the term scoliosis loosely.  I don’t know for a fact that I have scoliosis.  I asked my doctor “Is it like scoliosis?” and he responded with “yes” but that was not a diagnosis.  He asked me if I wanted to see a physical therapist and I said yes because I don’t know what to do about this and if a physical therapist can help me, then I’m going to go see one.  It will also help me with my weight loss, so I will do anything that I can to help stop this pain.

I called my aunt this week and told her about it, but with the impression that my spine was bending outward, but with the understanding that I had no clue which way it was bending.  I mentioned that I wanted to ask about a back brace and she said “DO NOT ASK FOR A BRACE!  You do NOT want to depend on a back brace, trust me.”  I don’t like arguing with people, especially her because she gets very emotional, but like I said before, I will do anything that I can do to stop this pain.  I didn’t ask my doctor for one when I saw him, but if a physical therapist suggests and prescribes one then I will wear it.

No I don’t want to have to rely on a brace, but I will do whatever it takes to stop this constant nagging pain that I have all day.  I’m not joking when I say I am in pain all day.  I am literally in pain every waking moment.  Even if I’m sitting down like right now I’m in pain.  If I’m laying down, I’m in pain.  I can’t do the dishes for more than 5 minutes without being in pain.  I can’t go to the mall and walk around like a mindless zombie like my partner loves to do because… you guessed it, it causes me pain.  It doesn’t really matter where I am or what I am doing, you can guarantee that I will be in agony, whatever it is.

I had a broken arm earlier this year and I was taking Vicodin probably 3 times a day.  It wasn’t stopping the pain in my arm, but it was helping and it did help my back pain, so I had a vacation from my pain for as long as I was taking the Vicodin.  I stopped taking the Vicodin when I stopped having pain and naturally the pain in my back came back immediately.  I have tried taking a Vicodin here and there, but they don’t seem to help at all.  I have been taking Ibuprofen, and that helps my toothache, but it doesn’t stop my back pain.

Oh one more thing about my back pain.  I have a very large patch of skin on my back that is dead.  I mean the nerves actually  I say that because my back in that spot has been numb for 19.5 years.  It never really bothered me until now.  Now it tingles and the numbing is causing pain.  It’s constantly itching and I’m constantly scratching it and the tingling really bugs the hell out of me.  Scratching doesn’t do anything except weird me out that I can’t feel my own fingers touching my back.  I mean, I can feel it, but I can’t feel it if that makes sense.  It’s like I know my hands are scratching my back, but it feels like someone else is doing it.  I can’t explain it, it’s a very odd sensation.

Anyway, I would really love to just go one day without having pain if that is possible.  I am hoping a physical therapist will help because I am really sick and tired of being sick and tired of being in pain.

Naturally I will update my blog when I begin physical therapy.

Banana Ice Cream

banana ice cream

How many calories are in 1 serving of ice cream?  I looked up Häagen Dazs® Banana Split ice cream and it has 270 calories for 1/2 a cup.  HALF A CUP has 270 calories?  Well, how would you feel if I told you that 1 cup of banana ice cream only has 116 calories if you make it yourself?

It’s really simple.  I found this recipe on Facebook of all places.  All you do is slice up 1 banana, freeze it for about 2 or 3 hours, put it in a food processor or a blender with a dash of non-fat milk until it’s the consistency of ice cream, scoop it into a bowl and viola, banana ice cream.  It’s more like soft serve, and technically it’s not ice cream, it’s just pureed frozen fruit, but still, it’s like ice cream.

What makes this healthy is that you are eating fruit not ice cream, but it tastes and looks like ice cream so you are fooling your brain into thinking you are being bad, but really you are just eating a banana.

Say you don’t like bananas, well you could try this with a cantaloupe or honeydew melon, I have even read that you could make this with watermelon, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’m going to when they are at the grocery store though, so stay tuned for that.

The Noom app that I am using says that any green fruit like banana, cantaloupe and watermelon is 25 calories for 1/3 of a cup, 50 calories for 2/3 of a cup, 100 calories for 1 1/4 cup and 150 calories for 2 cups.  The SparkPeople recipe page says it’s 116 calories for 1 medium banana.  I’d rather go with Noom’s calories because 100 calories is better lol.  Any way you slice it, it’s better for you than ice cream that you buy at the grocery store and you can eat more of it, guilt free.

New Years Resolutions – MyGofer

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of mygofer.com for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Every year we make a new years resolution to do something that will make our lives better and easier.  Eat healthier, lose weight, exercise, quit smoking, quit drinking or whatever it is that you have issues with.  My personal resolution is to lose weight.  I have tried so many things in the past but it’s very difficult to lose weight when all of the weight loss products are so expensive at the grocery store.

I think that the issue that some people have is time management.  You are stuck at work all day long and when you get off work you are too tired to go shopping.  Wouldn’t it be neat if there were an easier way to get all of your shopping done that doesn’t require a lot of your time that you could be spending at home with your family?

MyGofer is a service from Kmart/Sears that will definitely make your life easier.  You go to their website and browse through the products that they have at your leisure, maybe on your lunch break or during down time, or maybe when the boss isn’t looking.  Don’t worry, I won’t tell.  You can browse the website and add items to your list.  When you are ready to make your purchase, simply buy them and drive to the store and either go to the customer service counter or pull up to the designated curbside pickup location and they will hand you your items in bags right in your window as late as 9pm, even on weekends.  It’s really that easy.  There offer same day grocery delivery or shipping them to your home.

I mentioned earlier that I made a resolution to lose weight, well I can do that with my weight loss coach app on my phone, but what I need are the weight loss foods and fitness equipment.  I actually have a bicycle, but I need to buy some accessories for it.  I was looking through their bike accessories and found quite a few things that I need, like some new tubes, those are expensive, but they are cheaper with MyGofer.  I also need a new pump and a new kickstand and I definitely need new brakes.

They have so many departments for you to browse though, like food and groceries, prescriptions, health and wellness, beauty, baby and nursery, pet foods and other departments like home, bedroom, kitchen, electronics, fitness, office, tools… the list really goes on.  There are simply too many departments to list.  If you need it, chances are they have it, and in most cases cheaper than anywhere else.

I think their website is great, but if you aren’t at your computer and you simply want to browse their products and add things to your list  you could download the app on your phone.  They have one for Android, iPhone and Blackberry.  It is definitely something to look into if you are too busy to go shopping.  I mean, it couldn’t hurt, right?  Check it out!

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Wait 24 hours before hitting the panic button

HPNX1994

Imagine walking to the grocery store with really bad back pain just to buy 1 gallon of milk so you can make dinner.  You get there and you are heading to the check stand and you reach into your back pocket only to discover that it’s empty.  Just before panic sets in, you try the other pocket, then the front pockets and then check your jacket pockets.  Nothing.  You forgot your wallet!  *FACEPALM*

You sort of laugh it off, but you text your loved one at home asking them to grab your wallet and bring it to the store, but when they arrive, they didn’t bring your wallet.  When you get back to the house with groceries already paid for, you go check your desk where you thought it was, but it’s not there.  You look everywhere and panic sets in.

That happened to me last night.  I was in complete panic.  Even though I added the milk to the dinner and turned the stove back on, dinner was the last thing on my mind, in fact, I had lost my appetite.  I ransacked the whole house 20 times.  I checked the bank website and of course nothing had happened, but in my panic I called them to have them block my debit card so it can’t be used and issued me a new card which cost $5.

Even though I knew it wasn’t in there, I checked the car at least 3 or 4 times.  I checked the trash cans, I even looked in the freezer and the refrigerator… just in case.

When I woke up this morning, naturally I had to search the entire house again, and then again every hour.  I knew that someone else had it and that I would never see it again, but I still had hope that I’d still find it in the house somewhere.

I was in the living room less than 24 hours after I lost my wallet standing behind a chair and I moved my foot toward the chair and stepped on something soft.  At first I thought the dog had an accident, so I moved my foot away and looked and saw what looked exactly like my wallet.  At first I was thinking that perhaps it was wishful thinking.  I focused my eyes a bit more and the image of my wallet was still there, so I reached down and picked it up and holy crap, it was my wallet!  I found my wallet!

So, I guess I had reacted way too soon because now I can’t pay for anything until my new debit card comes.  I can write checks, but I really don’t like to do that because if you aren’t careful, they will become like rubber.

It’s awesome that I found my wallet, but I just wish that I had kept an eye on my bank account before calling them to cancel my card to issue me a new one.  If I really did lose my wallet outside, then someone would buy something and if that happened then naturally I would call them and cancel my debit card.  I don’t know, I guess it was a “better safe than sorry” thing.  Now I’m sorry that I was so safe lol.

This wallet is a bit immature for me.  I bought it at the 2012 Bakersfield Gay Pride festival for $5.  I bought it because it reminded me of my vans that I had when I was 15 years old.  It even has velcro lol.  It has a chain on it, but I took it off because of how cheap it is.  When I finally found it, I put the chain back on and clipped it to the belt loop of my pants so that the next time I take off my pants, the wallet won’t fly out of the pocket and this won’t happen again.

The good part of all of this is that I saved $30 because I won’t have to go to the DMV to get a new ID card.  It also saves me from worrying about identity theft because my ID card has my name and address and my insurance card has my social security number on it.  My identity has been stolen before and I would hate to go through that again.

A huge sigh of relief!

3D Christmas Cookies

3d-christmas-cookies 3d cookie cutter tree

Can you believe that it’s almost Christmas already?  I can’t because it seems like just yesterday I was sweating my Christmas ornaments off in the summer heat.

Even though I know I shouldn’t eat them because of how bad they are for you, I just love baking cookies.  I bought the 3D cookie cutters (left image) I want to say in 2005 or 2006 from Publishers Clearing House.  Yuk it up, I made 4 payments lol.  I wanted to make them with the cookie recipe the cookie cutters came with, but Darrin told me it was too much work and that I should just go ahead and buy a roll of sugar cookie dough already made from the grocery store, which I did and it was the biggest mistake because the dough rose too much and the pieces didn’t fit, so I had to shave it down where the pieces were supposed to slide together.  I also bought the powdered sugar and food coloring so I could decorate them in many different colors which was also a mistake because it looked like a pre-schooler decorated them.

This year I bought the 3D Tree cookie cutters (right image) from AVON.  I don’t know why but the set didn’t come with a cookie dough recipe, but I did buy Halloween cookie cutters which did, and I made them and they were very good so I will be using that for both sets this year.

Instead of decorating them with many colors, I will do them both just as they are in the image with white frosting made with the powdered sugar.  They have sprinkles in the holiday aisle at the grocery store with shapes which will add more color to the trees and the star and it will give eyes to the reindeer, angel and the snowman.

When I made the 3D cookie cutters, I gave them to family and I was very disappointed that they were still there a year later, and I believe the next year after that.  They said they didn’t eat them because they were too nice, but it’s insulting to give someone cookies that I worked hard on making just to see that they didn’t even eat them.  If you don’t want to eat it, then give it to a child, trust me, they will eat it lol.  If not, just throw it away.

But I digress…

I can’t wait to make these cookies again this year.  I was hoping to make the tree and decorate it with rainbow colors for the PFLAG Christmas potluck, but I wasn’t sure how I would do that.  Well, I think I might know how, instead of doing all the layers white, I could paint them in rainbow colors.  There are enough that I could paint 3 stars in red, 3 stars in orange… etc.  Who knows, I still have awhile, but whatever I do I will definitely post pictures when it happens.

So yay!  Christmas cookie time lol.

Banana Nut Bread E-Liquid from Zeus E-Juice

I am on a taste crusade to see if I can finally replace eating junk foods that I crave with vaping them instead. I have found the exact thing that has finally gotten me to stop snacking. It’s called Vaping, and this is one of my new favorite flavors to vape with.

Never in my life did I ever think that I would get the taste of banana nut bread, without actually eating banana nut bread, but here we are.  I bought this fabulous flavor from the Zeus E-Juice website in the Delicious Desserts category in a 5ML bottle for a mere $2.49, which is probably about the same amount of money that you would pay for the box at the grocery store to make actual banana nut bread.  The thing is, I have been vaping this flavor the whole day and I don’t feel the least bit guilty because it has absolutely no calories, sugar or guilt.

The amazing part of that is that I only used a few drops for the whole day.  I didn’t use the whole bottle, so there is plenty more where that came from.  In fact, you can’t even tell that I used any from looking at the bottle.  I can have more whenever I want to and I don’t have to keep baking and cleaning pans and plates and forks, and I don’t have to worry about spoilage.  I think that is the most awesome part about vaping to replace food cravings.

This whole experiment has been successful so far.  I haven’t been snacking at all lately.  I may look into the fridge every once in a while and I may take a swig from the milk, but then I come back to the room and take a few hits off of the PV with this wonderful flavor, and my cravings are gone.  I don’t even have the hunger pangs anymore.  I think that this might actually be making my stomach shrink because I haven’t been eating as much food.  I still haven’t lost any weight, but as I’ve said many times before, I can’t expect to lose any weight without proper diet and exercise.  This is not a diet tool, this is just an experiment to see if I can cheat the sweet tooth cravings so I don’t snack.  It seems to be working so far, but it has still only been a week and a half, so I’m not counting any chickens before they hatch just yet.

Tomorrow I will be vaping Demeter’s Harvest and I will blog about it later.

Oh, I feel I should put in a disclaimer.  I am not getting paid to blog for anyone, I am just very excited about this whole adventure that I am on and I want to share my experiences and my opinions on the matter of vaping for weight loss.  The e-liquids that I buy have absolutely no nicotine in them, so I have no risk of addiction and I advise anyone who is reading this to not buy any e-liquid or e-cigarettes with the intentions of getting addicted.  You must be 18 years or older to buy any products with nicotine in them.

New York Soda Ban Approved

I recently read an article on the Huffington Post website that sparked something in me, and I have something to say about it.

New York Soda Ban Approved: Board Of Health OKs Limiting Sale Of Large-Sized, Sugary Drinks – Huffington Post

I think, and this is just my opinion, if they are going to be banning things that make you fat, they might as well ban it all. You can’t tell someone they can have 16oz Coke but not a 20oz coke and be ok with them eating a super size french fry and a Big Mac. You can’t just set the limits on one thing and not everything else. If they are going to ban drink sizes, then they might as well ban portion sizes too and make all adults have a kid’s meal. And while they’re at it, they might as well ban 2 liter bottles, Twinkies, cupcakes, and ice cream from the grocery store.

“The limits will not apply to drinks sold in grocery stores, diet sodas, drinks that are more than 70-percent fruit juice, or that contain alcohol.”

The article compares banning drink sizes to banning cigarette smoking in public places.  The problem is that they are forcing people to quit smoking, and now those people are getting fat, so now it is big government who is stepping in once again to take more control over our lives. Well, not our, I live in California, but it starts in New York and where does it end? This is just the spark that will spread like wild-fire throughout the country and next thing I know, I’m not allowed to buy a 32oz diet coke for $1 in the summertime anymore.  I know the limits are not on diet sodas, but how is it fair to limit sodas with sugar, and not diet soda?  The other customers will see me with a 32oz cup and think it’s unfair and then they will end up banning diet coke too.

And yes, I know a little something about getting fat from quitting smoking. They banned smoking in public places in California in the 90’s and I quit smoking in 1996. My reason wasn’t because of the ban in public places, but it was because they were raising the price of cigarettes to force people to quit. I eventually did quit when I was so disgusted by the horrible taste of the generic cigarettes. I gained 50lbs almost immediately and have gained another 50 since then which has led to sleep apnea and diabetes. Losing weight is not easy when you don’t have the money to pay for the expensive diet food and gym memberships. I am too heavy for my bike now and have back and knee problems, so exercising isn’t as easy as it used to be.

And yes I have heard it all.  If you’re fat, just quit eating.  Sure smart ass.  It’s so easy for people to tell me that because they aren’t fat.  They have no idea how hard it is to lose weight.  It takes 10 seconds to eat a cupcake, but the fat from that cupcake will stay with me forever.

I think if the government is going to step in and start telling people what they can and cannot drink and eat, they need to make it easier for people to lose weight by bringing down the high cost of the healthy foods, and stop making it so easy to get fat.  Get rid of the dollar menu on the unhealthy foods and allow us fat people who are trying to lose weight eat healthy foods.  Make the veggie burgers less expensive at the grocery store, help bring the cost of vegetables down and all the other health foods.  Make it easier on us instead of just banning things.

Children do the opposite of what they are told, so if you tell us “adults” that we can’t have more than 16oz, we’re just gonna buy 2 to spite you.  That you can count on.

Stray Cats

Kitty Cat

There are a lot of stray cats in our neighborhood and most of them are feral so they don’t really come up to me.  People are always wanting to feed them and when you feed them they become tame but those people don’t take responsibility for them.

There was a black cat who Darrin wanted to feed and he told me to feed him so like a dummy I went to the grocery store and bought some cat food.  Then this orange one came along and he decided that we’re his new family.  I didn’t want to feed him because I figured if I didn’t feed him then he would go away and find someone else but he didn’t.

One morning I woke up and was going to go to the back yard to change his water and put more food in there and he was inside of our patio.  It’s an enclosed patio and at first I thought Darrin put him in there but when I asked him he didn’t know what I was talking about.

The next day I went out there and he was in the patio again.  I couldn’t understand how this Houdini was getting in.  Then it hit me, he is getting up on the roof of the garage and he finds his way to the screen that is supposed to be tacked onto the wood below the gutters and he jumps down onto the floor of the patio.

Now when I go out there to put him outside he doesn’t want to go.  I have to trick him with food to get him to leave but he knows my tricks lol.

I don’t want another cat!  I had a cat for 12 years, I feel like I did my time, why should I have to spend another, goodness knows how many years, having to clean another litter box?  The problem is, I have a very weak immune system, I can’t be scooping poop and breathing it every day.  I was always sick when we had our cat Shanaynay (rest in peace) and I vowed I would never go through that again and now I feel like it’s being forced on me.

I tacked the screen back on which wasn’t very difficult to do.  I watched the cat jump onto the patio roof in our back yard and jump onto the garage roof then saw where he was getting in.  There is a ladder leaning up against the wall where he gets in so he sort of climbs down to the top of the ladder then jumps to the ground.  It’s quite hilarious how he figure that out.  But, I don’t want the other cats to get the same idea so I had to tack it down again to close that off.

This cat has learned to live with staying in our back yard all the time.  I feed him in the morning and at night and he’s very happy.  When I take the dog out at night he is out there and wants to be petted.  He and the dog are friends now which is sweet because our dog used to try to chase cats when she saw them.

I told Chips case worker about the cat and the first thing she said was “stay away from the poppy” which I already knew.

I hope he finds a new home.  It’s not that I don’t want him because he is a very sweet cat, it’s just I can’t afford him and I am allergic to cats so I really shouldn’t have him around me.  I don’t regret the 12 years that we had our cat Shanaynay because I loved her to death but I won’t do it again.  I’m happy with just having a dog lol.

Solve Your Frozen Food Problems with T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “Entrees for One”

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of T.G.I. FRiDAY’S for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Fridays Fajitas

Are you tired of the boring freezer dinners at the grocery store but don’t want to have to spend a fortune going out to a restaurant?  YES!  That is a question I ask myself practically on a daily basis.  I am so excited that T.G.I. Fridays meals are available at the grocery store because I love going to T.G.I. Fridays but we don’t get to go there very often.  First of all, they are so popular that it can take half an hour or longer just to get a table and I really hate waiting.

My diet has gotten so boring and I’ve seen these T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “Entrées for One” in the freezer section at Target for only $2.79 each and I bought a couple.  I was actually quite excited when I saw these because it gives me the chance to eat restaurant food at home.

I bought the Sizzling Chicken Fajitas (picture above) and I’m not really a huge fan of onions or bell peppers but if they are cooked enough then they don’t really bother me.  I figured that T.G.I. Fridays wouldn’t give me under cooked food so I took the chance and I’m glad I did because it was really good.

I also bought the Grilled Chicken Mac & Cheese (left picture below).  If you know me then you know that I am a macaroni and cheese fanatic.  I have loved mac and cheese since i was a kid and I think it will my be my favorite until the day I die.  The other brands in the frozen section are good, one brand in particular is my favorite but it’s so expensive.  The T.G.I. Fridays grilled chicken mac and cheese is SO much better.  It’s not too much food and it has chicken.  The cheese is a different flavor which is perfect because it’s not so boring.

I also bought some T.G.I. Fridays snacks.  I bought the potato skins with cheddar and bacon and steak quesadillas. (right picture below).  Hey, we can’t have T.G.I. Fridays without appetizers.  I mean seriously.

Hey, did you know that T.G.I. Fridays is having a Fun Freezer contest on their Facebook page?  All you have to do is decorate your freezer, take a picture and enter it in the contest and hopefully win one of a few prizes, it’s really that simple.

So what are you waiting for?  Go to the freezer section of your grocery store and pick up some of these “entrees for one” for dinner tonight.

More pictures:

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Shop for Coffee

As with a lot of people, I have a coffee addiction.  I don’t know why, I just do.  Since it’s just me in the house all day long I have a whole pot to myself so it can take me the whole day to drink a pot but that’s even better for me.

My coffee maker has 2 sides, coffee on the left and espresso on the right.  I can make espresso, cappuccino and latte’s.  I mostly stick with latte’s because I don’t know how to make cappuccino’s and I’m not real into espresso because its way too strong for me.  It’s like a whole pot of coffee in a shot glass.  No thank you.

The grocery store is a great place if you don’t have that much money but they are getting to be too expensive for me and I was looking for a new place to buy espresso coffee for my latte’s.

ROASTe.com has only been around for a year but they have close to a thousand coffee choices and they are already the largest coffee store on the internet.  That’s not bad for only 1 year.  They have such a wide variety and selection of award-winning micro-roasted coffee for coffee lovers like you and me.

Their website has user-generated reviews making decision-making easier when searching for the right coffee.  I can’t count how many times I’ve bought things blindly without reading reviews.

ROASTe.com has free Shipping on order $35 and over and you can use coupon code BLOGME5 for $5 off your first coffee purchase just for reading this blog post.  Click one of the many banners in my blog to place your first order today.