I am finally not in any pain

pain

I have been going to Jacobo Physical Therapy 3 days a week for a few weeks and I can’t believe it but, I am not in any pain.  I can’t say that this is a permanent thing, because I do occasionally feel pain, but it’s not a constant nagging in my spine like it normally is 24 hours a day.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, but recently in the last month I found out from x-rays that I also have scoliosis.  I was wondering why I was in constant agony, now I know why.  My doctor sent me to physical therapy and I go there three days a week.  They give me certain exercises I can do for 30 minutes, then someone comes in and gives me a soft tissue massage.

Dr. Jacobo told me that my insurance will only cover so many visits per year, so once I’m done with physical therapy, I’m on my own.  She said they will see me three days next week, but after that I can come once a week.  I am not sure if my insurance will pay for once a week, but I hope they do.

weider total body works 5000She told me that they can give me a printout of all of my exercises in case I forget what they are so that I can do them at home.  I have a Weider Total Body Works 5000 which I can use to help me.  Some of the exercises I do use weights, so that’s where my home gym will come in.  Not all of the exercises will require using the gym, so I will have to remember them and try to make it a daily ritual to keep my back pain down to an absolute minimum, if that is possible.

I’m wondering if I should set up my video camera so I can do all of the exercises so if I ever forget how to do them, I can always refer to the tape, or well, DVD since it’s a DVD Camcorder.  I think that would be a good idea because I know I will forget if I don’t make it a habit.

I bought that Weider Total Body Works 5000 in 2005 from Wal-mart’s website for $99.  Now they are $149 at Wal-Mart and $159 at Target.  It’s $400 and $1000 on Amazon, which is amazing that they would sell it for that much money since you can buy it much cheaper at Wally World and Target.

My gym is outside in our patio which makes it a miserable experience because it’s way too hot out there to use it, but there isn’t any room for it inside the house.  I’m pretty sure I can deal with using it out there for half an hour per day if it will help me with my pain levels.  Although I can’t say that I will get my massages, but I guess I will just have to deal without those lol.

The good thing about these exercises is that they taught me how to stretch my legs while laying down when I start and when I finish, so I can use that knowledge for when I ride my bike.  It’s always a good idea to stretch before and after a bike ride.

I really hope my pain levels aren’t as high as they used to be without going to physical therapy 3 days a week.  If you have ever suffered from back pain, then you know what that constant nagging pain feels like, so you understand.  Most people who don’t have any back pain never understand.  In fact, some people feel that because they don’t have that same or any pain that they don’t think we are in any pain at all.  It’s a “if I’m not in pain, then you aren’t in any pain either” type of thing I guess.

Pain meds don’t always help me.  I’ve taken Ibuprofen, Vicodin, muscle relaxers, Tylenol, Advil etc.  Nothing works.  Although when I broke my arm I was constantly medicating myself with Vicodin which took ALL my pain away.  I think that was the best vacation from pain I’ve been on in a long time.  When my arm healed and I stopped taking the Vicodin, the back pain returned.  I have taken more Vicodin since then, but it doesn’t do any good.

I think I spoke too soon because I’m getting shooting pain in the middle of my spine.  YIKES!  Well, let’s hope that it doesn’t get worse.  I think I will take something for it now.  I bought some generic “Pain Relief PM” from Dollar General for $1 to help with the pain and to help me sleep.  I really hope that doing those exercises at home will help because I don’t think I can take being in as much pain as I was before going to Jacobo Physical Therapy.  That really is no way to live.

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My First Week of Vaping

I bought my eGo-T e-cigarette, or as I like to call it, my personal vaping device (PVD), last month and got it about 8 days ago.

When I bought the flavors from Zeus Juice, I wasn’t sure what strength I would be happy with since I had never vaped before, so I chose to buy 50PG/50VG.  They smelled so wonderful, but once I finally got to taste them with my PVD, they didn’t taste nearly as good as they smelled because I could barely taste them at all.  Most people prefer the vegetable glycerin because they want more vapor, but I would rather have flavor over vapor, so I bought more e-liquid with less VG and more PG.  I actually bought 2 strengths, 100%PG and 70/30.  I will find out which is better when they finally arrive (hopefully on Monday) before I buy any more.

I am actually not quite sure if the fault is in the strength, or if the fault is in the PVD that I bought.  I saw a video on YouTube of a guy who said that the eGo-T was the worst.  Naturally it was the only one I could afford.  I can taste the flavor a little bit, but it does take a lot of puffing to get any flavor at all.  I am not going to judge the PVD or the flavor until I get the new e-juices in the mail.

Here are my findings so far in the 8 days that I have had my PVD and have been vaping.  Although, my study is really inconclusive until I get more flavor, but I do have to say that I haven’t been feeling as hungry as I normally do.  I am getting a little tiny bit of flavor, not as much as I had hoped, but it is something.  I am not sure if it is the ingredients in the e-liquid since there isn’t any nicotine (which is an appetite suppressant), or if it’s the flavor or the actual hand to mouth habit that is causing this lack of appetite.  I have gone from eating out of boredom, to only eating when I am hungry.

I haven’t actually lost any weight yet, but I can’t expect to lose anything without proper diet and exercise.  My eating habits have not really changed, besides less snacking, but only time will tell if it actually does help.  I will keep at it a bit longer to see if this is really even worth continuing.  For now I actually enjoy vaping.

The flavor that I mentioned earlier that is coming in 100% PG is the same flavor that I already have, Strawberry.  I chose to get that so that if the 70/30 mixture is strong enough, then I will mix the 50/50 strawberry with the 100% strawberry so I have a 75/25 mixture.  I have high hopes that I will find the right percentages so I can enjoy the flavors.  After all, I am only doing this to help suppress my sweet tooth so I don’t eat sweet foods.

One of the flavors that I mentioned that is coming in the 70/30 mixture is Pumpkin Pie.  That is one of the flavors that I am really looking forward to vaping because I just love pumpkin pie.  I bought the small 5ML bottle so that I can test out the strength, so when I discover what strength I do prefer, I will buy a 30ML bottle to last me for a very long time.  I will be enjoying this flavor from now (tomorrow hopefully) until the end of Christmas.

I am especially looking forward to the Egg Nog flavor.  Again, when I discover the strength that I am happy with, I will be buying a 30ML bottle of the Egg Nog to last me until the end of the holidays.  I might even have to buy more after that just in case they stop making it so I will have enough to last me at least until June LOL.  What can I say, I am very addicted to the flavor.

I will keep posting updates on the flavors when I get them.

E-Cigarette For Weight Loss!

Ok so last week I wrote about this website called Zeus eJuice which is a company that a friend of mine and her husband run.  They make this e-liquid for those electronic cigarettes in awesome flavors.  Cause when you smoke, you don’t want to have 2 choices, regular or menthol, you want some really neat flavors.

Here is the original post: Vape with Zeus E-Juice for Ego E-Cigarette

I quit smoking in 1996, but a few years ago I bought a pack of cigarettes because even though I didn’t want to start smoking again, I kinda missed it.  Luckily I couldn’t keep doing it because it was hard to inhale the smoke, I don’t mean mentally, it was physically difficult.  I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t used to it.  It didn’t hurt, I just couldn’t breathe it in as easily as I was able to when I did smoke.  I smoked one here and there, but luckily I didn’t pick the habit back up.

After I blogged about Zeus E-Juice, I really started to think about the health benefits of “vaping” and I wrote another post about that.  I had looked up videos on Vaping on YouTube and I have been researching websites to find out if vaping is a good way to lose weight because I am over 100lbs overweight, half of which is from when I quit smoking.  I have found so many testimonies from people claiming that they have lost weight after vaping with the sweet flavors, they no longer desire to go out and buy sweet treats which in turn has helped them lose weight.  It especially helps those who are trying to quit smoking to lose weight instead of gaining it when they quit like I did.

I didn’t want to rush into buying anything, but I figured I have the money now, and I know I want to at least try it and see if it works, so I bought one.  If this doesn’t work then I can send the kit to someone who wants to quit smoking.  But if it does work, then I will keep using it to help me lose all of this weight.  I am really sick of being fat.

So here is the e-cigarette that I bought online.  I went to eBay and this came up.  It was only $32.75 and it is being shipped to me for free.  I believe it’s coming from Singapore, so that was surprising that it was free shipping.  It has a battery indicator so you know whether it needs to be charged or not.  It is said to have a 3-5 day charge, but I don’t plan on vaping it all the time, only when I get a sweet tooth.  According to the description, I am getting 2 e-cigarettes.  These things don’t last long so one of them is a backup.  I am also getting 5 cartridges that are Marlboro flavor, which I will probably dump into the sink and fill with the e-liquid I bought from Zeus e-Juice.  I don’t want the nicotine, I just want the flavor. Here are the flavors I am getting.

I also ordered Toasted Marshmallow, but I guess they couldn’t fit that into the image.  But everything is ready to go and I look forward to tasting these flavors.  None of these flavors have any nicotine so there is no risk of habit.  The good part of vaping is that there isn’t any tar, tobacco and the thousands of chemicals that you have in your cigarettes.  You aren’t getting smoke into your lungs, you are getting vapor, hence the term vaping.

Weight gain is a concern for all who quit smoking and that was what happened to me when I did quit smoking.  I gained 50lbs within the first 2 or 3 months.  The reason is because I was eating sunflower seeds all day long.  I figured the hand to mouth motion would help me, but I didn’t consider that the sunflower seeds were fattening.  They are fine in moderation, but if you are eating nothing but sunflower seeds all day long, you’re gonna gain weight.  I was also rewarding myself with ice cream and we were eating fast food every day.  You can’t reward yourself for quitting a bad habit because you are only giving yourself another bad habit.

I struggled with those 50lbs for the first few years, but then gave up and have gained another 50lbs and haven’t been able to lose it.  Oh I have tried many times.  I’ve taken diet pills, I have bought a belt that you put around your stomach and zip up and I have ridden my bicycle 22 miles a day.  I even went to the gym in 2005, but that didn’t work out too well.  The reason all of these things didn’t work out for me is because I was still eating junk.  The only way weight loss can happen is if you are changing your eating habits and exercising.  You can lose weight with diet change or with exercising, but it’s really difficult unless you are doing both at the same time.

So, my plan of attack is to start vaping when I get a sweet tooth or when I get hungry.  Cut out the coffee and vape the caramel cappuccino flavor instead.  Replace my drinks with water and eat healthier foods.  I also plan to start riding my bicycle again after I have lost enough weight to where I can ride my bike again.  I have gone over the weight limit lol.

So naturally I will keep this blog updated on my progress.  I will post again when I get the ecigarette and post my findings on the tastes too.

Update: Please read my post called “Vaping and Weight Loss” for my latest discovery.  Hint, it doesn’t work…

Vape with Zeus E-Juice for Ego E-Cigarette

I quit smoking in 1996 for many reasons.  I was sick and tired of the gross taste of cigarettes and it was getting way too expensive.  I would never recommend buying cigarettes to anyone, until now.

I have known about e-Cigarettes since they first arrived on the scene.   E-Cigarettes are more acceptable to smoke indoors because you aren’t blowing smoke out of your mouth for others to breathe, it’s all vapor, which is where the term “Vape” comes in.

A friend has introduced me to something that I wasn’t ever expecting to see.  Flavored juice that you vape.  So if you have a Ego e-cigarette, you can buy the juice and pour it directly into the cartridge and you get some awesome flavors instead of the standard gross flavor of a cigarette.

Naturally I wasn’t aware of how it worked so I had to do some research.  I looked at a video of a guy who showed a chest x-ray from 2008 compared to a chest x-ray from 2011 and his lungs were cloudy in 2008, but they were clear in the 2011 after vaping for a couple of years.  So the health benefit is there for those who are concerned about that.  You can also adjust how much nicotine you are getting when you buy Zeus E-Juice.  If you are a heavy smoker, you can get the 18MG or whatever it is that your cigarettes contain, and then every week or so when you place your order for another bottle, just add less nicotine until you aren’t getting any nicotine at all.  Now if that isn’t a great way to kick the habit, I don’t know what is.

If you have never used an e-Cigarette, but are a heavy smoker, what are you paying for cigarettes now?  $55 a carton?  You can buy the Joye E-Cigarette starter kit for like $50-$85 (shop around) which is less than what you would pay for 2 cartons of cigarettes.  The starter kit pays for itself after the first couple of weeks.

When I smoked I was buying 2 or 3 cartons a month, I kid you not, so that is a huge savings.  The Zeus E-juice is only $2.49 for a 5ML bottle and I assume your cartridge uses about 1ML.  I don’t know how many packs 5ML adds up to, but I would bet it’s a few.  You could buy a 30ML bottle for only $8 more which is way less than what you are spending on cigarettes now.

Ok, this is the fun part.  The flavors.  When I first heard about e-cigarettes, I was excited for those who smoked because I heard you got a few flavors like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.  Oh no my friend, Zeus E-Juice has way more than just those few flavors.  You can get APPLE FREAKIN’ PIE!!!  I kid you not!  They have cappuccino with or without caramel, blueberry muffin, caramel apple, root beer float… the list goes on and on.  Where are you going to buy a brand of cigarettes that comes in root beer float?  No where, that’s where.

Just choose your flavor, choose your nicotine strength and choose your PG/VG mixture.  Speaking of mixture, if you want more flavor, do 100% PG, if you want to ruin your Joye machine, do 100%VG.  It’s probably best to just go in the middle and do 50% which is the default setting in the website when you are placing your order.  I mean, if you want more flavor go for it, it’s your choice.

Want to know the best part of all?  You get rewards for buying Zeus E-Juice.  You get 1 point for every dollar that you spend which you can use to get free E-Liquid.  You also get 5 points for ever review, so you get even more chances at getting free E-Liquid.

All new customers get 15% off their first order AND you get double points just by adding the code “grandopening” at the checkout page. You also get free shipping on orders of $50 or more.  So what are you waiting for?  Go to Zeus E-Juice now.

Why are you still reading this?

Blame McDonald’s

I was browsing YouTube and came across this video of Morgan Sperlock from Super Size Me that someone had put the bonus feature from there on their YouTube page.  You know the one where he puts several burgers and fries into jars and watches how they all mold except for the McDonald’s fries.

Then I saw another video of this woman over at diet health channel who used to be fat but hello, she’s not skinny yet… talking about how bad McDonald’s is and she carries around a 4 year old happy meal.

I am not siding with the fast food industry.  And I’m especially not siding with health experts because I’m constantly seeing all these obese people telling me how to lose weight when they are fat themselves.  I had a friend who passed away who was a vegetarian and she was constantly putting me down for eating fast food yet I was 150lbs and she was more in the neighborhood of 400lbs.

All I’m saying is, fast food has been around for decades.  Actually the first McDonald’s opened up in 1940 so there has been fast food for 69 years.  So if eating McDonald’s causes such obesity then why is it that it’s taken until the 1970’s or 1980’s until people started having issues with their weight?

Yes there has been fatness throughout history.  In the last thousand years the only way you could tell the rich was by how fat they were.  All the skinny people were skinny because they were so poor and all the kings and queens were fat.  Obesity was a sign of wealth.  That’s not the case anymore.

But I digress.  You cannot blame the fast food industry for your own obesity because it wasn’t the fast food industry that made people fat, people made themselves fat me included.  I became obese when I quit smoking and started eating more junk than normal because I wasn’t exercising anymore and I was eating more food because I was exchanging one habit for another.  I don’t blame anybody but myself.

When I quit smoking I could’ve done it differently but I didn’t.  I was rewarding myself with ice cream, something that I loved but hardly ever ate because I could never afford it because I was spending all of my money on cigarettes.  Then I started spending what was my cigarette money on fast food.  I could’ve just either saved it and bought groceries maybe or some other treat, maybe video games?  But instead, I ate fast food.  I had a choice.  It was a bad choice but it was mine to make.  They weren’t begging me to eat their food.

And yes their “supersize me” offers were just too good to pass up but I didn’t have to.  In fact, they have such good price now that I don’t even need a large french fry, I can get a small fry for $1 on their dollar menu.  It’s even cheaper now to eat there but you know what?  I don’t eat there and I’m still fat.  I eat fast food sometimes but it’s not daily.  I could probably afford McDonald’s or Taco Bell’s value menu more than I can afford groceries but I choose to buy groceries instead.

I have also chosen to exercise and ride my bike so I am dealing with my obesity by doing something about it and not bitching about how McDonald’s made me fat.  Don’t blame others for your own mistakes.  After all, they are just trying to make a quick buck but you can hold onto that buck and make a better choice instead.  They do have salads after all.  Actually when I worked at McDonald’s as a teenager they had salads and they sold a lot of them too.

Make Your Own Cigarettes

I woke up this morning to the sound of my doorbell.  I stumbled out of bed and went to the door and there was nobody there.  I said “hello?” and the neighbor kid popped his head out and said “oh did I wake you up?”  I said “yes, you did”.  He said “oh well never mind” I said “wait, you woke me up, what do you want?”  He said “I just wondered if you would do something for me but I know you probably won’t want to do it”.

Kid, if you know I won’t want to do it then why are you waking me up?  SIGH!  – by the way, he is 21 lol I call him a kid because he acts like one.

Anyway, he wanted me to go to the store to buy a pack of Newport Cigarettes for him.  Not just the store next door to my house but the store a block away.  I don’t think so.  It ain’t happenin’.  I told him no because I quit smoking in 1996 and I swore that I wouldn’t go running errands for people wanting to buy cigarettes like I did for people when I did smoke because I’m trying not to support that habit.  Yeah I know, douche ex-smoker right?

So I remembered when we first moved to Bakersfield we met this guy named Troy and he rolled his own cigarettes with this little hand-held machine where he placed a cigarette tube with a filter on the end (it looked like a cigarette but it was empty) and he put the tobacco in the machine and he did a slide motion with the machine and pulled the filled cigarette out.

So I went online and did a search for it and found 2 products.  They aren’t cheap.  I didn’t find the hand-held one but these are still good I guess.  There is the PREMIER Excel Cigarette Injector Machine at Amazon for $34.99 or you can buy it used for $20.  Then there is the Top-o-matic Cigarette Making Machine W/handlewhich is a bit more expensive for $79.99 but you can buy it used for $35+.  I’m sure that any cigarette store sells these for less than you can buy them at Amazon, who knows.  I haven’t been to a cigarette store because they opened right after I quit smoking.

But with these machines you can make your own cigarettes for $1 a pack.  That’s pretty good right?  When I quit smoking the generic cigarettes were .99 cents per pack with tax so about $1.07 total.  Hell when I started smoking in 1985 cigarettes were about $1 a pack for the regular brands.  Now cigarettes are like $5-10 per pack so I think that this is a good thing to suggest to my neighbor so he can roll his own for a lot less.

The reviews that I have read say that the cigarettes you buy and the ones you roll taste about the same.  All you do is buy your cigarette tubes with the filter already on.  Those are about $2 for a cartons worth of tubes which adds up to .01 one penny for each tube with a filter on it.  The tubes w/filters are all different.  You can buy full flavor or lights or menthol or menthol lights etc.

Then you buy your tobacco which is about $20 for a can or bag.  I actually don’t know how much they cost.  I went to PipesandCigars.com and found this one particular brand called Drum and it’s about $21.99 for the can.  I don’t know how many cigarettes or packs or cartons that rolls though.  But you can buy them in your local cigarette shop I guess, they will tell you how many packs you can make with each bag or can.

I am certainly not promoting cigarettes here but I can say that the government is screwing people out of their hard earned money by raising these bullshit taxes for cigarettes and I think that people should stop buying the pre-rolled cigarettes and just roll your own.  It’s time to give the power back to the people and let them decide how much they want to pay for a pack of cigarettes.

It takes less than 10 seconds to “inject” your own cigarette with these 2 machines I linked above.  You can make an entire pack of cigarettes in about a minute or 2.  Hell, you can just roll a whole cartons worth and use the box that the empty cigarette tubes came in to store all your cigarettes then go out and buy a tin that looks like a pack of cigarettes or a cigarette holder like they used to use back in the 20’s -50’s (remember I Love Lucy?  They always had those things).

Watch this video I found.  Oh, it’s not me by the way hehe.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LarY6qeopBY

Edit: I found out that the tobacco to make 1 carton of cigarettes is now up to $29.  YIKES!  But that still beats $45 for a carton I guess.