Showing posts from May, 2015

Stategies to deal with anxiety

Anyone can get anxious.  In fact, people that tell me they don't get anxious, are often the most strung out people I know.  Or they are calm, and hiding away from the things that scare them. 

Anyway, here's an article with some coping mechanisms that might help you:

A good panic attack

I do a good panic attack.  See? I promised I'd be reasonably honest on this blog, so that means I have to admit to being human and having a bit of a panic attack.

There comes a level of panic attacks and sustained attacks where it pays to go and get professional help.  I'm at the, doing breathing exercises, switching off and remaining calm bit. 

I got some news last night that I found somewhat alarming.  I'm not going to write it here, but I ended up having a panic attack, and forgetting how easy it is to breathe.  I didn't actually forget, I just got a little panic-y, then teary, then I wanted to scream.  Then, I went for a walk.  Another walk now is very tempting and my body's not exactly thanking me.  My mind needs to walk, my legs grumble along with my mind kicking them along.

I've been going for walks, breathing and doing my best.  I've been doing practical things I can to help the situation. 

The Head Gardener is definitely upset and trying to help …

Coffee research

A recent article on coffee consumption outlines the need to limit caffeine to 400 milligrams a day, about 4 standard lattes. 

Read the research here:

When you need a rest from coffee, tea and other sources of caffeine, you could try,

Rooibos tea- makes a nice alternative to tea and can be drunk with or without milk.  It's purported to have many health benefits including helping prevent insomnia and high in antioxidants.Jazzed up water - cold water with ice and fruit pieces/ mints for flavourMalt drink made from grains - I generally can not drink these due to gluten but they make a nice alternative to coffeeHerbal tissanes (teas) - berry teas, chamomile, lemon and ginger

More caffinated depression #2(Tips on living better when blue/depressed)

Other ways I help myself when I feel blue:

Embrace some imperfection.  Do a good enough job.  Obviously some jobs need accuracy but there's always the need for balance.  Learn to play and do a "good enough" job in other areas of life where it's appropriate.  For example, you can do healthy, non-gourmet nourishing meals for dinner and be content with "good enough".  I do "good enough" on this blog all the time! 

Who says you can't have pancakes and popcorn for dinner sometimes?!

Sometimes people get depressed because they hold themselves up to an impossible standard.  They expect too much of themselves and get exhausted!  It's exhausting to be around, and not at all relaxing.

Learn to ask for, and appreciate help.  Sometimes we all need help.  Life can be exhausting and tiring.  If you can afford professional help (household help/ gardener/ child-care/ someone to fix your house), and you need it because you have a full life with work, fami…

Caffeinated depression (my tips on living a less depressed life)

I know someone who is going through a bit of a rough trot in life and looking at ways to improve things.  Kudos to this person, who has taken some steps to feel better. 

At the minute, with bouncing imbalanced thyroid hormones and chronic fatigue, I can relate to that feeling.  Unfortunately, depression, sadness, feeling down, are all part of the human existence.  If we can hang in there and hold onto hope, then those periods of our lives can teach us to be more compassionate, kind and ironically, provide us with the foundation of life long happiness.

I've written about depression and grief on my blog, and it makes a regular mention, along with tea and coffee. 

Here's some of the ways that I cope with depression/ sadness/ feeling down:

"This will pass":- I tell myself that this feeling while important to do something about, will pass.  I tell myself that I can live with the feeling.  It loses some of its hold when I tell myself that.  I've noticed of late that …

Home made chai blend

Apparently I'm not going through a paragon stage at the moment.  I might get my paragon on tomorrow though, I am due to cook the dinner and be a bit domestic.

I went for a walk this afternoon in the rain.  Even though I didn't feel any better after the walk, I did have a sense of self satisfied smugness.  I love walking in the rain when I'm rugged up and it's cool but not windy.  Hardly anyone else is mad enough to go out in it.

Met some teenagers from a house down the street that have moved in recently.  They were feeling a little sorry for themselves having been tasked with moving a tonne or two of wood.  If they were expecting sympathy from me I'm afraid they didn't get it.  They got one of my infamous pep talks instead.  They seem like nice young people who are were being subjected to a character building exercise by parents. 

I did notice that they were getting themselves a little more organised, and enthusiastic, by the time I walked back again.  I do lo…

A calling

A call to write
Infusing my blog with a level of honesty inherent in writing well about chronic health challenges helps me cope.I try to be honest but to not overwhelm people when they read my story.It is my hope that I will improve in time and that understanding my journey helps others with theirs.
I hope it helps family members who struggle watching someone battle illness.To only show a positive or negative spin on my circumstances and battle would be disingenuous.It’s a balancing act and takes a surprising amount of bravery to write my story.
Part of why I feel called to continue to write is that I feel that there is a need to represent people who are struggling with autoimmune diseases and SEID (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).While everyone’s story is unique to them, it’s not a popular story to write, which is exactly why it needs to be written.
As a patient group, I think that people with chronic illness, are too often silenced and ignored when people talk about people…
My internet was down last night, so I wrote this then, and I am publishing it now.

27th May 2015 about 1 am EST

Here in Hobart, we are about to hit winter in a matter of days.Already the days are crisp and the nights are long.The nights are particularly long when awake late dealing with pain.I would not recommend it as a way to spend the night.

My bed, can feel a little like a prison from time to time.There’s a lack of freedom that comes with not being able to trust your body to do what someone your age would generally expect it to do.

For some reason, I do not feel acutely depressed at the moment.I feel guilt and grief, but not weighed down as much as I have in the past during an acute chronic fatigue flare.I think all my energy is going into trying to get better.

This condition takes a toll, it strips away tomorrow, I just have to get through the day and night.I was brought up with the maxim that today has enough trouble of its own.It’s only when life gets really tough, that you come to …

My Monster, some DVDs and a book review

Still experiencing flare of Chronic Fatigue/SEID/ME monster.  The pain is something else.  I was in so much pain last night I wanted to throw up from time to time.  I get like that sometimes when my glands are giving me hell.  It's really not a pleasant experience. 

I spent most of the day in bed giving myself time to rest and feel a little better.  I am still unwell but grateful I have some DVDs from the library to watch and distract myself from the pain.  Re-watching some of The West Wing and watching some episodes I have not seen before.  I have also borrowed a DVD with BBC produced drama 'Silk' on DVD but am yet to watch any of those.  It looks like it offers the possibility of a smart script and clever cinematography.  Let's hope it has a storyline to distract my brain from my body in pain.

I am reading the 'Intern Blues' a book written by Robert Marion M.D. with the assistance of medical hospital interns keeping diaries during their first year post medic…

Dear Monster

Had to get up early so that tradespeople could fix a new internet connection to the house.  There was the threat that my room would be made topsy-turvy.

Despite the residence of the Chronic Fatigue Monster I got up with the sun, cleaned my room, cleaned the bathroom, made my self presentable and was all organised.  Naturally the tradespeople did not turn up.  They did not tell us the job was cancelled.  Unfortunately, we are not paying for the service so getting annoyed only uses up energy I do not have.  A little miffed and sleep deprived, because I managed an hours sleep.

Been walking around with the CF Monster on my back all day.  Took it for a walk. shopping and the library and it still insisted on staying put. 

Tomorrow, postman SWAT will probably wake me up early looking a fright, just for fun.  Just rested my eyelids for an hour on the bed.  Honestly, good sleep, so blissful.

Make it: Gingerbread coffee

I've had a quiet day today.  The Chronic Fatigue monster has been rearing it's head.  Yesterday, it was growling and I took it for two walks along two beautiful beaches, and into an op-shop with exorbitant pricing.  This lead to me spending most of the evening in pain, today in bed asleep and still my body is aching.  I'm going to have to learn how to live with this monster for the moment.  As ever, I am working on a plan to eradicate it, but perhaps the first step is learning how to best live with it.

I did enjoy getting out yesterday and having a slightly spend-y day.  Well, spend-y for me.  Nothing much, mainly supplements and a tea drink.  I brought a thermos with me and grabbed some hummus and rice biscuits to keep me going.  The sunshine even while rugged up from head to toe, was amazing to be out in.

This morning I had a Gingerbread coffee, a zingy way to start the morning:

 1/8 teaspoon of quality ginger powder2 teaspoons of ground instant coffee and water (or you c…

One Rule for Investment

I have one rule for investing my small superannuation fund.  The rule I acquired after reading about the history of The Great Depression, cyclical recessions and the Asian Economic Crisis of the late 1990s.  My rule is to choose a diversified fund that manages risk and gives me the best likelihood of long term success (for example: investment in cash, bonds, shares, property trusts etc).  My fund performed well overall during the GFC (global financial crisis), with only a small dip that recovered quickly after the height of the crisis in 2008. 

In the last twenty-four hours, the ANZ and NAB have announced that they have ceased loans for self-funded superannuation accounts to buy real estate. Other Australian banks have announced minimum deposits, not seen in Australian real estate lending for at least 15 years (to my knowledge). 

Stricter loan criteria for investment and owner occupier loans probably would have prevented the bubble conditions in most markets Australia-wide.  I defin…

Gone geek

I am going to go a little property geek on you again.  Hopefully, I explain myself easily so your eyes do not fall asleep.  If you do use my blog as a sleep aid, I am glad to be of help.  From one insomniac to another, whatever helps!

First off, I've been for a walk and done some weights.  It was definitely a little on the chilled side outside.  I am nicely warmed after all that exercise though.  It was a self-induced torture, but now I feel all smug and virtuous.  Let's hope my happy hormones are in the right spot and it continues.  Patience with hormones. 

Secondly, I am feeling a little more optimistic today which is nice (probably those happy hormones doing their thing).  I am reading about jobs that I want, when I get better.  Actually, I might not ever be 100%, but I'd like to get back to doing something paid part-time.  Something well paid.  I'm still giving my body at least two years, it needs it!

Thirdly, Australian banks, namely Bankwest, a subsidiary of the…

Drinking Chai

I am drinking my chai (spicy tea) with soy milk before bed.  There's a sentence, those who do not know me well, might mistake as being full of pretence.

Have a candle lit to cheer me up.  It's good for the soul.

Am trying to accept my thyroid disease.  Needless to say, I think I am probably on hormones for life.  I am working on finding my sweet spot, still not quite there.  I am working on being disciplined because it's more than taking hormones to get myself better quality of life with this condition and the other autoimmune conditions I have flouting around*.

It takes a long time to accept chronic illness.  In a way it's a daily discipline.  Every day I do one thing to improve things, it's a way of accepting things, and doing what I can to manage things.  Today, I took iron tablets, vitamin D, a multi-vitamin, made gluten free bread, and did a few minutes of weights while watching TV. 

I slightly changed my hormones based on symptoms to try and find the right d…

Been to see the queen

No royal visits today.  Much drink and walking about.  Met a young mother, on the tired side, with a bouncy toddler.  All as it should be.  I would like to see great mothers rewarded with better public facilities. 

I'm feeling a little on the overwhelmed side in my surroundings.  I did a quick tidy up, but I think I need a bit of an organise before I just feel overwhelmed.  Tomorrow is meant to be miserable weather, so when better to do it!

Went to the library and found a couple of books.  I need someone to write me more reading material.  I'm either disinterested, or I've read the book!

Building quite the tea stash, and bought some coffee beans in bulk which I am hoping to blitz in little batches in the blender, and add a spice or two.  Tea and coffee blending, and gift making tomorrow too.

At some stage it's back to the doctor.  My thyroid function appears to be on the up.  I am on minimal thyroxin and would like to know whether my anti-bodies have permanently chang…

Short and sweet

Right now I am drinking a second pot of Nerada Organics range of green tea.  I only mention the brand because I am a personal fan of the lemon myrtle and green tea bags.  Definitely a low cost pleasure.

Looking at how to make a low cost coffee treat for a few people in my family but will leave that for the moment. 

Made a few cards with hand drawn pictures on for gifts and started knitting a small gift.

Did minimal housework and massaged my mum's back.  I'd rather do that than garden!  I think it's a fair exchange!

A very quiet Sunday.

Hitting peak property?

It occurs to me that in Australia, and in Tasmania where I live, that we may have, or soon will, hit peak property.  By that I mean that the prices have only one way to go, and it's not up, in my opinion.

I was looking at the local real estate guide yesterday and was appalled at the local prices people were asking.  The modest neighbourhood I grew up in, has houses with listing prices of ten times what they were twenty years ago.  Even accounting for inflation and salaries, and taking into account the minor renovations, and the house age, I just do not see how this is sustainable.

I was questioning my opinion, that house prices are insane, a little.  I mean, I've looked at the statistics, I've looked at the analysis, and I was sure, yet there's always a little doubt.  Scepticism is the sign of a healthy mind, don't you think.

I've just been reading an article on one the largest online property forums.  According to the writer Australia is at debt levels that dr…

Coffee helps

I am as ever, a lover of tea.  I particularly love herbal "teas".  The picky among you would tell me that they are called tisanes.  Indeed they are, tisanes, and good for body and soul, in my opinion.

There's something magical in coffee that helps me.  I find if I remember that it does give me a slightly better quality of day.  Two cups of coffee seems to make a difference.

Today, I took a flask of hot coffee out with me, laced with a splotch of cinnamon.  I made and ate a healthy dinner, and had a healthy dose of family.

My life is many shades of not perfect, and that's okay, it matches my sock knitting!  Oh, and my erratic hormones!

I find that watching less television has its upsides too.  I have been talking to people, drawing bad pictures and well, still not sleeping all that well, but surely it will help.

I did enjoy drawing a still life, even if it's not a masterpiece.  Not a masterpiece can be good for the soul.  I do other things rather well!  Like coffe…

Rambling police

Spent the morning in bed, trying to rest and recover from the flu.  Workmen woke me up, and fixed the house roof, which is definitely good thing with all the storms we have later.

Been doing some online window shopping for Christmas and Birthday presents.  I know, way to early.   I think I might give it a bit more time, money and creativity generally produces better presents, for less anyway.

Managed quite a walk with my mum today.  I am very grateful that we were able to do that.  Gave my mum a massage and calmed her down.  She really could have done with a cup of Chamomile tea, but I think she'd rather drink dish water!

Anyway, while we were walking along, observed a couple of police officers acting a little strangely.  I had a feeling something bad had happened somewhere this afternoon (I thought I was being a bit weird, but my mum had a funny feeling too, and she kept quiet). 

Since discovered that a shooting incident happened, probably domestic, in a Hobart suburb.  One wom…

Walks and The Budget 2015 Australia

I really am doing my best to keep myself moving.  My hormones and body appear to be not coming to the party.  I need to sit myself down, and explain the concept of co-operation and team building to my body.  It would appear that it has a mind of its own.

I've copied some photos I took on fairly recent walks to the beach and the roadside ferns near the house I live in.

They cheered me up at the time. I thought they might cheer you up too!