What the Heck is ADHD??

ADHD is a neurological condition.

You remember the movie Up, right?  The dogs all lost focus when a squirrel appeared.  You  have no idea how many people use ‘Squirrel!’ when I’m existing in all the areas in which I am observing, hearing or thinking something.  I’ve probably heard it 1,000 times.

SQUIRREL! From the movie Up

Typically, it runs in families.   According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is:

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

  • Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
  • Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including in situations in which it is not appropriate; or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with constant activity.
  • Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur in the moment without first thinking about them and that may have high potential for harm; or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.

The ‘W’ Word

Friday, February 6, 2009

Okay – so our jeans get a little tight…no big deal. These things happen occasionally and then we go back to normal. Well, when the part about going back to normal stops happening you are on the road to 50! It happened to me at 44 – bad year that one.

I was baffled. I just knew there was something dreadfully wrong with me. I mean really, what horrible disease must I have to make my body turn on me this way?? When I started researching, I found out that when you have a disease, you’re probably going to lose weight not gain it (sigh). So much for that. Did that mean I was in an unhealthy state of healthy??

Seriously, it took me a couple of years to figure out how to deal with the chronic weigh issues. In the meantime, I went from 115 lbs to 150 at my highest. I know this is going to sound really melodramatic, but it was the worst time of my life. I felt like I was stuck in a foreign body and I couldn’t get out.

What did I do? I tried eating less. Then eating less than that. Then eating even less. The doctor just told me that I was older and I need to consume fewer calories. It was baffling. How could being older cause these problems!?

I got a lot of advice like: “This is it – get used to it” and “At your age, be happy you don’t have to worry about looking good anymore” and “Why are you worried – you’re married.” That didn’t help. Then there was the all time winner (this was said when I was 30 lbs heavier than I had ever been) “Oh, I don’t think you look any different than you looked at 25.” I nearly shot myself (laugh).

I read books on weight. I read books on perimenopause. I read books on exercise. I tried all sorts of things but nothing changed. Then I developed an alergic reaction and had to take steroids – eeeek! Do you know that those things make you swell up like a balloon??? I quit taking them.

Finally, out of desperation, I tried Nutrisystems. That worked. Why? Because I didn’t have to figure anything out. I didn’t have to know how much to eat. They just sent me the food and I ate it. I learned something from that. I realized that prior to the Year of Bad Tidings (when I was 44), I ate a lot. There were no consequences, so I didn’t think about it until I was presented with appropriate portion sizes. Looking back, I see that I probably ate five or ten times more than what is “appropriate.” It turned out that I had just been lucky for most of my life. As I ate better and worked out (we’ll talk about that in another blog) and I was able to tolerate myself.

I have learned that some foods are the enemy. They are: bread, sugar, refined flour, chips, and sodas. There are some friends in the food world, though they are rare. The freindly foods are: water (yes, I know that’s not technically a food – but it is my best friend), fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, humus and salmon. If I remember nothing else, I remember PORTION CONTROL. This was a life style that was really difficult. One tip: carrot chips and homemade humus are great staples to have in the fridge.

My first lesson on this road to fifty was that I can’t eat the way I used to. Of course, the lessons were only beginning. I’m glad I didn’t know that then!

Eugenol in Clove Essential Oil

Clove Oil

Another use for Clove essential oil

What can you do with Clove essential oil, other than cooking with it?  Here’s a blog post that provides information on clove oil and digestive wellness.

Recent findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal show that eugenol, (found doTerra Clove Essential Oilin Clove essential oil), assists the body in maintaining normal gastrointestinal function even during times of stress.

Read the  Clove’s Eugenol Helps Maintain Normal Gastrointestinal Motility Blog Post Here

View the Clove essential oil product information page here.

See the Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) wellness advocate here.

Buy Essential Oils Here

The Journey Begins – Age

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If you are one of us, you know – one of “those women of a certain age” – you may want to join me in the journey I’m on. I will be talking about all the things I’m doing to deal with turning 50. It could become pretty intense the closer I get. I’m going to be 50 but I am determined to feel ageless and hopefully look the way I want to look.

It’s going to happen in August. I have requested a huge birthday party. One that I don’t have to do any work for! I want to have it in Union Station in Nashville. Okay – I know that’s a bit extravagant – but hey – I have to balance out the fact that I’ve already gotten two invitations to join AARP – YIKES!

I’m usually pretty private and introverted – but at this time in my life I realize that it’s no fun getting older and I’m not going to do it alone! Who was it that said “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better?” It was a commercial – I know it was – only someone in marketing could come up with such a ridiculous statement . If anyone knows what commercial that was, send me an email.

So, I’ve been working on myself during the last few years. My body has become a hostile entity and isn’t behaving the way it’s supposed to. I’ve been told that happens to everyone – but I’m taking this very personally! It may happen as early as your thirtys or it can happen, as it did to me, in your fortys. It doesn’t really matter when it happens – the fact that it DOES happen is simply too aggravating for words. It begins with weight. Yes that horrible ‘W’ word – the one that we despise. Naturally, it’s never a problem with weight loss – it’s always weight gain – ugh!

Weight gain…is there a way to handle that one? In my next installment I’ll share some of my trials and errors in that area. If you have any topics you want to hear about or products you would like to know about, drop me an email. I’ll be happy to expand on a topic or try a product. I’ve become pretty adventerous lately.

The World Turns Upside Down Sometimes

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So, here I am walking around, completely oblivious to reality and POOF! My world is upside down. I’m sure it’s happened to you too…hasn’t it? Please say it has, I don’t want to be unique. The world-flipping event can have to do with disease, career, marriage, children or some other random thing that can’t be predicted.

Honestly, I believe I’ve had at least one of each. When it happens, my first reaction is to be totally dumbfounded. That doesn’t last too long I’m sorry to say. I always have a thought or an opinion that is dying to be released. Sometimes, what comes out is simply “I’m sad.” Other times it might be something a lot more volatile. I try to keep those to myself if I can.

There is the inevitable feeling of being kicked in the stomach. The desire to sink into the floor and just vanish. I might even have the idea that I need to be put in a coma until things work themselvesout. None of these things ever happen. I’m stuck in the upside down world, like it or not.

For those of you lucky ones out there that have never had their worlds turned upside down, here’s an experiment for you: Find a mirror that is at least 1 ft by 1 ft in size. Hold it in your hands, mirror side up at waste level. When you look down, you should see your ceiling. Okay – got that? Now, without looking anywhere but in the mirror, start walking. Don’t cheat and look at the floor or walls. Look only in the mirror at the the ceiling. You may find yourself stepping over door frames as you walk on the ceiling. You will avoid running into light fixtures. But, then suddenly you slam up against something that you don’t see in the mirror. What was that?? Oh – the sofa. Walking in this way is hard. This is sort of what it’s like when your world turns upside down. You think you know what you are up against, but then you don’t.

What do I do when my world turns upside down? I pray. First and foremost praying is the most important part. I have to give it up to God to deal with. After that, I start contacting my support system. Friends are so helpful while I’m waiting for God to do His thing. There may be friends that are unavailable, but with a big enough system, someone will be there to talk to me. God may even use those people to help me through my upside down world.

I need to take things in very small pieces. When my world is upside down, I have to break things down into manageable bits. I can easily become overwhelmed if I don’t. I deal only with those things that absolutely need my attention. I can hand off some things to friends if necessary. Other things can be put off until the world stabilizesagain.

I don’t isolate. I reach out. I will not huddle in a corner and lose the battle before it begins. I find positive distractions like keeping to a schedule even though I may want to just stay in bed and cover my head. Forcing normalcy provides stability and eases the pain.

Just like any other natural disaster, world-flipping events need to be prepared for. I have to have a plan ready. For me that plan looks like this:

1. Pray and give the event to God. He’s much better at dealing with that kind of stuff anyway.

2. Find a friend to provide support and encouragement. Let’s face it, we all need someone in our corner when the world flips on us.

3. Filter responsibilities and take on ONLY the next absolutely necessary things…one at a time. Let friends help with some things. Put off everything that can be put off – at least until equilibrium returns.

4. Distractions are good. Positive actions need to be made. Do something like meet someone for lunch. Sort out the unknown contents of the junk closet. Do something that is fun and takes your mind off the world for a little while. Read…take a brain vacation.

I don’t know if anyone identifies with this – but world flipping does happen. It is totally unpleasant. It does pass…eventually.

If I Had to Choose Only One Gadget

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The first thing my husband, Scott, did after I was diagnosed with cancer was to take me to the AT&T store. That might sound a little odd – but it was really very smart. I had a Palm Treo it was red and really cute. It had a great qwerty keyboard and a touch screen. Allegedly, I could receive and send email, get phone calls, make phone calls and surf the web among other things. In reality, I could make phone calls. This phone wouldn’t always ring when I got a call. If I missed a call, the phone kept that top secret information to itself. According to the voice mail screen, I always had one voice mail…no matter what…all the time. I was sick with cancer and my phone was even more sick. Scott thought I needed a dependable phone. We went and looked at the options. Okay, we looked at the options just for appearance sake. We both knew I was getting an iPhone. I got the phone, threw the Palm in a drawer and my iPhone and I became inseparable.

When I started chemo, I prepared my accessories. The treatments were hours long and I would need to occupy my time. I packed my backpack with my laptop, Kindle, iPod and of course my iPhone. I settled into the chemo chair, pulled out my laptop and discovered that there was NO WiFi ! I was locked down. I had no access to the world. What would I do? No news, no Hulu, no Amazon Unbox, no NefFlix movies online, no facebook…OH NO!!

I told myself I would be okay. I could survive this. I remembered my wonderful new iPhone. I pulled it out of my backpack and looked at it in a whole new way. My iPhone didn’t need WiFi. I could read and send email on it. I could read the news, surf the web, watch movies, listen to books, I found a way out! I could listen to Pandora Radio if I wanted to. I had a facebook app, a twitter app, and games to play. If I needed a new app, it was no big deal to just go to the App Store and get whatever I needed. I could even try out a bunch of free apps as long as I was just sitting and passing time while the chemo drugs were getting pumped into my body.

The crisis passed. I became calm. I had Comm Central in my hand. I spent a lot of time on my iPhone during the many, many hours I spent in the chemo chair. I’ll be honest, my iPhone wasn’t the only thing I used during that time, but I stopped bringing my laptop because my iPhone became my computer/phone/entertainment device.

If I had to choose one gadget to take to chemo, I would choose my iPhone. It can do all the things that each of my other gadgets do. My Kindle is very cool – I love it. But, I have a book reader app on my iPhone that allows me to read books. My iPod holds many audio books, podcasts, movies, and music but, my iPhone can hold audio books and music. I can watch YouTube and Hulu. My iPhone is a great gadget. Oh, did I mention that I can actually make and receive phone calls?

Superstitious

Monday, September 21, 2009 

A few days after I returned home from my April 7, 2009 cancer surgery, I was the recipient of a huge bad luck omen.  I was standing in my master bathroom and the 8′ x 4′ mirror on the wall above the sinks fell.  Yep – just like that – it fell.  There was no  earthquake, I didn’t throw anything at it and there was no warning.  It just fell right off the wall and shattered.

It occurred to me that a mirror breaking involved something like seven years bad luck.  I considered the size of the mirror compared to an average mirror and thought that I might possibly to have garnered 168 years bad luck.  At my age, I didn’t think that I had to be concerned about 110 of those years. But, given scientific advances and such, I could conceivably live for the remaining 58 bad luck years.

I looked around at the mess.  Glass shards were everywhere.  I watched as my black cat, Loki, walked into the room.  I scooped him up so he wouldn’t get glass in his feet. I realized that I was holding a BLACK CAT in my arms…my black cat.  I calculated quickly.  Loki came to me when he was only four weeks old and he was nearly nine years old now.  I’ve been living with bad luck for almost nine years!  No wonder I had a broken mirror the size of a wall.

I mean, wasn’t I pushing the envelope living with a black cat?  Now the mirror. What next? I thought about the foot I broke a few years ago.  Then I remembered the broken elbow. Did this have anything to do with my recklessness concerning my black cat?  It struck me – I was now dealing with cancer! Was Loki involved in this? If a black cat could cause broken bones and cancer, what would the mirror do???  I knew it.  I was going to die. Did I mention that having  radical hysterectomy can affect rational thought?

While the guys cleaned up all the glass in the bathroom, I sat in the living room feeling worse and worse as the minutes went by. Was it the cat or the mirror?  Did it really matter which one it was?

I told my sister that I was in a lot of pain.  That I hadn’t felt this bad earlier that day and I was sure something was dreadfully wrong with me (other than cancer and the surgery).  She asked me what time I had gotten up and dressed that morning.  I told her that I was dressed by 8:00 AM.  It was now 5:00 PM – so what?  Where was she going with this? She shook her head and said “What made you think that wearing four inch heels just a few days after major surgery was a good idea?”

I was dumbfounded! What was she talking about? What did my shoes have to do with anything? I explained that I was probably dying from black cat and broken mirror syndrome. She didn’t believe me.  She had this idea that the high heels were putting undo strain on my back and on the incision I had in my abdomen.  I explained that my pants where too long so I had to wear four inch heels. She said I was stupid.  She made me take off my shoes.  I wasn’t happy about that – I loved those shoes.

Shockingly, the pain started easing up. I tried to pretend that I still felt really bad.  It didn’t work.  I’ve never been able to lie.  Okay, so the shoes caused the pain.  The mirror and my cat were innocent. Nothing else happened that day.  Sure, I’ve had to go through chemo and experience things that I really would have liked to skip.  But I know that mirrors break, cats are black and those two things mean nothing, but I should never wear four inch heels right after major surgery.

Orange Chicken Marinade – Cooking with Essential Oil

DoTerra Wild Orange Essential Oil

 Add 1 drop Wild Orange Essential Oil to the following marinade doTerra Wild Orange Essential Oilfor Orange Chicken:

  • • 1 c chicken broth
  • • 1/2 c sugar
  • • 1/3 c white vinegar
  • • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • • 1/4 tsp pepper

Before using essential oils for cooking verify that the oil you are using is safe for internal  use.

See the Wild Orange (citrus sinensis) wellness advocate snap shot information here.

View the Wild Orange essential oil product information page.

I use doTerra essential oils.

Buy Essential Oils Here