raining…lemon drops…

Photogram created by slices of lemon on colour...

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Ever hear the expression…”When it rains, it pours?” You’d literally expect that here in the environs of Seattle. However with my recent good fortune of having lemons dumped in my lap…I’ve now got lemons falling from heaven.

How’s that you say? Raining lemons? Well for this Hawaiian hugmamma it might as well be. Snow has been falling steadily since 4 a.m. this morning. By tonight I might be up to my eyeballs in the white stuff. That’s if I venture out to romp around in it. Which you know I won’t. Maybe when I was a spring chicken. I’m afraid I’m an old goat now. My romping days are definitely over…sigh.

Mocha, on the other hand, would love to take me sledding. I can see us. She bounding along on one end of her leash…me bumping along on my butt on the other end. No. I don’t think so. Especially since my back is finally returning to that of a walking, talking 62-year-old, and not that of a bent over, wizened old crone. You think I jest?

Dr. Öz at ServiceNation 2008

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But what got me out from under my cozy covers to scribe this post was the effects of my latest vitamin supplement, SAMe. According to both Drs. Oz and Amen, its suppose to brighten my mood. I’m here to say it does seem to have that effect. No matter the situation, I’ve been able to  weather the dark mood that tries to settle in on my brain, by flooding it with positive thoughts.

So what can I make of the snowfall? Projects! Numero uno on my “to do” list is reorganizing my half of the garage, the side where I can’t park my car because it’s full of my opala…Hawaiian for…junk. The other half is where my husband parks his car. So, yes. As I type, my poor little Betsy is freezing her buns off…as she shivers in the cold…parked in the driveway. But she’s from Seattle, so she’ll manage.

Deutsch: König Midas, Öl auf Leinwand, 71 x 54 cm

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For crafty folk…no, not the deceitful ones…who love to putter away making things to keep or sell, what better time to get to it. I use to be one such. I’ve the supplies filling plastic bins in the garage to prove it. Those days of laboring for pittance are long gone. Now I prefer to write…for nothing. Actually both were, and are, done for the love of the thing. I never thought, still don’t, I’d become King Midas. I may lay an egg…but for sure it won’t be golden.

Meanwhile…

Lemon drops keep falling on my head…but that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red…cryin’s not for me

………hugmamma.  🙂

crestor, beware…

For some time now, statins have been touted as an “elixir” for lowering cholesterol. Since February the FDA has also approved their use in helping to “prevent heart disease and stroke in people with normal cholesterol levels.” In a recent AARP article, Dr. Mehmet Oz explains that the decision was a result of a 5-year study of men 50 years and older, and women 60 and older, whose cholesterol was normal but who suffered high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). “People with high levels of CRP have a greater risk of heart attacks, strokes, autoimmune disorders, and other maladies.” In the study, those taking the statin Crestor for approximately 2 years were 44% less likely to have heart attacks or strokes, than those who didn’t. Based on this finding, the research ended, and the statin was offered to the remainder of eligible adults.

The FDA’s decision isn’t without controversy. While statins can lower the level of LDL, bad cholesterol, they do little to raise the level of HDL, good cholesterol. Meanwhile they could cause “severe muscle pain and a 9 percent increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes.”

About 10 years ago I was put on the statin Lipitor to lower my cholesterol which stood at 195. Moving to another state 4 years later, I saw another doctor who took me off that statin because my liver enzyme count was slightly elevated. He put me on Crestor instead. Subsequently, I began experiencing an increase in muscle pain. I’m unsure when, but after that I heard on the local news that Asian women were at increased risk of severe muscle inflammation when using Crestor. I mentioned this to my doctor who had no measurable reaction, so I didn’t pursue the matter. As the pain became chronic, my doctor prescribed muscle relaxants which I took periodically. Their only benefit for me was that I got a good night’s sleep, but  awoke in the morning to the same pain.

When I moved back to my permanent home state, I started seeing a female, Asian internist. She too kept me on Crestor, despite my information of its debilitating effects on women of our ethnicity. After a couple of years, I switched to a doctor with whom I could communicate more effectively. 

I found such a physician in General Practitioner Dr. Kinnish, and I’m very fortunate to be under his current care. When I expressed concern that Crestor might be to blame for my ongoing muscle pain, he immediately ordered blood work and insisted I stop taking the statin. Surprised, I didn’t realize muscle pain could be analyzed by drawing a blood sample. When the results came back, Dr. Kinnish was astounded. The normal range for the CK, Serum test is 24-173, mine measured 1228!!! Needless to say, he kept me off Crestor and began re-checking my numbers regularly thereafter. In the ensuing months my levels dropped to 497, rose to 738, dropped to 419 then to 330 and finally to 223. I was headed in the right direction, so the doctor recommended I continue my regimen of healthy eating, exercising, and visiting the chiropractor and massage therapist as needed. I’m due for a follow-up next week, and am keeping my fingers crossed for a good report. (xxxxxxxxxxxxx)

Without the help of drugs, I’m working at reducing my cholesterol the old-fashioned way. Like Kinnish, “my other” doctor, Oz, recommends going back to basics. “Many of my patients have reduced their cholesterol levels (and blood-sugar levels) without the use of drugs by adhering to a diet low in saturated fat and by exercising regularly. …Statins remain a good option for people who, despite a sensible diet and ample exercise, can’t lower their LDL. But statins or no, a healthy lifestyle is the best way to fortify your heart.”

can’t go wrong with 2 great doctors…hugmamma.