Spoonie Sunday – JusJoJan 19 – Gratitude and gobbledygook

For Linda’s JusJoJan prompt for January 19th, 2020, “gobbledygook.” Use the word “gobbledygook” any way you’d like. Today’s prompt is brought to us by Jim.

Spoonie Gratitude

“Gratitude is a choice I can make every day.” My dear Mother sent me a kitchen towel with that slogan on it many years ago during a particular low point in my life. Back then I was an arrogant 30-something with a career, children to raise and stuff to do. I regarded that precious slogan as a bunch of gobbledygook, nonsense meant for the weak willed. Continue reading “Spoonie Sunday – JusJoJan 19 – Gratitude and gobbledygook”

Spoonie Sunday – Keeping Warm 3 – Layers

Spoons

“Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you cry.” ~Unknown

Greetings fellow spoonies and not spoonies. Hope your holidays were/are wonderful and filled with warmth, both the huggy kind and the actual kind. In the part of the country where most of my family lives, it has been unseasonably warm this Winter. Not so here.  Today we have “wind chills” well below freezing which equates to me taking extra precautions to keep warm. Continue reading “Spoonie Sunday – Keeping Warm 3 – Layers”

Spoonie Sunday – Keeping Warm part 2

Baby it’s cold outside! Last week I talked a little about spoonies and temperature sensitivity and ways to keep warm around the house. This week we’re going to talk about personal warmth. No, not the huggie feelie kind of personal warmth. We’re talking getting warm, inside, and keeping that body warmth. In the wintertime, we often feel cold and more dry. Our skin gets dry, our sinuses begin to dry out, and even our joints dry out. Winter is the Vata season, lots of warming foods are called for. Continue reading “Spoonie Sunday – Keeping Warm part 2”

Spoonie Sunday – The Weather Outside is Frightful – Keeping Warm around the house

Spoons

Last week we had our first blizzard of the 19/20 winter season. Winds gusting at 65mph and temps in the single digits (fahrenheit) can make for some real challenges for spoonies. Many folks with autoimmune and/or chronic illness (myself included) are profoundly sensitive to cold weather. (OK, I’m actually profoundly sensitive to all weather, cold, hot, changing, you name it, but I digress.) Today I’m going to share a few things we do around the house to keep ourselves warm.

too hot too cold

digital pic from Pinterest by tailpic.com — every night of my life 🙂 Continue reading “Spoonie Sunday – The Weather Outside is Frightful – Keeping Warm around the house”

Spoonie Sunday – Cowgirl Up

My Okayness

I’ve talked the last few weeks about the benefits and uses for aromatherapy and essential oils for Spoonies. Today I’m going to talk about other aspects of managing chronic disease and fatigue.

I’ve been in a nasty flare for over a month now. The fatigue can best be described as “soul crushing.” It is not an exaggeration when I say that it takes me half an hour to get out of bed. It’s also accompanied by pain. Every muscle, every joint, every minute of every day. I read an interesting little blurb in Psychology Today about chronic illness fatigue and how it changes you, you can read the full article here.

It’s not fair, nobody should have to live like this. Yes, I’m grateful for all my blessings, I’m thrilled to have my love at home and healthy (enough). But I’m also angry. Chronic illness fatigue can make anybody angry at the whole world, and envious of “other” people. That’s OK, it’s not fair, at all, and it’s OK to feel that.

That said, this is the hand I’ve been dealt and the question becomes, “How am I gonna play it?”

Lately I’ve dipped into depression, despondency, and just plain old whineyness. I can barely stand to be around myself. So I have decided to play my hand differently. There comes a time when you just have to “Cowgirl Up” stop complaining and just do it. Joints and muscles ache, take some ibuprophen and go on. Feeling lethargic? Drink another cup of coffee and get on with life (I have a startling tolerance for caffeine). Bored (we’re usually traveling this time of year), pick a hobby and get lost for awhile. Go wander around, kill monsters, and find treasure (computer games). Grocery trip left me so exhausted I can’t think of the word for it (oogie is all that comes to mind and I’m pretty sure it’s a real word), for Pete’s sake stop trying to impress the world with how well you manage and GO LAY DOWN for 20 minutes.

The point I’m trying to make with this mini rant is that life ain’t fair, chronic illness is seldom a “happily ever after” story, but there are lots of things I can do to improve my circumstances. Ways to fight back and live the best life I can. “Every year 2 million people die of dehydration. So it doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty, there’s water in the cup. Drink it and stop complaining.” ~Rudy Francisco

True Stories – Rudy Francisco

What doesn’t kill you – Kelly Clarkson

Till next time ~Cowgirl Up and hang onto your spoons ~JPP

Spoonie Sunday – Aromatherapy massage (the final chapter)

Spoons

Well I guess we’ve all had about enough of aromatherapy and essential oils use but I just couldn’t go without mentioning this important aspect. I’m a big believer in massage. All massage, therapy massage, self massage, shiatsu massage, swedish massage … OK you get the idea. I’m a fan. Continue reading “Spoonie Sunday – Aromatherapy massage (the final chapter)”

Spoonie Sunday – Life Toolbox – Aromatherapy – continued

In today’s toolbox I’m going to talk a little more about one of the biggest weapons in my spoonie arsenal – aromatherapy.

A word of caution – the views expressed here are not intended to be taken as any kind of medical advice. This is just what works for me, in my home, and it may not work for you. Please be sure to consult a licensed aromatherapist or medical practitioner before beginning any new health program.

I have been an aromatherapy and essential oil user since the 1980’s. Yes, they had them back then, along with dirt. The term “aromatherapy” actually originated back in the 1930’s but the use of plant essences as medicine goes back much, much farther. Depending on who you cite as reference as much as 5,000 years farther back. So that’s a good long time for the practice of using plant essences to promote good health but what about today?

Honestly, as a spoonie, a caregiver, and a woman, I use my essential oils and aromatherapy techniques on a daily basis. Essential oils don’t just add aroma to a room, they also provide numerous health benefits for the household.

Using a room diffuser is probably the easiest way to dispense these benefits into the air to improve your health, boost your energy and promote good sleep, to name a few. Diffusers provide a natural and safer alternative to air fresheners, especially if you want to take a more active role in your own health. They can fill a room with the natural fragrance from oils that freshens up your home while promoting overall wellness.

So today I’m going to give you a brief rundown on the various types of room diffusers, some pros and cons and personal experience.

Yet another brief word of caution. If you suffer from lung disease or any type of autoimmune issues please proceed with caution and the advice of trusted medical professionals. Although diffusers disburse essential oils in tiny amounts, allergies can and do still occur! For example, I do not use chamomile in any form. Not in a massage oil, not in a lotion, not in a diffuser, not in a tea. Why? I’m allergic to ragweed and chamomile is in the same plant family. I have asthma and allergies and I have reacted to it, so I substitute, usually lavender or bergamot in any recipes that call for chamomile.

Anyway back to the diffusers. First off there is the heat diffuser, i.e. candle diffusers (those little pots with a candle under them), lamp rings (self explanatory) and steam diffusers (think vaporizers). The heat causes the essential oils to evaporate into the atmosphere. This type of diffuser is generally cost effective and does give off a stronger scent. Unfortunately, it is less effective for the health benefits of aromatherapy as heat tends to alter the chemical compounds in essential oils, reducing the therapeutic affect.

Evaporative diffusers i.e. reed diffusers, terra cotta discs, fan/pad combos, aromatherapy jewelry, all expose essential oils into the air, causing them to evaporate and disperse naturally. It works by placing a drop on items like a tissue, cotton ball or other porous materials which will diffuse the oil into the air as the molecules evaporate from their surfaces. It is a great alternative to chemical air fresheners in relatively small areas but is not as effective in larger rooms. I use a small evaporative diffuser in the bedroom close to my bed at night. It consists of a tiny terra cotta saucer with a cotton disk (cosmetic pad) in it. I place a couple drops of my preferred bedtime mix and breathe in the goodness overnight. It does dry out fairly quickly and you need to change the pad pretty much daily (which is fine because they’re like cheap).

Ultrasonic diffuser, my personal preference, uses water and ultrasonic vibrations to disperse molecules of the essential oil into the air through a fine mist that can be inhaled. It can function as a humidifier as well, allowing you to get double benefits. However, because the device uses water for the solution, the concentration may not be as strong or potent for air freshners. Please consult your user manual as some say not to use citrus oil and other resinous oils in them. I’ve not had any problems using basic citrus or frankenscense in small (2-3 drop) amounts but I empty and clean my diffuser daily.

Nebulizer Diffuser, this diffuser works by using an atomizer to create fine and absorbent airborne particles of essential oils and disperse them into the air. It is sometimes regarded as the most effective device for aromatherapy since it provides you with a high concentration of essential oil. The downside to this diffuser is that it is quite costly and difficult to clean. Moreover, since the concentration of the oil is quite strong and potent, the oil runs out faster, and there is, in my opinion, a greater chance of reaction.

There you have the run down. Next week I’ll talk more about the uses of aromatherapy in our spoonie household.

Til next time ~May the spoons be ever in your favor ~JPP