Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Magic Potion

Thank you all so much for sharing my relief and for those who asked for the smoothie recipe, here it is. Bear in mind it can be anything you want but should have the kale and spinach and oat bran.

In blender container in the following order:
2 heaping tablespoons Stonyfield Farm plain yogurt (you cannot taste the yogurt at all in this)
1 pkg Truvia sweetner
1 tbls Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran
I lg handful sliced almonds
1" piece of peeled fresh ginger (aids digestion)
I/2 apple, cut in chunks
1/2 cup berries....blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
1 huge handful of spinach
1-2 handsful of chopped kale
1-2 ice cubes
1 Heaping tbls of protein powder (I am using Solgar brand right now)
Blend well well with cover on tightly, need I say more? 
Sounds like a lot of work but I have everything organized in the refrigerator and it goes quickly. I drink it all as I am getting ready for work.  It gets me through the morning!!  This is very flexible and the fruits can be omitted or changed up to your liking. If I have bananas around I will add one half.
Also, remember the disaster I had last year when I dropped a whole smoothie on the carpet in my sitting room.....eeeek, what a mess, and it cost 200. to have professional cleaners pay a visit. Oh my!
At night I am eating grilled salmon 2-3 nights a week. I purchase it cooked at my local market and it comes with spinach. I lightly saute in frying pan with more spinach and sliced kalamata olives and a bit of olive oil. Just to warm through.Sometimes I saute a few thinly sliced potatoes to add to this dinner.

On Sundays I cook protein of some sort to eat from during the week, as necessary.  I have some baked chicken this week. Every other week, I have some red meat....usually extra lean ground beef.

Other nights I am having just a mix of veggies and some fruit. 
On work days I bring left over veggies or some low-fat cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. I'm usually adding sweet potato to whatever green veggie I have.  They are really filling.

So this is the plan I worked up for myself for the last 6 weeks.....really just a combination of ideas and suggestions for foods that help to lower BP, and reduce inflammation.

Drinking a lot of water!! 

Best of all, I do allow myself a treat every few days.  I might have a cookie with ginger lemon tea or 1/2 small cupcake.  If I am invited out, I just eat smaller amounts of whatever I want. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Six Weeks

Six weeks ago I was told that I had some very serious and life threatening health issues....(see my March 26th post).  Medication was necessary to give my heart a break from a nearly lethal toxicity caused by taking ibuprofen. To say that these last weeks have been hard is an understatement.  There was never the promised adjustment (acceptance) by my body.  The side effects continued until this past Saturday when I came very close to collapsing in a huge store while shopping with Kristi.  The world was spinning out of control.

I am happy to say, though, that I visited my doctor first thing this morning, and I have managed to turn around the heart issues and am now off the med!!  During the six weeks, I ate a  "whole" diet, including a lot of salmon and other fish, consumed a large green smoothie each day, exercised and rested.  Bloodwork done last week shows great success, my cholesterol, which was not an issue, has now been radically lowered, with the good cholesterol at an all-time high for me, and my BP is normal.  Kidney function is slower to return but is on the upswing.  The spinach and kale in the smoothies are purported to work as natural anti-inflammatories and helping, on a small level to ease the arthritis pain, allowing me to do daily walks again.   I guess we really are what we eat!!

Great way to start off the week leading to May, and it is also my dear brother, Marty's birthday! 

Love to all.....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Humanity is shining in Boston today, despite the horrific events of yesterday.  Hope is in the helpers, as we've been told through the years. Those helpers, of all types, continue to renew our faith in mankind.
Thank you, thank you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Update on a Tragic Day....

Thank you everyone for the concern.  All members and support staff of the U of IL wheelchair racing team are safe and accounted for. They are set to depart from Logan Airport at 9:30 to return home to Champaign, IL this evening. Actually 9 team members are flying to London, England to participate in a marathon there on Sunday.  Congratulations to Tatyana McFadden for her win in the womens wheelchair division today. Fantastic race.  What a shame that her first running of Boston is marred by this tragic bombing.

A tragic day on so many levels.  All our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.  Just a few years back, I would have been sitting in the finish line bleachers with my Dad, brother, Marty and other friends and family.

I love Boston so much!

Boston Marathon Day

Good Morning....it is a beautiful Monday and exciting to know that there is an incredible team of wheelchair athletes competing in the Boston Marathon today.  Nice article below with mention of my brother, Marty Morse's involvement as coach at the University of Illinois.  Enjoy. 


The weekend turned out pretty well.  Yesterday I picked up Kristi and we went for a fun ride to find Spring flowers, visited a farm with Scottish longhorn cattle, goats, beautiful white lambs, and DONKEYS!!  After this we went walking in Harwichport through the quaint village and then down on to the beach where Kristi gathered lots of scallop shells and we walked through rain showers and brilliant sun along the beautiful white sand. 

Enjoy the day.....

Sunday, April 14, 2013


The adjustment to life without her mother, begins for Kristi, and us.  We were uncertain how Kristi would react and express herself about her mother's death, and it is, as with any loss, a twisting turning road.  Yesterday LM's sister came to visit, and they all came to my house for the afternoon and a dinner. So nice to be together....as LM and his sister refelcted on a miasma of memories, I could see Kristi in the depths of grief. We will be paying close attention to her needs and doing what we can. Hospice has offered counseling so we will be taking her there. She wants to spend a lot of time sorting through things at her home she shared with her mother.  We are trying to measure the amount of time she spends alone there just yet.  Today I will take her walking and see if we can find some nice spring flowers and then walk along the beach. There is so much to do for LM....legal and otherwise, and he needs some time alone to think things through, do paperwork, etc. One day at a time is all we can do.

I continue to walk around in a fog and deal with the intermittent 4-5 hr periods of a drugged feeling that contorts my thinking and body into a place of such awkwardness that it feels like I am being forced to walk with my shoes on the wrong feet.  My thinking becomes black and every move is an effort.  There is an anvil on my shoulders, and someone is banging on the roof of my mouth.  My next doctor visit is April 29, and I am telling her that I need to come off this drug. I am waiting to stop it as the contraindications say it shouldn't be stopped without medical assistance. We shall see.

Meanwhile, our trip to Canada and the sisters' reunion is now 37 days away. LM and I are doing a countdown!!

We are still awaiting some sun here on our ocean peninsula. The cold wind and grayness is harsh on top of grief and health issues.

Love to all....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Kristi's Mom, Ellen, died this afternoon at 3:40 pm. LM and Kristi held her hands as she passed peacefully. Tonight we reflected on how she is now free from all the unhappiness which seemed to plague every day of her life. Kristi is receiving a lot of support, crying, and happy intermittently, and loved the big pot of pansies I brought for her to care for in memory of her Mom.
LM is exhausted to say the least, and there is a mountain to climb before true rest can come.  As I approached the walkway at his house this evening, I looked in and could see Ms G walking back and forth across LM's lap.....she's such a little angel. 

Thank you for everyone for all your prayers, thoughts and sharing our vigil. There is a measure of peace upon us this evening.  April is a time of rebirth. We are grateful.

Love to all!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


With all our bodies and souls very restless, we wait for Kristi's Mom to pass. Most likely today.  Breathing is very labored and suffering just seems so unnecessary. Kristi spent the night next to her Mom at the nursing home last night, while an over-exhausted LM went home to hold Ms G through a somewhat restless night.

The sun is shining and a warmish Spring day is helping somewhat as it shows us rebirth in all its forms.

I'll be back.

Love to all!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

In the Blink of an Eye

You just never know what will happen in cyberspace, or why, and there really are not people to help you find out the why's.  I've met some wonderful and enduring friends through blogging and this morning as I made my rounds to catch-up with several of these dear ones, I discovered that "Happy Days"  - written by my friend, Debbie, has been deleted.  I was shocked to say the least, but not quite as shocked as Debbie was when she tried to access her blog.  She has followed every trail she could to find out where her blog has gone, only to be told that she must pay to have it back!!  Have any of you had this happen?  Now I will be living in mortal fear that this could happen to "Ms Graysea" and that would not be a good thing!!

Debbie would like all her friends to know she is just fine!! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Hello everyone....I guess I will be musing from the tunnel for awhile as the symptoms do not seem to be abating to any great degree. I am adjusting to this status but do not like feeling so muted.  It feels like I am living behind the cobwebs of the Adams' family manse, and cannot quite part them enough to see clearly, while I can hear a lot of bizarre and crazy happenings.  It's scary as I navigate through these times, but I know it will eventually be OK.  The birds are singing loudly, to my delight every morning now, and although it is wintery cold here, we have glorious healing sunshine at midday when I take lunch.

 Along with the physical struggle of adjusting to the heart medication, is the emotional struggle to stay detached with love from the terrible struggles going on daily for LM and Kristi.  I cannot even begin to detail the challenges so I won't try. The still impending death of Kristi's mother, coupled with draconian legal woes is the cruelest twist of fate in which I have ever been involved.  For, LM, at the center of a struggle to ensure his disabled daughter's future, it is devastating, yet, each day, he gets up anew, and faces it, does what he can to struggle against unreturned phone calls, somewhat fruitless efforts to unwind government red tape, and still maintain a loving and secure environment for Kristi.  He does the same for me, keeping me in the loop, assuring me we will get through this.  There are times he cracks, and we are there for each other. There are many completely sleepless  nights happening here for all concerned. Managing stress is not easy or relatable for many developmentally disabled people, and I have been so saddened to observe Kristi's struggle. She can only frown, pace, show anger, and ask questions we cannot answer over and over and over.

Meanwhile, through all of this, Ms G, our hero, is helping LM and Kristi....she entertains with her hilarious antics.  Last week, because her coat is looking quite scruffy, I decided to introduce her to a new and healthier cat food (Fromm's), and she was pretty funny with her sulky hanging the head over the bowl ways for a few days.  She is finally eating it and loving the new food.  For the last 8 years she has only eaten cat treats and I knew it was not the healthiest plan - not to mention expensive, so it was time for this change. She cuddles very closely with LM everynight and pats his face with her paw in the morning to wake him - sometimes at 3 am, though.  She's also enjoying the ever slow arrival of Spring and loves gazing out at the birds each day.

Thank you so much for all the kind thoughts and notes. Love will prevail and the sisters' reunion in Canada is now less than 2 months away!!  We have exciting plans for our trip, especially on the way back when we will spend a few nights in a cottage on the shores of a beautiful lake in the Adirondacks!  I'll write more about those plans soon.