Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Blog Carnival

Great news! The latest ChronicBabe Blog Carnival is available HERE.
The topic is: Tips for a brand-new chronicbabe.
Even if your not a brand-new chronicbabe, chance are you can find a useful tip you hadn't thought of before.

Another Error In My Medical Records

ARGGG!!! I can't get to Mayo soon enough! My doctor's office was finally able to track down my EEG results from mid-May that the hospital couldn't be bothered to just send over like they were supposed to. I've blogged about this before. Today I drove up to my neurologist's office to pick up a prescription and a copy of my EEG results to take with me to Mayo since it arrived after she had forwarded the rest of my history. Anyway, I gave it a once over just to see what it said and it reported that I have a family history of epilepsy.


What I have is a sister who had ONE seizure. I even told the woman specifically that the cause was never determined and it was an isolated incident. This is not the first time, the second time, or even the twentieth time that I've found big errors in my medical records since leaving the medical haven in Rochester. I don't know if it's poor listening skills, or poor recording/note taking skills but it is far too common and unacceptable. These are medical records. They are important for many reasons and I shouldn't have to explain that to anyone who is responsible for putting information in them.

Finding so many errors makes me wonder how many more errors are in my records that I would never be able to recognize. I've caught errors about what medications I'm on, what symptoms I have, what treatments I've had, what surgeries I've had, my medical history, family medical history, and demographic information. And that in less than 4 years. I have to assume if they are so careless with all this information that they are equally as careless with the more complex information that I can't identify like test results and such. I guess that's what is most disturbing about all of this. I won't ever know how many errors are in my medical records.

In an effort to prevent this I am adopting a Put It In Writing policy for myself. I will keep a written record of all my important information so that I can take it to whatever office I may be visiting. It has a list of my diagnosis, drugs/doses I'm on and what I take them for (some I take for off label reasons), all my demographic information, emergency contact, operations, and my insurance information. I've been working on an additional one for the Gyn visits with graphs and information about my periods (I'm still tracking in hopes of having a baby one day).

All of this would not have prevented this latest error but hopefully I can at least prevent some of the other more serious errors. This is simply largely out of my control - and that scares me some and angers me some.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Show Has Me Up In Arms

I'm VERY troubled by one of the new summer shows on ABC. Maybe you've seen the commercials or even the program - called Downfall. It takes place on top of a tall building. Contestants are asked questions and they have to hurry to answer them correctly while a conveyor belt full of expensive prizes is being dropped off the side of the building. The promos show a car, a plasma TV, a gas grill and such exploding into tiny pieces as they hit the pavement below.

It's a little difficult to see what's going on in these pictures but this last one you can see the grill in the bottom right corner and something else in the bottom left. Anyway, I'm very troubled by this new show. I understand ABC has purchased or even received these items as a promotion from the companies that sell them. Either way, it is theirs to do with as they please. I get it.
But it makes my stomach turn and leaves me feeling sick. Are we really the kind of people who destroy expensive merchandise for laughs on a game show? In the land of the rich I'm sure it seems like no big deal, but from where I stand it feels so very wrong. And during a time when so many people are struggling...poor timing on the part of ABC.
Perhaps my reaction to this is so strong because it feels like an unashamed blatant display of our culture's greed/materialism and subsequent devaluing, disrespect and lack of care for humanity. Ultimately, this is what is really making me sad. Closets full of clothes that still have their tags on. Thousands of people waiting in line all day in the summer heat for the high privilege of spending $300 on the new iPhone and tossing the year-old $300 iPhone out. Cheap crap made overseas for pennies by someone earning pennies and sold for $69.99 so a handful of already rich executives can be richer. It makes me sad because it doesn't have to be this way.
Boy, this really took an unexpected turn.
Have you guys seen the show or the promos? What is your reaction?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Car Care Blues

I took my car to the shop today for a pre-trip oil change, fluids, tire checks, and new front brakes. $Yikes!$ I needed the brakes and they were on sale...but still the labor is so expensive.

Dealing with car repairs and maintenance makes me mad. I always feel like I'm being taken advantage of. I want everyone to make an income they can live on, but charging $300 an hour just is not reasonable. Nobody deserves that much money - but what can you do about it? These things have to be done if you want to keep driving your car.

I wish I had a close friend or family member who knew how to do these things and could do them for me at a reasonable rate. I honestly don't mind paying to have this service performed, but I don't appreciate being bullied into paying such high rates by the industry as a whole. They do it because they can get away with it - I get that. It just makes me so mad.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tips for a Brand-New ChronicBabe

Coming to terms with a chronic illness is a real challenge but I think learning to deal with the day to day living as a chronicbabe is a bigger challenge. I'm certainly no expert but after almost 5 years of experience I've learned a few things about this daily struggle. Here are a few tips I would like to pass along to a brand-new chronicbabe:

1. Find a good doctor or team of doctors. A good doctor should listen, think and be willing to go the distance in partnership with you even when you don't fit into a perfect diagnosis or respond to medications as expected.

2. Learn as much as you can about your affected anatomy and your condition(s). The more you know the better advocate you can be for yourself - there will be times when you have to intervene on your own behalf.

3. Reach out to the online community of chronicbabes. If you're reading this you have likely already discovered the chronicbabe community. Getting involved in the forum is a wonderful way to get support, exchange ideas and information, and make friends with other people living with chronic illness. It can be a real challenge for our friends and family to understand what we're going through and provide the positive support we need as we face the plethora of difficulties associated with chronic illness/pain. It can be lonely. I, for one, feel much less alone now that I have contact with people who can relate to what I'm going through.

4. (as always) LAUGH! One of my favorite quotes is something to the effect - life doesn't cease to be serious when we laugh any more than it ceases to be funny when we cry (I don't remember who said it either). The sentiment is so fitting to us chronicbabes. No matter what we face, we must find laughter in our days. It doesn't mean we're not struggling; it just means we are still living. Laughter IS wonderful for our bodies, minds, and souls.

5. Listen to your body. Understand that you are unique and you alone have the benefit of being you. Communicate what your body's cues to your docs so they can have that advantage too (this goes back to having a good doc - a good doc will listen and use this intelligence).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Learning From Pain

Last summer my cousin asked me what I had learned about myself as a result of my chronic migraine pain. The question surprised and threw me a bit - I hadn't spent any time thinking about this. I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how my life has changed and trying to figure out my new limits and capacities. I don't really remember how I responded at the time, but the question has spurred lots of contemplation over the past year.

What has chronic pain taught me about myself?

I still don't know that I have an answer. I almost feel as though the only thing I've learned is I'm no longer the person I used to be. I spent a good 2 - 3 years trying to fight against the changes living with chronic pain imposed on my life. Trying to let go of all the things I had come to know about myself but just are not true anymore is not something I wanted to do and has been quite difficult. I guess I feel more like the chronic pain has just taken from me without any real lesson.

Somewhere inside - intellectually - I know this can't be entirely true. Chronic pain has certainly taken a lot from me, but I'm sure there is a lesson in there for me too. My mom once told me that she was proud of me for continuing to search for an answer and not giving up. Perhaps I'm learning something about my ability to persevere. I have learned how to take better care of myself. I have learned some techniques for coping with my pain...

But I don't know if that's really what I was after in terms of an answer to what I have learned about myself. I can say that I'm in the process of changing some of my ways. I'm working on not being so hard on myself when I'm unable to do things as I would like. This is a little closer to the answer...part of me wonders if the only lessons I can learn about myself while I'm going through this will be lessons about the chronic-pain-me. I have been searching for some truth about myself that I wasn't previously aware of - something specific that this atypical experience taught me.

Ultimately, we all seek to know ourselves so we can reach our potential. My potential today is not the potential I had 6 years ago SO I don't really know that I can look for insight beyond what I've already been doing to optimize my current reality. If the day ever comes when I am no longer living with chronic pain there may be lessons to learn from this experience. But for now I'm going to focus on living the best I can today.
Do you feel like you've learned something about yourself as a result of your chronic pain?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Specific Hope

I've spent a good part of today preparing for my upcoming appointments at Mayo. Time with the doctors will be short so I'm doing a great deal of preparations to maximize this time. Part of that was trying to understand what's going on with my tempromandibular joint. I started by learning about the anatomy of the joint, which allowed me to sort of understand the copy of the radiologist's report on the TMJ MRI that I have, though I still don't know what it means. Then I spent some time looking at the different disorders and treatments options.

The more I learned about the tempromandibular disorders the more convinced I got that my jaw issues could very well be the cause of my frequent migraines. This makes me even more hopeful about my trip even if it means surgery and a longer stay - away from my husband and home. I like having a specific hope. For the past several years I've mostly felt hopeful that we'll be able to turn this cycle of pain around. But this generic hope that I get my life back somehow, someday just isn't the same galvanizing hope that I feel as I learn how many of my symptoms are indicative of a specific issue with a specific solution.
Even if it doesn't work out I'm glad for the time now with my specific hope. It just feels good.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bath Day Fun

Today was bath day for our dog. After a record hot June she had become so stinky it was hard to be around her - and I love being close to her. The heat isn't letting up, but I can't exactly wait until the end of September when the sweet relief of fall begins to descend on the area to give her a bath. She is not a big fan of the running water associated with the bath but she likes all the attention and rubbing and combing of her coat. I personally think she seems proud once all is said and done with the prancing she does, but I recognize this may just be my projection.

She is so pretty and after a bath she is just stunning. The longer hair around her neck and chest becomes all fluffy and the white on her legs practically shine. Between the fluff and her snuggly personality she is absolutely irresistible. Totally worth the arm/hand pain and pulsing it triggers in my head. Despite any pain that results, bath day for our dog is always a positive day.

This is her pulling the stuffing out of a new toy, which is always the first order of business. It really has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but she's just so cute holding onto her stuffed animal.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I started planning for my upcoming trip to Minnesota by doing online searches for plane tickets. The nature of this trip is vague. I know when my first appointment at Mayo is, but I have no idea what will happen beyond that. I could be done in a week, or they may decide to do surgery and it may be more than a month before I'll be ready to travel again (or anything in between). Couple this uncertainty with the new summer travel fees (on top of all the other fees and taxes associated with flying these days) and the short flights would cost around $1,000.

For just a moment let's put aside the intense fear I've developed for flying and consider how ridiculous it is to pay $1,000 for a flight from Washington DC to Minneapolis. We're talking about a 3 hour flight, which means no food, no movie, no big deal. But let's not forget about the airport shenanigans. The long lines at the ticket counter to check and pay for your luggage. Followed by the long lines at the screening stations and the hassles associated like removing your shoes, belts, etc. Then the waiting for your flight, boarding and settling in of everyone (hoping it leaves somewhere close to the scheduled time). The cramped quarters; I'm a pretty slim gal but even I struggle with the tiny space allowed in airline seats with my knees coming right to the back of the seat in front of me. Then you have to deal with the people in the seats next to you who always seem to spill into your space, or even worse insisting on engaging in a conversation throughout the flight. There are no comforts provided in the air without ridiculous cash payments; blankets, snacks, pillows, before long they'll start charging to use the toilet. Then deplaning and waiting for the luggage to start circling the carousal, praying that your suitcase isn't one of the hundreds of thousands that is lost each year. There is nothing fun about flying anymore. And I for one refuse to pay $1,000 for the hassle. Ridiculous!

So then I thought it might be fun to take the train. See the country between here and there without all the cement and advertisements that make up the highway systems. The cost was very reasonable at about $200 one way but the travel time was not. I would spend 29 hours on the train (no sleeper cars make this trip) and once we hit Chicago I would have to get off and wait 5 hours before the train to Winona would leave. Plus it would take me an hour to get to the train station in DC and another hour from Winona to Rochester; total travel time 36 hours. Um, no thanks. That is way to long to spend trapped on the road without a bed for someone with chronic pain issues.

So I decided to drive. From my door to my mom's house in Rochester is 17.5 hours. My car gets excellent gas millage so I'll be able to do this on 2 1/2 tanks. And as long as I leave during my small window of good days I should be able to make the drive in 2 days (3 at the most). If I get a migraine I can pull over and check into a hotel. I could spend a week on the road for what it would cost to fly. I'm actually glad to have arrived at this decision because it allows me the stress free flexibility to pack whatever I want, travel at whatever rate I need to, leave whenever I'm ready, and I'll have my car to use when I'm there.

Everyone seems to disagree with my decision; my husband, mom, sister and in-laws have all been trying to talk me out of it. People are offering to pay for my plane ticket so I can be there "in just a couple hours." They are all being very dramatic as though my plan was to backpack and camp across Bogota. I'm just driving, heck I even have AAA. I see no reason to spend $1,000 of anyone's money just for the speedy hassle of flying. What do I have to do that I can't spend a few days on the road? I don't have a job. I don't even know how long I'll be gone. Plus this way, I can stop in St. Louis on my way home and visit with my grandma, uncle, aunt and cousins who I haven't seen in a few years.

New Blog Carnival

The new ChronicBabe Blog Carnival is up. Check out all the wonderful blogs postings about Passion.

Friday, June 18, 2010

An Unlikely Enemy

I'm a leaner by nature, some might say a comfort seeker. I'm a big fan of pillows behind my back and head, armrests, foot stools. I lean on the counter as I cook and do dishes. I lean on the sink as I brush my teeth and apply make-up (when I do). I like to rest my elbows or lower arms when I sit at a table. Whenever and wherever I can, I lean. As you can imagine, the onset of chronic pain has just increased this tendency.

Much to my displeasure (but understandably), I've developed serious nerve pain in my arms and hands. One unfortunate byproduct of this pain is the development of an unlikely enemy in the armrest that now only contribute to the pain. Even the armrest on an upholstered chair like this one can spell trouble.
The affection I still hold for the armrest is confused by the development of this enemy status. I find myself a bit jealous of people I see on TV or in movies who are leaning on armrests without consequence, which I know is ridiculous. Maybe some day I'll again enjoy leaning on my arms.
Have any of you found an unlikely enemy born out of your pain?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Wednesday Wish

I wish there was some kind of shade I could cover the TV with. Something that would take the edge off the brightness on the days that I'm struggling with light (pretty much every day). I can't lay around with my sunglasses on all day...that will just make matters worse for my head. I'm picturing this being a similar product to the magnifying screens you can get for the TV.

Something that would be easy to remove and replace as needed, cheap and it should come in several different levels of darkness.

I know that you can actually adjust the level of brightness on most TVs but I want this product because my bedroom set doesn't have that capability anymore. My motivation is purely selfish, I know. And surely nobody will actually manufacture this product. This is simply a Wednesday wish.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Touchy Touchy

My scalp is extremely sensitive these days. When I don't have a migraine there are a several small spots that are sensitive to the touch so I just don't. As I begin to get a migraine the entire scalp, neck area, and some of my face throbs with pain. A pain that just gets increasingly intense when I move, or when anything comes into contact with it. Basically everything makes the pain worse - SO FRUSTRATING!!! Even after I've treated and found some relief from a migraine, my scalp remains tender as though it were bruised.
Touchy, touchy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Simple Pleasure

I grew up playing the original Nintendo Mario games.

For a couple years, back in the day, we just had the one cartridge that came with the gaming system with Super Mario Bros 1, Duck Hunt, and World Class Track Meet.

While I enjoyed playing all of them, Mario was the most fun. After a while my sister and I had it all figured out and winning became too easy. When Mario 3 came out we were lucky enough to get it. Starting it up for the first time was so thrilling as it was so much more sophisticated than the original. Eventually we had figured out all the secrets and again winning had become all too easy. A friend of mine had Mario 2 and she lent it to me for a time.
I was never really able to make any significant progress in this one. Maybe it was just because I didn't spend nearly as much time on it and I was a bit older.

Anyway, I had become nostalgic for the old Mario games a couple years ago. My husband was able to find it on EBay and got me the system and Mario 1 and 3 for me. I had such fun getting reacquainted with the games and even remembered many old tricks and secrets. I don't play often as it irritates the nerves in my arms, but I still love doing it now and then for short times. A simple and perhaps childish pleasure. Sometimes those are the best ones.
Did you ever play these old games? Or do you have anything you still enjoy doing from your childhood?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Passion Thief

Once upon a time, in a land farther away than I would like, my life was filled with the colors and textures of passion. This land was populated with wonderful people, art and style. During this time the passion that galvanized my days seemed to be vast and renewable because it sprang out of my very core.

I had reached a level of maturity that I believed made me prepared and qualified to protect this passion from any kind of assault.

I just never imagined my migraines could become insidious thieves of my beloved passion. I'm certain there are remnants left behind by this thief. Sometimes I think it is just seems that way because the memories of it are so vivid. But then there are times when I feel it in a present moment - the wonderful magic of present day passion. Not long after my body starts reacting to the passion the pain begins it's stealth journey. Sometimes it takes several hours for the pain to overpower the passion and sometimes just minutes, which got me thinking that my passions are indeed vast and renewable.

The trouble is simply the chronic nature of my migraines. My daily battle is to have any positive feeling that is bigger than the pain and nausea I feel most days. The passion is there; it's just that the migraines are obstructing my access. In the spirit of honoring my passions I have constructed a short list of my passions.

1. My wonderful, amazing husband
2. Family & Friends
3. Art, Music, Theatre, Movement
4. Laughter
5. Good Conversation
6. Thinking

Friday, June 11, 2010

Waking Up With A Migraine

I loathe waking up with a migraine - as I have for the past 4 days. Even though I know most days I'll get a migraine at some point, there is just something so frustrating about starting the day this way. It makes it so hard to get out of bed, but I can't treat it without getting up and having some food. Then I spend the next 4 or 5 hours trying to recover, which never fully happens.

I'm a morning person by nature so when I lose the first half of my day I feel like I've wasted my time and it's just that much harder to get stuff done. Maybe I need to start training my body to be more time flexible. Start doing more things late in the day...

Have any of you wonderful readers ever had to adjust your time in such a way? Do you have any suggestions for me?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Balancing Healthy with High Calories

Like most Americans my age and younger, my diet contained large amounts of sugars and all kinds of chemicals. That crap is in almost everything. After years of trying to avoid the common food triggers for migraines with no results it seemed food wasn't the real problem. Yet something inside me was calling out for better food. I figured it couldn't hurt to try an entire diet overhaul. In March I cut things like meat, sugars and processed foods from my diet. While my body is pleased to be eating more natural good foods it has made no difference in my migraines. Why? Because food isn't a real problem for my migraines. The truth is that presently I don't know what has caused my migraines to go from 2 or 3 a month to 18 or 20 a month.

What I do know is that food is a real problem during and after my migraines. The nausea, fatigue and fogginess that surrounds both the migraine and the rescue medications have a way of killing my appetite. The result has been a loss of weight that someone my size can't afford. Now I have to spend all kinds of time thinking and planning my meals to strike a balance between healthy and high calories. I've been forced to compromise some of the healthy foods I want to eat for other less healthy choices simply so I can consume enough calories. All the planning and preparation is a real challenge, especially on the days when I've had to battle a migraine.

I don't think there is a single area of my life that has not been impacted by these rotten migraines.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I started feeling sick yesterday afternoon with a sore throat, slight fever and fatigue. By last night chills were added. Obviously I caught a bug of some sort. What I don't understand is how. Except for one quick trip to the grocery store on Saturday evening my husband and I were not around people all weekend.

Oh how I hate being sick. Most days I struggle to accomplish my tasks at home. Adding something like a cold makes me feel downright useless and even a bit guilty. Then I have to spend all kinds of time talking myself out of feeling that way. I know in my head that it doesn't make any sense. People get sick and I should just let myself rest and get better when I do. And I do let myself rest (mostly because I don't have a choice), but I should do it free from negative feelings.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Date is Set

I got to see my neurologist today. I was supposed to get the results from last month's EEG but, as usual, the hospital never bothered to send the results to the doctor. It will now be a couple more days before I get my results. This goes to the very heart of why I want to spend some time at Mayo. My super wonderful neurologist took care of everything. She loved the idea of me going out there and got right on the phone to make it happen. She'll send all my info and they'll talk with her directly about my care...what more could I want :)

I had reasoned out the best time for me to go would be early July, but of course everything depends on their schedules out there. Luck was on my side today as the first opening is July 12. I'll have to be out there a few days before the appointment, but that's okay. Gives me more time with my friends before playing the hurry up and wait game at Mayo.

Now that I have a date set I'm getting excited about the trip. It has been 3 years since I've been home and even longer since I've seen some of my friends. Rochester is a fantastic and growing city so I'm also looking forward to getting acquainted with all the changes of the past few years. The only real downside is being away from my husband for this unknown length of time.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Laughing

You may have noticed that I'm a big fan of comedy and laughing. Something that became very pronounced since the chronic pain took hold. Despite the summer comedy slow down on TV a few shows are going to come through for all of us comedy junkies. This summer I'll be laughing with:

We don't have cable so I get my Daily Show fix online.

Same thing for Colbert...

Stand-Up can be really great. The new season starts on Monday!
Have you ladies found any other summer comedies?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Early Migrainistas

As the summer heat and humidity sets in I can't help wondering what it must have been like around here 200 years ago. I've spent some time learning about our nation's early years and the people of that time since moving to the DC area 19 months ago or so. The images from those times depict clothing as rather formal (in comparison to modern times) and covering most of the body even in the summer heat.

It is practically unbearable to be outside when it's 95 with thick humidity (as it is all summer around here). Then I consider how new things like air conditioning, deodorants, indoor plumbing, washing machines, and tank tops are. These modern conveniences were unheard of to the early Americans. They were trapped, sweating in their clothes (and they didn't have many outfits) and couldn't wash themselves, let alone their clothes, every day. The resulting stink must have been very normal and maybe not even noticed because of that. Except to migrainistas...
Imagine being a migrainsita of early 1800s...with sensitivity to lights, smells and the inescapable, oppressive summer heat! There is no medication to help you escape the pain. You can't get comfortable. No matter how cool it would have been to witness such an interesting time in history I wouldn't trade modern conveniences for that chance. How did they do it?
Being a modern migrainista is no picnic but it is far better than it was even 50 years ago. I hope future migrainistas have an even easier time of it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blog Carnival

Great News! The latest Chronic Babe Blog Carnival is up. The topic is:

Lots of great ideas!

Super Interesting (if nothing else)

Last night's 20/20 was about superhumans. They gave us a closer look at 6 people who have truly extraordinary abilities. One man seemed to fly with the help of a special suit that made him look like a giant flying squirrel. Another man was known as a spiderman for climbing tall buildings without safety equipment. I actually think I've seen both of these men on the news before. They also had a man they called brainman because he was able to learn at an amazing rate. For example, he memorized the first 22,000 numbers in pi, and learned the Icelandic language in a week. This man also suffered with Asperger's Syndrome and was considered a savant. Another man was a runningman, doing 50 marathons in 50 days. His endurance was remarkable as was his 3% body fat measurement. Another man was an iceman. He was able to control his body temperature with his mind to the point that he could sit covered in ice for more than an hour and swam in ice cold water. Two women were featured for being mermaids. Both had fins suits that encased their legs and allowed them to have the fluid movement that fish enjoy. They were able to hold their breath and swim for 5 minutes at a time by controlling their reflex to breathe.

The idea is super interesting (if nothing else). As the people were too.. And, except for brainman (who had an incredibly gifted mind that functions differently than most), they had all found a way to conquer their bodies with their minds. They had an innate and intense desire and drive to do what they were doing. They all seemed to have a certain unsoundness of mind that was only balanced out by pushing themselves to find the thin line between extreme adventure and deadly act. Perhaps they had a unique focus that allowed them to be in such control. Whatever it is that sets these people apart it got me fantasizing...

What if there were a power or some kind of gift element that came with chronic pain. I'm not saying we may have superpowers ourselves but what if there were some thing that could only come out of the unique experience of living with chronic pain - besides the super feat of living with chronic pain. I like to think it is possible because it would give a sense of purpose to this journey I'm on.

What do you ladies think? Do you see anything extraordinary emerging from your pain experiences? Do you feel more powerful in any way?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May in Review

I spent the month of May tracking my calories to ensure I was getting enough to prevent any more weight loss. It has been very difficult to maintain the tracking and very difficult to get enough calories on the really bad days. Some of the dishes require things like marinading that makes calculating the calories difficult. I felt often like I was spending a good deal of time on these calculations and they were still largely approximations. The former type-A in me is frustrated with the level of uncertainty, however unavoidable.

The good news is that I've found several wonderful new recipes that are summer appropriate. When I first started eating better most of the recipes were lentil, bean, or gourd based. In other words, only the kind of foods you want to eat in the fall and winter. As the weather warms my cravings are intense for fruits, salads, sandwiches, and other light dishes. I can hardly wait to move back to the Midwest and start my own garden so that I'll be able to indulge in more of the wonderful berries I love so much.

My goal for June is to discover more affordable, tasty summer dishes. I get bored so easily with food I can even get sick of my favorite dishes if I have them every week. I think I will back off the calorie counting on good days and focus more on the bad days and any new dishes.

How was your May?