Monday, April 25, 2011


Just a quick note to say that another busy week has passed.  I've been substitute teaching in Frankston and working out on my parents farm quite a bit.  The time just seems to be slipping by.

On a positive note I've now gone 4 days without painkillers and it seems like my SI joint is finally getting back to normal again.  I'm going to start working out pretty hard again tomorrow and hopefully my SI joint will respond well to it. 

I'm really looking forward to a return to working out.   Even with my limited mobility and difficulty working out I'm still making positive progress.  I've lost 13 pounds in the past few weeks since moving back, simply from my change in diet.  I'm not doing anything special except eating more veggies and fruits, less meat and the meat I have been eating is hormone free, organic ect. 

I feel great and I can't wait to see the results of adding workouts back in with my healthy eating habits. 

I'm helping administer TAKS testing this week so many long days ahead for the rest of the week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Busy Week

I finally got my paperwork finished for substituting at Frankston on Tuesday and then I spent the afternoon working on my parents farm. I'm doing some construction work for the kennel/art studio they have been building out on the farm.  I worked pretty late and by the time I drove back to Tyler, fed the dogs, ate some dinner and got ready for bed it was near midnight. 

Exhausted I crawled into bed and passed out!  Five hours later I'm awaken by the phone ringing.  My thought on the matter: "Who is calling at 5am!" But then as I answered the phone I realized I had asked to be woken up like this.  It was the school calling me to tell me they needed me to substitute.

I spent the day with some pretty awesome third graders and all went well.  Then at 4pm I left the school and drove out to the farm to get in a couple more hours of work out there.  Drive, eat, feed dogs, sleep at midnight.  I wake up at 5am expecting the phone to ring, but it doesn't, I lay there till 5:30 and still nothing so I'm thinking, "OK they wont need me today I can sleep in."  I fall back asleep and don't wake back up until....6:45 when the school calls to tell me they need me to sub in kindergarten that day.  6:45! I live at least 30 minutes from Frankston and I still need to shower, eat, dress, and feed the dogs (don't forget I do raw feeding with them so it's not as simple as tossing a scoop of food in the bowl.) 

Rush, rush, rush and speed (even though the jeep doesn't like to speed) to Frankston and then spend the day with the kindergartners!  Then at 4pm I left the school and drove out to the farm to get in a couple more hours of work out there.  Drive, eat, feed dogs, sleep at midnight (sound like a broken record yet)?

Then friday after working at the farm for the majority of the day my mom and I headed into Palestine to take our dogs to the vet.  Remly and Marley needed rabies vaccines and mom had puppies that needed health certificates so they can be shipped and their last round of puppy shots.  What an adventure that was. 

We had to pull over no less than 4 times to try and get those damn puppies to quit tearing stuff up and escaping from their crates.  Add to that the fact that my Remly was killing us with his perpetual farting and it made for one interesting trip, but we finally made it back out to the farm.  From there I bet you can guess... Then at 4pm I left the school and drove out to the farm to get in a couple more hours of work out there.  Drive, eat, feed dogs, sleep at midnight.

And that brings me to today, I had to get up early to get ready for the Tyler ISD job fair.  With the current state of the education in Texas and the number of jobs that are getting cut the job fair wasn't near as productive as it should have been.  It was basically a chance to give my resume to all the different principals without having to travel around to all the schools individually but each principal basically had the same script that they gave to everyone who came and it wasn't very positive.

Soo....after quite a hectic and exhausting week it's awesome that Kyle and Jessica invited me over to their place for dinner tonight!

I leave you with this video of an amazing race - It's the California State Championship 1600m (1 mile), and during the third lap one of the kids starts his "kick" with a lap and half to go - everyone thinks he's miscounted his laps...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

CSI: Canine

Let me start by saying that we used to feed our dogs a raw diet.  If you aren't familiar with what this, it means that instead of putting a scoop of processed grain and meat by-products (dry dog food) into our dog bowls we give them a ratio of raw bone, meat and fat (chicken necks) and organ meat (chicken gizzards and beef liver).  We supplement that with "Force", a dehydrated mix of human grade ingredients, tripe, and a doggie multivitamin.  Sounds expensive right?  Well it sorta is, but it's not as much as you think.  It more closely mimics the natural diet of a canine and the dogs absolutely love it.  They have wonderful coats and their poop turns to dust in a few days (TMI?).  So many healthy benefits to feeding the dogs this way.

Despite all these benefits we actually stopped our raw feeding last summer and started feeding the dogs dry food...a change they were reluctant to make but the time involved in the raw feeding combined with the cost was just too much for us at the time. Fast Forward 9 months to week before last.

We decided to go back to raw feeding.  Remly, our newest dog, had never eaten raw before since we got him after we made the switch.

Thats my sweet boy right after we got him.  Anyway, so we started feeding raw again.  Remly was quite a food-monger before the switch but now he will stalk me anytime i go to the kitchen...He LOVES the new diet.  Everything went fine for a week, the dogs ate well and they looked great.

And then last Sunday, 30 minutes after his evening meal, he broke out in hives.  He totally freaked me out (I'm really overprotective of him after losing Sybil last year).  I started giving him Benadryl, called Heather, and called my mom.  After his third dose of Benadryl he started to look a little better.

I went outside to check the backyard to see if there was anything out there he got in that could have caused an allergic reaction...I found nothing.  I came to the conclusion that it had to have been something in the food.  So I decided to try and narrow it down.  The next morning I gave him only chicken necks and chicken gizzards, no beef and no force.  After breakfast I put him in the backyard as usual to take care of his personal business.  Fifteen minutes later I checked on him, he seemed to be doing fine, so we took off together for the disc golf course.  No sooner did we arrive than I noticed him covered in hives again...Race back home, administer Benadryl, allergy found - he's allergic to the chicken!  Called heather, called mom, relieved to have figured it out but a little stumped as to how I was going to continue his raw food diet without chicken.

That evening he was all cleared up so I put him in the backyard to play for a bit while.  When I let him back in an hour guessed it...covered in hives again, and he hadn't even eaten yet. WTF!  Ok so everything rewound in my head, feeding, activities, ect.  If it wasn't the food, what was it?  So, determined to solve this case I head out to the backyard.  Search everywhere. Find nothing.  Disgruntled and defeated I started to leave the backyard and head back inside...and I see the only thing that has changed in our backyard in the past few days.  Two chairs I put back there a couple days before.  Could he be allergic to the chairs? After a few more testing attempts with the chairs removed, having been fed chicken, the case had been solved.

Remly was allergic to the damn chairs!

Now the only other thing you need to keep in mind to get the full picture:  I was hobbling around while doing all this investigation because of the SI mess.  I'm feeling much better, Remly is doing well, and he is stalking me for more raw food as I'm typing this final sentence.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dig a little deeper.

When I'm dealing with something like this SI injury it's so easy for me to "postpone" physical activities.  "I'll wait until tomorrow, I will probably be feeling better then."  That's what I keep telling myself.  But this is when I have to dig a little deeper.  Search within myself and push myself to do what I need to do.  Was it any easier for Derek Redmond?

Nope, not even close.  What about for Anthony Robles? He just won the NCAA wrestling championship...with only one leg.

And talking about not giving up or just going through the motions when you'd have every reason to...

And if none of those spoke to you as much as the spoke to me...I saved the best for last...amazing - simply amazing.

Inspiration is so motivating.  Thanks to those who've shown such heart so that we can look at what they've done and push ourselves to do our best, even if it's only a fraction of their effort.

A Pain in the Ass (Part II)

Apparently it was a premature assumption that my current bout with my SI joint was nearing the end of its cycle.  The pain WAS almost gone though...I worked all day Saturday at my parent's farm helping my dad with his building project and I really didn't  have a single problem all day.  Sunday I was a little sore but it was a different pain than I normally experience so I figured it was just from all the activity on Saturday...

But Monday, everything changed.  Throughout the day the pain in my butt was pretty bad, but I had been invited to go to the Rangers game in Arlington by a friend of mine and there was no way I was going to let this butt pain beat me!  And so, after hobbling around the ballpark for a couple hours and four hours of sitting in a car (round trip), I found myself in debilitating pain Monday night. 

For example...I live in a really small house and it normally takes about 10 seconds (literally) to walk from the kitchen to my bedroom (and that's the entire length of the house).  Monday night it took me 15 minutes to make the same journey.  With each step, the intense pain shooting into me made my leg want to buckle.   When I finally did make it to the bedroom it was another 5 minutes just to transition from standing to laying down in bed...and that's when the real problem started.  It didnt matter if I was laying on my back, either side, or my stomach, each position somehow was irritating the problem and making it impossible to sleep.

And to make it worse (yes it got worse) each time I shifted my weight or body even a fraction of an inch to try and find a comfortable spot, pain would shoot through me.  At 5am, on the verge of tears, I called Heather for ideas.  I was sure that I needed surgery or maybe even amputation!!...something to end this.  I willed myself out of bed and back across the house, I took 8 ibuprofen, sported my stylish SI belt which is supposed to help support the SI joint and hobbled back across the house.

I sat down at my computer chair and was actually more comfortable sitting than I had been laying down all night.  I dozed off in the chair, woke up 45 minutes later and BAM.  I was considerably better.  I could walk with minimal pain and standing up wasn't excruciating...but how did this happen?

Rather than think about it too long I hurried back to the bedroom, laid back down (with hardly any pain) and passed out for two hours.  When I woke, I was fearful that I'd be all locked up again, but I wasn't.  It was the same.  I had an 11:30 appt. with my chiropractor, and after she twisted me like a pretzel and body-slammed me a few times there was hardly a trace of pain again.

The rest of the day went smoothly and when I woke up this morning everything was still moving smoothly.  I have no idea what caused the pain to start, or exactly why it left... But I can tell you that today I'm going to enjoy every step I take.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Pain in the Ass

No, really.   I'm serious...I've been suffering off and on for a couple years from SI joint pain...or that's the diagnosis from Dr. Google M.D.   Every few months a mild pain starts developing directly in the center of my right buttock.  It increases in intensity over the course of a few days and after a week I can barely walk.  It's painful to sit, bend over, and even just lay down.

I've killed ibuprofen, heated it, iced it...pretty much anything I could think of.  It's quite awkward to go to the doctor and explain that you have a pain in your butt, but I did that.  I had x-rays and of course nothing could be found, no explanation of what was going on...I've been to a chiropractor with mixed results, and then just as the pain comes, one day it doesn't hurt as bad, and the next day even less and eventually its gone.

SI joint pain, Sciatica...whatever it is, it really is a pain in the ass.  As fate would have it this always seems to happen when I have plans to do something important.  So, as if on queue...I started this new dedication to life and my butt began to hurt.  It's already started to subside, in fact its just about gone (thankfully the entire episode was less than two weeks).  But, why is it that someone can do this:

And I have difficulty simply walking a few times a year...

My hopes are that better diet and exercise will help prevent this mess from occuring as often in the future.   Only time will tell.