Friday, March 6, 2009

blech - Day 1 of the cookie diet

Oh please, tell me that these cookies don't taste so awful for the whole time. If so, I won't be able to give this Smart for Life cookie diet a fair trial.* Today it is Blueberry cookie day. I went into the storefront yesterday to choose three flavors and this one seemed ok. But. Oh. My. Yuck.

It's not so much the flavor, it's the texture. I'm extremely tactile and texture oriented. There are certain sensations I can't stand, like rubbing over velvet, feeling a seam in my clothes, stuff like that. I also have a very strong reaction to food textures. For example, I like Jello, but I can feel it if there's just one undesolved crystal and that turns me off completely. I like my food either hard or soft - not both. Certain textures make me gag even. It's not fun.

So, I am - right now - eating my fifth cookie of the day and all I can say is, I hope tomorrow's flavor is better, because there's no way I can do this for very long. What amazes me is the comments that people post and the radio personalities who say the cookies are delicious! Ick. By the way, I have tried warming them and freezing them (not at the same time!) as suggested. Same result. Ick.

*I don't  normally try diets like this - I'm able to control my weight with good food choices, but since I do have some weight to lose and another cookie company offered me a free trial, I thought I'd buy some Smart for Life and then try these ones for a week or two and then the free ones from Dr. Saigel to see 1) if they work and 2)  how they taste.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Artificial nails in the spotlight thanks to "Octomom"

For the women who are reading this, have you have had artificial nails? I used to think I never would because I'd read horror stories of people who had problems. Also, as a nurse, we're not supposed to have them because of the infection control issue, so that was always a barrier too. But, about 5 years ago or so, I got my first set of gel nails, supposedly better than acrylics (I have no idea; I've never used acrylics).

I loved them. You have to understand that I have short stubby fingers and not nice long lean ones like so many people I know. I also have nails that break if you look at them. No-way, no how could I ever have long nails. Believe me, I tried.

So, for a few years, I did the gel nail thing. I loved how my hands looked. They made me feel good and sometimes we need to do things that make us feel good. Until, I got an infection in not 1, not 2,  not 3, but 4 fingers (or 3 fingers and my thumb).

The infections got so severe that we weren't sure that oral antibiotics were going to clear them up. And, considering I need my fingers to type for my living, this was not a good situation. I took off the gel nails and let my nails grow out. I ended up getting a few more infections along my nail beds over the next few months, but thankfully, that's stopped now.

To this day, I mourn my beautiful nails. I didn't have them sharp and squared, I made them softly rounded and just really enjoyed having nice hands and nails. Of course, now I'm scared and can't/won't go that route again, plus I work with patients sometimes still, so I shouldn't have them.

Now, the safety of artificial nails has been brought into question because of Nadya Suleman, so-called Octomom. I remember seeing one of those first images of her caressing a baby's head, with her long nails and I did wonder about them. It seems I'm not the only one. Ken Gerenraich, a podiatrist who serves as CEO of Woodward Laboratories, a California company that makes hand, foot and skin antimicrobials, wrote to Ms Suleman expressing concern over her nails and the vulnerability and safety of her preemies.

According to this article, Nadya Suleman: Eight tiny babies, 10 long fingernails, Dr. Gereraich pointed out that such nails are a hotbed of bugs that can cause infection - which is precisely why we nurses aren't supposed to have them.

I suggest you go over to the article and read what he wrote. Do you think it will make any difference? Somehow, I doubt it.

(For the record - I'm not against artificial nails. I'd have them again in a flash if I knew I could)


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The newest diet craze

You must have heard of the Cookie Diet, even if you don't want to or need to lose weight. They're talking about it (meaning celebs and news people) everywhere you turn. Even local radio DJs across the continent are in on the action. Many have tried the Smart for Life Cookie Diet and rave about the results.

I have to admit, I'm skeptical. But then, I'm skeptical of just about anything that seems too good to be true. But, I'm also curious. Curious enough to take up an offer of a free week's supply of Dr. Seigal’s Famous Cookie Diet. I had already spoken with the Smart for Life people here and will be trying a (not free) few weeks of their cookies.

I don't have a lot to lose, only about 20 pounds to be in my healthy zone. I know I can lose it if I follow proper nutritional guidelines. I personally really like the Weight Watcher's recipes. I have a few of their cookbooks and find their recipes very tasty. But, I am very, very curious about these cookie things. And hey, if I'm going to get a free trial, I might as well give it a shot and then I can share my results with you so you can make your own decisions.

I've read up on what's available on the Internet. I know they're very low calorie diets and they don't emphasize exercise until you're on the so-called maintenance plans. I do know the risks of very low cal diets so I'll be careful and if I feel sick or have any issues, that's the end of that experiment. I also am going to get back into playing my Wii Fit. I love that thing. I had to put it away in October when we started doing so much work on the house, but now that it's all done, I have no excuse not to get back into it.

So, we'll see. I've read everything from the cookies taste great to they taste like sawdust. I've read about the different types (Dr. Seigal vs Smart for Life) and a whole bunch of other things.

A fellow blogger, over at b5media, Scott, wrote about the diet in his blog, Health and Men (Friday’s Food Feature | Eat Cookies, Lose Weight?). I admit, I left a comment expressing my doubt and said that it would be better to eat sensibly. And, I do still believe that. But, since the diet is still popular a year after he wrote that, I figure trying it to see how it tastes and works would be a fun thing to do.

Getting over 100 visitors per day now

When I started this little blog two years ago, I wasn't sure where I was going with it. It just seemed like a good idea to let people know what I do and that I'm available to be hired for writing or other similar projects.

It turned out to be a good idea, because I've gotten a few projects because of this site, and I always get a kick out of being number 1 in Google (unsponsored link) if you type in the term "nurse writer." What can I say? Small things make me very happy sometimes!

But now, I'm starting to get days when I get more than 100 unique visitors to my site. They aren't spiders or bots or whatever, but legitimate visitors. I know this because I can see where they're coming from and what search terms or links led me to my blog.

Up to now, I've been using, the freebie part, that allows me 100 visits - after that, the oldest visits are deleted. For a long time, it took several days to get to 100 visits. That decreased to a couple of days, and now, I have to reset the stats just about every day. Pretty cool, I think.

So, thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Deciding when to visit an ER

I'm sure many of you have come across this - something happens, an accident of some sort, and you're encouraged (or are encouraging someone) to go to the hospital. But, when do you decide and how do you decide if a hospital visit is warranted?

Yesterday, I took a major (and I mean *major*) wipe out on the ice. I was just about to get into my car, my foot slipped on the ice. I fell so hard, that a guy loading up his car three houses away heard the whack. I fell straight like a board. My son was stunned because one moment, we were talking over the hood of the car, the next moment, I was gone.

After much discussion between the stranger, who came running over, my son and my husband, about if I should go to the hospital, I got up and, nursing a very, very painful elbow, limped into the house. Going to an ER on a Sunday night wasn't in my plans, thank you very much.

The thing is, the guy who ran over was very, very insistent that I go to the hospital - his concern was a concussion. My kids were insistent because at that point, we thought I may have cracked my elbow. I held off, not because of some sort of "tough mom" or martyr complex, but because I really didn't think that what happened was ER-worthy.

Because I'm in Canada, the decision wasn't a financial decision either. I just didn't want to use up a physician's time, as well as the x-ray techs, nurses, and everyone else involved if it wasn't necessary.

It turns out that I did make the right call. None of my injuries were ER-worthy. This morning, my elbow hurts, my hip is ok unless you touch it and then I go through the roof (just a bad, deep bruise because I bear weight and have full range of motion), my neck is Not Happy and - just to make sure that we're fully covered, I developed a migraine over night.

Would you have gone to the hospital or an emergency clinic? Would you have encouraged someone else in that situation?

News for Today:

Doodling May Boost Memory

Study: Many heart guidelines based on thin evidence

Experimental drug helps MS patients walk better: study

Today at Cancer Commentary:

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Today at Womb Within:

Herbs during pregnancy? Are they safe?

Today at Seniors Support:

Talking to your doctor about alternative medicines