Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Time To Focus... Again

Life has been crazy lately but I thought I would pop in with a little update on my journey! I've been dealing with quite a few medical issues, which are slowly being diagnosed and healed, but the road ahead is going to be a long one. I've been waiting to see my primary doctor, and then waiting for lab work, and then waiting for appointments for ultrasounds to look around a bit on my insides, and now I'm waiting to talk to a specialist about the results.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have spent the last several months having more bad days than good days, and I'm changing my attitude and outlook to correct that! Last week I made the decision to jump back into working out with Shaun T and Focus T25! This week I'm starting from the beginning with week one of Focus T25 Alpha level and looking forward to progressing through the five week program several times over before moving onward to the Beta and Gamma phases. I have done Alpha twice before and I really loved it! I started using T25 when I was training for Tough Mudder back in 2013 and it helped get me to a place where I not only felt comfortable enough starting, but finished and earned my Tough Mudder headband
Getting back on the horse - April 22, 2015
I wear my fitbit daily and have been making strides to hit my step goal every single day- evening walks with Gene or a neighbor, or getting up and getting a walk in before the sun gets up and it gets too hot out here in Okinawa. I learned a trick from an instafried of walking in place while doing menial tasks like cooking, dishes, or laundry which has helped me get more steps in daily! I've been hitting my step goals most weekdays, although the weekends are a little trickier to be motivated to want to do anything other than lounge around!

This weekend Gene and I went to the beach and I just felt healthier, this quickly! I'd been so fatigued lately and would run out of breath quicker and during normal activities. A mixture of both health issues and weight issues, and working out is helping! We spent at least an hour on the beach walking, looking for shells, and I never once got out of breath. It felt great to be able to start reclaiming my life!
As for now, I'm hoping that no hospitalizations are required for what I'm dealing with and that I can continue working out with Shaun T in the mornings- Pushing play and getting it done! Keep your fingers crossed for me, as they found something suspicious in the ultrasound, but I don't know anything more than that and won't until I get my appointment.

I joked with Gene that my short term goal is ankles and my long term goal is collar bone. I always notice weight loss first in my ankles- the swelling goes down in my feet and my ankles become a little more defined. I'm watching them shrink as the weight comes off and I couldn't be happier about that- I notice change in them even when I don't notice anything else changing!

Are you pushing through with any fitness goals right now?
I'd love to hear what you're doing to meet your goals!

I would love for you to connect with me on My Fitness Pal (where I'm tracking what I'm eating and my exercising), on Fitbit, and on Instagram (where I post pictures of what I'm eating, my daily Fitbit stats, working out accountability, and more random odds and ends!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Back on the Erin Condren Life Planner Bandwagon

Back in the summer of 2012, I got my very first Erin Condren Life Planner. I was beside the moon excited for it! I was going to get into daily devotionals, I was going to track our TTC journey in it, and I was going be super organized for what we thought would be a 2013 PCS. Gene was deployed when I got it, and turns out I didn't use it nearly as much as I thought I would. I couldn't justify the price (starting at $50) for a second one, so I skipped the extravagance and got a dinky little planner like high school kids have to keep track of homework assignments and due dates.

Cut to now: I'm in 4 clubs out here on Okinawa and just took a board position for one of them. My dinky little planner can't keep up with everything I'm wanting it to keep up with, so I went ahead and bought me an Erin Condren Life Planner to get me through the rest of the year. I already know I'll be getting one for 2016 as well! (Come again? Are we already making plans for 2016?!)
*Ready to ship 2015 Erin Condren Life Planner from Erin Condren website
I know I want to keep track of the clubs I'm in: events, board meetings, RSVP deadlines! Beside that, there are USO events & concerts, Gene's in and out schedule, vacations to foreign countries and island getaways, setting time aside for me, and meal planning! I also want to be able to keep track of stuff with my weight loss journey- my water intake, workouts and walks, weight loss and measurements! I think I might also use it as a daily mini journal- jotting down a few things daily that I'm grateful for, or reflecting on various scripture passages through the weeks!

What really sold me to take the leap back into an Erin Condren Life Planner is that right now the planners are 40% off, since we're through almost half of the year! That was a pretty sweet deal that took the planner down from $50 to $30 and made it reasonable enough to invest in it and get back into the swing of using it!
Inside the 2015 Life Planner, from Erin Condren website
While the Erin Condren Life Planner comes with some stickers, like the "*game!" one pictured above, I hit Etsy to find some fun stickers to use in my planner with the specific things I was wanting to track in mind! I picked up some from a few different shops and will be sure to report on how I like them! I can't wait for them to come in, and of course for my planner to get here! I've heard it's looking like it might take upwards of 10 weeks (since it will probably come on a mail boat and not by plane). As long as it's here by the end of June, since that's when my current one ends!

I also picked up the Erin Condren wellness journal to try out! It is a smaller journal spanning 15 weeks. The front page is a progress chart to track weight and measurements over the 3 month span of the journal. I'm not sure if I want to be tracking that in my Life Planner, or if this little journal would be a better place to track weight and workouts! I'll be sure to let you know! I do think it will be a great place to track meals and try to find a correlation with what I eat and how it makes me feel afterwards!
*From Erin Condren Website
If you want to place an order and save $10, you can use my referral code (by clicking here) and help me get some credit towards next year's planner!

Do you have a Planner (Erin Condren or other?)
What fun stuff do you keep track of?

What are some of your favorite planner sticker shops?

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Night In The US Naval Hospital Okinawa Emergency Room

If you follow me on Instagram (@theyoungretiree) you will know that I've been sick for about the last 6 weeks or so. I've had strange abdominal discomfort mixed with pain that comes and goes. It started off light and just felt like strange fluttering palpitations. So light and sporadic that I actually wondered if I could be one of those women who suffer from an assortment of ailments (PCOS, obesity, hormonal imbalance) and didn't know she was pregnant! My first step was a pregnancy test, my most recent step was a night in the emergency room.
When I took the pregnancy test, it came back negative, as I was pretty much expecting. There was still a sliver of hope in me it could be a false negative since I had a slew of symptoms that matched pregnancy symptoms. I called the base clinic to make an appointment with my doctor. A week wait. I got in and blood work was ordered to check for obvious things. Best case scenario my doctor was thinking I was diabetic. Worst case in my head was cancer or an emergency surgery while Gene was off island! They have to send most of the labs back to the States, but from what they could process here at the clinic I was in the clear for diabetes, but suffering once again from a wonky hypothyroid.

I was referred out to Radiology at the hospital for ultrasounds to try and see what was going on in my abdomen. A two week wait from making the appointment. In the meantime I'd been dealing with nausea daily and consistently, along with sharp abdominal pains that came and went, daily, no matter what I did, that were getting worse. Last night I was sitting down, gearing up for my latest "Once Upon A Time" fest when the sharpest pain to date struck. I felt like I was being stabbed in my side. I knew I had to go to the emergency room and possibly face emergency surgery all by myself. So I did what anyone would do: I packed my hospital bag and drove down to the ER.
Me "Emergency Room Essentials" that I packed were: something to eat during long wait times (I took almonds and almond butter), my iPhone & iPad along with a charger, a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, a change of clothes (I packed athletic shorts, a sports bra, and a tank top), a nightgown (should I be admitted, at least maybe they'd let me wear my own?), and socks with little grippies on the bottom (you know, in case I'm walking around the hospital room barefoot should I be admitted). I guess I hoped if I went prepared to stay, I wouldn't have to!

I was taken back into the ER almost immediately. Anyone who has ever dealt with Navy Medicine, or any ER for that fact, knows I was thinking I was in for a LONG wait! They took me right back, and got me right into a little curtain room. The doc ordered more lab work and the corpsman prepped me with an IV should surgery be coming up. Those snacks I packed? Worthless, since I was told I couldn't eat anything until surgery was ruled out.
The IV was such a fiasco. I mean, the poor kid who did it must have been brand new, and then got me? I don't do blood or needles. I just don't. Run through electric wires for Tough Mudder? Sure. Sit and get 4 tattoos? Alright. GET AN IV PUT IN?! Bring on the hysterics. It was bad, and made worse by the situation. I still have a bruise on my left arm from the kid who lost my vein about a teaspoon of blood in last week. This kid went after my right arm, inside the elbow. I felt him stick the needle in, I shed a few tears, and then I felt him wiggling the needle around looking for the vein! NO- YOU FIND THE VEIN FIRST! I couldn't breath I was so scared so he stopped to coach me through breathing and to find a new vein. This time, he found one on my hand. I'm sobbing hysterically, trying to maintain steady breathing, and feel something on my hand.

"IS THAT BLOOD RUNNING DOWN MY HAND?!" I asked him in a panic.
"Oh, don't worry, that's a good sign!" he assured me.

I'm no phlebotomist, but I'm pretty sure that's not how this works. That's not how ANY OF THIS works!
He got the IV in, I was given zofran for my nausea (which instantly caused worse nausea!) and some very strong pain meds that made me immediately loopy. I waited for my turn in X-Ray since a bedside ultrasound showed nothing. I was wheeled down to radiology, had an amazing tech take three x-rays, was wheeled back to my curtain room, and read and waited.

The staff was AWESOME. Everyone from the nurses who helped me, to the gal in radiology, to the corpsman (even the IV one who didn't slap my dramatic sobbing self). The doctor who helped me was great. Sadly- they couldn't find anything. I mean, don't get me wrong- that's great news! My liver is fine, my gall bladder is fine, my pancreas is fine! There was thankfully no emergency surgery and I was discharged around 1:30am or so. But now I sit and wait to get in for my ultrasound appointment next week to see if they see anything, and if they don't, I will be going to a GI specialist to see what could be causing me this constant nausea and this pain.

The best news is: Gene will be back for the ultrasound, so heaven forbid anything goes wrong, I won't be alone! I think I'm in for an awfully long road ahead, with several appointments and tests, where I will try my best to never say "I was on WebMD and saw _________! Maybe we should look at _________ and test for ________!"

If you are in Okinawa and ever need emergency care, based on my experience, you're in good hands with the folks at the US Naval Hospital!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Once Upon A Time // What I'm Watching

Back in 2011, when Once Upon A Time came on television, I watched maybe the first three episodes. In the event you haven't heard of the show, it's a spin on fairy tales. The Evil Queen from Snow White casts a curse on all of the fairy tale lands and characters, and they end up in Storybrooke, Maine, without a clue as to who they are. The show flips back and forth between their Storybrooke lives and their fairy tale stories.
Screen Grab from Netflix.
There is a little boy who lives in Storybrooke, Henry, who believes all of the townspeople are fairy tale characters. He leaves the town to go to Boston to track down his birth mother, Emma, who is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, sent away from the fairyland before the curse happened, She is the savior who will break the curse, bringing back the memories of all the townspeople from before the curse, so that they know who they really are.
Cast: The Huntsman/The Sheriff, The Evil Queen/Regina, Snow White/Mary Margaret, Prince Charming/David, Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Henry, Emma 
The show starts off pretty basic: Henry was adopted by Regina, and Mary Margaret is his school teacher. Mary Margaret gives him a book of Fairy Tales and Henry pieces together that they're not just stories- the book is filled with the history of the townspeople! Emma, or course, doesn't believe him but plays along until she discovers it's true.

I have a love/hate relationship with the show and have stopped watching it twice now since starting recently. I'm so deep into it now, though! SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD! (can they even be considered spoilers this long after the show aired?) I'm in season three and can't stop!

The curse has been broken, Henry is abducted. His father gets shot trying to save him and falls into a portal back to the Enchanted Forest. Everyone thinks he's dead. Hook takes Mr. Gold, Regina, David, Mary Margaret, and Emma off on an adventure to find Henry in Neverland!

I guess I'm not supposed to, but I really like Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin and Capt. Hook! They're villains, but they weren't always that way, and I think they could be nice if love found them and they opened themselves up to it! Mr. Gold is finding love with Belle and Hook is on the path to fighting for love with Emma!

One of the things I like THE BEST about Once Upon A Time is the casting! Every single person really becomes the iconic fairy tale character! I could probably write an entire post comparing what my mind sees as the character and the casting hitting it right on the head! There has yet to be an actor/actress I've been disappointed in or would have wanted cast differently! Can I just say: Ginnifer Godwin makes a perfect Snow! Everything about her screams perfection with every episode! Not to mention: Colin O'Donoghue is the pirate of my dreams- like, seriously? I'd run off with him if he ever pulled into Okinawa!

Sorry, I actually have to go watch a few more episodes this afternoon- I can't even believe I'm writing this instead of sitting on the couch glued to the next episode! I'm in deep- send help!

Did you get into Once Upon A Time?
Who's your favorite character?
(I'm actually looking forward to seeing how the Wicked Witch comes into play! I saw her in an image search and am curious to see how they integrate that story in! Of course, I saw the ruby slippers in Mr. Gold's shop too, as a portal! I am also excited to catch up and see how they use Elsa in the fourth season! There have been mixed reviews, but I really liked 'Frozen' and hope it's good!)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Take A Look At Me Now

Thanks to the app TimeHop, I've been enjoying looking back at how my life was changing five years ago this week! I was scared out of my mind, moving away from home to California to meet Gene when the ship pulled into her new home port! I remember leaving home and landing in San Diego like it was yesterday! Everything was new, and exciting, and absolutely horrifying! I couldn't wait to meet my brand new husband at the pier coming home from what would be the only separation the Navy would put us through, hahaha! Thanks to this app, which shows you things you've posted on your connected social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc) I've not only enjoyed seeing how far I've come, but gotten to make funny connections to particular days in my history. Let's take a look at April 10th (which I think was mostly April 9th back in the States):
Back in 2010, I had been in California for something like 2 days! I was staying in Coronado, waiting for Gene to get there. I had never been to the west coast and couldn't believe I was going to be living there! I typed in "In and Out Burger" into my GPS to try and find this iconic west coast food. West Coasters: I KNOW, and I'm sorry.
Luckily, a friend from college let me know they were "In N Out" and I found one the next day, in a shady neighborhood, that I couldn't get out of quick enough! My San Diego adventuring wasn't done though. I was stunned when I pulled into the Target parking lot and the store had a Spanish Tile roof! I mean, I was shocked enough that I took a picture of it and remember calling Nan as soon as I got back to the hotel to tell her all about it!
 The best part about TimeHop is it shows you things from 5 years ago, 4 years ago, 3 years ago, and so on- every year you posted something, it will show you! So it was funny to see that five years ago I was trying to find this "In and Out" burger place, and then four years ago I was taking Nan for her first In-N-Out burger! Can I pause briefly to admit I was never a big fan of In-N-Out, but would cut someone right about now to get a double, double with cheese and grilled onions, protein style, with a Neapolitan shake?! West Coasters: I KNOW, and I'm sorry.
Three years ago, I was being a nosy neighbor, watching horrified as the Marines across the street were being packed out for their PCS! I remember talking to Nan on the phone, in horror, wondering if this was how Marines were always moved or if they were being packed in crates for an overseas move. I told her I never wanted to be moved like that! I am pretty sure I even commented about how happy I was we would never have to move overseas and experience something that crazy!
Two years ago, we had become proud Southern Californians, with our second year of season tickets to the Padres. We got to go to their Home Opener and celebrate our team, in what had become our new home! I had driven in and out of the city several times over and San Diego was the place I called home, and couldn't even believe I was that girl who landed in this new and exciting place!
Looking back on the last five years I can't help but think: "Look at me now!" April 10th is the perfect showcase of how my life has changed in the last 5 years. The adventures I've been on and the road ahead that is going to be wild and wonderful! Gosh, I better get out there today and add something amazing to the timeline for this year!

Do you TimeHop? 
What have been some of your favorite memories to see?
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