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MUTTSBARK's Recent Blog Entries

Dentists and Doctors: Motivation Enough!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Dentists and blood tests: Ugh. Is there anyone out there with good childhood memories? When I was a kid, I regarded them all as MONSTERS! Nowadays, I am blessed with the gentlest dentist in Raleigh, and I actually look forward to getting my teeth cleaned, but the mere mention of Novacaine sets me into a panic. As far as doctors go, those yearly blood tests make me wince. I also despise the way my family doctor leaves me sitting for what feels like HOURS half-clad in those horrid paper gowns, (If I were a doctor, I would provide cushy robes and a cushioned chair.)
Yesterday was my day: I bit down too hard on a peach pit, and I got to spend two and a half hours in a dentist chair being pricked, prodded ... Drilled ... OUCH! On top of that, I already had a scheduled physical, which meant even more needles ... Syringes ... Ghastly things, aren't they?
Today, though, the relief of knowing I have been cared for leaves me fairly ecstatic. And in spite of all my fears about doctors, How blessed I am! That dentist and his assistant -- hovering over me for such a long time just to be certain that molar stays alive -- The overworked doctor, who keeps me waiting because she is so good, so personable and caring that she spends time -- real time -- with each patient so she can be certain she's covered all the bases ... They are wonderful people.
My hat's off to this profession. I cannot imagine what it is like to know you're on call every second of your life. Nevertheless, my goal remains: Stay FAR, FAR away from them! It's why I'm on Spark ... REALLY!!!
PS I wrote this blog a couple of hours ago, and my good feelings were, moments ago, confirmed as the dental assistant took time out of her busy day to call and make sure that I am okay. Wow! If you live in Raleigh, I highly recommend Dr. Wiggs.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1STATEOFDENIAL 7/2/2013 10:47PM

    It's hard to find good doctors and dentists. Unfortunately, I must visit them too often. Dentists don't scare me too much, especially now that I found out that novocaine doesn't work right for me and I need 3-5x a normal dose. I thought it was only meant to take off the absolute worst of the pain until just a few years ago!

It takes a special person to be a GOOD doctor or dentist. Too often they become overwhelmed and lose their heart. Too often they're burned by a patient, have their egos destroyed by patients with chronic illnesses that can never be cured, and get bullied by insurance companies that only care about profits. Over time, too many doctors become less able to deal with patients and problems, which is so unfortunate.

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AKATHLEEN54 7/2/2013 10:15AM

    So glad you have such wonderful caregivers. As a nurse I am one of the ones who pokes and prods an I hear so many stories about doctors who are abrupt, non-compassionate and are always in too much of a hurry to spend any time actually listening to their patients. You are one of the lucky ones to have found both a good doctor and a dentist. emoticon

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MUTTSBARK 7/2/2013 9:06AM

    Hi, Evie4now. I cannot get your page, so I will comment here: I hope you are not in ICU as you write ... Sending a prayer.

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EVIE4NOW 7/2/2013 8:43AM

  I too have the most wonderful doctors and dentists. What I really hate is getting shoved into ICU and never knowing if it's for a day or 2 or a week.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

I met my goal. Woo hoo! What an upper! What a thrill!
After I broke my hand, I was told not to do much of anything, and it changed me. After gaining ten pounds, I stopped sleeping well -- snoring and doubtfully close to sleep apnea, acid reflux that just would not stop, endless fatigue ... And, YUCK! The girl in the mirror was some old grouch that I didn't recognize ... Puffy, sunken eyes, bloated ...
After a good two months of giving up, I opened an article on this site, and you all inspired me to get off my duff (I was doing experiments to see how big I could make it ... And they were working.)
I started drinking green smoothies and veggies 'til they practically oozed out my pores,
I refused most all wheat -- which I know I should be doing anyway, because I have a thyroid condition. (In this regard, by the way, I refused to listen to friends who described my diet as "crazy" and "weird." I've only explained Hashimoto's thyroid to these people two zillion times, but they would not believe me. I finally sent them an article written by a doctor, so they would SHUT UP! ... Peer pressure could be an entire new blog.)
Anyway, back to my happy topic: Everything is different now. I'm running, walking the dog, biking, sleeping like a log, LIVING! And the best part is ... Just a measly ten pounds ... And I am at that point where a person thanks God for every healthy second.
My new goal: Maintain this. Don't EVER take it for granted, and ALWAYS thank God. He has rescued this poor little lamb more than once, and it fills my very soul with happiness!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1STATEOFDENIAL 6/17/2013 4:51PM

    It's amazing how different we feel with some relatively minor changes that add up to helping us be healthier.

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AKATHLEEN54 6/17/2013 11:24AM

    Congratulations on meeting your goal. So glad you are feeling so good and so full of energy!! When your body is feeling good is is really amazing what it does for the soul!! emoticon emoticon

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SKATER787 6/17/2013 10:12AM

    Excellent! Keep up the good work. emoticon

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EVIE4NOW 6/17/2013 9:34AM


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MATTEROFHEART 6/17/2013 9:31AM

    emoticon emoticon on meeting your goal!!!

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It Runs in the Family -- Thyroid Issues, that Is!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Thyroid problems are genetic. Right? At least, that's what I've read, and I'm the perfect example: I have Hashimoto's; my grandmother died of complications from a goiter, my brother had his thyroid removed ...

But is it also in the air?

My husband takes precisely the same amount of Synthroid as I. Could diet explain this? Well, we're not eating dog food, and the latest dieter in our little family is our one-year-old Aussie.

Yes, my sweet Pete is overweight. He walks two and a half miles every day, has a consistent 1/4 cup of appropriate dog food twice a day ... Carrots for treats ...

The vet is thinking thyroid issues ... Just like his mommy and daddy -- but, I swear, he is not "blood" related -- We adopted!!

Dog/Kitty - lovers, try "The Pet Pantry." They are local in Raleigh, but they ship. If your "child" is having issues, they ask what those are and then formulate a food that is right for them-- very high quality and priced competitively. I have never seen a company more concerned with its canine/ feline customers. (No, I don't work for them ... Just a happy convert) They are: ... Oops! You have to use caps: ... Oops again! Yipes! It is (plural) They ought to simplify their name!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1STATEOFDENIAL 6/8/2013 6:35PM

    There are certain pollutants that can be found in ground and drinking water that can affect different parts in the body. It is possible that there's something affecting all of you. But unless all of your neighbors are also affected, I wouldn't believe that's the problem. Animals can develop cancer and other human-like medical issues.

It's also important to pay attention to what an animal's diet would be like in the wild. Some pet parents believe in giving their animals the same food they eat; however, in the wild that's not true. Some people have hurt their animals by feeding them well-cooked meat, or vegetarian or vegan diets.

You might consider bringing whatever you're feeding your puppy to the vet and get his/her opinion. It's possible that you need to switch foods and/or there's a chemical in the food that's preventing his thyroid from working properly. You might also check the water quality records for your city/county just to see if there are any chemicals seeping into the water table.

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AKATHLEEN54 6/8/2013 9:52AM

    Didn't know all breeds of dogs could have thyroid issues. My cousin had a Golden Lab that was overweight her whole life. They had major problems controlling her weight. Good luck with Pete. emoticon emoticon

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SFREY217 6/8/2013 9:37AM

    Interesting, I did not realize that dogs could have thyroid issues too.

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IACTA_ALEA_EST 6/8/2013 9:29AM

    Wow - I will check them out. I have a senior rescue that is itchy - lots of patches missing melanin and he has flea bite allergy. Maybe they have something for us!

Sounds like you have a handle on the reality of genetics. I have a similar body type to grandma and she lived to 99 - but she struggle with digestive and circulatory issues. We can choose to learn from the past or repeat the suffering.

Have a great day Muttsbark!

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Scale Watcher

Friday, May 31, 2013

I'm a scale - watcher.
It's a personality thing. Not looking at the scale for me is akin to not checking my bank account.
Looking helps me understand whether or not my diet is working and whether or not I need to increase the amount of exercise I am doing -- what I need to tweak -- simple as that.
So, although I understand the frustration that we scale enthusiasts have when the numbers won't move, when I'm trying to lose, I weigh because:
I like to watch it go "down, down, down, down, down, down, down ..."
I think that would make a great theme song for Weight Watchers.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKATER787 6/1/2013 3:45PM

    It's not what you do but how you do it. Weighing yourself everyday works for you so that is great. I think that is a good way of keeping a constant watch. Most direct and honest way. But for others, it's a constant beating, then they shouldn't do it. Good job!

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MUTTSBARK 5/31/2013 2:51PM

    In spite of the science, if I don't weigh myself, I don't pay attention and I gain.
I guess I could go by how I feel or look. For example, right now I am feeling fantastic, and I can see a definite improvement when I look in the mirror, so what I am doing is obviously working. The problem is, if I don't view the scale, I don't do what I need to do to feel this way -- I don't like to track. This is my way of focusing. My mind handles the ups and downs. It doesn't handle the not knowing -- even if what it sees isn't quite right.

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LEWILL1982 5/31/2013 2:49PM

    As a WW, love the song pitch idea. Go for it! As a scale watcher; I've had to cut back. I was making myself bonkers. I still do a glance but I've cut way back to about once per week. Working on trusting myself instead of the scale but I wrote about the scale today myself! You have to do what works for you!

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1STATEOFDENIAL 5/31/2013 1:32PM

    There are very practical reasons to not weigh every day. One big reason is that it takes 24-48 hours for food to pass from one end of the body to the other. So what you ate yesterday is still being processed through today and into tomorrow. But just because the 'leftovers' of the digestive process have left your body, that food hasn't necessarily found where it's going to end up. It still has to be converted over to glucose, carried through your blood to all of your cells, and what isn't used by the cells for energy has to be turned into fat. If the cells don't have enough energy they have to notify your body to break down fat or muscle stores in order to get the energy, which isn't an instantaneous process either. When you're exercising, you first use the glucose in your blood, then your body has to decide can it spare muscle tissue for instant energy, or should it break down fat stores instead? Since muscle is easier to make into energy than fat, it will go after muscle first, so any muscles not being used will be broken down. If your body goes after fat stores instead, it takes far more time to break down that fat to be used. So even exercise is not going to instantly burn up fat.

Essentially, everything in your body needs time to do its job, and weighing yourself daily you only see the process, not the results. Weighing once a week or once a month will show you more results than process because it's an overall picture of everything your body is doing with the food you're feeding it and the work you're making it do.

On the mental side, if you weigh every day you're going to see up and down fluctuations, and at best some small losses. If you weigh once a week the fluctuations even out and losses add up. Weighing once a month will allow the losses to add up to the big numbers that you really want to see. For instance, if you average 1/4 lb lost a day, that's not much to cheer about. Losing 7-8 pounds over a month is a far better number to see!

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AKATHLEEN54 5/31/2013 11:42AM

    I'm with you. As much as so many people say not to weigh every day, I do so to be accountable. I try not to stress over the ups because I know if I am doing what I am suppose to they will go back down and then there is always the celebration when it goes down and stays there. I found if I only weigh every week, if that is the day when it goes up, that just sends me into an unnecessary tizzy when in fact the next day it probably isn't still up and all that upset for nothing.... does that make sense?? Anyway, it is definitely a great tool for accountability and tweaking!! emoticon emoticon

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ERINOUELLETTE 5/31/2013 10:19AM

  Yes that totally would make a good weight watchers song.

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LOSE4LIFE47 5/31/2013 10:17AM

    emoticon emoticon

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What Lone Runners/Walkers Need

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yesterday,my exercise regimen was interrupted by an incident that had me shaking. As I live on the periphery of town, houses are separated one from the other. Just taking out the trash is exercise in itself, because our house sits far from the road. The norm out here is friendly, smiling faces, but yesterday noone was around when I took the dogs out for their morning walk, and I was greeted by something sinister -- namely, a man following my every motion, first with his eyes and, then, very purposefully with his car. (He actually had to make a u-turn.) I yanked the dogs' leashes and sprinted toward the neighbors woods. As I ran, my periphery vision took hold and it was apparent to me by the slowing of his car, that he was up to no good. I was far into the woods, and rather than follow on foot, he gave up.
The only good part of this is that I was scared skinny, but it also inspired new goals:

*I will buy mace.
*I will not be on the road without my Smart phone -- ever.
*I will try to organize a neighborhood running/walking group.

I also have a suggestion for other runners and walkers: There are apps available for those with Smart phones expressly for emergencies. The two I have are "IHelp" and "Ice," but there are others available in the app store. Paramedics claim that the information they get from these types of apps helps them greatly.

As for me, I am happy God endowed me with a sixth sense.

That stupid man cost me more than a day of happiness; I ended up at the mall. If I knew his address, I'd send him the bill.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm glad that you had enough gumption to listen to your instincts, right or wrong, you did what felt best for you. That is one reason that I never listen to music when I walk or run. I want to be fully aware of my surroundings. The dogs are a good deterrent usually for any creeps.
Another thing that I have done is call someone immediately and talk to them and tell them what is going on and all the pertinent info like where I am and if you lose me send help right away. I have had to talk my way through a couple of incidents and none of them amounted to a hill of beans, but it made me feel better. Once I feel like I am in the clear, I carry on with my walk/run.
I really do not want to live my life in fear and hide. Generally speaking, it is not necessary. We need to practice certain precautions and use common sense for our own safety, but we can enjoy our freedom in the great outdoors.
Once I had to make the phone call because of a bear and I crossing paths while I was out running. That was interesting but it seemed in the end that the bear really didn't even care about me. I was more afraid of it. I have been doing things by myself for years and I can only remember 3 times that I felt uneasy and had to call someone. That is a pretty good record I think.
I hope that you do not let this stop you from enjoying your outdoor exercise.

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MOMTOMONKEYS2 5/22/2013 4:32PM

    I work with law enforcement and we recently had this happen in our community. The runner called the police who in turn had a chat with the individual who was acting creepy. You should call and make a report to the police with any identifying information you have (make of car, license plate #, physical description). It is good for law enforcement to have a heads up that someone is perpetrating this behavior.

I'm glad your safe emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 5/22/2013 3:59PM

    How scary! You were smart to head to the neighbor's house. I'm so glad that you are okay!

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PMRUNNER 5/22/2013 2:11PM

    Glad to hear that you are OK! Sorry to hear that you had to go through that. Stay safe!

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LEWILL1982 5/22/2013 12:35PM

    Wow! Scary, it's so important to be aware of our surroundings. Sorry, you took your stress out on the mall, better than the fridge I suppose. :-)

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LEWILL1982 5/22/2013 12:34PM

    Wow! Scary, it's so important to be aware of our surroundings. Sorry, you took your stress out on the mall, better than the fridge I suppose. :-)

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OBIESMOM2 5/22/2013 9:55AM

dad gave me a canister of mace that straps to my hand. I promised him I would carry it, and I do (unless there are TONS of folks out and about).

very good that you are AWARE of what's going on. Too many people are oblivious and end up victims because of it.

I will tell you a story to give you a smile:
the company I work for tends to open offices in smaller towns. They like for the main business person to be in an area where they are very well known; often that's the little home town where they grew up.
One of the folks had moved back to her hometown and opened her office. She's a runner. She went out for her run before sunrise and noticed this car was right with her, slowing, speeding up, slowing again. She got spooked and ran into a neighbor's carport. The car passed and went on their way.
The next moring, the same thing happened! This time she got the tag info & asked one of the local cops to run it.
uh...newspaper delivery emoticon

on a serious note, I hope if you see this guy again, you can get the tag & description of the vehicle for the cops to check out.

glad you are safe.

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SKATER787 5/22/2013 9:49AM

    Sorry to hear that. With so many creeps around, I'd get at least one real dog like a German Shepard, preferably two if the trail is that isolated. Otherwise, it's treadmill time and staying home. Just a thought.

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AKATHLEEN54 5/22/2013 9:31AM

    I am so sorry for that. It is so scary walking alone sometimes. The majority of time I walk I am alone except for my dog. I primarily walk at a state park so there are usually plenty of friendly people around. Occasionally, when all is quiet and I hear a rustling in the woods or "think" I see something in my peripheral vision a chill runs down my spine. For all intents and purposes I have my dog, who I hope if need be, would jump on any non-welcomed passerby. But I have spent so much time training him no to jump I'm honestly not sure how he would react even if the situation called for action. I always bring my phone with me, but unfortunately is a dinosaur and I cannot add an app. Maybe a small can of mace is not a bad idea. I find that often I am too trusting of people.
I am glad everything worked out in your favor, but you can never be to careful and not doubt it did ruin a perfect day for you, leaving you feeling shaken and insecure. You do have a good plan though. emoticon

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