18 June 2017

{Widened Horizons}

I'm pretty sure it's been...okay, let's just say it's well overdue for a new Widened Horizons post!

As I've said before in one of these WH posts, I love surfing the web for amusing things. It's sort of an escape for me. Who doesn't need some retail therapy every now and then, I mean c'mon?!

I enjoy going to Etsy a lot for new finds, and nothing speaks "retail" better to me than the movie Clueless. Imagine how psyched I was when I found this print, then...
clueless movie print as if



This button-down shirt dress gives me "summer French girl vibes"--whatever that means. It's different, it's chic, and it looks comfy! I hope this style becomes more popular because I'm a fan.
button down wrap striped shirt dress



I want to be more carefree this summer. Be spontaneous, be a little wild, and hope to let my hair down once in a while just like this cute little compact says to do!
kate spade compact cute



Sometimes you still need a good pair of socks for the summer. Socks that'll make you drool. But...socks, all the same.
ice cream socks



I'm thinking about picking up the Harry Potter books again. This car decal has me inspired!
harry potter car decal golden snitch



I love the owl find for this time around! A dishtowel! Because in all honesty, who doesn't need one? Brb buying it.
owl dishtowel pretty


Thanks, Dr. Seuss, for cheering me on!
dr seuss motivation inspiration



Quick Links:




30 May 2017

Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

I can’t believe May is practically gone! You can tell I’ve been absent on the blog lately, and you can probably guess that’s because of the Lyme. In my head, I had this AMAZING idea of what I could do for Lyme Disease Awareness planned out. In reality, I’m broken down from seizures and migraines and pain. I’m trying though, and this post is the result of that. So while it may be late in the month of May, it’s still Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and it’s never too late to spread some information!

lyme disease awareness


Let’s go ahead and dive right in: what is Lyme disease?
Well... Lyme disease is a bacteria that is transmitted from an infected tick. That’s the basic definition.

Lyme Disease is the fastest growing vector-borne, infectious diseases in the U.S. and probably the most difficult to diagnose. Fewer than 50% of people with Lyme remember being bitten, and fewer than 50% recall the "classic" bulls-eye rash.

Tests are unreliable, insurance doesn't like to cover you, and unfortunately, many people go on to have debilitating chronic symptoms.

This is why prevention is so important in the first place.



What can you do? Use DEET. If you don't feel safe using it, you can make your own repellent, but I would recommend the DEET.

Always, always, always inspect yourself and your family members after coming indoors from any recreational activity. I always picture monkeys picking bugs off each other. Places like armpits, the back of the knees, and other warm places are common places where ticks like to hide.

Wear light-colored clothing so it’s easier to see the critters, and tucking your shirt and pants in are wise decisions as well. It may be bothersome but it’s worth it.



What do you do if a tick has latched on? First of all, don’t burn it off, don’t use Vaseline, and don't perform those other weird Old Wives' Tales. Tweezers work, but a Tick Twister can be handy. Try not to grasp it by the body because you risk the danger of the tick spitting more bacteria into you. (Gross, I know.) Here are clear instructions on tick removal!



Worried it may be Lyme? It has been deemed "The Great Imitator" because it has the ability to mimic all sorts of conditions, making it hard to diagnose. MS, Lupus, and oh--the great case of, "It's all in your head" can all be things you might hear from doctors. Don't give up if you feel like Lyme might be the case. Always get a second opinion.

As far as what you may want to look out for first are flu-like symptoms.
If left untreated, symptoms like widespread pain, fatigue, and brain fog may begin to occur. (That is just the tip of the iceberg.)

Because the tests for Lyme are so unreliable, many who are suffering get a “false-negative” with bloodwork when they actually do, in fact, have the disease. This results in them sometimes going years without a diagnosis or a proper treatment.

If you’re infected, I would highly suggest trying to find a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor.
A doctor who actually understands. Hence the “Lyme Literate” part.



I’m not trying to be depressing, but Lyme disease has quite frankly, taken it out of me. It’s robbed me of a good part of my social life, my independence, and the feeling of who I am anymore.

If I want you to take away anything from this post, it’s to simply be aware.
Look after yourself, be cautious, look for the signs and know the signs, and most of all, please take this illness seriously.


It really is worth it if you can take just a few precautions the next time you camp, the next time you venture into the woods, hell--the next time you walk out into your backyard.

06 April 2017

Book Review: The Art of Health by Aarti Patel

the art of health book review chronic illness

Goodreads description (x):
The Art of Health is a fresh and revolutionary approach to health care that teaches you how to take charge of your own health and avoid getting caught up in the expensive, circuitous, fear-based, and often ineffectual medical system. It seeks to highlight what is often overlooked, which is that you, the individual, can be your own best source of vitality by tapping into your innate ability to create a healthy life. Dr. Patel draws on her own experiences treating patients, who have achieved significant improvements in their health and quality of life by following the guidelines covered in this book.

 My rating: 4 out of 5 hoots

owl rating book


Looking for a quick read about health directed mainly about what you can do to help yourself get in tune with your body? Too many italics? Too bad. I just can’t help myself when I find a book that is so concerned with helping direct a person towards finding what they need to become more healthy instead of telling them to do this/do that, like they are announcing it through a loudspeaker or something. (That’s how I always picture it.) 

I enjoyed how The Art of Health, by naturopathic doctor Aarti Patel, touches on you being the boss of your own body. Because that’s essential. NO one knows your body like you do  That's why I always tell someone if they feel like something may be wrong or out of whack, get it checked out! And—this is important—if a professional’s word doesn’t seem right, go get a second opinion! And a third! A fourth! Whatever is needed to make your body feel right. 

"The best way to practice the art of health is by staying true to who you are throughout it."
Such a good quote, right? I have noticed many people in the chronic illness community going through different treatments, and when having to decide which way to go, in the end most go with the treatment that best suits them, not always the one that the medical doctor advised.
Don’t try to treat your health with something you feel uncomfortable with or something that stretches the limit of your body to an extent that will be overwhelming. Go with your gut!

One thing Patel talks about—which I really appreciate and need to remind myself of—is how you should be SELFISH in order to help find your health. It’s going to take a lot of time, usually, to start feeling better when on treatment. With a chronic health condition, that usually means we can’t be cured, but that doesn’t mean we have to brush ourselves and our health to the side. So be patient with yourself, and like I said—remind yourself that you’re number one in this battle for health.

Speaking of being selfish, self-care comes in handy here. I’m glad the book covers a lot about stress because it can affect your body in so many ways—especially when it comes to chronic illnesses. Patel states that, when it comes to stress… “The three R’s of personal health care and the one P include: Rest, Relaxation, Rejuvenation, and Pampering.” I can handle that! For instance, I always feel just a smidge better after dressing up (hello bold lipstick) or after getting a haircut. Sometimes even a 20-minute nap will do it!

Like I touched on before, Patel gives great advice and doesn’t give you do’s or don’ts. Instead, the book mainly encourages you to find what works best for you when it comes to health. She acknowledges that we all have limitations, and what’s better—she doesn’t say things like, “So if you work harder with some yoga, you’ll be all better!” What I did have a problem with, however, was that her many case studies touched on in the book became a tad too excessive for my taste. I just wanted to read the book, not her case studies. I can understand how this could work for others, but it felt like brief interruptions for me.

There were workbook-like questions incorporated into the book, and I appreciated them. They seriously gave me a chance to think about some things when it came to my health and my “selfish” ways.

Overall, The Art of Health was well-written, had great quotes, and great advice. I would recommend it, even if you don’t have a chronic illness. Learn! Learning is great, and Patel is a great guide and a great teacher.

Want to read for yourself?

From April 6-9, the Kindle version is free on Amazon! AWESOME, right? 


*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

01 February 2017

Currently

Well... It's certainly been a while! I've been struggling quite a bit with my health, so I just haven't been motivated to come here and write, unfortunately.

I didn't want to write anything too depressing about it all, so I figured I'd create a "Currently" post instead so y'all could read about my life without having to be in a funk as well.

So, currently, I'm feeling pretty dang bad emotionally, physically, and mentally (I always use that phrase but it's always so true), but I'm trying to stay positive.
With that said, let's see what else I've been up to!

Currently


Reading: I just finished The Art of Health by Aarti Patel (review coming soon!) and am currently making my way through Sharon Rainey's The Best Part of My Day Healing Journal which is an enriching workbook for anyone, but especially those with a chronic illness. I love having something to go back to later in the day which forces me to ask myself what I'm grateful for. One of the questions that pops up in the book a lot is something along the lines of, "Who did you let off the hook today?" Now I've noticed, just out doing things like hearing a loud man on his phone while grocery shopping, I'll think to myself, "I'll let him off the hook today so I can write it in the book later..."



Watching: I've been following along with favorites like This Is Us and The Bachelor. Wow, what opposites though, right? I can't even talk about This Is Us without getting emotional. And while The Bachelor makes me emotional, it's definitely not from crying; I feel like I'm always so angry after watching it! I'm still hanging onto the show Timeless as well. I love the characters, the humor, and the history of course!



Craving: The mountains! I miss my mountains! Some of you probably know I went to college at a school smack-dab in the mountains of NC. I became insanely nostalgic for it the other day when I starting reminiscing with an old college buddy. I do not, however, miss walking up those hills to class! Pshew!



Listening to: The Skinny Confidential's podcast featuring Ally Hilfiger about Lyme disease and her book Bite Me. I bought the book immediately after listening to this. I think the podcast was actually very factual about Lyme, and it was great about bringing awareness to the disease!



watts up highlighter candle rewined rosewater spray

Loving: Way behind on this highlighter but LOVE it. The rose water makes my face feel so refreshed after using it, and I can’t wait to try it on my dry scalp. And this candle—this Rewined candle--AHH. Everything about it is amazing. It smells so nice (Vinho Verde scented), and I love that it is repurposed and everything.

Also....
This haircut that I finally, FINALLY, got after months and months of waiting. Because I'm so bad at scheduling things. (Thanks anxiety.)


haircut


Doing: I'm getting back into knitting again. On the loom, of course. Those looms you find at Wal-Mart, but still! They can turn out some pretty products if you really try. I've made some really nice scarves and a few gloves before on them. Right now I'm working on a neat little scarf, and even though it's going slowly, I am sure it will turn out really nicely! Any hobby to keep my mind off of the pain I've been in.



What's your favorite hobby? Did you take up anything along with the new year?