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Archive for June, 2009

Nip tuck

My doctor referred me to a new dermatologist a few months ago. I’ve been to dermatologists before, but not like this one! He’s near Michigan Avenue (home of the “magnificent mile”, shopping, tourists – land of the rich and beautiful). His posh offices are filled with pictures of him, pictures painted BY him, and brochures on liposuction, lip plumping, and other beautifying procedures.

So, I went to his office last week to have a couple small growths on my face removed and biopsied. The music in his office is the cheesiest music ever! When I walked in it was playing the theme from “The Love Boat”

“The LOVE boat! Exciting and new! Come aboard, we’re expecting you!!!!”

Then they played “La Freak”, the theme song from Maude, “Thank you for being a friend”…. the music certainly brings back memories!

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Whenever I hear someone complain of kidney stones, I URGE them to get their vitamin D levels tested!  I suffered kidney stones for years (including one stint in the hospital where I couldn’t pass two stones on my own) before a doctor FINALLY tested my vitamin D levels to find I had a severe deficiency.  They’re finding that WAY more people have vitamin D deficiency than previously thought. So I think people should get it tested if they have any symptoms. I’m rather angry my UROLOGIST never thought to do that . He was going to put me on medication.  Vitamin D is imperative for proper calcium absorption and among other things, vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone density loss (osteroperosis) and hyperparathyroidism (another problem I suffered).

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Apparently they are giving out free samples of Hills’ “Nature’s Best” dry dog and cat food somewhere near work. Someone left a sample on the table at work yesterday and today there was a woman on the elevator holding three samples. I could NOT hold my tongue in the elevator – and simply told her “You know, that is NOT very good pet food.” She said “it’s not?” and I said “No, read the ingredients. Mostly grains, little meat. I used that exact pet food as an example of BAD pet foods in a recent talk I gave on the subject, and why reading labels is important.”

If you’ve read anything on my blog, you probably know I do NOT think feeding dry pet food is a good idea. I also DETEST Hills’ pet foods – they use horrible quality ingredients and were among the last to stop using carcinogens as preservatives… all under the guise of being “veterinarian recommended”. Recommended by vets because they give free food to vet students and fund vet courses on animal nutrition and market themselves HEAVILY to vets! NOT because they make good pet food!

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I’ve generally used a U-40 insulin (PZI-Vet) with U-100 syringes.  The advantages being that U-100 syringes are more widely available, and by using U-100 syringes with U-40 insulin I was able to make smaller dose adjustments.  (Before Meow Meow went off insulin, she was getting 0.2 units (two-tenths of a unit) of insulin!  NOT TWO UNITS – two-tenths of a unit!  No way I could measure that amount using a standard match of syringe to insulin.

Many find converting insulin to a different syringe confusing – and if, for that reason, you want to match – GREAT!  I recommend ALWAYS checking to make sure you KNOW which syringe and which insulin you’re using.  I’ve seen disasterous results when people don’t, and aren’t working with what they think they are.  Some insulins come in different strengths (like compounded PZI) and syringes obviously come in various markings – and there have even been cases where syringes were in the wrong box!  ALSO – make sure you understand whether your syringe is marked only for whole units, or also half units!  I’ve seen people advise others to count “lines” – well, whether you have lines only for whole units or whole and half units can DOUBLE YOUR DOSE!

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My little Louie, Aloysius, lost his battle with cancer Saturday.  It’s never easy to let them go.  Louie held on longer than I expected, honestly.  When he was diagnosed with oral cancer in February, the oncologist gave him three to six months with hospice care.  Neither I, nor my regular vet, felt he had that long.  The mass in his mouth was growing SO fast.  It literally went from not visible to the naked eye, to the size of a grape in about two weeks. 
Louie napping

Louie napping

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Is your tabby too tubby? Is your cat extra-fluffy and not in a good way?

Omaha in 2002 - over 20 pounds

Omaha in 2002 - over 20 pounds

Well, if you haven’t already, start by eliminating ALL DRY FOOD. ALL OF IT. Attempting to get a cat to lose weight on dry food is a losing battle. I know, I tried it for over a year with my cat Omaha. We tried cutting portions again and again until he got only 1/8 cup dry food daily and lay by the bowl crying – and still not losing weight. “Lite” (lower calorie) dry foods DO NOT WORK, they are too high in carbohydrates. Low-carb grain-free high-protein dry foods DO NOT WORK, they are too high in calories. Your cat needs to eat only WET food – not only to achieve an ideal weight, but to avoid a lot of other serious health issues (like diabetes, urinary tract disease, etc.)

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 I credit some of my weight gain over the years to my LOVE of delicious coffee drinks.  Now, some of my friends would argue I don’t even like coffee.  Maybe they’re right.  I certainly never ever drink black coffee – or even sweetened black coffee.  I was one of the many in line for a green tea frappuccino or a chai tea latte or a white mocha or a mint condition – no, don’t hold the whipped cream or sprinkles.  Heck, why not also get a scone while I’m there?  They are scrumptious!

So, one of the first things I missed when I started NutriSystem was my “coffee”.  Because I missed it so much, I got a bit creative and started crunching numbers.  I can see the large coffee drinks with whipped cream and flavorings and scones that I got in the past started out my days in excess of 1,000 calories.  Oh my!  I was consuming most of my calorie allotment for the day in the morning and getting little-to-no NUTRITION in the process!

However, I’ve figured out there’s a way to get my coffee and drink it too! – and get the weight off.

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