Mystery Solved?

I wanted to give a few updates on some stuff. First, my hips and knees. If you’ve read my blog for a long time you know I’ve had knee issues FOR-EVER. Runner’s knee. IT band issues. Some mysterious knee issue two years ago that ended up needing cortisone shots. You name it, I’ve had it. I’ve had X-rays, multiple MRIs, seen specialists….

I’ve been in PT for YEARS. I’ve tried strengthening my body, I’ve tried yoga. I’ve tried stretching, using knee straps for when I run (which helped a lot).

The cortisone shots helped a lot for my right knee. The first shot lasted almost 4 months. I got a second shot in January, right before we went to Hawaii. Knock on wood, it’s still going. So 10 months later…Cross your fingers it keeps working.

So the knee issues have been very discouraging. It’s meant that my running is limited to twice a week. I am a SLOW runner now. I take a lot of walking breaks. I no longer try and up my mileage. I still to less than 4 miles. My usual route is a little over 3 miles. Sometimes I try hills or stairs or speedwork.

Recently my left knee starting feeling the same way my right knee used to hurt. UGH. So much frustration. I’ve also had Achilles pain. I’ve had issues with plantar fasciitis a few times.

Now the hip. Since I had Logan I’ve been having a lot of right hip pain. PT has only helped so much. This year has been particularly hard. The last few months have been really bad. The last month or two I’ve been going to the chiropractor almost weekly. Finally, I put in the heel lift I used to use in my shoe (not sure why I stopped using it??) and the relief was INSTANT. A lightbulb went off in my head. How dumb. Something SO SIMPLE. My pain level for my hip went from a 8 to a 4, immediately.

My doctor ordered X-rays of my hip and a special X-ray to measure leg length — apparently my left leg is 6 millimeters longer. Not sure if that’s super significant but apparently it’s just enough to throw everything off.

It’s been almost 3 weeks now and I haven’t been to the chiropractor, so that’s good. The next step: I went and got fitted for orthotic inserts. I put them in and again, the relief was instant. Not only did my hip no longer hurt AT ALL but my left knee no longer hurt either!!

I am really happy with the orthotics so far. I don’t know that it is a magical fix and it took about a week to get used to them but I am pretty happy with it fixing my aches and pains. So if you are experiencing anything like I have, considering getting your doctor to measure the length of your legs–or get orthotics.

Another quick update I wanted to give was about the Keto Diet, again. Since stopping keto, I’ve noticed that a few health issues I was having last year on the diet have disappeared. If you are doing keto or low carb and having issues, maybe this will help you.

One issue I was having was stomach issues. TMI, skip if you want, but I was having really bad stomach issues–the opposite of what I’ve always had. (A side effect of antidepressants is constipation, FYI.) I realized after some deductions that my horrible stomach issues were all the sugar-free products I was using on Keto! DUH. Clearly my body does not like sugar free chemicals.

The other issue I was having was hair loss. Like a lot. Like I would take a shower, wash my hair and clumps would fall out. It was so disturbing I was going to talk to my doctor. Well, that problem has also disappeared!

Anyways, hope some of this might help my readers!

Books #55

My goal for 2020 was to read 150 books, which is usually doable for me. At this point, I am 10 books behind in order to reach my goal. I am thinking I won’t be making it this year. Oh well. Pandemic and all. There were some times this year where I could not focus on books and it was just too hard to read books. That’s ok.

Here are some of the good ones I read recently:

1 – The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Excellent! Very well written, I loved the style and how the story was told by each person at the wedding. The atmosphere was perfect for a thriller/mystery: a remote, haunted island in Ireland with a crumbling castle remodeled to host guests. It felt like a cross between an Agatha Christie book and the movie Clue. It kept me guessing until the end, too. Very well done.

2 – When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

This book was amazing! So good, I would not change a thing. It was a well crafted novel, a slow burn that kept me guessing. The description was “Rear Window” meets “Get Out” and that is spot on. Sydney has returned to her mother’s home in Brooklyn after a nasty divorce and slowly realizes that something isn’t right. People are disappearing, but in weird ways, racism and gentrification is blatant and in your face, something dark and sinister is happening but she doesn’t know what.

The book is rich in history that most did not learn in history class. The story of redlining, gentrification, black people’s homes being stolen from them. The story is fascinating and horrifying and so well written.

3 – Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women by Lyz Lenz

This book is excellent! It came on my radar because I follow the author on Twitter and she is absolutely hilarious and smart and when her book came out, it sounded fascinating. Even if you are not pregnant, have never been pregnant, never plan to be pregnant, it is still a comprehensive, well-researched and informative read.

“In our cultural imagination the perfect mother is a white, middle-class, straight, cisgender, married woman. She announces her pregnancy on social media with a photo in which she’s smiling, draped in a gauzy dress, framing an almost nonexistent bump with her hands, wedding band glinting in the light. We are happy for her. We say, “Congrats,” over and over in the comments. Her hair is perfectly curled. Her husband smiles benignly behind her. She is the modern-day Virgin Mary.”

It’s funny, dark, depressing, hopeful and relevant in this current time. She writes about feminist issues, about women’s bodies, about pro-choice and anti-choice politics, about how men and politicians want to control women in all aspects of their lives. It felt like an “this day and age” Gloria Steinem book.

She writes about non-cis gendered women, writes about how women are supposed to 100% live up to an unreachable standard in all aspects (give birth, go back to work immediately, but DO NOT PUMP! Don’t bother your employer for modifications, but don’t take time off from work, but make sure you lose that baby weight in 2 weeks!). I liked that she was inclusive.

“America scorns a fat mother. In 2019, writer Virginia Sole-Smith reported in a story for New York Times Magazine that fertility clinics will refuse to work with women if they deem their body mass index (BMI) is too high.”

“To become pregnant and to have children is to wade deeper into a world where your body is no longer yours, your body is debated by politicians, your body is manhandled by medical practitioners who won’t listen, your body is a thing people in the Target checkout line and on the school playground and around a holiday table have opinions about.”

“Corporations will penalize you for taking time off. Childcare will be unaffordable. If you’re a white woman with a white smile, ruffly blouse, impossibly clean white jeans, a sign that reads “Live, Laugh, Love” on your wall, and perfect blonde curls cascading down your back (how does she do it, and with a baby?!), strangers will smile at you and tell you you’re blessed. But people will also tell you to use cloth diapers. Or disposable. Whichever one you are using is wrong. Whatever you do is wrong. You are exactly what society has told you to be, and yet, you are still wrong.”

This book will make you laugh, make you rage, make you want to BURN IT ALL DOWN. But I definitely recommend it. Read it. Especially now, when our rights are on the table, again.

(Under His Eye, right?)

4 – American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

This was a compelling, rich story about what the migrant’s story is. It was equal parts horrifying, sad, heartwarming and inspiring. These people are often fleeing horrific, deadly experiences and trying to save their lives or save their family member’s lives by trying to come to America. Immigration is a tough topic right now but reading about these stories and how hard it is to cross, it makes you wonder, perhaps they have earned their spot here?

5- Outsider (Kate Burkholder #12) by Linda Castillo

I really liked this installment in the series. I thought the story was good, the writing was great as usual. I liked that in this book they are taking refuge with the Amish as they hide from the bad guys. It was interesting reading about Kate’s background, too, and how she found law enforcement.

6 – The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Absolutely excellent. I loved the concept. It was relevant to our times. Rachel has a very popular crime podcast. She is on a new case for her podcast season, this time covering a rape trial. Intertwined with this trial is an unsolved murder from 25 years ago. There are small town politics, secrets, and classism. It was a very well done book and I enjoyed it a lot.

7 – When I was You by Amber Garza

“Then I drove to your house, irritated that you were forcing me to stalk you. It was annoying. I wanted to hang out with you in a noncreepy way, but you weren’t allowing it.”

This was a well done thriller. It was creepy, it kept me turning the page. I read 60% of the book in one sitting and then I had to stop to go to sleep because it was just getting too late!

The book reminded me of “You”. The creepy, stalker aspect. Kelly is a middle aged woman, her marriage is dying, she’s suffered some pretty horrible tragedies, and as a result had a mental break. The way the story unfolds is creative, slow and builds the suspense. Then Kelly meets a young mom and befriends her–but some people in Kelly’s life wonder if this new friend is real?

The story takes you in unexpected places and it’s very good. There were some parts towards the end I did not “buy” but overall I enjoyed the ride.

Happy Reading!

These posts have Amazon Affiliate links.