On the Injured List: Pinched Nerve and Epidural Injection

ESI for Lumbar Pain

Monday, I went in for my first of three epidural injections. Unlike the injections given to women in labor, these injections are to help inflammation of the disc in my spine–which is pushing against my nerve. I was terrified of the experience. I hate needles and the thought of how it was going to go down, scared the crap out of me.

Here is a brief description, if you are interested: A nurse came in and took all my vitals and briefed me on what was about to happen. First step was to tell me that I would not be able to drive if given a mild sedative, but I could,  if I decided to go for the local, topical solution. I took the latter. I wanted to be fully aware of what was happening and I could not guarantee that with a mild sedative. Second, I went into a room with two nurses and the doctor. I was hooked to more vital checking machines and laid face down, with my stomach on a pillow. Third, the doctor came in and and numbed the area. As he was looking at the area he was also checking an x-ray machine to ensure accuracy. As the needle went in, I screamed! Yeah, I felt it and it hurt. The doctor, promptly removed the needle and applied more numbing medication. Then, he went in again. This time, I felt nothing. Before I knew it–we were done. After that, I was led to recovery for 10 minutes and given a cold drink. Finally, I was told I could go home, but to take it easy the remainder of the day and to ice the injection area later that night.

The Day(s) After

Tuesday the pain had decreased, however, I still maintained a low profile.

Wednesday (Today), the pain is there but, not as bad as it had been. The only thing now is –wondering. Wondering when and how severe the pain will be when it comes back and what should I do do to protect myself. I am terrified of going back to yoga, but I am going to go back and give it a whirl with a less intense class. Running is out of the question. I have also been researching natural alternatives for joints, bones, and nerve health.  And, I am  seeing a massage therapist in hopes of finding some relief.

Wish me luck, say a prayer, or whatever. This is going to be a painstaking year.


Hot Yoga, periods, and PMDD…oh my

I have been promising to do this post for months. It was meant to be at least three separate post as there is so much going on here, but it all relates back to the same awful topic–periods or as Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory would say “menses” . Oh the menses. It is generally the worst days of life. You spend so much time working out, eating right and one (in my case two) weeks before the “ball” drops all that goes out the window. I’m tired, angry, irritable, moody, bloated, nauseated, hungry…and oh so much more. This is the worst time and honestly only my close friends tolerated this—I could get mean and pretty hard core.


Fortunately for me I was diagnosed with PMDD around 2005. I knew something was wrong and I worked with my doctor to figure it out. This meant several months of journal writing and paying attention to my body, then reporting back to my doctor.  The journal writing allowed me a chance to reflect on what I was doing. For example, I would verbally send people, mostly my friends into tears–it sucked. I won’t go into too much detail but I was awful and I knew if I kept it up, I would not have any friends at all. My doctor prescribed medication for me to help balance out my serotonin levels. I am far from a MD or PhD in the appropriate field to give you advice, but I can share my experience. To help, she prescribed a moderate dosage of a generic form of Zoloft, called Sertraline. Unlike folks who take Sertraline for other reasons I take mine when PMDD symptoms start to rear their ugly head. Luckily, you can set a calendar to my period –to which now I am happy to share, there’s an app for that! I use My Calendar in the Google Play store and a cute little dog helps keep me in the know.

My Period

It sucks…I hate it.

If you want to know more about what it’s like and what I go through, check out this blog post from My Bikram Yoga Life. It is spot on. Take note of the way your period can screw with your mind and mess up your poses during practice. 🙂

photo from Jezebel

Hot Yoga & the Period

My first few months doing hot yoga I avoided going during my period like a junkie to rehab…seriously, though, the thought was just disgusting to me. Until one day I just went. The worse case scenario was that I would have to leave early (by the way, my studio is pretty awesome and they are not crazed wackos like at some places). Don’t get me wrong, it is not the most pleasant experience, having your period in 100-degree plus room. All the while you are contorting your body in 26 different positions. When I peel out of my soaking wet clothes after yoga during my period, I find out just how absorbent my maxi pad is…I use Always by the way. Okay, this may have gone a little too far, but this is need-to-know stuff, in my opinion. On a more positive note, my cramps have become much more manageable and my flow is less.  I am having little to no cramps during my time. This is a vast change from before when cramps made me dizzy, gave me headache, and made me want to vomit.

Okay, this enough. Until next time.

Hot Yoga and Stress Relief

No equipment, just you.

It was a ridiculous summer. I took a break from my masters program and decided to get some rest and regroup. On top of that there were things I had to deal with at work and a  lot of  other stuff. Through all the change and challenge what kept me sane was the stability and peace of mind I received from doing hot yoga. I’ve done Bikram, Hot Vinyasa, Hot Fusion, and Hip and Torso conditioning to keep my knees and hip aligned for running.

Looking back I don’t know what I would have done to cope this summer without hot yoga being an option. I enjoy the fact I can go into a yoga class and be led with a group but I don’t have to talk to anyone and I don’t have to focus on anything else but my movements and my body.

I have become so in tune with my body that in late August when I felt my energy level drop and my temperature spiked a bit, I new something was wrong. A week later I found a lump on my neck. Never look on WebMD when you find a lump anywhere and take it as law. WebMD made me think I had a tumor and I freaked out the best way I knew how–by trying not to take it seriously. However, I did decide it was prudent to go to the doctor. The doctor informed me it was a swollen lymph-node.

I credit being observant of my body to hot yoga. Before I was so blah that I would have never noticed much of anything except craving toxic foods which can also lead to stress.

Hot yoga allows me the chance to sweat out the small stuff literally and figuratively. I get a lot of thinking done in the hour and a half I am there and one of my favorite things is coming to the realization that somethings are not as important as I initially thought they were.


Keshiablogs Yoga Gear

Keshiablogs Yoga Gear

Alo activewear top

Old navy activewear

C9 by champion

Under Armour hair accessory


Bath towel

Workouts: Hot Yoga

I’m addicted!

Since May I have been attending and practicing hot yoga. I’m not gonna lie, I am usually the fattest kid in the class but I don’t let that stop me. Sure, there are tons of women that look like they stepped off the cover of a fitness magazine: with their flat abs, hot pants and bra tops. But no, not this lady.

So, what do I wear? I, like most of the women in the class wear dri-fit capris and tanks–DRI-FIT being the important factor here…trust me. There are tons of men in the class too which is pretty cool. I had never been in a workout with such gender diversity.

I was terrified before my first class. So like a true millennial, I took to Facebook to rant my fears. It worked! Everyone encouraged me and expressed some of the same fears I had about going. The motivation helped. I initially had a Groupon for 15 classes but soon before it ended I committed to a six month package.

Let me back up…

I had committed myself to being active. This was hard for me because I am not an athlete and I get bored easily. So, I did the what I am sure is common process when it comes to finding a workout. Here’s how that went: I got a gym membership, I went about 3-4 times a week for about six months–then I got bored. I ran/walked with friends, Andy (my dog), and alone—I got bored again and weather is unpredictable. I bought a Groupon for Barre. Barre was fun. It was convenient and I really liked that I could be in a class but not be jumping all over the place. Needless to say, I hate step classes, jazzercise, and zumba. All the jumping around and loudness is just not me. Barre did not last past the Groupon, it was ridiculously expensive and the environment was just not a good fit for me.  So, I went to hot yoga before my other Groupon expired and the rest is where we are now.

I attend some form of hot yoga at least three times a week ( I run or walk other days). I burn an incredible amount of calories and I am finding myself stronger an more flexible than before. I am able to do some things I have not been able to do since I was a kid…seriously. Although I do laundry like nobody’s business because of the heavy sweating. It is worth it. I have a great studio with AWESOME instructors and it is close to wear I live (hoot, hoot!). On top of that, I have met some really nice and encouraging people. It is also refreshing to see so many healthy bodies, many of the regulars are in incredible shape without looking like bobble heads.


   Standing Bow



26 Bikram poses

Oh and Lady Gaga does it 🙂


Eagle pose

Blogs I Love!! Carrots ‘N’ Cake

This is Tina and her pup Murphy

It’s that time again! I get a chance to share with you one of my favorite blogs. Today’s spotlight is on Carrots ‘N’ Cake.

CNC has become my go to for workouts and recipes. She has rekindled my love for cooking with fresh vegetables and made me fall in love with brussel sprouts. I generally eat healthy but this blog gives me tons of great ideas and I enjoy reading her stories and the fact she posts her and Mal’s (her hubbs) grocery list. Mal and her seem to have a great time and he does not seem to mind that she documents so much of their life on the blog. Tina has the great ability in her writing to make everyone feel welcome. She writes about family; but it’s not all my husband this, and my husband and I that. I appreciate that. She shows that there is more to life than OMG, I’m married! I have stopped following several blogs because of that reason…as a habitually single girl…that gets annoying quick. Don’t think I’m all bitter and stuff but seriously, it’s annoying. As I always say, “Seinfeld relates to life in so many ways” check out this video, Elaine runs into a similar issue. 

Anyway, back to the blog. Another great thing about the blog is that she incorporates a great deal about Murphy. Murphy is her much loved pug. Like me, Tina loves her pup and I enjoy seeing what Murphy gets into next. I like to think that he and Andy are distant friends 🙂

Check out Tina, Murphy and Mal at Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Reblog: We are Harriet: A Moving Tribute

Photo from htorganization.blogspot.com

THOUSANDS of African American women NATIONWIDE are dropping everything and walking for 100 MINUTES – in their communities, wherever they are – starting EXACTLY at 4:30pm EST on SUNDAY, March 10th – as a “MOVING TRIBUTE” – to commemorate Harriet Tubman exactly 100 years after her death.

 ***click here to read more on BGR’s blog***