Monday, August 31, 2009

Cutback on Caffeine - Days 2-7

Well, the rest of the week didn't go as well as Tuesday.

I cut caffeine totally on Tuesday...and then got sick Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. So, I'm down to 1-2 caffeine drinks a day (only 1 if I can help it.)

I really hope I can keep this thing up...I really do.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Giving Up Caffeine - Day 1

Last week, I announced my plans to cut back (or out) my caffeine intake beginning Monday and just generally get (or stay) healthy in my 24th year of life.

Due to other things that needed done that might have thrown my plans off track, I pushed that back a day to alleviate the stress and the temptation.

I'm glad I did, because I am proud to say that I did not touch a DROP of caffeine all day Tuesday. I drank caffeine-free Diet Coke (and LIKED IT) and water, all day.

Today is day two. And my body is feeling the effects of yesterday. I woke up around 4:30 this morning, throwing up and with a headache. Oh, and CRAVING caffeine!

It may be worth it in the end...but my body is trying to tell me it's not.

I had some inspiration though. Sheena Clifford is someone who's become very important to my life and my world over the last few days. She kept me from thinking about how BADLY I wanted that caffeine fix...and because of her, I didn't give in. Thank u sweetheart...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Monday, August 24, 2009

College Begins

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Logos on this page are those of the individual institutions and/or agencies.

My brother Andrew begins college today at Northern Kentucky University. It takes me back to 2004, before medical problems started to happen and I had to take a sabbatical.

My first day of school, I was a 19 year old who was new to the whole college thing. I didn't really
know too much about the college experience. I, just like my brother Andrew, was a commuter. What that meant to me was, I would ride in with my mom in the morning, go to my classes and then go home. In 2005, when I had my second semester, I had two options to get home:

1) I would ride home with my friend David Jones on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The travel time with this was 25 minutes.
2) If I had a Tuesday/Thursday class, I would ride the TANK bus. I took the routes 11 or 25 to Covington Transit Center, then rode from there to Florence on the route 1, walking home from the bus stop. It took 2 hours, 30 minutes to get home by this route.

Traffic on the road home usually wasn't a problem unless I left at 3 PM or later (as I sometimes did). Then, it was rush hour and that was never fun. Rush hour would increase my travel time by half an hour or more.

Anyway, my first day was made especially memorable when I arrived. I was greeted by people from the Baptist Student Union (which is now called the Baptist Campus Ministry). They were passing out breakfast to those arriving near their building. That made an impression with me, and I joined that group and stayed there for my year and a half of schooling at NKU.

All of this to say, I hope Andrew has a good first day of school and finds something, just like BCM, that he can be part of. And to all those going back to school, whether it's college, high school or something else, I hope your 1st day goes well.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Personal Health Plan for Year 24

OK, I'm sitting here and I'm reading a blog from WKRQ afternoon DJ Brian Douglas. This blog is his blog about his weight watchers experience, he lost over 125 pounds in the space of a year.

Now, I do not need to lose weight lol. Far from that...I actually think I'm at a healthy point in my life and government guidelines do suggest that with my height of 5'6" I should weigh somewhere between 118 and 148 pounds for a healthy BMI number. At last check I weighed 120. Good place to be.

Now comes the difficult part...MAINTAINING that. Look, I don't eat exactly healthy. I have this habit of caffeine addiction. Yes I said addiction. I have to have my Mountain Dew every day or one or both of these two things happen:

1) I drag through my day, feeling groggy and sleepy and/or,

2) I get severe headaches.

I basically wind up having 6 cans of Mountain Dew PER DAY, or 2 liters. After adding up the caffeine content of said amount of cans I was astonished to learn I have been putting basically 310 milligrams of caffeine into my body PER DAY. I gotta cut back on that at least a bit. Maybe down to 200 or less.

So my health plan is basically as follows (and given that I stayed out of the hospital for a long-term stay this year I'm off to a good start):

1) Cut down or out on caffeine. How can I do it without enduring the headaches that always, and I mean ALWAYS, follow?? I did well for a month last year, fell off that wagon and haven't gotten back on but, after Friday I'm going to try very hard to do this.
2) Eat healthier. Meaning a few more fruits and veggies.
3) Exercise. I'm off to a great start... I do get an hour plus of good cardio in at least 4x/week, walking to and from Florence Mall and around inside the mall.
4) SLEEP! This means sleeping 6-8 hours per day. I'm not doing well with this one, in fact to be blunt it is an out-and-out struggle. Like one day I will stay up all night or get maybe 2 hours of sleep, then the next night because I denied myself sleep the night before, I sleep 12 hours. That see-saw isn't healthy...

This is my resolution for year 24 of life, as I try to reach a quarter-century of life in 2010...yes I realize I haven't really begun to celebrate my 24th yet, but my goal is to still be healthy this time next year...

Courage + Belief = LIFE

24 Today! it really August 19th? Am I really celebrating another birthday??

You'll forgive me if this is a little hard for me to believe, I am sure.

There are a few days that doctors thought would be my last day on earth...and yet, I am still alive. I'm still living, still breathing...still kicking (but not literally).

Heck, there have been days I thought I was gonna die...but I'm still living.

Now, at year 24... does this year feel different from years past? In some ways yes.

For one, year 23 in life was actually fairly decent to me medically. I didn't have anything major that put me into an inpatient stay in the hospital. Any time that that happens, it's always a good thing.

For two, for the most part, I've kept those in my life who were worth keeping. You, my blogger friends, are worth keeping. I wouldn't be doing this this morning if I didn't have the readers.

But in other ways...this isn't much different. But those are small potato kind of things, really.

I'm still disabled. I'm still in the wheelchair. But you know what? I've learned to accept it. I'm dealing with it. I don't get depressed over it.

I have my down days, yes. But...they're fewer.

I still have the core group of friends I KNOW I can count on. There's more of them though.

So...maybe beginning year 24 isn't much of the same thing, after all. Every year is a new beginning. And I think it's great.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reviewing TNA's Hard Justice Pay-Per-View

So, yesterday was spent hanging out with Mikey, aka thenotoriouskid on twitter. We watched the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling pay-per-view known as Hard Justice. These are my thoughts on it.

-- The Steel Asylum X-Division match was OFF THE HOOK. Daniels won which I can agree with. He now moves to a feud with Samoa Joe (more on this a little later). Those were some SICK spots including a hurracanrana-style DDT by Amazing Red on Consequences Creed!

-- The Abyss/Jethro Holliday match over the $50,000 bounty was fine for what it was...which was a hardcore match. Holliday turns face with his attack on Stevie which I'm happy with. Maybe they do Jethro and Abyss as a tag team.

-- Hernandez beat Rob Terry to get his briefcase back. If they have him cash in his title shot at or before No Surrender on pay-per-view, I'll be pleased. (More on this later, too.)

-- The British Invasion tag team went through Beer Money like a steamroller through cardboard. That's all I can say here. The World Elite faction didn't look horrible here.

-- ODB (use your imagination if you're not aware already what this stands for) and Cody Deaner beat Velvet Sky and Angelina Love and ODB captures the TNA Knockouts Title (similar to the WWE Women's and Divas titles, for those not aware). OK, I get that. But...ENOUGH OF THE SINGLES TITLES BEING DEFENDED IN TAG MATCHES!!! It doesn't work, and besides, it's very awkward when a man (Deaner) pins a female in this kind of match. What, are we suppose to believe that Deaner is ACTUALLY the Knockouts champ?? Well, it worked for WWE, so it must work here, so thinks TNA anyway...

-- Homicide lost the X Division title to Samoa Joe. I like this one and it's the logical move to further Daniels' win earlier in the night. Plus it means that the Main Event Mafia/World Elite superfaction has all of the gold (excluding the Knockouts title, but expect Traci Brooks to take that no later than Bound For Glory, I'm calling that now; and more on how the other title change happened in a few).

-- Booker T and Scott Steiner retained the TNA Tag Titles over Team 3D. I understood why they had two referees when the finish happened and both refs counted pins for opposite sides. Going to the videotape was a nice touch and something TNA (and WWE for that matter) should do for future controversial finishes. Plus it furthered that feud, and leads naturally to Team 3D getting a future shot. They were all over the arena, but the pinfall happened in the ring - so why the hell is this "falls count anywhere" if the deciding pinfall only happens in the ring??

-- Kevin Nash wins the Legends title over Mick Foley and all I could say is "holy bloodbath, Batman"! Wow. That was a bloody match! Again, MEM/World Elite look very strong right here!

-- Kurt Angle retains the TNA World Title over Matt Morgan and Sting. Two things about this match I liked, and one I didn't. They teased Matt Morgan going along with Kurt Angle's plan, which made him turning against Angle believable. I did like that. I did like Sting and Matt Morgan getting more time in the ring, which if Sting wasn't about to retire would be a great opportunity for Morgan.

But what I didn't like about it is who walked away from this match with the victory and the title. Kurt Angle does NOT need to be TNA World Champion right now. For those who were living under a rock all weekend, Angle was arrested Saturday morning on charges of Violating a Protection From Abuse Order (otherwise known as a Restraining Order), Possession of Illegal Substances (he had a vial of Human Growth Hormone), Harassment and Driving On a Suspended License (his license had been suspended following a DUI last year). He'd beaten his girlfriend Friday night, she went and got the Protection From Abuse order, and then left to seek refuge elsewhere. Angle apparently drove to where his girlfriend had taken refuge at a Starbucks, and was driving around the parking lot when he was stopped by police.

Angle has some major issues at this point, and I believe he needs to be suspended based on the HGH possession charge, and probably needs to take some time away from the business. So what did TNA do? They KEPT THE BELT ON ANGLE! Not smart...he's mentally unstable, and to say the least he has some major personal issues that he really does need to deal with, NOW! If TNA doesn't do the right thing soon, something is going to happen to Angle and they're gonna find him dead or seriously ill somewhere. Mark my words on this one and watch if my prediction doesn't come true. TNA, put the title on Hernandez, NOW.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Freestyle Ten

Here we go again
It's another Friday night
And it's time to freestyle
Let's get right to it

I didn't do this last week
Because too much was happenin
But now we're gonna fix that
It's gonna be good

Friends always have your back
There when ya need em
Mine certainly were this week
And I give them big props

From Flo-town to the 'Nati
From the west to the east
My friends came from everywhere
And I'm glad I got em

As bad as my week has been
It coulda been worse
But hey, that's okay, I made it
And that's all that really counts

So we gonna end this verse right here
And I'm gonna get back to relaxing
I'll definitely be back at ya in 7
When I will be twenty-four

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Straight Shoot - My Aunt Mary, The Last Four Weeks, and Things Going Down

This is going to be a multi-part shoot on a few things... in case you're wondering, a shoot means that I'm speaking of real stuff, no lies, no mis-truths, no nothing. Just a straightforward blog.

Shoot 1 - My Aunt Mary and Her Involvement in Aunt Kathy's Suicide 2 Years Ago

There aren't many people who knew me 2 years ago here on blogger. So this shoot is new to most of you.

On August 14, 2007, my aunt Kathy Ludwick committed suicide by drug overdose. The sad thing is that it wouldn't have happened had the stress not been present in her life.

What stress? Financial stress and emotional stress.

See, earlier that year aunt Kathy had begun a divorce proceeding against my uncle Terry. The main reason for this was that he was a full-on alcoholic. She went to live with my aunt Mary in Indiana. Mary then began to forge Kathy's name on things like receipts, credit applications, and other financial things. That brought Kathy into quite a bit of debt. That debt then triggered emotional stress.

For two years, then, I've blamed aunt Mary for what aunt Kathy did. And while aunt Mary was certainly guilty of other crimes...she was not guilty of murder like I wanted to believe. I still don't like my aunt Mary for other things she has done against my family. But she isn't a murderer.

Shoot 2 - Doris: I took a lot of heat for a myspace post from four months ago... including Doris herself finding said post.

I don't care if this gets me heat.

I need to shoot straight here... I did nothing wrong when she and I split.

All I was trying to do at the time we split is to stop myself from becoming physically worse. Unfortunately...she misread it as making my OWN choice to split up.

Now, I'm going to shoot on her. Doris, you caused far too much pain for me. For SIX MONTHS, I haven't been myself. That ends tonight, August 12, 2009. I am DONE being anything other than me.

Shoot 3 - The Shoot of Mikey and its Effects - I am not going to get directly involved in that mess. But... I too had been a member of I too saw the quick collapse of the family atmosphere that had previously existed.

I believe that Mikey spoke only truth. Mikey tells it straight, just like it is. And for ANYONE to suggest he was lying is a slap in the face to him, and, in my own view, a slap in my face as well. Mikey is the older brother I haven't had and NOBODY is gonna slam him for posting the TRUTH. And I say Mikey is straight up BALLIN' as a brother.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What Are You Thinking, Cincinnati - Rant About Children's Hospital

It's been a bit since I've done a rant, and last night's experiences having to go to TWO hospitals to be treated for what is, right now, thought to be a muscle pull has inspired one. I hope you packed a breakfast AND a lunch, because it's gonna be a wild ride!

First, some background. As you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida within hours of my birth on August 19, 1985. This is a congenital birth defect where the back fails to completely close around the spinal cord. Ever since then, all of my medical needs, both related and unrelated to Spina Bifida, have been taken care of in one place, the Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati.

Until yesterday.

I have been dealing with back pain off and on for a few months. I did my best to survive. After all, I'm tough, right? (Or at least other people say I am.) So, I toughed it out for 2 or three months. Finally, however, Friday morning I had so much pain, I couldn't move. So I called my doctor, which, like all medical care, is at Cincinnati Children's, and I was told by them to go to the ER there.

Friday afternoon, I left the house around 3:15 and went up there. I get there, go through registration and sit in the waiting room. Okay so far.

But then they take me back to the triage station...where they proceed to tell me that due to the fact I haven't seen my primary doctor (THE SAME PEOPLE I CALLED THIS MORNING) in six months, and I am 23 about to be 24, AND in spite of the fact that I had previously pretty much been told I was set to go as far as medical care for life because I will be wheelchair bound for life thanks to the Spina Bifida...I can no longer be seen at Children's Hospital Medical Center, AND I need to find an adult physician.


It's Children's policy that they do not serve patients over 21 in their Emergency Room.

Again, what???

Now, the rant. This policy is frickin' STUPID. I had NEVER had this issue before! I've been going to that hospital for 24 years! If their policy was not to serve patients over 21, should that not have been enforced, let's see...AT THE TIME I TURNED 21???? And FURTHERMORE, don't even get me started on this "you haven't seen your primary physician in over 6 months" crap. How many of you only see your doctors once a year because you're pretty darn healthy? Exactly. If I go a year without seeing my primary physician, it's because I have not had any major issues. The last time I saw this doctor was December 22 or so. Because of that, I cannot see that doctor anymore. And you're going to tell me that THEIR policy is also not to take patients over 21??? I've seen that doctor for about 2 years! I was 22 at the time!

What a load of crap. By the way, I was seen at St. Elizabeth, and I have to give props to them for quickly diagnosing the pulled muscle in my back.


Courage + Belief = LIFE

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday sadness

I just found out that someone I've profiled here in my "I Like..." series is...moving away. :'(

Trisha Chell, who I profiled in this post, is moving in about 62 days. She'll be moving to Virginia and I am gonna miss her... I hate to sound selfish, but why is it that a) I was the last one to find out about this and b) the people I get closer to, either already are or wind up moving far away???

Courage + Belief = LIFE

Needing Help with Fundraising Efforts!

As posted on Friday, I will be participating in the 2009 Walk To Cure Diabetes in Newport, Kentucky.

Another effort I am proud to participate in, happens to fall one week later. (An aside: Sometimes maybe organizations need to consult with one another on they don't fall one week apart like this. Heh. Just kidding, I support both.) That's the 2009 Spina Bifida Association of Cincinnati's Walk and Roll.

Links to BOTH fundraising pages are at the right side. The JDRF Walk page will stay up through September 21 (or as long as it still exists on their servers, whichever happens first) and the SBAC Walk page will be up through September 28 (or again, as long as the page is still there, whichever happens first.)

I would appreciate even a small donation to one or both efforts. My personal goals are to raise $100 for the JDRF walk, and $300 for the SBAC walk. (If one or both goals are blown out of the water...I'll just raise the bar until the end date, as high as needed. I'd love to blow them both out.)

Courage + Belief = LIFE