Lion Scratches

When I was 15 my legs were itchy. I couldn’t sleep. I writhed in agony, with no rash or bumps or any other symptoms. I went to my pediatrician, urgent cares when I couldn’t stand it, and even the emergency room once. No one could figure it out. I had a whole cabinet full of lotions and creams to numb and soothe. Eventually I got a referral to a dermatologist with a 2 month wait before her next appointment. When I finally saw her, she told me about another over-the-counter lotion and sent me away to come back in 2 weeks. Still no relief. When I went back she found a few goosebump sized bumps on the back of my thigh and she squeezed them until I cried to see what would come out. The best she could figure was that it was some sort of keratosis. She prescribed Triamcinolone acetonide cream- basically what I now know to be the steroid cream of choice for itchy skin. She didn’t just give me the little toothpaste sized tube either. She gave me a 1 lb. tub with two refills on it. I was instructed to rub it all over my legs and butt at night and anytime after I showered. I followed the instructions; I got less itchy. And then it went away all together. I forgot all about the cream when I quit itching and then the itching would come back, so I used it again every night. The tubs of lotion lasted about six months and I used all of them, along with OTC CeraVe. With three tubs of...

Health

From time to time, while stuffing chips and cherry coke down my throat, I wonder how I am supposed to convince my patients that its easy to be healthy in the midst of their busy lives. Exhibit A. I sit down for most of my day. Standing up in lab makes me angry. I eat cookies and brownies and coffee full of cream and sugar and whatever else I can find to shove into my face. I don’t run most days. The healthiest things I eat are when I bring my lunch and thats usually microwave pasta or a turkey sandwich with yogurt and apples. And Lord knows I don’t get enough sleep. But eating healthy on a quick stop to Quiktrip is really hard. Their “naked” juices cost 4 bucks and I’m never really sure what all they put in it. So, today, instead of popping out out bed and studying anatomy like I should, I decided to try something. Ya’ll know I love my juice. It makes me feel good, lotsa vitamins and all. Its pretty filling and energizing too. But my dang juicer that I love so very much is a little high maintenance. You have to clean it right away because fruit beaten to a pulp rots pretty quickly and its really sticky. So I juiced everything all at once. Fresh pressed juice can be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container. I made six bottles. All I have to do is shake it and its good to go.  So now I have delicious real juice all week and it took like 20...

Three Easy Post-Run Drinks

Water of course. There is very little else that is quite as satisfying after a sweaty run. I’ve heard of water being best for you right after a run when the water is room temperature or just a little bit chilled. Ice water is sometimes too cold and can cause irregular heartbeat. I sometimes put a tablespoon of chia seeds in, wait a couple minutes, stir and then you’ve got fiber and omega-3s in it too! Chocolate milk is hailed as the perfect post-run drink, and its a favorite of mine too. Something about it having the right ratio of sugar, protein, and carbs for recovery. It’s even better if you drink it within 30 minutes. I use 2% milk and Carnation Instant Breakfast chocolate powder for the extra vitamins that Hershey’s syrup and Nesquik don’t have. Smoothies. I love smoothies (and juice!) after my runs. Something about the creaminess that chocolate milk with the fresh- or frozen- fruit. Vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to boot. I love summer for the fresh fruit but this recipe can be used with frozen fruit in the winter, and it makes it extra cold and icy! Post-Run Smoothie 5 or 6 medium strawberries with the leaves cut off 1 large handful of blueberries 6 oz. cup light vanilla yogurt 1/2-3/4 cup of vanilla almond milk Blend it and drink! AND If you’re like me, you could drink all three after one run!  ...

Empathy vs. Sympathy

I saw this video a long time ago and I remember showing it to my roommate and we just sat silently after watching it. I’m glad I was able to find it again. Its quick and easy to understand but she covers some deep things in it that I mull over in my head quite often. I always get chills when she says “I know what its like down here and you’re not alone.” If only I was just able to convey that to people that I want to help. Its harder than it sounds. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw&w=560&h=315] My relevant story for today isn’t really any thing compared to the pain and suffering some people go through, but I’m going to tell it anyway because it is what has got me to some realizations about helping people pain- both physically as a future physician, and emotionally with family and friends. I had a bad sunburn recently. Mostly on my back. It was about two days old and I went running enough to soak my back and my shirt in sweat. It started itching in spots on my way home. Then it started burning. Then I took a warm shower. Then I got out and put some moisturizer on it. Through each of these steps it started burning worse, getting itchy all over. I’m not sure if I was done for from the moment I sweated salty chemicals onto raw skin or if I just kept making it worse, but by this time I was in a fit of excruciating pain and compulsive itching. Rolling on the floor, crying for my...

Let’s Talk About This Whole Juice Cleanse Thing

When I last updated you on Day 2, I was about to have my cashew banana shake for dinner. I did drank it again and was feeling fine. After that, I went to Lowe’s with my parents and started thinking about the benefits I had gotten from solely juicing for two days. Honestly, there weren’t very many. Is juicing healthy and beneficial? Yes. Does it constitute a balanced diet on its own? No At this point I really really really wanted actual food with substance, and I began to get a headache. And then my parents stopped at Chili’s and the whole thing was settled. I decided to listen to my body instead of depriving it just to complete the arbitrary three days. I needed food. At Chili’s, I had chips and salsa and a cup of potato soup. Though it wasn’t much food, I was completely satiated. I finally had energy again! I will say that it is a pretty amazing feat to eat only fresh fruits and vegetables and it did make me feel healthier in my mind, knowing I was getting so many vitamins and consuming things straight from a farm. But, I didn’t feel particularly cleansed of toxins or stool like I was expecting to. Also, I did lose a lot of water weight and felt like I had tighter muscle tone. Though, that could be because my muscles were breaking into their glycogen stores for energy, haha. On the first day before I started I weighed myself. So there’s that. Take it as you will. Day 1 – 117 lbs Day 2- 114 lbs...