Sep 14, 2019

My Meditation Journal Through It Helps Stroke Survivors Like Me with Anxiety, Frustration, and Possibly Even Depression

About a year ago, I started armchair yoga in which, no surprise there, I was meditating in the chair. But slowly, after 10 sessions, I quit because I couldn't do some of the "moves" as a stroke survivor. But I always thought that meditation was the way to go until my son suggested Headspace. 

There it is--what Headspace promises to do: 

"The life-changing skills of meditation in just a few minutes a day with Headspace. Find hundreds of sessions on physical health, personal growth, stress management, and anxiety relief. They are all designed to help you stress less, focus more, and feel better. Download Headspace to meditate anywhere, anytime, and start living a healthier, happier life."

So Headspace was it and I kept a journal of my experiences. (I went through it once as a participant, and then I went through it again and wrote the journal because I had to keep my eyes closed about 80% or more most of the time).

Headspace has over 1,000,000 users and cost me $95.88 - $23.97 for a one-year subscription through's discounted code for one year. 


Headspace is moderated by someone I'll call M (for  Moderator). He has an even, British or Australian voice which is both soothing and inviting. 

I'll give you my opinion on whether Headspace was worth it after my journal. 

Meditation in 10-minute intervals per session: Basics 1

Day 1
With my eyes closed, the moderator (whom I will refer to, again, as M) suggested inhaling and exhaling while peeking to see how much time had gone by. I was so relaxed that after the 10-minute session, I fell asleep on the sofa for 2 hours.

Day 2
Before long, M told me to close my eyes as I counted my breaths which should come to around 10 with the inhale-exhale. M said I should travel along my body and see if the outsides or insides of my feet felt more or less pressure, and the heaviness of my arms letting thoughts in my brain achieve comfort. I peeked again. Then the last minute, M said to open my eyes and let the brain be my focus once again. I still haven't mastered the rhythm.

Day 3
With eyes closed, M began with my "looking" in my mind at traffic when I came to a stop. No peeking, I decided. M then focused on my body, scanning it, and keeping feet on floor, and by the third minute, I was in a self-induced trance, letting his voice soothe me. I listened to him to regain focus and then opened my eyes. I believe that meditation helps, but I’m not convinced yet.

Day 4
Always the breathing—in with my nose, out with my mouth. During this session, M allowed more time to let the mind wander, and it did. I heard from an old friend Robyn who says she is taking a trip to Alaska via a cruise, and I went from there to how hard it is to pack for a cruise. And then M interrupted my thoughts and said to go back to the body. He asked how I felt compared to the first session. Different indeed. I could control the mind better to things, and then to revert to the body, which happened several times.

Day 5
M began with we overthink the process of meditation, and it delays it. Instead, enjoy the feeling of pausing to catch your breath and balance. Once again, M told me to breath and count the breaths, and lose focus by letting my mind do whatever it wants, and then regaining focus, as a sort of good mind control.

Day 6
M said I have to be comfortable in the space around me. Breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth and count the breaths. Then close my eyes until you get to ten and then start over. It became easier to count the breaths. I believe this was the longest stretch of breathing, but by now, it was almost second nature. The operative word here is "almost."

Day 7
M suggested watching a mind video. The video was of a person with clouds forming, until those terrifying clouds produced rain. The session continued with my picturing blue sky all around me. Again, counting breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Focus on the body. Scan the aches. It’s become easier now to get into the swing of those sessions, without peeking until it was time to open my eyes. I feel good after a 10-minute session, and have not a bit of anxiety. I’ve already decided that my day will go well.

Day 8
M said to sit comfortably, feet on the floor, an often refrain by now. After I got to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, I was told to scan down the bod, and after, let the mind do what it wants. Then I was told to focus on the body and scan again. I opened my eyes on command and M reminded me of the mind’s ability to be at peace. The mind is at peace when I finished the session.

Day 9
This session started the same as all the others, but this time he told us to notice the sounds around us without passing judgment. He reminded us that the body strengthens on the inhale and gets soft on the exhale. I didn’t think about that before. He had us scan a couple of times—head to toe—and then let the mind be non-judgmental. M had me open my eyes, and this exercise, which was beneficial, taught me that I do have control over the mind. Day 9 was a breakthrough session. I HAVE CONTROL!

Day 10
Again the blue sky analogy. Each day is a new chance to practice mindfulness and feel happier and healthier. Be aware of the environment with eyes closed. Basics helps me to get more clarity and calmness into my life. Maybe it is the power of suggestion, but I didn’t freak out with anger in the past 10 days and I had many opportunities to do just that. Personally, I think meditation and me are going to get along just fine. 

Meditation in 15-minute intervals: Basics 2

Day 11
This session was devoted to my own feelings and those feelings of those around me in an attempt to get us to see that meditation doesn’t just affect me. It affects everyone around me, too. M had me scan the body and listen to the sounds around me and then go back to the mind and concentrate. Then let the mind do whatever it wants and bring myself back to focus, all of which was an attempt to have control over my mind.

Day 12
Much the the same, but I can control the mind better, letting the mind do whatever it wants to do, and then bring the attention back to the body. I feel happy today after this meditation because I finally realize that I have control.

Day 13
Sometimes, we all feel like we have to do something else to make us truly happy, but that’s not necessarily true. I’m happy right now knowing I can control the brain--anxiety, most obsessive-compulsive behaviors (as related to anxiety), frustration gone, during the session and throughout the day. M said the same thing—noticing when I started and how I feel now. 

Day 14
Longer spaces to breathe, and then counting my breaths. M said to let the mind go, and then bring the focus back to the body. About halfway through, M said to picture blue skies, and I did until I opened my eyes at the end. It was a good session because, once again, I controlled the mind.

Day 15
The mind is restless, but I know how to control it now. Blue skies and bringing the mind back to the body. Then M said to allow the mind to go free, experiencing the senses, and ultimately bring the mind back to the body. Again, there was more time to let me practice control. 

Day 16
M, as always, start with breathing—in through the nose, and out with the mouth. I didn’t realize it, after a while, that I didn’t feel the chair around me until he said be aware of the chair at the final comments. Well spent 15 minutes.

Day 17
Restlessness, sleepiness, agitation completely gone. No resistance to sounds M wants me to hear. Deep breaths then returning to normal breathing with closing the eyelids and scanning again. It's beneficial for me and those around me, M said. Count the breaths, but watch each one. Notice the differences. I let the mind do whatever it wants to do and didn't feel the physical contact with the chair. Opening my eyes, M said meditation is a journey. I cannot disagree.

Day 18
M started off with feeling the weight of the body and feeling the resistance. Breathing again and soon normal breathing. M told me to acknowledge any strong, obvious motion. Scan the body. Recognize those around me as well as myself. More familiar rhythm with counting breaths. Resist any pain in the body. Then let the mind be completely free to do whatever it wants to do and followed by refocus to the body. Comfort comes when you acknowledge the pain. And it did.

Day 19
Obstacles arise, and one of the more obvious is daydreams. Mind wandering can be overcome by bringing the attention back to the body. Create distance, almost as if I'm looking at my body apart from myself. Scan the body. Count breaths. Notice the rise and fall with breaths. Come back to the body. Notice any sounds, and reflect back on thoughts--maybe pleasant, maybe not. Thoughts can be enjoyable, but if we let the mind wander whenever it wants, we miss opportunities to be mindful.

Day 20
From a technical point of view, it makes the mind more flexible. Experience the weight of the body. Notice sounds. Then bring the attention back to the body. Scan down the body. Count the breaths. Feelings come and go, noticing if there is any sense of resistance. Let the mind wander off and then bring the focus back to the body. Apply these skills to everyday life.

Meditation in 20-minute intervals: Basics 3

Day 21
There’s a way to tame the mind. Be present. Be aware of physical sensations and sounds. Scan the body, noticing any discomfort. Take a moment for motivation and the impact for me and others. Be aware of the rising and falling in natural rhythm. Count the breaths. If you find that a distraction occurs, focus on each breath. Rising and falling, said M, with each breath and bringing the mind back to the body. Then let the mind do whatever it wants to do. Bring the attention back to the body and into the awareness. 

Day 22
The more I do this meditation, the more natural it would be, the easier it translates to everyday life. Deep breaths and then regular breathing. The physical senses are becoming more familiar in the space around me. Check in with the body. Scan down from head to toe. Notice if there’s any mood or emotion that’s especially obvious right now while silently counting the breaths. M said to let the mind do whatever it wants to do, complete freedom for the mind, then revert the mind back to the body. Observe the weight of the body. Continue the exercise throughout the day. It's all right if I fail. I'll just resume.

Day 23
M says to take breaths, in the same fashion, conscious of the space around me just settling in. Attention back to the body. Scan down the body, not lingering in order to become more aware. Let the mind go free and then back to the body—an exercise in controlling the mind. Notice how each breath was different from the last. Let the mind wander again, and then bring it back to the body. Notice the physical sensation and the space around me. Jog my memory to be aware during the day. 

Day 24
M told me that it doesn’t matter where I am. I can take long breaths without drawing attention. Then he started with taking deep breaths. Then close my eyes while becoming more aware of the weight of the body and sounds around. Scan down through the body for both comfort and discomfort. Start to notice any strong moods or emotions and any motivation including those around me. Then bring the attention back to the body, noticing how every breath is slightly different. I hear the sounds of the busy street, but they don’t bother me anymore. Count the breaths. Let go and give the mind all the space it wants. And then attention back to the body. The session was a particularly good one. 

Day 25
Another way to integrate meditation in your life is smell of food or atmosphere. Close the eyes and feel the weight of the body pressing down. Start to notice any emotion particularly strong right now. Scan down and remind myself why I'm doing it, for myself and those people around me. Maintain that focus and count your breaths. If any distraction, bring the attention back to the body. Let go of any focus and permit the mind to be free. And then bring the attention back to the body and feeling the weight of the body and noticing all the senses around me.

Day 26
M reminded that you can do meditation during the day, turning it into a way of living, becoming more aware of the sounds around you. Check in with the body and scan down, noticing how the body feels and any strong emotions. Understand the mind clearly to me and those around me. Bring the attention back to the body, more aware of the rising and falling sensation. Count the breaths. The moment I realize that the mind is being distracted, bring my attention back to the body. And now letting it go and give the mind space to do whatever it wants. Bring the attention back to the body, noticing my feet on the floor and sounds. Gently open my eyes, maintaining my posture with quality of awareness instead of immediately jumping up.

Day 27
If you’re like most people, you spend so much time lost in thought. Breathe and watch the rise and fall of the body. Settle in and notice sounds around me, how the body feels by scanning down. Continue down toward the feet, being aware of how the body feels and the emotional as well, being aware of the movement of breath, and the motivation and the relationships in my life. Let go of any thinking and where in the body I feel that rhythm. Count the breaths until 10, and start over again. The moment I realize I'm being distracted, bring the attention back to the body. No need to concentrate, letting the mind do whatever it wants to do. And then bring attention back to the body, the weight of the body and sounds transitioning. Be aware of sitting to standing, standing to sitting, because even though it seems automatic, we often forget to be mindful of those actions.

Day 28
I need to be present in the automatic movement of standing and sitting, taking deep breaths and closing my eyes, separating the different physical senses. Scan down through the body, becoming more aware. Take a moment to clarify the positive impact on myself and those around me. Notice the rhythm of the breaths. Count the breaths. Bring the attention back to the breath if I find myself distracted. With the next out-breath, let the mind do whatever it wants to do. Then bring the attention back to the body. Make  sure I am remaining aware of the movements.

Day 29
It may seem repetitious, but this is the foundation for more easily accomplishing meditation. With the next out-breath, close the eyes and realize the senses around me. Scan down and become more aware of how the body feels while scanning down. Identify why I'm doing this exercise to have a positive effect for myself and those around me. 

Day 30

M said to just be aware and integrating meditation into my daily life with a calm and patient, not reactive, mind. Take deep breaths and close the eyes. Noticing weight of the body, settle into the space around you. Detect any sounds and becoming more aware of how the body feels. Not thinking, just noticing. Motivation is for myself and those around me. Count the breaths as they pass each time. At the next out breath, let the mind do whatever it wants to do. Bring the attention back to the body, feet on the floor, just recognizing the senses. Congratulations, M said, but this is only the beginning. 

The end of the journal and my thoughts here:

Sure, it's repetitious, but that's what training is all about. My motto was, give the class a heads up by telling them what they're going to learn, teach it, and wrap up by telling them what they learned in the session. I haven't had anxiety or frustration in the past 30 days, and when it comes to depression (which I don't have anymore after 8 years, decreasing slowly every year), Headspace will probably make a difference, too, if you follow all the words that M says exactly. 

The Basics are a small part of what Headspace offers. There are many more sessions, for example on stress, sleep, health, confidence, self esteem, and happiness, and more--even emergency sessions if you find that you're losing your grip with reality or just angry enough to start throwing anything that's handy. Can you tell I'm a fan of Headspace? Indeed, I am!  

Headspace is worth it, for its calming and relaxing effect which I need. Politics aside (or including), my hunch is that you need it, too, for this crazy world in which we are living. 

As Headspace says, "Live a healthier, happier, more well-rested life with Headspace." Who wouldn't want that!

Aug 21, 2019

An "Almost Vegan" Speaks Out: Me and the Plant-Based Diet

I never liked eggs as a young child, and I stopped eating dairy and red meat last year when I was told by others that those foods were inflammatory. 

My Asian doctor threw up his hands when I told him that I'm an "almost vegan." Instead of saying "oy vey" (the Yiddush expression for "here comes trouble"), he mumbled something under his breath that was the equivalent, I believe, because I'm taking a blood thinner and "almost vegan" didn't sit well with him. 

Blood thinner people have to watch their intake of Vitamin K and have blood tests scheduled on a regular basis. Too much Vitamin K can cause clotting, too little causes bleeding when you're taking Coumadin. The main thing is, take Vitamin K in a consistent way, the same foods every day, which is at best a challenge. (There are other blood thinners, but if bleeding start to happen, they don't have an antidote, but they're working on it. Any day now, the hematologist said. Yeah, right, I thought to myself).

So, returning to the story, all that was left was chicken and pork (let's not forget sheep who are killed by the age of one to give us lamb chops, and I don't eat lamb because I saw a special once on lambs' torturous slaughter. For fuck's sake). 

All of this change in diet happened because I'm reading (son recommended) the book "How Not to Die," a documented tome by Dr. Michael Greger (available on Amazon) which, by the way, recently become an international best-seller. In the book, he gives descriptions of chicken and pork who are confined in tiny spaces and brutally slaughtered that would send waves of chills down anybody's spine. And don't forget the feces that get mixed up in the annihilation of these animals. So I'm there, hating all of it.

So welcome to a Plant-Based Diet. I guess I'm a vegan now although not exclusively. I'd say an "almost vegan." I want to say it's for moral reasons that I eat no meat or the by-products of animals that produce eggs and dairy, but it is not. Rather, as a stroke survivor, it makes utterly no sense not to be lean. It would mean lugging around that extra weight and I don't want to do that anymore. And plant-based means weight loss.

To define the difference between vegans and vegetarians, although all vegans tend to follow the same set of clear cut rules by eating nothing that came from an animal, there are a few different types of vegetarian diets.
Lacto-ovo from the Latin words for milk and egg, is the most common type of vegetarian. As the name suggests, people who follow this diet eat dairy products and eggs but avoid meat, poultry, and seafood.
Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products but no eggs, meat, poultry or seafood.
Ovo vegetarians eat eggs but no dairy products, meat, poultry or seafood.
Pescatarians eat fish and other seafood but no poultry or meat and they may eat eggs and dairy.

Flexitarians eat meat at most once a week and they may eat eggs and dairy.
Then there are vegans who choose this restrictive diet for moral reasons about animal welfare. But I would be dishonest in saying so. I am an "almost vegan" because the real reason is, I'm allergic to fur and woolen fabric, and leather next to my skin makes me overheated. And I am an "almost vegan" because make-up products tested on animals first doesn't seem to bother me. 
Vegans also avoid honey, but I don't. says, "Farmers are known to replace the honey they remove from a hive with a sugar substitute, which is substantially worse for the bees' health. The cheap sugar replacer lacks the nutrients, fats, and vitamins that honey has. This unethical practice prompts honey bees to overwork themselves to replace the missing honey.

"Beekkepers will clip the queen bees' wings to prevent them from leaving the hive and producing a new colony elsewhere - which would slash productivity and profit. Queen bees are also often artificially inseminated." 

I want to care, honestly I do, but so far, nothin'.

Also, it’s super important to ask how restaurant food is made before ordering it. Many soups, stock, and sauces that don’t seem to contain meat are made with chicken or beef broth (or maybe you subscribe to the if-you-don't-see-it, it-isn't-there philosophy that is my roll), and fried foods may be made with lard, known as fat from a pig. Eew-wee-ohhh!

These vegan/vegetarian diets can be very nutritious, but v/v need to be recognize nutrition deficiencies like the following:  dairy products are a primary source of calcium and vitamin D, so vegans and vegetarians should eat lots of dark leafy greens that are rich in calcium and take supplements to replace Vitamin D. 

Also, dark leafy greens have Vitamin K, and lots of it, which if I eat them consistently, through trial and error, the blood tests will eventually be fine. Plus no cranberries ever, a small amount of blueberries, very limited dark chocolate, soy in extreme moderation, and so many more restrictions. Thus, the Asian doctor's reaction. 

Better yet, read the book to discover nutritional replacement alternatives, like B12 which is necessary to prevent anemia and found in animal products.
Vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, and beans will fit for both diets depending on how they're prepared. Good thing I like all of them. 

People always ask me, with a doubtful look on their faces, "How about needed protein found in meat and dairy?" That's an easy one. There are peas, lentils, brown rice, and quinoa, for example, that are packed with protein. Forget the soy and hemp seeds. Too much of them and they could be lethal.

Taking Coumadin, blood thinner royale, and getting enough Vitamin K are complicated, but I like challenges. This challenge, also getting the consistent amount of Vitamin K as an "almost vegan," is a tough one, but it's do-able. I feel a new sense of vigor and energy on this plant-based diet. Plant-based just makes sense, at least to me.

Aug 8, 2019

Is an Aneurysm a Type of Stroke? Is a Stroke a Type of Aneurysm? WHICH IS IT!?! aka I Hate Disorders with No Symptoms!

I used to say stroke, then aneurysm for variety, but the more I heard people talking about one or the other, I realized that I had made a mistake. So to have my dear readers not make the same mistake, an aneurysm is different from a stroke, yet commonalities exist.

Flint Rehab says, "The big difference is that a stroke is an event and an aneurysm is a condition." That didn't make sense to me because you can have multiple strokes and then that would be a condition. But the pictures from Flint tell all you would need to know.

Explaining a stroke:
3 types of stroke you should know

A stroke occurs when the supply of blood in the brain is blocked by either a clogged artery (ischemic stroke) or burst artery (hemorrhagic stroke).

When a stroke occurs, it deprives brain cells of oxygen-rich blood ( and leads to brain damage. As a result, a stroke can result in massive or minor symptoms and requires immediate medical attention!

Explaining in aneurysm:

A saccular aneurysms – also known as “berry aneurysms” – involves a large bulge in an artery that resembles a berry hanging off a branch.

A fusiform aneurysms involves the artery bulging in all directions.

You can have an aneurysm without any symptoms. However, once an aneurysm in the brain ruptures, it leads to a hemorrhagic stroke (the commonality between stroke and aneurysm), which is likely where the confusion between the two conditions occur.

Although an aneurysm can occur in the abdomen or chest, I am talking about cerebral aneurysm which occurs in the brain. 

A stroke requires immediate attention.

learn the signs of a stroke and what the fast acronym means

The aneurysm is different because unruptured brain aneurysm doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. But if the aneurysm grows larger or ruptures, then symptoms occur.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of an unruptured brain aneurysm are varied:

  • Dizziness
  • Mild or severe headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Seizures
Risk factors that develop over time include:
  • Older age
  • Cigarette smoking
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Drug abuse, particularly the use of cocaine
  • Heavy alcohol consumption

Sometimes, a brain aneurysm can leak a small amount of blood, which is called a sentinel bleed which results in the worst headache ever. Emergency medical attention is needed because it often leads to a severe rupture.

An aneurysm rupture can mean bleeding into the brain, thus a hemorrhagic stroke. It's called a subarachnoid hemorrhage, the symptoms of which are:
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
Treatment for stroke and aneurysm are different, but there is some overlap.

Here’s the main difference between how a stroke and an aneurysm differ:

  • When a stroke is caused by a blood clot, that is, ischemic stroke, treatment usually involves a clot-dissolving drug called tPA or surgery to remove the clot.
  • When stroke is caused by a burst artery, that is, hemorrhagic stroke, treatment often involves surgery.
  • While small aneurysms are often benign and left alone, large aneurysm are often surgically treated in order to prevent rupturing.
Four different options for unruptured brain aneurysms are:

Aneurysm clipping

When a large berry aneurysm is found in the brain, doctors may recommend an aneurysm clipping, where a tiny metal clip is surgically placed to isolate the aneurysm and prevent rupturing.

Coil embolization

Endovascular flow diversion

When a clipping or coiling won’t suffice, an endovascular flow diversion may be implemented. During this surgery, a tightly woven mesh tube is inserted into the artery to prevent blood from entering the aneurysm.

Artery occlusion and bypass

When an aneurysm isn’t accessible or too damaged, a bypass may be performed. During this surgery, tiny metal clips are used to completely block flow from the artery. The blood flow is then rerouted via vessel grafting by taking an artery from somewhere else and adding it to the problem area.

Treatment for a ruptured brain aneurysm, that is, a hemorrhagic stroke: 

A ruptured brain aneurysm which is a hemorrhagic stroke is usually treated with a craniotomy, where a surgeon removes part of the skull and clips the ruptured artery to stop the bleeding. Once the aneurysm is treated and normal blood flow is restored in the brain, stroke rehabilitation can begin to recover from the side effects caused by a brain bleed.

And this from the Mayo Clinic. Most brain aneurysms, however, don't rupture, create health problems or cause symptoms. Such aneurysms are often detected during tests for other conditions.

Oh, great. Another thing to worry about: an undetected, unruptured brain aneurysm with no symptoms. 

I'm suddenly reminded of what Julius Caesar once said: "As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can." 

You got that right, Julius! 

Aug 2, 2019

Stroke Survivors: Too Much Body Weight More Than Likely Means Failed Rehab Expectations at Some Point

Do you yo-yo with your weight after stroke? Many stroke survivors, sooner or later, are bored of being homebodies and venture out with a caregiver, or not, to find some excitement at the pharmacy or grocery store. I ventured out, albeit not alone, to even find some thrill at the doctor's office. But alas, there weren't any thrills anywhere and I went home and ate out of boredom, the one thing I shouldn't have done.

Now I follow My Fitness Pal app downloaded on the phone, for the past 90 days, once again, to take off those unsightly pounds. I lost 19 pounds so far, with a "decade and a half" (15 lbs) more to go, but I am at a plateau, not being able to really exercise like I used to in those sweat-generating sessions. I bought an exercise bike that my son and his girlfriend are supposed to put together after I sell the chair and cabinet that's blocking the space. But I digress.

Anyway, until then, when I finally have the bike assembled, the Fitness Pal diet goes on, and whether you like reality or not, it's a fact that stroke and excess body fat are a bad combination.

I can tell when I am heavier. I have a harder time standing up from the low couch, usually achieving it by the second or third time. When I was thinner, the first time. Thus, you may get to a point in Rehab in the Overweight range or higher where, try as you might, you just can't do the exercises fully, getting breathless or overly fatigued, or both as I did.

To get whether you roughly (the operative word) weigh too much, Johnny Wright, former Head of Outreach at ReNew Bariatrics, shared this information with me. (See the chart below).

In order to determine your Body Mass Index, which is the popular way to tell if you are overweight:

Take how much you weigh and divide it by your height in inches times 2. This feature is called squaring, in this case your height, and multiply the total by 703.

Example: If I weighed 140 lbs. and divided it by my inches which is 65 inches times 2, would read:

140      =  .033         .033 x 703 = 23.2    which makes me in the Normal Weight range.

My height is the same, my weight a little bit higher, so the Normal Weight range is what I'm seeking.

But there are exceptions, so take these numbers in perspective:

If you are a body builder, muscle is more dense than fat and is far better and healthier than body fat.

If you have heart disease, diabetes, or any disorder in your gene pool that is listed in the chart, it may be better if you try for the Normal Weight range.

If you are at the age of 60 or above, your metabolism slows down as you age, so take that into account.


If you're already in the Normal Weight range or lower, congratulations. And if you're trying to get into the Normal Weight range, kudos for trying.

Jul 27, 2019

It Is What It Is: Stroke Pain Gets Some Relief From CBD! aka You Don't Have to Smoke Weed to Achieve Comfort in Most Cases

Stay with me here. Long albeit necessary introduction ahead regarding the first source in English of "It is what it is." The earliest known written reference dates back to 1949 when the phrase appeared in a column written by J. E. Lawrence in the Nebraska State Journal:
"New land is harsh, and vigorous, and sturdy. It scorns evidence of weakness. There is nothing of sham or hypocrisy in it. It is what it is, without an apology."
It is what it is. I use that expression, too, a lot, regarding my  stroke pain. I always have a mild sensation, rarely severe, in my affected leg, so much so that now I don't even regard it as pain, just an annoying tingling. It's become the way it is (see, again), at times forgetting about it. And now I discovered relief. Welcome to the world of Cannabidiol!

I attribute the following information to Harvard Medical School:

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, so what exactly is CBD? 
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is gotten directly from the hemp plant, which is directly related to the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” 

According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” 

CBD is easily available in most parts of the United States, though its exact "legal" status is in limbo. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t make a habit to enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. 

Forbes says once associated into the arena of Controlled Substances Act for nearly 50 years alongside heroin, LSD, and marijuana (or cannabis), the non-psychoactive relative of marijuana--CBD--cannot get you stoned like weed, and it is defined by the federal government as containing not more than 0.3 percent THC, the "getting high" part of cannabis. 
In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of child and adult seizures, in some cases stopping them totally. Recently, the FDA approved the first time ever, cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.

CBD relieves anxiety, insomnia, (with both falling asleep and staying asleep), and pain, and a variety of other conditions seen in the chart above.
The side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue, and irritability, and can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner Coumadin, resulting in bleeding. 

A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily sold as a supplement, and the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of supplements. However, it can also be added to a number of non-edibles and used topically, like balms and lotions. 

The researchers need more data, but CBD may be proven an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, pain, and other ailments. It's true that CBD is currently mostly available as an unregulated supplement, and it's difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor to make sure it won’t have an adverse effect on other medications you are taking.
Natural Stacks says that CBD comes in many forms:

Products containing CBD oil are widely available, even on Amazon. You can find it, for example, in capsules, creams, or gummies.

As mentioned before, anyone can make a CBD supplement without formal regulation or testing. Even though the cannabis industry is thriving, until there is official regulation and control of CBD, you should do your research to have an absolutely clear knowledge of what you’re buying. 
Ask questions to the vendor:
  • Is this a full-spectrum or pure CBD oil, an extract, or wax?
  • What is the actual quantity of CBD in the product?
  • Can you give me the name of the company that produced this product?
  • Do you have any documents to show that this product is effective and safe?
  • Do you offer exchanges or refunds if I feel that the product is not helping me?  
A trusted company should be able to produce a Certificate of Authenticity on the label, provided by an accredited laboratory.
There's also CBD wax which comes in different forms, and may be called shatter, live resin, crumble, or budder. It’s manufactured by treating the extract so that it becomes crystallized.  
Dabbing CBD wax is exceptionally potent and can provide instant relief from problems, but you should use it cautiously as it's concentrated. 

I can't ingest (take by mouth) CBD because I'm on the blood thinner Coumadin, but I've used a CBD lotion locally from Amazon called Hemp Cream 1000 which helps my leg temporarily from that awful tingling. Again, check with your doctor before using any CBD products. I did, and now constant relief!