Pills and Potions

No I’m not referring to the catchy hit single by Nicki Minaj. I’m addressing the ever profitable industry of pain medicine. I read an article in Consumer Reports magazine that sparked my already curious mind to look further into something I already had concerns about.


Over the past year life in my home has changed tremendously. My husband suffered a severe asthma attack in September of 2013. After a five day hospital stay and yet another of the same length in October 2013 (for elevated creatine phosphokinase levels) we’ve made innumerable doctors visits in an effort to get answers. The only definite diagnosis received after six months of tests, procedures and pointless biopsies, at the young age of 29, was osteonecrosis in both hips. We believe this could be due to the high doses of steroids given during his first hospital stay. However, most of the doctors found this “highly unlikely”. Of course they would.

After being treated by a pain management specialist who took my husband as a joke, he decided to deal with his primary care physician only unless she felt the need to refer him elsewhere. When a pain management professional is constantly referring to “the street value of these drugs”, and the patient is a minority, it can certainly cause eyebrows to raise, which ours did on several occasions.

My husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to heath and especially pain. I suffer from severe migraines on occasion and would much rather drink water, take vitamins, use an ice pack and find whatever method to treat it naturally before worse comes to worse for me to pop even the most generic of acetaminophen. After four completely natural, drug-free childbirths, I’d say I have a high tolerance for pain and a good handle on my own pain management.

I have my reasons why I choose to avoid drugs as much as possible; and while I don’t knock those who resort to them immediately, I do feel it’s important to be aware of everything being used and absorbed into our bodies. If you didn’t already know, the pain medicine industry earns an estimated $40 billion. That figure is expected to rise to $60 billion in 2015.

Does it make sense that medical professionals will quickly pull out their pad and pen to prescribe the drug of the month but will not recommend or explain the benefits of chiropractic treatment, massage therapy and other helpful treatments for pain? Does it make sense that these medications only serve as a bandage to cover the cause of pain, never get to the root of the problem, and only cause more health problems than they actually treat? Does it make sense that the medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies and reaping such a large profit off of drugs which only lead to liver problems, addiction and even death? Why is it right that they’re laughing all the way to the bank yet the people so eagerly seeking alleviation from their pain only end up living in agony because of newly severe health problems or dependence on these chemical drugs?

It’s a vicious cycle that is only getting worse. While I’m not saying it’s bad to take medicine if or when you feel the need, I am urging you to read. Read again. And read some more. Everything: ingredients, usage instructions, side effects. Educate yourself. Most importantly take care of yourself! Remember that what you eat, drink & even the amounts of sunlight, exercise and sleep you get play significant factors in the maintenance and improvement of your health.

How do you feel about pain medicine?
What methods do you use for pain management?
Share in the comments below!

Until next time, stay blessed,


I want you to join me on SparkPeople.com


Have you heard about SparkPeople.com? It’s the world’s largest healthy living website, providing members with free weight loss, nutrition and fitness tools and trackers.  I’m reaching my goals with their help and wanted to invite you to join me.

SparkPeople is free, fun, and full of resources that you’ll love:

  • Food Tracker and Calorie Counter and Meal Plans to help you understand how much (or little) nutrition you’re getting from your foods.
  • Personalized Fitness Plan and Exercise Videos that you can use to get and stay fit anywhere.
  • Mobile Apps to find healthy recipes and track your food and fitness on Android, iPhone or Blackberry.
  • Motivating Articles, Healthy Recipes, and Quick Fit Tips to help you learn about eating right, staying active and sticking to your goals.

I can’t wait to add you as a SparkFriend on  SparkPeople!

Join now for free at SparkPeople.com



Workout Wednesday

Spring is here! It’s hard to believe time is passing so quickly. Just about two months ago, on December 24, 2012 I made the choice to increase my physical activity to achieve a healthier state of physical being. Being consistent has proven to be beneficial physically and mentally.

Having been on a roller coaster ride with my workout routine, I decided I would stick with it no matter how much time I spent, whether 15 minutes or 45 minutes. I simply wanted to follow through. I started My Fitness Coach on my Wii game system and I was assessed to determine what area of my body would be the focus to strengthen and improve. After weighing myself, measuring my biceps, waist, hips and thighs, determining my resting and active heart rates and doing reps of squats, crunches and push ups, I was quite out of breath but feeling good. I entered a few more details, such as goals, and My Fitness Coach determined my area of focus would be upper body, which I was certainly in agreement with. The recommended schedule for consistent progress was shown as 45 minutes three days weekly, Monday-Wednesday-Friday.

And so my journey began. I have been consistent with my workout routine and have seen healthy progress. My weight is gradually increasing, which is good because my BMI (Body Mass Index) is considered underweight (5’6″ @ 113 lbs). It is a concern for me because after four pregnancies, my weight was at the lowest I’ve ever been since before high school, over twelve years ago. While so many pursue weight loss I’m working to put the pounds on. While many ask how do I look so good with three children, and I jokingly reply “I’m busy running after them all day”, the struggle proved to be frustrating mostly because I always maintained a weight above 135 lbs. Thankfully, and proudly, I have gained three pounds since beginning my workout commitment and am now 116 lbs. My goal is to get back to 135 lbs and maintain it. I know with the right attitude and consistent effort I will reach my goal.

I have learned fitness is a state of being and a state of mind. I feel stronger, leaner, healthier, more confident, self-disciplined and energetic. Keeping up with a family of five (seven on weekends), having energy is a necessity. Through it all I challenge myself to push a little more and work a little harder. I am learning that a commitment to myself is all I need to achieve success. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13


What types of exercise do you enjoy?

Keeping Germs at Bay

I was chosen by CafeMom and Clorox to try a few products and share my opinion. I received my box from CafeMom and had been curious to know what was inside. I was pleased to find a multipack of Kleenex (3 boxes), two Dial antibacterial hand soaps in White Tea and vitamin e, two Clorox Clean-up sprays in original and fresh scents, two Clorox wipes in lemon and fresh scents, and one digital thermometer.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I have tried a variety of cleaning products from organic to DIY to traditional (what mom and grandma used).
Because I like to ensure the bathrooms and kitchen are always clean to prevent spreading germs, I immediately took the Fresh Scent Clorox Clean-up Spray to do thorough cleaning of the bathrooms. I sprayed the toilets and sinks and was pleased with how easily it was to wipe away hard water stains, etc that previously had not come off.

The Clorox clean up spray removed a yellowish circle shaped stain on my kitchen counter from carving pumpkins a few weeks ago. Nothing I tried before worked so I was certainly happy to see that result. I should have taken a before photo to show the difference, but I honestly didn’t expect the stain to come off. Here’s the after though:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I used the fresh scent Clorox wipes to go through the entire house wiping all the light switches and doorknobs in all the rooms.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I was actually surprised how much dirt the wipes showed, even though we clean the bathrooms and kitchen regularly. It shows that even when we think something is clean, there’s still leftover dirt and obviously germs that are always left behind.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

It is important for me to keep my home clean in order to prevent germs from spreading and to keep my family healthy. Not only do I want the bathrooms and kitchen to look clean but I also like them to smell clean. I like how these Clorox products provide both, clean fresh smell and thorough disinfecting.

The hand soaps also had a great scent and hands felt clean and smooth after use. The Kleenex are always good to have on hand and I especially like how they’re not rough so you don’t get any irritation when using them.

Having three elementary school aged children and my husband and I working around others, I’m hoping to keep sickness at a minimum this winter season and I will be using my Clorox Cold & Flu prevention kit to do just that. 🙂

How do you keep your family healthy during cold and flu season?




*Disclaimer: Products were provided for me to test and review. Opinions stated are honest based on my own experience.

The Power of Prayer

I started October with a focused approach on my priorities. The autumn season is known for bringing forth a warm beauty in nature, despite the drop in temperatures: flowers and foliage transforming color before our very eyes, masterpiece horizons on the canvas of sky as the sun rises and sets, the fragrance of cinnamon and pumpkin wafting through the air as traditional comfort foods are lovingly prepared in homes everywhere. Along with that comes the reality of another year coming to a close. Whether you started the year with certain expectations or goals, this is the time many re-evaluate how far they’ve come and how close they are to their desired result.

I wanted to firmly strengthen my spiritual foundation, keeping in my mind the special words my grandmother has always lovingly shared with me (translated from Spanish): Keep God first in all you do. Pray about everything. Worry about nothing.
My grandmother’s life has always shown me that God will bless abundantly when He is given His proper place in our lives. I remember as a teenager, a dear pastor speaking on how we prioritize our relationship with God. To sum it up, his words still ring clear in my mind “He is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.”

As a wife, mother and aspiring business woman, I am constantly seeking ways I can be my best: an appreciative and understanding wife, a loving and nurturing mother, a woman who uses her work to allow God to work through her, serving others and leaving a positive influence. I wanted a change for the better and decided the way to do that was to improve my prayer experience. I reached out to friends, family and acquaintances, maybe 40+ in all, by email and text message to seek special petitions if they had any. I received a response from about 10, with general concerns as well as health and family requests.

To begin my journey, I listed all the special requests from these responses, and I listed petitions from church prayer sessions, and finally I listed my own prayer concerns. Starting my days early in the morning, I would take quiet time, before the family rising and life interrupting, to read a daily scripture and express my heart, wrapping my family, friends and associates in the power of intercessory prayer. If you haven’t know what starting a busy day in peace feels like, this is an experience you must try.

I consider myself to be an easy-going person overall, but the closeness I felt to my heavenly father seemed to fill me with a peace that nothing could shake. God’s promises are proven over and over, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” http://bible.us/Phil4.6.NIV

When life knocks you down to your knees, you are in the perfect position to pray. Leave it all at Jesus’ feet. Only He can speak stars into existence and calm the winds with His voice. When you feel your problems are towering over you, take a stand and tell your problems how big God is.

On your knees… get set… Pray!