Fear of the Backhand

I’ve finally got some semblance of proficiency with regards to one of my most problematic shots in tennis. I’ve been toiling with practicing that shot since time immemorial but it seems to always have escaped me. Many matches have I played, with good results mind you as the percentage of wins I got way outnumber the losses, and it would have been much higher if I manage to be truly adept with my backhand returns.

All of my friends and several people who I played with regularly, know of this particular problem of mine, and in between teasing me and generally making me do that shot, they always beat me with it. I know I should have already gotten better with it, what with it being thrown at me every chance they get, but it remains as my sort of Achilles heel in tennis, the one thing that separates me from the club trophy that I have always longed for.

It was not always this way with my backhand as I was pretty good with it way back when my daddy used to teach me the sport. He sort of passed his passion for tennis to me and I gladly embraced it. We played and played every chance we got, all the while teaching me the basics of the sport, and it truly felt blissful for me to get inside the court, be it grass or clay and even hard paved courts never escaped my attention.

I think it’s really all on my mind this thing with my backhand shot. Maybe a couple of misses here and there sort of solidified in my mind that it was actually a hard shot, something I would miss eventually, and so I always did. I figured that out during one practice game with my best friend a couple of days ago. We were joking around the court while we were playing and kept talking about stuffs. It was only after the game when I realized that I have been doing my backhand returns quite nicely and haven’t missed a single one. Keeping my mind busy about other things seems to do wonders and not really thinking about missing it sort of did a lot of good. So it must really be the mind that is at work here.

Anyways, I’ve got the services of a local coach to teach me more about the shot and also the proper form and positioning for it, to give me the best chance of a successful return. All day we worked on nothing but the backhand shot. He gave me several drills to perform repeatedly so that I would familiarize myself to every nuance of the shot. He told me that repeatedly doing it will develop muscle memory and enable me to do it without thinking too much.

I was dog tired after our session that I even forgot to drink in between routines. I also have this middle back pain that sort of announced itself before we ended our practice. I can’t point out exactly where the pain was coming from as it felt like it keeps changing its location. Generally it’s lower left back pain and must have been the result of too much twisting I did in performing my drills. Maybe it’s some form of cramp or a muscle strain, didn’t know muscle memory included that much muscle pain lol, so much for that, anyways it’s all worth it.

 


Who Is Anna Chakvetadze?

Born to a Russian mother and a Georgian father, Anna Chakvetadze was a professional tennis player who retired from the sport in September 11, 2013, because of a persistent back injury. During her career high, she was ranked No. 5 in the world in the women singles.

Anna was born on March 5, 1987 in Moscow. Growing up, she was not very interested in sports. Instead, her past time used to be playing the piano. She only began playing tennis when she was eight years old after her mother introduced her to the sport. She joined a tennis club then, and four years later, won her first trophy in a city competition.

A big break came for Anna in 2001 when she won a nationwide champion in Russia, at the age of 14. But she was still hardly recognized in Europe at that time. She then started to clinch for several junior titles in Scandinavia and Baltic countries. Most of her opponents were two years older than she was and were surprised to be defeated by a girl with a long and blond braided hair. Her braid later on became a part of her image as her WTA women’s tour unfolded.

Her parents fully supported Anna in her tennis career. She traveled with her father in all of her WTA tournaments. Her dad even allowed her to take classes from Chris Evert-Lloyd, a 1970s tennis star.

In 2003, an important leap in her career happened when she made it to the Wimbledon Junior Tournament finals. In 2004, she also got a chance to join the US open where she made it to the three qualifying stages. She was able to defeat some of the biggest tennis stars during that time, including another Russian player Anastasia Myskina. According to her, the US Open gave her more confidence and strength for her future career. In 2004, she ended being on the 33th place of the World Top 100 best female tennis players.

In 2006, Anna also defeated a number of top tennis celebrities including Anna Ivanovic and Elena Jankovic. And in September of the same year, for the first time, she has won her WTA title in Guangzhou in China. She won again another WTA title after one month during the Kremlin Cup in Moscow after defeating fellow top Russian players Nadia Petrova and Elena Dementieva.

2007 marked the peak in Anna’s career. During that year, she had four WTA winnings. She won one in Australia, one in the Netherlands and two in the United States. She even made it to the quarterfinals of the 2007 Australian Open and Rolland Garros in Paris. However, her dream of playing in a grand slam finals did not come true that year. But despite that, she received her highest ranking that year for being ranked No. 5 in the top 100 WTA in the women singles.

In the spring of 2008, she won her last victory in a WTA tournament held in France. After that, her career saw a series of flops and eventually, she decided to retire in 2013.


My Dad’s Catfish

I miss the times when my dad and I go fishing during summer. He used to teach me how to fish with his old boat as we tug around rivers and lakes in our area. We often catch catfishes, angle fishes and bass. I remember he used to ask me to help him to make homemade catfish bait. My mom gets fuming mad whenever my dad invades her kitchen because he leaves it so messy. My dad still fishes with his fishing club; I’ve heard they were noodling. I really have no idea what was that so I googgled it up and it made me laugh and I told myself I’m not going to do that ever. Noodling, basically is fishing with your bare hands. You put your hands inside a muddy hole and you wrestle with a big catfish. This requires load of patience, strength and courage.

Last weekend, my mom and dad had a surprise here at home. He first called to tell me he noodled a catfish for me and he told me to hurry up and open the door because it was so heavy. I panicked a little and I saw him carrying a small see through plastic bag with a pictus catfish.. We were all laughing when he told me there are more fishes for my twins inside his car. My twins kissed and hugged their grandparents as they were so excited to learn that they have new fishes to take care in their fish tank.

At a first glance, Pictus catfishes look like they come from the species of sharks but with whiskers or barbells.   They come from the family of Pimelodidae, its scientific name is Pimelodus pictus. The usual color of its body is silvery translucent skin with a dark brown or black spots are their distinct look with long whiskers. Their life span is about seven to eight years depending on their health. They’re very active and agile swimmers that constantly scour the aquarium for anything edible as they can’t live in a same tank with small fishes because they may become prey if they are able to fit them in their mouths. Generally, they aren’t aggressive in captivity but they eat small fishes like Tetra.They also feed on leftover foods that accumulate at the bottom of the tank.   They eat bloodworms, cichlid flakes, sinking catfish wafers, beef hearts, insects and even vegetables.

Pictus enjoy being together with their same species in a school but keep in mind that they grow up to 5 inches so you need a large aquarium. The minimum size of their tank should be 25 to 30 gallons depending on the number of fishes coupled with an excellent filtration system to take good care of them. Fill your tank with plants and lava rocks because pictus prefer dark shades. Keep in mind that they are nocturnal fish so you won’t see them during the day and they’re active the whole night. Handle them with care because they have thick, razor sharp spines on their fins that can wreak severe wounds.

You should not have any trouble finding the pictus because they are imported regularly, and are easily found on nearby pet stores on reasonable prices. Whether you are an experienced freshwater fish hobbyist or a 5 year old kid, these catfishes would make a nice and an ideal addition to any of your tanks.


Mending a Broken Heart

Keeping a relationship tight is really tough and needs more time and work than you think. My husband Robert and I have been married for five years now and it’s going great. We have been so fortunate that we are blessed with our boys, Michael and Anthony and I have to say that I have the best life now and I couldn’t ask for more.

Before I met Robert, I’ve had a series of failed relationships that I used to cry over on countless lonely nights. I had three serious relationships prior to meeting the love of my life, Robert. I just hate the feeling of breakups, mourning and moping for the loss in a cold, dark room. I had a hard time recovering that my friends were worried that I couldn’t stand on my own two feet again.My mom was also concerned because I spent most of my time locked inside my room and I didn’t have much appetite. I spent weeks crying, but I finally decided to stop because a friend of mine told me that the time of mourning should stop as it was just bringing me deeper and deeper into depression. She bought me a number of self help books about how to get over someone to somehow offset the loss and it worked wonders on me. I’ve read it non-stop for hours and learned that it’s not my fault. It was our fault to begin with. It broke my heart because I thought that I let my relationship slipped through my hands. The books made me realize of my self-worth as I have been having trouble with that as of late. I even thought of becoming a nun and my mom doesn’t like it. I have also understood how my ex-boyfriend had been acting up when we were together as it reflected a little emperor syndrome. Of all my exes, he was the worst because he was the most possessive of them all. He couldn’t accept the fact that I have a life on my own too, and my life doesn’t have to revolve around him. We broke up because of that because I felt suffocated with his actions. I’ve seen him last time at a common friend’s party last month and he looked great. He shared that he already changed and that he already has a wife. He told me that they were planning to have a baby soon.

I’ve noticed that in this life, the more errors you had in your past experiences, the more opportunities you will have to make yourself better as a person because you will have more instances to learn from your past mistakes. I’m not regretting anything that I’ve done in my past because I made a decision to remember them as silly life choices and that it moulded me to become what I am today. I’m glad that they were a part of me and I also want to think that they feel the same.


Tennis Woes

Lately I’ve been trying to practice more on my tennis, so as much as possible, I try to play every day when I have a spare time.I’m doing this because I’m hoping to join an amateur tournament to be held in our town five months from now so I’m really excited about it. There are also rumors that my tennis idol, Anna Chakvetadze is going to host the tournament. I don’t know about that, but I’ve been following her career and she’s really good. It’s just sad that she had to retire at an early age of 26 years old. Imagine how heartbreaking that is because she used to be a rising star at 20 years old. Series of unfortunate events held her down and it started with the robbery in her home. She said that it wasn’t a random robbery as they know who she was. They even asked for her Rolex that she won in an earlier tournament. And since then, she was just not mentally into the game and then she suffered injuries after injuries before she decided to retire early.

When I was younger, I really wanted to be a professional tennis player, but my parents weren’t that supportive about it so I just took another path. They added that tennis can just be a hobby so that’s what I’ve been doing the past ten years. I don’t regret though, as I have a very happy family life, a very good husband who loves me and two adorable, bright, young kids.I do hope that one of them can be a professional tennis player one day.

Last week, I played five times out of seven days and I’ve been experiencing some pain in right arm, similar to the pain describe here. I’ve also been experiencing itchy armpits as I’ve bought new tennis tops, and I think, the fabric doesn’t fit me that much as it was putting a strain on my armpits. They were red and itching. Rob told me to not scratch it to prevent skin breaks and infection. He gave me an anti itch ointment to alleviate the itchiness.

Rob, my husband also looked at my arm and he noticed some swelling. He suggested that I get an x-ray, but I don’t want to because I don’t want any more unnecessary expenses as I’ve wasted money on those poor fitting tops that I just bought. I just took a non steroidal inflammatory medicine after meals to deal with the constant pain. I also ice the affected area from time to time to relieve the pain hoping for a faster recovery so I can go on with my training again.

After a week, I noticed that the swelling is almost gone. It’s just unfortunate that I’ve been out of our training for a week. Rob advised me to take it slow as I don’t want to reinjure myself ever again. I told him that I plan to play this weekend and he mentioned that he might have time to play tennis with me.


Cats and Parasites

I had a long and interesting visit to Shauna’s place, a good friend of mine. She was down with a bad case of flu and cough. I brought her chicken soup, some milk and cat food. She was alone for the weekend because her parents left for a business trip in Europe. We had an initial plan to just hang out in her place this weekend, but it changed when she got sick. I volunteered to take care of her and her two cats as she was so weak to function. I offered to bring her to the hospital, but she turned it down. I knocked on her door and saw her trying to break a smile. I gave her the soup and I asked her to finish it fast. It was surprising that her cats who normally purrs and greets me whenever I come over seem so dull and sleepy. I asked Shauna if they’ve eaten as they looked hungry. Shauna told me that they’ve been like that for a month now with constant coughing and vomiting. I’ve had that similar experience with our cat at home. I told her they might have parasites, but they still needed to be seen by a veterinarian to be sure. The next day, I dropped by Shauna’s house to pick up her cats as she was still sick. I brought the two cats to the vet and he confirmed my assumption. She gave me all the information I need to help Shauna’s cats to recover fast.

Roundworms are intestinal parasites often found in young kittens. They measure from two to five inches in length and look like very thin pieces of pasta. It causes kittens to appear to be bloated and prone to vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. Infected kittens appear dull, lethargic and they don’t develop as much compared to the healthy ones. The most common symptom would be coughing. Since cats often lick their feet after roaming around floors and dirt, they are often contaminated with all sorts of parasites like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and lungworms. Cats that hunt and eat rodents are more prone to parasites because those rodents are all infected since they eat rotten food and carcasses. The veterinarian also disclosed that roundworms in cats are one of the most common conditions of the feline specie while pancreatitis in cats are the most mysterious case since its cause is still idiopathic or unknown. There are many theories, but as of now, none are proven.

There are a number of things to remember to prevent your cat from getting parasites like roundworms. The owner should always make time to regularly groom the pet to lessen the risk of contamination such as frequent bathing, cutting of nails and trimming of hair. Teach them to defecate in the litter box and clean it regularly with disinfectants. Kittens starting at the age of two weeks should be dewormed every 2weeks until its 12th week. You can annually deworm your cat after that.


Bunions Aren’t Forever

I have a friend whom I find so weird. Her name is Pattie. She always wears shoes even when we are in the beach on weekends. I was supposed to ask her about it before she showed me the reason behind it. She has a bunion and a bunionette otherwise known as tailor’s bunion on both feet. She is embarrassed by it and so frustrated that she can’t enjoy our beach weekends with friends. I made her feel a little better when I told her that my mom also has it and I also shared how she managed to deal with it permanently. She wanted to ask my mom personally so she’s going to drop by my house after school this Monday.

what causes bunionsMy mom felt bad for her as they were talking. Pattie told her that it’s making her uncomfortable, thus damaging her self-esteem. It is also making her stressed and depressed at the same time. She asked my mom what causes bunions and my mom readily answered all of my friend’s queries non-stop. She even offered to refer my friend to her podiatrist if she wants to know more.

Bunions are hard to deal with if you have self-image issues. You will be more careful not to show your feet to anybody else, so you always feel anxious. Bunions are a bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It is often red and painful because it presses against the shoes when you walk. Studies contradict whether bunions are hereditary which are aggravated by shoe use or it’s just from wearing ill-fitting shoes. You can also develop bunions overtime if you have arthritis. Small bunions, however is called a bunionette and grows on the side of the fifth toe.

Primary treatment for bunions is changing your shoes which have more room for the toes to breathe. You can try buying paddings at pharmacies to put between your bunion and shoes. You can a wear a bunion pad and shoe inserts to try to realign your toes. For more advanced bunions, you can try buying splints for bunions as they have been proven to aid bunions and relieve pain. Soaking your feet in lukewarm water for a few minutes may help lessen pain. You can use non steroidal inflammatory drugs such as Naproxen which might help to alleviate pain. For a more permanent and drastic approach, you may opt to have surgery but before you do that, you need to consult a podiatrist first to have a detailed examination and be sure to exhaust all available and proven techniques before you result to surgery.

Bunion surgeries are also called bunionectomy, it is the process where the surgeon shaves off excess bone from the big toe and then realigns them with the remaining toes. Most surgeries are successful in aligning the toes straight but it doesn’t guarantee that it is free of pain. Podiatrists say it also has something to do with the way we walk. Follow up surgeries and certain exercises are sometimes needed to prevent further pain and complications.


Ankle and Foot problems

I always play tennis every weekend with my family and friends. It’s not just a sport for me but also a way to widen my circle of friends. Every week, I meet people with the same passion as mine.   We were playing doubles and we were on the third set. Our friend, Lisa had sprained foot, which was very unfortunate. She was a tough opponent as we had a back and forth game.   I hit the ball hard with my forehand then she tried chasing the ball down the line then she tripped. I managed to get to my cooler fast to get some ice for Lisa. She said her foot was okay and she just needs to ice and rest it.

I just played singles with my husband. Then 30 minutes later, he had an ankle injury. Now, that was the sign to go home. This is going to be a very unlucky weekend. I got my twins and racquets then my husband fetched the car in the parking lot. We got home and I told my husband to ice his injury quickly. During dinner, he told me that the pain is manageable, but his foot has a tingling sensation and it was a little numb. I told him I’ll bring him to the doctor first thing in the morning. The doctor examined his ankle and feet and asked him to go to Radiology for an X-Ray. After a few hours, we got the result and there were no fractures. The doctor said his foot needs to be elevated for better blood circulation. I’m so happy when I learned that his injury wasn’t serious.

Blood vessels leak fluid into the tissue that surrounds the joint when a sprain occurs. Bruising may also be seen when there is trauma as the joint was taken beyond its normal range of motion. The most common ankle sprain occurs on the lateral or on the remote portion of the ankle. This is an extremely common injury which affects many people during a wide variety of activities. Meanwhile, tingling feet are a pins and needles sensation which can be also called as paresthesia. It is a very common symptom that can be mild or severe, temporary or chronic. Normally, it is caused by the pressure on the nerves, which in turn can be caused by crossing your legs or sitting on your foot for too long. This kind of tingling goes away soon after the pressure is relieved.

Athletes and sports hobbyists alike suffer sprains and tingling feet from time to time. It’s because some ignore the importance of proper stretching before undergoing any physical activity. We should enhance and improve our balance, flexibility and build stronger, leaner muscles. Try to practice stretching before and after any kind of physical activity and always try to be in shape when playing sports and not the other way around. Our bones, joints and feet always have the burden of carrying our weight, we must lessen that burden to minimize the risk of getting an injury.


4 Common Tennis Injuries

Tennis is perhaps one of the most popular sports in the world today. Its popularity is also propelled by heated rivalry in the court by elite male or female tennis players who have gained millions of fans worldwide.

One of the undeniable truths about the tennis is that whether you are a beginner or an elite player, you could suffer from common tennis injuries. Long-time players of this sport are able to attest to that. By knowing and understanding these common injuries, you can be prepared to take extra precautions to avoid them.

1. Sprained Ankle

Many popular tennis players such as Roger Federed, Andrew Murray and Andy Roddick have suffered from a sprained ankle in the past. This injury is normally caused by a sudden sideways movement which players normally perform while playing. This movement causes the ankle to be twisted, resulting to damage of the ligaments and other surrounding tissues. In most cases, the damage results into bleeding of the tissues, which in turn causes the ankle to swell. This type of injury can be severely painful.

To prevent a sprained ankle from occurring, some tennis players use an ankle brace. However, if you already have that, it is also important to observe the PRICE protocol, which stands for Protection, Rest, Ice (should not be applied directly on the skin), Compression and Elevation.

2. Shoulder Pain

Various tennis strokes performed by players can greatly stress the shoulders. That is why shoulder pain is also a common injury among tennis players. In particular, many players suffer from shoulder bursitis, which is an inflammation that affects a fluid sac called bursa. This condition causes extreme pain every time the arm is raised.

To prevent this kind of pain, you should give attention to strengthening your shoulder muscles and keeping them flexible. There are certain exercises that can help you achieve it. If you are suffering from this condition, your first line of treatment is to apply ice pack on the affected area to reduce inflammation.

3. Calf Strain

Calf strain is an injury affecting the calf muscle group found at the back of the lowermost part of the leg. This muscle group becomes very active when a player has to make a sudden or quick move to catch the opponent’s shot.

Increased intake of carbohydrates and fluid within the last 48 hours before your game is one way to avoid calf strain. The PRICE protocol should also be administered to people suffering from this condition.

4. Stress Fractured Back

The lumbar spine can also be fractured as a result of stress while playing tennis. This is characterized by lower back pain, which can be eased by resting and exacerbated by activities that stress the back. It normally develops when the back is stressed during serving.

To avoid having a fractured back, it is important for players to be careful not to overload the back during service. Core stability exercises can help strengthen the back and avoid this injury. A person suffering from this condition may be required to completely rest from playing tennis for at least six weeks until the fractured bone is completely healed.

Most tennis players are already aware about these common injuries, but many aspiring players are not. It is important to be aware and proactive about these injuries so that you can prevent them from happening to you.


Pimple Talk

Today I will talk about my acne problem which sort of reared its ugly head back up again. I thought I was particularly over with them as I am not anymore the teenager that I once was, and having them now, really is somewhat of an insult on my age, not to mention being particularly hard on the face and stuff. They are really going to get it from me this time, as I am now better equipped than I was back then, when I was only a nonsensical teenager who just screams when I happen to have a pimple.

I have nodular acne, the type of pimples that seem to live their life underneath the skin of the face and the only thing that makes you say that they exists, are the red swellings visible atop the skin, and the sometimes unbearable pain that they eventually bring, even to the slightest touch. What’s more, nodular acne often leads to the formation of cysts which sometimes contain pus or blood, or even both if you are unlucky enough.

Pimples, or acne for that matter, forms when there is blockage in the hair follicles that is scattered all throughout our skin. The blockage may be dead skin cells, dried up sebum, or it can also be foreign objects minute enough that they can fit themselves on the follicle opening. When the follicle is closed, the sebum which lubricates our skin and performs other bodily duties cannot express itself outside and become stuck inside the blocked opening. Bacteria may then seep inside the follicle and form an infection of sorts, and that is what we commonly refer to as a pimple.

Pimples are naturally occurring and the best way to treat it is to just leave it alone to run its course. Although several drugs and creams have been developed to combat this affliction, like the salicylic acid peel who seeps through the skin and cleans it, eventually sloughing the top layer of skin to be replaced by a new layer, all they tend to do is hasten, if not worsen, the process. The thing most recommended by doctors to do, is to just routinely wash your face with regular soap and water to remove debris that may block the pores. The creams that were created to artificially do this sometimes add to the damage and may also cause pimple formation because of their chemical content.

As with me, I think I have acne again, most probably because my hormones are raging once more as it is already that time of the month for me. Adding to it the fact that smoke from nearby wildfires tend to make the air more polluted, hence additional debris on the face which may cause these buggers to form. I also am wont to forget washing my face regularly and must start to take that into consideration one of these days.

Pimple occurrence once it starts only needs time and cleanliness to help bring it to its conclusion. Hot towels covering the face works wonders for me and is my go-to treatment process when I happen to have pimples. Plenty of fluid intakes coupled with enough rest are always good for anything, much less pimples. So the minute you get a pimple, do not immediately poke at them, even if they are urging you to. Just leave them be and they will just go away on their own.


Always Drink Water

What do kidney stones feel like? I’ve been asking myself that thing for two days already and still haven’t got my answer yet. That’s silly, I know. Asking myself a question I don’t really know the answer to is kind of weird to say the least. I think it’s time I consult someone about it, probably even surf the internet about it instead of thinking about it and plucking down answers from the wind, who is none the better for it. I am nuts sometimes.

Anyways I got this pain in my back that has been bugging me since that last practice I had with my swing coach. It was a particularly hot day when we last met and the drills were intense as it was for the improvement of my backhand shot. It was a very productive day and I learned a lot from it, I also brought this pain in my back as well.

So I did get to work yesterday to find out what this pain in my back really means. It’s generally on the left lower side of my back but sometimes it goes to the middle and on to the right side of the back. From what I know about human anatomy, the particular organ of the human body that is located in those areas is the kidneys. So maybe I had kidney stones or something, and I decided to read more about it.

Kidney stones, according to several sources I found in the internet, are sort of tiny crystals that accumulate in the kidneys, which in time then binds together and form a larger crystal, or stone for that matter, and that is when a person having them begin to exhibit problems with their health, particularly if the stone goes to a place in the kidney where it obstructs the flow of liquids there.

They said that symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Sharp pain coming in waves on the back which usually radiates downward to the groin area
  • Inability to find a comfortable place which makes a person to tend to always shift position constantly
  • Sometimes there is nausea and vomiting
  • There is a frequent urge to urinate but little urine usually pass when you have kidney stones
  • Low grade fever with accompanying chills
  • Cloudy colored urine, sometimes with blood when it’s already in an advanced stage

Well with regards to those symptoms, I’m not yet sure if I really do have kidney stones as I am just experiencing the pain in my back. I did read also of several home remedies for kidney stones and I’m planning to do some to somehow be safe from ever developing such.

Included in the remedies are partaking in less salt in the diet, drinking of water diluted apple cider vinegar, lemon and olive oil concoctions, dandelion root extract, baking soda, Uva Ursi herb amongst other things. But the main point that these websites have in common, is that they espouse the drinking of water regularly to those who are suffering from kidney stones. They say that drinking lots of water may induce the breaking down of the stones and also facilitate their eventual flushing from the kidneys.

I immediately remember not drinking water during my training session, even when I was already drenched with sweat, on a very hot summer afternoon. Maybe that was what really caused this pain that I am feeling right now. Okay water get ready for me as I’ll be coming to get you as soon as I finish with this post. I’ll also make sure to set an appointment with our GP just to be sure. Hope water eventually takes care of it.


Nervous Wreck

Have you ever been so much worried by something in your life that it really seem that the world is closing itself on you and you really can’t do anything about it? Kind of like you are drowning in a sea of Jell-O and no matter how much you try to reach the surface, you instead fall deeper into it. Well I had experienced that feeling a couple of days ago that was brought about by an event that I wouldn’t want to happen again anytime soon if I can help it.

One of my twins began crying uncontrollably and kept pointing at his tummy. It started late afternoon so we really couldn’t go to the doctor anymore and the hospital, never mind the hospital as it seems to be light years away from our place, although we did consider going there when it escalated later that night. Yep, our family doctor did entertain our call but it wasn’t any much help either as he really needed to see my son personally to know what he is suffering from. He just told us relatively basic things to do to somehow alleviate the pain among other things.

An anxious mommy is probably the tamest thing you could describe me during those moments as I was a mess, both physically and emotionally. I didn’t know what to do. Those suffering from anxieties like phobias, PTSD’s, OCD’s or relationship anxiety didn’t have anything on me when I’m like this as I was already panicking. Imagine your son in great pain and you can’t do anything to help, that could prove to be the death of me. Maybe I should really take supplements for anxiety as it is beginning to get the better of me. I can’t think straight, I can’t plan on what I should do in those situations. All I do is immediately go into emergency mode and panic myself to exhaustion.

Anyways, later that evening when all hope seems lost and we were all getting ready for the long drive to the hospital, my son passed gas. Yep he farted alright, and smiled after that, can you believe that? Turns out he was constipated after eating too much mashed potato earlier that day, which was his favorite by the way. So all that fuss was about nothing at all and there I was sitting in a corner, totally spent like an almost burned up candle, albeit a little bit happy and relieved to know that my son was going to be alright after all.

I’ve really got to remedy this anxiety thing of mine as I don’t really want to die young because of it. I heard of several natural things like echinea, holy basil (ooh holy, might work on me), lemon balm, kava root, ginkgo, rhodiola, beer and wine among other things, the two latter ones seem a bit familiar and I wouldn’t mind taking them as medicine, better them than some over the counter drugs, which may make me a worse mess than I already am now.


Summer Time Skin Care

My twins and I frequent malls lately because I often forget to buy some things in the grocery. I have the habit of listing them but I always lose them due to different reasons. I bumped into Krista, an old friend of mine back in grade school. Time really flies as we both have careers and families now. She’s working as a dermatologist downtown. I told her I’d like to have coffee with her but I have my twins with me so we just exchanged numbers. We had coffee a week later and chatted about our lives then and now. It was fun reminiscing the old days with her. We started to have a serious chat when we talked about her work. She shared that the sun’s rays now are stronger than when we were kids. I was shocked with all her stories about the cases she dealt with like removal of stretch marks on breasts. She even offered me a free consultation and discount for treatments.

One thing that really stuck on my mind was her patient who had second degree sunburn. I didn’t know that it can be that serious. I need to take care of my skin better.   Second degree burns occur when you have a long and repeated exposure to UV rays which can result in the destruction of elastic fibers in the skin, which causes it to sag and wrinkle and damages blood vessels. It has blistering and swelling effect to the body which is really painful. Burned area appear wet, shiny and may sometimes appear as white and discolored in an irregular pattern. Compared to the first degree that only lasts for a while, the second degree may have a lasting damage which is more fatal to our skin and overall health.

When dealing with newly burnt skins, rinse the burnt skin 20 to 30 minutes with cool water to stop the burning. Refrain from applying toothpaste as it will further aggravate the wound. Instead, gently apply an anti-biotic ointment and then put fresh clean bandages. Application of antibiotic ointments should be twice a day until the wound heals. Wound dressing should also be changed twice or thrice a day depending on the gravity of the burn. Daily cleaning of wound is also encouraged to remove dead skin cells to accelerate the healing process. Never pop the blisters so as not to have the possibility of secondary infection because blisters gradually come down as it heals.

Prevention is always better than cure, it’s better to take a bit longer to apply a sunblock rather than enduring so much pain when you get burnt. I’d rather buy some sunblock instead of buying gauzes and burn ointments. Get a good brand of high SPF grade sunblock and apply an hour before you go out. You can reapply the lotion every hour or once you observe that the lotion is thinning because of perspiration. You can also use Zinc Oxide on areas that have been repeatedly burnt. Remember to stay away from the sun’s rays between 10am until 3pm when the sun’s rays are extremely hot.


Stretch Marks, Unsightly yet Inevitable

I am proud of my body amid all of its seeming flaws and imperfections, all its aches and pains, and all of its pimples and pock marks in between. I love my body even though I’m sort of on the tipping point between being fat and being just alright as I have my two kids to show for it. I’m also not a bit worried about it as I am relatively an active kind of person to begin with and all it takes is a couple of rounds of tennis to bring my body up to speed, and up to form.

The only thing I am particularly careful about, no worries or anything, are the unsightly stretch marks on the belly which I got when I was still pregnant. Besides, carrying two not so really small boys in the belly does tend to make anybody’s belly stretch so hard, that you would think it would explode at any moment. It was fine when the twins were in there, but the moment they got out caused a little bit of a mess to say the least.

My body was left with stretched out skin in the belly area that didn’t stretch back to their original form. The doctors said that they will, eventually, in time, but I really doubt that from happening. I was then left with a sort of a melted beer belly that hung in front of my pants, which eventually needed a little bit of imagination to conceal. It was very hard to look at and very hard to have as it was an alien thing to me.

I have tried many things for it, to somehow lessen it a bit or something. I have tried moisturizing creams, Retin-A, Lextrin, glycolic acid, vitamin E oil, egg oil (whatever that was), and even tried several combinations of them to no avail. Name it and I’ve probably tried it at one time or another. Next thing on my agenda are laser treatments on the area as someone said to me that they actually work well in removing stretch marks.

But the thing I will not dare try is the surgical option with regards to stretch mark removal. I think they call it abdominoplasty or something, tummy-tuck for us laymen I suppose. It involves removing excess skin by way of slicing (ugh) them from your body and sewing the remaining flaps together. Talking about them sounds so gross already, what more if you got do it in person. I would more likely prefer placing a tattoo over stretch marks than having it operated on.

So how to remove stretch marks really? I’ll tell you what I’m up to now. Maybe it will work or maybe not, but I thought pretty much about it and came into the conclusion that exercise was really the answer. I have begun an exercise regimen which consists of various kinds of sit-ups and crunches targeted to that specific area on my belly, which I hope and pray, will at least make the skin in the area taught enough to re-stretch the stretch marks there. If not, then I’ll just let them be and move on to much more important things. As I said earlier, I love my body stretch marks and all.