The Cost of Medicine in America

First I am only relating what is/has happened to me.

I have high cholesterol.  I have tried diet to control it, but really didn’t put a lot of effort into it.  I exercise but knee problems prevent me from becoming the world’s next champion body builder, LOL!

Anyway, my doc has had me on several Statins to control my cholesterol and I relied heavily on them.  It required very little effort on my part, other than to swallow a pill.

But each time I am on a Statin, I end up with severe muscle pain.  So this recent visit resulted in a discussion about which would be better for me.  He decided to use Livalo, not as potent as the others, but far less side effects.

So I get to the pharmacy to pick up my meds.  First , they tell me they don’t carry it, but they  do check its cost for me.

$210.00 every friggin’ month as my co-pay!!!!!!!!

That is totally ABSURD!

Of course, I tell the pharmacist I cannot afford that…who can?.  Then I call my doc’s office and tell them the same thing.  I don’t know what he will order, but I know one thing……I’m sure going to change my ways….I plan to put forth more effort into losing weight and eating right.

I just might get lucky and not have to be on a Statin to lower my cholesterol.  I sure hope so.



I was last here in November.  The holidays have been busy to say the least.  We had Thanksgiving at my house and then celebrated Christmas at my oldest son’s house.  Good times.

We all managed to get what we wanted.  That might be because none of our gifts were very expensive.  My youngest did give me a gift card to JoAnn’s in a hefty amount and I truly appreciate it.  He knows me too well. 🙂

As far as healthy goes, I have lost weight, gained weight, eaten things I should have stayed away from, especially during the holidays.  Now got to get back to some intense working out.  I do feel better when I work out.

I’ve also noticed more aches lately…due to arthritis.  Could be the cold that is affecting my joints.  I guess that’s what happens when you get older.  But I’m dealing with it.

Been knitting more lately.  Also have some small quilting projects to do.  So you may be seeing more photos of those in the near future.

Here it is, New Year’s Eve.  No plans to party. Will probably watch some celebrations on the TV. I’ve only made one New Year’s resolution and that is to learn some new knitting techniques that I have never done before.

Here’s wishing all of you a prosperous 2015.

jon 19


Several weeks ago, at the urging of my youngest, I started C25K (couch to 5 K). First, I downloaded the free app to my phone. Then I began with Week 1 Day 1. At my age, I didn’t think I should begin with running. So when the program said to run, I just power walked. I managed to get through Week 4 before I twisted my knee. Not enough to incapacitate me, but enough to know that I had done it.

Well a week goes by before I can get back on the treadmill. In the meantime, I walked the dog a few times, but nothing strenuous. So this morning I started back at Week 1 Day 1 and I RAN! Yes, I ran! I’m not fast by a long shot, but I managed to get my old heart pumping and worked up a sweat.

My goal is to actually run a 5 K sometime in the future. It won’t matter if I come in last; I just want to finish.

Wish me luck.


Oh, BTW, this is my little mutt.

g 2a

Jump Starting the Weight Loss

Since Thanksgiving (2012) I have gained a lot of weight. Some I previously lost and extra. Not a good thing at my age. I also quit smoking and have found that I tend to munch on snacks absentmindedly. Also not a good thing.

Well I decided to try a smoothie type diet. I read up on smoothies and liquid diets. There is all kinds of information out there, pro and con. One of the main things is that it is difficult to get enough protein and nutrients with some of the smoothie diet plans out there.

So this is what I have done:

For breakfast I have a protein smoothie consisting of soy protein powder mixed in water, a fruit (usually a banana), a raw egg white and a low cal sweetener, like stevia. Then I serve over crushed ice.

For lunch I have a protein veggie smoothie. Again, I use the protein powder, multiple vegetables (cooked or raw), and sweetener, all well mixed in the blender. Served over crushed ice.

For dinner, I have a regular meal, trying to be sensible in the portions and calorie counts.

In the last 4 days I’ve lost 9 pounds. That’s a great jump start. But I don’t want to continue losing 2 or 3 pounds a day. I want to ease that back down to maybe 1-2 pounds a week. Rapid weight loss of 10-20 pounds initially is ok, but to continue this rapid weight loss for any longer would be a severe health risk. I’m trying to be healthy not become anorexic.

So how do you jump start your weight loss?

pbs 1

Getting Re-motivated on My Healthy Journey

Since Thanksgiving of 2013, I have gained weight. That was due to over eating and, especially, eating things I should only eat in moderation, once in awhile. Our weather didn’t help as far as my walking regime is concerned. One day it’s freezing, the next it’s in the 60’s. Then it’s raining cats and dogs. Go figure.

Well, now it is time to get re-motivated. I’m starting off with trying to eat right and drink more water. Next are my kitchen sink exercises. These are exercises that can be done at the kitchen sink, especially good for older folks, like myself, who find it hard to get down on the floor and worse yet, get back up from the floor.

Place your hands on the rim, at each corner of the kitchen sink. Spread your feet to shoulder width apart. Now squat, only as far as you can go comfortably and get back up from comfortably. That may be only an inch or two to begin with. Do 9 squats.

Keeping your hand position maintained. Step back about a foot, keeping your feet shoulder width apart. Do 1 push up (lean in to the sink, bending your elbows, push out, straightening your arms).

Next, do 8 squats and 2 push ups. Then 7 squats and 3 push ups. Continue this way until you are doing 1 squat and 9 push ups.

Doesn’t seem like much, but believe me you will feel it later. This is especially good for older folks like myself, who are losing strength in their arms and legs.

My next goal is to get back up to par with my walking. Of course, here the weather during the winter is unpredictable. But I have no excuse. I do have a treadmill and I need to get on it.

Now that I have put my goals in print, hopefully, I’ll be able to stick to them.

Wishing you all good health.


“Thank You” To All Our Veterans This Veterans Day

We should be thanking you every day, not just today. All of you have given quite a bit to enrich our lives. Some of you have given your health, some have given your limbs, and some of you have given your lives so that we, the citizens of this great country can enjoy our own lives without thought or fear of terror from those who hate us.

I salute you for your courage and sacrifice. I pray the Good Lord holds you forever dear to His heart. God Bless all of you.


Dealing with Discouragement and Disappointment

We have all been there, felt those overwhelming emotions of discouragement and disappointment when we haven’t succeeded in reaching a specific goal in our quest for a healthier lifestyle.

Sometimes it happens in our exercise routine or in the weight loss goals we set for ourselves.

I know in my exercise routine, I had decided to do two different things to get myself healthier. One, I would walk my dog daily. The other, I would ride a bike. The walking I have been able to do and get better at it. Of course, I have a dog that loves to go walking anytime of the day or nite and is willing to go the distance as long as I am able and willing to go the distance. BUT, the bike riding….well, let’s just say that is on a back burner. Why? Because I got the wrong size bike for my height and I have difficulty balancing it. Needless to say I was very discouraged and disappointed that I couldn’t keep that part of my exercise program going. I felt guilty that I had to cut that part of my exercise out until I realized that I was doing great with the other part. I had to change my attitude. So I can’t ride THIS bike. I’ll sell it and save for one more suited to me…even if it is an adult tricycle, so be it. Or I’ll just sell it and save for a treadmill that I can use in the house during bad weather. Whatever I do, I know that one part of my exercise program is working and I will put all of my concentration into that for the time being.

My weight loss goals have, at times, also been an area of discouragement and disappointment. Yes, I would love to go to bed and wake up in the morning 20 pounds lighter. But that AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN! I have set myself a goal of X number of pounds to lose per week, per month, per 6 months. Has that happened? No. Discouraged and disapointed…yes. But then I have to sit down and have a good long talk with myself. So I am one of those folks who doesn’t lose weight easily. What can I do about it? Change my attitude about it. I had to realize that ANY weight loss is a GOOD thing. I had to look at what has happened so far in the past 6 months. I HAVE lost 24 pounds. I AM wearing a smaller size. I AM moving more. I HAVE a cholesterol number in the good zone. I HAVE lost a lot of inches.

Dealing with discouragement and disappointment is a matter of ATTITUDE! Change your attitude when the Double D’s attack. Look at the problem from a different point of view. What can you do about it? Is it worth fretting over? Are there other options? Who knows or cares (besides me) that I haven’t been able to accomplish ONE of my goals? When you look at the problem differently, the Double D’s tend to fizzle and stall.

Remember exercise routines and weight loss goals are not set in stone. They are fluid and our attitude must be fluid too.

See you on the good side of healthy.

So You’re Walking Your Dog This Summer

There are some things you should take into account when you walk your dog in the summer heat.

l. How hot is the pavement? If it’s too hot for you to stand on barefoot, then it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.
2. Consider going early, really early in the morning before the sun has had a chance to heat up the pavement.
3. Carry some bottled water for you and your dog.
4. Rest if need be on your walk. Observe your dog. If he/she looks tired, stop and rest a few minutes.
5. Try to walk in the shade. Look for a route that is mostly shaded. It will be better for you and your dog.
6. If you jog while out with your dog and the temperature is 80 or above, consider leaving your dog at home in the air conditioned house.

Just remember you are not the only one going on this walk. Take into consideration the comfort, health and safety of your dog.

NF a

See you on the good side of healthy.

I Need to Get in Shape!

Definitely! Why? To wear the latest bikini to the beach? HELL NO! I’m too damn old to be running around in a bikini, not even a one piece swimsuit.

I’m retired and mostly sedentary. I want to get in shape so that I can take a walk around a beautiful garden without being short of breath. I want to walk around a museum without being exhausted and having to sleep the next two days just to recover. I want to visit zoos without having to sit down every 10 feet before continuing on. I want strong bones and pain free joints.

In essence I want to enjoy my retirement without having to carry an oxygen tank or be pushed around in a wheelchair. And when I reach the ripe old age of 80, I still want to be able to do these things.

So how do I accomplish this? I guess I’m lucky. My youngest, a health and fitness nut, suggested I visit the website, myfitnesspal. I can track my calories, carbs, fats, sugars, proteins and exercise. It’s a free website and it really helps. They have a database of over 2 million foods.

The hard part was plugging in my weight. That meant I had to get on the scale. It was definitely an eye opener. I was not happy. But I was determined to do something about it.

Next was figuring out how much I wanted to lose per week. I decided slow and easy was the way to go, so only 1 pound a week.

Then deciding on an exercise program came next. I checked what was listed. Hmmm…walking….walking the dog. How hard can it be? After walking the dog (small 20 pound dog) for 20 minutes, I collapsed in my chair. Another eye opener! I was/am definitely out of shape!

Then the foods….I had to plug in each and every food I ate/eat or maybe even take a gander at. I was shocked at how many calories I consumed in a 24 hour period. Definitely another eye opener. It makes me pay attention to what I am putting in my mouth. Oh, and let’s not forget the water. I can even track my water intake.

Have I lost any weight yet? No, but I’ve only been doing this for a week. Hopefully this time next year I will be a different person, inside and out.

fruit n veggies

UPDATE: I’ve lost 4 pounds in 1 week. I didn’t expect that, just maybe a pound or 2. I guess cutting back on the calories (from 1600 – 2000 per day down to 1300) and walking the dog is making a difference. I sure hope I can get down to a size 8 again. That would be nice! A whole lot less weight to move around.