Our Health, Our Responsibility

As a nurse currently working in the healthcare system, I can honestly say that I believe it to be broken.  

Doctor’s visits and hospital visits are not meant to make a person healthy. Those visits are meant to address an illness or injury that a person is dealing with at that time.   If you go to the doctor and are diagnosed with diabetes, you are given medication and some resources to, hopefully, learn to manage the illness. You are not healthy when you leave the office, you are simply managing the issue.  If you go to the hospital with a congestive heart failure (CHF) exacerbation, you are put on diuretics to reduce the excess fluid in your system to reduce swelling and improve breathing, but you are not healthy, you have managed the exacerbation and are sent back to your life to further manage the disease. The hospitals have a revolving door, with the same patients returning to the hospital for the same issues, because they either do not understand how to manage their diseases, or if they do understand how, the work in doing so too overwhelming.

So, if the healthcare system isn’t making the nation healthy, who is? It is up to us to manage our health.

Diabetic management includes dietary changes, exercise, management of glucose levels, decrease in stress, and many other factors. Management of CHF requires dietary management, fluid management, exercise, and other factors. Those changes aren’t easy to make, but if health is the goal, then the hard things must be done.

As a nation, we must take responsibility for our health and stop looking to the healthcare system to make us well.  

Week 12


Making progress slowly, but not giving up. I started at 249# 12 weeks ago. Total weight loss 11.4# and 23.4# from my heaviest. I am still losing one pound a week. My new short term goal is 229#. I found a quote today that related to my slow and steady progress. I liked it, therefore I am sharing it with you.

“Everything changed when I figured out that big moves only come from lots of small moves. The tension of wanting things to happen overnight fell away. It took the pressure off and let me focus on putting in the daily effort that creates real growth.” – Cory Allen

I have lost approximately 5% of my body weight, which doesn’t seem like much, BUT even 5% has positive effects on the body. Extra fat can cause inflammation in the body, which can damage body tissues, including joints. 10 extra pounds adds 40 pounds of pressure to knees and other lower body joints. I have less pain now in my hips and in my knees. That is an improvement.

5% weight loss can lower the risk of breast cancer by 12%. Less fat will decrease the likelihood of developing insulin resistance and diabetes. Losing body fat can raise my HDL cholesterol level. Higher HDL levels are beneficial for the body. I am looking forward to my next annual exam. (I have never said that before).

I hope these entries encourage you, if you too are working to improve your health.

Keep moving forward, one step at a time.

Week 8!?

140 pounds 9/13/2022

Time flies too quickly. I have failed to post for several weeks now. Total weight lost – 9 pounds. I am down to 240. It hasn’t been easy. I lost, then gained, then lost some more. An average of 1 pound per week isn’t bad. I was recently reminded, that about 2 years ago, I weighed 262 pounds. I feel good about my progress, and a little proud of myself.

This journey started with the goal of not only losing weight, and decreasing my BMI, but also to become more healthy and to understand why I have such difficulty in seeking and maintaining a healthy weight. I have found that I lack consistency. I begin a project, or plan, and go headstrong into it for a few weeks and then forget and move onto my next project or plan.

Hello. This blog…. see what I mean?

This is not an easy habit to overcome, but I am working on it. Stick with me.

For those of you interested on how I am accomplishing my goals. I am practicing CICO (calories in, calories out); portion control; a drastic reduction in sugar intake (because sugar’s the devil); I am less sedentary; I am working on reducing stress to reduce cortisol levels; and finally attempting (not yet succeeding) at regular exercise.

As far as exercising is concerned, I am told, if you do things you enjoy, you are more likely to stick with it. I like to walk, but I love to be outside. Therefore I look for pretty trails or parks to walk.

I appreciate ya’ll staying with me, as I continue to grow (and shrink.)

Walking for exercise and stress reduction.
Beautiful surroundings help me want to walk.
Peaceful 🙂

Week 2

246 lbs

“It’s not a short term diet. It’s a long term lifestyle change.”

I have lost 3 pounds over the past week.  I am very surprised, as I was not as consistent with exercise as I hoped to be, and we celebrated my husband’s birthday by eating out and having cake one day, then the next, had a homemade dinner of gorditas, beans, rice, and peach cobbler.  I did eat smaller portions than I would normally would. But still… 

I joined Real Appeal for weight loss support and coaching one week ago. It was free through my insurance.

The concept, which I completely agree with, is that diets do not work. They don’t. They may work temporarily, but the weight will come back.  The only thing that truly will work is changing your habits, eating healthier, learning and living with appropriate portion sizes, and learning to like to move. Calories in/Calories out.

Where are you in your journey?

Week 1


This is a little scary. I have some anxiety, but I am going to invite you along with me on my journey to better health.

Let me share a little about me. I am 53 years old. I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and an RN, and I am morbidly obese at 249 lbs. I had a complete hysterectomy last year, and my health has change drastically since. I don’t have the energy or the endurance I had before, and it’s hard to know that I can’t do the things I used to. For instance, I recently went on a mini vacation with my family to Beaver’s Bend State Park in Oklahoma. There were a lot of outdoor activities, many of which I could not participate because I could not keep up. That’s not acceptable, so I have decided to change the situation.

As a nurse, I find myself wanting to help other post menopausal women. After a lot of thought, I believe the best way to do that is to share what I know, live what I know, and share my journey.

So, here we go. Week 1.

Stinky Hoodies

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When my little girl was a baby, I played a game with her called “stinky hoodies”. I would put my nose to her little chubby toes and exclaim “Eeeewwwww, stinky hoodies!” while making all sorts of faces. She would laugh uncontrollably. Every. Single. Time. It was her favorite game.

She is now a young lady, and has recently developed a real issue with foot odor. It is no longer a “stinky hoodie” situation. In searching for a natural remedy for her issue, I remembered that I already, in fact, knew how to help her and had used the natural method in the past with other family members.

Remember, this is not medical advice. If you feel you have an issue that requires medical attention, please see a doctor.

I made a pot of black tea. I placed three family sized tea bags in a saucepan of water. Brought the tea bags to a boil, turned off the heat, and let it steep. I then poured the tea into a basin, added enough cold water to the tea to make it comfortably warm and deep enough for her to soak her feet.( No sugar added) I threw away the tea bags. I then had my daughter soak her feet in the basin for 10 minutes. While her feet were soaking, I put odor eliminating powder in her favorite worn out sneakers.

It worked wonderfully! Foot odor is no longer an issue. I have used this method three times, for three different family members. It has worked every time.

Changing Me

I have been unkind to myself. The result of which is poor health, a home in disarray and a life that most of the time feels like it controls me. Therein lies the problem. Life has gotten out of control…. Too much work, too much clutter, too much disorganization, too much food, too little fun, too little exercise, too much weight, too little health. This feeling of being out of control has been growing and growing. Now I feel as if I am drowning in it. It is time to take control, but how? What do I want my life to be like? Will I be happy after I reach that goal? Or will I still be searching? What am I even searching for? 

Time. Time to rest, to relax, to enjoy the things I love. The sun, nature, flowers, walks in the woods and on beaches. Fun. Smiles. Laughter. Music. Adventure. Travel. I have felt constricted, confined, pushed down and held back from the experiences I want to have in life, from who I truly am. I don’t want to be tied down any longer. I want to soar.

Soaring at 260 pounds is hard to do. The first thing I have to take care of is my health. I would want better for my patients. I am an RN. I am a hospice nurse. I love my work, but I hate my job. Giving of myself to care for others has been what I have done my entire life. I sacrificed my youth to happily and thankfully raise my 6 children and sometimes more. Giving. I have given everything to my husband of 26 years, and would do it again in a minute, because he gives everything to me. Giving is who I am, and it is what I do. I now give to my daughter and my son who are left at home, my husband and my patients. I give to my adult children and grandchildren when I can squeeze out a little time. But, I do not give to myself.  I save nothing for me.

My job is to go to my patients homes and care for them. Most of the time I drive several hours and day and spend 20 minutes to an hour with each patient. I then go home and chart each visit. I spend a lot of time sitting. In the car. On my computer. I don’t get enough exercise. Weight gain is a result. I have also sacrificed my health through high stress and no medical care as I have no health insurance. Not enough sleep, as I am on call to see patients through the night several times a month. It is not easy. Not to mention the emotional toll, to come to love my patients, and then do my best to help them pass away comfortably as God calls them home.

My career path and my life have led to a place where I want to help people live, rather than help them to die. I want to teach about being the best you can be, the healthiest you can be, and while I am helping you to change you I want to work on changing me. I want to start a journey toward better health. I want a quieter soul and more peace. I want to feel rested and restored. I want to remember how to enjoy this journey I am on, and I want you to join me in becoming a better me.

Welcome to Changing-Me! I hope to see you again soon.


I am an RN. I have worked as a school nurse, all over the hospitals, in critical care, on the cardiac floor, orthopedics, in ICUs, and now in hospice. I have worked with those who have injured themselves, those who have lived in poor health throughout their lives, those who have contracted diseases that had nothing to do with their own health choices.

I have seen patients on so many medications and realized with some healthier choices, these people would not need the medications they rely on. I began to think about our own responsibility for our health.

I also began to think about our healthcare system and how it has changed in the last decade. A great number of my middle class friends and colleagues have no health insurance. Recently I was uninsured. What would happen if my poor health choices led me to be hospitalized for a week or two? It would be financially devastating. Healthcare is expensive and many, at this point can not only not afford the insurance, but they can’t afford the doctor’s visits. Do people really understand the personal responsibility in maintaining one’s own health? Or that we can reduce those costs by caring well for ourselves?

I also realized that each time I go to the doctor’s office for an issue, the answer I receive almost every time is a new medication. Almost all of my hospice patients, who are over 100 years of age, take no medications. Is a new medication for every illness or injury the right thing for my health? Is it for yours?

All of this led me to my journey into learning about naturopathic healing and health and alternative medicines. Acupuncture, acupressure, massage, herbs, essential oils, reiki. There are so many natural options to explore. I started this blog to explore them with you, and include you in my journey as I expand my knowledge, open my eyes to new things and start changing-me.