Saturday, December 29, 2007

Energy Boost with L-Arginine

I just got my replacement bottle of Arginine in the mail today. I ran out before the replacements came and although I didn't fall sick (which I was worried might happen), I did spend the last week being really tired and exhausted. Normally I wake up at noon, chill for a couple of hours and go to work at 3, leave at midnight after putting in a long day and still have energy to hit the gym.

However the last week, it's been a chore just dragging myself out of bed in the afternoon. I found myself sleeping until 2 and dragging to work and being so tired when I got out. I'm not sure if it's the amino acid Arginine part or all the nutritional additives or a mental thing, but I really need the Arginine kick to jump start my day and give me a kick in the evenings.

So...I guess that's an update of sorts. I'm having some mild pains today L2's nothing really to write home about.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gotta Get Goals...

Life has no limitations, except the ones you make. Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. ~ Les Brown

Marjie recently tagged me on her blog for this great meme including goals. Being an avid list maker, I thought this would be no problem for me, but here I am pondering what goals to actually put down. It's a meme taking over the blogosphere, and the instructions are to hotlink the origin, so I present you the blog where it all began~ Gotta Get Goals.

The quest is to list 5-10 goals with equal explanations. That's the purpose. Okay, enough chitchat---let's go.
  1. Become the best version of me. I want to grow into the best person that I can be. I want to share my gifts with the world, fulfill my purpose on this earth and leave something for future generations. I want my daughter to respect me and want to learn from me the way I look up to my mother. I want to make less mistakes, learn from the past, and grow into a wonderful person. I want to become the one and only, unique woman that God intended for me to be.
  2. Vixen, Wife & Mother. I never thought I had a maternal or domestic bone in my body, but the last year has proven to me that I do have great stores of love that I am fully capable of sharing. I'm not as selfish as I used to be/thought I was, and actually more responsible. I want to maintain a lovely household with good energy and wonderful children. I want to be a fabulous wife, one that my hubby is proud of, one that epitomizes the virtues of character. I want to surpass the expectations of what 'love' is and further develop a full and deeper connection with my man. I want our relationship to be one that keeps on sizzling and growing day after day, year after year.
  3. Vixen, Author. To be more specific, a New York Times Bestselling author. I want to get published and be one of the voices of our generation. I want the words to flow as fluidly as they do in my head unto paper and for someone to see my work and go...oh yeah, she's really helped me see this differently. I want to write something that brings about some sort of change in people's lives.
  4. Vixen, World Traveller. I'm sure this is on most peoples list, but I'm actually going to do it. The world and all it's cultures is fascinating to me and my ideal life would be to travel all over the world and write my memoirs. I want to become an expert expat and live outside of my country of origin/naturalization. I want to settle for a few years here and there, exploring different parts of the world from Australia to Asia to the Fuji Isles...I want to see it all.
  5. Vixen, Cunning Linguist. I want to be quinti-lingual or more. In each country I travel to, I want to be able to speak and understand the national language. Thankfully the Rosetta Stone thing will help out alot.
  6. Vixen, Millionaire. I want to make enough money doing what I love, and what I do well that I can eventually invest and make my money start to work for me. That way I can have the money, energy and time to focus on more important things, like the different foundations that I plan to start/help run, raising money for sickle cell research and becoming a UN Ambassador.
  7. Vixen, Octogenarian. I want to live. I want to live far longer than the average mortality rate of people with sickle cell . I want to celebrate my 50th birthday, and see my 60th as well. I want to watch my children/grand kids grow up. I want to be one of those super cool old ladies that life is still peachy sipping on margaritas at 85. I want to live.
Okay, those are the top 7 things.'s the fun part, I get to tag five people to do this. I think I'll just tag the last few people that commented on my blog. Even if I don't tag you, please do it anyway if you have a moment, it's a great way to view your future success.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Another Miracle Drug: Nicosan

Someone left this information in a comment and I just wanted some feedback.
There is a relatively new treatment for sickle cell being produced in Nigeria by an American company called Nicosan. It is based on traditional Nigerian plant based medicinal practices for the treatment of sickle cell disease.

It has been tested through phase IIb clinical trials and found to be highly efficacious. Phase III trials have yet to be completed however it was approved for sale in Nigeria based on phase IIb and toxicity studies which showed it to be completely non-toxic.

It is available in Nigeria without prescription and the cost is about $23/month. If you have a contact in Nigeria who can get a supply and send it to the U.S. that is possible. If you physician is aggressive enough there are special dispensations where unapproved drugs can be imported to the U.S. on a compassionate usage basis.

Here is a link to the company and product website. Please read the clinical trial info.
I'm always skeptical about drugs that claim to 'cure' sickle cell but at the same time I don't want my skepticism to over-ride a good treatment. So I'm putting this out there for your input. Especially to my peeps in Nigeria. If you've heard about Nicosan, have used it or know someone that has, please let me know.

This isn't an endorsement. It's just something I've stumbled upon so if you want to try it out, use your own judgment. As for me, I'll just stick to Arginine for right now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sickle Cell & Cold

Today I was asked a question by a friend, "Which do you like better, hot or cold?" My answer was a vehement HOT! Not just because it's so miserable being cold but mainly because when I'm cold for a period of time (like more than 20 minutes), I put myself at a higher risk of getting pain.

This is unfortunately why I don't do anything that drops my core body temperature. Stuff like dancing in the rain, kissing in the rain or even getting in the ocean will make my joints hurt like crazy shortly therafter. Sometimes, it doesn't even take 20 minutes, I can feel the cold start seeping in from a walk through the chilly snow to my house and I know I'm going to hurt!

So I invest in lots of thermals, thick socks, gloves, scarves, coats and layered outfits. I rarely go out in the winter with just a sweater and jacket, I have to have some leggings and tights on as well, and if I have any even leg warmers. For some reason my top half feels fine, it's the extremities that do me in.

Dress warmly peoples---it's hella cold out there.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I worked a Double last second double (16 hour shift) ever! It was actually not too bad work wise, and I was able to chill out and rest today before my next shift 2morrow. I think I'm going to be doing good for the next few weeks with work even though I plan to work hard, I will be sleeping and cranking up on the hydration tip.

Nothing to far it's been a great week. So how have things been for you?

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Epiphany About Sickle Cell

When I was a freshman in college, I worked part time at the Social Sciences building for this teacher, grading reports and filing her paperwork. It was my first semester, and although I had alot of friends and acquaintances, I was still operating under my former credo (Tell No one). One day I was walking from my job to the dorm and I ran into a senior down the path. She walked right by me, then looked back at me and came running back towards me. At first, I was hella worried, wondering if maybe she was about to do something strange, but she seemed kinda normal at first glance.

"Excuse me, can I ask you a question?" she said.

"Yeah?" I replied curiously.

"Do you have sickle cell?" she asked as if she already knew the answer. My eyes almost bogged out of my head---I was so surprised. "Yeah, how did you know?"

"I just did. I have it too," she stated as she started walking alongside me. She mentioned that my eyes were jaundiced and then I noticed hers were too. Till this day I wish that I had a better memory so I could remember her name, but she talked to me for a minute, with the older sister/kid sis vibe. She was the president of the Sickle Cell Chapter in our whole district, and although she was a student, she still was proactive about volunteering for sickle cell events and meeting with sponsors and stuff. Up until that point, I was still living the "secret disease" life and noone knew I had anything.

However that short conversation with her, about all she was doing on the campus to raise awareness and all her plans for the future was enough to convince me to stop carrying sickle cell like it was a friggin' burden. She gave me her phone number if I ever needed to talk and a sheet of paper with all the sickle cell chapters' information and organizations in the area.

For me that was a moment of clarity. Here was a girl that wasn't ashamed or afraid of her illness. Here was a woman just like me that was kicking sickle cell in the ass and taking names. This was the woman I wanted to be like.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

New Sickle Cell Research Findings

Whoa, check this out...guess we aren't as alone as I originally thought.

Seriously though...a VIRUS?? It sounds waaaaay X-men-ish for me but at the same time, it just might work.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

10 Things Good About Sickle Cell

Okay, I'm not here just to whine and complain. So in the spirit of giving thanks, I'm listing the top 10 reasons I can think of why it's great to be a sickle cell warrior.

  1. You get a free "get out of work" pass from school, work or home whenever you are feeling tired, down or sick. This can also be applied when you are feeling kinda okay but want to spend the day painting your nails, eating bonbons and reading a good book.
  2. You get lots of pain pills, so if you are ever broke, you can sell them off the street for ten bucks a Vicodin (I've never done this btw!)
  3. You've learned the fine art of balancing. Some people take decades or lifetimes to learn this but you have learned to listen to your body, pace yourself and rest whenever your body demands. In essence you are actually alot healthier than the type A's who just run, run, run until they stroke out.
  4. You get lots of presents, flowers and teddy bears several times a year. I have a whole collection of stuffed animals I don't know what to do with.
  5. You don't have to search for a cause or something to volunteer for, you already have your life's cause imprinted in your DNA.
  6. You lose weight whenever you are sick. So it's like your own insurance policy against becoming overweight. When you get better, you can eat all you want to get back to your 'ideal' body weight.
  7. You get reassurance on a regular basis that your friends and family love you. You don't feel like you are taken for granted. You don't feel underappreciated or not recognized.
  8. You have a legalized reason for getting narcs. The immediate rush and relief you get with IV meds is enough to make you want or crave to be sick. Okay...I know we shouldn't admit it, but we are human. Narcs feel good. Narcs feel really, really good!
  9. You can buy lots of warm sexy coats and cute sweaters every year and claim it as a medical expense off your taxes.
  10. You learn to love life and every moment that you are well, because you've learned that in the blink of an eye it will all dissipate. So you enjoy the moments that you have!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Road Trip

I've spent the last couple of days with Norion in the car driving from San Francisco to Portland, OR. He very wisely decided to break the trip in 2 segments, allowing it only to be about 4 hours for me in the car.

I was really worried about travelling such a long distance, but now that it's over I'm glad I came along. One thing about sickle cell is that we've gotta worry about blood pooling in the legs and causing clotting issues, especially when you are sedentary for hours at a time.

I did get out every couple of hours to walk around and it didn't feel bad at all. The only drawback really has been the awful cold, rainy weather. I'm still not sure I have a viable solution to that yet, but hopefully I will come up with something soon.

You would think that having grown up in Michigan, and lived in Baltimore for so many years I would be prepared for the coldness, but truly the last 2 years in the Bay Area have spoiled my capability of what is considered dressing warmly.

I'm going to Target tomorrow to stock up on thermals and thicker socks. My ass is freezing.