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Posts from the ‘happiness’ Category

Healthy lifestyle habits that put you at risk for undesirable side effects

We live in a global environment: any news flies around the planet in seconds and that includes fake promises, expectations and lies about healing miracles. It is quite difficult to distinguish between scientifically proven truth and assumptions on which many potential cures are based.

Why does that happen? We have to understand that in nowadays profit-taking world it is not consumers’ health that always comes first. While many companies which intend to manufacture health promoting products start out honestly, there are also very many companies that use the consumers’ trust in miracles in their favor. TV and media advertising do not promote only good and well-tested products: they will advertise anything that looks like it might be true and brings in money.

Considering the epidemic obesity rates, which include early childhood and young age obesity, abnormally high numbers of patients with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular, as well as heart diseases, not to mention cancer epidemics, people need something promising. TV, phone, laptop and computer screens scream to us: vitamins and supplements are the answer!

This era is also characterized by extreme efforts trying to maintain youthful look and energy, as well as live and stay active longer. There was no long-term research present when the first statements about the beneficial use of synthetic vitamins and supplements as our daily routine were made publicly available. Since the naturally occurring vitamins, amino acids and minerals played such an important role in functioning of our body and mind, it was simply believed that more of these nutrients are better. It was believed that the source of these nutrients was not the most important aspect.

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For how many decades now have you heard from your doctor: just take some multivitamins, use omega-3 or fish oils, don’t forget vitamin C and E; obviously we all suffer from lack of vitamin D and calcium, so these should not be forgotten either? That has become such an indisputable healthy life-style feature that you will find hardly any person in the developed countries who hasn’t been on lots of vitamins and supplements at some moment of their life.

The CONCERN ABOUT OVERUSE OF SYNTHETIC VITAMINS and SUPPLEMENTS is growing with every new clinical trial that has been carried out to observe whether there are any significant benefits from such synthetic supplement use. The findings are shocking at some point. While almost everybody knows by now that multivitamin use did not result in any health benefits, not everybody is still aware that over-the-counter supplements do not do what they are supposed to, as well.

Millions of people reach every day for their calcium or vitamin D3 pill, or combination thereof.  Here is a quote from Science Daily (summary of a clinical trial): “Taking calcium in the form of supplements may raise the risk of plaque buildup in arteries and heart damage, although a diet high in calcium-rich foods appears be protective, say researchers at conclusion of their study that analyzed 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161011182621.htm

Almost everybody over 50 believes that taking calcium supplements will aid in avoiding bone fractures and loss of bone mass and its mineral density: osteoporosis. That is not the only review; there are quite a few clinical trial conclusions that state the same: calcium in the form of a synthetic supplement does not provide with the same effects as consumption of dietary calcium, calcium naturally occurring in food products.

Meticulous testing showed that most of calcium taken as supplements did not even get to the bones: it was partially excreted with urine (hypercalciuria was quite common among calcium supplement users) and also calcium spikes were observed which does not happen with calcium-rich food intake. Judging by tests which showed no improvement with bone density, researchers believe that the other part of synthetic calcium dose is absorbed by soft tissue which explains arterial plagues and calcification of arteries. Calcium spikes were also responsible for heart conditions. Strokes and coronary artery blockages occurred much more frequently in those taking high doses of synthetic calcium supplements. Moreover, there was not observed decrease in fractures or osteoporosis.

Journal of the American Heart Association  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161011182621.htm

Quote: “Because of the widespread awareness and treatment of osteoporosis with calcium supplements among older adults, this population would appear to be at greater risk of developing the adverse consequences of positive calcium balance, including vascular calcification.”

 “Calcium may be involved in pathogenesis of CVD (cardiovascular diseases) through multiple pathways, including through influences in lipid metabolism, insulin secretion and sensitivity, inflammation, thrombosis, regulation of body weight, and vascular calcification.”

The same goes for so much widely popularized omega-3 or healthy fatty acids. The evidence from many clinical trials exploring different conditions, such as omega-3 effects on cardiovascular and heart diseases, strokes and heart attacks, impact on brain function and delays of age-related dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and quite a few others, is very unconvincing. The widespread assumption that fatty acids may help delaying onset of some heart conditions, eye degeneration, brain malfunction and prevent cancers has no strong scientific evidence. It was noted that people who lived far north and consumed mostly fish suffered less from the above mentioned conditions. It wasn’t taken into account that their physical loads may be way different or their environment might be almost pollution-free. Therefore, it was soon assumed (and that was based on the facts that human body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids, therefore they have to be consumed) that synthetically processed omega-3 might contribute to higher levels of absorbed omega-3 fatty acids. We know by now that more is not better. MORE SUPPLEMENTS that exceed the daily allowance for such doses can cause significant health risks. Omega-3 fatty acids interact with medications, as well. If you are taking fish oil, especially fish liver oil, vitamin D and vitamin E, you are at significantly higher risk for bleeding. When all these supplements are combined with blood thinning medications (anticoagulants) that many people take to prevent thrombosis or heart attacks, the outcome might be seriously bad because the blood clotting will be significantly affected.

None of the previously carried out clinical trials about benefits of supplemented omega-3 use has provided with statistically significant proof that such use is beneficial for any of these conditions, but healthy life style and consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from clean food sources is. Therefore, it is much more advisable to eat good food and stay away from supplements, unless your doctor has prescribed them. That might be a drug form that is different from the over-the-counter form and, therefore, it might work for you. Uncontrolled use of any kind of supplements when somebody is already on prescription medications can be DANGEROUS  and it CAN AFFECT THE WAY YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION WORKS. Always consult a doctor, assuming your doctor is aware of the newest scientific discoveries and follows up on developments in the area of synthetic vitamins and synthetic supplements.

US National Institute of Health publication https://nccih.nih.gov/health/omega3/introduction.htm

The truth is that synthetic supplements have a different chemical composition; it is not the same respective vitamin or mineral which we are absorbing from food. Therefore, the metabolism pathways and the way this supplement or vitamin act and behave in the body are not completely known. It is also believed that vitamins and minerals from natural sources work the way they do because food usually contains a set or combination of minerals, amino acids and vitamins in their natural form which is recognized by the body; and this recognition is due to the program which is set by our very individual DNA.

Next articles will review the problems with synthetic antioxidants, vitamin E (the only synthetic form which is available at pharmacies: alpha-tocopherol), vitamin C and some other supplements. If you do not know where to look for supplement and vitamin recalls (there are quite a lot of them), google Health Canada and FDA websites. Such lists are publicly available.

 

 

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How to feel good and survive the dullness of depressing winter days

Do you have your favorite recipe for surviving dark, cold, nasty winter days?

I’ve seen and heard from a lot of people recently who are in cold and bad winter weather areas that they don’t feel well. Sneezing, coughing and aching is nothing new in winters when we change rapidly from minus 20 and move up to plus 7 degrees within a few days. What do you do not to stress out your body and yourself even more?

Most people assume stress comes from outside: too much work, too many interruptions, inability to do any task properly because of so many obstacles and disturbances, emptying and exhausting relationships, impact from energetically draining people with bad attitude around us, failure to implement our plans and goals and so on. In fact, most stresses come from inside the body, hence, we have so many adaptive mechanisms and so many systems that try to regulate the processes inside the body and mind in order to bring us back in balance.

This is certainly a period when we should nurture ourselves. Be easy and loving towards ourselves. Be patient and take one step at a time. My personal favorite tools for surviving winter come from my grandmother, my mom uses the same things, I continue using these simple remedies, and my daughter doesn’t mind them either.

Cold or heat: our body systems have to take on any stresses. That can cause mood fluctuations and add to discomfort, especially if we are already having some condition. Brain chemicals sound complicated and so they are, however, there are nice extremely uncomplicated things which can help them return to balance. Once the digestive and immune system are properly taken care of, headaches and heart aches disappear, anxiety and nervousness evaporates, blood pressure and blood glucose levels normalize, and having no inflammation is the best thing that can happen to us. Inflammation within the body causes most of our troubles.

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Tea will not only warm up, but also provide with numerous health benefits.

Rose hip tea for toning ourselves in the morning: it is a strong antioxidant, rich in vitamin C, helps digestive and immune system and decreases inflammations in the body, it helps fighting all diseases caused by inflammation, and almost anything can be related to inflammation. I know an older man who would never miss his morning dose of rose hip tea. He said it was really boosting his energy and activating his defense mechanism to take on any difficult tasks he has to face that day.

Chamomile tea for calming, warming and healing: relieve your stress, anxiety. Enjoy a cup and it will also reduce pain and any kind of stomach disorder, as well as take care of good sleep and your immune system.

Mint is always handy for keeping us in good shape because it improves digestion, reduces pain, eliminates inflammation, relaxes the body and mind and boosts the immune system.

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Did you know that you can test any tea putting it in cold water to see if it is really natural? If putting tea in cold water results in color which could be only achieved with very hot water, it is clear: coloring agents are added.

Do people with strong immune system also get colds or only those ones who have some underlying conditions?  If you are mainly healthy and still young, such cold periods should be shorter and affect you less. Cold is not flu, but it is caused by multiple viruses, especially rhinovirus. We all know how to treat colds, but when cold is persistent and doesn’t go away with over-the-counter remedies; we have to see the doctor in order to avoid all kinds of complications.

SAD? Seasonal affective disorder, I mean? We can become sad, sluggish and start feeling drained, definitely. It often seems that alcohol could be just the right cure from this sadness, upset and depressed mood, but, in fact, alcohol is a bad company for winter time, especially when one is heading outdoors. Feeling hot is very misleading because we get such sensation due to widening blood vessels. We do not feel how cold the air in reality is, and that can have serious sequences. Secondly, alcohol makes depression, anxiety and stress worse. For a moment one can be uplifted and flying in clouds, not that much later and the next morning when all bad experiences return with double force. We are already fragile in frequently changing weather conditions due to lack of fresh air and outdoor activities. Why to add more stress to our sensitive self?

You will have heard most likely about vitamin D supplements. The sunshine vitamin. Much less daylight can affect us, no doubt about that, however, if you are a person who always believes more is better, remember that we still need to be tested for vitamin D levels in order to know how much and if to take it. Overdoing a lot with vitamin D will cause kidney failure. We have nowadays all kinds of things added to regular foods, so take into account in how many combinations you’re already getting it supplemented.

We cannot go wrong with vitamin C since it is very difficult to actually consume it in levels that we could talk about overdose. The only important thing is that artificial vitamins and other substances will not be absorbed in the same way as the ones from natural sources. That means, naturally occurring amino acids and vitamins are much more effective because your body cells recognize them and know how to use. The absorption level usually varies and depends on plenty of other nutritional components; however, absorption level of an artificial supplement is never 100%.

We are drinking less water when it is cold, and when temperatures are so low it is very easy to overlook dehydration. Also, if your home or work place isn’t that cozy and warm it is extremely tough to make one consume some half a liter of water in the morning. People who are not diabetics can try hot water with honey and lemon. Diabetics should still stick to water. One bottle of water before anything else on empty stomach makes huge difference.

The other very useful, healthy and nutritious way of helping ourselves is replacing heavy dinners or big lunches with soup. Like all Latvians, I love soups, as well. Normal Latvian family can have a soup dinner a few times a week. We make soups from everything what is available, but very often beet soup, fresh cabbage borscht (definitely our family’s favorite!). We make beet soup with any type of meat. We love all kinds of vegetable soups, melted cheese soup with paprika, Latvian style meatball soup, obviously chicken soup, pea soup, smoked salmon soup, sauerkraut soup, bean soup with smoked ribs, many kinds of sweet fruit and dumpling soups … The list is endless since it is possible to cook a very warming and delicious soup using just basic vegetables, bones and meat. Soup is an extract of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Everybody can adjust it to their taste and preferences. Soup heals, warms up and recharges. Plus, it’s not going to give your stomach digestive issues.

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Winter is a time when we should be really taking good care of ourselves. I do not deny the importance of being physically active and engaging in physical exercises, but for lots of people the main part of surviving winter will be as basic as: how to keep ourselves healthy. Making a cup of herbal tea is so hilariously easy! Just do it; a few times a day and one more time before you go to sleep. Even these who do not feel well can manage that.

It is also important to have plenty of light whatever light one prefers: soft light, warm light, bright light for hobbies, candle light for soul and good thoughts; it doesn’t matter. We need a lot of light until the sun moves higher up in the sky.

Happiness is moody: life lessons

The New Year has walked across the globe by now.  Although, it is just a date, a reference mark along the way, we meet the January 1st as if it is a new beginning, a new way of life, a new hope and a new happiness which awaits just behind the next bend. Or does it?

I look around, and I am surprised how I have gotten done so many things. I cannot sometimes believe I did that because there were so many days in the last year I was not that productive. I certainly hope the New Year comes with soothing feelings of calm and adds some pleasure onto the daily menu.

Many years ago, a Latvian poet wrote some sad lines: “When the pain will stop, when it will end completely, everything else will end, as well.” Pain is a sign that we are alive. It is a signal to pay attention.

I’m not talking about physical pain only which can be so strong that nothing more exists, I’m talking about life that runs away like sand in an hourglass. Lost time, lost opportunities and lost days. So many. I will have to change that and turn every single day into enjoyable one.

Well, I am hopeful because the hope is always there: the next day will be much better, the next month will be much easier, the next year will be much nicer to me. It should be. It better be. Or otherwise what? Nothing. It’s about time I return to things that make me happy.

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As a young kid I had to walk to school for quite a distance every morning. I hated mornings because I was usually reading all night, and it was extremely difficult to get up. We used to live on a high hill. As I walked, and sometimes the weather was just really nasty, I could see another hill, far away. That hill always seemed to be sunny when it was windy, cold and rainy or snowy where I was. I have no explanation for that, but the sun just loved the distant hill. I often thought: I’m going to get to this other hill. I’m going to live my life on that sunny hill. Years passed by, but the other hill remained in quite a distance. I moved to a place from another side of planet across the ocean. I left that hill there, in Latvia. I don’t even know if it is visible anymore because any landscape changes a lot over 50 years. I am still on the way to that hill. Am I any closer? Maybe. I just know I’m not on it, I haven’t reached the point where I want to be, to live, to stand, to exist yet. Will I ever? Does anybody ever have it all? The truth is: we get something and we pay a lot for it. We sometimes pay more than we ever imagined was possible.

The truth about anything that doesn’t kill us and makes us stronger is only in that regard that we know we are not giving up that easily now. Is it necessary to become stronger this way? Not at all. So much energy goes to waste which could be used for way more rewarding things, things that actually make one’s life relevant and significant.

It was sunny during the day. That might be a good sign. A sunny year? How wonderful that would be!

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Wishing everybody to avoid unnecessary struggles and to reach your sunny hill whatever way you take in 2017!

Share the joy! Help the miracle happen!

English proverb says: charity never made poorstealing never made rich, and wealth never made wise.

I can only agree with this proverb.

However, we rarely see this implemented in the real life.

The question is: why not?

It’s because thanks to technical advancement, human brain gets used less and less, and we are seeing lots of out-of-focus, forgetful, inattentive and not that sharp brain responses nowadays. Where is humanity going? Towards the artificial intelligence replacing the normal one?

It’s also because poor people donate something to other poor people while extremely rich make their donations to large charities which quite often sponsor their personal businesses.

It’s also because there are so many advantage takers, so many middle men who steal everything from the person who works, creates and does.

It’s because greed dictates to overlook anything not profitable, therefore, it’s ok to poison people with harmful chemical food and drinks as long as they bring in huge profits. Doing so for 50 years has caused epidemics of cancers, obesity, diabetes, heart and vascular diseases and all kinds of gastrointestinal and brain and cognitive function related disorders. I haven’t heard or seen anybody seriously pointing towards the huge internationally operated processed food or drink manufacturers that they sell poison and present harmful chemicals as good and healthy food. Well, there are a few people who write enlightening articles which soon disappear in the sea of distorted reality.

It’s ok to cheat, lie and spread out rumours, hence, that’s a very popular thing. Who cares about truth? In fact, we are noticing, how many cannot accept and take any truth. Not at all. The truth has to be decorated, sweetened and embellished in order it would become digestible for the most part of population. Just try saying something not flattering to somebody. Just try, you won’t be waiting too long for nasty responses. So, where is the respect to other points of view, to other opinions?

Great example is CNN: it’s hard not to notice how hard they try sticking to unproven facts, how many efforts they put in propaganda and popularization of assumptions. The news they call news are not really anything based on facts, but they always go like this: he thinks, we assume, she believes, etc. The views they express and represent are very one-sided and very biased. I personally have lost respect for many of them; maybe the most neutral is Anderson Cooper who doesn’t openly look like he’s going to personally attack everybody who disagrees with his point of view.

I am working extremely hard on implementation of the new perception: perception that does not idolize somebody because of their wealth or status, the perception that facilitates creation, creativity, independent way of thinking and being. Results? Quite poor so far because the toughest thing ever is trying to break some strong, old, dogmatic, widely supported, unfair and misguiding principles that dictate to respect the trends, trending people and trending habits, but have nothing to do with genuine and honest evaluation of human potential and human achievements.

100% commercialized Christmas also falls in the category of misleading naive and believing people who really think that it is true if it says: everybody is buying, eating, preparing, looking for and watching one thing, but not the other one. When I hear “everybody” I want to ask: who is everybody? 1 in every 10 or 100 people? 5 in every 1000 people on whom there are statistics?

Putting it simple: everybody is nobody.

Christmas gifts

Are you overdoing with gifts because otherwise somebody might think something bad about you? Or otherwise kids would respect you less since that girl received talking laptop and the other guy has a robot for Christmas? Or car? Or necklace worth a large house?

The truth is that giving gifts and giving to less fortunate people at Christmas was never supposed to be a competition, however, in the world led by greed, competition is the only way most people would understand.

What happened to the natural warmth of the heart, to cards that kids draw and paint themselves, to decorations all family make and put up on the tree together? What happened to simple, home-baked goods and treats that even kids can help with? What happened to nice, inexpensive gifts which were always supposed to show the good will and love of the gift giver, not their wealth and amount of available dollars? What happened to Christmas that was for everybody: for lonely, for not that well-off, for those who have disabilities, for every child, for every mom and dad, for every parent, for those without a family? Where are the events that invite all of us to come together and share the joy without the need to invest in large gifts and attractions? It’s good at least walking and watching fantastic store window decorations is for free. It’s nice that poor people donate gifts for other poor people because they understand that every single heart is expecting a Christmas miracle to happen. Will this wish come true? I hope it will.

Share the joy! Help the miracle happen!

Christmas gifts

The soothing Sunday thoughts: castles of sand

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I know they won’t be able to withstand the big waves and the stormy winds. I keep building them regardless. Lots and lots of marvelously shaped wonders made out of zillion sand crystals. Castles of pure sand.

I know very clearly, and it is so obvious that such buildings are for a moment and they won’t last. They never do. Why to bother? Why to put in so much time in something evanescent that only passes away in the moment it is created and is unable to survive? Did I think this would be an exception? Did I believe that our dreams can magically turn sand into gold? Steel? Glass? Concrete? Wood? I must have been really silly believing in the magic of imagination. I must have lost the thin line between daydreaming and reality.

I build them all day. Long rows of beautiful and tall sand castles. I get up in the morning; pack up my pain and depression so they can enviously stare at my creations. When the weather is smooth like a silk scarf and the sun just sends down the first beams to explore the coastline, I am ready to get to my never-ending work: I am focused, determined and extremely self-conscious. I don’t need any plans, I don’t care about schedules. I always hope this day is going to be better than the previous one. In fact, it never is. My castles are fine. Materials and place are wrong. If it only was some other place. If I only had something stronger for my castles. So the night sets in, waves rise and they level down my creations. When I look at the same place next morning, all I can see is an empty sandy coast. No sign of anything from the day before.

Well, it has come to the point when I have to make a decision. I have two bad choices to consider. Doing nothing is not a good choice and doing something might worsen the current situation. It is as if I am standing at the crossroads and neither one of four roads promises to end in a good destination. Or do they? There might be something hidden behind the hills, there might be a good news waiting. Meanwhile, the days have been quiet and fairly empty. Foggy, meaningless and painful. The only thing to hold on has been castles built of sand. Fragile, unsafe and only for a short moment standing. They cannot become a shelter. They cannot save anybody from the storm. Why to bother? Why?

I would say there is always still hope even with a hopeless intention and an impossible purpose.

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The soothing Sunday thoughts: This warm August night

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I would love to take this warm August night

that stretches like a soft fog over the garden

and preserve it as a green fragrant scarf

for the cold winter nights.

I would love to take this warm August night

when everything is still so good and we all are alive,

I would weave my dreamy thoughts like threads into this scarf

for all these days when nothing is in the color of sun,

for days when I am lost and floating in an unfriendly universe,

for days that happen to show up from nowhere

when something persistently nags my subconscious mind:

our life has so many broken dreams and forgotten promises.

I would love to take this warm August night

and fold it neatly as a green fragrant scarf

and put it away,

put it away so far that I hardly can find it,

so far that when I find it I can recall this warm August night

and believe our bad days disappear with the fading darkness of night

and this scarf feels again like a warm fog around my shoulders

to prevent from death and frost.

August night

The soothing Sunday thoughts: I refuse to go with the flow

To sit in the backyard and watch everything growing,

To see how blooms come up and how tomatoes get red.

Do you have time for that?

I refuse to be caught up in the trap of the endless rushing.

I simply refuse to burn out myself chasing a mystery.

Must haves and must dos, must sees and must becomes:

It’s a lost competition for me.

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I have to be part of the growing:

To watch children growing,

To see the garden growing,

To witness myself growing old and then older.

And growing becomes a part of me.

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The greens of the backyard: are they ever soothing!

Plants have no growing concerns and no fear from their fate.

The greens: such a miraculous, endlessly calming quietness!

This must be the secret of growing:

At our own pace, at our own terms.

At the end, we all become ancient cities:

Lost somewhere deep under happily growing greens.

Somebody will be watching this growing.

Who knows whether they realize

How many hidden treasures are underneath?

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Scars from the past and fears of the future

Some people are definitely more intact than others, and I am referring to people who have experienced severe mental or physical injuries and traumas. Some have inherited or developed stronger defense mechanisms; therefore, they can withstand bad relapsing conditions and depression triggering events easier. I think our mental strength gets also affected with any physical trauma. I am not one of those people who write blogs about their struggles and suffering. I know that sharing a bad condition brings sort of relief and can possibly show the way out to others. It’s just possibly, because there are no two 100% identical cases, there are just similarities, maybes and huge inter-and intra-individual variations. However, as bad as my conditions and pain might be, I do not want to allow these disorders and pain to identify me.  I just refuse to be somebody who always suffers since that’s not what I am here for. I am here to protest, to oppose, to help, to teach and share some facts and my discoveries.

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Nevertheless, it’s been 3 very tough years. Again. I already had once 3 very tough years after I left the hospital which had become my home for almost a year. It’s very interesting how before the accident I didn’t even know what a simple headache was. After the accident, I learned everything about hospitals, pre-and post-treatments, medicines, their side effects and I discovered billions of new small bits about the human body and the ways it functions or dysfunctions. So far, I have spent 30 years studying everything from depressive and cognitive disorders to anything related to type I diabetes, heart and vascular, kidney, liver, lung and digestive diseases, and I am paying special attention to the brain activity and anything which affects it. While I can fairly well assess my own disorders, I cannot cure them on my own. Apart from being hard to tolerate, pain is also exhausting and drains me out of energy. It is capable of doing this to the point when I am almost always asleep. Pain is a bad and obtrusive companion: I wake up with it, I go to sleep with it, I have my lunch with it and it seems to be always around.

Those of you, who live with chronic pain for lengthy periods of time, probably are aware that pain makes us more vulnerable, more sensitive, more open to depression and desperation. Whatever somebody would say, whenever the pain attacks, we have to experience it on our own. If you are extremely sensitive to any chemicals and medicines as I am, you are aware how they make one sick even at doses which would be considered tiny and mild. So, that’s the issue, I am trying to be stronger than pain without much of medications. I would take them only when it is absolutely, completely intolerable. Even in these cases, I’m using only 200 mg or 400 mg Ibuprofen or Advil. Nothing stronger, nothing which affects the brain function and interaction of brain chemicals. I take pills rarely, as rarely as only possible. Instead, I am crying, tossing around on a couch and feeling how my willpower leaves me. Why? I don’t want to damage more than inevitable my kidneys, my liver and get ulcers, bleeding or holes in the stomach which can happen with prolonged use of potent pain relief medications. Unfortunately, when we have to rely on OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) covered care and treatments, the waiting times are insane. It can take about 6 months to see the specialist. In my case, it took 3 years to try getting something done. I am going to have a surgery very soon. I am absolutely scared because the results are not very predictable. In fact, they are much unknown, but since there aren’t plenty of choices, surgery seems to be the best option.

I do anything which I can, which I can at the moment. I certainly hope to return to normal life. I would love to have normal nice summers and winters again; I would love to go out here and there, to have some vacation, to see and meet people outside this place, to do anything which most people can do without any problem. Well, I hope to be there someday soon.

I also disagree with those who are convinced: once you let the past go you are like brand new and ready for a fresh start. How about the past not letting you go? This accident happened 24 years ago and that’s when I got quite a few new acquaintances: lots of pain, depressive episodes because I wasn’t able to cope with life as before, so on and so on. Whenever we are just fixed up after bad mental or physical traumas which happened in the past, we will never be the same. We will have anxieties and fear of so many things which were unknown before the trauma. We will be patched up and sewn together, but never again without cracks and scars. These scars might be invisible to others, but they are always there. Fears and worries are sneaking up on us whether in a dream or in reality.

Before your hand starts writing you are sorry (in case you decided to read this update since I was so bad, I couldn’t post anything for quite a while and most likely I’ve lost all followers), I would love to say I don’t want somebody to be sorry. It’s ok not to be sorry. I am a fighter, I always have been. I would appreciate much more you went to the gallery and art blog and checked out my Fine Art America link on the right side and the art for sale on the art blog. Ironically, when we are in the least favorable state and condition to make some money, we need the financial support the most.

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Yams

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More of my yams experiment

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Zucchini

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Cucumber blooms

The other thing which I am doing to get my mind off is my backyard and plants as you can see above. I have put something in the soil, just like always, and yams are absolutely experimental for me this year. Not much happening with painting, but the bits will be published on the gallery blog assuming I get to this before the surgery.

The soothing Sunday thoughts: what does he see?

Look at the old man,

He is so peacefully sitting under the apple tree.

What does he see?

Rivers rushing away like years,

Somebody’s face who he kissed

Under the blossoming apple tree?

What does he see?

No more urges, no regrets and discoveries.

It is all gone, but he finally has no need

To rush, to chase, to speed.

What does he see?

Nobody runs away from the death,

Nobody gets away with his sins.

He has time now, and he just dreams it away

Under the blossoming apple tree.

What does he see?

It feels like he has the answer,

It feels he has got the entire eternity.

Eternity 1

My Angel’s Day

May 18, usually a fantastic and very pleasant day of spring is my Angel’s Day or my name’s day. This day for many Latvians is almost more important than their birthday. It also is one more day to celebrate something beautiful, and we are honoring the person and their name on this day. Russians refer to this day as Angel’s Day, and I have to admit it sounds so poetic, therefore, I love using this description a lot.

Angel's Day celebration

Latvians got their name attach to particular dates since late 18th century. The church calendar probably gave the idea, and it became an extremely popular way to congratulate people who we love.

Statistics tell us that there are currently 12,713 Ineses residing in Latvia. Many Latvians have relocated to other countries, so there are definitely more Ineses out there if we take into account the entire world’s population. It has been one of the most popular names for at least 5 decades. I am proud I have this beautiful name and I am happy my parents chose this name since it suits me so well.

Angel's Day Angel

The small angel was given to me by my mom. She always gives me very thoughtful greeting cards and very interesting gifts. This small angel sits on the shelf very close to my desk to watch over me, to protect me and to always remind me about my mom.

Angel's Day Love

I don’t know how they do this, but lilac is always blossoming where I am on my Angel’s Day. My angel sits on my right shoulder and we are both extremely happy because it is spring, because there are flowers and because all summer is still ahead.

Inese’s song

We have a song which was composed by a very famous Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls. It was written for a musical play, but it became much loved, and it is always played on the radio and on the TV on May 18 when numerous Ineses will receive their guests with rich dinner. The most usual gift is flowers. One doesn’t need anything special, not even invitation. So everybody can make happy everybody. Happy Angel’s Day dear Ineses all around the world!

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