Lupe & Brian: Welcome to another episode of Sjogren’s Strong, This is Lupe and this is Brian.
Brian: And today, we, first of all want to thank you for hanging out with us for 20 episodes. This is episode number 20 and we appreciate everybody who’s commenting, who has gone to iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud, you name the rest and given us a star rating and positive reviews. We truly appreciate it.
Brian: For all those over there on Facebook. Thanks so much for all the engagement on the posts. You know, not all of it’s been awesome, but there’s things that we feel is appropriate to share. You know, obviously we understand not everything is for everybody, but again, we thank you so much for hanging out with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Brian: Today we’re going to kind of recap some of the things that we’ve talked about and how Lupe’s been able to apply them into her daily life and how she’s feeling now. So looping, take it away.
Lupe: So, we’ve touched on many different subjects over the past four months, to include brain fog, dry mouth, dry eyes, diet and exercise. And today we kind of just want to recap and let you know how I’m doing. What has worked for me and what hasn’t.
Brian: Talking about these, we’ve incorporated a lot of these into our daily lives. And again, I’m saying we, because we decided to change her diet up so my diet changes, we decided to change her exercise routine up. I’m doing it with her.
Lupe: Because you’re an extension of me.
Brian: I am. I’m team Lupe.
Lupe: That’s right!
Brian: 100% all the way.
Lupe: Whoop whoop!
Lupe: So that’s
Brian: That’s why I’m saying we and don’t, when I say we, please don’t mistake that for me trying to say I have Sjogren’s. I do not, but my lifestyle has changed in conjunction with Lupe’s.
Lupe: Brian has been really supportive and he’s there for me every step of the way and sometimes I have bad days and he encourages me and pushes me along. So you know.
Brian: So in a nutshell, how are you feeling?
Lupe: Besides my cough that I have right now? I’m really awesome, actually!
Brian: That’s good. And what one thing do you think contributes to that, the most, exercise or diet?
Lupe: I think it’s like half and half, a little bit of both. Because if, let’s see, if I don’t eat properly, I don’t have energy or the oomph that I need to exercise, right? So I stay away from sugars. Except yesterday I had a sugar doodle?
Brian: Snicker Doodle.
Lupe: Oh yeah, I had a Sicker Doodle or two. Um, but for the most part I stay away from sugars and dairy and obviously this month, you know, we’re staying away from meat.
Brian: That’s right! We are on day 18 of our Vegetarian Challenge and it’s really weird for me because I am the one that does the majority of the cooking.
Lupe: AKA all of the cooking.
Brian: And I made a dish last night and in my mind it tasted so much better than it actually tasted, once we got it on the plate. It was edible. Um, it was okay.
Lupe: It was alright.
Brian: It wasn’t my greatest work. But again, I’m cooking without meat and I’m cooking with ingredients that I normally don’t cook with. So there’s a learning curve, but we’ve been doing good. 18 days, no meat. I’m feeling good.
Lupe: But mainly you didn’t let me add salt or Parmesan. So that’s what it needed, I’m telling you.
Brian: And there was fresh grated Parmesan on it. She likes that Parmesan in the little plastic green label.
Lupe: It’s delicious.
Brian: Yeah, fresh grated is better.
Lupe: So, but anyways, um, I’ve been staying away from sugar, from dairy, meat and especially junk food because when I eat junk food, I don’t know how to explain it. The sugars they go, help me out, help me explain it.
Brian: The brain fog increases with the amount of sugar she ingest.
Lupe: It’s, like, instantly. I can’t explain it. It just happens instantly.
Brian: So when I want her to go take a nap, I offer a sweet treat.
Lupe: And if I take it I’m doomed. I fall asleep.
Brian: So, we’ve been doing really good with the diet. Most importantly, both of us had been feeling really good and have had the energy to exercise. We just had Andrea from Get Autoimmune Strong on the show. We’ve been working through her program and I tell you what, at the very core of it is this foam rolling and it sucks when you’re doing it there.
Brian: You do find spots that hurt, but that’s the point. And you roll them out and you work them until it’s gone or reduced tremendously. There’s a spot on the back of my leg. It took a few days to get rid of, but just foam rolling has made me feel more relaxed when it’s time to go to bed. It has allowed me to sleep better, as well. I don’t wake up with as many aches and pains as I’m used to. Why don’t you talk on your experiences with the exercise routine that we’ve been doing?
Lupe: So for me, for the last several months I’ve had really bad lower back pain. And it’s not all day, every day. It’s mainly really when I’m in bed, when I lay flat and about 15-20 minutes, the pain is so bad I can’t stand it. And sometimes I actually fall asleep and stay asleep for about five hours in bed and I wake up and I can’t move because my body is so stiff. And I don’t know what’s causing this pain, but the foam rolling has really helped me out.
Brian: And you know what I’m going to do for you guys, I’m actually going to have Brian take a picture of me while I’m using it. And what is it like the length of your, from your head to your, butt maybe.
Brian: It’s about 3 1/2 fee long.
Lupe: Yeah. And so you kind of just lay on it, uh, your heads on it and you just kind of sink into it. You kind of just stretch out and you just stay there for about, I don’t know, a minute, two minutes, three minutes, as long as you want. And it just kind of stretches your body out and it feels so good and relaxing and the following day it’s amazing.
Brian: And we’ve increased our weekend activity despite all the rain we’ve been having. If there’s a break in the rain, we’ve been outside walking. If we’ve got nothing going on in a day, we like to go to the swap meet, just to walk it.
Lupe: And sometimes I find really cool books cause I like collecting books.
Lupe: And you’ve also picked up your walks at lunch, correct?
Lupe: Yes. Actually, um, I get an hour for lunch and you know, sometimes depending on the weather, it’s been raining over here lately or windy. So, but still I walk for about 15-20 minutes, sometimes half an hour. A couple of times I’ve done the entire hour. But um, for the most part I try to walk 15 minutes to 30 minutes every day. And it’s weird because I know we complain about fatigue, but if you get out there and you start walking and stretching and exercising and a little bit, it kind of helps combat the fatigue.
Lupe: You think that by exercising and using your spoons, you’re going to run out of spoons if you walk. But actually it helps.
Brian: Get your spoon stronger.
Lupe: And gives you a little bit more spoons throughout the day. So, you know, and I think in the beginning of the first couple of days you might get a little bit tired at night, you know. But as you continue walking and stretching, you’re going to notice that you’re going to wake up with a full set of spoons. I call mine 10 and you know, throughout the day you shower, you lose a spoon, but exercising helps get more spoons.
Brian: In reality, you’re strengthening your body and your muscles are getting stronger, therefore they can withstand more. It has really helped this last 18 days and we’ve been exercising with Autoimmune Strong for longer than the 18 but I think starting that program and then adding a diet program to the exercise program has really helped out.
Brian: And it’s baby steps, right? You can’t, one shouldn’t expect that they can change their diet, change their exercise program all at the same time. I know I can’t too many changes in life at once. It just, it throws me off balance. So we take baby steps, we do something positive and we make that a routine and then we add something else positive.
Lupe: I think first you need to kind of prepare your body because you know, you want to start exercising. So you kind of prepare your body. You kind of start cutting out junk food or maybe cut out cheese, cut out milk, you know, and that way you’re going to feel better, feel a little bit stronger because you’re not eating what your body wants to reject on a regular basis. So that, that kind of helps you prep your body. And then after a couple of days, you know, start incorporating a few exercise routines.
Brian: And it’s really helped. The biggest change that I’ve noticed in Lupe is the fact that she’s mentioned, she started taking a class and in my opinion, because she has something to focus time and energy on that’s not related to her Sjogren’s and she’s not thinking about her Sjogren’s as much. And it’s harder to make an excuse of, well, I need to lay down and take a nap. It’s, I’ve got this assignment due, I’ve got to read four chapters before next class. And she, a couple of nights she stayed up later than me, which like never happens. Um, so it’s been really strange.
Lupe: I come home and I’m like a couch, bed, boom, out. I’ve been taking a class for about, I’m starting my fourth week this week and it’s given me something to look forward to. Mainly because it’s not like math or history, you know, unless you like math and history. Um, it’s not one of those subjects for me. And um, it’s a subject that really interests me. I’m really intrigued. I want to read more about it and I…
Brian: Motivated a lot of energy and very, very excited about this class. And the cool thing is we want you to think about something you’re passionate about that has nothing to do with Sjogren’s or any other medical condition that you have. Say it’s quilting. You like quilting, find a quilting organization group, Meet Up Facebook group. Find something that you can submerse yourself in that you’re completely passionate about and progress through it. Whether it’s a community college class, a city parks class, a local entrepreneur, meetup, whatever it is you’re excited about, but you’re going to give your mind something else to think of and be consumed with.
Lupe: It could be Zumba, it could be scrap booking, whatever it is that you love and that you’re passionate about. Give it a try. You know, like he said it helps take my mind off the pain. Like it’s been cold lately and my body aches but I’m so consumed in, you know, and I’m doing my homework and I’m reading and just prepping for the next class. I go twice a week. It’s just completely taking my mind off of my Sjogren’s and my… I can’t explain it but I don’t feel that my brain fog is as bad. Diet helps me a lot with that. But I’m, especially now that I’m taking this class, I have something else look forward to and I feel like I’m using words that I haven’t used in a long time that had nothing to do with this class. But I just feel like it’s making me sharper. And you know
Brian: Definitely. Your brain, like any other muscle and yes, the brain’s not a muscle in your body. If you don’t use it, you lose it. And you know, think back to math. If you’re in a job that doesn’t utilize a lot of math, therefore you haven’t utilized a lot of math in the past five years, decade, you know, you kind of lose those skills and you have to refresh your memory. So giving your mind something to do in conjunction with giving your body some physical activity in conjunction with fueling your body so you can better exercise and better study and use your mind is kind of the theme we’re going with here.
Lupe: And again, baby steps change something up in your life for the positive and see it through for a couple of weeks and then change something else up and see it through. And Dianne Sanders said a season, change something and stick with it for a season. So we’re talking three months unless you live like in Fargo, North Dakota, they have two seasons.
Lupe: I’m surprised we have winter here this season.
Brian: Yeah. So stick with it for that season and see it through and then add something or change something and stick with it for a while. And as long as you’re choosing good positive activities or habits to work towards, things can only get better for you.
Lupe: I know that a lot of people have recently been diagnosed and you know it’s going to take you a few months to reach homeostasis. What… that’s a big word for me. For your body, you know, to kind of bounce out. For those of you recently diagnose, it’s going to take you a bit longer. But if you’ve been diagnosed for a while and you already know what your body needs to do, you just sometimes, you know, for lack of a better word, get a little bit lazy and go back to your old habits because we all do that. I do that and but I pay for it. You know.
Lupe: I am going to keep this simple. If you are not taking steps to move forward, feel better or get healthier, you can’t expect improvement. Set a goal, break it down into manageable tasks, scheduled time for those tasks, and work towards completing them daily.
Lupe: Until next time, sip constantly and stay hydrated.
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