Healthy Hot Drinks - Help Me Find One?

Okay, a query for my LJ collective mind (paralleled from FB): I'm cold, and want a hot drink. I've been drinking cider, but that's too sugary for multiple cups. My diabetes has not gone away, and I must not pander to my sweet tooth, lest I unleash another set of unhappy health problems.

My usual hot drink is tea, but I'm to avoid tea (antioxidants and caffeine) and coffee (caffeine bad for heart rate/blood pressure.) Hot chocolate, whilst lovely, has the problems of too much sugar and caffeine, too.

I know that all the things called "tea" aren't actually.  What herbals are hot, not caffeinated, and are not anti-oxidants?  Would chamomile be okay?  I've been trying to look stuff up on the internet, but coming up in circles and loops.  *sigh*


Health Update 3

I have been taking my ferrous sulphate.  My darling husband has been looking for a local source of heme iron or ferrous gluconate (sp?) without success so far.  He's searching tonight at GNC and the local drug stores.  If unsuccessful, we'll order on-line.

On the bright hand side, my cheeks are pink again, and so are the palms of my hand.  Previously, they were pale, with white lines along the creases in my palms, like reverse cartoon outlines.  It takes five seconds for a white thumbprint to disappear from my arm.  On Thursday, a thumb pressed into my arm stayed as an indent in the skin for a long time, and still looked white after the indent disappeared.  My ankles are the same size again, something I didn't notice was different until I noticed they were the same again.

On the other hand, I have a migraine due to the sulfate, with the right side of my head hurting, and yellow bright halos obscuring my right vision.  I'm going to bed soon, just to be in the dark.

My chest is still tight, but I haven't had the sudden hard heartbeats today, where my blood pressure makes my heart thump without racing.  No racing panic attacks, either.  I walked briskly across the kitchen to pick up  the phone when I heard them on the answering machine, and had no breath to actually answer, just panted a bit.  A reverse prank call...

I am tired, though, more than I feel I should be.  I read about all the sweet, patient sick people, and think, "I'm not one of these."   I'm more than ready to be well.

Health Update 2

(Expanded from my FB briefing)
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Thank you everyone, for all of the love and support.  It has helped a great deal.

I've also been thinking that "my" line from Dr. Mary's "I Put My Low Stat" is constitution...


Health Update

News in brief:

I've been having dizzy spells, culminating in fainting after going up a flight of steps over the weekend.  My children found me unconscious on the floor at the top of the steps;  we're all grateful I didn't pitch over backward.  My blood pressure went up to scary levels on Monday, like 188/88 and 190/112.

After several trips to Urgent Care, my doctor, and the cardiologist, they have determined:

My faint over the weekend was neither a heart attack or stroke, by resting EKG.

A blood test yesterday, the results of which today determined that I am *very* anemic, and am probably bleeding internally to cause such low blood cell counts and low plasma.  My high blood pressure is accompanied by a slightly elevated heart rate, the both of which are trying to compensate for fewer blood cells by pushing what I have through my body faster.

A heart stress test today, which I will formally find out about in four days that appeared to go very well.  I ran until I was dizzy, never quite making it to my target heart rate of 177.  I was in the 160s, and still running, and breathing deeply and deliberately whenever I was tempted to gasp and pant ("You've been compensating for this for awhile, haven't you?") when the guy monitoring the test said that I had thirty seconds before the next level up in speed.  A few seconds later, he said, "She's WHITE!" and I was off the treadmill and on the ultrasound table before I could faint, feeling dizzy and trying not to pant when they said "Hold!" so they could take pictures.  They're good at taking you right up to your limit and not over.

So, I will go back to my regular doctor, and I am certain ultrasounds or MRIs are in my future to determine the source of bleeding.  I myself strongly suspect my chronic condition of ovarian cysts may have something to do with this.

I am cleared for driving again, am not to take baby aspirin any more, and need to eat things with IRON in them, to help counter the anemia.  I am a bit relieved, because we're on the track of my illness, and irritated, because I'm not yet fixed.  And all my doctors have made it a point to praise me for coming in and getting checked out; that it is not just my imagination, and things are wrong needing to be addressed.  
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Road Terror

Driving on the highway on the way home from volunteering at BINGO for Dino's band, I saw a child sized body thrown from a mini van, get hit by a car, and go tumbling along the side of the berm, losing shoes.

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Scare in the Square

Tonight, out community club in our townlet put on Scare in the Square, year two.

Sparkle was SO excited for the Halloween party!  She didn't want to go ANYwhere today, lest she miss the party and be late.  She looked awesome in her homemade Harley Quinn costume put together by my friend needlewomyn, though.  I found a lace collar my mother gave me when I was a little girl, and it was the perfect touch for the motley red and black.  Irish went along as Han Solo, bemoaning his lack of a blaster.

We played simple carnival games, and got candy prizes.  The local fire department sent a crew of guys, including one dressed as a Dalmatian.  Sparkle loved going up to them, and admiring the fire trucks and ambulance.

The scare walk had fewer actors in it this year, but Sparkle was more nervous than she was last year.  There were more strobe lights, and that made movements seem wild and unpredictable, I think.  The whole thing is not meant to really SCARE kids, just be local color.

It's such a nice, kid-friendly Halloween event.  I'm glad we went.

Georgie, Porgy, Pudding and Pie!

Yesterday, at Sparkle's constant urging since Monday, we made home-made pumpkin pie.  Sparkle got enamored of the idea to transform her beloved pumpkin into food after going to the pumpkin patch on a field trip on Monday. Knowing the trap of actually cutting into her beloved pumpkin to make jack-o-lanterns freaked Sparkle out from years past, the pie was made from canned pumpkin (ingredients: "pumpkin" which impressed me enough to buy that kind, and no other), but also using real cream, evaporated milk, home spices and a bit of trepidation.

Sparkle contributed to the entire process, pouring in milk, and cream, and spooning pumpkin in the mixer.  I was charmed by how her pumpkin patch pumpkin was on the counter, observing the process.  She would lift it up to "look" into the mixing bowl, and set it leaning against the mixer as it ran.  (I must admit, ghoulish zombie pumpkin thoughts ran through my head, but I did not voice them lest I spoil her pleasure.)  She was very involved, and very excited.

After baking, Sparkle complained that the pumpkin pie is brown, not orange. "This isn't pumpkin pie," she said.  "It's SQUASH pie - it's BROWN!" but she tried SIX bites, which itself is a win.  We didn't wait until it was cool, because it was bedtime.  
Warm pumpkin pie is weird, though.  She wasn't interested at breakfast in trying it cold.  It just wasn't right.  Since I had had doubts from the get-go that pumpkin pie would even be something she'd TASTE, I was not displeased with the results.  At least we did stuff together, and she was happy.

Now today was parent-teacher conferences, at which I found that my child is trying hard and doing well.  But I also discovered that on Monday, after the morning Pumpkin Patch adventure, they did a cooking a snack activity in her class where they made Instant Jell-O pumpkin spice pudding pie.  I suddenly realized that Sparkle had not wanted to make "real" pumpkin pie at all, but that she had liked the pudding pie, and wanted more.

So, after the conference, I went to the store (three, actually) and found the elusive Instant Jell-O package, and we shall make this confection for Sparkle.  If it is a success, we shall do so again at Thanksgiving, so that Sparkle will eat a Thanksgiving dessert with the rest of us.  Coming home, Sparkle confirmed that this bright orange pudding was what she had in mind, so tonight is Take Two!  for Pumpkin Pie, (which will be more for me of the home-made one, hee hee, as my pie did come out quite nummy.)


Fall Fest, Elementary Style

Sparkle got excited that there would be a Fall Fest at her elementary school, and talked about it for two weeks.  

She was very excited to have an event on the calendar about her, boxed in purple.  
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Still, Sparkle skipped all the way back to our van, and said, very seriously that she thought she'd sleep well tonight, because she had played and danced until she was full.

A couple weeks of the new schedule

The new schedule is kicking me hard.  I am scrambling to present something to each class for them to work on, but feel there is no time for them to really practice, absorb and master.

I thought I'd change things up to something students could work on independently.  I'm currently on writing units, and yet still the time they have to get ideas down on paper and work with them, with me AND a peer helping is just crunched.  I worry that my students are rushed, even as I give them multiple days to get things done.

The writing units fit into a class I'm taking to maintain my certification in English, on teaching writing to troubled students.  I find I rather resent taking my traditional "Creep Month" suspense unit and making it Personal Essay and Persuasive Essay.  (Which is my problem, not my students'.)

I hope a time comes soon where I no longer feel overwhelmed by every work day.  It's almost like being a first year teacher again, since I have to reconsider each and every thing I do.
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Salad "Oh, Shoot!"-ers

I've been making salad faces for Sparkle:  three cherry tomatoes for a smile, two cucumber slices for eyes, a carrot nose all atop  lettuce leaf, which makes a plate face and ruffly "hair."  I was all pleased with myself for making an attractive, kid-friendly plate, and Sparkle ate up all her salad every night, making me happy about her nutrition.

I was using up veg, and did not make the face, because I had only 2 tomatoes and 3 round slices finished off a cucumber, and 2 baby carrots finished off a bag.  I served up the remainders on lettuce.
And then, my pattern conscious Sparkle complained bitterly that I'd gotten the numbers of the vegetables all wrong from usual.  "MOOOM-MA!  It's Two Cucumbers, Three tomatoes and ONE carrot!" (cries).  

I apologized for not making a face.  And then, when Sparkle was totally confused, realized that my autistic child had never made the connection of the art of a face and her meal at all.  Even after I showed her and labeled the parts, she did not "get" it.  Which is typical of the difficulties faced by those on the spectrum.  I just hadn't thought about it here.