Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Girl Named Velcro, and Random Thoughts

I have puppy brain! We are announcing the arrival of the newest member of our family, Miss Velcro. She is a red tri and she was born 5 weeks ago. We will be bringing her home in another 3 weeks.

We are so excited! As soon as I saw her picture, I knew she was the one. It was love at first sight. I could not stop thinking about her, and as things unfolded with the litters at Sky Blue Aussies, she was available. We have our eye on another pup who is only 3 days old as of today, so I will fill you in as soon as we know everything is certain with our second puppy. Velcro will have a sister, and most likely she will be coming home a month after Velcro.

Running is minimal but more consistent. I'll talk about that below, after I get the shitstorm off my chest.

Recent Random Thoughts

I haven't been writing on my blog much, it's been hard with all the distractions, between puppy brain and it being Pinktober, the month where cancer and pink become intertwined and there are a lot of things going on. I spoke 3 times in one week, and I have more coming up before the month is through.

I had somewhat of an "aha" moment yesterday when I was thinking about my struggles with getting my program off the ground. It's a challenge to get people to want to do something. Everyone I talk to about it, including healthcare providers, sees the obvious and intense need for this type of education for patients and their caregivers. But there are a lot of barriers to people being able to use it in the way it is intended. I've been barking up the wrong tree trying to get it through the traditional healthcare channels.

One thing I am doing, that should help, is writing a book, which will not only have the program in it, but will also discuss why everyone needs to be in on this. Healthcare is so screwed up and it's only getting worse. Absolutely unsustainable. Yet cancer is about to overtake heart disease as the number one killer of Americans, and our healthcare costs are rising at an insane rate, and our health outcomes and general public health are getting worse. We have more obesity and diabetes, more lifestyle-related illness, and our administrative costs of running the healthcare system are exceeding our ability to put our resources into patient care and education.

Healthcare Heretic Again

I am being the healthcare heretic again, and working to make nurse groups aware of a documentary film project. Health 3.0 is a concept that goes beyond this transactional model, we call it 2.0, of healthcare where physicians or providers don't have relationships with patients, instead they are more of a factory, cranking patients through appointments in 15 minute intervals. Check this out for an example.

This short video is being mild about it. What I wish I had time to say is that all of these cancer centers and freestanding emergency rooms popping up everywhere are only being built because the current system incentivizes it. The hospitals get paid more. They can get reimbursed at a higher rate for emergency room visits and can charge a facility fee for setting foot in a cancer center, rather than an independent oncology practice. This disincentivizes patients from visiting their oncologists for follow-up visits. The hospitals can charge up to $400 for a facility fee alone (not including the doctor's bill) just for having an appointment in a room at the cancer center.

Had I realized just how slimy this whole process was, I would never have supported the local facility as I did half a decade ago. The Big Heist is right. It is a heist, to the tune of 20% of our GDP. Not acceptable. But people need to wake up and get off their obesified butts!

Remember how when we were talking about the need for the Affordable Care Act just a decade ago, lamenting the overuse of emergency rooms because people didn't have insurance for primary care and preventive medicine? Well, now we have high deductible plans again, with rates rising, driving people out of the market, but hospital executives can clean up on higher reimbursements and facility fees. And we're not doing a better job for patients. Dumb and dumber.

Here we are again. The vicious cycle of healthcare, now has consumed independent physician practices, has doctors all working as part of the giant healthcare factory, working at the whim of their employers, being told what to do by insurance companies, and nurses are understaffed and miserable again, physician suicide rates are rising, and nurses are leaving the profession because of burnout and injuries from overwork. There's no nursing shortage, just a shortage of nurses willing to put up with the abuse.

And the people who wrote the ACA: lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry, hospital executives, and insurance companies, have ensured they will rake in big bucks while starving the masses.

General Random Thoughts about Running

I've been running about 4 days a week on the average. About 6 or 7 miles each time.
I know!!!

It feels good to run when I feel like it and I feel refreshed afterward. My friend Emma is training for her first ultra, so doing long runs with her has gotten me out on the trails. I'm so enjoying this.

I miss my hair color. I now have a streak of reddish brown in the front of my scalp. It's a deep brown with a reddish tint, but it's my natural color. People pay a lot of money to get their hair tinted to that color. Now I have just a streak of it to contrast with my grayish white. What are you gonna do?

I refuse to dye my hair. I am getting too many thumbs up when I run, and I need that for the motivation. Plus it keeps the creepos quiet. Nobody catcalls their grandma. Much preferred this way.

Oh, and one more thing- one day I was actually able to reach my mouth with the toes on my left foot. I haven't been able to do it again, must have been a good flexibility day. I'll keep working on it until I can do it consistently. Then I will post pictures.

photo credit: Donna Rohde, Sky Blue Aussies

Sunday, October 9, 2016

DoNut Hunting...

This morning was the Fort Collins Running Club Tortoise & Hare 4K at Rolland Moore Park. Team Donut Hunters showed up in full force, pith helmets, donut hunting license, and all. This is about my speed these days.

It is really nice to get out in the morning and do a few miles, and not feel obsessive about doing double digits in miles or hours of running! This morning was amazing with the running club though- it used to be we'd have a dozen runners show up at these things. This morning there were over 150 runners! There was even a backup at the finish line! It was a gorgeous fall morning, the leaves are bright, the air is crisp and cool without being too cold.

One thing I was really pleased about was that I ran a faster than usual, but relaxed pace, didn't push it, and felt good the whole way. Ended up averaging 9 minute miles. Didn't know I could do that. I have lost a couple pounds, maybe even more than that. I've been trying to be good, cut out the beer and margaritas for the most part, and just the other day I had my first donut in a while.

I'm still going to work on dropping the rest of this weight because I'm pretty uncomfortable and my clothes are still tight.

The big exciting news is that our new babies could be born any day. We are waiting for word from the breeder in Nebraska to find out if there are any red or black tri girls in the litter due tomorrow, and there is another litter due in two weeks. It's the same blue merle dad for both litters, and both moms are red tris. I'll let you know as soon as I know. We will be able to bring the puppies home at 8 weeks, so we're looking at sometime before Christmas, if all goes well.

I am definitely in mom mode, I was shopping for puppy things yesterday, looking for agility equipment, baby gates, thinking about what we will do with training them- making my home schooling lesson plan, etc. My friend Joanne just got a puppy about a month ago and he was at the T & H this morning, her husband was watching him while Joanne ran. He is adorable, and he'll be more than twice the size of our girls when he grows up.

I even had a dream the other night that I was giving birth!! That's really weird.

I have been stretching consistently in the mornings, and been somewhat consistent doing my core exercises and hip exercises, and some weightlifting. I got my DEXA scan results back and the only thing they found was very mild osteopenia in my lower lumbar spine, which is probably not all that unusual and is unsurprising to me. I'll just continue doing what I've been doing, maybe more lifting and making sure I stay on top of the vitamin D, thyroid etc. I won't be able to get re-scanned for a couple of years at least, and the first few years of menopause tend to be the worst for losing bone, so I'll be curious to see what happens.

I am still missing my mouth with my toes on the left side, a couple of inches to go with my flexibility goal. I can easily bite my big toenail on the right side.

I've been busy doing local speaking engagements and preparing for tweetchats and an international online summit for breast cancer recovery. I've been so busy I haven't had time to work on the book manuscript but October is a busy month in my line of work. Pinktober.

I'm tired today after a long week and another busy week ahead of me. But I'm feeling generally pretty good, much better than I did in July and August.

I'm busy planning a birthday run this year, too. Yes, another crazy birthday themed run, something to do with donuts. Stay tuned!

Donut Birthday Run

Alene's 53rd birthday donut run (56K or 35 miles)

Donut Triangle Course 35 miles
Saturday, March 4, 2017 Start at Dunkin Donuts in Fort Collins at 7 am sharp. Get there early if you want donuts before you start.

Run to Loveland Dunkin Donuts 9.4 miles (approx. 9 am)

Run to Windsor Dunkin Donuts 22 miles (approx. noon)

Run to Fort Collins Dunkin Donuts 35 miles (approx. 4 pm)

Run one segment, part of a segment, or join Alene for the whole Donut! Triangle.