Day 314-Because Of You

Today I am not going to do my normal Throwback Thursday instead,  I want to thank everyone who has given to my PKD walk or otherwise supported the Foundation and ask that you join me again this year as I prepare to walk again this fall. This is one of several posts you can expect before October, I will try to make future posts more exciting and fun!

PKD Foundation

Those who know me and follow my blog have all heard my story, but for those that might be new here, PKD stands for polycystic kidney disease. Currently, my status is that I have too many cysts to count, yet they are not bothering my kidney function and I am otherwise healthy. I may have bad knees and arthritis and normal aches and pains, but that’s no different than any other 56 year old! However, as far as insurance companies are concerned, my condition is considered fatal therefore, I cannot get life insurance. Thank goodness that right now I am covered by my husband’s insurance or I might be up a creek.

It is because of you and your generous support that important research has been able to take place, research that will one day bring a cure to this debilitating and potentially fatal disease. My mother had it and died from it, I also have it, but currently,  I am not in any danger and my labwork looks wonderful, praise the Lord!

You can help me by joining a walk close to you, volunteering your time serving at one of the walks or donating money for research so that we can someday find a cure. My local chapter will walk again this October and we are currently taking donations. Be a hero again, help us beat last year’s goal and know that your dollars go 100% to projects like the ones involving 5+ potential PKD treatments now in clinical trials. Last year you helped us reach the goal of 2.5+ million dollars in science and research funding and walked the road with thousands of patients and families in 60 local US Chapters.

Register today at walkforpkd.org and if you choose to support my team, great! I am in the portal North Texas Walk for PKD as Kim Smyth (I don’t actually have a “team” yet but I will by Oct.!) Thanks in advance for any help or donation you are able to give, I realize there are many causes to support out there, I appreciate you considering ours.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to let me know. See you mañana on the patio!

 

 

Day 281-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Time to Gear Up For Walk PKD

Well folks, I got my first email today from the PKD Foundation letting me know that it’s once again time to start thinking about the PKD Walk for a cure. Last year some of you were so sweet and helped me raise some money for this potentially fatal disease. I appreciate it and I want to do something this year to encourage you to help out again, whether that be a giveaway, a coupon or some other goodie I can dream up. Good thing is, I have until October to figure it out! Maybe some of you creative geniuses can even give me some ideas on the subject…you know, help me help you!

As you may or may not know, my mother passed away from complications of PKD after being on dialysis for 18+ years and I also have it. I discovered I had it when going in for testing to see if I could donate a kidney for her. Later on I found out that the disease is genetic and children of mothers with PKD have a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. You can check out my posts from last year to find out more, but basically, PKD is short for polycystic kidney disease. In my case, I have too many cysts to count, but they aren’t impeding my kidney function so far. I am monitored by a nephrologist (who I LOVE) and I try to eat healthy and take care of myself so the disease doesn’t progress any faster than normal.

Since you will be hearing more about this in future posts this year, I’ll cut it short and just tell you that I am already registered and can start raising money immediately. I myself will again be donating a personal pledge for myself and also in my mother’s memory. You can feel good knowing that 100% of the money raised goes to research! Go to walkforpkd.org to donate, whether you do it for my team or not is totally up to you, I do want to surpass last year’s goal however-I’m shooting for $500 this year. If you are a company, or know if one who would like to sponsor the walk, get sponsor info at: julier@pkdcure.org or call 816-268-8462, or go to the sponsorship tab at PKD Foundation page.

 

Day 83-Free Days-Walk, Bake and Showtime

Site of PKD Walk in Southlake Square
Site of PKD Walk in Southlake Square

This morning was finally the day for the PKD Walk, put on by the good folks in Southlake and was relatively well attended.  Nothing compared to the walks to raise money and awareness for breast cancer, and not as organized, but I was glad to be a part of it. My hubby walked with me, after the balloon release, which was emotional for me. It makes me feel bad that I could have and should have been doing more to raise awareness and money since my mom was first diagnosed. So, I was thinking of her as we released our balloon and her name was on my back as we walked. Not that many were there to see it-my hubby and I were way out in front of the pack the whole way, our pace being much quicker than most. Thanks again to everyone who donated to my “team”, even if that team turned out to be my hubby and me. I also put in my own private donations, although I would have done that online as well, I would have been able to designate part for myself and part as a pledge in my Mom’s name. She passed away two years ago from the disease. As far as I know, I’m the only one of her five children to be diagnosed as well. Anyway, I hope next years Walk is bigger and better, and that the contributions for research keep pouring in.

Later in the day, he took our son Chris to play golf as part of his birthday present. While they were gone, Becky and I secretly baked him a kickass Banana Pudding birthday cake and, just in case he smelled something cooking when he arrived back home, I made some Paleo chocolate chip cookies so he wouldn’t get suspicious. I got the recipe from http://Www.ambitiouskitchen.com and they are delicious.

My homemade Paleo chocolate chip cookies
My homemade Paleo chocolate chip cookies

After all the activity in the kitchen, I subjected Becky to my taped recording of the Rocky Horror Picture Show remake-she wasn’t impressed. Then again, she is so young, she barely remembers the original. We had fun laughing at it anyway. See, I DO remember the original and I appreciated the music of both versions. The soundtrack and of course Tim Curry (the original Frank-n-Furter) made the whole movie. So I was happy to hear all the songs again, even if they weren’t exactly the same renditions as the first. I though the remade Riff Raff was awesome and Victoria Justice was very good as Janet.

Credit:Fox
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: L-R: Reeve Carne, Annaleigh Ashford, Victoria Justice, Ryan McCartan and Christina Milian in THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW coming this Fall to FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Steve Wilkie/FOX

 

Original stars, Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon
Original stars, Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon
The new Dr Frank-n-Furter
The new Dr Frank-n-Furter

It was kinda like the creators of this one forgot the whole point, originally, it was so outrageous for a man to be playing a transvestite with over the top makeup-just not the same with a female playing a transgender role.  Although I must say, the acting and singing would have been fine had you never seen the original and had it to compare to.

All in all it was a very good day, and the night is yet young! I can’t wait to see if Becky chickens out on performing her birthday “rap” for Chris’s birthday! Stay tuned, results will be in tomorrow, on the patio 😉

 

 

 

Day 82-Last Chance

Wow! It just so turns out that my Dad’s 82nd birthday is today and I’m also on my 82 post in the 365 day challenge! What a coincidence!

Also, today is the last chance to get a donation in for my team in the PKD walk. Of course, you can always donate or make a pledge, however, tomorrow is the actual PKD Walk, and I’m just halfway to my team goal. I’d appreciate whatever you can do to help me in this effort. And thanks again to the bloggers who have donated so far! I was reading some news today concerning future treatment options for my disease, and there are five new medications in clinical trials! Yea! Would it not be fantastic if me and  hundreds of other PKD patients had the option of stopping the advance of the disease with a simple medication and not have to go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant? That is what we are raising money for, to make medications like this possible and other life saving treatments and research is ongoing in this endeavor.

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Tap on the picture to enlarge it, otherwise, just go to http://Www.walkforpkd.org/northtexas to give in my name for my team.

I know y’all are probably “tired of” me talking about this and pleading for donations, I will soon be giving it a break for a while…til the next walk lol! But seriously, because it is a cause close to my heart, my Mom had it too, I will continue to educate myself and others and do what I can to support this cause. Wish me good luck and pleasant weather on tomorrow’s short walk. Luckily, mine is short, since the old back ain’t what it used to be. A mile ain’t nothin for a stepper though, and my hubby will be with me all the way.

After all that, I will be busy with preparations for the big birthday weekend. My Dad and my son have birthdays two days apart, and my friend’s is the day after my son’s. She is unfortunately out of town on business, so I already put her card and gift in the mail. My son and my Dad will be joining us for dinner Sunday and so far, that’s all I know, lol. Hopefully I get something figured out for their gifts before then. I, for one, think birthdays should be special. I’m sure I will get something worked out. 😉

 

 

Day 74-Open Topics Week-What is Kombucha? and PKD Walk update

As some of you know, we are nearing the homestretch! Only 9 more days till the walk for PKD.  Thank you to my fellow bloggers who have helped so far in my effort to reach my team goal (now reduced to $150), I’m halfway there! This is in addition to my own personal donations I’ll be making day of the walk. Please consider a small donation to help us find a cure for this potentially fatal disease. Additionally, if anyone reading this post is in the area, we can always use more walkers and this year, you can bring your kids and dogs in costume, or wear one yourself! All the info can be found at http://www.walkforpkd.org/northtexas I appreciate all of you!

image  imageimg_3309

Ok, now on to my next subject: What is kombucha? Well, it is a great tasting way to get your daily dose of probiotics, for one thing! The one I’m sampling today by Kevita is the Tart Cherry flavor, and it has 4billion CFU’s of lactobacillus rhamnosus, and bacillus coagulans (LactoSporeMTCC 5856) live probiotics.

Kevita brand Kombucha in Tart Cherry
Kevita brand Kombucha in Tart Cherry

Probiotics are necessary for optimum health of your digestive tract. We all have good and bad bacteria in our systems. Taking a good probiotic and eating (or drinking) foods that include more probiotics, can only do a body good. Different strains and species of bacterias provide different health benefits. Some of those benefits include preventing and treating diarrhea associated with the use of antibiotics, fantastic immune system function and soothing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Studies have shown they may also aid in lowering cholesterol and helping one drop body fat as well.

 

The actual definition of Kombucha is “a beverage produced by fermenting a sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria.” The culture used in the fermentation process is called a “SCOBY” and it can be home made or purchased at health food stores like Sprouts. I prefer to leave it to the pros and get mine pre-made and I have tried a few  brands. Kevita brand is very good and comes in all kinds of flavors. If you don’t like the taste of vinegar or beer, it might take a few times or a couple of different flavors to get used to it. What I found is to start out with just a cup or so a day until you get used to it. Now I like it (and I HATE beer) and have tried many different flavors. I like fruit flavors the best, although you can also get flavors like ginger and lavender.

A typical bottle contains two servings, so you can make it last a couple of days, which is good since they are a bit pricey. A typical bottle goes for $2-$5.  I drink it AND take a probiotic and that way, I can be sure I’m covered. I don’t know about you, but I did not get the flu shot this year and I want to do everything I can to stay healthy. On top of being incredibly good for you, it is also low calorie, low carb and surprisingly low sugar-8 grams a serving. It also packs 10% each of 6 different b vitamins and folic acid per serving. The one I’m drinking today is sweetened with organic cane sugar, however, some kombucha is sweetened with honey or fruit.

Besides the probiotic benefits drinking kombucha provides, it is naturally energizing and can help with inflammatory ailments like arthritis and help with fatigue, hypertension and constipation. It has been around for 2000 years but has recently gained popularity among folks looking to better their health.

I say don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, and try it you should! My favorite flavor is Mystic Mango but this tart cherry is quite nice as well. Let me know if you’ve tried it, made it and which flavors you like! Comment below or shoot me an email please and don’t forget to donate to the walk if you can. Tomorrow may be Friday night, but ill be blogging for ya on the patio! 🙂