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Daniela-3-11-2016 Blog

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One at the time

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Sep 18, 2018

We are still experiencing high temperatures in Phoenix, AZ; there isn't really a good time to go for a walk, to put in 30 min of exercise/day.  I am lucky to have a pool in the backyard.  30 min of swimming equal 40 laps for me.  And so I start swimming and counting.  When I thought: gosh, I have to do 40 and I barely started...almost tempted to give up. I had so much more work after that...

Then I turned the switch in my brain: the water feels good, not cold but refreshing, my family is good, in the house, with the AC running, and I turned my eyes towards the sky: full of white, high clouds, and as I was counting my laps, they started to change colors, presenting me with the beautiful image you see as a banner, only desert can grant you these beautiful sunsets. 

I was counting the laps and thinking, how similar to quitting: you know it is good for you, but if you look too far in the future, you might be tempted to give up; don't, do it one day at the time, find distractions from the negative thoughts, enjoy the moment, become proud of what you are accomplishing. One at the time will take you where you want to arrive.

I am reading this book called "It's all in your mind" by Lindsey Sharratt, not the easiest read, but I go back once in a while to it because it has some valuable lessons to learn. and because I really believe it is all in our minds which drives what we are, what we become.


Here are a couple of paragraphs I found worth sharing with my friends:


"If you don't have a clear emotional desire around the thing that you want, where are you going to find your motivation when things become difficult and you are faced with a challenge?  It's easier to say it wasn't meant to work out and just go and watch TV!"  This applies to any goal we might have: quit smoking, lose weight, whatever, but of course it's just a part of the process.


"Every goal requires some sort of sacrifice, even if it's only 10 minutes of your time every day - you are still giving something up to obtain something else.  You need to work out what you are, and are not, willing to sacrifice to reach your goal"





Time to come clean

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Sep 15, 2018


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You think I been a naughty girl, don't you???  I just felt like playing with the title today.  This is an update on my health challenges!


Some of the things which kept me away this week from the site were dealing with lab tests, and dr's appointments, including at least 1h work (and 30min commute) to the PT place.


And here is how I came out of this week: Hepatologist, AST, ALT enzymes very slowly going down, very slowly but better than last visit in February.  Endocrinologist lab:  Thyroid tests ok, the autoimmune marker is down, far from normal, but down from 600 to something like 465, A1C is down from 7.1 to 6.8 (in 3 months), and totally unexpected, the Lipid panel is in normal ranges. All of the above are signs my dietary efforts (gluten free, low fat, and milk free) are paying off, but there is one thing which did not budge: the weight.  No gain, no loss in the last 6 months. But I know, even if I am cooking healthy, I do not exercise enough portion control.  The visit to the Endocrinologist is next Thursday, I'll tell you more about that.


When I lose about 20-30 pounds, many of my health issues would be resolved. So yesterday, again (I've done it several times in the last 10 years or so) I signed up for Weight Watchers. Wish me luck this time.


Today I attempted a little walk; it was painful, but not out of this world, so I pushed through for 25 minutes.  For that I had to ice the right knee twice so far.  Maybe I'll buy a bicycle, it is not so hard for the knee, and there is enough road in my neighborhood where I could pedal pretty protected from traffic.


Much like you Nancy, Youngatheart.7.4.12,  am a little disappointed with the lack of progress after 4 weeks, 3 times/week in PT.  I also swim 3-4/week.  Monday is the first evaluation, but they seem to be doing all they can to get me better: shots around the painful area with some kind of local anesthetic, followed by targeted massage therapy, I used many of their stretching machines, and I end with the realignment in the Chiropractor's office.  At home, I also make an effort to get on the floor and execute the exercises they recommended.  I will let you all know what they say.  The pain is higher when I walk, but is also spontaneous, I can feel it shooting down now, as I write.


But enough with the whining, this was meant to be an update, and I end up complaining.


Here, I am doing better (the labs say so), I need to start writing down what I eat come Monday, listen to the PT office, and the Endocrinologist and make a decision if I continue the PT therapy or just do the exercises on my own.


You all take care!



PS the little 

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is telling me, "as a smoker, you increase your metabolism by 10%, helping your weight loss", but I answer N.O.P.E!!!

This is just to apologize in advance for not showing up too often in the near future. 


After vacation, many work projects have pilled up, and they need attention. 

After mom's cataract's surgery, I asked my boss to let me trade one week to wfh (so I can be there for mom as needed) for another week when I am coming in the office every day, and this is this week; to that add 3 times/week in PT, and these shorten my days by a couple of hours spent in the "wonderful" traffic. Also I have a couple of Dr's appointments coming up, and one for the hubby when I need to drive him to and from, then come to work.

By the time I get home if it is not dark yet, I try to swim for 20min, then cook dinner, and then I am done for the day!


I am sorry for the temporary absence, will try to check in as often as I can, and you all be good


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The idea of the game popped into my mind early this morning.  But work was "calling" my name and I had to open my Inbox.  Big, big, big mistake...2h later and I barely stood up from my chair once to get a glass of water.

So here it is, hopefully not too late to really change my day into a better, calmer one.

Through the years I found if I start the day with a list of things I am thankful for (some of you might call in a prayer), it puts me in a good disposition, and the day goes by much faster.  Of course I am always thinking to share good things with my friends, and the alphabet game sounded like a good idea for the weekend.


Today I am thankful for: 

A: the Air I breathe instead of the smoke I used to, the Addiction to nicotine is no longer governing my life.


Wonderful time

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Sep 4, 2018

While almost 3 days flew by so fast, they were wonderful times I spent with my son.  We enjoyed the rental located across the street from ocean, the other across the street from the Bay. On Sunday morning, waiting for the sun to come out of the clouds, we rented a small hobie sailboat, and I conquered one my fears, to be sick on a boat.  And I was not, I'd rather enjoyed it.  I found the ocean too cold to swim, however in the Bay area, the waters are as calm as a lake's and maybe it was just an impression, but the water seemed warmer, so I took advantage of it.  Yesterday, even though we extended our check out time by 2h so we can enjoy the beach, the sun did not want to come out.  In some way it was better, my son spent time in the ocean with his board, and I had nothing to do, but lay on the sand listening to the ocean and enjoying the breeze.  We walked a lot, to shops and eating places, we drove around and stopped for some beautiful views, and came home last night, tired but relaxed.

Here is a pic of the type of boat we rented, but we had left our belongings in a locker and did not take any pics.

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I am attaching some of our own pics below.


Thank you son, this is a vacation I will never forget!

It will be just a quick 3 days vacation, it starts tonight when I meet my son at the San Diego airport, and it ends Monday night when we are flying back to Phoenix.


To me it is a huge deal; it's been nearly 2 years since I have not been anywhere (other than office) without mom.  For many of you, who have your privacy, this might mean just an extended weekend in a nice place.


For me it means the world, because my son felt my distress lately (illness, care-giving around the clock, losing my 2 cats), he decided of the trip and just informed me we'll meet in San Diego tonight.  He booked a condo by the beach on Mission Bay, rented the car, but most importantly he made himself available to me for these 3 days.


He is making me feel so special, and it is why I love him to the moon and back!


Might not be very active here for the next 3 days, but if I get the opportunity I will check in with updates.

I wish everyone a wonderful Labor Day weekend!


What do I do now?

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Aug 30, 2018

Working from home today, but I found out from co-workers in the office, 2 of our long term programmers were let go today.  Both were with the company when I started (March 2001), and are remarkable people.  The reason?  They were specialized on older platforms, and the company is heading in a different direction in terms of technology.


I knew them so well, they are such nice and easy to work people, and I am sure they will find other jobs...but they will be missed, and today is not a good day for them.

What do you think popped on my mind once I absorbed the news and felt the sadness? A smoke or two would help right now...but...


I don't do that anymore, smoking won't give them their jobs back, nor will it help with their own sadness.

Instead I stepped away from my laptop and made myself a veggie/fruit/flax meal/almond milk smoothie, and now I am sharing with you while deep breathing and having my healthy drink...I am using my tool box!

I was thinking let's make Monday more bearable, we have the whole week to complete the game!

Let's see what everyone has in their tool box, if we can find a tool for every letter in the alphabet.  You have more in the same letter, list them all, it will benefit all of us.


And I will start with


addiction (to nicotine), adapt (to a new lifestyle), adjust (if something does not work, correct the course to our benefit), advantages (of quitting), adventure (look at the quit as you would at a new adventure in your life), arrive (hit your milestones till you feel you have the quit under control, all you have left is to keep it safe)


About Kindness

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Aug 25, 2018

I have seen so much of it lately here, on EX, follow up on our sick peers, and sharing with the group, creating power or healing by praying for someone we know, or someone loved by one of our peers, word of encouragement for our peers who are successfully building their quit, and encouragement for those who fail temporarily. 

I decided to make it a subject of reflection for today.

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Because we all need it while we quit, after we quit, and pretty much for any other situation in our lives.

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Loving our peers is what keeps us coming back.

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I look up to kind people, knowing there is so much to learn from them

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May we all learn how to spread kindness, every minute of every day.

And never forget to be kind to ourselves.


My mother's eyes

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Aug 23, 2018

We took mom to an outpatient surgery where she had her first eye's cataract surgery.  A lot of prep for just about 15 minutes in the operating room.  It all went well, she is resting now, and I am really hoping in a week she'll have her vision restored, as the surgery promises.

As we were driving home we passed an intersection, and I saw a blind man using the white cane and a phone to use the green light to pass.  And it made me think how grateful I am for my eyesight, while not quite perfect (I am near sided and wearing glasses from 14 years old), however the handicap is minor compared to a blind's man.

And seeing him also made me think how I elected to be blind to my addiction for so many years.  The man has no choice, some unfortunate birth defect, or illness brought him to the state he is in today.  But I had a choice, and never, ever wanted to look at it, and make that choice.

Addiction made me blind, non responsive to the damage it was doing to my body, for so many years.

The more I have to "work" on my health issues, the more I realize smoking might have contributed to this or that.

I also realize I might not hit my mom's age ever, let alone preserve my eye sight till 87 if I do.  Diabetes type 2 is damaging to the mini vessels in our eyes, and who knows how many times, my reckless life damaged them.

I can't wait for the week until everything is supposed to clear up from mom's eye (floters, cloudiness), and be happy for her better seeing.

Maybe some day I'll learn to forgive myself for hurting my own body, for choosing to be blind to the consequences, till sometimes late, maybe too late in life.

Until then, those reading this, and having not made the right choice for themselves, learn from an elder who wishes she had made the choice not to accept the addiction anymore, way earlier in life.  You might be very young and thinking you have time, the sooner you'd stop smoking, the happier you'll be.

God Bless!

This is my city

Timisoara, Romania | Timișoara, România - YouTube 


I grew up with her songs, she is now 71 and still working, performing.



Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Aug 16, 2018

Even though difficult times are clouding my day, I can't let this milestone pass with no recognition!

Today I have 888 days since I broke the cycle of addiction, since I have not even held a cigarette in my hand, and since I dealt with every instance when I was tempted to held it and even light it up.


Because there is no such thing as "just one cigarette"; 

Because I do not do that anymore; 

Because I make the choice to "NOPE"; 

Because I learned here so much about the positive effects of quitting and they have been imprinted on my brain;

Because I make the choice every day to stay quit;

Because I come here day after day to renew the knowledge about the addiction and the determination to stay quit from every one of your blogs and comments;

Because I hope my own 888 DOFs can become an inspiration for anyone wanting to quit, or having a hard time at the beginning of their quit;

Because I know I have here a group of not only EX, but also of friends, ready to hold me straight no matter the challenge life puts in my way;


So yes, I am proud of 888 DOFand wish everyone of you to aspire, reach, and pass the same milestone!

Thank you EX for helping me get here!


Our Princess

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Aug 15, 2018

We said good bye to our beautiful Princess today. Exactly one month since Xena left this world.

She started getting lost about 6 months ago, and was screaming in the middle of the night till someone came in the living room to speak with her, feed her or just tell her we were there with her.

After Xena was gone, Princess got worse with every day.  Yesterday was a really bad day mom told me when I came back from work.  It continued through the afternoon and the whole night.

This pas weekend I went and purchased 2 different types of anxiety treats, but she would not eat them in any way, not by themselves, not with food, or water, or milk.  Last night we have not slept at all, and I tried mixing one of the treats with water and trying giving it to her with a syringe.  The little I was able to administer, she spit it all out. I took her in my bed, she did not want to stay, I took her in mom's room (where she would go sometimes during the day), she did not want to stay.

At 6:30 am today, after getting maybe a couple of hours of sleep, I took the day off and contacted my husband, my son and his wife, and discussed with mom.

And the decision was made to let her go, join her sister in a better place.

Princess was sweet, and beautiful, she never got in trouble in any way, she just got old, and was probably missing her sister very much.

As Xena, Prince passed in my arms, I kissed her and told her how much we loved her, how much joy she brought us for over 19 years, but she leaves a big whole in my heart.

Here she is young and on top of the world..

And this was taken last week, she was almost the size of a kitty.

We'll miss you baby, my heart is heavy, but I find consolation in the many years of joy we shared.

Please join me in praying for Ellen, elvan.


Yesterday she had to help her dear Bijou cross the Rainbow bridge, and as we all, pet lovers know, it is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make. She still can't stop crying.


Today she was able to take Mike, her husband to the Cardiologist, and also do her workout at the pool.


However Ellen is also fighting a UTI, trying to avoid Urgent Care, treating it with lots of liquids and Cranberry supplements.  But she is in pain, huge from losing her dear cat, and also the recent physical pain.


Let's hope, as she desires, she can get better soon and will not need to go to Urgent Care.


Our prayers will help.

Thank you all, I know how loved Ellen is, and how much all of us want the best for her.