My Experience With Less Invasive Pinhole Gum Grafting Surgery

Need gum grafting for receding gums?  I did and I dreaded it, but I have some good news.  I was able to try a new technique called pinhole gum grafting surgery.  This is something that you should know about in case receding gum treatment is in your future.  It is a common ailment.

First, let’s talk about traditional grafting surgery.  It is unpleasant, since typically, skin is cut from the roof of the mouth and then inserted into the receding gum area. Eek!

So, when my dentist told me that grafting was needed with a referred local periodontist, I instantly felt anxious.  My mother and brother had been through the traditional grafting and they felt for me, too.  I didn’t want to do it.  I wasn’t having any pain and my receding gums weren’t bothering me a bit, but I knew that they would at some point and if receding gums are ignored for years, the actual tooth could fall out.

I didn’t want that, so I bravely scheduled the appointment with Dr. Randy Fitzgerald at AZ Perio in Ahwatukee.  The AZ Perio staff is very nice to talk with on the phone and to work with in the office.  It is like they know that patients fear the word, periodontist.  And Dr. Fitzgerald was very nice as well.

And he had some good news for me.

I wasn’t going to have suffer through what my poor mom and brother endured because there is a relatively new procedure called pinhole surgical technique.  Dr. Fitzgerald explained to me that I would be numbed and then he would inject collagen strips under my gums, thereby filling in the receding spots to cover the tooth with the gums to the previously normal state.

He was also honest in letting me know that there would be a recovery period with some discomfort and that I would need to be on a cocktail of meds during the recovery time. I appreciated knowing that because if the words, pinhole surgical procedure is googled, words that he didn’t use come up.  Google searching said painless, no recovery time and no stitches.  That is not always actually the case.

Dr. Fitzgerald is very thorough and works to greatly reduce the chance that future surgery will be needed. Although only time will tell us that for sure.  So he does incorporate a few stitches into his pinhole procedure if he feels they are necessary.  In my case, a few were needed.

So how did my experience go?  Would I recommend this?  Here is my short gum surgery story.  First, a few pictures of my recovery stages as these photos will help reduce the fear if you end up needing this procedure.  I have read that over 50% of the population suffers from some sort of receding gums, so chances are, many of my blog readers may need this treatment in the future.

Day 1 and definitely swollen, but not too bad.

Day 3 and it is obvious which side had more surgery. My family called this my Joker smile! A sense of humor is good medicine when one is homebound recovering 🙂

Day 4 and a little more, but not too bad at all.

Peaking! This is as bad as it got. Again, not too shabby…or swollen, I should say.  Somewhat, but manageable.

A little over a week later and feeling like myself again. My lips are chapped from the recovery and, although I still feel like a cotton ball is stuffed under my cheek, the visible signs of swelling are gone. Happy me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you see the pictures, you can see that the recovery with the pinhole procedure was not bad at all.  I will now take you through my pinhole journey.  Short and sweet, but with some stuff to pay attention to and remember when considering the pinhole technique.

On January 3rd, I drove myself to breakfast before my procedure.  My entire family was sick and I wanted to get this surgery over with, so I proceeded. I went to a restaurant first, as I had asked the doctor if I could enjoy a big meal and a mimosa pre-surgery, since I would be required to be on soft foods for two weeks following the operation.  He agreed to that.  He had offered me Valium to relax me for the procedure, but I turned it down since I would not be able to drive and would lose a day feeling loopy.  Good thing I chose that route since my family was too ill to drive me and to care for me that day!

After a big delicious breakfast and one enjoyable mimosa, it was time for my surgery.  I was lucky that I wasn’t going under, so I could fill up my tank first before heading to the shop, so to speak!

Pre-surgery breakfast with a raspberry mimosa that took the edge off!

The numbing shots hurt, as expected, but nothing too terrible. They asked to cover my eyes with a towel, so I decided to pretend like I was at the spa having a facial, as they worked away.  No pain, but unfortunately, I did have some sinus discomfort on the opposite side of my mouth as they worked.

Scheduling this right after the hectic holidays left me rundown and getting over a cold, which made my sinuses vulnerable, but I was OK and could deal with it.  I also knew that the antibiotic I would take, to prevent post-surgery infection, would also wipe out any sinus infection that was left over from the pesky holiday virus my family fought.  Tis’ the season!

So my first big piece of advice #1…don’t schedule surgery or procedures right after the holidays or an event that may have you rundown.  Try to be your strongest and healthiest self when preparing for any type of surgical procedure.

The procedure took a little over an hour. I had already purchased my soft foods, so I departed for the drug store to get a narcotic painkiller that the doctor prescribed for me, just in case my pain warranted that.

Great news.  It never did!  The extra strength Tylenol and prescribed ibuprofen did the job.  Which brings me to my advice #2…stay ahead of the pain when recovering from a surgery.  I kept a chart of the different meds I had to take and the times of day and night each one was ingested, with a list of the upcoming times as well.

My chicken scratch chart wasn’t pretty, but it did the job.

When recovering from a surgery, the body is tired and rundown.  No matter how minor, the body is messed with and it responds to the invasion and needs TLC.  So even if you think a surgery is common or minor, schedule time to recover.  Truly.

I had to take more pills than I like to endure as I recovered from this procedure. As I mentioned, for three days, I stayed on extra strength Tylenol combined with a prescription ibuprofen, that I kept scheduled to take at different times.  My least favorite item that I had to take for a week was the steroids.  This helped to reduce the swelling and I was required to start the pack one day in advance of the surgery. I didn’t like the side effects, which included an increased appetite, ironic when I couldn’t chew many foods.  I also had a cough while on those pills, but it cleared up as soon as I finished the pack.  The doctor has patients reduce the amount taken gradually each day, so that body comes off the powerful steroids gradually, which is good.

I was also given a powerful germicidal mouth rinse that I was required to start the day after surgery.  This stuff is strong and greatly reduces bacteria, which I found to appreciate since I was not allowed to brush or flush my teeth for two weeks following the surgery.  Sound gross?

I was afraid of just how gross that would be, but this rinse took care of any potential bad breath. However, it will be good to be done with with it soon, since it can stain teeth. I will be finished with this rinse in one more week.  The doc also gave me a special super soft post surgical tooth brush.  I got to brush very gently last night.  The things we take for granted…brushing teeth!

So I found my recovery to be almost be more about coming off the different meds than my swollen jaw.  The painkiller combo made me sleepy and the steroids made me feel rundown with a cough. As I finished each med, I gradually felt better.  Since it is winter, the soft foods diet wasn’t as challenging as I had imagined it would be, since soup is in season.  I had lots of soup, we juiced fruits and veggies and pals brought me yellow curry, homemade soup, smoothies and more.

My sweet pal, Julie brought me yummy yellow curry. It was soupy and I mashed the veggies inside while she had wine and gave me some great company. Both the food and her company nourished my recovery.

Juicing was so helpful and my sweet teen daughter did just that for me.

This brings me to my advice snippit #3….ask for and accept help.  Again, googling the words, pinhole procedure makes this surgery sound easy breezy with no recovery time. Not true.  Your gums are being messed with.  In my case, they were also cut a little and asked to accept injections of a foreign matter. My body is not used to taking in a bunch of new meds, all at once.  My gums were swollen and I was adjusting to a different diet.  So if you do have pinhole surgery, take comfort in knowing that it is way less invasive than traditional grafting with a shorter recovery time, but you will need to schedule some recovery time.

I was told that it would be two full weeks for me. Two full weeks on soft foods, too.  Well, I followed the long list of post-op care tips to a T…and I shortened my recovery time by doing so.  This piece of paper below became my bible and I followed all the instructions religiously.  Like most of us, I don’t have time to be down and I didn’t want any post-surgery complications.  So, my advice #4…do exactly what they tell you to do post-op, have a family member read it with you to help you keep track of it all.  Be sure to keep notes regarding what time meds are taken, unusual bleeding, etc.  I also drank healing herbal teas and ate as much veggies and fruits juiced as I could. I took my vitamins and added protein powder to my smoothies.  And I got extra rest.

These guys encouraged me to cat nap and get recovery rest 🙂

I did have a little unusual bleeding the day of my surgery.  The post op instructions failed to stop the bleeding, so my wonderful periodontist stayed open after hours to take a look at my gums.  All was good but the time I arrived, so that was a relief.

That would be my only complication and it was very slight.  So I do recommend the pinhole technique. If you live in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend AZ Perio and Dr. Fitzgerald.  I am very happy to be ending this experience and this article with that recommendation!

And one more thing…I have read in multiple articles that good dental hygiene and care can add 10 years to your life, so don’t ignore your chompers.  If surgery is needed, hopefully I just gave you some good news about the wonders of technology when it comes to gum grafting.  Remember the words, pinhole procedure if your dentist tells you that receding gum surgery is needed.

My Black Eye Story & Boiron Arnicare Gel to the Rescue

Manic:  Me!  My former boss once lovingly gave me the nickname, Calamity and it still sticks, I must admit. When I saw her recently and reported to her that I gave myself a shiner (details below), she wasn’t surprised!  blk-eyeAnd of course, I did this the same week that my daughter was set to perform in the summer musical production we had been anticipating. 13Hiding out while my eye healed wasn’t an option.  Because that is what mothers do.  We keep going.

Managed:  I followed the healing plan advice of both my mom and my mother-in-law.  I am incredibly blessed to have these two amazing women in my life and although we all live far apart, we communicate regularly and I benefit from that, let me tell you.  I applied an ice pack that first night, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off, for the next few hours.  But I really like homeopathic remedies and my own mother certainly raised me that way.  I wish I would have remembered that first evening that I had a fresh tube of Boiron Arnicare Gel on hand, but I didn’t.  Arnicare-Gel-5thPanel-left-800Several days later, and after a lot of agonizing about just how bad my eye looked, I remembered!  And it made a big difference.

But first let me tell you how I got my impressive shiner in the first place.  It was a tale of me against the glass dining room table.  Here is a photo of the enemy and guess who won?!  Not me!

Yes the corner of that table was a painful collision!

The corner of that table was a painful collision!  Calamity in action.

When one of our kitty cats ran under the table, I bent down to get her.  I came up too quickly, failing to navigate my return to standing.  I never made it to standing.  Falling and clutching my eye is what happened next instead. I knew it was going to be bad because it was quite the blow.  At first it didn’t look too frightful, although I still pouted as I worried about the progression in the coming days.  I hoped that this was as bad as it would get.  So I started to faithfully ice my eye the rest of that long evening. at-firstice-eyeFinally, it was bedtime and when I woke the next morning, I had a full-fledged shiner.  Just what I hoped to avoid! What a difference 8 hours makes and not in a good way.

Still pouting :(

Still pouting 🙁  Much worse next day.

So, I laid around and iced it all day long.  I got some kitty pity from my feline (she is not the guilty one from the night before, although she usually is the naughty one, but not this time).  sadie-ice-packThe next day was not much better and my daughter’s opening night was now only 2 days away.  Finally, I remembered my Boiron Arnicare Gel!  As soon as I did, I ran upstairs and immediately starting treating my eye with the wonder gel several times a day.  My mother asked me if I was applying an arnica gel to the area and I told her that I had just remembered to do that.  Boy, do I wish I would have thought of it a few days before.  Once I started incorporating the Arnicare Gel into my recovery plan, my black eye truly started to fade!

The healing was kicking into high gear with the help of the Arnicare Gel.  You can see the improvement below.  Arnicare Gel is made with Arnica montana, a type of mountain daisy that grows in the mountains of Central Europe.  WebMD says that arnica can be applied to the skin for pain and swelling associated with bruises, muscle aches, and sprains.  My mother swears by Boiron Arnicare Gel and I have tried this gel myself for sore muscles in the past and it worked well.  I was so happy to remember that I had some on hand because once I started applying a little of the non-greasy homeopathic gel to my eye, it made a difference.

Still there, but starting to fade, so no more pouting!

Still there, but starting to fade, so no more pouting!

But that pesky black eye still wasn’t completely gone and my girl’s show was the next evening.  So, my wonderful gal pal, and managedmoms.com beauty expert, Bianca came to my rescue with a quick makeup lesson on what she recommends for good coverage.  Boots No 7 Beautifully Matte from Walgreens.boots-covereye-after-coverageNot bad.  And this is hours later so the makeup had faded some, but was still doing a good job, especially when it was time to take post-show pictures, I am happy to report!  Here I am with my babies.  Since my son has gone off to college, anytime I can get a picture with my cuties, I jump at the chance, even with a black eye! fave-pic-with-kids-after-13-show

My sporty black eye wasn’t gone yet.  But within another week of faithfully using Boiron Arnicare Gel, getting my sleep, taking vitamins and eating well, it was just about gone.  And this happened by the time our family took a quick last minute weekend trip before school started.  We snuck away to a great resort in Tucson.  (My blog post with my review on that property coming soon.)  A black eye can take close to three weeks to completely disappear, so I was happy with my progress, let me tell you!

tucson-with-my-girlI definitely recommend getting a tube to keep on hand.  Because you never know when you are going to need it.  I figured that I would use mine for sore muscles.  A black eye at 49 years old?! Now that, I didn’t plan for!  So, I am sure glad that I had some in my medicine cabinet because believe me, I wasn’t going out in public more than I had to during that frustrating time!  Boiron Arnicare Gel to my rescue!  It can be ordered online and it is sold at Whole Foods and Target locations.  A complete store finder for your area can be found here that shows where Boiron Arnicare Gel is sold locally.

 

Note: I am not a doctor or a pharmacist, so you may want to first check with your doctor before using an arnica gel.  These “Uses” have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  For me, it worked great. 

 

I was lucky to first learn about Boiron Arnicare Gel when they became an advertising partner with managedmoms.com.  I swear by it ever since, especially since my mother also had used arnica gel for healing.  My opinion about how much I love Boiron Arnicare Gel is 100% my very own. 

Massage Deal, Food & Other Items Seen in my 3TV Segment

If you caught my lifestyle segment that aired on the KTVK “Your Life A to Z” show today and you want to see more of what I discussed, it is all here.  The fantastic massage deal that is being offered, how to determine which power of reading glasses you need in just 3 seconds, the healthy online recipe tool for family meal planning that I love and more.  It is here, so take a look…

Segment Topic #1 – Readers:  Styles, Strength & Shopping

When I first bought a pair of readers, I mistakenly didn’t do the research first.  Our show host, Suzanne suggested that I research a bit about reading glasses for my segment and I am glad that I did.  I purchased a pair that was too strong and my eyes started playing focus tricks on me and I would get headaches.  So this research is important.  The good news is that it is quite simple, too.

Check out a great website called Readers.com because this site has a simple one sheet guide that helps you discover what strength is needed.  With the strength range going from +1.00 to +3.25 with lots of numbers in between, it is very useful to know which exact strength is needed before readers are purchased.  I showed the chart in my segment.

Go to my link below to see this chart on the readers.com website. Then you can take the quick quiz to find your reading glasses strength.

Go here to get this chart that you can print out.  Then you can take the quick quiz to find your reading glasses power.

You can read more about what I learned about reading glasses here in my blog article that also shares where to buy them in bulk for less.

Segment Topic #2 – Empty Nest Syndrome Adjusting

Dorm room move-in day ant this picture says it all. Happy kid and happy mom, but the sadness shows a little on my face, doesn't it?!

Dorm room move-in day and this picture says it all. Happy kid and happy mom, but the sadness shows a little on my face, doesn’t it?!

Since my first born went away to college, I found my heart took over the keyboard and several honest posts published in my blog became very popular…and I am told helpful with a lot of my readers.  The first one I blogged was a 1 minute video that shows the dorm move-in day.

Then I wrote a piece about how it felt 7 days after he went away to college.

And I chimed in again at the one month mark, which is when it truly sank in and I had a bit of a half empty nest syndrome (still have one left at home hence the word, half) breakdown.  Well it wasn’t really a breakdown, but it was a good hard cry.  And I needed to have that.  That article called Half Empty Nest Syndrome Harder & Happier Than I Expected is here.

The best thing about writing these articles is the love and support I received both in the comments section, with private emails and some social media comments, too.  Thank you to all of my readers who gave me support, who shared their own empty nest experiences and who have cheered me on…and my son, too.

I can say that the gal pal support is HUGE.  The family support is so helpful (I am blessed with an incredible mom and mom-in-law).  My husband has also been good to go through this with and we are working on reconnecting with date nights.  When one leaves the busy nest, many couples do have to work to reconnect.

I also found that exercising has been a big help, too.  Please share your thoughts with this empty nest experience.  We love to hear from other mothers going through the similar stages that parenthood serves up!

Segment Topic #3 – Stress Relief Deal on my Blog – 35% off of a very good massage!!

And speaking of needing help dealing with life changes, one of my favorite and very helpful stress relief practices is to get a massage.  Movement Restoration, located in Scottsdale, is offering a 35% discount for a 60 minute massage to my readers!  So be sure to take advantage of that before it expires at the end of October. A lot of pro athletes get their massage treatments there.  I used my blog’s discount code and had a great experience…twice now!  And yes, that has helped me with my transition as I adjust to one of my kiddos leaving the nest!

The awesome discounted price that we receive through my blog is only $49.99 for 60 minutes!

The regular price for the massages that are being discounted for my readers is normally $85 each, so this is a great savings!  The awesome peeps at Movement Restoration are offering a special introductory rate to my blog readers of only $49.99!  Just call Movement Restoration at 480-612-5090 or visit their website link hereto book using the discount code, managedmoms  to receive the introductory rate of only $49.99 for one of several fantastic services.  And this offer is good through the end of October, for those of us who may want to pamper ourselves with a healthy massage over the upcoming Fall Break, too.

Segment Topic #4 – Online Meal Planning Tool- Mealgarden.com

Healthy treat recipes are also offered on Meal Garden like these dark chocolate covered strawberries that are made with coconut oil. They were yummy!

Healthy treat recipes are also offered on Meal Garden like these dark chocolate covered strawberries that are made with coconut oil. They were yummy!

I do still have one kid left at home, but trust me I am still feeling the half empty nest syndrome!  But with one child still at home, I am not off the hook having to plan larger meals yet.  So I recently found a very cool online meal planning tool called Meal Garden and it works great.  Meal Garden gives readers a free 30 day trial, which is what I am doing now.  I have found this site to be super easy to use with healthy meal ideas that are easy to prepare.  Plus this site organizes my own personal meal calendar and then helps me to create a grocery list that checks off items that I already have on hand.  So far, I love this site.  I have used it for a crockpot chicken dinner, a yummy oatmeal breakfast recipe and snacks, too.  I will probably purchase the membership after my 30 days expire.  At that time it will cost me $5.95 a month and I think that is worth it since I get a ton of nutritious recipes to choose from, an organized calendar and grocery shopping lists.  I recommend Mealgarden.com!

 

Don’t Just Eye It: All About Reading Glasses

managedmoms_1checkAs I stood in the sunlight last year squinting while I looked down at the instructions on the vitamin bottle, my daughter asked me what in the world was I doing and did I need help reading something.  Yes indeed I did but I wasn’t ready to mess with learning about and shopping for reading glasses.  A few days later while out to dinner with pals, I was annoyed by the nice candlelit atmosphere and quickly turned the flashlight on my cell phone to read the menu.  OK time to get the readers I had to admit!

Being in my late 40s, this is pretty typical for a lot of us, so when our host on the morning show I work on asked me to do a little research on readers, I agreed that this is a good idea. And because I hadn’t done the research before I bought my first pair (I chose only on the snazzy factor!) I was wearing the wrong strength which wasn’t good for my eyes.  So be sure to read on to learn how to quickly and easily take a visual test to determine which strength is needed and where to find cute styles for less.readers-stuff

Check out a great website called Readers.com because the site has a handy simple one sheet guide that quickly and easily helps you determine which strength is needed for your reading glasses purchase.

Go to my link below to see this chart on the readers.com website. Then you can take the quick quiz to find your reading glasses strength.

Go to this link to see this chart on the readers.com website. Then you can take the quick quiz to find your reading glasses strength.

With the strength number ranging from +1.00 to +3.25, with lots of numbers in between, it is useful to know the exact strength needed before buying the glasses.  After I took the 2 second quiz, I now know that I need a +1.50 strength.

Once the strength is determined, it is time for the fun part…shopping for a stylish pair.  Readers come in very basic styles or fun and trendy looks, too.  I even found this stylish pair called The Topez Sun Reader on Readers.com that double as sun glasses with 99% UVA/UVB sun protection so no one will even know that my shades are readers.  readers-shadesI paid $21.95 for mine and readers.com shipped them to me.  The only disadvantage of buying readers online is that I couldn’t try them on first, but I was happy with my purchase.  They have a wide selection of reading glasses for everyone with a good variety of the readers sunglasses, too.  Readers.com even has a celebrity page that shows stars wearing stylish readers.  Similar styles can be purchased on the site.

When it comes to economical shopping for reading glasses, consider buying in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco.  Since I can get four pairs for $15.88 at Sam’s Club, that is a good value. sams-readersAnd with my oldest kid in college now, we are on a pretty tight budget these days.  The styles aren’t as trendy as what is offered at readers.com but you will pay more for the stylish ones.

I also found some fabulous readers at Urbayn gift stores. This pair below cost me $20 and Urbayn had fancier glasses for $35 and some even that cost as much as $70.  I am happy with my $20 pair below. urbayn-readersUrbayn has two hip locations in Scottsdale and in Chandler.  Other sites like overstock.com have some good looking ones with mid range prices.

So figure out your reading glasses strength and have fun shopping.  Do get them if you need them so you stop straining your eyes, which also enhances wrinkles, too.  You and your eyes will be glad that you finally gave in to your need for readers!

 

 

Better Than Before, A Positive Mammogram Experience

At 49 years old, I have had three mammograms in my 40s.  My doctor encourages me to have yearly mammograms, especially since we have this awful disease in our family.

I had been putting off my most recent one because the last time I went it was pretty uncomfortable starting with the long wait in waiting room and then the mildly painful squeezing of my you-know-whats in the cold machine.  When I told my husband that I had not returned for a mammogram in over two years, he was not pleased with his wife and asked me to kindly get that scheduled.

Before I called the appointment desk, I did what I do a lot when I have decisions to make.  I consulted with one of my trusted gal pals about her most recent mammogram experience.  As usual, I was so glad that I did.  Girlfriends are one of our best resources for all kinds of information and good referrals, too.

Me and Liz when we sang a funny song for our girls' childrens theater fundraiser!

Me and Liz when we sang a funny song for our girls’ children’s theater fundraiser.  Love this pal of mine.  We wine offstage, too….mom therapy!

So my awesome friend, Liz told me that she had a great experience at the local SMIL imaging center. I had heard about SMIL (Scottsdale Medical Imaging) but I didn’t want to drive that far.  Lizzy let me know that SMIL actually has locations all over the Valley with one as close as Gilbert.  But then I worried that my insurance wouldn’t cover it because the Gilbert location wasn’t on my EVDI referral sheet that my doctor gave me for scheduling.  Wonderful informative Liz let me know that EVDI and SMIL are now affiliated.  So glad she told me that because when I called, the very nice scheduler told me that is true.  So even though the Gilbert facility wasn’t listed on my medical sheet, it was indeed included.

Always call ladies.  Always double check.  You never know!

Liz also told me that she liked the Gilbert SMIL imaging facility because her visit there went very smoothly.

I can concur.  I called on Tuesday and was pleased to get a next day appointment.  My imaging time was set for 8:15am and I left the center at 9:15am, pretty good.  Especially since I was able to get checked in, examined and receive my normal results within that time.

The dressing rooms were nice, the robe was comfortable and the staff was terrific.  I like the nice little bag I was given to keep my stuff in so I didn’t have to use a locker if I preferred to keep my belongings with me.  bag

The waiting room has a fridge stocked with complimentary water bottles, which was also a nice touch.  I liked the label on the water, too.water bottle clinic

While waiting I observed this super hero sign by the window.  I read it and I liked it.  It reminded me why I was there.  It is a bit nerve wracking to get this done and the little sign made me smile. super hero sign

The machine did NOT hurt this time.  And the newer digital mammography emits less radiation and gets a better picture than the older machines did just a few years back.

My technician explained why two extra pictures were needed due to my dense tissue.  I appreciated that because I felt a bit uneasy when she told me that she planned to take extra pictures.  She was very gentle, took her time and was warm and responsive while also a pro at what she does.  I felt very comfortable with her and truly experienced minimal discomfort this time around.

Once done, she gave me the choice of receiving my results within 15 minutes or waiting the usual 2 to 3 days.  I chose to stay and wait there.  Only five minutes later, a tech came to go over the results with me, so I hardly had to wait at all.

She escorted me to a room where I started to take a seat, but before I could reach the chair, she handed me the paper, told me the results were normal and sent me on my way.

I appreciate the fact that this place would have kept me there for further testing that same day if that had been needed.

So if you are considering a first time mammogram or have put off a follow up, as I had done, I hope my positive report gives you a little reassurance as well as a referral to a good place to have it done.

I always try to schedule my yearly physical, blood work and other needed exams around my birthday to keep me on schedule.

Just remember to take care of yourselves, ladies.  It is easy to forget to focus on you with the many directions we are pulled in today’s manic times.  Keep it managed girls.  From one busy lady to another 🙂

 

 

For My Blog Readers: 35% Discount Off Massage at Movement Restoration!

One thing I love about having my blog is that I get to work with fantastic partners who give my readers great discounts sometimes and this savings is off one of my very favorite things ever…MASSAGE!  I like the hot stones massage, the Swedish type without stones, reflexology…pretty much all of it! stones

So a big thank you to Movement Restoration, a very cool Scottsdale day spa facility (located at 68th Street & Thomas Rd.) that I put to the test (twice now).  I loved it so much, that the owners offered me a 35% discount for myself to return AND to my blog readers! mr lobbyWoo hoo to that!

This is me last week an hour after my second trial massage at Movement Restoration.  Almost makeup free and totally relaxed, I felt great the rest of day!  I did make sure to drink a lot of water all day long. me mkup free 49It was just as fabulous as the first time I went over the summer.  At that time, I took my teen daughter with me for a mother/daughter massage day.  We both loved our experience.

This time I went alone and I can see and feel the health benefits of my overall wellness routine that includes regular exercise, eating clean, getting my sleep, keeping my stress in check and getting regularly scheduled massages.  I think I am looking OK for 49 years old and these regular massages are part of my all natural anti-aging routine.  I did start dying my hair finally this year, but I have resisted Botox and other types of fillers so far…so far I say because you never know.  But for now, my anti-aging wellness ritual definitely includes massage! 

So busy moms, take some time off to treat yourself to a massage that you won’t regret because the Movement Restoration team are pros.  They are truly the real deal when it comes to massage.  In fact a lot of professional athletes go to Movement Restoration for their massage and for other services.  Some of the other treatments that are offered there include hydrotherapy, cupping, mud wrap, salt scrub, body polish and more!  Just check out their testimonials page to see some of the pro athletes who receive massage therapy at this wonderful place.

And for the Dads and all of you who are athletes, try this place for a deep tissue/sports massage done right.  I have been twice for my personally requested happy medium massage (my favorite kind) and both were incredible massage experiences from head to toe!

The awesome discounted price that we receive through my blog is only $49.99 for 60 minutes!

The regular price for the massages that are being discounted for my readers is normally $85 each, so this is a great savings!  The awesome peeps at Movement Restoration are offering a special introductory rate to my blog readers of only $49.99!  Just call Movement Restoration at 480-612-5090 or visit their website link here to book using the discount code, managedmoms  to receive the introductory rate of only $49.99 for one of several fantastic services.  And this offer is good through the end of October, for those of us who may want to pamper ourselves with a healthy massage over the upcoming Fall Break, too.

Thanks Movement Restoration!  Check out my thorough blog review that I wrote about this amazing place a few weeks ago.  No wonder so many professional athletes call this their massage home. Movement Restoration is truly the real deal and will help your overall wellness and reduced stress plan.

Go ahead and treat yourself with this awesome discount code.

Remember to type in the discount code, managedmoms to receive the introductory rate of only $49.99 for the specific massage services that include either a 60 Minute Deep Tissue/Sports Massage or the 60 Minute Reflexology Massage at their website link here.

Teens, Text Neck & Movement Restoration to the Rescue!

Manic:  My daughter, her pals (AND myself included) and the amount of time we all spend texting! Because this full time texting is a relatively new phenomenon, I believe that we are all guinea pigs with this addictive trend when it comes to the physical toll it may be placing on our bodies. earphones-friends-hand-I also believe that the condition, called text neck, is real and something to be aware of.  And I also believe that my kids’ generation are prime candidates for this text neck condition that results from the constant motion of looking down at our phones.  This in turn can cause text neck, a painful condition that affects the neck and spine.  And recently when I took my daughter to an awesome mother & daughter massage at the very impressive Movement Restoration in Scottsdale, the massage therapist told me that she could feel knots, tension and tightness in my daughter’s neck and shoulders.  My girl agreed that she has been feeling discomfort in her neck and shoulders. I believe that text neck is to blame.

Managed:  I have been discussing text neck with my girl, we have been trying to text less and we have been scheduling regular massages.  We are also stretching together.

Of these new steps we are taking to improve my girl’s text neck condition, we especially love the massage part!  Not only are we feeling better, but it is great mother and daughter bonding time.  And since she is starting high school in a few weeks, I cherish and value any time that we can spend together one on one. After the massage time, we enjoy time together and we talk.  Yep, we talk.  We converse.  We bond.

On massage days, we are especially motivated to eat clean and these juices made with kale, ginger, apple and more are perfect. Great bonding time!

On massage days, we are especially motivated to eat clean and these juices made with kale, ginger, apple and more are perfect. Great bonding time!  Massage reminds us to take care of our bodies.

We put the phones away, enter a text free zone and talk.  I highly recommend this!

Our favorite place to go for a really good, top notch, professional and truly therapeutic massage treatment, that is also gentle and custom tailored to our needs and comfort level, is Movement Restoration.  If you like a deep tissue treatment that really gets to the heart of and alleviates your pain, this place can do that, too.

Here is why we really dig Movement Restoration for our mom and daughter time, text neck treatment and massage therapy….

  1.  The place is just so cool, warm and welcoming and also small, cozy and has great energy.  I am also so impressed with the very earth friendly decor.mr lobbyWe loved the relaxing scent of oils from local Queen Creek Olive Mill.  Clients are greeted with the calming aroma of the Olivespa line of oils like eucalyptus mint and peppermint lavender.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

2.  The name of this special place is right on for what I was looking for when it comes to dealing with this text neck stuff…Movement Restoration.  And restoring movement is the goal of this group…to help restore natural movement through the body through individualized massage treatments.  And boy do they accomplish that!  I am a BIG fan of massage and I strongly believe in the health benefits, so I receive regular massage treatments and I have tried a lot of places.  This was my favorite massage ever. Truly. And my daughter agreed that this place is her top pick, too.  These guys and gals know what they are doing!

3.  Pro athletes go here!  Movement Restoration has a client list that boasts NFL football players, Olympians and more.  Just check out their testimonials page to see some of the pro athletes who receive massage therapy at this wonderful place.

4.  They have a very nice couples massage room so my daughter and I can be in the same room relaxing on state of the art, super comfy side by side massage tables.  With the massage tables provided, I don’t leave with, what I call, massage face.  No imprints on my face after a massage at Movement Restoration. That is because the table and the headrest are state of the art and are designed for maximum comfort for me and optimal performance by the massage therapist.  m table

5.  The team!  The team here is a cohesive group who adore what they do, love their colleagues and their clients and are an absolute pleasure to deal with from start to finish.  Trisha
brynnCo founders, Trisha Haws and Brynn Martin work together with a team of passionate pros to provide massage treatment and educational information on how to incorporate massage, exercise and activities into a lifestyle that equates to better mobility, wellness and less stress. They provide other beneficial treatments as well for athletes and the like that include a dynamic compression device for injury healing, a cold water spa and more.

6. Small facility feel with big extensive treatment menu.  We love that this place is small with an intimate and cozy feel but at the same time the treatment menu is filled with all kinds of great options that also include cool services like a mud wrap and paraffin body wrap (on our list to try next time). Reflexology, La Stone, salt scrub/body polish are also offered as well as Swedish, deep tissue, sports and other types of massage, too.  stonesOur services were pampering, tailored to us and we didn’t get lost in a big overwhelming facility like so many other massage treatment centers.  We received special and individualized attention from start to finish.

7.  This team’s experience!  This team of pros have experience ranging from award-winning resort spas, wellness centers and chiropractic practices.  Both my daughter and I commented to each other that our therapists worked through trigger points, tension and sore areas in a pain free, relaxing and effective manner.  We left there SO relaxed!  We slept better that night and enjoyed a quality afternoon together.

If you are looking for a healthy activity with your teenager that will help with the almost impossible to avoid text neck issue, I recommend Movement Restoration.

If you are looking for a couples experience with your significant other, I also recommend this place as they tell me that they have a experience that also comes with champagne!

For the athlete and/or my pals that run, work out and are very physically active with ailments to prove it, try Movement Restoration.  I truly can not recommend this place enough!  They also offer yoga! yoga tooAs soon as I finish this article, I am booking another mom and daughter massage to get us in before she starts high school.  Life will really get busy and stressful then!

And great news!  The awesome peeps at Movement Restoration are offering a special rate on several of their services to my blog readers!  Just call Movement Restoration at 480-612-5090 or visit their website link here to book using the discount code, managedmoms to receive the introductory rate of only $49.99 for one of several fantastic services!  Choose the 60 Minute Deep Tissue/Sports Massage or the 60 Minute Reflexology service for the discounted blog rate.  Thanks Movement Restoration!

I know that I will be back soon.  I felt incredible all day long and I slept so great the day that I had my massage there.  Just phenomenal!  Truly!

 

 

 

A huge thank you to Movement Restoration for the opportunity to sample their services with my daughter.  Our opinion about how much we absolutely love this place, our massages and the team of experts are 100% our very own! 

Our One Big Change & One Small One for Allergy Relief!

Allergy season has arrived!  Ah choo….watery eyes, scratchy throat…ugh!  No fun!  So our family tried two remedies, one giant one and one small daily change (a drink recipe) and both have made a difference.  I have actually been off Claritin for three months now!  Check out these ideas out that I showed in my recent KTVK 3TV segment on the “Your Life A to Z” show.  Plus some healthy eating ideas, too!  If you want more information about the remodel hardwood floors, click here on Excalibur Hardwood Floors.

 

Family Wellness Ideas That Have Been Working For Us!

From my KTVK Channel 3 segment on the “Your Life A to Z” show that aired today….

The main reason I blog is to share ideas on how to make our manic lives a bit more managed and when I find natural remedies that work, I get really excited and I can’t wait to share on this blog! remedy pic 1

Let’s Go from Head to Toe…

Stuff for Stuffy Head

*Allergies – Boy have allergies become a big issue in our desert.  It didn’t used to be this way and it is believed that a big reason is because so many people discovered our beautiful Valley of the Sun, moved here and planted their favorite flowers and plants from back home.  Whatever the reason, I have been a big allergy sufferer to the point where my runny nose and sneezing would wake my husband.  He asked me to try to figure out my allergy relief plan, for both of us.  We also have four cats so that contributes a bit, but testing proved that most of my allergies are plant related and food related.  I cleaned up my diet first and foremost with a lot less sugar and bread and that made a huge difference for sure.  Two more changes followed.

First getting rid of our carpet and I mean a lot of it!  We recently installed beautiful hardwood floors and things are better for sure.  We hired Excalibur Hardwood Floors and the difference is both visually beautiful and physically appreciated with less allergy problems!  Carpet traps and holds dust, pet dander and more so it makes sense that wood or tile floors would help with allergies.  And just look at how much better and cleaner our bedroom looks!  Love this….b4 after floors

I also started drinking a little concoction that our show’s makeup artist, Karen Hall told me about and she looks and feels amazing.  She doesn’t even begin to look her age, which is somewhere in her 60s.  So I always put a lot of stock in her recommendations.

She told me to try apple cider vinegar mixed with honey.  I was thrilled to find that Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar With A Honey Blend (this is how it appears on the label) is sold at Sprouts Farmers Market.  Every day I mix about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the vinegar with 8 oz of water.  It tastes like apple juice and I have been amazed with the results.  Since I started drinking this twice a day, my allergies have disappeared.  I have been off Claritin for over three months now.  I have also avoided any sinus issues thus far that I almost always have every year.  I am hopeful that this will carry me through Spring, when our allergy season kicks in to high gear.  I will report back on my blog if it does and for now I am thrilled with this natural remedy!  Definitely try incorporating the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey Blend into your diet if you are an allergy sufferer.  Be sure to dilute it with a lot of water since the acidity can damage tooth enamel.  Drinking it straight is not recommended. As always, whenever trying any new remedy, double check the ingredients with your doctor to make sure that an ingredient isn’t present that may interfere with a current medical condition.

And speaking of sinus issues…

*Sinus Issues – For the last several years now, I take a special bath at the first sign of sinus pressure and this remedy has worked wonders.  I put a capful of Kneipp Eucalyptus Sinus Relief Herbal Bath in a hot bath under the running water and soak for about 15 minutes.  kneippIt works wonders and really helps to open and relieve my sinus pressure.  I buy mine on Amazon for around $15 a bottle and it is worth every cent.

Healthy Meals for the Mouth

*Quick & Healthy Breakfast Idea – I found a terrific instant oatmeal that I approve of and like, but it isn’t sweet enough alone for my family, so I experimented with three simple ingredients to sweeten it myself.  My family loves it and I feel good about providing this super quick, tasty and healthy breakfast to everyone before we all head out to another crazy busy day. remedies

I use the Better Oats Oat Revolution Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal with Flax brand.  I recently noticed this brand the last time I was at my grocery store, so I bought it to give it a try.  I love that the packets are filled with ingredients that only include steel cut oats, flaxseed and salt, with no added sugar, so each packet only contains 1 gram of sugar.  Compare this to many other brands and you get 9 grams of sugar and a bunch of ingredients that I can’t pronounce.  No thanks.

So here is the 2 step prep that I do to naturally sweeten it.  These steps are kid and teenager approved….

Step 1 – Simply boil water or heat milk, if you choose to use milk.  The handy oatmeal packet has a measuring water line so you know the exact amount to add to your oatmeal.  However, I just eye the amount of water or milk.  I think almond milk would be so tasty to add to this, but my daughter is allergic to tree nuts, so I use water.

Step 2 – Add 1/2 a banana and mash into oats and water.  mash itTop with cinnamon and you have delish and healthy oatmeal that was made in under 3 minutes and is kid approved! done oatmeal

*Farm Fresh Local Foods for Dinner – I just love when I find healthy new tips for families, especially when it comes to cooking nutritious and tasty dinners.  I am SO excited to tell you about the new meal kits that I have been receiving that come from a local and organic farm! Sunizona Family Farms now ships dinner kits that contain everything you need to make a healthy, organic and tasty meal.  Plus I have been trying to prepare and eat more plant based meals and this service makes it easy and tasty, which I am thrilled about.

One of my favorite Meal Kits from this farm contained organic whole food ingredients to make yummy veggie Queso nachos that actually used eggplant, garlic, seasoning, red bell pepper and other surprising ingredients to create nachos that tasted hearty and fantastic! Wondering how this works?  It is super easy!

Every Tuesday, I go to my favorite local healthy cafe, Pomegranate Cafe to pick up my weekly Sunizona Family Farms Flavor Crate which is filled with the organic and fresh produce and foods that I ordered online over the weekend.  Recently Sunizona Family Farms added the Mealkits.  I preorder over the weekend and pay online.  Each Meal Kit costs $22 with a subscription option available.  For that very fair price, I receive a box packed with every fresh whole food ingredient needed to make a meal and a side dish, which may be a salad and sometimes a healthy dessert, too.  Some of the other Meal Kit recipes I have made, that my family loved, include the Minestrone Soup which also came with items to make a nice tossed side salad and yummy whole grain garlic bread.

Skin Stuff

 *Dry Skin – With our temps warming up again and our super dry climate, dry skin continues to be a problem for a lot of us.  Our triple crown plan has been coconut oil, oatmeal baths and a product with a funny name called Toe Juice.

Coconut oil just rocks because it can be used for all types of issues from head to toe.  I cook with it a lot and I always dab a little on my lips, nails and hands.  I do a lot of hand washing and my hands always start to get little eczema spots, so I have been able to stop the rash in its tracks with pure organic virgin coconut oil. I also make sure to apply hand cream nightly before I go to bed.

Oatmeal bath – Sometimes eczema develops on my daughter, around her legs and arms.  It is definitely getting better as she grows up and she is now 14, but when she does get a flare up, she immediately takes an oatmeal bath with Aveeno Oatmeal packets that we get at the drug store.  This has helped a lot.

Toe Juice – I discovered this product a few years ago and I love it for all over skin issues, especially for my dry heels that are back again now that flip flop season has returned.  Toe Juice with DermaVine was developed by a high school chemistry teacher for his infant son’s split, cracked feet. Doctors and pharmacists didn’t have a solution that worked, so he used a combination of well-known plant extracts to create the solution. Looking to avoid the messy, greasy issues of available creams, lotions, and salves, he pursued a liquid application. I apply it to my own dry heels and then use a pumice stone to get the cracked dry skin right off for silky smooth heels.  toejuicebottleWhen I blogged about this, I had several readers to tell me that it worked wonders for their skin issues, too!  Toe Juice can be purchased at www.toejuice.com.

For Feet

 Speaking of feet, when I write about my foot injuries, I always get a good response.  I guess foot problems are a popular topic.  I broke my right ankle three times in 25 years, had plantar fasciitis and recently sprained the top of my foot.  My poor foot has taken a beating, yet I have never had cortisone shots and I am still running around, sometimes getting 20,000 steps in a day on my Fitbit.  So here are my blog’s most popular tips for healthy feet…

*Use Boiron Arnicare Arnica Gel to reduce bruising and inflammation following a foot injury.  My bruising went away significantly faster every time I remembered to apply this gel that is paraben free, non sticky, unscented and nongreasy.  Arnicare-Gel-5thPanel-left-800It is a homeopathic ointment that my Mom first told me about and it works great.

*My physical therapist sent me to an athletic locally owned shoe store called Sole Sports where the experts on site actually have you run on a treadmill to evaluate your gait to see which shoe best suits your needs. The Adidas Supernova Boost tennis shoe has shortened my recovery time because this shoe gives me the support my fragile foot needs.  adidas-ultra-boost-womenI paid $129.99 at Sole Sports and it has been worth every penny.  Make sure you are in the right shoe for your foot.  Also look for a good supportive sock like the Feetures brand which provides light padding and arch support and is made with wick moisture fibers to keep feet dry and odor free. feetures-elite-light-cushion-no-show-tab

*Before trying the cortisone shot, ask your podiatrist about the alternative natural treatments that we did with ultrasound and more.  It is worth trying that first and it worked for me.

*Wear better high heels.  I have actually found orthotic heels that are stylish and supportive enough that I can still wear heels to events that require me to be on my feet for an extended amount of time, like a wedding, for example.  The line that I love and has been interesting to my readers is the Ziera line. I purchase my orthotic high heels from Foot Solutions.

What are your wellness ideas?  Share here in the comments section because we love to share tips to help all of our make our manic lives a little more managed….and healthy, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying This! A Pro Trainer’s 1 Day Detox Diet

Another reason I LOVE my gym and my trainer, Carlos Monge of Body By Design is because in addition to the challenging, age appropriate workouts he gives us, Carlos also sends his clients weekly emails with inspirational ideas on how to live and eat to compliment exercise to get the best results and optimal health.  carlos

And Carlos, although completely buff and super healthy at 54, is only human and tells us about when he succumbs to eating unhealthy foods at times.  He did this a few days ago and he shared with us how he recovers from the fun, tasty but unhealthy food day with his personal detox day diet.  I was very intrigued to see how a professional trainer eats on a detox day and after reading it, I am inspired to try it as well.  It doesn’t look near as difficult as I thought it would be and it outlines the one day (or 2 day) plan for both men and women.  Take a peek….letseat

Carlos says:

After a day of too many carbs it is a good idea to do a detox day the following day.  This nutrition plan is very clean with only quality protein, lots of veggies, and no no no carbs!!!!!

Lots of water throughout the day as well………

Here’s the outline….

*Foods/Liquids

Egg whites- Men 7-9 eggs/ Women 4-5 eggs

Isolate Protein Powder- Men 1 scoop 1/2 – Women 1 scoop

Fresh veggies- about a full cup with every meal

Strawberries 1 cup strawberry cake

Water- lots of water throughout the daylemon water

Green Tea- night time only.

Here is the day long plan….

Upon rising

8-10 oz of water

1st meal.

Eggs whites- Men 7-9 eggs/Women 4-5 eggs

Fresh veggies- you can cook them or eat them raw like I do.

Celery, organic carrots, spinach, broccoli, kale

No Carbs!

2nd meal.

Isolate protein powder with water only – Men 30-40 grams/ Women 18-20 grams

Fresh veggies – Celery, organic carrots, spinach, broccoli, kale, few strawberries 

No Starchy Carbs!

3rd meal.

Egg whites- Men 7-9 eggs/Women 4-5 eggs

Fresh veggies- celery, organic carrots, spinach, broccoli, kale

No Starchy Carbs!

4th meal.

Isolate protein powder with water only.

Fresh veggies – celery, organic carrots, spinach, broccoli, kale, few strawberries box food

No Starchy Carbs!

5th meal

Egg whites- Men 7-9 eggs/ Women 4-5 eggs

Fresh veggies- celery, organic carrots, spinach, broccoli, kale

No Starchy Carbs

1 Cup of Green Tea in the night.tea maker

I encourage you to try this, it will make you feel great and its great for detox.

Every time you do something good for your body,  spirit, and your soul reacts in an amazing way!

–Carlos

 

Thanks Carlos!  I am going to try this!  I love your workouts so I will try your detox day plan, too!

Get my sweat on!

Get my sweat on & eat right, too!

 

About Carlos Monge, Professional & Personal Trainer & Owner of Body By Design:

carlos fam

Carlos Monge, personal trainer and longtime owner of Body By Design.  Carlos has been certified through the Baylor Sports Medicine Institute in Post Rehabilitative Training and Pre/Post Natal Personal Training. 

With more than 3 decades of experience, Carlos is able to develop safe exercise programs for his clients to improve their physical appearance and health while increasing their energy, self-confidence and overall wellness.

Carlos has had clients as young at 14 and as young-at-heart, as 76.  Other clients include professional athletes, working professionals, stay-at-home moms and retirees.