Poppin’ Thypoid and Taking Shots of HepA

“Aren’t you scared to travel with your health issues?” was the text I received last week from one of my best friends. 

You should know I have an autoimmune illness, somewhere along the lines of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. There are so many forms of these diseases that it would take a lifetime to figure out exactly which strain I had and even then, I’d only have a name to call it. Not a cure. It’s not worthy of a name either, once it has a name, it’s yours for good. Like a stray cat, I guess!

I allowed my disease to dictate what I did and when I did it for about 3 years before I realized that ONLY I was going to be responsible for making changes in the behaviors that sometimes accompanied my chronic illness. The most noticeable change in me was my lack energy which kept me in bed for days straight. 

 I was slowly sinking into depression. My doctors suggested that begin a therapy which specialized in how to cope and live with chronic illness. I am so grateful that I took that advice. After a few sessions, I noticed a change in my attitude towards my illness. I stopped blaming myself for something that was entirely out of my control and began to accept who I was every day. If I was having a good day physically, I’d be sure to embrace it. On my not so good days, I would be vocal about it and honest with my loved ones. I stopped hiding behind my fake smile and it was so much easier to live authentically! 

This was my life. 

When I told my doctors that I would be traveling to Bali, they were all excited and a bit concerned. My immune system is fighting everyday, it’s always best to avoid additional exposure to foreign bacteria and viruses. It was quickly decided that there would be a plethora of vaccinations and medications I’d need before my trip. 

Today, I began the process, which I’m sure isn’t at all what everyone needs to do before traveling but it’s what I needed to do. Bottom line, it’s all precautionary and it’s purpose is to see to it that I get the most out of every minute! So, rather than just throw caution to the wind, I will follow the guidance of my knowledgeable doctors and I’m sure all will be well…  

HepA (shot – today & again in 6 months)

Thypoid (shot 1 week before I leave)

Tetnus Shot

Anti-malaria (orally 30 pills start 1 week before then take throughout and after)

Cipro Antibiotic- taken ONLY if needed

Steroids (only if I have a flare up of join & muscle pain)

Probiotics (a few billion living taken before, during and after!) 

I’ll keep you posted on this front but all is well with just 20 days to go!!!

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Dear Roomie…

February 7, 2016

21 days until BALI

Dear Roomie,

My name is Dee-Dee Kanhai. As you probably know, I’m one of the winners of the BaliBliss Giveaway. I am sure you are as excited about this amazing getaway as I am… So… I figured I would get some of this stuff out in the open, in advance. Hopefully a little mental preparation will make things less awkward when we get thrown in a villa together in paradise, so here goes:

  • I’m an early riser, I love to wake up just in time to greet the sun. I do this regularly and understand that not everyone is as enthusiastic about watching the sunrise as I am, so I’ve had years of practice being extremely quiet while getting out to enjoy this part of my day… “YOU’RE BURNIN’ DAYLIGHT” runs through my head like a broken record when I sleep in, but I promise to fully refrain from saying it aloud, as it truly only applies to me.
  • Next, you’ll probably hear a lot about “Princeton”, no… I’m not an Ivy League Snob, Princeton Juno Kanhai THE FIRST is my mini-chihuahua and literally turns me into a psychotic baby talking, picture showing, braggadocious dog mom in .03 seconds flat. Feel free to tell me you’ve heard enough at ANY time. No hard feelings, I know I need to be reeled in sometimes! 
  • I am a little socially awkward. Whenever you’re confused by my randomness, rest assured it ME, not you. I promise.
  • I’ve never traveled this far and I’m slightly anxious about being away from my family. I might shed a tear… who am I kidding? I might just cry my eyeballs out! But trust me, it’s not because I’m SAD… It’ll just be my heart reminding me how much I love the little shits back home! Just ignore me and I’ll get it together.
  • Here’s an important factoid, I bead jewelry for fun and have already prepared a decent kit to travel to Bali with me! If you’ve ever stepped on a faceted 8mm glass bead while barefoot, you already know how much that hurts!!! I am going to do everything in my power to see to it that I don’t have any runaway beads!!! But, if by any chance, you come across a misfit bead rolling  across the floor, be careful! I promise my beading will pay off for you in the end! Wink wink 
  • Bugs and critters give me the jitters! My fear of these beasts come three traumatic events in my life. The “GOODBYE EVIL DRAGON” Scandal of 1999, the “Attic Squirrel in a Boot Event” of 2005, followed by the Great “Mole” Incident of 2009 and the Bat vs Baby incident of 2010. I’ll gladly share these encounters with you if you’re at all curious why my reaction to a mosquito is equivalent to seeing a wild polar bear. 
  • Last but certainly not least, noise cancelling headphones may be helpful because I have recently started snoring. I’m terribly embarrassed about this and will try my best to keep it down, but… When I’m sleeping, good luck trying to get me to stop sawing the wood then!
  • I’m crazy super excited about this so, please accept my apologies for my overreactions to pretty much everything in advance. 

I know this sounds like a recipe for trouble but, being my roommate has its perks too! Like, wrists full of bracelets just for putting up with me!!! Makeovers, hair styling and braiding, facials and all that girly stuff if it’s your thing!!! Trained and Certified FREE Guided Meditation available 24/7, just ask! I can take a good joke and LOVE a good laugh… I’m a great listener and overall… I think I’m a pretty decent girl with a big curious heart! 

I hope I didn’t scare you off roommate! Lol  

  


 

Operation: live a life that you don’t need a vacation from 

Last year I made a vow that I would make a conscience effort to travel to places I have never been and see this beautiful world. I didn’t want to leap too far on my second international adventure. I figured since I live in the United States and I have already traveled to Canada I might as well try to complete my North American destinations first. As we’ve already established geography isn’t my strong suit, so I was quite surprised to find that Greenland is part of North America as well. I’ll put that on the list! At the 11th hour before spring break began, I booked a flight to Puerto Vallarta. I had heard wonderful things about PV and it was home to what some call the EIGHTH Wonder of the World. Just a short boat ride away, there was an island made from volcanic rock, a cave in the rock allowed water to pour into the island where it was completely open and from above it was a hidden beach. This beach was only known to the natives until a photo went viral and because a tourist attraction. Now it is protected by the environment conversation department in Mexico and the only way to access it is if you buy a visitors pass. These hidden gems fascinate me. The world must be full of them! This experience was amazing and sharing it with Chloe was even more magical. We didn’t have any schedule or plan. We would hop on a bus and if we liked the sand and water in a particular area, we would hop off and swim. So many memories of that trip. 

I am a big fan of Instagram and YouTube. I have discovered many families who have sold everything packed up very minimal clothing and took all the money they had to begin traveling the world. Either they are photo journalists or YouTube vloggers, or travel  bloggers. It is admirable to see families, some with young kids and even little babies, traveling and exploring and learning outside of a classroom. I am sure there are hundreds of different ways to create this lifestyle without sacrificing your income, we live in a digital age where anything can be done remotely. I have an aunt who retired and decided it was her time to travel around the globe and she did this entire journey alone making friends along the way. I have another Aunt and Uncle who decided to run caravan tours all over and she used her vast knowledge of pretty much everything to show people around the world! Then of course, there’s my mentor, a young schoolteacher in a very intense environment of an urban school district. Years of teaching under her belt, she decides to take another path. Within weeks of her announcing that life altering decision, I begin to see an immediate shift, the kind that you usually only hear about or see in movies. Now, any given day you can log into social media and discover she is somewhere new doing something she loves! I can only imagine what your friends and family think when you decide that you are no longer going to let life happen to you – you’re going to MAKE the life you want for yourself!!! I watch in awe and amazement, knowing I’m taking the steps toward something bigger! I have continued my education in something that interests me deeply, I’ve found a passion and a skill that I didn’t even know existed in me. Am I on this path as well? I want to say yes. I have a constant visual of me, meditating in Bali as the sun is rising and in that moment I discover exactly what I needed to do to create this life! 

Savasana & Sephora

I was so excited to receive my “what to pack list” from the retreat organizers yesterday. I immediately started to check off the things that I had already grabbed and thrown into my suitcase. Since I am traveling somewhere warm I don’t have any problem packing in advance because none of the clothes are in my usual cycle of what I’m wearing right now! The list was very comprehensive it had things such as bug repellent, bathing suits, hiking shoes, snacks, a Kindle, or book… As I continued to read, I noticed one thing that I never leave home without was not on the list. Now of course we all have our own “list” of things that we personally need when we travel, so I am assuming that my make up collection is welcome on the retreat? Let’s be real, yoga isn’t about the perfect eyebrows or contoured face, so I’m sure it isn’t everybody’s priority. However, this Yogi doesn’t do much without her face on. I don’t know if it is frowned upon in the yoga community to wear make up while practicing but I just can’t imagine not having makeup on while doing anything! If I need to run to the corner store to pick up orange juice, you better believe that I spend five minutes in front of the mirror making sure I have a basic layer of make up on. Some people are natural beauties, heck I may even be a natural beauty! But I’m not ready to find out just yet… I’m not saying that I’m going to show up to snorkel with my face “beat” (that’s makeup slang for FULL FACE OF MAKEUP) but I am pretty sure there will be a touch of make up… And let’s not forget that I have permanent eyelashes glued to my eyelids that look like I’m wearing a ton of mascara at any given time… So even when I have no makeup on I’m not 100% natural… And trust me I am no judge of anybody! Just because I like to wear make up I don’t expect everybody else to! I wear make up with sweatpants and a sweatshirt like it’s my job… It is part of what makes me who I am!!! The only thing I love as much as putting make up on myself is putting make up on other people so who knows what will happen in our downtime in Bali! I might recruit some of my fellow retreaters to play make up with me… I’m still a kid at heart. So yes my make up case will be in tow, along with several packs of eyelashes and glue in case of a lash emergency!

Okinawa, North Carolina

BALIGLOBEFor those who are interested in heading to Bali from Newark, NJ you should know that you are in for quite a long trip! Full disclosure, Geography isn’t my strong suit. I was once told that my friend was moving to North Carolina to be with her husband who was stationed there in the Army. He was later stationed in a city called Okinawa. She emailed me how much she was going to miss him… In my reply, I asked how long the drive was and if she’d be able to see him on the weekends.

Guess what folks, that’s in Japan, I know… Mind BLOWN!

So, if that is any indication of my knowledge of Geography, you know I was unaware that BALI was over 10,000 miles away! I knew it was far. I knew it was part of Indonesia! I even knew that Indonesia was in ASIA! In my head, I was going to get on a plane in Newark and then, take a nice long slumber and land about 14 hours later (16 MAX!) on this island!

Guess what FOLKS? I was wrong, again…

Part of the prize was roundtrip airfare. I was able to pick the flights that worked for me within the price range (up to $1200). So, I got onto the world wide web and began to search! I realized quickly that every single flight had a stop along the way, most were in Singapore and Hong Kong. I was able to find a flight, on Cathay Pacific (which I have heard amazing things about!) checking in late Sunday 2/28 and leaving at 1 am on 2/29. I chose the HK route. The flight from Newark to Hong Kong is just over 15 hours. My layover in Hong Kong Airport for 4 Hours. Then I board another Cathay Pacific Flight, which takes just over 5 hours, to get to Denpasar Airport. Once I land in Denpasar, I will have a shuttle waiting on me to transport me to the retreat and the drive is about 1  1/2 hours. All together, I will be traveling for 26+ hours.

Once I settle in, I am sure I will have NO problem forgetting all about the long travel!

Now, my flight home is where it REALLY gets interesting! I leave Bali on Sunday Evening, and fly to Hong Kong, I land at 11:30 pm and didn’t want to sit around waiting on my flight to Newark nor did I want to have to rush to the airport first thing in the morning. So, I booked a flight with a LONG layover in Hong Kong! I will be in the city for almost 24 hours! I plan on incorporating this into my trip and taking advantage of the opportunity! I booked a nice hotel, right inside the airport, which has trains that run everywhere possible! I am going to make the most of the time there!

A friend just got back from Hong Kong and already gave me maps of the city and told me exactly how to get to the Women’s Market! Score!

After my night and day in Hong Kong, I will board back on a flight from HK to Newark Monday evening! I am pretty sure I land in Newark, just 3 hours later… It’s MAGIC!

What do you think about this LONG trip? What would you do on the plane? What BOOKS should I download? I need some new CRIME Documentaries to watch! ANY recommendations are welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

Biggest Butt in Bali or The Overweight Yogi’s In The House (still working on the title!)

balibutt

#LOVINGINBALI

Whoomp! There IT is!

26 Days of Love

I can’t remember the last time I exposed ALL of me to the world. A few years back, when I was in my “adult body prime”,  I would think nothing of posting photos of me doing yoga in a bra and panties. These days, I am more of a closet yogi.

Let me make this very clear, I find my practice to absolutely stunning.

I’d say my “on the mat” yoga is far more appealing today, than ever. I step on my mat and it is a thing of beauty. There is no time in my day that I feel more in love with myself than the instant in which my size 8 feet, sink deep into that non-Amazon-harvested, natural tree rubber. In that moment, time stands still. The 68″ by 24″ of space in which I am occupying, is all that exists. You see, regardless if I am in a classroom with twenty people or home alone, my hands always meet at my chest, I pull them in against my heart. My head bows to the tips of my fingers, my eyelids shut and I am deeply, deeply grateful. No, not that, THANK YOU, lets get on with the show “grateful”. Actually, literally, physically, spiritually and emotionally GRATEFUL.

That can’t be captured in a photo.

So, this may come as a shock to many of you who haven’t seen me in my little bum bums, upside down since 2014… My body has changed. My body isn’t what you see when you search #yogaeverydamnday and I am fine with that because I know that my practice is still beautiful. I get so much out of my practice these days that I am not mad at the way it has “visually” changed.

Today, I share that photo collage of me in all my glory. I put on every pair of YOGA PANTS I own, some are new (bought just for the trip) and some are old. I stood in front of my mirror and photographed each and every pair. (*not all photos are shown)

You are going to be seeing so much more of in the coming days! I am going to plaster myself, every single inch of this body, all over the GRAM! It is going to be so obnoxious! I don’t want you to see my photos and think, WOW, that Dee-Dee packed on a few pounds! I want you to see my practice! I want you to know that the beauty is there more today than ever. I want you to see the backdrop of Bali and feel the gratitude inside of me when I post and share…

This is my temple, well the back of it anyway. This temple has not failed me and I am grateful for every single inch of it.

Have I told you how much I am enjoying BLOGGING? See you all tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27 Days to GO!

stew

(Mission: Feed My Family)

Fear Is A Liar.

Let me make this clear. I don’t have  fear of flying, I actually enjoy getting on a plane and landing somewhere far, far away! I am not scared of too much really, but to be honest, after the initial excitement was wearing off I began to get nervous. Mostly about my the distance from my family for such a long period of time. I suffer from anxiety and have never been away from them (collectively) for more than a week. Even then, it is those two “gallivants” going places without me. So, I am still able to continue with my normal routine, see everyone at work everyday, eat real home cooked food, sleep in my own bed and cuddle with my puppy. This is the absolute first time that I will be packing up and leaving home alone, for more then 3 days.

What am I worried about? I have an (almost) 15 year old daughter who is semi-self-sufficient. I have a responsible husband who can hold down the fort, right? But, here is where I worry… Lets be real – all 3 of them if you include the dog have it made! By no means am I complaining either, I enjoy being a laundry mistress, chef, housekeeper, UBER Driver for the Basketball team, etc… These are all jobs I do on a daily basis that make my life “normal” so what happens when that comes to a screeching HALT on the 28th? Will my daughter have a ride home from practice? Will my husband have a hot meal? Will my dog get the proper amount of “lubbins and scrubbins”? THIS is what HAUNTS me!

I have to keep reminding myself that this is part of the reason this trip is so important to me. I need to learn to ALLOW my family to do things for themselves. I don’t know if my husband knows how to turn on the stovetop because I have never given him the chance. Who knows if Chloe can arrange to get places without me? The anxiety of leaving these 3 has me all in a tizzy! Do they know where the grocery store is for FOOD? I know, it sounds pretty sad but this is what I do, I am a caretaker by nature! (THANKS MA!) And guess what, I am sure they will figure it all out and they are probably GLAD to get a 11 DAYS OFF from Grass Fed Beef Stew with Organic Veggies! Pizza every night? Oh the anxiety! It’ll be a gluten free for all!

I remember having a conversation with my late Uncle Jim, he was nearing the end of his life and it was the critical point when he would decide if he should continue to be treated for his chronic illnesses or if he would surrender his body to run it’s course. Imagine that? Knowing you are picking life or death. When he finally did decide that his pain was so severe that he could no longer endure it, I admired him so much. He held it together from what I saw and seemed at peace with his decision. He was a few days away from stopping all his medications and I decided I wanted to go see him for a second time that day. I knew that a voice I had heard every single day of my life would soon go silent. The gentle love that only he could provide would be no longer and I needed to get every opportunity to enjoy him as possible. I also knew he had to be scared. Was this his greatest fear? I arrived at his nursing home, pulled up a chair beside him and began to talk. He struggled to talk but always acknowledged what I was saying with a nod, a grunt or a smile. Finally, when I had nothing left to possibly talk about I just leaned over laying my head gently onto his chest. Looking up at him I whispered, “Are you scared?” and he began to cry. It was then I realized what real fear was.

I reflect on that day and the days after when I begin to second guess myself. I remind myself that fear is probably MY worst enemy and I don’t even know REAL FEAR. When faced with physical fear, you confront it or flee from it. Unfortunately, when you face emotional fear, there is no easy escape. Of course, I am a work in progress, but that is why this is my UNDOING. I have been working on undoing a lifetime of a behavior that doesn’t serve me. Everyday I am closer and closer to overcoming my “fears” because I acknowledge them and I put in the work to overcome them.

So, as I enjoy the rest of my day and remember that I am in great hands, MY OWN, I will take a moment to meditate and use a mantra to help overcome my fears and worries and trust that they will be fine and so will I!

My mantra for today is:  Feel the fear, then let it pass.