Friday, March 5, 2021

Coffee Talk and February's Book Reviews

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Let's sit down and catch up over a cup of coffee! I love our monthly coffee date--it's the one time of the month where we all share what's going on in our lives off the road. While I love to run, I do have other things to talk about. I'm drinking my usual Dunkin' with a splash of half and half and a scoop of GLG collagen. What's in your mug?

If we were having coffee... I'd wish you all a happy pandemic anniversary! Ok, maybe happy isn't the right word. It's hard to believe that we've been social distancing and masking for a year now. I was shopping at Marshall's this week and I marveled at how everyone I passed in the aisles gave me a lot of space. A few years ago, I had an experience at this same store of some fellow shoppers draping clothing on my back, I presume because I was the same size as the person they were shopping for. There was none of that this time! Social distancing is not all bad. 

Remember last March?

If we were having coffee... I'd tell you that I've been having major issues with my SI joint. I don't know what happened but over the past month, I've had a lot of low back pain. It's been affecting my running and strength training as well as just pretty much everything I do. Nothing I tried at home helped. I finally broke down and started seeing a PT who specializes in women's pelvic health. Best.idea.ever. It's been amazingly effective. I wrote a post all about SI joint dysfunction that goes into more detail, which you can access here

source

If we were having coffee... I'd update you on the three patients in my life right now...my sister, my mom, and Cocoa. I shared on last week's recap that my sister is scheduled for mastectomy and reconstructive surgery next week. Later this month, my mom is having surgery for some bladder issues. And on April 5, Cocoa will go to the University of Wisconsin vet school for her ear canal ablation. She'll spend a couple of nights there in the doggie ICU. I'll pick her up later in the week and bring her home, along with my son, who is going to help me take care of her while she recovers. It's going to be a hectic couple of weeks, that is for sure.

You're going to do what to me?


If we were having coffee...
I'd share some of the great shows we've been watching while we waited for the brutal cold to abate. We loved Ted Lasso and The Morning Show, both on Apple+. Didn't love but stuck with Behind Her Eyes on Netflix. We finished up an old series, Bloodline (Netflix), which is well worth the watch. We also saw some good movies: Nomadland (Hulu), The Little Things (HBOmax), Palmer (Apple+), and The US vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu). I Care A Lot (Netflix) was worth the watch but very disturbing. I love that we are able to see some of the new releases on the small screen!

He's right, you know.

If we were having coffee... I'd share some mini-reviews of the books I read in February. As always, you can follow me on Goodreads where I review all the books I read. 

  • Deacon King Kong by James McBride took me a little while to get into as he sets the stage for the story. Basically, it's the story of a neighborhood in Brooklyn in the late 60s, with all the interesting characters you might expect, complete with funny nicknames. Once ruled by the mob, the drug trade is taking over with new rules that no one really gets. It's amazingly written--you actually feel like you can hear the characters talking. It's also kind of sad. But I loved this book. 
  • The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson is about a young urban couple contemplating starting a family. They're living a charmed life, but the wife has a secret. She returns to the small town where she grew up to face her past. There are racial overtones in the story, which the author handles very well. But there were some holes in the story--I didn't love this book but it was worth the read.
  • Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane was 'unputdownable'. This was one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time. Twisty and creepy with not one likable character. Yeah. 
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah takes place during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression of the 1930s. If you read the classic The Grapes of Wrath, you know how bleak this period was. The story focuses on the mother and her inner strength to provide for her family and survive. It's a really sad story; the pages just flew by as you would expect from this prolific author. 
  • Shipped by Angie Hockman was the perfect 'palate cleanser' for me after reading some heavy tomes. It's a fun little novel about 2 cruise ship employees thrown together on a trip to the Galapagos Islands. You know how it's going to end, right? But it was a fun ride getting there.
  • A Woman is No Man by Etaf Run was on my backlist and I am so glad I read it. The story is about a young woman sent from Palestine to the US via an arranged marriage. Her husband is abusive; the abuse grows through the marriage. The complicity of her mother-in-law made me furious; this book confirmed what I already knew about women in this culture, that their lives are full of oppression and violence. While it is a tough read at times, there are also stories of hope and empowerment. It's a compelling read.


What would you tell me over coffee? Have you read any good books lately? What are you streaming? Have you ever had SI joint dysfunction? I'm curious to know if anyone else has seen a pelvic health PT. 

I'm linking up with Coco and Deborah for the Ultimate Coffee Date and with the ladies of Fit Five Friday:  DarleneMichelleReneeJenn, and Zenaida !



51 comments :

  1. So sorry about your SI Joint! I'm really curious to hear more about the work you're doing with your PT.

    Behind Her Eyes was next up in "to watch list" - is it worth it? I Care a Lot looks twisted and I cannot wait to see it ;) I'm always amazed by how many books you read - thanks for all of the suggestions!

    Sending good thoughts for your sister, mom, and little Cocoa.

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    1. Behind her eyes was pretty good-definitely worth the watch.

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  2. I hope that all of your patients have a speedy recovery. I did something to my lower back a few weeks ago and it was game over for anything physical. Thankfully the problem went away after a few days. In my world we're cutting back on our streaming services. It's not that we can't afford the $25 a month that we spend on Hulu and Netflix, it's just that we're not watching them anymore so we cut them and we'll get them again if there's ever anything we want to see. I've been reading an oldie but a goodie: Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain.

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  3. I'm glad you're getting some relief from the PT. Back pain is no joke. My lower back has been bothering me too. I figured it stemmed back to when I hurt it. Ugh.
    Sending all the positive vibes for your sis, your mom and Cocoa. It comes in threes doesn't it? That's such a cute pic of your pretty girl! We watched the first episode of BHE and so far Greg won't go back to continue the series. I've heard people say it's as good as Queen's Gambit. No?

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  4. I'm glad that the PT is helping so much! I'd do it more often if my insurance paid for it.

    Poor Cocoa. You're going to be on caretaker overload!

    We only have regular TV, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. We did just watch I Care a Lot yesterday, as a matter of fact. Worth watching for free. We started Bloodline a long time ago but didn't get too deep into it.

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    1. My run was pretty much pain free this morning so I’m really excited about what we’re doing!

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  5. sounds like you have your hands full with your family and your dog. Sending good vibes to all of them! I also tweaked my back last week! I am not sure what it is but think it was from strength training. It doesn't hut when I run but hurts after I have been sitting at my computer. It is so annoying so interested to hear what you are doing about it

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    1. It got really bad over the past month- I’m sure that my stress made me super tense. Working on abdominal breathing too.

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  6. I felt the same way about Deacon King Kong. I almost quit it, but then got into it. The Four Winds is my next Book Club selection. Ugh on the SI issues, but glad you’ve found a good PT. Healing vibes to your sister, mom, and Cocoa!

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  7. I've had a few instances where people did not give me enough space in the supermarket but they were nice enough to back away when I bought it to their attention. Other than that, I've also been very impressed with people learning to give space. Even before Covid I was always confused on why people insisted of getting to close to people while waiting in line.

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  8. I wish your mom, sister and Cocoa well. That’s a lot to deal with.
    I loved The Morning Show and Bloodline but haven’t seen any of the others. Did you watch Good Girls? It’s real good too.
    Glad PT is helping your SI joint.

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  9. I am reading Bravey. I read a lot. I just can't remember the titles lol. Love your recommendations.

    Happy Anniversary. Been home since March 17 so my work clothes are just hanging in the closet. I guess no need to shop for new ones.

    If you remember, I had a very painful SI joint. My chiro worked wonders. I hope you find relief.

    I am watching The Sinner on Netflix.

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    1. I’m a little skeptical of chiropractic so it’s good to hear that you had a good experience!

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    2. I was for years. In fact I only went for the first time in 2019. A running coach said that this chiro (who is a runner) could cure anything. She used ART which hurt but cured me (my strained calf) and I could run pain-free...until the next injury lol. She also cured my SI problems.

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    3. Marcia has a chiro like that! They are like gold!

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  10. Wishing your mum, sister and Cocoa the best for their various procedures, and you some calm while you wait for news. I had what I suspect was an SI thing a while ago, did lots of lunges and massage with my physio and it went away. I read some good books last month, Trans Britain was a stand-out. And we are planning to watch Ted Lasso soon!

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  11. Wow, you have a lot going on! Best wishes to your sister, mother and poor little Cocoa (those eyes!!!!)
    Yep, I've had SI issues. A few years ago I trained for a marathon, all the way to the taper and then inflammation in my SI joint flared up so badly that I couldn't run (that was fun!) I'm glad to hear your PT is helping you and I can't wait to hear ALL THE DETAILS.

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  12. I've been putting off a book I want to read because I want to still have it on Mt. TBR. So bad, but we all get it.
    Good luck to all yoru patients. Was thinking about your sister. Hugs.

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    1. No idea, but I did just start another book and then a library book, so Bosch will keep another few weeks. I'm just glad I'm reading. I'd missed it

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  13. As always, amazed at how much you read. When do you have time? You run, train, work, read, watch things... when do you sleep? I would sleep when reading... that's exactly what happens to me if I try it before I go to bed...

    We've been watching mostly crime/ police shows. Before that we powered through The Crown, then we watched Hinterland and now we are watching Marcella. I want to watch Ted Lasso and am hoping to convince the hubs as well.

    I have not had issue with the SI joint but I do have piriformis issues now and again. The last time of course it was horrendous and I was again out of the running for 3 months as it had affected my knee as well (likely from compensation)

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    1. I was starting to compensate and it was causing all kinds of issues. Glad to get it fixed!

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  14. So sorry to read that you have been having back pain! I am glad that you feel as though you are moving forward with your new doctor. Bill has been dealing with lower back pain and not running for 2 weeks. He refuses to go to the doctor to get a diagnosis, though. Men!!!

    Sending good thoughts to your sister, mom, and Cocoa. And virtual hugs to you, Wendy. I am sure you are anxious for all of them.

    We are watching Atypical on Netflix right now. It's about a family that includes a teenage son who is on the autistic spectrum. It's good! I would recommend.

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    1. That Netflix show does sound good. I care for so many autistic children.

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  15. I though Deacon King Kong was briliant. Absolutely loved it. I'm reading Oona Out of Order right now and it's so good.

    Nothing on the TV front, really. I watched, and loved, I Care A Lot, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, and The Fundamentals of Caring. Oh, and Bliss. Which was good, though not great.

    Love to Cocoa. She's going to be just fine.

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    1. I loved The Fundamentals of Caring; the book was even better!

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  16. It's so hard to believe it's already been a year of this. (I gotta say though, I do kinda like getting to work virtually sometimes, and the decrease in crowds has been nice...)

    Sending you all the good thoughts/vibes/prayers for your sister + mom and Cocoa! <3 Boo on SI issues :[ I'm glad you found a good PT!

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    1. I didn't mind the lighter schedule for a while but oddly enough, I miss seeing sick kids! Only you would understand what I mean by that.

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  17. Ugh, that SI pain sounds nasty. Knock wood, I haven’t had that privilege ...yet. Good healing vibes to everyone!

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    1. I don't know about nasty but it was causing a lot of problems, especially the past month. I'm sure my stress level didn't help.

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  18. I have not ready any good books recently. I haven't even watched any shows. I get aucked into YouTube videos. I should give those shows a chance you suggested. I need new series to watch.

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    1. We don't have cable, so it's either network TV-no- or streaming. There are so many options, it gets overwhelming.

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  19. Ive had SI joint issues for a long time. I was seen my a chiro before COVID and when I was pregnant I went to a pelvic floor PT. I honestly didn't find it helpful, because they gave me all the same exercises I had already been doing. Maybe it would have been different if I wasn't' pregnant. I'm looking forward to reading about your experience.

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    1. This specialist is amazing! It takes an open mind to work on this issue but it's been shockingly helpful. Stay tuned.

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  20. Sending lots of love to your sister, mom, and Cocoa and hoping that all will go well for all three of them! I have some SI joint issues too (a chiropractor once told me it was tilted. Or twister. Or something). I generally keep the pain at bay with rolling and my massage gun but I can't wait to hear what you learn.

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    1. So scientific! See, that's just fueling my chiro skepticism...

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  21. Would you mind sharing how you chose the collagen supplement? I've been wanting to try one for some time, partially in hopes that it will be good for my arthritis, but am deterred by all the different brands and liquid versus powder? thanks!

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    1. I wrote a complete review of GLG collagen back in 2018: https://www.takinglongwayhome.com/2018/02/in-pursuit-of-happy-joints.html
      I find it helpful as part of a bigger regimen of medication and supplements. I've written quite a few posts on this. You can find them under the 'Running with RA' tab at the top of this post.

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  22. I'll admit I had to google SI joint. I had a vague idea what/where it was but not exactly.
    Looking forward to your post on that!

    You wouldn't believe how backward my Netflix watching is.... I'm rewatching Modern Family and Big Bang. I like the lightheartedness.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. THere's nothing wrong with lightheartedness, especially right now! We love Modern Family.

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  23. My Gosh On All The Medical Fronts - Hang In There, Drink Water, Take Your Vitamins, And Stay Strong - Keep Us Updated Please - Sending Positive Vibes Your Way

    OxoxoxO

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  24. I hope everything goes well with your mom, sister, and Cocoa! I am currently reading A Promised Land. Good but LONG book. My plan is to finish it before it is due..

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    1. I read it! It's Looooongggg but so good. I runfess to skimming over some of the stuff on policy.

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