Crying in my Blender Muffins


Today is one of those days… Or actually, it’s been one of those WEEKS! 😡, where my scoliosis isn’t really healing all that “gingerly”. Ten days from now will be my one year mark, since my spine has been fused. Crazy right?? Gosh, how time flies!

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Last Saturday I decided to try swimming. Yeah, bad idea. Well actually, apparently it isn’t a bad idea and will actually be really good for my muscles… eventually. (Says the guy I dated for a hot second and my physical therapist. But to be clear, I tried it because my physical therapist said to. Not because the guy said to. He was a former swimmer and frankly I thought he was just being biased. Also, I’m stubborn like that 💁🏼👊🏼) Anyways, after I swam, my muscles froze up faster than a wet towel in a snowstorm. (I don’t know why you would have a wet towel in a snowstorm, but I thought it sounded poetic.) My physical therapist said that this was probably because the muscles were over-worked in a different way than they had been used to. (I think my back just SUCKS.) He said I need to ease into it more. I guess swimming 10 lapse for my first time back at it, wasn’t such a bright idea… (Caroline, being overzealous? Weird!)

So now, over a week later, my muscles are still feeling really F-ing stiff and good ol’ James is away on vacay. So I want to cry. I mean, I’m happy my physical therapist took a vacation – he’s a hard worker and deserves some down time – but James! Couldn’t you have timed it a little better?! 😜 (Kidding James, you know I adore you. Do you, boo, do you!)

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Anyways, I’ve had a few revelations recently and have accepted the fact that I’m going to be living with this for the rest of my life. But I’m tired. I’m tired of a lot of things, actually, but I’m also tired of always being positive. I am human after all, so I’m going to tell you that, right now, my back is so fucking stiff that I want to scream. Or cry. Whichever sound comes out of my mouth first.

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There must be some pinched nerves going on because the top of where my spine is fused (right around my T2 area) feels pinched. It’s shooting up into my neck and through the cranial area of my lower skull, then going through my mouth and causing the roof of my mouth, lips and upper teeth and gum area to feel numb and tingly. (Weird right? As uncomfortable as this feels though, I always find it fascinating how connected our bodies are.)

So yeah… Needless to say, I’m sort of feeling sorry for myself this week.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been healing great and I’m so much better off than where I was, but weeks like this really PISS ME OFF! I always ask my physical therapist, “Am I going to be stiff forever?”, “Will I ever get full feeling back in the muscles in my back?”… the list goes on with the questions I ask. (James is a saint.) Now, I don’t care about having limited range of motion. To be completely honest, I actually can’t tell that my flexibility in my thoracic is limited, unless I’m sitting and someone wants me to twist and contort my body to look in some direction that is quite frankly impossible for any human being to do unless they turn their chairs. It’s the stiffness that bothers me.

It was getting better… but I guess I’ve back-tracked a bit. Sigh…

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Anyways, thanks for listening to me vent. And again, yes I know this is a part of my life forever, and that it takes years for some people to feel fully like themselves again. But I’m allowed to have my “cry baby” moment from time to time, so this is mine. Deal with it. Or don’t?

But if you don’t, you won’t get to read the post that I originally started writing for this entry which was positive and happy and consisted of an amazing food recipe. Wait, what?! Yeah, I thought so. Mention food and you have just about anyone’s attention. Except for Kate Moss… “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” to her. 😆😋 Love ya, Kate! Well not really because I don’t know you and I think you sounded a little… let’s just say “weird”, in Calvin Klein’s new campaign on Instagram, but you feel me.

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So here’s the real entry. Thanks for listening to me bitch y’all. I appreciate it. And enjoy 😇😘✌

Hi y’all! Happy Friiiiyayyyyy!! 🍟🍟 (Because it was Friday when I started this draft. So pretend it’s Friday, you’ll be happier while reading it 😋)

So, I keep getting asked for the recipe for the Coconut Blackberry Protein Muffins I posted on my Snapchat last week (👻: carolineheinle), which I made for my brother to snack on during his flight back to Denver… He of course only took one and then asked my Mom in the car, “What IS this??” My Mom’s reply? “They’re actually really good.” (She’s not really into “healthy versions” of food either, but she LOVES these!) And guess what?! He gobbled the whole thing up! So booyah, people, booyah!We have a new recruit on our hands 😛 (Is it weird that I’ve said “booyah” now, two posts in a row? #NerdAlert!)

IMG_8590                                                      I also made a few muffy's with chocolate chips... Because a little dark chocolate never hurt anyone ;)

If you know me well, then you know that I’m a skinny girl with a fat person at heart mentality. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I have a HUGE sweet tooth. BUT I’m also really healthy and have really great self control. So basically, I am balanced. But what I love to do now, is discover new healthy recipes and tweak them to my liking… Basically I peruse Pinterest and drool over a picture of a comfort food dish at night, and then tweak the recipe to make it healthier the next morning – HA! (I’ll replace sugar with Stevia or low-glycemic coconut sugar or honey, replace wheat noodles with zucchini or sweet potato noodles, and so on… But then, I’ll balance it with a “go big or go home” game plan. Come on people, there’s nothing like a REAL bowl of ice cream, a “the works” gourmet cheeseburger or an authentic bowl of Italian pasta every now and then. Let’s not kid ourselves.)

But for the days when we are trying to be healthy but don’t want to compromise our taste buds, these delicious, but good for you muffins are perrrrfect! There’s no flour or sugar and they’re chock full of protein and fiber… A perfect “breakfast on the go” or enticing way to start your day (for you non-breakfast eaters). I on the other hand never have a problem eating breakfast. It’s my favorite meal!! (Aside from dinner… and dessert… and snacks. Basically I love it all, who am I kidding?)

I get most of my protein “treats” recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie’s Blog. If you don’t follow her, you should! She’s known for her “healthy versions” of chocolate desserts, but she has other amazing recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well – Check her out!

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I’ve always known that protein is important but I didn’t really understand how much your body benefits from it (and healthy carbs), until I went through the healing stages of my surgery. Your body will tell you what it needs or is lacking. (Remember what I was telling you in my last post about my recent ice cream and Watermelon cravings?) My body was literally growling, “Give me pancakes!!” “ROARRRR!” “Gimme a big ol’ beefy burger!” 🍔 “Rarrr!” (Can you hear me cat – “rarrr-ing”? 😹) So I listened, but I also wanted to be healthy about it… Hence my new passion/ hobby in making “healthy comfort food” 😊 Because honestly, life’s too short, people – Enjoy it! Plus, I’m an actor, not a 98-pound Super Model. (Shout out to all the models out there!! I’m not hating by any means – y’all are GAWGEOUS dawlings! #StayFlawless)

Okay, so for my version of Chocolate Covered Katie’s Blender Muffins, I added 2.5 scoops of Nutritional Frontiers Vanilla Protein Powder and a carton of Blackberries. (Be sure to add the blackberries after you’ve scooped the mixture into the muffin tins, though. If you mix it into the bowl, the berries tend to bleed too much, so I highly recommend waiting to add them so you still get a full bite of blackberry when you’re ready to eat 😉 ) I topped it with unsweetened coconut flakes and cinnamon for a final touch.

IMG_8588                                                  Follow me on Snapchat for more fun and recipes: carolineheinle

Voila! SO DELISH!

I’m SUPER into blender muffins right now. They’re so quick and easy and really are a great way to start your day.

Enjoyyyyyy! 😀

 

Til next post,

You’re Little Fighter and now Cookie Cutter ;P <3

Two Weeks Post-Op

Sometimes, I think it’s great to tap into that inner confidence and “have no shame” and other times… wellllllll, let’s just say, you should have a little. Apparently, right after I recorded this video, I recorded another one informing everyone that I finally “passed gas”. Ha! Well, although I think it is important for those looking into having this surgery to know that you will be extremely medicated for several weeks (or months, depending on your surgery’s extent and your own pain tolerance) and your muscles will be in “sleep mode” for a while… I don’t think it’s necessary for me to post myself talking about it, though. (See what too much medication can do to a person?? 😛 )

Which leads me to saying, I was HEAVILY medicated in this video. I’m also very thin and look almost ill. I look this way for several reasons… One, your metabolism is sped up a great deal after surgery. My doctor later explained to me that this happens, because your body and nerves are doing extra work to help “repair” your back and readjust to its new alignment. So therefore, you lose weight. (Our bodies are so fascinating, aren’t they?!)

Two, I wasn’t eating that much. For various reasons – One, the pain levels are so extreme that it really makes you have no appetite. Two, you’re on A LOT of medication and they, also, make you have no appetite. Three, because you are so constipated that when you do eat, you feel like your food has nowhere to go… Because you’re so friggin’ backed-up! (Yeah… so this is where I can apologize for the TMI while, at the same time, not really feel bad about saying it… Perhaps because it is written in a blog and not broadcasted across Social Media – ha!)

The constipation… yeah. It sucks. Not going to lie to you guys – I HATEDDDDD it! Sometimes I cried about just the constipation alone. Probably more so because I hate the feeling of not being in control of my own body. (I was never one to take hallucinogens or any of those types of drugs for that same reason.) So not being able to have a bowel movement when I KNEW my body needed to was a pretty shitty experience for me. (No pun intended… but funny that I used it – hahaha! 😛 I crack myself up sometimes. Deal with it.) One day, I remember looking down at my stomach and thinking I looked pregnant. Another time, I remembered eating something and experiencing stabbing pains after having just a few bites because the food had nowhere to go… Or the new food was attempting to push the old food out. (Emphatical on the “attempt”.)

I remember the nurses recommending Senokot. Yeah, that didn’t work. Plus I had already been taking it in the hospital and it did shit. (Not cause me to “shit”. It did nothing for me, is what I’m saying… Just want to clarify again there 😉 ) Stool softeners helped later down the road, but what helped get the ball rolling, was my mother giving me an enigma. I then kept up with Smoothe Move Tea, stool softeners and aloe water, daily. (And not the “Aloe King” aloe water that has all the added sugar in it. Plain aloe water. Put it in a smoothie or mix it with regular water, if you don’t like the taste. Sugar causes constipation as well, so when you’re suffering from bowel problems, best to stay away from it and go the cleaner route.) Eventually I got back to having a normal bowel movement. But that took time… and me weaning off of the pain meds. So if you’re going through this right now – be patient. You’ll eventually poop, I promise 😉

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Which brings me to the pain medication. Ugh. What a doozy. So I was on Hydromorphone – 5mg (aka Dilaudid). Plus muscle relaxers and a Nuerontin. Every four hours. I was high as a kite and it’s probably the reason why I don’t remember a lot of things… I don’t really remember recording this video. (And I’m sure the “not eating very much” didn’t make any of it any better.

I never felt “pain-free”, but some days, the pain was more bearable than others. It was like a nagging, uncomfortable, gnawing feeling in your bones and muscles. My Mother reminded me the other day about the first time I took a shower. She would have to come in and help me wash my legs after I finished with my torso, because I couldn’t bend or really lift my legs on my own. I would also walk around the neighborhood in a high as F*** state of mind… but hey, it helped!! (Oh yeah! So walking helps the MOST with constipation. Need to tell you that. Walk, walk, walk, and then walk some more. Because that is actually going to be your saving grace. It’s what helped me finally get back on a regular schedule because you’re lower extremities are moving and are “activating”. Plus it helps with your state of mind. Especially for me because I’m a heady person. So it was great to get me out of the house and out of my head and just walk around and enjoy life around me again. I actually still walk almost every day! It’s really a great workout for your mind, body and soul 0:) … But hey! That’s just me. Every BODY is different 😉 )

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Back to the medication… We switched me to Percosets, which did zilch. I think I even had a weird reaction and felt itchy??? I’m not sure though but something like that seems familiar to me. But I know it didn’t do ANYTHING for the pain. So we went back to the Dilaudid. My Mom would come into my room during the night, and wake me up every four hours to give me my pain medication, and every eight hours for the muscle relaxers. So again, to paint the picture more for you, I was high as Fuuuuuuuu** and I still felt uncomfortable. But thank God for pain meds! I don’t even want to know what that pain would’ve felt like, had I not been on anything. So yeah, they suck and have their side effects but hey, they helped get me through all of it and they’ll help you too.

Eventually when I called to get another renewal the nurse asked me how often I was taking it. I told her and she was like, “Ummmm okay. I believe it’s time to start weaning off…” (Yeah, okay lady.) She filled another prescription for me and when I saw Dr. Errico at my follow-up appointment, six weeks post-op, he started weaning me off then. By that time I was feeling sooooooo much better and was actually eager to start the weaning process. (I’m not a pill popper. Never have been, never will be. I’m sensitive to medications, vitamins, basically anything that is “foreign” to my body – so this was an exciting triumph for me.) Sounds crazy and like a distant dream to those of you that perhaps just had your surgery… But don’t worry, you’ll get there too. I promise! 😉

Breathing. Remember when I told you that when I woke up from my surgery I started gasping for air and exclaimed that I couldn’t breathe? And how the nurse told my Mom not to worry – that I needed to get used to my lungs being in a new place? Well that’s why they give you this fancy little contraption.

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To help your lungs get a little work-out in and learn to expand again… but in a new position. It’s also to help prevent pneumonia from setting in. (When you have a big surgery, such as this one, sometimes patients are susceptible to pneumonia because you aren’t moving as much and mucous builds up.) I didn’t get pneumonia, but I did get sick.

My “thing” is sinus infections. Everyone has a “thing”… Some type of weakness that attacks when your immune system is low. Maybe yours is stomach bugs? Or colds? Coughs, migraines, whatever… we all have them. Mine is always sinus related. And that’s what happened… (Another reason why I look a bit “sickly” in the video.) I probably, also, got sick because I wasn’t eating that much :/ Another thing I’ve learned throughout years of being chronically ill and not feeling like myself, is how important it is to take care of yourself. If you aren’t eating and feeding your body, you aren’t gaining fuel or energy. If you work as hard as I do, and aren’t fueling up, you’re running on empty. Eventually, your car dies… or in my case, needs to be “serviced” 😉

So my advice to you: I know you don’t want to eat – I didn’t either. But try. Try really, really hard. I promise it will be helpful and you’ll feel better in the long run. I eventually figured this out… just took a small sinus infection to get me there 😉

So I think that’s all for now… I’ll try to get another post in this weekend and give a small update on what’s been going on in my life. I’ll say that I’m extremelyyyyyy tired and have A LOT going on but it’s all good things! Production company is coming along and I feel like I’ve taken another step in my acting career… but that’s all stories for a different day. Thanks for reading and see y’all again soon!

 

Till next time… Exes and Oh’s!

Your little Fighter,

Care Bear

IMG_5647                                              PS this is my family dog. Isn't he the cutest?! He thinks he's a puppy... He's not. He's ten human-years old. Your only as old as you feel, eh? :P