Feel Like a Queen!

How I Feel Like A Queen!

Image of woman in milk bath
Image of woman in milk bath

This week I realized that something I’ve been doing for over a year is really making a difference.  I turned 64 years of age on the 21st and I when i looked in the mirror, I realized that I really don’t have wrinkles.  I used to think that I didn’t show wrinkles because I was just too fat, but after losing 60 pounds and seeing my face thin down, I realized that I don’t have wrinkles like some others my age.

Some things I have going for me is that I have never smoked, and ever since I was around 30, I’ve tried to NOT get sunburned.  Before that, I was really into sports and was burned several times during softball tournaments and long practices.  But then my Mom was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and after several major and disfiguring surgeries, she finally died of complications from that supposedly easy to treat skin cancer, I became pretty paranoid about no sunburns for me nor my daughter.  Her doctor said it was probably caused by sunburns in her youth.

For the last few years, I’ve been pretty much a homebody in this wheelchair.  However this past summer we did take up kayaking (which I loved) and so I do get out in the sun a little but I’m careful and always wear a hat and use sun cream.

My skin is now very soft, smooth and wrinkle-free.  And I credit it to a couple of products I’ve been using for over a year.

What Products Do I Use on my Skin?

An image of beautiful hands
An image of beautiful hands

A couple of years ago, I became a Young Living distributor.  I use several of their essential oils in my diffuser and I started using their wrinkle cream about a year and a half ago.  Its called Boswellia Wrinkle Cream.  According to Young Living, the cream contains pure essential oils like Frankincense and Sandalwood that moisturize the skin while minimizing shine and reducing the appearance of fine lines.

The full list of ingredients is as follows:

Deoinized Water, Glycyeryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sweet Almond Extract (Prunus Amygdalus), Glycerin, Levulinic Acid, p-Anisic Acid, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Stearic Acid, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense), Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum), Sandalwood Extract (Santalum Album), Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Barley Extract (Hordeum Distichon), Sorbic Acid, Shea Butter, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Wolberry (Lycium Barbarum) Seed Oil, Grapeseed Extract, St. John’s Wort Extract, Kelp Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Sodium Phytate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Aloe Vera 200x (Aloe Barbadensis), Sodium Hydroxide, and Citric Acid.

†100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential

Contains corn, nut, and coconut/palm ingredients

I use it as directed, on my face and my neck.

I must say, I love how my face feels.  Its so smooth and soft and I’ve noticed I haven’t developed any  lines on my face or my neck – at least that are noticeable.  I’m not a makeup person, so each morning after my shower, I simply use the wrinkle cream on my face and neck and that’s it for the day for my face. I’m fortunate in that since menopause, I do not get acne anymore.  Ah, the joy of no estrogen!

An image of a bottle of cream
An image of a bottle of cream

The other product I use on my skin is a body butter (Le Beaute Body Butter | Super Rich Natural Body Cream and Moisturizer | Rich in Anti-Oxidants, Vitamins and Pure Organic Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter | Provides 24 Hour Hydration for Skin).  I lucked upon this cream simply because my husband picked it out one day when I asked him to pick up some cream with shea and coconut.  It purports to help soothe and heal rough, dry skin.  I’m diabetic and need to keep from having breaks in my skin that can get infected.

I use that cream on my hands, arms, and legs every morning after my shower.  I’m a reader and remember reading about how queens and princesses in the stories were often given special baths and treatments to give them radiant, soft skin.  (baths of milk, cucumber, etc).  I must admit that when I feel my own skin now, it is unbelievably smooth and soft.  Sometimes I think I am treating myself like a storybook princess by using these products.  Not to mention, they have a nice smell also.

Lastly, I’ve recently (the last couple of months) began to do apple cider vinegar soaks in my tub.  This is for detox purposes and to help my skin.  Three times a week, I add 2-3 cups of apple cider vinegar (doesn’t have to be the one with the mother since it is just for outside the body) to my bath water and soak for about 30 minutes.  I’ve noticed my feet and legs seem to feel better and are very smooth. I’ve also noticed that a few small skin tags on my trunk are going away.  I love it!

Here’s How You can Pamper Yourself


This wrinkle cream can be purchased at Young Living’s website.  Boswellia Wrinkle Cream by Young Living.  No, its not cheap, but does last a while.  If you sign up with Young Living, you get a much better price. Using my ID of 3556236 can help me bunches.  You can sign up as a member at the link below and get 24% off the retail price.


Body Butter by le Beaute.  This is much more reasonable in price at Amazon.

You can also purchase apple cider vinegar in gallon containers for your bath use.  Walmart and some pharmacies carry this size.  Well, Amazon does too.  Here’s a link to a gallon of Heinz Brand

Why not try this yourself for a while.  Ladies, you deserve to be pampered just a little each day.

BTW, I’ll add a pic of me after I bathe and use my wrinkle cream in the morning.  I’m certainly not a beauty but feel so good then.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.  I send out a monthly newsletter around the 1st of each month.  If you would like to receive that email newsletter, you can sign up here.


Why do I have Food Binges?

Fail and Binge – Yes I Do

An image with the text Failure on it
An image with the text Failure on it

I have been doing so well with my LCHF eating and Intermittent Fasting, and I love all the benefits and the way I feel when I’m doing things right.  But I do occasionally have some issues. I have the occasional binge eating fail. This is so disturbing to me when I do that and I feel awful afterward, both emotionally and physically.  My fibromyalgia pain returns, my hunger is out of control and my blood sugar tends to go way up because of what I eat.

This time, I had a real binge day yesterday.  I was really hungry the last couple of days and I cooked a hamburger meal with sweet potato fries, coleslaw, onions, tomatoes, baby spinach leaves and for dessert (this was so wrong!) I cut up strawberries and mixed them with blueberries, and served them with Cool Whip topping.  I ate my hamburgers with buns too – I usually don’t but couldn’t resist yesterday.  And last night I cut up the rest of the fruit and then ate several “sugar-free” cookies which still have carbs in them and are not good for me.  I ate some salmon dip with almond crackers too.  So I totally blew it yesterday.  Today, I’m getting back on track and fasting with water and coffee only. Continue reading “Why do I have Food Binges?”

Is it worth the pain and depression?

Do you ever get tired of it all?

Some days I really do get tired of everything and wonder “why am I still here Lord?”  This rarely happens, but when I’ve been in pain for days on end, I can get pretty depressed and think those kind of thoughts.

Living with chronic pain

Actually I can’t remember when something didn’t hurt.  It seems like there is always some part of me that is in pain. Between the fibromyalgia, degenerative discs, hip pain and of course the neuropathy, I never seem to get a break.

It doesn’t help that docs are so hesitant about issuing pain meds nowadays.  For me, the extra strength Tylenol just doesn’t do it.  The tramadol my rheumatologist prescribed does help some, but I’m afraid of taking too many of them because of side effects.  It is a synthetic version of codeine and can be just as addictive.  It can also cause strokes, seizures, and other issues.  However, recently I have tried taking one or two more each day.  Up to now, I’ve doled them out 1 in the morning and 1 at night.  Now I’m taking an extra 1 twice day when I absolutely can’t relax or sleep because of the pain.

The worst of it is that when I feel a little better, I try to do more things and then I have to bear the consequences of doing that.  For instance, Mel and I went to our vacation home 5 hours away for a long weekend recently and I drove on the way up and basically paid for that for the next three days (Mel had oral surgery the morning we left so I had to drive).  Then when we came home and Mel drove.

I was still hurting so much from the drive up, that I was literally miserable the entire way home. I couldn’t get comfortable no matter what I did.  My restless legs kicked in and I spent the entire trip basically rocking back and forth in my passenger side seat without my seat belt so I could stretch forward and relieve the pressure on my lower back and stretch my legs.  I was exhausted when I got home and went straight to bed.  After getting up and trading the bed for the recliner several times, I finally went to sleep and woke up around 10am the next day.  Today I’m researching chronic pain.

Being in pain is not easy, especially when the pain does not go away. Chronic pain is a debilitating condition for the millions of people who live with it every day.

While medication goes a long way in pain treatment, it is often not enough to control all of the symptoms. When chronic pain is poorly controlled, living with chronic pain can be a challenge.
Found in this article.

Coping with chronic pain

Some things I do try when I’m in pain is:

  1. Exercise:  I mainly do stretches since I can’t walk more than a few steps.  I usually stretch lying down in my bed or back in my recliner.
  2. Hot showers or bath.  When my legs and hip hurt, a hot shower or even better, a bath seems to help relax me. But I can only do that at our vacation home with its step-in tub.  I can’t get out of the regular tub at our main home, so I’m stuck with the shower.
  3. Think about other things.I like to read to try to take my mind away from the pain and sometimes that helps but not all the time.
  4. Bible reading and prayerI enjoy my Bible reading also and especially reading the Psalms.  Reading them I know that I’m not the only one crying out to God for help in the middle of the night.  When its really bad, I post for prayers from my friends on Facebook. When I was going through the awful neuropathy pains with my leg and feet ulcers, I posted for prayers regularly – I’m convinced that is the only way I made it through that terrible pain each night.  At times I was ready to call it quits and prayed God would just go on and take me home.  But He didn’t so there must be a reason why I’m still here.
  5. Music. Sometimes I tune into Pandora and the hymns radio channel and lay in my bed listening untill I fall asleep.
  6. Heat. My heating pad and my rolling massager is my best friend when my hips and legs are at their worse.  I lay on the heating pad and enjoy the warmth.  I roll the massager up and down my calf and the outside of my thighs, where knots have formed from the fibromyalgia.  I have knots and trigger points of pain all over my body that can be felt under my skin – its really weird.
  7. Cold.  Funny how the opposite can also help.  Icing my hip and low back can sometimes help too.  I think in reality, it just helps to get your mind off the pain.

Battling Depression

I know I sometimes get really depressed after days and days of pain and discomfort.  I see and experience every day all the things I can’t do anymore.  I envy people who get up and walk across a room without a thought of how blessed they are to do that so effortlessly.  I dread dropping something because it hurts so much to bend that far over in my wheelchair and pick it up.

Managing my wheelchair takes so much time and effort and I’m so slow at everything I do – it drives my husband crazy to see how slow I am at doing things and moving around – but I like to do things for myself so I don’t feel so entirely useless – he doesn’t understand that.

Recently a friend lost her son, who’s the same age as my daughter, due to a workplace accident and it struck me so hard that that beautiful young man is gone and yet I’m still here.  I grieve deeply for my friend and her husband, parents are not supposed to outlive their kids.  With my own daughter and her family moving to a third world country to become a missionary, I do worry a lot about their safety and health.

I manage my depression in several ways:

  • By taking Cymbalta.  I take it for its off-label use to treat my fibromyalgia and neuropathy and it does help for that. It also keeps my mood pretty even.  Most days I can’t force myself to cry because my serotonin and norepinephrine is working well.

There are two naturally occurring chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood and mood stability. Under normal circumstances, these two chemicals — serotonin and norepinephrine — are in a specific balance. However, these chemicals can become out of balance, causing changes in mood, specifically depression. Cymbalta works by re-establishing the balance of these two chemicals, and in turn, relieving the symptoms of depression.

The same two chemicals responsible for mood also have an influence on pain perception. Just as an imbalance causes depression, an imbalance of these chemicals causes pain. When Cymbalta re-establish chemical balance, the symptoms of pain may be relieved, as well.  Read more here.

  • I read my Bible a lot and pray a lot when I get depressed.
  • I also keep telling myself my family loves me and needs me, over and over.
  • I always try to have something to look forward to even if its something small.  I make plans or set goals to reach:
    • Losing a certain number of pounds by a certain date (a near date).
    • Setting a day/time to paint or go out to eat with friends.  Maybe planning an artist retreat with a friend.
    • Plan to FaceTime my daughter and talk to her and my adorable grandsons.
    • Plan to eat out with my husband so I don’t have to cook.
    • Plan a visit with one of my sisters to catch up.
    • Buy and download a new ebook I want to read or buy and stream a movie that I really want to see.
    • I enjoy researching online and posting on Facebook or in forums with people who like the things I like.
    • I truly enjoy going to our vacation home in the hills of Northwest Arkansas.  Even though I do hate that 5 hour drive, I love it once I’m there.  I take lots of massage baths in the step-in tub and when I feel good, I can go to the indoor pool.  We bird watch in the sunroom and on the deck and enjoy the peace and quiet.  When I feel really good, we can drive around so I can take pictures.  We have a trip planned in two weeks and I’m looking forward to that right now.  I also have an artist retreat planned with a friend for the last week in April and I have that to look forward to also.

The trick is giving yourself a reason to look forward to or make it through another day. Also I try to accomplish certain things each day.  Like I always load/unload the dishwasher and do at least two loads of laundry.  I wipe off the counters and start “Rosie”, our robotic floor cleaner to go over the floors daily (I love our Rosie)!  Once or twice a week I dust furniture and clean the door glass where Boaz, our giant schnauzer has left his paw prints.  It also helps to have Bo around to pet and love on – he gives great “giant hugs” too.  You can read about him at my “Living With Boaz” blog site.

Sometimes I think about surgery for my back and a Pain Management Clinic to help with the pain.  However with my blood condition (essential thrombocyemia) and having thrown a clot and had a stroke after a previous surgery, I avoid any elective surgery.  So maybe one day I’ll check out a Pain Management Clinic. But for now I’m staying with my current treatments for pain and depression.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley


Prednisone – handling this strong medicine as a diabetic!

Corticosteroids and Your Blood Glucose

Image of pill bottle and pills, copyright Microsoft
Image of pill bottle and pills, copyright Microsoft

Prednisone is considered to be a corticosteriod(which mimics hormones produced by your adrenal glands) and is used to reduce inflammation from many illnesses, like vasculitis, myositis, and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and others. It is also used to suppress your immune system as in helping to reduce rejection of organs.

Corticosteroids can be taken via mouth, inhaled, in creams topically or by injection.

The synthetic cordicosteriod Prednisone is a very effective anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant drug. However, this strong medicine can have several undesired side effects, especially if you are a diabetic.

Side effects of Prednisone Use

There can be many side effects when using Prednisone, from mild to severe:

  • Irritability and nervousness, mood swings
  • Chipmunk cheeks and buffalo hump (on the back of the neck)
  • Depression, even suicidal thoughts
  • Blurring of eyesight and even cataract development
  • Thin skin and easy bruising
  • Bone thinning
  • Excess hair growth
  • Increase in your susceptibility to infections
  • Appetite increase and weight gain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Elevated blood glucose levels.

Reducing the Impact of Prednisone on Your Body

Chipmonk Image
Chipmonk image

Here are some things to do to lesson the impact of prednisone on your diabetic body:

  • Use less salt to help reduce fluid retention and help avoid higher blood pressure.
  • Try to eat a more balanced diet to help avoid excess weight gain.
  • Reduce sugar intake, add more protein and fruits and vegetables.
  • Reduce calories consumed and increase exercise
  • Add calcium and vitamin D to your supplements for your bones, and potassium for blood pressure.
  • Take your prednisone with food to help avoid stomach ulcers.
  • Also avoid drinking alcohol for the same reason.
  • Taper off your dosage of Prednisone when you are finishing treatment to avoid cramps, body aches and other side affects.

My Experience with Long-term Prednisone Use

In the past, I have used short term dosages of steroids and corticosteroids for my asthma and other mild illnesses; however when my problems with vasculitis and the formation of leg and feet ulcers occurred, I began long term use of Prednisone.  By long term, I mean months (so far, over six months).  While I realize that I really need the anti-inflammatory effects of the Prednisone, I am not happy with my chipmunk face, weight gain, trouble sleeping, blurred vision and some other side effects I am experiencing.  I’m also not pleased with the increase in my blood glucose levels.

I’ve really tried to work on keeping my blood sugar levels under control to improve the healing of my ulcers (something my doctor has reiterated over and over).  I’m reducing consumption of bread, sugars and other carbohydrates; and increasing my protein, fruit and veggie intake.  I’m also checking my blood glucose several times a day to see if I need to inject additional insulin.  As far as exercise, that is pretty much impossible for me to increase with my feet ulcers and my back issues and I’m in a wheelchair most of the day.  My goal is to keep my blood glucose readings below 200 and closer to 160 and so far, I’ve been successful.  I plan on really tightening up on my diet this next couple of weeks to speed healing of these ulcers.


Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley


Why I eat Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil Has Had a Bad Rap!

Yes coconut oil is a saturated fat, which is bad, right? Not always.  In the case of coconut oil, the saturated fat takes the form of lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fat that metabolizes more easily into energy and does not store as fat.

Image of coconut, copyright Microsoft.
Image of coconut, copyright Microsoft.

As for coconut oil being a saturated fat; all saturated fats are not equal.  Some saturated fats like coconut oil are found naturally while others are manipulated into a saturated state through hydrogenation.  This is a process where hydrogen atoms are added to the oil to arrive at the end product which is a thick, rancid oil that has a longer shelf life.  They are sometimes called trans fats.

Coconut oil is powerful because of its lauric acid and medium chain fatty acids.

The composition of coconut oil elevates the LDL levels and prevents atherosclerosis.  This helps repair slow neural pathways and can improve cognitive functions and memory. Continue reading “Why I eat Coconut Oil”

Weight Loss – Should you expect support from your family?

Yes You do Need Support While Trying to Lose Weight!

Senior Portrait of Shirley Dawson
Senior Portrait of Shirley Dawson

Like many type II diabetics, I am overweight, very overweight.  I wasn’t large growing up, in fact, I was pretty skinny.  After I gained so much weight in my pregnancy, it seemed like there was nothing I could do to lose that weight again.  So for the past 28 years I have done the “yo-yo” diet thing.  Diet for a while, maybe even lose a few pounds, then fall off the diet and gain it all back, plus some.  Does this sound like you?

Because I wasn’t overweight until I was almost 35, I have never thought of myself as fat.  Inside I’m still that tall, gangly, tom-boy, who loves sports and the outdoors.  Then I pass a mirror and glance at it – I’m still shocked to see myself.  Who is that old fat lady?  Not only is she fat, she’s old and gray-haired too. Continue reading “Weight Loss – Should you expect support from your family?”

Finding the humor in life

Image of fake smile
Image of fake smile, copyright Microsoft

Faking it until it Works!


I personally believe that those who live in chronic pain and disability need to be sure and not let depression overcome them.  I know I’ve had some pretty awful lows in my life due to chronic pain, especially when I’m not sleeping well because of

the aching hips and legs and not able to do normal things like walk across a room.

One  thing that I know helps me, is to find things to laugh about, a story, a movie, some incident I notice, even YouTube.  One night at my vacation home, I couldn’t sleep because of my aching hips and restless legs, so I got out my iPad and started watching YouTube videos.  Soon I was laughing out loud,  I watched videos for about 40 minutes laughing and chuckling all by myself and soon I was able to fall asleep. Continue reading “Finding the humor in life”