What’s in a Song?

This blog has a weird name. I know. It’s not just named after me. There is of course a story about where “Get Over Greta” came from.

Back in the 1997,  The Nields, a folk/rock/post-grunge band from Massachusetts, came out with an album entitled “Gotta Get Over Greta” with track #3 sharing the same name. That same year, a Missouri college freshman named Greta (me) was at a decision point in her life. Living in a college dorm two hours from the center of her world, her high school love of three years, she struggled with being away from him and from home. At an emotional and mental breaking point, driven by her fear of becoming her mother; co-dependent, marrying young, unsure of her own interests, she hesitantly ended her relationship with the love of her life.

At another college, her dear boyfriend was trying to make sense of everything. Friends tried to console him in any way they could as he managed through the break-up. One tactic their dear friend Mary tried included hanging up a band poster for The Nields with the hopes that he would be reminded to get over Greta. On the poster it said “Gotta Get Over Greta.”

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Poster Designed by Stefan Sagmeister

The same poster was mailed to Greta so she could hang it up in her dorm and remember to get over herself.

The world is bigger than your own emotions. Each and every decision we make is important and effects others. Where we think we’re is not necessarily where we’ll end up. The most perfect plan should always have a back-up. So far, I’ve gone through life with that in mind. Remove as much emotion from decision making and thought processes as possible in order to proceed. If plans change, get up and get over it. Life is too short to sulk. It doesn’t mean that you won’t hurt, or be angry or sad. But don’t get stuck in the “whoa’s me” mentality because of decisions, actions, or lack of actions that you chose to make.

No one is waiting around for you to succeed. Adversity challenges us all in different ways. It may inevitably drive you in another direction in life. That happened to me. I am far from my original plan that I started with in 1997, and trust me, it is nowhere near being a jingle writer, back-up singer, or production manager in Chicago.

Get over it. Press on. Build your plan with contingencies. Move forward with memories of the many wonderful, amazing people who made you who you are today. 

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Recapping 2014: My Cheery Auto-immune Year

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Ah, 2014… the year to determine if I have auto-immune issues. I needed a rheumatologist to help with my struggle against spondylitis and osteoarthritis; help me dig deeper to determine why I am in chronic states of pain. Why is my body 35 going on 75?

In February, I found an intelligent rheumatologist with great reviews and a nice disposition. Plus she was close to the office. WIN! I explained how high my pain levels were and that functioning with pain-induced insomnia, a heavy workload, a toddler and a newborn really wasn’t working for me. My reliance on my growing anti-inflammatory arsenal was unrealistic.

The doctor added duloxetine to my med mix to reduce pain symptoms. The 150mg in my system proved to make me a sweaty, high blood pressure mess with emotions duller than a new Bobby Flay knife. In fact, emotions became annoyances; similar to that strand of hair that hangs in your cleavage, itching you while you’re waiting to checkout at the grocery store.

On top of duloxetine, I started taking more vitamin B and magnesium. My inner skeptic yelled at me every night. I kept thinking these supplements were ridiculous and I was throwing money away, but I kept taking them. I really wanted them to work. I really did want them to provide me with relief. I was dedicated to sprinkling turmeric on all of my food, drinking turmeric tea, popping turmeric pills along with apple cider vinegar capsules. Even while my husband continuously rolled his skeptical eyes at me, deep down I knew that all of it was tantamount to placebo mumbo-jumbo. I still tried them. They didn’t do anything.

While my numerous visits to the rheumatologist opened up possibilities for additional pain management, we were never able to find a root cause. Tests only revealed so much, and every time, tests showed I had inflammation. Shocker! But apparently the entire experience didn’t influence my mood. Throughout the frustration of no results, out-of-pocket co-pays, and sitting next to icky, sick people A LOT, I stayed “cheery”. In fact, my rheumatologist said on multiple occasions I’m the happiest person with chronic pain she’d ever seen. Compliment? I’ll take it as one.

Get Over It…
I am going to keep smiling; keep digging into health results in 2015. Play the panel/lab game. Continue visits to pain management. Load up on facet blocks and bursitis injections. I love my pain management nurse staff. They always hold my hand when I have a 3 inch needle in my neck or back. I’m sure my neurosurgeon misses me too. I’ll schedule time with him ASAP. As for my rheumatologist? I’ll visit her again at some point. Stay tuned for more cheerfulness and please bring coffee!

Top 7 Back and Neck Gadgets That Help Greta

As a frequent Amazon shopper, I love to view recommendations that are “custom” for me. Quite often, they have nothing to do with my purchase behavior or interest. There are times when Amazon knows me too well. Usually it’s when I’m seeking new back and neck gadgets.

Heading into the holidays, the stress of travel, family, rushing around from one party to the next can make you feel like crap. Besides the traditional hot and cold therapy with a little over-the-counter NSAIDs and a glass of wine, sometimes you need something extra. Here are my top seven favorite gadgets that help me get over neck and back pain and hopefully will provide you with some cervical, thoracic, and lumbar pain relief. You’re welcome! Continue reading “Top 7 Back and Neck Gadgets That Help Greta”