healthcare, medical, survivorship

Sometimes You Have Wipe-Out! Update

Ouch, that looks painful!

The sun’s bright, the water is beautiful, and the wave is high. You’ve done your best to prepare, you are well-positioned to ride that wave but something goes wrong —you have wipe-out!

That’s how I feel about the latest  nutritional supplement I tried recently. I added a new “green” alkalizing component to my regimen and had such high hopes for it. You can read about it in my last post.

But after just six days of using it, I began to notice abdominal pain, dirty urine, back pain, and symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Alarm bells went off in my head like you wouldn’t believe. My old symptoms returned and I knew that the supplement was blocking my prescription medication.

It was just barely five months ago that my urologist had figured out why I was having so many abdominal infections and ending up in the hospital so I wasn’t about to go in reverse — no way.

Before that, I would have abdominal pain, back aches, headaches, you name it—general discomfort. All.the.time….

So, I made the decision to stop taking the product. The product is actually very potent and astringent. I would mix it with my morning shake and my teeth would squeak! It’s supposed to be good for cleaning the immune system, which is what I wanted, so while I was a little disappointed that it blocked the other drug I do understand that mixing prescription drugs that work, with potent nutritional supplements, is a balancing act that must be done with much wisdom and understanding.

As soon as I stopped using the supplement, my bad symptoms subsided, so my instincts were spot on.

Just so you know, the Thrive tone pack: 2 capsules, shake, and skin patch are not interfering at all with my medications. I’ve been on this regimen now since November 11, 2017. It’s a great product for me, I’m much stronger, more focused and have less general discomfort, so I will continue using this original trio that I started with.

Just wanted to let you know how things were going.

When it comes to things I find out about regarding medicine, or things concerning the body that could cause a reaction, I’m going to tell you because it could be dangerous.

What I’m aiming for is to continue to ride that wave — with no wipe outs!

Until next time, stay prepared and remain alert so that you can ride your waves with wisdom and confidence!

Yours in good health,

~ Rann

cancer, healthcare, medical, survivorship

Upping my Game!

pexels-photo-718952.jpegWeek 13 – My ongoing nutritional experience

I have felt much better since I started the program Thrive™️ in early November of 2017. I’m stronger and feel much better, but a few weeks ago I began to plateau so the company suggested several products that might help get me over that hump. Since I have lymphedema (legs- uterine cancer) I knew breakthrough would take longer for me.

I chose Boost (see photo below) which is a product mostly made from “greens”. It’s very alkaline, and works as an internal cleanser plus it balances your pH.  It is known that balanced pH calms the body and helps reduce inflammation.

I add it to my breakfast shake each morning. It is berry flavored, but turns my vanilla shake an alfalfa green which I find hilarious. I laugh out loud every time I mix it. I’m so visual — I’m educated in design, and particularly my forte is color, so it’s added a bit of humor to my morning to say the least.

As much as I love different shades of green, I had trouble looking at it— but I know the benefits far outweigh my visceral feelings, haha!

My new mantra: “You can do this, Rann…just think how healthy you will be in a few more months.”

Every single morning I laugh out loud.

If nothing else helps, it will be the endorphins from the laughter that makes me well.

Urology follow up – doctor visit

I had my routine follow-up last week with my urologist and he said I’m doing great. So I will see him in six months—which  made me very happy indeed!

How much does it cost?


The Boost™️ (30 packet) added $50 more dollars to my regimen but (among other great nutrients) the formula contains Chlorella. In my research about it, I found that this plant based nutrient binds heavy metals to it. One of my greatest desires with this program, was to hopefully get rid of the toxins in my system, in addition to cleaning out most of the nuclear medicine residue that I felt was still in my tissues and cells. I cannot guarantee that this is what will happen. However, from what I’ve seen so far, I have much hope in it.

So at this point, I couldn’t be more pleased. In case you’ve missed the beginning of my journey, just go back a few posts, and I explain everything there.

As for my budget, it doesn’t make sense on paper but I’m doing just fine.  It’s over $200 for 30 days for 2 capsules, shake mix, skin patch, and Boost.


There is absolutely nothing more important than investing in my health. I only get one body in this life, and I’m determined to take care of mine. I’m tired of being tired, and sick of being in the hospital.

Time will tell the tale of this nutritional experience, but I’m feeling better overall day by day.

If you would like to know more, or have questions, just leave me a comment below.

If you want to try it, you will need a sponsor and I’ll be glad to hook you up just let me know!

Heres to good health!

~ Rann

medical, Uncategorized

Flu and Sepsis: They mimick each other— KNOW the difference!

Facts and Tips

If your time is limited, the link to my article about the differences is at the bottom for a quick read.  (< 5 minutes)

Before you read about the differences of these two, I’m going to go over a few tidbits of info about this flu season. I will also give you a few tips about:

•prevention •caregiving.

These tidbits will help you and your loved ones:

1) either not get sick, or

2) help you/them get over it quicker, and hopefully

3) stay out of hospital.

What we are discussing:

flu = virus (no cure, you just treat symptoms)

sepsis = bacteria (easily treatable; however, very deadly if not diagnosed early)

Why we must take precaution;

This flu season’s biggest killers are:

  • pneumonia
  • sepsis

I’ll try and break it down for you here.

Sepsis is a bacteria. It is simply blood poisoning, but is easily treated with just six simple steps, (including IV fluids, IV antibiotics), but is very deadly if not diagnosed quickly.

Flu, or influenza is a virus, has no cure, so you can only treat the symptoms it presents, such as fever, body pain, muscle ache, coughing, etc.

2018 Flu outbreak 

First, a few thoughts on this year’s flu outbreak…

In northeast Alabama my town has been hit hard. Adults were getting the flu as early as Thanksgiving and some are still not completely well. Many have had the shot. Now, I’m hearing it’s hitting the children. I’ve been in the grocery store hearing children with horrible sounding coughs. Why anyone would bring a sick child into a public place — especially a grocery store where all of us must go at some point, is beyond me, but there are a lot of nuts out there. So if you are still well take measures now to enhance your immune system as a defense in case you come in contact with someone who has flu, since it is spread by airborne means.

Quite frankly, store managers should do their due diligence and say something.  This is one reason it keeps spreading. So, a few things I suggest to do are:

•wear a mask to stores like the grocery

•keep antibacterial cloths in your car to wipe down buggies; or keep some wipes in your purse

I know this is inconvenient but the alternative will be much worse.

Empty Your Bladder every 3-4 hours

Most of us know to drink lots of water which is a great. Water helps create more blood, which means you gain more red blood cells. This is what I mean by “enhancing your immune system.” It’s your ground zero of defense, and where your antibodies are manufactured.

But what you may forget, or, may WAIT to do…is to go to the bathroom and relieve yourself!

I’m just gonna say it- pee pee pee!!!

if you are taking care of someone and they are too tired to get up,

  • take the male a urinal
  • for female, use a bedside potty

At Work, What Do I Do? Help! 

If you’re at work hopefully you have a bathroom nearby. If not, make arrangements with your boss about taking more breaks because at this point they should be well aware of the seriousness of this season’s flu situation.

Prevention: Supplements, Lysol, and Chicken Broth!

What I do:

Rann’s World – my body system

As you know I’m already on a powerful nutritional supplement since October, so I’m ahead of the game, thankfully. It’s in a previous post. It’s a great product called Thrive™️ by Le-vel.  It’s vitamins, minerals, and their own proprietary plant/based blended. I’m very much impressed by the product.

That said, my point being… be sure you give yourself immune support. Now days there are vitamins and supplements for any age group: children, teens, college, married, middle age, menopausal, seniors. They come in tablet form or liquid, and from your local distributor to online sources.

Rann’s World – my habitat, where I live

I like Lysol spray. I spray my toilet and wipe it down every time I use it. Because I’m catheterizing now every 3-4 hours (a few posts back I tell you why) it’s essential I keep the toilet clean. The catheters are plastic and need to be used in a clean setting. My mother used the bottle concentrate of Lysol at home to clean the bathrooms, and we never got sick.

Factoid:   At home my father also cooked fresh food, not gourmet…just fresh. We didn’t eat takeout. <<<<
l use either one depending. I also keep Clorox liquid bleach (just a teaspoon per load so it doesn’t ruin my cottons) for washing my white underclothes and tank tops. Since I’m a survivor of septic shock, I make sure the clothes I wear closest to my groin, breasts, and underarms are as bacteria-free as possible. For the record, the rest of my clothes I wash in Dreft™️ a baby formulated liquid detergent. It’s better for the skin, and easier on the nose.

Rann’s World – what I eatChicken Broth (use chicken breasts w/skin) I don’t know what it is about chicken broth but it has healing properties in it. I think possibly it’s in the bone marrow but I really don’t know. Get breasts that are naturally sourced as possible, not ones that have additives or infused with juices. Add fresh garlic or scallions for flavor and /or sea salt for a little flavor & health benefit upgrade. Add rice or noodles when the sick person can handle it.

So now you know a little bit about how I roll!

Here is the link to my article on the differences between flu and sepsis;

Cancer Immunity Disorders – Flu and Sepsis Until next time, hoping you and your loved ones remain healthy and in good spirits this winter season!

If you have any questions about me or my experiences, feel free to post in comments below.

~ Rann xoxo


Author’s note; I am not a medical professional. All information is taken in large part from my personal experience.

Alert: If you think you or a loved one may be sick call your family doctor. If you are having trouble breathing, you might have pneumonia, or any other serious issue.

If you see red blotches on the abdomen or elsewhere, a rapidly accelerating fever, vomiting, or if the person is becoming incoherent, dial 911 immediately for ambulance. Tell the EMS to tell the hospital that you “suspect sepsis.”

hospitals, medical, survivorship

Podcast: 28 min. My Interview on the Patient Perspective on Outcomes Rocket

Go with me…

as I tell about my recent in-hospital experiences just months ago.

I also reflect back over three decades of dealing with healthcare as a complex patient, and how it has drastically changed — and what we must do, and CAN do, to change it.

Primary focus:

Increase Nurse-to-Patient ratio!

The world is full of suffering, but it also is full of the overcoming of it.

Helen Keller

Enjoyed being interviewed by Saul Marquez who works for the company, Medtronic. (28 min.) Take a listen!

A Cancer Survivor’s Perspective of Health in the Healthcare System

cancer, medical, survivorship

Illness Reversal – You Can Get Better

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. ~ Albert Einstein

Hospital Hell

I live in a small town in northeast Alabama, and we have two hospitals. That bridge that you see in the picture covers the Coosa River, and separates downtown where I live, and where one hospital is, from East Gadsden, where our other hospital is.

Two years ago in 2015, I was hospitalized once in June, and again at Christmas.  By all accounts it was a pleasurable experience. Fast forward to 2017, the experience was totally different. From the EMS ambulance service, to the Emergency Room, to my bed, was horrible. I felt as though somehow I had descended into some sort of grade-F nightmare-ish movie of sorts. To start the whole thing off, I was in so much pain I couldn’t get to the front door to open it up, had lost my extra house key which I usually kept in my coded car, so the EMS had to call the police to bust open the front door. I live at my grandparent’s house which is almost 100 years old, and the door was solid wood. When I heard the noise, I was in so much pain I didn’t even think about looking at the damage to the door, I was just glad to be on the gurney going to get help. Okay, more about the door later.

Cancer at 26

I had uterine cancer in 1983, I had been 26 for five days. I had a radical hysterectomy,  50 nodes removed, and the nerves to my bladder were cut.  A urologist was assigned to me prior to radiation to help me learn to empty my bladder.  Back then, the only way to empty it was to either push with your hands, or push with your stomach muscles. I didn’t have any luck pushing with my hands, and I inherited strong stomach muscles from my dad, so that’s what I did…for the last 34 years, is push with my stomach muscles to empty my bladder.

Fast forward twenty-two years.

In 2005 I had intestinal surgery to correct a blockage. After that I began to have chronic diarrhea and constant pain in my sigmoid colon. I should have gone to a Gastrointerologist about it but, frankly, I didn’t want any more surgery. I was scared.  So, after suffering for four or five years, I finally was referred to one at the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham.  After looking at my records, he told me the diarrhea was caused by a section that was taken out that controlled bile acid.  He suggesed Questran for it, and it helped some, but for the most part I suffered with Irritable Bowel symptoms.  Sometimes I would have constipation, other times with diarrhea.  I was suffering.

By 2015 I had gone ten years without going to the hospital — a record for me, but by December I had been in twice for abdominal infections.

They would give me IV antibiotics and pain killers, get the fever down for 24 hours, then release me.  Last year I dodged the bullet.  This year though, it happened all over again… I was so perplexed…exasperated, I would think “What is going on down there?!?!” So here I was again, dialing 911.

The ER

The ER was horrible, I was at stage 10+ on the pain scale, I knew I needed to be catheterized, my back was killing me and I was having that same old recurring immense pain in my lower left side.

I had nobody with me and I kept pushing the buzzer for a nurse to give me something for pain.  It was coming in waves and so intense I could barely breathe.  The door would barely open and I would exhale thinking it was a nurse, or just anybody, then it would shut they would leave.  I am a quiet person, but I was wailing like a cow giving birth, I couldn’t make sense of it.  There was no feeling of urgency in the entire place.  It was like every person had no feeling–zombies.  I just kept thinking “I don’t know how much longer I can hold out…how much can a heart take?”

Finally, my nurse made it in and gave me a shot of morphine which helped, but the pain would eventually come back in waves and spike, I swear I thought I was going to die that day.   The medicine wasn’t keeping up with the pain.  Again, I pushed the buzzer.  Again, no one would come.  I was so exasperated.  It’s bad to be in that condition, knowing you are in a hospital emergency room and wailing so loud you think the police are going to haul you off for making so much noise because you are disturbing other patients…but then you realize that you are one!  It was a scary time, and I don’t scare easy.

My redemption came only because the ER was getting overcrowded, and they needed the room I was in.  A male nurse and a female nurse assistant came in to move me to my room, but I was in full-blown 10+ again, and I said “You can’t move me like this!!!”  The male nurse didn’t respond, and the assistant shamed me saying “well other patients need this room!!”  She made me feel horrible, but I knew it would be bad if I was moved in that cramping phase I was in. I looked up at the male nurse with a piercing look, and thankfully, he “got it”, and took my blood pressure– which is protocol in case there is question of pain, and it was sky high.  He moved quick and told the assistant, “yes, she needs morphine before we can move her.”  They didn’t wait either– I got the shot, then I had to endure an eternity of bumps down the hallways and even bigger, painful bumps into elevators to get to my room.

Room 517

Those two got me from the gurney into my bed, but not before making more comments that were demeaning.  I will say the RN was excellent, but had an attitude problem.  The assistant was just sub-par and shouldn’t have been in the healthcare field, period. For the patient’s that have been there since, I hope they are both gone by now. And I mean that sincerely.

Just for the record, I know there is a lot of talk about patients abusing nurses, but I can say in truth because I’ve been there, the abuse is coming from both sides.  And, I will also add, I’ve never been abused by an RN. It is my observation, that registered nurses are being abused by the hospitals, because the administrators won’t hire enough to staff the floors. The pressure that it is putting on them is enormous, which is, in turn, putting patients at risk. That’s abuse of the worse kind, because nurses are the glue that holds healthcare together. Nurses take orders from doctors and have to tend to patients, and their families.  I really love and appreciate RNs.  I can’t say enough good things about them. I just hope more good ones will come back to the hospitals.  It’s a calamity.

By nightfall, I still had not been given a catheter. They had taken a urine sample in the ER which relieved me a little, but I knew I needed to be catheterized.  It was shift change (of course), and my RN came in to introduce herself, then left.  I was left to rely on PTAs (Patient Tech Assistants) to help me.  Nurse assistants are no longer required to be certified to be hired in our hospitals, if you can believe that or not.  I don’t know if that is only in Alabama, or nationwide. But it’s bad.  And, for the record, I certainly appreciate all assistants and technicians that do a good and consciencious job.  There are many good ones.  Again, they are all left to the protocol of the hospitals, and the current healthcare crisis we are in.

After pleading for a catheter one last time, my PTA said “you have to prove you can’t go by yourself to get one.”  I was in total shock.  How much brain power does it take to hear “but I don’t have any nerves to my bladder” to understand a patient MUST HAVE a catheter?  “It’s protocol,” she said.  I was at another 10+ wave, had just been given a morphine shot that barely touched the pain, but made me numb otherwise, and I had to crawl out of bed, and head toward the bathroom.  I just shook my head in disbelief at what was happening.  I sat there…and sat… and sat.  The PTA waited outside.  I couldn’t feel anything… not my bladder… not anything but the pain, and I couldn’t push because of it.  Finally, I said “I can’t do it.”  She said, “Ok, I’ll let the doctor know.”

I really did feel like I was in North Korea and lil Kim was right down the hall.  I do realize these behaviors in people are secondary to the changes in healthcare.  But  God help us.  It was bad.  I did get a catheter, thank God, much to my relief. My aunt came to visit me late, and somehow I made it through the night.

Finally, An Answer – a Urologist!

All of these many years I have thought I had a Gastrointestinal problem.  I put off seeing specialists because I didn’t think that my body could take any more surgery down in that area.  I had two surgeries down there, during the first one the radiation hardened the skin, and the second surgery scar literally connects with the other one.  I didn’t want “strike three”,  I was just plain scared…and worn out.

By this time it was my second hospitalization in eight weeks, which to the hospital, meant a “return”, not good for them.  So I guess they had to pull out all the stops this time, and find out for real, what was causing my problem.

Right after lunch the second day, in walks a smiling, kind, 40-something doctor.  He got right to it, and in few words told me it was my bladder that was causing all the infections.  It had not been emptying completely and was causing bacteria to spread in my abdomen.  He said he could give me Macrodantin, an antiseptic, that keeps the lining of the bladder clean.  He said he didn’t want me to push any more, I would wear a leg bag home, and begin taking the medicine.  I was stunned.  I knew he had hit on something big. I could feel my spirit soar. This was good news!

I think I exhaled.  I was too excited to cry.  In fact, I was all cried out.

After intestinal surgery in 2005, I was still pushing to empty my bladder, which was, in turn, pushing on freshly operated-on intestines which caused my sigmoid colon to become irritated and inflamed.

Now, since I don’t have to push any more, I don’t hurt there, it’s not inflamed now, and my bowel movements are normal.  I am sure I have been saved from GI surgery, having a colostomy bag, or worse.  I asked God, “Why now, after all these years?”   I’m not sure if I will ever understand, but one thing I do know is, my illness has reversed itself, and my health has improved.  When my urologist got to the root of the cause of all the infections, I began to heal up.

Learning to Catheterize Myself

I had been wanting to learn how to do this for a long time.  It was a steep learning curve, nerve-wracking and exhausting at first. I would set my alarm clock for no longer then four hours during sleep, so that my bladder would not be engorged and send me right back to the hospital.  Finally, my biorhythms kicked in and now my body wakes me up.  I just cath right before bed, and don’t drink a lot.  Just a few sips, and I’m good. It took me exactly four weeks to “ace” this challenge, but it has paid off.

You Can Become a Morning Person!

Never in a million years would I have thought I could endure early morning hours.  Now they are something I look forward to.  I cook for myself, it’s usually simple, but as free from preservatives as I can get.  I cath every three hours when awake, and I can go 6-7 hours during the night, and I sleep relaxed, and no longer wake up in pain. And I no longer have diarrhea.  O, you cannot imagine the joy!

Closing Thoughts & Journaling

My other posts won’t be this long, but I had to let you know the details or none of this would have been believable.  Yes, catherizing myself has required a lot of energy.  But I wouldn’t trade the result for anything.  I journal every day and write down every thing that I do.  It has helped me see a pattern of timing, and it also helps me see my progress.  That’s important, because when you’re sick you don’t feel like you are accomplishing anything.  I am slowly regaining my strength and energy.  I have gone from being bedridden to cleaning my house.


I have also begun a nutritional regimen  and I feel so much better. I have more stamina, I sleep more sound, and my overall well-being has improved. My focus is also much better.

I will be patient.

Albert Einstein was right.  It took a different “look” and a different approach from a well-trained, experienced, and detail-oriented doctor, to figure out my problem.  I am thankful beyond words, and I told my doctor so.  When I did, he was visibly moved. This is the kind of doctor I want us all to have.

Here are the links to my articles on vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals at BellaOnline. I am no longer editor, but no one has taken over the site so my articles are still up, at least for now.

Cancer Fighters – Vitamins

Cancer Fighters – Essential Minerals

Cancer Fighters – Trace Minerals

The Door

My aunt is an architect, so she ordered another solid wood door.  It was custom ordered because the original door was 4″ taller than standard, so it has just now been put up.  God bless her, this was the house she grew up in.  It was only when I was released and got home, that I saw the damage to the door.  I was in physical pain, but that door…the emotional pain it caused me has been emormous.  I told her I was sorry, she’s been very forgiving.  Did you know doors that old were made from trees 100-150 years old?  I learned that from a guy who works in restoration.  All I can say is, I’m better, and we have a very nice new door.  Sigh.

Next blog post:

The next blog won’t be a novella, I promise!


Thank you for taking the time to stop by to read my first blog on Word Press!

If you’re interested, I’m on other social media:



Color Me Well

I’ve also done some guest blogging, and most recently I recorded my first podcast for Outcomes Rocket, with host Saul Marquez.  I don’t know him in person, but he is one fun guy to work with! Saul is working with other movers and shakers in healthcare to find the Holy Grail of good outcomes.  I was honored to be asked to participate.  It should air soon, so when I know the date, I’ll be sure to share it with you!  Saul Marquez and Outcomes Rocket are both on Twitter.

~ Rann






cancer, medical, survivorship

Reversal – Is it possible to reverse chronic illness?

Is it possible to improve? I have proof the answer is “yes”! 

This won’t be all marshmallows I promise…I understand suffering.

But my first post here on Word Press will be encouraging to those of you who do suffer every minute, of every day, with something that won’t let go. My questions are the same as yours:

Why do I have this? Will this ever end? Why now?

Post coming soon. Just setting up the blog, so stay tuned! Thank you for your patience, you won’t be sorry.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving,