My Latest Nightmare Date

Copyright: antonioguillem

I recently hopped onto a dating site in an effort to keep myself in circulation, and convinced myself to consider men who weren’t my type, but who might be suitable potential partners. One member who contacted me had a very interesting profile, and though he wasn’t physically my type, I was intrigued enough to chat with him. Once the message stream ensued and we switched over to text messaging, the man (I’ll call him Adofo) began texting me on a daily basis, not to say hello, but to ask me if I was free to hang out. Since the nature of my daily life rarely allows me to be spontaneous and make last minute plans, and also since I was preparing for an international trip, I made it clear to Adofo that my time was limited. He then agreed to meet me on a Sunday, so I added the meeting to my calendar.

Adofo texted me two days before our planned date, asking if I was free that evening, to which I replied that I was not. He then texted me the following day, and since the plans I had for Saturday had fallen through, I told him that I did indeed have the evening open. Adofo instructed me to meet him on his side of town, which bothered me for two reasons: I had driven all over town the entire week and wanted to take a break from driving long distances once the weekend arrived, and also because I am a bit old-fashioned and expect the man to come to my neck of the woods for the first date. When I told him that I had no intention of driving to Venice, he told me he would schedule an Uber. I then waited for the Uber, which never came because the app wasn’t allowing Adofo to schedule a pickup at my location.

He told me that I needed to hurry up and get to Venice before 5 pm, not considering the fact that he tried lining up the Uber at 4:15 pm. He also told me that we would grab a bite to eat at an Italian restaurant, to which I replied, “Italian isn’t good for me because of the gluten”. I asked if we could find a restaurant with cleaner fare, to which he replied, “oh, you’ll find something to eat there”.

I tried to schedule a Lyft, but the soonest pickup time was in 20 minutes, so I told Adofo I would drive in my own car. I asked him to tell me where to meet him, and he simply said, “Alehouse”, as if he expected me to know the place. I told him to please send me the address, since I was already annoyed by the fact that I had to drive out to Venice. He said, “look it up”, and I bristled, telling him that I was making the effort to come out his way, that I had been standing outside for the Uber which never came, and that I had attempted to schedule a Lyft. I insisted on having him text me the address.

A few minutes after I began driving, Adofo texted me and told me to meet him at his place because I would be able to park my car there. I didn’t respond since I was driving. I got a second text from him, suggesting that we meet at the Italian restaurant, which I also did not respond to because I was driving. I already had the address for Alehouse in my GPS and I wasn’t about to change it. By this time I was extremely irritated and had actually thought of turning around and going home, but I didn’t want to come across as a flake, and drove out to Venice.

Of course Venice was packed with traffic, and I couldn’t find any parking. I pulled over and texted Adofo, informing him that I had passed the Alehouse and was looking for parking, and he called me. He said, “Hey, where are ya?” I told him I was in my car, that parking and traffic were major issues. He said, “Get over here!” I told him that I was a couple of blocks down and that because the traffic was terrible, he needed to understand that I needed a few minutes to return to the Alehouse entrance. He then said, “Pick me up in front of Alehouse, I’ll get into your car and we’ll find parking”.

When Adofo got into my car, he immediately said, “Wow, you’re really fucking cute! You’re so pretty! Give me a kiss!” I refused, which prompted him to say, “Wow, you’re spicy! A sassy bitch, I like you!” I told him that I had to start driving, that there were cars behind me, so he relented for about 20 seconds, then asked me what my sign was. I said, “Moon child. Cancer.” His eyes widened, and he remarked, “Me too! When’s your birthday?” “July 9th.” “Mine’s June 27th. Wow, I can’t believe you’re a Cancer. And you’re 56, wow. You don’t look 56. I’m 52. You’re 56, you’re older than me.” I told Adofo that he needed to direct me to the parking lot he wanted me to park in, that we could talk later.

Adofo seemed annoyed that I wouldn’t humor him, but proceeded to direct me to a parking structure. I parked the car, and as I was walking from the car, he grabbed me by the waist, exclaimed, “Give me a hug!”, and squeezed me tight, which annoyed me even more. Adofo then said, “Give me a kiss!” I told him no, so he said, “Dammit, you’re so fucking stubborn! Wow.” We walked to the restaurant and took two seats at the bar, and as soon as the bartender saw Adofo, he approached Adofo and said, “Hey man, you’ve got some open tabs to pay”, and he placed 4 receipts in front of Adofo.

I had forgotten my cell phone in my car, so I excused myself to get it. For a fleeting moment, I seriously considered just driving away, but once again, I didn’t want to be that kind of person, so I reluctantly returned to the restaurant and took my seat at the bar. Adofo immediately scooted my barstool closer to him so that my thigh was touching his, and he slipped his hand around my waist and pulled me in tighter. By this time I was so disgusted, and figured that the evening was probably going to go downhill, but I tried to make the best of it and ask him questions about his life and career. Oddly, Adofo didn’t ask me a single question about me or my life, but in true narcissistic fashion, was delighted to talk about himself.

Adofo proceeded to ask me three more times when my birthday was, and each time, he said, “Oh wow, you’re a Cancer!”, which made me think that perhaps this man was suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s. He also kept mentioning my age, and at one point, he told me that at 56, I was near 60, that I needed to hustle and get a man and get my life in order. Another thing Adofo kept saying was, “You’re gonna be my girlfriend, I just know it. Will you be my girlfriend? You don’t have to give me an answer today, tomorrow is fine.” At one point in the evening, he said, “I know it’s very 5th grade of me to ask you to be my girlfriend, but I like you”, and then at another point, he said “I know it’s very 3th grade of me to ask you to be my girlfriend, but I like you”. He certainly was behaving like someone in grade school, but I guess he didn’t remember what grade he was in (hah!). He wasn’t acting like a 52 year old man, that’s for sure.

We ordered drinks, and when I asked for a vermentino, Adofo scoffed and said, “Oh, you like WHITE wine. Whatever, I like red wine.” I guess in his estimation it was unacceptable for me to prefer white wine. He also told me to order food from the happy hour menu, not the main menu, and while I was perusing the happy hour menu, Adofo said, “No, don’t look at that, I’ll order for us, you’ll like what I order. I’ll get Arancini (rice balls with cheese, battered and deep fried, full of gluten), penne pasta (full of gluten), chicken meatballs (gluten), and bone marrow (served with bread, another gluten bomb).”

When the food came, I wanted the bone marrow, but Adofo dumped portions of the other dishes onto my plate, and said I HAD to eat the other items. I carry one of two genetic markers for celiac disease, and I also suffer from leaky gut, so my trepidation over consuming gluten is very real. I guess the only good thing was that the portions were small, since they were appetizers. Adofo ended up wearing some of the meal because he was such a slob, and the sauce stains streaked all over his shirt made me want to avoid him even more.

As soon as he wolfed down the majority of the food, he said, “Let’s get out of here. We can hang out at my place, get a bottle of wine.” I told him I was still hungry and would like to get a small salad, to which he replied, “Nah, we’ll order one to go. We’ll also get another bone marrow appetizer.” He ordered the to go items, asked for the check, and paid the bill. Once we had the to go order, we walked to my car, got in, and I began driving. As I was driving, Adofo said, “Hey, let’s watch the sunset!” “Adofo, there is COMPLETE cloud cover, so we won’t see a thing.” “Ah come on! Let’s go!” I told him no, and he once again accused me of being stubborn.

Adofo directed me to a parking spot in back of his place which I was comfortable with since it was out in the open, and in a well trafficked alley. We then walked up to his place, and when I mentioned that perhaps we could go to the liquor store which was across the street for wine, he brushed me off and told me we would do that later. His apartment was plain, old, and indicative of someone who really hadn’t made it in life, so I wasn’t surprised by it. I excused myself to use the restroom, and when I walked into the living area, Adofo went into the kitchen and opened a beer. I asked him if we could go to the liquor store, since I can’t drink beer, and he replied, “Not right now, hold on.” Sigh.

I took a seat on his very tiny sofa, and he sat at the small round plastic table which served as his desk as well as his dining room table. He opened his laptop and was staring at the screen while I spoke with him, a lapse in manners which I had learned to accept from Adofo at this point. I asked him how long he had been living in his apartment, and he told me he moved in there in 2020, right after his father died. I told him that my father had died in 2020 as well, and how that year was difficult for many people. I asked him if he had lived in Malaysia (he had mentioned that to me when we first began messaging each other) immediately before moving into his current space, and he said he had. He mentioned that people in southeast Asia are different, that the life there is in many ways better. Then he said, “You’re going to Thailand, right?” “Yes I am, in a week.” “You’ll like it there.”

I told Adofo that I had been to Thailand before, that it would be my second visit, and that I had been to 18 countries. I started listing the countries, and he interrupted me in mid-sentence, barking, “Come here.” I told him that I was in mid-sentence trying to talk to him, and he responded with, “What were you saying?” “Okay Adofo, clearly you weren’t listening to what I was saying. Never mind.” “No, come on, tell me.” “Nope, I’m over it.”

“Well, just come over here already.” I walked over to the table, and he grabbed me by the waist, telling me to kiss him. I said no and took several steps back, then happened to glance at his laptop screen, on which he had Murray Head’s “One Night In Bangkok” music video occupying the entire screen and cued up to the beginning. I said, “I’m well acquainted with that song and with the video, so unless there’s a specific point in the video you want to show me, I’m good.”

Adofo then looked at me and said, “You’re 56. I still can’t believe it, you look really good. Do you want babies?” I told him, “Listen, I’ve been through menopause. The factory is shut down, I can’t have kids.” Adofo’s gaze sank to my crotch, and he said, “Let me see.”

“Excuse me?”

“Let me see it. Let me see your vagina.”

“I’m DONE.”

I turned to the sofa, grabbed my handbag, and rushed out of that apartment as fast as I possibly could, and once I was in the alley, I ran to my car. Adofo chased me the entire way, and tried to block me as I drove away. Within a couple of minutes, I blocked him on the dating app, on Instagram, and also blocked his phone number. Thankfully, it was still light outside, I was in a very busy urban area, and I was actually relieved that I had my car, because I was able to make a quick getaway.

Ladies, make sure to carry pepper spray to protect yourself in a similar situation.

Guys, please don’t be like Adofo! Such behavior is one sure way to keep women at bay for good.

Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater

Copyright: milkos

I recently went through a breakup with a man I had been seeing since September of last year. He always seemed to have a player vibe, but I chose to ignore it because we truly had a lot of fun together. When we began dating, I was on a dating app, and was seeing another man who seemed to have great long term potential, but that guy’s efforts fell flat, so George conveniently slid into the boyfriend spot which had been open for quite a while.

Every time George and I would hang out, alcohol had to be present, and when it was time to turn in for the night, he would reach for a 100 mg THC gummy, without which he was entirely unable to sleep. This was cause for concern, since I only ever saw George sober at the beginning of our evenings together, and the following morning when he was once again sober. It was during one evening when we were drinking and chatting that George revealed to me that for a number years, he had been seeing two women simultaneously, and that both relationships were fairly serious. I was concerned by this, and just couldn’t figure out how a man could dupe one woman while also seeing another woman who was fully cognizant of the deception. He went on to describe how he and the woman who was aware that there was another love interest would party all the time. George eventually broke up with the gal who was kept in the dark and continued his relationship with the wild woman, but that relationship became extremely toxic according to him, and he ultimately left her.

So here I was, in a so-called “relationship” with George, and for whatever reason, I didn’t end things when I realized that he had no intention of ever allowing me to see where he lived. According to him, he lived with his mother and stepdad, and he stated that his mother wouldn’t like me since she hadn’t been fond of his former girlfriends. I was basically told that I was doomed from the start as far as his mom was concerned. After 8 months of dating George, I complained about his refusal to let me see where and how he lived, which led to an argument in which he stated that he didn’t want me to just “show up unannounced”. I have never once in my life shown up at anyone’s place unannounced, much less at the residence of someone I was dating. George ended up winning the argument, and I ended up going out with George for eleven months without ever seeing where he lived.

George’s affectionate nature cooled significantly about 8 months in, and he stopped making an effort to see me more than once a week, stating that work obligations were keeping him busy. To be honest, I never believed that, and I truly do think he was messing around. He finally and abruptly broke up with me one night, so I revisited the dating app where we had met, only to find him on the app with an active profile. Shame on me for even thinking that this man was capable of being faithful to one person!

What To Do When Your Parents Need Different Types of Senior Care

Written by Julia Merril of befriendyourdoc.org

Dr. Stacey Naito of Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog is a board-certified family practice physician with a wide range of interests that she shares with readers. Read more informative articles today!


Image via Pexels

What To Do When Your Parents Need Different Types of Senior Care

As your parents age, they may need help finding senior care or an alternative living situation. When that time comes, you may be faced with an unexpected challenge — figuring out what to do when only one parent needs to move into a nursing home. Dr. Stacey Naito of Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog explains that by involving your parents and handling the process with compassion, you can create a smooth, loving transition.

Choosing a Nursing Home

The right nursing home is essential for your parents’ comfort, health, and financial stability. As you choose a facility, follow these steps:

  • Verify insurance coverage. Find out how much your parents’ plan will pay each month.
  • Identify appropriate facilities. Find nursing homes that accept your parents’ insurance and fulfill their care requirements. Go online to find the facilities in your area and read up on pricing information, payment options, and reviews. You’ll find nearly 80 assisted living communities in Los Angeles.
  • Determine excess costs. Calculate the extra monthly costs for each facility.
  • Make a short list. Select facilities that fit your budget, care, and location preferences.
  • Read reviews. Look into the reputation, quality of care, and services at each facility.
  • Visit facilities. Bring both of your parents to check out your top 3-5 nursing homes. Look at factors such as cleanliness, activities, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Ask about openings. Find out when a room or bed will open.

Paying for a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility

In the United States, US News & World Report notes that the average room in a nursing home costs more than $100,000 per year. For a shared room, you can expect costs of more than $93,000 per year. Some ways to cover nursing home costs are:

  • Medicaid
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Savings and retirement income
  • Family contributions

Keep in mind that costs can vary significantly between states and cities. If you live in a different city, you might save money by moving your parents to a nursing home near you.

Helping Your Other Parent Downsize

Maintaining a home is a big job; when one parent moves into a nursing home, your other parent may want to move as well. Some options are:

  • Move the parent in with you or a sibling
  • Find a smaller apartment or condo near the nursing home
  • Rent a room in an assisted living facility

When your parents are moving to different places, you’ll need to deal with two moves. A moving company can make the transition easier for everyone; they can handle the packing and the heavy lifting so you can focus on your parents. For safety and security, choose a trusted company by reading moving company reviews online and selecting the best one. Ideally, the moving company you choose has experience with senior moves. 

Providing Compassionate Help to Aging Parents

Moving your parents into separate homes can be emotional and exhausting for everyone involved. As an adult child, DailyCaring points out that all of the stress can make it harder to remain compassionate. To ease the process, you can:

  • Hire a senior move manager. They’ll help with sorting, organizing, and selling belongings during the downsizing process.
  • Take personal time. Make time for your friends and favorite activities.
  • Ask relatives for help. Don’t be afraid to lean on siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
  • Get support. Join a support group to express your emotions in a safe place.

Managing the Senior Care Process

With patience and compassion, you can help both of your parents settle into new homes. Remember to put a lot thought into choosing the right senior living facility, paying for continued care, helping with downsizing, and providing all the care you can. 

5 Ways to Find the Upside of a Midlife Crisis

Photo via Pexels

Are you in a midlife rut? Then this fantastic article written by Camille Johnson of bereaver.com is for you!

You’re not sure what set it off, but you feel like you’re stuck in a midlife crisis. You might be unsatisfied with your job, mourning a dream you never accomplished, or feeling unfulfilled in your relationship. With the help of a trainer like Stacey Naito, you can finally start working towards the goals you previously pushed to the back burner. Furthermore, these tips will help you figure out where to live, how to outfit your home, and which lifestyle changes you should implement.

Move Somewhere New

You might feel like you can’t turn over a new leaf if you continue living in the same city. Maybe you’re looking for opportunities that aren’t available locally, or maybe you’ve trying to get out of a toxic environment. Either way, it may be time to move to a new city. If you plan to buy a home in a different area, you’ll need to research current Pennymac mortgage rates and determine which type of mortgage is right for you. Your lender can help you determine whether you would be qualified for a conventional, FHA, or VA loan.

Focus on Your Health

Perhaps you’ve noticed that you don’t feel as energetic and lively as you once did. You might assume that your mental health is suffering because you’ve reached a turning point in life – but it could be because you’ve been neglecting your physical health. You may want to invest in a few items for a basic home gym, such as an exercise mat, resistance bands, a stability ball, and dumbbells. To enhance your home cooking skills, you could pick up an immersion blender, a vegetable spiralizer, a slow cooker, and meal prep containers.

When you’re buying new products, especially ones that the whole family will use, it’s important to spend your money wisely. Therefore, before you buy anything, make sure to go over product reviews from a few unbiased sources. That way, you can feel confident in your purchases.

Write in a Journal

Writing in a journal can help you decide which steps you want to take next in life. It can be tough to choose a direction, but when you write about your feelings in your journal, you can gain some clarity. PsychCentral states that journaling can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression and even help people process traumatic experiences.

Prioritize Traveling

What if you feel like you need to break out of your routine for a while? You could book a trip to a destination you’ve always wanted to visit! Travel can be a boon for your mental health, and spending some time in an unfamiliar place can help you shake off feelings of stagnation. Everyday Health states that traveling can make you feel more creative, relieve your stress, and even strengthen your relationships with your family and friends back home.

Challenge Yourself

You might be experiencing a midlife crisis because you haven’t achieved some lifelong goals, and you’re wondering if you’re really capable of becoming the person you want to be. Taking on challenges – and overcoming them – can shift your mindset. Whether you want to challenge yourself physically or intellectually, now is the time to do it. From learning a new skill to volunteering in your community, there are lots of ways to challenge yourself and change for the better.

Going through a midlife crisis isn’t easy – but with the right outlook, you can make it to the other side and come out stronger. A midlife crisis can actually mark the start of an exciting new chapter. By following these tips, you can move to a welcoming place, choose the best products for your home, and focus on self-care.


Ready to focus on fitness? Start training with Stacey Naito! Check out our website today to learn more about our training services.

Regular Self-Care Activities Boost Your Mental and Physical Health


Image via Pexels

By Karen Weeks

When you commit and devote the time to care for yourself, your body feels better. You radiate health and energy and can operate at your peak physical performance level. But all those self-care activities also benefit your mind. Here is a look at how healthy living boosts your mental health, presented to you below by Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog.

Eat Nutritious Food

A focus on healthy eating gives your body the nutrients and calories needed to thrive. Fill your plate with colorful fruit and vegetables and add a small portion of lean protein, such as salmon, chicken, sirloin, eggs, or turkey. Also, focus on consuming whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Eating these foods keeps your blood sugar steady to prevent mood swings

Don’t forget your snacks! When the afternoon slump kicks in, choose a smoothie, fruit, or a handful of nuts instead of a bag of chips or a sugary soda. Then your hunger will be taken care of, and you’ll also get a burst of energy to help you mentally focus for the rest of the afternoon.

Do Exercise You Enjoy

Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work when you do an activity you love. Besides keeping your body in shape, research has shown exercise reduces anxiety, alleviates depression, and improves your sense of well-being and self-esteem. Do whatever activity you enjoy, such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, or dancing.

Create a Healthy Home Environment

Is your home a relaxing place that you enjoy being in, or does your family argue, complain and make overly critical comments about the house? The fix may be more straightforward than you think. A dirty and cluttered home is unpleasant to look at and impacts your mental health by limiting your ability to focus, increasing your stress levels, and can cause conflict in relationships. Declutter and clean your house to transform your home into a vibrant and fresh space. Open up the windows to let some fresh air in as well. You’ll be surprised what a difference a clean and tidy home makes for you and your family.

If you have items that you want to keep but you simply don’t have room to store in your house, look for storage options outside the home. Storage units are affordable ways to securely stash items (big or small) until you decide what, exactly, you want to do with them. Use websites designed to help you with finding self storage in Los Angeles. With over 130 different storage options in LA, chances are you can find something near your home.

Seek Counseling

If you’re experiencing issues with anxiety or depression, a mental health counselor can help you feel better. The therapist can help you create healthy and productive coping mechanisms and tools to help you manage your emotions.

Don’t let your packed schedule or dread of an office visit turn you off from seeking the help you need. A great and popular new alternative is online therapy. Various telehealth online platforms are available, offering a variety of licensed therapists for you to connect with for assistance. You may even be able to secure a same-day appointment. In addition, telehealth therapists accept most insurance plans, keep out-of-pocket costs manageable, and offer more affordable co-pays than an in-office counselor. 

Take a Trip

Traveling to a new destination takes you out of your routine and immerses you in new sights and experiences. A pleasure trip can reduce your stress and lift your spirits. It can also heal your job burnout caused by working too many hours for a lengthy period. For the ultimate in self-care travel, book a wellness retreat in a location you’ve always wanted to visit.

You probably already noticed how your self-care activities keep you physically healthy. Take steps to declutter your home (and store away anything you want to keep), start exercising, and book a relaxing self-care trip. Now you know the mental health benefits you gain as well.

Cats Try Catnip For The First Time

I found the above video so entertaining that I thought I would share it with you on my blog. Though not all cats respond to catnip (about 50 to 70 percent respond), the ones who do are hilarious to watch as they roll around, lick, chew, and rub up against the catnip as well as whatever surface the catnip has touched. There is a substance in the catnip plant known as nepetalactone which causes an intense, euphoric reaction.

I purchased a catnip plant in May, and it has quadrupled in size since I purchased it. Despite the fact that I was aware that Nepeta cataria is in the Mint family of plants, I was surprised by how strongly it smelled like mint. I also figured that my cats would enjoy the fresh catnip since dried catnip loses its potency over time. One day in late June, I decided to give all four of my cats a sprig of catnip to see who would respond to the fresh leaves. Two of my cats couldn’t care less about the catnip, while the other two went absolutely nuts. I have posted videos of the two cats in my household who are catnip responders for your enjoyment.

Koji’s first exposure to catnip was hilarious!

Shima has always been a responder, but this was the first time she had experienced fresh catnip leaves, and she loved the experience.

Tech Tools for Managing Your Health When You Have Diabetes

Photo Credit: Anna Shvets via Pexels

Please check out this informative and excellent article by Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net which has great tips for managing your overall health if you have diabetes.

Managing diabetes is a full-time job that can interfere with your life in more ways than one. But this common disease doesn’t have to rob you of a healthy, active lifestyle. Adopting healthy habits is essential for managing diabetes, preventing complications, and giving you better control over your life—and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it! If you’re looking for new ways to improve your health, check out the tips below presented by Stacey Naito.

Get Moving to Lose Weight

Weight loss is a crucial element of any diabetes management plan. Carrying excess weight can increase insulin resistance and make it harder for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar. However, a recent trial reported by Medical News Today found that losing weight may reverse the effects of early type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, aerobic exercise is a very effective weight-loss tool! Also see if you can find ways to keep moving at the office. Many of us are sedentary at work, so see how often you can take the stairs or stand during a meeting.

Fitness trackers are affordable, user-friendly devices that can help you get moving and shed those pounds safely. There are several models to choose from with different features to meet a variety of health and fitness needs. For example, some fitness trackers include heart rate monitors, while others are capable of tracking your sleep stages. Take a look at your options from stores like Dicks Sporting Goods, Academy, or Walmart. 

Lastly, don’t hesitate to add some music to the mix! Sometimes, listening to music—or even a podcast—can provide you with the motivation you need to push through your exercise routine. You can invest in a speaker to add some quality to your tunes, as well as a stand that can keep your phone upright if you’re using it to watch something as you work out. Do what works best for you. Find what motivates you and work it into your routine.

Eat Clean

Adopting a nutritious diet is another effective way to lose weight and keep diabetes under control. EatingWell recommends developing a low-calorie, nutrient-packed meal plan full of complex carbohydrates, fresh veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein. There are many free apps out there that can help you develop healthy meal plans on any budget. For example, Mealime is great for finding personalized recipes and generating shopping lists. Similarly, Meal Planner Pro offers budget-friendly meal planning for people with a variety of conditions, including diabetes.

Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control

Many complications can arise if you don’t keep your blood pressure in check. Unfortunately, high blood pressure is exceedingly common in people with diabetes, since this disease causes damage to the arteries. Alarmingly, constant high blood pressure can lead to everything from kidney failure to a heart attack. Keeping your blood pressure down might lessen your chances of peripheral vascular disease and stroke. The good news here is that blood pressure monitors are affordable and easy to use. Take a reading often, and contact your doctor if your numbers are consistently high.

Learn About Your Body

You can also try free and low-cost apps to learn how different foods affect your body. Use diabetes apps and food trackers to log what you eat and when, so you can learn how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. With these apps, you’ll be able to monitor long-term trends and identify the foods and activities that make you feel your best.

Your doctor can be a great resource for diabetes-related information and questions. And if getting to the doctor’s office is a challenge, you can try finding online doctors. Once you’ve found a great fit, you can do video appointments and pick up prescribed medications at your convenience, and most accept a variety of insurance options.

Manage Stress

Did you know that stress can worsen your diabetes? Stress increases blood sugar levels, raises blood pressure, increases insulin resistance, impairs sleep, and promotes emotional eating. If you’re struggling with stress, use mindfulness apps like Headspace and Pacifica to calm your mind and learn how to manage anxiety throughout your day. Other apps, like Relax Melodies and Calm, use gentle music and sounds to promote relaxation—these are great if you have trouble sleeping! Most of these apps include free versions and offer affordable subscription options to unlock more features.

Living with diabetes can be tough, to say the least. Fortunately, a variety of low-cost apps and tech devices can make it easier to adopt healthy habits and enjoy the life you want. Use all of the tools at your disposal for guidance and motivation, so you don’t have to face diabetes alone.

Dr. Stacey Naito is passionate about feeling and looking good. Her blog is full of helpful resources on eating well, getting active, and living your best life.

A Trip To Heaven

Copyright: dade72

Last month I bumped into an acquaintance while grocery shopping, and we had a nice chat while standing in the produce section. Matt (I changed his first name slightly) was someone whom I used to see all the time at my old gym, and though we seldom spoke to each other, he always seemed pleasant. During the conversation, Matt mentioned that he was going out of town later that week for a 9 day trip in which he was planning to meet up with his parents and siblings in Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Detroit. He also mentioned that he was very excited about an event which he and his family were planning to attend in Atlanta, and then he aske me if I had heard of Joel Osteen. I realized that he was going to the Harvest Crusade, and that he was a deeply Christian man. Since I am not a religious person, and I let expletives fly out of my mouth on a regular basis, I thought, uh oh, I need to keep things clean around this guy.

Even before Matt revealed that he was a religious man, I was a bit uncomfortable while talking with him, because he mentioned several times how pretty he thought I was. Nevertheless, I gave him my phone number without hesitation when he asked for it. I figured that because I had known Matt for 18 years, I felt comfortable with giving him my contact information. He texted me later that day, asking if I wanted to come over to his place and possibly have dinner with him, to which I agreed.

When I arrived at his place, I stepped into the foyer and noticed that every single item of furniture and all the wall art was completely white. I had walked into a white on white, tone on tone domicile which was trippy to say the least. I turned slightly to the right and saw a white bannister leading up to the second floor and wrapping around a platform, upon which sat a two foot tall, completely white statue of Jesus in flowing robes. When I saw the Jesus statue, Matt started telling me about how much he had coveted a Jesus statue, and that he was fortunate to have driven by a street vendor who was selling the one he ended up buying. He then mentioned to me that he asked the man if he had any other white, religious items for sale, whereupon the man handed a catalog to Matt, and Matt ordered about a dozen other pieces. The other pieces which he purchased consisted of numerous bas relief cherubs, several crosses, a bas relief Last Supper, and a bas relief (the only secular piece) ballerina and male ballet dancer in an embrace.

Matt then showed me the kitchen, which had all white cabinets and counters, as well as white appliances. Next was the second floor, which consisted of a white bathroom, an all white master bedroom, and a white home office. When I stepped into the office, I saw a framed diploma from a theological seminary, and when I was close enough to read it, I saw Matt’s name: MATTHEW LAWRENCE HEAVEN. I turned to him and said, “Your last name is Heaven?” Matt grinned and verified that his last name was indeed Heaven.

We went back downstairs, and Matt asked if I wanted to get something to eat, or if I just wanted to sit on the sofa and make out. I told him that I wasn’t making out with him, and suggested that we go to dinner. We stepped into his garage, and once again, everything except the light gray garage floor, was white. We ended up having a nice dinner, and our conversation definitely was interesting, but I simply couldn’t get over the fact that his place was so oddly, obsessively, WHITE.