Taking Edibles and Dabs because stitches!

Hola mis amigas!!

My weekend did not get better, but ended with me in the ER getting stitches in my finger and having limited hand mobility. So we are taking edibles and lots of dabs because I need to forget about my hand for a little bit.

I also share the trick to how I maintain my positivity and happiness, even in these locura times.

I hope you enjoy this video, now go crush your week!

Authentically tuyo,

Kelcie Kush

Mejor Sueno con una enfermedad cronica 5 necesitan para mejor sueno

Hola Amigas!

Ser una Cebra es mas dificil, no solo tengo que mirar como camino, sino que dormir es una pesadilla. Yo giro toda la noche porque no puedo ponerme comoda, asi que no puedo quedarme dormida.

Dormiria todo el dia y nunca me sentiria descansando. No tenia la energia para nada mas. Siendo extravertido, me enojaria que no podria divertime.

Despues de hablar con mi doctor, cambio de recetas, y cambiando me rutino de sueno, ahora mi despierto sintiedome descansado. He tiendo mas energia para poder ser productivo, asi que tengo mas tiempo con mi familia. Te animo a hablar con tu doctora! Cambiamos la mayoria de mis medicamentos junto con los siguientes articulos.

The following items have helped me, as a Zebra, to wake up more rested and refreshed!

Los siguientes elementos me han ayudado, como cebra, para despertarse mas descansado y renovado.

1. UNA MANTA CARGADA

Todo lo que escuchaste es verdad. Pensé que odiaría una manta cargada, pero es mágico. La manta me ayuda a conciliar el sueño rápidamente, ¡algunos días me quedo dormido en 30 minutos! Lo que nunca sucedió antes. Mi manta pesa 15 libras, que uso como un desafío de levantamiento de pesas. Puedes comprar una manta con menos peso, ¡pero en serio necesitas una!

2. MASCARA PARA DORMIR

He usado una máscara para dormir durante años porque me obliga a mantener los ojos cerrados para que me duerma. Mi nueva máscara para dormir también tiene auriculares, por lo que puedo escuchar una meditación o música mientras duermo. Esto también me permite quedarme dormido cuando mi esposo depierta a las 4 de la mañana.

3. A FOAM ROLLER

Esto puede sonar extraño, pero un rodillo de espuma me permite relajarme al final del día. Lo uso durante 15 minutos, y lo coloco detrás de mi cuello y mi espalda baja mientras me balanceo suavemente hacia adelante y hacia atrás. Este es un estiramiento suave que también puede ser un buen masaje al final del día.

4. TODOS LAS ALMOHADAS!

Tal ves, no todas las almohadas pero tengo mas y mas almohadas, ya que nunca se que almohada ayudarme a mi dolor. Tengo dos almohada, un para mi cabeza y la segunda yo abrazo. Tambien una almahada para el cuepo para cuando cada articulacion necesita amor extra.

5. TOPICALS!

Un tópico es cualquier producto que se aplica a la piel como una loción, crema o ungüento y me ha dado un alivio específico para el dolor. Puede hacer sus propios temas con bastante facilidad (suscríbase a mi blog para futuras recetas), pero hay muchos decentes en el mercado de Colorado. Prefiero los tópicos que se encuentran en una barra o tubo, como un chapstick o un contenedor de desodorante, porque es mucho menos desordenado. ¡El otro beneficio es que en un tubo se convierte en un masajeador específico para que pueda aplicar el tópico, aumentar el flujo sanguíneo y resolver todos los nudos con un solo producto! Muy bien, ¿verdad?

He notado un gran cambio en la calidad de mi sueño desde que los utilicé en mi régimen de sueño, y constantemente busco más formas de dormir mejor. ¿Qué te ha ayudado a dormir mejor?

Autenticamente tuyo,

Kelcie Kush

Better Sleep with a Chronic Illness 5 items Zebra’s need for better sleep!

Being a Zebra, is difficult not only am I constantly making sure I walk properly so I don’t trip and dislocate something, but sleeping is a nightmare. I toss and turn because after a while things start to hurt and then I need to move.

Even though I sleep a lot I never felt rested so by the weekend; I’m exhausted and don’t want to do anything but sleep. Being extraverted, I felt angry that I couldn’t have more fun because I was unable to fell rested.

After talking to my doctor, changing prescriptions, and making some changes to my sleep routine, I am able to wake up far more rested. Thus letting me get more done throughout my week while still being able to have fun and spend time with my family. I do encourage you to talk to your doctor! We decided to change my anti-depressant to one that also has pain relieving side effects, we also added a nightly anti-anxiety and sleep aid so that I can fall asleep quicker.

The following items have helped me, as a Zebra, to wake up more rested and refreshed!

1. A WEIGHTED BLANKET

Everything you heard is true! I thought I would hate a weighted blanket, but it helps me fall asleep quickly and makes my sleep more restful. I fell into a bad habit of not being able to sleep, so I spent all day in bed trying to rest, but that made things worse. Using the blanket has decreased the time it takes for me to fall asleep, and I hardly notice the blanket now. It did take some time to get accustomed to the blanket, the first night I only used for about half the night. My weighted blanket is the standard 15 pounds, which I chose to make sure I could fall asleep and as a daily weight-lifting challenge. You may want to purchase a lighter weight or make your own, but seriously if you do nothing else get one of these!

2. AN EYE MASK bonus if it also serves as headphones

I have been using an eye mask for years because it forces me to fall asleep. I used to spend hours awake just trying to fall asleep but constantly opening my eyes. Using an eye mask cancels out all of those distractions and I don’t worry about lights waking me up. I recently made an upgrade and chose an eye mask that included head phones, and I love it. It is bright pink and huge and is perfect with the crazy schedules that my husband and I have. I can turn on a meditation or music on the headphones to help me fall asleep or to keep me sleeping when Kyle wakes up at 4am.

3. A FOAM ROLLER

I know this sounds weird, but it really has helped be ‘loosen’ up at the end of the day. I get muscle and joint pain, which makes sleeping really difficult. I have started a 15 minute decompress routine, I use the foam roller to massage my neck, back, and most of my muscles. I usually place it under my neck for a minute, and then slowly move it down to my lower back. If an area needs more time to stretch, I will sit there and rock back and forth to gently loosen up my muscles. It also helps me elevate my knees when I’m sitting in bed, or placed behind my lower back support.

4. ALL THE PILLOWS!

Okay, maybe not all the pillows but I do have a lot of pillows because I never know which one will help me when I have joint pain. I have 2 regular pillows, and use one for my head, the second can be cuddled or prop up a shoulder. I also have a body pillow for when every joint needs extra love and help. I found a less fluffy body-pillow works best for me because I like to use them for gentle sleep support.

5. TOPICALS!

A topical is any product which is applied to the skin like a lotion, cream, or salve and they have given me targeting pain relief. You can make your own topicals fairly easily (subscribe to my blog for future recipes) but there are many decent ones in the Colorado market. I prefer topicals that are in a stick or tube, like a chapstick or deodorant container, because it is way less messy. The other benefit is that in a tube it becomes like a targeted massager so that I can both apply the topical, increase blood flow, and work out any knots all with one product! Pretty cool right?!

I have noticed a huge change in my sleep quality since using these in my sleep regime, and am constantly looking for more ways to getter better sleep. What has helped you sleep better?

Authentically Yours,

Kelcie Kush

Munchie Mondays – Infused Agave Recipe!

Hola Amigas!

Kush Kitchn’s first recipe! Infused Agave, vegan friendly, and with pro tips!

I am sooo excited for this post because it is paired with my first Youtube video for the Kush Kitchn, and begins our Munchie Mondays series. Let’s get to the blog part of this post!

I have been using THC and CBD to treat my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome for years preferring to make my own edibles; however I hated the traditional process of infusing an oil with flower because it smelled and I never knew what my the dosing was. Since I use this primarily for the health benefits, I needed to know how many milligrams per serving.

Well heres a tip from the industry: your favorite edibles are made with a cannabis oil with CO2 oil being a favorite amongst industry professionals.

Therefore when I make my edibles, I buy some form of concentrate from THCa crystals, CBD crystals, wax, or distillate. I then melt that down, using a makeshift double boiler, and then add my other ingredients.

It really is that easy, and with this method you will have a new understanding of how companies can offer affordable edibles while still making money. Cuz you aren’t using that much of the product!

Dosing 101:

When you purchase your concentrate, it will usually state a total cannabinoid potency and a total THC (or CBD) potency. Which potency total you use it up to your personal preference. If you don’t care for the psychoactive elements, then use the total cannabinoid potency; this maximizes product usage and total cannabinoid benefits. For those who want that high, use the Total THC potency. I know there are some readers who only use CBD concentrate products so in that instance you would use the Total CBD potency.

Now that we have out total THC content, which is 71.25% for my wax. You then need to understand the dosing. I wanted every tablespoon of agave to have 10mg of THC since most recipes I use call for one or two tablespoons of a sweetener. A quick google told me that there are 32 tablespoons in a cup, so I would need 10mg per 32 servings of agave.

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Desired Potency(10mg) x Potency(.7125) = 14.035mg actual

Actual(14.035) x Servings(32) = 449.1228mg

449.128mg x 1000 = .449g ~ .45g of concentrate

So knowing I need about 45% of my wax, I was able to estimate the wax needed. You can also purchase digital scales fairly cheaply but mine is either broken or needs batteries; which basically means it’s broken.

Now to the recipe!

Take you wax, and place in your double boiler to let it melt down. You can let the wax melt first and then add a cup of agave, or place the wax and agave in at the same time and let them warm up together. I wanted my agave to thicken up so I had them warm up together.

The time to melt will depend on they concentrate but mine took about 30 minutes. Once the wax melted, I took my immersion blended and mixed it for about 15 minutes, with the heat turned off but still sitting in the pot.

Once the measuring cup was cooler, I removed it from the pot and placed on my cutting board while I blended for another 15-20 minutes. I think this step is important because letting your mixture cool quicker will keep the wax emulsified.

I then transferred the agave to a glass container, which is crucial to preserve the flavor and because the agave is still warm. I then place the agave into the fridge to let it thicken up more, but you could use it at this point.

Make sure that you place the infused agave into the fridge when not using, this will help it last longer and ensure the effects.

How was that?! Not too bad right! I use this agave in my tea or also to make salad dressings, bbq sauces, and in some skin care recipes! How are you going to use this recipe? What would you like to see next?

Authentically Yours,

Kelcie Kush

Coronavirus Anxiety + 10 Zebra Approved Ways to Pass the Time

HI AMIGAS!

Another post because I am gonna crush this blog stuff! Today, I’m gonna talk about anxiety because it it literally my base state and is now exacerbated due to Coronavirus Pandemic.

While I have had anxiety my entire life, I didn’t know what it was or that I had it until I moved out to Colorado. I have ADHD so I am constantly bouncing my knee or rocking back and forth, which I only realized I did after multiple people asked why I was always rocking or shaking. I also didn’t realize that the reason I liked being busy was because that was my way of escaping my anxiety.

Now that I’ve seen multiple counselor’s, I’ve learned that I hate quiet because that’s when those “voices” come back. Now I know they say if you hear voices your crazy, but that’s how mine manifests. There’s my normal voice, my depressed voice, my mother’s voice, and then segments of conversations that overwhelm my senses. When I’m calm or still, then it’s like a pop up add and I’m hearing or seeing a conversation and something about that sets me off. I exit out of that pop up ad, but then another one pop’s up, and it continues until my ‘screen’ is filled with comments about me not being good enough, valued, loved, smart, or any number of things.

So you can imagine how losing my job, and a Stay-At-Home Order inflames those thoughts, thus causing my mental care to go all over the place.

In the previous week, my emotions have literally been all over the place and it’s honestly impressive how many things I can be anxious about at once. Sure that’s not a great consolidation prize but silver linings, right?

With the Coronavirus Pandemic, it feels like that for once we are all united in our anxiety levels. No one knows what is going on, how this will affect us, or what the world will look like in a day or a week. We are all just trying to survive and prepare for the worst, and this causes conflict because we all handle stress differently. My anxious ass went immediately catatonic, once I was able to move then it was just sit in silence and smoke. I then spent two days under the covers, pretty much only leaving my room to go to the bathroom. Now, I honestly don’t know how I’m doing. Every hour seems to last two and I have four moods in that one hour.

If you have been watching the news constantly, (because you already binged most of Netflix) this might cause you to feel worse. I found that the longer I go without the news, the more I’m able to ‘forget’ about everything. As a politically minded person, I really don’t like feeling out of touch, but I need to because at this moment there’s not much I can do to help. Funds are tight so donating has decreased, I don’t have any power to change the views of Senate etc, and when you receive that much negative information, with no ability to help, it can take you to the worst-place. So here is your permission to step back, to just focus on self care, because you need to nurture yourself before you can help others.

Since we are in this Quarantine together here are some idea’s for passing the time!

  1. Get some sun – Your body needs that D! Vitamin D that is.

You can sit near a window, go on a walk (while maintaining 6 feet of space), if you can exercise outside go for it, or smoke a joint! Make sure to be smart and use SPF. If you can, make a little sitting area outside! Ours currently consists of a chair, a table, and a step stool that acts as a chair.

2. Play board or card games with the family.

Most people have a small collection of games, or at the very least a couple decks of cards. Play speed or war with kids to get them quickly entertained, this also works when you are trying to entertain a large family. Teach the kids about blackjack or poker and you can bet chores! Be careful my zebras, you will feel sore if you laugh and have too much fun, but I think it’s worth it!

4. Try out new crafts or learn a new skill!

Crafts will save you and some can be done fairly cheaply. Plus thanks you YouTube and Google you can learn pretty much anything online. Crochet and Knitting are fairly easy and require little physicality, if you have hand issues you may want to pass or only practice once a week. Painting can also be done in a multitude of ways, water painting to spray paint. I am gonna learn to make Pom poms and tassels to use for home decoration. Peruse Pinterest for some craft ideas or other suggestions

5. Catch up on your favorite musicians!

No, you don’t have to watch their Instagram Lives, unless you want; you know do you boo. Listen to their newest album or listen to one of your favorites. Maybe look up the lyrics and sing along, you could even turn it into a karaoke night! The other benefit is you can introduce other family members to the songs you love and expand your musical horizons.

6. Read a book, magazine, or blog.

In Olden Times, reading books was THE thing to do. I purchased some magazines a while back but never had the chance to read them. Some libraries are closed, but there are resources for books. If you have a library card, you can access online books and audiobooks on OverDrive. Due to coronavirus, more places are offering free access to books if you need more. If you can work out a way to maintain Social Distancing and swap books with friends then go for it!

7. Where all on the Podcast Train now!

I have been trying for years not to listen to podcasts! I know it’s silly but I just didn’t want to because literally everyone was listening and I wanted to rebel. Desperate Times = Desperate Measures. There are so many podcasts that it’s pretty intimidating. Thankfully you probably already know or have heard about Podcasts because again everyone is already doing this so we are fashionably late to the party! You can also search by interest, so I have found podcasts about weed and mindfulness. Podcasts are now the friends we need!

8. Call somebody!

Most of us have a phone so you can call, FaceTime, Google Duo, or Skype someone and catch up. It could be a friend or a family member, you could literally talk for hours or just a few minutes. Maybe go the extra mile and schedule a call, so you can have as much time as possible to connect

9. Schedule your day, even if you have nothing to do!

I don’t have much going on, but I have still created a schedule so that I feel productive. Now that I’ve gotten a handle on my mental health, I am scheduling study time and blogging time. Aren’t you proud of me? By creating a schedule I am keeping myself accountable; since there are still things that need to be maintained and jobs that need done around the house. I also have my husband to help keep me on a schedule, if you live alone maybe make a pack with a friend and then you can also schedule daily or weekly friend calls! You can also schedule a nap because these are the CoronaDaze.

10. Take an online class!

You can learn to code, take Harvard Classes, or learn an instrument. Expanding your mind and skill set will give you something to take up the front page of your mind. I love learning new things because it’s a whole new experience and I usually obsess about it for a couple weeks. This is exactly the time we need to obsess about anything else. Take this moment to better yourself, because it’s the only thing we can do at this moment. As for me I’m gonna learn more about blogging and website design.

What are you gonna do to occupy the time?

Coping with Depression

Today’s post is about depression and tools about dealing with Depression with a Chronic Illness

For the sake of honesty, I will admit I have suffered with depression most of my life, at least since 9 or 10 years old. Once I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, my depression came roaring back with a vengeance.

When I was diagnosed, I was in the best shape of my life. I had overworked my body which then caused my symptoms to come to the front. I went into a depression spiral that went something like this: working out and being healthy is pointless, but I need to be healthy and lose weight to decrease my pain, but working out is what made this worse, continue forever.

Ehlers-Danlos didn’t make my depression worse, it just gave me more reasons. Over the last five years, I have been working on my mental health. Especially related to EDS, the primary thing is changing how I view EDS. At first it was an unfair challenge, something that would weigh me down forever. Now I’ve seen how I have handled the surprising challenges due to EDS.

First, do whatever you can to get a counselor or therapist. We have made paying for mental healthcare is critical and essential. If I didn’t have my current therapist, I don’t think I would have been able to to fight the depression of losing my job. I have also experienced that I tend to carry my stress which makes my EDS worse; it also liberates my mind so that I can just focus on the EDS. As for financing it, things will depend on your situation. I didn’t want to deal with insurance and also wanted the option to try multiple therapists so I chose Betterhelp. I pay monthly and will “text” her throughout the day, and can schedule video or phone calls. I chose this route for so many reasons but the primary benefit is being able to choose my therapist. I can be quite closed off and wanted a therapist who would feel like a friend so I could actually open up to them. I liked being able to change my therapist with no judgement, and ended up meeting my current counselor who has been amazing!

I will write another post about organizing and purging but this is a crucial step in my everyday well being. About three times a year I go through and purge my house of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. I found that by decluttering I felt less stressed and also don’t have to clean as much. By having less clothes and things in general, I don’t feel overwhelmed and life just seems a little simpler so I can just care for my mental or physical health without feeling guilty for self care.

Little tip!

Create some flare up outfits, this has helped me so much. I have these super fun flare yoga pants that are all spandex so its like wearing a dress. I pair it with a black tank top, and if it’s cold I throw my favorite cardigan over it. I also have some cute and warm slippers that I wear around the house and then sandals or in the summer.

My next outfit is the classic sweatshirt with some jeggings! Yes, I know people make fun of these but I have found some that are wonderful. More durable texture like a jean but still soft and comfy. The extra thickness makes it look just like jeans so you feel cute. The sweatshirt is nice and warm and super lazy. Bonus it holds multiple vape pens and snacks! I’ve been using a scrunchie with a bow in my hair to make it look more pulled together.

For flares I keep my hair in a low ponytail or a braid. My hair is pretty wavy so keeping it braided prevents knotting up my hair while I sleep or recline. If my shoulders hurt more, or don’t have the desire to do my hair then it goes into a loose low bun. Sometimes I have meetings that I can’t reschedule, an\ I don’t like to do make up when I have a flare up. I found glasses and bangs allow me to get away with minimal makeup. I just straighten my bangs, apply a red or ruby lipstick, and put on some hoops. If you want to apply a foundation, I would recommend a BB cream or tinted moisturizer product.

All of these little things have made things better! I also try to put things where they make sense, so my pills go on my bedside table because I need to take them no matter how sore or tired I am. I have a tall cube organizer and place all my other personal care item at the top so I don’t have to bend over.

These are just a few examples of how I have streamlined my life since being diagnosed. What about you zebras out there? How do you cope with depression and chronic illness? Any tips you can share that have helped you with your day-to-day?