Saturday, December 21, 2013

Injury Update - GOOD NEWS!!!

Met with my orthopedic this past Tuesday. Praise the Lord, I have good news to share!

For several years now I've been experiencing aching in my hips and occasional sharp, pinching pain, especially after dance.  For awhile I never though anything of it, 'cause hey, pain is part of being a dancer and  ballet especially stresses the hip joints and  my hips were expanding. No big deal, it's normal. Or so I thought... Until my coach and I basically figured out after a long time that me getting my side splits was probably impossible for me and that my overall range of motion was getting worse and worse when it had once been decent - even though I was still following the same stretching routine and haven't grown. Not that my flexibility was ever fabulous like Svetlana Zakharova, but pretty average for an american dancer who didn't start until she was older.
Eventually things were getting worse. First  my coach and I noticed a big loss in range of motion. I wasn't as flexible and ended up forcing myself in to stretches and poses and was constantly pulling muscles as a result. Gradually I started to notice more oddities with my movement. My Italian Fouettes were getting really really bad (not that they were ever great!). Then my regular Fouettes got weird, especially when done en dehors (spinning to the outside (left leg up turn to the left, right leg up turn to the right)). The whole class was rather disturbed by the creepy, snapping/crunching noises occurring when I'd whip my leg out and around. Then I started having constant aching in both of my hips. Eventually the pain got so bad that I couldn't sleep because nothing was comfortable, everything hurt. Sitting hurt. Standing and walking hurt. I was constantly having to take Tylenol and spend lots of time with my trust friend Mr. Ice Pack (yes I'm aware that Tylenol is dangerous, but at the time I was allergic to everything else. Eventually we figured out that I don't react to Advil, but I do to Aleve. Complicated.). So obviously dance was getting really hard for me. I was able to participate in some classes, but only attended the bare minimum, no private coaching sessions or extra 30 minutes of conditioning after class or participating in lower level classes just for more practice. I couldn't do most of the things that dancers of my level were supposed to be doing. Most exercises I just sat and watched, wishing I could be doing it. It killed me to have to sit out. My coach wasn't very happy either. But she knew something was really wrong, because I'm a very pain tolerant person and love to dance and would dancing if I could. Sometimes I did but I always regretted it.
After that semesters recital, which amazingly I did get  a solo in, I finally got an appointment with my orthopedic. 
First he twisted my legs around. Then did x-rays. I got diagnosed with FAI Hip Impingement, which, for lack of a better word is basically a growth defect that back in the 90's they didn't know to check for when your a baby. Basically FAI is the exact opposite of Hip Dysplasia. Rather than the socket being too shallow and ligaments surrounding it not being able to hold the socket together, my hip sockets are too deep and small and closed-shaped. The grinding sounds I'd hear during fouette variations? That was actually bone on bone, in my hip socket, rubbing on each other. This abnormal friction caused by doing what a human body was not meant to do rubbed off bone and caused the bone to build more bone onto it, filling the hip socket even more. So basically the ball and socket joint in each of my hips don't fit each-other and ballet exacerbated  the problem, gradually building up more and more bone and thus more pain and less range of motion.
The first step in my treatment was "surgical" injections of cortisone (anti-inflammatory) and some sort of painkiller.  That helped clear up the pain I was feeling in the joint. But I was still having a ton of pain in my lower back and the sides of my hips. This pain was my muscles and tendons trying to stabilize a very unstable joint, causing some bursitis and major muscle stress on muscles that were doing jobs they weren't supposed to be doing.  
So next, my orthopedic sent my to airrosti. Airrosti is a combined therapy of traditional physical therapy, chiropractic, and deep myofacial release massage. After  about 6 in-office treatments, and tons of at home exercise, I am no longer in pain and for the most part, I am active again! 

This past Tuesday, I had my first checkup with my Dr. It was really awesome to go into the office and not be there expecting to get bad news or be there to be put into a cast or something! (been there, done that. I'm known to be accident prone!) Although though honestly, I had been having some anxiety about it before the appointment - but that's just me. It absolutely made my orthopedics day when I told him I'm not experiencing any pain! He gave me the all clear to start running and doing more things. I shouldn't get back into ballet however because of the high hip flexion that ballet demands. I should avoid excessive hip flexion because that will stress the labrum, the cartilage lining the hip socket. If the labrum tears, that would cause excessive pain and I would be forced to have to have the surgery. The surgery for hip impingement is worse than a full blown hip replacement and I'd have to have it done on both sides. So I definitely do not want to risk having to have it, if possible! He said that when these cortisone shots that I had this past summer wear off that I can have boosters once a year if I need them. Not bad at all. 
So for now, no reason to schedule another checkup unless I have pain again! 

I'm so thankful that I can start being more active and that I'm not in pain! God has been so good. It's still hard not having ballet, but I'm starting to adjust. I loved to dance. It was my sport, my art. On my 16th birthday I performed in what most likely is my last ballet recital ever. But that's OK. There's a season for everything, and that season of my life has past. It was good while it lasted. Now onto something new! 

Thanks y'all sooo much for your prayers and support! I'm so very thankful for all of my friends!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Photography Blog is Moving!

Due to people stealing my photos and then either uploading them as their own and in some cases selling them on desktop background websites, I'm moving my photography blog from tumblr to blogger where it will be non-transferable.
cowgirlbootsandpointeshoes photography

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fall Makeup Experiment: Product Review

 Here's the low down on the  products I've been experimenting with this fall. 


Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue

I love it!!! Good color,bright but not overpowering, sheer. I have it in the shade "Pink Me Up". It feels great on super chapped lips, and offers long lasting color and moisture. An off-duty pharmacist recommended it to me last week  because my lips were super chapped and bleeding and plain Baby Lips wasn't doing the trick. Baby Lips Dr. Rescue sure did! 


Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara (non-waterproof)

In my last makeup review post I told y'all about the waterproof version. This month when I needed yet another bottle of mascara (I  go through a bottle a month...). So I decided to get the regular version since it's gotten to chilly to go tubing or swimming or  other water activities I enjoy. Plus waterproof mascara dries out your lashes even more so than normal mascara and causes more lash-loss when removing makeup. Definitely something I don't want to use when I don't need it.
The plain Lash Stiletto works amazingly well on it's own. It absolutely adds vivacious length and volume and doesn't clump at all. That's saying a lot because I have relatively short lashes, without much volume of their own. It works even better if you curl your lashes for 30seconds before applying, it'll give your eyes a more open and awake, thus larger and longer look. That'll  bring out the best in any mascara. Average price.

L'oreal Lineur Intense 

Easy to apply (with practice). Long wearing but easy to remove. Quality brush tip applicator. Bottle lasts forever. There are so many options with liquid eyeliner. I cannot stress how much I love it compared to pencil. I only use pencil liner for tightlining. 
This liquid liner is comparable to Double Wear Zero-Smudge Liquid Eyeliner, for a third of the price (approx. $7)
I wear it in Black. 


Neurtogena Shine Control Primer 

This is the first shine control primer I've ever tried. Which surprises even me, considering I've always dealt with oily skin. So for $9 I decided to try this since I'm  sick of being picked on for being an oil slick. I can't say that its the miracle product I had hoped for, but I guess it helps with oil control a little bit. Better with than without. I'm definitely going to hunt around and try other matte-ifyers. On the bright side, it does minimize the appearance of larger pores. But really it just depends on the condition of my skin and the weather (i.e. humidity levels and wind) as to just how oily my skin is that day and whether or not this product helps. Oil is rather annoying. Be very thankful if you were blessed with not having oily skin! The only bonus to it is that we oil slicks won't suffer from wrinkles as much as our normal  skinned peers... Not much of a bonus, is it? Ha!

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream 

I was so excited to see that CC creams (color corrector creams) are no longer limited to bands such as Chanel and Dior and Clinique! I've been wanting to try one for a very long time, because I don't want to wear anything heavy unless I'm having a really bad breakout and really need to have it covered up. So I bought this. I like it, but as more drugstore CC creams become available I'll be giving them a try as well. So far my store only carries it in 3 shades, Light, Light/Medium, and Medium. I have mine in Light, and I bought it for my mom in Light/Medium. I mix the two for me and that gives the right color. I like to put concealer on scars/zits first, then place little dots of the CC cream around my entire face, focusing on red areas and then I blend it with my fingers first and then if I need more coverage I apply a tad more with a flat topped foundation brush. It's fairly lightweight, heavier than a BB cream but lighter than foundation. It's like a thicker tinted moisturizer. The finish is slightly dewy and soft, so definitely use a bit of setting powder. If you're having a really bad breakout and really need it covered, use this under foundation; otherwise this product offers enough coverage to hide minor abnormalities while still letting your natural glow shine through. It even works for my mom, who suffers from terrible later-stage rosacea. I paid $6 something for it and love it! 

Maybelline FIT ME shine-free Foundation Stick

When I first started wearing makeup several years ago, my friend's mom taught me how to do it (she had worked for Estee Lauder for years). She had a ton of sample products left over in tons of colors, so she gave me a stick foundation. I loved it. It was easy to apply, offered great coverage (I had the worst cystic acne imaginable for someone who was only 12...thankfully my face is sooooo much better now!), and was the perfect color. Sadly, Estee Lauder no longer makes a stick foundation. In any brand they are very hard to find, so I was VERY excited to see that Maybelline now makes one that's not only in stick form, but matte as well!  I hope they don't discontinue it! I really like it. Light - heavy build-able coverage, matte, long lasting, and affordable! It dosn't come in a wide variety of color options though. So far I only have it in the lightest shade offered but I'm considering also purchasing the next shade up and either switching to that one or blending the two. I normally wear it with a bit of finishing powder just to make sure it lasts and stays matte, but have tried it all by itself and it does just fine. Make sure to put moisturizer on before applying, as it's a drier foundation than some and can show off dry patches. It costs approx. $6.

Maybelline DREAM MATTE Powder

I'm always looking to try new setting powders. I really like this one. Lots of shade options, and really smooth! Pat it on with a powder puff all over face then do a second coat on the T-zone and onto areas where you applied extra foundation. Provides a matte finish for hours. Touch up as needed. I think I paid around $5?? Not sure on the exact amount.

elf  Essential Blush in Glow 

I bought this blush because it's the highly rated dupe for this high-end blush that I've been wanting for a really long time. Finally got around to getting myself to a Target (the only place that sells elf, and I don't have one near me). The color is gorgeous, and would work on any skin tone. Even without me going through the entire contour process (yes, that is part of my makeup process if I have time and have somewhere nice to go), when applied across the top of my cheek bones this blush really defines them and gives a nice glow, without being bright and obvious. that I'm wearing it. The best part? It's only $2.00!

elf Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal

I love how highlighter looks on other people, and have been wanting to try it on myself. You may say, "But you already have oily, shiny skin, why would you want to highlight!?!?". Because highlighter looks wayyy different than oil. I believe that if you have oily skin you should wear matte foundation to help with oil control. But what does your face look like after you're gone through the mattifying process? Dull, flat, a dead persons. So therefore, you should use highlighter (sparingly) to add add life and shape to your face. Put a tiny dot on the bridge of you nose, on the outer half of your brow bones just below your eye brows, above the center of your upper lip (on the lip line), the inner corners of your eyes, and on the center top of your cheek bones. The key is to apply it sparingly and blend, blend, blend! I really like this product, it does a great job and is totally affordable to boot! This is claimed to be the best dupe for Benefit High Beam and is actually claimed to be better! I don't plan on ever switching to Highbeam after reading on so many beauty blogs and talking to gurus about their opinions on differences between the two. Why bother paying $26 when you can get a better product for $1!

Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral  Glow Pearls 
in Translucent Pearl 

This was my first time trying a shimmer face powder. Its kinda expensive for what it is in my opinion, but oh well, Physicians Formula does put out good quality products that supposedly are better for you skin than other makeups. The brush it comes in works nicely. Honestly this particular color does add pink tint even though it claims to be translucent, so I don't use it as a real highlighter, I just simply blend in some of this to my matte blush to give it some bounce when I want to, so basically just for special occasions. Definitely not worth $14. 

That's all for now folks :)

Feel free to comment with questions, requests, tips, etc...!