Monthly Archives: October 2016

Why you should buy a Toll Transponder in Florida, Colorado, California, etc.

If you are a frequent traveler like I am and renting cars everywhere you go, you are probably heading to places that have toll roads, and if your extended family lives in a state that has tolls galore, be sure to look into toll transponders and buy one.  California has a monthly fee – I used to travel there a lot and got one, but the $2.00 a month minimum charge is a turn off, if you are traveling infrequently.

Regarding transponders, I can speak for Colorado, California, and Florida.   If you go more than once a year to a place that has toll roads, and there are no fees (Colorado and Florida have no minimums or fees), it’s wise to get a transponder or look into the rules for the toll roads where you go.  Here is what I discovered:

For the past few years we travel to and from central Florida a lot and each time e went, the rental care companies got super rich off of us-  even if we used the toll roads for 2 out of our 5 day rental, we got charged $3.95 per day no matter what IF we used even one toll road – this is maxed at like $20.00 generally but that adds up.  Plus you pay all your tolls too!  So, at $20 per trip (convenience charge), it is better to just buy your own transponder at Walgreens, Turnpike Service Centers, or Publix stores.  You reload them, add your rental vehicles as you rent them, and you can also share the transponder among family members and friends.  So, it can go in any vehicle in the state.  In Florida and Colorado, there are no monthly minimums or service charges, making the transponder a must have!   And, in Colorado, your toll rates are discounted if you have the E-470 pass, so it is certainly worth having, just get the one that you can move from vehicle to vehicle, unless you live there, of course.

Happy traveling!

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My break up with the Mirena IUD one year ago- must read

Required disclaimer: I may wear scrubs each day but I am not a medical doctor, and this is my personal experience and opinion. Every one of us is created different and your body may react differently, but this is my story….

My experience with the Mirena IUD didn’t start off bad, nor go poorly, but I always felt more bloated and like I just couldn’t lose the weight despite working out, eating right and staying healthy.  Since we were not sure whether our family was complete yet, neither my husband nor I considered more permanent options and since I heard people used the Mirena for a long time, I assumed it was safe.   But last year, we changed all that.

After about 5 years of having it, I started experiencing vertigo and other symptoms and tests ruled out tumors or other causes so I wasn’t sure what was causing them. Last year, around Halloween, I was experiencing these symptoms again and was the heaviest I had been since having the kids or getting married.   Despite a solid work out routine, I felt unhealthy and had a huge gut. At a mere 61 inches tall, 133 lbs. is a lot to carry around and a very unhealthy BMI.  I had tried giving up soda and alcohol and didn’t shred a pound. By January of 2015 I had already replaced the Mirena once, so last year, I went in and had it removed and completely changed my diet at the same time. I reduced sodium and sugar from my diet and eliminated all microwave meals which are super high in sodium. I was told by the doctor to give it one year to see if the Mirena was the culprit for my weight and symptoms.

It’s now a year later and for the past 3 months I have reintroduced Chinese food (without MSG), normal salted foods, and maintained a healthy diet and the weight is not back.  But I remain true to my habits- more fruits and vegetables, smoothies, protein, and replacing soy sauce and canned foods with healthier alternatives or home-made options.  My gut that was pretty prominent is gone and I feel better.  Once 132-133 last year at this time, I am now 115-116.  I was wearing size 10 shirts and large size t-shirts but now am back to small shirts and size 4 pants. I was wearing size 8 pants at this time last year.  I even squeezed into size 2 earlier this year and was so excited- I have never worn size 2!   I still don’t drink soda but I drink wine and beer in moderation and eat a balanced diet and I haven’t felt period pain and experienced spasms and cramping like I did on the Mirena.

Think about it – something that stops your periods completely over time just isn’t natural and naturally your body responds by retaining water and fluids, or other things.  For me that fluid retention was very harmful and resulted in unhealthy conditions.  Again, will you lose the weight and the gut I did if you break up with our IUD?  I am not sure, but I do know that the Mirena IUD was simply not right for me, and now that I am hormone-free, I feel much better and more energetic.  I have not done anything with my eating habits to lose weight, nor diet, and I am still keeping the weight off.   There are other life stressors for me now, but going natural without hormones or any artificial things inside my body has been the smartest decision I made.   I have a friend who tried Essure (two of them) and it didn’t go well either.  Some others swear by it.  For me, I prefer nothing inside me that is unnatural or unhealthy and do not want any more surgeries or artificial options.  If you are lucky to have a husband who can shoulder the permanent birth control option, I urge you to do research, consult your doctor, and make informed choices. 
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