Oil Pulling in 5 Easy Steps

I know, I know you think “oh man she has totally lost it”! 

Oil Pulling

If you’re a fan of Pinterest or read any magazine, watched one of those doctor shows on TV, you know this is a real thing.

My teeth are very important to me and I love my teeth (even with the gap between my two upper front teeth).

My dentist suggested I was heading toward periodontal disease. No way was I did I want that!  

Life happens, it was summer I had a cruise to go one and I didn’t think about my teeth. October came and it dawned on me “I have a dental check up in January”!!  Naturally, I went into panic mode.  With all the advanced tools we have to research things, my go-to reference guide is Pinterest.  The solution I settle on for trying was oil pulling.

On Monday, September 29, 2016, I started my Oil Pulling experiment.  All the supplies were gathered and assembled in my bathroom.  The things used were coconut oil, timer, dixie cup to spit in, salt, water.

Oil Pulling Setup
      Coconut Oil, salt, water, Dixie cup
  1. Do this first thing in the morning before you brush your teeth or drink anything.
  2. Take 1-2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (I use 1) in your mouth, I then chew it until it is liquid (this is not my favorite part), swish it around your mouth for 15-20 minutes.  I do it for 15 minutes. During this time I go and check my email, but you could take a shower or make coffee.  Just remember, DO NO SWALLOW it.  It has all that yucky bacteria in the liquid.

  3. Spit out in garbage.  The cup I use is a dixie cup and then throw it away.  Do not, I repeat do not spit down the sink or eventually, your sink will get clogged, immediately rinse your mouth with warm water (use salt water for add antimicrobial properties).

      Spit out in cup or         garbage                   
  4. FINALLY! Brush your teeth as normal.
  5. It is that easy!


    My observations after starting oil pulling. Each time I flossed my teeth, my gums did not bleed; my breath was sweeter; my teeth were whiter. I would oil pull three times per week. My dentist appointment was on January 10, 2017.  GUESS WHAT, I had a perfect check up.  His thorough check revealed I did not need to have a deep cleaning, no cavities and he said my gums and teeth looked great!  Next time I see him is in six months.  

Do I think oil pulling was worth it?  Trust me, I am sold on oil pulling and I will continue to do this.  

Have you tried Oil Pulling?  Please let me send me a comment.  

What strange fad have you tried?  

Is your January going great!  I am in Idaho and it snowing again!

Be sure to check in as you never know what crazy thing I will write about!

Live, Love, Laugh


10 Examples of Self Care To Inspire You

Self Care

The definition of Self Care is care provided “for you, by you”. It is identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to some of the activities that nurture you. Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself kindly as you treat others.

You are probably thinking “I already do this”. If you do kudos’s to you. I am PROUD of you. If you are like the majority of us you don’t have time. That is our biggest go to word “ I don’t have time”.

Prior to my Traumatic Brain Injury in 2013, I thought I had it all. My priority list went like this:

  • Husband

  • Children

  • Job

  • House

  • Groups I belonged to

  • . . . and then if I had time Me…..

It seems I would put everything before my own needs. What did this accomplish? You guess it, I was depressed, overweight, had no real purpose in life.

I did take some steps to correct this prior to June 2013. On October 1, 2012, I had a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. This surgery is to help with weight loss. The surgeon removes a large portion of your stomach. The new, smaller stomach is about the size of a banana. It limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food. Trust me I will talk about this is a later blog. I started working out daily, I would schedule in my planner my workout time and I wouldn’t miss it. This worked as when I had my accident I had lost over 150 pounds.

I was still depressed and was a doormat to people and their problems.

After my car accident, it became all about me. I had to make myself a priority if I wanted to get better. During this process, I realized my personality had changed. Procrastination used to be my middle name. Why would I do it today when I could do it tomorrow? After my accident. I did everything now (I guess if I didn’t I would forget about it tomorrow!!). Part of that is I thought if I did my therapy well I would get done faster and be able to go back to work. Wrong. It did occur to me, my depression still lingered (I was now depressed over new things) but had gotten worse, plus I now had anxiety attacks, PTSD. Vision issues, perception issues.

I have learned during the last three years that self-care is very important to my well being. If I do not practice self-care daily I am stressed, I become bitchy to my husband. In other words, Polite Pam becomes Pissed Off Pam.

Here are 10 examples I do for self-care:

  1. Daily – I sit quietly (usually first thing in the morning) state to myself how I am feeling.

  2. If something is bothering me or depressing me I take a piece of paper and write down what is bothering me. Then I say to myself “let it go”, then I will tear the paper up and throw it away. You could even burn it if that helps.

  3. I pet my animals. I especially pet them when I am anxious, depressed, sad or feel like crying.Self Care Tips

  4. Make connections. Since I no longer work I occasionally miss people. I strike up conversations with sales assistants or baristas. It helps me connect and talk with another human.

  5. ASK FOR HELP – This is hard for me. My generation was raised that we had to be independent and couldn’t ask for help. Trust me you can ask for help and I am sure your partner would rather help you out then getting bitched out later. I never do this, do I honey?

  6. Have a self-date!!! Spend an hour alone. Just you. Nourish you soul. Read a book, go to a museum, go to a movie, do whatever you love to alone!

  7. Spend the day or afternoon with your best friend or a friend. Go to lunch, have fun. Trust me my BFF Barb and I had talked about a year ago making this a standing once a month date. Life happens, and monthly hasn’t happened. In 2017 we need to spend more fun time together, right Barb!

  8. Take deep breaths or learn meditation.

  9. Say positive affirmations daily. Trust me they help. Here are some that I use daily. “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong. Focus on what could go right.” “I know that I am going to be okay”. “I choose to be happy”.

  10. Journaling – Did you know that journaling helps build your confidence, encourages self-care, increases your acceptance, helps you to express yourself through writing in your journal or drawing. During my recovery of my TBI I journaled daily I did this consistently daily. This year I am going to get back into the habit of journaling.

What are some ways you practice self-care? Do you have a hobby you love but “Don’t have the time” to partake in it? Make time to do your hobby. You will benefit and so will those around you!

I am always interested in self-care tips, please share with me know what you do.

How is everyone doing on those New Year’s resolutions? If you are having struggles email me at Idahopam62@gmail.com and I can give you some help or motivation.

What I am currently reading. One of my BIG resolutions was to read at least 15 minutes per day. I have not read a book since my accident. Lately, I have been reading daily. What I do is set my timer for 15 minutes. Some days I stop when it goes off, other days I read 30 or 45 minutes. I am so proud of myself for doing this.  Randy bought me this for Christmas: Settle for More by Megyn Kelly. I love this book!! If you don’t know who Megyn Kelly is, she is a new anchor for FOX News. She did the Republican debate in Cleveland in 2016. She is also leaving FOX News and going to NBC. The truth I didn’t care for her. Since starting this book I see her in a different light and I am liking her more and more each chapter I read.

What are you reading? Let me know as I know this is a habit I will continue with.

I hope where ever you are the weather isn’t too bad for you. I live in Boise, Idaho and we have gotten dumped on with snow and cold temperatures. We haven’t had this much snow for 30 years.  Good time to stay in the house and read.

Lots of love to each of you!


5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions


How do you Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions?

Can you believe it – the clock is quickly ticking down to the end 2016 and to start 2017?  How was 2016 for you? Are you ready for 2017? Ready or not here it comes!!!! This blog post is about How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions and how to achieve them.

Losing weight and exercising more are the most common New Years Resolution, followed by quitting smoking and quitting drinking. About 8% of people who resolved to lose weight and exercise more actually do it. Most quit and the gyms become idle by February. Smokers and drinks that actually quit is about 10%. Most start back by June.new years resolutions

  1. Make Goals – Look at your life. Is there anything you would like to change or improve on? Ask yourself what can I improve upon? How can I change?

  2. Nitty Gritty on the Details? Get specific about your resolutions. How will you accomplish them? For example, you want to lose 10 pounds by June. Write down “I want to lose 10 pounds by June 1, 2017, I will accomplish this by exercising one hour per time, three times per week”. If you have more than one resolution categorize them by categories: Financial, Career, Relationships, and Fitness. Put your resolutions in writing and how you plan to achieve them.

  3. Look into the future. No not into a glass ball. By looking into the future you develop a personal attachment to your goal. This is all about your imagination (make this fun). Visualize completing your goal of losing 10 pounds. How does it feel to weigh less? How do you feel? This is your future – Be Excited!

  4. Measure Progress: Do not set yourself up that you will lose the ten pounds in one month. This is a process track your progress. Reward yourself with small things you like. If you haven’t made progress it’s alright. Just do not give up!

  5. Share Goals with friends and/or family. Sometimes all you need is some encouragement from your Peeps or Family to help you to press on.

Pam’s 2017 Resolutions

  1. Unplug and less Social Media.

  2. Read 15 minutes per day. After my traumatic brain injury – reading has been difficult for me. I can’t just sit down like I used to and read all day. I am going to try breaking it into manageable chunks of 15 minutes a day.  My goal would be 30 minutes.

  3. Practice Random Acts of Kindness.

  4. Write more thank you cards.

  5. Get back down to my weight I was in August 2016 by September 5, 2017. I will do this by making better food choices and exercising every day Monday-Friday.

  6. Learn something new – I want to learn to do stand up paddle boarding.

  7. Quit being around negative people.

    My resolutions have been written down and now shared with friends.  Consequently, during the year I will keep you updated on my progress. I would love to hear how you are doing on your resolutions.

Now clear your minds of CAN’T. Devote 2017 to loving yourself! I plan to do that. Let’s do it together.

Here is to a great 2017!

Love you all and Happy New Years!


Update:  Last blog I reported it was hard for me to decorate as I had red storage containers, that I couldn’t see through.  After Christmas,  I purchase four clear storage containers.  I love them and can tell instantly what is in them.  Putting my decorations away was much easier.  Hopefully next year I won’t get stressed.

Christmas is upon us and so is our friend Mr. Anxiety. . . . .

How to Cope with Traumatic Brain Injury Anxiety at Christmas (or any holiday)

Greetings to all the awesome people reading my blog!!! You are the best!!

Just when I think my old friend anxiety has moved on and broke up with me here he comes slithering back into my life like a bad penny.

Anxiety first came into my life unannounced on Thanksgiving 2013. This was five months after my car accident that left me with my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I have always fixed Thanksgiving so why should this year be any different. I am pretty sure I told my Doctor this and I am pretty sure he gave me the look. I’ve always been stubborn but after my TBI – I am really stubborn, hard headed, pig-headed. I did it my way and had Thanksgiving at my house. My daughter Kayla and my son Riley were there to help out. Randy, my husband, drives a truck and he would be coming home from Utah early afternoon.

I had everything planned out, look at me I have this. Then people started to arrive and Randy wasn’t home yet. For the past ten years, he had deep fried our Thanksgiving Turkey. Stress washed over me. Then I started having negative thoughts about myself. I was a failure. Why was everyone early?

I went immediately into the bathroom when I started shaking and was sweating. Kayla came in and told me I was having an anxiety attack. A what? Me never. I was always in control. She got me to calm down. Randy arrived home and Kayla went to brief him. Not knowing how to handle this he came in and said what most people would say “knock it off”. He could have slapped me and it wouldn’t have hurt as much as those three words. In all fairness, this was a first for me and for him too. We both had a lot to learn.

That year my family decided that we were going to change up Christmas. I again always had everyone out to my house. They came up with the idea we would open our presents leisurely, then go to the movies afterward we would come home and have Prime Rib. I was actually excited about this. Not everyone understood the reason behind this. They felt it was my decision and not one that my family came up with to protect me. We’ve done it the past two years and I love it.

I think I have had people say all the mean things to me:  

  • Why can’t you control when this is going to happen. I wish!
  • What are you so anxious about?Get over it! I love this one
  • It’s all in your head.Why don’t you just stop worrying?  Hear that brain!
  • You are just seeking attention.
  • You don’t know how things are going to turn out so stop worrying.  
  • It could be worse or other people have it worse off than you.
  • Think happy thoughts.

traumatic brain injury anxiety holidaysHave you ever said any of the above statements to a person?  If you have,  I urge you to get on the phone right now and call them and to say: “I am so sorry I was an idiot to you”.

If you are at an event with these obnoxious people walk away from them. You do not need to hear this garbage. Then avoid these people like they’re the plague.

To all the people in my life that have said:

  • I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in this.
  • How can I help?
  • I am thinking of you.
  • I love you anxiety and all.
  • I on my way bringing you dinner.

A BIG thank you for understanding my anxiety. Thank you for not thinking I am crazy or for not saying it out loud.

Remember how awesome you are. If Uncle Zeke is bragging about how successful he is, remember he is also flawed and could be faking it. No one goes to a party to complain about their issues (well there are a few), most go so they can brag about what good things have occurred in their life.

With a lot of help from my Doctor, some counseling and unfortunately medicine for Depression and anxiety (I currently take Venlafaxine ER).    I am doing much better.  I have also tried other things to help me cope:

  • I have several adult coloring books that help me refocus when anxiety hits. Take these with you to a Holiday functions.
  • I do breathing exercises. Take a long breathe in and hold it for a count of 3 then slowly release.
  • Say Positive affirmations like “I can do this,” “I’m doing great”, or “Everything is OK”.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Browse the positive pins on Pinterest. Having Pinterest on my phone is a great tool if I feel anxiety coming on I just browse Pinterest. You may want to avoid Facebook/Twitter as sometimes they make me more anxious.
  • Listen to music. I know they recommend soothing music. Leave it to me to be a little bit of the opposite. I like to drive alone and turn my music up loud. My listening genre varies I like ACDC, Metallic, Rob Zombie, Rage Against the Machine, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, KISS, ZZ Top. . . Do you get the idea? Whatever helps you is what you want to try.

 If you are feeling bad tell a loved one or significant other “I just need someone to hug me and tell me I’m not as worthless as I think I am”. Hugs are awesome.

Remember it is okay if you don’t make a big spread for 50 people this season. Someone else can host it. Just enjoy the season.

I have a sign on the wall that says “We put the fun in dysfunctional”.

If any of you have good ways to combat anxiety please comment back to me. I am always looking for tools to have in case anxiety strikes.

Christmas Eve, we are opening gifts with Kayla and her wife Makayla. I am thinking of making some easy appetizers. My daughter-in-law is the BEST cook, so I am sure she’ll help. Christmas Day will be laid back. Randy is cooking Prime Rib on the Traeger. Randy’s mom is coming over we will eat then meet Kayla and Makayla at the movies. If you know of a good movie my family would enjoy let me know (my kids are 19 and 27). What are you doing this Christmas?

Be Safe and Warmest wishes at Christmas and always,


What Is Your Favorite Christmas Present Ever?

Christmas Gifts


What is your favorite Christmas present ever? 

When we are young we want whatever is popular. Subsequently, when we are grown do we remember the slinky, Suzy homemaker doll, GI Joe Adventure Team or the Barbie we received?

favorite christmas presentAdult:

What about when we become adults? I remember the Christmas of 1996. My dad had passed away in September of that year. I was struggling to get in the spirit (my dad loved Christmas). I had to remember Kayla who was seven at the time had taken her Papa’s death hard too. Randy was driving long haul truck across the country, that added to my loneliness.

On Christmas Day we opened all the gifts under the tree. Randy said there was still one in the tree that needed to be opened. Kayla and I looked at him with wonder and excitement. He retrieved the gift and it was for me. I hadn’t seen this package in the tree and I hadn’t seen him put it in the tree. Nothing gets past me as I am the queen of snooping!!

It was a small box – My hands were trembling as I opened it. Inside was a beautiful black hills gold wishbone necklace. Randy explained in this small truck stop in Wyoming an elderly man was set up making jewelry. He bought me a necklace.

Next time Randy stopped by the truck stop the cashier asked him if he was the one that had bought the necklace. He answered yes. She told him he got the last necklace the man ever made as he passed away shortly after. Randy was telling me the story and I was bawling like a baby. To this day that is a very precious gift to me.


For me, I don’t like to tell people what I want for a gift. I would rather they get me something from the heart.

Last Christmas, Kayla gave experiences. Riley got a certificate to go skydiving after he turned 18. He went before graduation and Kayla went with him. It was an adventure that they shared and he will never forget.

She gave me a certificate to go to Seattle. It is a special city for her and I. I didn’t get to go to Seattle because she won a trip at work. She chose a trip to Disneyland and she took ME! It was a wonderful trip where we made many special memories.

Maybe it is a near death experience for me in 2013, but I do not want anything for Christmas. I have everything I could ever want. When Randy, Kayla, MaKayla or Riley ask me what I want. . . all I want is to spend time with them. That is the most precious gift of all.

My wish for each and everyone is you get everything you want for Christmas.

If anyone out there would feel better if  they bought me a gift here is what I really would love:

  • Black 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

Christmas is a time for nostalgia, it is also a time for making new memories. Enjoy the fellowship of new friends, and cherish the company of family in this season of loving and sharing.

Merry Christmas!


The Joys of Decorating My House For Christmas with a TBI

TBI and Christmas

Christmas – I have always loved Christmas: the music, the sights, and sounds. Three years with a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and Christmas is not the same to me.


Saturday night I decided it was time to decorate the house. My husband, Randy, and our son Riley were in charge of getting the decorations out. I left them to their task.

I went to check on them in the front room. My mind started spinning. They had pulled every box out from the storage space there was Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I immediately started shutting down, as I was having a panic attack. It ended with a heated discussion between Randy and me.

I got up early on Sunday to see if I could do anything with the decorating. I went in and I immediately spotted a big storage container that was clear and I could see the contents inside. It was my snowmen that I decorate my kitchen with. They look pretty cute the way I displayed them.tbi christmas

Back into the dreaded front room, I spotted a clear plastic container and I went to it as I could see everything that was in it and make a game plan. The other containers were red and green and there is no way to know what was inside.

When we moved to this house a year ago my Rehabilitation Doctor offered the suggestion I label each box with what specifically was in there. I did and that worked wonderfully and quickly got my kitchen unpacked.

I started opening the colored containers and it was like what is this stuff. It was like I had never seen this stuff before, We’ve had these decorations for 29 years.

The house got decorated but, I decided when it is time to put Christmas away, we are investing in more clear storage containers. They are easy for me to see at a glance what is in there and where it goes.

Tips that would make decorating easier for someone with a TBI or anxiety.

  • Make sure that you are well rested before you start the decorating. Do it in the morning if possible. Make sure your spouse hasn’t worked all day either.

  • Ask for help and be patient with your help.

  • If you start feeling frustrated you need to stop and take a mind break. It is okay if it takes you a couple of days to do your decorating.

  • CAREGIVERS: Be patient with us! Understand it is a change and we do not adapt to changes as well as we did prior to the TBI.

  • Be sure to tell us things to boost our self-esteem. Self-esteem can be a big thing we loose after a TBI.

My house looks beautiful and I am happy. I just have to remember to plan for these things.

QUESTION: Do you like White lights or colored lights? Leave me a  comment why.

Hope you have an utterly awesome week!

See you next time!!


What the Heck is Mindless Wanderings of a TBI Survivor???


  • Why are you blogging? That is what most of you are saying. It is understandable you are too busy to read yet another blog. Do most of you know what a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) is? In June 2013 I didn’t know what it was either. I woke up and figure out I was in the hospital. The nurse came in all excited as I was “awake”. No one has ever gotten excited when I woke up before. She says “you have a TBI”. What the hell is that? She explains it is a Traumatic Brain Injury.

  • Who are you? My name is Pam Schill, I am 50 Pam Schill Traumatic Brain Injury Survivorsomething women  born and raised in Idaho. Presently I live outside of Boise Idaho. I am the author of Mindless Wanderings.
  • What in the world will you be blogging about? Each of you is asking “why in the world would someone come to this blog? What will I get out of the blog? Most people (including me) have no idea what a Traumatic Brain Injury is. “So you bumped your head big deal”! The purpose of the blog is to help you understand TBI’s and their impact on your life. I will also hit on the important people. The caregivers, most of the time this is a spouse or significant other.

  • My blog isn’t all about TBI’s. I am going to write on being     positive, handling stress, anxiety and other things you might be interested in.
  • How can I leave feedback??? I want you to tell me what you would like me to write about. Please leave me comments. I need comments so I know what my readers want or do not want. You can leave me comments at contactpamschill@gmail.com