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Saturday, August 25, 2012

get'cher 'manic' on

I am wary of my slightly manic tendencies this morning. 

I woke early (thanks Kaylee and whatever wildlife she was protecting us from), finished listening to my audio book as I lay enjoying the grey cool dawn that hovered outside my soft warm bed, read a couple of chapters out of my Eat Right America booklet for inspiration, and then made a luscious breakfast saute of onion, potato and spinach. 

I cleaned up after breakfast (what?) and am dressed and ready for walking. It was when I clipped on my FitBit and wondered if I should make this a 10,000 step Saturday that I realized I was in manic mode.

Manic mode scares me, I don't have a great history of handling this abundance of energy very well, often overwhelmed by my intentions to the point of instigating a premature crash - as in on the couch with a bowl of something bad.

This morning is a little different because I am also in observer mode. What can I do around the house to make it feel better without stressing my back, what can I make to eat that doesn't entail using up what back I have so I can do something, anything, else besides cook today, and lets edit down the list of PT exercises I should be doing to just those that are ... least painful? most effective? fun? It's Saturday, I shouldn't be inflicting pain, not even upon myself. Maybe just the foam roller to stretch out the old spine - wonder what Katy thinks of that particular torture device.

So my Honey Do list (again, I am the honey) is shrinking as I type and after my walk I will pare it down even more; something along the lines of: clean off the patio table and pick up two flowers to plant in empty pots; walk morning, noon & evening to rack up those steps, and  pick up some pre-chopped veggies to throw in the crock pot with the greens I need to use up.

I'm so excited that the weather is going to be back down in the 80's for the day, that I only need to go into the office if I want, that I am looking forward to walking, and that healthy food is on my menu for the day.

As M would say, 'it's all good'.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The weight of the world

Kaylee and I made it to the pond and back today; she sniffing long unused trails and me sporting my new fivefingers walking shoes. And while it was wonderful to feel like I had accomplished something once I stood  gazing out over the water and searching for ducks while being gently buffeted by a cool morning breeze, it was the thought that squirmed its way in between the words of my audio book that opened my eyes as I approached the last part of my walk back home. These shoes were forcing me to take responsibility for my weight. No deep cushion to rebound off of as I strode forward,  no bounce to my step increasing my speed (how we all need to win). Just thoughtful steps one after the other moving me along at the speed of ... me.

And with the thought that I was in fact supporting my own weight, came the breath of an idea that I could in fact support the responsibility of taking care of myself in the same careful measured way that these shoes were compelling me to walk. One careful step at a time instead of struggling under the burden of the undone honey do lists that kept me bound to immobility.

How many times have I looked forward to the weekend and all of the things I wished to accomplish only to veg out in front of the tv instead.  Being overwhelmed is such a constant state of affairs in my attic that I rarely follow through on my good intentions.

So today my one careful step forward will be to weigh out 2 pounds of veggies and divide them into what I will eat raw and what I will cook into something wonderful.

I expected to meet old friends long unseen as I reached the pond today, but I guess they were all out and about taking care of their own business. Meeting a bit of myself instead was an unexpected surprise.

Now to stretch my calves before I cool down any more!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Daily Goal: Sufficient unto the day is the walk I take. 

I don't know yet if these new fivefinger walking shoes are weird, healthy or just my latest attempt to motivate myself to get out and walk.  What I do know is that I can see my left ankle is swollen - is this really from the damage done when I sprained it so badly about ten years or more ago? I stepped out of the front door, tripped, twisted my left ankle and landed on my right foot so hard I broke my leg.

I will continue to wear them inside the house on and off this weekend and then decide if I am keeping them to walk in or returning them. I can tell already that they might be a titch small, and also that they could potentially be very comfortable. I'll have to be careful walking and do some googling about that before I hit the pavement - but at least my energy is positive and my outlook hopeful.

I want to send a shout out to Dani for her encouragement - catching up on her walktheyearblog is helping me in more ways than one. I love her writing style and guess what? She reminds me of... of me! Or who I could have been, or am but only barely, or something along those lines. Anyway, great reading in short spurts each day is a wonderful thing to be able to lay my eyes on at a whim.

I have not been walking everyday, I have been doing my PT exercises more regularly - well sort of - and so grateful that my pain has been less all week. I just need to dial back on everything I want to do and remember I will pay for it later if I'm not a little more careful now. Less pain doesn't mean I get to pretend I am healthy and do too much.

I will walk
I will eat plants
I will heal
I will be happy

How is that for a short precise list?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Temptation to Game

My pain level has not been this low since March. At times it was actually gone yesterday, and this morning an hour has disappeared while I 'found things' in my favorite little facebook getaway, Hidden Chronicles or something. Is this seriously how I want to spend my keyboarding time? It was a thoughtless gesture, one made of habit rather than desire. I'm not sure I'm that girl anymore; audio book filling up my head, fingers and eyes engaged in mindless clicking and searching. Yes, it's a great way to disappear, but I don't think I want to do that so much anymore. It served it's purpose, but I am stronger mentally - well, more so than I was anyway - and I can think of other ways to use this new-found pain-free zone.

It's a lovely cool morning, how about puttering outside? Once Upon A Time that was my favorite summer 'quiet time all to myself rejuvenating' activity. Or a walk with Kaylee before work? Or some prep time in the kitchen so dinner is an easy peasy affair when I drag myself in exhausted at the end of another grueling work day.(another story for another day.)

I just need to wake up to the possibilities, and not let myself fall into old habits. That being said, I am ever so grateful for this new stronger anti-inflammatory med that gave me such relief yesterday, and I am actually looking forward to the difference it might make today. Yesterday it meant 3 quality hours with my granddaughter - and with a three year old that means going from one thing to the next with nary a break! And that after work. That moment when I realized I wasn't grumpy and impatient with pain was just...spectacular!

So now that my brain is atwirl I need to settle down and reflect on the fact that what I need to do while feeling up to it are my neck and shoulder exercises - not playing around with all the small everyday things that I have been missing. P&T baby; do the work, recover, then you can start checking off that not so much of a bucket list. What is that list called when it's not a bucket list? Oh yea, a honey do list.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I finally have a prescription to try, a super anti inflammatory that the druggist suggested would even negate the need for the Tylenol I usually take with my ibuprofen. I know, drugs, blech. But seriously, being in pain MOST of the time has done significant damage to my mental stability and moral. This is just a tool so I can do the exercises, so that I can hopefully recover some semblance of my previously noteworthy deportment while I work on fixing my back, and front, and whatever.

In any case I feel more hope this morning than I have in a while. Go me.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

think think think

My days have become a marathon of thinking - how is my head positioned, have I moved my head five times to the left this hour, why the fuck did I lift that bag of birdseed this morning?!? I am in constant posture review trying to avoid being in pain and then go make a single big mistake because for a moment I acted on instinct. At least the birds will be happy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A year of walking?

My sister has been talking about restorative exercise with Katy for a long time, maybe a couple of years, and I think it's wonderful. I am so happy that she loves the classes, that she is pain free, and that she has a place to go and be healthy. She has even given me a set of CD's that I have attempted a couple of times. But I can't seem to make them a part of my everyday routine, and yes of course I have a list of reasons, the lack of a comfortable space being at the top of the list and my lazy nature being at the root of it.

But I have been struggling like never before with my health this year. And I am just about sick and tired enough of being sick and tired to maybe do something about it. It started in March when I fell, and things got really bad; I couldn't walk more than a block without my front shoulder busting out in pain, and becoming breathless. I was scared, so scared that I signed up for health insurance when it became available in July. Now here I am several scans, tests and PT appointments later and they have no magical cures. Nothing is wrong with my heart and they can't tell my what happened in the fall; they suspect my neck is involved but don't see anything damaged in the MRI. The two times I spent a half hour with my PT doing pressure releases down my neck, shoulder, ribs and arm were wonderful, but have done nothing to alleviate the pain.  And the exercises she has assigned left me in so much pain the first weekend I was in tears and self medicating with my partners pain pills and beer. Which I have repeated on more than one occasion since.

So at my PT appointment yesterday she says I need to walk. I explained how painful it was, so she said just walk slow, do NOT swing my arm, and if it hurts slow down more.  Which I did this morning, three blocks down then over one and three blocks back. I've been trying to dampen the pain all day - ice pack, shoulder pad massager, ibuprofen and tylenol. This is my weekend, I was so looking forward to a relatively pain free day. Yes I did some laundry, and some light grocery shopping, and took a much needed trip to the library for more audio books - but I was careful, and shouldn't be in this much pain.

Why am I typing if I am in pain? Because it distracts me. And because my day brought me into contact with 1. my email that I rarely check and which had the link from my sister to Katy's blog for shoulder pain which led me to 2. Dani's blog about walking everyday.

The Universe is yelling at me, and I am trying to listen.  I may not blog everyday like Dani, but I will try to walk everyday for a year. If I can't do at least that much.... well, I'm just going to that's all. And I need to make myself a space in the house where I can follow the CD's a few times a week. Basically, I need to take care of myself since the Dr. doesn't seem to be able to do it for me. Go figure.

They don't have to be long walks do they?