Monday, March 21, 2011

One Would Think

One WOULD think that after all this time I would have an interesting post at the ready. Darn it, I don't. One of the reasons for my long absence is that I simply don't feel very interesting, blog-wise.

I continue my recovery from the knee surgery, with everything going well. Aside from the continuing flair ups of sciatica, I'm almost back to where I can resume my normal exercise routine. My current limitation is my inability to get down on both knees to do pushups. I have an alternate method...I use the kitchen island. It seems to work just fine for now.

I did have to make a trip to a back specialist in the hope of finding a resolution to my sciatica. I found out I have spinal stenosis and a slightly bulging disc. I am pondering the steroidal injections, but at present, I'm using a non-narcotic pain reliever.

On the weight loss front, I am delighted to report that the edema in my right leg (post surgical) has finally dissipated and I am down 15 pounds! Talk about a water loss! I still have a bit of residual swelling in my right ankle, but I doubt that will result in any significant weight loss. Darn it! I also kept to my plan of incorporating more soups and grains into our diet. Hubby Dearest has been a good sport about it, too. "Mr. Meat & Potatoes" has been a willing participant in this endeavor. To be fair to him, I adhered to the NO MuSHROOM law that is in effect in our house.

The happiest turn of events has been the opening of the golf course! I was able to play last Thursday, and the boost in my spirits was quite noticeable. It will be cooler for a few days again, but the hope of golf is clearly in sight. Delighted to report that both the knee and the back held up well. That was the best part of the whole experience.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Keeping Up

I'm trying to keep up with my goals, I really am. However, my goal for Sunday kinda fell through. The Sunday supper I had set as my goal, became a soup supper. Still healthy, and still eaten together between football games. Not traditional, but it was fun.

Yesterday's (Monday) goal was to continue monitoring my water intake. I am still having edema issues after my surgery, so I am trying to be extra cognisant of my water consumption. I say yesterday's goal even though I have yet to end my day. My butt ache is preventing me from sleeping, so technically I'm still working on my Monday. These little late night adventures are starting to annoy me.

So, since it is now Tuesday according to the clock and the calendar, I think my goal for today will be to catch up on as many blogs as I can. I have been rather lazy in that regard lately. I finally learned to use the iPad for this purpose, but have not really done so. I still cannot find the spell check for my blog, so my apologies for any errors.

I am holding steady with my eating and exercise. I must admit, my exercise routines are getting more and more like the ones of yesteryear....a.k.a pre surgery. I hold the hope that increased strength will soon translate into the disappearance of my sciatic nerve problems. Thus far, the acupuncture is not the miracle cure I'd anticipated.

Once I feel confident my strength is where it should be, I want to get back to the gym and my trainer. While I do ok on my own, I really like being held accountable by both my trainer and my pocketbook!!! S'pose I could count that as one of my daily goals, too....just not quite yet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Well, Now What?

Already one whole day into my new plan, and I'm pondering what should be today's plan. I'm torn between incorporating extra stairs into the daily number, or doing laundry! I suppose technically, doing laundry is a non-compliant event. Oh well, I tried. I estimate I go up and down our stairs (16 on each level) at least 5 times per day. This includes going up to bed and coming downstairs in the morning. (I'm counting up and down as one trip) I am thinking that an addition of 3 extra trips would be helpful for my knees, and fulfill my goal per day requirement.

Thinking, thinking always thinking...since I don't generally post on weekends I have come up with my two goals for Saturday and Sunday. For Saturday, I am going to be more aware of the actual amount of water I am drinking. I've not been keeping track, and I am pretty sure I am falling short. Sunday is in flux...laundry may win the day! A girl needs clean underwear, ya know. Not really. I want to make a healthy and satisfying Sunday supper. Hubby Dearest has been out of thorn this week so I think a comfort food Sunday supper would be nice. Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

In case anyone wonders, and I seriously doubt that you do, I did manage to meet yesterday's goal. In fact, I did 15 min twice on the recumbent. Big deal for me as I tend to NOT be an overachiever!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Goals In The New Year

Yes, I realize his sounds suspiciously like New Year's Resolutions, but I'm looking at it from a different perspective. I've been reading The Primary Child's tweets and Facebook posts,and have become intrigued by his daily goals. These are not lofty, nor are rhey difficult. It occurs to me that as I continue to build my strength after the knee surgery, perhaps daily, achievable goals would be a dandy idea.

Looking back, my first goal was to be flexible enough to remove the risers from the toilet seat! Mission accomplished. Funny how something that simple was a signal to me that my recovery is well on it's way. With my strength in my leg returning I think it is time to add a few daily goals that include physical activities. So far, a little walking and some recumbent bike riding have been my routine. Dr. Said Thursday I could add exercises that did not cause undo stress on my knees.

Since I am still "blessed" with my sciatica, I think my first order of business will be to find a stretching routine that will strengthen those back muscles and the core. Not ready for weight bearing exercises yet, so will have to make stretching work for now.

So for today's goal....15 min twice today on the recumbent.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Not Quite Done Braggin'

Had my first post-op Dr.'s appointment yesterday afternoon. I was feeling very good about my progress, but you know how Doctors can be. I went in with tempered enthusiasm for what I believed to be remarkable progress. I am extremely happy to report that my enthusiasm was not misplaced! I am a medical miracle! Ok, that might be a slight overstatement, but I'm pretty dad-gummed good.

The Dr., first of all, complimented his handiwork by bragging about my incision. I was glued shut, not stapled,so the wound looks really nice. I reminded him that it was my knee, my skin, and my fantastic healing ability that is making him look good....and what kind of discount do I get for that? No surprise, no discount!

I did my best strut around the room for him so he could see my knee bend. I passed that with flying colors, too. So, my reward?? No crutches!!! I can navigate around the house without benefit of crutches. I am to use one crutch or a cane when I go out and about, at least for the next two weeks. Dr. Was very impressed with the angle of bend I have achieved in only two weeks. So much so, that I will be requiring no further physical therapy! I am to continue everything I have been doing, and add other exercises as I feel stronger.

One small driving until after the first of the year. Guess my friends will be getting bigger Christmas gifts as bribes to schlep me around a little while linger.

Ok, I am now officially done bragging about my amazing least for now! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Up And At 'Em

I have returned to the blogosphere! Would have dropped by much sooner, but being techno challenged, I could not work my new toy. Hubby Dearest got me an iPad so I wouldn't have to negotiate an extra set of stairs to use the computer. Try as I might, I simply could not get the body of the blog written. Many tries, and many false starts later, here I am! Nonidea if, and/or when I might return.

My surgery was a rousing success,and I think I am doing splendidly. The shot I had to give myself turned out to be a piece if cake....and no, a longer needle was not needed to penetrate my additional roll of fat. Thank goodness. I go to the Dr. Tomorrow for the first time since the surgery, so I'll get a professional opinion on just what a fine example I am as a patient. I anticipate kudos all around.

I have had very little pain, very little pain medication, and feel I'm doing great. I do have occasional stiffness in the knee after overdoing the exercises I've been given, but nothing unbearable. All in all, I have to say I am looking forward to many years of pain free walking, golfing, exercising, and playing with my grandchildren.

The being waited on hand and foot portion of this event ain't so bad, either. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shocking, Just Shocking!!

Yep, shock of shocks, I am posting yet again. It will be just like most of my other posts, random and imparting nothing of note. However, I find myself with a bit of time on my hands, so I thought I'd sneak in a post today. Don't get excited, I don't have much to say. :)

I had my pre-op "class" yesterday. It was semi-informative. Much of the info was the same as when I had my other knee replaced five years ago. However, there were some new twists since my last foray into surgery. This particular orthopedic department believes in pain meds by the pound!! I'm not at all sure I'm totally on board with that. Before I'm even undressed I will be given an Oxycontin, Tylenol, and some other pain pill/relaxant I'd never heard of. Hope I can get undressed and into my hospital garb before I pass out.

The rules for post op are much tougher, but they mentioned nothing about physical therapy. That was the most important part of my recovery last time. I asked about that and was told they would discuss therapy with me after the surgery. Wish I had a little more info on that. The newest thing, and one I'm lukewarm about, is that instead of the Coumadin I took post op last time, I'm going home with 7 pre-loaded syringes of Lovenox (sp?) that I have to inject into my stomach once a day. Doesn't that sound like a laugh a minute? Hope the needle is long enough to penetrate the blubber that resides there. :)

I just noticed that I have no spell check for this post, and the font is different. What the hell happened while I was sleeping? I don't get it. So, while I think I've spelled things pretty well, I'm not certain. Wonder what else will change while I'm recooperating? Hope I still have an account upon my return.

Once again....Happy Thanksgiving to all, and safe travels.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Here!

After what seems like a long absence, I have rejoined the blogosphere. Nothing was wrong, I was not sick, and I wasn't being bad....I was being lazy. Well, that, and I'm trying to get everything in order for Thanksgiving, the last tailgate of the year and have the house in order for after my surgery. Needless to say, I'm anxiously awaiting Nov. 29 and my new knee.

I have my pre-op walk through this Thursday, and my physical on Monday. I should be all set to go. I'll be delighted to have my mobility restored. I have been trying to keep up with exercise and proper diet. I have to say, I'm doing ok in both regards. I'm not a shining star, by any means, but I've done pretty well.

A friend of mine recently broke her right foot, and is not allowed to drive, so I'm trying to accumulate brownie points by chauffeuring her around these last few days before I no longer can drive. Then, hopefully, she'll be able to take over. I'll be wheel-less for about 4 weeks. Certainly didn't wish an injury on her, but at least we can help each other out. Handy for me, not so great for her.

I must now take a moment to brag on The Primary Child. As a teacher, he doesn't have lots of time off, but he is going to take a personal day after my surgery to drive 2 hrs. one way to come help me out if needed. I thought that was a lovely gesture. I'm quite certain The Perfect Child would fly in from Phoenix if necessary. I got me some terrific kids!! Even Hubby Dearest surprised me by taking the entire week off after my surgery. Didn't see that comin'. I figured an hour here, an hour there....color me shocked. What a guy!!

Thank goodness the new Trader Joe's opened here before I was temporarily incapacitated. I have enjoyed my forays into the new store. I can now make shopping lists for all my favorite places and I'm sure HD will be happy to fulfill my every whim. For one who absolutely hates grocery shopping, his efforts will probably be less than enthusiastic. Poor guy. But if he wants to eat, he'll adapt.

I am able to read blogs on my Crackberry, so I'll be in and out of the blogs while I'm hobbled. I haven't found a good way to comment or post on my phone, so I may be silent, but I'll be checking up on everyone.

I'll check back in on the flip side of surgery. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. For those who are travelling, please travel safely. The very best to everyone. "See" you soon!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mental Check Up

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I may need. I've had insomnia lately (nothing new), but my thoughts have been turning to what it is going to take for me to have the defining "AHA Moment"? I've had minor moments, and pay attention.....for a while. While lying awake at night this week, I've come up with a myriad of great reasons to get my act together once and for all.

A few months ago, I realized my children have never seen me in any other state than fatness. That should have done it, right? It did, for a while. Since then, I've thought about having some sort of accident that would require EMT's to lift me onto a gurney. Could they do it? Yes, I'm sure they could, but it would be embarrassing, I'm sure. I am not fixated, by any means, on having any accidents or health problems, but I'm just considering the problems that could possibly arise as I age. Last night's thought for the night was about my post op recovery. What if, after getting my new knee, I still have the sciatica and hip pain? What if it wasn't just a result of the odd walking gait I now employ? I've been told it is, but maybe the weight has played a part as well. Along with that, what if I cause the health insurance rates we pay to go up due to my inability to keep my blood pressure and cholesterol under control. I do have them in very good shape, so it is not an immediate concern.....but at 3:30 in the morning, it's something I ponder. My new concern this morning is flying. I love to fly, but what if pretty soon I have to ask for the seat belt extension? A lady across the aisle from me on one flight had to ask, and I could sense her embarrassment. I don't want to be that woman. I want to travel, and be able to do so comfortably.

Any of these moments, taken by themselves, should be a call to action. So, why is it that I remain half-assed in my efforts? I am lightening up and improving our eating habits, but that alone, ain't gonna do it. I can do easy exercise, which I do, but not enough to be considered a cardio workout. I guess my best effort has been in changing our diet. We eat healthier, lighter meals, and we do watch the calories, but I know that alone isn't going to make a huge difference. I have pledged to include more grains and legumes, for fiber, in our winter diet. I am hoping that's gonna move me to action. (Not the kind you're thinking of when you hear "fiber".)

AHA!! I am hoping against hope, this is it!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nothing of Note

Just exactly as the title suggests, nothing good or bad is happening around these here parts. In a way that's good, but in other ways, disappointing. I have had some relief in both the sciatica and knee departments, so that is the good news. However, my increased exercise and mindful eating have not yielded quite the success I'd hoped for. I had some "flu" bug or another on Saturday evening thru Sunday, so I did lose weight thanks to that. Of course, when I re-hydrated, my wonderful loss was suddenly not quite as wonderful. However, I did lose 5.6#, and believe me, I'm perfectly ok with that.

I find that each day my energy increases, and my sciatic nerve pain lessens a bit. I still go to the chiro regularly, but I'm stretching the time between appointments each week. Even better, I've been able to play golf....adding to my exercise this week. Once again, I'm beginning to be satisfied with baby steps at this time.

My next cortisone shot is coming up in a week or two, so I'm hoping that some relief will be forthcoming. Easier walking should, theoretically, lead to lessening of the pressure on my sciatic nerve. At least that is what both the chiro and the orthopod tell me. Since at the time of my last shot, the sciatica was minimal, I'm awaiting that relief in that department.

I do have to confess a funny mistake I made last Saturday. It was football Saturday, and we were going to the game. In order to be ready for the long walk, I put on my knee brace early. Laced it up, buckled it, and off we go. About an hour away from the stadium, I realize I have put the brace on the wrong knee!! This required a trip to the restroom in our parking lot, and a bit of maneuvering to get it on the right knee....literally the right knee. Felt a bit silly, but everyone enjoyed a good laugh. I may have to use a magic marker now to make sure I'm hitching up the right side.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Love My Postal Worker!

Well, not in the literal sense, but figuratively, anyway. Yesterday, my new blogger friend, Spunky Suzi sent me a package of delicious favorite postal worker delivered them! I simply could not resist trying just one right then and there. I chose a coconut and mango (she had me at MANGO) bar. It was lovely, even tho' I am not a huge coconut fan, I enjoyed this bar. After looking at my goody package, it occurred to me that I had won a give away a while back. This little goody bag arrived just at the right time!! I am feeling a bit better, and have begun exercising more, so a mid-day snack that is healthy will be a wonderful treat. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Suzi. I'm really anxious to try the Macadamia Nut Butter. That sounds delicious.

We have begun the tailgating season around these here parts. I am still trying to include a healthy alternative to some of the usual tailgate culprits. If I don't mention that a certain dish is healthy, it goes just as fast as the ribs, brisket and cheese corn bake. This week's switcheroo is a healthy mac 'n cheese. It came from a Taste of Home Healthy Eating cookbook, and is quite delicious. Made with healthy pasta (which coincidentally comes in the shape of the letter "N" for Nebraska) no one will know it's a lower fat, lower calorie version of the usual fat laden dish. I am also including a smoked turkey breast as well. I think I'm all set. I made a few changes last year, and they went over well, so I'm expanding this year. I've heard that many of our tailgate participants are trying to improve their eating habits, so I feel it my duty to assist them in this endeavor.....all the while really making it work for me!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Knock, Knock...

That is the sound of my knuckles meeting the desktop. Not that I'm overly superstitious, but just in case, I'm taking no chances. After 4 days of being miserable, and still trying to do the new stretches my chiro gave me, I had shown no relief in the sciatica. Then this morning, after a fairly miserable night, I awoke to the least amount of pain I've had is weeks and weeks!!! Instead of having to sit down on an ice bag for 45 min. to an hour before I could get anything done, I was ready to go in only 15 min.!!!! Hip, Hip, Hurray! I got right after the stretches, and began to graduate to a few leg lifts, and sit ups. Weights came later, but I did get a few done. No outdoor walk today, it's raining again. Baby steps.

I hesitate to get too excited and overdo, but I am feeling heartened by the little progress I'm currently enjoying. Now, I'm going to have to get my cooking and eating under control. I've felt so lousy lately, that I've not been good about food preparation, at all. Whatever I can throw together is what we end up with. Not good at all. In all honesty, there have been a few too many trips to a fast food joints, too. If this pain relief is the real deal, I'm anxious to get back and get crackin' on my new plan for more soups, and for using more grains and legumes.

Tomorrow is the last regular delivery for our CSA produce, but this year, I wised up and extended our share for the fall. I love the squash and fall veggies, so we decided to pony up and get the extended share. That will begin next week. Last week's box brought a little "Carnival" squash, and this week it should be ready to eat. I've been busy dehydrating chili peppers and making chili powder for soups this winter. I just finished a batch of tomatoes that I dehydrate and use as snack chips. I'm going thru all the right motions, I've just been terribly remiss in putting the right things into action.

I've also found, by stepping on the scales this morning, that I have not been maintaining my weight, as I thought I had. With little or no exercise, and a diet of junk and crap (sadly).... imagine my surprise when my scales showed a gain!!! Not as bad as it certainly could have been, but more than I'd like to have seen. I even modified my calorie intake to compensate for the lack of exercise, but then it just all went to hell, and off the wagon I tumbled. I'm reaching for the reins right now, trying to gain control of my wagon, so hopefully in the very near future, my results will be better. Here's hoping.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day Three, I'm On a Roll!

Well, a mini-roll anyway. I do feel improvements, gradual as they may be, but at least I'm feeling perkier by the day. I'll take what I can get.

I went for a little longer walk today. Still not overdoing, but it felt good to at least get stretched out and get something done. I'm working my way up to the recumbent bike, as it requires hoisting my leg over the middle of the bike. We don't have one of the fancy ones with the completely cut out middle portion.

I'm also making it a point to begin thinking about re-vamping (for a 2nd time) our eating habits. With my exercise limited, I need to alter my portions and daily calorie allotments. I informed Hubby Dearest that we are going to be enjoying more grains and more soups this fall and winter. We (meaning I) are hoping that using soups, which are quite filling, will provide the proper fiber and calorie counts without breaking the dietary bank. There are only a few (canned) soups that HD even likes, and besides chili, this could be a real challenge. But, to his credit, he has taken all of my previous wild ideas in stride, and is extremely cooperative. All I need to do is leave out the mushrooms and I'm golden. :)

So, now armed with the umpteenth iteration of my "plan", I am hopeful that I'm back on the right track. All I need is for the knee and the back to hold out until Nov. 29 when I can then fully engage in all of the things that I've been planning to do. Not quite a bucket list, but kinda close.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ho Hum!

Another day, another blog post. OMG!!! This makes two in a row! Alert the media, I'm back at it. Well, sorta. After yesterday's "Oh Woe Is Me" post I felt I owed it to myself (and to the one or two people who actually read my blog) to let you know that I am seeing some improvement. My walk yesterday was, in fact, longer than the day before, so that's progress. I still have great difficulty getting on the recumbent bike, but that day will come soon, I am sure. For now, a few weights and a walk or two is about all I can muster.

I can't tell if the prednisone is really helping yet or not. I do know that it tastes bitter, and gives me terrible indigestion. Ahhhh, the price one must pay for results. The gigantic bruise on my butt is not subsiding, and sitting is still an issue. Perhaps I mentioned I had a deep tissue massage, with a sledge hammer, so I'm still mighty tender. Ice, Ice, Baby!! The good news is that I did, as usual, awaken at 3:00 this morning for my nightly trip to the potty, but instead of being in pain and having to go downstairs to medicate and sit on my ice bag, I was able to go back to bed with minimal pain, and get 3 hrs. more of the sleep I so desperately crave. That, my friends, is progress. I still have the morning pain, but it begins to subside about 11, so I am hopeful that each day, as the prednisone takes hold, my mobility will arrive earlier in the by day.

I am currently able to get some work done around the house, so that makes me feel a little bit more useful. Can't do some household tasks, but they are the ones that I hate to do when I'm completely well.....vacuuming being one of them. Luckily, Hubby Dearest has sprung for a cleaning lady, but she is only able to come every 4 weeks until Nov. But believe me, that is better than nothing. So, I am trying to maintain bathrooms and dust now and again. Not too much bending over at one time, and I can "Get 'er done!"

Lest I bore you all further, I shall now go back upstairs to my comfy chair and lovely ice bag. Getting a lot of reading done as I sit all day. Boring, but at least I don't have to twiddle my thumbs all day long.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shame, shame, shame

ON ME!!! I have not only been remiss in my blogging, I have been remiss in almost every other area of my life, as well.

This is the point where I now begin the litany of maladies that have prevented me from doing what it is I know I must do. So as not to disappoint, I shall begin by saying that my sciatica has come back with a vengeance. It has prevented me from sleeping, doing stairs, driving long distances, and sitting comfortably. I have not come downstairs to blog or to ride the recumbent, or to do any exercises at all. As one might suspect, the lack of activity has taken a toll on my previous successes. I am about as out of shape and "blubbery" as I have ever been. It's more than slightly depressing. I'm trying to work myself back into some sort of groove, but when I awake at 3:30 every morning in pain, I'm not exactly motivated to get exercising. I know, Excuse #1. When the pain finally subsides, I drive the 7 blocks to the chiropractor, where he uses his elbow to go deep into the tissue to loosen up the "knots". I'm black and blue for days, and it hurts to sit on the bike seat. Excuse #2. There are days I cannot stand to do the stairs. I can get downstairs from the bedroom, but doing another flight just isn't in the cards. Excuse #3. I could go on and on, but instead I bit the bullet and actually went to my regular Doctor.

After making me push and pull various muscles, he came to the conclusion that I do, indeed, have sciatic nerve problems, caused by my bad knee. (Which, due to the sciatica, I'd almost forgotten about.) He's given me prednisone (sp?) for the time being. I only have to get to Nov. 29 when I have my knee replacement, so this is a 6 day pack, with 6 days of residual effect. That will hopefully give me some much needed relief. I just want to sleep more than 3 1/2 hrs. per night. I think the worst part of all of this is my pathetic lack of golf this summer. It has always been the one key component to my exercise regimen. That, may very well be the cause of my blue mood. I've only had one day on the prednisone, so we'll see if relief is on the way. Fingers crossed.

I did try to take a short walk yesterday, but turned back after less than 1/2 block. I thought the stretching would be helpful....I was incorrect. Back to the ice pack again. I'm going to try again this afternoon, so we'll see how far I can get. I'm going with the any progress is good. Even if I only go 3/4 of a block today, it will be an improvement.

I probably should have titled this post "Oh Poor Me!", but I think I've used that before. :)