Wednesday, March 31, 2010


At long last, I woke up this morning without the horrible pain I've been experiencing in my back, my butt and my calf. It was a wonderful surprise. I also cut down on the medication I was taking, so I'm hoping this is a good sign that I'm on my way to recovery. I have slight twinges now and then, but the excruciating pain is gone. (I hope verbalizing that doesn't prove to be a problem.)

Plus, in spite of myself, I managed a successful Weigh In Wednesday! I actually lost 3# this week. And as is usually the case when I'm successful, I wonder what might have been if only I'd not been limited by the sciatica. Is that what they call "Looking a gift horse...."? At any rate, I have been very conscious of my food and the exercise I could do, so I'm more than delighted to see that it paid off this week. Feel kinda like a kid getting positive reinforcement.

Feeling perkier than the dickens has prompted me to contact my golf buddies and see if anyone is thinking of hitting the links this week. I would very much like to at least get out and try a few holes. I'm well aware that I might not be ready for all 18 holes, but a swing or two here or there, would do wonders for my melancholy mood. Temps in the 70's and maybe 80's have me chompin' at the bit to get out and about doing something out of doors. After the chiro today, I'm planning a walk. He recommends that after I have the spinal decompression, I remain active for at least an hour afterward. I think a walk in the great outdoors fits right into that recommendation.

In anticipation of the lovely day ahead of me, I have even donned my shorts and a golf shirt!! Can't tell I'm anxious, can you?

I can also feel the excess salt in my system slowly dissipating. All of that sitting around, and not being able to move freely, really allowed water buildup in my body. My feet and hands felt like little Easter hams. Fortunately, I am losing that excess water and can really tell the difference.

I'm anxious to get moving again in a normal fashion, but I'm going to go slowly and do it little by little. I am certainly not ready to have a repeat of the sciatica problems any time soon. The weather has improved, my back has improved, my mood is improving, and life in general is looking good. I'm anxious to resume my healthy journey, the way I originally intended to do it. Oh, I'm sure there will be more bumps in the road, after all I'm old, but I'm still excited to get busy and resume my "real life" again.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dare I Hope?

The past two mornings have seen a great relief in my sciatica!! Dare I hope the end is near? I actually feel semi-human again, and am very hopeful that I'll be able to resume my regular schedules again. I am partially convinced that by playing Dr. on the Internet, I found that the medication I use for restless leg is also an anti-spasm, anti-seizure medication. Dr. Me thinks why not try these little jewels on this particular problem. AHA!! Since I've begun using these drugs, I've had steady improvement. I will have to be very careful because these are narcotics and could be dangerous. But for right now, they are a God Send!! I assure you, I will be careful using them, and will begin weening myself off of them VERY soon.

I've been able to monitor my foods, and even the little bit of exercise I've been able to do. The weather has turned delightful, so I'm ready to get out and walk about. I do have residual effects from the drugs (they make me slightly drowsy) so I have to pick and choose my walking times carefully. I am even giving serious consideration to a trip to the golf course for a few practice swings. That, my friends, is REAL progress. That little picture up in the corner is the golf course, and I'm anxious to go and reacquaint myself with it.

I told Hubby Dearest that the only positive that has come out of this mess has been that I've caught up on all my reading, and that now we must go to Barnes and Noble for a restocking of the shelves. Needless to say, he was delighted.

It's hard to explain how much one misses what one cannot do. I'm basically a really lazy person, so one would assume I'd be happy to lie around all day bemoaning the fact that I cannot get things done. Not so, it drives me crazy. Getting enough energy, and being pain free long enough to get just one task completed it absolutely the pits!! Bending over to fold clothes just about killed me the other day. Yesterday, I did it without incident!! That is how I am measuring my success. Baby steps, but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel.....and I can hear everyone saying "Be sure it's not an oncoming train". Fear not, I'm going slow, but marking my progress and being thankful for it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Prodigal Pound-Part II

Well, it's Weigh In Wednesday again, and I sent the Prodigal Pound packing!! And also sent another .4# with it! Back to a net .2# loss over the last month or so. My "Any moron can lose a pound a week" theory has been torn asunder. THIS moron found out it wasn't as simple as I'd professed. Admittedly, I've had a few challenges in the exercise department, but I still can't help but believe I can do it. I haven't given up the fight, that's for sure. I have been fairly pleased with my food program. I've been taking care to journal daily, and prepare new things in new ways to keep myself interested. Hubby Dearest has been very good about accepting the concoctions I've been trying out. :) Having made some caloric adjustments due to the exercise issue, I think I'm doing ok. Having grilling weather returning to our fair city has helped a great deal!! My favorite grilled pineapple with Creole seasoning has brightened our dinners of late.

My sciatica has not improved significantly, so my exercise has been sporadic at best. When I am awakened with the leg pains at 3 in the morning, I do go down to the main level and walk around the house for about an hour. I have been meaning to put on the pedometer, but I can't find it in the dark. I am wondering if replacing carpet can be considered a medical deduction? At any rate, during my walks, as I get a bit more limber and the pain subsides gradually, I stop at the stairs and do a few stair steps (10 on each leg). I get about 3-4 of these done every other "lap". The walking does help, but I'm still not walking outdoors for long periods of time. I still feel just a bit uneasy about getting too far from home and not being able to hobble back. I'm only out and about on the walking path for 10-20 min. The golf course is opening today, so I'm am working diligently to get my "kinks" worked out. Right now, there's no way I could play a round of golf. And, of course, you know that is something I am anxious to do.

My chiropractor is working hard to help, but I'm not getting the results I'd hoped for yet. I may have set my sights too high, but I was hopeful I'd be having some relief by now. I've had one session of spinal decompression, and today I'll be having a deep tissue massage, then on Friday, another spinal decompression. Acupuncture will be the next step, if one of these next two sessions aren't helpful. Hopefully, one or both of these things will UN-GUM me. I still can't get over being told I'm "really gummed up" by the Dr. AND....tomorrow is my appointment with the orthopod for my cortisone shot. I'm going to ask him about my sciatica as well. I am hoping to schedule my knee replacement tomorrow, too. I know the wait is about 7 months for this Dr., so I'm hoping to get by until the week after Thanksgiving.

I am also going to make an attempt to catch up on my blogs. I've not been able to sit for long periods of time at the computer, so I've read some of the blogs on my Crackberry, but answering or commenting on that contraption is not easy, so I just read and remain silent. I'm back down at the computer now, so I'm hoping to be a bit more communicative.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Prodigal Pound

Yep, the Prodigal Pound returned for Weigh In Wednesday. AND, he brought a .1# friend with him. While this isn't the news I had hoped for, it is certainly better than I expected. As I've mentioned, this week had not been my best ever, so I was expecting a weigh in disaster, and quite frankly, I'm not all that displeased with having gained 1.3#. Never let it be said that I set my sights too high.

I did get out yesterday for a "waddle". I wasn't able to set any land-speed records, or work up a good sweat, but I did manage to get a refreshing 15-20 minute walk knocked out. It was a slow, steady, short but sweet mood lifter. Just being outside again was delightful. Now, after another day or two of moderate temps, we'll be back into the 30's again, and possible snow on Sat. So, I'm glad I was able to take a stroll yesterday. I'm off to the chiropractor today, and I'm finally getting a good haircut. The haircut should be good for getting rid of that pesky .1#!!! If I can manage another walk after my appointment, and the drizzle lets up a bit, I may take another walk outside. Gotta take advantage of the opportunity when it arises.

Speaking of my chiropractor, I am really, really hoping that after today's session I begin feeling some relief. My mornings are absolutely horrendous, and I'm tired of not being able to do anything without pain. I want to be "UN-gummed" damn it!! It's getting to the point that even sitting in a chair hurts. There is not a position that I've found lately that I can assume and feel comfortable. It's the pits!! Only positive in this situation is that with all the back pain, I hardly feel the knee pain at all. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hocus Pocus!

I'm out of focus!! In almost every way possible. I have been a very remiss blogger, I've been lax in my food journal, I've been terrible about exercise, I've paid no attention to my water intake, and in general, I'm much crabbier than usual, too!!

My blogging intentions are always good.... I'm going to sit down and read everything, and comment as often as possible. But recently, I can't stand sitting still long enough to do a good job of that. I've tried using the Crackberry, but I'm not skilled enough to make that work efficiently. I am reading blogs with the Crackberry, but commenting is rather complicated for my techno-challenged self. I may have to break down and get a laptop, particularly if I'm going to get my knee replacement this fall.

My trip to the chiropractor yesterday was interesting, to say the least. I think he might possibly have broken my butt "massaging" it. The pain, as he continued to press harder and harder, was almost unbearable. Then he worked on my "Bladder Meridian" (or something like that) with some acupressure. I had a moment of calm when he used the Cold Laser, but then it was back to the torture chamber for the spasm in my calf muscle. As we were ending, and he was trying to get back into my good graces, he said "Boy, you are really gummed up." I assume that is a technical "chiropractical" term, right? But seriously, GUMMED UP??? Could he not have used something that made it sound as seriously awful as it feels? Oh, and just to "loosen" up said gum, he sold me some Magnesium tablets. Apparently Calcium tightens muscles and Magnesium loosens them.....therefore, I should be feeling relief momentarily. LIAR!!!! This morning was the absolute worst morning yet!! Hubby Dearest happened to still be here when I made my way downstairs in tears. He asked if I really thought this was going to help, and all I could mumble was that I had hope!

Regardless, I am determined to get out for at least a short walk this afternoon. We are finally having moderate temps, and I'm tired of walking laps around the house or using the dreadmill. I did wander out to the deck for a moment or two yesterday, just to get some more fresh air.

I do apologize for the whining tone of recent posts, but I simply cannot get loosened up and am tired of feeling crappy and crabby. I am, however, going to try and be more positive, and work myself back into a groove. I certainly appreciate all of the blog friends I've found online, and hopefully, I'll be back in the game very soon. Until then, please accept my apologies for being a big baby.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What Is It About Mondays?

What is it, anyway? Mondays always seem to bring out the doom and gloom in me. It's a drizzly, overcast day, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. But I think it's the fact that yesterday was a wonderful, sunny, warm day that I let pass me by. I was having too much trouble with my back to walk very far. Hubby Dearest suggested we take a stroll, but I was simply not up to it. Now I'm regretting that decision. Even a slow, short walk would have been a morale booster, I'm quite certain. I've even bowed out of our MeetUp luncheon this noon. I don't want to go anywhere or do anything until my back, butt, thigh and calf feel better. I'm off to the chiropractor this afternoon, so I I'm hoping for additional relief. I also plan on purchasing a gallon or two of BioFreeze. I might also have to look into getting a portable ice maker, our refrigerators' ice makers are not keeping up with the demand.

Speaking of ice....I have a new fashion forward look. I fill my largest ice bag, strap in onto the small of my back, secure it with a wide ACE bandage (left over from my first knee surgery), and can then move about, if need be. I'm leaving my windows closed lest my neighbors get a glimpse of this new "look". It does feel good, so I guess I shouldn't care about how it might appear to others. But, me being a slave to fashion and all (NOT!!) I'm staying out of sight. :)

Aside from my maladies, my weekend was pretty good. Hubby Dearest returned from the UK bearing gifts!! Always a lovely way to return home, in my opinion. I love Duty Free shopping, so I gave him a list. He did very well, I must say. Even managed to find Tower of London, and Big Ben snow globes for our granddaughter's collection. What a guy!!! Since he had been eating the wonderful array of fish over there, he was ready for something different. So Sat. we had my Greek Chicken Salad, and on Sun., I gave in and did BBQ ribs. I behaved myself, but today I'm finding that I'm retaining water. My feet and hands seem to be a bit swollen. I imagine that part of this problem relates to my lack of movement. Then yesterday I read that one's water consumption should equal 1 oz. per 1 pound of weight!! Dear Lord!! I want to hydrate, not go swimming! A person could drown in that much water! I think I'll stick to a more sensible amount.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Keep A Movin', Dan"

With apologies to Marty Robbins, I'm going to adopt this phrase as my own. Although my name is not Dan, the keep a movin' part is certainly directed at me. After my visit to the chiropractor yesterday, I came home feeling pretty damned perky. I had my adjustment, my BioFreeze, and my instructions....sit in straight chairs, no overstuffed chairs, no couches. If I use BioFreeze, don't use ice. If I use ice, put it on my back while lying on the floor with pillows under my knees. No heavy lifting until I return again next week, and no strenuous exercise until then as well. And, no matter what....NO HEAT!! So, ok, now all that's left is just walking around, I guess.

My afternoon went splendidly!! I wanted an miracle and it felt as tho' I'd been given one. I was feeling such relief, and yet I did not do what I normally would have done....which is overdo. I behaved myself, knowing that when I went to bed I'd be feeling better than I had in over a week. I was really looking forward to lying down without shooting pains in my butt, thigh and calf. All was well until 4:45 this morning!! I was awakened by the shooting pains I had become so accustomed to this week. Dad Gummit!!! I got up, took my Aleve, took a quick, cool shower, applied the BioFreeze to the offending area and made my way to the kitchen. It was then I decided to just "Walk it off" as we used to tell the little leaguers. After about 1/2 hr of just simply walking in circles around the house, pausing at the stairway to do a step or two, I felt things loosening up. Well, well, well, could this be the secret? No other exercise is advised just yet, so I suppose that Marty Robbins was right when he sang "Keep A Movin', Dan". So move I shall.

I would very much like to take this show on the road, i.e. an outdoor walk, but it is hazy, cooler and rainy. That, coupled with the fear that I'll get a good distance away from home and have an attack of pain. I know....BIG CHICKEN! I do hope to get outdoors soon, and have the kind of enjoyable walk that I've been waiting for. I have 3 more sessions with the chiropractor next week, so I'm hoping each one will bring more relief. I'm looking forward to Cold Laser Therapy, which I was told is really awesome. I'll let you know. While I'm there, I may decide to do acupuncture for weight loss as well. Heck, as long as I'm being poked, prodded and adjusted, and lasered, why the heck not?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ok, Ok, I'm Going!!

First, let me thank everyone for their kind comments on my current "predicament". Today has brought a modicum of improvement with my sciatica. I'd particularly like to thank DrDave for his sage advice. The ice packs seemed to have alleviated a little of the excruciating pain. I even had a pretty good night's sleep. Thank you DrDave!! I only wish you lived in Iowa, I'd be at your office in a heartbeat!

Even tho' this morning I was much better and the whole "gettin' ready" process went much more smoothly, I made an appointment with the chiropractor for this morning. Having done that, I realized that this meant I must now shave my legs! I'd been putting it off because of the pain in my back and legs. Well, the old Lawn Boy made it thru the thicket, and I'm ready to go. I am looking forward to the relief. Just need one miracle to go, please.

Yesterday was a simply horrid day, foodwise. There is no sugar coating it, I was BAD!!! I was feeling so lousy, and hurt everywhere, so I just plain gave into almost every temptation. Some old habits die hard. Self pity is a powerful motivator, and I gave in way, way too easily. I'd like to say I didn't have the strength to refuse myself, but that was not the case. I just plain screwed up!

If not for the rain, haze and sogginess around here, I could be out walking....once my chiropractor makes me all better. The walking path is clear, but full of puddles, the lawns have appeared, but are soaking wet and matted down, but I'm hopeful that Spring will be sprung very soon. Sadly, in this neck of the woods, Spring brings the floods, and many roads in the area have already flooded over. Luckily, we can get where we need to go without any problems, but many people just a few blocks over are not so fortunate. Right now, as long as I can get to the chiropractor I'm a happy camper.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Good News, Bad News

Bad news sciatica is worse today!! Instead of just being a problem for about an hour in the morning, it came back last night for prime time. Did get a little sleep tho', so that was a nice bonus. Came back with a vengeance this morning, and it took 45 min. just to be able to do more than hobble to the bathroom, let alone get downstairs to do anything productive. I do believe that per DrDave's suggestion yesterday, I am going to have to go to a chiropractor soon. The small problem is finding my window of opportunity to drive. The difficulty is on my right side which makes driving somewhat problematic. Doesn't seem right to keep a friend "on call" for this problem, so I'm waiting for the right moment. There is a really good chiropractor near us, and he takes walk ins, so when the time hits, I'm all over it. (Hubby Dearest is in England, so he is of no help with this problem.)

Good news now....the often debilitating pain in my butt, thigh and calf have taken my mind off my bad knee!! I can hardly even tell it's there!! It's my right knee, too, so I assume the sciatica is masking the pain I usually have in the knee. When it rains it pours, isn't that what they say? At any rate, the whole exercise plan is kinda on hold for the moment, so my dietary needs have to be more focused. With the flu-bug thingy I kinda forgot that. I was concentrating so hard on staying hydrated, I sorta forgot about eating properly. High calorie, high carb, and bland was the menu. Those were also the easiest to prepare. Yes, I'm well aware I took the lazy way out.

Weigh In Wednesday did not produce the results I had assumed it would. I figured with my "bug" and the issues that came with it, I'd be looking at a lovely loss this week. Instead, I had only a 1.2# loss. I did have a few Propels for hydration, and some chicken noodle soup last night, so perhaps a bit of extra sodium has retained fluids. Who knows? At least I didn't gain weight being sick.....that would truly suck.

The snow is melting, and I can see my walking path!! (At least parts of it.) I am anxious to get out and take a little stroll around the hood again. Temps have been fairly mild (in the 40's) so it would be completely doable if I could walk more than 20' at a time. Rains are in store for us this week so, the flood watches and warnings are beginning. I have the lumber ordered for the ark! The ground is so soggy, the runoff is going to be pretty severe according to the experts. Selfishly, I hope it doesn't delay the opening of the golf course!! I hope to be up and walking and swinging a club very soon. Just one more reason to get my butt ache cured. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Upright Once Again

I've been down and out with some sort of flu-like bug and sciatica since Sunday afternoon. I am not sure which was worse, but between the two, I've not been in an upright position for long periods of time. Always "Little Miss Sunshine" I'm anticipating a weight loss in tomorrow's weigh in because of these two "problems". I am just now beginning to feel fully hydrated again. I was not interested in trekking down to the computer so I've been trying to keep up with everyone via my Crackberry.

Needless to say, the food and exercise portion of my journey has been non-existent for the past day or two. Unless walking to and from the bathroom can be counted. :) My plan to work the core and lower back for my sciatica has produced no results at all. Now, admittedly, a day or two off may not have helped, but it wasn't making a difference before the bug hit me. I'm at a loss. Back to the web for additional medical insurance coverage necessary. Eventually, if things don't improve this week, I will have to break down and go to the Dr. The only upside I can think of right now, is that I've felt too lousy to even think about enjoying a Girl Scout cookie!! I took delivery of several (as in-too many) boxes over the weekend, so the temptation has been on my doorstep.

Hubby Dearest is in England at the moment, so thankfully I've not had to worry about fixing meals. Toast made from Arnold's sandwich thins and green tea have been the wild and crazy menu I've been enjoying. I'm thinking of adding tomato soup to the repertoire today. Call me adventurous!!! Always ready for the finer things in life. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Off And Running

Well, figuratively, not literally. I've been laid up with sciatic nerve problems this week, so my exercise routine has been slightly amiss. "I am not a Dr., but I play one on the Internet", and have determined that my home remedy is to work on the lower back and so more core exercises. Oddly enough, my knee has been cooperating in this endeavor, so I'm really quite pleased with myself. Well, of course, except for the excruciating pain of waking up in the morning with my right leg knotted up and my butt aching!! After some minor stretching in the shower, a little Aleve, and a quick walk around the upstairs, I can negotiate the stairs to the main level. Today was the first day that going down a flight (or two) of stairs didn't just about do me in. Progress is being made.

I am happy to say that after my "weak-end", I have been back on the right track again. Wednesday's Weigh In was as I expected....a disaster. I was up 3#! Serves me right, and I knew it was gonna happen, but that still doesn't make it right. I am working to remain diligent in my food journaling and have added a Fiber notation in the margin of the chart. I had been using Nutri Mirror, but for whatever reason, I can't access my charts. So I'm doing it "Old School", I actually use and pen, a calorie counting book, and a calculator!! Takes a little extra time, but it keeps me thinking about what I'm doing.

I went grocery shopping today with my list in hand. I shopped the perimeter of the store with a close eye on my healthy options. I did "dip" into the frozen food aisle for some frozen mangoes. The fresh ones were way too hard, and I wanted some for lunch today. I took another detour thru the bread aisle for the high fiber, low calorie bread and hamburger buns I have discovered. While there, I found a new flat bagel/bread. It was similar to the Arnold's sandwich rounds, only it is a package of Everything Bagel thins. Only 110 calories!! I'm having one with a veggie burger for lunch with my chopped mango. Something new and interesting. It is not often that I actually look forward to lunch. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weak-end Mea Culpa and Burnt Offerings

Ok, so the non-birthday, birthday weak-end for Hubby Dearest turned into a real fiasco, diet-wise.

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa. It all began responsibly enough, but soon descended into a weak-end of pure caloric debauchery. No excuses....I just did it! Saturday evening, Ed had a hankerin' for Mexican food. Ok, I can do that without too much harm to the day's caloric load....or so I thought. After a pitcher of margaritas, possibly the most caloric non-ice cream drinks known to man, I realized this might not be my finest moment. Ok, one night won't deter me, I'll soldier on tomorrow. Then, Sunday morning, we woke up to a lovely, sunny day. Since the 28th is the day we actually celebrate Ed's birthday, we decided that a cook out would be delightful. I had just cut a beautiful boneless rib roast into 8 great looking rib eye steaks...PERFECT! Hubby Dearest likes twice baked potatoes, so put that on the menu. I used only 1 large potato and divided it between the two of us, so far so good. Fresh asparagus on the grill, yummy....still doin' ok. Tossed a salad, still right on track, garlic toast on low cal hamburger buns, only 120 calories, so I'm still ok. While preparing all of this, we began the cocktail hour(s)!! I had hit the slippery slope! "Look out below!!!"

The diet powers that be did get semi-even with me, however. The Jack Daniels that I used to marinate the steak caught on fire, and my smaller steak was crispy crittered! I didn't get to eat it all, it was too dry, and too chewy. I was able to get thru about half of it before I gave up the ghost. Luckily, the birthday boy had a lovely steak done to perfection. Serves me right for using booze to marinate a steak, right? After years and years of doing steaks this way, this is the first time we made a bonfire out of a meal. Burnt offerings, indeed!!!

After having given up weekday cocktail hours for Lent, HD and I got a little carried away with our freedom on the weekend. Next weekend Ed leaves for Watford, England, so perhaps I'll behave more responsibly. The Primary Child and his family will be visiting....and delivering Girl Scout cookies, so I am preparing the self control portion of my brain in advance. Luckily, I am not a huge fan of sweets, so I am hopeful self restraint will not be an issue.