Category Archives: Challenges

VACATION!

Look at these pictures!  Aren’t they amazing?  Great Sand Dunes, a lovely peak with aspens in full color, another view of the aspens against a cobalt sky, and a church on the top of a big hill.  You know what the problem is on vacations though…food.  I ate food.  I’m not supposed to eat food.  New Mexican cuisine, burritos don’t taste like Taco Bell here.  I even had duck for dinner once!  What does that mean?  It means that now I’m at 218 pounds.  Holy Crap!  Almost 4 years at the gym, averaging 1500 calories/day, and I’m 15 pounds heavier than I was when I started.  That’s measurable.  That’s progress–meaning I’m moving somewhere.  Let’s face it.  I’m NEVER going to be in beach body shape.  But I needed that sound of the wind in the trees, the hawks soaring over, even the Ravens cry in the early morning.  I needed that smell of pine and cedar.  I needed that rain, sleet, snow, hail, 0 visibility, long hours in the car, purse full of postcards and memories of hikes, museums and galleries, and last but certainly not least, time with my best bud, my husband.  We even lost power in the town where we were staying.  2 hours of darkness in the hotel.  They weren’t worried, so I wasn’t worried.  The power came on with little ado.

oooo purdy 178

So yes that’s snow…and it got so thick when we left that we couldn’t see anything but the tail lights ahead of us until we were about 50 miles west of Ogallala, NE.

One week later, I was at a Girl Scout Camp Alumnae Event and we did low ropes activities and archery.  Sore?  Ok, the tops of my feet weren’t sore, but everything else was.  I’m still toooooooo weak on my left leg.  Dammit.  Then of course I had gained all that vacation weight.  I couldn’t transfer weight from good to recovering leg, and couldn’t balance on recovering leg and move good leg.  Couldn’t get to 2nd of the bosun chairs.  Hands hurt, legs and back and tummy hurt, arms hurt, eyebrows hurt?  It was fun because my daughter was there.  It was also a reminder that I am not, and have not made my fitness a priority.  It always takes a back seat to whatever I’m doing at the time.  Dang it.  I don’t like having fitness a priority in my life.  I want my LIFE to have priority–seeing things, doing things, experiencing things!  But OOPS, I can’t see things, do things or experience things in my current condition.

I guess I have to make it a priority until I am in a condition that I can have a life…tomorrow.

 

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hmmm

I wrote that last one Sept 1, and then something happened and it didn’t publish.

Ok, well, published now.

End of 1st week:  It’s hard not to drink coffee/tea/pop and stick to water.  I went a week on this water experiment and then had some Mountain dew with my salad.  I couldn’t finish it.  It was way too sweet!  I had coffee with my breakfast, and could only drink a 1/2 a cup.  My body’s reacting to this in ways I didn’t predict.  Should be interesting.

Lips still feel sticky, but less so.

Water

Water you up to?  Not much, you?

Hahahaha!  I crack myself up.  (cues laugh track)

I was looking on my bottle of tea for ingredients.  It SHOULD say water and green tea.  It doesn’t.

Water, Citric acid, Hexametaphosphate, Natural flavor (why would you have to ADD natural flavor?  If it isn’t added, why is it listed as an ingredient?) Green tea (there’s the tea), ascorbic acid, potassium sorbate, phosporicacid, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, pectin, and calcium disodium EDTA. And what is EDTA?  Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. (That’s ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid)  It is made from a concoction of poisons and chelation chemicals:  formaldehyde, sodium cyanide, and Ethylenediamine.  Yummy!

Back to water.  It has been pointed out to me that I might be suffering from chronic dehydration.  Chronic?  It means I’m consistently drinking stuff other than water.  Think of it this way.  You’re making bread.  It calls for flour, sugar, milk, salt, butter and yeast.  That’s fairly straight forward isn’t it.  Milk is liquid.  Substitute 2/3 c of dry milk and 1 cup water.  Now…Here’s where the fun begins.  Try substituting 1 cup of tea for the water.  Now try 1 cup of coffee.  Oooo!  how about a cup of kalua!  Wait.  1 cup of Mountain Dew!  I like Mountain Dew, let’s make it 2 cups!  Yum!  In any case, you’re not going to get bread out of this recipe.

The body craves water.  Simplest form possible.  If it gets something other than water, it first has to clean it to get the water out.  That’s an extra step.  When you pollute the water with flavorings and extra chemicals to maintain its color and addict you to the secret ingredient (High Fructose Corn Syrup),  you don’t get as much water as you need out of the concoction.  Your nerves need water to make sure the electrical impulses are not short circuited.  Your brain needs water because it’s the brain and it knows what it wants.  Your bones need water to lubricate the joints.  Your blood needs water so it doesn’t get too thick.  OK, so no, I don’t exactly know why all these systems need water, but they do.  But I don’t drink nearly enough water.  I bet you don’t either.  You drink sports drinks, and pop, and milk, and tea, and beer, and wine and juice.  But you don’t just drink water.  Oh we make a big deal about carrying our water in little bottles with labels that say “this here water is pure as the driven snow and melted down from a glacier in Nova Scotia…or from the tap of Mrs. Livingston in Rockwell, Ill.”  We drink the water at the gym and where ever we think someone will see us being healthy.  Then we go home and have a 2 liter Mountain dew with our pizza.  Or we have 1/2 a case of beer with our steak and potatoes.

I want to try an experiment.  Let’s get as many people to do a WATER ONLY September.

  1. Take your measurements and describe your well-being before you start, and then at the end of the month.  Let me know what you discover.
  2. If you drink anything, it has to be water.  No tea, coffee, fruit drinks, diet drinks, pop…just water.  I think the standard amount is related to your weight.  I may be way off base, but figure 1 oz of water for every 2 pounds you weigh.  So if you are 100 pounds, you drink 50 oz of water a day.
  3. You can have soup and broth, but it doesn’t substitute for water, it would be in addition to water.

I will collate the information and let you know the results in October.  It could have revealing results.

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Gait

I have discovered that when I’m on an elliptical machine, I don’t limp.  I also don’t have to use my hands to steady myself so I don’t lose my balance.  I cannot do that on a treadmill. I went to my PT today and worked on some stuff–my normal routine.  I stretch my hamstrings and my uninjured leg is tighter than my recovering leg.  I lie on my side and do leg lifts with a weight, then on my back.  I did grand battements en croix with both legs. (Not at the same time…) Then, I had to do the 10 second sit down exercise 5 times.   I tend to lean to the right to stand and sit so less of my weight is over the recovering leg.  I have to concentrate really hard to do this.

I added another exercise today.  I stand on a 4″ box with my weak leg suspending my strong leg over the floor.  I then slowly bend my supporting leg until I can touch the ground with my foot, then stand again.  This is very hard for me.  The therapist was surprised that my injury was incurred in August.  Just ducky.  You should be much further along than this if your injury was last year!  Well, I’m not.   So fix me.  Ok, last exercise…walk on the treadmill for 5 min and don’t limp.  Only hold the support with your left hand, adjust your hips and don’t swing your leg.  OK, Walk NORMALLY.

6.crying

How can I get better without hurting?

No Pain, No Gain.  Am I pushing my muscles and tendons and ligaments to their limits?  No.  I am walking to my car, up the stairs in my house, out in my yard to move my hose for the new planties.  So why am I so sore?  Am I doing extra work at the gym?  Am I getting a thorough work out at the Physical Therapist?  Well…  10 min of my workout in PT is spent with a warm pack on my leg.  It is followed by about 5 min of deep tissue massage (which really hurts especially around the screws in my appliance).  I then have about 3-5 min of ultrasound therapy.  20 min of non active therapy.  40 min of marching, standing on 1 leg, battement tendus (French ballet term), doing step ups, a hip sled, and stretching exercises.  But it didn’t hurt the day of or the day after.  So why is it hurting now?  Why do I still limp?  Why am I so hungry?  oh wait, next blog…stay on topic kid!

I’m finding it difficult to locate my center of gravity.  It seems when I stand on my recovering leg that my center is to the left of my leg and I’m leaning over to compensate.  I try to move my hips so my center of gravity is center.  That is most uncomfortable. 50833843-image-of-young-overweight-person-doing-exercise-at-home-while-standing-with-one-feetPasse

So that isn’t me, but do you see how the upper part of the body is tilted over the right side of the standing leg?  It should be centered over the foot and the right hip extended further so the upper body is straight up and down like the dancer on the right.  Yes, she’s holding onto a barre, but she could hold that position without the barre as well.  I cannot seem to get myself into that position.

Heck, I can’t walk on a tread mill without holding on because of the limp.  Driving me crazy.  9 months now, beginning the 10th month of recovery.  What a pain.

This is good/bad

Went to a convention in Indianapolis.  Whee!  Prepaid the parking and it is just across the street from the Colts’ stadium which is good since 1/2 the event happens here.  Unfortunately, the other half is in the convention center, which according to the map, is just a couple minutes’ walk from the parking facility.  The map is SO wrong!  1st off, it’s about 4-6 blocks from the car, but when you get to the center, it’s another 1/2 mile INSIDE the building!  I am using my cane, but the side effect is that my back and hip on the uninjured side now stiffen up.

Once you get to the room, you sit for 4 hours after the walk.  Uh oh.  Now back and hip is stiffened up, AND the injured leg is weak and doesn’t want to support my weight.  Not the worst, because hubby’s knee is giving out now!  OH NO!  So started at the stadium.  Then 3 hours later, they kick us out (even though most of the participants are buying food!) before the next session.  The participants take their food outside to eat, and 1/2 hour later, when the doors re-open, are not allowed to take it back in to the facility.  Doh!  Sit for another 3 1/2 hours, then mosey out to find the next session.  We wander down the street and with no end in sight, we stop and sit on some of the low walls.  Finally, we get to the convention center, then follow the crowd in and stand in line for another 30 min to get pizza.  We go to the last session and sit for 2 more hours.  Hip, back and thigh is stiff, and hubby’s knee is sore.  Limp back to the car and ride home.

My right hand is now bruised from the cane.  The room phone doesn’t work, and I am having difficulties getting into the internet.  I should put on my run tracker tomorrow!  I’m going to sleep like a rock tonight!

 

Congratulations! You’re cured!

I don’t get that assessment very often.  I got it from my orthopedic doctor yesterday.  But Doctor, I still hurt.  “Yup.  You’re going to hurt.”  But Doctor, I still limp.  “Yup, you still limp.”  How am I cured?  “Your leg is no longer broken.”  Ah.

Then, from the Physical Therapist…”You know, eventually you’ll have to be doing exercises on your own to keep making progress.  You have to get to the point where you don’t need us any more.”

Maybe I should have washed the clothes I wear to the appointments…though I didn’t notice anyone’s eyes tearing up and heard no retching noises.

I did get new shoes yesterday.  They are supposed to compensate for my outward roll on my right foot and support my weak left leg.  Both have a very high arch support in them.  I feel like my foot is sliding off the center of the shoe.  They felt ok in the store though.  Is there a thing where when you cross the threshold, the shoes have a trigger that turns off the comfort level?  I guess I’ll find out if it works in a few days.

So for all intents and purposes, my leg is healed.  It still hurts to stand on it for any length of time, and I cannot go up and down stairs like I used to.  But…

IT’S PROGRESS!

 

I’m getting ugh better

It feels so weird when I step up on the box and my hip does this weird popping thing.  It feels like someone strumming a guitar.  It takes so much effort to just stand on that one leg.  It requires a lot of effort to stand on the injured leg and do grand battements with my right.  The uninjured leg does not want to move.

The leg doesn’t hurt until I release the muscles.  Then it hurts like the dickens!  But, I am getting better.  Really.  omg.

It’s raining

It’s Pouring, the Old Man is Snoring…

Ok I’m snoring.  I’m lying on my side in the Physical Therapist’s office on a padded table with a heating pad on my leg.  It’s really heavy and it’s moist heat.  *beep*  Time for the ultra sound.  zzzzzzz.  *beep*  “Were you sleeping?”  Me?  No.  Why do you ask?  “Because normally people who are awake don’t snore.”  oh

She really really worked my IT band–the tendon that connects the hip and the knee.  Iliotibial band it’s called.  I’m cross-eyed in pain…and also I don’t have my glasses on so I may not be cross-eyed, just blurry.  ANYWAY, after the torture comes the exercises.  Leg lift with 2 lb. weights, side lift with same weight (OWIE!  that one’s hard.)  Hamstring stretch 3 x at 30 seconds.  Leg extensions with 3 lb weight.  Leg curl with blue band resistance.  Calf stretch 3 x at 30 seconds.  Hip glider machine, 3 springs, 15 times.  Sideways stepping, marching then on to the box.  It’s 4″ box I step up on my bad leg, touch my right toe and then step back down.  15 of those.  After that, I step up on my bad leg and then continue forward and step down on my good leg.  15 of those.  5 min on the tread mill, lvl 1.

Then I walk out of the office.  I don’t limp for a good 45 min after that.  Then I sit down and of course it tightens up again, but I’m not limping as bad.  But it’s raining.  I have to limp fast to get to the car!  So I am making measurable progress.

I do have a question though.  You all know how hard it is for me to loose weight.  Very strict diet, and I do as much exercise as I can given my current physical state.  Do the probiotics work?  Could I have a digestive problem instead of a calorie problem?

Unintended consequences

Compensating behavior takes place whenever one part of the body is compromised due to injury or disease.  So when you stub your toe, you limp and take more weight on your other foot.  When you jam your fingers, you hold your pencil differently.

I went to a Toastmaster conference in Lincoln over the weekend of April 21, and had to walk about 3 blocks from the parking lot to the hotel where the event took place.  I was a good girl and used my cane.  I was limping and I guess I need new shoes.  My left leg is fine, but my right calf seized up so badly that it’s pulling on my Achilles tendon and causing pain in my right heel.

How do you effectively limp on both feet?