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Fail…so what?

I had COFFEE.  *sobs*  I had LOTS of COFFEE.  *wails*  I had 2 cups at breakfast and 2 cups at lunch, and no appreciable water all day.  So my water experiment is a bust.

No, no it’s not.  It’s One day.  My lips are no longer “sticky” and though I’m having to pee like every 5 minutes, I don’t feel as sluggish as I had.  Drinking that much water is a hard habit for me to acquire.  I still am struggling with it near the end of the month.  Is anyone else having a problem with this experiment?

Last week, I had a sudden pain in my thigh of the leg that was broken.  It was way down below the break and it felt like I was cramping.  Every step hurt.  It has diminished since then, but of course, I couldn’t go to the gym or do any walking while it hurt.  I may get some walking in a little later today.  I also haven’t weighed myself (because my standard is at the gym.  Lucky for me…)  I would guess I haven’t lost any appreciable weight though.

My friend L is on the keto diet.  She’s lost about 25 pounds!  She did that in 90 days?  I’ve been essentially at 1200 calories a day and mostly protein and fat for 2 years now.  Still same weight.  SHM.  It’s frustrating.

My progress has been in my attitude about how I look and how I feel.

You know…

  • Denial  (I’m not fat, I’m fluffy!)
  • Anger (Why do calories attack me in my sleep!  They leap onto me and hold on for dear life.)
  • Bargaining  (OK, if I have 5 good days of exercise and good nutrition, can I have pizza and beer on Saturday?)
  • Depression  (No one else has this problem, the laws of biochemistry and physics do not seem to apply to me.)
  • Acceptance  (No problem, yes, I am a 2XL.  I AM twice the woman you married.)

If you read through my blogs on Measurable progress, you can see me vacillate between the last two repeatedly.  I don’t want to accept that what I look and feel like right now is the way I’m going to remain.  But I cannot continue to beat myself up either…


Happy September 1! Ready? Set? GO!

For all you people that read this blog, this is the beginning of “Water You Up To?” September.  The rules are simple:

  1. Drink water
  2. not flavored water
  3. not Gatorade or other power drinks
  4. not tea
  5. not coffee
  6. not fruit juice
  7. not water flavored with hops and barley (beer)
  8. no, the ice in your cocktail doesn’t count
  9. not pop/soda

Write down in your September Journal how you feel today.  Get a picture of yourself perhaps.  Write down your exercise and your meals as well.  If you have a fitbit, check it! (Oh, yeah.  That’s why you bought the danged thing!)  I’m curious how your results turn out.  2 questions that come to mind:  1st of all, are you more aware of what you’re eating when you have to journal it?  So will that affect your results?  And secondly, are you more aware of your exercise when you journal it and will THAT have an effect on your results?

Sept 30, let me know how you did.  The more people we have in this experiment, the better the information we get.

Here’s my starting:

  • Weight 212.7
  • lips:  sticky (partial dehydration)
  • exercise regimen for base–Physical Therapy exercises to strengthen broken hip (from last year)

Little by Little

Woohoo!  I am without crutches or cane for the most part!

My Physical Therapists, the inestimable Gina V and Noah, have been heating my operation site, and rubbing and needling, and general torture for about a month.  At one point, I felt I had an extra joint in my injured leg about 1/2 way from my hip to my knee.  It felt REALLY weird!  The lower quads bunched up to a rock just above my knee, and the upper quads didn’t seem connected to the lower.  Now it feels more like 1 muscle again.

I couldn’t walk much because my injured leg wouldn’t (and I mean absolutely refused to) hold my weight to allow my right leg to move.  I am gradually getting my gait back.  I still limp, but it’s much less pronounced.

This IS measurable progress!

I screwed up

I am in Physical Therapy for my injured hip.  I have certain exercises I need to do to combat the adhesion that is keeping me from walking like a human person.  Right now, it feels like I have a big lump of muscle just above my knee, and a void above that and another muscle that goes to my hip in front.  So it feels like my quad is actually an oct.  The lump above my knee is parallel to the floor, and shouldn’t be there.  My therapist asked me what I’d done.

Wellllllll, I just did the exercises you assigned me for my recovery…

But if doing one series is good, doing 3 would be better right?  I actually got a face/palm for that.  He says, “We do one series here because you’re supposed to do one series.”  What do these exercises entail?

  1.  A hamstring stretch with a cable.  I am supposed to pull on my foot with outstretched leg to stretch the hamstring on the back of my leg–3 times for 30 seconds.
  2.  A band stretched around my knees that I’m supposed to open my knees and hold for 30 seconds 3 times
  3. An ankle weight that I lift with a straight leg while lying on my back and other leg bent, 15 times
  4. An ankle weight that I lift while lying on my side, 15 times.
  5. An ankle weight that I extend my leg while sitting on the edge of the table, 15 times
  6. A band stretched across my heel where I do leg curls, 15 times
  7. Hip sled set at a low weight 15 times
  8. Side step that I do about 10 feet out and 10 feet back
  9. March where I lift my knees between steps 10 feet out and back
  10. Balance with my feet toe to heel for 30 seconds good foot forward and then 30 seconds good foot behind
  11. Single leg balance 20 seconds.

Sounds reasonable.  So I did 3 sets of these at the gym on Sunday.  Monday, I was so sore I could hardly move, and the cold wind caused my leg muscles to seize up.  I over did it and now I have to wait 2 weeks before I can start correcting my gait.  Wahhhhhhhhh!  And his remedy for that muscle was deep massage and it really hurts!  But it doesn’t feel bunched up now.  Doh!!!!

New Approach

I have now been going to Physical Therapy twice a week for 2 weeks.  The feeling of having an extra joint in my injured leg is gone.  Why?  Because they’re merciless on the massage!  My hubby and I have a joke:  “What is the difference between a Trainer and a Torturer?  You pay the Trainer!”  We paid about $650/month for our trainer.  She made us feel guilty if we didn’t go to the gym, and always challenged us and pushed us.  She was very good!  Hubby lost weight and is down to about 330 lbs.  I didn’t because the laws of physics and biochemistry do not apply to me.  (see all my other entries on losing weight…)  Nevertheless, seeing the Physical Therapist costs me $50/visit.  So the difference between a Trainer and a Therapist is about $200 less, and 2x the pain.

In essence, the therapist goes to the injury and looks for tightness and lumps of scar tissue and rubs it really hard to break up the scar tissue.  I have very deep bruising from this.  My leg is now painful to the touch.  Then Monday, I experienced dry needling.  She sticks this needle into my muscles just above my knee (where I felt that  phantom joint) and goes until it starts a twitching in my muscle.  She was using only needles, no other devices or machines.  I say that because it felt like it was electric!  At first, it just felt like pressure, then, when it hit the problem area, it felt like a shock.  She’d remove the needle after a few seconds and put in another one at a different spot–8 in total.  When she was done, it felt like I’d had an hour session with my trainer and we only worked the quads on my left leg!  It was tight and felt sore like after an intense workout, not sore like I’d gotten stuck with needles.  Why would anyone submit to this?  Well, because I’m limping less!  The therapist also gives me really easy exercises to do, with 1 exception.

The nastiest exercise I have now is marching.  Take a step, lift the knee, take a step, lift the knee.  No problem lifting my left knee (injured leg), but I can’t get my right foot off the floor!  I will keep trying though.  I am making some measurable progress!

Back on the horse

The horse doesn’t like me though.

In trying to recover strength in the leg with the broken hip, I have to do stationary bike work.  I was doing interval training:  4 min on level 3 (omg, that’s like a little kid bike!) and then 1 min at lvl 8.  Lvl 8 used to be my starting point!  I did 30 min of this. I then decided to try grand battement exercises as my flexibility has been compromised.  I discovered that when the moving leg was the injured one, I had full range of movement.  When the standing leg was the injured one, I couldn’t get my other leg to move!  If, however, I used my crutch to help support me, the uninjured leg did right what it was supposed to and moved pretty well.  Isn’t that weird?

ANYWAY, so now I’m sore.  Partly due to being on a stationary bike for 1/2 hour after not done anything over the holiday, I am actually saddle sore!  My butt hurts!  Get the horse tie in now?  I guess I need to get back to the gym again today or suffer the consequences.  Oh my.  I guess I need to do the weight training with a little cardio today.

According to my new resolution, my lines are, “OH GOODY!  I get to go to the gym and see what I can do today!  I can hardly wait!”  If I say it enough…


‘Tis the Season

Bread!  Rolls!  Stuffing!  Potatoes!  Candy! Really Big Plates!  Parties!

My Exclamation point key is wearing out. Now let’s throw in snow and ice so you can’t leave the house.  Is this a good thing?  Yes and no.  Yes because now you can’t eat out and over-eat because, gosh dernit, YOU PAID for all that food.  (Ya, I know…eat half and put the other half in a box trick.)  And no because you can’t watch Christmas movies without eggnog and cheese balls and crackers and popcorn.

What is a person to do?

Aha!  Remove the stimulus!  Don’t watch the Christmas movies, watch the Musketeers series or Merlin or NCIS or CSI NY in a binge!  Don’t go to the parties!  Uh oh…side effects!  What kind of side effects could those possibly have?  Forgot to go shopping for gifts.  Forgot that some people actually celebrate Christmas and THAT’S why they’re not here for their lessons…so you won’t get paid this week.  Oh and you volunteered to sing on Christmas Eve with the church choir, and because all your activities have been cancelled, you have NO idea what day today is.  Crud.  Is it 10:45 already?  Now I’m hungry.  I know.  I’ll fix a healthy breakfast and do dishes for 2 1/2 hours.  Problem solved!  Or not.  Have a Merry Happy and a Christmas New Year.

Moving forward

I saw the trauma orthopedic doctor on Tuesday.  She was pleased with my progress.  Progress?  I’m making progress?  It surely doesn’t feel like it.  So she asked me what I was doing for PT.  Well… I was supposed to set it up with a therapist so I would be going 2-3 times a week.  I couldn’t figure out the insurance so I didn’t go.  I did go to the gym once a week to work on the exercises I had been given.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t feel like I am making any progress.  I am not responsible for my healing and it is slowing me down.  If I am not seeing the PT guy, I should be getting into the gym at least 2-3 times a week.  I should be doing exercises at home.  I am doing anything but.  Then I went to my friends blog…Moving Mountains. She had this great quote from Jack Sparrow.

Problem solving is what I like to think is my specialty.  But I am not solving my own.  I have to decide to be my own therapist (mental and physical) and take responsibility for how I feel and how I heal.  This is a hard thing to face.

Do you ever find yourself unable to solve your problems but others’ seem obvious and easy to solve?  Why is that?  Removing yourself from the situation and seeing it from a differing perspective is easy when it is someone else’s predicament.  When I was looking at myself, I was amazed that I made the circumstances so convoluted and confusing.  What a silly thing to do!  Everyone will do that though.  Just like my “progress” the situations people find themselves that seem overwhelming are due to incremental changes in physical, mental and spiritual aspects.  They are often so small that one doesn’t even realize these changes are occurring.

One of my favorite movies is “Rat Race.”  In this movie, the plot is set early that each person has been chosen to go after a $2,000,000 prize and the 1st one to reach it gets to keep it.  O. K. But each person has a radically different journey!  Some go to the airport, and the flights are cancelled.  Why?  Because another one of the competitors decides to pull down the radar tower.  You see this jeep being pulled up the tower with the two miscreants in full panic.  Then later in the movie, you see a couple of them suspended from a hot air balloon, holding on desperately to a cow whose hoof has been entangled in a rope attached to the basket, and fighting over the key 100 feet in the air.  How did they get to that situation?!  Incremental steps.

My progress is so small that I can’t see it, but my doctor, who sees me once a month, notices a difference right away.  So healing and destroying can be done incrementally.  This is the reason the gyms are crowded in January and empty in March.  This is the reason that the young kid thinks smoking is cool and then cannot understand why he has problems breathing.  Look at the bill boards–all of them promising a new start, a new plan and a chance to get life on track for success for January.   There should be bill boards that pop up in February saying, “Keep Going!  You may not see a difference yet, but you’re developing a new outlook on life and refining habits that will grandly change your life. ”  You won’t see any…

I know what I have to do now.  I need to schedule my recovery time in the gym and be faithful to it.


Immeasurable progress–the hospital strikes back

Woohoo!  Breakfast today!  Egg, sausage, applesauce, toast, tea.  I can get up to go to the bathroom today!  TADAAAAAA!

  1.  Pull self into sitting position using trapeze
  2.  Use foot lifter to get bad leg off bed, and turn toward side of bed.
  3.  Scootch to edge of bed and grab for walker.  Gently slide onto good foot.
  4.  Have nurse accompany me to bathroom, negotiate the turn around, grab the support bars
  5.  Sit crooked on toilet!

Nurse accompanies me back to bed where I sit on the edge of the bed and try to scootch backwards so I don’t fall off, then throw my good leg up, grab the trapeze with my l hand and use the foot lifter to get my bad leg back in bed.

Take a 45 min nap to recover.  My youngest daughter is coming to visit me today from Virginia.  Finally!  someone I know!  Then surprise, surprise, my friends, the Petersens show up!  They’re from Tampa and they drove down to visit me.  How WONDERFUL!  They’re such good people.  They both look really great, and they were so cheerful and encouraging.  Time just flew by!

My daughter showed up later.  I apparently need to order dinner to get dinner, so I ordered turkey and sides.  It wasn’t bad.  My daughter was sitting there crocheting and we talked and laughed and watched  Animal Planet.  It was sure good to have family.  The nurse came in and asked if I was ready to check out tomorrow.  WHAT?!  I just walked for the 1st time today!  My husband and my oldest daughter won’t be here until Friday!  Where do I go from here?  Do I call a cab?  My youngest drives a Mazda!  “So you’re not ready to check out yet?”  Ya think?!  Now I’m all upset.  Husband calls from Paducah, KY, the car has broken down.  It won’t be fixed until Monday.  My daughters hash it out, and youngest says she can get me to her house and husband and oldest will meet us there.

I got a cramp in my leg and for some reason or other, every nerve in my swollen leg is touch sensitive.  After about 5 min of pain, a nurse comes in and massages it.  I didn’t know I could sing that high.  In the 1st place, it didn’t help, and in the 2nd place it felt that she was basically shredding every bit of muscle from my bones with demon claws.  Now she didn’t have long fingernails, so she wasn’t actually clawing me, but the pain was so intense that it felt sharp. Note to self, if you have a cramp, do the Mr. Miyagi thing and just heat up your hands and apply heat to affected area instead of rubbing.  I am taking many naps and trying to have a BM.  (It seems to have a big significance to the nursing staff.)  In addition, they have been giving me anticoagulants, by shot.  Hmmm?  Does that make any sense at all?

What a doofus, I didn’t order breakfast for tomorrow.  or lunch.  hmmm may be very hungry.  I’m still on the walker and am not moving very quickly anywhere.  I did take a walk up the hallway and back…42 feet.  Maybe 80 feet tomorrow.  I’m taking about 2-3 of the oxycodone every 6 hours.  I do not notice any change in the pain level after I’ve taken them, yet I continue.  Is it mind control?  *plays ominous music*


Immeasurable progress–GAH Wars

GAH! is what you say at a very high decibel level when your injured hip gets jerked, or moved or twisted in a way that causes excruciating pain.  About midnight, I got 15 mg of oxycodone.  This is supposed to be really powerful stuff.  Pain is about a 2 on a scale of 1-10, 10 (which I just established) being moving from gurney to x-ray table.  I get no breakfast because I’m having an operation.  They come in at 7 to do pre-op and stab me in the arm in the inside of my elbow.  Because of course, the other IV’s (now 4 of them!) are innies.  doh!  If I have to relieve myself, I have to use a bed pan.  Now let’s think about this…  I cannot move my bad hip, it’s still broken.  I cannot lie on my bad hip, it’s still broken.  This means that I use my massive upper body strength to pull up my good hip so they can JAM the thing under my butt.  It pinches, and I have to pull myself several inches up before they can get it where it needs to go.  GAH!  See, when I pull up with my arm, I bring my good foot in, and push up my hip with my good leg.  I can get higher this way.  They don’t understand why I just don’t lift my bad hip.  I’m still amazed that they don’t get this.  Michelle is really good at moving me around and making my pillows work and taking care of me.  She’s the PA nurse (so she’s not the charge nurse and doesn’t have an RN…)   She’s given me 2 pre-op baths. She’s very friendly, so it’s not as embarrassing as it could be.  Doctor Go comes in and asks me some questions and then pronounces me ok for surgery.  Yay!    Dr. Vicarious (not correct spelling to protect the innocent) comes in and explains the procedure.  Screws, and clamps that go from top of femur to knee cap will be put in.  I asked if he was going to put in a zipper this time.  This is 3rd operation on same hip.  He was not amused.  Maybe he will get it later.  So I had my “vicarious” experience.  It is now 9 am.

How many times can you do the Jeopardy Theme Song before you realize that when they say “soon” they don’t mean within the next 5 hours.  It is after 2 pm when they take me down to the ready room.  Remember all those innies that they couldn’t use to draw blood?  They don’t use them to put in the anesthetic either.  I have a new one in my wrist now.  GAH!   They’ve asked me a dozen questions, over and over and over again.  I think part of the anesthesia is enhanced boredom.  Finally they take me in, at least I assume so since I have apparently fallen asleep.

I awake with a very long bandage on my left leg which is now swollen nearly double.  I am extremely sore, and now it’s about 7:30. GAH!  Time for breakfast:  chicken salad sandwiches.  This is how you make a chicken salad sandwich.  1)  cut up chicken, add pickle relish and mayonnaise.  2)  find 2 slices of white bread.  3)  Use an ice cream scoop to drop the chicken salad on the bread, and add the top slice.  DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SPREAD OUT THE CHICKEN SALAD AS THAT WOULD GIVE IT DELUSIONS OF ESCAPING!  4) cut sandwich in 1/2.  5) deliver to patient  6) when the patient picks up the sandwich, the chicken salad sees it’s chance and makes a desperate leap onto the patient’s chest anyway.

I get 1 more shot of morphine.  I do not notice any difference in pain level.

I can still only lie on my back, and I have to maintain my L foot to roll in to lower the pain level.  Gah!  and Yay Animal Planet!

I don’t know what I weigh now because I have extra hardware and all that swelling.  Dang.