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!

What a workout!!!

I went to a certification seminar in Orlando…yes, the same danged place where I broke my hip last August.  Really!  It was the exact same hotel for the exact same seminar.  I did skip the revolving door this time.  They said they only had video from the outside, and I walked in and there was the camera between the entrance and the concierge desk.  I wonder what that one showed?  I also now am curious how many other people walk into that glass thinking it’s the exit.  I talked to several of my fellow attendees and they said they did.

ANYWAY…I got in and got my bags up to my room and then went to find registration.  The 1st time I attended, in August, I thought, “Just get me to the registration desk!  I can tough it out for the next 3-4 days.”  This time?  I walked from the elevator, past the restaurant, down the escalator, past the meeting room and lounge, down a ramp, down a hallway, past the “city” rooms (named after cities) and past 3 entrances into the big meeting room to my door.  I was so glad I brought my cane!  It was close to a mile!  So NO, I couldn’t have crawled to the registration desk last time.  I would have been 3 hours late.  I was exhausted after we had our opening ceremony and then we walked another mile back to the elevators.

The food was good, and plentiful!  I had to remember to take mostly protein, but they had quinoa salad, (Monday) chicken or beef, (Tuesday) turkey, beef or fish, (Wednesday) fish or beef.  It was all soooooo good!  They also had potatoes and pasta and bread/rolls and little teeny deserts, none of which I ate, but they smelled and looked so wonderful.

So the good news is that I didn’t gain any weight, and the bad news is that I didn’t shed any weight.  But this was the part I wanted to stress.  Of the 5 faculty at the seminar, 3 of them had paragraphs in their speeches about how they had lost 50-60 pounds.  Richard Simmons lost a lot of weight before he began his career.  Tim Gard has lost lots of weight and is a professional speaker.  What do I get from this?  Shed weight and become a professional speaker/coach!  What the heck!  I’m certified now so I could do that!

Wait…do you become a professional speaker/coach and THEN shed the weight or Shed the weight 1st.  Dam!

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!

Immeasurable Progress?

I am getting better.  Or not.

When I went to my doctor’s appointment, and I hobbled in on my crutch, she looked at me funny and asked, “Why are you still on that thing?”  Hmmm, that was most upsetting.  Last time, she said I was recovering well.  This x-ray showed the bone pretty much healed, and no little bone bumps from the appliance they had to put in.  No bone calluses, no screw-holes getting bigger or looser, no movement in the appliance was visible, so everything is fine.  Now, Walk.  “It still hurts.  It feels like I have an extra joint in my leg about mid thigh.”  “Oh?  Well, we can cut you open and go digging around to see what the problem is.”  !!!!!  “And it pops when I try to do stairs.”  “Oh?  Well we can send you to our joint specialist and he can dig around in there to see what the problem is.”  !!!!! 

None of those options seem like a good idea.  Maybe I ought to just suck it up buttercup.  I have been doing exercises to strengthen the muscles in my left leg.  I have done exercises to strengthen my core and my upper body too.  I can stand without my crutch and can hobble all over the house, but it’s not walking, it’s limping.  And it still hurts.  I need to stop complaining to everyone (she says complaining to everyone in PRINT on a BLOG.)  When people ask me when I should be off the crutch, I should just drop the stupid thing and walk (limp) away.  I shouldn’t have to explain my shortcomings and failures to heal to anyone.  No one is actually interested in WHY I still hurt or why I’m not progressing like a normal person that is done with the surgery and then done with the cane or crutch 4 months later.  Here I am at 2/15/17 after my accident 8/15/16, 6 months, and still on crutch.  Did I mention it still hurts?  Every step hurts.  Getting up from my chair, from the couch, from the pew hurts.  Standing hurts.  Sleeping without a pillow between my knees and ankles hurts.  I feel like the guy in Holy Grail.  People ask me how I’m doing and I say, “I’m not dead…”

Weirdness

I went to the gym on Tuesday, then Thursday.  *grins*  and now weirdness has set in.  My good hip is cramping, and my injured hip “pops.”  It feels like the muscle catches on something and then releases like a rubber band.  The funny thing is that after 5 min on the treadmill, my ARMS hurt.

Tuesday, I did the interval training on the stationary bike, lvl 3 and lvl 8 like earlier.  Then the 5 min on the tread mill at lvl 1 speed and lvl 1 elevation.  Thursday, I did the sit up, stand and twist exercise.  I use the inclined bench. I hold a 10 pound weight on my chest while I lie on the bench, then I rise to a sitting position and stand up in one motion.  Then I twist left and right without moving my hips then return to the lying down position again.  I did 3 sets of 15.  This was followed the 5 min on the treadmill on lvl 1 and 1.  Argh!

The popping sensation doesn’t hurt, so I don’t think I’m tearing muscle, but it is annoying.

In case you’re wondering, and even if you’re not, I am monitoring my carb intake and protein.  I cannot get enough protein without getting lots of fat.  It seemed that I was awfully busy this week!!!  But I continued to eat right.  I went to bed before midnight every night I was so tired.  I guess that’s a good thing as more sleep helps you realize you’re not desperate for food and on the hunt for a week.  At least that’s how I understand the psychology.

What I don’t understand is that it’s not calories in versus calories out, or energy expended in working out, or strength in both voluntary and involuntary muscle that causes weight gain or loss…it’s psychology.  I HATE psychology.  I prefer math, statistics, biochemistry and physiology.   There’s no “theory” there at least at the level I’m working at.  It’s facts and numbers and chemical reactions and such.  You can put the numbers to paper and do this and this and this and you get that result.  But no….If your body thinks (that’s like saying if your pillow thinks, or your chair thinks…) that there may be a problem getting food, it will store up food for a rainy day.  In other words, if you skip a meal, you get fatter.  If your body thinks that it has to stay up longer in order to protect itself or look for food, it stores more food.  In other words, if you stay up all night playing video games, you get fatter.  Even if you don’t stay up all hours of the night and eat regularly, if you don’t eat enough calories, your body thinks to itself, “Self, this person is crazy, store up more food!  We have no idea what’s coming up next!!!”  and you get fatter.  C’MON body!  Get with the program!  Do the MATH!  You already have too much stored, and the rats are going to get it or it will spoil!  (Body laughs knowingly…fat doesn’t spoil!)  Yes it does, did you smell that old Crisco we threw out last week?  (Body is shocked.  Body isn’t very smart.  Body is a pillow.)  I want to smack Body.  Body is not supposed to think.  NOOOO, could it be?  It ISN’T body that’s thinking!!!  It’s OBE.  (remember Obe?  The name I gave to my sentient fat?)  Obe laughs uproariously.   (check my previous blog)   “Obe!  Look!  A Donut!!!”  Obe runs for the donut, I close the door and lock him in.  Obe is not happy.

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…

 

Fail

All that work.  I’m a failure.  How useless am I?  Why even try?

Wow, I read this from a friend of mine and thought that sounded familiar.  Oh yeah.  I said that.  I jumped into my teaching/coaching mode and asked some questions to change the direction of his thinking and then formulated a plan of instruction to lead him to a better conclusion.  Silly me.  I should have done that on myself!!!

Why didn’t I?  It’s harder to get perspective when you’re in the middle of the mess.  When you’re stuck in a hole, all you can see is hole.  You don’t see the birds and the clouds and the trees and the snow and the… see?  All you see is the hole.  Someone yells down the hole, “YOU SHOULD SEE THIS LOVELY SUNSET!”  And of course you’re thinking, “What’s a sunset?  I’m in a hole.”  Someone else yells down, “I JUST HEARD THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BIRDSONG!”  I’m hearing dripping noises.  “YOU SHOULD TRY THIS MARVELOUS DINNER!”  I’m in a hole–there’s no food down here.  The people outside of the hole think that motivating you will get you out of the hole.  Send someone down with a rope!

Failing at something is a normal process.  If you were good at something from the beginning, you wouldn’t grow, you wouldn’t add to your knowledge or wisdom, you wouldn’t get stronger or more flexible.  A failure is not someone that tries and goofs up. A failure is someone that doesn’t try anything new.   Too much psychology spends time in labeling people and situations.  All those silly tests and quizzes on Facebook tend to help you explore your giftedness and then slap a label on you.  Which villain are you?  Which Celtic myth are you?  Which Harry Potter professor are you?  Why do we do these quizzes?  How do you feel when you discover that you’re too wimpy and kind-hearted to be a villain?  Are you disappointed?  What if you find out your not Celtic?  What if you turn out to be the janitor in Harry Potter?  Does that make you feel bad?  I took a Hymn quiz and got 100%.  This meant I was the elite of Catholics.  I took the same test that said I was in the top 1% of Lutherans.  Wait…  It was the exact same questions!  So what does that mean?

We have been led to believe that we must fit into a category or a description.  We belong to this group or that group.  We succeed or we fail.  But that is not the case.  In order to succeed, you have to fail.  It is not the million dollars you’ve saved, it is the person you had to become to save it.  It is not the marathon you finished in record time, it was the hours and hours of trying and failing that allowed you to run the marathon.  It is not the straight A’s, but the student you have to become to get them.  Each journey will have failures in it.  You have to fall short in order to grow enough to succeed.

I failed in my diet yesterday.  Yes, it was mostly protein–cheese, summer sausage,ham and cheese ball with Triscuits.  Then I had homemade eggnog.  Wow!  I love that stuff!  But I am not a failure.  I will eat well today.  I will do my PT exercises.

Failure is not a character trait, it is just a measure against a goal you set that tells you how far you need to go.  Have you reached it?  “Not yet.”

And if you know someone in a hole, get in there with them and work things out together.  Happy New Year.

Resolutions and Reflections

At this time of year, most people are saying to themselves, “Next year is going to be different!  I will NOT be doing such and so, I will NOT look like this,  I will NOT procrastinate (starting January 2nd because I’ll be too hungover to start January 1.)  How many reflect over the past year and see the successes?  Don’t most people make resolutions in January and by February or March they’ve already abandoned them?

I decided to reflect 1st.

  1.  I have been eating much more healthy than I did the previous year.
  2.  I have started drinking more water than I did daily the previous year.
  3.  My endurance on the stationary bike has increased over the past couple of months.
  4.  I am gradually weaning myself off my crutch after my hip surgery.
  5.  I am gradually getting back to doing things for myself like cooking and dishes.
  6.  I have read John Maxwell’s 21 laws 4 times and studied and passed the speaking platform training to become certified with John Maxwell Team.
  7.  I have started studying the coaching platform as well.
  8.  I finished the study of Revelation and have begun the study of John.
  9.  I have co-written a book and got published.
  10.  I am currently collaborating on a 2nd book.
  11.  I have taken on the duties of Division D Director for District 24 Toastmasters.
  12.  I have joined a 4th club.
  13.  I am close to finishing 2 more Competent Communicator manuals, a Competent Leader manual and 2 advanced manuals.
  14.  I have done more investments for my clients in the past couple of weeks than most in my company have done in a year.
  15.  I have replaced 4 of the 10 students I lost due to my hip surgery.
  16.  I have seen marked improvement in some of my special needs students.
  17.  I haven’t played a computer game for over 8 months now.

Hmmm.  That doesn’t look like the work of a loser.  Then I look at the stupid scale and I think to myself, “This machine cannot tell the whole story of my life over the past year.”

OK, so resolutions now.

  1. I will schedule more time in the gym to increase my strength, endurance, and cardio health.
  2. I will continue to eat healthy and continue to keep track of my food.
  3. I will continue to study the Maxwell information and get certified in March.
  4. I will begin Master Mind Groups and start Personally Coaching.
  5. I will finish the study of John and begin a new study this Fall.
  6. I will have my office cleaned and organized by June.
  7. I will polish my chapter for the 2nd book and begin a 3rd book.
  8. I will continue to work with the clubs in my areas to promote their progress and build up their membership, and will investigate possible new clubs as well.
  9. I will get a triple crown award for educational goals met in Toastmasters.
  10. I will continue to work with my clients regarding their financial needs and seek out more people that would like my help.
  11. I will continue to add more students to my studio, and foster a feeling of accomplishment in all of them.
  12. I will seek to be efficient in my time.

Hmmm.  My resolutions last year looked like this:

  1. I hereby resolve that I will not pet Polar Bears on the Nose. (success!)
  2. I will not plant anything in my garden that demands weeding (Failed that, planted potatoes)
  3. I will always use revolving doors.  (Changed my mind on that one!)
  4. I will not drive down the Dodge Expressway blindfolded and backwards.  (another success!)
  5. I will not audition for American Idol. (success again!)
  6. I will spend no time in the hospital.  (oops.)

They were silly resolutions.  I had no plan, but I accomplished a lot.  What would happen if I made a plan and followed it?  I will post my resolutions where I can see them every day.  And of course, I will keep you informed on my progress.  Both of you!

Since it is the Holiday, everyone have a Merry Happy and a Christmas New Year.

‘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.