Oh Yesssss!

So yesterday, I talked about the way people in the US use any occasion to get out of work and imbibe to stupidity.

What are the things most prized here?  They were the good old American Work Ethic and our Puritan beliefs which, by the way, no one currently knows or understands.  The Puritans were not against alcohol, but drinking to excess.  The Puritans were not against leisure of any sort, but they assigned it to Sundays.  The Puritans were not against sex, it was just relegated to marriage.  The American Work Ethic was basically this:  Work so you can eat and have the necessities of life.

What is the thing that everyone seeks?  It’s a way of life that does not require a work ethic and is based on hedonist beliefs.  We desire what would be considered sinful.  Ah!  People prefer to put themselves first in every situation.  Look at Eve.  “Ooo! If I eat this, I’ll have the knowledge of Good AND Evil?  Then I’ll be just like GOD?  Gimme gimme!”  She was thinking of herself.  Cain was thinking of himself.  This is ongoing.  Now it is passe to think of “sin” and just call it a life choice.  The perspective has changed.  Anything I want to do should be legal.  It feels so good it can’t be bad.  It feels so right it can’t be wrong.  It’s hypocritical to think that we can legislate morality if no one in the country wants a moral compass because that would lead to lowering our self image.  We NEED to define sin for our society to function and we CANNOT define sin because there’s a separation of church and state (which is no where in the constitution by the way.)

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. (Thank you Wiki)

So we go merrily along our way doing whatever the heck we want until someone gets hurt and then we get arrested for doing something stupid.  Did you know they actually had a “sin tax?” A sin tax is an excise tax specifically levied on certain goods deemed harmful to society, for example alcohol and tobacco, candies, drugs, soft drinks, fast foods, coffee, sugar, and gambling.  (Thank you Wiki)  If it’s too expensive, we won’t buy these goods and thereby save our society from sugar-high drunken smokers who crash into fast food drive thru windows.  And if it doesn’t work, the tax should pay for the damage.  Doh!

So we reward ourselves for doing something good by doing something bad.  How typically American.  “I worked for a year for this vacation!  So now I’m going to Las Vegas and lose all my bonus, get stupid drunk, cheat on my spouse and make me regret having worked all year.”  “I worked for a month to lose these 2 pounds!  I’m going to have 2 pounds of cake to celebrate…”  oops.  “I’ve been sober 2 years, 6 months, 3 days and 14 hours!  Let’s have some champagne!”  Let’s turn every holiday into an excuse to get drunk and over eat.  Let’s buy a car that goes 200 mph so we can drive 70 on the interstate.  We long to do sinful things because we are sinful people.  It has a certain adrenaline rush when you know you’re doing something illegal or immoral, and you think to yourself, it won’t hurt anyone, so it’s ok.  If it’s illegal or immoral, don’t do it.  Actions have consequences.

Morals are not something you legislate, they come from upbringing and reverence for life.  We have so many in prison because we don’t acknowledge that fact.  Nearly all of the Non-violent crime and so many of the violent crime involves no reverence for life.  It’s not a hard concept.  With moral law, we don’t need as many civil laws to protect people.  Moral law is written on the heart and is enforced by the conscience.

Does it hurt people?  Don’t do it.  Does it endanger your health or life?  Don’t do it.  Does it threaten someone’s livelihood?  Don’t do it.  Is it selfish and petty?  Don’t do it.  Would your grandma do it?  No?  Don’t do it.  You don’t do it and you teach your children not to do it, and your grandchildren not to do it, and your neighbors and their children not to do it.  You show your friends how not to do it, your enemies how you don’t do it, and YOURSELF how you don’t do it because you revere all life.

So if you do stupid things because you’re trying to escape your world, count your blessings and grow up.  If you are doing bad things because you can, and your only worry is getting caught, you have a serious social problem.

In any case, in all cases, treat people and property with respect.  It’s what you do.  Then fewer stupid things will happen and we’ll all be better off!

 

Oh NOOOO!

I am so disillusioned!  I thought Sinko de Mayo was when you ate mayonnaise by the sink!  Now I find out it’s a DATE?  5th of May…who knew

Apparently nobody.  Cinco De Mayo has nothing to do with Mexican Independence, that was September 16, 1810.  It is a celebration of an underdog victory–the Mexicans beat the French on May 5.  It is usually celebrated by military parades in Mexico.  In the US though, it is a holiday where all the gringos switch to tequila to get drunk.

St. Patrick’s day is a solemn occasion that reveres St. Patrick who was instrumental in converting Ireland to Catholicism. But in the USA, everyone wears green and they dye the water in the Chicago river green as well.  There’s parades and pub crawls, and it has nothing to do with the celebration of St. Patrick’s day.

New Year’s Day is when we make our resolutions and reflect on the past year.  Unless you’re from the US, then you start drinking Dec 30 and get so blasted that they pass out and miss the momentous occasion at midnight on the 31st.

What is it about Americans that we use every excuse to get a day off work and get drunk or high to excess?  How is that fun?  Why do people look for occasions to escape their lives–either by running away from work or spouse or kids or becoming unconscious?  Being drunk isn’t fun.  You can’t see, you can’t talk right, you can’t walk straight, you throw up, you pass out, you lose your inhibitions and do really stupid things that you regret for a long time after.  Why do they have to make low-calorie beer?  Is it to entice you to drink more since you won’t then gain weight?  What is the matter with people?!

It has a lot to do with how people see themselves.  It is not with a small amount of discomfort that I refer to myself as fat and give my fat “sentience” and a name (Obie) and a personality.  If people see themselves as trapped in a job, or in a relationship, or by circumstance with a family, they will engage in escape behavior.  I’ve been good all week!  I deserve to have that cake, since nothing I do will ever make me thin…  Counter intuitive don’t you think?  I will engage in a drinking binge where I end up in a motel with someone I don’t know and have no recollection of the whole night.  That should fix my broken marriage.  What kind of idiot thinks like that?  Quit crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.  Wouldn’t the end result be continued crying at a louder volume and a longer period of time?  Nobody is addressing the root cause of the issue.    We shouldn’t have to feel a need to escape.  We’re not in a hopeless situation.  We’re not fleeing to Canada or Mexico.  (BTW, Are the anti trump celebrities still here?)  We have 46 million people in the US that are foreign born.  People want to come here.  All those other societies with free health care, and better schools and better understanding of immigrants etc, only have a fraction of the number of people going to the US.  How long will the myth of the American dream last?  Longer than you might think.

They all think we’re rich.  We consider ourselves living paycheck to paycheck and just barely scraping by…with a new car, a 52″ screen TV, food of every imaginable type available EVERYWHERE and for EVERYONE.  No lines for staples like bread and milk that run out.

Our WORST problem is that we’re all fat.  Poor Americans, they have too much food.  But we’re the ones trying to escape our lives?  Good morning America…count your blessings.

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?

Owie! the sequel

Every time I go into the Physical Therapist, he rubs, (massages? I don’t know what you call it) right around the incision sites on my leg.  Now this isn’t the kind of massage you want to pay for, but I do.  It hurts.  He uses his thumb and fingers and palm and it always leaves me very sore.  In once case it left me black and blue!  But a day after that, I can walk better!  🙂  Not this time.  I was on my side and he was using his thumb on the screw incisions near my knee cap, and was rubbing so hard, I could feel it in the other leg!  This was Friday, and now it’s Sunday and I’m still very sore!  And it hurts to walk.  😦

I wish that I would heal better.

But I am doing my exercises, and going without my crutch or cane.  This morning, I was playing in front of the congregation for both services and having to limp over to the part of the dais so I wouldn’t blow out the preacher’s ear drums with my horn.  The limp is quite noticeable.  Everyone was asking me how I was.  “Are you ok?”  “Did you hurt your foot this morning?”  “Is this weather hard on your knees?”  They weren’t commenting on the music.  My limping was a distraction for them.

It was fun though!  I played my 1903 Lyon and Healy Cornet, and my dad’s piccolo trumpet on “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” with a descant,  “He lives,” the Choir piece “On the Third Day,” and finally “Up from the Grave he Arose” with a descant.  I got to blow the doors off on the 2nd service since there were so many people!  *Giggles*

I had roast lamb, garlic potatoes (small portion) with fresh chives, steamed carrots, and Charoset, a dried fruit dish with walnuts and almonds traditionally used on Passover.  Yum!

 

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…”