Total Weight Loss

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Challenge and a Victory

First the challenge, since I want to end on a high note.

I haven't figured out how to tie my shoes.  I have three hip rules I must follow for the rest of my life.  Depending on who is talking, I can fudge a little bit more as time goes on, maybe breaking one at a time.  Breaking two at the same time, will cause dislocation.  No matter who is talking, at this point in time, don't break the rules.  They are:
1.  Do not bend the hip past 90 degrees.  This is the hardest one for me.  On a daily basis, I have reason to bend over and pick something up.  It is especially hard, when I am in a chair and want to get something from the floor, bending from this position is a huge no-no.  I must stand up to bend over.  
2.  Do not break the midline of your body with your leg.  This one isn't so hard.  I quit crossing my legs some time ago, when I learned it made varicose veins.  Sometimes, I want to cross my ankles when laying down but that is about it.
3.  Do not turn toes in - "pigeon toed." This one isn't so hard either.  I really only did that when shaving my legs to get to the back.  Since 65MD is doing that right now (see rule #1), I don't have to do that.

Now, on to shoe tying.  I haven't figured out how to get my hands to my feet without breaking rule #1 at a minimum.  No simply bending down and tying.  No putting my foot on my knee, which breaks #2.  I put my foot in a chair, being careful not to bend past 90 degrees, but I still couldn't get my hands to the laces.  I am totally open to suggestions.  If anyone has any ideas throw them out.  I'll gladly try them.

It seems, I must explore other footwear options.  Several people including 65MD have said that is probably the best thing to do at this time.  I'm just a tightwad, I guess because I don't want to buy new shoes when the ones I have are virtually unused.  As I was rehabbing my right hip and having issues walking, my therapist thought perhaps the wear patterns on my current shoes were contributing to the problem.  I bought these at that time, even though the shoes I had were still perfectly sound.  Now, I'll have two pairs of perfectly good lace up athletic shoes I can't use.  65MD says I should hang on to them and in time, I just might be able to tie them.  In the meantime, my options are velcro or drawstring.  I think the drawstrings are prettier, and I'll go with them if I give in and buy shoes.  Right now, I am experiementing with tying them first and them cramming my foot in!

I have a little time to practice since my schedule won't allow me to get to the gym until Wednesday -  which leads me to the victory.  I decided to watch the belly dance DVD today just to refresh my memory on the movements that were required and to see what I needed to do to work up to them.  Once I popped it in, I figured I could at least do the warm up.  It involved a lot of arm and upper body in addition to the hip movements.  I did those with no problem other than my arms getting tired.  Bouyed by that success, I kept going.  I did the hip movements very slow and easy but I did them and they didn't hurt!  I continued.  Again, I did the movements at my own pace but I did them.  I did the entire DVD!  Lest I leave a wrong impression, I was not fluid with my movements.   I did not look like the woman on the DVD.  I don't really know what I looked like and that's probably a good thing!  But I did it.  I did the belly dance DVD.  Looks like I had my activities backwards.  I'll keep doing the belly dance DVD on non gym days until I can actually do it with the fluid motions and then move up to Leslie Sansone!  Maybe I'll just skip ole Leslie and go to the gym more often.

Now, to ice my hips so I don't get sore.

Friday, February 26, 2016

I Did It

I signed up for the gym benefit at 65MD's school today.  I would have chickened out but didn't because I'd blabbed about it so much IRL as well as on here.  After all of the excitement of the free use of the facility, I realized I, in my pudgy post-op body, would be in the same room as 18 to 21 year old athletes in their peak.  OOPS!!

When the young lady, who was almost as big as my pinky finger, gave us a tour, I asked if there were times when the athletes were most likely to be there.  I was trying to frame it, as I didn't want to encroach, but she saw right through me.  She also said she totally understood.  And, she gave me some times that were most likely for them to be in class or otherwise occupied.  Those times actually worked out as the times that will best work for me. 

On the tour, however, there were three young men, working very hard lifting weights.  She pointed them out to me and said they were there all the time, but not to worry, they'd never notice me.  I think she was right.

I got a list of the classes, which are included in the benefit.  I was quite pleased to see that a dear friend is teaching an aerobics class MWF at noon.  She helped me get certified as an aerobics instructor when I was in my late 20's.  I actually taught classes at one point!  Right now, I know that is beyond my abilities, but it is definitely a goal for me.  The personal trainer (which is a kinesiology student) is an extra fee.  Right now, with my unusual circumstances, I don't want to do that.

I haven't quite decided how many days per week I'll go or what I'll do when I get there.  I plan to go next week, probably Tuesday and use the elliptical and see about doing some upper body weights.  ( Former President Bush will be on campus on Monday, making the campus a nightmare to navigate.  Otherwise, I would plan to go on Monday.)  

I still have some trepidation about the whole thing since I overshot my abilities with Leslie Sansone.  I want to push myself, but I don't want to hurt myself nor do I want to cop-out.  It won't be worth it to drive over there, find a place to park (a major issue at any time), and walk to the facility to only do 10 minutes.  Hopefully, I'll find a balance soon.

I found some cute workout clothes half price at Target this afternoon.  Now, I need to practice putting my athletic shoes on, and figure out how to tie them without bending my hip past 90 degrees.  65MD said I could come to his office and he'd tie my shoes!  I'd like to avoid that.  Between now and Tuesday maybe I'll accomplish that little goal.

Now, I ask a favor of my dear readers.  Ask me how it is going, please, particularly if I don't mention it for a while.  That could mean I'm doping off.  Since sharing here that I was going to sign up, compelled me to actually sign up when I was feeling ambivalent, surely the accountability will keep me going.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

True Confessions

I have not been exercising or doing therapy.  Sigh. And eating poorly.

Even though, initially I felt relieved when the surgeon let me off the hook with working out, it has morphed into frustration.  I thought, I'd go back doing therapy 5 days per week and something else the other day, gradually decreasing the therapy days and increasing the workout days.  Then I let anger and frustration creep in.  I began to think "What's the use?" and threw another little pity party for myself.  And I did not exercise.  And started making bad decisions about what to eat.

I felt myself slipping into the dark place that is hard to crawl out of.  So, I decided enough was enough and put my big girl panties on.  I decided if therapy was all I could do then I'd do therapy and do it well.  No sense pushing things and hurting myself.  I need to learn to enjoy the process and stop looking to the end result so much.  I'm robbing myself of today's joy.

Then I wrenched my left hip.  UGH!  I really don't know what happened and the problem isn't nearly to the degree is was with the Great Toilet Incident.  However, it has made doing some of my therapy impossible.  Instead, I've been icing my hip while writing my 2016 Mantra - "I am strong, fit and healthy."  (It is OK to laugh here.  I get the irony. At least I'm not eating candy too.)

All is not lost.  My husband is a college professor and the university has opened the athletic training facility to spouses as well as faculty.  We have an appointment on Friday.  (65MD has to vouch for me.)  They will show us the facility and even set up a routine for me.  The best part is, it is all free!
Here's hoping I have finally found something that will work for me.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Calmer Now

Since my public temper tantrum, I've seen my surgeon and my precious niece.  Both made me feel better.  Nothing does my heart more good than to have that three year old running towards me at top speed screaming my name and hugging my knees.  Love that pure and innocent is indescribably fabulous.

My doctor made me feel better by giving me good news and letting me off the hook.  First, I am totally on track with healing.  The x-ray was perfect.  The healing is textbook.  When I mentioned the pain I was still feeling from time to time, he said that was likely from me pushing myself too hard and straining the tendons.  I explained my three day therapy and three day other workout he was fine with it until I actually tried to demonstrate.

He was unfamiliar with Leslie Sansone and her walking routines.  I shared that I thought I should be able to just walk.  H said that I was walking as I should.  That no one would know that I'd had two hips replaced except for him and others like him with a more trained eye.  But, when I demonstrated the walking in place and how keeping the pace set the mileage, he laughed.  Yes, my doctor laughed at me for trying to do that video.  We had a little chat about just how much trauma my body has had in the last 16-17 months and what sort of things I should and should not expect to be able to do.  That sort of marching in place even at a slow pace is on the 'not do' list.

He encouraged me to continue to with the 3 day therapy/3 day other routine but not to push anything.  If caused any discomfort, to quit.  This will be my life until October, when I reach the one year mark on hip two.  So, I am trying to embrace resting once again.  Truth be told,  I actually took a nap when I got home from his office because I was tired!  I don't see afternoon naps becoming a regular part of my life, but I won't rule it out, either.  The whole conversation just gave me relief and I'm taking one giant step back on the workouts.

I'm still figuring out how to have my main meal in the middle of the day.  This week, 65MD has had luncheons at work for various reasons so it has been great for him, which works out well for me too.  I haven't had anymore attacks and perhaps this could just be the ticket to sustainable weight loss.

I need to get back on that train and ride!  When the doctor showed me the x-rays of my new hardware, I could see the outline of the fat.  He very generously, did not mention that, but it was gross and I'm using that as a motivator to do better, rather than something to have another tantrum about.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It's the Little Things

One of my blog friends used this as a title to a post recently and I am shamelessly stealing it.  If there is anything I have had reinforced in the last week, it is indeed that the little things make all the difference in the world, particularly when I am at my limit emotionally as I am now.

For instance.  I ordered ink yesterday for my printer.  I had a discount code that expires today.  I was glad I remembered to do it so that I got the discount.  Every little bit helps.  Today, I got a message saying that my order was canceled.  There was a problem with my credit card.  Normal Lori, would have been irked by having to redo it, but would have and then moved on.  Crazed Lori, is ready to throw her laptop across the room using words her mother would not let her use.

So far, Crazed Lori has not done so and the ink has been reordered and they honored the discount code.

Normal Lori (if there is such a thing) is struggling to regain control by thinking about good things, like her three year old niece that has learned the word 'delicious' and applies it to everything she eats.  She has always liked blueberries as do I, so I always have some on hand to offer her.  I love hearing her say "Dees boobewwies are da-WISH-us!"  The more she likes something the greater the emphasis on the middle syllable.  That thought is making even Crazed Lori smile. (Auntie Lori is the best Lori!)

I woke up about 6:00 am with a nose bleed.  (One of my tasks for the day is to find the humidifier for tonight.)  Somehow blood had skipped over the pillowcase onto the pillow itself and then once again bypassing the sheet and onto the mattress pad.  Some how the sheet had come untucked and had worked its way underneath me.  Go figure.   So, today I had to strip the bed and figure out how to get blood out of a pillow.

Crazed Lori is mad because it was not what she had planned for the day.  She is a busy woman with deadlines and commitments.  Normal Lori is trying hard to think about being glad for a washing machine and the ability to work from home so that her paying job and laundry can happen at the same time.

Add to this that 65MD and I decided to flip our eating day around.  Now we are having our main meal in the middle of the day, apart from each other.  This has all the Lori's a bit discombobulated.  Crazed Lori thinks we are now just one step away from assisted living.  Normal Lori is trying to figure out how to make this new lifestyle work with her schedule and Auntie Lori is daydreaming about the next time she and her niece can have some 'daWISHus boobewwies!' 

Monday, February 15, 2016

I Just Do Not Know

I am at the point of being nearly inarticulate when it comes to describing my life.  I try to focus on the positive and be honest about the negative.  I've described life lately as a roller coaster up - up one day and down the next.  Now it is just a giant bundle of craziness.  Instead of trying to analyze or learn some great message, I'll just share what has happened since my last post in chronological order.  I'll leave it to the reader to determine the good vs bad and perhaps even share with me the lesson I should be learning.  

Friday was a short work day for me.  I got the essentials done and was packed and ready to go when 65MD came home.  He was eager to get on the road to the surprise destination.  We left a little earlier than he anticipated.  Even as we were getting in the car to leave, he would not tell me where we were going.  I joked about him blindfolding me.  He didn't.  We got on the interstate and headed east.  I questioned him the entire way guessing places about an hour away.  Every time we went by an exit with a Motel 6 or Red Roof Inn, he'd act like this was our exit.  It was all in jest and we had a nice ride.

When we did exit the interstate, he handed me some map quest directions and told me to navigate.  Of course, I refused saying if he wanted me to navigate, he should have told me from the beginning or at least answered my questions on the way.  His comeback was, we'd never get there so I began to direct.  The only problem was the directions told us to make a turn on to a street that did not intersect with the street we were on!  Traffic was horrendous and we were sent through a horrible construction area.  Finally, we pulled in to a fast food place that didn't seem busy and the clerk gave 65MD better directions.

We arrived at our lovely little bed & breakfast in the heart of the old town to find it completely empty.  65MD pulled out his cell phone to call and had no service.  I checked and I didn't have service either!  It was freezing cold.  We were tired and stressed from the last bit of the drive and now we were stranded.  We decided to drive around and see if we could get a signal so we could call.  We noticed a little business a couple of blocks away and pulled in.  The receptionist was most helpful.  She told us we were in the right place and was a little puzzled that no one was there.

We went back.  This time an older lady from a house across the way came out.  She explained that her daughter ran the B&B and was stuck in traffic.  She would let us in out of the cold and try to check us in.  She was also trying to watch her grandchildren - a little girl about 3 and a little boy about 12 months.  Let's just say it wasn't going well.  She couldn't figure out what to do on the computer while the little girl decided to demonstrate her running and jumping abilities for us, thus breaking lots of fragile items that were jarred by the movement!

Eventually, the son in law came in and got us checked in.  He explained in great detail how to get in the house and told us we would get vouchers for breakfast at a nearby diner.  He failed to give us a key to our room and we had to go ask for the vouchers the next morning.

Still, even with all the stress of getting there and getting checked in.  It was wonderful. It was totally fine that we didn't have a cell signal.  We weren't planning to call anyone or play games.  65MD had packed a few things that were special to us in our dating days.  It was so sweet for him to remember.  I won't go in to that since it won't make sense without a lot of explanation and the specifics really don't matter.  Leave it as, aside from the hiccups with the B&B we had the wonderful relaxing night away that we both wanted and needed.

We got home midday on Saturday.  I texted my mother to let her know we were home, never thinking that she'd been trying to get in touch with me.  She was concerned that she had a blood clot in her calf as it looked sunburned and felt hot.  I have a sister who is a nurse, but her cell phone wasn't working either, except she didn't know it!

We went to check on her and knew she needed medical attention.  We called her doctor who sent us to a nearby walk in clinic, thinking it was cellulitis. The clinic sent us to the ER saying it was a clot.  The ER wound up diagnosing cellulitis and sent her home with two prescriptions.  All of this took nearly 7 hours!!!!  Most of them at the ER with another comedy of errors.

During this time, I called my nephew to see if he knew what was going on with his mother.  I didn't  want to do that because he is very close to my mother and I knew this whole thing would upset him.  He was able to track down his mother and she learned that she'd missed a lot of messages.  She offered to come relieve us but it didn't make sense.  My mother lives a lot closer to us and by this time we were at the ER.

When we finally left the ER, it was late enough that my mother's usual pharmacy was closed.  In fact, most were.  We finally found an open one and got the medication only to encounter issues with her insurance!  I felt like I had spend the entire week waiting in one medical facility or another - just waiting!!

I kept reminding myself that I'd just come home from my mystery date with 65MD and it had been delightful.  And that my mother was fine, she has insurance and her condition was easily treatable.  Still, my anger threshold had been reached.  I'm sure my BP would have had me in the ER.  I have had one nosebleed after another since Sunday.  This morning both sides at once.  I honestly gave some consideration to calling for help it was so bad. I simply didn't want to get back on the medical merry-go-round.  I might have just bled to death from my nose!

I'm not dealing with the extremes very well.  I think  I generally cope well with the normal ebbs and flows of life.  But this seems over the top and over the top, and in a negative way.  I had that one bright spot with 65MD for less than 24 hours.  I am truly thankful for it.  I'd probably be in a psych ward if not for that.  How much garbage can one person take?  The thing that scares me most is, I know it can get worse.  I'm not equipped to deal with any more.  I am helpless to do anything about it!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

No Gall Stones!

I saw my PCP yesterday.  My appointment was at 12:45.  Through a major comedy of errors, I finally saw the doctor at about 4:00.  He was more than mildly annoyed with his staff regarding the turn of events.  I was so concerned about my belly and the prospect of another surgery that I think I would have stayed all night!

His initial thought was gall stones, although, I did not have all of the classic symptoms.  He, of course, needed an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.  Due to the lateness, I had to go back today for the scan.  It was fine.  They redeemed themselves today.  I waited a reasonable amount of time to be seen and I hadn't gotten home before the doctor called with the news.  No stones!

That is wonderful news, of course, but still leaves us wondering what happened Monday night.  I said all along that I hurt in the middle of my stomach not my right side.  In fact, it is still a little sore there.  That is my esophagus.  So, now the thought is, I had a major acid reflux episode. I've never had one before, so I have no idea what one felt like.    I have some medication to calm the acid and am free to eat as I please once again.

I've had precious little to eat since Monday night.  That kind of pain was a strong motivator!  My diet tends to be low carb, which translates to higher fat.  I do my best to eat the good fats, but when fat is the enemy it doesn't matter if it is good or bad.  So,  I had very little on hand that I could eat.  Being stranded at the doctor's office, kept me from eating.  Then, I could have nothing for eight hours prior to the ultrasound!

I left the doctor's office today with a screaming headache due to the lack of sustenance of any kind!  I wanted a Sonic cherry limeade.  As I sat in line, I contemplated ordering something else, but at that time, I still thought I might have gall stones and nothing at Sonic would have helped.  So, I decided to get a regular cherry limeade instead of diet.  After all, I needed calories, right?  Plus, I didn't know what sort of artificial sweetener was in there, and those things are almost like poison.  When it came my time to order my automatic request was diet.  So, I got a diet one after all and drank the poison liquid.

The doctor called with the news after I left Sonic .  I was glad for that timing or some more poison in the form of popcorn chicken may have come home with me.  Folks, I was beyond hungry.  Don't judge!

When I got home, I shared the good news with 65MD, and decided to eat something.  It was a hard decision because I really, really wanted to eat and I really, really didn't want to have another episode like Monday night.  I settled on a boiled egg.  It was good.  It had fat in it, but not much.  So far, there have been no repercussions.  

My theory now is, and remember I have an MBA, not an MD, I have irritated the lining in my esophagus with all the various pain medication I have been on for the last year+.  I know that some pain meds need to be taken with food to keep stomach upset away.  Although I tried to take the medication as prescribed, I could have erred in my addled state.  Even if I didn't and took everything as prescribed, it is hard for me to believe that taking that amount of medication for that long would not have some sort of impact on the digestive system.  My MBA and I think that now that I'm off the meds, in time my esophagus will heal and that will be the end of the matter.  (I have not suggested this to my doctor.  If it happens again, I will.)

65MD suggested that we try a low acid diet, at least for a while.  We've both done a little research and it seems quite doable.  Although we are not catholic, I like the idea of saying that 65MD and I are giving up acid for Lent!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What in the World!

I weighed yesterday.  I'd made a pact with a friend not to weigh until yesterday.  My weight stayed the same.  My measurements decreased, so I'm OK with that.  No one really knows what the scales read, but everyone can see my body.  I've been so  on it with my therapy and exercise that I'm sure the scale figure reflects some muscle building - finally.  I can definitely see it in my backside, particularly around my scar areas.  That is even more of a bonus since the area from my waist to the top of my legs is the real issue with my body.  No matter how 'small' I get that lovely little area is just too big relative to everything else.  We all have something, don't we?

Then last night - 65MD and I streamed Downton Abbey since we were busy watching the Super Bowl Sunday night.  We'd had a nice meal of chicken & wild rice soup made from scratch by me and a lovely little dessert made with coconut milk, cocoa, a dab of honey and some chia seeds.  It was pudding like.  It was fine, but not a 'let's have this again, ASAP' type thing.  So, on Downton they were sipping tea and I thought a nice cup of hot tea would be just the thing.

As soon as the show was over, I went to fix myself a cup while 65MD queued up the next show.  It was beginning to snow and we were cozy and warm with the fire, the TV and now hot tea.  I made myself a nice nest on the couch with lots of blankets and settled in.

I had a sip of tea and it felt like I'd been stabbed in the stomach.  It was odd.  I had no idea why that would have happened.  I had another sip and had the same sensation.  After the third sip, I decided no more tea.  Yet, the pain increased and intensified to the point I had to tell 65MD.  One look at me and he knew something serious was happening.  I began to pour sweat and started shedding blankets and clothes.

65MD diagnosed me with a gall bladder attack.  He'd had them before and had his gall bladder removed before we got married.  He began all his home remedies, since I was concerned that it would be hard to get to the ER.  We tried everything we could think of, and searched the internet for more ideas.  It was awful.  The longer it lasted the more we thought that and ER trip was required but the more snow there was on the roads.  Some time around midnight I vomited.  It really didn't change anything, as this was not the run of the mill stomach virus.

Finally, I found  the least painful position in the bed, with the heating pad on my belly and dozed off.  We woke this morning to probably an inch of snow on the ground.  I called the doctor's office and they were having issues rescheduling folks because of the weather.  I am scheduled to see the doctor tomorrow afternoon.  

I hope to have an answer and a solution quickly.  This chick is tired of surgery!  My 2016 mantra is "I am strong, fit & healthy" for heaven's sake!!  That is beside the fact that 65MD is surprising me with a Valentine's trip this weekend.  I don't know where we are going, only that I need to pack nice clothes and makeup!!  We have trips scheduled for March & April.  We have things to do that do not include hospitalization.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Where Did the Week Go????

Time really does fly when you're having fun!

Early this week the weather was absolutely gorgeous.  It required being outside!   It was hard to believe that only a week before we had been snowed it.  65MD drug out my most favorite lawn chair, which he calls my 'throne' and put it in the most sunny spot in the back yard.  I took a book out to read, but mostly I laid there and enjoyed feeling the sun warm my face.

At some point during the weekend, I realized that I was walking in the yard almost normally without even thinking about it.  Walking on uneven surfaces was quite painful prior to surgery and virtually impossible immediately post-op.  Now?  I did it without realizing it.

On Tuesday, I had an appointment to get my teeth cleaned.  My dentist has had both hips replaced and has been an incredible support to me.  (Odd, I know.)  He noticed right away how much my gait had improved.  When he pointed it out, I felt like I was walking on air afterwards.

I was able to keep my two nieces two days this week.  They are three years old and 12 months old.  They are an absolute joy to be with.  They are also exhausting.  Soon enough, I'll be able to keep them without needing a nap afterwards.  Until then, I'll relish in the fact, that I can nap without excuse or guilt.

I am still doing therapy 3 days per week and something else the other three days.  My therapist said I would know when it was time to quit when it became too easy.  It isn't nearly as hard, but it is far from easy.  There are a couple of exercises that are still decidedly hard.  That's OK.  Small improvements are happening and they will add up eventually.

This morning I felt compelled to try some of the balance games on the Wii.  They require a lot of hip action.  I was quite pleased that I did well and was able to 'play' for nearly 30 minutes.   That is total time, from turning it on to turning it off, but it is still movement in the right direction.  My right hip was beginning to speak to me, so I stopped.  (I'm icing it right now. It bothers me some that my right hip is the one that usually stops me.  It was the one that was replaced first.  I don't think it should hurt at all.  I see the surgeon soon and I'm going to bring that up.)

I feel so good about my options for working out on my three non-therapy days, that I'm thinking of breaking out the belly dance DVD.  It is about 45 minutes.  My therapist told me to watch it with fresh eyes before actually trying it.  I'll at least do that, if not actually see just how far I can get.  Look out world!

When I learned I was going to have to have surgery earlier than anticipated, I visualized myself feeling and moving normally in the spring.  I know it is not yet spring, but I think the messages I was giving myself and the spring like weather early this week came together so that I could actually see what life will be like when I get to the end of this.  I'm excited to see what life will be like in March when spring actually arrives!