Post-workout Recovery

Despite my pride for finishing that hard-as-hell circuit training class on Monday, my body was not very happy with me.  When I decided to go back to working out and joined a gym after my surgery, I told my husband (and myself) that I would ease back into it.  That is what I had been doing with beginner’s Zumba and beginner’s Yoga, the exercise bike, and very little (due to lack of fitness) elliptical.  Monday’s workout was way too advanced.  It was not easing in but something I may hope to be able to do in a year’s time when I fully recover from ACDF.

Monday night I could already feel the pain beginning while trying to sleep.  By 4 am (my ‘wake-up and begin work’ time), literally every muscle in my body ached.  There were muscles that no matter how in shape I was I must never have worked out.  The most striking is whatever muscle is from the elbow to the wrist.  I have never exercised that muscle and I’m not sure I want to again!  My neck muscles, shoulder muscles, back muscles, stomach muscles, glutes, quads, inner thighs, calves all hurt like hell all day Tuesday.  I felt like crap and had to take a nap after work.  I still felt crummy when I woke up from the nap.

This morning my muscles tamed down a bit but definitely not enough to do any sort of exercise besides walking Roger to school and back.  Fortunately, I had a massage booked from a Groupon and that helped immensely.

Tomorrow I am going to attempt gentle yoga.  I know I can always go into child’s pose if need be.

* An aside:  I get an inspirational quote in my email daily.  Today’s rocked and I want to share it with everyone.
“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”
Mark Twain

Namaste

Misread

Last week, I signed up for an orientation class at the gym.  They have this large piece of equipment in the middle that is capable of numerous exercises but pretty difficult to decipher without training.  I received a confirmation email and kept it in my inbox.

This morning I look at the email again.  It states “Small Group Training”.  GULP.  Did I sign up for a circuit training class?!  I called the gym and explained that I am completely out of shape and, probably, unable to handle this type of class.  (Also, at 10 am tickets were going on sale for the Polyphonic Spree’s 17th Annual Extravaganza.  That was the time the class started).  The person who answered the phone reassured me that modifications would be given and to try it out.

Reluctantly, I went to the gym.  Thankfully, the first warm up the trainer put me and one other lady on was the treadmill.  I was able to walk and buy the concert tickets (Row C in the Middle Section!!!).  The following 40 minutes were treacherous.  I had ACDF surgery in July, so I had many modifications.  Even with the modifications, my body started dripping in sweat halfway through the class.  By the end of class, my legs were jelly.  We took a snapshot since this was the first class of its kind at the gym.

Tomorrow my body (especially my neck and back) will let me know if I can handle this class or if it’s too soon for me.  Either way, I am super proud of myself for not cancelling, not giving up half way through and not half-assing it.  I DID IT!

I’m back

I keep getting notifications on Facebook about how long it’s been since I’ve updated my page.  I update my page whenever I update my blog.  After much thought, I was contemplating stopping the blog altogether and posed that question on my page.  One individual said I should continue writing.  So, I decided to give it a go today and see where this takes me.

As I was setting up my computer to start this, my eight year old son comes up to sing me a song he had just written.  It included guitar solos.  After his private performance to me, he asked if I could take a video.  The song was over eight minutes long.  He is now in the process of writing a shorter song for me to video.  Earlier today, he was drawing evolutions of his own Pokémon.  He has so much creativity and motivation!  Of course, in my mind, I compared it to my lack of creativity and motivation.

The end of last week I decided to create a inspiration/vision board.  At first, my goal of the board was to promote weight loss/fitness and positivity.  As I added things, I realized other aspects of me I wanted to shine again:  being excited, being imaginative, remembering to give myself some breaks.  I had put it off for some time but had an opportunity to work on it when my husband took my son to the movies.  For about an hour and a half, I focused completely on the board (along with the background music of Hank von Hell’s solo album).  I was embarrassed to tell my husband what I was making because I knew he would find it silly. I found it kind of silly before I actually created it. The pic is cut-off in parts, but you get the gist:  vision board.

I’m off to listen to the new song and enjoy my day with my son.

 

Stress

Stress has been eating away at me this week.  I wrote a quick list of my stressors hoping it help with my stress level.  Yeah, no.

Currently, like many folks, a big stressor is financially-based.  We have had some health issues this year and even with medical and dental insurance we are spending oodles.  On top of that, we need a new fence.  The wrought iron fence that was here when we bought the house is incredibly rusted.  In some areas, you can push your finger through the rusted areas and disconnect the fence.  We have put down half the money and just waiting for our place in line.  A fence around an entire property that is not shared with neighbors is a huge expense.  Both of our neighbors are fence-less.  This morning our downstairs TV died and our dogs both getting a badly-needed grooming.  On top of that the pile of expenses add the amount it cost us to put my niece and her son up at a hotel for a week.  The money is all going out before it has a chance to come in.

My next stressor is my life schedule.  I love having a scheduled routine.  I love putting my plans down on calendars.  However, I do not like the back-to-back-to-back schedule that I will be facing in October (and probably through the end of the year).  Rob is having two procedures in October and, possibly, a third in December.  Besides the procedure dates, there will be post-op appointments.  In addition, I still have my post-op and x-ray appointments.  On top of that add Roger’s appointments at the orthodontist for an expander.  I just realized that we all need our flu shots too.  And, of course, we have Roger’s weekly OT, Swimming, Baseball, and Tutor.  He also has nightly homework that I need to help with.  I also signed up to be Room Mom Helper and trying to fit in volunteering at the school.  Finally, I have my full-time work schedule.  Just typing that all out stresses me out AND exhausts me!

My third stressor I listed under the category of FOOD.  Then, I decided to add a slash and put weight loss.  That reminds me that I am also trying to keep exercise and house cleaning in my schedule, as well as preparing dinner (Rob is usually the cook).  As my blog stated yesterday, food/eating has been a life-long stressor since I was called “tub of lard” in elementary school.  Kids are wonderful, eh?

My fourth stressor is work.  Work has been overwhelming lately.  I love my job and my colleagues.  I actually prefer when there are projects that are due.  However, returning a few weeks ago from my medical leave, I still have have back pain on and off.  My supervisor would understand my need for breaks still.  BUT I feel obligated to get the work done quickly and accurately.  That is just my thing.  I guess work is not the stressor but my expectation of myself at work.  This morning I woke with terrible pain between the shoulder blades.  This is an area that is known to flare up post-ACDF surgery.  I need to be kinder to myself re: work (and life).

I usually don’t unload as much as I did today.  My little sheet of paper lettered A-D with subheadings was just not doing the trick.  I am hoping getting this all out of me will release a teeny bit of the stress.  Re-reading this blog, I guess my only true stressor is my EXPECTATION of myself.

The Past Always Haunts You

I belong to a Health and Weight Loss Group for moms of children with autism.  Every week I post my weigh-in (as opposed to Weight Watchers where I have never lost weight).  This week I did not post my accountability weigh-in on Tuesday.  The scale said I had gained 3.5 pounds in one week.  I did not track my food properly and had Indian food for my husband’s birthday.  On Sunday, we had some alcohol, brie and crackers, pizza, veggies and hummus, as well as, Chocolate Overload cake.  I was embarrassed about my gain and was feeling pretty terrible about myself.  It’s so stupid to let the scale affect me that way, but it has for years.
Twenty five years ago I was anorexic and weighed, literally, half of my current weight.  I obsessed over food sometimes eating about 300 calories a day and exercising at least 2.5 hours a day.  That lasted for about a year.  As is pretty common with eating disorders, I then transitioned to bulimia for quite a number of years.  I ate a lot more in my binges, but probably retained the same amount of calories per day.  I still exercised a couple of hours each day.  My lowest weight was as a bulimic vs. anorexic.
I will never have a completely healthy relationship with food.  I think way too much about food every day.  I put way too much energy into my thoughts of food every day.  I either feel guilty about eating something I shouldn’t eat or eating too much or, on the flipside,  I’m too hungry from keeping within my calories.
If people are interested in my past eating disorder, please comment and I could expand on those very difficult years of my life.
They say the first step is admitting there is a problem.  I have admitted that for decades and the problem remains. It is not as bad as it was, but it is always there haunting my every thought.

Fallen off

The past week or so I have fallen off the logging food/eating healthy cycle.  If I don’t log, it usually means I am eating things I’d rather not log!  Also, with the new work schedule and things popping up at Roger’s school, I have missed some of my exercise goals.  I know I cannot be perfect all the time but I know the exercise does help me mentally as well as give me more energy.  You may have realized I was not cycling as much due to the lack of blogging.  Again, I do realize that these posts do help my mind settle down a bit.

I know most people always start their diets back on a Monday.  I hate being that cliché but my husband’s 41st birthday is tomorrow.  That means a delicious dinner tonight.  Tomorrow, drinks and cake will be devoured.  Today and tomorrow I will log my exercise on MyFitnessPal but will go back to strictly logging my food on Monday, cliché and all.

One goal I have met is walking over 10,000 steps every day this week.  YAY for me!  Today I am not confident I will reach that goal since it’s pouring out but will try going up and down the stairs a bunch today.  I do have to clean up the house a bit anyhow.  That should help with my step goal.

Another goal I have been keeping is my squat challenge.  Today was 160 squats.  Tomorrow is the rest day.  I had been planning on resting my body on the squat rest days.  SO, I am not sure I will be on this bike tomorrow or back on it Monday.

Thanks for all the support!

Hysterectomy

I premised yesterday’s post by saying I have problems.  Well, here is another one of my problems.

Over five years ago, I had a full hysterectomy where they take out both the uterus and the ovaries.  Prior to having them out, I lost a significant amount of weight (25 pounds) and was very fit.  A lot happened prior and we ended up in the DFW area 6 months later.

Moving is a big stressor and having a son with autism and trying to locate services in a region that is not helpful is even more stressful.  In California, there were regional centers that got you in contact with specialists, set up and held copies of all evaluations, and helped pay when your insurance would no longer cover services.  Due to those factors as well as moving from part-time to full-time work, trying to hire a sitter for post-PPCD hours and around therapy hours, and everything else in between, the past four years I gained *GULP* over 40 pounds!

Of course, I was no longer going daily to the gym or eating as healthy as I was in California and no longer lived in a walkable city.  And, as in early years, therapy hours change, and you have to recreate your whole schedule at a drop of the hat.  The past year things have settled down.  I have lost 13.5 pounds ( the past four pounds due to surgery and not being able to swallow hardly anything weeks after).  Now, I am stagnant.

I am logging calories and points.  I am staying on the lower end and, once I was cleared, am adding exercise slowly.  Well, the past 6 weeks, I have stayed the same weight.  No fluctuations as people like to tell me happens daily.  I started weighing myself more frequently instead of weekly and each time it is the same exact weight on the scale.

Yesterday, a woman linked an article about full hysterectomies and how weight gain is significantly higher than those who have a partial or go through menopause naturally.  Today, I looked for articles about weight loss after a full hysterectomy.  All stated that it was SIGNIFICANTLY harder to lose weight after a full hysterectomy and needed SIGNIFICANTLY more effort.  Sounds lovely, eh?

 

The Swing of Things

Right before the 3 day weekend, I start getting back into the swing of things.  Last night I was in SO MUCH PAIN.  I really could not believe that a simple desk job could affect my pain level so much.  Also, when I went to bed last night I was utterly freezing.  I turned the air off and asked Rob to get me an extra cover.  I will still freezing.  However, I woke up this morning feeling great.

The waves of pain/stiffness are coming more frequently today, so I have been getting up and walking much more than yesterday.  My job understands that I need to do this.  Yesterday, though, I was pretty glued to my seat pouring through emails.  Yes, people covered some of my work, but some items fell between the cracks which meant reviewing every bit of work.  Today my work pile is still large but manageable.

I am currently on my lunch break and using the stationary bike.  Luckily, the wordpress site is working and I no longer have to type a post out on my phone!  I vow to keep up the bike riding which means I shall keep up the blog!  Slowly, I plan on integrating yoga.  I found a video on youtube for yoga after back/fusion surgery and avoiding certain movements for your spine (cervical included).  I will try that first before attending a class.  BUT my motivation to do that is somewhat lacking.  BUT I should be proud of my ability to stick to one exercise since I have not been consistent since I don’t even know when!  Baby steps… or maybe I shall make a lame joke and say baby pedals!

Up and So Far Down

The past two weeks have been a trying time for me.  I went to a new psychiatrist and started a new medicine.  It worked well and I had a follow-up appointment two week’s later.  Since all was good with my mood (but still having some OCD and anxiety) we decided to not increase medication dosage and “wait and see” for two more weeks.

I was in much better spirits, actually enjoying myself, not feeling as angry and not lashing out as easily.  My motivation was coming back and I wanted to focus on eating healthier, exercising more, adding in meditation, and doing a really good housecleaning.

Although my exercise was only about 20 minutes a day, that (with the repetitive motions of cleaning), irritated my cervical spine issues.  That’s putting it nicely – the cleaning and exercising caused significant pain.  I had to sleep with a travel pillow.  By Friday, my back was in such bad shape that I could hardly move.  To say it put me in an awful mood, again, is putting it nicely.  I have been severely depressed since the pain began.  Will I be able to function normally post-surgery?  Dusting the house exacerbates my issues, I recall from an earlier cleaning attempt.  Taking a scenic walk in our area caused my upper back to be in such severe pain, I had to take my muscle relaxers along with the icing and heating.

This weekend I have been in bad spirits.  I feel like I’m back in that place I was prior to seeing the psychiatrist.  I just want to be in bed.  I feel anti-social, unhappy, in pain, exhausted, easily irritated and overly anxious.

Will I survive a summer vacation to Colorado?  Roger is way too excited to cancel it.  Am I putting off surgery too long?  Will I be able to handle Roger’s birthday party post-surgery? Will I gain another 30 pounds being unable to do simple tasks around the house?  I keep going on and on and getting lost in my own thoughts.  I am hoping typing this out will get these thoughts “out there” and I will stop perseverating.

Is 6:30 too early for bed?!

 

Lazy blogger

Yup, that’s me.  I’m a lazy blogger.  It takes virtually no time to write a short blog, but I have just contemplated it and gone on with my day.  For the quadrillionth time, I am going to try to blog as part of my “be healthy” 2018 New Year’s Resolution.  Blogging usually gives me some clarity or closure of feelings.  At the very least, it gives me a sounding board for my complaining!  So, if I do not see you before, see you again in 2018!

Rainy Wednesday

Today started out as most weekdays –with the struggle over Roger’s shoes not being tight enough.  I know the weather change enhances some sensory issues.  This Wednesday it manifested itself over a shirt to wear.  The first shirt I chose was sweatshirt material.  Roger said it was too soft and to get it off him.  He was very upset.  The second shirt’s sleeves were a 1/4 inch too long for him, so he completely freaked out for a second time.  The third shirt worked but his shoes had to be tied multiple times.   The walk to school had light rain.  That he did not complain about.  The walk home the rain became heavier.  C’est la vie!

So today is a cold, rainy day.  The perfect day to be under covers in bed.  I tried to convince myself that I could skip my exercise for the day, since I did it the previous 3 days.  However, this seems to be my cycle.  By mid week, I usually start excusing myself from exercise.  Since I am volunteering the next two days and have an ENT appointment, I know I may not have time which made today’s workout more crucial for me.

Well, I did it and it’s over and I’m glad I did it and I’m glad it’s over.

November

I am hoping to have turned the corner on exercise and wellness.  Yesterday, I went to a yoga class for the first time in YEARS!  It was a restorative class and last night my cervical pain has been at its lowest.  Today, I did a 30 minute streaming cardio class.  The first fifteen minutes seemed pretty easy but the last fifteen was pretty difficult.  It felt great to complete.  I am hoping exercise along with my Headspace meditation will make dealing with my own and Roger’s anxiety easier.

 

Halloween

It’s Tuesday and it’s Halloween.  The day started pretty okay.  Roger had a mini freak-out over his shoes not being tied tight enough.  However, besides that, the day has been good thus far.  I spent my “lunch break” volunteering at the school’s book fair.  It was actually quite fun being a cashier and interacting with the kiddos.  I decided to volunteer again tomorrow during the time Roger’s class will be going to the book fair.

I have not been sticking to my calorie counting as strictly as I would like.  I even had a few pieced of Halloween candy this weekend.  However, I have been walking quite a bit more (roughly 12000-13000 steps a day).  I have decided to focus on me and try to be better with the food and the activity level.  I really need to start an exercise routine and that is the one aspect I am really having difficulty with.  I know I will feel better but just getting in gear is hard.   I’m not going to beat myself up too much for it.  I will keep walking more and eating better.  I will try to start additional exercise by the new year!

Discouraging

Initially, I was going to make this blog a remainder of the week post.  However, today I am feeling quite cruddy and that’s just discouraging.  I have been eating healthy, exercising, and doing meditation.  Instead of energized, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus.  I still have this same sinus infection/ear infection.  It has almost been a month.  The antibiotics do not help and, unfortunately, today I started wheezing a bit.  That means a third trip back to the doctor’s office next week is most likely.  I did tell Rob that if I still feel this terrible on Sunday that I am taking the day to rest/sleep.  Work and after school have been very busy and a tad stressful.  I have had very little down time this week.  I am sure that is not helping my recovery.

However, I will now list the positives of my week:  being a classroom helper on Tuesday, Roger advancing to the next level in swimming, starting a liberal local book club, a very good teacher conference on Thursday, coffee with some great ladies this morning, dinner and conversation with my parents on Wednesday, and lots of love and sweetness from my son and my husband.  Seeing that list makes my infection not seem so bad!

Back in the Saddle Again

Yesterday was my first day back at work.  It was an 8 hour day.  I took hourly breaks to walk and move my arms.  During my lunch break, I did my 10 minute headspace meditation program and rested in bed an additional 10 minutes or so.  After school, Roger had homework and then Occupational Therapy.  After OT, we had our normal Chick-fil-A dinner and play date with his friend at our house.  It was a long day, especially since part of my workload occurred between the 7 to 9 o’clock hours.  I was very sore by the time I went to bed and woke up pretty sore too.

Today, I, again, took breaks and had my meditation/rest time during lunch.  This afternoon will be pretty packed with Roger having a trial singing lesson at School of Rock, followed by his swimming lesson, followed by dinner at my parents house, followed by spelling homework, followed by showers/bed.  I’m exhausted thinking about it!  However, the routine and new 5 minutes-per-hour (in the morning) exercise schedule has put me in a better mood than I have been.

I am hoping my health, wellness, and recovery will flourish.

Today I am very hopeful.

Still on Medical Leave

Everyday I have thought about updating my blog and everyday I am too exhausted to open the computer.  The high allergens are not helping my activity level.  Add to that the limited activity of the day and I am an achy zombie most of the day!  I have not been consistently taking any pain medication (even OTC, especially due to the fact I am having a lumbar epidural next Wednesday).  My sleep and energy levels are the same post-op as pre-op, which I am not very happy about.  I have been sleeping alone downstairs and I still cannot get a consistent five hours of sleep per night.  I have begun taking melatonin which makes me fall asleep quicker, but does not aide in any other way.

I don’t want this post to be all bah humbug, so I will note some positive changes I have been trying to make in the past couple weeks.  I have been attempting daily meditation via the app Headspace.  Secondly, I have started using MyFitnessPal app again, consistently.  I have shed a couple of pounds but find it hard to lose weight if I try to eat more than 1200 calories, which is too restrictive for me.  Hopefully when I can add some exercise in, that will help my endeavor of losing these 35 pounds I have gained in TX the past 4  years!

Next Thursday, I have my next appointment with my surgeon and am hoping I can go back to work part-time, at least.  I am very bored but do not think I have the energy level for full-time work, yet.

Hungry

I am so hungry all the time lately.  I wonder what the culprit could be.  I am exercising to help reduce stress and be healthier.  I am blogging to help with the same issues.  The one aspect of my life that is really troubling is my lack of sleep.  I keep wondering if that is why I am so hungry.

I do not want to take sleep medication but wonder what I could do differently to sleep more.  First off, I sleep in Roger’s bed and that is not going to change anytime soon.  I try to go to sleep without too much on my mind but sometimes, like last night, I kept replaying some items from the day.  I read all the tips on what to avoid and what to do to sleep better.  I am not sure if having the fitbit tell me how little sleep I am getting is causing me to sleep less and/or to feel more tired.

Today I meet with my nutritionist and will discuss hunger/sleep/mood cycle and all that good stuff.  I really am thinking the root of most of my mood issues, food issues, back issues stem from lack of sleep and the inability for my body to restore itself due to that.

Anyhow I just finished breakfast/lunch and would love another cup of coffee.  I shall resist the urge and trudge along.

Tuesday

Today was another productive morning:  loaded the dishwasher, did another load of laundry, took out the garbage and recycling, got the pups ready for their grooming (which my husband took them to on his way to work), cleaned up a kitty mess from being stuck in the laundry room overnight, got Roger ready for camp and did Headsprout with him before he left.

Again, I was able to ride the FitDesk for a little over an hour while I worked.  This morning I was incredibly hot — probably hot flashes — and I decided to take a quick shower afterwards.  That helped me immensely.  I also switched to wearing a very light summer dress.  I feel so much better now.

Routine excites me more than anything out of the ordinary!

Quick update:  my back gave it’s notice for the rest of day.  It is hurting so bad.  Should be fun lugging stuff to the pool….

Week 4 of Summer

Oh how I love Mondays!  That is not sarcasm.  I really do love the feel of Mondays.  I get to start a new week and get everything organized!

Before work, I was able to put away the dishes, refill the dishwasher, do some laundry and do Roger’s “homework” with him.  Also, thanks to my Roomba, I was able to get the downstairs vacuumed while I worked.

On a healthy note, I rode my FitDesk for 63 minutes.  Hooray!  And today’s food intake has been healthy (so far).  Unfortunately, my arms are (have been) hurting.  I am certain it is caused by pinched nerves due to my herniated discs.  I am looking forward to my orthopedic doctor’s appointment on Friday.  I am sure x-rays/MRI will be ordered.  I read this weekend that Yoga is as effective as physical therapy in regard to back issues.  I will bring that up with my doctor.  (Article) My fear is ending up with a back like my mother, so I have to nip it in the bud…for the umpteenth time.  However, this time I am dedicated to continuing the plan even when I am feeling fine.  And, to try to reverse my eating habits after some stressful weeks and an indulgent weekend, I am seeing my nutritionist on Thursday.

Let’s make 44 a healthy, happy year!

Good Morning, 44

Yesterday I was in such a foul mood all day that I had mentally prepared to write this blog about my 43rd year.  I will still write the intended post but I am not in quite the same sour mood I was when contemplating it.

I kept questioning why I was so depressed yesterday.  Was 44th the hard birthday for me?  People had said 40 would be hard but was not for me.  I was looking forward to my 40’s.  Why was turning 44 so depressing?  Then the realization was that last year was a hard year for me.

Physically, I had (have) issues with my back and had some other instances that I had to go to the doctor and, in one instance, the ER.  Hormonally, this year was utter chaos.  My testosterone levels went from non-existent to way too much and the physical ramifications of that are still rearing it’s ugly head:  body acne and body hair growth.  These were two issues I have never had in the past 43 years.  I had inquired at the OB/GYN how long I should remain on hormones (read 5 years).  They pretty much told me I could remain on them forever.  When I told my internist, she adamantly said 5 years maximum.  Since we decided to stop the pellet for 6 months due to the side effects, that means I shall remain hormone-free due to my 5 year anniversary of my hysterectomy is 2018.  Mentally/emotionally the testosterone made me more edgy and still is as I have to wait for all the excess testosterone to exit my system.  Besides the Biote hormone pellet, my 43rd year was full of medications for depression/bipolar/anxiety and allergies, as well as supplements.  I, with the help of my therapist, nutritionist and internist, have decided to wean off the majority of the medications.  Currently, my roster is fluoxetine, Zyrtec, multivitamin, probiotic, and vitamin D3.  I have cut out about 10 medications/supplements.

My 43rd year had been a year that I have dealt with being my most unhealthy self.  I have made small steps to try rectifying it but not consistently so.  In addition, 43 was a year of added stress:  Roger entering public school, my mother’s surgery, a short stint of returning to grad school, the passing of Snuffles, other family issues, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been positives (mainly on the Roger front in regards to progress/growth).  However, I do not think I have allowed myself time for grief and that is why a low mood has persisted.  Is it too late to grieve?  How can one force oneself to grieve appropriately?  Does one just move past it and say hello to the new day/the new year and push through? So many thoughts as I enter year 44…

Week 3 of Summer

The week tends to begin on a great note.  Monday goes as scheduled.  However, life is unpredictable, so the rest of the week may not go as smoothly.  Just as last week, this week I am hopeful.  Perhaps, I am even more hopeful due to the fact that Roger LOVED camp last week.  Tomorrow, he begins a different camp that he will be going to for two weeks (6 half days) in June and two weeks in July.  This camp we can walk to which makes drop off and pick up so easy!

Friday, I turn 44.  I had so many high hopes for my wellness by this time in the year.  I have not been consistent in exercise or healthy eating.  My back issues have also resurfaced, so I have an appointment the end of the month.  I am really at a loss about how to make wellness part of my routine.  I subscribe to emails for inspiration, use apps inconsistently, and just cannot put the drive back into me.  Summer’s chaotic schedule does not help, since my sitter and my son’s therapy/camp time is used exclusively for my work schedule.  In between therapies, work, and play dates/swimming, there is virtually no free time until roughly 8 pm at night and I am zonked by then.  I don’t want to wait 2.5 months to have a routine.  This has all dampened my mood, as well.  My anxiety and depression have been surfacing a lot lately this summer.  I read that blogging can help with anxiety, so I hope to write more this week.

If you are in the same boat (or have been in the past), let me know what worked for you to snap out of it and into a successful wellness routine.

 

It’s been a week.

Well, I haven’t posted in a week.  The weekend did not go smoothly and it was very tumultuous, unfortunately.  However, I will not disclose information of such personal, family matters.  I will just state that things are back on track, all is well, and I have an amazing husband and a caring father.

Monday, I remained in bit of a funk.  I was completely wiped out emotionally and mentally, so I skipped exercise and just made it through the working day.  I had issues with getting onto the Remote Desktop at work on Saturday, so I had an additional workload for Monday night.  The problem ensued Monday night and I had to use my iPhone as a hotspot to finish my procedures.  Prior to that, it was a couple of hours trying to connect and contacting Spectrum.  It was very stressful, to say the least.  Fortunately, by Tuesday morning, the internet and phone were working again and (knock on wood) have been continually working.

I was able to get in some exercise on my FitDesk on Tuesday and went to an intermediate yoga class yesterday.  Oh boy, that kicked my butt (or my legs and back, to be exact).  All of my strength was used on that workout.  Yesterday, I tried the no caffeine again, as well as eating only non-reactive foods.  I was completely depleted by 2 pm and asleep at 7:30.  Unfortunately, I only got 7 hours of sleep, because my sleep is always restless since having Roger.

This morning I woke up sore and determined to change up what would be a very restrictive LEAP diet.  I contacted the nutritionist with an outline of what I plan to modify.  She said it was a great idea and that I will probably last longer on the “diet/lifestyle” due to the modifications.   First summer life with a 6 year old boy who happens to have autism and working full-time will be hard enough without having insane food restrictions.  The first modification:  COFFEE.  I had a cup and was actually able to vacuum.  Yesterday, I was lump on the sofa.

On a different note, tonight I get to see one band that I have been aching to see for the past 28 years:  The Damned.  Both times I previously set out to see them, there was an issue.  This is their 40th Anniversary tour and I thought, yet again, the plan was going to be foiled when Captain Sensible fell off the stage and broke his rib(s).  And, then, once it was still a go-ahead, our sitter double-booked for tonight.  Fortunately, I met with other sitters and we have that covered.  Now, the weather calls for hail, so there’s always something!

One more tidbit of good news:  in the past two months, I have lost 7.2 pounds.  If I just lose 3 pounds a month, I will be at my goal weight by next March.  No pressure – just taking it one step at a time.

So depressed.

Yesterday afternoon and this morning, my sore throat got even more sore.  My allergies have been attacking me from every direction.  Today, I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus a half dozen times.  I am so depressed that I have not felt well in so long.  However, today may be one of the worst days.  My nutritionist advised me to stop coffee (I’ve been on one cup a day) in preparation for next week’s change to the LEAP diet.  I told Rob, so he only made himself a cup.  Needless to say, to make it through my working day feeling like crap, I had to make myself one cup of coffee.

Now to boast about some accomplishments this week:  two yoga classes and one day on the FitDesk.  I planned on riding today as well, but the walk to and from Roger’s school with the doggies was too much for me.  I also created some tentative work/sitter schedules through the end of July.  Things may come up (they always do), but I feel ready for the summer now.  I must schedule some fun pool and CAC time with Roger.  I want him to enjoy his first summer out of school.

Here’s hoping I feel better to have some fun with the family this Mother’s Day weekend and I get out of this emotional funk created by this physical setback!

Building a routine

It may not be the ideal time to build a routine, being that schools lets out in a few weeks and that may throw a wrench in my routine.  I went to Monday’s yoga class and it was a great class.  It was mainly a stretching class which helped my back immensely.  Wednesday’s class is more advanced, but I plan on doing as much as I can.  There is always child’s pose when it gets too tough for me.  That begins my routine:  Monday and Wednesday will be yoga days.  Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I will use my FitDesk.  Saturday will be my rest day and Sundays I may check out the Yin & Sit yoga class.  This Sunday is Mother’s Day and I signed up for Yoga Nidra which, according to the website, is the practice of conscious yogic sleep, a meditative and restorative experience that allows you to transcend physical and mental barriers so that you may place intentions – or sankalpa – at the innermost level of your being.   The yogic sleep part sounds good to me!

I’ve also been sticking to the one cup of coffee per day til the first day of my LEAP lifestyle change.  This is going to be my hardest habit to break.  I’ve realized how much coffee has suppressed my appetite in the morning.  I’m hungry at 9 instead of 11 or 12, which I am not used to.  Also, my depleted energy no longer gets a caffeine boost.  Hopefully, a few weeks into the dietary changes, I will have energy once again.  Although knowing it will be a bit overwhelming, I am very much looking forward to the change.  I will need to write a food log, as well as note any bodily reaction to the foods I am allowed.  I am used to logging on a notepad, but considering putting them on my blog.  I was reading another blog that has been following a person on a LEAP diet and she said she does not have the ability to log daily, so I will be aware of that challenge.

In the meantime, I’ve typed up my next three work schedules which lead up to summer but will need to figure out past that.  I should also start planning meals for the time leading up to summer.  Hmmm…maybe tomorrow.

Busy, busy week

Besides my job, this week has been a busy and exhausting week.  As a recap, I went to yoga for the first time in a bajillion years on Monday.  It was so hard — I am so out of shape.  I also had to deal with insurance (re:  my son’s ABA therapy), gather garbage, do some wash, change the kitty litter, and wait for the roof to get replaced.  It was just stressful trying to do a lot in a little time.  Boy, was I in a pissy mood.  Tuesday, I felt utterly crappy and I had my allergist appointment that led to 4 new medications that have not aided in making me feel better but just cruddier.  Wednesday was my son’s ARD for 1st grade.  Already nervous about what services could potentially be cut, I was still feeling utterly horrible physically.  Thankfully, not much was cut.  We were, overall, in agreement.  The shortness of the ARD (the last one took 2 days) gave me time to rest, which I NEVER get to do.  Thursday, a friend drove me to our sons’ first Field Trip in kindergarten.  They went to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and Nature.  Can I tell you how exhausting a field trip can be?  My mother noted it may exhaust me more since I am older than a lot of the moms — thanks!  Today, I got to have a nice “normal” workday at home.  Unfortunately, the roof work started today, which means I got to hear hammering since 8:30 this morning.

I did make a few decisions today despite the noisiness.  I decided to end my chiropractic care.  I went through the suggested 15 session schedule and have seen no improvement.  I am definitely going to have to take a different course of action when it comes to my back.  The only time chiropractic care helped was in NYC when I went to an integrative practice.  They would not even adjust me for the first few weeks — just do stem and hot/cold therapy.  After adding adjustments, physical therapy was slowly started.  Finally, 30 minute back massages were added.  It worked like a charm and was a fantastic approach.  I may try to find a similar practice here.

My other decision was to stop taking 3 of the 4 medications the allergist prescribed.  I’ve decided to finish the course of antibiotics but stop the rest.  Nothing has changed in my overall being and definitely not the areas they were targeting — cough, labored breathing.  I emailed the office and they said to follow-up Monday if there was no change with being on the antibiotic.

Next week, I am hoping to conquer yoga 2 days.  I know, crazy.  I will definitely go Monday and let you know if I survive.

Queen of Allergies

I went to the allergist to talk about how my allergies have gotten worse and the shots do not seem to be helping anymore.  Unfortunately, I get the highest dosage possible and I get an epi-rinse since I get a bad reaction from them.  When the doctor came in, she referred to me as “the Queen of Allergies”.  Below is a list of my allergy test results.  Anything with a fraction, I am allergic to (they did not test food).  She is gung-ho, YAY, allergy shots, so she does not want me to discontinue.  Instead, she wants me to take a bunch of meds to try and feel meh, instead of hellish.  She thinks it’s a combo of untreated sinus infection, allergies, asthma, and acid reflux.  I go back in two weeks.  Above my allergy list is my treatment list.IMG_3688

IMG_3690

“Mommy, you’re sick a lot”

I woke up this morning with terrible allergies (surprise, surprise).  I told my husband that I probably will not accomplish much around the house and only have energy for my work.  My son retorted, “mommy, you’re sick a lot”.  I told him that I have really bad allergies that have been making me very sick.  In actuality, I have a compromised immune system due to my allergies, stress, lack of sleep, etc.  Hearing that from my son took me a bit aback.  He usually does not pay too much attention to how others are feeling.  He is only 6 and usually life revolves around yourself at that age.  Double that with his autism, he usually will just keep asking for me to do things and take him places once I say I am sick.  He probably still will afterschool.  However, he does know he has to accompany me to the allergy doctor.  Maybe he will listen a bit to what she tells me, but I bet he will just be focused on the iPad!

I was hoping to feel better today.  I did yoga for the first time in a long time yesterday.  What was a simple, beginner’s class really tested me (and my allergies).  I also rode the bike for an hour yesterday.  Today, I planned to ride the bike but woke up with terrible wheezing from the allergies.  I did conquer work and was able to do a few laundry chores during my lunch.  My lunch has consisted of leftover matzo.  My stomach feels terrible, as well.  I figured crackers would be the best bet.  Tomorrow is my son’s ARD.  I am sure the stress of that is not helping today.

 

Blargh

My days have been blargh to horrible.  This is due entirely to my damn allergies.  I go to bed feeling meh, wake up in the middle of the night to an allergy attack, wake in the morning to my nose still running, and the day continues that way.  Last night, I finally took a Benadryl thinking that would end the post-midnight allergy attack.  NOPE.  I felt the same as each previous night.

I was not going to let that interfere with my day, however.  After I walked Roger to school with the doggies, I started work while riding the bike on my FitDesk.  I could only do 15 minutes before feeling completely ill.  My breathing has been compromised, my tummy feels totally terrible, my head hurts, and my back aches so badly.  Poor me.  I hate to complain so much because I know it could always be worse. (Case in point, yesterday, I looked up the boy in the bubble because I want to hermetically seal myself off from the world, but then felt terrible about making the comparison).

So today, as everyday, I am doing the most I can — working, doing a few household chores, and counting the hours til bedtime!

Not maintaining under maintenance

Today, I had two doctor’s appointments:  the nutritionist followed by the chiropractor.  I will start with the easier of the two — the chiropractor.  When I began going to this practitioner, he set up a 15-visit schedule that would culminate with a maintenance schedule.  Today would begin the talk of maintenance.  However, Monday my back was in really bad shape.  I hurt going through my normal daily routine.  Today my back was still quite stiff.  Clearly, I do not want to “maintain” this level!

The nutritionist appointment was very thorough and a lot to wrap my head around.  We talked about my LEAP results, my current medication, and my feelings about the process.  Due to weaning off of gabapentin, she thinks I should start once that is clear from my system.  My last day of taking gabapentin will be next Wednesday night.  I have a field trip to attend with my son on Thursday, so I will delve into it next Friday or the following Monday (at the latest).  This also gives me time to wean off of coffee/caffeine.  That shall be the most difficult part:  reactive to caffeine, coffee and tea.

During the appointment, we discussed allergy shots.  Her son has been on shots about a year longer than I.  We are both on a maintenance schedule.  I have been having almost nightly (very early morning) allergy attacks and I, overall, feel flu-like.  I am considering discontinuing the shots.  They have to add epinephrine to each shot so my reaction isn’t as extreme as it was in the past.  I still swell and itch, though.  I guess a visit to my allergy doctor to discuss should be in my near future.

Am I doomed not to maintain under maintenance?

The results are in.

My LEAP blood results as well as the battery of blood tests my PCP/Internist gave me are in.  I will start with my regular bloodwork.  Basically, there were two areas that I have high scores in (YAY!).  One was EOS which I googled and found means the following: Eosinophilia (e-o-sin-o-FILL-e-uh) is a higher than normal level of eosinophils. Eosinophils are a type of disease-fighting white blood cell. This condition most often indicates a parasitic infection, an allergic reaction or cancer.  I will gather that it has to do with my allergic reactions to life, in general.  The nurse did not discuss, but I gather my marks weren’t high enough to investigate further.  The second is my testosterone level from hormone replacement therapy.  Normal range is 8-48 and my level is 217.  Well, that explains a lot — the body acne, the hair, the wonderful, quick-to-anger mood, the constant hunger and weight gain, the overall GROSSNESS.  Unfortunately, all I can do is wait for the testosterone to leave my body which can take 3-6 months.  I will be doing follow-up bloodwork in 2 months.

The LEAP results are a little more complex and I formally get to discuss with my nutritionist tomorrow.  I am reactive to almost all foods and, GASP, caffeine!  It shall be a big lifestyle change, but I need it.  My allergies will be the death of me, otherwise.  I am least reactive to: peach, cranberry, mushroom, spinach, white potato, millet, cocoa, vanilla, mint, carob, pecan, peanut, pinto beans, and potassium nitrate.  That should make for an interesting meal plan.  I am most reactive to: barley, caffeine, cashew, celery, codfish, corn, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, grape, green pea, msg, paprika, parsley, rice, saccharine, sesame, sodium sulfite, sorbic acid, strawberry, tapioca, tea, tilapia, tomato, walnut, and yellow squash.  We have to slowly add members of the above family of food to see if I am reactive to them as well.  The test, obviously, does not cover every food in existence.  I am most sad about caffeine and tea.  I don’t think I can totally drop coffee all together, but definitely need to wean the amount I currently intake.

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s discussion and will keep you posted.