Communication

Let me preface this post by saying the past few days I have been in a horrendous mood.  I think it was missing my normal bedtime Friday night and not drinking enough water both Friday and Saturday.

Today I woke and made the mental decision not to stay in that mood.  I enjoyed the morning with my son and cups of coffee.  Then I woke my husband up and enjoyed a real heart to heart conversation.

We both had things on our mind (not about each other) but stuff clogging up our brains that needed to be vented.  It was as very nice conversation in which we both listened and understood the other completely.  I am so very lucky to have someone I can communicate so openly with.  Of course, at times, we don’t have such nice communication.  However, it’s so nice to be able to start this Sunday with such openness.

After our discussion, I enjoyed some “fat burning” yoga.  It is an old DVD I have used for YEARS.  I did this video on Thursday and was not able to do much.  Today I had a much better flow and better flexibility.  I am wondering if this morning opened me up to be able to do more.

I hope you all have at least one person you can be completely honest with and be completely yourself around.  It is so nice to be able to release all that fills my brain at times.

 

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

Falling

I get an email with an “inspirational” quote each day.  Today’s quote, by H.G. Wells, is “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today”.   I rated that 5 stars.  You can rate the quote each day as well.  I usually give 3 or 4’s, rarely 5’s, but definitely have given  1’s and 2’s.

I know he wasn’t speaking literally about falling.  However, this quote made me think of a college philosophy professor I had.  He spoke about a Laurie Anderson song’s lyrics,
“And you don’t always realize it, but you’re always falling.
With each step you fall forward slightly.
And then catch yourself from falling.
Over and over, you’re falling.
And then catching yourself from falling.
And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.”

I think back to this quite often.  He probably does not realize how that one itty bitty thought affected me all these years.  I cannot recall his name or I’d let him know!

Today, I also saw a FB post by a yoga teacher by whom I have taken a few classes.  It seems to tie in so well.  I’m going to have liberty with the it and not cut and paste verbatim:

There was a conversation about how, as we age, time seems to fly by. We can all relate to this I am sure. One moment it’s summer and the next you are hanging up Christmas stockings. One said ‘you know why that is right?’ He explained that when we are children we notice everything and as we age we just stop noticing. Everything flashes by because we miss the details. A child is completely enthralled by how a stapler works and the beauty of a color of a flower. Babies are enamored by the way their hand looks in front of their face or by someone’s smile. Toddlers genuinely became excited by how a ball bounces and are in awe of how blades of grass feel beneath their feet (except for sensory kiddos like my son). As we age these things lose their shine. We aren’t enamored any longer by the small things. We become occupied with our to do lists, the busyness of the day, and our phones . We forget to notice.

Just like, as a child learning to walk, they are aware that they are falling over and having to catch themselves with each step! (There’s my tie-in.)

Loyalty

I do not have that much to write about today.  I, thankfully, slept 6.5 hours.  I worked.  I had coffee with “the girls”, as my husband puts it.  I picked Roger up from school and took him Pokémon hunting in the park.  I tested Roger’s spelling words for tomorrow’s test.  I made his lunch and breakfast for tomorrow.  I folded laundry and am now riding the stationary bike before taking him to his Reading Comprehension tutor.

The highlight of the day was receiving a set of easy stretches/joint exercises from my friend who recently became a yoga teacher.  The lowlight of the day is reading about a restaurant moving two doors down from an exact same type of restaurant that has existed in a now growing but previously stagnant shopping center.  Everyone is so excited and I got so riled up.  Why would they allow a pizzeria/Italian restaurant two doors down from a place that has been in that plaza for years?  Had anyone heard of loyalty?  A friend said it was because “because people only care about money and as a democrat that greed infuriates us”.  This restaurant that is moving in will, most definitely, ruin the other family-owned business.  How terrible!

Now, I feel like I need to order a pie everyday to show my support.  Would that be considered a highlight or lowlight?

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!

What a pain in the back!

This morning I had scheduled Yin and Sit Yoga and Meditation, some “me” time.

After waking up to Roger on the iPad continuously this morning, I decided to finish my weekend work while riding the stationary bike.  I was done by 9.  I then did homework with Roger and followed it with some fun karaoke.  Then the time arrived:  time for me, time for yoga.

I was in tears from the beginning movements to the final savasana.  I was in total pain from my neck to my tailbone to my right leg.  This is where Roger, my son with autism, rammed his head into my spine after not getting his way.  This was on January 2nd and I don’t even remember what it was regarding.  All I remember was it was post-massage as I plopped onto the bed on my belly and was peacefully lying there.  I let out the loudest cry.  It immediately hurt so terribly.  I don’t think I ever produced a scream like that even when I broke my knee or ankle.

It has been three weeks and the pain has not gotten better.  I have tried Tylenol and anti-inflammatories while using the heating pad but this has not helped in the least bit.  I kept wondering where all my depression and lack of motivation came from at the beginning of this year.  Today was my reminder.  I am so glad that the majority of the class is done with your eyes closed, so others did not see the tears stream down my face.

When class was over, and that could not come quickly enough — that damn 75 minutes, I rushed to my car for a proper cry.  Then the thoughts raced:  have to make an appointment this week.  With who?  My primary doctor?  My back doctor who I am not really fond of — seems too surgery happy?  My pain doctor?  Next thoughts:  I really am going to have to cancel being teacher’s helper this week, my back cannot handle the copier.  Followed by thoughts of that yoga retreat that accepted me on “scholarship” but is less than 2 weeks away.  How can I possibly do a yoga retreat right now?  I do not foresee my pain level being that lessened in that short period of a time – especially since specialized doctors usually do not have readily available appointments.

I told Rob to occupy Roger for a bit.  I am in such a terrible mood right now.  I have 2 loads of laundry and cannot even muster the strength to empty the dryer to put the other load in.  And the state of the house is in total disarray due to Roger’s “box fort” building.  I may hide myself away in the bedroom for the time being until I can cope better with it all.

Retreat Possibility?

Yesterday’s new therapist/psychologist/BCBA appointment for Roger went better than expected.  Well, at least, Roger’s reaction was positive to having to go to a new doctor that you talk to and play at and are talked about in front of.  Now that he is getting older it is getting odder for me to answer questions about him in front of him.  I am not sure if I am fond of the doctor yet.  She took lots of notes and said she had an Independence curriculum that we could start working on with Roger, since he is SO DEPENDENT on us (mainly me) for EVERYTHING.  I made 3 follow-up appointments and will, hopefully, get a sense of if it is a good fit by then.

That brings me to an exciting Facebook message I received today from a friend and fellow autism mom.  She told me about these Women’s Retreats in east Texas.  They have a Retreat Assistance Program to help pay for the weekend retreat.  The idea of having a weekend alone in quiet sounds amazing to me.  That has been my “dream vacation” for a long time!  On the same hand, the idea of going away to an unknown place with completely unknown people and an unknown routine is completely terrifying to me.  I like the known.  I like routine. I like the safety of predictability.

That being said, I applied and, depending on the outcome, I may face all those fears of mine so I can relax, recharge, rejuvenate.  In the meantime, I really do have to do more self-care at home.  Yes, a nice clean house is awesome, but so is a restful break.  I made a weekly cleaning schedule.  Perhaps I need to add-in a stretching, moisturizing, “do for myself” schedule.

Weekend Anxiety

I am still under the weather with coughing, allergies, chills, some tummy issues, etc.  Unfortunately, Roger, as an only child, wants to be entertained.  This morning he was already talking about what fun things we could do later:  karaoke, games.  Thankfully, he is aware my back hurt too bad last night from roller skates that he took that off the table.  Of course, resting and watching a movie are always off the table for Roger too!

This weekend happens to be a 3 day weekend as well, so that gives me an extra day of “fun” to schedule for Roger.  I am trying to institute a family fun day on Saturdays to do something out of the ordinary (zoo, museum, Dallas in general, etc.).  Tomorrow, I am pitching Ripley’s Believe It or Not since it will be quite chilly.  We will see if everyone is on board with that decision.  Sunday, I hope to feel up to Yin Yoga and Mediation followed by a short date with Rob.  Monday morning is still unscheduled but I have a make-up swim lesson planned for 1 pm followed by a play date with Roger’s best friend followed by Occupational Therapy.

I just have to make it through today first!

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.

 

Week 5 of Summer

Due to July 4th and a week with no camps, I did not write about the 5th week of Summer.  It was a difficult week pain-wise — probably one of my most grueling in quite some time.  Monday, I had my MRI and decided to track down all my past MRIs for copies.  I am still trying to see if I am able to get my ones from NYC, but that may not happen.  It was interesting reading over the results and seeing the number of MRIs I have gotten since 20414!

If not for Roger’s enthusiasm of July 4th, I would have stayed home that day in bed!  However, he had so much fun swimming at a friend’s house, playing with sparklers and watching fireworks.  Although enjoying the company of friends, I was thinking about my bed all during the fireworks…

Thursday of last week, Roger had a lot of dental procedures done — 2 crowns, 3 fillings and 4 sealants.  In the past we have tried (very unsuccessfully) laughing gas and the cocktail for pediatric procedures.  This time I opted for full-on anesthesia.  He did well through the procedures which ended up including pulling his two front teeth.  I was nervous to see how he would react to that.  When he roused, he was very sad (as predicted) and very out of it.  My heart went out to him.  Such a little boy!  Luckily, the nurse carried him to the car.  Unfortunately, I realized that I would have to carry this 70 pound boy from the garage up three stairs and into the bedroom.  I did not think he would be incapable of grabbing onto me to help with the carry.  Getting him out of the booster seat was an ordeal.  I asked him to hold onto me, but he could not comprehend nor seem to have any strength to do so.  I don’t know how, but I ended up lifting him off the floor of the garage and managed to get him onto the bed without dragging him.

He was sad for a long time and tired too.  However, he could not fall back asleep.  He just laid in bed staring at the ceiling.  Eventually, we started watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid and he started waking up more.  His sitter came by and I asked her to run a couple of errands, since he did not want to see her.  My foresight was not great, so we needed some soft foods like jello.  Also, I could not leave Roger’s side, so I asked her to walk the dogs.  After that, Roger wanted to be with the sitter, was sitting up and happy, had some jello, and was excited about the tooth fairy.  He handled the whole situation so well.  I am so proud of him.

My back, on the other hand, did not handle that carry very well.  I was in excruciating pain on Friday.  I hoped to do something easy with Roger, like go to the movies, but my back wanted me to remain home.  Seeing him almost fall asleep during a couple of errands made me realize he, too, still needed the rest.

Yesterday and today, my back still aches and I have realized that I cannot wait the two weeks to see the back doctor before getting some muscle relaxers or a good anti-inflammatory.  Tomorrow, I will call pain management physician and see if she has an earlier appointment.  Tuesday I start physical therapy and hope that will help but, from what I recall, that takes time too.

Here’s hoping week 6 ends up less painful!

 

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!

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.