Friday, November 02, 2012
I'm so proud of myself! Today I weighed in and I lost 2 pounds this week. I'm doing a happy dance! One person at our WW meeting earned her 25 pound pin. When asked what it was that was making the biggest difference for her, she said exercise. I agree but what is even more important is tracking your food and measuring your portions. I've also built in some rewards for myself to re-enforce positive behaviors and successes! I am worth all of the time and energy that I spend to get healthy!
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I was very sore this morning when I woke up and almost didn't go to water class. Hubby suggested that I might want to go to paddle around and stretch. I got there half way through the Healthy Back class. This is a great class for strengthening and stretching. It was just perfect for me today. I also stayed for the Aqua Fit class but I modified everything. When the rest of the class did arm weights, I swam to the other part of the pool and jogged, then stretched. By the time I finished, the worst of the pain was gone. I topped off my workout with a nice warm shower. Doing a light workout and warming my muscles actually was more beneficial than not doing a workout at all. My pain level has been manageable all day too!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Good news that has taken several weeks to come to fruition! The MRI on my left humerus (upper arm bone) area was finally done today. Apparently, this is a very difficult area in which to obtain an MRI. In order to get the test done, after 3 tries at my neurosurgeon's building, my neurosurgeon sent me to a huge speciality practice that does nothing but orthopedics. This practice has a radiology and physical therapy department that takes up almost the whole first floor of a large building. The diagnostic equipment at this facility was top notch. I was told that getting an MRI of my upper arm would be no problem and they were correct!
The MRI technician explained what she was going to do every step of the way. Then she positioned me in the MRI machine with a coil around my left upper arm. She cautioned me that the test could be painful because you have the upper body tied down to keep it very still. The body position was also a little tricky because the test is done in flat on the back position, but the side of the body not involved in the test has to be angled out of the way. The angled position has to be held in one place for the entire test. I was tied in the angled position and then elevated and moved into a wide tube. The test took about 15 minutes of prep time and the test itself took about 45 minutes to complete. My muscles were screaming in pain by the time the test was done. The vibrations from the MRI machine irritated the nerve endings in my arm, which was like running fingernails down a chalk board, only inside my body.
The technician was shocked that I never complained or asked for a rest time. I was just happy that they could find the equipment and the position that would allow me to have the test. I am relieved that it is over but am aware that my body is exhausted and sore as a result.
My orthopedic doctor is very curious as to the results of the test. The area being tested is a fairly big area so he told me to allow 10 to 15 business days for the radiologists to read the MRI. Once the test has been read, the images and the report from the radiologists will be sent to my orthopedist. His office literally counted off the allotted days and made my follow up appointment at the end of the time period. My follow up appointment is on November 19th.
My doctor feels that the issue with my arm will turn out to be one of three things or possibly a combination of several. First, my issue may be referred pain from my neck. This may indicate that I need further treatment on the cervical spine. No big surprise there, as I have a degenerative disease of the spine. Second, I may have a bubble or several bubbles on the surface of the radial and ulnar nerve coverings in my upper arm. This wouldn't show up on my nerve conduction test (results there were negative) but could cause a very painful condition. I have no idea what the treatment is for this but assume it would require some sort of simple surgery. Last, I may have severe inflammation that was caused when I lost the use of my left arm last year before my spinal surgery. My arm atrophied and I had to undergo rigorous and painful physical therapy to be able to use my arm again. There is a chance that the therapy and subsequent water exercises that I'm currently doing created a big problem because I couldn't use my arm properly for 3 years before I had my spinal surgery.
I am thrilled that the test was done and I'm finished. I hope whatever the doctor finds, can be corrected to alleviate much of the pain that I'm still experiencing in my arm. I'm praying that the issue can be resolved so I can move on with my regular activities. My outlook is good and I'm feeling optimistic about the situation! I will prevail!
Sunday, October 28, 2012
I have been having difficulty adding healthy fat to my eating plan. I've asked a variety of people (including spark friend SLENDERELLA61) what they do to get healthy fat into their eating plans. I got a very wide variety of suggestions. Here are some of them:
1. Eat nuts for a snack
2. Add 2 teaspoons of canola, olive, flax seed or corn oil to a smoothie, glass of skim milk, oatmeal, cooked veggies or rice before eating it (be creative when trying to do this)
3. Toast one serving of whole grain bread and dip it into spice enhanced olive oil
4. Eat some sliced avocado
5. Drink 1% milk instead of skim
6. Make home made sweet potato fries - coat potato slices with oil and bake in the oven
7. Eat yogurt with some fat in it
8. Use a margarine that has flax seed oil or olive oil in it
9. Have peanut butter on celery
I was excited to have all of these options! The first night I cooked a sweet potato and before eating, I drizzled 2 teaspoons of olive oil and some cinnamon over it. I was afraid that the olive oil might taste funky but it didn't. The next day I ate 15 almonds for my snack. You really have to be careful how many you eat because they have lots of calories. I also tried the Weight Watcher's nut snack bars. They were delicious! I tried eating Smart Balance Light Margarine which tasted great but has too much sodium in it and isn't real low on calories either. Hubby and I have had avocado sliced on a taco salad but here again, avocado has lots of calories, so I'm having that as a treat. Frankly, I'm afraid of drinking milk or eating dairy that isn't skim because animal fat isn't good for your body. Plant based fats, fatty fish and omega 3's are the best choices. I'm leaning toward adding 2 teaspoons of healthy (liquid) oil to my food. The calorie count for the (liquid) healthy oils is fairly reasonable and most of the oils have very little taste. I've found that during cooking, olive oil loses its flavor so it is a great option for making baked goods or cooking onions and green pepper in a pan.
Adding fat to my diet has had an added plus too! I feel more satisfied after a meal and am less likely to "graze" in my kitchen. I'm experimenting with the time of day to eat my healthy fats. I'm leaning toward eating them at dinner so the oil will help me cut back on night time snacking. I noticed last week that eating almonds for a night time snack kept me from having any desire to do any other snacking. I'm going to continue to experiment until I find a combination that works for me. Meanwhile, I'm happy that I've found some different ways to add healthy fat to my eating plan.
Do you have any suggestions for eating healthy fat that you'd like to share? If so, I'd love to hear any suggestions that you may have!
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