Monday, October 03, 2011
This past week really presented a big challenge. My husband had to go to for a week to take care of his dying father while his sister and his father's other caretaker were out of town on an emergency. This left me at home alone with two small dogs and many very attentive, helpful neighbors. Remember, I have a hard collar on my neck all the time except when I'm lying on the bed or when I'm in the shower. Now technically my doctor would frown on the fact that I was left alone for such a long period of time. I am 3 weeks post op (out of 6) . I did have people calling and checking in with me, including hubby, multiple times daily. In fact, some of them took me to the store, out to breakfast and out to a craft fair just to get me out of the house. Aren't I lucky to have such wonderful neighbors? Of the two of us, I would say that he had the more difficult job. I know because I took care of my mother for years before she died and it is hard and very stressful.
What I learned about myself while he was gone was interesting. I found out that I can rise to almost any task if I have to. I'll say that again. I can rise to almost any task if I have to. I can also rise to almost any task if I put my mind to it. The doctor has put certain limitations on my movements such as no bending over, leaning, stretching to reach things, bending to pick things up etc. So you can imagine how creative I had to get in order to pick things up off of the floor, fill the dog's empty water dish, empty the dish washer or dryer or put on the dog's leash. Getting a pan out of the lower cabinet was an interesting venture too. I have a grabbing tool that I would be lost without! It took me forever to do everything, but hey, there was no time limit on anything and I got everything completed.
What amazed me the most was that I didn't take the easy way out and eat pre-packaged snacks, frozen or fast food high sodium/high fat meals instead of healthy food. I actually struggled to cook enough for several meals at one time (of healthy food). The first meal I made was ground chicken with tomato sauce, green beans, and unsweetened apple sauce for dessert. The second time I made Fiber One muffins (for breakfast) , BBQ chicken breast, spinach and unsweetened apple sauce. My neighbor sent over several meals which I've managed to get him to cook in a more healthy fashion. See, Spark People is invading our neighborhood! In turn, I sent over some Fiber One muffins where I substituted unsweetened applesauce for the oil and egg whites for the full egg with the yolk. He thought they were delicious. Those healthy Spark substitutions are very handy! I cooked enough food for at least 5-6 dinners.
Now that hubby is home, I really appreciate all that he does for me. I do know that if anything were to happen again, that I can take care of myself.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Water jogging was wonderful although the 30 minute time limit went by too quickly! The water was chilly today but I didn't care. I paid strict attention to all of my restrictions including abiding by the 30 minute time limit. I didn't feel the least bit tired when I was finished. I didn't take a shower but rather used body wipes that I had purchased for just such an event. The only problem that I encountered was that I left my dry collar pads in the car and had to wait until hubby took my gym bag out to the car before changing the pads. My shirt got a little wet from the pads I used in the water but that just made the dry ones feel so much better. LOL
Monday, September 26, 2011
My doctor's PA said that I can try water jogging, with my hard collar on of course, for 30 minutes. Hubby said that he would drive me to the Y tomorrow to try it. I have to take a spare set of dry pads for my collar and I can't use the showers at the Y but I can bring my body wipes, clean myself , change out of my bathing suit and get dressed in the handicapped bathroom. I'm so excited! I have the same restrictions that I had before my surgery plus a few more. That is fine with me! Water is a very good workout for me. It is easy on my joints and I can isolate my legs and part of my core muscles when I use the floatation belt. It will be good to see my friends at the pool again. It has been about four weeks since I've seen them. I'm really looking forward to it!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I've always said that happiness can be a decision. When you get up in the morning you can say to yourself, today I'm going to have a good day and be happy. I will not give in to boredom, pain, fear, anxiety or anger. I will count the blessings that I have been given and be thankful. If I feel overwhelmed and overburdened by life's situations I can do the best I can, ask for the help of those around me and turn the rest over to God.
This is not to say that I never feel pain, fear, anxiety or anger because I do feel all of them. I try not to let them consume me. I don't want to allow pain, fear, anxiety or anger to turn me into a bitter person or to drown in those feelings. I would rather focus on my blessings and choose to be happy.
As a happy person I tend to like myself better and want to interact with others. That feeling of inner joy gives me more energy and I want to move around more. This makes exercising easier. In turn, the endorphins I get from exercise reinforces my happy feeling and makes me feel even better about myself. When I'm happy I do less anxiety eating and more eating with purpose. I am more apt to set up a plan and stick to it. I'm not focused on punishing myself or someone else by binging or starving myself. When I'm happy, I treat myself gently, as I would a beloved friend. This is the way I should always treat myself regardless of whether or not I'm happy.
This all sounds so simple. Right? So why doesn't everyone just wake up and decide to be happy? It's just mind over matter and it just takes practice? Except that we all come with our own set of personal baggage. You have to start with baby steps. It takes lots and lots of practice. You can't give up on yourself because the results are so worth it. It isn't an easy task and you can't lose your focus. I've been working on this for years and still get tripped up on a regular basis. Now more often than not, I've finally reached a place where I'm happy the majority of the time. The pursuit of happiness; the decision to be a happy person is worth the work it took to get there!
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