Thursday, April 18, 2013
Too long no blog!
In responding to someone else's blog I had some thoughts on hunger: Hunger is such a tricky thing...I can set myself up with BUSHELS of veggies for snacking and later still find myself "hungry" for calorie-dense foods of some sort. Yet, if I stop myself and reflect on whether or not I'm hungry I realize I'm stuffed to the gills with veggies! How can I be "hungry?" When I think it over I realize it's not true hunger, but a "mouth" hunger or "habit" hunger and with a pause and a little self-awareness I can side-step it, although it isn't always easy!
I've been reading a little bit about intermittent fasting lately and thinking this might be worth trying short-term as a means of shaking things up in the food department and was further surprised over the LACK of hunger during my 24+ hours of fasting earlier this week. One after-effect of fasting for me is a greater investment into sticking with a healthy eating plan afterward: how can I allow myself to slip and cancel any benefits from my fast by choosing an unhealthy food or too large a portion? I'll see how this goes.
I'm still off the bike...anti-coagulant paranoia is keeping me away from road cycling so far. But it is not without a struggle and a yearning as I read about my bike club's outings. I may consider allowing myself some shorter, safer routes with less potential for mishaps. Not that my rides have ever been fraught with trouble. But one slip, cut, bump could potentially land me in the emergency room...all-too-sobering a thought! A senior member of the bike club at least recruited me to SAG for the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour in early June (ALWAYS a great time, super riding and super price! Check it out: www.southerntierbicycleclub.org/grea
tfingerlakestour.html ) It will feel good to at least be a part of things. In the meantime I've been getting a lot of Spinning and elliptical cardio with my 3x weekly ST AND, shifting to the outdoors for...
Preparing for my upcoming one & only 5K of the year at the Binghamton Bridge Run early May: www.binghamtonbridgerun.org/
As I know I've said many times...not a runner, but I feel that dedicating myself to one 5K yearly is at least a way of "mixing it up" with my workouts and hopefully catching up with some other local Sparkers! Plus another great thought inspired by VHALKYRIE: Let's keep Boston in mind during our running efforts and channel our outrage over such horrific behaviors and fuel our runs with defiance and celebration of our freedoms and our drive to be as healthy as possible!
Keep The Spark!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
...but it's a good-feeling fatigue!
It was back to the fitness center today for my full cardio / ST routine. After being away for 3 weeks I knew I would have to scale back and I did...12 instead of 15 reps for each set and during my 30 mins. elliptical and 30 mins. spin bike I totally ignored the numbers and did what I felt I could do.
...and WOW am I wasted! It makes me better appreciate the level of fitness I had achieved in the past...and will again in short order!
Had hoped to get back to Swing Dance tonight:
But that will have to wait till next Tues. after I switch my ST to Mon. so I still have "gas in the tank" for my dancing shoes! :-)
Friday, March 08, 2013
Saw the cardiologist nurse practitioner earlier this week. And the news? Frustratingly less than conclusive. But in many ways it is pretty positive...even if it DID send me into a bit of a funk this week, struggling to see the glass as at least half full. I remind myself of the far more difficult medical conundrums others manage to navigate. I've seen clients who have neurological conditions which render them in excruciating pain 24 x 7 who would be elated to find that their medical problem was terminal!
Still, I spent the better part of a week or longer moping...stuck in a mood of "if-I-can't-do-what-I-wanna-do-why-bother-
doing-anything" mode. Yep, a pretty bad case of stinkin' thinkin'. Good news? I finished the anti-coagulant injections in the belly and am only taking oral Coumadin. Bad news? My belly is a multicolored mess with a nasty hematoma the size of a grapefruit bulging out where I must have bumped it...making me VERY self-conscious and wincing when making a number of movements. And you know, since I'm already in a *mood*, I am of course all OVER that half empty glass! Been avoiding the fitness center. Not good, I know.
More info from the NP: she offered a helpful metaphor so that I could better understand my atrial flutter. The heart as a house: you got plumbing and electricity. My plumbing, from what they could tell, appears in pretty good shape. Good news! However: my electricity is less than optimal.
Even after the cardioversion (shock to the heart) during my holter monitor study of my "corrected" heart rate, my heart rate dipped down to the 30s again and there was one point at which my heart STOPPED, for nearly three seconds. Sobering!
Atrial flutters such as what I have are very unpredictable and the cause of the condition is likely never to be known. REALLY hate not being able to KNOW this!
In all likelihood, my condition will deteriorate over time and require an ablasion and pacemaker to prevent my heart rate from dropping dangerously low. Since I've come around to understanding that a pacemaker is not a bad thing, if I had my druthers I would almost just as soon get it over with and have the darned thing put in.
But my condition is not serious enough to warrant this. We must wait. Watch. Monitor. Wonder. Ugh.
And in the meantime for the next few months I must take the Coumadin due to the previous lengthy period of atrial flutter there is potential for all sorts of clots lurking throughout my body which could wreak havoc and potentially kill me.
So my Coumadin paranoia continues. My road cycling days are delayed. Registration is opening up for upcoming summer cycling events and I dare not put my money down...at least just yet. We're heading into the 50's this weekend and bike club members are posting all sorts of rides they're going to be doing...sigh.
The good news about my condition is that it is not the kind of heart problem that will take me out at moment's notice, ala Jim Fixx. The very worst case scenario she painted was that after exerting myself my heart rate could potentially drop so low that I might pass out with an episode of syncope. Given that I went for at least months with this condition without ever experiencing anything close to that I suspect the odds of syncope are very long for me.
So okay, I've got my full clearance to return to the fitness center with no restrictions...great news! But you know our buddy Newton: an object at rest tends to stay at rest...? The challenge now is getting back in action and doing what I want to do, sans road cycling.
While waiting for my belly to heal a little more (say, another week...?) I'm going to commit to getting out for walks, Nordic walking and build back up to jogging. The Binghamton Bridge Run is coming up early May...it will mark my 3rd year doing my one and only annual official 5K. As most of you know...running just ain't my thing...! :-) But gotta mix it up!
In that spirit, I got out for a 70 min. chunk of Nordic Walking through Otsiningo Park which very quickly gave me just exactly the boost I needed! I had forgotten how wonderful it was to get out into nature and "lose" myself into the music, movement, skies and sights! I could put all this medical stuff a zillion miles away!
Near the beginning of my walk Sergio Mendes' "Funky Bahia" just had me smiling and grooving! Even though the song conjures warm summer images, the weather was sunny, snow almost gone, hinting at warmer weather on the horizon...be forewarned: you're gonna wanna clap, sing along and MOVE your body!
How do you Nordic walk and move to the groove at the same time...? Dunno, but I had fun trying! :-)
Later a remixed version of Incognito came up...couldn't remember the name of it. but the remix is WAY better than the studio version...funky, jazzy bass hooks, snappy drums and then the vocals...I recognize the title from her singing and I laugh out loud as it seems to be a "message" for me: "It Ain't Easy!" Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be on YouTube, but if you happen to have Spotify you can play it here:
Incognito – It Ain't Easy - Tom Middleton-Cosmos Remix
A speed walker passes me by and I feel a stab of envy over his pace...he's making tracks faster than that jogger who passed me earlier! I make a feeble attempt to try and keep up for a little bit and then just let it go. I'll build my speed up. I'll get there! Later he loops back passes me on his return and I compliment him: "Nice pace!" He smiles as he goes.
Bruce Hornsby's "Valley Road" comes up and I smile some more, thinking back to that video he made with his band while performing this number and all the townspeople, hog too! are just boogying along to the song: "Walk On!"
Here's the original video...I remember it from the days when I used to catch a little VH-1 now & then:
You just can't watch that video without smiling and feeling better! Heck I even smile over the stones that have hitchhiked their way into my sneakers, remembering how that feels all over again!
Near the end of my walk I'm approaching the large field with several soccer fields end-to-end where I practice my cross country skiing when there is enough snow. Today it is filled with geese grazing among the blades of grass poking through the last of our winter snow and Paul Winter's song, "Common Ground" begins. It is from the 1979 album of the same name and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone with musical preferences along the New Age, ecologically-minded and multi-cultural influences. Mr. Winter is the global ambassador of peace, good-will and sharing across all people and animals. Unfortunately this is another one that isn't on YouTube, but you can hear a little snatch of it at Amazon...and check out the praise others lavish for this album!
"Voices are calling 'round the earth.
Music is rising in the sea.
The spirit of morning fills the air,
guiding my journey home.
Where is the path beyond the forest?
Where is the song I always knew?
I remember it's just around the bend,
in the village the music never ends.
In a circle of friends, in a circle of sound.
All our voices will blend when we touch common ground.
Somewhere is the melody we need.
There is a certain harmony,
Even a rhythm in the trees,
in the song that we've always known.
As every road comes to its end,
So every path must cross again.
Now I'm returning to my heart,
back to the song that is our own.
In a circle of friends, in a circle of sound.
All our voices will blend when we touch common ground."
Heartfelt thank you's going out to my SparkFamily, my "circle of friends" with our Common Ground!
My walk today reminds me, for all the angst and aggravation I've experienced through my body, I am still SO FORTUNATE to have a body that feels SO FINE to MOVE!
Monday, February 18, 2013
Well, I have certainly fared better than I feared and am back home, but there are some "kickers" I didn't know when I wrote my last blog which have been hard to deal with:
Having to give myself belly injections of (forget what it's called) to prevent clots for the next 10 days. Me? Give myself injections? The guy who finally screwed up enough courage to go donate blood? Well...did it, will keep doing it. How ironic that getting up the courage for a single needle stick to donate blood should lead to this!
Worse yet: going on Coumadin for the next three months while we see if I can avoid converting back into this weirdo atrial flutter. If I get through that time frame okay the Coumadin can stop.
Okay, with the Coumadin comes the Vitamin K restriction...bye bye leafy greens, broccoli and a lot of my favorite staples which have helped me to avoid higher calorie options!
Oh and I'm to ease up on workouts. No real definition of what that involves. The nurse suggested nothing much more than walking for the next several weeks to begin with.
And with the Coumadin I am going to have to be EXTREMELY careful about lumps, bumps, scrapes and cuts. Well this ol' klutz is ALWAYS getting those things! How does a body live one's life fearful of the slightest bump...? How do I get on a bike and zip down hills at 35 mph like I usually do just commuting to work? Cross that off my list...
So perhaps I'm not the enfeebled, doddering old coot with the pacemaker (oh, and pacemaker remains a possibility lurking in the dark should I convert back to the atrial flutter) that I had feared, but I'm going to have to slow WAY down which is going to have to mean EXTREME caution on the food end of things...my weakest link is going to be tested!
Some folks have shared positive pacemaker stories, which I appreciate, being totally new to the concept which may yet be visited on me at a later date.
I want to entomb myself into a protective bubble for the next three months until I'm off the Coumadin. I am so paranoid about bleeding out due to a reckless move! No cycling outdoors for me until this is cleared. I will return to the spin bike as my cardiologist allows. But only walking for now.
Ugh...where did that new inspiration and resolve evaporate to?!?
This is going to be one helluva test!
Wish me luck and a lot of fortitude!
A thought I've had which I'm hoping I can turn into action is to explore yoga as a quieter, safer option for workouts. We'll see what I can do with that notion.
The other is to rededicate myself to getting to swing dance more faithfully each week, even if it IS on the other side of the county and gas is running at top dollar...!
Taking tomorrow off to get more settled into my routine, hook up with the Coumadin blood draw so they can properly adjust my dose.
Thank you, THANK YOU everybody for your SUPER support!
Going to do my best to make the most of this and grow through this experience!
Get An Email Alert Each Time DDOORN Posts