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Day 11 Pre-Surgery

Thursday, May 31, 2012

So, I have decided to blog this adventure. Partly to keep myself sane, partly to share what living a healthy lifestyle means when exercise is minimal and one is in a decent amount of pain.

Details--bunion, hammertoe, and toenail removal surgery scheduled for June 11. Pre-op passed and ready to roll. This my right foot, won't be able to drive for about two months. Yikes! And this is day surgery...would you believe it?

Previous to yesterday, I have been stocking up on non-perishable food, toiletries, and other stuff as much as I could.

Yesterday--pre-op passed. I bought a plastic boot to protect my foot in the shower, and an exercise band so I can start Coach Nicole's chair exercises. Started application for handicap driver/passenger permit.

Planning--work--thanks to the marvels of modern technology (smile), I can work from home once I recover a bit. I will have a printer, laptop computer, large monitor, wireless keyboard, and blackberry from work home by next week. Not to mention my own computer from which I can access my agency's servers, as well as my iPad and my iPhone. I also have offers from colleagues to drive me into the office for some meetings, it is not too far away. Enough technology I think.

Planning--music. I think I will be able to resume playing guitar pretty quickly, the majority of the weight of the guitar (and classical guitars don't weigh very much) is supported by the left leg. Playing will be limited until July 16 and then a bit after, when I have another (and much more minor) surgery to release a trigger finger on my right hand. Sigh.... I have downloaded on the iPad sheet music of what I want to learn during my recover, a piece from J.S. Bach. Nice.

Reading--I have four hard copy books I want to read, two on positive psychology and two on dealing with emotional eating (my own particular challenge). One is "Shrink Yourself," recommended by Oohlala53 and others. I also have iBooks and Kobo loaded on the iPad, a library or two awaits me there, as well as other favorites I have in hard copy.

Fitbit--I will not wear it the day of the surgery, but will start the next day and am interested in what it shows....

Okay, enough for now. Helpful ideas always appreciated. And thank you Sparkpeople!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 6/1/2012 4:51PM

    These plans sound great. Especially the music. I find that it helps healing and positive attitude, once able to resume playing.

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ROCKMAN6797 5/31/2012 2:53PM

    It sounds like you are more than ready Bonita for your upcoming surgery. You have excellent support and are prepared to keep your mind occupied for the multitude of down time you will need to recover. I really don't have a suggestion except keep a positive attitude and blog when necessary!


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HAPPYSOUL91 5/31/2012 1:57PM

    Now this is a great plan! You are on your way of making the best choices, especially the chair exercises. Maybe you won't need to be a non-driver for 2 months, realize the "boot" won't let you feel the gas & brake pedal but as you heal, maybe a walking/tennis shoe couple of sizes larger might let you protect your foot and drive.

The only other suggestion is getting upper body exercises and easy lower body, on the bed. I believe that when you work the good foot/leg the bad foot/leg still gains something, think it has to do with "mental" stuff.


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CHEERFUL-ALT-3 5/31/2012 1:19PM

    Wow, great plan! I bet you will feel so much better after it is all over. And you have us...we will try to keep you entertained :)

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MOSTMOM1 5/31/2012 12:07PM

    I love your positive attitude and the fact that you are thinking ahead and planning on what y CAN and will be able to do. What a great way to stay focused. I bet that kind of attitude even speeds up your recovery time. Sorry you have to go through this, but I hope the results are super beneficial. Will be thinking of you today.

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Sparkpeople and Gas Powered Water Heaters

Monday, April 23, 2012


Okay, we have a gas powered water heater, the high efficiency kind with no pilot light, etc.

Every once in a while it shuts down.

When my children were young adults and still at home, they turned it back on.

When my husband is home, he turns it back on.

So yesterday, there it goes again, hot water needed, husband out and about...

So I decided to turn it back on.

Despite being raised in homes that had gas powered stoves, I am terrified of furnaces and hot water heaters.

You know, you look at the manual, which is not glossary and pretty, but is filled with small type and Caution! and Warning! Pretty much, the manual is implying, okay, you person, you can try to turn me back on, but if you do one little thing wrong you will blow yourself and your house and a few neighboring houses to little smithereens. Oh boy.

I used the mantra Bonita you can do this. I read the small print warnings and instructions and foresayers of doom several times over. My heart was going like a triphammer--you know, kind of how the caveperson must have reacted with the sabre toothed tiger strolled into sight.

I followed the instructions, and got the thing to work.

Reflecting later, as my heart rate returned to normal, I think it is the Sparkpeople philosophy that helped me do this. I thought, heck, there are tons of folks on SP who turn their water heaters back on, probably every day. There are probably a nice amount who install and service water heaters. And you know,small steps, we can do this....

Hot water restored. Spouse calling the company today to check the thing out.

Next step, furnace?

Thanks, Sparkpeople!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_NEW_MELISSA 4/24/2012 12:50PM

    Awesome! Just like on spark, you have to get out of your comfort level to make a difference!

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ROCKMAN6797 4/24/2012 12:41PM

    Nicely done Bonita!

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    those heaters can be intimidating. we replaced our water heater with a tankless unit. we never run out of hot water. they dont work for everyone but for us it is great.

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WILDFLOWERMA 4/24/2012 8:54AM

    I thought of you yesterday - the mammouth must have known I was mocking it. Darn thing overfilled again. Had the plumber out here & he has no idea what is going on, so just ordered a few parts. No heat for a few days :(

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PUDLECRAZY 4/23/2012 5:08PM

    I certainly can understand this! I have an electric water heater in the house, but the one in my travel trailer is gas. I am paranoid about leaving the pilot light on over night lest it leaks and I quietly die of CO poisoning in my sleep. But in the morning, I hate to light the darn thing. Doesn't matter how many times I light it, I worry about it blowing up.

Good for you for just getting the job done!

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WILDFLOWERMA 4/23/2012 3:22PM

    I have a mammoth, spaceship looking gas boiler furnace that I am terrified of! It has overfilled a few times dumping gallons onto the basement floor. I have a 24 hour plumber on speed dial. They've had to talk me off the ledge several times. You are a brave, brave woman :)

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MOSTMOM1 4/23/2012 1:48PM

    Good for you! I would've been nervous too...

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DDOORN 4/23/2012 12:36PM

    Your SPARK spilleth over! :-)


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100 Calorie Treat?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Here's an observation.

I am pretty careful about what I buy and eat, and even treats have to have some protein, and fibre, or else I pass them up. I am quite partial to Kashi bars right now....

So a friend at work offered me a 100 calorie treat, a bar made by Thi************ations. It was peanut butter flavor, had a couple of grams of protein, it fit into my eating plan, so I said okay.


It was tiny.
It was way too sweet.
It gave me an unpleasant sugar rush that lasted about 15 minutes.

Moral of the story? Trying a different treat is fine, if we assess it and draw our own conclusions!

Manufacturers out there, use less sugar, put in more protein and fibre, and I may become your fan!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 4/17/2012 8:53PM

    I have tasted some pretty bad protein bars. I like the Kashi bars; but my favorite snack in a bag is almonds in the 100 calorie pack. They are not too sweet, and pack protein, calcium, and fiber.

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ROCKMAN6797 4/17/2012 7:41PM

    Not all 100 calorie snacks are alike!

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FEZZA11 4/17/2012 6:32PM

  those 100-calorie packs are often loaded with sodium, and they taste like cardboard too. Good for YOU, giving things a try and making wise conclusions and decisions!

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Now this is why I LOVE Sparkpeople!

Monday, April 16, 2012

So, I am dealing with ways of coping with some foot surgery (scheduled for June 11) that will keep me away from my beloved treadmill for about two months. Yikes!

I did some research on special chairs, and pedaling machines, but there is the high cost for a limited period of time, and, guess what, most of these devices either don't ship to Canada or ship at exorbitant rates.

So back to SP where I found under wellness and lifestyles a "Limited Mobility" tab. With lots of exercise videos that you can do sitting down. With maybe buying a resistance band, if I want to.

And there it is.

Thank you, SP!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 4/19/2012 5:20PM

    Aw, I'm so glad to read this! I remember when the Limited Mobility section came, they posted a thread on my Knees forum about it. I'm glad that it is helpful for you!

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DDOORN 4/19/2012 2:33PM

    Thx for the head's up on the "Limited Mobility" tab! Didn't know about that and this issue often arises for & know where to point the way! :-)

There is SO MUCH available here for our SparkFamily it's hard to stay on top of it!


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SHARJOPAUL 4/17/2012 9:47AM

    Resistance bands are great! With the exercises SP has and a little imagination it is amazing how many diferent ways they can be used. Its not arobic but tycan sure keep your muscles in shape.

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SASSYBLONDE69 4/16/2012 4:29PM

    You could also look into renting a machine for the time you'll need it?

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PUDLECRAZY 4/16/2012 4:23PM


I have been exploring the resistance band exercises because I will be going on a long trip this summer and spend many hours in the plane and in airports and hotels. They are nothing to pack and I think I'll be able to just pull it out of my satchel and do a few exercises on the plane or in the airports. At any rate, I have had some around for years after various physical therapy routines. Definitely worth the cost.

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    You are bound to succeed. There is also a vibrant chair exercise team - check them out. Best wishes for your surgery.
Cheers Ros

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ROCKMAN6797 4/16/2012 3:11PM

    You are bound to succeed Bonita with a plan in place!


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Surgery update, or, a new adventure?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Well, I am scheduled for some pretty intrusive foot surgery for June 11, 2012.

It involves fixing a bunion, straightening a hammer toe, and removing a deformed toenail (yuck!). Has to be done, even comfortable shoes hurt at this point.

So after getting really worried about loss of fitness and weight gain, and having gained over Passover, I have set myself some new goals!

First is weight loss, to lose as much as possible and ideally 8 pounds in two months.

Second, to continue to increase fitness as much as possible; I am increasing the speed of my treadmill intervals gradually to 3.6 miles an hour.

Third, to learn about exercise when you can't treadmill, or even walk very well for a number of weeks. I am looking at two months for minimal recovery, and 6 months for "getting completely back to normal."

I am pretty sure that SP must have some helpful hints about how to recover from surgery; I will look this up. Hopefully it will include cardio workouts when you can't walk!

Here I go,!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 4/11/2012 2:36PM

    Sorry to hear about the pending surgery but your approach is top notch! There are a ton of activities that you can undertake that don't involve the feet but please check with your doctor before doing so just to be safe. You have accomplished much with the tools you have obtained so keep using these tools throughout your recovery. And please check in often with your SparkFriends, we will motivate you as necessary!

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DDOORN 4/11/2012 1:57PM

    Sorry to hear about the temporary setback! Sounds like it'll be time to really build your upper body with various strength training exercises. For cardio you might want to consider this:



Instead of using it for your feet, you can use for your arms as a cardio workout.

Hoping all goes smoothly and recovery is as SPEEDY as possible!


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PUDLECRAZY 4/10/2012 7:02AM

    Okay, I need this surgery, but am putting it off until the summer I retire when I don't have to teach but my insurance is still in effect. Big difference in medical care between here and Canada. It is not a pleasant surgery, or recovery. However, I have a friend who had it a number of years ago; she is so much more comfortable now and very happy she went through the surgery.

You will be restricted from any weight bearing for quite a while. I am thinking you can do upper body exercises with weights and theraband, and you can get one of those portable exercise pedals and pedal with your arms while your foot is healing. How about a rowing machine at the gym? Once you can get wet and get to the pool, swimming will be a great way to exercise. Check with your doctor about when you might be able to add something like swimming.

Sit ups
Pushups on an exercise ball to keep the weight off your foot

Ask your doctor about a scooter/walker. You might be able to take 'walks' using this. A friend who teaches kindergarten used this for her foot surgery recovery. It is pretty cool.


Here are some images of them. You rest your knee on the platform and walk with your healthy leg.

You are very wise to increase your fitness level while you are still mobile. That will be good for you in so many ways including a faster recovery after your surgery.

Wishing you a very successful surgery and quick recovery. It will feel great not to have that bunion pain.

Comment edited on: 4/10/2012 7:03:51 AM

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CHLOE453 4/10/2012 6:07AM

    Wishing all goes well with your surgery and you have a very fast recovery!!! emoticon emoticon

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