Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Thanks for all who shared concern about my increase in exercise for April. My stated goal was 45 minutes per day and some of you, rightfully so, sorta said “Whoaaa.” (I am paraphrasing.) Let me clarify, lol. The forty five minutes a day I am spending in exercise involves stretching, walking and swimming in a warm water therapy pool. Some of it incorporates simply floating on my back and contemplating my life. After two days my back and leg muscles are much looser and I feel more energetic. I am a bit sore, from pushing just a bit, but the warm water counteracts the tiny bit of discomfort I am having. I am not running around the block, lol. Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention. I should have been more detailed in my exercise program. I can see how it would be misinterpreted.
My next step, in a week or so, is to begin using light weight, the treadmill and elliptical. I will incorporate that time into my total of 45 minutes along with the therapy pool.
Thanks for all your love
A soggy John
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
This was recorded yesterday, before the NCAA Championship game.
BTW: I met all three of my goals yesterday
Monday, April 02, 2012
A week from today, my dad will have been gone a month. Between the funeral, a few trips to Wisconsin to get my mom resettled and dealing with my ever changing schedule, I woke up this morning wondering where the last month went. I sat at my desk in a bit of a stupor and realized that I couldn’t get any further off track then I am right now. In the past three or four weeks eating has consisted of what’s placed in front of me or what I grab of the run. Exercise is an exception rather than the rule. My reflective time has gone out the window --- I’m too busy being nervous and having multiple anxiety attacks, waking up in the middle of the night feeling like the world is caving in on me to spend any quality time relaxing. I look in the mirror and “ugh,” all my hard work has been flushed down the commode. To be honest, the urge to sit here and feel sorry for myself on a continual basis is a very attractive option.
The only way to get going is, well, to get going. As much as I don’t want to I am going to dust off some goals for April and slowly get back on track. Nothing earth shattering or elaborate here, just a few things to make me feel good about being John and building a foundation for myself to get back on track.
1. Stay within my calorie limits. That happens when I track what I eat. Wait, Spark gives me that tool doesn’t it?!?!? I think I’ll use it.
2. 45 minutes of exercise, 6 days per week. I just need to “do it.” Nuff said
3. Twenty minutes of John time each day to do nothing more thanb rest and reflect in my source.
Three simple, yet effective goals to help me get back on track. I'll keep ya posted
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I was always one of those “Thank goodness it wasn’t me” people. I watched friends and colleagues struggle with chronic pain issues and doctors who couldn’t quite place their hands on a diagnosis and would throw up their hands in frustration. I always felt so lucky. I sat and read GIRANIMAL’s blog this morning about trying to find a source and solution to her pain and I found myself nodding my head and uttering a soft “Amen,” to what she wrote. This blog is in support of her and so many of us who end up getting lost in the maze called the medical system.
Last May I woke up one morning with stiffness in my left leg. Nothing horrific, mind you, just stiffness. Being 58 I wrote it off to approaching old age and popped two Advil. I took my morning walk and noticed my leg was getting stiffer and tighter with each step. My lower back began to tighten. To compensate I began to favor my right leg which in turn began to stiffen as well. Pain started shooting up and down my legs and my lower back often felt like a knife was being stuck directly into my lower spinal column. My primary care physician was on vacation so I went to an Urgent Care facility. They X-rayed my back, gave me some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory’s and sent me on my way. Other than a few bone spurs and the ever faithful catch all phrase “John you are not getting any younger,” I had most likely pulled a muscle. Heat and exercise was the prescription. Two weeks later I wasn’t any better, as a matter of fact it felt as if my ankles were fused and turning in a small circle was a real adventure. I was afraid of falling. Every time I stood up I ached. To compensate I was leaning backwards when I walked. My primary care said I looked like I was 9 months pregnant. She suggested working with my trainer on stretching exercises. By this time I was popping Advil like jelly beans and my hamstring muscles were shortening from lack of activity. A month later I was worse so we began the cycle of tests. Cat Scans, MRI’s and the like led to Neurosurgeons, Chiropractors and Physical Therapists. All began by telling me I was overweight and needed to exercise and once I did, well things would go back to normal. “Thank you John, lemme have your co-pay and have a nice day.”
“By the way doctor, I can’t exercise because I can’t move!!!” Everything was tight and stiff and everyone told me if I’d just lose weight everything would work out. I’m a compulsive over eater. I am a stress eater. It was like no one listened to what I was saying. I couldn’t move. I began walking with a cane and only traveled to places I had to travel to. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I walked like I was ready to fall over!!! I lived in fear of the pain. It consumed my entire life. I lived in fear of falling down and even taking a shower each morning was an anxiety ridden experience. What if I fell? Depression set in and I’d sit in my office and stressed that no one could tell me what was wrong. Emotionally I did a huge number on myself. “After all,” I reasoned “this had to be MY fault in some form or fashion, didn’t it?” I lost some alleged friends. People I had exercised with, had run with, had gotten healthy with began to avoid me. It was like they could “catch” my pain. Some alluded to lack of will power and discipline. I felt embarrassed and ashamed to visit clients. I did a lot of phone work. This was a long, painful and lonely walk. Nothing I did provided me with any relief. I hurt more and more and the doctors became tired of seeing me. By September I hate to tell you I was almost agoraphobic.
One Friday, shortly before Christmas a Spark friend, SPARKENISTA, suggested I read a book by a doctor that had been able to help her. I downloaded the book and two chapters in I was in tears. This dude was talking about ME!!! It was like he sat at my kitchen table and wrote the book based on my symptoms. With each page I was writing issues on a notepad to talk with my doctor about. The book is called Healing Back Pain by Dr John Sarno. I won’t do a lengthy review here but he basically says that while you are in pain, you are not hurt. The pain is real, it has a cause and that cause is stress and tension. It’s called Tension Myositis Syndrome or TMS. I didn’t have any organic issues, no slipped discs or ruptured discs or compressed nerves. My mind decided all my tension was going to settle in my lower back and legs. Once I understood what was happening I began a really slow road back. I had a number of issues I needed to deal with, all of which were causing stress and tension in my life and I began to notice that when a bad situation occurred my back got worse. My doctor(s) were and are skeptical. It doesn’t fit on an intake form or a box you can check.
I walked one half mile yesterday. I haven’t walked that far in close to a year. I was a bit sore and stiff but it felt good. I swim daily. I’m dealing with my “issues” and realizing that nowhere in my script does it say I have to be perfect. Like GIRANIMAL I still wonder why no one would listen. It’s not important now, only my recovery is. I have good days and bad days and this may be around for a while. There’s bitterness inside of me. The so called experts wouldn’t listen. They told me I was fat. “Lose weight and get over it.” The bright lining is I found out the why. My dad passing a few weeks back caused a bit of a setback, but I am learning.
My next vista is to lose the 90 pounds I gained back during this ordeal. I slid down a mountain and now I have to muster the resolve to climb back up once again.
Here is to all of us who are searching.
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