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A Hidden Blessing?

Sunday, October 07, 2012

This week, I joined the Overeaters Anonymous team on SP. (Does that make me not anonymous?) I have never properly dealt with my emotional issues surrounding food. This is modeled after the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, so the first step is to take a fearless inventory and admit that I am powerless over this. I did that earlier this week and have been thinking about what it means to be "abstinent" in terms of food. One cannot go without all food after all.

Subject to change, I think abstinence will mean different things to me depending on a given situation. Thursday, it meant walking past the chocolate cake. Success. Friday, it meant not eating the less-than-the-best food choices my friend offered to share with me. Partial success.

Since learning that my LDL ("bad" cholesterol) is slightly higher than it should be, I have determined that I will really work on losing this tonnage. I am closely watching sodium (and I blew it today even without having a diet soda!) and I am cutting way back on animal protein and cheese for the next couple of weeks just to see what happens. I love cheese and I am having a caffeine shortage headache to boot! Coffee and tea do not take the edge off in the same way a soda does.

In my mind, the OA thought process and the LDL discovery dovetail nicely. The LDL number is like a kick in the rear. I walked today for over 30 minutes. I walked to the local Home Depot to pay my bill. It took me 14 minutes to walk there and and 14 back, even though I walked faster on the way back. That meant I needed to do a little more walking to get to my 30 minute minimum. I ended up walking 36 minutes. My lower back was sure sore and the last bit was really a challenge. Walking is not always this hard. Blame it on the weight. That step, distance and time total did not include the grocery shopping in the morning. The step count is not what I want, but I obviously need to work back up to 10K on a daily basis. I have to because I don't want to cut my life short nor do I want to lose any more abilities just because I am not taking care of this body of mine!

Thank you, SP family, for your support. It has been a rough journey for a while now!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 10/13/2012 6:45PM

    That's great. I've heard great things about OA. Rock it!

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DEBBYNATION 10/8/2012 8:15PM

    U CAN DO IT! I KNOW U CAN!

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WONDEROONA 10/7/2012 11:19PM

    emoticon

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ERINMARIE424 10/7/2012 8:51PM

    emoticon

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CARRAND 10/7/2012 8:32PM

    It sounds like you are back on track. I know you can do it!

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ANNE1123 10/7/2012 12:52PM

    I think it's really brave of you to take the step of joining an OA group. It will give you resources and perspectives that you didn't have. You will get a lot out of it and I wish you the best. Have a good week, Anne

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ANDASI 10/7/2012 7:45AM

    I agree with Linda walking on grass is much much easier on the body. I myself walk at the nearest park on grass.

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ANDASI 10/7/2012 7:43AM

    Exercise is so great for the mental, emotional, and spiritual well being especialy walking it is meditative and stress releasing. It also uses up a good chunk of the day where we might be doing something less healthy in place of walking.

I adore walking especialy in the fall with the coolere weather it energizes me and propells me ot keep walking further and faster. The one thing i have found to be crucial fro my walking is a great pair of shoes the better my shoes are the better my walk feels.

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_LINDA 10/7/2012 1:27AM

    Maybe its time to gt that pedometer on. I wish you didn't have to walk on cement though. That is tough and gets my pain flared up every time. I am struggling with my back too, and that is the pain that keeps waking me out of my sleep. I think if my hip gets replaced that pain will vanish like it did before. But the bottom line is I can walk father and a whole lot easier on soft grassy or dirt trails, not to mention the peace and tranquility of getting close to nature. far better then a noisy, polluted city. Can you walk in some nice park areas? It would be far more pleasent..
Wishing you all the best with this new team and focus. I am sure you will get all the fabulous support you need..
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LADYPIXEL 10/7/2012 1:05AM

    emoticon

One of the best things about a 12-step program is the support. It's the same here as it is in any other group... the support's phenomenal. You will do well, I just know it! :)

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Mixed Bag on Fasting Blood Test Results

Saturday, October 06, 2012

To my surprise, I had good numbers on all of the test results except for one. Some of the numbers were better than good. Whew!

The one that is higher than it should be is LDL. So I have some work to do!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 10/6/2012 10:20PM

    emoticon

You are healthier than you think! The LDL will come down, too, as you lose weight.

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ERINMARIE424 10/6/2012 9:10PM

    Good for you!

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ANNESYLVIA 10/6/2012 6:21PM

    Glad overall you did well on tests. Best of luck with lower your LDL

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_LINDA 10/6/2012 12:27AM

    Great blood test! Yes, high LDL comes with being overweight. Exercise helps get it down. I actually have low cholesterol and always have.. But my blood tests are really good in spite of the RA, my Dr. is usually pleased.
You can do this Mali, what ever it takes..

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ERIECANALGAL 10/6/2012 12:11AM

    emoticon Sounds good. You can get the LDL down! emoticon

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Muddled Thoughts

Thursday, October 04, 2012

This morning, I went to Kaiser for what turned out to be 5 appointments. I have never before been able to schedule everything on the same day, let alone all on the morning. First was the fasting blood test. I have terrible veins that collapse easily, so I’ve experienced lots of “fishing expeditions”. No problems this morning. I knew I would be hungry afterwards, so I brought a granola bar and a banana. I sat outside in the garden area and enjoyed both along with the beautiful weather.

Next up, I thought, would be the flu shot. But that clinic would not be open for another hour. I took a walk for most of that time. So proud of myself for that! When I got back, it was a short wait (I thought I should have walked longer and was also amazed that my lower back did not object.) and I was finished with that in seconds.

Then was the physical with my new doctor. The appointment was in the same building, but more than an hour later. I registered anyway and was called in almost immediately. For me, the purpose was to get her signature on a paper from my company attesting to the fact that I’d had a physical. I had no complaints and the company has offered a $50 incentive to be paid in December for taking care of ourselves this way. My numbers (BP etc) are excellent. I know she was surprised to see that because my weight is so high. I need to lose 74 pounds!

Then was the booster vaccine (same building, but another clinic, so another registration and another wait). They tell me I will be very sore tomorrow (I am already!) Both shoulders (they did not want to do both on the same shoulder.)

The squish test was in a different building so I got some more steps in. I was very, very early for that appointment and it looked, at first, as if I were going to have to wait until that time came. When they called me back up and asked if I were aware of the time, I said I was, but I hoped to get in early so I could get to work. One person was training another and I heard them discuss the fact that they had only one machine. My heart sank. But they took me early! The technician complimented me for allowing her to manipulate me as she needed for the scans. She said most women flinch at being touched. Well, I don’t enjoy this test, but I’d rather the technician got a good picture the first time and that she sees all the tissue. I was surprised to learn I now have to have this annually...(age)

While I was walking around the complex, I saw an elderly man walking. He was hunched over at the waist, his trunk completely parallel to the ground. He walked with a cane and one foot thumped loudly with each step (I walk that way also, but not as pronounced.). I could not see any reason for the heavy footfall, but I was stunned at his posture. I think he would have stood about 6 feet were he able to stand tall. Very sad. I surmised as I watched him that he is probably a veteran and it’s a shame that he cannot stand tall at this point in his life. Seeing him and some of the other patients reinforced my determination to take care of myself.

On the other hand, after watching last night’s debate, reviewing my financial situation and receiving bad news in the mail, I am completely discouraged about my future. In the next few days, I will be reviewing my options, such as they are. Bankruptcy is abhorrent to me, but it is an option. Look for a better paying job or a second job, talk to my creditors (scary!) and other thoughts. Not wanting to face the facts is not productive – an interesting parallel to my SP journey, but not one I will delve into here today. But this issue does impact the rest of my life. It’s hard to work, hard to feel positive…We’ve all struggled like this. I am not the only one.

I took most of the day off, but I did go in to work so that I could join in the celebration for an employee who is retiring tomorrow. He is so excited! I am sorry to see him leave. He is someone I like and respect and enjoy. They had a huge yummy looking chocolate cake. I walked away as it was being cut. I knew better than to get near it. At this point, I cannot make exceptions for “special” events. I won’t drop this tonnage.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 10/5/2012 9:21PM

    I'm glad your doctor visits all went well. Even your veins cooperated!

I'm sorry about the finances. I've been through tough times before with money, but fortunately not recently. Things have a way of working out in the end.

Good for you for resisting the cake. Way to go!

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BYEFATNANNY 10/5/2012 11:07AM

    Great to get all that "stuff" done in one day. I had 80 lbs to lose and although I've gone backwards, I know it can be done, I guess we just need to look around this site to know that. You can do it you have good company here. It is very important to get healthy now for the future, you are so right. I want to be able to garden in my golden years since that is really my hobby. I see my husband who is 12 years older than me and he is very overweight and he is suffering from so much pain. I don't want to be like that. Sometimes charging straight into those financial problems and making hard decisions is the only way out. It hurts going through but it is so freeing on the other side. Living in one of the most expensive places in California, not to mention the country is not making it easier. Have you thought of relocating? I had to do that at one point, I used to live in Carmel....."nuff said". As always I wish only the best for you. emoticon

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DESERTDREAMERS 10/5/2012 4:43AM

    I always tell my patients that get immunizations - if you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) - take it every 4 - 6 hours for the first day. The immunizations cause pain and frquently, a slight fever. Guess what these meds are good for? Yep - pain & fever. (Obviously, if you are allergic, DON'T TAKE THEM!)

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_LINDA 10/5/2012 2:29AM

    So glad all your appointments went well -even the veins cooperated -simply amazing! I enjoyed the benefits of my Remicade, but sure hated the number of times the nurses had to jam and poke around that long IV needle around until they could finally get a good one in :( Scars on my arms to show for it.
So very sorry to hear of your financial problems. So unfair how hard you work for that company but don't really get enough to live on, you do deserve better, hope you can find something more. You should talk to the creditors maybe there is a way to amalgamate things and make the payments easier to manage.
Good for you resisting the cake! I know I won't be able to resist the sweet treats at my Mom's for my Thanksgiving. My family is getting together Saturday which is good as I have to work the holiday Monday (club only closes on Christmas Day)
Keep on taking care of yourself!
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HDHAWK 10/4/2012 9:52PM

    You had quite a busy day. I hope your financial situation improves. It can be so stressful. I'm with you on staying away from the cake!

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I Talked to Mom Angell Today!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

What a day! The Oakland Athletics clinched the division, so my hopes for an OAK-SF World Series are still intact.

A friend loaned me some money and insisted on buying lunch out. I went with her thinking I knew what I was going to have, but found the menu had changed. I was stumped. I ordered what I thought was the most reasonable item but...then there were the chips and salsa. As I chomped on the chips, I had a nagging thought that stopping that would be what food abstinence means. I did stop, but not soon enough. I had to guess on the food values for what I ate (the restaurant does not have nutrition info posted in the place or online). I could have done better, but I also could have done worse.

I was still very stiff today and did not walk much. But I will make that up tomorrow when I spend the morning at Kaiser getting ALL of my routine appointments done. I am looking forward to seeing that number on my pedometer!

This afternoon, my cellphone rang. It was one of the girls and she put Mom on the phone. We had a chance to talk. She is not herself. The strokes have robbed us of a lot of her, but it was absolutely fantastic to talk with her. I am so grateful that I got to tell her how much she means to me. I know she knows, but I really am so thankful that I got one more chance to say it. I hung up and cried. That could have been our last conversation. If yes, I will treasure it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 10/4/2012 8:22AM

    The chips always do me in at a Mexican restaurant. Once I start, I can't stop.

I'm so glad you got to talk to your loved one.

Good luck with the medical testing. It's so good to get them all done at once like that.

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_LINDA 10/4/2012 2:16AM

    That is so wonderful you got to talk to your Mom! Do cherish tht moment of being able to tell her how much she means to you. All too often we never get the chance and then they are gone:(
Congrats on your team wining!
Hope all your appointments go well and you don't get too sore from all the walking around!
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ANDREAG89 10/3/2012 9:53PM

    It can indeed be comforting to hear a loved one's voice, even if that person isn't quite the same. I'm sorry to hear of her strokes, but am so glad to hear of your understanding of the importance of any time spent with her. Cherish that.

And congrats on the A's! I watched "Moneyball" and it made me 'almost' a fan...hubby is a Cincinnati Reds fan (we live 45 miles away) so I am rooting for them. :-)

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A Better Day

Monday, October 01, 2012

Thank you, Spark Family, for your support! You made the difference today! At certain times of the day, it was almost as if you were with me, talking with me, helping me think before I made a food choice. My attitude is what is better today.

Oddly, I have had almost no appetite, so I am way off on food. I was ok in most respects yesterday. I am not going to worry about it. It is unseasonably warm today and will be tomorrow as well. The pendulum will swing.

I got almost no sleep last night. BF was not sleeping well because of his restless leg syndrome, so I came out to the couch, not an easy place to sleep. Plus, one of the twins texted me and asked if I wanted Mom Angell's hat and a scarf. Yes, of course, but...I wish she could live forever and keep wearing them herself. Thinking of her and the looming airline ticket and her funeral did not help me fall asleep.

Somehow, I made it through the day and actually got some work done.

My aging cat seems to be doing better.

Yes, I probably need therapy, but I don't have the money or the time.

I did something great for me last week and the final piece came together today. Thursday, I will be getting all of my scheduled exams at Kaiser. The physical, the "squish test" (you ladies know!), the vaccine booster and my flu shot. Doc says there will be no conflict between both shots. I usually put this kind of thing off because the logistics are awful. Amazingly, the wait to see my doc and to schedule all the other things was not astronomically long. To get them all scheduled on one day is remarkable! Good for me for taking care of myself! BUT I did get more pushback from the office than I expected when I asked for half or perhaps a full day off (I have the sick time and vacation time available.) One test might make me feel lousy, so that was why I wanted the option to take the full day. That one test is a fasting blood test (first thing in the morning!). I am nervous about those results for sure. I am morbidly obese, I don't exercise much, I am no spring chicken and I fear the result will include a diagnosis of diabetes. Manageable, to be sure, but still. I am making changes to avert that diagnosis but it may be the classic case of too little too late...

Sleeping on the couch again (it's cooler) and going soon.

Good night and thank you!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBBYFITZ 10/3/2012 6:09PM

    There are memtal health self help programs on the net. If you google Cognitive Behavioural Therapy you will get some grrat choices. I did a two week program as an out patiemt at a private memtal health hospital amd have found it a grrat jelp. zI jave looked into yhe ones on the net and look good.

I also am travelling interstate to be with family as my mum passes away from us. I am keeping it tovethet at the momemt but have no idea what I will be like when I get jome.
I saw mum three weeks ago and she was lucid and happy. So glad I have that memory.

My thoughts will be with you at this so very sad time
xoxo.Hugs from Libby.

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ANNESYLVIA 10/2/2012 8:26PM

    Going to the doctors can be scary, I am glad you went to the doctors.

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CATLADY52 10/2/2012 8:10PM

    Here's hoping that you make it through the tests. emoticon

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CARRAND 10/2/2012 5:00PM

    Good for you for seeing the doctor. Don't fear diabetes. You can manage it. I've been a diabetic for about 6 years. I am now controlling it through diet and exercise. Losing 70 pounds really helped. Even now, exercise lowers my blood sugar. Eating too many carbs raises my blood sugar. It's as simple as that. I just need to remember those two facts and act accordingly.

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RFJSJ50 10/1/2012 11:32PM

    emoticon I'm so glad you had a better day today. It wasn't the greatest for me, but I've had worse! It's good that you have all the medical issues accounted for and appointments set up. That gives less to worry about.
Stay positive.
Sheila

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