Friday, August 27, 2010
Iíve been thinking a lot about exercise and about healing lately. This should come as no surprise to those who know about the last ten weeks of my life since my fall.
For the past two of those weeks Iíve been having three/week visits from physical therapists in my home. I take off my big boot and try to move my foot this way and that, curl my toes, etc. (My kitty, Smokey, has been assisting me. Iím not kidding. Whenever she sees me begin my exercises, she runs over to my foot and gently presses her face against the top of it, causing a bit of healthy resistance. Itís ďa hootĒ as my Texas dad would have said. I donít think anyone has a short and cute and furry physical therapist as I do.)
All of my life Iíve heard ďexercise should be an important part of everyone's daily routine because it reaps so many benefits.Ē
It always made me feel guilty. It always sounded like so much nagging. Yah Yah. I get it. So why donít you go exercise. Iím not interested.
Itís not that I didnít believe those who touted the bounties of regular exercise, but I truly hated it. I found it boring and tedious. Iím someone who doesnít do anything unless it accomplishes something concrete and pretty immediately obvious. I found that counting 20 sit ups or doing 10 minutes of stepping up and down on a rectangular piece of wood incredibly stupid.
However, when I couldnít get rid of lbs. that kept creeping up recently Ė after a lifetime of losing and gaining those lbs. -- I decided to join a gym. At the time of signing my contract I told the lady how much I hated exercise and how it pained me to be trying this option. We laughed about it. But I was bound and determined to give this a try. After all, Iíve avoided it all these many decades.
So I began. I did my workouts in MY way: Iíd go in, do the treadmill while listening to a book on my iPod for 10 minutes, go through all the machines quickly for about 5 minutes each, then back on the treadmill for another 10 minutes (more if I get engrossed in the book or a good conversation with a fellow exerciser.) Then out the door! No regrets. Seven days (or at least five) days a week, 30-45 minutes each time. None of this staying hour after hour, none of that for me.
It didnít take me long to begin to reap the benefits. I began losing not only weight but inches. My pants started falling off (embarrassing in public), and I found I looked forward to doing my ďpower exercisingĒ/characteristically impatient exercising every evening. Amazing.
Now, after my fall, and the only exercising I do is trying to motor myself around my apartment and wiggle my toes, I really miss the gym. I miss those stupid machines. And Iíve begun to realize that exercise not only gave me a firmer body. It gave me a sense of wholeness.
These days itís helping me heal.
Hmmm. Exercise to heal. What a concept.
They say that people who exercise tend to live a longer, healthier life, and also feel better about their well being in general. I hate to admit it, but thatís the feeling I got from my kind of exercising from almost the first week. I didnít have to do the boring stuff, I could do quick and dirty and love it.
They also say that exercise can help relieve stress. Ditto.
In addition, I also noticed I felt less pain from my Fibromyalgia and my muscles were getting stronger. My resting heartbeat got down to 59 beats, and that made me feel pretty great.
So, despite all I can do now is wiggle my foot and toes, I still can sense the benefit of exercise. Itís certainly helping me heal, lowering my stress (it makes me feel hopeful that I will walk again soon when I see those digits dancing!), and healing my very soul with its magic.
Wonít it be wonderful when I can, once again, enter those hallowed doors of my gym!? I know they can hardly wait to see me againÖIím sure theyíve missed me. Right?
Saturday, August 21, 2010
My foot has really slowed down in terms of improvement. I've had to go back to using my rollaround and have been told this could take up to 6 months. Well, it's been 9 weeks so far. So I'm simply trying to be patient and stay the course.
I've been great about keeping track of my lower food intake and my own "Other Goals" which have to do with attitude and feelings and behaviors. I'm proud of that.
So I'm staying the course, maintaining my weight loss, and waiting for the day when I can, once again, get back to exercise. Meanwhile, my clothing is getting loser and my habits are getting firmer!
Friday, August 13, 2010
Today I'm taking stock. Sunday is another decade on this earth for me. I had planned on throwing myself a big birthday bash for months. Partly to celebrate and partly to help me feel this is a good thingÖgetting older.
Now I've decided on giving my party mid September. And I'm not accepting any presents. We'll have a display for the Make a Wish Foundation and a box for people's contributions in lieu of presents for me. Just the presence of, rather than presents from, my friends will be a nice enough gift.
My physical therapy is not progressing. One day I can barely move my foot and it just twitches and the next day I can painfully wiggle it a little, and then the process starts all over again. My mind is telling my foot and toes to move, but the response is not occurring -- very little movement, if at all. My foot looks all shriveled up and does not want to cooperate. I underestimated and was shocked at the damage I did, and thus, I am shocked at the consequences of my fall. I remember falling and saying, "Oh no, this cannot be happening. Just stay upright, just stay vertical, you won't get hurt as badly." Well, I stayed upright, but I was hurt very, very badly anyway.
In addition, my breastbone and muscles emanating out from that area, are hurting tremendously. I believe I hurt that area of my body in my desperate attempt to stay vertical during my fall. Only recently, in the past couple of weeks (it's been eight weeks since the accident) has this been a real problem. I believe it is hurting because I am using my upper body to move my rollaround all over my life's movements, the only way I can navigate.
Although I have the boot on instead of a cast, so I can now take showers, I still have been told NO weight bearing on that foot. So, instead of turning back in my $100/month rented apparatus, I will have to reup again. This means it's been $300 so far.
This is affecting my writing as well. I don't feel as inspired. In addition, I cannot attend any of my club functions nor attend church. I also am a hot air ballooning hobbiest, and I've already missed one big event and will miss another in Natchez in October. Because of the weather here in the South, there is a shorter window of opportunity for good flying. In Austin we practically flew year round. So this effectively means I am missing a whole season.
People come and go, only occasionally, to my apartment, and all are complaining about the beating-down sun and how hot it is. I love heat. It makes me feel alive! I miss the sunshine so much.
Just wanted to share this morning. I'll continue on my path toward recovery, but today it is hard, and Sunday will be harder.
Hope you are well,
Friday, August 06, 2010
Well, my cast has been replaced by an immense boot. This means two things: small children run screaming from me when I "walker" my way down the street (it looks like a Frankenstein monster boot); but at least they are no longer running away due to my b.o.
Yes, folks, that's right. She can take a shower now. Yes!
No more trying to figure out how to get clean while standing on one foot in front of the sink (how do flamingos do it?) No more trying to get into the bathtub backwards and , again, one-footed. No more fear I will be found in a very unflattering position, splayed across my bathroom floor after slipping while trying to enter the bath water. No more. Yes!
However, walking is still not an option. Even "walker"ing isn't. I tried. I really tried. I pulled pectoral muscles doing so. It's home for me for now.
Still, I remain steadfast. I am going to get out of this boot and walk againÖyey, even dance again. Where there's a will there's a foot. And PT says they support me in my motto.
Again, the parallel with my Spark People program is there. What has been hard for me to do has wound up giving me the most reward. Funny that life's often like that. What is important we focus on and, thus, we attain.
I continue to struggle with all the same challenges I did when I started this program in April, but the habits are beginning to become ingrained. Yes!
Friday, July 30, 2010
I have so much energy and love of life since I moved to MS in June last year, and especially since I started Spark People in April.
I love the MS heat and skies, and the sunsetsÖoh, the sunsets. I highly recommend going to a place which fills your heart.
Iím from the Palm Springs area so I know dry heat. In addition, Iíve lived in Austin for a decade, and loved humid heat. To me sunshine is sunshine, and where that is, I am!
Now, we add in Spark People and good health is mine. Really good health. I have noticed a new shine to my hair and face, stronger fingernails, and a better, ever-so positive outlook on life and all it has to offer.
I also highly recommend taking care of yourself. and Spark People has been the key for me.
A positive outlook on life? Well, it pumps you up for your day and each event that takes place along the journey. I have always lived (but itís been notched up a couple of levels in the past year) that my lifeís success hinges on my incredible passion to learn and know all that I canóto collect information in every instance available to me. Add zeal for work, interest in new experiences, love of meeting new people and learning all I can out of those encounters, a true gusto for livingÖand, it doesnít hurt, being little crazy in some peopleís eyes.
A true enthusiasm. A Tigger-like view of the world. Thatís me. It has gotten me into places and experiences I would never have missed. It has gotten me into trouble, but I really wouldnít change a thing about that either.
I say go vote for life and treat your body well. Give it all the nourishment it needs. Keep it moving. It will reward you beyond measure.
I donít know about you, but Iím not dressed up with no place to go. Iím dressed up, pumped up, and ready for life. And I have lots of places to go.
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