Tuesday, April 12, 2011
It's not what you think.
I was at physical therapy on Monday.
To start out, my therapist massaged both shoulders - since both were spastic and complaining. That is the best part of pt. I even got my husband to do the same thing over the weekend. Sigh! I wish someone could do it right now.
I started out on the arm cycle (for lack of a better name for it)- it made me wonder how many miles my arms were going, and how long it will take for the rest of me to catch up. I did 3 minutes forward, and 3 minutes backwards. It doesn't sound like much, but believe me I really could feel this in my arms.
Then I went on to bench press 10 lbs with my arms. Again, not much, but since I am post-op for neck surgery - these are positive baby steps. I think I did at least 2 sets of twenty. Maybe it was more.
Then, standing in front of a full length mirror, I lifted one pound weights in each hand - two sets of twenty each, two different directions. Then, I was handed two pound weights - one for each hand - so that made a total of four pounds being lifted - to do bicep curls - about twenty each arm again - two sets. That is where I gained the pound (actually two), as I had only been lifting one pound in each hand at a time up to this point at physical therapy.
What this tells me:
I am getting stronger. I am healing.
My neck is getting stronger. It is healing.
My arms are getting stronger.
I don't like to look at myself face on in the full length mirror - as I can see the pounds I did gain since being on disability - I know, it is only about 4 or 5 lbs, but I can still see it. Then again, with that in mind, it may keep me from reaching for bad food I shouldn't have. Watching myself, it looked as though my left triceps were more tone than my right, which surprised me. I am grateful though that I have not put on more, and have been pretty much maintaining.
I was glad to gain a pound in each hand for lifting today. That brings me that much closer to being able to carry a gallon of milk again. With care, I pull it out of the fridge, and over to the counter when it is full. Lifting a gallon of milk is painful still.
I also ended up walking about 3.25 miles between walking around the house, and up and down stairs (several times), and around the grocery store. I also cooked supper (only the 2nd time in the last month since surgery). I also loaded and ran the dishwasher again. Now, I am pretty tired, perhaps overtired.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Saturday marked one month since the anterior cervical discectemy and fusion surgery, so consider this a one month post-op blog. It also was the first day that I tried to actually cook something! My husband had helped me get the chicken wings into a container, and I added a homemade marinade on Friday and put it in the refrigerator. Then, I just had to get everything switched into a pan and into the oven, along with some nice oven baked potatoes Saturday afternoon. And, since part of the plan was using up the aging bananas, I made my Easy Banana Bread (oven 350 bake 1 hr.) aka Luna's Banana Mania Bread (I added mini chocolate chips this time for variety). recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
This time, I didn't have any help in preparing the bread.
I also loaded, or finished loading the dishwasher a few times over the weekend. Yes. These things are workouts for me since I am in recovery mode. One little step at a time.
Preparing to bake the banana bread. Using three separate bowls for the tasks made it simple.
The finished product! Yum!
The proof is in the oven!
Eating has become easier, at least swallowing. I still need to focus on smaller bites, and chewing to avoid trouble. At least swallowing is not such a conscious act now. Healing is happening. Since my neck physical therapy consists mainly of turning my head right to left, and vice versa, and doing chin tucks, the neck muscles are strengthening. Here is what I look like as of yesterday afternoon.
One month post surgery - healing nicely
Sunday, I did get to church worship services. My son brought me, though my husband did not get to go since his sleep has been so disrupted this week, he was utterly exhausted. I had my best sleep this weekend on Saturday night after all the cooking. I was grateful I actually slept much longer than I have in a long time with out interruption. I can't say as much for last night. Oh well, I don't feel badly today though.
Since I can't really do much of a workout right now - light walking, morning pt routine, and neck pt twice weekly - I am not expecting to see much change in the scale. I did have a couple of "I don't totally care what I put in my mouth" days this week, and that has stopped. I am not totally sure what was going on, though I think it may be some kind of comfort thing. I had at least 3 really bad nights trying to sleep. When I can't sleep, it makes me want to eat, even if I am not really hungry. It's a new week. I can do better than that. I have done better than that. It wasn't exactly a binge, it was just not following my plan. And my body knows the difference, my mood and my skin complained. I am back on track.
two weeks ago (3-19-11) 2 wks post-op
Sunday 4-10-11 One month post-op.
See, I am turning my neck (this is the harder side to turn).
At least I am maintaining most of my weight loss, even if I can't make the scale move down much more right now.
My biceps and triceps strength are being worked on, so I can feel muscle tone tightening up again. I have had a "pain" week with my low back and sciatica, and yesterday I felt "fat" - I could feel a loss of muscle tone in my body itself, and felt a little blue about it. I have done my adapted morning pt routine for my low back 4 days in the last week, besides my scheduled physical therapy (neck) with light hand weights twice per week. I did 10 minutes of the low back pt routine this morning, and am scheduled to go to therapy this afternoon for my neck.
A visitor to our bird feeders yesterday. I sit by this window in the kitchen, so turning my head to the right to look out is part of my physical therapy. Turning my head to the left to look at my cat sitting on the floor meowing up at me is the other part of my neck physical therapy.
On a recent shopping trip, we purchased a fire pit for our yard. When friends moved away, we inherited their table. Our yard is beginning to look quite inviting for the coming warmer weather, especially since long travel is difficult for me.
I also bought this little banner for our front entryway.
Friday, April 08, 2011
Peaches was all snuggled with me, and I realized my cell phone was close by, so I snapped a few pictures to share with you.
So when I post that I am curling up with my blanket and cat, this is exactly what I am doing. Peaches has an innate sense of knowing when I am struggling with pain, insomnia, etc. and spreads his healing warmth. In fact, he has just "knocked" at the back door to come in, and since I had a bad night, I will curl up with his warmth.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, April 07, 2011
It can be a noun, or a verb.
A spark can ignite a fire.
It can get things started and make it burn.
Spark can be an action word, a verb when I spark myself or someone else into action, any kind of action, most typically into a positive effect.
When you spark, you sparkle, you shine, you glow with a light, an energy, an ability to light someone else's fire, with just a little spark.
So today, as you sparkle, be the spark, the fuel to ignite your own and someone along the way. Spark your life. Spark someone else's. Make it burn. Make it shine. Make it count! To spark is an action word. Make it happen!
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
...rest of my life.
I just came back from PT (Physical therapy). My therapist "Mike" has a sense of humor. I appreciate that. There was a flying insect, perhaps a fly, and he said it was a flying pterodactyl! Then he was discussing baseball teams with another (male) therapist - and I asked him which team was his - he said the good guys - so I said "The Sox?"
"Of, course. This is new England."
"So the bad guys are the Yankees..."
(I am a Red Sox fan).
Back to therapy.
He asked how I was after last week's session - so I told him how my neck was unhappy, but that the medication is adjusted better now.
I also spoke with James, the other therapist who gave me the pre-op skills to do (Yankees fan), he asked me how I was doing. Yes, the low back is complaining, and I am afraid that the bulge may have herniated by the symptoms. Unless the dr. did take anything from my pelvic/hip area for the bone graft - but I have no incision, so I doubt that. Yes, the pre-op routines for my low back have worked, but it took about a week and a half to actually start to try doing them. But, I did do some of the abdomen tightening exercises right from even in the hospital.
Exercise - turn neck to the left (his left - my right), turn to the right (his right, my left) - got to love his humor. Look up, look down. (beginning to feel like a Three Stooges Marathon).
Weights - 1lb hand weights - standing, lifting my arms. (He called them 1,000 lb weights - the humor continued). Lay down, lift arms with weights. Turn my head from side to side, up, down.
Enough. This was about 20-30 minutes.
Where does it hurt?
Left, near the incision (inevitable, not surprising), and right shoulder blade, a lot of tightness in those muscles.
Gentle massage in the right shoulder blade area with ointment. Yes!
Then into the car for the drive home. Ugh. I could feel the muscles in my neck tighten up.
Session 2 complete. Other than turning my head in the normal range of motion exercises, he told me to hold off on too much til next time (Thursday).
The incision site is looking good. I told my husband it really doesn't bother me, the scar. Whatever. It is part of life. Part of me. Part of what happens. Not a problem.
Breakfast - scrambled eggs with cheese, light wheat toast, milk.
Lunch - tomato soup, grilled cheese, a tiny amount of low sodium chips, water, and few pieces of mango.
Supper - baked scrod, baked potato, broccoli, salad
Sleep - 7 hours.
Rest of Day - Rest...
Re: my husband
joined the weight loss competition at work
Had his initial weigh in
Has his goal to lose 18 lbs (3 months?)
It will be good to have a stronger bond as a fitness partner at home.
I am proud of him for deciding.
I am proud of me for influencing him.
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