Thursday, June 28, 2012
I really love the new Spark People Healthy Inspiration section. I guess that I am one of those people who respond really well to motivational quotes and visual images and this section is full of them. I'm choosing one a week and making it my motivator for the week. From now on, I think I'll start adding it to my Spark page and sharing what it means and why it is important to me for the week.
While I was scrolling through the Healthy Inspirations, I ran in to the one that is the title of this blog - "If you don't love yourself before, you won't love yourself after." I take exception to this quote and I think it is demotivating for many, many Spark people.
Since I have been on Spark, I have shared with you some of the horrors of my past: childhood abuse and neglect, the loss of my childhood to a parent's alcoholism, rape and my subsequent path to a happy, long term marriage of 37 years, our raising of a lovely, giving, successful only child, financial security. I shared that psychotherapy and faith helped me find my way out of the darkness. In sharing this, I have heard from more Spark members with similar stories than I can count.
There are Spark people with darker stories than mine, stories of adults who struggle every day with the horrors perpetuated against them by parents, lovers, spouses, even their own children, Spark People who have no self esteem, no reason to believe, and little energy to continue. These people didn't seem to have any reason to believe that they would ever be successful. Most of them are hiding in grossly fat bodies because they believe that they are safe there - safe if they are fat, undesirable, ugly. They are hiding is fat bodies because they don't believe that they deserve to look good, that they can never look good, feel good, be healthy or reach their goal. They stay on Spark because on Spark, they can still see a glimmer of hope. On Spark, they have a community that encourages them to try, that tells them that they do deserve it and that they can have it. They see people like themselves who do make it, using the tools that Spark offers to all of us for free.
The Healthy Inspiration quote that "If you don't love yourself before, you won't love yourself after" wasn't wrong, it was just incomplete. I want you to believe in yourself, as I believe in myself. I want you to succeed, not just at losing weight and gaining health but at something much, much more important. I want you to succeed at learning to love yourself, value yourself, believe in yourself. Here's the new inspirational quote - the right quote to help you on your journey.
If you don't love yourself before, YOU CAN LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF DURING THE JOURNEY, and you WILL love yourself after. We're all here to help.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
I have been away for two months having my back repaired and recovering from it. It was an 8 hour surgery during which they did every type of lumbar surgery possible: laminectomy, foramectomy, decompression, allograft, fusion, alloy metals. Although I am still on bending restrictions and can't get in a pool (boo hoo hoo), I have started physical therapy and I can walk as much as my body can stand - about 1/2 mile.
This gets me back in time to really enjoy the fun with the Spirited Underdogs in the summer challenge and will let me enjoy and contribute more to my Baby Step Spark People and Fighting Fibromyalgia teams that I help lead. I feel a little as if I have let my teams down, even though I let them all know that I would be gone. When you lead a team, you care and have a personal relationship with the team members. Sometimes, there just isn't the right energy when a leader is gone since it's hard for one leader to check in on everyone. I know everyone understands since Spark People are huge on compassion but I missed everyone and know I was missed.
Thanks to all of you for the encouragement, the goodies and the messages that you sent while I was out. There were almost too many to count. if I haven't thanked you, know that I really appreciated them and that I care about you as much as you care about me.
Yay! Rah! Spark People!
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Heres my full report: When I saw the neurosurgeon yesterday, I asked him exactly what he had done in my back. He looked up his surgery notes and said, "Oh yes, this was an absolute mess." highly technical tern. He said they did a decompression, a laminectomy, a foramectomy, removed two discs, cleaned out debris (a ton... Can't figure out why I didn't lose some weight, if that was true...)), they also did fusion, allograft, repaired my spinal cord tear, and did substantial metal work. He said that they did every possible back procedure in one surgery session and that they pulled all of the orthopedic and neurosurgery residents who were available to watch ( plus the med students on those rotations). I am a superstar - at least my butt and back are). He said it was a miracle that I could move and that he can't believe the pain I was dealing with. He said I am a model patient and that my recovery is already better than average - probably because of my motivation and discipline. He could not believe that I had not called for more pain medication and that I am only taking a single Vicodin a day IF it's really painful. He cautioned me to avoid pushing too hard and that it will be up to six months before my energy is back and he recovery is mostly complete. Next week, if the wound is healed ( the problem there is that my chemo impairs my wound healing plus I need to eat more protein), I can start PT 2 times a week. So, WOO HOO, they check the wound on next Tues. If it's ok, I can have chemo next Friday which means that on Sunday, June 17, I will be really back and ready to party. I apologize for being uncommunicative...it has often felt like that old Austrailian group sang, "I get knocked down but I get up again, ain't nobody gonna keep me down...repeat, repeat." I've had to talk so much about this to family, etc that I am sick to death of it. It wasn't fair to keep everyone in the dark, though but unfortunately, when I am sick or suffering, I always go to ground until I can be a decent human being again.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I like to eat but I am always looking for ways to eat more intelligently. Since I, like many of you have to deal with chronic pain, I found this information from Environmental Nutrition very interesting.
Foods that fight pain include the traditional anti inflammatory diet that is low in processed foods, high in vegetables, coffee, tea, spices and plant foods like whole grains, legumes, nuts, and fruit. There is new information that these foods and supplements are also valuable in fighting and managing pain:
Green tea appears to reduce inflammation and pain in arthritis.
Pomegranates and cherries help reduce muscle soreness after intense physical activity.
Red grapes and red wine are rich in reservatrol which helps reduce pain.
Olive oil contains oleo cantal which produces anti inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen.
Curcumin, the spice that gives curry its yellow hue relieves the pain of osteoarthritis.
Ginger helps reduce pain of muscle injury after exercise.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil, produce arthritic pain reducing effects like ibuprofen.
Check out Environmental Nutrition for more wonderful information on how to find the foods that will help you the most!
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I have a little more computer time, so I thought I'd update you all. I am still heavily medicated and most of my time, I am lying flat. I am doing the 6 stretches that the neurologist allows me, 3 times every day. I walk 3 times a day, too but I have to have someone with me because I list a little to the left and can't afford a fall. My longest walk so far has been 1/4 mile - on a flat surface, of course. I am itching to be able to do more but that is as much as he allows. He says that I need to be patient and compliant because I have bone grafts over 8 of the screws that hold my new titanium spine in place. If that doesn't heal right, the integrity of the new structure that he built rods will be compromised. Since it's at a strategic point in my back for bending and pivoting, healing fully is an absolute necessity.
There is no way that I can thank all of you for the outpouring of love, goodies and inspiration that you have been sending my way. My Spark friends are the best and I treasure each one of you.
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