Sunday, July 21, 2013
We went to Atlanta at the end of May to see my family. My sister, her husband, and three kids live in Atlanta, and my parents came up from Miami. We havenít been back East for about two years, and it was a much needed vacation. The kids had their last day of school the day after we got there. My niece and older nephew were a part of the end of the year talent show. My nephew and his friend did a Tai Kwon Do routine, and my niece was a stagehand for the whole show. They did great! I managed to get my nephewís routine on video.
For the Memorial Day weekend, we went to Callaway Gardens. Weíve been there several times before, and itís always a lot of fun. This is a huge golf resort, but for those of us (my husband and I) who donít play golf have a lot of options. We went to the Butterfly Gardens, the Birds of Prey show, and to Robin Lake which had a huge water obstacle course this year.
The huge deal this year at Callaway was the Treetop Adventure. Unfortunately, I wasnít able to take part in it because of my cerebral palsy. You needed balance and coordination, both of which I lack. But it looked like a ton of fun. Itís a treetop course of zip lines. In between the zip lines are various ďaerial obstaclesĒ. I think I might have been able to do the zip lines by themselves (maybe), but the other parts, no way. My sister, her husband, our niece, and my husband all did this, and they all said it was really hard. They were sore for days after. I got a lot of pictures though, so thatís good.
We went back to Atlanta and did a bunch more stuff. We went to Cartersville, about 25 miles or so away, to the Tellus Science Museum. They have a ton of fun exhibits, some hands-on, which I always appreciate. You could pan for gems and go on a fossil dig. Really cool place.
We also saw the movie Epic and went to the Barnes and Noble bookstore a few times. Didnít buy anything, but I love to walk around book stores.
As with our San Ramon trip, I wrote a more detailed description of everything we did, what we ate, and how my walking was. This trip was even better for my walking than San Ramon. One of the best trips Iíve had. Feel free to read all about it!
Activities on Vacation - keepmovingtee.wordpress.com/2013/07/
Eating on Vacation - keepmovingtee.wordpress.com/2013/07/
Walking and Accessibility on Vacation - keepmovingtee.wordpress.com/2013/07/
Saturday, July 20, 2013
I have more to get you all caught up on, but this is not really health related. My husband and I took two vacations this spring. One to the San Francisco area and one to Atlanta. My parents came out to CA for one of my dadís band activities. Heís played saxaphone since he was a kid, and has belonged to the Greater Miami Symphonic band. He plays second chair and has been in the band for 30 some odd years. I think he started playing in this band when I was about 7 years old. So, at least 31 years.
This band conference had nothing to do with the GMSB, he just goes around to various band conferences at will. So, since this particular conference was in San Ramon, CA, my husband and I decided to drive up. We went up HWY 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) and stopped off at Hearst Castle. Wonderful place! If youíre ever in the area, I recommend it. We took a tour of the Great Rooms, and the architecture is phenomenal.
Also on the drive up, we stopped and saw some elephant seals. There were hundreds laying up and down the beach. We walked along the path for a while, and the stench was unbelievable. LOL. Very cool to see them though. We even saw a few make their way into the water.
While we were in San Ramon, we did a few interesting things. Since my dad was tied up with band stuff, we took my mom to the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, not too far away. They had all sorts of classic cars, including several B.A.T. cars. It was a lot larger of a museum than we thought it was going to be.
After the museum, we had lunch and then a coffee stop at Starbucks. The whole Blackhawk Plaza is a great outdoor shopping mall. Lots of neat stores and places to get doo-dads.
We also went to see the Golden Gate Bridge (with my dad too). Iíve driven over the Golden Gate Bridge only one other time, but never really drove through San Francisco. There was a lot of fog going over the Bridge, and it was cold! We stopped off for a few minutes at the Bridgeís visitor center, and the wind was frigid. It was OK when the wind wasnít blowing, but when it did, I was freezing. I didnít bring a jacket with me since the temperatures were in the upper 60s to mid 70s.
We then drove out to Sausalito. Great little town! Had lunch by the water, and then bought some salt water taffy for a snack that would last over several days. I havenít had taffy in so long, and it tasted so good.
This trip was only about four days, but we managed to pack a lot into it. I go into more detail on my off-site blog if you want to take a look. I also talk about the food we ate, and how my walking ability was on this trip. My walking was fantastic to say the least. I credit a lot to the chiropractic work Iíve been getting done. Itís so much easier to walk when your back and hips are straight.
Links to my San Ramon vacation posts:
Activities on Vacaton - keepmovingtee.wordpress.com/2013/05/
Eating on Vacation - keepmovingtee.wordpress.com/2013/05/
Accessibility and Walking on Vacation - keepmovingtee.wordpress.com/2013/05/
Tomorrow Iíll talk about our trip to Atlanta.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Where to begin. This is a difficult post to write. Monty was a huge inspiration to a lot of members on Spark. He was a leader of several teams on Spark, including the Virtual Walk/Run Challenge team. www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp (Not sure why the link won't work) He was a member of several more teams as well. I first met Monty on the Treadmill, Ellipticals, Runners, Walkers & etc team www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=2560 , probably sometime in mid to late 2008. but I didnít get to know him until we were on the Virtual Walk team. He posted his miles every day. Without fail.
He walked a lot, about 9 miles a day if I remember correctly. I donít remember him skipping a day at all. Thatís no exaggeration either, the man was dedicated. I know a few of us started to worry when his mileage started to taper down a bit a few months into 2012. I donít remember exactly the reason he stated, but I think it was something about his hip aggravating him.
And then of course he dropped off of Spark for a while, and we then found out the horrible news. It apparently hit hard and fast. May 24, 2012 to July 4, 2012 was when he got the full story. His last post was on July 4, 2012, and 12 days after that he passed.
I often think of Monty. I think of him for motivation when Iím chugging along on my elliptical. Every time I hear the word cancer, I think of Monty. So, today, one year since his passing, I am going to dedicate my mileage to Monty.
Below are several of Montyís more motivating posts, as well as his final entries.
Monty, you are loved, you are missed, you are remembered.
Joined SparkPeople on February 1, 2008
January 20, 2008 - He reached his goal weight. - Two Years Of Maintaining - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Joined Virtual Walk/Run team August 30, 2009. - Blog - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Monty shares the story about the day his life changed - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
January 30, 2011 - Monty completes the Virtual Walk! - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
His two years on the virtual walk and still going post - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
His walking partner thought he was losing weight - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Worst Blog Part 1 - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Worst Blog Part 2 - Final post - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Thursday, July 04, 2013
This is the last health update I have I think, and itís a big breakthrough. In my past posts (Iím talking 4 years ago at least) Iíve said I have bad balance. In the last few years Iíve said that I have a fear of falling and bad balance. Back in January, maybe February, I came to the realization, that while yes my balance is bad, itís nowhere near as bad as I thought it was. My main problem is the fear of falling.
During the early part of 2013, my husband and I started to work on my ďbad balanceĒ. He would take me into the living room and we would practice walking with me holding onto him, and me not holding onto him. Now, here is when I had my revelation. He had me close my eyes, turned me around in circles, and then told me to just stand there with my eyes close.. I had no idea where I was. He then slowly let go of me, but I thought he was nearby. He then told me to open my eyes. Instant panic.
The reaction I had was totally out of my control. My entire body instantly locked up. I could not move. I started to hyperventilate. My mind ran wild, and I couldnít pinpoint any one thought. I started shaking and sweating. And I started crying. I had no control over any of these reactions. My husband calmed me down and had me sit for a bit.
While I was standing there with my eyes closed, I had no problems. I felt stable, I felt in control, and I didnít feel like I was going to fall. Why? Because I thought my husband was there to catch me. As soon as I realized he wasnít there, I flipped out. So, my balance is fine, my state of mind, not so much.
We tried this several times over the next few days, and had the same results. One day, as I was in one of my calming down moments after a panic attack, my in-laws returned home (yes, we live with my in-laws). They were concerned, and we told them what we were doing. My mother in-law offered me a Xanax. Sheís offered me Xanax in the past for several years, usually when we fly back east for vacation. Iíve always turned her down though. This time was different. I said ďyes pleaseĒ.
I didnít take one right then however. I decided to take one before our next ďbalance practiceĒ session. So the next day I took one, and I honestly didnít think it was going to do a darn thing. But, to my surprise, it did. I still felt the anxiety and a bit of panic, but I was able to work through it. It was like a split second of anxiety, then I was calm, a split second of panic, and then gone. Over and over. And these split seconds were not as intense as they once were. I was able to stand in one spot with nothing and no one around me, and I felt OK.
It wasnít until the next day that I really understood how much the Xanax helped. I didnít take a Xanax this time, and again, we went out to the other room and my husband had me close my eyes. I opened them up, and instant panic again. So, yeah, I have anxiety issues big time, which Iíve always thought I did, this just confirmed it.
I donít take Xanax very often. I take one when I know for certain I have to walk somewhere without help, or with the help of someone Iím not comfortable with. Remember the chiropractor? Iíve seen him now for about 8 months I guess, and I am now used to having him help me get around. Iím still getting used to his assistant helping me. Sheís about 5 foot 4 if that, and I feel like I could squash her with my pinky, lol. I remember once I held off a panic attack when she suddenly let go to move a chair so I could sit in it. Wasnít her fault at all, and luckily there was a wall to my right, so I hugged the wall like crazy. It was fine though.
I have gotten a lot better walking with her. The last time she helped me, she again let go and was walking behind me with her hand on my back. I had a Xanax in me that day, and I felt totally fine. I really surprised myself that day. It felt great.
I also take a Xanax when I go to the chiropractor because it has a nice side benefit of relaxing all of my muscles. It helps everything relax. I just went in to the chiropractor last Friday, and the main reason I took one that day was for the relaxation of the muscles.
I hope to one day to not have to take Xanax (well I donít NEED to now), and I think Iíll get there. Itís just a nice feeling to be able to relax and not be so tense. Itís nice to know that I CAN walk with little to no help. It is VERY nice to know that I can get comfortable with someone other than my husband helping me.
I have a feeling this anxiety and panic issue are going to be with me forever, but at least now, I have a way of handling it and getting through it. Itís been a while since my husband and I worked on my walking without assistance. We need to start doing that again. I do still have my walker, but for some reason, Iím not at all comfortable using it. I donít know if thatís part of my fear (probably) or if itís just getting in my way of walking normally (again probably). Ultimately, I would love to walk everywhere with no help at all.
Baby steps and one day at a time.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
On deck for today is to talk about ďfinding the solutionĒ. Solution to what you may be asking. Iíve talked about this before, what I call ďthe jerk moveĒ. This is when I experience several days (or weeks, or even months) of feeling like Iím being pulled backward and to the left. If youíre new to my blog here at Spark, let me give you a bit of background on me. I have ataxic cerebral palsy. My CP impacts my balance first and foremost, but it also impact the use of my left leg and right hand. I walk with an awkward gait, and a slight limp,
I first experience this pulling sensation (ďjerk moveĒ) (as far as I know) about 6 years ago I guess. It was probably way before that, but I was so out of shape back then, I probably never noticed it. I never knew what caused it, and what was more frustrating, I didnít know how to stop it. It was this uncontrollable jerk of my left leg. My left leg would not go past a certain point when I walked, until I did this funny little move. It happened over and over. I also would spontaneously sit down because of this strange pulling sensation.
I finally found the solution to this annoying problem. Last August, my husband threw his back out so severely (heís had back issues since a bicycle accident when he was 16), he had to see someone. He found a great place, and at first he had to go in a few times a week. I guess while he was there, he talked with the chiropractor about me (not anything specific, just my CP I think). Now, Iíve seen a chiropractor in the past, and loved it. My hesitation to seeing one here has always been due to financial issues.
However, the more my husband raved about this doctor and the chiropractic center in general got me thinking. I figured Iíd go in and give it a shot. I knew already that it would help me. I also knew my back and neck would get out of whack a few days after I went in. I didnít really want to be dependent on that sort of thing.
I think at the time of my first visit, I was not experiencing the pulling sensation. But oh my goodness, the other benefits of going were unbelievable. To this day, I donít know how Iíve been able to function as well as I had been. I had no idea how much pain I was in until it was gone. Iíve written about my first visit on my other blog if you want to check it out (I donít make money from my off-site blog, I know some people on Spark have an issue with posting links to off-site blogs.). Here's the link: keepmovingtee.wordpress.com/2012/11/
After that first visit, I kept commenting throughout the day that it didnít hurt to do something in particular. It didnít hurt to raise my arms over my head. It didnít hurt to tie my shoes. It didnít hurt to stand up. It didnít hurt to brush my teeth! It was just endless. EVERYTHING used to hurt.
I know for sure I experienced the pulling sensation in January. I had two or three days of it, and I donít remember a worse case of it. It was rough. So I went in to see the chiropractor. He said it was coming from my neck. I always thought it was caused by my hips, but apparently itís from my neck. He adjusted me that day, and within 24 hours, that sensation was gone. Now I know what to do when that happens again.
Just recently, I found something else that would cause me to get my butt over the chiropractor right away. Every now and then I have a day (or more) when it really hurts to turn my head from side to side. I had this happen last week. Thursday and Friday were really rough. So I went in Friday afternoon and got adjusted. He found the trouble area right away and fixed it. He asked if I had fallen, and I said I hadnít. We both agreed that it was because of the way I sleep. He suggested a pillow to try out, which I was actually thinking of buying for a long time. I need to make sure I found the right one before I buy it. Iíll take a photo in with me to get his opinion.
Anyway, I love the chiropractor. That off-site blog post goes into more detail of what was wrong with my back. Mild scoliosis in my lower back (which surprised me, I always thought it was my neck), being one. I was just way crooked and out of whack.
This has been a major positive in my life. I am so glad I decided to go. And I will continue to go as needed. I usually can wait for three weeks before having to go in. But if something wonky happens, I go.
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