Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sometimes disability issues get to me. Ok, the pain part stinks, but I know that when pain makes even basic activity like walking from one room to another difficult: exercise when I hurt, if you can follow this, is hard...but essential.
Today I'm hurting big-time. Day 2 of a weather-change-induced fms flare. My hands and ankles have arthritic bumps: swelling that appears where it is hurthing from the arthritis. Yup, both the fms and arthritis are in rare form today. Sure would be easy to just read all day. While today IS a designated "down day" for the most part, I will do what I did yesterday: be more aware of my need to move somehow!!
Yesterday morning I vowed to walk 10,000 steps, knowing full well that since I hurt it was a huge goal. The weather was fantastic, but I couldn't really enjoy it: walking outdoors would have meant being too far from where I could rest if necessary, so I walked inside. My goal was 10,000 steps and I am still delighted that while I missed the goal I managed 8,045.
Why should I be happy even if I missed a goal?
Because without that goal I would never have walked 1,000 steps.
Today's goal has no numbers. Today I vowed to simply get up and move for at least 10 minutes every hour. Just to MOVE. Stretches. Walking. Anything. But to MOVE.
Knowing how much to push yourself when you know that any movement will worsen pain is a huge hurdle to exercise when you have a chronic pain condition. Over time you learn which pains are 'normal' albeit sharp and often debilitating. And you learn when to rest and when to push through the pain even just a little. It's a tough situation, because it would be sooo easy to just say "gee I'm hurting, so I'm not going to do ANYthing!'!!!
When exercising of any kind is hard to do, one must be honest with oneself internally. Forget the advice or recommendation of the well-intentioned friends or writers of articles and set your own criteria for goal-setting.
When I hurt most I still do some form of exercise. My definition of exercise is quite different from years gone by when there were no physical limitations. And doing my daily stretch routine is easy many days and exhausting on others. But I do the routine because I must. One of my main goals in all exercise is an end-result that luckily some people can't understand: exercising helps me look normal. I have an "invisible disability": chronic pain. When I don't move the muscles, they hurt more and I walk like a person in pain. So the appearance that changes most because of my upping my activity level is not a more svelte figure: it's that I don't limp, that I can pick up a gallon of milk and move it from the grocery refrigerator shelf to the cart without causing anyone to think "what's wrong with HER?" To be able to move in a store or walk in a park and have no one notice me... is actually pretty neat!
Today I'm hurting. I've done one set of stretches and walked around my home in room-to-room circles for 15 minutes two times. Yes, I wish I were outside walking around the block but I can't do that today. Instead, I'll push myself toward reduced limits.
But I will move.
I will up my activity level beyond what my inclination seems to desire.
Because sitting around will just not help me one bit.
ANY movement is better than none!!
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
My friend Eric collected - and played - guitars. Of all sorts. He had a 'day job', but lived formusic - the weekend gigs. No, never famous, but regarded as great among those who heard him.. Some would say "he sure knows country" and others thought him a heckuva good stoner. (Some people can't tell a stoner from a musician when they can't get past the music.) His drug of choice was the same as mine: coffee. He played in clubs, for vets at the VA Hospital, in the VFW's near him, for parties...for any excuse to jam or just let loose. Country. Classic rock. Heavy Metal. The classification didn't matter, only the technique, as he switched from guitar to guitar according to which sound suited. We were pals, both loving music; but he could play, I only could listen. He died Christmas Day. But I'll always remember his music.
Certain songs remind me of him. Not because of the lyrics, but because of the guitars.
"Money for Nothing"
This one's for you, old friend, Jeff Beck, like you!, made those strings sing!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tonight I was going about some mundane chores, mind churning with thoughts and plans, and a song came to mind so strongly that I thought about it, and decided:
Mundane is ok; it's a part of the experience of life.... and is okay as long as that is not all there IS in one's life. I continued to think about things I've accomplished, ignoring regrets and wishful-thinking-lost, and felt empowered by the very real positives of my life - past, present and hopefully future, too.
Sometimes a gal just has to sit back,
truly appreciate ! who she is
and feel proud of her reality.
Helen Reddy's song sums up all the details into lyrics that cover it all:
"I Am Woman"
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