AQUAGIRL08's SparkPeople Blog AQUAGIRL08's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Monday's Tasks Almost Completed I started off my morning by running a few errands with hubby and stopping for some breakfast. Today's fare was egg whites, tomatoes and Swiss cheese. We both had water with lemon. Fueled up and ready to go, we returned home and I got started on my list. <BR> <BR> First off, I had to get a medical billing issue sorted out. It was something that has taken two weeks to sort out. Today, we finally got it solved and the person the bill belongs to will actually receive it instead of me. My a... Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:30:31 EST My Fun Tasks For Today I started off my morning by grooming the dogs. It took me two hours, including cleanup. Hubby did me a big favor and bathed them for me when I was cleaning up after their grooming. <em>26</em> That was a major task completed! <BR> <BR> Once everyone was clean and beautiful, hubby and I went out for brunch. I had an egg white omelette. Yum! I ate half of it and brought the rest home. We were able to visit with our friends, who own the restaurant and see their baby girl. She is so prec... Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:08:57 EST Decisions, Decisions...... We had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. I followed the same food route that we established about six or seven years ago. It was a big hit with our family. Dinner consists of turkey, stuffing, 4-5 different veggies, sugar free pumpkin pie, cranberry jelly and a fruit tray. One person had coffee and the rest of us had water. We munched on cut up raw veggies before dinner while watching football. It was delicious, nutritious and filling. <BR> <BR> Since I clean up as I cook, the... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 20:32:52 EST Fingers Are Crossed.... I went to visit my lung specialist this morning. I told him that I have avascular necrosis most likely from the steroids that I have taken for my asthma and sinus issues. Since I am allergic to aspirin, there are very few treatments available to treat me for infections and problems that involve inflammation. Steroids have always been a last resort but a necessary treatment for me. During the last ten years, I have had numerous sinus infections and 4-5 occurrences of pneumonia. My doctor ... Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:07:59 EST Working At Christmas Readiness....... Yesterday, I said that I was going to go through all of the Christmas stuff I purchased throughout the year, and stashed away. My pain level was manageable, yesterday, but I had a terrible time walking around so I put it off until today. Who knows why I couldn't walk very well. My disease is a progressive disease and perhaps the progression and fluid build up just pressed on the muscles. More on that later. <BR> <BR> I dragged out all of the little bags with odds and ends, boxes with fra... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:40:40 EST Yesterday I Was Defeated Today I Am Not The wonderful thing about a new day is that you get a chance to start over. Yesterday was a bad pain day. I didn't sleep well the night before, which only compounded the problem. I let my pain get out of control, which just made things even more difficult. I tried to distract myself by doing little fun things, like putting my Thanksgiving garden flags up and dressing in a favorite outfit. I could keep my focus on how awful I felt yesterday but I choose not to. <BR> <BR> Today, I have a new... Sat, 21 Nov 2015 07:52:38 EST Finally, A Neurosurgery Appointment After over a month of telephone calls, tests, faxes and red tape, I finally have an appointment with my neurosurgeon! It is for December 17th. I didn't come away with a warm and fuzzy feeling after I spoke to his office staff. In fact, I almost felt that he is reluctant to even see me. I am trying not to project or read anything into my telephone conversation but my gut is rarely wrong. His assistant initially told me to get a bone density scan so that the doctor can determine if I can h... Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:23:16 EST Busy Tuesday It is only the morning and already hubby and I have been out and about, taking care of several errands. First we went out for breakfast. I had three egg whites and two pieces of whole wheat toast. Then it was on to the bank. After the bank, we picked up the van from the repair shop. Thank goodness we have two vehicles again! When we got home, I called the neurosurgeon's office to verify that they received the fax, of the results from my bone density report, that I sent yesterday. I had t... Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:23:01 EST Odds And Ends Today was a very constructive day for me. I started out by helping hubby take his car to the shop to have some work done. Then I took him to a diner for breakfast. After breakfast,we returned home. I made a bunch of telephone calls related to my bone density scan last Thursday. I ended up having to go to the imaging place to get a copy of the report. <BR> <BR> I went to the location where I had my test performed and requested a copy of the report. The girl at the desk acted like I was a... Mon, 16 Nov 2015 19:41:38 EST Cleaning And Straightening... The kitchen is now clean. The cupboards are wiped down (outside only), the counters are wiped and straightened, the microwave is clean, the glass topped stove is polished, the stainless steel sink is disinfected and polished and the floor is mopped. <BR> <BR> The two bathrooms are clean except for the tubs. I can't bend to clean them. The sink areas and toilet areas are disinfected and the floors are mopped. The trash cans have been emptied and new bags now line them. The mirrors glisten... Sat, 14 Nov 2015 10:52:12 EST Day Of Planning I have put a large dent in my Christmas shopping and holiday gift list. The cards for Thanksgiving are addressed, stamped and waiting to be sent. I have made a grocery shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner. I haven't done the actually grocery shopping yet as it is way too early. I have ordered some stocking stuffers, which will arrive in the next few weeks. Tomorrow, I may look to see what table decorations I want to put out for the upcoming holidays. <BR> <BR> There are several areas in ... Fri, 13 Nov 2015 17:29:24 EST Bone Density Test Done Plus Chores I had my bone density test done this morning. I had trouble getting on the table and laying flat on my back with my toes turned inward. Holding that position for my initial set of scans was very painful. Just when I thought I couldn't do it for another second, the tech put a giant bolster under my knees. A-hhhhh! Relief! <BR> <BR> After my test, I had to arrange to have the results faxed to my neurosurgeon. I wrote down all of the information for the woman who handles the reports. I wi... Thu, 12 Nov 2015 18:31:14 EST Constructive Day Since I am in a "waiting" mode, I have decided to work on my to do list as a way to stay busy. So far today, I have done chair (and some standing) vacuuming, folding laundry, paying bills, drying and putting away pans, emptying the dishwasher, labeling and freezing leftovers and making telephone calls. I have also completed my physical therapy exercises. The act of organizing my environment makes me feel more in control of my life. It has been a good day so far! Wed, 11 Nov 2015 15:10:36 EST Busy Day In a few minutes, I am off to Tampa for, hopefully, my last appointment for the arm that was broken when I fell in July. Although I still have a few issues with two partially numb fingers, I am pleased with my healing process. The numbness takes at least six months to heal, which would put me into 2016. It has already begun to abate, as the third finger is no longer numb and the other two are just numb on the tips. Hooray! <BR> <BR> When I return from my trip, I will put my legs up and re... Mon, 9 Nov 2015 09:25:57 EST Validation By Gathering Information I probably should have been an information researcher in another life. As I have looked up the meanings of things from my MRIs and other topics that just interest me, I have gained prospective about my life and what has been going on for the last year. It is so validating when you read about your issues and it agrees with what you have been feeling. I must admit that going to my knee specialist and having him in essence blow me off, made me feel like a hypochondriac. I kept asking myself ... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 07:38:56 EST Adjusting To The Reality Last week's event was a stressful slap of cold water in my face. It was easy to glaze over the possibility of a medical condition, but when it became fact, I had difficulty wrapping my mind around it. The reality of having both hips replaced within the next couple of years is daunting. I think I will face the replacements as they come, one at a time, and save myself some anxiety. <BR> <BR> I still,have to deal with the possibility of surgery, of some type, on my lumbar spine. In order f... Fri, 6 Nov 2015 22:44:05 EST At Least One Surgery Coming Up.... I went to my hip specialist this afternoon. I do indeed have avascular necrosis in both hips. The left one is worse than the right. This means that I need a hip replacement on the left side soon and on the right side somewhere down the road when it begins to hurt. <BR> <BR> I have decided to wait for the surgery until I get the current issues with my lumbar spine resolved to some extent. It would be a huge disaster to have a hip replacement and then fall because of my spine issues. So, ... Wed, 4 Nov 2015 22:07:47 EST Angels Come In Unexpected Places <em>458</em> <em>85</em> I decided to really push the envelope this morning in order to get my bone density test scheduled. I made copies of the radiologist reports and drove to my primary doctor's office. I patiently waited in line for a turn to speak to the staff at the front desk. I handed the person the copies of the reports and explained that they were for the doctor so he would understand the urgency of getting a bone density test done. The woman I spoke with immediately gave m... Tue, 3 Nov 2015 13:00:28 EST No Explosion Over The Weekend So... I am still here! Humpty Dumpty eat your heart out! All the Kings horses and all the Kings men couldn't put Humpty together again! I called the doctor's office again about my dexa scan. I was told that the person in charge of that stuff is working on it. Whatever that means. Fingers crossed that today will not bring any more nasty surprises! Mon, 2 Nov 2015 09:25:07 EST Beautiful Day Today... <em>423</em> <em>422</em> <em>420</em> <em>419</em> <em>424</em> <em>431</em> <em>421</em> <em>333</em> Today is a perfect fall day here in Florida! The weather will lend itself wonderfully to Halloween trick or treating for the young ones. I hope they have fun! <BR> <BR> Hubby and I went over to his sister's house this afternoon. Her hubby is still recovering from heart issues and a small stroke. He was in the hospital for three weeks and is now going through reha... Sat, 31 Oct 2015 18:27:07 EST Yesterday's Issue and Today's Issue Yesterday, the issue that arose was with both my hips and a possibility of necrosis. That is such heavy, scary stuff. Today the surprise issue came from my neurosurgeon. He wants a bone density test done to see if my bones are strong enough to withstand surgery. I guess there is some question about one of my vertebrae. I had to call my primary care doctor and leave him a message that I need a dexa scan. It needs to be ordered by your primary care doctor. Of course nobody ever called me ba... Fri, 30 Oct 2015 23:12:15 EST I Have Decided That I Will Not Let My Condition Define Me Attitude is everything. Yes, we all have moments when we feel beaten down, even broken. The beauty of being a human being is that we can think, decide and change ourselves mentally. When I woke up this morning, I decided that I will not let my current condition define who and what I am as a person. Making that decision is a very powerful step for me. I am strong and resilient. I am taking back my emotional power from my physical issues. I will do what it takes to get well and be the be... Thu, 29 Oct 2015 08:55:41 EST As If Yesterday Wasn't Enough...... I went out to run some errands this morning. I was waiting to see if the neurosurgeon's office would call and tell me that they received the radiologist's report for my MRIs. So, when the phone rang, with the right area code, I pulled off the road into a parking lot to answer the call. Surprise! It was my pain doctor calling me to discuss something that appeared on the radiologist's report. The report was late reaching my doctor for my appointment yesterday and got there this morning ins... Wed, 28 Oct 2015 18:13:20 EST MRI Results Are Very Upsetting I cried all the way home from the doctor. My left hip is swimming in fluid and has lots of degeneration, which is where my pain is coming from. I am going to have a specialized shot in the joint next Monday. We are hoping that a shot or two to the hip will offer some relief from my pain. If not, I will need to get a second opinion with another orthopedist and see if I need a hip replacement. That's the good news. <BR> <BR> My lower spine is another story altogether. It is quite obvious w... Tue, 27 Oct 2015 14:19:52 EST Tomorrow's Appointment Will Give Us Information For Treatment Tomorrow, I have an appointment with my pain specialist. We will go over both of my MRIs and discuss treatment options. I have mixed emotions - apprehension, anxiety, relief and even a little excitement rolled into the mix. I just want someone to do something to fix me and decrease my pain. I am praying that I won't be upset if something awful shows up. So, I am giving my situation over to God to hold for me until I can handle it. Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:39:44 EST Countering Pain With Creativity - Results Getting creative has always made me feel good. I find the process cathartic and relaxing. Once those endorphins start kicking in, it counteracts some of the pain. Creativity has always been a natural way of dealing with pain for me. I am still feeling the effects of hours devoted to getting an MRI on my lower back and left hip on Friday. Yesterday as well as Friday, I did my home therapy exercises and stretches. Then I spent the rest of the time with my legs elevated. I have never been ... Sun, 25 Oct 2015 16:20:18 EST Bad Pain At The MRI - Venting! Both hubby and I set our alarms last night, set our clothes out, set up the coffee maker (for tea) and went to bed at a reasonable hour. I woke up at 3:45am from a dream about someone trying to make my hip pop to relive crushing pain. Unfortunately, the pain that woke me from a deep sleep was only too real. This turned out to be a bad omen and set the tone for my day. <BR> <BR> I hobbled to the bathroom for a drink of water and hobbled back to bed with the hopes of going back to sleep for... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 18:51:33 EST I Have Created A New Type Of Exercise - Chair Cleaning I was getting fed up with the accumulated dust and dirt in our house. Today I sat and thought about how I could clean without hurting myself. I dragged around a chair, along with my cane, and cleaned from a seated position! Yes a few times I needed to stand up to reach something and the cleaning job isn't going to win any prizes, but so far parts of our house really do look and smell much fresher. I was able to clean most of the master bathroom, vacuum the master bedroom and wipe down the... Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:49:55 EST Revamping My Eating Plan I decided to take a closer look at my eating plan today. It has been quite a while since I looked real closely at the nutrients I am consuming. What I do is pre plan the type of foods that I want to take in and the time of day I plan to eat them. My plan calls for 3 meals made up of lean protein, healthy fat, veggies and a carb. Then I plan two snacks made up of a small amount of carb and protein. I still need to tweak my new plan to reduce my sodium intake closer to 1300mg because of my... Mon, 19 Oct 2015 12:57:37 EST Seeing And Spending Time With A Good friend Is Great Medicine A good friend of mine got back from out of town on Tuesday afternoon. She was glad to get together with me to catch up. I had several doctor's appointments and she had a migraine, so after several attempts,we met for lunch today. We usually go to Panera Bread because she loves their coffee and I love their skinny Chai Latte. This was a bad pain day for me, so I initially bought a small muffin. I was more interested in eating something that would stay down since the pain made me queasy. A... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 22:57:23 EST More MRIs Next Week - Hip And Lumbar Spine First, let me thank those of you who have been there for me on this seemingly never ending quest for good health! If it weren't for all of you, I wouldn't be as hopeful as I am currently. <BR> <BR> Now, down to brass tacks! Hubby went to the pain specialist with me this morning. He had two customer sites near by, so we went together. I told my doctor what the orthopedist said during my visit yesterday. I said that the knee's MRI showed a tiny meniscus tear but that the prosthetic looked... Fri, 16 Oct 2015 17:02:49 EST It Isn't The Knee Or Hip But The Back? I had my appointment with the knee/hip specialist this morning. It took me 1.5 hours to get to the doctor's office. Once I was there, I had to wait for 1.5 hours just to be seen. My leg was hurting badly by this time. When the doctor came in, he told me that I have a small tear in the meniscus. I explained the horrible issues that I have had with instability and pain. He looked at my MRI again and said that he could scope it but it isn't worth the risk. I agreed. He examined my leg ag... Thu, 15 Oct 2015 18:38:13 EST Sometimes I Really Struggle With My Eating...... With all of the pain and anxiety that I have been experiencing, sometimes I really struggle with my eating. Most of what I put in my mouth is clean and healthy. I will give myself credit for that. I do well getting at least five servings of fruit and veggies. This is another positive. My biggest issue is pain and anxiety in the evenings. I try to eat anti inflammatory foods, do relaxation techniques, seek counseling, do physical therapy exercises and stretches, use rewards, drink water,... Wed, 14 Oct 2015 12:16:31 EST Medical Issues Dragging On And On Hubby and I were talking last night about medical issues. His BIL is currently in the hospital for a leaking heart valve and an infection. He is 88 years old. Surgery is risky but will be life saving. It took his doctors four days to actually pinpoint the problem. That seemed an excessively long to us, but we're not doctors. He is in intensive care and will be for at least another week. <BR> <BR> The discussion of hubby's BIL started a dialogue between hubby and I about how my own medi... Sat, 10 Oct 2015 11:46:48 EST My MRI Capped The Day Yesterday, I had my specialized MRI on my knee (that has a partial replacement). It capped off a less than stellar day for my bum knee. My day started off okay. I stopped for a newspaper and as I walked into the store, my shoe felt like it was stuck to the floor and my knee started to buckle. Since this has happened before, I know that it is my leg dragging the shoe and not the floor glued to my shoe. I caught myself and my knee wrenched, which hurt like crazy. I bought my paper and went... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 21:40:11 EST A Doctor With A Sense Of Humor I had an appointment with my primary care physician this morning. I was afraid that my lab work would be poor since I have been unable to do a regular workout so I was anxious. The nurse came in and took my vitals. My BP was high, 148/80. That made me more concerned and anxious. The doctor was running late, so I decided to do my PT exercises and stretches while I was waiting in the examining room. I was softly counting as I did my standing leg lifts and in walked my doctor. For some reas... Tue, 6 Oct 2015 18:50:31 EST A Check Up With My Primary Doctor Today Today, I have a check up with my primary care physician. Since I have spent a lot of time on my backside, I kind of dread what my blood work will say. Last time, after being put to bed for three months with an infection, the results were surprisingly good. This time, I just feel off. I wonder what will show up on the tests. First of all, the lab had to stick me four times to get enough blood for most of the tests. Then I had to go back a second time to get the rest of the blood work comp... Tue, 6 Oct 2015 08:19:18 EST Plugging Away Doing What I Can I am paying close attention to activity pacing and pain levels right now. I am resting my leg intermittently - spreading out light chores and at home therapy exercises. I went to Walmart, the pet supply store and Publix this morning. I made sure that I rode in one of those carts in both Walmart and Publix. Last week I tried to push myself and I pushed a shopping cart and walked. This turned out to be a disaster for me. I got all of the way to the back of the store and realized that my s... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 15:12:23 EST A Specialized MRI I had my knee specialist appointment yesterday. The good news is that my knees are no longer loose at the lower part of the leg. Thank you physical therapy! The bad news is that the X-Rays show that the replacement on the right knee is sinking. That is the knee that currently doesn't hurt! The replacement on the left knee looks good. However, the doctor could feel something moving around on the section of the knee that isn't replaced. (This knee has a partial replacement.) I asked him ... Sat, 3 Oct 2015 08:30:13 EST Having To Stop Physical Therapy We had to discontinue my physical therapy as of today. Although my leg strength and balance has improved, my pain has not decreased at all and the knee is now wanting to buckle. Since I really hurt myself by falling this summer, I am terrified that the knee will give out all the way and I could again fall and injure myself. <BR> <BR> I currently have two knee replacements. The right knee is a total replacement and the left knee is a partial replacement. Partial knee replacements have a l... Thu, 1 Oct 2015 14:40:48 EST Wednesday Ramblings I was pleased with my healing when I saw the doctor for my hand on Monday. it has been 9 weeks since I fell and broke my arm. It will be another month before the bone is totally healed. It will be 6 more months before the nerve is healed. I don't even want to think about what will happen if I don't get the feeling back in my fingers in 6 months. I don't want to borrow trouble so I am thinking positive thoughts about that! <BR> <BR> I am not so pleased with the hip, thigh and knee. The mus... Wed, 30 Sep 2015 18:14:17 EST Sunday Reflection I finished my arm and hand therapy on Friday. This was a big relief, as I was going to therapy five times per week for the last four weeks. Finishing arm therapy drops me down to therapy just twice a week, if we determine that my hip is making enough progress. I rewarded myself for my hard work in arm therapy. I got myself a pale pink top with crocheted lace around the neckline and down the front. This was a great non food reward! I wore the top on my last day of therapy and got many co... Sun, 27 Sep 2015 08:54:20 EST Suddenly My Physical Therapist Sees Progress At the beginning of my therapy, my physical therapist told me that when we see a sudden increase in progress, it makes therapy fun. Today, when she measured the pressure of my grip, there was an increase of one pound. This is just since last Friday! My overall increase is five pounds since I started four weeks ago! I was so excited! <BR> <BR> My leg's progress is a lot slower but I am still making progress. The difference is that the pain in my arm and hand has decreased. The pain in m... Tue, 22 Sep 2015 14:06:52 EST An Active Day I went to physical therapy at 9:15am this morning. We did all kinds of exercises to loosen up my wrist and arm bone. It hurt but I can see the progress! After PT was finished, I decided to go over to the gym and ride the bike. <BR> <BR> It was like old home week at the gym. I got to say hello to lots of friends and acquaintances. Then I rode the stationary bike for 15 minutes at a snail's pace. I was very excited and pleased with myself. Off I went to pick up some things at the store ... Fri, 18 Sep 2015 20:07:12 EST Hand And Arm Making Progress I am delighted to say that my hand and arm are really beginning to make progress. My hip and leg are making slower progress. My grip measured an increase of four pounds! That is fairly amazing since three of my fingers are still numb! In limited situations, I can lift 2-3 pound items. That is a huge improvement over ten days ago when I dropped things. The situations where I can lift and carry are still very restricted but in a pinch, I can do it. <BR> <BR> My leg and hip muscles are st... Thu, 17 Sep 2015 12:51:34 EST I Did 5.5 Minutes On The Treadmill Today I admit that when my therapist told me to hop up on the treadmill this afternoon, I was very wary and more than a little skeptical. I did as she asked, set my cane to the side and put my hands on the side rails and walked, abet very slowly, for 5.5 minutes. I got up to .8 miles per hour. Now I know that is laughably slow but I did it! I have two ways to warm up my legs, riding the bike and doing a slow walk! The progress is slow but it is steady. I'll take it! Mon, 14 Sep 2015 19:24:35 EST My Leg Muscles Are Engaging! Wednesday and Friday of his week, I completed more vigorous physical therapy on both my legs and my left arm. I can really see the improvement in my arm but my legs, specifically the left one, not so much until Wednesday. My therapist is very supportive and encouraging. She lets me know that my legs are much stronger than we thought but the muscle development is very uneven. <BR> <BR> I began Wednesday's therapy by riding the stationary bike. It felt so great to be able to move again! I... Sat, 12 Sep 2015 12:45:06 EST No One Said It Was Going To Be Easy! This week, I was reading an article (I don't remember where) that said, "No one said it was going to be easy but you have to stay on course and get through it." I think those words are right on target for many of life's situations. As I sit here writing this blog, I can think of many situations where this applies. It certainly applies in the workplace, with parenting, family crises, in friendships, in romances, during the downturn of the economy, in spiritual discovery and in health issues... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 10:08:51 EST We Have Had A Fun Weekend! My SIL celebrated her 65th birthday along with her retirement this weekend. Family came from all over the U.S. to help her celebrate her two milestones. We drove over to her house on Saturday afternoon because we only live about an hour and a half away. Several family members got into town Thursday or Friday. They were very busy with a wide variety of activities. <BR> <BR> We threw a big party late Saturday afternoon. Everyone chipped in and contributed something. The small restaurant s... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 19:05:27 EST Up To 20 Repetitions 3 Times Per Day Here is yet another reason to do both aerobic exercise and strength training regularly, for the rest of your life. Your muscles have "muscle memory" when you are used to working out on a regular basis. When you are injured and have the appropriate physical therapy, you progress much faster if your muscles are used to doing exercise. Once my physical therapist adjusted all of my exercises last week, my "muscle memory" kicked in. My therapist gave me 3 sheets of exercises to complete, 3 tim... Sun, 6 Sep 2015 18:43:45 EST