Archives for posts with tag: health

First I waited for them to figure out why they keep finding infiltrates in my lungs. (Still no clue.) Then I waited for them to decide what the two nodules in/on my lung and liver are. (Still guessing – adopting a wait and watch strategy.) Next I did a sleep study, waited a week for another sleep study, waited another two weeks for my doctor to come back from vacation.

Now? Had the doctor appointment, found out I’m getting a CPAP machine with supplemental oxygen and am now waiting for the medical equipment company to call again. They called a bit earlier to say they’d gotten the faxed orders, but now they have to wait for insurance company approval before they call me again to set up an appointment to come and show me the ins and outs of the machine … here’s hoping it’s sometime this week since we’re working next week! (Not to mention it’d be really nice to sleep and breathe through the night.)

 

So for the last week or so, I conducted an experiment.

I began swimming at the Bath & Racquet Club at the beginning of July. After a week or so of swimming, I added in cardio (yes, I know swimming can be considered cardio … but I prefer to think of it as stress relief) and weights, following a program set out by a trainer. I enjoyed how my muscles and mind felt while doing them, but I was losing most of the day afterwards because I’d get home and be so dizzy and nauseated and tired that the only thing I could do was lie down and sleep. Eleven to fourteen hours of sleep each 24 hour period doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for living.

I decided to take a week or two and see if taking it easy – just short, slow walks with the dog, tai chi class, and short bike trips to the grocery store – would help or make any difference. Short answer? Not really. Instead of getting myself out on my bike to the gym, I’d fall back asleep after eating breakfast and walking the dog in the morning. Wake up five  or six hours later and be ready to do something. The dizziness, nausea, and exhaustion? Still there. Afternoons and evenings easier, but still spending the same total amount of time sleeping.

Since it doesn’t make a difference time-wise, I’ve decided the heck with it – at least for now. I need the stress relief I get from swimming. So I got back to the gym this morning and went swimming. Just swimming. I’m thinking I’ll stick to that for now and leave the cardio machines and weights for later. When maybe all this gets figured out.

It’s now 11:27pm, and I can’t wait to hit my bed. I have the first night of a two-part sleep study scheduled for tomorrow night, and the instructions say to go to bed late the night before and get up early the day of to help falling asleep in a strange place. I’m keeping everything crossed that they find something – anything – that can be fixed. Because we start work in a month, and right now I can’t imagine being able to keep my focus long enough to play a concert.

 

I am rethinking the whole not getting on a scale thing at home. I’m just not sure what’s right for me. On the other hand, getting on a scale hasn’t worked in the long run in the past. I’m in doctor’s offices enough that my weight is tracked. So I don’t know. I do know that I’m feeling discouraged and exhausted and my patience is in short supply. I’d say my stamina is gone, but I don’t think it had the energy to leave. I think it’s in a coma somewhere deep inside me. I don’t know what to do.

Well, that’s not true – I do. I need to get this lung thing figured out. But I’m not looking forward to a lung biopsy/VATS, which I’m pretty sure is what the lung specialist will want to schedule when I see her next week. I want to yell to the world JUST FIX IT!

I keep track of my blood sugar numbers, all day, every day (for the most part – I admit to needing a break every once in a while so I take my monitor out – but I always check when I wake up and before I go to bed at a minimum). I do get frustrated by the numbers, especially when I can’t figure out any rhyme or reason for them being high or low. But for the most part, I’m not emotionally invested in them – they’re just guidelines to tell me what to do with insulin and eating. (Or they should be – lately I’ve not been all that attentive to them.)

What I’m wondering is whether I can/should use the number on the scale in the same way. Or maybe go back to using something like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt on my phone to track calories in and out. Yes, I want to concentrate on healthy behaviors and not need to rely on “outside” information – trust your body and intuitive eating and all that . However, right now, healthy behaviors are leaving me feeling like crap. And my ability to self-regulate in terms of eating, hydration, sleep, and exercise needs help and attention. But even when I do pay attention, I’m not sure I know what my body’s signals are saying. I think that I am so disassociated from my body and its signals that the dissociation mirrors my pancreas and ability to regulate insulin: it’s damaged. So using a tracker to tell me how much more to eat in the day would be like using the glucose monitor to tell me what to do with my insulin pump. Hmmmm.

Positive things I’ve done for myself:

  • I joined the Bath & Racquet Club
  • I started swimming again
  • I dry off from swimming by doing the Yang long form on the pool deck
  • I did a fitness assessment with a trainer
  • I got a workout routine from the trainer for the next month or two and plan on following it
  • I’m contemplating working with a trainer once or twice a month

What I’ve let lapse:

  • daily blogging
  • eating Downton Abby-style
  • paying attention to hunger, feelings, tiredness, dizziness … just about everything
  • I’m back to gulping drinks down instead of sipping
  • I’m back to swallowing big bites with little chewing instead of taking small bites and chewing them thoroughly

So I made it to Barnes & Noble today … I love that I can read so many books for free on my Nook if I’m at the store. I hate that they finally fixed the bug that allowed you to read without any time limit as long as the Nook stayed active (yes, nerd that I am, I actually experimented to find out the limits). Now I’m limited to one hour per book per day – and I discovered that their system considers Saturday and Sunday to be the same day. Oh well, I shouldn’t be spending so much time sitting, anyway.

A few months ago, I spent time going through the store on Nook, putting various diet/weight loss/bariatric surgery/memoirs on my wishlist. For the most part, I’ve been reading them, pulling quotes from them, and finding incredible synchronicity in what I’m doing and what I’m reading.

Until today. Today I started skimming through a book on alternate day dieting. The first part of it has a lot of scientific stuff in it, and I found myself feeling my stomach start to jump around, going “THIS IS IT!! THIS IS THE ‘MAGIC PILL’ I’ve been looking for!” I rode the feeling for awhile, letting the scientific mumbo jumbo and quotes about how it’s really easy to diet for just one day psych me up.

The “magic pill” thought is what brought me up short. Slapped me in the face. Threw a bucket of cold water over my head. I know there is no magic to being healthy. I know I need to do whatever I do for the long haul. Yet there’s still a little voice inside me going “well, I could manage alternate day dieting for the long haul”. It’s a little voice I’m trying not to listen to. It’s a little voice that I need to keep countering. It’s a little voice I need to keep asking “if it’s so easy and works so well, why isn’t it all over the news and out in the public at large?”

I’m going to keep concentrating on getting enough sleep.

I have been away from blogging for a full week now, and it hasn’t been the best of weeks for self-care. It all kind of fell by the wayside as I semi-frantically wrote/made-up and edited a grant proposal for state money that was due on Saturday. I’d agreed to write it for a tai chi friend’s organization in exchange for free access to tai chi class on Wednesdays. What I didn’t realize was just how much the business side of the organization needs help, so the writing needed a lot more than just the “plug and play” with boilerplates I’m used to.

But that’s done now, and I need to figure out how I want to go on from here. What am I going to choose to do? I know I need to put limits on how much time I spend in the grant world. Although it’s a totally different kind of writing than what I’m doing in this blog, I find that the concentration/energy required wipes out my brain and the only thing I’m good for is sleeping (whether actually with my eyes closed in bed or in front of a mind-numbing game or a television screen). Hence, the lack of blogging and dining (as opposed to eating/scarfing food down) and tai chi practice and everything else, it feels like.

On the plus side, I have ridden my bike to Barnes & Noble and back just about every day – 5 miles roundtrip. Unfortunately, I get home and am so wiped out and dizzy that pretty much all I can manage to do is lie down and crash for a few hours.  I’m tired of feeling exhausted to the point of dizziness by mid-afternoon.

My eating has been iffy in the past week, too. I kept overriding my sense of fullness, which wouldn’t leave me alone even when I was trying not to pay attention to it. I’m discovering that things I used to be able to scarf down multiple helpings of – chocolate cake, roast beef subs, Too Jay’s Banana Dream cake, Chinese food, bread, Starbucks sweet coffee concoctions – I’ve lost my taste and/or capacity to eat much of it. I tried the Starbucks new caramel drizzle iced coffee thing … and threw it away after a couple of sips because it was just too sweet. Last night I’d picked up a slice of chocolate flourless cake and banana dream cake, and ended up throwing both pieces away after a couple of bites – it was just too much for me. I didn’t even want to put them in the fridge for later. Half of a sandwich or sub feels like too much food for one sitting now. Ten years ago, I never would have thought it possible!! I used to “crave” sweets, any and all of them. Now I find myself “craving” meat, vegetables, fruit, and spinach shakes. Quite a difference.

Awareness. I’m more aware of what I put in me and how it makes me feel. Physically and intellectually. Food and brainfare. I got rid of several games on my Nook and phone today, because I realized I was losing hours to them when I would have been better served by napping or walking or reading or anything restorative rather than numbing my mind with games.

I’m now contemplating getting rid of my scale. I have one of those old-fashioned ones you used to see in doctor’s offices all the time – the one where you step on and slide the weights until it balances. I’m kind of freaking out that I’m actually thinking about doing this, yet at the same time part of me knows that it’s an important step for me to take on this journey. Yes, stepping on the scale and seeing lower numbers is exhilarating. Just as stepping on the scale and seeing higher numbers is disappointing or worse, depending on my frame of mind at the time. I love numbers, so I tend to get caught up in the numbers game. But it doesn’t feel right anymore.

I want to journey to health, not just a lower weight. I’m thinking of it like I do auditions … in an audition, you have no control over the outcome. Whether you win or get cut after the first round, a lot of it depends on stuff you have no control over – maybe the panel has no intention of hiring anyone or maybe a couple of other people played a technically perfect audition or maybe they couldn’t decide who to choose so they rolled the dice. What you do have control over is how you prepared for the audition – did you put the time and work in, were you physically and mentally ready? I don’t feel like I have control over the number on the scale. I can (and have) gain 5 pounds overnight eating and doing the exact same thing I did on a day I lost 1 pound. I can lose 10 pounds in a week by eating less than 200 calories a day, but it leaves me with headaches, dizziness, nausea, and a wicked bad mood. I want more. I want to be active and healthy. I miss swimming. I miss running. I miss having plenty of energy to not just get through the day, but to power through at full throttle. I can’t control the number, but I can control things like how much sleep I get, whether I’m eating healthy, if I’m active … stuff like that. I want to focus on healthy behaviors and let the numbers fall where they may.

Anyone interested in a scale?

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