Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stick A Fork in Me

Travel is always awesome. Always.

By the end of every trip, I end up worrying, though, that pushing my body this hard is a bad idea. I always know I'll pay for it for at least a couple of days. I prepare myself for that.

The man always says to keep moving. To do what I can. When I can. Rest when I need to.

So, I do. I do all of that. At home in the normal routine of life I do my daily things, get my PT in each week and try not to overdo it.

Apparently I save the overdoing it for travel. It's sad, though, because the overdoing it, really isn't DOING that much at all. In my mind anyway. Because I still think I should be able to do anything I could before. Even though my body knows I can't. My mind catches up with that later, when the aches and pains creep in.

At the end of it all, I ALWAYS have to thank my hubby. I wouldn't get to experience half of what I do if it weren't for him. He really does do all the heavy lifting. Literally. He pulls me up and down on things I could never maneuver alone, he keeps me steady, on my feet and not on my ass on the ground. He drove the ATV so I could experience some serious mud and fun in the countryside of PR. He lowers my butt onto the sand and hoists me back off my towel, so I can enjoy taking in some beach time. He drives to places most people walk to, in order to save my hips. And, he knows when to call it quits because I'm too stubborn to do it myself.

He knows when to call it quits and I don't. How is that? Because, he's never wrong. Every time I deny what he says and make him keep going, I REALLY pay for it later. How IS it that he knows and I don't?

Am I being reckless or just pushing that line? I guess if it doesn't make things worse. And if it does, there's nobody to blame and no turning back. Right?

Thank goodness for taking it easy after the fact and heating pads ... I'll be needing them both!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Un-recovered Muscles

Before, during, and shortly after the big flare of 2004, I lost a lot of muscle strength and ability in my quads. I can no longer squat. I can no longer use my legs alonr to climb things that are higher than a normal set height. I use a mounting block and my instructor's help to get on Jazz every week for my equestrian therapy. I've been doing yoga and riding therapy for a year. While I've seen some minor improvement, it's not back what it used to be. I still manage. I just do so slower and with breaks as needed.

Today, however, we worked those muscles (and my glutes) to the max. We're in Puerto Rico for a few days over the Thanksgiving holiday.

 We went down in an awesome cave. The walk back out, was a good little workout to get the day started. Then we went to the world's largest radio telescope. Guess what? You have to climb a rather steep hill to get there. I made it, but we went at a snails pace and I rested a few times along the way. My heart was certainly pumping when I got to the top and you could feel those extra beats today for sure!

On our way to find dinner ... We stumbled on a lighthouse. More climbing.

Oh and our apartment is up four flights of stairs because the elevator is broken.

My quads and glutes are quite tired. My hips, too. Needless to say, tomorrow will be our planned down day.  If I can get down the stairs to the car, we're going to the beach and doing nothing for the day.

If we've learned nothing else from my time with this disease, we have learned to plan down days amongst all the activity.

I'm OK with that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making Sense of it All

At the urging of "the man" I had my first appointment with an internist her in Tampa yesterday.  I think I like her.  Notice I said, "think."  She's got a great personality and is into the more natural way of treating things, rather than dumping a bunch of drugs and medications on me.

Which, I like.

As much as I love modern medicine because it DOES help keep me going and make me feel better, I often times read the drug warnings and side effects and think to myself ... "yes, it's going to help abc, but will it then cause xyz?"

After reading about the Paleo/Primal diet and the research that shows that cavemen and the currently living hunter-gatherers have no diseases, THAT definitely makes me do a lot more thinking.  I know that cavemen lived shorter lives, but the big thing sticking in my head is "no diseases."  No cancers, autoimmune, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.  Couple that with the fact that we know that a number of diseases can be prevented or treated by changing your diet ... again, now I'm doing more thinking.

I don't refer to it as a diet, if I can because, these days, diet is taken to mean weight-loss plan, and not the dictionary definition of "The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats." It's so much more than a 2011 term of diet.  It really is a habit or way of life.

So, we've started eating mostly Paleo/Primal at home.  Paleo/Primal in the 21st Century.  As in, I buy my food at the grocery store, farmer's market, or from the farm, I cook my meat, steam veggies, use seasonings, etc.  I don't have to kill my food and eat it bland and raw.  Notice, I also said at home.  We go out to eat approximately once a week and may indulge in bread, pasta, mashed potatoes, etc.  The statistics say that if you can eat no more than three meals a week that are "non-Paleo" you'll still see the health benefits.

We don't eat anything processed at home.  Or minimally processed, rather.  We eat no grains, rice, potatoes, corn, pasta or legumes.  The "processed" foods I DO buy are frozen veggies & fruit, canned tomatoes (no salt added), canned fruit (in fruit juice) and of course, the meat is "processed."  On Paleo/Primal you're supposed to cut dairy out, as well.  That's just not going to happen here.  We don't go "hog wild" but I still enjoy cheese, sour cream, and greek yogurt.  We use coconut or almond milk.  We're not perfect at following the diet 100%, mind you.  I still enjoy 12 oz. of Barq's or A&W a day and sometimes I have a Mike's or a glass of wine, but then I try to off-set that with 70ish oz of water.  And, actually, wine is allowed on the eating plan.

So, what's my point?  The point is, I honestly feel better.  My reflux is better.  MUCH better.  I still take the Nexium, but, often times before, even with the Nexium, I'd wake up in the middle of the night with BAD, BAD reflux.

My stomach is also better, in general.  Not as grumbly and like there is an alien or Gremlin in there trying to get out.  Now, for some TMI ... my bowel movements are better, too!  I won't go into detail, just trust me when I say they are 100 times better.

Changing our diet has had this kind of effect, what other natural things can I do for my body that might help my disease and my quality of life, while reducing the chemicals and manufactured meds that I have to take?

This is the stuff the new internist is into.  This is the stuff that I have to make sense of.  How much of it do I believe is successful?  How much of it is junk medicine?

I guess, time will tell!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Post Appt Update

All is well!  The man is pleased with how I'm doing.  The rash around my eyes is likely eczema, which, while a pain in the ass, is FAR better than the alternative.  He gave me a script for a cream and we'll see how that works.

Otherwise, all is good.

The hand surgeon was just a quick appointment to make sure we're all on the same page and to get the ball rolling.  Rolling, it is!  December 7 is the big day when they will straighten the last 3 fingers on my right hand.  All at once.

Then, it's 6 weeks in a splint for recovery and hopefully, I'll be good as new!  Well, as good as new as I can get.

Wish me luck.