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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Semblance of Normalcy

I am back at work today.  I am not sure I have said clearly that I was not at work the last couple of work days.  I have been attending to medical matters for my daughter and trying to head off any sickness of my own from stress and complete exhaustion.

It is nice to be back at work with some kind of routine, anyway.

We still do not have any answers with Stephanie, even after the ER visit last night.  The ER doctor said his next recommendation would be an endoscopy.  She had one of those earlier in June (when she was diagnosed with acute gastritis) and I am not sure her GI doctor would agree that would accomplish anything.  I wrote a “letter” this morning to her GI doctor (to be attached to their online e-mail contact system) stating our concerns and needs.  One big problem has been how long it is taking to try to get answers.  They order a blood test, draw the blood, and then we wait 2-3 days to hear results.  Then they order another test, and it happens again.  Meanwhile, she needs to get well and get back to work.  So we went to the ER to hopefully speed up the process.  But they were not able to pin down what the problem is either.

After last night, Stephanie decided that she is going to wean herself back (take a lot less) on the pain meds today and try to go back to work tomorrow.  Her employer says they will work with her if she needs to work short hours, etc., but they are really needing her back.  The last thing we want is for her to lose her job.  Thankfully, her job is not extremely stressful.  She is going to have to work through some pain.  But I have had to do that for years.

We got home from the ER at 2:00 a.m.  I was surprised when they stopped where they were and sent her home.  We emphasized to begin with that we really needed to find answers.  Anyway, after going to bed at 2:30 or so, my alarm went off at its usual time of 4:45 a.m.  I was so groggy that my only thought was, “Who is calling me at this hour of the night?” (my cell phone is my alarm clock).  I had no intention of getting up at my usual time.  I got about 5 hours of sleep, then got up, did my workout, got ready and got to work at around 10:00.  I also called Stephanie’s doctor about some test results (which were not ready yet).  I needed to know if she was going to have to get out for any reason today.

My eating was good yesterday.  The only thing I ate after last night’s post was a banana when I got home.  My stomach was kind of gnawing and since I have been feeling like I have an ulcer, I didn’t want to leave it in that state and I didn’t want it keeping me awake.

I ate an apple before my workout this morning, because I was still feeling pretty empty.  Then I got a Clif bar for my breakfast on my way to work.  For lunch, I made myself another of the pesto and tomato pizzas.  How did I go this long in my lifetime and never discover that pesto was so good?  We never had it when I was growing up and, as an adult, looking at it (without knowing what was really in it), I didn’t think I would like it.  A whole new world has opened up!  Anyway, I made one of those pizzas, had a little side salad and part of an apple.

I have not been drinking enough water the last couple of weeks and need to improve that.  That may be why I am getting so many headaches.  Speaking of which, I had a “migraine” yesterday that was monstrous.  I think it was caffeine-related.  I don’t remember ever having one that bad.  Just turning my head hurt.  I had to sleep that one off a bit before we went to the ER.  I would have been miserable.  I took a migraine medication and it helped, but didn’t get rid of it.  I had some caffeine on the way to the ER and that about took care of it.  I was also having a very stiff neck and shoulders.  That might be partly from starting the arm work back up after not having done it for a couple of weeks.  I took a half of a muscle relaxant while we were waiting (the chairs in ER exam rooms are awful) and ended up taking the other half later, thinking I still had a long night ahead of me.  Right after that, they said the test didn’t give an answer and sent us home.  Thankfully, it hadn’t kicked in too much for the drive home.  Actually, medicines like that don’t knock me out like they do most people, but since it was 2:00 in the morning, I would have been really sleepy on the way home if it had fully kicked in.  My headache did finally go completely away before I got home.  I have a moderate one today.  My shoulders and neck still feel very tight and sore.  I am trying to stretch every once in a while and see if that will help.  I looked up some yoga poses for both my back and my neck and shoulders.  Funny, they look a lot like my physical therapy exercises.  I was doing yoga and didn’t know it.  Gotta start doing those!

I got this in the mail today (sorry for the flash on the picture).  I am thinking I might join WW before the deadline for this offer.  I have a feeling it would allow me more calories than the plan I have been doing.  If I lost 4.2 pounds with the week I had last week, I think I could probably be eating more.  I have at least decided to follow Bob Harper’s advice of having a splurge meal every week, instead of every other week.  I had too many of those last week, but am doing pretty well so far this week.

Incidentally, doesn’t Jennifer Hudson look fabulous?!  Although, I really have no hope of being that thin (and being able to stay there).  But she looks very fit.

I am now ready to say that I have lost a size and am down to a size 20.  Actually, I have a pair of black work pants that are size 20 that I have been wearing all along, but they had gotten tighter than I ever would have bought them.  I decided that to quit wearing them and go to a bigger size would be dangerous (can’t let myself be too comfortable).  My other size 22 pants are getting too big (although I will still wear them until I can wear some of the smaller clothes I have).

I have 15 pounds to go to get to my mid-size goal of losing 40 pounds before I move at the end of August.  I think that is still doable.  My daughter (Bethany) is joining me and is trying to lose 15 pounds before then too, so we are working together on it.  Stephanie will join in when her health allows.  Actually, she has lost weight from all these health issues, but she is looking forward to getting back to eating normally and being able to work out.

I decided that, with the way things are right now, I am not going to pressure myself to get 10 workouts each week.  To do this, I have to do 4 workouts on the weekend and I have not been able to do that the last 2-3 weeks.  If I can get at least five cardio workouts a week, I am going to be okay with that until things settle down a little bit.  As I am able to, I am going to increase my workout times to 45 minutes instead of 30.  I would like to do that by adding a little strength training on to my 30-minute workouts on the bike (at least 3 times a week).  I am already doing a little strength training by doing some upper body work while riding the recumbent bike, every other workout.  I need to do some core exercises, which I should do through the physical therapy exercises I have been given, at first.

I have a Leslie Sansone video I used to do – a 30-minute workout that involves some mini-squats and lunges and other toning work.  I would like to start doing that when I can, but don’t feel I could do it quite yet without triggering a bad flare-up.  Maybe when I lose this 15 pounds I am working toward.  Every little bit of pressure off my spine is going to help.

Look what was waiting in the mail for me when I got to work today!  The recipes look delicious and I can’t wait to try some of them.

Well, I have been long-winded today and I apologize.  I hope I am close to being able to get fully focused again.  Fortunately, my appetite has been happy enough with just meals the last few days without thinking about grazing all day.

Thank goodness for a semblance of normalcy today!  It's almost 7:30 and I'm going home!

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