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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pep Talk to Myself -- What's It Going to Take?

I keep starting posts in the morning and add to them as the day goes on, and then it gets to be time to go home and I don’t get them posted.

How am I doing?  Let’s just say I am treading water, trying to stay afloat.  I got up Monday morning and this morning and did 30 minutes on the recumbent bike.  Monday I had 3 walks, Tuesday, I had 2 walks, and today I have had 2 walks so far.

I am doing better, at times, with the eating, and not so good at other times.  Really treading water there.  But I refuse to give up.  I know that pretty soon, I will get fully back on track and moving again.  I just have to keep fighting.

Pain issues are significant.  My knees, in particular, are hurting pretty badly.  It feels like someone is taking a knife and stabbing me, and twisting it at the front, inside part of my knees – both of them.  It used to only be the left one, but now the right one is doing it and it is worse than the left one.  This is the radiating pain I talk about.  I also have it at the backs of both knees (which is the sciatic nerve), but this pain at the front, inside part of my knees is worse.  It is from the 4-5 disc space where I have the spondylolisthesis.  It bothers me that it has gotten worse.  There are some days, walking to work, when I don’t know if I can keep doing this.  I can – you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even though it hurts – but if things get worse….  I know nerve damage is always a possibility.  I know getting my weight down would probably help this immensely.  I have also been having some “new” pain in my tailbone area.  It feels like the pain I have been having, but the area I am feeling it has broadened (or so it seems).  I have not been hurting down that low before and that worries me that another disc level has gotten involved.  I am also beginning to have more pain while sitting.  That is discouraging.  Before, at least it was only when I was up bearing weight.

Speaking of weight, I did get on the scale this weekend.  It showed a 10 pound gain.  I wasn’t surprised.  However, I have been lax about taking my BP medicine (which has a diuretic), so I know about 5 pounds of that is fluid.  I took my BP med yesterday and today.

I am still struggling with my cubie’s candy bowl.  When she is not here (at night, or if she is out), I move it out of my sight.  But I have to get strong and just make this absolutely off limits.  I have done that for a few days, and then I get weak and I am back at it again.  So far, so good today.

I went to the reflexologist on Saturday.  I can tell this is really going to help.  It is helping with the neck and headaches more than anything else, right now.  But I think with some more work, it will be helping my lower back and legs too.  The work she did on my legs was very painful.  She said my nerves or muscles, or whatever she was working on there, were like ropes.  I am going back again this Saturday.  I am going once a week, when possible, for a while, until we get things under a little better control.

I am taking a muscle relaxant regularly, which is something else that is helping the neck and headaches.  But it makes me so sleepy and draggy all the time.  I hate that feeling.  But it is better than a constant headache.  However, I sit at my computer and almost fall asleep sometimes because of it.

I had a conversation with a friend recently.  She struggles with pain issues like I do, so she understands where I am coming from.  I mentioned I would like to go to this certain event downtown, but that I didn’t think I felt up to it physically, because I would have to walk there, walk around and stand a lot at the event, and then walk home.  She said something about I ought to get a scooter so I could do things like that.  I told her I promised myself I would never be one of “those people” who got so fat, they had to ride a scooter around Wal-Mart.  She told me to look at it in a different way.  There are things I would like to do, but don’t participate in because I don’t feel able to physically.  So I am holding myself back from enjoying life because of this.  Wouldn’t it be better to have a way to get out and enjoy these things, even if it meant having to ride around on a scooter?  It doesn’t mean I would do that permanently.  But the mental lift I would get from actually getting out and enjoying things would help me to feel more like making changes necessary to improve my physical condition.  I would still look for every opportunity to get more activity.  But during times of increased pain and when a situation makes it necessary, why not take the help and get out and enjoy the activity?  I don’t know, but I am giving it some thought.  Of course, I don’t have a scooter, so that would be one issue.  And I can’t help but feel like that would be giving up, in a way.  But it wouldn’t have to be.  I don’t know.

I had written up to this point this morning and then had to get up to go do something after sitting for an hour or so at my desk.  The pain is always worst after sitting a while.  It took me a minute to brace myself before standing up, and when I did stand, the pain I experienced was the worst yet.  I don’t know why.  I had to stand there a minute and let the pain wash over me and pass a little bit before I could take a step.  My legs actually felt a little shaky.  The first few steps are always the worst.  I am not saying this for sympathy.  I am trying to let it sink in that I have to do something.  I cannot go on like this.  How bad does it have to get before I start doing more about it?

I could go to the doctor and ask for more (as in dosage) pain meds.  I could pay over $1,000 to get an injection (which has never done much good in the past).  But there is not much else I can do other than have surgery, and the surgery she would want to do is something they cannot do until I lose some weight.  It would be a 360 fusion, and that involves going in through the abdomen.  I have too much abdominal fat right now.  But if I lose down enough to remedy that situation, I might not need to have surgery.  I have to get serious about this.  I am in a vicious circle and I have to break out of it.  No one can do it for me.  If I don’t do anything about it, then I need to stop talking about the pain.  I’m just giving myself a pep talk here.  Why I have had to get to this level to find the motivation to do anything, I don’t know.  How does a person get to the place where they are in so much pain and they know what they have to do to improve things, but still have trouble doing it?  But I know there are many, many people like me.

Is it a lack of love for myself?  Possibly.  I have always struggled with that.  I am an intelligent person who has it together in so many other ways.  I don’t understand why I cannot get victory over this issue.  But I sure do want to get to the bottom of this and change whatever I have to to overcome in this area of my life.

I do know one thing.  The times in my life I have been successful in this area, I have to be almost 100% focused on it.  It is no wonder that all the things that have been going on in my life have distracted me.  It would be a lot for anyone to deal with.  Regardless, I have to switch my focus back to this.  I owe it to myself.  No one is going to do it for me.

The pain aspects add another layer of difficulty.  I cannot become a runner or focus on training for a marathon at this point.  There is only so much I can do physically.  I am going to have to look for more ways to get in more activity that I can handle.  Swimming is an option, but I am probably not going to be doing that this time of year.  I could find an indoor pool, but I don’t have much confidence that I would make that work in my schedule at this point.  I can walk, on a limited basis, I can do the recumbent bike, and I can ride my bicycle.  I could probably do a little bit of strength training, but I have to be wise about what I do in that area.  I will take a look and see what they have in our fitness center at the lofts.  I may have seen a rowing machine, and that may be something I can handle.  Anything where I don’t have to bear weight is better.

Now I just have to find a way to motivate myself to do it enough to make the difference.  If I know me (and I do), once I get going, I will be more motivated and I will start building on that.  There have been times when I get almost addicted to working out.  So I know I can get there.  The pain aspect just adds a little difficulty.  Hopefully once I drop 20-30 pounds, I will start feeling enough difference to where I can do more.  But I am going to venture to guess that I will never be a runner.  I have a knee that the doctor says I will probably need a knee replacement on in the next few years, plus all the back issues.  I’m going to need something lower impact than that.  If I want to do any kind of marathons or that type of thing, I will have to do it either walking, biking or swimming.

My plan tonight is to do another walk with my dog.  If I don’t feel up to that and have one of my kids walk him, I need to do the recumbent bike or my bicycle.  I have to start getting in more activity, whether I feel like it or not.

I also need to get back to posting more.  It is my accountability and it also motivates me to write about it.

So, that’s my pep talk to myself.  I hope it helps.

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