Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Juggling

I still am extremely tired and did not drag myself out of bed for a workout.  This is something I need to improve on if this ever happens again.  But I'm going to cut myself some slack and not worry about it right now.
 
I was somewhat hungry yesterday, but had all my weekly points available, so used some of them.  When I left the hospital, I stopped for gas and was looking for a snack.  I didn’t want to get the carby chips or crackers, so I got a little bag of almonds.  I tracked what I ate yesterday and I used 18 weekly points, with the barbecue at lunch and everything.
 
I’m doing another protein bar day today.  I was hungry when I got up, so had some watermelon.  Then, for breakfast I had a protein bar and a banana.  I will have a protein bar and fruit of some kind of lunch and then a reasonable dinner.  I haven’t gotten all my water down the last couple of days, so I will focus on doing that today.  I just want to make sure to compensate for the lack of exercise this week.
 
There doesn’t seem to be any bad result of my eating the sugar free ice cream yesterday.  No cravings, so that’s good.  I wouldn’t want to keep that stuff at home, but every once in a while like I did yesterday I think is okay.  Sometime I’m going to try to make some frozen Greek yogurt at home in my ice cream maker.  Yogurt, frozen fruit and a little stevia might be pretty good.  Plus I have my yonanas machine I can use.
 
I am definitely ready for things to get back to normal.  Even with me being gone so much and Cas only getting a morning walk, he is doing pretty well behavior-wise.  I want to get his shots up to date so I can use a doggie daycare next time something like this comes up.  The only problem with that is that he would have to be picked up at a certain time and that is not always doable when I am at the hospital or have to work late.  But I could probably get one of my daughters to do it, depending on what the reason was for needing to put him in there.
 
As the day goes on, I am very sleepy.  I’m so ready for things to get back to normal.  The doctor popped in to see Stephanie and they want to keep her one more day.  She is pretty nauseous and her pain level is not where they would like it.  So one more night of juggling the hospital.  I am at work until about 4:00 and my boss said I could leave about then.  I wish Steph had more visitors.  I don’t like to leave her up there all day without any company.  I don't think people realize how important that is to people who are in the hospital, and their family.
 
I ended up leaving at about 4:30.  By the time I walked home, changed clothes and got my car, it was 5:00 and rush hour traffic was setting in.  There was a wreck on the Tollway, so it really slowed down.  My car is trying to act up -- I think it is the fuel filter, so if I idling it will die.  I have to keep one foot on the gas and one on the brake in rush hour traffic, which was very stressful, and something about that made my hip hurt.  It took a really long time to get up to Plano, then I had to stop and pick up my and Stephanie's dinner.  It was almost 6:30 by the time I got there.
 
Dinner was a salad from Panera.  It was really good.  I used all my points for the rest of the day on that meal.
 
Steph and I sat and visited, watched the Rangers game and messed around on our computers.  I caught up on the archives of the blog I have been reading, so I will be finding another one to start tomorrow.  I like to read when people are actually going through their weight loss process.  It gives me ideas and motivation.  And sometimes it is comforting to know that other people struggle with the same things you do.
 
I felt a little bit energetic tonight while at the hospital.  I kept fidgeting and moving around.  I've heard you burn more calories when you keep moving like that, so I just went with it.  Hopefully Steph will be improved enough to go home tomorrow.  I can't remember if I said this yesterday or not, but one of the smartest things I ever did was get an AFLAC hospitalization policy a couple of years ago.  It will cover all of Stephanie's lost wages and more.  She owes me some money, so she will be able to pay me some and not have to put a drain on her monthly income.
 
I am so thankful I decided to go off sugar.  I really feel quite like a normal person with my appetite.  I had that salad at 6:30 and I was satisfied the rest of the night.  It was a lot more protein and good fat than it was carbs, and that is what seems to work best for me.
 
That's it for tonight.  I've only been home 15 minutes and it is after 10:00.  I'm going to unwind a little and then go to bed.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Master Hospital Visitor

Today started pretty busy.  I decided I should go to work this morning and then, knowing my main boss would be out this afternoon, come to the hospital in the afternoon.  I was very tired this morning.  I had planned to get up and work out, but the body was not cooperating.  Maybe that is a cop-out, but this is not my normal schedule.  My body is hurting from the hospital chair, plus being at the hospital all day wears me out.  I'm not going to worry about it as long as I continue to do well on my eating.  I dragged into work at 9:00 (a little later than usual).  My backup was extremely busy and stressed.  She was very happy to see me.  It was one of those days when everything was going wrong.  I was in the office that Jerry and I work in together and the keyboard quit working.  I got some new batteries and it still wouldn't work.  We had to reboot the computer, which took a really long time for some reason.  It seems like this stuff always happens when I'm in a hurry.  Jerry is none too patient with stuff like that.  But I took the revisions he was giving me and did them on my computer.  But we got it done and things settled down a little after that.

Breakfast was a protein bar and a banana.  I needed easy and that was easy.

A lady at our firm is retiring and we had her party today.  She is 80 years old.  Please, Lord, don't let me have to be working when I am 80!  The party was a surprise, and it was carried out beautifully, even though she is usually the one who sets up for these types of things when we have meals brought in or groups in the conference room.  The menu was barbecue.  I knew this was coming, so had not used any weekly points earlier in the week.  I really didn't eat that much, although the potato salad and cole slaw are not low points foods.  I haven't counted up how many points it was, but I am sure not bad.  I actually was still a little hungry.  I skipped all the desserts they had.

After that, I left to go to the hospital.  I had to pick up something for Steph.  After getting there and getting all that settled, I decided I wanted to find something to satisfy my hunger a little better, knowing I have weekly points available.  I found some sugar free, low-fat ice cream in the cafeteria, so I had that.  I will have to pay attention to see if this sets off cravings.  If it does, I won't do that again; otherwise, I don't mind having that every once in a while in a situation like this.  So far, it has not.  Most of what I would have to choose from here was baked chips, granola bars (can't have), nuts, etc.  I could have gotten fruit, but I have been eating a lot of fruit.  I had some watermelon at home before I left for work.  This hit the spot, anyway.

I read blogs for a while and got sleepy after that, so Stephanie and I both slept for a while.  I was doing an exercise in my mind before I fell asleep.  I decided I was going to imagine myself as I would be after reaching my goal and what my life would be like.  I didn't get very far with it until I fell asleep, but I think it is a good exercise.  I need to really believe that this will happen.  If my faith and hope are strong, it will keep me on track when the going gets rough.  I can do this.  I will do this.

I am doing very well with the hospital juggling act this time.  I think a big key is being off sugar.  For one thing, my appetite is much better regulated now.  For another, if my cravings were in full force, sitting around the hospital room would be the time I would start thinking of wanting sweets all the time.  I have been known to keep a big bag of peanut M&M's up here to snack on.  It is not an option this time and my mind isn't even going there.  Even when I am hungry, I want to stay on track.  Getting off of sugar was the smartest thing I could have done, I believe.  It is what will help me make this a lifestyle.  I feel pretty normal as far as my appetite is concerned.  This is Stephanie's 16th surgery.  I decided it was high time I mastered this hospital situation.  I need to become a master hospital visitor, as often as I have had to do this.  However, I told Steph I didn't want to visit her in the hospital again, unless it was for her to have my grandbaby.  Lol.

I got dinner at the hospital grill again.  Here is an example of their food.


Grilled chicken on wheat bun with onion, peppers and mushrooms and a side salad with lite dressing.  Pretty tasty.  They sure make it easier to stay on track at this hospital.

I am still reading Holly's blog.  She has brought to mind how obese people are treated and, oftentimes, ignored or mistreated.  I still have those reactions to a degree, ignored more than mistreated, but not as much as when I was a lot larger.  I determined that I would be friendlier and more caring for larger people, especially the super obese.  Not that I have ever been unfriendly, but they likely need friends and encouragement more than anyone.  With that thought in mind, there was this girl on the elevator this morning.  Now she was not anywhere near super obese, but she was a large, young girl.  She was dressed very nice with her hair done and make-up on.  So I told her she looked pretty.  She did look pretty.  She was surprised and, I could tell, gratified.  So I felt good that I had done that.  I don't want to sound like I am looking down on people.  I just genuinely want to be an encouragement to people who probably don't receive much encouragement from other people.

Holly was writing in her blog about a period of depression she went through and at one point admitted that a lot of it had come after a rejection of sorts from a guy who had been paying her a lot of attention.  I really think that was what happened to me a couple of months ago.  I was not rejected, but something about how that whole thing played out and things he said made me revert back into that insecurity I felt for so long.  It messed with me for a while.  I don't ever want to have to try to convince someone that I am worthy of their attention.  But I am afraid I have done that a lot in my past.  I want to be strong and know that I have plenty to offer anyone and not allow someone to make me feel like that again.  If we don't click, that's fine.  If they don't see my value, it's their loss.

I'm going to spend another hour or so here at the hospital and then head home.  Hopefully, Stephanie will go home tomorrow.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

I'm back at the hospital today.  I got home about 1:00 and into bed by 1:30, but slept until after 8:00.  Steph texted and was needing some caffeine for a caffeine headache (funny how morphine doesn't help with that), so I had to hurry through my time at home this morning.

I took Cas for a walk, made sure the pets are taken care of for the day (they watched me forlornly as I walked out of the apartment) and headed out.  No time for a workout, unfortunately.  I don't remember if I said yesterday, but I was down another pound yesterday after doing a "protein bar day" and I was down another 1.4 this morning.  I didn't post today's weight on DietBet, because it is likely to pop back up a little before it settles there.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way to the hospital and got me some fruit and some more protein bars.  I will use them when I want to, but wasn't necessarily planning to do another protein bar day today.  I did have one for breakfast, along with some fruit.  I stopped and picked up Steph some Starbucks on the way in, too.   I was hungry at lunch, so went down to the grill (which is the only cafeteria they have here).  They always have very healthy choices here.  I had a grilled chicken sandwich with sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms.  I put about a teaspoon of mayo on it and had some pop chips with it.  Their food is very healthily made.  I always have to add salt because it is low sodium.

I met a lady on the elevator this morning when I was taking Cas out to walk.  I told her about having to be at the hospital and how he had a lot of pent-up energy.  She said I could put him in doggie daycare for $10 a day and that they would exercise him there so he was tired out when I brought him home.  I had no idea it was that reasonable.  I wouldn't want to do that every day (financially), but every once in a while would be great, especially at times like these.  So I'm going to look into that.  I need to take him to the vet to get this year's shots first, but after that I can.  It would be good for my daughters' dogs at times like this, too.  They are being a little unruly because they are not being exercise with both girls being sick, etc.  It's a little more for bigger dogs, but only a dollar or two.  I wish I had known this a long time ago!

So far, this hospital stint is not throwing me off on my eating.  And I will get back to workouts as soon as my schedule settles down.  I do have a my shoes with me so I could take a brisk walk today, so I'm going to try to do that.

Today is the 9th anniversary of my divorce.  I call it my "Independence Day."  I believe in "until death do you part," and I tried every way I knew to make my marriage work.  But there came a time when I had to say, "No more.  You are not going to treat me like this any more, and if you do, than I must separate myself permanently from you."  I have no control over the choices he made, so I had to do what was best for me and my children.  And that day was day one of my healing.  It's a long road out of abuse, but I am so happy to be free.  So, Happy Independence Day!

It's been a quiet day.  I've read a blog most of the day, in between helping Steph with what she needs.  I've been hungrier today.  During the afternoon I had fruit, and for dinner I had another ground sirloin burger on a wheat bun.  I wanted something to go with it, but not chips again.  So that's all I ate.  We'll see if it holds me.   I just tracked everything on WW, and it says I have 11 daily points left, so I can hunt me something else down.

I'm not sure about tomorrow.  Steph will still be here and I hate for her to spend the whole day all by herself.  I have the time available.  I will have to decide whether I want to try to take all or part of the day off.

That's it for today. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nursing Duties, Sort Of

It's been a fairly quiet day, but one in which my patience has been tested.  I got up around 7:00 a.m., after Cas had been whining off and on since 5:00 or so.  I tended to the pets, took Cas for a walk, and did a couple of things that needed doing around the house.  Then I was off to the hospital.  Nope.  I didn't do a workout.

My weight had dropped a pound, so that was good.  I did what I planned to yesterday on eating.

I've spent the day tending to Steph.  She has been a little high maintenance, but that is to be expected when you don't feel well.  It's just that sometimes I don't feel like getting up to adjust the bed or whatever after I've been up for 15 other things.  Not her fault.  Just my general mood.  I had a headache building at one point and debated whether to take a muscle relaxant, because I knew it would make me sleepy.  But I didn't want the headaches to start getting bad again, so I took one.  That's part of the reason my patience is a little thin.  I'm sleepy.

My eating has been good today.  I had left my protein bars at the hospital, so had a little cantaloupe at home and cut the rest up to bring with me.  I ate the protein bar when I got to the hospital and then some more cantaloupe.  I ended up eating all the cantaloupe I had brought.  I was hungry.  I had another protein bar at Noon.  A little later, Bethany called and said they were eating at a certain place and did I want her to bring me anything.  I asked if she could stop at Chipotle.  So she brought me some Chipotle tacos -- a pretty good-sized meal for less than 10 points -- at about 4:30.  I will have the 3rd protein bar later (I usually have one at about 4:30, so I will switch it with dinner).

Other than that, there is not much going on.  I've been reading blogs most of the day.

I think I will call in tomorrow.  If nothing else, I am tired and didn't get a weekend.  Things have been a little slow at work and I have the days available.  Steph will be here at least a couple of more days.  I just don't want the pressure of juggling hospital and work.  My car needs a little attention too.  I got it back from my son and the service engine light is on.  I think it needs an oil change.  I have driven it so little -- it really should be my son taking care of this, but....

As the day has gone on, Steph has had some troubles.  She has a lot of problems with her veins.  It is very hard to find them and they "blow" easily.  So all her IV lines have blown.  She got to feeling very strange generally -- "something didn't feel right."  They are going to put in a PIC (?) line.  In the meantime she is without pain medication and is hurting.  She is also very edgy and irritable. And pretty needy.  They want to give her some Xanax.  She doesn't want it, but I told her it wouldn't hurt.  :)  She is kind of tough to be around. No fault of her own.  She doesn't feel well and nurses were not listening to her for a while, which is very frustrating.  They don't realize she has been through this enough times to know what's what.  The doctors know, but some of the nurses do not and they don't listen.

So, it hasn't been such a fun evening.  I had my last protein bar at around 6:30.  At around 8:00, I was still a little hungry and nothing was open, so I went to the vending machine and got some Pop chips.  That is only 2 points, so not bad.  All in all, a good day eating-wise.

You will not find any candy in the vending machines here.  They are full of baked chips, trail mix, nuts, protein bars, breakfast bars, etc.  Nothing very decadent, which I appreciate.

I'm sure my pets are wondering what is going on.  I'm not sure if I'm sleeping at home tonight or not.  I've already told My employer I won't be at work tomorrow.  Once they get her PIC line in and her pain under control again, then I will probably go home to sleep.

I have done a little walking today, but nothing major.  At least I have been up and down enough where I am not sore from sitting too much.  I need to get a workout in the morning.  I'm not sure if I will do protein bars tomorrow.  It leaves me pretty hungry, which makes a workout tough, so I probably should eat more tomorrow.

That's it for today.  Good night.

I do have a headache this evening.  That makes me want to stare into space, and it doesn't make me want to get up and do nursing duties, but I do anyway, of course.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hospital Happenings

I am here at the hospital, waiting in Steph's room for them to bring her from recovery.  They are having a hard time getting her pain under control, so it is taking a while.  Bethany is asleep on the chair that folds out into a bed.  She took Steph to the ER and stayed with her through the wee hours of the morning and then came and got me to the hospital, etc.  She still has mono and is worn out.  So I have my two sick girls.

I am sitting in a chair that is nowhere near comfortable.  It has a low back, so I can't lean my head back to rest.  At least I can prop my feet up on Bethany's "bed."  Still, I am feeling pretty good.  No pain to speak of, so that is good.

I had a protein bar for breakfast.  That's it.  I didn't have any fruit that didn't take some preparation time -- time I didn't have -- so that's all I ate.  I was so happy I did that 30 minutes of concentrated housework last night, since I won't be getting to do any today, other than a little more I got done this morning.  I guess I am excused from executing my Victory List on days like today.  Still, I will do what I can.

I did a few things at home this morning, knowing I might not be home much the next few days.  I wish I had time to wash the pans in the sink, but I didn't.  I did get all the trash out, so it won't get all smelly while I am gone.

I got to the hospital and Steph had not yet gone back to surgery.  Beth and I joined her in the pre-op room, along with my cousin and cousin-in-law, who came to be with her before I could get there.  We got Steph off to surgery and went to the surgery waiting area.  My cousins are in the ministry and have such insight and good counsel.  We had a very good conversation while we were waiting.  Teaching on how bitterness and unforgiveness can affect us physically.  Stephanie has been through so much in her young life, you have to believe there is something beyond normal going on with her.  She had some very traumatic things happen to her as a young child and I think they have taken their toll.  Forgiveness is not for the person who did the wrong.  We forgive because that releases us from the harmful effects of bitterness.

The doctor came out and said he was kind of baffled why this keeps happening.  He had done something last time this happened that should have guarded against it happening again, but it did.  Something about the opening they made in the intestine that gave the contents plenty of room to flow through.  He said he did double that this time in hopes it will not happen again.  Stephanie started the paleo diet last Monday and he did say the fruit and nuts, etc. she had been eating probably had a harder time flowing through the small opening that had been caused by the scar tissue.  So it just got stopped up.  All I know is that Stephanie has always scarred very heavily and she must be like that on the inside too.  That is why she keeps having this problem.  We are covering her in prayer that this will never happen again and that all these physical ailments will stop.  My cousins gave me much good instruction in this area.  They are very dear people.

I got up to Steph's room at about 12:30 and Beth and I were hungry.  I had another protein bar and Beth went to the hospital grill to see if they had anything "paleo friendly" (she is doing paleo too).  This hospital has very good, nutritious food.  You cannot even buy candy in vending machines.  They have protein bars, nuts, trail mix, etc. -- fairly healthy kinds of things you can buy.  So that is good.  Bethany was able to get her some meat and vegetables for her lunch and me some fruit to supplement mine.  I had another protein bar at around 4:30.

I got an e-mail today asking me to review my first book.  That's kind of exciting, I guess.  I told them if they would send me the book, I would be happy to review it.

I ordered "room service" for dinner, which was a sirloin burger on a wheat bun with grilled onions and mushrooms, a "squash medley," which was sautéed zucchini and yellow squash, and fresh fruit.  It was all very good and I was satisfied.

I've got a grouchy girl who just wants to go to sleep, and we all know hospitals are the worst places to get some sleep.  When she settles down, I will go home and tend to my pets and sleep in my bed.  Then back tomorrow for some more fun.

I have had a good day and followed my eating plan.  I did not have a formal workout, but I did get up and walk around fairly often.  I will try to get a workout done before coming back to the hospital tomorrow.  I do need to drink more water, so maybe will do that on the way home.

Here We Go Again

If you are new to my blog, you may not know all that happened last year around this time.  My daughter, Stephanie, was having a lot of stomach problems which eventually turned out to be an obstruction in her small intestine (from scar tissue from an earlier surgery).  She was in the hospital in June for 8 days, I believe.  After that, she still wasn't feeling well and kept going to the doctor with them telling her it was just going to take her some time to recover.  In August, she went back to the ER with severe abdominal pain, which turned out to be a second obstruction (actually, the first one was never fixed completely).  She was in the hospital another 8 days.

There has been several times during the last year her stomach didn't feel right and she kept worrying about another obstruction.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, they did exploratory surgery to make sure that was not going on, when all tests were turning out negative.  "No obstruction."  They put her on a medication because they said she had probably become too sensitive to pain in that area and this medicine should help with that.  She called me last night and said her stomach was hurting really bad.  Then she called me in the middle of the night and said it was getting worse, so decided she should go to the ER.  I did not go with her, since Bethany borrowed my car and I had no way to get to her.  She called a few minutes ago and she is obstructed again.  She will have surgery in a few hours.

So they just went in maybe 3 weeks ago and said there was no obstruction building, but now she has an obstruction.  Since she has one, there is no reason not to think that she will have one again in a year, and again the next year.  This is not a good thing.  Prayers appreciated.

For now, I just have to work with where things are.  All this mess, plus the fact that Steph lost her job after the second obstruction, threw everything into a tailspin.  I battled for a while, but eventually succumbed to the pressure and "fell off the wagon" for a while.  Which meant I gained back some weight and had to take that weight off all over again.  I don't want that to happen again.  So I need a battle plan.

While Steph is in the hospital, I think I am going to do some days with protein bars or shakes for breakfast and lunch, supplemented by fruit and raw veggies, and then eat a reasonable dinner.  This makes things easier from a planning standpoint.  I don't know yet if I will come home in the evening and sleep at home, or if I will try to stay up at the hospital.  If I do come home, I want to at least plan on getting my morning workout on the recumbent bike.  Being at the hospital usually means a lot of sitting around, which makes me hurt.  So I need to plan on walking the halls every hour or so.  And in the afternoon, take a longer walk around the halls.  This will be a good time to take a break from watching TV and get some reading done.  So I will take a couple of books with me, as well as my laptop, so I can read blogs and stay in touch.

I also don't know if I will try to work while Steph is in the hospital.  I have the time available to take off and things are a little slow right now, so I might can do that.  I'll just have to see.  My backup is under a lot of pressure with other things and I don't want to add to her load, but....

I'm just trying to get my thoughts together on this.  I'm going to have to become a professional hospital visitor, as much as I seem to be doing this.  I have to learn how to manage this situation without losing ground on my own efforts to be healthy.  Sometimes when I am sitting around the hospital, all I want is a bag of M&M's.  Hopefully the fact that I am off of sweets will help.

Another challenge will be drinking all my water.  I'm going to fill some bottles and take them with me (I have bottled water at home).  Other than that, I will have to drink tap or buy it there at the hospital.  I will also take my beloved Topo Chicos (which is sparkling mineral water).  I enjoy those.

That's it for now.  I'll check in later (and may post a lot during the hospital stay -- it keeps me more sane).

There is also the issue of taking care of my pets.  Last summer, we were all still living together in one house, so my dog got taken care of along with the girls' dogs (by Bethany).  But now I live alone with a dog and a cat and they will need care.  As I type this, my cat is laying here beside my computer trying to catch the moving cursor.  He is so funny, but it makes it hard to type.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Victory List and Why Exercise is So Important

I got home last night and couldn’t think what I wanted to eat.  I was really hungry, so I ate my protein – some smoked turkey sausage – and was sitting there thinking what else I wanted.  I fell asleep for a good little while.  I had a hard time staying awake the rest of the evening.  It’s those darned muscle relaxants.  They help, but they sure make me drag.  The only other things I got around to eating were a few almonds and a little peanut butter on some bread.  Not a great meal, I know, but it is what it is.  I was actually still hungry when I went to bed, but too sleepy to mess with it.

My head feels pretty good this morning.  The danger is, when I feel better, I forget to watch my mechanics.  So I am trying to be careful to keep my shoulders back and chin tucked!  It really makes a difference.  I find myself sitting with my chin in my hand while reading something from my computer screen.  I am sure this is exactly the position I do not want my neck to be in.  I have to stop that!

I woke up hungry this morning.  I had a cheese stick and a peach early, before my workout.  Then, for breakfast I had bacon and eggs again.  I had cooked up all the bacon I had left the other day, so all I have to do is warm it up.  That’s why I keep going back to it every day.  It’s easy.  Then I just scramble up some eggs to go with it and that’s it.  I got to work and someone had brought donuts and a vendor had sent in breakfast (breakfast tacos).  I should have just ignored them, but I was so happy there was something non-sweet that I ate an egg and potato taco with some salsa and a sausage roll.  Way more breakfast than I needed, and the stuff wasn’t really very good, to tell you the truth.  I will have to watch it at lunchtime, if I am even hungry then.  No problem passing up the donuts, at least.

I had so much written in my post yesterday that I had to cut some of it out.  My post was still too long, I am sure.  But I will get it in today’s post.  I had to read back through yesterday’s post to see what I had left out.  I realized that I made a couple of references later to what I had cut out.  It still made sense, but not as much.  One reason I cut the following out was, since I fell asleep early last night, I did not get some stuff done on my checklist.  Duh.  I am going to have to fight that as long as I am having to take the muscle relaxant regularly.

So much of weight loss, or any other big changes you are trying to make in your life, are about little steps done consistently.  Holly uses a “Victory List” (I think that’s what she calls it) of things to check off daily that keep her on track.  Hers might be a little different than mine, but I decided to try that as I am trying to build new habits.  There are certain things I need to do to keep myself on the right track.  Most have everything to do with weight loss; one thing not as much, but it is something that I think is important for me.  I tried to either start where I am, or start small.  The last thing on the list is 30 minutes of housework each day.  That means 30 minutes of concentrated work (all together).  My plan is to set a timer.  That doesn’t sound like much time, and I know it is not enough to keep everything maintained, but if I develop that habit, I can add to it.   A lot of days I am doing that, anyway (although not all together).  But I want to start building consistency and then add to the time after that.  If I can check that off every day, that builds my satisfaction.  I may not be getting it “all” done, but I have met my current goal.  I think that is important.  Doing too much, too soon is rarely a good idea.

So, here is my Victory List:

VICTORY LIST:

Cardio Workout ____ minutes (last week plus 2”) (this week it is 35 minutes; I probably will stop at 60 minutes)
At or Under Daily Points – _____ + ____ Weekly Points (whatever I have available) (it’s 36 points plus 49 weekly now)
Water – at least 72 oz.
Neck stretches (some from the article I posted yesterday)
Toning Workout (Arms/Abs or Chest/Back/Butt)
Housework – 30 minutes
This is actually pretty ambitious for where I am right now.  The two that will be the most difficult are the neck stretches and the toning workout.  By most difficult, I mean most difficult to get myself to do consistently.  I am not doing these things right now, but I need to be to get some of my pain issues under better control.  I have decided to start increasing my cardio by 2 mins. per week instead of 5.  That gives me a little more time to build up stamina.  The toning plan I have is simple.  It does not require any special equipment except dumbbells, which I have.  The neck stretches are pretty simple too and could be done throughout the day.  It is mostly a matter of working them into my routine and not letting myself talk myself out of doing them.  I think consistency with the small things is the most important thing I can do right now.

The stretches my MT gave me yesterday will be part of what I work into my routine under “neck stretches.”  I tried one last night.  You put your chin to your chest, press down firmly on this certain area at the base of your neck in the front, then lean your head all the way back and feel the stretch of that muscle you are holding down.  I am supposed to do this for 3-4 minutes.  The problem I had with this last night was holding it 3-4 minutes.  That was kind of tough.  My fingers got tired.  I probably held it more like 2 minutes, but at least that is a start.  She said as I do this, things at the back of my neck will begin to line up better.  And she said it has the added bonus of tightening up the skin and muscle under your chin.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought about whether to do paleo or not.  The problem with it is, these sorts of tangents tend to confuse me.  I get it all mixed up in my mind as to what I should and should not eat and I end up not doing anything on plan (because I haven’t made up my mind about the plan or it is too restrictive, or whatever).  This is actually why I had trouble thinking of what to eat last night.  I also have a tendency to pop from one thing to another.  Whatever I do, consistency is going to be the key.  The thing I like about WW is you can do almost any kind of eating plan – just count your points and stay within your points range.  I could also do the Simply Filling technique.  I do not mind counting points.  If I do not, I tend to overdo.  For instance, nuts are a good thing to have on paleo, but in moderation.  If I do not have some kind of structure that tells me how many nuts are too much, I do not do well.  So I might start building some elements of paleo into my eating plan, but still be on WW.  I am very sold on the benefit (to me) of not eating sugar.  That is the only thing that has worked for me in the past.  And I know processed foods are not good.  I know certain foods are triggers – like crackers, chips, etc. – so I best leave those alone.  Especially because they are processed.  I’ve been thinking about making some homemade whole grain crackers to see if they were less addictive to me.  (I started a book that exposes the food industry and how they purposely make things addictive so you will keep buying it).  I want to cut out as much processed food as possible, so anything I make at home is better than commercially packaged.  I know that eating lower carb works better for me.  These are the principles I want to work on right now.  And I can do that using the WW plan.  I don’t think I am ready for “no dairy” or “no grains” until it becomes apparent that that is causing me a problem.  I will do some experimenting on some days and see how I do and may want to work that into my diet slowly.  It won’t hurt to try going gluten free on some days and other days be a little more “normal.”  I may find that wheat or dairy is giving me a problem and so that would be something I would want to eliminate.  I know they talk about the benefits of paleo on arthritis and inflammation, so those might be changes I want to make in the future.  But baby steps.

I know I talk about Holly’s blog a lot, but that’s what I am reading right now.  She said the most profound thing.  She was being interviewed on CrossFit Live Radio in November 2012.  She was telling her story and how her brother was instrumental in showing her what to do to be successful with her weight loss surgery (he had the surgery and lost 250 pounds himself) and the battle with food addiction.  Her brother told her (talking about daily exercise):

“We are not doing this just to lose the pounds.  We are doing this to become mentally stronger, so we can fight the battle that we are going to face every day.”

 Wow.  That is good stuff.  And it is so true.  That’s why the workout every morning is so important, even if it is only 10 minutes.  This is one tool I use.  If doing a 35-minute workout seems too much to tackle on a certain day, I give myself permission to do 10 minutes.  Often, after I have done 10 minutes, I am ready to do the rest of it.  And even 10 minutes gives me the mental satisfaction that I have at least worked out.

Holly also has some strategies for using your imagination to change the course of your day.  This post was excellent.  I actually have done this, although I said it in a different way.  I would think, if I were writing a book, making myself the main character and the “heroine” of the story, how would my character behave on any given day?  Would she sit in a chair all day and watch television, getting up every hour or so to get something to eat?  Or would she get up and exercise and take care of her home and walk her dog and spend time with friends?  I try to envision myself as being that person in the book – like that is how I already go about my day.  But Holly takes it to the point of imagining how you would feel if you did the things you would like to do -- the things that at the end of the day made you feel like you had a happy and productive day.  Read her post.  It is most excellent.

So, because I ate the extra stuff this morning, I did not eat a formal lunch.  I did eat another sausage roll and a peach.  So I certainly haven’t eaten enough to mess up my whole day.  Tonight needs to be about protein and veggies.

I have noticed my appetite has regulated.  I think that is because I am not eating sweets.  And I am not having as many cravings.  I am just more “normal” when I don’t eat sweets (as in appetite).  That is so awesome.

I made it through the afternoon with only eating fruit.  When I got home, I had not pre-planned what to eat.  Last night what I should have done was get a Subway sandwich.  But I was wrestling with this paleo thing and was thinking that had too many carbs.  Tonight, I looked in the freezer and saw some stuffed pasta shells I had made a while back and frozen the leftovers.  I decided to have some of that.  I melted some parmesan and mozzarella on top and I grilled some asparagus spears to go with it.  I had some grapes while waiting for dinner to get ready, because I was pretty hungry.  I'm not sure how many points I have had today, but I have the feeling I am under my daily quota.  I was still a little hungry later and I had a couple of dill pickle spears.  That was it for today.

I got down until after 9:00 and was thinking that I had not done some of the stuff on my Victory List.  I didn't want to have told you about it and then not done it the first day.  So I got up and did some toning exercises (4 or 5 for abs and 3 for arms).  I also did this for neck stretching:


I would not have thought this was hard.  But I am so tight, I could only drop my head a little between my arms before I was in pain.  I didn't try to push it any further.  I will keep working at it and hopefully will begin loosening up.

I sat a little more and was trying to rationalize not doing my 30 minutes of housework, but again, I didn't want to have to tell you I didn't do it.  So I set a timer and got up and cleaned for the whole time.  When the timer went off, I finished the task I was on and called it a night.  Things were already feeling much more pleasant around here.  I was really bummed for doing that.  I wish I had not done that cleaning.  NOT!  When do you ever do something like that and regret it afterward?  It's the dreading it beforehand that's the most difficult and really, it's no big deal.  You are done in no time.

I got almost finished with that 30 minutes when I remembered, I had not finalized my post yet.  I could have taken that part of the post out (again) to get out of doing it tonight.  Of course I'm glad I didn't.  I'm going to try to report in every day about my Victory List.  If I don't, I give you full permission to call me on it.  That's what I want -- some accountability.  But tonight I have the satisfaction of getting those things done.  I did at least part of everything (not quite all of the toning exercises and only one neck stretch, but I'm going to do another one before going to bed).  I'm okay with that.  It is progress.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

MOST AWESOME BOSS EVER!!!!!

I tell you what, these muscle relaxants make it tough.  I just want to sleep in and I drag around during the day.  But I have to admit, I don’t feel nearly as close to a headache as I usually do.  Meaning my shoulders and neck don’t feel so tight.  So, I will keep taking them, and keep doing what I have learned this week – shoulders back, chin tucked!  I am trying everything I can think of to facilitate this.  I lowered my computer screen a couple of inches to encourage keeping my chin down.  I noticed yesterday when I was typing off a paper that was laying on my desk, because I had to look down at it, it made me keep my chin down and I could feel a release of pressure on my neck that way.  Very often I am looking at the screen while typing because I am taking dictation in some form or fashion, or typing from my mind.  At those times I tend to slump forward and stick my chin out, which creates a lot of pressure.  When you think about how many hours a day I do this, you can understand how it has built up over the years and created such a problem.
 
My eating was good yesterday.  I do need to drink more water, though, so that is a goal today.  I woke up kind of hungry, so I had a cheese stick before going out to walk Cas at about 6:15 a.m.  I got back and gathered up what I needed to do my workout – water, remote, etc. – and got started.  I got about 8 minutes in and my stomach started gnawing.  I felt so empty.  So I went and got a peach and ate that while I pedaled.  It did the trick.  I did 35 minutes today, 5-25-5.  6 resistance still felt difficult enough, and I rotated between 6 and 7.  I’m just not quite up to par this week.
 
I definitely did not feel like doing a workout this morning.  I had to drag myself out of bed and all I wanted to do was crawl back in.  The rationalizing started, and after a few minutes I shut myself off and didn’t allow that to go on.  If things are going to change, I have to change.  If I wait until I feel like doing things, they are not going to get done.
 
Even though I am up to doing 35 minutes on my workout, when I walked to work this morning, I felt like I was out of breath and just barely pushing forward.  I guess it is the heat and humidity.  It felt so much harder than my workout.  Someone said it felt like walking through a liquid, brick wall.  I guess that’s kind of it.
 
I believe DietBet says I am 44% to my goal on my challenge.  Maybe I haven’t said here how I am doing.  The first few days of last week (which was the first week), I dropped over 3 pounds (3.6, I think).  I logged that on DietBet.  Then my weight started fluctuating.  I got to the end of last week and it kept telling me I needed to “weigh in regularly”.  I was weighing in, I just wasn’t reporting it.  It still hadn’t dropped down to where it was when I logged it.  Then, yesterday, I had another drop of 1.2 pounds.  I was happy about that because I had stayed home the day before and my eating wasn’t perfect, by any stretch of the imagination.  So, that looks like 4.8 I have lost.  I have to lose 10.6 to reach my goal (I think that is right).  I am not done with week 2 yet, but I feel the need to step it up if I am going to reach my goal.  I need to get in some more workouts.  I am also trying to do lower carb, which usually makes me lose better.
 
I was hoping that the weight I had gained recently would come off a little easier.  Sometimes that happens.  But not this time.  I am having to work just as hard this time as I did before.  I just hope I don’t plateau again in the next few pounds, since it will be the same weight I plateaued at last time.
 
I was feeling a little low in motivation early this week.  A lot of it was because of the headaches, but still.  Then I read a FB post by a friend from high school.  She just started chemo for some kind of cancer (I can’t remember what kind).  She said she was washing her hair that morning and handfuls of it were falling out.  But she was very positive and upbeat and full of hope and faith.  It hit me how much worse things could be in my life.  Yes, having a headache every day is tough.  But I am not in danger of dying from it, and I can still go to work and function.  I still can work out and do anything I want to do.  The enjoyment of it might be slightly affected, but it doesn’t have to be as much as I am allowing it to be.  I just felt really ashamed that I was letting this get me down this much.  I still have my health to a great degree.  I don’t have cancer or diabetes or heart problems.  I want to count my blessings, and as important as that, make the most of my opportunity to improve my health.
 
I found an article on the internet:  8 Yoga Poses To Help Cervical Spine & Neck Issues.  I can’t do all of these now, and probably can’t do any of them with the full stretch shown, but these are the stretches I am going to start with.  The first one is called “Cow Face Arms” (I wonder where they came up with that name?).



I was in the restroom at work, and although I was not kneeling as you are supposed to, I decided to try the stretch just to see how it felt.  OMG.  There is no way my left arm can reach up and clasp my right.  I’m probably a foot away from being able to do that (I can’t see, so I don’t know).  But just trying to do the movement accomplishes the stretch.  That is where I have to start.  Incidentally, I don’t know if I will ever be able to do that first one.  It seems physically impossible with my double fusion.  I will check with my doctor and my MT before doing any that look too questionable.  I did not have ANY physical therapy after my surgery.  The doctor did not prescribe any.  But I think the surgery, along with being afraid to move too much in the wrong direction, and just day-to-day stuff has made me extremely tight and stiff.  I know after a massage, the range of motion on my neck is soooo much better.  I am just so tight all the time.  So, gentle stretches to start with and I should get looser and looser.
 
I have a massage today.  I am hoping it makes more difference today with the changes I am making.  This morning I do not have a headache.  I feel tight and on the verge of one, but it hasn’t built into one yet, so I feel like I am making progress.
 
So, I’m back from my massage.  I absolutely love my MT (Robin).  I wish I could feel all the time like I do when I walk out of her studio.  And she is so full of information on nutrition, stress management, etc.  She showed me some stretches for my neck (I didn’t even tell her about my plan), so I know exactly some things to work on.  And I can do them while sitting down and watching TV (or whatever).  She told me some vitamins to start taking to help with my energy.  My goal is to get off the SF Red Bulls soon.  (That’s going to help my budget a lot too.)  Robin is becoming my #1 encourager and supporter of my weight loss efforts, and all of my efforts to feel better and be happier.  She came from an abusive marriage, so she understands me there, too.  She also weighed a high of 220 pounds at one time, so she understands how difficult it is to change your lifestyle.  She is such a blessing.  I need to buy her a gift that will bless her.  I will also recommend her to everyone I know, and that will help her too.
 
Breakfast this morning was bacon and eggs again.  A little later I had some strawberries.  Lunch is another Potbelly Farmhouse Chicken Salad, this time I had them leave off the bleu cheese and put on the bacon.  That is more in line with paleo.
 
So, I did some investigating yesterday about whether yoga might help with my back and neck, and as a result, help my headaches.  My boss takes yoga and it has helped him a lot with his back.  So I e-mailed the lady he goes to, just asking for information.  She answered me yesterday, and I have been thinking it over, but had not responded to her.  I just received an e-mail from her a few minutes ago.  Evidently Jerry had an appointment with her yesterday and she mentioned my contacting her.  He paid for me to have 5 yoga lessons, free of charge!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I have the MOST AWESOME BOSS EVER.  Hands down.  I am humbled and grateful.

I couldn't think of much to eat for dinner.  I had some turkey sausage, a few almonds and a peanut butter sandwich.  I had done pretty well today as far as my headaches, but I did have one building right before I went home.  (I was working in an office with Jerry and probably was not being mindful of my posture.)  Anyway, I just wanted to sit down and get it back under control.  I ended up dozing off.  That's what the muscle relaxant does.

That's it for tonight. Tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To Paleo or Not to Paleo

I am getting kind of desperate to find some kind of solution for these headaches.  I stayed home yesterday trying to get it under control.  I did, with a muscle relaxant.  In the meantime, I have to look for solutions that prevent them in the first place.  I think posture is a big factor.  I tend to sit at my computer with my shoulders slumped forward and my chin jutting out.  The correct way to sit is with your shoulders back and the chin slightly tucked.   I have been doing some research to see if there is some kind of device to help with this.  As I was sitting here, I started getting that feeling in my throat that comes when something is starting to build.  I decided to put an ice pack on that area to see if I could get it to calm down.  So I had an ice pack wrapped in a towel applied to my throat area while I sat there and typed.  The only way to keep it in place was to tuck my chin and hold it in place that way.  My shoulders were back and my chin was tucked.  This might be an aid.  I could get a medium-sized ball – about the size of an apple – and tuck it under my chin and work to keep it in place.  This kind of encourages me to put my shoulders back and tuck my chin.  It could work, and I could do that fairly inconspicuously at work.  As I sat there that way with the ice pack tucked under my chin, it seemed to be helping a little.  I was feeling it in my shoulders a little, but I think that was because they were already tight and they will have to get accustomed to this.  I think this would be a good “reminder” to keep my chin tucked.
 
So, I stayed home yesterday.  I had such a headache build Monday afternoon that I was not coping very well.  I hadn’t been taking my muscle relaxants lately, because they make me draggy and it is hard to get myself out of bed to do a workout.  But draggy is better than having a bad headache.  So I will go back to taking them at night and a half one during the day at work.
 
My eating yesterday was not bad, as far as the amount I ate, but I did not feel like fixing myself anything and nothing nearby sounded good.  I ended up eating a peanut butter sandwich at all 3 meals yesterday, with fruit here and there and a few almonds.  My weight had dropped this morning a little bit, so that was good.
 
I intended to get a workout done yesterday, even though I didn’t go to work, but it didn’t happen.  I was determined to break the cycle of the headache.  I took a muscle relaxant early on, and it helped but was not knocking it out, so I took another a bit later (my prescription says 1-2 tablets as needed).  This really knocked me out, as you can imagine, and I slept all morning and part of the early afternoon.  I took another one later in the afternoon.  I dozed on and off throughout the day.  It did seem to help.  This morning, I don’t have a headache, but I do feel on the verge of one.  Then the ice on my throat and the action of tucking my chin to hold it in place seemed to be helping.
 
I am researching the possibility of getting some yoga instruction to come up with a routine that might help.  I need someone who knows what they are doing to show me.  I don’t want to do the wrong thing with my neck, because of the fusion, but I do want to learn what to do to stretch and strengthen wherever it is needed.  I am just looking for answers wherever they can be found.  I don’t want to live like this for the next 20 years.
 
My lower back was hurting quite a bit late yesterday and early this morning.  It is from sitting too much.  I did not really “feel” up to doing a workout this morning, but I knew I needed one in more ways than one.  So I did one.  I did 35 minutes on the recumbent bike, 5-25-5.  This is five minutes more than last week.  A resistance of 6 felt difficult this morning, so I did most of the middle section at 6.  My back or upper hip on the left side started trying to cramp during the workout and I thought I was going to have to stop, but I kept going.  Sitting around more is not what I needed.  If I wait until I feel good enough to have a workout, I won’t ever get one.  I must push through, even if I am having pain issues.  Of course, I don’t want anything to exacerbate the pain issues, but I knew this was not doing that.  I feel sure that as I get my weight down more and more, the physical issues will improve.  The headache, maybe not, but the back pain, yes.
 
I decided to go high protein for breakfast this morning and had two slices of bacon and two eggs (7 points).  I had a banana when I got to work.
 
As I go through the morning, so far so good on not setting off a headache.  I found a little squeezy stress ball on my boss’ desk (that he never uses) and, part of the time, have been keeping it tucked under my chin to remind me.  It is a little smaller than what I need, but it is serving the purpose.  Otherwise, I am just trying to stay conscious of keeping my chin tucked and it seems to be helping.  Old habits die hard.  I had to change glasses because one thing that was making me jut my chin out was I was trying to look through the bottom of my trifocals because I could see my computer screen better that way.  The middle section of my glasses is supposed to be for the computer, but I don’t see well through that part and have a tendency to tilt my head back to see better.  So I changed to my readers while working on the computer to help with that.
 
Bethany is feeling much better today – like night and day, she said.  I am a firm believer that if you control pain in situations like this, your body is able to fight off the illness faster.  I made sure she kept her pain in check the last couple of nights and it seemed to make all the difference.  Years ago, my husband had the flu and was very sick.  He had gotten so sick that I stayed home from work with him and made sure he took pain medication like clockwork, never letting the pain get out of hand.  He was so sick, he wasn’t in his right mind enough to keep up with it.  It was only then that he started getting better.  Could have both been coincidence, I guess, but I don’t think so.
 
Lunch today was a Potbelly Farmhouse Salad, no bacon.  I mixed the non-fat vinaigrette with the Potbelly vinaigrette (which made me only use half of the Potbelly vinaigrette).  All this was 11 points.  Still with the low carb theme.
 
Later, for a snack, I had a peach.  Aw heck, I had two!
 
I had a bad headache starting mid-afternoon.  I was in the office where Jerry and I work.  I tried something different.  The computer and keyboard sit on top of the desk in there, and my MT told me that was not a good place for your keyboard.  So I put it down on the lap drawer so it was more at a level I need it.  I still came out of there with a headache starting.  I have tried to keep my chin tucked, but I know at times I forgot.  I could also feel the achiness starting in my throat around the surgery area.  I went and got my ice pack out of the refrigerator and put it on my throat for a bit, and the headache is settled back down.
 
I very much want to go home.  I am sleepy (I’m sure from the muscle relaxant), and my behind is hurting, I think from sitting too much.  I would probably do that again if I went home.  I need to get up and around every few minutes tonight, and I will at least get out and walk Cas later in the evening when it cools off.
 
My daughter sent me some information on the paleo diet.  Some of the testimonials sound really good.  I will study it and give it some thought.  I am already off sweets, although I know I am still getting sugar in other foods.  It might be an answer to a lot of my pain issues, and possibly even help my headaches.  I may start making some adjustments slowly.  Like eating low carb more often.  They guy who wrote the plan I read said that you should gather up all the stuff in your house that does not fit the diet and give or throw it away.  I don’t think I want to do that, but I can plan on not replacing stuff as I use it up.  For instance dairy products and grains.  I will keep on my WW plan right now, and use up the products I have.  If I really want to go this direction, I will not buy any more, but will start stocking up on what I need to follow this plan.
 
A couple of things I like about the idea:  I have been reading Holly’s blog, 300 Pounds Down.  Part of her success has been that she knows what foods she absolutely cannot eat.  Sugar is the biggest thing.  She tries to follow the plan of not eating anything that has more than 4 grams of sugar in it.  This is not just sweets.  It could be anything.  She knows if she eats something that has too much sugar in it, it will trigger cravings, even if it was not something we would think of as sweets.  She also knows her trigger foods and she stays away from those.  I have been off sweets for a month now, and it is so much easier already knowing the answer as to whether I will eat something or not.  If it is sweets, I’m not going to eat it.  Most of my cravings are gone and it is not bothering me.  I like the idea of knowing what types of foods I can eat and what I cannot.  And once you get going on it, you lose your cravings for those foods.  I like that.  That sounds a lot more easy to control, to me.  I still have trouble with some carbs.  Like crackers, chips, snacky kinds of things.  Those are things I should stay away from.  I am also not doing very well with peanut butter.  I am eating it often (even if staying in my points allowance), and I am eating a lot of times as a substitute for sweets.  I know on paleo, there are certain kinds of nut butters you can have, but I am sure it is not the commercial peanut butter that has sugar mixed in.
 
I like the idea of the plan.  I have to make a decision if this is something I want to do.  I want to read about its benefits for people with joint pain, inflammation, etc.  Honestly, with the quality of life I am living, if this would help me feel better, why wouldn’t I want to do it?  I have to get my mind wrapped around that.  It is also good for digestive issues, so I am glad my daughter is doing this.  It may be the key to her issues, both with pain in different parts of her body, and her intestinal issues.
 
One thing’s for sure.  I would have to give up the SF Red Bulls.  I need to do that anyway, for sure.
 
I was so sleepy this afternoon and couldn't quit yawning.  I decided to go to an empty office to lay down for a few minutes to see if that would help.  The couch in that office is not very conducive to laying on it comfortably.  I lay down on my side with the pillow supporting my head and neck.  After a bit, my lower back started getting a little uncomfortable.  I lay there a little bit longer, but it kept hurting, so I finally gave up.  I didn't think much about it until I was walking home from work.  I had done something to make my vertebrae clamp down on the nerve, because I had some significant radiating pain down both legs to the knees.  It hurt!  I should have known better than to lay like that.  It goes to show how careful I have to be to keep from setting something off.  Hopefully it will line back up quickly, but it sure made the walk home from work uncomfortable.
 
Dinner tonight was some pork tenderloin, a baked sweet potato with some cinnamon and some grilled asparagus.  For once, I cooked the pork tenderloin correctly.  It was just done and was very juicy.  I had sprinkled salt, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika and garlic powder on it pretty liberally, hoping it would season it enough without marinating.  It did, and it was very good.  This was actually a good paleo meal.  After dinner, I had a few grapes.  My cravings are in pretty good shape right now.  Knock on wood.
 
I'm not planning on doing much tonight except a little cleaning, walk Cas in a little bit, and icing my neck some.  I'm feeling better, but not great.
 
Have a great day, everyone!
 
 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Worst.Headache.Ever

Started off Monday morning at work with a staff meeting.  Those can be a beat-down, but it didn’t turn out to be so bad.
 
I had some trouble sleeping again and got my best sleep after getting up from my bed at 5:00 a.m. and moving to the recliner.  My back was hurting, for some reason.  I didn’t wake up until 6:30, which is too late for a workout.  I really have to get one done tonight.  These headaches are rough.  I have massage therapy at Noon and hope that will help.  I kind of wonder if that was what set it off this time, though.  I think what she is doing will ultimately help, but I wondered if it made some things flare up in the process.  I think my lower back was probably hurting because I sat too much yesterday.  I did get up and walk Cas this morning.
 
As I said yesterday, I do not have meals planned out as I should.  This morning I had a Potbelly ham, mushroom, egg and Swiss on a wheat square for 10 points, along with some fruit (cantaloupe, watermelon, honey dew and grapes from a fruit tray I bought; just a little of each).  I will go somewhere for lunch, too.  Since I have a massage appointment, I won’t have a full lunch hour to go home.
 
I just checked in on Bethany.  Remember she has mono.  She is not feeling well at all, but went on to work today.  She said her throat is hurting so bad she could barely sleep last night.  I think she needs to see a doctor, so got her in with my doctor.  I hope they can help her at least be able to rest more comfortably.  Even though she is grown up, the mother in me still comes out so much when one of my kids is this sick.  I just want to help her feel better.
 
I have now been for my massage.  I told her I have had a headache pretty much for 3 days with little let-up.  She did some acupressure to start with, and I could feel it let up a little while she was doing that.  Basically she said my trapezius muscle on my left side was not a happy camper.  She did some pinching on it and it hurt like the devil.  She said she could tell by feeling that I was tender and inflamed in that area.  She did all her work and then told me to ice the area.  She also told me that when I start getting these headaches to ice my neck as soon as I can.  And if I can, to put my feet in warm water and put an ice pack on my neck so it will pull the toxins out of there and down away from the area.  She also worked on my lower back and bottom some.  She said I carry tension in my bottom (that I probably tense those muscles when I am stressed).  She definitely found some tender places in my lower back and she worked with them.  I do feel better and do not have a headache at this moment.  By things she was saying throughout the massage, she said my problems were a lot more complex than most people who have a headache.  She said she had been thinking about me this weekend (that makes me feel good).  She said she was really proud of me for how I was working on myself and my health and weight, etc.
 
I looked at a picture of the trapezius muscle and it definitely looks to be the area where I am having continual problems.  When she pinched it, I could feel the pain shooting up the neck.  When she had been doing some work earlier, I could feel pain from where my collar bone joins to my shoulder, all the way across my back to that point on the other side.  I am going to work on a couple of exercises to stretch that muscle and strengthen it.  Maybe that will help.  I think I will start with the stretching (very gently) for a bit before trying to do any strengthening.  It is likely pretty flared up.  I was reading and the source said that a big thing that causes problems with this area is sitting at a desk all day and jutting the chin forward.  I definitely catch myself doing this.  Sometimes I am trying to look through the bottom of my trifocals.  I have to try to watch for that and guard against it at all times.  If I could get this settled down, it might be the answer to the headaches I have had all these years, which incidentally started in earnest after I went back to work full time in an office 20 years ago.
 
I have done this work for many, many years.  Sometimes I wonder if it would be a good idea to find another line of work.  But it would seem difficult to find an occupation that does not involve sitting at a desk all day where I could make as much money as I do now.  I'll have to give it some thought.
 
For lunch I had  a Potbelly Farmhouse Salad with no bacon.  I got a container of their Potbelly Vinaigrette and a container of their non-fat vinaigrette.  I poured as much of the Potbelly vinaigrette into the non-fat container as it would hold and mixed it up.  Then I poured a little more than half of it on the salad.  That actually was enough.  Their non-fat vinaigrette is so sweet, I know they have replaced the fat with a ton of sugar.  That is one reason I wanted to blend them.
 
I worked most of the afternoon holed up in an office with Jerry.  Half of the time he was shooting the bull with two other young attorneys who came in there.  So I read a blog while I waited.  During the afternoon, my headache began to build until it felt like the worst.headache.ever.  I don't know what's making them so bad right now.  I do think I am on the right track with massage therapy.  One thing I am trying tonight is to wear my neck collar the whole time I am home to see if it makes a difference.  If it does, I will have to consider wearing it at work too.  Lovely.  But it would be better than having a constant headache.
 
No way was I feeling like fixing dinner, so I stopped at Subway and got a roast chicken breast with cheddar on a wheat, with some Baked Lays.  After that, I had 2 points left for the day, so I had some string cheese.  I really didn't think much about eating today.  I ate my meals, and got hungry once in the afternoon and ate a banana.
 
That's it for tonight.  I hope this breaks tonight.