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Monday, August 1, 2016

Day 24 is In the Books

Well, Day 24 is in the books.  Today has been a little tough.

I woke up this morning having had the best sleep I have had in I don't know when.  No pain whatsoever.  And very little pain when I got up.  We had a pretty active day yesterday, so that was a little surprising.  More about that in a bit.  The low pain level continued all day and I ended up taking only 2 pain pills all day (I am allowed 6).  So I feel like I am making real progress.  I also felt thinner.  I had tried on a pair of size 16 shorts yesterday to show my sisters they were a little too tight, but that I hoped I might be able to wear them by the end of the week.  I wore a size 18 of the same type of shorts yesterday and I could tell they stretched some during the day.   We were just going to hang out at the cabin and rest today, after two active first days, so I decided to try them and see if they stretched out.  They actually fit pretty well when I put them on and stretched out during the day.  So I wore size 16 shorts today -- regular size 16, not 16W.  Yay!!

The tough part was I was having some cravings.  I was giving a little thought to breaking the fast.  My sisters were going to go into town to pick up some food to have at the cabin and I decided to stay "home" and make use of the huge Jacuzzi tub.  They came home and some things they brought back sounded so good -- very simple things.  Like pimento cheese.  That sounded so good.  I would look at FB during the day, and of course there are endless amounts of food posts, whether recipes, advertisements or people posting about food.  Then tonight my sisters warmed up their leftovers from the place they ate while they were in town and it smelled sooo good.  I had to go to the bedroom for a bit and close the door.  I don't want to quit my fast on a whim.  If I did break it, I would have to do about 3 days of juice (so they say) and ease back into eating, and by that time, my vacation will be over.  Plus there are some things I would like to see done by a longer fast -- like the swelling that is still around my right knee.  It seems like my improvements are going from top to bottom and that part hasn't been worked on yet.  So, I'm kind of sleepy and we are going to get an early start, and I decided to go on to bed and sleep on the situation.

Now, about my vacation.  We started out early Saturday morning and drove a 6-7 hour drive to Memphis.  We drove straight to Graceland and took the tour there.  I enjoyed it, but Elvis is not really my thing.  The part I enjoyed most was the exhibit of his cars.  That was pretty cool.  I took my scooter for that tour because it was supposed to last about 3 hours and I doubted there would be many opportunities to sit down.  I'm glad I did -- that made it easier.  I did have one little mishap.  We took the shuttle back from the mansion to the other part of Graceland and all the people got off and I was waiting for the driver to come operate the lift so I could get off.  I sat in a seat during the drive, but got up and got on my scooter to wait for that.  Well, she forgot about me.  She started driving away and I said, "Don't forget about me!"  I startled her and she threw on her brakes.  My scooter tipped over and I was thrown into the back seat.  I never fell off my feet and I wasn't hurt, but I had the charger for my scooter in the back pocket of the chair of the scooter and it must have come out.  When we unloaded at the cabin this morning, it was nowhere to be found.  Anyway, she made a loop around and let me off and asked me very sheepishly if I was okay.  I told her I was fine and she looked relieved.

After that, we went to our hotel.  We stayed at the historic Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.  It was definitely worth it.  It is a lovely hotel and we enjoyed our stay immensely.  We had a beautiful view of the Mississippi River from the window of our room.  I will post some pictures later.  We were so glad we did not go for a cheaper hotel (besides, we got a good deal on it).  I highly recommend it.  After we settled in a bit, we decided to take the carriage ride around downtown.  The driver told us about the history of all the buildings, some parks, etc.  I enjoyed it very much.

Yesterday morning we got off around 11:00 to go to Gatlinburg.  We went through Nashville and stopped to visit the Hermitage, which is the estate of President Andrew Jackson.  I learned a lot of things I did not know about him and I find these historical things very interesting.  I love to see how people lived and dressed in different eras.  The house was only ever lived in by Jackson and his family before being turned into a museum.  95% of the furniture and fixtures are what was there when he lived there.  There are also lovely grounds and other things to see, like the slave cabins.  I know that is controversial.  It is not that I approve of that -- it's just history and so interesting to see.  I did not plan to use my scooter on this outing and I did fine without it.  It was the most I had walked since my surgery and I did fine.  There were places outside to sit every once in a while, and in the museum part.  I went through it all relatively pain free.

My sisters didn't take much time stopping to eat during any of this  They got fast food (McDonald's at least a couple of times), and knowing what I know, it didn't bother me and I was not struggling with any of that.

After that we drove on to Gatlinburg.  We will have a chance to go back through Nashville and maybe see some other sights.  We passed through Knoxville and will probably visit there as a day trip one day from the cabin.  We got to Gatlinburg fairly late and it was kind of scary climbing the mountain to find our cabin.  There were curvy roads, hairpin turns and a pretty steep escalation.  The GPS seemed to be confused, at times.  We finally found it.

The cabin is so lovely.  We rented a two bedroom and it definitely has that rustic cabin look, but with all of the amenities.  One sister and I shared a king-size bed downstairs and the other had one to herself upstairs.  She has sleeping issues and has to have a fan blowing on her all the time, so we left her to herself.  There is a fully equipped kitchen (no food, of course), two bathrooms, and the huge Jacuzzi tub in an open space in the upstairs bedroom.  There is also a hot tub on the front porch.  Haven't made use of that yet, but plan to.

As I said, we just hung around the cabin and rested today.  We are planning a day trip into North Carolina tomorrow to visit the Biltmore Estate.  Obviously, we like these historical kinds of things.

Hopefully tomorrow will be easier with more activity.  My energy level has been great, although when I am just sitting around or reading, I get sleepy.  All in all, I am doing extremely well, physically.  I cannot charge my scooter, so I will be walking tomorrow.  Hopefully the improved pain level will continue tomorrow and there will be places for me to sit down, periodically.  By the way, there has been almost no upper back pain since last Friday night at work.  I had a very bad day that day and felt like I could not sit at my desk one minute longer, but had to.  I ended up having to work until 8:15 p.m.  My entire back was hurting pretty badly when I left and I felt like I had been through the wringer.  I had one little bit of pain when I was making the bed this morning, but that is all.  I know all the time at my desk the last few weeks is bringing that on.

So, fasting on vacation is really strange, I know, but I am doing okay with it.  Today is the only time I have really struggled.  We will see how it goes.  I know there is more healing that needs to be done.  All of the things I see my sisters eat I cannot eat anyway, so there is no point in thinking about eating those things.  More freedom from pain is so much more important to me than that.  I believe my struggles today were cravings, not hunger.  I will do my best to discern the difference.  If true hunger returns, I will stop.

That's it.  I will write more when I can.

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