Sunday, January 29, 2012

This is the Way We Pop A Hip....

This
is my new toy for popping my pelvic bones back into place.

These
are my new toys to help keep the pelvic bones where they are supposed to be.  After 2 months of therapy, my muscles have grown strong enough to require a bit of help in order to be worked.   I do my physical therapy exercises every day.........and that silly 25 minute walk on Friday really did knock my hip back out of line again.  Dang it!

So today I went to the pool to walk laps again, and feeling rebellious and angry, I did things I'm probably not supposed to do.  At the deepest part of the pool (only actually 4 feet as Idaho Athletic Club skimped on everything in this gym) I ran instead of walked.  I did grapevine as fast as I could.  Then I ran some more.  For two and a half months I've been doing everything I'm supposed to be doing and my hip is still "fragile."  I keep breaking the bands they give me for resistance walking exercises and finally had to be upgraded to the toughest band they have and I still can't walk 25 minutes.  I'm angry and frustrated and impatient, and at least if I caused my hip to go out again I'll know it was doing things I shouldn't  have done instead of the ones I'm supposed to be doing.   Sometimes you just have to rebel.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Well, Dang!

She who brags about how good she was on her walk is about to learn how to pop her own damn hip back into place.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ta-Da!

It's sunny and I was able to go for a walk!!!!!!

I have not been able to go outside for a walk since mid-November, and because my physical therapist now knows that I consider moderation mostly just an "m" word in the dictionary, I have been given very strict limits on what I'm allowed to do each week.  This week I can try walking OUT of the pool IF I walk at a slower clip AND more gently than my previous treadmill attempt.  No incline, no speed, no impact.  And I did it!  (I think)  I did 25 minutes, and I went so slowly and so gently that I don't think I even raised my heartbeat (note to self: dress much warmer than normal for these "pokey walks").  The big test is probably in the morning.  If I have back spasms, I haven't managed that "moderation" concept after all.......

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lessons Learned This Week

*  51 weeks of the year, having all yearly checkups in one week sounds like a great idea

*  Have storage figured out BEFORE quadrupling a soup recipe

*  The age where discussing joint pain becomes a pick-up line is younger than I thought it might be

*  Remembering that the reason I own water shoes in the first place is because the bottom of the pool is very, very rough BEFORE scratching up my feet walking barefoot in the pool for an hour would have been the smarter choice...



Sunday, January 22, 2012

1 Down, 11 To Go

Recently a friend of mine posted on Facebook that her doctor had advised her to lose 10 pounds.  After being shocked by the number of people who commented that she needed to find a different doctor and trying to be supportive, I suggested she do something fun with it--like made a goal of trying 12 new fruits/veggies this year.  Well, that DOES sound like fun to me, so I decided Andy and I should do it as well.  Next time I went grocery shopping, I looked for something we had never tried before, and proudly came home with red bananas.  Andy was all for it, so I pealed the first one, we each took a bite....

and we hate them.  Chalky, bitter, and with an aftertaste that is almost impossible to get rid of.  We assumed then that they were a eat-cooked-only sort of fruit, but when I searched on the internet, they receive rave reviews for an "eat fresh" banana.  So we're hoping that perhaps the ones I bought were rather green and that they improve as they ripen.......and are very thankful I only bought two of the things. 

Let's hope experiment number two is more successful.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Have New Workout Buddies!

After shoveling the 6-inches of snow we received on Wednesday, my back was understandably sore on Thursday, so I went to the pool for an hour of swimming and walking to loosen up some of the muscles.  It felt so good that I decided to go again on Friday, and seem to have picked THE most popular time to be there.  When I arrived, there was a woman whom I believe to be in her 60s swimming laps, an older gentleman (late 70s or early 80s I would guess) walking laps in the pool WHILE using hand weights, and an extremely fit man of perhaps 60-65 also walking laps.  We were quite the busy group, and were soon joined by two large men with larger beer bellies who--in the presence of such activity--chose to sit in the pool and chat rather than bestir themselves to any similar exercise.  Personally, I was inspired by my other compatriots to pick up my pace just a bit as I think I was the slowest of the walkers.  I eventually met the oldest gent as he walked quite as long as I did, and found that he was walking one mile in the pool for his "cool-down" as he had already lifted weights AND walked THREE miles on the treadmill for his daily exercise.  He was as genuinely nice as he was inspiring, so I added arm weights to MY walking as well.  He was quite right--it did add to the workout, and I'm hoping to get a bit of practice in before next Friday to make sure I can keep up with him.  He knew the lady swimming, but I haven't had a chance to meet her yet, as her workout comprised 90 laps of swimming (I believe all crawl-stroke) without any stops.  I made a note of the time I arrived at the gym just to make sure I know when to hit the gym on Fridays.  Besides being the friendliest people I have encountered in the pool, the delight of watching all the condescending young men who were peeved at finding an "old lady" taking up the one roped-off lap lane only to find themselves finished swimming laps before she even stopped for rest was QUITE entertaining.  :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Well, How Dumb Am I?

Yesterday Boise got its first real snowfall of the year--dumping around 6 inches in one day.  I hurt my back two months ago.  A smart person might have though this would be a good way to get out of shoveling snow.  And what did I do?  Check with my spine doctor ahead of time to make sure it would be okay for me to shovel snow when and if we ever got any.

WHAT WAS I THINKING???????????????????????????????

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reading Challenge

I haven't written anything about this year's goals yet--things have been busy and a bit disoriented with the back issues--but to start with, I made my 100 books goal again, though there were some VERY short books thrown in at the end.  This year I am doing it again, though I have vowed to not get behind so early.

I'm still enjoying going through so many books, but because so many of the books weren't that great, I have decided to treat myself with a little Jane Austen marathon to kick off the year's reading/listening.  I'm doing them all as audio books because I've got a lot of work to do to catch up from my downtime with my back, and I've realized that it FEELS like it takes longer to listen to a bad 6-disc book than to listen to a good 20-disc book.  Last night I finished Jigsaw by Anthea Fraser, and I had known I didn't like it after the first disc, but I convinced myself to listen to the other 5 discs because it was "short."  I will NOT be making that mistake again.  I have been criticized for being too "elitist" in my literary tastes and I have been trying to be a bit more open-minded, but enough is enough.  People can like badly-written books, but it doesn't change the fact that they are badly written.  If dialogue sounds like nothing two people on the entire planet would ever say, it's bad.  People can still like the book, but it's still bad dialogue.  If a nonfiction book presents flawed logical arguments, it doesn't matter how many copies it sells or if it's made into a movie--it's still poorly written.  I do not have to keep apologizing for having formally studied logic and can pinpoint where arguments stop being logic and start being [empty] rhetoric.  If someone wants to write and can't master his or her native language well enough to write within the actual rules of that language, I don't have to pretend that it's okay.  I don't know why we've rebelled so much against facts and intellectualism, but I'm tired of playing.  LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR SUCH BAD BOOKS!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Best Quote of the Day

"Watching these Republicans debate on MLK day is like going to a Mel Gibson movie on Yom Kippur."
 --Anthony Borowitz

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Things I Have Learned This Week

*  Walking in a pool for an hour is pretty tiring if you've spent a fair bit of the last 7 weeks laying on heating pads

*  Sunny winter days are mostly frustrating if the cold irritates your back too much to go walking and driving around involves too much sitting

*  I realize that it's a very, very bad thing for water levels, but I'm hoping our lack of snow and ice continues until my hip/back issue is completely resolved

*  It may save space to try to use the resistance balls at the gym instead of buying your own, but it would also require a much different attitude toward dirt and grime

*  A heating pad gets surprisingly hotter with a large cat stretched out on top of the person laying on the heating pad

*  A surprising number of people go the pool at our gym and just sit on the steps. 

*  The idea that I might have actually injured myself by walking on a treadmill makes me far more cautious about going up and down the stairs--and makes that bubble wrap ensemble fairly tempting.........


Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Treadmill Privileges Have Been Revoked

I may be the first person in history to have her treadmill privileges revoked during physical therapy.  It turns out that "no impact" in the physical therapy world doesn't simply mean "don't run."  It also seems to mean "no incline, no speed, and walk like your grandmother."  The re-alignment that we've worked so hard to achieve is still quite fragile, and after my nice 30-minute workout of relatively-gentle hill walking, I found out at physical therapy yesterday that the other hip had now turned and was causing the morning back spasms I'd experienced the previous two days.  After 20 minutes of being yanked back into alignment and a visit with the spine doctor today, I have been banished to the elliptical machine (gentle), swimming, and walking in the pool and have been assigned one more month of physical therapy.  Oops.

Monday, January 9, 2012

This is the Plan

The biggest problem with canning--well, besides that all that standing being what actually uncovered the hip problem that resulted in the emergency room saga--is that one needs lots of storage space if one has lots of jars.  Since I was incapacitated at the time, Andy rearranged the storage space underneath the stairs, and got all the jars put away:
In other years, I have put flats of jars away as they were filled, but that left me with rummaging around through entire flats of jam or salsa while looking for something totally different--like relish.  This year I thought it might be easier to mix jars up into flats of things that might be needed around the same time.  So, yesterday I pulled out one of the flats
and moved all but a few jars into our pantry.  Admittedly, one does not always need a new jar of green tomato chutney, but carrot salsa is always nice to have on hand, and the roasted red pepper spread is simply a treasure.  So, I think this is good.  The one problem is, of course, if one had something specific in mind--like the salsa I was actually after when I crawled into the closet in the first place.  In that scenario, it's a bit like the scavenger hunt from hell.  I'm thinking that I just need to change my expectations a bit.  While I might have had taco salads in mind, when one finds roasted garlic pasta sauce and has some pasta to put it on and has a green side salad with it, one still has lunch.  I have decided to just treat this as my own personal Iron Chef contest, and shall just hope that the flats with the more unusual items--piccalilli relish and green tomato chutney--are well spread out throughout the crawl space. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Whoops

When one finally gets the artificial tree taken apart, folded, and stuffed snugly in the box,
only to suddenly hear the box ringing is still probably better than if it had been 5 minutes later when the tree AND the cell phone would have been out on a garage shelf.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Things I Have Learned From Physical Therapy

*  Being switched to once-a-week therapy might mean you're making good progress, but it also seems to mean that it can take a full week to recover from each session.

*  Doing one's homework exercises faithfully might, sadly, surprise the therapist.  Other people must enjoy pain much more than I do.

*  After having to be rescued from the bathroom floor while in my crossword puzzle pajamas by 8 strong young men, my battered ego has gotten a little boost from my being more flexible than my young therapist and his assistants.

*  One can learn a lot about human muscle structure by what hurts after what exercise.

*  The doctor who prescribed the Valium for after physical therapy appointments really knew what he was talking about.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not Quite Average

It's interesting how things change around us when we don't seem to have changed ourselves.  For years, every doctor I've ever seen has commented that I must be pretty active--which I generally have been--because all my life I've had what they referred to as a "runner's heart."  I don't know if the term is still used, but it just meant that my heart rate is slower than normal.  It always has been.

Thanks to the recent fun with my back and either my age or seeing a doctor who didn't have my medical history or a change in medical practices, this is now a "potential problem" that I could be referred to a cardiologist for.  I suppose I can't really blame him--if you faint in the ER you're probably going to be tested for everything--but as the cardiologist could only do something ghastly like give me a pacemaker that would rev my heart up faster than it generally EVER goes and I would probably feel like I was about to explode, I refused.  They already checked to make sure I didn't have a heart murmur, but were quite concerned that I had been fainting.  I was a bit concerned myself as I'd never done it before and just waking up in a different place than you were a second ago is a shock for anyone, but my slow heartbeat and I made it to the age of 41 without passing out EVER, so I'm not too worried.  My sister, who has a normal heart rate, faints all over the place and once even managed to fall forward out of the ophthalmologist's chair during an appointment.  As I'm not taking any medications that I'm unaware of, nor do I have a heart murmur, I'm not terribly worried about the heart rate thing myself, but I am a bit worried about the medical community in the future.  Now that they can't just chalk it up to "normal for a young healthy person," am I going to spend the rest of my life being hooked up to EKG machines every time I need to see a doctor?  Am I going to be stalked by cardiologists wanting to give me a pacemaker?  Is this all happening because I'm over 40, or have we so homogenized healthcare in America that "normal" can now only be what is average and not "normal" for a particular individual?  Geez, and I hated seeing doctors BEFORE all of this.....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And We Bid Christmas Good-Bye...

The Christmas ornaments are coming down,
and I think this year's music-themed decoration scheme really might be my favorite one yet.  I seem to be the only one amongst my friends to do different "themes," though I think the idea might be taken up by some of them next year.  Friend/enabler............it's such a fine line..................

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Question for the Day

Am I annoyed because the cat enjoys walking across the laptop and somehow just managed to open a chat window with a total stranger, or am I annoyed because my cat has figured out how to do something on the computer that I don't know how to do?????

The New Additions

Shortly after moving, we had to put our oldest cat down, so we have adopted 2 new kittens to keep Theo company: Mostly Theo is not thr...