Posted in Health

Hurricane Irma

First, I would like to report that my doctor’s appointment went well. My numbers were better than I thought they would be. I do have some work to do though. My doctor was very encouraging and made me feel sure that I could do better. My blood sugar levels were okay. They could be better and I intend to do better. My son is back in school so I won’t have to resist any foods he usually has in the house. I guess I do need to discipline my self a little more.

Now, later today we will face what’s left of Hurricane Irma here in South Carolina. It’s about 5:45 a.m. here. She will be here by late afternoon or evening. By the time she gets here she will probably be downgraded to a tropical storm. I am about 56 miles north of Charleston. Of course, they are expecting some flooding in Charleston. It is possible that we could have some flood here in Saint Stephen as well but I don’t think any of the floodings will be anything like what happened in Texas or South Florida.

Ricki Kitty (my cat) is inside. She is anxious and pacing around the house. She is used to living outside. My hope is that she chooses to use the litter box instead of the bath tub or a corner in the house some place That would suck. I know she will be happy when the storm is over so she can get back to chasing birds and squirrels.

I will certainly be glad when this storm is over. I hate this time of year. We are well-informed about the storm. However, I am a little irritated by the media. It is hard for them to hide how giddy they are with this storm. They actually seem very excited about the storm and the potential and real damage happening, and I think it about ratings for them. I know that’s not true about everyone who works with the media. It is just very frustrating to watch sometimes.

Anyway, I’ll be glad when this is over and people who have had their property or homes destroyed can try to get their lives back. I am praying for the people of Florida and Texas. And there are people praying for us. I had family in Texas who had major damage to their homes. Several of them have called or texted me with encouragement and to find out if I’m ready or doing okay. I’m sure I will be.

 

 

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Posted in Health

Health Update Sept 2017

On this coming Tuesday, I have a doctors appointment to go over blood work I submitted about a month ago. I don’t expect a good report. I have struggled unbelievably to stay on my diet this year. The last time I had this meeting with the doctor my numbers were, for the most part, pretty damned good. Well, at least my numbers were certainly trending in the right direction.

I don’t know what I will hear this time. I will take it in stride, whatever I hear. I will simply keep fighting. I won’t ever quit trying to improve my health. I do seem to have a weakness when it comes to resisting foods that I don’t need. My best defense is still not to have those foods in the house. However, when I’m at someone else’s home my defenses seem to go out the window.

I’m also afraid I’ve begun to gain weight again. I have been reluctant to weigh myself. So I won’t know if I have gained weight until I go to the doctor’s office on Tuesday.

Needless to say, I will begin the week with the best of intentions and eat the right foods. If I don’t end up eating some place other than at home I will be fine. Really, I should have more discipline. But I can never seem to find it when needed. I will keep trying though. I will let you all know how it goes.

Last month’s visit with the orthopedic surgeon, I was told that my carpal tunnel was a mild case. He also told me that higher blood sugar levels could cause the tingling & numbness in my fingers and other extremities. It does seem to have lessened since I  began to be more diligent in watching the foods I am consuming.

The Doc also gave me braces to wear which immobilizes my wrists while sleeping. It seems to be helping. However, sometimes the braces seem to cause more pain than I had before. But I was told me to give it a couple of weeks to start improving. It has only been about a week and a half. I think they will ultimately help me to avoid surgery, which is always good.

That’s it for now, until next time.

Posted in Health

Followup on Carpal Tunnel

This week I have a followup with the surgeon about my carpal tunnel. I’m planning on requesting the surgery. I’m really tired of the pains and the tingling. I don’t want it to get worse. It is already affecting my ability to play my saxophone. My appointment is Thursday. Hopefully, I will be in surgery in the upcoming weeks.

I am a little worried though. My back surgery in 2010 caused more problems than it solved. My neck surgery last year seems to have created other problems, but nothing near as bad as my lower back surgery. So I haven’t really had good luck with surgeries. Hopefully, that won’t be the case with this surgery.

I hope everything goes okay. I really enjoy playing the saxophone. And one day I plan to be really good at it. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up😋. I just know it has to be musical. It’s the only thing I can do without extreme pain. I may even be willing be a cruise ship musician. Several of my Navy buddies have done it once they left the military. I don’t necessarily like riding on ships, especially non-navy ships.

Navy ships have what is called watertight integrity. That means all the doors throughout the ship become watertight once closed. This allows them to close off areas of the ship which may have been compromised. An example would be a torpedo blast. If the ship takes on water after the blast, that section of the ship can be closed off by “dogging down” the water-tight hatches leading to the flooded areas. If the ship list to one side a space on the opposite side can be flooded to balance the ship.

I said all of that to say Navy ships are safer than Cruise ships. And some of the cruise ship accents that I’ve heard about in the last several years were because of stupid human tricks. That is to say, human error. Anyway, that’s about all I have to say in this post. If you’d like to hear some of my musical progress you can find it at, https://tonelovette.wordpress.com.

Posted in Health

Health Update

Lately, I am having issues with numbness and tingling in my right hand, and sometimes my feet. I’m for sure that the foot issue is the result of pressure on my sciatic nerve. I initially thought the tingling in my right hand was carpal tunnel. Some of it may be, but, I think there is a problem with circulation. I say that because the problem seems to get worse when I lie down.

I didn’t just notice it recently. I’ve known for a while. I just assumed it was the carpal tunnel thing. It never occurred to me that it might be something else. Sometimes when I wake up I have extreme numbness in my right hand, and also there is a lot of pain; significant pain. It is not because I slept with my arm underneath me or in some weird position where I’m cutting off circulation. I sleep flat on my back.

So tomorrow I will be seeing my doctor again (sigh). The day after that I am also seeing a neurologist for a nerve study? It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be pleasant. I’m more concerned that it might be a circulation problem. A circulation problem would be indicative of an underlying problem with something else, like maybe the heart, or maybe I’m close to having a stroke. Those are worse case scenarios for me but that’s the kind of crap that runs in my family history.

Well, that’s all that is on my mind this morning. It’s time for breakfast and then to the practice room.

 

Posted in Health

Health Update

This morning I awoke with the usual numbness in my hands. When I finally got out of bed my legs were shaky and maybe even kind of weak. I walked a lot yesterday so I expected a little soreness. But the weakness was a little different and somewhat scary.

I am afraid I may have reached a point where I need to really, and I mean, really watch my blood sugar levels. I was already insulin resistant. The next stage is diabetes. I’m afraid that the next time my doctor does my next blood test I will get the sad news that I am diabetic.

In addition to my the weak feeling in my legs, I just didn’t feel right. I immediately thought of the pop-tarts I had for breakfast yesterday and the pizza for lunch. I was out of town with my daughter and son and their mom. We were at Limestone College where my daughter will be attending next year. I always seem to disregard my way of eating when traveling. And yesterday was an exceptional mishap in my diet.

I need to do better. I must do better. Diabetes is a killer. My mom had it. It made her life miserable. She had a real problem keeping her blood sugar under control. I had a cousin who’s blood sugar got so out of control she ended up in a coma. She died after only a few days.

It has been stressful knowing that there is a cyst on my kidney and a spot on my lung. I have received authorization to see a specialist. I just have to schedule the appointment. I guess I am stressing a little about my health. Now every time I feel the slightest abnormality my mind goes to the worst possible scenario.

So I guess I should make my appointments with my various doctors and get some updates on my health so I know where I stand. I will let you all know when I have news.

Posted in Health

Today’s Doctor Visit

Well, I finally went to the doctor today. Actually, I ended up at the emergency room on this past Saturday for a very sharp pain in my left side. They initially thought I might have a kidney stone, so they did a CT scan. There were no stones, but they found a cyst on my left kidney. And that is why I was in the doctor’s office today following up.

I think we’ve determined that I had a muscle spasm as far as the pain in my side which stemmed from an area in my lower back. However, my doctor has scheduled a full work up of my kidneys to determine if there is something serious is going on there. I think it is probably nothing and hopefully, the test will bear that out.

The CT scan on Saturday also showed something on my left lung. We will be checking this out as well. Both items are very very small. They just want to make sure nothing serious is going on.

So, I covet any prayers. But again, I’m not worried that they are going to find anything serious going on.

Posted in Health

Awake Again

Lately, I have been able to sleep again at nights when I am supposed to be. For the longest time, probably 2 years, I have suffered insomnia. No matter how I tried I could not fall asleep at night. And then, of course, I couldn’t stay awake during the day. Pretty soon it became kind of permanent. I didn’t think I’d ever get back on track.

I don’t know what happened recently, but for the last 3 weeks or so I have been going to bed kind of early (before 11). For the most part, I have remained asleep for most of the night.

I am pleased to be awake with most of the rest of the world. It is an awful thing to be awake at a time when nothing is open and everyone you know is asleep.

Actually, it may have been the music practice. While I was still awake at nights I started practicing the saxophone at around 4 in the morning. Several times I got so into it that I was staying awake later and later in the mornings. Normally I’d be falling asleep around 8 in the morning. The more I practiced, the later I stayed awake in the mornings. Then I was staying awake into the afternoons. I guess before I knew what I was doing I had reversed my sleep schedule.

It has been easier to stay on my diet as well. I had not made the connection until now. I have also resumed losing weight. Probably due to access to more activities now that I’m awake a the right time of the day.

How ever I got here I’m glad to be back on the day shift. I’m glad to be practicing music again. Soon I hope to be reaching new levels on the saxophone. And of course, I intend to continue regaining my health through diet and exercise.

 

Posted in Health, surgery

Report on my Dad

daddyI am back home in South Carolina now. For the past two weeks, I had been in Texas visiting my Father, who has been ill. I went there because when I heard about his condition it scared me. I lost my mom in 2013 and I never had the chance to tell her how much she meant to me. I wasn’t about to miss that chance with my dad.

I was there to assess what his health actually was. It was not as dire as it could have been, or as bad as my imagined scenario. And now that he is getting the proper help he will be even better. I left him in good hands with my brother and two sisters and his nieces and nephews; all of whom care about and love him very much.

achalasiaHis issue was related to not being able to eat. His diagnosis is a condition called, Achalasia.

Achalasia is a rare disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. It is characterized by enlargement of the esophagus, impaired ability to push food down toward the stomach (peristalsis), and failure of the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), to relax. It is the contraction and relaxation of the sphincter that moves food through the tube (http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/achalasia).

For the past two weeks my dad has been on a clear liquids diet; chicken and beef broth, protein shakes, juice, and water. He is very tired of it. He has lost a lot of weight. He is being scheduled for surgery to improve the condition. The goal is to dilate the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, or lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which will hopefully enable him to eat more solid food again.

Coughing Man - ArrowsNow I was adopted, and I don’t think this condition is one that is hereditary. I think anyone can get it. I have already had problems with a hiatal hernia and GERD. I have taken medications for years to reduce acid reflux. I now control it by not over eating, and not eating certain types of foods. You’re probably thinking I avoid spicy foods, but you’d be wrong. It is high carb foods that are the real problem. My digestive system does not appreciate high carb foods. I get gassy, painful digestive movements, and the worst smelling waste possible in a human. Whereas, when I eat high-fat carb and high fat diet digestion is very easy, less gassy, and therefore painless, and waste is not so smelly.

When I first encountered the problem of gerd/hiatal hernia I was in my 30’s. I ate a lot (I mean a lot) of high carb foods. I was literally stuffing myself beyond my stomach’s capacity. I also ate very fast. Maybe its a military thing. My father was in the military and also eats a lot (more than he should), and he eats very fast. I think the way we eat has a lot to do with digestive conditions we may develop later in life.

I am glad my father is getting the help he needs. I hope he will slow down and eat better foods. I have, and I feel 100% better when I really stick to low carb and high fat, or Keto. This is not where I was intending to go with this post. I guess it was on my mind more so since my dad’s recent stomach issues. Well I guess I will end this here.

Take care yourself and your digestive system. It is very important in the long run.

Posted in Health

In Texas for mY Dad

My dad has been sick lately with some digestive issues. So on Saturday, I drove to Texas to assist him with doctors visits. The issue he is having will require surgery, which we are hoping will take place on tomorrow with Dr. Zamil, a gastroenterologist at Hermann Memorial hospital.

His condition caused him not to be able to eat. He hasn’t been able to swallow or digest any food. A surgery on his esophagus will get things back to near normal. He has gotten weak from a lack of nutrition. He was also dehydrated, so we took him to the hospital on Monday. He is feeling better after receiving fluids and meds for pain caused by constant vomiting.

I am looking forward to a full recovery. My dad was always a strong willed man. He was also strong physically. It is very disconcerting to see him in this weakened condition. Hopefully, this will all be over soon.

Posted in Fitness, Health

Missing Youth

I read a great post the other day on https://dictionarydutch.wordpress.com.  The post was called, Acceptance (aka It’s Better To Humour Yourself Than To Have Someone Else Do It For You). It was about accepting yourself and not worrying about what others think about you. She had come to the realization that she was not ugly, and that she looks good. I agree with her.

I used to think I was ugly when I was young. Then when I was older, like Sam, I realized that I was not ugly and that I looked good. Now I’m even older and I know for a fact that I am quite ugly, but I don’t care. These days I mostly care about being healthy.

I still care about the way I look. And I know that I’m not that ugly, but youth had its perks. Every time I go to one of my daughter’s ballgames I long to be able to run without pain. Though, no matter how healthy I am, I will not be able to run without pain ever again. Youth. I took it for granted when I had it; just like my son and daughter do now. I never doubted I would be able to run for as long or as fast as I wanted, ever. However, at 54, and have degenerative disc disease, running is not an option. I can’t even do many of the exercises in the gym that I used to do.

Youth is powerful. So, if you still have it, enjoy it. I never ate healthy when I was young. I developed some not so healthy habits in that area. I drank too much alcohol and I only exercised enough to keep my job in the Navy. Youth is the only way I could do that. Now I couldn’t pass a physical fitness test if my life depended on it. Ironically it sort of does.

I do get as much exercise as my body will allow; mostly walking. I also do some exercises that only require my body weight. I do what I can do. The weird thing is that on the inside I still feel young. On the outside, there is just pain. As I have stated before, aging is not for cowards.

So for sure I truly hope for that new body that the apostle Paul was talking about. I long for youth again.