Posted in Health

Time for a Checkup

I am headed to the doctor’s office this morning. I have had somewhat of a relapse with my right hand. I had carpal tunnel corrective surgery in December. It was doing fine until a few weeks ago. I believe pulling the parking brake lever on the school bus re-injured my hand. When pulled out, the lever sends a shock wave through my hand. After three months of that my dominant hand is becoming my weaker hand because of the new pain in my wrist.

So today I am basically going to my doctor to be referred to the doctor who did the surgery. And not only for my right hand, but, my left also, which is showing the symptoms I had in the right before surgery. I also have an ear infection which has been with me since the beginning of April. I have gone through two rounds anti-biotics yet it persists.

Also, the pain in my neck has increased to a level I can’t even describe. Sometimes it feels like there is a knife in my neck (or what I imagine a knife in the neck feels like). And sometimes it feels like really hot water is being poured down my back starting at my neck.

So I’m hoping to see both the surgeons who operated on my hand and my neck. Sometimes I feel like I’m falling apart. I will also be giving some blood for my annual checkup. I’m not looking forward to that.

 

Advertisements
Posted in Health

My Makeover

What exactly is a makeover anyway? What exactly should I be trying to achieve? Am I trying become a skinny person? I don’t think that is actually going to happen. I think I love food too much, and that includes all the ones that are supposed to be terrible for you.

I think maybe I am, or maybe should be, trying to simply develop a healthier attitude about foods in general. I still like the Ketogenic diet. It is easy to follow and a fairly healthy way of eating. However, I find that I am prone to taking advantage of the higher fat intake with the wrong kinds of fat. I have been doing better with that part. This year so far I am mostly overdoing it with the carbs. As you may know, the ketogenic diet is low carb by design.

I don’t ever remember being especially concerned about my appearance when it came to weight. However, before I turned 40 I had never been heavier than 185 – 195 pounds. When I turned 40 things just seemed to slow down; my metabolism, my running speed, and my energy level went way down. I got out of the Navy when I was 44. I feigned injury to get out of my final Physical readiness test (PRT). I would have probably hurt myself doing it anyway.

So when I began writing this blog I had just had my 50th birthday in March. The month I started writing (Sept), is the month my Mom died. She was my best friend. Nothing could have prepared me for such a loss. I was, and am, affected deeply by this event. I think sadness sometimes has a lot to do with the way we eat. Some of the times I ended up eating when I’m not hungry are times I thought to pick up the phone and call my Mom, having forgotten for a fraction of a second that she is gone. There are, of course, other triggers. I think this is what is meant by emotional eating. Everyone probably does it.

As far as controlling weight gain I believe exercise is half of the equation, but sometimes injuries can keep that from happening. I have had a lower lumbar fusion, two levels. I have had the same type of surgery on my neck, level C6. The one thing I am never without is physical pain. My doctors always ask me what my pain level has been between visits (1-10). Mine is always between 5 & 10. Most days it is around 8.

So, I don’t know what kind of a makeover am trying to achieve or could expect. I once thought that if I lost weight maybe my pain level wouldn’t be so high. I’m not sure I believe that anymore, mainly because I don’t think I will ever lose enough weight, but also because degenerative disc disease is, well, degenerative. So, a makeover I may need or want, but, I don’t know what that actually means.

Maybe, in the beginning, I wanted to prove I could lose a lot of weight, and be able to post before and after photos. Now I don’t care about that part of it. Some days I just want to feel sane or normal and feel good physically. Maybe I suffer depression. I don’t know. Perhaps a makeover of the mind is in order.

So, I don’t know what a makeover means for me. I will always try to watch my weight. At my age its a sensible thing to do. I want a healthy mind and emotions. Maybe when that happens (and I believe it will) I will have a better relationship with food, or a healthier one anyway.

Posted in Diet, Health

Cures of the Right Diet

Today I have realized that I have been without any form of antacid for over 3 weeks. In 1993 the doctor diagnosed me as having GERD or a Hiatal hernia. I don’t think the doctors actually knew which one. They were Navy Docs.

A Hiatal Hernia – A condition in which part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm muscle.

I don’t think this is actually what it was!

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. The weak esophageal ring allows acid to enter the esophagus.

This sounds more like what I was experiencing

Since that time in 1993, I have taken every antacid ever produced in the pharmaceutical industry. That’s what it feels like anyway. 24 Years! TWENTY-FOUR YEARS!!!! I don’t even think the stuff is good for you.  Earlier years on some of those drug labels I remember reading that it was a temporary treatment, but, I took them for 24 years.

I wrote a post earlier in my progress about how my stomach situation seemed to improve on the Ketogenic diet. But when I began to veer off my diet the symptoms returned.

Today I suddenly realize how long I have gone without my Nexium. I have meant to buy it but never got around to it. I haven’t even mastered being back on my diet yet. I have been fairly consistent, but I’m not all the way there yet. I don’t think it is only the diet that counts. It has to have something to do with how much I eat. When I know I’m eating something that could give me heartburn symptoms I certainly don’t eat a lot of it.

With GERD, I realize that how much food I consume at one setting is very important in keeping digestive acids in my stomach where they belong and not my esophagus. A few times in the last 3 weeks I have had to drink about a half cup of water with about a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in. This neutralizes the acid and gives heartburn relief. Other than those few times everything has been pretty good.

I would like never to have to take antacids again. To do this, staying on the right foods plays a key role, and gives me another incentive to keep at it.

 

Posted in Diet, goals, Health

My Fitness Pal

One of the reasons I was so successful in 2015 with my diet was the MyFitnessPal website and mobile app. It lets you set your nutrient goals, calorie intake, and helps you to see exactly how you are doing as long as you are inputting your meals.

During that year I recorded every meal. I got instant feedback about my nutrients. I knew exactly where I stood throughout the day and could adjust accordingly. It is an extremely helpful website and app.

One of the reasons I began to falter was the holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. The other reason was that I thought I was able to do without the app. Sure, once you have been doing your diet a while you should be able to do without having to depend on an app. But if you are like me the app helps to remind you that you are trying to accomplish something. It reminds you that you have a goal. And it helps to keep on track.

Will I ever be able to go without the app? Maybe, but, why mess with success. So this week I have resumed using the app to monitor my meals, food & nutrient intake through MyFitnessPal. There are also other apps that are just as helpful, but my favorite is the one I’ve been writing about here.

There are others you can check out. All of these apps are available on both iTunes & Android:

I find that I need all the help I can get.

Posted in Health

Wow It Really Is Winter

It’s about 10:15 at night on January 3. I am just now feeling like this cold is letting go. My headache is finally gone. My nose has stopped running, and I don’t feel so miserable anymore. What a way to start the year.

Today the weather seemed relentless. The temperatures were consistently lower than 27º. Then it began to sleet. I was surprised. I didn’t think it would last long but it lasted most of the day. Before I knew it my little neighborhood looked very wintery.

 

IMG_0361I opened the door for the cat to go out. She ran out as usual onto the porch then took a giant leap to the ground trying to escape the white stuff. When she landed on the ground she froze for about 20 seconds. Then she slowly makes her way back into the house. I believe she thinks I’m responsible for the ice on the ground.

Of course, this isn’t even close to what’s happening in New York or Cannada. But for us here in the south, it’s a little bit of a big deal. Things tend to shut down around here when there is snow on the ground. We’re just not prepared for such weather. It looks pretty, but it’s got to go.

Anyway, this post is to say I am feeling better for the first time in days. Though, I am concerned what my electric bill will be, as I have had to run the heat quite a bit in the last few days. I have some cleaning to do. While not feeling well I have failed to straighten the place up. I believe our external existence reflects our inner existence.

Posted in Diet, goals, Health

Still Hanging On

belly barrow

It is and has been a slow process to try to get back on track with my diet. I know it will probably be even more difficult with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coming up, but I am determined. By the new year, I really want to be back on track with my diet & exercise, and feeling better.

Today when I got out of bed I did some stretching because I have been having more back pain than usual. I thought it might be because I had been gaining weight. However, on the scale, I had only gained a pound since the last time I weighed in. So, I suppose it is because I have not been exercising. During the winter months before summer, I had been walking every other day. So the exercise had been helping with the pain.

I need to be in shape anyway. Next summer I plan to audition for a gig onboard a cruise ship as a musician. They have a health standard just like the Navy, but not near as hard to meet. Not that the Navy’s standard was that difficult, but it did involve being able to meet some physical activity requirements. The cruise ship just wants to make sure I don’t fall over dead before my contract is finished.

I have, of course, been practicing the saxophone for about a year and a half. I think I will be ready by summer. I have also promised to play at my church at some point. I will keep my promise. And if possible, I would like to play with some of the musicians in the Charleston area; at least a jam session or something, or, maybe a solo gig in a restaurant or coffee shop.

Anyway, the bottom line is I will not give up. I have a plethora of reasons to keep at it, number one being my health. I’m only 54. I’m too young to quit. I will keep you all informed about the ship thing. For more about playing music, you can follow my music blog tonelovette.wordpress.com.

 

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.

 

 

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.