Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gonna be a looooong day ...

Yes, this will be a long (but fun) day.
I have physio today (which I need, badly).
Then I'm meeting two very good friends for lunch and to pass the afternoon until I pick up my little chickadee at her work.
From there, I'm guessing that we'll go pick up my beautiful boy at his daycare.
Then we go to my hair appointment (time to get beautiful again).
And then we all go for supper.  My beautiful boy has chosen Wendy's for this outing; his mom has instructed me on what I can do to be his "hero," a role I'm always willing to play.
We will spend the evening packing my car for their upcoming camping trip (I "rent" them my vehicle which is larger than theirs, so it's better able to accommodate all their "stuff").
My rental fee is "hugs and kisses" -- they like my rates a lot.
Tomorrow morning, my little chickadee will take me to my doctor's appointment (I can't drive her car, it's a standard transmission).
When we get back from there, we will all go out for breakfast before heading back to my place with both vehicles (theirs and mine).
They will leave their car parked at my place whilst they take my car camping (leaving me "wheel-less" for the duration, but I'm fairly certain that if I need to go anywhere, my husband will take me if I ask).
On Monday (August 2nd), they'll return my car to me, and take their car for the balance of their return trip home.
BUT, they will leave most of their paraphernalia in my vehicle because it won't fit in theirs.
And when I go into the big city on Wednesday (August 4th) for my next physio appointment, I will go to their place to unload the car of their effects.
Complicated isnt' it?
Oh, what one won't do for those one loves.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I walked this morning ...

I did indeed -- I walked 16 minutes too.
And that damned hill is going to do me in yet!
This time, my heart rate was only 110 and I was dragging bottom (again, John offered a hand to pull me up but I insisted I was going to get there on my own steam).
This is craziness!
Why is it getting more difficult with each outing, rather than easier?
I just don't understand.
Seems to me it should be getting easier each time.
This morning, I wore my TENs machine, followed by my compression shorts, plus my back brace -- and still I couldn't do it without great difficulty.
What else do I have to do?
John has suggested that we avoid the hill altogether; that we head out in the other direction where there is no hill to contend with, mostly flat surface.
And I guess that's not a bad idea, in the scheme of things.
There are slight inclines along the way but nothing like the hill that we've been facing each morning.
So I guess on Friday (which is the next day I'll be able to walk), we'll go the "boring route" and see if I can pick up my pace at all.
Because walking at the pace I've been going lately can't possibly be a "work out" of any kind: witness the fact that I'm not losing any weight (in fact, my weight continues to climb!).
I see my doctor on Thursday morning and will discuss the matter of my lungs with him; perhaps we need to address my asthma a little more vigourously than we have been.  Maybe that's all that's wrong right now; this heat wave that we've been "enjoying" has really taken a toll on me, and my lungs seem to be in a constant state of aggravation.
Oh the joys ...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Now it seems to be my lungs ...

That's right -- my lungs.  They simply aren't happy right now.
After waking yesterday morning feeling like I'd been run over by 20 mack trucks, I spent the day in and out of sleep.  Just wasn't up to anything all day long.
Prior to signing off last night, I announced to John that I must be coming down with something because my throat was sore.
And I woke every hour, but the kicker came when I woke up before midnight looking for my puffer.
I had been dreaming that I was choking but I guess I really was choking because I kind of came to as I was standing at the dresser, fumbling around for something, and John was asking me what I was doing.
"I'm looking for ...." I mumbled.
I remember the incident clearly; John has no recollection of it at all.  Apparently I was right out of it; I couldn't even think of the name of what it was I was trying to locate.
Eventually, I "found" the damned thing, inhaled twice and went back to bed.
I continued to wake every hour all night long.  (Do you know how many hours there are between midnight and 5:00am?   Answer:  LOTS)
Anyway, once again, I opted not to walk today.
My body just isn't up to the challenge.
Besides feeling like I haven't slept, my lungs really aren't happy.
So, another day of enforced rest.
I'm hoping this doesn't continue too much longer (or progress into anything too serious).
After all, I have plans ... places to go, people to see, and things to do ... no time to be sick!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mack came back ...

As in, mack the truck that is.
With a vengeance.
Nobody told me they changed routes again.
Haven't been any mack trucks through this way in a long time.
But last night --- ooooooooooooooooooooooooh.
Many mack trucks came through.
This morning, I woke barely able to move.
My entire body is aching like I've been put through a wringer.
Shoulders and upper back are especially sore.
So there was no walk today.
Instead, this is a second day of rest, whether I like it or not.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day and I can get back on track.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Damn this cursed hip anyway!

So I walked my 16 minutes again this morning.
That damned hill continues to be a challenge, too.
My physiotherapist advised me to slow my pace until I could do the hill without putting myself in stress (ie to the point where I couldn't breathe).  She explained that if I were being put through the "stress test" and got to that point, they would stop me right there (which means they would stop me when my heart rate reached 119 or higher).  She also said that one of the worst things a person could do is stop suddenly -- they should slow down and gradually get the heart rate back to a comfortable level.
So, the past two days, I slowed my pace and tackled the hill.
On Wednesday, my heart rate got up to 120 and I was gasping for air:  still working too hard.
Yesterday, I made it to the top with a heart rate of 115 and my breathing was still laboured:  have to go slower tomorrow.
So today, I slowed even more and managed to get to the top of the hill, with great difficulty I might add (John even offered to take my hand and "pull" me up):  my heart rate was only 113 this time but I was still struggling for air.  However, it seemed to me that my right hip and leg were more of the problem than my lungs or heart.  My leg didn't want to propel me up that hill, causing my heart to work harder but apparently it wasn't working as hard as it has on other outings to get me up that hill.
Guess I take up the discussion with my physiotherapist again and ask her what this all means.
Obviously, my hip is becoming increasingly aggravated with each outing (or I have to put more rest time between outings).  My hip starts objecting with almost the first step of the incline.
Now, once I'm "over the hill" and my heart rate gets back to a more comfortable level (it seems to be happy at 103-110), my breathing becomes more stable.
But I don't feel like I'm "working out" at that point; it seems like I'm going for a stroll, not a brisk walk.
So how do I balance the need for one with the limitation of the other?
If all I'm going to do is walk at a heart rate of 103 (which seems to be the average that I am able to maintain, because of the pain in my hip), I could do that without leaving my home, just doing routine stuff.
I mean, really, I can get my heart rate up over 100 just putting on my shoes!
Or doing a load of laundry.
Or loading the dishwasher.
Or folding the laundry.
Or making the bed.
Or, for that matter, taking a shower and blow drying my hair -- that takes everything I have (heart rate goes to 124-129)!
Which begs the question:  What's the point of the walks?
It's not like I'm losing any weight, because that's just not happening (unfortunately).
I am four weeks into this walking program and nada!
I've made no progress; all I've done is aggravate my right hip.
My left hip is hanging in, surprisingly, since that steroid injection.
But my right hip?  It's starting to scream in agony from anything and everything again.
Tomorrow is a rest day, being Saturday and big newspaper day.
On Sunday, I'll try walking with the TENs machine attached and see if that helps at all.
Otherwise, this might be another program that goes by the wayside until we find something that solves the puzzle that is my right hip.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Genesis of a Nightmare

I have had a recurring nightmare for most of my life.
Never knew why or from where it came.
All I know is that the dream is always the same, and it terrifies me.
In the dream, I am trapped in a cellar, backed up against a pillar post, and wolf-like dogs are coming at me, snarling and threatening to attack and tear me to shreds. (I always wake up, in a sweat, heart pounding in terror, before the actual tearing me to shreds part happens.)
The dream never varies and is always extremely vivid.
As a result of this recurring nightmare, I have a distinct fear of all barking dogs, regardless of their size.  I also can't deal with even a friendly dog wanting to "kiss" me or play with me when it starts growling and showing its teeth (even though today, as an adult, I know it is playing).  This fear extends to John's dog, Toop, and every dog that went before her, and you've never met friendlier dogs than the English Setter breed.
Anyway, the reason I'm talking about this nightmare is because yesterday, I discovered the genesis of that horrific dream.
Some months ago, I was reminded of a book set that my father had when I was a child.
It was a treasured set and he introduced each of us to it as we reached an age where we were reading and, I guess, were old enough to treat the books with the respect that they commanded.
My sister remembers the set too, but we don't know what happened to it when my father's personal effects were distributed.  Apparently, none of us received it but each of us thought it was coming to us on his demise.
So I went on a quest to find a copy.
It didn't take long to identify the set in question -- it had distinctly hideous drawings -- and as soon as I saw it on the net, I knew it was the right one.  Turns out it was published in 1943 -- the year my parents married.  I can only assume that it's importance to my father was its publication date (other than it was a first-run copy and he loved books).
Eventually, I found a "new" set at a price I was willing to pay, ordered it and arranged a convoluted method of getting it to me (thank you my little chickadee and your "June bug friend" for your assistance with that little project).
And yesterday, the books arrived at my door.
At first, I thought perhaps I had ordered the wrong thing. It's funny how everything is so much smaller than you imagined, once you're grown.  I had thought the books were "huge" (ie at least 14" in height) but I guess to a child, they seemed fairly big.  This set is about 8 x 10 and carries, without a doubt, the most hideous drawings I've ever seen.
This is them alright!
I am now the proud owner of  "Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre:  Two Volume Box Set with Slip Case" by Random House Publishers, 1943, 1st Edition, hardcover.  Illustrated with Wood Engravings by Fritz Eichenberg.
As I was flipping through the pages of Wuthering Heights, glancing at the drawings, one page in particular caught my attention.
There was my nightmare: the depiction of the character Heathcliffe's dogs attacking the visitor Mr. Lockwood while he waited in the kitchen (it was Heathcliffe who had gone to the cellar).
Now, I can only assume that I must have seen these pictures long before I was truly able to read (perhaps when the books were introduced to my older siblings) because I know that my nightmare started well before I would have been an appropriate age to have actually read the book.
I also know that, while I love to read anything and everything about the Bronte family (even having gone so far as to get side-tracked in my family tree research and taken the time to look up some of their records on occasion), I have never read Wuthering Heights.
I'm guessing that I never read it because the images in these books scared me too much!
Perhaps now that I know the genesis of that nightmare, that recurring dream will stop.
I wonder if my fear of dogs will lessen any?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Computers aaaaarrggggghhhhh!

So I took my car to the dealer yesterday.
I had made the appointment a full week earlier.
The U-connect has not worked properly since I took possession of the vehicle a year ago May, and since Ontario has gone to legislated hands-free driving (something I've always espoused anyway), it became a tad more pressing that I get the sucker fixed.
The radio had already been replaced once, shortly after I got the car, for the same problem; it simply wasn't storing the phone numbers properly so I was wasting my time putting numbers in the system.  Didn't matter how many times I told it someone's phone number, when it came time to try to "call" that person, the danged thing would tell me there was no number stored for "XX," would I like to call "XX?" and then turn off.
Most annoying!
Anyway, my good friend LC is on holidays right now so she agreed to spend the day with me while I was wheel-less in the big city.
At 8:36am I checked my car in at the dealer so the U-connect could be fixed and the technician even witnessed the wonky way it was behaving.
"Bizarre," said he, "never seen anything like it.  We'll see if we can figure it out and get that fixed. Leave it with us."
So LC and I went out for breakfast and then we went back to her place and we sat and talked some more (we don't often get time to just visit together so we were enjoying the opportunity).
At 12:15 I called my guy to ask how things were progressing.
"It's still in the queue," said he, "we're really backlogged today.  I'm waiting for the electrical technician to take a look at it."
I damned near had a fit!
"You mean it's just sitting there?  What did I make an appointment for, if not to be in the queue?  Am I going to get home tonight?"  I asked.
"Oh we'll get you home, one way or the other," he responded.
"OK," I said, "but you should know that if you're planning on a rental vehicle being the way to get me home, I only come into Ottawa once a week."
"Ummmm, I'm moving your car up the priority list right now.  You'll have your car back today," he assured me.
So LC gathered a book and very nicely took me to my physiotherapy session (although she didn't get much reading in because once the therapist did her thing, LC sat in the room with me and we talked until it was time to take the needles out).
Then we went to the bookstore to kill some time.
Then we got hungry again.
So we went for lunch (it was actually late lunch, early supper for me).
When we got back to her place it was 3:30 and I still hadn't heard back from the shop.
I called again at 3:40pm and was told that my car was being worked on and it would be finished that day so I asked what their hours were.
"We finish at 8:00pm but close at 9:00pm," was the response.  "But the guy working on your car is finished in 20 minutes, so I'm sure your car will be ready by then."
At 4:10pm my cell phone rang.
"Bonnie," my guy said, "we've checked everything, reseated all the connections, updated the computer,"  yada yada yada, "and tried some test numbers.  It seems to be working.  So I'd like to clean out your phone book and start fresh."
"Oh wonderful," I said, "so, it's going to be trial and error then.  We don't really know if it's fixed."
"That's right," he said, "but I hope this will do it because we can't find anything wrong."  (The story of my life!)
LC delivered me to the dealer and my guy was there waiting for me.  He sat in the car with me, erased all my phone numbers (there weren't very many, since it never worked, I hadn't put many numbers in it), put "Home" in and tested it.
Voila! it worked just as it's supposed to.
He instructed me to put more numbers in and test it and let him know.  If the problem presents again, he'll have to call Chrysler because ...
And he sent me on my way.
So, I'm driving home and I use the voice-activated feature to put some numbers in the phone book.
"Number stored," the lovely lady tells me.
Time and again, after each number I gave, she told me it was stored.
Then the test.
"Call home," I ask my car.
"Please say the line number," as it displays a line showing "Home" and a line showing my telephone number.
There is no way in hell I'm supposed to have to look at that damned screen to decipher a telephone number while I'm driving to see if the system is going to call the person I've asked it to call.
So I select Line 1 ("Home").
"No number stored for Home" I hear.  "Would you like to call Home?" as it turns off.
It just worked at the dealer -- when that was the only number in the phone book!
So today, I will call my guy back and we'll start again.
The radio has already been replaced once; I guess this time they'll have to replace the car!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Very Quick Update

This will have to be tres quick indeed.
Yesterday I had to do my 16-minute walk indoors because of the rain.  It's truly boring walking circles in the house, let me tell you.
But I did it -- sixteen verrrrry long minutes of walking from the kitchen, through the living room, the dining room, back into the kitchen (thank goodness for open concept!).
Spent the rest of the day working on my ancestry binders; gosh that's a major work in progress!  Wonder if I'll ever get them to where I'm happy with them?
Today, I'm leaving here very soon (like in the next 45 minutes) to go into the big city.
Have to take my car into the shop for warranty work (the damned U-connect has never worked reliably and it's about time it gets fixed!).
My other daughter's mother is going to meet me there and we'll spend the time together (she's on holidays this week so the timing is perfect) until I pick up my car.
Then it's also physio day (which is why I booked the appointment for today, of course).
After physio, I'll head home but I have to make one stop en route to pick up yet more ink for John's super-duper colour printer so he can be ready for a project he's working on.
The fun never stops around here!  Later.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm holding my own ...

Today's walk took an extra half minute -- on the return portion.
I always check the time when I head out, and I turn around to come home precisely eight minutes later.
Today, it took me a half minute longer to get back than it took to go out.
That's partially because John was almost keeping pace with me, or I slowed my pace to walk with him, (not sure what came first, the chicken or the egg).
The damned hill continues to be a challenge.  It was much more difficult to get up today than it was on Friday.  My heart rate climbed to 126 this morning, and I was gasping for breath.  Fortunately, my recovery seems to be quick once I'm at the top, so I'm not too concerned about it.  Obviously, asthma is the culprit, rather than a heart issue, I'm sure.
I'll discuss it with my physiotherapist because I'm not too clear on how the heart rate figures into this -- should I push it or what?  All I know is my maximum heart rate is 130 and, obviously, there is no way I'm "conditioned" to that rate already.  But, how high should I be letting my heart rate get?  My "comfort" range right now would appear to be 110-115 -- but I don't know if that's a "work-out" per se.
Again, my asthma has to be taken into account so perhaps I might have to limit my heart rate to the 115 range and be careful not to exceed that (I seem to get into serious breathing difficulty if it gets beyond 120).
My eight minutes this morning took me several paces shy of the Nelsons' place -- about as far as I seem to be getting on these outings lately.
Which means that I'm not actually progressing; just holding my own right now.
I found the walk quite difficult this morning and really wonder if taking a day off is the wisest thing to do.
Because Friday was less difficult that Thursday.
I took Saturday off.
And today I have difficulty again.
I'll watch to see if that pattern emerges.
And if does, I'll rethink my planned schedule.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No walk today

I've decided on a walking schedule ... sort of.
Two days on, one day off, three days on, one day off (with the occasional four days on, one day off).
My physiotherapist had suggested that I might need to take a day off every other day so in my usual manner, I took her advice and altered it.  (I really don't think a day off every other day is necessary.)
Anyway, let me explain how this new plan came about.
The only reason I didn't walk today is because it's Saturday and the newspaper is rather large on Saturday -- it takes me a lot longer to read it than on other days.  By the time I finished reading this morning's paper, it was 7:30am -- much too late to head out (I prefer to walk between 6:30am and 7:00am before it gets too hot out).
Since I didn't walk today but had walked yesterday and the day before, that means I have walked two days and taken one off. 
I will walk tomorrow and Monday but won't be able to manage it on Tuesday (that's physio day and I have to drive into the big city -- and this time I have to leave home quite early so I'm thinking I shouldn't also be expending myself with the walk on that day).  That makes another two days on, one day off.
So, by default, that becomes a walking schedule.
But I think I want Saturday to always be a day off because the newspaper is always big on that day so I'm always going to be delayed starting my days on Saturdays -- may as well state right from the get-go that that will be an "off" day, always.
In order to accommodate the "Saturday always off" cycle, I will have to walk three days somewhere, every week.  This week, it will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings -- three days on, followed by one day off.
And the following week, I will actually have to do a four on, one off cycle because my calendar is a tad skewed that week.
I guess my schedule will change from week to week, with the only constant being Saturdays -- I will not walk on a Saturday.
So perhaps I should simply declare that I will always walk five times a week -- I just can't say definitively which days that might be, but it will be on Sundays to Fridays only.
Most weeks, Tuesday will be the day I don't walk because that is usually my physio day and I really don't think I should walk on the day I'm driving into the big city.  The return trip still takes quite a toll on me.  That means I will normally walk on Sunday and Monday, take Tuesday off, then walk on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, take Saturday off -- establishing a two on, one off, three on, one off schedule.
Sounds like a plan to me!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Much Improved Today ...

Well, no mack trucks visited me last night, although I still woke every two / two and a half hours all night long (I guess that's just not going to change ...).
I've been up since just before 5:00am today, so I read my newspaper before heading out for my sixteen minute walk.
I wasn't sure I was going to walk today, but thought I should stick to it because I know how easy it is to drop a program altogether unless you persevere.
So, I got suited up in my anti-deerfly walking outfit, which has been enhanced to protect my face without having to use that horrid insect repellant (I do spray the rest of my body and my hands).
Again, getting up that first hill was a challenge; my heart rate went to 127 and I was puffing!  My legs were screaming at me to stop (especially my right hip) but I refused to give in.  I did slow down though (not like I had a choice -- I couldn't breathe!).
At the four-minute mark, I wondered if I should even continue, my hip was that sore.  But I just slowed my pace and kept going.
And at the eight-minute mark (my turn-around point) I was further than I had made it yesterday, but not as far as I've made it on previous outings of even shorter times.
Oh well, keep on trucking, as the saying goes.
When I hooked up with John (who wasn't very far behind me this time), he tried to tell me that I could take it easy for the return trip.  That I didn't have to work quite so hard.
Thing is, I don't think I am working all that hard.
Not in the scheme of things.
I think it is just hard work for me until I get conditioned to it.
I mean really, for years I wasn't able to walk five feet without great difficulty so this new program is quite a shock to my system.
So, I will continue to keep my outings to the sixteen-minute limit and I'll mark my progress by how far I get each time.  I know that the distance will vary by a number of factors (weather, my state of health, etc) but if my time never changes, I'll know how well (or poorly) I'm doing by which landmark I make it to on each outing.
And, I'll continue taking my heart rate at the top of that damned hill to see how well my body is coping with that challenge.  That should be a good indicator of how conditioned I'm getting, I think.
Thus far, my body seems OK with a heart rate of about 110, but anything over that and my breathing difficulty starts.
Trouble is, at 110, I feel like I'm crawling, not putting out any effort.  What a conundrum!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Damn These Cursed Hips Anyway!

My hips would appear to be back to their old tricks.
That would be the tricks they were up to prior to my getting that steroid injection four weeks ago.
All night last night again I was wakened every two hours.
But this time I clearly knew why I was being wakened.
The pain had been permeating my sleep and I could tolerate it no longer.
That old familiar searing pain in whichever hip I was trying to sleep on.
Time to turn over.
But I had to wake up in order to do that.
And the painful fire in my hips wouldn't go out so I was awake for a while each time.
Hence, I woke up tired; been up since 4:30am again today.
But this time, I've been up for the day and I'm in pain.
Feeling like several mack trucks have run over me during the night.
Just like the old days.
So does this mean that I got just under four weeks' relief from that injection?  (It's actually four weeks tomorrow.)
Please tell me it isn't so!  Because if that is the case, I can't use that treatment plan for relief -- it just isn't practical to put myself at the other risks associated with using steroids for a mere four weeks' benefit.  We were hoping I would get at least three months from it.
But oh, that four weeks has been divine!
As of today, I'm still walking upright, proper, just like a normal person.
And I will strive to continue to do that.
But as of today, I'm doing that in pain; in pain that I haven't had for the past four weeks.
Eventually, I won't be able to maintain the facade.
Eventually, my walk will turn into a humped crawl again.
John can tell, of course.
He sees the slow-down even when I think I'm hiding it (guess I'm not a very good actress!).
I went out for my sixteen-minute walk this morning, in spite of the pain and discomfort.  I really don't want to abandon my walking program.
The hill was even more difficult than it was the last time out -- my heart rate got up to 122 and I was struggling for every breath (and every step!).
I kept going though, and my eight-minute mark brought me just a few paces short of my last outing (so obviously, my pace didn't even match my last 16-minute trek).
But the return trip almost did me in!
Half way back, I was really wishing there was somewhere -- anywhere -- that I could sit and rest.  I slowed to near a crawl and was dragging bottom by the time I caught up with John (he was lolling about looking for plants).
He could see right away that I was out of gas, big time!
I got home OK, but it had taken me nine minutes for the return trip.
So my 16-minute power walk turned into a 17-minute walk/stroll/crawl. 
Not sure how much of that outing counts as a conditioning work-out.
But I guess in the end, any outing is better than none, as long as it doesn't kill me in the process!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No 16-minute walk today

Here it is, 4:35am and again, I'm up for the day.
Admittedly, I was in bed by 7:30pm last night -- just couldn't make it another minute.  I actually thought I was going to be sick if I stayed up any longer last night.
It's amazing how much that round trip to the big city takes out of me on some days and I guess yesterday was one of those days.
Of course, it didn't help that I met pockets of monsoon rains on the way into Ottawa and on the way home I battled torrential downpour for the entire drive.  Was not a fun trip home.  Couldn't see two inches in front of me.  The lanes were completely obliterated.  Under every overpass was a collection of bikers who had stopped to wait out the storm (I can only imagine how vulnerable a motorcyclist feels in weather like that).
The physio treatment itself impacts my body too but I expect it was the driving that did me in yesterday.
Anyway, while at the session, I discussed my walking program (and setback) with my physiotherapist and she immediately suggested that I've hit my plateau for a while AND that I probably have to start taking days off to recover.  She is concerned that I might invite failure if I continue to push as hard as I have been (and she's right, of course.)
So, today, I'll lay off the walk because I already know that my body is simply not up to it.
I hurt all over.
And I feel like I haven't slept, in spite of having been in bed for nine hours (woke up every two hours and each time I did, it took longer to get back to sleep).
But tomorrow, I'll get right back to it -- and I'll keep it to sixteen minutes, where it will stay until I can do that long without discomfort and increased pain.  Then, and only then, will I add any more time.
But my physiotherapist tells me that I might be one of those persons who can't go beyond sixteen minutes. And, she says, that's OK because I could condition by going further each outing (which should happen naturally), rather than striving to be out longer each outing.  She also impressed upon me that every day will be different, depending on many factors (how rested one feels, weather conditions, general health etc).
Bottom line is, her advice hasn't steered me wrong yet, so I'm going with it.  No walk today.   

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Still Struggling ...

I went out for my walk again this morning, in spite of not feeling like doing it.
When I woke today, (up before 5:00am for the day), I was feeling kind of blah -- having wakened every two hours all night long again in spite of having used a sleep aid (seems there's no point taking the damned stuff!).
But I went for my walk anyway.
And again, that hill was a horrid challenge -- my legs didn't want to propel me up the incline.  By the time I got to the "top of the hill," I was truly out of breath and struggling to continue moving.  My heart rate was up to 120 and I was having trouble breathing!
Obviously, I have a ways to go in my conditioning efforts.
My eight minute mark today took me only a few paces past the point I made it to yesterday.  I guess that means I'm doing not too badly, in the scheme of things.
The trek home did not seem to be quite the challenge it was yesterday but I was working hard nevertheless.
And in spite of these walks, my weight continues to move in the wrong direction!
It's all so discouraging and confusing.
Since mid-June, my weight has been creeping upward ever so slightly (it "ballooned" when I took that alternate medication briefly).  But I can't seem to get it to head back down to my "ideal" weight.
And to think that just six weeks ago, I was struggling to prevent further weight loss!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Something is Amiss

It would seem that something is just not right around here.
Now John is complaining of leg pain -- maybe it's catchy!
Of course, we know that's not the case but sure seems odd doesn't it?
Since our walk on Saturday morning, we've both been "out of sorts," as it were.
By that evening, I could barely put one leg in front of the other.
By yesterday evening, he was having difficulty.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.    Certainly does give one pause.
Anyway, he applied liniment to his legs (the pain is down the front, below the knees -- as though he utilized muscles that weren't used to being called into action, which we know is not the case because he walks every day and is much more active than I).  The liniment, he says, did little to alleviate the discomfort.
But, he -- like me -- is going about his business as usual, just a tad slower than the norm.
The show must go on, as the saying goes.
As for me, I slept marginally better last night than the previous few.  I'm taking my "old" sleeping aid again because I can't allow myself to get too sleep deprived -- I guess it worked.
My legs are still some sore this morning but I went for my walk anyway.
John didn't join me today, opting instead to take another day off.
The hill almost did me in (and that is just one minute up the road).  I thought I was going to have to turn around at that point.  Unbelievable!
But I pushed on and continued walking for the full eight minutes that I had vowed to do.  I walked at a considerably slower pace than I had built up to on earlier outings so I was surprised when I made it as far as I did (apparently, my pace wasn't as slow as I perceived it to be).
Coming back, however, proved to be almost impossible.
I wasn't even half way home when my legs and lungs started objecting big time.
Had me wondering if I was even going to make it home.
So again, I slowed right down (not like I had a choice -- I was truly struggling to move at all).
Yet, when I reached home, I had been gone precisely sixteen minutes!  I don't know how that works.
I got in the house, quite out of breath and tired.
John suggested that my "OK" response to his "How did it go?" didn't sound very convincing.
Tomorrow, I will again only do sixteen minutes.
Historically, whenever I've pursued an exercise program too quickly, I've caused a flare-up to the point where I've had to abandon the exercise.
I don't want that to happen with this.
It's possible that I might have to limit my walking to sixteen minutes for a while.  We'll see what my physiotherapist recommends.
Perhaps sixteen minutes is my personal maximum right now.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Very Slow Day Today

Had a rough night again last night.
Woke with an asthma attack again and it took me a while to get settled afterward.
Then I woke promptly two hours later.
Just because that's what I'm doing again.
So when I next woke at 3:30am, I stayed up.
Making for yet another very long day today.
To add insult to injury, by late afternoon yesterday, I wasn't able to walk three feet across the living room; my calf pain was intense, and my hips were burning just like they used to before that steroid injection.
I was really dragging bottom!
And I wasn't a whole lot better this morning.
When John got up, I was heading out for my walk but he convinced me to take a day off. Obviously I had pushed myself too hard yesterday, given the degree of discomfort I experienced last evening.
My physiotherapist had said that I would know when to back off because the pain would set in, so I guess she knows whatof she speaks.
So, I didn't go for what should have been my twenty-minute walk today, opting instead to just rest for the day.
Which, on reflection, was the wise thing to do.
I've not done much of anything today, just lolling about the house being tired (gosh I wish I could nap like some people I know!).
And my legs and hips are feeling much better for having done so.
Therefore, tomorrow I will resume my walking program, but I will slow my pace a tad, and will only go out for sixteen minutes since I didn't experience any increase in pain at that duration.
I'll see what my physiotherapist has to say on Tuesday when I explain to her what happened and will follow her advice as to how I proceed based on what we know now.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dressed to Impress

Up since 3:00am again today.
I didn't take the sleeping med again last night; I've decided to stop it altogether and that may not be the right decision but I'm staying with it at least until my next visit (fight) with my doctor in a couple of weeks.
It would seem that my claim that it was not doing anything to alleviate my leg cramps wasn't quite accurate.
Inaccurate how, you ask?
Well, this morning, after only the second night of not having taken one of those pills, my calves are already back to feeling like lead blocks.
And they hurt!
Which means that the medication was doing something for my leg cramps, just not enough to eliminate them altogether so I figured it wasn't working. 
But the medication has also caused a steady weight gain -- seven pounds in only two weeks!
And I absolutely can't have that.  Here I am, walking my heart out every day, eating carefully and healthily, and I'm gaining weight!  No way, no how, I'm going to allow myself to get heavy again.  Just not gonna happen.
Plus, I've been getting increasingly depressed since I started taking that stuff.
And there is no way in hell I'm going to allow that phenomenon to continue.  (After only two days off it, the depression is starting to lift, as the tone of this blog will attest.  It continues to amaze me how quickly I react/respond to medications; hence my ongoing 'fights' with my doctor who insists that these occurrences shouldn't happen.)
So, I'll take the leg cramps over weight gain and depression any day.
We'll have to deal with the sleep deprivation some other way, and I guess I'll have to tolerate the feeking leg cramps (thanks again, MFN, for the word -- I do love it!).
Anyway, I got decked out this morning for my 18-minute walk (tomorrow, I hit the 20-minute goal), prepared to avoid the deer flies as much as possible.
I wore long pants instead of shorts (but I had to put shorts on over the pants because my pants don't have pockets -- my shorts do).
I hijacked one of John's long-sleeved shirts because I don't own a summer-weight one.
I saturated myself with bug-juice and headed out.
Surely, even the deer flies would keep their distance from me!
Bonnie -- Dressed to Impress
There was a wonderfully cool, light breeze this morning, so very few deer flies.
And wouldn't you know it?
Even in this get-up, I had to fight off those damned few deer flies that were out!
I guess I just have to face it.
I  AM  irresistible!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Fun starts Again

What fun you ask?
That would be the fun of waking every two hours, all night long.
It's been happening again for several nights now.
Not really fun either.
In fact, it's as annoying as all get-out.
And it makes for a very long night, indeed.
Of course, last night I didn't take that new sleeping med the doctor had given me so that didn't help matters much.
But in this heat, I just don't want to be so groggy that I'm not able to deal with a crisis (asthma attack) should it occur again.  Better to be safe than sorry, I think.
Yesterday, I managed a one-hour nap in the middle of the day (actually, I passed out on the sofa -- I think more from heat prostration than anything else). 
Sure hope I'll be able to do the same today because otherwise this day is going to be waaaay too long.
But at least it looks like we're getting a bit of a break in the weather over the next few days -- supposed to be getting some thunderstorms (hasn't happened yet!) and the temperature is expected to go all the way down to 28 and 29!
Woohoo -- relief is on the way!
My back also decided to go out yesterday (without permission, too!).  Went into a major spasm, from what I don't know, and was causing me terrific discomfort.  A couple of Robaxicet didn't seem to give the immediate relief that is advertised (I sure wasn't doing any kind of jig within minutes of taking it!).
It does feel much better this morning though (not 100%, but better).
So I do plan to go for my walk this morning -- 18 minutes this time.
Not sure how far I'll get with my back being so tenuous but I'll make the effort anyway.
Later -- gotta go and try to cool off.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Holy Heat Wave!

Someone turn off the fire, please!
This heat wave is really getting dangerous around here.
We don't have air conditioning in our home -- it's never really been an issue, living where we live, in amongst so many trees.  As long as the leaves are blowing, we can get a pretty good cross draft going and keep the house comfortable, for the most part, using our ceiling fan and a couple of table fans placed stretegically to help move the air around.
But when the air outside is still, and the leaves aren't blowing, there is no air to create that cross draft.
Then this place becomes like a sauna and all we can do is sit directly under, or in the path of, the fans and cool off by means of the hot air that is blowing on us (at least it's air, right?)
So last night, around midnight, I was wakened for a reason I couldn't quite figure out.
I was coughing.
With difficulty.
And then the realization hit me.
I was having an asthma attack (my asthma is so well controlled that on the rare occasion when I have "an attack," it takes me a while to clue in).
Obviously, the heat was too much for me, in spite of our overnight fan arrangement.
I managed to get up and get my puffer (note to self:  keep puffer at bedside during heat waves) and even inhaling that hurt like hell.
But it took care of the problem in a hurry and I was able to settle back down and go back to sleep until 4:00am.
Now, I have no idea how long I had been coughing before it wakened me; that new sleeping med knocks me out cold within fifteen minutes of taking it.  And it's because I had taken it that I was able to go back to sleep so easily after the incident; I was really groggy.
Which leads me to think that there could have been serious consequences from having taken that sleeping med last night.
So, for the duration of this heat wave, I won't be taking that medication.
Call me crazy, but I'd rather err on the side of caution and know that I'll be able to wake up properly and deal with a crisis, should it occur.
I've been thinking of not continuing the medication anyway because I'm not liking what I think are its side effects: weight gain and depression; both of which are becoming increasing problems just since I started taking it.  The doctor only gave me a 30-day supply, telling me to let him know how I did on it and he would then write a longer prescription if it helped (he wrote it in an attempt to help alleviate my leg cramps).
Since it isn't really doing a great job with the leg cramps, I think I'll just forego staying on it.  I don't like the idea of "getting fat" again and I certainly don't like the signs of depression that insist on coming to the foreground.
We'll just have to find another way to provide me with a proper night's sleep.
On another note, I managed a second day of 16 minutes walking today.
Although I wasn't able to walk as far as I had gone on my 14-minute outing, I did go further today than yesterday.
Tomorrow, the walk gets extended to 18 minutes so we 'll see if I can get beyond the landmark I reached on that 14-minute outing earlier in the week.
I guess one has to accept that distance achieved will vary for conditions, and this heat wave is taking its toll; every day it hangs on is going to impact on my ability to push myself.  My lungs simply won't co-operate and I have to listen to my body.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Here we go again!

It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same!
This new sleeping med that my doctor gave me worked really well.
For the first ten days, I guess.
Remember I was sleeping fairly well through the night?  Waking feeling really rested? I could move mountains?
Yeh, well those days are over, it seems (temporarily, I hope).
And they've been coming to an end on a sliding scale for the past week.
At first, I didn't understand why my mood was changing (I was fighting off a meltdown but I couldn't explain why).
And then it hit me.
I'm again seeing every two hours on the clock all night long.
But I'm so groggy from the sleeping med that I'm just going back to sleep.
Except with each passing night, the wake-up periods have begun lasting longer each time.
Conclusion:  my body has already become accustomed to the low dosage and wants more of it for the same effect.
After only ten days on the damned stuff.
Tells me that my body is a junkie.
And I will not give in to that hunger for ever more drug all the time.
So, here we go again.
I can't get a proper night's sleep without taking something but I refuse to give in to this always increasing need for more because eventually whatever I take at night will render me a zombie during the day.
But do I have to choose between that and being sleep deprived, which renders me unable to function during the day anyway?
There has to be another solution.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Date with Leslie Nielsen

Let me tell you about one of the most exciting evenings of my "political career," as John likes to call my many years on Parliament Hill.
Way back in 1982, I was hired in the office of Bill McKnight, Conservative Member of Parliament for Kindersley-Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and member of "Her Majesty's Official Loyal Opposition." (Bill eventually went on to become a Minister in Brian Mulroney's government -- that's a whole other story vis-a-vis my life on Parliament Hill).
In the office hierarchy, I was the low (wo)man on the totem pole, as it were.  Being a single mom, my first priority was to my young daughter so I wasn't much interested in taking on any serious responsibilities in my job.  I just needed to pay the bills.  However, being the political junkie that I was, working on Parliament Hill was right up my alley.
Anyway, by February 1983, Joe Clark, the then-leader of the Conservative Party, had announced that he was stepping down as leader to allow a leadership race to take place, and he was throwing his hat into the ring.  That meant that an interim leader had to be selected.
Well, there was a fairly tight group of MPs in Bill McKnight's circle of friends, all of whom became familiar with the staffs of each other's offices.
So it didn't take long for me to be on a first name basis with a lot of heavy hitters in the Conservative party (Erik Nielsen, Don Mazankowski, Charlie Mayer, Otto Jelinek, Elmer MacKay to name just a few -- they would all later become Ministers of the Crown in Brian Mulroney's government).
It just so happens that Erik Nielsen was chosen as Interim Leader of the party while Joe Clark tried to retake his place as leader (Brian Mulroney eventually won that race).
Now, I used to tease Bill that the only reason I took the job with him was because I figured that one day, I would meet my idol -- Erik Nielsen's brother Leslie Nielsen.  I mean really, surely the connection had to pay off eventually!  I had been in love with Leslie Nielsen since I was twelve years old when he was on Peyton Place (yes folks, he was on television's first evening soap opera!).
Well, like I said, I was a single mom of a young daughter (my little chickadee was only seven years old at the time) and my work day at that time ended at 3:00pm so I could get home to meet her after school.
One day, Bill called me into his office and told me that I "had" to attend the Conservative Party function that was happening that evening (I never attended them -- for obvious reasons). 
I explained to him that I had child-care issues and could not easily, on such short notice, make arrangements for my daughter.
He simply smiled and said that since I took the job with him for only one reason, I might want to find a babysitter -- and fast!
Now, my momma didn't raise no dummy and it took me about a nano-second to figure out what was up. (The event that evening was to celebrate Erik Nielsen's having been named Interim Leader of the Party.)
I raced back to my desk, heart pounding, and called my little chickadee's father.
"You HAVE to pick up your daughter tonight and stay with her until I get home because I'm gonna meet Leslie Nielsen tonight,"  I said.
He hemmed and hawed and insisted that he couldn't do it (this was something that simply never happened).
I argued and insisted that he had better come through -- a lot of people had made special arrangements so that this could happen for me.
So, child care arrangements taken care of, I hung around the office until the call of the curtain.
The deal was, Bill would take me over to Erik at the appropriate time, and Erik would escort me to Leslie to make the introduction.
So, as had been pre-arranged, at the appropriate time, Bill grabbed my arm and said, "This is it kid, make it count."
We walked over to Erik and all Bill said as he passed me to him was, "Your turn now."
And Erik Nielsen and I walked, hand in hand, over to my idol, who was watching us approach him.  All Erik said to his brother was, "Bonnie's been waiting a long time."
So Leslie and I talked.  In the photo above, we were discussing his role in Peyton Place (he couldn't believe anyone remembered him from that show -- it was a minor role, in the scheme of things).  I was explaining that nobody, but nobody, would believe me when I insisted that my crush on him went back that far!
To make the evening more memorable, a group of us went out for dinner after the formal gathering: Bill and his staff, Erik and his brother, Maz and a few other people (some MPs, I don't remember who but there were about sixteen people in all).
We got to the restaurant last and Erik et al were already seated.  By the time I got back from my pit stop (yes, even back then my bladder was already the size of a thimble!) the only chair left was way down at the far end of the table from where Erik and his brother were sitting.
One of the very gracious attendees grabbed the empty chair and brought it up to place it between Erik and his brother and told me to sit down. (You haven't had fun until you've dined between those two clowns, let me tell you!)
So you see, I had the pleasure of a night out with Leslie Nielsen (forget the fact that so many others were there -- he only had ears for me!).
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Now the tale kind of gets better still, I think.
There was a lovely photo taken that evening, of Leslie and me.
And the girls in the office had it enlarged, and sent it over to Erik's office so that he could in turn send it to his brother to have it suitably inscribed for me.  I knew nothing of this plan until the autographed photo was given to me some weeks later, already framed, ready for me to hang in a place of honour.
Shortly after receiving the framed, signed photo, I had an unexpected visitor to my office. There stood Erik Nielsen, carrying an envelope, which he handed to me saying, "I figure if you have an autographed photo of my brother, you should at least have one of the Interim Leader of the Official Opposition too." 
I thanked him for the photo, and laughingly agreed to always hang the two photos "side by each," but he would have to forgive me if the one with Leslie just happened to have a slightly more lofty position than his.
Oh, those were the days, my friends.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Leg Cramps Be-Gone - Please!

I'm getting really tired of these feeking leg cramps (thanks for the word MFN - I really like that one).
For the second night in a row, I've been wakened at 2:00am, or thereabouts, not because of hip pain (that seems to have been resolved by the steroid injection) but because of leg cramps.
I did manage to stretch them out and go back to sleep -- but I'm sure I'm going back to sleep because the new sleep med does such a good job on that front:  I'm too groggy NOT to drift off again.
But by 5:00am this morning (yesterday it was 4:00am) the cramps were too strong to allow me to stay asleep and I just couldn't stay in bed any longer.
I had to get up and stretch them out.
So I'm up for the day again.
And this too will be a long, busy day.
Yesterday, I managed fourteen minutes on my walk -- and I surpassed my goal landmark.  I was very impressed with the progress I'm making on that front.  I'm walking upright, without pain, like a person with a purpose.
John comes for these walks with me but he's not even trying to keep up with me, preferring to loll along the roadside looking at all the pretty flowers and sights (I swear he's three years old sometimes!)
As I passed him on my way back, I heard, "Your legs must be longer than mine because I'm keeping pace with you but I can't keep up with you."
Well, of course my legs are longer than his, so my stride is longer than his.  Before, when I couldn't walk without pain, I took "baby steps" so he walked much faster than I even when we went shopping.  But now, I'm walking the way I used to, which happens to be a naturally fast pace anyway.  And of course, since these walks are for exercise purposes, I'm definitely not 'taking a stroll.'
Today, I will again walk for fourteen minutes but I'm guessing that I won't exceed the point I hit yesterday, (but I hope I at least make it to the same landmark).
I'm simply too tired to put out the lead -- and I already know that if I push myself too much, I will pay dearly in other areas.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

More Genealogical Brickwalls

My maternal grandfather, Samuel Sharpe, came to Canada as a Home Child in 1911. One of my biggest brickwalls has been his mother’s line. My 2nd great grandparents, Thomas and Ellen McKeowan, were shown on the 1881 UK Census as Thomas, age 41, a tailor born in Ireland; with his wife Ellen, age 41, a tailoress born in Scotland; and their children Kate, 13 (my great grandmother); Thomas, 12; Mary, 10; and William, 2, all born in Liverpool.  
I have not yet found any death records for the parents, although I did find the deaths of young William in 1884 and another sister, Margaret, who was born and died in 1883.
It is beyond frustrating that I can't find birth records for any of these children because just one of these records would tell me Ellen's maiden name!
In 1887, Catherine (Kate) McKeowan married William Sharpe and I found her and her husband and son (a previously unknown older brother to my grandfather) on the 1891 census, but I couldn’t find any of the McKeowan clan. I trolled the streets of 1891 Liverpool for hours, days, weeks – no sign of the remaining McKeowans.
Using every spelling variation I could think of, I searched the 1901 on-line census index and could find no references to my McKeowans.
An internet search had found an 1894 marriage entry indexed as Barry E. McKeowan in Liverpool to Michael Murphy in the same parish as my great grandmother Kate had been married. I didn’t think a female would be named Barry and wondered if it was supposed to be Mary E so I ordered the certificate just in case it proved to be Kate’s sister Mary, whom I guessed might actually have been named Mary Ellen.
Some times you just have to play your hunches!
Because, sure enough, the certificate arrived, showing the marriage of Mary Ellen McKeowan, daughter of Thomas, a tailor, to Michael Murphy, a porter.

1894 Marriage Certificate of Mary Ellen McKeowan to Michael Murphy
My great grandparents, William and Catherine Sharpe, were witnesses to the marriage!
I couldn’t find the Murphys or my great grandparents on the on-line 1901 census though.
When I received my copy of the 1901 Liverpool Census CDs, I immediately started my search in the parish in which I knew the family lived since by now I had learned that the three siblings had married at the same church (I had since found a 1901 marriage of Thomas McKeowan, son of Thomas, a tailor, at the same parish - and again my great grandparents were witnesses to the marriage!).
And still there was no sign of any of these couples in the 1901 Census records.
Watching carefully for any name that sounded like McKeowan, I was also reading the census returns looking very closely for Michael Murphy and his wife Mary E, who would have been 28 years old. Imagine my delight when I came across the entry for Micheal Murphy, a porter; wife Mary E., age 28; daughter Bridget, 1; and mother-in-law Ellen McQuonn, widow, age 60, a tailoress; all born in Liverpool. There was my Mary McKeowan with her husband and daughter, along with her mother, Ellen McQuonn.
 No wonder I hadn’t found them on the on-line index – I was looking for Michael (not Micheal) Murphy and and all variations for McKeowan but I never would have dreamed up the spelling that was actually recorded!

1899 Birth Certificate of Bridget Murphy
Daughter of Michael Murphy and Mary Ellen McKeown
Of course with every success comes more questions. Why did the 1881 Census indicate that Ellen the tailoress was born in Scotland but the 1901 census claims that she was born in Liverpool? Did this perhaps mean that she was actually born in the Scotland district of Liverpool (which is where the family lived)? Or that her son-in-law had filled in the census return (hence the misspelling of the surname) and simply assumed that she too had been born in Liverpool, like all her children? More questions to pursue!
I haven't yet managed to find the McKeowans on the 1891 Census but from the 1901 Census I now know that my 2nd great grandfather Thomas, the tailor, had presumably died some time between 1881 and 1901. In spite of narrowing the gap for that event, I still haven't found his death record. I also haven’t found birth records for any of my McKeowan clan, which would allow me to go further back in that line. And I haven’t yet found my great grandparents on the 1901 Census or Catherine’s brother Thomas and his wife who had married just one month before the Census details were taken.
Nor can I find any of my McKeowan(s) on the more recently-released 1911 Census; and I've just taken delivery of yet another death certificate for the wrong Ellen McKeowan (right age, right district, but this one was a spinster -- obviously not mine!).
I still have lots of brickwalls with respect to this family but at least I managed to take out a few of the bricks by following one of my great grandmother’s siblings (and through the wonders of the internet, I've traced Bridget Murphy's siblings and have compiled a significant amount of information on that branch of the tree, complete with a photo of one of Bridget's daughters).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

These damned leg cramps ...

So, I'm walking.
Every day.
But I've altered my program a tad from what my physiotherapist recommended.  She suggested that I could add two minutes per day, until I reach the maximum 20 minutes per outing.
However, I stuck to ten minutes on the second day just to be on the safe side.
And yesterday, I added two minutes so I was out for a total of twelve minutes -- six minutes up; six minutes back.
Now, you have to understand that the terrain around here is not exactly conducive to easy walking.
I live on a gravel, windy, hilly, road.
This is a work-out and a half.
Right out of the gate I'm puffing to make it up that first hill.
I'm using landmarks to test my progress.
On each of the two days that I walked ten minutes, I made it to precisely the same landmark each day.  No progress there.
When I added two minutes yesterday, I managed to get to the goal landmark that I had identified the day before.
But today, when I was again walking only twelve minutes, I made it to that landmark and beyond!  Too cool!
That means that I am becoming conditioned and was probably wise to slow the increase in time being walked each day.
Tomorrow, I'll add another two minutes (total fourteen minutes) and I've already identified my goal landmark for that outing.
Watch out -- before long, I'll be ready for a marathon!
Now, about these leg cramps that are supposed to lessen as my body gets used to the walking.
I am no longer being wakened and thrown out of bed during the night.
But as I sit in bed each morning reading my newspaper, my calves go into horrid spasms at intervals that could be timed like contractions!
The same phenomenon occurred last week when I was at my physiotherapy session (I actually had to ask her to take the needles out of my calves early because I couldn't bear the spasms).  Her comment, as she giggled at the thought?  "Are you sure you aren't pregnant?"
Now that would be nothing short of a miracle!  How ever would the medical community explain it?
Seriously though, it feels like my feet are trying to give birth through my toes!

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Newest Treatment Plan

OK, so here's the plan now.
I will walk every day, to condition my legs to the new demands.
Yesterday, my legs were quite sore from having walked the ten minutes the day before.
But I persevered.
And off I went.
My physiotherapist told me that I could add two minutes each day but I decided to err on the side of caution and I just stayed with the ten minutes (and that was an effort).
When I got back, I applied liniment to my calves and I rested for a while.
But I was remarkably active for the rest of the day -- up and down the stairs repeatedly with little effort (without using the stair lift!).
And this morning?
My legs are not more sore than they had been from the earlier walking.
So I guess they're learning.
The cramps are lessening too -- not completely gone but they're also not debilitating and they're not waking me and throwing me out of bed in the middle of the night either.
That must mean we're making progress on the conditioning front.
Today, I'll add the two minutes that my physiotherapist recommended.
And we'll see if there's a bump in pain as a result of that.
As long as I go slowly, as she advised, I should be able to conquer this and eventually I'll get up to twenty minutes (she had made it quite clear that I will probably not be able to exceed that limit).
But oh how far I've come!
Two weeks ago, I couldn't have walked two minutes!  Obviously, that steroid injection is paying off in spades!