Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ooops, Gotta get back on board

Somehow, my weight loss has fallen off the tracks.
All of a sudden, it's going the wrong way!
I'm starting to freak out.   (Well, OK, not really, but I'm not happy about the turn of events.)
Gonna have to eat nothing for a few days and get back on track.
This is situation serious I tell you.
I definitely won't be meeting my goal by my birthday!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My weight loss ...

... apparently isn't happening.
It seems to be at a standstill again.
There's been nothing for the past ten days, although my clothes are fitting me very differently.
I hate these periods of non-losses.
I know that one of these days I'll wake up, step on that scale, and I'll have dropped by as much as four pounds very suddenly.
But while I wait for that to happen, it gets very discouraging.
In any event, it looks like I won't be meeting my goal by my birthday.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I guess I've had a busy week

What else could explain my absence from here?
Last weekend my little chickadee, Pauple, and my striking young man came out for the day on Saturday.  MSYM taught his father how to shoot the bow and arrow.  There's no opportunity for him to use the bow in the city so they will have to bring it out here for him to use it.  Tough luck that!  (Grandma's doing her happy dance.)
Then having done too much on Saturday, I suffered from "Mack truck" syndrome on Sunday so had to take it easy all day.
Apparently, I'll never learn.
Since I lost Sunday, I spent Monday catching up on household chores.  Hence, no time for playing on the computer.  (Blogging constitutes "playing" in my mind.)
Tuesday, I was out of the house all day.  That's my physiotherapy day and I had a few errands to run en route.  Seemed like an exceptionally long day out this time for some reason.  Perhaps I was still feeling the effects of those Mack trucks.
Wednesday was spent in the kitchen preparing for dinner with my step-son and a friend of his who wanted to talk cameras with John.  Normally, John is on dinner detail but I thought I should free up his time to concentrate on the task at hand so I took on the feeding task.  Good thing I did too because the three of them started talking right out of the car as they arrived, and the mouths never stopped -- until 10:30 pm!!!!
Obviously, I paced myself well though because I didn't suffer the Mack truck after-effect the next day.
Thursday of course is my massage day.  Normally I don't do anything on that day.
But this time day different.
I got up in the morning and immediately started preparing a batch of baked beans.
Then I put to boiling a dozen eggs. We keep a supply of hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator and it needed replenishing.  (Later in the morning I would peel them all.)
Next on the agenda was a dozen and a half banana muffins.  (That supply too had to be restocked.)
While I was at it, why not refill our bread crumb supply.  It too was getting low.
Suffice to say, my entire morning was spent in the kitchen.
Eventually it was lunch time and I hadn't yet done my treadmill.
I managed to get that in just under the wire, allowing myself enough time to shower before my massage therapist arrived.
The rest of the day was a write off because once I've had that massage, I just wallow in the wonderful after-effects of the therapy.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My weight loss progress

I don't know what's happening but I'll take it.
My weight is dropping like a bag of bricks all of a sudden.
I don't know if I'm sweating it off in this heat, or if my metabolism has been suddenly revved up since that cortisone injection.  (Lord knows I'm like the energizer bunny since the shot.)
Every morning I step on that scale and I'm down again.
I had been holding steady for a while and was getting a little discouraged, wondering if my body had given up  as much weight as it was going to.
But all of a sudden, something has kick-started the drop again and I'm loving it!  (Gawd I hope it's not a result of the "no wine" resolve.  That would be just awful.  I'm soooo looking forward to my birthday when I will reintroduce wine to my diet!)
In any event, I am now within five pounds of being able to contact the tummy tuck doctor.
At this rate, I should be able to do that by next week!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

OMG, it's hot, hot, hot

This heat is absolutely unbearable!
The other night, (well, the wee hours of the morning) I woke in asthmatic distress as a result of the heat and humidity.  (We sleep with a fan going but all that does is blow the hot air around.)
It took me a while to figure out what was wrong with me.  The pain in my chest was new to me.  At first I wondered if I was having a heart attack.  I routinely take my meds as soon as I get up, and once I used my puffer the pain subsided.
"Aaaaaaah, it was just asthma," I thought.  I'm not used to having asthmatic trouble, it's so well controlled.
My emergency puffer now sits on the night table beside me.  Another resides in my purse.
I was up early again this morning -- 4:30 am.  Did my time on the treadmill before 6:00 am.  I really don't like missing that part of my routine but in this heat, it's sometimes difficult to endure.
Today, I plan to sit in front of the fan and read.
Nothing else to be done in this crazy extreme weather!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Was I ever productive yesterday!

I don't know what has caused this turn-around.
Be it the cortisone injection at work or the Synvisc injections finally kicked in, or both. I simply can't say.
But yesterday I was like the whirling dervish of household achievements.
It felt so good to be able to do.  So, being as how I am that kind of personality, I did!
After breakfast, I needed to go into Carleton Place to do some shopping.  Had to stop at three different shops before I could come home.  (Made it just one time to have lunch, which luckily I had prepared the day before.)
Then it was time for the ball game to start.  (Booooorrrrrrrring!)
While the boring game was on, I had to make our weekly contingent of morning muffins (why does it always happen on the hottest day of the year that we run out of muffins?)
Then, since I was baking anyway,  I made a most fabulous dessert, the Very Berry Galette which had caught my eye in this month's Chatelaine magazine.  
It was oh so good!  It intrigued me because it has so much fruit and very little added sugar.  (Rather than making the pastry, I used a Tenderflake Deep Dish pie shell which I thawed and rolled out -- it worked just fine.)
John declared the recipe a keeper!
Next up was dinner.
Earlier that morning, I had been cleaning up some computer files and came across a recipe that sounded fairly promising.  So the grocery trip had included buying what I needed to make Baked Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Summer Squash.
It too was declared a keeper.  Yum, it was good!
All in all, yesterday was a bang-up day for working in the kitchen.
It has to be that cortisone injection on Friday.
Me thinks I'm garnering benefit of wide spread systemic relief from it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wow, what an experience!

Already having had several cortisone injections in my hip joints, I was not prepared for yesterday's experience.
I had been somewhat anxious about the appointment because it was at a different hospital than I had received my other shots so I was not quite sure what to expect.  (The doctor at the original hospital was a true sweetheart, and a really nice guy too!)
Anyway, to start with, the other hospital had always been quite insistent that one must not take blood thinning medication, aspirin or any anti-inflammatory meds for one week before the procedure.  In fact, I had witnessed patients being sent home with instructions to rebook their procedures because they had taken an aspirin "three days earlier."  (A good friend of mine, who also gets shots at the same hospital, has been instructed to stop using a topical anti-inflammatory for a week before her procedure.)
But this hospital?  No such instruction was issued.  They had asked, at the time of booking, if I was on blood thinner meds.  That was it.  No discussion of aspirin or anti-inflammatories.
So when the intake nurse started the questions and only confirmed that I was not on a blood thinner, I broached to topic of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory meds.  Told her about my previous experience and my knowledge of the other hospital's procedure.  (Of course, it isn't an issue for me since I can't take any of them.)
"That's a bit of overkill," she said.  "We don't care if you take aspirin, or even if you take Celebrex.  At worst, you might get a bit of a bruise.  But that's all.  We're only concerned if you're on Coumadin or Warfarin -- an actual blood thinner.  Then we can't proceed."
Wow.  You'd think if it was dangerous at one hospital, it would be dangerous at another.  Or, if it wasn't dangerous at one hospital, it wouldn't be dangerous at another.  I mean, both hospitals are within the environs of the City of Ottawa!
Methinks the policy should not be that different from institution to institution.
This "aspirin and anti-inflammatory" policy is significant for the patient.  People are going for these shots because they have osteoarthritis.  If they have to stop their pain medication for fully a week before the injection, they are being rendered almost cripple by the time they arrive for their procedure.  Craziness, if you ask me!
Then we got on the topic of Synvisc injections.  She told me that the hospital is no longer allowed to administer them.  Not covered by OHIP.  Cortisone injections are covered, but not Synvisc.  It seems that the province has decided that there is no demonstrated benefit for Synvisc over Cortisone treatment so, since April 1 of this year, they're not covering the administration of Synvisc injections.  Yet, I just had the shots administered by my doctor in June of this year.  (Have to check with my doctor about how that works!)
You learn something new every day.
But the real surprise came with the administration of the cortisone injection itself.  It was a totally different experience from the injections I had received at the other hospital.
The procedure was much the same.
Cleanse the area.
Freeze the area.
Find the way into the joint.
Inject Cortisone -- and Bob's your uncle.
But the comfort level was so much better.
The doctor cleaned the area.
He administered the freezing. ("You doing OK?"  he asked.)
I barely felt it.  (Previously, this part of the procedure was mildly painful.)
He inserted the syringe into my hip, finding his way into the joint.  As I felt the slight sensation of pressure, I steeled myself for the barrage of pain (intense pressure) that I knew was to follow.
"You doing OK?" the doctor asked again.
"Mmhmmm,"  I replied.
"Why are you so tense?" he asked.
"Because I felt the pressure and I know what's coming next," I replied.
"The worse part is over," he said.  "I'm in the joint."
And then it was done.
No more pressure.
No pain.
Just like that it was over.
"Wow," I said, "you're much better at this than the doctor at the other hospital!"
And I meant it!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cortisone Injection Day

Today, I head into the big city again, this time to get a cortisone injection in my right hip joint.
Yes, it'll hurt. But the joint will feel so much better later. And it will continue to feel better for the rest of the summer and into the fall.
At least that's the plan.
En route, we'll stop at my physiotherapist's office to pick up my forgotten iPad.
Now THAT's a reason for making the trip into the big city.
I've sure missed having the convenience of that iPad.  Funny how you get used to technology!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My weight loss progress

I'm making slow but steady progress in my weight loss efforts.  (That's the kind that lasts, isn't it?)
Down 14.6 pounds as of today.  (The tracker on the side panel of this page rounds that up to 15 pounds -- I like the sound of that!)
According to the on-line program I'm using to 'keep me honest,' ( I should reach my first goal (lose 23.6 pounds) by about August 22nd -- 19 weeks after I embarked on this endeavour.  That suggests that I should have lost 20 pounds before my birthday (August 9th).
But the August 22nd date is what's important to me.  Because once I've lost that 23.6 pounds, I can start discussions with the tummy tuck doctor again (my own goal).  (John says I won't need the tummy tuck by then, my middle is shrinking so quickly.  He doesn't understand women!)
One of the most significant things that's happened for me during this process is that I have finally hit upon the required minimum 1200 calorie daily intake without using wine to reach that mark.
July 1st -- Canada Day -- was the first day it happened.  As I was tallying my intake for the day, I noticed that it was totalling 1200 calories -- and I hadn't yet factored in my wine.
"Wow," I said, "I don't need wine to make up my caloric intake today."  (I know, I know, wine is empty calories.  But until this point, if I didn't have wine at dinner time, I simply had not consumed enough calories for the day.)
Anyway, there was still a glass and a half of wine in the bottle from previous days so I decided to finish it.  (It was, after all, Canada Day!)  But I resolved not to have any more wine until the day of my birthday.  For no other reason than because my caloric intake hit the 1200 mark and it seemed like a good idea.  And my birthday seemed like a good marker to use; it was still five weeks away.
This should serve as an excellent test to demonstrate the impact that wine was having on my weight loss efforts.  (Even as bad a day as Tuesday was, I did not break my resolve and have a drink.)
Well, thus far -- ten days later -- it hasn't had any effect one way or the other. I'm still losing weight at the same rate I was when I used wine to make up those extra calories.
If this pattern continues for the next month, you know what changes I'll be making come August 9th!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Things can only get better ...

OMG, yesterday was a complete disaster!
It was physio day, so that meant a trip into the big city.
But I also had a dental appointment so I had to leave the house by 10:30 am.  At breakfast time, John decided he wanted to accompany me (which in and of itself has absolutely nothing to do with my story).
Anyway, I arrived at my dentist's office on time.  Sat myself down in the chair and the hygienist went through the routine questions.
"Did you take your antibiotics this morning?" she asked.
"Ummmm, no I didn't," I replied.  "Never even thought of it!"
Oh, oh.  Houston, we have a problem.
"I don't even know if I have any," I said.  "Dr. Earle told me at one point that I didn't need to take them any more."
There are a lot of differing opinions out there about how long after hip replacement surgery one should take antibiotics prior to dental work being done.  Rule of thumb had always been two years.  Then it was decided that one year was sufficient.  Some now say that it isn't necessary at all.  I am 18 months post-op.
"Given all the variances, does it really matter?"  I asked.
Turns out my hygienist believes in the two-year protocol; my dentist believes in the one-year protocol.  She apparently has convinced him to go along with her feelings on the subject.  (Just to be clear, I also discussed the matter with my family doctor and she too agrees with the one-year limit.)
We agreed that if the dentist agreed to let me take it in the office and allow her to go ahead, that is what we would do.  (Normally, the antibiotic is supposed to be in the system for at least one hour.)
The dentist agreed.
She went off to fetch the antibiotic and came back saying, "This just isn't your day.  We don't have enough!"
So my dental appointment had to be rescheduled.  We'll try again next Tuesday.  At 9:15 am!  I left the office with a prescription for antibiotics, just in case I don't have any at home.
That was "disaster" #1.

I arrived at my physiotherapist's office.  I was getting ready for my session when it dawned on me that I didn't have the prescription cream with me for my ultrasound treatment.  I never even thought of it!  So, we had to do the ultrasound without benefit of the cream.
That was "disaster" #2.

I'm driving home from the physiotherapist's office when I realized that I didn't throw my iPad into the car.  At our first errand stop, I checked and sure enough, I didn't have my iPad!  I called my physiotherapist's office and it wasn't on the floor of the treatment room I used.  "Can you check the washroom please."  Sure enough, there it was.  It has been put in safekeeping until I can fetch it on Friday when I will next be in the city.
That was "disaster" #3.  And disaster it is.  I'm without my iPad until Friday!!!!!!

Now, just in keeping with all the above, on the way home I stopped at the pharmacy to drop off the antibiotic prescription.  Told them I'd pick it up the next day or on Friday.  Got home, checked and found that I actually have an almost full bottle.  Ooops.  Called the pharmacy and told them not to fill that prescription, but to put it on hold for me please.
I then went looking for the prescription cream that I need for the ultrasound treatment.  It wasn't in the basket where it usually lives so I can grab it when I'm leaving for my physio visits.  It definitely wasn't in my purse.  I looked everywhere I could think it might be (which really weren't any other places).  Called my physiotherapist and asked her to please check around her clinic in case I never actually took it home last week (it has 'almost' been left on more than one occasion).  Looked up the prescription and called in a refill.
Some two hours later, I had a brainstorm.  I had overnighted at MLC's last week after my physio session!  I know where the cream is.  And sure enough, there it was.  In a corner of my overnight bag.  When I got home last week, I had emptied the bag of the usual stuff, forgetting that the cream was there.  Called my physiotherapist's office again to let her know she could stop looking.  For sure she knew that my day had been a difficult one!

So, to play it safe, I'm not venturing out of the house today.  Gonna lie low and keep my distance from anything and everybody!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First we play, and then we pay!

Gosh, life can be so mean sometimes!
Yesterday was such a delight.
The Jersey Boys show was faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan-tastic!
Our seats were awesome.  Mezzanine level box seats -- front four seats of an eight seater.  Incredible view of the stage!  The other three ladies accompanying me were mightily impressed!
And oh the music was divine.  I must say this production is far and away better than the one I saw in Toronto three years ago (sorry TO!).
The young man playing Frankie Valli (Nick Cosgrove) is unbelievable.  His voice range is remarkably similar to that of Frankie's.  Some of the solo numbers weren't all that great but when the four of them sang harmony -- well, you'd almost think you were listening to the real thing!  Of course, whilst driving into the city I had been listening to the real thing so I had all the numbers very fresh in my mind.
It was a most enjoyable Saturday afternoon.
But this morning?
Well, let's just say I'm paying the price big time.
My hips are so sore I can barely put one foot in front of the other.
My knees are inflamed (not yet fully recovered from the effects of receiving those Synvisc injections).
The shoulders and arms don't want to be raised more than about 30 degrees.
Suffice to say, I hurt all over!
What a pity that I can't go out and enjoy such an afternoon without suffering so.
Have I mentioned that fibro sucks?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I'm Going to see The Jersey Boys

Today's the day.

The day before the show opened in Ottawa, as I left my physiotherapist's office I was stopped at a red light and ahead of me, a huge transport truck was able to make a right turn onto the road just as my light was about to change to allow me to make the left turn onto the same road.
Initially, I was cursing about this huge behemoth that would block my view and slow me down.
Until I was able to read the markings on the truck.
It was the JERSEY BOYS' equipment truck making its way to the National Arts Centre.
Then I had no problem with their being in front of me.  (I also knew they would only be ahead of me for a brief time since we would both be making the next right turn and they would go straight while I would turn left again to head onto the highway.)
But since then, having the reality of their presence in Ottawa brought home to me so visually, I've been seriously counting down until today.
And finally, it's here.
This afternoon, at 2:00 pm, I will once again be enjoying the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons as told through the music which I so loved as a teenager (and continue to enjoy today).
Three years ago, my little chickadee delighted me for my 60th birthday by taking me to Toronto to see the production there, yet still I'm looking so forward to seeing it again in Ottawa.  It was that good!
Today, we have box seats.
I am soooooooooooooo excited.
Not that anyone could tell.

Friday, July 5, 2013

I think my knees are 'fixed'

It seems that I can safely say that the Synvisc injections worked again.
I couldn't have said that yesterday.
In fact, I was beginning to get quite concerned when they were still visibly puffy and inflamed yesterday -- a full week after getting the final injection.
My massage therapist worked very carefully around both knees but after she left, they were both so sore I could barely walk.  I applied ice to both and that settled them down quite nicely.
Now this morning, there is no puffiness, practically no swelling, and absolutely NO pain when I walk.
Even stairs are managed effortlessly.
Eureka.  Success!
What a relief.  On more than one level.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Physio Day

It being Tuesday, I'll be going into the big city today for physio.  And it's a very much-needed session this week, not having had massage last Thursday.  (Therapist took a week's holidays, imagine!)
Last night was a very difficult one, riddled with pain.  I can't imagine why it's so painful to lie on my left side.   It's an artificial hip for goodness' sake -- what the heck can be hurting??????
Anyway, I'll discuss the matter with my therapist today to see what she can suggest.  I'm stymied!
This is haircut time so I'll be staying overnight at my little chickadee's tonight.  That means I get to spend time with my striking young man too.  It just happens to be his soccer night so I'll get to take in a practice.  (Too bad it's not a game night, but I'll take what I can get.)
It also means that we get to go for breakfast tomorrow morning before he heads off to his day camp and I head home.
Bonus all around!