Tag Archives: health

Get Moving Challenge!

So, yesterday marked the first day of the Get Moving Challenge. The first day was relatively simple, just based around scheduling your workout.

I did that, planning to alternate walks and getting back into doing my physical therapy exercises from my knee surgery. Hopefully I can manage to do a little bit each day. The suggestions mentioned maybe not starting so big, but I’m trying very hard to form habits right now, and I don’t think twice a week is enough to form a habit.

Today’s goal is to work with a fitness video and routine that they provide. I haven’t done it yet, but it looks pretty good. Hopefully I’ll be able to do all the exercises with the pain in my knees. Plus I’m planning on taking a walk today as well.

They don’t let you embed their videos (which is a shame, that would be a much better way for them to get the word out and get their logo in front of people without having to do their own advertising) but you can visit the second day of the challenge here.

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Get Moving Challenge

So, I’m trying to get myself to get up and finally get this whole plan going. I took three walks last week, but twice I begged off when I had a chance to walk and that’s certainly not getting my anywhere.

Get Moving Challenge Logo

Get Moving Challenge from My Well Being

 

I got an email from one of my insurance providers that one of their programs is doing a “Get Moving Challenge” in September. It’s tailored to getting you to start getting up and exercising and doing other healthy things each day over the course of the month.

It looks interesting, and might be worth signing up for if you are having trouble motivating like I am. They say it’s 10 minute workout videos, so there’s not a huge amount of time spent each day, and it’s customizable (though only time will tell how much that’s really worth it).

I’m looking forward to it, I think a few other people should sign up so we can work on it together. Who’s in?

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Oh the humidity

Yesterday, for various reasons, I ended up needing to walk a half mile in the middle of the afternoon. Then today I needed to walk in the middle of the afternoon sun again.

Right now in my region the temperature is above 90 regularly and climbing higher, tomorrow it’s supposed to top 100. While the heat itself is bad, the problem is that the air is so thick with humidity that you walk outside and you instantly feel drenched and sticky.

What I told myself yesterday was that this was part of my training, I needed to get used to this and be walking in any weather. But what I started to wonder was if it really is so humid on the trail. It’s definitely something I need to find out, because you have to stay hydrated just for normal walking but in this kind of weather you’re going to lose half your body weight in sweat in just a few minutes (this is an exaggeration, but only just).

In general, I’ve done some walking this week but not much. My knee has been doing okay, but my heart rate problems are not really cooperating in the heat, which worries me about the end process of hiking the trail. My doctor doesn’t see any problem with it though, so I think I need to just keep going.

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A month later

So I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last posted, but I think everybody could tell I was fed up with everything.

My knee still pops and crackles as I walk down steps. It still aches a bit, and I’m still not entirely sure it’s better than it was before.

My physical therapy exercises got easier, so they made them all more difficult last week and I spent a day unable to walk comfortably because my muscles hurt. But I need that kind of thing right now, it’s been too long that I’ve been letting myself be still because of weakness in my joints and muscles, so it’s time to work them and get better.

My last day of physical therapy is Wednesday, and I’ve been officially cleared to start taking walks again. I might not start this week because things have been crazy busy but it’ll be soon. I’m also thinking about taking up yoga. Have any hikers done yoga and know if it’s a good combination?

The sad thing is that starting the walking again is just going to remind me again that I need to buy a raincoat, it’s been very rainy here lately.

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Hobbling around

So it’s been a week since my arthroscopic knee surgery. The bruises are fading, and the swelling has thankfully gone down a lot already.

The surgery itself was mostly uneventful. The only problem was that after I woke up I couldn’t sleep, because I usually sleep on my side and I couldn’t. So it took more than 24 hours after I woke up from anesthesia for me to actually get any more sleep. I had my first physical therapy appointment about 48 hours after the surgery, and they took off the bandage so I got my first good look at everything. It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t too bad either.

Part of the issue before my appointment was that my crutches were all wrong, so they were almost impossible to walk with, which led to me mostly staying in one place. They were set really low, and I was hunching over to try to walk. I tried to fix them myself but it wasn’t much better until the PT fixed it.

Of course the first thing he did was tell me “okay, we’re going to put your leg flat on the bench.” I was absolutely convinced that I could not do it, that my knee would never actually manage that until it wasn’t as swollen. But about ten minutes later it was actually where it was supposed to be.

The part that disturbed me the most was that he asked me to tighten my quad muscle and it didn’t respond at all. I have this weird thing about when my body either does things I don’t tell it (shivering, reflex tests) or when it doesn’t do what I tell it (like in this case). So I was a little freaked out, but he said that it’s actually common after this kind of surgery and swelling. So they hooked up an electrical stimulation unit and I sat there with that on for ten minutes. I can’t say I liked it, but I didn’t dislike it either. It just kind of was.

Then I had to do a few exercises and they put my leg in a machine that pumped ice cold water through it, and it had pressure too. So that was kind of nice. The therapist definitely is not going to be the kind of coddle me or let me get away with anything, he’s going to push, which is what I need.

I’ve been keeping up with my exercises, mostly. Some days I don’t do as many sessions as I’m supposed to (by like, one set, not by a lot) but I at least get it done. My friends also don’t let me get away with much, so I actually ended up going out and walking around (on crutches) for three days in a row. I may have overdone it a bit because yesterday I’d decided to stop taking my pain medication because I thought it might be too much, and I ended up with a fever and nausea.

But the big thing is that today I decided to not use my crutches at all unless things got really bad. And I did it, no crutches at all since yesterday. On top of that, I actually started walking more or less like a normal person instead of shuffling and hopping around. It hurts to do it, but it hurts in a way that I think is probably good, rather than in a way that means I’m messing up my progress.

I can tell one of my big problems will be my calf muscles, because my exercises are designed to help work my calf and the on my left leg that muscle has ALWAYS been too tight and a big problem, so working it like this is making it hurt. But again, maybe it’s in a good way.

Tomorrow I go back to physical therapy again, and keep that up for about a month it looks like, before they re-evaluate and decide if I need more. Plus this week I go to the doctor for the general follow-up and maybe somebody will finally tell me what they actually did while they were poking around in there, since so far nobody has actually said what happened specifically.

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Just one more day

So tomorrow I’m going in to have my knee operated on, and Thursday I start physical therapy. So the tone of this blog will change a little bit to be about updates on my recovery and my progress towards my thru-hike. I still think I can do this, and I plan to tell my PT that it’s my goal and that I want to work towards that.

But the first step is recovery. Yay. Wish me luck!

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Diets?

So the other day I went in to see a cardiologist because I had a problem with my heart last year. The discussion covered a lot of topics but one of the big ones for me was that he suggested this diet that’s run in the office next to his, by one of his affiliated doctors.

Now, I’m overweight and I totally admit that. But I also am pretty adamant most days that I’m not looking to “lose weight” I’m looking to be healthy and feel well. I know that more than likely in my case that involves losing weight, I’m not stupid. But just simply decreasing the number on the scale is not on my list of things to do except when I’m having a particularly hard day.

One of the things on my list though is to eat more balanced meals and be more nutritious about food in general. I haven’t figured out how to do that on my own, really, so this diet where you actually purchase food and eat what they tell you while meeting regularly with a doctor actually did catch my eye.

But when I started looking into it more, it would go completely counter to what I’ve been planning to do with the rest of my life. Especially with this plan to hike the trail, it just wouldn’t work. Because for the first portion of the diet you’re eating so few calories in order to intentionally send your body into shock that you’re supposedly not allowed to exercise at all.

I’m finally getting my knee problem sorted out, I’m not going to suddenly drop all of my plans and spend a ridiculous amount of money just to drop a couple numbers for some arbitrary thing. I get that losing weight would have other side effects, but one of the things I want to change about myself through this hiking plan is that I feel weak and unable to do things that require any kind of physicality. THAT is my primary goal for wanting to feel well, I want to feel able and accomplished. So I don’t see how this diet could actually help me accomplish that at all.

Which means I’m back to the drawing board on figuring out how to get my eating habits in line and be better about them.

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Surgery scheduled

So, I’ve scheduled my surgery to deal with my knee/shin/leg issue in March. I’ll probably not update this much until after that’s done, except maybe to discuss my plan for building back up from that.

They say the surgery is minimally invasive but involves some physical therapy, so I’ll be probably talking about that for a bit. But I want to get back on track with this, I’m tired of this knee issue putting me on the sidelines of everything.

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Verdict is no verdict really

So, the MRI results are in on my knee and the basic result is that there’s no result. The doctor looked at the scan and said that there’s not really visible evidence of a meniscus tear, and that the chip of cartilage that he thought might be the cause is actually rather insignificant or something.

Honestly, I kind of glazed over midway through because I was so disappointed that there’s still NOTHING to show for all of this time, money, and effort.

But the basic answer is I can either suck it up and do nothing and stay in pain, or I can get arthroscopic surgery on my knee to fix the tear.

You know, the tear that may or may not actually be there. Because despite there being no visible evidence of it, the doctor still thinks that’s the problem because of where it’s particularly tender. I guess he’s the expert.

I don’t know, I know I can’t afford the surgery and I can’t afford to continue to feel this pain. And it’s keeping me from walking which is keeping me from hiking.

But having surgery for what they “think” the problem is doesn’t sound all that great either.

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Success!

I haven’t had my follow-up appointment yet, but my doctor called me the other day to say that the MRI did in fact show a problem. I’m going to wait until I have more info to post about it but it’s so great to finally have an idea what’s wrong and know that it’s something that the doctor understands that has treatment protocols and there’s an answer in sight.

So after I have more info, I guess this blog will become a recovery blog for a bit until I can finally start with my plan for walking/hiking again. Not that it isn’t already a blog about illness, bleh.

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