Wax on, wax off Daniel-san

My physical therapy for the left shoulder is progressing. My therapist says I’m progressing faster than he thought I would when he first evaluated me. Not too surprising to me, since the hospital kicked me to the curb within a week of the crash that caused this problem because I was doing so much more than they expected me to do in such a short time.

I’m doing some weight training as prescribed by the therapist. I’m hoping that a pleasant side effect will be me looking more like Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner in T2.

That would be awesome!

She got there in much the same way that I’m therapy-ing my shoulder, after all.

I have handweight exercises

I have resistance band exercises.

There’s one I’ve named “chicken wings”

Because obviously.

I’m actually enjoying the exercises. They’re giving me an opportunity to use all this gear I’ve amassed trying to follow doctor’s orders to exercise so I could lose weight. I have balance balls in different sizes, a set of 3 Gaiam resistance bands, yoga mats, yoga blocks, hand weights, and kinesiology tape (that the therapist showed me how to apply), massage rollers & foot massagers & hand massagers & foam massage rollers (thank you 5 Below for making fitness gear affordable)… You get the point. That shit has been sitting in the corner, mocking me and NOBODY likes to be mocked.

Well, except for the “wax on wax off” stuff Daniel-san was subjected to in that karate kid movie.

A few of my exercise are more like mundane household tasks. I have cups I have to unstack and line up on a shelf over my head, and then restack them, all using my left arm. Then there’s the one where I have to wipe circles with a towel on a wall or door, 1 minute clockwise and 1 minute counter-clockwise. I’ve named that exercise “wax on wax off”.

I do not like “wax on wax off”. I do not like it, Sam-I-Am.

If I can’t have a little fun with my p.t. then I’m doomed to slow progress, and that’s no fun.

So “wax on wax off” it is.

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Back to the grindstone

No, not the job. When I was done with that job, I was done. The grindstone I am referring to right now is the exercise one. Between medications, doctor’s appointments, work, and all the usual life stuff, I’ve given up on the exercise program. That needs to change.

The physical therapist sent me home with printed illustrations of the exercises they had me doing during yesterday’s session. That seems to me like a good place to start. So here I am, all suited up and ready to go

and writing about exercising instead of, ya know, actually exercising.

I think I’m trying to work up the nerve, since my shoulder is so achy this morning that a half gallon of half and half was a bit too much for it this morning. Thank heaven my right arm still works so that I could get some coffee in me, right?

Now, I’m off to make the bed and actually exercise. Wish me luck!

Free range yoga

I’ve been in the new place for about a week now. It isn’t finished, but um already enjoying the benefits of my new home.

Today, I did some yoga (for the first time in two weeks or so)

And I didn’t have to move furniture!

Ignore that small piece of furniture randomly sitting in the middle of the floor on the right. I meant to move it to the barn today but completely forgot because

I got distracted by how much space I had to do yoga.

Well, at least that’s what happened after Rude Ass finished the conduit runs for the Cat6 cable for the internet.

Side note: I’m starting to wonder if there’s anything that Rude Ass can’t do

So there’s your sneak peak at the entertainment center in use. One of these days, the place will be finished and I’ll upload a video tour. Until then, sneak peak pics will have to suffice.

Adding insult to injury

So a couple of days ago, I’m doing a downward dog, and I feel a sharp pain in my shoulder. I quickly gave up on that video and went to one that I knew wouldn’t have any downward dogs.

The next day, I’m once again doing downward dog and getting sharp pains in my shoulder. I fell to to floor in a heap and did the ugly cry for a while. Until I realized that I was getting all stopped up with snot which is never good for me or my COPD because all that snot drains down into my lungs and then I’m sick and really feeling sorry for myself more than I was when downward dog kicked my ass.

I got myself pulled together enough to text my BFF and scream into the void. That didn’t help as much as I had hoped so I texted my 12 step sponsor. That helped a little bit, but I still felt sorry for myself. So I did the only logical thing I knew to do.

I called my mom.

My mom has no patience for her kids when they feel sorry for themselves. My mom doesn’t allow herself to feel sorry for herself. It doesn’t do any good, she says.

Of course, being the amazing mom she is, she could hear the congestion (how the fuck can moms do that shit?) and so I had to explain to her that I had just spent a stupid amount of time wadded up in the floor crying because I hurt my shoulder doing downward dog.

Being the pragmatist that she is, my mom has always had one simple response to “it hurts when I ……………..”.

“Well then, don’t do ………………”.

So of course her advice was “don’t do any more downward dogs”.

We had a nice long chat, and by the end of it my mom had me laughing my ass off at how she dealt with her financial advisor when he sold the firm and said she needed to do a bunch of paperwork. My mom is no dummy; she told him she wanted everything to stay the same and she wasn’t filling out any more paperwork. Then she called the institution that actually holds her funds and they told her she didn’t have to do any paperwork.

My mom is one of those “steel magnolias”. All sweet, gracious, southern hospitality on the outside; core of solid steel (with a dose of raging mama bear) on the inside. So of course we were laughing at how men have always treated her like an idiot and it has always been a big mistake. Huge.

I’ve digressed. This is supposed to be about my shoulder, and here I am talking about how my mom taught me to question everything and never get taken for a fool. Sometimes, I’m so distrusting and cynical and intolerant of clutter that I’ve recently had to ask her “are you 100% positive that I’m not genetically yours?” She swears I’m adopted, but sometimes I wonder. I guess that’s just a testament to how much she loves me and how well she raised me.

Anyway, my shoulder. It’s the shoulder that was damaged in the 90s. The last xray I saw of it was fucking scary, but lately I had started to question my memories (because I did a lot of dope in the intervening years). Mr B, who was once a mortician, did a quick poke around my right clavicle that I know is fine, then a quick poke around the left and said I wasn’t imagining things, it didn’t feel normal. This latest pain is new and different and worse. It’s in the shoulder joint, and its sending pains down my biceps and triceratops and shit.

My doctor poked around the shoulder joint and miracle of miracles it actually did that popping and crunching thing and it disturbed her so she ordered an xray and now I have to figure out where we’re going to get the money to pay for xrays with no fucking insurance.

Sunshine says we’ll find a way to pay for it, and I love him for it. I hate having to throw something like this at him at a time like this, when we’re really scrambling to get the house finished so we can move in. He gets excellent (and completely free) healthcare from his tribal clinic, so he always comes up with the money for mine because I fall into the coverage gap (fucking asshole Texas not expanding the Medicare/Medicaid).

I’m not sure where I’m going with this post except screaming into the void. Its frustrating to have chronic pain standing in the way of actually following doctors orders to exercise; the fact that I’ve now added a new insult to an old injury is just making it that much worse.

Ultimately, I suppose the moral of the story is this: don’t be an idiot that doesn’t follow doctors orders after a major car wreck breaks your bones, because that shot will come back to bite you on the ass when its least convenient.

Final note: thank you for listening to my navel gazing and lint picking. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

The struggle is real

Tuesday, I had a doctor’s appointment to follow up on my blood pressure and cholesterol. My nurse practitioner (who is a beautiful woman who takes extremely good care of me) said all was looking well enough that she wasn’t going to run any more labs and told me to come back in 6 months.

I mentioned to her how hellish my mornings have become some days. Basically, I’m on a physiological roller coaster most mornings: dizzy/lightheaded, hangry most of the morning, sometimes bit weak & shaky… and then I’m fine for a while until it sets in again. It doesn’t feel the same as when my blood pressure was spiking, and the doc said my home b.p. readings after these episodes, while certainly a bit elevated according to the new standards, were nothing to worry about. She said my blood sugar has always come back really good, so I’m definitely not diabetic. We don’t know what’s going on, so I’ve been instructed to keep a food & activity log so we can try and find a pattern, and she ordered lab tests after all.

Side note: yet another journaling assignment. I had a good laugh with my sponsor about how the universe keeps handing me all these writing assignments. I can’t escape them.

All this medical stuff has me stewing in health & wellness right now, in a far more general way. There’s only so much nuts and cheese and fruit I can eat before I’m all “fuck this shit give me a chocolate filled croissant right fucking now”, which is totally the wrong thing to do (except maybe Fridays at work, which can be much like a show day as a stagehand which requires frightening amounts of carbs). So I’m generally eating better food whether I like it or not. I’m going to have to ask Google & Pinterest for some ideas on what else to eat besides twigs and sticks and berries and shit. I’m ok with going Meatless Monday more often through the week if anybody reading my drivel has suggestions that are fairly simple to prepare (postage stamp kitchens are total bullshit).

I’m also getting irritated with my exercise situation. Do you have any clue how fucking hard it is to do any kind of exercise in an RV? It involves moving furniture and trying not to break the glass on the front of the entertainment center when I’m settling into a pose.

While we’re talking about yoga, can we talk about why it’s so fucking hard to find a yoga video that I can follow AND that I LIKE? I like Sanela Osmanovic’s yoga flows, but good gawd almighty she talks too much. Seriously, she yammers away the entire time and it annoys me to no end. I have tried muting the sound bar on the t.v. and letting iTunes provide sound, but then it gets hard to follow her without breaking the pose to look at the screen. I’ve discovered Julia Jarvis (love her videos) but some days, even the beginner version of her poses is a bit much. I just learned about Jessamyn Stanley, who is refreshing with her banter (seriously, she calls bullshit out loud and I love her for it), but in some of her videos she’s either moving too fast or they’ve sped up the video and I can’t follow her. If any of you have suggestions of other instructors I can find on the internet, please please share them.

This whole “eat better food and exercise at least an hour a day and lose some weight” shit is fucking hard, y’all. I’m running into the brick wall that is my lack of knowledge, and I need help. What the fuck should I be eating (that requires minimal prep) in addition to my twigs and sticks and berries and shit? And who or what the fuck should I hunt down on the internet to guide me in my exercise regimen? The struggle is real, and I’m turning to you for help. Hit me with your best shot, your worst shot, your most outlandish suggestions, I don’t care. I’m open to trying almost anything at this point.

If you’re still with me after all that drivel, thank you. Thank you for sharing my frustration by reading this word vomit, and thank you for any tips or pointers you give me.

Downward dog

Mollie & I are excited for all the wide open floor space we’re going to have when the house is finished. She wanted to give you a preview of what attempting yoga will be like with all that space, and went into a downward dog stretch.

Until then, I’ll just keep rearranging the furniture in the magic bus so I can attempt some yoga.

Writing assignments

I remember my early days in 12 step recovery. When I was pissed off, my sponsor would have me write. When I was ungrateful, my sponsor would have me write a gratitude list. Since I was a pissed off, ungrateful shit when I got to 12 step fellowships, I got assigned a lot of writing.

This morning, I contacted my sponsor to explain that I made a decision. I’m actually going to start making some drastic lifestyle changes: diet, exercise, monitoring my blood pressure, and monitoring my anxiety. My sponsor told me to keep a journal so that I could go over it with my doctor at my next appointment.

I told my sponsor that if I had known I’d get a writing assignment, I’d have kept my mouth shut. She pointed out that I likely already KNEW, and laughed at me.

So this morning’s diary entry:

Dear diary, got up this morning with a new plan for trudging along. Have foregone the search for Twinkies and decided to forage for twigs and sticks and berries and shit to eat. Have also made a commitment to trudge more each day, or engage in other forms of exercise when the weather is to foul to trudge. Hopefully, these actions will bring about some weight loss, which should result in lower blood pressure, which should alleviate some of the anxiety. With any luck, my dear Sunshine will know which twigs and sticks and berries and shit are safe for humans to eat. I’ve just had some yogurt, a banana, a handful of blueberries, and a small number of almonds for breakfast, and am now off to trudge about the property doing laundry, gathering seeds for the spring garden, and helping out with the projects at our little house build. Am putting on my fitness tracker watch to help me keep track of how much I trudge.