My first workout

gym

A workout station at curves.

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

-Plato

As I posted Friday, I joined a gym. To be specific, I joined Curves. I love that I can go there and just use the machines and follow the video for cardio, all without really thinking about it. The trainer tells you when you’re doing it wrong (as I so totally was, over and over this morning) and so you can be sure that you’re not doing something stupid that will hurt you. LOVE THAT!

So this morning, I went in and got started. They have these smart card machines, that I will eventually get to use my card on, that gauge how well you can do a certain machine and will level you up as time goes on, making your workouts harder in specific ways as you progress towards even more fitness. I love that I don’t have to keep track of that. It sounds fantastic. But first I get to spend a couple weeks getting used to using the machines and getting my strength & speed up so the machine will recognize I’m doing something. (I did have a moment this morning where the trainer said “Are you just extra tired or what?!” and I gently reminded her that a) I had RA and b) it’s been about two years since I’ve done any working out at all, really. Baby steps, lady. Baby steps.

The workout went well, for the most part, except that my heart rate was way off the chart only three stations in. The trainer said that the smart card machines would require me to take a time out before I was allowed back on and if that kept going on, I would need to see my doctor before I could work out again. (Never fear! I am not ever terribly far out from a doctor’s visit. I will talk to mine about it in a week or so when I go back in.)

All in all? Today was a success! 🙂

TMI update

Heard back from my lady doctor, who I didn’t even have to see!! Her hospital got an app that let’s us email questions & get email answers & test results. It is fabulous! So anyway, my hormones are out of whack & I’m doing a low dose birth control pill to see if that helps. It’s been funny having people try to explain BC to me as if I’d never experienced it before. In the past I’d have blushed, but I have finally gotten a bit more mature and just moved on with a breezy “Oh yes, I know about that.”

🙂

Another sinus infection

I’ve been fairly fortunate with my Orencia infusions insofar as side effects go.  I’ve been on it since October and this is my first sinus infection.  I’ve felt a couple trying to start in the past few months, but I’d been diligent in the past about rinsing my nose out as per the doctor’s orders and resting up.  Not so, this time.  I was super busy last week with book fair (oh how I love talking to kids about books!) and PTA events (serving BBQ at the Fine Arts Night my kids were singing, dancing, and signing at) and a kindergarten field trip to the planetarium (Did you know there are kids out there scared of outer space?!  I had no idea.) and the church’s regional weekend (I signed on to do crafts, which is far and beyond easier than working in the kitchen), so I wasn’t really ever home long enough to do more than eat, sleep, and change clothes.  Hence the sinus infection.  😦  So tomorrow I go in for yet more antibiotics and hope that this clears up before my next infusion.  I also finally get to check in with my OB/GYN about the menstrual issues.  I had blood work drawn last week for this appointment.

A less dramatical cross-post

Sorry for all the cross-posting lately if you are someone reading all the blogs, but this is the way things are right now.

Last week I hosted a girls game night with my little group of friends. We never did actually get to the games, but we had a good time eating snacks, drinking wine, and catching up on things. 🙂 It’s a nice group of gals, most of us are some kind of writer or artist. 🙂 We’ll try an actual Gaming game night another time (soon, I hope).
The next night we had a Robert Burns Night with my parents where we read the poetry of Robert Burns (well, Nick did, but that’s because he had the best Scottish accent) and had some traditional Scottish foods (but not haggis).
Saturday I got the bad news about my friend and had a complete meltdown and stayed at home and cried and drank wine and watched movies all day. So cathartic.
Sunday the kids practiced basketball while I fixed up my desk area where the by-hand writing goes on.
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It is tidier and makes the writing go better since I’m not scrambling for pens or notebooks. I’ve tidied up my computer so I know where the files I’m currently using are and I’ve set up a profile for everyone else so I can have mine be whatever I want and don’t have to worry about boy eyes on my things and them getting confused by the voice control setup that I’ve been using.

I have been writing this week. Lots of writing and writing related stuff going on. Working on two novels and a few sad poems. I’m enjoying flipping through old notebooks and files of writing from a couple years ago to see what I would’ve written had I not fallen off the writing track. It’s fun putting stories together again and for that I am very very happy with the universe.

Monday I got a call to work, but had stuff to do at home that desperately needed doing, so I said no and got all my stuff done. Tuesday I also got a call, but had to say no because I was taking David to Dallas to have his X-rays done again and to see if he needed another shoe lift or what. He doesn’t need a new shoe lift, he needs surgery. Oh yay. Probably next summer, but we’ll do another set of scans between now and then because it’s more data for the computer to look at and more data means more accuracy and more accuracy means a better outlook and that could mean putting the surgery off another year and another year could mean a stabilizing of the irregular growth, which could lead to no surgery. So we’re waiting.

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Wednesday I was all ready for the call to work. I got up, made myself lunch, dressed in subbing clothes….and no call. Of course. So I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and let myself have 2 hours of lovely writing time. It was glorious.
Yesterday was my friends funeral. It was a good one, I think. I sat with my friend Dana. They had to add extra chairs on the sides to accomodate all the people. The first person who spoke was a bit conflicted, but Shannon’s sister and dad and regular pastor got up and said some wonderful, understanding things about the nature of depression and the challenges of living with this disease. It was all very heartening and uplifting. I couldn’t stay to go to the graveside service, as I had a PTA meeting. The meeting was very short, which was unusual for us this year. I spent the next couple hours doing work for the next months worth of activities and went to get the kids.
We’re trying out Choremonster.com for our chore rewards website right now. It looked fun and came highly recommended and the kids are excited about it, but I’m finding it very trying. I had to set up each kid separately with separate logins and separate jobs and separate rewards and I have to log back in every single time they finish something to approve it and it is constantly sending me emails telling me to “Hurry quickly!” like I don’t have anything better to do than use this clunky interface to approve each child’s chore. AIE. Plus there’s no calendar to look at or afix things to. You have to just know when things are going to fall on (plus there’s only a few options for days and I need a “every third day” option since I have three people).

Today is finally a regular day. Kids to school, library volunteering, lunch with Nick, an afternoon of chores and errands. *sigh* But I have two kids asleep on the couch and one asleep in my bed. So where am I typing from? Ben’s bed. It’s comfy. I have a dolphin pillow and my old comforter from college and extra blankies, too. Mmm. I might fall asleep here. 🙂

 

Test results back!

Already!  🙂  They were ALL NORMAL!!  Liver function, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, kidney function, blood count, thyroid, everything else in the universe, all normal.

 

So we’re doing a happy dance and I don’t have to go back until July.  I called the office and asked if there’s any further testing for this so-called “heart condition” and was told just to keep on keeping up with my health journal and if I have anything scary happen chest-pain-wise to seek the nearest emergency room.

 

All that worry for nothing.  I’m terrifically relieved.  And now back to trying to fit exercise into the busy schedule.  🙂

Physicals…

Physicals, or check-ups as I like to call them, are so delightful.  This time around they had a totally new computer system that wanted to know my height and blood oxygen levels and whether I was left or right handed.  Woo hoo.  Apparently I’m an inch taller than I think I am.  I pointed out that the last time I’d had my height measured I’d been 18 and barefoot, but the nurse did not care.  5 foot 5 is my new height. It’s in the computer so it’s official. Well, okay, then.

 

Other new things:

– More blood work.  Fasting.  Tomorrow.  Oh yay.

– I need to lose at least 20 pounds.  Me: “Yes, I know, but it’s very hard to lose weight when you spend quite a lot of time not being in any condition to exercise properly.  Isn’t there anything else we could try?” Doctor: “Since you have a heart condition….”  Me: “Wait, what?!”

-I have a heart condition.  Undescribed.  Awaiting some test results.  No big deal.  Umm….

– (back to the weight loss woes) “… you can’t have drugs to help that along.”  I can, and should: walk, do low-impact exercise, swim, etc, and eat healthy.  Which I’m already doing, but I’ll try harder.  Maybe I’ll just travel everywhere with whole grain bread and tea and carrots.  Why not?

– The doctor checked EVERYTHING, even my swallowing and listening to my throat at rest.  I have no idea what that was about; he’s never done it before and frankly at this point I couldn’t handle anything else.

– My left side is way less limber than my right side.  (Wherein I realized that my rheumatologist never does range of motion checks any more.  Hmm.)  Arm, leg, protesting.  Which is weird because it’s my less grouchy side, at least the side that generally hurts less.

 

I think that’s it.  More than enough.

 

Infusions…oh the joy

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Me in the infusion chair at my doctor’s office. I totally forgot to bring any entertainment today and had to rely on the elderly magazines, as my phone died after this picture was taken. So sad. 😉

I had another infusion of Orencia today.  I was really excited to see my old infusion nurse there. I asked about the old-new infusion nurse, if she was taking vacation days, but she is GONE, which mightily made me happy.  Apparently other people had complained about her.  I hadn’t, as I hadn’t wanted to seem whiny, but the truth of it was that she was not careful with me and she insisted trying veins that I knew and told her would not work for me. *sigh*  So the old infusion nurse is back.  YAY!

Unfortunately my best vein is no longer my best vein.  Something happened to it while she was off working in x-ray land and now it has a kink in it.  It could ease out or I could be left without this happy vein as an option.  Who knows.  I’d like it to repair itself.  Having the infusion in my other arm impedes my ability to get things done during my infusion, like writing, and I’m really trying hard to get back in the habit of daily writing again.

Anyway, I talked to my doctor about the flushing and heat issues I’m having.  He hadn’t heard of anything like that, but the nurse later told me that she hears that complaint all the time from other patients, so now I’m a bit confused.  Has anyone else heard of this?  I’m pretty much constantly feeling overheated and I work up a sweat quite easily.  I can’t find anything on the internet on my searches, but maybe y’all have heard something?

I see my primary care physician next week for my usual round of bloodwork and stuff.  I’m going to ask him about it and also about how to lose weight.  It seems like every time I hit the gym I end up with an infection or complication of some sort, so I’m going to ask for his advice on what to do.  It would really ease my pain to weigh less, but I’m going to need some help.

The Waiting Game

“It is very strange that the years teach us patience – that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” 
― Elizabeth TaylorA Wreath of Roses

 

Well, I can now say that my Orencia does help.  It wore off yesterday in the middle of the day.  Just BOOM, no more helpful drugs in my system.  I nearly cried.  My hip feels horrendous, my hands are cramped up, my feet ache terribly, and my shoulders no longer like me sleeping either on my left side or my right.  It’s delightful.  I mean, it really is kind of delightful, knowing that my new wonder drug is, in fact, doing something to help and not just causing a nuisance with side-effects.  My next dose is nearly a week off schedule, due to the office being closed for Christmas and then New Years and them only doing infusions a few days a week.  But it’ll come soon and then we’ll see how long it takes to kick in again.

Other things I’m waiting for: school to start back up so kids can see their friends again (we were actually pretty happy until this afternoon when they realized their break was quite close to ending and they started missing their friends), PTA to start back up so I can start querying for a couple replacements to train up for next year so I can step back and do a little less, and church day to come back ’round so I can talk to the lady in charge of the kitchen so I can bow out for the next year of kitchen duty.  See, my resolution this year is simply to take a bit better care of myself.  To choose ME this year instead of others more often.  Because I haven’t done that in a long time and when I look at myself and pay attention, I see that I am another year older, another 20 pounds heavier, and stressed out beyond belief.  So I’m going to just be good to myself this year and see where that takes me.  🙂

Hope you all are making good plans for yourself for the upcoming year.  I’ll come ’round and check your blogs and see how you all are doing in the morning.  See you then! 🙂

-L

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Between us, the children and I all managed to catch either the flu or bronchitis or both, so we’re having a low-key holiday. Here’s hoping you all are having a very healthy winter break! See ya in the new year!
-*- Love, Us.

Rough week

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AIE, but it’s been a rough week!  We had our first ever Spring Recital at church, which my husband and I were in charge of.  We had a bunch of people helping us, of course, and lots of people to perform, but there was a lot of behind the scenes work that we did for it (getting refreshments, making & printing programs, emailing performers, etc), plus I was a performer as well (our kids, too), so the week started off with a huge deficit of energy.

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But there’s no rest for me, because then of course there was also this week the Spring Carnival for our kids elementary school.  I’m on the PTA board as the contact person for the homeroom parents, so I’d already spent several weeks emailing, emailing, emailing, preparing documents, sending things home to parents, etc before we even got to this week.  Then there was all the running around the last couple days getting stuff ready and purchased and set up, followed by the 3 hours of carnival itself selling tickets and helping to run booths for my kids classes.  It was quite a workout.

Needless to say, really, but I totally overdid it.

So  today, since I very literally can’t walk more than 20 steps without falling over from pain (I can get to the closest bathroom, but not to *my* bathroom, it’s really annoying), I’m staying home and resting.  Every time I close my eyes, though, I’m back in some panic situation, out of food or tickets or prizes or something, and it’s just not restful.  I’m trying to think good thoughts, though.  Cupcakes, for example.  There are lots of those in my kitchen, thanks to a kindergartner that turned them upside down.  They just needed to be flipped over and refrosted and they were good as new (the cake walk lady was going to toss them; oh no, said I).  So some triple chocolate yum for me later when I feel up to getting into the kitchen.  And in the meantime I’ve found a sort-of upright position to look at the computer from, which is a vast improvement from the morning when I was really stuck flat (my hips hadn’t found the right position somehow, but after a lot of effort they’re in a bit better place).  So hey, I have both time and ability to catch up on some blogging and reading others blogs that I haven’t had the last few weeks.  So yay for that, too!  🙂