Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Fitbit

A couple of weeks ago, I stepped off the scale, extremely unhappy with the number I saw. I had regained seven of the 44 pounds l had lost last year. Increased steroids, an extremely restrictive diet (by necessity), and months of illness had taken their toll. I needed to find some way to beat the odds against me and halt the slide. 

I have usually had success with plain old calorie counting. I needed something to help me keep track of my food and make me aware enough not to just eat mindlessly. I had heard people talk about the fitbit. Being generally fond of gadgets, I thought this $99.00 investment in a fitbit flex might just help do the trick of getting me back on track.

I had to work with it a bit to get realistic goals for my particular body and health issues. I am doing really good to get 3,500 steps, 30 active minutes, and drink 40 ounces of water. I set up a modest weight loss goal of 1/2 pound a week, although I am losing faster than that at this point. I have yet to actually be able to walk 2 miles, even with a lot of starts and stops. 

It also seems to be pretty good at tracking my sleep. It can tell when I am awake or restless. Having multiples of both is a fair sign that my BiPap mask is not working properly. I am hoping to work on resolving that next week, if it is possible.

Sometimes I feel like my fitbit is nagging me. It will be 10:00 PM and I will be realistically within my step goal, so I pace around the house till I get them. It will let me know that if I put ONE more thing in my mouth, I will be over my calories in vs calories out. I don't want that crossed knife and fork icon to show up on my dashboard, telling me that I have overeaten! 
I crave those little green smiley faces that tell me I have made my goals. 

Enduring weight loss and better fitness don't happen without hard work from me. But, my fitbit makes the journey a little more fun. 


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Kidney Stones

Fortunately, they were not mine. Unfortunately, they belonged to my husband. 

I have heard that kidney stones cause some of the worst pain in the world. After this past 11 days, I believe it. Two lithotripsies, one ER visit, and a surgery to insert a stent later, the pain is finally gone. However, the weakness and fatigue caused by over a week of not sleeping or eating properly still remain.

My normally even tempered husband, became a seemingly different person while dealing with this pain. This man will not grace a headache with an aspirin. But, two days after lithotripsy #1, this man was in so much pain that my neighbor, Ross, took him to the ER, while I raced back from Annual Conference of the Methodist Church to get to him as quickly as possible. It took Dilaudid to finally ease the pain at the ER. Then they shipped us home, knowing that the urologist was set to leave for the weekend and following week. 

Fortunately for us, this doc ended up not leaving town and we were to see him on Wednesday. By Thursday, the second lithotripsy was done and a stent placed.  This all appears to have finally done the trick.

My husband said that this bout of kidney stones made his lung cancer surgery seem like a piece of cake. 

As for me, aside from praying I never get kidney stones and that he doesn't get any more, I am going to find out what is causing my husband to get these. Then, I am going to try to keep him from eating and drinking things that might cause them to form again. Notice, I said *try*.  People tend to have short memories when it comes to things like this. 

But I certainly won't soon forget this week.  


Saturday, June 06, 2015

Closing the Box

After almost 5 years, the wonderful owners are putting the lid on The Cricket Box. Judy and Debbie are ready to retire "for real this time" in order to spend more time with family, pursue other interests, and have the kind of free time that owning a small business simply does not allow. 

The Cricket Box set an amazing example of how a successful business is run. Judy and Debbie dealt with their vendors and consignees fairly, keeping everything completely above board. They went above and beyond the call of duty if a member of the Cricket Box family had an illness or injury, either personal, or in the family, often providing meals, visiting, and even attending funerals.

The Cricket Box gave me a local opportunity to show and sell my art and I am forever grateful. It gave me an opportunity to make new friends and raise money for the charities I support. Most of all, it gave me two precious forever friends, Judy Wooley and Debbie Tate. 

The "Box" may be gone, but the memories and the friendships will never be. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

A Gift

I received a wonderful gift today. A gift of unexpected and badly needed time. 

I took my husband to the hospital today to have lithotripsy for a kidney stone. Almost every time one of us goes in for a procedure of any kind, we are told to get there early. Then, we usually end up being bumped to last case. That means we may get to there at 6:30 AM and not leave until as late as 9:00 PM. That makes for a very long day in a cold, tiny room. Especially if I am the one waiting. 

Today, we got there at 6:30 and we were home by 10:30. I consider this nothing short of a miracle. This week was already packed with an unscheduled trip to Jackson yesterday,  watercolor classes and three trips to Jackson coming up for Annual (United Methodist) Conference Thursday-Saturday. This probably does not sound like much to a healthy person, but is absolutely exhausting to me. 

So, I am especially thankful for this time gift today. Time to take a nap. Time to get errands run that would have had to be done in my already overcrowded tomorrow. Time to return emails and phone calls. Blessed time that leaves me with a little more energy for the rest of the week. Time. 

Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years.  Mystery Meat  I brought ...