Falling Apart

My body is retaliating.  For quite some time, I’ve had problems with my knees.  A couple of years ago my doctor examined them and told me I had arthritis.  My grandmother had arthritis and my dad has arthritis, so why not me?

A couple of months ago, my left foot started hurting.  Self-diagnosis – planters fasciitis.

About the same time, my right hand started hurting.  Self-diagnosis – tendonitis.

I had to get a physical this week (more about why I needed the physical another time) and the doctor confirmed my self-diagnosis – planters fasciitis and tendonitis.  As a result, I was able to get a referral for physical therapy.  I would much prefer physical therapy as a treatment over medication and start this week.

I also went to see a doctor about my knees.  They really have gotten much worse over the last several months.  I’m unable to walk up or down stairs without pain.  I’m unable to sit or stand without pain.  Walking doesn’t cause pain unless I’m going up or down a hill.  Running is impossible without significant pain and riding a bike causes knee pain.

I’m falling apart and these three things are having a significant impact on my ability to do all the things I need to be doing on a daily basis.

The doctor I went to see about my knees, specializes in Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy.  His goal is to alleviate the knee pain, stop the effects of arthritis and if possible reverse the effects of arthritis.  He is not a proponent of surgery without first exhausting more natural treatment plans first.

He specializes in Hyaluronan Replacement Therapy.  Hyaluronic acid is a naturally present substance found in the body.  In the knee, this acid acts as a shock absorber keeping your bones from hitting against each other when walking, running, etc.  Arthritis causes the hyaluronic acid to thin, so the bones in the knees begin hitting against each other, which causes pain.  Hyaluronan Replacement Therapy consists of hyaluronic acid being injected into each knee once a week for 5 weeks.  What I really like about this therapy, is that the hyaluronic acid used is extracted from the comb of roosters.  It’s not a man-made substance, but a natural occurring acid found in rooster combs.

 

I love it!!!  Not sure the roosters love it, but if this works, I’ll be forever grateful to roosters.

This therapy has a 70% success rate. However, combined with physical therapy, it has a 90% success rate.  I’m very hopeful it will work for me and if all goes well, between the injections and physical therapy on all the parts of my body currently falling apart, I may be pain-free by the time we leave on our cross-country field trip later this summer.

 

 

Zumba

This week I headed to the gym for my first Zumba class. I walked in and found a place in the back row. After all, no one wanted to see my over-sized body trying to Zumba her way to better health. There were about 30 women in the room. Women of all shapes, sizes and color. I looked around to see if I was the most out-of-shape woman in the room and pretty quickly determined that I was. Just another good reasons for me to be in that class.

Then the music started. I knew immediately that I was going to enjoy this class. Fun tempos. Great beats. Awesome songs.

The instructor got everyone moving and I quickly discovered the problem with the back row. Even with the instructor up on a platform, I still couldn’t see all the footwork and moves that I needed to do. I also discovered that watching the people in front of me wasn’t necessarily going to help either. I don’t know if it was their first class or not, but they certainly weren’t helping me figure out what I was supposed to be doing. Despite my confusion at times, I still got a great workout and managed to figure out some of the moves. They may not have looked the best, but I was doing them none-the-less.

See the lady in the red-orange pants and white shirt? That was me a few times during classes this week. LOL!!!!

About 40 minutes into the class I began to look at the clock. Not because it wasn’t fun, but because I wanted to see how long I had made it without collapsing. Twenty minutes later I had completed my first Zumba class. I was breathing hard. My face was red (which happens when I work out) and dripping with sweat. Most of all, I actually felt good. After years of not walking into a gym, I had done it and I had fun.

Today I headed back to Zumba with a different instructor. She was from Peru and had a strong Spanish accent. I could tell immediately that she was going to be fun.

The group was about half the size of the other group and this time I found myself standing in the front row not caring what anyone else thought. I was there to workout. I was there to improve my health. I was there to get in shape. I was there to have fun.

I worked out to song after song of Latin music. I couldn’t figure out many of the steps, but I kept on moving. Before I knew it, we were done. Another hour-long workout completed and I was very proud of myself.

As I got my things and headed for the exit, the instructor stopped me and asked if I was new to Zumba and her class. Oh no!!!! I must have been worse than I thought. Although I was quite sure that a couple women in the back row were having an equally difficult time with the moves. But then the instructor thanked me for coming and told me “good job.”

I think I’ll stick with it and Zumba my way to a more fit and healthy me.

 

My goal is to be able to Zumba off the floor like this one day!!

 

February Monthly Challenge

I made it thru the January challenge and would have to call it a success.  We saved  money, we ate healthy and found some great new recipes that I will most certainly be using again.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the challenge was how much less I actually had to cook.  A pot of soup gave us a lot of meals, so I did more heating up meals than I did actually cooking meals for the month.  Winner!!!

For the month we ate Black Bean & Lentil Soup, Baked Potato Soup, Pork Chili Verde, Ham & 13 Bean Soup, Vegetable Beef Soup, Chicken & Dumpling Soup, Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup, White Chicken Chili, Bean and Bacon Soup, and Chili Tortellini.

Ten different recipes for 30 days.

Now we enter a new month and it’s time for a new challenge.  So I’m doing a double challenge this month.

Challenge #1 is to continued a variation of the January challenge by creating one-dish meals for the month of February.  Healthy meals that can be prepared in a big pot on the stove, the slow cooker or in a casserole dish and baked in the oven.  Enough for 2-4 meals with plenty for hubby can take for his lunches (that’s the biggest savings for us).

Challenge #2 is to become more active by committing to at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 6 days a week.  I can break it down into 10 minute increments 3 times per day if necessary, but at least 30 minutes.  Either getting out and walking, playing Kinect Sports or Kinect Adventures on the Xbox with the girls, going to the gym and swimming, taking a  Zumba or some other aerobic class.  I have a couple new Yoga DVD’s that I need to use or I could do some resistance training 1-2 days per week.  Lots of choices and a commitment to physical activity.  One month!  A great way to begin building a new healthy habit in my life.

Yoga

Each week at co-op, the girls participate in a 40-minute yoga class.  As they participate in their classes, I sit on the side-lines watching them with a smile on my face.  It’s very entertaining watching 3-7 year olds doing yoga poses but more than that, it is very good for them physically, mentally, and emotionally.

As I’ve watched them each week, I’ve have had a growing desire to participate.   40-minutes of stretching, breathing, more stretching, more breathing and relaxing my mind, body and spirit.  Ahhhhhh!!!!

You see, I’m not very good about giving myself a break during the week.  In fact, I’m not very good about taking a break during the month.  In fact, I had my first break in 7 months this past Saturday evening when I went out with my sister-in-law to see a show.  No kids.  No housework.  Just some me time away from my normal everyday life.  Like I said, I’m not very good about giving myself a break so a little yoga each week sounds pretty good to me. 

However, it doesn’t do me any good to just sit and watch my girls participate in yoga while wishing I was participating too.  So tonight I took the first step and now have a membership at a local yoga studio. For about 1 1/2 hours, a couple of times a week, I am going to give myself a little break to stretch, breath, relax and take care of me.  Ahhhhh!!!!!