Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Million Questions, But Only Time Will Tell...

I am on week 2 of having started the Sinvisc injections.  I had the first injection last Monday.  Talk about a surprise!  After the orthopedic injected my knee, when I stood, I almost fell.  My knee felt as weak as it did this past Labor Day weekend.  He told me to bend the knee a few times to sort of pump the solution into the knee.  

I limped out of the office in a lot of pain, but no less than I had gone into the office.  I iced my knee and so forth, but there was still a lot of pain with getting up and so forth.  Many nights, I went to bed in such pain that lasted all night that I would end up crying a bit, wondering if I had made, yet, another stupid decision.  A friend who had this injection series done explained to me that it was to be expected.  I would not find relief until either a week after the second or even the third injection.  I just need to be patient.

Everyone asks me so many questions about how my knee is doing.  I have to explain to them that these shots are not immediate relief.  I won't get the benefits until the series has been completed and even after that, I may have to wait a week or two.

Currently, after the second injection, my knee is very stiff with getting up and down.  After walking a bit, I start walking a bit normally.  However, when I sit for too long, it is just a HUGE pain getting up.

After putting on an ice pack specifically for my knee, I noticed was able to get up and down much easier.  I am going to check on both back support as well as a knee support brace for overweight people.  This way, maybe, I can use these to help me get around better.

In the past few weeks, I have started seeing a dietician.  It is time to really look at what and how I am eating.  I am treating the process as a reboot from what I was taught when I went through Diabetes Education in 2006/2007.  The dietician believes that the nutritionist was very strict, maybe too strict, so that could be a reason why I fail at the lifestyle change.  Nutshell, she believes that when one makes small changes, those are easier to do and small changes tend to stay with you rather than overwhelming large changes.

So, I am going to work on that aspect of my life and get some of the weight off of this frame by changing my lifestyle to fit a better me.  My hope is that by getting the weight off and keeping it off, then that will allow me to go back to a somewhat normal life.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

DST Really Messes With Your Internal Clock...

This year, the time change has really messed me up all week.  Usually, I can manage a day or two, but not this year.  It has been a full week and I feel so stinking exhausted.

Chloe has been spot on with getting me up much earlier than normal.  Even when it was not daylight savings time, she was getting me up early.  If there is one thing I can count on, if the alarm clock quits, I have Chloe right there to remind me to get my big butt out of the bed and get to the schedule.

My knee still hurts quite a bit today.  I think that also has a lot to do with my lack of sleep.  It has been difficult to sleep when my knee starts throbbing at night.  At this point, my ankle joint kicks in with the pain as well.  Everyday, I am reminded of my own mortality.

I did receive good news on Thursday.  The orthopedic office called to say that the insurance approved my request to get the Sinvisc injections.  The cost I owe is considerably less than what someone quoted me.  I was very happy about that.  I start the injections on Monday.  I am fretting over whether it will be really painful or not.  I hate that part.

Over the past month, I have seen my blood pressure lower since taking the beta blocker.  Also, my blood sugar has been staying below 200 for the most part.  I still have work to do, but it is a bonus to see it consistently lower than back in December.

I am trying to decide if I should go back to YMCA or not.  My membership was canceled due to an issue with my credit card.  It was okay with me because honestly, I had not been in months.  However, I need to drop some weight off of my body.  My scale showed I was at 311.4, so I have a lot of work on my hands.  I cannot allow that to overwhelm me.  I just need to focus on losing 1 lb at a time.  This weight did not get on my body overnight and taking it off is going to be hard work.  I know I can do it.

I have also come to the conclusion that there will be no house bought in the near future.  I need to sort out my medical issues and that needs to take priority.  Also, focus on clearing out the "junk" from the apartment.  I realize that a lot of stuff has been collected over the several years due to my mom's illness, then death.  Now, my inability to stand for long periods of time to take care of what needs to be done.  So, now, focus on what I can do and get it done.

Time to work on planning and get started on organizing and cleaning.

Friday, March 11, 2016

"Have You Considered..."

I made it to see my orthopedic today regarding my knee pain.  During the conversation, he suggested weight loss and then, suggested surgery.

I thought about this on my way home.  Weight loss was how I got in this situation in the first place.  I had worked hard to lose weight in 2014 and ended up with back pain, then the knee pain.  I was unable to move due to pain.  I got very depressed because here I am back in this vicious circle.

I will say that the orthopedic did say he would check with the insurance company on getting me the Sinvisc series of shots.  I think his main concern is how my knee would hold up with my current weight.  However, you see, I want to be able to move pain free, so I can exercise.  

The only reason I am not considering weight loss surgery is because it would be better for me to lose it properly.  More to the point, weight loss surgery is not going to do me a damn thing other than take things away.  That has to be my choice.  Furthermore, I have enough issues as it stands - why would I put myself into further danger by reducing vitamins and nutrients needed?  It adds a whole level of complexity to life that quite honestly, I do not want to manage.  I have enough on my plate.

So, here is my resolve.  Continue to work with someone on my areas of failure - possible binging moments.  How to control those triggers.  Eat better and look for low impact exercises that won't injure the back or the knee.  I know I can do this - I just no longer want to live like this.  It is depressing as hell.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tiny Homes Versus Recreational Vehicle...

Do not ask me how or why I got caught up on watching so many HGTV shows on renovation.  It just happened.  I am mesmerized by the visions that the designers have and how they implement it.  The parts that I cannot wrap my head around are always about problems in the renovation, such as electrical and plumbing issues.  

I have watched a couple of episodes of "Tiny Houses".  I think it is cool that many of them build their own tiny homes.  The young girl just outside of Dallas built her own tiny home with the help of her father and some friends.  

The house is adorable, but the one piece that I felt was missing was where was the bathroom?  She had it built on a trailer that could be pulled by a truck.  Her father was well-versed with materials and helped her build the house using sturdy, yet lightweight materials.  Just recently, I saw a couple convert the inside of a school bus into a home.  Watching that episode made me wonder - what really makes it a "Tiny Home"?

For as long as I have been alive, I have seen recreational vehicles.  Nutshell, they are a home on wheels used to travel.  I get that and have no issue with it.  However, when you convert a school bus inside to be your home, it is still a bus.  I mean, companies make huge tour buses with similar set ups.  Of course, those cost hundreds of thousands or even a few million dollars, but they are buses.  On the positive note, the couple only spent $22,000 fixing up the bus.

I think that small homes are a great idea for those who wish to live simply.  I have seen some pretty incredible tiny homes built with some very innovative ideas.  Going back to the girl building her own tiny home with her father.  She designed her staircase to be a spiral staircase that could also function like faux bookshelves.  She pulled a string and the staircase steps would come away from the bookshelves and form a spiral staircase.  It was very cool to see.

One couple created a bench seat.  Using storage bins, the couple were able to convert the bench, using cushions, from a love seat, to a single bed, to a lounger, and to a queen bed.  Another couple set up their office under their bed, so when the bed was lifted up, the desk and such would set up correctly.

As one woman stated, everything in a tiny house has to serve multiple tasks.  If an idea for anything, even frames, could not service multiple tasks, then the couple could not use it.  I think that the people who specialize in organization would love setting up the spaces for these tiny homes.  Also, for those people who are really into a minimal lifestyle, these homes would be perfect for that.

I will say that I am for building tiny homes for the homeless to help them get a job and get back on their feet.  With the weather being so bitter cold, the tiny homes would help.  However, I also know that the poor  homes would be under appreciated.  

I remember a young man building a tiny home for this homeless woman.  He was helping her out.  The only problem was that the house had to be moved off the street during certain times, but even the police officers thought the tiny home was a great idea.

Maybe, cities will consider areas for tiny homes.  However, they would probably be considered like mobile home parks.  Who knows, maybe manufactured homes will come back into style?

Learning About "Take Aways"...

Often, I read a lot of posts regarding being with people who uplift and fill you with positive feelings after you meet.  I have a few friends where I feel that - Random Cathy, Laurie, Sharon, and CAT.  I have one friend where I come away feeling worse than when I showed up for the meeting.  

The situation with this one particular friend is something I need to sort out somehow.  I was mentioning a situation with the neighborhood kids constantly wanting to pet the dogs, especially when they are trying to do #2.  Her comment was that I needed to move out of the complex and into a senior citizen complex.

I really found the suggestion offensive.  First of all, I am not as old as she is.  Second, I am not 65 at this point in my life.  Third, I am simply stating that I really wished that the kids were better behaved.  

I try to respect this friend, but every time I go out with her, I feel worse after the meeting.  I am not energized for anything.  People wonder why I am still friends with her and I feel it has to do with the help she gave to me when I moved to this apartment.  I feel I owe her at least that.  However, I wish she would change her attitude.  A lot of the time, it is that attitude that drags me down.

I am making it a point to try to be more positive.  I do not try to bring up my physical issues when people ask me how I am doing.  For me, it is enough of a hardship to manage, so I feel, there is no sense in discussing it.  It is no one's fault.  Life happens and in my opinion, this is one of God's challenges in my life.  I have to learn to figure out how to fix it and/or deal with it.  

I will admit, I do not necessarily feel this friend listens to what is going on in my life.  Rather than just listening, she wants to be a problem solver.  I do not need that - I just need to vent.  Perhaps, it is best to just not discuss my issues with her.  It is the one things I have learned - it is probably better if I just listen and not try to problem solve unless I am actually asked to help.  Listening is generally all I do when the two of us meet.  

When I visit with my other friends, I always feel energized when I come away.  Sometimes, I feel I probably take up too much of the conversation, so I will try harder not to do that.  But at the same time, I feel these friends know when to just listen and let me vent and when a suggestion is best.  However, none of them make me feel like I am being old or anything like that.  For that, I feel truly blessed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Worst is Over...For Now...

I made it through the cortisone shot in my back on Monday.  The only real pain I had to deal with, other than my aching knee, was the IV in my hand.  I really hate that.  

When the one doctor put in the medication to put me under, it was freezing cold.  I remember saying something about it, then I was out.  The next thing I remember was hearing two nurses making decisions regarding lunch.  I opened my eyes and found that rather than laying on my stomach, I was, now, laying on my back.  

I am grateful for my friend, Laurie, who drove and picked me up from the procedure.  As a "Thank You", I got her a dozen cupcakes from Smallcakes as well as paying for lunch after the procedure.  I realized that it was taking away from her day, but I was truly thankful that she was there.

How do I feel after the procedure?  Over all, I am feeling good.  My biggest issue is my knee and as I knew, that shot was not going to fix that issue.  I have to return back to my orthopedic and we discuss the other option he had suggested.  

I am probably addicted to hydrocodone, but I do not want to think I am.  I do look for feeling that "buzz" because that it is my only indication that the medication is taking effect in my system.  Sometimes, I do not feel it and that makes me feel that the medication is not taking effect.  However, I am not just grabbing another dose of the medication.  If I miss my dose, I rough it out until the next time I should take a dose.

The positive points I can take away from this - I am very glad that I selected to pay more for better medical insurance this year.  I was wavering, but decided in the long run, it would benefit me to go for the "gold" level.  Probably the very best decision I have made lately.  At this point, I have met my deductible and now, I am only paying 10%.  I am about $1600 from meeting my maximum deductible.  Once I hit that, medications and so forth will be a hell of a lot cheaper.

Grateful for my friends, Laurie and Sharon.  Laurie, I have known for 20 years and her helping me out in this situation was really a blessing.  My best friend, Sharon, has offered her help with assisting me on doing some clean up in my apartment.  I seriously hate asking for help, but at the same time, it is really hard on me to do much right now.  She has known me for over 30 years and I can depend on her to help me clear this clutter and get the apartment to the point where I can hire someone to help me keep it in shape.  Also, it will give us an opportunity to visit and talk while we work.  This time will be easier because it is my "junk" and not my mom's house, where neither of us knew what to do with some of the stuff.

I hope that this journey will lead me to find a pain-free life and I can do something in return for these two friends.