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kaplods
10-16-2011, 11:09 PM
I have a lot of health issues and joint damage, so I have to be careful with exercise. I have to increase exercise gradually or it bites me in the butt with symptom flares and pain.

For the month of October, our YMCA is running a "passport to fitness" program. You're given a "passport" that lists 12 or 13 countries, and 3 or 4 exercises are listed under each country. To get your passport "stamped" you have to do 30 minutes of one of the listed exercises. You need to do 12 different exercises, on 12 different days, from at least 6 different countries.

Participants who complete the challenge get a sweatshirt. I really want that sweatshirt.


Until today, I had been choosing water exercises and treadmill work to get my stamps. Today I decided to try the elliptical machine (to get my Norway stamp).

I knew about 10 minutes in, that it was probably a mistake, but I didn't want to give up and have to do 30 minutes of a different activity, so I stuck with it. By 15 minutes, I was in real trouble, but if I gave up, I wasn't going to get "my stamp" (I was so tired already that I knew I had no hope of completing 30 minutes of another activity), so I slowed down, but kept going, deciding I was going to make those 30 minutes, come heck or high water.

I made my 30 minutes, but had to call for help (thankfully my husband had just gotten off the stationery bike in front of me). He had to help me get off the machine and walk to the lounge area. My legs were so weak, I didn't think they were going to hold me up.

Usually after exercise, we play around in the pool a bit and then go to the hot tub, instead we left the gym in our workout clothes and went straight home.

I'm STILL having trouble walking. It feels like my legs could give out at any time.


On one hand, I'm super proud that I did finish those 30 minutes (even if it felt like it was going to kill me).

On the other hand, I know it was an idiotic thing to do - especially if it keeps me from exercising tomorrow or Tuesday (the day after the day after always seems to be the worst).

What's even "dumber" is that towards the end, I was thinking of all those "Biggest Loser" style shows, and thinking "it won't kill me to keep going," even though I hate those shows for that very reason - I think a lot of people on those shows and those emulating what they see on those shows could get hurt.

I just never thought it would be me, because I thought I knew better (I DO know BETTER)!

... and if I'm willing to nearly kill myself, going against my better judgement for a darned sweatshirt, what would I do for a quarter of a million dollars?

And worst of all: I STILL WANT THAT DAMNED SWEATHSIRT!!!!!!!

(I do think I can get the sweatshirt without killing myself, but I am going to be more careful at the gym).


theox
10-16-2011, 11:35 PM
:hug:

I think a lot of us need reality checks from time to time.

I hope you get that sweatshirt!

mhill0823
10-17-2011, 12:18 AM
I think that sometimes it's good to push yourself! Just stick with it!!!!
This makes me want to join YMCA for a cool challenge like this! Things that keep you motivated are the best!


MusicalAstronaut
10-17-2011, 12:54 AM
I think it's great that you're pushing yourself so hard! I would've quit by then. Hooray for you! And maybe you should try eating more carbs or protein? That might give you more energy for those kinds of workouts?

kaplods
10-17-2011, 12:55 AM
I think that sometimes it's good to push yourself! Just stick with it!!!!


I agree, but with my health issues, the line between pushing myself and hurting myself is very fine. So I have to be very vigilant.

With my fibromyalgia especially, my body doesn't deal well with drastic change, so every change has to be made very gradually to prevent a flare of the fibro. It's one of the reasons that I've had to take the weight loss very slowly. All changes have to be made gradually, because any sudden change in routine, whether it's diet, sleep, activity level, or even weather tends to throw me into a flare - One of the best ways to describe a severe fibro flare - is a combination of flu symptoms on top of having been beaten severely or having your joints all struck with a baseball bat and having not slept for a week (that drugged feeling that only severe sleep deprivation can cause, where your mind works at 1/10 normal speed and you couldn't think yourself out of a paper bag).

The improvements I've been able to make in the past seven years have been miraculous, but they've all been achieved "baby step" style.

By making changes very gradually, I've been able to reduce the severity and frequency of flares. Now I've got bed-bound flare days down to no more than a few per month, and rarely consecutive days. When I started, the very bad, worst-symptom days outnumbered good days by at least 10 to 1.

For the most part, now my flares are less severe overall, and tend to be either pain or fatigue/brain fog related - not all the symptoms rolled into one big horrible mess.


I'm not really afraid of the potential pain or mental-fogginess flare my indescretion today may cause, it's the effect on my husband. After all, the worst that can happen to me is a painful day or two in bed (and I'm hoping to avoid or minimize that by getting right back to my normal routine as quickly as possible), but hubby gets so incredibly upset when I miscalculate and end up in a bad flare. He tend to go into lecture or mother hen mode fussing and stressing over how I shouldn't do this to myself and need to take care of myself better...


What's ironic is that I've been more successful losing weight with all these extra obstacles than I did when pushing myself was an option every day.

kaplods
10-17-2011, 01:14 AM
I think it's great that you're pushing yourself so hard! I would've quit by then. Hooray for you! And maybe you should try eating more carbs or protein? That might give you more energy for those kinds of workouts?


Good suggestions. I follow a higher-protein, lower-carb exchange plan - and I do tend to spend my carbohydrate exchanges before workouts, for that very reason.

Although, energy really wasn't the problem, it was muscle strength and using muscles I'm not used to using (especially my hips and upper thighs), and doing far more than I should have if I want to avoid a flare of the fibro (which I very much want to do, because bad flares can disrupt my routine so easily). If I hurt badly enough to take my stronger pain meds, I'm usually also in too much pain to want to go to the gym.

I don't think my health issues set a ceiling on what I can do, just in how I go about getting there. Pushing myself to do a little more than the last time, makes sense. But doubling my effort inevitably sets me back.

When I went to my first fibromyalgia support group, I met a girl who ran marathons, and I thought "how can someone with fibromyalgia run a marathon?" She was one of the first people who told me that a consistent routine was vital to fibromyalgia and that "adapting to change" especially those you can't control was one of the biggest challenges of the disease, and that making gradual changes was the way to prevent flares. When she started she was also in bed more than she was out of it, so she's always been my role model for dealing with the disease.

Doctors told me essentially the same thing when I asked "how can I exercise regularly when exercising causes so much pain?" They said I had to start small and make changes gradually. And that's been working fantastically.

The "no pain, no gain, Biggest-Loser, almost-dropping dead" style workouts aren't going to work for me in the long run. I might be able to work up to them, but getting there has to be gradual (at least so long as the fibro is active rather than in remission)..

Esofia
10-17-2011, 08:32 AM
Come on, you know better than to overdo it like that! Though I know how incredibly frustrating this illness is, we all do stupid things from time to time. But you really can't treat yourself as if you're a healthy person and take on the same challenges, or at least all of the same challenges. On the other hand, if you consider the level of exercise you've already accomplished relative to your level of disability, I'd say that you have easily outperformed all of the people who claim that silly sweatshirt several times over. It's a pity we don't get gold stars for disability-hindered fitness achievements, eh. Although in our cases, we should also be getting gold stars for resisting the urge to overdo it! Right now, don't even think about exercising tomorrow, go and rest for all you're worth. Pushing past your limits like that is going to have one h*ll of a kickback.

To the people encouraging Kaplods to complete this challenge: please go back and reread her post. She has one of the most disabling medical conditions in existence, one that is specifically worsened by overexertion (and at some stages of the illness, "overexertion" means having a shower or even less), and she described in detail how this level of overexertion makes her worse for days on end. I've got the same condition. Well, I've got CFIDS/ME and have newly been told that I probably have fibromyalgia, and Kaplods has fibro and I think also CFIDS (memory's shot, I'm afraid); the conditions overlap widely and are almost certainly related.

Believe me, we are both raring to go and would dearly love to be able to exercise more. We have also both had years of people encouraging us to overdo it, and in my case, the case of every single person with CFIDS that I've talked to, and as far as I remember in Kaplods' case as well (apologies if I'm misremembering or speaking out of turn, hon), we've made ourselves a great deal worse through years of overdoing it. The severity of CFIDS (not sure about fibro) runs all the way through minor disability, then not being able to work, not being able to leave your house, not being able to get out of bed, up to death in the worst cases, so this is a serious matter. I do realise you meant well, it just happened not to be the right approach.

runningfromfat
10-17-2011, 10:15 AM
:hug:

I'm the same way. I KNOW my knees are bad and my lower back tends to get hurt easily. However, there are just some exercises that I want to do at the gym! I shouldn't do squats at all until I see a doctor but sometimes I still do and always regret it later.

It's also hard because I can remember my younger body that would allow me to push myself to my very limits. I don't have that body anymore and the extra weight that I was carrying in the meantime didn't help things either.

I'm also trying to stick to pool exercises at the moment. Even walking on the treadmill hasn't been the best for my knees and I know my back needs a rest from lifting for a bit but it's hard to stay away. I enjoy those activities quite a bit, they make me feel strong, like I'm getting something done. Something that I just don't feel after a swim.

Thankfully, DH is pretty good at calling me out when I go overboard or push myself too hard. He reminds me to step back and look at things in the big picture. Maybe your husband could do the same for you? Especially with that sweatshirt in the balance. :p

Esofia
10-17-2011, 10:17 AM
We should start an exercise thread in the Dieting With Obstacles forum. That way we can chat with other people who are having these sorts of difficulties, and not always be feeling that we have to measure ourselves against healthy people who have completely different abilities and limits.

Lovely
10-17-2011, 10:45 AM
Eek! Kaplods, I hope that your body doesn't punish you much for the overexertion :(

But, I AM routing for you to get that sweatshirt! :D

sontaikle
10-17-2011, 10:52 AM
Sometimes that carrot dangling out in front of you is too much. I wonder what it is about some sort of incentive that drives us to push ourselves so hard. We KNOW it isn't worth it but I assume we receive some sort of validation from getting a prize.

The fact of the matter is you did push yourself. You can't undo it, but you now have a learning experience to look back on. Maybe pushing yourself like this and having this stored in your head will stop you from pushing yourself another time where perhaps you might have done some serious damage. You might find yourself in a similar situation, but THIS experience will probably cause you to go "Hey, not a good idea."

I've been there. I don't have a disability, but I do have a set of lungs that attract just about every pathogen if I'm not careful. I've pushed myself and both ended up in the hospital and nearly ended up in the hospital because of it. It took me several times to learn not to push myself when I felt something in my lungs, but only until I actually passed out and wound up in the hospital did I learn that I should really watch myself. I'm now quite a bit more careful and I probably really should go get a flu shot because that can turn into something serious if I'm not careful (see! I'm still not learning! ack!).

Basically, don't beat yourself up for it. You know it was a mistake, you know you shouldn't have done it. Chalk it up to an unpleasant learning experience and vow to not get yourself down this path again.

runningfromfat
10-17-2011, 12:16 PM
I've been there. I don't have a disability, but I do have a set of lungs that attract just about every pathogen if I'm not careful. I've pushed myself and both ended up in the hospital and nearly ended up in the hospital because of it. It took me several times to learn not to push myself when I felt something in my lungs, but only until I actually passed out and wound up in the hospital did I learn that I should really watch myself. I'm now quite a bit more careful and I probably really should go get a flu shot because that can turn into something serious if I'm not careful (see! I'm still not learning! ack!).

Basically, don't beat yourself up for it. You know it was a mistake, you know you shouldn't have done it. Chalk it up to an unpleasant learning experience and vow to not get yourself down this path again.

Yes! Please be careful. DH as some pretty severe allergies+asthma. He's really struggled finding the right balance between pushing himself and listening to his body. We've been to the hospital more than once for it and it's not something to take lightly. I hope you figure out what works for you. We have to be super vigilant about keeping the house clean and keeping him away from animals. :( The good news is, is that between him watching what he eats and running at least 3x per week he no longer has to take daily meds and just keeps around an emergency inhaler. I hope things look up for you and you figure out what works. :hug:

crimsons
10-17-2011, 01:20 PM
Kaplods, look at all that weight you lost!! Wowee! Big pat on the back.

I'm sure the Y doesn't want you hurt...and they also are offering that sweatshirt as impetus for people to exercise daily. I mean, someone who's lost 100 lbs is going to be their poster child!!!! Could you talk to someone in control of the "Passport" program and explain the situation?

I'm sure they can work out a personal "world tour" for their star member that's perfect for you, will challenge you, and keep you healthy and exercising -- and earn the sweatshirt that way. By this, I mean finding a trainer or such, working out exercises that will work for you right now, and pick some new countries that fit those exercises (that might not be on the list -- but you're an adventurer, right? You did this already!) I'm 100% sure they'll be thrilled to have someone coming in who passionately wants to accomplish that goal, in fact, bet they'll be thrilled. Perhaps they can even personalize it with your impressive weight loss. You can be a role model and inspiration for others.

If the person you approach is uncooperative, don't be discouraged. Lots of dweebs in the world, so keep asking til you get what you want.

kaplods
10-17-2011, 02:50 PM
Come on, you know better than to overdo it like that! Though I know how incredibly frustrating this illness is, we all do stupid things from time to time. But you really can't treat yourself as if you're a healthy person and take on the same challenges, or at least all of the same challenges. On the other hand, if you consider the level of exercise you've already accomplished relative to your level of disability, I'd say that you have easily outperformed all of the people who claim that silly sweatshirt several times over. It's a pity we don't get gold stars for disability-hindered fitness achievements, eh. Although in our cases, we should also be getting gold stars for resisting the urge to overdo it! Right now, don't even think about exercising tomorrow, go and rest for all you're worth. Pushing past your limits like that is going to have one h*ll of a kickback.

To the people encouraging Kaplods to complete this challenge: please go back and reread her post. She has one of the most disabling medical conditions in existence, one that is specifically worsened by overexertion (and at some stages of the illness, "overexertion" means having a shower or even less), and she described in detail how this level of overexertion makes her worse for days on end. I've got the same condition. Well, I've got CFIDS/ME and have newly been told that I probably have fibromyalgia, and Kaplods has fibro and I think also CFIDS (memory's shot, I'm afraid); the conditions overlap widely and are almost certainly related.

Believe me, we are both raring to go and would dearly love to be able to exercise more. We have also both had years of people encouraging us to overdo it, and in my case, the case of every single person with CFIDS that I've talked to, and as far as I remember in Kaplods' case as well (apologies if I'm misremembering or speaking out of turn, hon), we've made ourselves a great deal worse through years of overdoing it. The severity of CFIDS (not sure about fibro) runs all the way through minor disability, then not being able to work, not being able to leave your house, not being able to get out of bed, up to death in the worst cases, so this is a serious matter. I do realise you meant well, it just happened not to be the right approach.


I so agree, and am really glad you reminded me of all the things I "know" but sometimes have a hard time "feeling."

There's so much social pressure to succeed, especially at weight loss and fitness by intense, back-breaking effort that even when I "know better" there's that little voice in the back of my head saying "you're fat and sick because you're just lazy."

I know I'm not, and I know that one of the factors contributing to my illness was burning the candle at both ends by working crazy hours and sacrificing sleep to "prove" to the world that I might be fat, but I damned well wasn't lazy.

I've had a lot of practice at refusing to meet other people's unreasonable expectations of me, but I forget that I have to refuse to meet MY unreasonable expectations of me.

Unfortunately I now realize (boy, what an AHA moment), this is what my husband has been nagging me about for the past several years and has been the recent subject of some intense arguments - because I thought he was mostly nuts. I thought that I "knew my own limits" and that he should shut up and let me decide what I should and shouldn't do.

Boy is he going to gloat when I tell him that I not only understand what he was saying, that I agree with it.

It felt like he was "holding me back," but I realize that he sometimes knows my limitations better than I do (he gave me a bit of a lecture as to what would have happened if he had gone to the pool before I was done with the elyptical - because I'm so stubborn I probably wouldn't have asked a stranger for help off of the machine).

In my mind, I thought well I would have fallen and would have had to crawl to the lounge - still "no big deal." (See how crazy I am).

It all boils down to my impatience with the progress I've made. I love that I've come this far (it sure beats being confined to bed most of the year), but I hate that it's taken seven years. When I started, my expectations were that my improvements would "snowball" and I'd be able to do more, faster. And while that's been slightly true, I have to acknowledge that I don't get to decide the speed, and if I try to, I'm just going to hurt myself and set back my progress).


As for the gym, we are going today, but I'm not going to be any actual exercising. I still have an "open swim" to use for my requirements. I was saving it for just this occasion (well not just this occasion, because I didn't intend to do this to myself), but I was saving it to use as a "get out of jail free" non-exercise, exercise. My intention is to just float (treading water without much treading).

I really can get the sweathshirt without hurting myself. There are are enough low-intensity, low-impact options on the list, that choosing the elyptical was insane. I was just getting cocky and wanting to "impress myself." I should have stuck with the walking options or chosen to take one of the modified exercise classes (intended for elderly and disabled folks - so why didn't I choose those - plain hubris).

Esofia
10-17-2011, 05:07 PM
YOU ARE NOT LAZY.

I've had a lot of practice at refusing to meet other people's unreasonable expectations of me, but I forget that I have to refuse to meet MY unreasonable expectations of me.

The difficulty, I find, is when you start internalising those expectations from other people. A lot of my unreasonable expectations of myself are built on those, although I can cook up plenty on my own as well.

As for the modified exercise classes intended for elderly and disabled people, those almost always mean just elderly, and no one wants to think of themselves as elderly when they really are, let alone at our age, so no wonder you didn't join them. But you're right, it would probably be a better option.

I get cocky as well, we all do. How do you think I set off this blasted RSI (which is nearly better, by the way, thanks proper rest and getting rid of the mouse)? I found a nice new quilting technique, a fairly easy one which produces fast results, and went a bit mad with it. This was over two months ago, and I haven't been able to pick up a needle since. I am, as my beloved trenchantly observes, a proper daftie. It's a good thing we have fabulous partners to help keep us from dashing over the metaphorical cliff, isn't it.

I started an "exercising with obstacles" thread as threatened in the Dieting With Obstacles forum. Hop over and we can cheer each other on for staying within our limits? And meanwhile, REST, woman! I am rather suspicious of this airy plan to go swimming tomorrow. Promise me that if you wake up feeling like crap, you'll stay at home?

kaplods
10-17-2011, 06:00 PM
I started an "exercising with obstacles" thread as threatened in the Dieting With Obstacles forum. Hop over and we can cheer each other on for staying within our limits? And meanwhile, REST, woman! I am rather suspicious of this airy plan to go swimming tomorrow. Promise me that if you wake up feeling like crap, you'll stay at home?

Awesome, I'll head over there.

Actually I've decided (uh, hubby helped me decide) that I'm not going to the gym tomorrow, even if I do think I feel up to it, because tomorrow night is my TOPS group meeting (taking off pounds sensibly). Even during a fantastic week, I don't go to the gym on days that I have anything else planned, because it can use up all of my energy, even if I'm smart and careful.

If I feel really crappy tomorrow, I'll be in bed most of the day, and may even miss my TOPS meeting, or just go and weigh in and leave. If I'm really sore, just sitting for the 45 minute meeting will be too much.


I am glad I went to the gym today. As I intended, I didn't exert myself at all. I just floated in the water, barely moving, and then used the hot tub. Getting dressed and undressed and then dressed again was more work than I did in the pool.

The freedom from gravity was great. What I wouldn't give to have an infinity pool or a water treadmill and a hot tub...

If I had the resources to have my own warm water pool, it would be very tempting to get in, and never get out, because except during the most extreme flares, being in the water relieves most of my fibro pain.

There's a down side though. My doctor told my husband and I that we shouldn't spend more than 90 minutes in the water, because the freedom from gravity can make adjusting to normal gravity difficult and more painful.

So being in the water felt great - getting out again didn't (and I only spent 30 minutes in the water). I did get to feel exactly which muscles had gotten the worst of the deal. Because while most of my joint and muscle pain disappeared or was greatly relieved in the water - the pain in my hips and thighs hurt like mad. In fact, because the rest of the body soreness was relieved, the pain in my thighs almost seemed worse in comparison, and I thought "Wow, I really did a number on my legs."

It put things into perspective. The "pride" I felt in pushing myself disappeared, and I realized how easily I could have truly hurt myself. What if I had herniated a disk? I've been through that before, when I was young and healthy - and it was months of torture and physical therapy. Several days in the hospital on demerol, eight weeks off work on high doses of vicodin which barely controlled the pain that felt like my hip and leg had been lit on fire, inside and out, and left me with permanent nerve damage in my foot.

It wasn't just a "rookie mistake" it was pure idiocy.... thankfully, sanity has returned.





I also talked to the gym staff, and they told me that I could modify any of the activities to my needs, and could even do my walking in the water if I wanted (and they also scolded me for being so careless on the elylptical, reminding me that the goal isn't to hurt myself).

runningfromfat
10-17-2011, 06:06 PM
I also talked to the gym staff, and they told me that I could modify any of the activities to my needs, and could even do my walking in the water if I wanted (and they also scolded me for being so careless on the elylptical, reminding me that the goal isn't to hurt myself).

That's great!

I also wanted to add that I'm glad your husband is helping you out so much with this. You obviously married him for a reason so maybe it'd be a really good idea to listen to him in terms of what your limits are. ;)

I hear you on the pool thing too. During my last pregnancy I did water aerobics and it felt GREAT until I got out. :dizzy: Take care of yourself. 30 min on the elliptical is not work days of pain (or worse).

Esofia
10-17-2011, 06:38 PM
Quick reply as we're about to curl up and watch yet more silly TV, plus I should be resting my hands, but I'm glad common sense has kicked in. And don't beat yourself up about it, we really do all do this from time to time. Look at me, I was doing three hours' hand-quilting a day for several days on end, and yes, I absolutely knew better! You get this weird thrill while you're doing it, as if you're being naughty and rebellious and not letting the illness hold you back and hey everyone, see me go! *crash* *oops*

The warm water sounds great, though I hear it's one to be cautious with as it can be easy to do more than you really should (a lesson which you have just had reinforced very thoroughly, so I doubt you'll trip up on that one). It reminds me of when they use hydrotherapy for dogs to help with various things. The gym is sounding really good as well. Do you have a heat pad or heat lamp you can use at home? My beloved has just put a nice aromatherapy oil on my back, which is all knotty today, and I'm about to curl up on the heat pad. For some reason the combination works quite a bit better than the heat pad alone.

If you're likely to get too stiff while sitting at the TOPS meeting, does it help to bring a cushion? Do they happen to have an armchair or sofa in the room which you can snag? I used to do that at synagogue, they met in a community centre hall and while everyone else pulled out the stackable chairs, I used to make a beeline for the spare padded wicker chair.

DezziePS
10-17-2011, 06:47 PM
Oh! What a frustrating experience. Perhaps you just needed to be reminded, as others have said, that you just need to take it slow. I'm glad you made it to the gym again anyway, for me GOING is more than half the battle. Keeping it in your routine is awesome. Also, I totally agree about the day after the day after being the worst! One of the only things that helps me is very mild exercise the day after- I think even your "free swim"- moving those joints around, breaking up some of that lactic acid, probably helped. As for the eliptical, I hate those things. Invariably, I end up next to some hot little number in an expensive spandex workout suit going five times faster than me and talking on her phone constantly while I huff and puff. Still, why didn't you slow down when you started to feel the burn so badly? Though not as gentle on your joints as water jogging, I hope you won't rule it out in the future as a means of exercise. It does break things up a bit, and it is easier on my joints than a treadmill.

I've been meaning to say, too- CONGRATULATIONS on getting under 300! That 297 is such a badge of honor!! I know you've been working for it for so long. Also- I checked out your etsy shop the other day- your Cthulus are adorable. :)

kaplods
10-17-2011, 08:21 PM
I am in a ____ load of trouble (ie pain), but I thought I'd write before it gets worse, to say this, because I may not be posting for a few days (I'm expecting bed rest for the rest of today and most or all of tomorrow, then we'll see how Wednesday pans out).

WOW, my legs, right above my knees hurt so bad, that getting into a sitting position from standing is almost unbearable. Getting up again is also bad, but not nearly as bad as sitting down - the process of sitting down - once I'm sitting, the pain isn't bad at all, as long as I don't put any weight on the legs or pressure on the knees. It's kind of hard to find a position in bed that is comfortable, and once I do - I'm afraid to move. Sitting with legs slightly bent, is the most comfortable (until I have to get up again).

Since the day after the day after is always the worst, I'm afraid that tomorrow is going to be a real @#$%. Thank heavens for my pain meds and muscle-relaxant. I use fish oil as an anti-inflammatory (because I can't use NSAIDs), so I increased my doseage. That doesn't really do much for the pain, but I've learned that it does seem to shorten recovery time a little.



Esofia, You're right of course, and I'm trying to "just learn from it and move on," but as the pain is hitting, it's hard not to think "how could I be so stupid." Ah well, the clarity of hindsight...

I do have a heating pad and a heating blanket, and I was planning on using the heating pad because we always have that out and ready to use. The heating blanket is in the cedar chest, and I've been meaning to get it out for colder weather. The blanket may be the better bet, because with the heating pad, I would have to discourage the cat from lying on top of it (she's an old, arthritic thing herself, and she's attracted to a heating pad like a moth to a flame - so it's probably worth getting the heating blanket out, so that I can warm my legs AND have enough spare blanket for her).

I think the TOPS meeting probably isn't going to work, but if I do feel up to it, I will take a cushion, because that does seem to help (I used to carry one, wherever I went, "just in case"). I'm also going to get out my cane, because my balance isn't quite right, either.

On the bright side, I know from experience that tomorrow is going to be the worst, so it will be all downhill from there. The gym probably will be off-limits at least until friday.

I know what you mean about aromatherapy helping with pain. For me, the smell of Baby Magic, baby lotion is my scent of choice, so I always keep it by my bedside to use when I'm uncomfortable (or just wanting a soothing scent).


DezziePS - I did slow down when it started hurting, but I didn't stop, as I should have (or rather I stopped for 30 seconds here and there, but not long enough to recover). In fact, most of the 30 minutes I wasn't even peddling forward. I either stood on the machine without moving, or I modified the movement to more of a rocking motion, rather than a peddling. I'd pedal forward for one or two slow cyles, then pedal backward for a couple cycles, then I'd do more of a rock than a pedal in half cycle motions forward and back, and then I'd stop for 15 seconds and repeat. Really most of the effort I put into those 30 minutes was just standing on the machine, keeping my balance. I would guess that the actual "work" of pedaling I did maybe for 8 or 9 minute (and that could even be an overestimate - I spent a lot of time just standing there giving my legs some relief before doing another set of motions).

I think that's part of why I didn't "register" how much work I was actually doing, because I was thinking about how it probably looked to others, not the reality to me. I was very conscious that anyone watching me (and of course I was thinking that everyone behind me was watching - even though I knew that wasn't true either), but I was thinking how anyone watching would think "that's not how you use that machine, she's hardly moving at all."

I also judged the machine by knees and lungs. For the past 20 years, my knees and lungs and to a lesser degree my calves have always been the weakest parts of my body, and I gauged all exercise by it's effects on my lungs, knees and calves. If they were ok, I was "good to go." So that's how I judged the elyptical.

I was actually astonished that the elyptical didn't cause any knee discomfort at all (at least during the exercise), and my calves and lungs were ok too. In fact, it was kind of magical, almost hypnotic, because of it. I was just so enthralled with an exercise that didn't hurt my knees and didn't leave me gasping for breath (I don't DO those exercises, because an obviously elevated heart or respiration rate is a sign I do know to signal STOP). I kept expecting my lungs or knees to register discomfort - and they didn't, so I kept going. I didn't realize "different equipment, different rules."

At least I know now that I can't always judge my activity by lungs and knees anymore - I have to listen to EVERY part of my body - and have to err on the side of caution. When I think I "probably should stop" I should take that as an "I definitely should stop."

It's a sign of progress that I was even able to get to this point (I don't think two years ago I would have even been able to stand on the elyptical and do even one rotation. I would have fallen on my butt - and would probably be in almost as much pain as I am now).

And thanks for the etsy compliments. I'm working on another Precious Cthulhu (a Precious Moments vinyl doll in Cthulhu costume). Which is kind of ironic as Esofia mentioned RSI from quilting - I had "lightened up" on my crocheting because I was getting hand cramps to the point that my thumb and fleshy part of my palm was throbbing all day. So what do I do? Mess my whole BODY up. I would have been better off with the hand cramps.

Silly Me.

EZMONEY
10-17-2011, 08:47 PM
AWW KAPLODS :( :hug:

Here's a hug :hug: and a :angel: prayer that by Friday you are back at it!!

Riddy
10-17-2011, 10:58 PM
Darnit, Kaplods. :hug::hug::hug:

Don't beat yourself up for this tactical error. Just remember how crappy you feel right now next time you're tempted to push your body where it doesn't want to go.

I hope you recover quickly! Don't get discouraged!

Esofia
10-18-2011, 08:27 AM
More hugs floating your way.

What you posted made me realise one reason why pacing is so bloody hard. We're meant to stop before it hurts, right? (To everyone else: yes, I know the rules are different for you, but this is how it works with ME/CFIDS. If you wait until the exertion is causing pain, breathlessness or other problems, you're in serious trouble.) Well, to begin with that requires an awful lot of concentration and monitoring of various bodily systems, which is hard enough on its own without having to concentrate on the exercise as well - with a medical condition which affects concentration. And second, if we're used to being in pain a lot of the time for no reason at all, we get used to switching off from pain, so it's that much harder to register when it's getting worse. I don't know if you get this last, but the invisible illness problem affects me as well. So many people tell us that ME/CFIDS doesn't exist, that even when you know perfectly and painfully well that it does, sometimes it sinks in in the strangest ways. I can end up not really believing that I'm ill, even if it's just for five minutes, and continuing with something because it feels OK at that moment, and then really regretting it later. When you're feeling better physically and have stopped feeling guilty about this (because you really, really shouldn't), I reckon we might both find it useful to talk about this side of things further.

Anyway, go and watch TV or something for a few days, and have a nice snuggle with the cat and the heat blanket. Snuggle therapy is something I definitely recommend! (And I should possibly look into getting a heating blanket as well as a heat pad, I hadn't thought of that. Can you roll them up really small in the same way that you can with an ordinary fleece blanket?)

kaplods
10-18-2011, 04:37 PM
Thankfully, I'm not nearly as sore today as I expected to be. In fact, it seems to hurt a little less than it did yesterday or at least it's no worse. Bed rest is still my main goal for the day.

I agree about "invisible" being easy to confuse with "non-existent" or at least intangible. I've even had doctors assure me that the "nice thing about fibro" is that no actual physiological damage is being done (although I also have osteo-arthritis and autoimmune which can).

So sometimes I tend to think "what's the worst that can happen?" And I've become so accustomed to pain and fatigue that I'm not sufficiently deterred when those are the answers. It's a trade-off, I'm sometimes willing to accept - the problem is that when I've had pain and fatigue under control for a while - I forget how bad the pain and fatigue can be.

In graduate school psychology classes, we learned that memory of pain, works differently than other sensory memories. We don't remember pain as clearly as other sensations (the professor joked that if this were not true, no woman would ever have a second child).

And it's funny because even today, I've seen that in myself. Right before I signed on here, I sat on the couch and hubby was discussing errands for the day that he intended to run, and asked me for a list of things I wanted him to pick up. I was in no pain at the moment so made the list, handed it to him and decided "I think I'll go with him" but I didn't say it. I did get up from the couch to go get dressed, and remembered instantly why leaving the house (or even getting dressed) wasn't the best idea.

I do think though that fibro-wise I may have dodged a bullet. Since I'm in no pain when I'm not moving, it seems that the pain is more muscle injury than fibro-flare. No doubt the fibro is amplifying the pain, but it doesn't seem to be causing any new pain (a good sign, I think). However, the fatigue and brainfog is flaring more severely (or I wouldn't have thought running errands with hubby was a good idea), but my "resting" status isn't painful - that's a really good sign.

I do think it is easy to feel bullet-proof to a degree with fibro. By that, I mean that I tend to think "it's just pain, it can't really "hurt" (as in damage) me.

When you're in constant pain, you can face some of the same challenges as the people born without the ability to feel pain. If you don't fear pain, you don't respect it. I've lost a lot of my fear of pain.

I know that dodging a bullet doesn't make me bullet-proof (although sometimes just for a second it cam make me think so). Just as being "hit" but not downed by the bullet also doesn't mean the bullet didn't hurt me. It's one of the other issues with the fibro and related issues. If I make a bone-head move and am not immediately suffering for it, I can think that "the coast is clear."



As to heating blankets, they tend to be a bit thicker and heavier, so they're not quite as flexible as regular blankets, but you still can fold and roll them fairly easily. I don't have any problem with the lap-blanket sized ones. At least in the US, the full-sized electric blankets are kind of pricey, but the "throw" or lap-blanket sized ones are more reasonably priced (and less heavy, so they roll and fold more easily).



Well, anyway I'm off to bed for snuggling time.

Esofia
10-19-2011, 10:23 AM
Hey hon, how are you doing today?

Memory of pain thing - no wonder it's so bloody difficult to answer when someone asks the dreaded, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?"

Heating blankets - throw sized is what I'd be looking at too, both for reasons for budget and space. I'm trying to work out if it would offer a particular advantage over my current setup, which for the bed is the duvet, bedspread quilt in the winter, smallish fleece blanket which gets rolled up and put down the side of the bed, and heat pad. This lot will get me from horribly chilly to cosy, with extra-warm feet or back or what have you depending on where I put the heat pad. I've a feeling that somewhere I read about this weird treatment for ME/CFIDS which involved diving into a sort of coccoon where you were entirely wrapped up in something heated. I've a feeling you had to shower afterwards, it sounded rather tiring. Some sort of far-infrared mini-sauna thingy, where they tried to convince you that it was worth dropping a lot of money because it was a special special heat source that did things no other heat source could do? I do have a big heat lamp as well, but it's a hassle to get out, use and put away again, so it only really gets used when I have some sort of injury going on, such as the calcific tendinitis flaring up. What do you find that the heat blanket does for you?

kaplods
10-19-2011, 11:32 PM
I'm doing better today. Still sore, but noticeably better. I can tell that the muscles are in recovery mode, but I am getting some muscle cramps, my balance is off and my left leg keeps giving out.

I have some nerve damage in the left leg from a herniated disk about 15 years ago. Whenever I get very tired or walk very far my left leg does this. I'll be walking and suddenly feel as if my leg is going to buckle. It's just happening several times a day instead of once or twice a month (or in the winter once or twice a week).

I've gotten my cane out to use for balance and support. I probably should have gotten it out yesterday, then again maybe not. If I had it, I would have been using it, rather than just simply resting.

As to the advantages of the heating throw, it's more a convenience than a necessity in our current apartment. I'm not sure I will replace it when it dies, because our current apartment doesn't get the extremes of temperature as our last apartment did.

Our last apartment was a bit of a disaster. The furnace never seemed to work right. Using the thermostat was useless, sometimes the apartment would be way too warm, other times it would be way too cold. It was also drafty and poorly insulated.

In that apartment, I would use the heating blanket a lot. Watching tv, or lying in bed. I even considered buying an extra one for the bedroom so I wouldn't have to unplug the one I used in the living room.

I don't use it as much now, because our current apartment doesn't have those temperature control problems. Usually, my comforter is warm enough. Sometimes though, especially when it's cold and damp, I just can't get warm enough, especially my hands, feet, and chest. Sometimes I'll even use those chemical handwarmer packets in my pockets and slipped into socks and then into my bra.

The blanket is nice for warming me quickly. Especially if I've come in from being outside (even though I don't go out much at all in the winter). I'll feel the need to warm up and I won't have the patience to wait for the comforter or clothing to warm me gradually - I want warmth NOW.


In the really cold months, I'll use the heating blanket to warm the sheets before bed. Or when my feet and legs are cold, but the rest of me isn't I'll use heated throw at the bottom of the bed over the comforter. Often an extra pair of socks or warm jammies work just as well, but I often alternate between too hot and too cold, and it's easier to toss off the blanket and then pull it back on again - than to add and remove clothing/socks repeatedly.

I also use it to snuggle comfortably with with the cat. She's old and arthritic herself, and without the heating blanket, she likes to warm herself on my body. On top of my body. She'll lay on my hips or my knees - or on my chest, or on my head, or wrapped around my head.

With the heating blanket, she's more content with lying beside me than directly on top me. And she's a ginormous cat, nearly 20 lbs. Until I discovered the heating blanket helped, she had been very stubborn about using me as her personal heating pad. She's such a crafty old gal that she would lie beside me until I fell asleep and then I would wake to her lying on my chest, butt in my face. With the heating blanket, she's been more cooperative about lying beside me rather than on me.

Silly how much I'm willing to adapt for a cat. She'll even meow for me to turn on the heating blanket, and if I don't respond, she will even batt at the controls (she does the same with the tv remote. She likes the tv on, and she does know that the tv remote is somehow involved).

Esofia
10-20-2011, 07:11 AM
Now that is just adorable.

I think I'll leave it for the time being, though I may reconsider once the winter sets in in earnest. Last winter was really really cold. Thankfully my flat has 2' thick outside stone walls and is not overburdened with windows, so it is naturally beautifully insulated, plus I have a good heating system and an abundance of quilts and blankets.

losermom
10-23-2011, 10:44 AM
Kaplods, I hope you're feeling better! I read this whole thread and felt compelled to comment. I hope that you've learned your lesson girl! I know that sometimes we think we can do something while we are doing it but don't listen to our bodies even though they're screaming at us to STOP! And while others may not agree I'm a big believer in the Baby Steps theory. That's how I approached my weight loss journey and it's spilled over into other areas of my life as well. There are some days that I don't want or feel up to doing anything so I'll ask myself, "What CAN I do to move myself forward towards my goal?" I noticed that you've entered twosyville--I'm so proud of you! Congrats to you!

Even though I am a reasonably fit and healthy 48 year old, the elliptical (and to some extent the treadmill too) is not my friend either. Perhaps it's my form but my feet ache like crazy while I'm on it and when I get off one (and sometimes a treadmill) I have a difficult time with my balance. Forget running on a treadmill--no can do! I'd most likely fall off. I just wanted you to know that you are not the only one. Even us "healthy" people have to know our limits.

fatferretfanatic
10-23-2011, 11:47 AM
I am so sorry you wound up feeling horrible after your 30 minutes. I know how hard those 30 mins. on the elliptical are, because I used to do the elliptical a lot. I don't have an illness, but I will say that I have done stupid things from time to time-namely the time that I ran 9 miles in the Arizona heat without enough water and was so tired and dehydrated when I got done that I spent the whole day after getting well again. Like you, I felt victorious, but at what price? I could have waited until the week later, ran that 9 miles with ample water supply and have felt better. I like to push myself, but sometimes one can push to hard. Try not to push yourself too hard! I have a feeling that you'll get that sweatshirt-and even if you didn't, I KNOW you could make yourself one a million times better. *hugs*

Ursula745
10-23-2011, 11:58 AM
Kaplods - I haven't read the other posts. But, you know you can do it now, just with some risk. So maybe, do the lower intensity exercises for your sweatshirt, and then maybe pick another high intensity you can do outside of this "passport" program, that you can build up to, so maybe the elliptical for 10 mins, then 12, and so on. Then maybe you can work up to those for the next program, depending on how you feel. But, good for you that you were able to do it (you know the limits now), and next time, take better care of you :) You don't have to get cocky and do all that. You've come a long way already, and you've got that to be super proud of!

kaplods
10-23-2011, 08:19 PM
Thanks for all the support. I feel less stupid (but more committed to being smart).

I'm feeling a lot better physically too (except for weather-related joint pain). Most of the muscle soreness is gone. I'm flaring a bit, my joints are aching and I can't get "warm" but that's mostly my normal response to cold, damp weather.

Today, we went to the gym, and I got back on the elliptical - just to conquer my fear, more than anything (getting back on the horse, so to speak).

I did only a few minutes on the monster, but I was astonished at the difference in my balance (it made me want to do more, but I learned my lesson, and will increase my time on the machine gradually)

Sunday (mistake day) was my first time ever on an elliptical and from the very second I stepped on the machine, I felt like I was going to fall off it. I didn't dare let go of the handle grips, and I couldn't do more than one or two cycles without feeling I was going to tip over. I had to cycle very, very slowly because I felt like I was going to fall over if I didn't.

This time, I had decent balance not only getting on and off, but during my using the machine. I was actually able to use it the way it was designed to be used (even if in very slow motion).

It may explain why I felt so "off balance" while I was recovering. It may have been all my "balance muscles" healing.

I'll have to be careful, but if the elliptical helps me with balance issues, it will definitely be worth it (my balance is so bad that I usually fall at least three or four times every winter, sometimes a lot more than that - to the point that I'm afraid to leave my apartment at all when there's ice or snow on the ground).

I also tried a new machine that I absolutely fell in love with. I thought it was just a weird looking stationery bike, but I looked it up online when I got home, and it was the SciFit REX, Total Body Recumbent Elliptical. Essentially it is a cross between an elliptical and a stationery recumbent bicycle.

I couldn't believe how gentle it was on my knees, and how I could make it an upper body or lower-body workout just by shifting the effort from legs to arms, and vice versa.

I started slow on it too, but I think this is going to be awesome for flare days. Balance isn't an issue, because of the recumbent position, and it can be done at almost any speed or intensity (of course that also means it probably isn't going to help improve my balance.

I am a little disappointed that the regular exercise hasn't been the "cure" I think I was half-hoping for.

I noticed that the regular exercise was helping decrease the intensity and duration of pain flares, and so I was hoping that would continue through the winter. And it probably will, but not quite to the degree I had hoped. The weather changes are still beating me up, pretty badly.

Just getting out of bed has been more challenging with the colder, damper weather.

Any change in wheather, even good weather changes can trigger a flare, but damp and cold also aggravate my osteoarthritis and autoimmune joint issues - so there's a double or triple whammy.

Eventually, we may have to consider moving to a warmer and less variable climate (too bad I couldn't move all my doctors, friends and family with me).

I'm going to be have to be very careful at the gym through the winter though. I have to make progress slowly or I'll end up wasting too much time in recovery mode, or worse end up triggering a relapse of some of my worst health issues.

kaplods
10-31-2011, 06:40 PM
Today I earned my sweatshirt!

It's awesome! It's just a sweatshirt, a hoodie pullover, but I'm really proud of it.

There was a guy in-line in front of me, and he had just completed the challenge too, and they didn't have a sweatshirt for him (they had run out of mediums - more people completed the challenge than they expected).

I was on pins and needles, thinking that they might have not printed enough of the 3X's or 4X's (I had asked for a 4X, but said I would take a 3X if they couldn't get a 4X - because when we signed up they hadn't had the shirts printed yet).

They didn't have a 4X, but the 3X fits fine (which is it's own milestone).

runningfromfat
10-31-2011, 07:14 PM
Congrats!!!

crimsons
10-31-2011, 08:36 PM
@Kaps, congrats!! I've gotten to know you from your posts, and you are so knowledgeable. I'm a big fan of podcasts, and was just listening to a really inspiring one from someone who's working through her weight loss and fitness, and sharing all that she's learned to help others. Ever consider doing something like that?

BillBlueEyes
10-31-2011, 08:43 PM
Honking Kudos for that sweatshirt, Kudos.

sontaikle
10-31-2011, 08:52 PM
Congrats Kaplods! I'm glad you got that sweatshirt!

kaplods
10-31-2011, 09:56 PM
@Kaps, congrats!! I've gotten to know you from your posts, and you are so knowledgeable. I'm a big fan of podcasts, and was just listening to a really inspiring one from someone who's working through her weight loss and fitness, and sharing all that she's learned to help others. Ever consider doing something like that?


I'm a bit technologically impaired. I can't even figure out facebook, but I have started laying some groundwork for an autobiographical weight loss book. The working title is "Accidental Weight loss" (because that's how my journey started, by losing 20 lbs without trying to. At the time I was convinced that I couldn't lose weight without eventurally gaining it back and more.

It was a dilemma because I'd never lost weight permanently before, and I was afraid to "diet" because I knew that only resulted in weight gain - but I didn't know what to do instead.

I still was convinced that trying to lose weight wasn't going to work. So I had to find a way to try to do something besides lose weight. So I decided instead of trying to lose weight, I would try to do things that were good for me and might (as an added benefit) result in the side effect of weight loss.

Weight loss became one of the rewards (and not even the biggest one) and not the goal.

I believe this is a potential "secret" for a lot of people - making the weight a non-issue (or as small of one as possible).

I still use weight as a measure of success, but it's no longer my only one. If I never lose another pound, but gain strength, stamina, and reduce pain and other health issue symptoms, I still will be succeeding.

I now see weight pretty much like I do blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Only one small, isolated measure of my health. My primary goal isn't weight loss, it's improved health - and I'm happy to reap the rewards - including better lab results and a smaller body.


I don't know how well that will do as a "diet book," because I'm not sure most people are willing to give up weight loss as the primary goal. I'm not sure people are ready to hear "lose weight by not trying to lose weight at all - infact lose weight by NOT worrying about your weight at all or at least get healthier in any size of body you have."

It's working for me, though.

Whether or not I'll ever finish or publish the book, writing it has been helpful to me - because putting what I believe into writing and then rereading it, helps me focus my purpose.

I do like losing weight, but I'm a little sad that it's the only measure of a healthy lifestyle that gets any credit or cultural value at all. Everyone cares and wants to know how I've lost weight, but not so many care or wonder how I've improved my health, functioning, and pain level.

It's sad to me that weight loss is seen as more important than the other benefits I've earned - "the really cool stuff" about living a healthier lifestyle.

We make it all about the least important part.

goal4agirl
11-01-2011, 02:45 AM
Yay! You wear that sweatshirt proud darlin! You sure did earn it!!
I sure can tell cold weather has arrived- my hip joints have really been hurting me. Because of Crohns Disease I have been on prednisone off and on for years...well it really does a number on your bones and joints. And the disease it self is a cousin to arthritis- so I feel your pain.
But you are doing great ~ Congratulations :D

Stepping Out
11-01-2011, 03:33 AM
Enjoy your sweatshirt & wear it with pride. You've worked long and hard to reach your goal..and the sweatshirt will be the least of the rewards that you reap! :D

Congratulations again! :carrot:

fatferretfanatic
11-01-2011, 12:42 PM
Congrats on that sweatshirt. You earned it, and you should hold your head up high. Great job!