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kaplods 10-17-2011 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Esofia (Post 4074604)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaplods (Post 4074659)
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!


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